< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: July 2011

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

How a Christian Should Act In Trials

1 Peter 2:21-23 21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. 22 “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” 23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.

Christ is our example. He committed no sin, but He never opened His mouth to hurl back insults or defend Himself. He made no threats, but trusted in God. We need to keep quiet, keep going and keep trusting.

Keep reading the Bible. In fact read it more! Keep serving, keep close to God. God wants us to come to Him as our refuge. If we hold on long enough we’ll see Him meet our needs. He will either make the suffering go away or support us through it.

1 Peter 5:6-10 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

Ask what is God trying to teach me in my present suffering? Sometimes it may be to see consequences of our actions so we’ll turn from sin. But, we should always continue to praise Him and love Him through it all to show people Christ in us. That our faith is strong and not dependent on “happenings”, but on the knowledge that we are saved.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

God Wants You to Grow

Our associate pastor, Mark Schmitz, preached on James 1:2-4 Sunday. It’s a popular topic for sermons, but one I feel I need to hear over and over!

James 1:2-4 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Pastor Mark began by reminding us that we believe in the sovereignty of God. That His hand is in everything that happens in our lives. He went on to say that healthy things grow and that God wants us to grow.

Our faith shows up when we face the unplanned events in our life. People watch how we go through trials. In order to get through them the right way we need a firm foundation. We need to know God, His promises and have a relationship with Him.

1 Timothy 2:3-4 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

We also need to ask ourselves if we are truly saved.

2 Corinthians 13:5 5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?

Once we are saved and in a relationship with God, He begins to grow us. To perfect us. To fill us with the spirit. Being filled with the spirit is letting God have free reign over our lives. Being spirit filled is confirmed by our service to others.

God also wants us to be submissive.

1 Peter 2:13-15 13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people.

And God wants us to have a positive attitude no matter what we are going through, because it reflects our faith in Him. His goal is not our happiness, but our joy and our joy is based not on our circumstances, but our relationship with Him. Our attitude is a choice!

Know upfront that trials are inevitable, but they are an opportunity to show how strong our faith is. The more we depend on God, the stronger it is.

Always remember James 1:12 12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

To read more on these verses visit: James 1

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Friday, July 08, 2011

2 Random Thoughts

1. If you will honor God, He will honor you. Ask in every situation, “will what I do honor God?”

2. If you want to learn the lesson God has for you, you must humble yourself.

Deuteronomy 8:2 2 Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. 3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.

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Thursday, July 07, 2011

Philippians 2:12-13 – How do I become more like Jesus Christ?

Our church has a brand new youth minister: Adam Ashoff, who preached a terrific sermon this week on two little verses:

Philippians 2:12-13 12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

These two verses give us the perfect summary of the Christian life. Our goal in life is to become more like Christ and they show us how to do that.

While we know we aren’t saved through works, once saved we do have something to do with our sanctification. We are to put our greatest effort into Christian life. We are to work out what God works in.

We are to obey God just like Jesus always did.

Verse 12 looks back to Philippians 1:3-5 to see how they have obeyed. They took partnership in the gospel. 1 John 2:3 tells us we know Him if we keep His commandments. (Whether anyone is watching or not.)

This obedience should be done joyfully. And it’s a 24/7 lifestyle.

And then we work it out with fear and trembling. Realize it is God who is at work in us! God began the good work. To make us more like Jesus, He works on our will and then our interests and affections begin to change and our work changes. God changes our desires to fit His desires.

And His glory is seen in our lives. Our work points to Him.

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