< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: August 2008

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Hidden Secrets - Amazing Grace!

John and I went to see the movie Hidden Secrets tonight. It had some good moments, but I wonder why Christian films aren’t very good. They seem a little fake and not very quality. I once heard a Christian performer say that our movies, songs, books, etc. should be the best given whose on our side.

So I’m always a little disappointed.

But, there was one thought in this one that struck me. One of the characters couldn’t forgive herself for something she had done. She was a Christian and believed Jesus died for our sins, but she still felt that she was under His judgment and everytime something bad happened it was punishment for what she had done 10 years earlier. She said if she had committed a crime she would have had to go to jail; here on earth, in this lifetime; to pay for the crime, and she was in jail now because she couldn’t forgive herself.

I think many people are going through the same thing. In our minds we accept He forgives us because He chooses to. But, in our hearts we feel we need to pay for it ourselves.

At the end of the movie, the pastor at the church that was showing the movie prayed and then played the song Amazing Grace. And I thought – of course! It doesn’t make any sense! That’s why it’s amazing!

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Grace, It's Amazing! T-shirts and Gifts

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Love is a Choice

Here are some more thoughts from Rick Warren's book, God Can Change Your Life

The first Fruit of the Spirit is Love. Out of the 9 Fruits of the Spirit, the other 8 are all expressions of love. Love is patient, love is kind, etc. In Bible thought, Love is a choice. Jesus commands us to love others. So, it’s not just a feeling. It’s also an action. It's the basis of all positive actions. Love is something we do. 1 John 3:18 says, “Let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions and in truth.”


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Monday, August 25, 2008

Commissioning Sunday School Teachers

Our church commissioned the upcoming year's Sunday School teachers in church last Sunday. They gave us all a pin connected to a Bible verse and prayer.

The verse is Proverbs 15:2 "The wise person makes learning a joy."

And the prayer, "O Holy Spirit, help me to teach with joy the most joyful message in the entire world. Amen."

That is so true!

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Friday, August 15, 2008

God Can Change Your Life

I just did a lesson on the book God Can Change Your Life by Rick Warren. I think what’s written below is so important to understand!

Jesus Christ offers us the power we need to become what He wants us to be. And He does it by giving us the Fruits of the Spirit.

So first we have to know Christ, which is the most important thing in life, and then experience the power of His resurrection. The Bible describes resurrection power as the power to cancel our past, the power to conquer our problems and the power to change our personality.

Think about what it means to cancel our past. All of our failures, mistakes, sins and regrets. Most people have trouble letting go of the stupid or bad things they’ve done in the past. Or other people or the consequences from those mistakes won’t let them!

So as humans we have a hard time understanding how God can “forget” our sins. But, He does. If we confess them and turn from them His forgiveness wipes them out completely. We’re the ones who keep digging them up and stewing over them again. And doing that short-circuits the power God offers us so it limits our future. We spend all our time saying, “I blew it – I’ll be paying for that the rest of my life”. Well, if that’s the way we think, we will be paying for it the rest of our life!

But, it’s not God who says that. God wipes the slate clean. He allows us a fresh start – a second chance, a new beginning. In Jeremiah 31:34 God said to the Israelites that He “will remember their sins no more.” How can that be? How can the God who created the universe “forget”? Because He chooses to! He chooses to forget our wrongs, our mistakes and our failures.

When we come to Him, admit our sins and ask Him to forgive us He cancels our past. We are new people. And He does it because of Jesus, not us. When we know that, we can better understand. It’s not about us. It’s nothing we do or don’t do, deserve or don’t deserve. God said that His Son’s dying on the cross for our sins is enough. If we believe that, we’re saved.

When Jesus died He said, “It is finished” He paid the price in full for every sin we have ever committed and Romans 8:1 tells us “Therefore there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”. We don’t need to keep crucifying ourselves over our past because Jesus was crucified for all of us. When we can get a grip on that and start living without digging up our past mistakes – God’s power will surge through our lives.

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