I recently talked to a man who told me through tears that he had prayed for God to take away his desire to sin, but God had not done so.  Why would God not agree to such a request?  Is the only answer because we are not praying right?  What a depressing thought if obtaining…

Luke 18:1-8 — This parable shows the importance of being persistently prayerful!  The judge is very arrogant…not sympathetic or moved easily.  What chance does the poor widow have?  Her persistence gave her a degree of power, or strength.  She moved a man who had no reason to move!  I.  Pray Always      A.  Jesus’ Example …

We cannot avoid waiting in life (i.e., bus stops, prior to appointments, in line, being pregnant, at the computer, women waiting for the perfect man). Waiting for Messiah  Waiting for the Lord is an important Biblical concept.  Mark 15:43 — Joseph of Arimathea; this man took the O.T. scriptures seriously. He had an open heart,…

Many people seem to have reason to complain…indeed people can be in situations where they think they have the RIGHT to complain (i.e., crowded work situations, dangerous work situations, unpleasant work situations. God’s Anger at Complainers Numbers 11:1-14:45 — Obviously, God was very unhappy with His people in the wilderness.  Num. 11:1-3 — They were NOT…

It might seem inviting to become a child again and to lead more carefree lives, but would we want to become a child again with the loss of freedom and privileges of adulthood? I do not think I would want to give up the freedoms that I have as an adult (for example, the ability…

God sets high standards for us.  He wants us to have love for all.  C. S. Lewis spoke of 4 kinds of love.  The Greek words for these are: Stroge – Family Bonds Eros – Romantic Phileo – Friendship/ deep affection Agape – Willfully deciding to do what is best for another New Testament uses…

Phil.4:6-9  Can we control what we think?  Have you lived most of your life thinking you can’t control your thinking.? After all there are a lot of things about our bodies we can’t control, our breathing, hair growth- etc.  We sometimes think our thoughts in our brains are automatic.   There is a woman, Byron Katie,…

Matt. 18:21-35 In this day, the tradition was that if you forgave someone 3 times, you didn’t need to forgive them again.  Peter thought by saying forgiving them 7 times would be very generous.  Jesus point is if you have to count you have missed the point. In Jesus time he used an example of…

Satan still has a lot of influence in our world today.  Today torture is one of the tools that Satan influences men to use against man even today. In Jesus time he used an example of a man being handed over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt. Matthew 18:21-35   What had…

The U.S. postal service handles more than 44% of all the letters in the world.  It is a huge operation.  However, there is no recorded records of how many love letters are sent through the mail.  God is delivering the messages of love through the Holy Spirit. The Depth of God’s Love Exodus 34:6, Isaiah…

It is beautiful to have an opportunity to worship God.  Duct tape is a useful tool for many purposes.   God did not use duct tape to fix our sins.  He used nails.    The nails represent the suffering of Christ.  Sometimes we forget that Jesus suffered physically as well as spiritually.  Christ’s Sufferings were Extreme Foretold…

Matt 16:1 Jesus warns of teaching that is destructive.  Peter confesses that Jesus is God’s son and more than a prophet.  Peter understood that Jesus is the son of God.  There is power in this confession.  God works on his timetable and not on ours and the time to tell this news was not then….

There are seasons of life when we experience great burdens and there are times when we experience great blessings.  Denying God’s Power Jer. 12:1-6 – Jeremiah is struggling with how strong the evil people are.  God says if you can’t handle it now what we will it be like when you face personal problems.  You…

Matt. 23:25-28  What dominates our inner being? God Reveals  Ezekiel 8:7-13 – God reveals what is going on out of sight.  God’s house was the place of idol worship.  Hypocrisy is shown.  Matt. 23:25-28 – Hypocrisy revealed.  Jesus says we need to repent and change our inner being.   Our inner beings are like an iceberg. …

Sometimes we have a hard time getting up to attend the services.  If someone were to have told you all the helping things you would do it would have been incomprehensible.  The alternative to not going is grim.  There are a lot of reasons we go and not all of them are to worship God. …

Want more power in your Christianity?  Apply these examples in your life.  Matthew 19:16-26 The Rich young man lived a good life.  He felt good about himself.  The young man needed to get rid of his worldly stuff.  He needed to focus on his spiritual life instead of his earthly stuff. Mark 12:28-31 Love God…

Luke 16:19-31  Helping the Poor  Help poor countryman Lev. 25:35-55 Gospel for Poor  Luke 4:16-19 No needy among them Acts 4:32-35 Paul agreed to help poor Gal. 2:10 Do not treat rich better James 2:1-7 If close heart to poor how can we  have love of God 1 John 3:17 Different Destinations (vs. 22-26) Malachi…

God is a jealous God. Exodus 20:1-6 God wants us to love him the way he loves us.  God has not set up the world to protect us if we don’t love God.  The choice is ours. Exodus 34:12-17 God expects your love.  If you put someone or something in his place the consequences will…

We do a lot of preparing here in life.  We are not an after thought to God and he has done preparations for us. Isa. 64:4 Eph. 3:1-9 From the beginning God made preparations for man. Psalms 31:19, Romans 2:4 God has given us goodness.  Nahum 1:7 Psalm 23:5 – God has given us a…

The Power of Listening  James 1:18-27 If we are going to learn to speak righteously, we must learn to listen.  Born of God’s Word (vs. 18) We must listen first of all to God’s word. John 1:1, 12-13 Be Quick to Hear (vs. 19) Be ready or prepared to hear or listen so we can…

Our salvation is a two-person job. Romans 10:1-5 These people were trying to be righteous without God.  Without God, people cannot be righteous.  Righteousness without God can lead to arrogance or despondency. Luke 18:9-12, 2 Cor. 7:10 These two results lead to a separation from God and eternal destruction.  2 Thess. 1:6-9 The correct equation…

The object lesson today is a knife.  In the hands of a good cook, a knife is a great tool.  However, a knife can also be used for real destruction.  Just as a knife can be used for good or evil, our tongue can also be used for good or evil. Words Are Powerful Prov….

