Monday, March 31, 2008

Lesson 10: We can worship Jesus on earth and in heaven.

Here is the last lesson I wrote for the children's musical.

Lesson 10: We can worship Jesus on earth and in heaven.
References: John 3:16-18, Romans 6:23a, 2 Peter 3:13, Romans 6:23b, Revelation5:11-13

John 3:16-18 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” God sent Jesus to the world. The world was lost and dying in sin because people chose not to follow after God. Adam and Eve were the first sinners and ever since then all people have sinned. Sin leads to death. Romans 6:23a says, “For the wages of sin is death”. But God is rich in mercy and love for His people. He did not want for us to die in our sins, so He provided a perfect sacrifice for our sins and that was Jesus Christ. If we believe in Jesus and follow Him in obedience, then we will not die, but will live forever with Him in the new heavens and the new earth. 2 Peter 3:13 tells us that is our hope, and what we are waiting for, “But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” If we believe, then one day we will live with God in a new heaven and a new earth that will be perfect - the way God planned it to be. As it also says in John, God did not send Jesus to condemn the world, but to save it. The way we are to be saved is through faith, in believing that Jesus is God’s Son and that He came to take away the punishment of our sins. This is the gift that God offers, the gift of eternal live (life that never ends). In Romans 6:23b it says, “but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Those who do not believe will be punished and condemned as it says in John; but for those who do believe they will not be condemned. They will live forever with Jesus! That is why Jesus is worthy of our worship and praise. He paid a great price to save us. He gave up His life so that we could live.

We praise Jesus now while we are on the earth, but we will also praise Him in the new heavens and the new earth with the rest of His believers. In Revelation5:11-13 it says, “Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” These praises are about Jesus. He is worthy of our praise because He was killed for our sins. He was forsaken by God because when He died He took our sins upon Him. Then He rose again and ascended to where He is seated next to God in heaven. All this happened so that we could believe in Jesus and be God’s children forever. Jesus has the power to overcome all things, and He has, even death. This is what God’s amazing love is about.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Lesson 9: Everything Jesus did showed He was a humble king.

Lesson 9: Everything Jesus did showed He was a humble king.

References: Matthew 8:20, Luke 2:7, Philippians 2:5-8, Romans 10:9-11

Jesus is God. He is the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Prince of Peace, and there are so many more wonderful things that could be said about Him. But He never lived His life as an earthly king would while He was here on Earth. He never lived the life of a king, in a great palace. He was very humble. That means He was not proud, but He was modest, respectful, and meek. He was not in fabulous clothes. He did not live in a big house with servants and slaves, eating and drinking all the time. He did not treat people cruelly or unkind, nor did He use the power that He had to get what He wanted. He could have had lots of those things, but that was not what Jesus was here for. His life had a different purpose than what we would expect a king to have.

From the way He was born, we could see that He was going to be a different kind of King. Jesus was born in a stable in a manger, where all the dirty animals live. In Luke 2:7 it says, “And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.” He lived with his parents. They were not rich; He was a carpenter with his father. When He started doing His ministry, He did not even have a home to live in anymore. Matthew 8:20 says, “And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”

Jesus’ life did not show that He was a King, as we would expect a king to be. He would have been poor in many people’s eyes, but we know He was great. All of His life was devoted to doing what God had planned. He did everything so that people would know God and believe in Him. That was what His life was about. He did not care about the things of this world (money, clothes…) - He cared about the things that matter to God. Jesus had a purpose. He was to die for the sins of His people. This was one of the greatest acts of humble obedience, when Jesus died on the cross to take away sin. Philippians 2:5-8 tells us that Jesus humbled Himself and was a servant, being obedient to what God had called Him to do. “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Jesus was God’s Son and He came to be one of us. He made Himself nothing, and was born in the likeness of men. If Jesus had not been a humble king, we would have died in our sins. But He did come to earth and died on the cross so that we could be saved if we believe in Him. Romans 10:9-11 says, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”

Monday, March 24, 2008

Unity of the Spirit

This week we were discussing unity in the Spirit during Sunday School. We were looking at the passage 1 Corinthians 12:12-31.
We are one body, united in Christ. That is not just our local congregation, but the church as a whole- those who by faith have believed in Jesus Christ and follow after Him daily. None of us are superior to any other part of the body. That is part of what 1 Corinthians 12 was talking about. But my thoughts went also in another direction.

