Sunday School Lessons

I am not a proponent of pre-made Sunday School lessons. However, planning out the year of the major topics of things you want your class to learn is just wise. Especially when you take that topic to God and allow Him to show you things in the scriptures that will prepare you, that’s a double win. Too often churches get bigger and people get lazy so they switch to premade lessons… the end result is lessons that contain no Spirit lead information. It’s no better than looking it up online and just reading it. Information is NOT knowledge. It is our responsibility as teachers to impart knowledge.

1 Timothy 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

January – Self Examination and Things New

Examples:

  • Self Examination
  • New Creature
  • New Song
  • New Man

Example Verses:

2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

Psalms 26:2 Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Psalms 40:3 And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.

Ephesians 4:22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;

23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

February – Love

Examples:

  • For God so Loved (love in action)
  • Love Not… (world)
  • Love my commandments
  • Love one another

Example Verses:

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

1 John 3:11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.

March – Morals

  • Stealing (things, time, value)
  • Lying (to God and others)
  • Corrupt communication
  • What is Sin and how does God see it

Example Verses:

Ephesians 4:28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

Proverbs 6:17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

April – Heroes of the Faith

Examples:

  • Jesus
  • Abraham
  • Jonah
  • Job
  • Noah
  • Moses

Example Verses:

John 21:25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

Hebrews 11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.

Hebrews 11:11 Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.

Hebrews 11:20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.

21 By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.

22 By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.

23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment.

May – Memorial/ Service

Examples:

  • Memorial Day (greater love)
  • Christian Service
  • Memorials in the Bible (Marking where God has shown you something)
  • Setting the Example for others

Example Verses:

John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Matthew 26:13 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.

1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

June – Fundamental Basic Doctrine

Examples:

  • Salvation
  • Baptism
  • Lords Supper
  • Tithe
  • Missions
  • Faith
  • How to Pray

Example Verses:

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

1 Corinthians 11:26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.

Matthew 6:9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

July – More Advanced Doctrine

(should be taught from a definition point)

Examples:

  • What is prophecy and what makes it a prophecy
  • Virgin Birth
  • Rapture
  • Judgement Seat of Christ
  • Marriage Supper
  • 2nd Coming of Christ
  • Calvary

Example Verses:

1 Thessalonians 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.

August – Obedience

Examples:

  • To God
  • To Parents
  • To Government
  • Servant/Master

Example Verses:

Colossians 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Colossians 3:22 Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God:

Ephesians 6:9 And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.

Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.

Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

September – Character Traits

(fruits of the spirit) Taught from a positive point

Examples:

  • Honesty
  • Good Testimony
  • Integrity (keeping your word)
  • Leadership
  • Compassion
  • Patience
  • Generosity
  • Patriotism
  • Citizenship
  • Personal responsibility

Example Verses:

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Philemon 1:5 Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints;

6 That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.

Luke 10:33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,

Ecclesiastes 5:4 When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.

5 Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.

October – Harvest

Examples:

  • Missions
  • Salvation
  • Doctrine and Mechanics of Giving
  • Witnessing
  • Testimony (You can reach those we cant)
  • Different Ministries Represented (Bring in a bus captain, Sunday school teacher, former pastor, missionary)

John 4:35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.

Mark 13:10 And the gospel must first be published among all nations.

Romans 16:26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:

November – How to be a Christian

(designed to take what has been taught so far and put it in action)

Examples:

  • Reason for rules
  • Etiquette in Church
  • The House of God
  • Music, Television, Social Media
  • Thanksgiving
  • How to Pray

1 Timothy 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

Matthew 6:5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

December – End of Year Wrap-up and Holiday Related

Examples:

  • Birth of Christ
  • Wise men still seek Him
  • Tender time for witnessing
  • Good and perfect gift

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

Matthew 2:1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,

2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.


Any sermon you wanted to get to but didn’t have time…

  • Rebellion
  • Law vs. Faith
  • Mysteries in the Bible
  • Role of a pastor
  • Work ethic
  • Feeding the 5000
  • Having an Effect in this world
  • The Hand of God

The King James Bible is a book that God provided, that was written over a 1500 year span where God used 40 men of God to write down God’s words from Shepherds to Kings across three continents (Asia, Africa, and Europe) in three languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek) and translated for the English speaking people to a point of perfection in circa 1611 with no errors and no contradictions.

