< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: July 2012

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Join me on a Mediterranean Cruise next April!

You are invited to join me for a cruise on the Mediterranean Sea next April from Rome!

I've blocked a group of cabins at a wonderful rate and we'll be visiting Ephesus, Athens, Sicily and Crete with an optional 2 day package in Rome.

Below is a link to my 4 page flyer. (The last page is the sign up if you are interested in joining us.)

Feel free to email me with any questions. My email address is on the flyer.

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Psalm 16 From Fear to Faith

Psalm 16: Keep me safe, my God,
for in you I take refuge.

I say to the
Lord, “You are my Lord;
apart from you I have no good thing.”
3 I say of the holy people who are in the land,
“They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.”
4 Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more.
I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods
or take up their names on my lips.

Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
you make my lot secure.
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
7 I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
8 I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;

my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
11 You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Pastor Adam Ashoff gave a sermon on this Psalm recently. He started by saying, “The strength of your faith is as strong as the object of your faith. When we focus on God and who He is we are strengthened.

David was in a distressing situation when he wrote this Psalm. He starts out asking God to keep him safe. God is his only help: he has no other escape. (When everything is going well it’s hard to remember that God is our only good.)

David calls Him “My God” and “Lord.” This is the God who is with Him always and who will not break his promise: “to keep you and not forsake you.” God will never go back on His word.

In verse 3 he thanks God for the saints put around him. And in verse 4 he rejects those who believe in false gods. You can just see him gathering strength as he sees and remembers all that God has done and is doing for him. So that by verse 9 his heart is glad and his heart rests secure. And in verse 11 he knows he will have eternity with God.

This Psalm is a lesson how to turn to God when we feel overwhelmed and defeated. To work our way back to joyful and secure.

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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mark 11:1-11

Pastor Kurt Gebhards returned to our study of The Gospel of Mark today:

Mark 11: 1-11 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 3 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.’”

4 They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, 5 some people standing there asked, “What are you doing, untying that colt?” 6 They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go. 7 When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. 8 Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. 9 Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted,

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” 10 “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple courts. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.

What kind of Christian are you? Are you a follower or Christ “if only”? Or are you a follower “even though”.

This passage shows an example of “if onlys”. It’s also the beginning of Christ’s final week on earth and shows both His authority and humility.

Jesus is getting ready to enter Jerusalem. All of history was waiting for this. And He tells His disciples to get a donkey. This was to fulfill prophecy: Zechariah 9:9
Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you,
righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

When people rode horses back then they did it to show their military might. Zechariah tells us Jesus would ride in on a donkey to show His humility.

He would have ridden about 2 miles and all along the way people were drawn to come and lay down their cloaks and wave their palms.  They shouted Hosanna, which means, “Oh! Save!” It’s a desperate cry of a heart that realizes it needs to be saved. Of course later they showed they didn’t understand the way He was saving them or what He was saving them from. They wanted an earthly king who would get them out from under Roman rule and because He didn’t do that they turned against Him. They would be followers “if only.”

And between Sunday and Friday they went from shouting, “Hosanna!” to “Crucify Him!”

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Thursday, July 12, 2012

The happiness of the godly – the misery of the wicked

Pastor Adam Ashoff gave a sermon on Psalm 1 a couple Sundays ago. He told us that the Psalms were to guide God’s people into worshipping Him.

This particular Psalm reminds us that the path we pursue will determine the place we arrive!

Psalm 1 Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, 2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. 3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.

4 Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. 5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

6 For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

This Psalm is a progression. It starts with walking, moves on to standing and then finally sitting. We are not to walk with the wicked. In other words we must be careful of what we allow our mind to be exposed to. We must not let our minds be influenced by unbelievers.

Standing with sinners takes it a step further. This is participating with sinners. Sitting in the company of mockers is deriding and scoffing God along with the unbelievers. It all begins with just being in the company of sinners.

The man who doesn’t go down this path, who stays away from them, will be blessed.

Verse two says the godly man on the right path desires to know the law and God. And even more then that; meditates on His Word.

In verse three the tree was purposely planted near a stream so that it would get strong. We aren’t in the Word by accident; we plant ourselves in His life-giving Word. By doing this we will prosper in doing His work. We will be fruitful for Him when we are fed by His Word.

Verse 4 begins the contrast. The unbeliever’s life is just a passing life. Chaff was separated from grain by tossing both into the air and the chaff was light and blew away: it was worthless. Verse 5 talks about eternity. Unbelievers will not spend it God’s presence. They will perish.


Tuesday, July 03, 2012

The New You: Live Who You Are

One of our ministers: Kurtis Massey preached on the following scripture a couple weeks ago. It tells us who we are and how we should be acting because of who we are.

Colossians 3:12 – 17 12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Believers are chosen by God! Deuteronomy 7: 6 says, For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.” And Ephesians 1:4 says, “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.”

He chose us for holiness. He sees us through the lens of His Son: Jesus Christ. We are His beloved. Ephesians 1:5 says, “In love He predestined us.”

So if we are going to be new in Christ we need to act like we are new. Keep putting on a heart of compassion. Compassion which causes you to act to help someone. When Jesus had compassion on us He became a man and died for us! We must also be kind, meek, patient and put other’s needs before our own.  We must forgive (whether they ask us to or not) and above all love.

Verses 15 – 17 tell us to let Christ’s peace rule in our hearts. He already gave it to us when we became believers, but we need to let it rule. And then let the Word of Christ richly dwell in us: forming us and overflowing in our life. Don’t hoard what you learn. Show it, share it and live it.

And lastly do everything in the name of Christ. In such a way that it will bring glory to Jesus.

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