Sunday School Lessons

Hebrews 9:23 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.

The Pattern

On the mount God gave Moses a set of instructions, laws and commandments to help establish a people unto himself. This information would help mold and guide this people to a level of understanding and insight never seen before in human history.

As part of these instructions God gave Moses some patterns to follow. These patterns carry through even today as a guide to better our understanding in the areas of salvation, fellowship, the Church and even marriage.

Exodus 25:9  According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.

Pattern of the Tabernacle

The tabernacle was to be built in exacting measurements and materials. This basic level of obedience, as a foundation, was needed to be followed in order to have confidence in weightier matters…

Matthew 25:21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

There is no mistake, when the instructions for the Tabernacle were established in Exodus 25.. it started with the Ark, then the sanctuary, then the border… building around God as the center.

 Let’s look at the basic parts:

  • The walls (boundary) Exodus 25 – 27
  • The Altar – Exodus 27-1
  • The Laver – Exodus 30:18
  • The Courtyard – Exodus 25 – 32
  • The Sanctuary – Exodus 25 – 26
  • Furniture (table of Shewbread, candlestick, altar of incense) Exodus 25
  • The Vail, Veil Exodus 26:31
  • Holy of Holies (containing the Ark of the Covenant) Exodus 25

Details, Details, Details

The pattern as the tabernacle is laid out with a specific order to follow. We see this pattern in many different areas; but first in the area of it detail. Every element of the tabernacle, down to the clothes that the priests wore, shows God’s desire for things to be done decently and in order: (1 Corinthians 14:40) This detail oriented pattern teaches us that everything has a reason, place and purpose. This should be the pattern we follow in our lives as well. Every detail can make the difference. In the work we do and the life we lead we should do all with this pattern and goal in mind.

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.

The Pattern seen in Salvation and the Christian life

The pattern of the temple is a fantastic guide for us to see how we can have true fellowship and worship with God. In order for us to reach the Holy of Holies ,whereby we can have that perfect worship; we must go through the path that God laid out. This path is seen in the pattern of the tabernacle.

The Door

The boundary of the tabernacle only allows one way to get in:

John 10:1  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

Throughout all of human history God has always made a path to get to Him but, it was always just one way.

Matthew 7:14  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

John 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

The Altar

The first thing you come to after you enter in at the door, is the Altar. The sacrifice of Jesus is the very first and necessary step to true worship and fellowship with God.

Ephesians 5:2  And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

Laver

Right after the Altar is some cleansing. The laver is used to wash off the dirt of the world. In order to get to the point that you can have fellowship is to get the dirt of the world, the sins of the flesh washed off.

Ephesians 5:26  That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

Note: The Laver was polished brass to a mirror finish… always reflecting the Altar

Area of Fellowship (Church)

Hebrews 10:25  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

This is the area where we can fellowship with others, share stories of God’s goodness and mercy. In this area of fellowship we see some parts:

Hebrews 9:2  For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary.

  • Candlestick – Psalms 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
  • Table – 1 Corinthians 10:21 Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.
  • Shewbread – Acts 20:7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.

Additionally there were other items in the Sanctuary

  • Altar of incense – Ephesians 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

The Veil

Hebrews 10:19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,

20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;

Exodus 26:31  And thou shalt make a vail of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen of cunning work: with cherubims shall it be made:

When Christ died the veil of the temple was rent from top to the bottom opening the access to the Father through Jesus Christ.

Holy of Holies

This is where God would come down to receive the offering. It contained the Ark which held the commandments of God and a golden censer.

Ephesians 5:27  That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

The Holy place, where God met at the mercy seat, was a set apart place where only those who were clean and sanctified could enter. However, when Christ made His sacrifice that ripped the veil and gave entry.. THAT fact did not change. The world feels like it has access because the veil is not there but, looking closely at the order that God set of the tabernacle; this pattern is what we are to follow in our Christian life. To have true fellowship, to be right with God… we must go through the order HE set. To try to come any other way is the same as a thief and a robber.

 

When putting together a Sunday School or Sermon there are many different books and classes with many having differing methods of how to best prepare. From many of my bible teachers and professors I too have seen many different methods, some I thought was good; some not so much. In this lesson I will provide my real world methods for outlining and presenting a message and some tips to make it more effective.