There is no book in history that has ever came close to meeting any criteria that the King James Bible can stand upon.

It is important to recognize that God Himself pinned the scriptures so we can learn about Him, and about ourselves.

We Teach What We Have Learned

2 Timothy 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;

It is important to recognize here the importance of the local church and the importance of Pastors, Teachers and Evangelists. God uses these individuals to help teach and administer the scriptures to our benefit. As such we see Paul telling Timothy to remember whom he has learned the scriptures from. It is also important to identify how important it is to make sure that those you choose to gain knowledge from, preach and teach it straight.

15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

It is important to teach children to love the book. To understand how to rightly divide the word and how to discern truth when it is provided. As such we can help parents help their children to grown in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

How the Bible is Written: (Inspiration)

The Method

2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Practical exercise:

Find someone to write down a verse or statement exactly as its said:

(Example) Write Down – Psalms 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

  • Now who wrote it?
  • Who Authored it?

Now have another student copy the words from one paper to another exactly.

  • That is a Scribe – and how God spread the written word abroad.

Now hold up both… Which one is the Word of God?

Now if someone wrote this from English to Spanish – it is Translated.

This is the method that God used to write and spread the word of God.

The Purpose

2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Profitable: For our benefit.

Mark 8:36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

Doctrine: Principle, a position or truth.

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

Reproof: Is Blame – To take responsibility for your actions

This has so much truth as reproof in today’s society has been removed. We need to know and grow from our mistakes. We often deny them, ignore them or blame others rather than acknowledging them.

Proverbs 15:31 The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise.

32 He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding.

NOTE: We can not seek correction without reproof.

Correction: To right those things that are wrong; the physical change after reproof (false doctrine, world’s information)

Proverbs 3:11 My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:

Instruction in Righteousness

2 Timothy 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

That we may be perfect

Throughly: Complete to the end. This is a correct spelling. Some modern publishers change this to thoroughly, so let me show you the difference. If you wash the dishes thoroughly, they are clean (or should be). However, they will get dirty again. Throughly means that they will be clean again and again until Jesus comes.

Furnished: Have every thing you need provided

Good Works: What we do to show what God has done for us.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Let’s break that down:

God will furnish everything that we need through the word of God until He comes for His Church so that we may be perfect before him.

I recall sitting with my Father and listening to him tell a story and ask him how I might be a good storyteller, he replied; all you need to do is place yourself in the story, then tell others what you see. As a youth I used this storyteller mindset in my school papers writing in such a way that allowed my teachers to participate with me in the story. I found that when I added the three S’s that it added substance to my stories. Those three S’s are Sight, Sound and Smell.

This inside out viewpoint was the method I used as I began in areas of ministry. I tried to stand on the boat next to the sailors looking at Jonah, I was sitting on a bale of hay when David was in the lion’s den, I was the standing in the corner of the pool when the Jesus made the lame to walk; then I wrote what I saw, heard and smelled. My goal was to have people experience the scriptures with me.

Character Study

Part of having someone experience the scriptures, either in written or speech format, you will benefit from studying the people that make up the story or account. The more you know about them, the more you can better relate to them.

Character method of Bible study is simply: putting yourself in their shoes. By looking at the different people in the Bible, their reactions, successes, and failures; you can truly get into the heart of the passage. There is 2 main ways to use the character study:

  • The Personage: looking at the character specifically by name, their history, position, responsibility, ect.
  • The Nature: looking at the nature, attitude, personality, character attributes.

It might not even be the major characters as you might need to see it from a different perspective to truly experience it. My favorite example is the sailors on the ship in the account of Jonah. Looking at what is going on from their perspective allows you to see that decisions have consequences… all decisions. These sailors lost nearly everything, all because of the transgress of one.

Set the Scene

Before jumping into the moral of the story, set the scene, and let people look around with you. Was it hot or cold? Rain or sunny? Day or night? Was it loud with the crowd shouting or whispers of murmuring? Did it smell like flowers on a spring day or the smell of pigs in the trough. How were they dressed? You see the more info you can provide to set the scene, the better your audience will be able to relate to it.

4D Experience

When you can bring in a physical element or demonstration you can tap into the other senses to establish a lasting memory or impression. Some of my more powerful sermons and presentations was where I was able to take a verbal description and add physical elements to it. I once preached the account of Jonah with the light off and the Sanctuary lit by lanterns. I had the sound system playing storm sounds and creaking of the ship, a strobe for lightening, rotten fish smell blown from a fan… then I walked up and down the isles with a spray bottle of water. Eleven people were saved that night in that little church. By placing them in the sermon through a physical setting it takes the message to a whole new level where they can set aside misconceptions to see and feel the experience of the scriptures.

