27 June 2018

Prescription for Blessings

Theme: A song of wisdom

Scriptures: Psalm 1

Objectives: (From the D6 Fusion Sunday School Lesson book)
Know: People who avoid sin and live by God’s Word experience unique blessings.
Think: Live with the mindset that God’s Word will be the guiding influence of my life.
Do: Limit sinful influences in your life, and read, memorize, and meditate on God’s Word.

Basic Outline
Two types of people
C1 Righteous
D1 Separation
D2 Study
D3 Success
C2 Unrighteous
D1 Failure
D2 Falling
D3 Future
B1 Two types of people
C1 Righteous
D1 Separation
E1 Based on truth
F1 God is truth
G1 John 14:6 CSB Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
G2 John 3:33 CSB The one who has accepted His testimony has affirmed that God is true.
F2 God tells the truth
G1 John 8:40 CSB But now you are trying to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do this!
G2 Hebrews 6:17-18 NKJV  Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.
F3 Some things to know:
G1 We are to love the truth: Zechariah 8:19 NRSV  Thus says the LORD of hosts: The fast of the fourth month, and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth, shall be seasons of joy and gladness, and cheerful festivals for the house of Judah: therefore love truth and peace.
G2 There are those who refuse to love the truth: 2 Thessalonians 2:10 NRSV  and every kind of wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
G3 True love happens after we obey (belief in action) truth: 1 Peter 1:22 GW  Love each other with a warm love that comes from the heart. After all, you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth. As a result you have a sincere love for each other.
G4 Truth will free us from error: John 8:32 NKJV  And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
G5 The church (the people) is to promote, teach, and defend truth: 1 Timothy 3:15 NKJV but if I am delayed, [I write] so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
G6 Truth is one of things we are to get and never let go of: Proverbs 23:23 (CSB) Buy—and do not sell—truth, wisdom, instruction, and understanding.
E2 Let’s contrast that with wicked advice
F1 Example 1: Ezekiel 11:1-4 GNB92 God's spirit lifted me up and took me to the east gate of the Temple. There near the gate I saw twenty-five men, including Jaazaniah son of Azzur and Pelatiah son of Benaiah, two leaders of the nation.  God said to me, “Mortal man, these men make evil plans and give bad advice in this city. They say, ‘We will soon be building houses again. The city is like a cooking pot, and we are like the meat in it, but at least it protects us from the fire.’  Now then, denounce them, mortal man.
F2 Example 2: 1 Kings 12:3-8 CSB - But they summoned him, and Jeroboam and the whole assembly of Israel came and spoke to Rehoboam: "Your father made our yoke harsh. You, therefore, lighten your father's harsh service and the heavy yoke he put on us, and we will serve you."  Rehoboam replied, "Go away for three days and then return to me." So the people left. Then King Rehoboam consulted with the elders who had served his father Solomon when he was alive, asking, "How do you advise me to respond to this people? "  They replied, "Today if you will be a servant to this people and serve them, and if you respond to them by speaking kind words to them, they will be your servants forever." But he rejected the advice of the elders who had advised him and consulted with the young men who had grown up with him and attended him.
E3 Path of sinners: 2 Timothy 4:9-10 CSB - Make every effort to come to me soon, because Demas has deserted me, since he loved this present world, and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia.
E4 Mockers: Matthew 9:23-25 NLT - When Jesus arrived at the official's home, he saw the noisy crowd and heard the funeral music. "Get out!" he told them. "The girl isn't dead; she's only asleep." But the crowd laughed at him. After the crowd was put outside, however, Jesus went in and took the girl by the hand, and she stood up!
E6 Questions
F1 Is there something wrong with having non-believers as best friends?
F2 What might happen to a Christian if the group he associates with consists of non-believers?
F3 How do we avoid the advice of the wicked?
F4 How to we get truth?
F5 What does it mean to not sell truth?
F6 Does truth change?
F7 How can we know if what wicked people advise us is good or evil?
F8 How do we know what is the path of sinners or the path of believers?
F9 How do we know if a group is a group of mockers?
D2 Study
E1 How can a person know if they delight in God’s teaching?
E2 How do we reflect, ponder, on God’s words?
D3 Success: What kind of success does God give to avoid evil and associate with good?
C2 Unrighteous
D1 Failure
E1 The wicked are blown away by the wind. What blows them away?
F1 The plain, normal teaching of the Scripture.
F2 Realizing the facts of Scripture are most reasonable.
F3 Chaff is a symbol of worthlessness, weakness, failure, wavering, flip-flopping, etc.
E2 The wind represents a test. Remember how Adam failed, King Saul failed, Balaam failed, etc. Who would be some good examples of passing God’s test?
D2 Falling
E1 When is the judgment of the wicked?
F1 Arrogance and stubborn rebellion will do no good. An attitude of, “I will stand,” will not overcome the Sovereign Lord.
F2 Revelation 20:11-15 CSB - Then I saw a great white throne and one seated on it. Earth and heaven fled from his presence, and no place was found for them. I also saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life, and the dead were judged according to their works by what was written in the books. Then the sea gave up the dead that were in it, and Death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them; each one was judged according to their works. Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.
E2 Note that the righteous bear fruit, while the wicked only chaff.
D3 Future
E1 A comment from the Biblical Illustrator on Proverbs 15:3: The eye of God on the sons of men: — The great truths of divinity are of great use to enforce the precepts of morality.
1. An eye to discern all; not only from which nothing can be concealed, but by which everything is actually inspected, and nothing overlooked or looked slightly upon. Secret sins, services, and sorrows are under His eye.
2. An eye to distinguish both persons and actions. He is displeased with the evil, and approves of the good, and will judge men according to the sight of His eyes (Psalm 1:6; 11:4.) (Matthew Henry.)
E2 The way is our life story. It is an eternal life story ending in eternal life or eternal suffering and death.
E3 Choices have consequences.
B2 Next Week:
C1 Taste and see
C2 Theme: A song of thanksgiving
C3 Scripture: Psalm 34

20 June 2018

Grace for Every Trial

Theme: The Believer’s Strength

Scriptures: 2 Corinthians 12:1-10

Objectives: (From the D6 Fusion Sunday School Lesson book)
Know: God’s grace and power are best displayed in our weakness.
Think: I will live with the assurance that God will give me the grace and strength I need for every situation.
Do: Learn to be content when facing difficulty, knowing God will use it for His glory and my good.