Preparation:

While we all want to say that our message was spirit lead, it is the reality of the lesson that we need to present the Word of God as a structural learning system.

1 Corinthians 14:40 Let all things be done decently and in order.

To create lessons based on the needs of learning or a path of knowledge is a perfectly good reason to prepare a lesson. Done within the Spirit the power will be there as the lesson is written and taught.

  1. Know your audience/students

Let’s face it… you shouldn’t teach the same things to all people. If you have a class for 3rd graders… don’t teach a 9th grade lesson. (and visa-versa) Prepare your lesson to fit the level of understanding for the group you are teaching.

  1. Know your material

I have sat in classes that teachers are just reading off the worksheet to satisfy the class. It makes it difficult to take seriously the message if the speaker isn’t knowledgeable, or interested in the topic they are teaching. With this mindset you should have prepared beyond that is presented. Dr. Gray used to say that you should have 3 times the material prepared than that which you present; simply put, be over prepared. Knowledge brings confidence.

  1. Know yourself

Every teacher has a style. In one of the current classes I am allowed to participate in we have 3 teachers. I jokingly tell the students that we have different perspectives to our teaching style to bring them a better level of learning. Brother Willis is History, Brother Short is Spiritual and I am Doctrinal in our approaches. By knowing your style and having a predictable presentation it will allow the student to absorb the material better. Furthermore, the more you teach the more you will be able to respond to circumstances. In todays audience you will have representatives from every level and every corner of society. As a result this may cause a distraction taking you off message.

  1. Know your time

Just about any lesson/sermon you will present will have a time limit structured to it. It is NOT limiting to the Holy Spirit to contain you within the time allowed. If you are presenting information, it will be very important to stay on task, in order to present God’s message; withing the time identified. Some topics can’t be completed within the allotted time, which is where the appropriate lesson structure will allow you to break it into the different weeks to complete the lesson. Rabbit trails, stories, examples, etc., will all be items that can be used by satan to take you off message and have the time end with an unclear message presented.

     5. Know your position

You are the teacher. As such you will not only need to present the information but control the class as well. In most youth classes (and some adult ones) you need to focus on keeping their attention and reducing the distraction that some students may present. This will also be part of the style of teaching. Whether it’s a jovial manner or direct discipline, this control will be important to make sure that satan does not get an advantage. Also please note… anger is a last resort of control. Anger provokes and creates more problems than it solves. No one wants to come to church to be yelled at, nor be in a room where people are getting yelled at. You can correct and keep the momentum of the class without loosing your temper. More often than not this display will create a greater distraction that just letting it go. Oftimes I will start the class by moving around students separating those I feel are going to create an issue. This also identifies a “who’s in control” position at the very beginning.  I additionally will call disrupters out in a manner that brings the focus temporarily on them… even making a statement like “we have 20 minutes left… can you give God just 20 minutes”… sometimes that works, but you will need to try multiple tactics to help control the flow of the class.

Structure

Structuring your lesson will allow you to easily present God’s message in a way that will allow your mind to focus on the message. Searching for verses, references or information can be very disconcerting; making the listener loose interest. Might I say that your audience does not care whether you are learning to teach? Their heart will not be full of forgiveness, which is where preparation and confidence in your material will allow you to comfortably present God’s message.

The Outline

A general outline is as follows:

Opening –

This is the overview of your material letting them know what they will learn, what to expect, and (depending on the age group) where you cover the basics like – sit up straight, pay attention and no talking.

Main point

A topic that you are presenting can generally be broken down in 2 main points and sub points that reinforce the point you are teaching on. Shorter messages might not have a second main point, but when you make a point or statement, you will need those sub points to prove, backup or identify the truth of the information. With that you should also identify a verse on each main point and sub point.

Main verse – a Bible verse that you are teaching on (explanatory) or identifies the topic from a scriptural resource.

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:

  • Sub point or explanatory point

It is necessary to backup your statement or expound on it. Having an outline will help keep you on point and build on each point as you teach on a topic. It’s very easy to lose place and end up jumping to the end and make a statement that you have not built the listeners up to… leaving then confused.