An additional sermon example was to have children’s church separated into groups with each group having a responsibility. The sermon was the disciples in the storm, a row of kids lined up as the disciples rowing, another group with metal chairs was the thunder and another was the sounds of the waves and water.

Other examples might include images, measuring tape to show scale, science experiments and other visual props to provide an audio/visual experience that will allow the mind to recall the sermon more clearly because they feel like they were “involved” in it.

Not Causing a Distraction.

It is important to note that a physical demonstration, activity, or description can cause more of a distraction than adding charcter to the sermon. I must insist this mindset through experience that it must be Lord led, and well thought out and even rehearsed before you present it to God’s people. Sometimes I had what “I” thought was a great idea, but in practice or application; it created more of a distraction where people were more interested in the experience, they did not hear the message. It should also be done occasionally, so that it is something special, not normal. By having a balance that God can use for His glory, this method can see greater fruit in your ministry.

Experiencing the Scriptures in your Own Life

The Bible is written in such a way that it helps set the scene so that you can better understand and experience it. However, you must read it as such. To read the Bible just to read it you lose the message that the Lord wants you to understand. Slowing down and looking at the scriptures with empathy will help you understand how the man that fell among the thieves felt laying in the ditch, stripped of his clothes and left half dead. How you might feel with your outstretched hand as those who could help walked by; and the last person you’d ever want to help picked you up and took care of you.

Even the Book of Revelation is written from the point of view of a man placed in heaven, and simply described what he saw and wrote it down.

Like my Father said… place yourself in the story, then look around and tell others what you see. The mind’s eye can be used by the Holy Spirit to allow you to see, hear and smell details that will help you understand the scriptures better.  

Numbers 27:15 And Moses spake unto the LORD, saying,

16 Let the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation,

17 Which may go out before them, and which may go in before them, and which may lead them out, and which may bring them in; that the congregation of the LORD be not as sheep which have no shepherd.

This passage is speaking about when Joshua was called and anointed to be the leadership of the children of Israel and lead them into the promised land. In our illustration we will use it as a launching pad for the needs of a Pastor, to be allowed to be the leader and voice of God for the management of the congregation, and gathering people into it. 

As a leader, a called Pastor was to be the voice of God, whom God would use to see His will done through His people.

Today, in the modern church, we have a Pastor; anointed by God to lead a local congregation. This leadership goes with a charge go into the highways and hedges to bring them in (the lost) into the fold (church) so they are no longer without guidance and leadership.

I would note that this is becoming more of a challenge each day and year as the sheep are finding other spirits to lead them. Now we are not the only voice speaking, or even at times the loudest one. Competition with the souls of this world is fierce, if we do not recognize this challenge the we are doomed to fall short in our local churches and ministries.

The Spirit of this world

1 Corinthians 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

This worldly spirit produces works of the flesh:

Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

These works of the flesh draw people to them, sometimes because God’s people are more concerned with what happens inside the church building, that the fields we were called to harvest.

The world is lost like sheep without a Shepherd

The world is often identified as sheep, and God makes this comparison wisely, and accurately.

Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

The rebellious nature in society today is such a powerful force. It has made it fashionable to be rebellious. In fact all anyone needs to do lately is make a stand for something, and the world will rally in rebellion against it. This passage says “we have turned everyone to his own way”, simply not God’s way. From a child we see untamed rebellion being nurtured by society with this: you can be whatever you want to be or identify as, mentality. It screams Romans chapter 1:

Romans 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

In the absence of the truth the world will LISTEN TO WHOEVER IS SPEAKING, and take it as the truth.

A local Pastor is the Shepherd that God set to help bring them in

Titus 1:9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

10 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:

11 Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.

The voice of the church in the community MUST be the voice of truth, available and ready. With as many churches we have in this country, if we were to stand behind a singular voice and a singular message, delivered by faithful men of God; more concerned about souls rather than the size of the building they preach in… we would begin to see the world’s spirits to be nothing more than a tempting whisper to those who are rebellious or weak.

However, we hid the gospel behind closed doors.

2 Corinthians 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

It is time to come out from withing the walls of the church and go into the highyays and hedges and compel them to come in.