Out of weakness were made strong—Hebrews 11:34
Hopelessness is one of many weaknesses, but Psalm 39:7 CSB - Now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in you.
Discouragement, bitter times? We can find our hope in God as Jeremiah did: Lamentations 3:14-25 GNB People laugh at me all day long; I am a joke to them all. 15 Bitter suffering is all he has given me for food and drink. 16 He rubbed my face in the ground and broke my teeth on rocks. 17 I have forgotten what health and peace and happiness are. 18 I do not have much longer to live; my hope in the LORD is gone. 19 The thought of my pain, my homelessness, is bitter poison. 20 I think of it constantly, and my spirit is depressed. 21 Yet hope returns when I remember this one thing: 22 The LORD's unfailing love and mercy still continue, 23 Fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise. 24 The LORD is all I have, and so in him I put my hope. 25 The LORD is good to everyone who trusts in him.

Back to our Scriptures:
B1 Paul has listed in 2 Corinthians 11 the many sufferings he has experienced because he preached the Gospel.
B2 Now he advances some of the great blessings God has given him—revelations, that is, messages from God.
B3 He has reason to brag about how he great he is, but…
B4 He rejoices in his weaknesses.
B5 What a strange thing it is to boast in weaknesses.
B1 What is his most grievous weakness? (2 Corinthians 12:7).
B2 God allowed what to pester and cause trouble? Really?
B3 What is the main danger of pride in a Christian?
B4 Many have proposed physical ailments, but discuss the many possibilities this thorn could have been. Remember it could be physical, spiritual, emotional, intellectual, etc.
B5 Who is the messenger of satan? Can satan afflict us? Job 1:6-12 CSB - One day the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them. The LORD asked Satan, "Where have you come from? " "From roaming through the earth," Satan answered him, "and walking around on it." Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? No one else on earth is like him, a man of perfect integrity, who fears God and turns away from evil." Satan answered the LORD, "Does Job fear God for nothing? "Haven't you placed a hedge around him, his household, and everything he owns? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. "But stretch out your hand and strike everything he owns, and he will surely curse you to your face." "Very well," the LORD told Satan, "everything he owns is in your power. However, do not lay a hand on Job himself." So Satan left the LORD's presence.
B6 The word for torment in 2 Corinthians 12:7 is κολαφίζω kolaphizō and means to hit with the fist.
C1 Here are some of the verses that use this word:
D1 Matthew 26:67 CSB - Then they spat in his face and beat him; others slapped him.
D2 1 Peter 2:20 CSB - For what credit is there if when you do wrong and are beaten, you endure it? But when you do what is good and suffer, if you endure it, this brings favor with God.
C2 Have you ever felt that satan was punching you around over and over?
C3 How would something like this keep anyone from getting proud?
C4 Isn’t the Christian life supposed to be perfect, peaceful, happy all the time?
B7 Paul prayed 3 times to be relieved of this pain. Why was God’s answer, “No?”
B8 What was God’s answer? “But his answer was: "’My grace is all you need, for my power is greatest when you are weak.’"
C1 Are you weak?
C2 How will God’s grace help you?
C3 Remember there is no relief from this suffering, just God’s grace given in love to help.
C4 So how can we deal with illness, sorrow, loneliness, hopelessness, etc. and etc.?
C5 Remember, also, that this is what God told PAUL. It does not mean that it is to every situation or to every person.
C6 If we are being chastened by God for a known sin, we must repent and ask His forgiveness.
C7 If we are unaware of unconfessed and unforsaken sin, then perhaps it is a trial that God allows.
C8 Perhaps, you have made a bad choice and now suffer the consequences, or perhaps, someone else has made a bad choice with the resulting consequences affecting you or me. But God’s grace WILL be with you and me.
B9 How do we boast about our weaknesses?
B10 How do we find contentment? Paul faced weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and in difficulties.
B11 Some commentators and translators understand the phrase taking pleasure in (εὐδοκέω eudokeō) to be contentment. Here are some pointers on contentment from the Apostle Paul:
C1 Philippians 4:11 NKJV Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.
D1 Note the word learned.
D2 How do we learn contentment?
C2 Being content with what we have is a thing to be learned by the Christian. To learn something, we must experience it. Learning takes time and practice. God knows what He is doing. While we are learning, His grace will help us through the process (Philippians 4:13). Hebrews 5:8 NKJV [Jesus] though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.
C3 As God, Jesus knew all things, but He had not experienced being a man. I might understand a lot about my dog, but I have never been a dog to experience everything a dog does or thinks. Jesus learned the experience does NOT mean He was ignorant of being a human.
C4 Being thankful for what we have is very important. God helps us. How does being thankful help us to be content? Remember, Paul was writing this letter from prison.
C5 Being content does NOT mean we are to stop learning Scripture, living a godly life, or learning truth, for we want treasure in heaven. Matthew 6:19-21 WPNT Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on the earth, where moth and rust ruin and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust ruins and where thieves neither break in nor steal; because where your treasure is there your heart will be also.
Next week:
B1 A prescription for blessings
B2 Theme: A song of wisdom
B3 Scriptures: Psalm 1