Supporting verse

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

  • Sub point or explanatory point

Again you don’t need a bunch of sub points… but taking all your thoughts and “listing them” will help you keep the flow of information building to a conclusion.

Supporting Verse

Titus 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

Secondary Point

Keeping in mind that this is for a recommended format of teaching, you don’t need 30 points like if you were writing a term paper. Consider the points above and organize your thoughts and points into a format that can convey the message within the allotted time.

Supporting verse

Colossians 4:5 Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.

  • Sub point or explanatory point

These additional sub points might be a list, examples or even more verses.

Supporting verse

Psalms 49:3 My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding.

  • Sub point or explanatory point

Real world examples are a great way to bring home a point. This is a marvelous way to get a point across and is completely Biblical. God allowed the events of those who were in the Bible to allow us to see God through them. If we can do the same to our audience it brings relevance to your message.

Supporting Verse

James 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

Conclusion

While you want to have the freedom to express your lesson or sermon, it is important to structure your thoughts and points to make sure you audience can absorb what you are sharing. I once had a professor say that “the mind can only secure, what the behind can endure…”

Presentation

Everyone has a way that God can use to present a message. Some might be “just the facts”, others might be very expressive; I personally have been known for my attempt to place people in the message “to experience the Scriptures.”

Here are a few points to help anyone in a general presentation:

  1. Write it ALL down.

Trust me… you will sit there the night before and something come to mind that is so tremendous, you KNOW you will remember it the next day; then you forget it. Take the time to write it down and add it in the structure of your lesson.

  1. Make it REALLY LARGE.

This has helped me from just a few months after starting to preach that when addressing an audience and looking away from your material, it is SO EASY to lose your place. I accomplish this by using a tablet or laptop.

  1. Run through it in your mind.

Early on in my ministry I would preach my entire message in my imagination and time it. After preaching for a few years I didn’t need to do that as much as I built confidence however, it was a valuable exercise.

  1. Never apologize.

You might be ask to present a message to people who are older or more knowledgeable than you, it can be very intimidating. I was to give a series once as a guest speaker at a Chaplains conference, and I mentioned this intimidation to the man who setup the event… he smirked with puzzled look and said, “we didn’t invite you to speak, we invited God to speak through you…” LIGHT BULB MOMENT. I realized that, at our best we are merely vessels that God uses to give His word to others. The steps above have helped me get out of the way so that God’s message can be delivered better.

 

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.

Do you love God?

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

1 Corinthians 8:3  But if any man love God, the same is known of him.

1 John 4:20  If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

  • Actions don’t just speak louder than words… they become the words spoken about you (testimony)

Can love be expressed without action? In John 3:16 we see God’s love to us… placed into action. For God so loved — that He gave. If we want to show God that we love Him… we must take His example and show Him our love… by putting it in action.

Are we serving God’s purpose?

2 Timothy 1:9  Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

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.

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.

God can do something special when you do it together

  • We are his hands, feet and voice

Acts 19:11  And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul:

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!

John 6:40  And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

… that every one which seeth the Son (Testimony)

One of the reasons that society is the way it is today with all the violence and corruption, lying and deception is that not many people see the Son of God.

How does someone see the Son of God today?

1 Corinthians 2:1  And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.

  • Testimony: Something you was part of.
  • Witness: Telling what you saw.

Philemon 1:3 Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

4 I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers,

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.

7 For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee, brother.

Hearing of thy Love

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

In verse 5 Paul mentions that he has heard the testimony of this church that is meeting in Philemon’s home. As a church you should have a good testimony or reputation within the community abroad.

Furthermore, this carries over into verse 6.

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

This communication was more than just hearing of their good testimony, but it was a point of communication. This communication was having an effect, and Paul saw that.

Effectual

The term effectual is both a noun and a verb. It means that something not only had an effect but also the act of having an effect.

Paul could see that when people spoke to each other about the testimony of the people that were meeting at Philemon’s house that it was having an effect on their lives. That their testimony was challenging them to make a difference in their own lives and the lives of others.

If you examine the passage carefully you will note that Paul was not addressing what the this group at Philemon’s house was saying to the world (the witness)… but rather what the world was saying about the church at Philemon’s house. (their testimony!)