We do need to be one in Spirit, not at the expense of Truth. I went on a mission trip a few years ago to Chicago and we were working with a church that was quite different. The groups that we worked with that week were of different denominations and they were proud that they had unity, all under the banner of unity through love. I think that is wonderful, but the Truth was not upheld. There was doctrine and other issues that were ignored so they could get along in love. I do not feel like that is honoring the Lord or His Word. It seems like we go to one extreme or the other. We are united under love- and leave out Truth, or we are unified under Truth and seem to not have love. So what should the balance be? God’s Word is clear that we should know the truth. In Ephesians, the Apostle Paul addresses the issue of unity and the truth.

Ephesians 4:1-6 “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”

This teaches us that we are to be humble, gentle, patient and bearing with others in love. But he goes on to talk about what unites us. We are to be united under one Spirit, one body. So, how are we to live in one Spirit? How do we know what the truth is?

I think that we often are so caught up in our own experience and “this is what I have always thought and been taught” that we lose the truth, we lose unity. I am not saying that everything we believe is wrong, nor am I saying that we need to throw out all we believe and start over. What I am saying is that we are to uphold the Truth of what God’s Word says. When we discuss things with others, or read something new we need to seek what God’s Word says about this issue-being patient and gentle- bearing with them in love. But what often happens is we enter into heated discussions that are not unifying, nor do they solve anything.

Paul goes on in Ephesians to talk more about the truth and unity. In Ephesians 4: 14-16 it says “ …so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”

There are lots of false doctrine and deceitful schemes out there that would cause us to be tossed about. So we need to be in God’s Word all the more to distinguish what is the Truth. How do you know that what other denominations or other religions believe is wrong or right? We should measure them all by what the Word says. But how willing are we to do this? Isn’t it easier just to condemn things that are different than what we think? Isn’t it easier to pass judgment rather than seek out what is the truth for ourselves? But God has called us to something so much more. If we are to be united then we need to know the Truth of what God’s Word says and tell others.

I often find myself critically looking and listening to everything… from song lyrics, to sermons, or even just in reading other people’s blogs. I think that is what we are to do. Our doctrine and what we believe comes out in everything we say and do. So we need to make sure that what we think, say, and live out is the truth. In doing so, in love, I think that will bring about unity of the Spirit. There are things that are not essential to understanding the Gospel and life that we can bear with others in love in order to keep unity. I am not planning on going into those now.

This is not an in-depth study nor is it my complete thoughts. I just wanted to see what others think about this. So anyone up for a discussion? in love? with the Truth??

Saturday, March 22, 2008

1 Corinthians 15:1-28

The Resurrection of Christ

Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

The Resurrection of the Dead

12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.27 For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. 28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Maundy Thursday

Today is Maundy Thursday. For those of you who do not know what it is, here is a definition from Wikipedia.

"In the Christian liturgical calendarMaundy Thursday or Holy Thursday is the feast or holy day falling on the Thursday beforeEaster that commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles. It is the fifth day of Holy Week, and is preceded byHoly Wednesday and followed by Good Friday.

On this day four events are commemorated: the washing of the Disciples' feet by Jesus Christ, the institution of the Mystery of theHoly Eucharist at the Last Supper, the agony of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, the betrayal of Christ by Judas Iscariot.

The morning celebration of these events marks the beginning of what is called the Easter Triduum or Sacred Triduum. The Latin word triduum means a three-day period, and the triduum in question is that of the three days from the death to the resurrection of Jesus. It should be noted that for Jesus and his followers a day ended, and a new day began, at sunset, not at midnight, as it still does today in the modern Jewish calendar.[1] The Last Supper was held at what present-day Western civilization considers to be the evening of Holy Thursday but what was then considered to be the first hours of Friday. Its annual commemoration thus begins the three-day period or triduum of Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday, days of special devotion that celebrate as a single action the death and resurrection of Christ, the central events of Christianity."

John Piper wrote a good article giving us thoughts about today. You can read it here.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Lesson 8: God loves us to praise Him.

Here is lesson eight.

Lesson 8: God loves us to praise Him.