Stop undermining the authority of the Pastor

Part of this rebellious mindset is to look at the Pastor of the local church as more of a moral position rather that a spiritual leader. Placing ourselves under the leadership of the local Pastor is part of God’s organization of the church.

1 Peter 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

We need to find those lost sheep and bring them in

Everyone has a friend, neighbor or family member that is lost without Jesus. God’s desire is that we bring them in to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ and become saved. We are the outreach of the Pastor, his extension from the pulpit to the community.

Essentially, God speaks through the Pastor, the Pastor speaks through us.  

When we are faithful to God’s method we can receive God’s message. We then take this message to the community to be the voice that is more powerful than the voice of the world. We can then bring them in, see them saved, disciples and sent out to bring MORE in…

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

This is one of those verses that you often see on a coffee cup, or on a t-shirt in a Christian book store. Which is fine, providing we understand the context of the verse.

The verse is in 3 save 4 parts and we will dissect them to be sure we have the correct understanding of this verse, and hopefully the Lord will speak to your hearts today.

  1. Romans 8:28a And we know that all things work together for good…

Too often this is where the verse stops. A statement with no understanding where people look at bad circumstances in their lives and then try to find the silver lining.

Another verse that people often use at the end of a bad day is:

Psalms 118:24 This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

To somehow sound more spiritual, when in truth… we are not promised that our day will be a great day…

2 Timothy 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

  1. Romans 8:28b… to them that love God…

In order for the first part of this verse to have any relevance… you must apply the second part: ye must be saved.

John 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

God has no responsibility to bless those who are not saved. Anymore than I have a responsibility to the neighbors kids.

John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

  1. What am I doing with God?

Romans 8:28c… to them who are the called according to his purpose…

There is a point in your life that, if you are allowing God to work in your life; that you will make choices based of Godly principles rather on the circumstances of the moment.

Examples might be:

  • Reading your Bible because you want to vs being told to.
  • Rearranging your schedule to consistently read your Bible.
  • Coming to Church because you desire to be here to see what God has in store, rather than coming to play.
  • Learning the Bible verses and songs because it is a desire of your heart, not a motivation of the flesh. (motivation of the flesh is seeking a reward for doing what is right)
  • Allowing your testimony to be such that you never have to tell someone you are a Christian. The way you talk and the way you act tells everyone you are a child of God.

One simple verse with a meaning that is stacked…

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

That God will use the circumstances that life puts us through, as Christians; to allow us to have a greater testimony of what he’s done for you.

Example:

  • God allowed my wife to have cancer. At the time it was hard to say that all things work together for good… however, now that we look back we can see:

For the first time in all the years she had been saved, she began to share the Gospel with other women there at the Markey Cancer Center. She was able to lead many women to the Lord who were in the same circumstances she was in, yet without hope. Afterwards she started teaching in Sunday School, helping is different ministries, teaching in a Christian school; the list goes on. God was able to take a bad situation and use it for His glory; making something great out of it.

 

 

 

Genesis 39:2 And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.

3 And his master saw that the LORD was with him, and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand.

4 And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand.

In Genesis 39-41, we see Joseph who was sold into bondage by his brothers. And in worldly terms that would have been the end of the story however, this becomes a lesson where God takes something bad… and uses it for HIS glory.

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

The Work Ethic of Joseph

Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

When we look at having the right work attitude and the proper work ethic.. it needs to be more than words. You will find as you get older that much of who you are is defined by the way you work.

In fact if anyone had a reason to be bitter, to be resistant, to be rebellious; it would have been Joseph. Seeing how he came into captivity he easily could have complained, but instead he chose to make the most of a poor situation.

Joseph became known by his good attitude toward the work he was assigned. So much to the point that he earned favor by those over him.

They began to trust him to the point that they put him in charge of the affairs of the house.

God took a bad set of circumstances and used it for His glory. This outcome became part of the testimony of Joseph.

Genesis 39:5 And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the LORD was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field.

6 And he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured.

The Right Attitude is at times more important that the task getting complete

Ephesians 6:5 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;

6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;

7 With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:

8 Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.

— Things Weren’t Easy for Joseph

Joseph’s story didn’t end there.

Genesis 39:7 And it came to pass after these things, that his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me.