  • People today need to see our testimony, the need to see Jesus Christ in us

An Effectual testimony, lifts up Christ

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

Note again: what was causing this effect was the testimony of this church that was causing a communication. People saw all their good works and it got them talking.

It is difficult to have an effect behind closed doors.

Matthew 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

John 6:40  And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

If we want to change the world we must first change ourselves. What does your testimony say to others?

  • Do they see Christ in you?
  • Do they see someone who says they go to church, but your words deny the faith?

In order to see others saved we must show Jesus to others by our testimony.

Have you accepted Christ?

 

 

 

1 Peter 3:12  For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.

If God is over those who is righteous… then who is righteous?

Romans 3:10  As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

Isaiah 64:6a  But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags;…

If no one is righteous, then who can be saved?

Romans 5:17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)

18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

Our righteousness is God’s. When we receive God’s Son Jesus we are imputed (covered) by His righteousness.

There are perks to being a child of God

Proverbs 8:32  Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways.

Romans 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

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

12 For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.

God is not obligated to hear the prayer of the world

  • The neighbor’s kids – This is the mindset I like to provide, consider the neighbors kids. I know they’re there, I even talk to them; but I am not responsible for them. I am obligated to hear my children, I am obligated to provide for them; but I am not obligated to do these for the neighbor’s kids. Why? They are not mine. 

Good lessons for a child to hear

Psalms 34:11 Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

12 What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good?

13 Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.

14 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.

15 The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.

16 The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

17 The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.

18 The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.

John 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

A tree is known by its fruit, just as a vine or plant.

Many different types of trees, vines and plants have branches, it is from these branches that the fruit grows.

Through the branches nourishment flows from the trunk of the tree, or the vine or the stem of the plant to the fruit.

  • Practical: Get the children to be the branches holding to an adult that represents the trunk of the tree.
  • Have other children represent the fruit.
  • Then separate a few children away from the adult showing the separated branches. Can the fruit receive the nourishment?
  • Furthermore when a branch is separated… so are the other branches that are connected to them. One separated branch doesn’t just effect the fruit, but the other branches that are “branched” from it.

When we are connected through Jesus Christ we can be effective in producing fruit

  • Without Christ, we are just a stick; producing nothing.

The Branch that bears fruit

John 15:8  Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

Nourishment from the trunk

1 Timothy 1:14  And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:19  But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

John 10:10  The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

The Account of John 21

(Teachers Note: Familiarize yourself on the information found in John 21 where Peter chose to leave and “Go a fishing” where when he left, he took many of the disciples with him)

When Peter chose to separate from the Vine and go it alone… as a result he took all the branches that were connected to him, with him. That day the caught nothing…

John 21:1 After these things Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise shewed he himself.

2 There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples.

3 Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.

Conclusion thoughts

When looking at the church as a tree we are grounded and connected to the trunk of the tree, Jesus. The fruit that we produce is nourished by the branches. Often the branches separate themselves and still feel they can nourish and produce fruit, be the end result is failure. Additionally is the recognition of how very part of the tree has a purpose, and when anything is altered it effects so much of the rest of the tree. 

As this is Veterans Day, I thought I would bring some insight of someone who has been a soldier as to better understand how to be a soldier of Christ.

I served in the USAF during Desert Storm and the Bosnian Conflict. It was during this time that I worked with weapons that led to the nerve condition that deal with today.

However, for nearly 6 years I was someone who wore the uniform in the defense of this country. I also had the privilege to be in the Air Force Honor Guard and Rifle team under the 23rd TAW. It was this detail where I would play a role of honoring those who had died in the service of their country. I would employ the funeral services and pay last respects to the fallen and their family.

What is a soldier?

A soldier is person who: has set aside themselves, their comfort, their gain and their will to be a servant to a cause.

With the desire to “be all you can be” let’s look at some facts that make a good soldier

A good soldier must be a good servant

The meaning of G.I. = Government Issue

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:

In basic training you had to learn to not be concerned with yourself but rather to obey those appointed over you.

A soldier knows how to endure hardness

2 Timothy 2:3  Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

When you are a servant you are a tool. This tool is used by the master to accomplish a purpose. This may require doing things that are unpleasant, uncomfortable but never unreasonable.