References: Matthew 21:1-11, Psalm 18:3, Mark 16:16, Hebrews 12:28-29

God is worthy of our praise. Jesus is worthy of our praise. The Holy Spirit is worthy of our praise. Praise is to show you approve of, to show admiration or respect, to give grateful homage (honor, worship). God is worthy of all of these things. Psalm 18:3 says, “I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised.” There are different ways that we can praise God. We can praise Him by singing, dancing, praying, reading His Word… there are many different ways to show God that we honor Him and love Him. All that we do should be worship and praise to God. When Jesus came into Jerusalem the people praised Him. In Matthew 21:1- 11 we see how they showed Jesus respect with hearts full of praise. Matthew says, “Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” 4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying, 5 “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’” 6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. 8 Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” 10 And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” 11 And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”

The people were shouting and speaking praises about Jesus. They laid down their cloaks (jackets) and branches from trees on the road for Him to ride on the donkey over. It was as if they were laying down a carpet for Him to walk on. They were treating Him as King, which He was. They did not understand all of who Jesus was, but they gave Him praise, which His is worthy of. Today we know more about Jesus than they did because we have the Bible that tells us about His life, death, resurrection, and future coming. We should praise Him too for the King that He is. We cannot see Him or lay down branches for Him to walk on, but the way we live can be a form of praise and worship to Him. But before we can praise God, we have to believe in Him. Mark 16:16 says, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” So, let us believe in Jesus and praise God with how we live our lives. Hebrews 12:28-29 tell us, “Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire."

Baby Pictures

We were gone to Florida for a Baby Shower so I have not been posting anything. When we got back I had a doctor appointment and we had another ultrasound. Here are a few pictures. One is of her head- you can see her eye and part of her face. The other is of her foot.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Lesson 7: We can be Good Samaritans every day.

Here is lesson seven.

Lesson 7: We can be Good Samaritans every day.

References: Galatians 5:13b, 1 Corinthians 16:14, Romans 13:10 Romans 12:9-10, John 15:12-14, 17, Ephesians 5:1-2, Romans 5:5b

God wants us to love others, it is a commandment that we are to obey if we are His children. Loving others and doing things for them is not always easy to do. We usually want what is best or easiest for us. Just like in the story of the Good Samaritan (you can review the story); people did not want to help the hurt man because it would have been inconvenient or too hard for them to help. But if we have believed in Jesus and are living our lives in obedience to Him, then He is helping us to love others. Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit to live inside of us. Romans 5:5b says, “God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” This means that we can love other people by the power of the Holy Spirit. God’s love has been poured into our hearts if we have faith in Him. Because God loved us, we can love others. The Bible is full of verses that tell us to love others. Ephesians 5:1-2 “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” John 15:12-14, 17 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.” Romans 12:9-10Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” Romans 13:10 “Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” 1 Corinthians 16:14 “Let all that you do be done in love.” Galatians 5:13b “but through love serve one another.”

All of these verses tell us to love others, so what does that look like? How do we love people around us? Those verses say that we are to serve one another, love as God loved us, do not do wrong to someone, and hold fast to what is good. Love can look like many different things. Love can be obeying your parents, doing something nice for someone, picking us trash, raking leaves, washing the car, writing a card to tell someone how much they mean to you, helping someone clean up or make something or just saying I love you ... Love can take many different forms, it is hard to make a list of what love looks like. What do you think loving your neighbor would look like? Who is our neighbor? Our neighbor is not just the person that lives next door to us.

We do need to remember that we should love our neighbors with a good attitude. We do not always want to help people or love them. That is why we have to pray for God to help us. It is not easy, that is why He gave us the Holy Spirit to help us.



Sunday, March 9, 2008

Great New Book

My husband just got me a new book to read. It is called Bound for Glory: God's Promise for Your Family by R.C. Sproul,Jr. I am only through the first couple of chapters of the book, but I love what he is saying. He talks about the covenant of families- something that I think we need to hear more about. I would encourage anyone to get this book and read it.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Lesson 6: The greatest commandment is Jesus’ law of love.

Here is lesson six I wrote for the kids  at my church.

Lesson 6: The greatest commandment is Jesus’ law of love.

References: Matthew 22:37-39, Deuteronomy 6:5, Luke 10:25-37

We know that God wants us to love Him.  We saw that in the Old Testament. In Deuteronomy 6:5 God says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” We are to love God, but He says the next greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself.  In Matthew 22:37-39 Jesus says: And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

So what does this love look like? Jesus also tells a story to them about a Samaritan man. The Samaritans were people that most people did not like.  If Jews saw them coming down the road, they would walk on the other side. They were not treated well at all. So that is what makes this story about love even better. In Luke 10:25-37, we see what Jesus tells the people about love. And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” 27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.” 29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”

This story can have many different meanings, but one thing we can learn from it is what loving our neighbor looks like. God used the Samaritan to help this man who was hurt. He bandaged his wounds, put him on his animal, gave him a place to stay, and took care of all the bills. This was something that took a lot of time and money. The Samaritan gave sacrificially to help this man. That means that he gave all he had and then some to help him. He was not thinking of himself, but about the hurt man.

