< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: January 2016

Sunday, January 24, 2016

"Worship Changes Everything" Book Review

I just finished reading Darlene Zschech's book "WORSHIP CHANGES EVERYTHING: Experiencing God's Presence in Every Moment of Life" and wanted to share some thoughts here:

Someone once remarked in a Bible study I was in, “I always have a problem with the idea that God is demanding we worship Him. It seems so – not needy – maybe egotistic?”

Darlene says something in this book that I think does a good job explaining this.

“We need to worship. Worship changes everything. For it is in the decision – the exercise of our will – to worship that our whole perspective on life changes. Our eyes are drawn to God, our Protector and Healer. We no longer obsess over what is wrong with life, but we learn to simply breathe and find joy in the opportunities to grow, to conquer, to bless, to draw nearer to our Lord and Savior.”

I’ve been reading the Psalms while reading this book and often David or the other writers start out asking God to help them or ask “How long God will you let evil reign?” and then while focusing on God turn completely around to hope and joy because they’ve been reminded Who they are praying to. Who is in charge. Worship does more for us than it does for God!

Darlene also points out in each chapter how everything we do can be an act of worship. Mainly by glorifying God with every thought, word, attitude and action.

I think this is an important message for Christians today; many of whom seem to think worship is confined to an hour on Sunday mornings. Also I think we often do Bible study to learn more about God, but then stop there. Learning more about God should cause us to worship Him. To praise Him and thank Him for wanting to have a relationship with Him and for providing a way for us to do that.

Maybe we take our salvation for granted. But if we didn’t, if we really thought about what we are saved from, we would be on our knees daily thanking Him.

This book is a helpful reminder to put God in the center of our lives. I received a copy from Bethany House for my honest review.

This book is available on Amazon.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Reflecting the Character of Christ

I just finished teaching a long lesson on Heaven in Sunday School. One of the books I used as reference was Anne Graham Lotz’ book ‘Heaven, My Father’s House.’

She was talking about how in Heaven we will finally be like Jesus. That even with our own unique personalities and characteristics we will reflect the character of Christ.

And she said, “that character starts to get developed here on earth every time we:

Obey Him in the midst of suffering
Trust Him with unanswered prayer
Love Him without seeing Him
Believe in Him even though all evidence seems contrary to His Word
Focus on Him in the darkness of depression and discouragement
And hope in Him to bring us through.

When we choose to be patient instead of frustrated
To love instead of hate
To hold our tongues instead of lash out
To gently instruct instead of harshly correct
To be gracious instead of rude
Kind instead of mean
Unselfish instead of selfish
Tell the truth instead of the easier lie.

And when we:
Submit to the pain
Accept the pressure
Bear the burden
Deny ourselves daily and take up the cross of His will for our lives
When we follow Him not the crowd
And choose to live by His Word, not others’ opinions.

All of this forms Christ’s character in us and that’s how God uses everything for the ultimate good. None of our trials or sufferings are wasted.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

She had to do it her way

I think once you become a parent you begin to understand God better. 

When my daughter was growing up I tried to instill in her what was right and what was wrong. She had rules to follow. Rules meant to keep her out of trouble, healthy and successful.

Every time she didn’t follow the rules or disobeyed me she would get herself in a pickle and I would shake my head and think, “She had to do it her way!”

And then I thought, that’s probably what God thinks every time we disobey or don’t listen and do something wrong. 

Why do we have to do things our way when His way is clearly so much better?

His rules and laws really are for our own good. We could save ourselves a lot of problems if we just listened to and obeyed our Father.

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