A Good soldier does not entangle himself with the affairs of this world

2 Timothy 2:4  No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

When I was deployed, the Federal Government would retain my paycheck, pay my bills and send the rest to my wife.

A good soldier knows the tools of his mission

Weapons, armament, communications, tactics & policies may be the very thing that keeps you alive.

I have seen to many part time soldiers get hurt because they didn’t have the understanding of the tools of the mission!

A Soldier of The Cross’s tools:

Bible – our sword

Hebrews 4:12  For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Our Armour

2 Corinthians 6:7  By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,

Our Faith

Matthew 8:5 And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him,

6 And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.

7 And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.

8 The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.

9 For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.

10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.

Fight the good fight – the cause

1 Timothy 6:11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

Know that you don’t fight alone

Philemon 1:2 And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house:

3 Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 

 

 

Ephesians 5:15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,

16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

Is it any wonder that the last several lessons we have provided are dealing with what is to come??

Everyone has 24 hours a day. It does not matter if you are the Prince, the Pauper, the President or pheasant… we ALL have the same amount of time.

One of the things that is under attack today is Time. The scripture said to redeeming the time… Redeeming – Take it back… take it back under our control…

Time has value:

  • Time can be bought and sold
  • Time can be shared
  • Time can be stolen
  • Time can be wasted
  • Time can be budgeted
  • Time can be managed
  • Time can be redeemed
  • Time can be lost
  • Time can be found
  • Time can be appreciated
  • Time can be respected

Time can be a moment, a minute or a mindset.

With all these things you still only have 24 hours a day to use as best as we can.

Out of your 168 hours a week you will spend:

  • 56-70 hours sleeping
  • 18-21 hours eating
  • 30-49 hours watching tv, social media, ect.
  • 7-15 hours commuting
  • 30-45 hours in working
  • 10-18 hours shopping
  • 17-21 hours grooming

If you take all the min. of each of these and add them up, it comes to 168. This means to have time to do anything else, something has to be moved or removed to make time. 

But for all these averages… what is missing?

…God

Ecclesiastes 3:1  To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

There are many things of God that require time.

  • Coming to Church, takes time
  • Prayer, takes time
  • Reading your Bible, takes time
  • Bible study, takes time
  • Inviting others to church, takes time
  • Teaching a class, takes time
  • Preaching a Sermon, takes time

The list goes on and on.

What we do with our time today will determine our time for tomorrow and beyond.

Matthew 6:33a  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; …

As a Christian we must look to eliminate those things of the world that take our time and replace them with the things of the Lord.

There is a balance to be sure… but as time goes by the world presents more and more that takes our time… leaving less time for the things of God.

Giving time to God rather that finding time.

Isaiah 26:9  With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.

The tithe is giving 10% of our financial increase back to God… what about 10% of our time?

Part of understanding time is to understand that there isn’t much of it left…

Ephesians 5:16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

Isn’t interesting that there is never enough time to do the things of the Lord, but there seems to be enough time to watch a 2 hour movie, a 3 hour sporting event…

James 4:14  Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

  • Let me ask you: Is your time more important than the one who gave you the time to start with?

There are things out there that steal your time…

2 Corinthians 2:11  Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

TV, Media players, phones, tablets, computers and using programs like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Facebook, Instagram, twitter and snapchat can all be devices used by satan to get an advantage.

Idleness – social media

1 Timothy 5:13  And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.

Proverbs 31:27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.

28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.

Proverbs 20:3  It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling.

Before we look for time tomorrow we must make sure today is secure

2 Corinthians 6:2  (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

 

 

1 John 5:13  These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

We are all sinners

One must be lost to be saved and there are so many in this day and time that have been so taught that they are not at fault, they are not to blame; and it carries to their thoughts about salvation. One must see themselves as God sees them as a sinner before they will seek a saviour.

Note these verses:

1 John 1:8  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

Romans 3:23  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

Galatians 3:22  But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

Proverbs 24:9  The thought of foolishness is sin: and the scorner is an abomination to men.