We are called to love people this way too. There are lots of things that we can do to love our neighbors. Not all of us will see someone that has been beaten up and help them. There will be other needs that people have for us to help meet. Loving your neighbor is about helping meet their needs, giving them your time, money… anything they may need and to do it in love. We should show love to others with a generous heart, not just because it is something we are supposed to do, but with a heart of compassion. God calls us to love even our enemies; they could be seen as our neighbors too.  Loving our neighbor could even be helping those who may not like you. The Samaritan helped the man who had been beaten up, even though that man may not have ever helped the Samaritan. It is about loving others with the kind of love that God shows us. A love that looks past all the good and bad others do and still loving them, wanting what is best for them. God wants us to show other people who He is through our love for them, so that they may one day come to know Him. This is not an easy love, but it is what God has commanded us to do.


Thursday, March 6, 2008

More Projects Finished!

Well I am almost finished with the baby's room projects. The bumper and the quilt are finished!! I am now working on pillows. I love how it has turned out. Now all we really need is a mattress... and the baby!!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

John Piper and the Prosperity Gospel

All You Need is Love

My Friend Michelle is serving the Lord through missions in South Africa and has been for a few months now. She will be there a total of 9 months and then she will return home. She wrote a great post the other day about love and some of the things that she is dealing with. I thought it was worth sharing. Click here to read her post. You can pray for her too!

100th Post!!!

So, this is my 100th post! Hard to believe that I have made that many!

I wanted to share a funny, old movie that we recently rented. I had seen it many time before...many years ago, but we rented it again. It is a rather silly, ironic, but clean and fun movie! The movie is  Arsenic and Old Lace
I like many Cary Grant  movies. This one makes me laugh. So, if you are into old movies, this is one to see.

Lesson 5: We believe in Jesus by faith as we read about Him in the Bible.

Here is lesson five.

Lesson 5: We believe in Jesus by faith as we read about Him in the Bible.

References: John 20:31, Hebrews 11:1-11, John 3:36, Romans 1:5

The entire Bible was written for us, so that we might believe in Jesus and be saved. The Bible is a beautiful love story of God and His people. John 20:31 says, “but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”

Believing in Jesus means that we have faith in Him. Trusting that He is who He says He is. To have faith is to have a confidence in something, to trust in it and to believe it as truth. So if we have faith in God then we believe Him and trust Him with everything. We can see in the Bible lots of people who trusted God; there are also lots of people who did not have faith in Him too. But God wants us to believe in Him. In Hebrews it talks about many people in the Old Testament that believed in God and how God took care of His children. Faith is hoping in God even though we do not see Him. Listen to this Scripture passage and see some of the people who had faith. It is not all of the people in the Old Testament, but a few. (Read and explain as you go) Hebrews 11 “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the people of old received their commendation. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. 4 By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. 5 By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. 7 By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. 8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. 11 By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised.”

God wants us to believe in Him through our faith. Hebrews 11:6 said that without faith it is impossible to please God. We have to have faith in God to please Him. But believing is the first part. Then out of our faith we have to obey God and follow Him. All of the people that were spoken about in Hebrews had faith, but they also obeyed what God told them to do because of their faith. In John 3:36 it says, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” That means that we need to obey what He has commanded us, or we do not believe in Him. The Apostle Paul said that his mission was to "bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations" (Romans 1:5).

God has made Himself known to us through the Bible, through His creation, and through other people. God has given us the Bible, so we might know Him. We can read about Jesus and see all the things He did in the Gospels. All of this was written down, so that we might believe in Him and have eternal life. Eternal life means that we will never die. Our body will die, but our spirit will live forever with God if we believe in Jesus and put our faith in Him.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Lesson 4: God used children throughout the Bible and God can use you.

Here is  the 4th lesson that I wrote for the kids at my church.

Lesson 4: God used children throughout the Bible and God can use you.

