< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: Stay Alive All Your Life

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Stay Alive All Your Life

I taught from Stay Alive All Your Life over 2 Sundays:

Dr. Norman Vincent Peale wrote this book with the hope that his readers would live dynamically and happily all their lives. He says if you read the Bible you’ll see that vibrant lives are God’s intent, and he quotes John 10:10, The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

Chapter 1 The Magnificent Power of Belief

You can do no more than you believe you can. Mark 9:23 "'If you can'?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for him who believes."

First, believe God is your guide. His Word, the Bible, tells us exactly how to live a good Christian life. Just Romans, Ephesians and Colossians will tell you exactly what you should be doing.

God has this in the Bible for a reason. While His main reason for sending Jesus was to save us from our sins, Jesus was also an example for us to go back to and imitate. God is guiding us. We need to realize this and have faith that He always will.

Secondly, believe in; yourself, in other people and life itself. Have a sincere desire to serve God and mankind and stop thinking negatively.

To have faith, you simply start living by faith; praying earnestly and humbly and getting into the habit of looking expectantly for the best. The author says this will attract good things and positive people. Which makes sense because we all like to be around positive people.

This doesn’t mean we’ll always get what we want. When we live on a faith basis, our desire will be for what God wants and we’ll start asking for His will to be done.

I was thinking while I read this about how often when people retire, they suddenly seem older. Especially men who had been in a career and had been somewhat powerful. Suddenly you see them in the grocery store following their wives around, kind of stooped and slow. I think it’s because they think there’s really nothing interesting for them in this next stage of life.

But the Bible is full of older people doing meaningful things. You need to form a new picture. It’s an excellent time to volunteer, and people who do that are blessed over and over again. It can be the time to travel or cultivate friendships too. I read in another book about growing older; a suggestion to aunts and grandmothers – to be there for their nieces and nephews or grandchildren: go to the piano recitals, school plays, have them over to bake cookies. Be a constant in their lives. Picture yourself as being someone who has a lot to share and then live that way! God is about blessing those who will then bless others: giving to those who will give back.

Dr. Peale says we have to lose the critical nature if we have one too. First, it’s not good for us. But again, people won’t want to be around us. Do not let doubts clog your mind. It will corrode the soul and it impedes the channel through which spiritual and creative power flows. Dr. Peale also says to “Get rid of fear. Put your problems confidently in God’s hands and trust His guidance. You can always attain a higher level for your life.”

Philippians 4:13 "I can do everything through him who gives me strength."

Never settle for less than you want to be.

He told a story about a robin with a hurt wing. A man saw him in his yard and wanted to help it by maybe splintering the wing or something. Another man told him to leave the bird alone. He said the bird was wiser than the human because not knowing so much about the difficulties of life; he doesn’t become discouraged and with no academic knowledge to hamper him, will have faith enough to let his wind droop until nature restores its strength.

We block a lot of things with doubt or negative thought. Little kids learning to walk, fall down a hundred times. What if they never got up after the first fall?

A good rule for life is: fill your mind with faith, do your best, work hard and put the results in God’s hands.

A couple other things from chapter one – don’t ever compare yourself to others, and a sign of mental health is to be glad when others achieve and rejoice with them.

Any human being can do more with his life than he is presently doing. To begin, you must desire to do so. The second step is to surrender yourself to God and live by His will. Then take God as your spiritual guide and partner in life. Next, pray without ceasing and have faith always. Be sure to hold positive pictures of achieving worthily and unselfishly. Finally, work hard, think creatively, forget self, keep a heart full of goodwill and hold no resentment. And always remember: with God’s help, you can if you think you can!

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home