8 But he refused, and said unto his master’s wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand;

9 There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?

10 And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her.

11 And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within.

12 And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.

13 And it came to pass, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and was fled forth,

14 That she called unto the men of her house, and spake unto them, saying, See, he hath brought in an Hebrew unto us to mock us; he came in unto me to lie with me, and I cried with a loud voice:

16 And she laid up his garment by her, until his lord came home.

19 And it came to pass, when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spake unto him, saying, After this manner did thy servant to me; that his wrath was kindled.

20 And Joseph’s master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison.

–  – –

21 But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.

Despite this false accusation, despite this changing everything that was going so well turning so bad… the work ethic and testimony of Joseph took a bad situation and used it for God’s glory.

Chapter 40 deals with the time that Joseph was in prison and how he interpreted through the power of God, dreams that the Pharaoh’s Baker and Butler had while THEY were in prison.

Chapter 41 we find Pharaoh also having a dream that all his spiritual leaders and prophets, could not interpret. It was at this time the butler remembered that Joseph interpreted his dream, and told Pharaoh.

This sets up for the next opportunity that God can use to show His glory and take a bad situation, and make something good out of it:

Genesis 41:14 Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh.

15 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is none that can interpret it: and I have heard say of thee, that thou canst understand a dream to interpret it.

16 And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.

In the interpretation and account Joseph basically tells Pharaoh that there will be seven years of plenty and then seven of famine; and God was trying to prepare Pharaoh to this famine as God was to use this to supply the needs of His people. At the end of the interpretation Joseph tells him to choose someone that can be appointed over this business.

39 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art:

40 Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou.

42 And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph’s hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck;

43 And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt.

Conclusion:

God was able to take Joseph’s bad situation and show HIS glory however, it took the right attitude, the right work ethic and the right heart toward God.

God can use these tools to make a bad situation, good.

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

 

 

 

 

The consumption of alcohol, the lifestyle that surrounds it and the draw that it has on Christians is certainly nothing new. Christians often puff out the “Jesus drank wine” claim as justification of drinking, or even the “all things done in moderation” to even a practical excuse of social drinking. However, if we are serious about our testimony as Christians; we might want to see this from God’s position rather than the justification of our flesh.

Proverbs 20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.

Deception is the way of satan, not God. If God so plainly identifies the facts that a fermented alcoholic beverage that is called wine and/or strong drink, are not something that God’s people should drink; why is it that those who seek to be called Christians work so hard to justify drinking it?

Isaiah 5:11 Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them!

Leviticus 10:9 Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations:

10 And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean;

Allow me to pause here on verse 10. There is or SHOULD BE a clear difference between holy and unholy, clean and unclean. There should never be a question from the lost world about the fact that God is clean and Holy and His children are also clean and holy! When we were lost we knew drinking, smoking, tattoos, piercings, cuttings and branding were wrong; yet when we get saved we want to bring those things into our life and body?

Jesus Drank Wine

Lets tackle this with Bible.

Luke 1:15  For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.

John Chapter 2 gives an account where Jesus turned water into wine.. however:

John 2:9  When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,

It does NOT say that Jesus drank wine, nor is it identified as fermented.

Matthew 11:18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil.

19 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.

Note: “but wisdom is justified of her children”, the context of this statement is a contrast to the statement of rather the false accusation that was made; simply… God’s people should know better.

I can elaborate more to deal with “new wine vs fermented wine” but I will say it like this: God’s people should know better. There should be things of the world we stay away from, that we avoid for testimony’s sake if nothing else. But because there are those that like to run to verses to justify their action and their own sin, lets deal with this one too:

As a Medical treatment

1 Timothy 5:23  Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.

It is no secret that alcohol, taken properly, can be used in the production of; and use as a medicinal remedy. However, as a medicine is not the gateway or excuse to have a glass of wine with dinner at your favorite restaurant.

Is your testimony something that is important to you? Is your “liberty” more precious to you that a soul saved?

Galatians 5:13  For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

Galatians 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

Something to consider

When someone meets God there is a change that takes place in their life. The things of the world should not compel a Christian, yet we allow them to. Then we work hard to try and justify them with the highest level of authority we can find. They will point at a Pastor, a public figure, a celebrity and even the Word of God and say see… they say it’s ok; even perverting or changing the words to fit their sin.