Sin has a wage

The payment for sin is death. Furthermore, God calls it a wage; simply meaning we earn it. The death that it speaks of is a spiritual death in a place called hell. It’s amazing how many preach people into heaven and not out of hell, simply trying to make salvation so enticing that people will choose to go. But is that salvation if you not getting saved from something???

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

2 Peter 2:13 And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;

14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:

15 Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;

Hell is not meant for us

God’s desire is that all should come to repentance. When hell was created it wasn’t created as some mean spirited place to unjustly punish us, it was an abode created to store those angels that fell in sin to the earth. While it was not created for us it IS the destination for those who would reject the gift that God has provided.

Matthew 25:41  Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

Matthew 13:41  The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;

42  And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

God’s Desire is that no one should perish

Throughout history God has ALWAYS created a way to get to Himself through obedience. Most of the time that obedience was a single task or restriction; such as:

  • Don’t eat the fruit of the tree (Adam)
  • Get on the boat (Noah)
  • Arise and go to a land I will show you (Abraham)
  • Accept the Gift of Christ (anyone today)

As a result of God always making a path we know what His desire is and what we need to do. He never hides this direction and makes the path clear.

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

How we get saved

Salvation isn’t a process or even a relationship; it’s a choice. The choice is simple: to accept God’s gift of His Son Jesus Christ. Religion takes the simplicity of salvation and adds to it baptism, church membership, speaking in tongues, ceremonies, etc.; but God didn’t place those things on the modern church. We don’t require signs or wonders, just a choice. Often people are led to say… I’m too far gona a sinner to be saved… or that there is a need to improve yourself then “present yourself to God”… again that is the religious mindset talking. Jesus died for us at our lowest state:

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

The Gift that God gives is like any other. If someone buys you a birthday present and you never open it, did you “receive it?”

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.

This gift comes without price to us, but it is very expensive; the life of Jesus. He gave His life for ours so when we receive this gift, we fulfill God’s purpose of salvation.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Jesus is the only way, like mentioned above; religious works won’t do it… it’s Jesus and Jesus alone.

Romans 10:13  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Whosoever means anyone, in any state, at any age, in any circumstances.

1 John 1:9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Once the sin debt has been paid… it’s paid in full.

The Gospel

The Gospel is something that has been so thrown about by the modern church that people often loose sight of what it really means. The Gospel has different uses in the New Testament but is considered the “Good News” of what Jesus did in the area of salvation. The power that it has is what you are accepting when you get saved. The acknowledgement of the truth of the Gospel and following this truth.

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

1 Corinthians 15:3  For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

4  And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

Now is the day of Salvation

We are not promised tomorrow. If the Lord is dealing with your heart… get saved today!

2 Corinthians 6:2  (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

Assurance

Once someone received the gift of God, Jesus Christ; the devil immediately attacks you with doubt. This is why it is SO important to read your Bible and get in church to learn more about what God has in store you you.

John 14:1  Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

Addl.

Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

1 John 1:9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

When you are doing something you are not familiar with you will do one of 3 things:

  1. Read an instruction manual (Bible)
  2. Try to figure it out
  3. Watch or ask others

So many people try to do the same thing about spiritual things. They simply try to figure it out or just follow the crowd RATHER than reading the instruction manual.

Prayer is just talking to God

Practical exercise: Have a student come up and ask his name. Then talk to him like people try to talk to God

So the question is: “How do I pray?” and God answers this question by FIRST telling you “How NOT to pray”

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.

6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

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

10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

11 Give us this day our daily bread.

12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

13  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Instructions for prayer:

Reverence (vs. 9)
9:  After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Psalm 89:7 God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.

Submission, anticipation of the Blessed Hope (2nd coming of Christ) (vs. 10)
10:  Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

1 John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
[15] And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

Thanksgiving and Supplication (entreat in favor of) (vs. 11)

11:  Give us this day our daily bread.

Ephesians 5:20  Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

Confession of the sins of the flesh for the restoration of fellowship. Then to have the heart to forgive others. (vs.12)
12:  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Protection. From both what the world may do unto us and what we are liable to do to ourselves (vs. 13a)

13:  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:

Psalm 7:1 O Lord my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me:

Reverence (vs. 13b)
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

  • Remember Prayer is just talking to God,
  • We Should pray to God through of His Son Jesus Christ.

1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

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.