References: Genesis 1, Numbers 22:1-35, Ephesians 2:10

God is the creator of all things (Genesis 1). He is in control of all things- everything you can see and things you cannot see. God uses all things for His Glory. He can use storms, accidents, sickness, health, plants, animals, creation, adults, kids…anything that He wants to use. He even used a donkey in the Old Testament to stop Balaam. In Numbers 22 we see the story. (Read and discuss this story)

Then the people of Israel set out and camped in the plains of Moab beyond the Jordan at Jericho. 2 And Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. 3 And Moab was in great dread of the people, because they were many. Moab was overcome with fear of the people of Israel. 4 And Moab said to the elders of Midian, “This horde will now lick up all that is around us, as the ox licks up the grass of the field.” So Balak the son of Zippor, who was king of Moab at that time, 5 sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor at Pethor, which is near the River in the land of the people of Amaw, to call him, saying, “Behold, a people has come out of Egypt. They cover the face of the earth, and they are dwelling opposite me. 6 Come now, curse this people for me, since they are too mighty for me. Perhaps I shall be able to defeat them and drive them from the land, for I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed.” 7 So the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the fees for divination in their hand. And they came to Balaam and gave him Balak's message. 8 And he said to them, “Lodge here tonight, and I will bring back word to you, as the LORD speaks to me.” So the princes of Moab stayed with Balaam. 9 And God came to Balaam and said, “Who are these men with you?” 10 And Balaam said to God, “Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, has sent to me, saying, 11 ‘Behold, a people has come out of Egypt, and it covers the face of the earth. Now come, curse them for me. Perhaps I shall be able to fight against them and drive them out.’” 12 God said to Balaam, “You shall not go with them. You shall not curse the people, for they are blessed.” 13 So Balaam rose in the morning and said to the princes of Balak, “Go to your own land, for the LORD has refused to let me go with you.” 14 So the princes of Moab rose and went to Balak and said, “Balaam refuses to come with us.” 15 Once again Balak sent princes, more in number and more honorable than these. 16 And they came to Balaam and said to him, “Thus says Balak the son of Zippor: ‘Let nothing hinder you from coming to me, 17 for I will surely do you great honor, and whatever you say to me I will do. Come, curse this people for me.’” 18 But Balaam answered and said to the servants of Balak, “Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go beyond the command of the LORD my God to do less or more. 19 So you, too, please stay here tonight, that I may know what more the LORD will say to me.” 20 And God came to Balaam at night and said to him, “If the men have come to call you, rise, go with them; but only do what I tell you.” 21 So Balaam rose in the morning and saddled his donkey and went with the princes of Moab. 22 But God's anger was kindled because he went, and the angel of the LORD took his stand in the way as his adversary. Now he was riding on the donkey, and his two servants were with him. 23 And the donkey saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road, with a drawn sword in his hand. And the donkey turned aside out of the road and went into the field. And Balaam struck the donkey, to turn her into the road. 24 Then the angel of the LORD stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, with a wall on either side. 25 And when the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she pushed against the wall and pressed Balaam's foot against the wall. So he struck her again. 26 Then the angel of the LORD went ahead and stood in a narrow place, where there was no way to turn either to the right or to the left. 27 When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she lay down under Balaam. And Balaam's anger was kindled, and he struck the donkey with his staff. 28 Then the LORD opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?” 29 And Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have made a fool of me. I wish I had a sword in my hand, for then I would kill you.” 30 And the donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey, on which you have ridden all your life long to this day? Is it my habit to treat you this way?” And he said, “No.” 31 Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, with his drawn sword in his hand. And he bowed down and fell on his face. 32 And the angel of the LORD said to him, “Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out to oppose you because your way is perverse before me. 33 The donkey saw me and turned aside before me these three times. If she had not turned aside from me, surely just now I would have killed you and let her live.” 34 Then Balaam said to the angel of the LORD, “I have sinned, for I did not know that you stood in the road against me. Now therefore, if it is evil in your sight, I will turn back.” 35 And the angel of the LORD said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but speak only the word that I tell you.” So Balaam went on with the princes of Balak.

God chose to use many different people to do His work all throughout the Bible. We saw in this story that He even used a donkey to save Balaam. Balaam was not being obedient to God- he was sinning, yet God saved him by using his own donkey. God does not choose to use us or love us because we are special or because we have done anything good to deserve His affection. It is only by His grace that He uses us or loves us. So we do not have to be the best, prettiest, smartest, or funniest; we just have to be who we are and God can use us for His glory. God has special works for His children to do that He prepared for them before they were even born (Ephesians 2:10)!

The Curtains Are FInished!

Here are the curtains! I think they turned out great.