Eph. 6:10-18 Our physical body needs to be protected in order to survive. We must have protection for our hearts and our souls in order to survive the assaults of Satan. We are protected by the Word of God. In Eph. Paul uses the example of the Roman soldier’s armor to show how we are…

(John 3:16) The approach used here is one that has been around a long time and has appeared in tracts and other publications. This study is basically as presented in a sermon by Eddie Cloer, a professor of Bible at Harding University, published Truth for Today. A. “For GOD” — the greatest Being There is…

Eph. 1:13-14• Holy Spirit – we are given 4 things by the spiritSalvationConvictionGuidanceStrengthThe Spirit is our advocate and helper. Eph. 4:30• We are sealed by the spirit for salvationSecurityAuthenticAuthority The official seal was legally binding in ancient days.We have been purchased as God’s possessions with his son’s blood.1 Cor. 6:20We are God’s ambassadors to spread…

In the book of Jeremiah 28 there was an incident where Jeremiah told the people that God was going to send the people out of the Promised Land and they would not return for 70 years. The false prophet said that the return in 2 years. There is a huge difference in 2 & 70…

Recently, a newspaper in Denmark ran a contest for people to draw cartoons depicting the prophet, Mohammed.  This has caused rioting throughout the Moslem world because they are offended by the cartoons. Do not Offend Matt. 17:24-27 Jesus paid a temple tax in order not to be offensive even though, he explained he didn’t need…

There are some things that are beyond description.  Sometimes our words fail when we are trying to tell someone something wonderful. God’s Ways Unsearchable Rom. 11:33-36 – Paul is saying God is so far beyond us he can’t be described. There are 5 billion people on earth.  God is so much larger than that population,…

Matt. 7:1-5 Even though we are not supposed to judge others we are supposed judge in some situations in order to help our Christian brothers and sisters.   Discerning Between Good and Evil John 7:23-24– Don’t judge by appearance.  Judge with the righteous judgment using the truth of God. John 8:15-16 – Base your judgments on…

Jesus expressed to people the love of God.  We can follow Jesus’ example by doing things for those in need.  Many Americans have made tremendous sacrifices to bring justice and rights to all people. As Christians, in order to continue this work in our society, we must weed out any thoughts and attitudes that discourage…

As we mature, we are not as likely to take offers of help or even gifts as easily as we did when we were children.   When it comes to encouragement, we need to find a balance of taking ad receiving. “Take Courage” Matt. 9:2-8 Receive the boldness and the building up you need to face…

The illustration for today’s lesson is a knitted scarf. Knitted Together In Love Col. 2:1-4 Paul had struggled for the church and wanted them to be together in love.  Is it possible for humans to be knitted together as a unified whole?  It isn’t possible without God’s help. Phil.  2:1 This is a list of…

 To urge earnestly or to push someone towards some result. This is more intense than simply encouraging.  Examples of Exhortation: Luke 3:18-20- John is urging Herrod. Acts 2:40- Peter urging the people to be saved Acts 20:1-2- Paul preaching in many cities and he exhorted the disciples throughout the region 1 Thess. 4:9-10- Paul writes…

Have you ever been in a situation where you felt threatened?  Many times we are caught in physical storms.  Mark 4:36-41 This was a very dangerous physical situation.  Jesus was able to calm the storm because he was a part of creation of the universe.  Jesus asked why are you afraid.   When we are afraid,…

Parakaleo – A Greek word that means comfort.  Parakleetos – A Greek word that means to call someone along side you to help.  Sometimes means helper, comforter, counselor, advocate, intercessor, and “encourager”.    God is our father who sent an encourager to us. Jesus as Encourager 1 John 2:1-2 We have failed God and hurt our…

These passages use the Greek word Parakaleo. Encouraging the Heart It is important to comfort our spiritual heart of the believers.  This is an important work and it takes commitment. Eph. 6:21-22, Col. 4:7-8, Col. 2:1-2 Comforting the spiritual heart Examples from scripture: Matt. 2:18 – comfort for grief Matt. 5:4 – people’s pain will…

As humans, we sometimes aren’t always able to communicate well to others.    Sometimes our meaning is misunderstood.  It is always good to explore ideas. Defining Encouragement The word encourage comes from a Latin word “cour” which means heart.  In this case it is the spiritual heart.  The prefix “en” means to increase and the suffix…

Encouraging All in Christ Many of us, as children, built buildings from our imaginations using Legos or other building materials.  We remain builders throughout our lives.  We are building spiritual lives.  Building Ourselves Luke 6:46-49 How we build our spiritual lives determines how we face the challenges we face.  The person who doesn’t take advantage…

Acts 27:1-44 Storms come to all of us in life.   When you are in a physical boat in a storm all you can see is water, with waves above your head.  From a story in Acts we see Paul in a physical storm.  Paul appealed to Caesar as was his right as a Roman citizen. …

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