Drinking alcohol is no different. The witness of your testimony is as important as the subject matter at hand. One final thing on this topic, I often have said that if you want to know what sin is, you don’t ask a Christian; you ask a sinner. Ask someone who has lost their job, their children their marriage, their home… if a Christian should drink. Remember wine is a mocker…

Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

In this time of the year churches celebrate the birth of Christ, oftentimes called: Christmas. As we get started into this season it is important to keep focused on Jesus rather than the distractions of the world.

Colossians 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:

Whether you celebrate the time of Christmas or not… it is important to not become the Grinch for those who choose to…

God Sends a Message

When God announces that He has moved forward in the sending of His son to the world for the forgiveness of sin… It is interesting to see that He did not isolate it to one group of people.

In Matthew we see that God appeared to the Kings, in the book of Luke, He appeared to the Shepherds.

The Wise Men

Matthew 2:1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,

2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

These Wise men followed on a journey to come and find Jesus. The came, as rulers would; to the leader of the land and made inquiry. They did not know Herod’s attitude toward Jesus… but they soon learned.

The Shepherds

Luke 2:8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

We see 2 groups of people from different walks of life.

These wise men traveled when they saw the star leaving behind their families and businesses to seek out Jesus.

The Shepherds left the fields and made haste to go and see Jesus.

Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

This was the beginning of something special. In Mark and John we jump to the ministry of Christ where we see the purpose of Jesus coming to earth…

John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

God did this because:

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

God’s “gift” to us was His only Son (love in action)

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Gift: Is something you receive that you didn’t earn.

Wage: A payment for something you do or earn.

Romans 6:23  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

  • For something to be a gift it has to be given and received

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

 

A memorial is a object, place or event that bring you to remembrance of something.

Every year, we celebrate Memorial Day. This is 1 of 3 military holidays that most look at as a 3 day weekend or something on sale, but Memorial Day is when we remember those who died in the service of this country.

  • Armed Forces Day = Those Still in Service – Active Duty
  • Veterans Day = Those who have served
  • Memorial Day = Those who never came home

For many of our fallen military heroes their actions became the memorial for others. Their sacrifice is remembered by those who lived. So many soldiers died protecting the innocent, others dove on a hand grenade to save his comrades. We can look back on those men and women and see their lives as a memorial to what we have today.

If it was not for the sacrifices of these heroes we would have seen the brutality of Hitler, the oppression of Stalin, the corruption of communism, or the terror of those who hate all we stand for as Christians; would have never come to pass. There sacrifice allows us to enjoy the freedoms we have as Americans. The ability to come to church, drive from state to state with no soldiers demanding papers.

The K-bar, the Compass and the Flag

When I was going into the military, I was given a few things by my Father. These were a K-Bar Knife, a Compass and an American Flag. He then told me the meaning of these gifts.

  • The K-Bar – This knife can take a life of save one… It all depends on the hand it is in.
  • The Compass – This compass will help to show you the way home, if you know where home is.
  • The American Flag – The Flag is flown where home is.

God sets Himself as a Memorial

Psalms 135:13  Thy name, O LORD, endureth for ever; and thy memorial, O LORD, throughout all generations.

The Word of God becomes the memorial, the object that brings us into remembrance of His love, His Wrath and His forgiveness. Many things we have seen God do in our lives shat must be shared. So many today people today have not seen God work, no memorials have been placed. In the Bible objects like pillars and signs are there so that when someone comes and ask what that is there for… someone can tell what God did there. We must be the ones to tell the stories.

God seen though Moses

Exodus 3:15  And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.

Moses is remembered in the scriptures for what he did, more than who he was. So much that he declares to the children of Israel the he himself, his actions and what God was going to do through him was going to be that memorial to them.

Good seen through the Sacrifice of the Woman

Mark 14:3 And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head.

4 And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made?

5 For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her.

6 And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me.

7 For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always.

8 She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying.

9 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.

There are accounts in the scriptures that will be told through all eternity as a memorial. Not just for who they were, but for what did through them.

Moses set himself as the Memorial… when you see me (Moses) you should see God…

That should be the desire of every Christian today… to say when you see me you should see God, you should see His wisdom, His handiwork, His mercy and His Son.

Let our life be the marker, the memorial, the reminder to the world of what God has done for us.

