< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: January 2012

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Everyone who needs Christ is Called

Matthew 11:28-30 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Come to me – ALL! God isn’t looking for perfect people, but people who want to be perfected. People who know they need Him. Come!

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mark 7:14-23

Mark 7:14-23 14 Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. 15 Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.” [16]

17 After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. 18 “Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? 19 For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.)

20 He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. 21 For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”

Jesus wants us to live life for the Glory of God. He tells us that our hearts are basically wicked. EVEN Christian’s hearts still have sin and rebellion in them. God changed our hearts when we were saved, but there’s still much work, much growth needed. We still fight everyday to become more pure. More like Christ.

Ezekiel 36:26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

This verse is often misunderstood. The new heart has a new capacity. That we can walk in righteousness. There’s hope.

2 Corinthians 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.

Today we say our emotions come from the heart. But the Bible says everything does. From our hearts come our actions. Our feelings too, but conscience, attitudes, lusts, desires, intellects, thoughts, spirit, understanding, etc. In a non-Christian all of these usually cause bad choices. They’ll provoke bad actions. Hopefully a Christian makes good choices. But it takes work.

We’re still surrounded by worldly influences. But we have to realize and admit we aren’t victims. We sin because we want to! But God will forgive us and help us. Always! He’s already given us the Holy Spirit. We need to listen to Him and read the Bible instead of our own thoughts and desires.

Galatians 5:16-17 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.

Here’s 4 responses for us to take from this passage:

1. Understand your heart’s influences.
2. Distrust your heart. “Follow your heart” really isn’t all that good of advice! Proverbs 28:26 says “He who trusts his own heart is a fool.”
3. Work on your sanctification.
4. Walk in repentance everyday.
We still need Christ. We will always need Christ! If you aren’t a Christian you need Jesus. If you are a Christian you need Jesus!

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Thursday, January 05, 2012

God Is for Us

The following was in our church newsletter this week and I thought it was not only well said, but good to remember:

Scripture: Romans 8:31-34

Throughout life, there will be times when our sins and failures lead us to conclude that God is disappointed or angry with us. How can He still love me after what I've done? If I'm really forgiven, why do I still feel so guilty? At such times, we need to fix our eyes on the truth of Scripture and ask the questions Paul posed in Romans 8.

If God is for us, who is against us (v.31)? Our heavenly Father proved His loyalty to us when He delivered His own Son over to death in order to save us. Without Christ's atoning death on our behalf, we would face eternal separation from God.

Who will bring a charge against God's elect (v.33)? No accusation against us can stand, since at the moment of salvation, the Lord justified us. This means we were legally declared righteous, while still in our sinning condition. No one can reverse this transaction and make us guilty again. To doubt our blameless standing in Christ is to declare His atonement insufficient to cover our sin.

Who is the one who condemns (v.34)? Although Satan rails against us, Jesus' death and resurrection are proof that we are right with God. Christ took our condemnation and gave us His righteousness in return. Now He sits at the Father's right hand, interceding for us. When doubts about the Lord's love and faithfulness arise, focus on truth. If we judge His loyalty to us by our circumstances or feelings, we will never get an accurate view of God. True security lies not in our good performance, but in our relationship with Christ, and no one can take that from us.

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