To understand where this comparison comes from:

  • I started working at a Mercedes dealership on weekends when I was 13 with my Dad. They also had Volkswagen , Alfa Romeo and Sterling.
  • When I was 17, I took my electronics experience and started a small stereo and custom electronics business.
  • When I graduated high school I started working full time in the parts department.
  • From there I went to work for a small auto parts company until I went into the military.
  • When I came out of the Air Force I worked at One Stop Auto Parts while I went to Trinity Baptist College.
  • After that I moved over to AutoZone as a Store Manager while I attended Bright Light Baptist College.
  • Moving to Kentucky I worked on the Management team for BMW, Volkswagen, Oldsmobile and Honda earning the nations highest dealer level every year I worked there, achieved the top 2% customer satisfaction rating in the country and the highest auto certification available in the nation. I also attended Bible Believers Baptist Academy during this time.
  • When I started my own Advertising company I was also working as a Chaplain for both the Sheriff and Coroner’s offices, attending Chaplains school in Indiana
  • Moving to Florida to serve as Pastor I worked at Advanced Auto as a manager as well.

As you can see… my experience in the automotive industry and the ministry have literally gone hand in hand overlapping over 20 years.

Over the years working in the automotive industry I have seen so many mechanical failures due to a lack of maintenance.

It’s interesting that in my ministry, I noted the same. Having a well maintained car will extend the life of the car, as well as, increase it’s value and usefulness; having a well maintain spiritual life, is the same.

Today we are going to look at having a well maintained Christian life.

In order to know how to best maintain your car you must first read the owners manual.

2 Timothy 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;

15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

  • The Owners Manual is where you find the specifics for your car, written by those who designed and built the car. Too often people rely on the word of someone who sounds smart, but does not really know what the book actually says. Oil change? Depends who you ask: 3k, 5k, 10k, 15k? Tune up? Fluids like transmission, coolant, brake fluid, power steering, etc… everyone has an opinion; but opinions don’t matter if it’s contrary to the owners manual.

Psalms 12:6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.

7 Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

Psalms 119:105  Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Psalms 68:11  The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it.

Titus 1:14 Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.

Psalms 119:89  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.

Just like with cars, there are many opinions on how you might have a victorious Christian life. Some might say that church membership, praise and worship or spiritual ceremonies will make things better; however, would it not be better to read the Bible? The owners manual for the Christian? Written by the God that created us? People’s opinions change based on the day, but God’s world is never changing.

Car repairing

A well maintained car is inspected regularly

2 Corinthians 13:5a  Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. 

  • There are parts that wear faster and can lead to failure, but because they are not easily seen we often neglect them until it is too late. (Brakes, Coolant, Tires…)
  • That is why an inspection needs to be done on a regular basis to help reveal those problems before they lead to a break-down.
  • These inspections are done against a perfect comparison so that there is a point of measurement. (example: brake pads are measured against the thickness of a new pad.)

1 John 4:1  Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

  • When is the last time you inspected your heart? Have you grown to be closer to God today than yesterday? Are you running with optimal performance, or are you always riding the brake?

2 Corinthians 13:5  Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

Psalms 26:2  Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.

1 Thessalonians 5:21  Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

Like a car, a good inspection or examination can reveal problems. Just like a mechanic has a perfect example to compare against, we as Christians have a perfect Saviour to measure ourselves by, to see where improvements must be made. You don’t see a mechanic making a comparison against car that is as old as yours… they measure it against a new one. Why would we compare ourselves to another sinner to determine our condition?

2 Corinthians 10:12  For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

Car repairing

Changing the Oil

One of the things that can cause failure is when someone does not get the oil changed, without changing the oil components will get dry, create friction and cause failure.

Psalms 92:10b…I shall be anointed with fresh oil.

  • This lack of oil will cause a premature breakdown of the components causing them to fail quickly and… at times… catastrophically.
  • Oil in the Bible is a picture of the Holy Spirit. Often times in our Christian lives we have a lot of friction in our lives, because we didn’t get fresh oil. We must renew the oil to keep everything running smoothly…

Romans 12:2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Titus 3:5  Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

Psalms 51:10  Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

2 Corinthians 4:16  For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

  • Without the renewing of the spirit, changing the oil… we will become weary, tired… worn out, components begin to fail.

2 Thessalonians 3:13  But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.

Psalms 143:7  Hear me speedily, O LORD: my spirit faileth: hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit.

Luke 22:32  But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

Conclusion:

To have a well maintained Christian life we must first:

  • Read the Owners Manual
  • Examine ourselves
  • Change the oil.

Sometimes these things are difficult because you are not IN the Car… or IN Christ:

Colossians 1:28  Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: