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Tuesday, May 29, 2018

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Sunday - Saul Meets Jesus - Acts 9:1-19 - Children's Sunday School Lesson - 5/27/18

Saul Becomes a Believer. The Conversion of Saul.

Why was Saul going to Damascus? Who did Saul meet? What did Jesus tell Saul to do?

Saul used to punish and destroy people because they were Christians. Jesus showed Saul He was real so Saul Saul could do a special job for God.

What special job did God have for Saul?

God called Saul to go tell people in other countries about Jesus. Someday, you might be called by God to do a special job for God.

Saul first needed to believe in Jesus before he could God's special job.

Saul continued to oppose the Lord's followers. He said they would be destroyed. He went to the high priest.

He asked the priest for letters to take to the synagogues in Damascus. He wanted to find men and women who belonged to the Way of Jesus. The letters would allow him to take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.

On his journey, Saul approached Damascus. Suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground. He heard a voice speak to him. "Saul Saul! Why are you opposing me?"

"Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked. "I am Jesus," he replied. I am the one you are opposing.

Now get up and go into the city. There you will be told what you must do."

The men traveling with Saul stood there. They weren't able to speak. They had heard the sound. But they didn't see anyone.

Saul got up from the ground. He opened his eyes but he couldn't see. So they led him by the hand into Damascus.

For three days he was blind. He didn't eat or drink anything.

In Damascus there was a believer named Ananias. The Lord called out to him in a vision. "Ananias!" he said. "Yes Lord," he answered.

The Lord told him, "Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street. Ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul. He is praying.

In a vision Saul has seen a man come and place his hands on him. That man's name is Ananias. In the vision, Ananias placed his hands on Saul so he could see again."

"Lord," Ananias answered. "I've heard many reports about this man. They say he has done great harm to your holy people in Jerusalem.

Now he has come here to arrest all those who worship you. The chief priests have given him authority to do this."

But the Lord said to Ananias, "Go! I have chosen this man to work for me. He will announce Jesus name to the Gentiles and to their kings. He will announce Jesus' name to the people of Israel.

Jesus will show him how much he must suffer for Him."

Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. He placed his hands on Saul. "Brother Saul," he said, "you saw the Lord Jesus. He appeared to you on the road as you were coming here. He has sent me so that you will be able to see again. You will be filled with the Holy Spirit."

Right away something like scales fell from Saul's eyes. And he could see again. He got up and was baptized.

After eating some food, he got his strength back.

Reference Scripture used from The NIrV May the Faith Be With You Holy Bible @ Zondervan 2017.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Sunday - Peter and John Speak Up for Jesus - Acts 4:1-22 - Children's Sunday School Lesson - 5/20/18

Peter and John Are Taken to the Sanhedrin. Peter and John Arrested. Threat and Release.

Peter and John were speaking to the people. The priests, the captain of the temple guard, and the Sadducees came to the apostles. They were very upset by what the apostles were teaching the people.

The apostles were saying that people can be raised from the dead. They said this can happen because Jesus rose from the dead.

So the temple authorities arrested Peter and John. They said this can happen because Jesus rose from the dead.

So the temple authorities arrested Peter and John. It was already evening, so they put them in prison until the next day.

But many who heard the message believed. The number of men who grew to about 5,000.

The next day the rulers, the elders and the teachers of the law met in Jerusalem.

They had Peter and John brought to them. They wanted to question, "By what power did Peter and John do this?" they asked. "And through whose name?"

Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit. He said to them "Rulers and Elders of the people, are you asking us to explain our actions today?" Do you want to know why we are kind to a man who could not walk?

Are you asking how he was healed? Then listen to this, you and all the people of Israel! You nailed Jesus Christ of Nazareth to the Cross.

But God raised Him from the dead. It is through Jesus' name that this man stands healed in front of you.

Scripture says that Jesus is "the stone you builders did not accept." But it has become the most important of all.

Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John, and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were marveling, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus. And seeing the man who had been healed standing, they had nothing to say in reply.

But when they had ordered them to go aside of the Council, they began to confer with one another, saying, "What shall we do with these men?

For the fact that a noteworthy miracle has taken place through them is all who live in Jerusalem, and they could not deny it.

But in order that it may not spread any further among the people, they warned Peter and John to speak no more to any man in Jesus name.

For the man was more than 40 years old on whom this miracle of healing had been performed.

When they had been released, they went to their own companions, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them.

Reference Scripture used from the NIrV May the Faith Be With You Holy Bible @ Zondervan 2017

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Saturday, May 12, 2018

Sunday - The Church Gets Busy - Children's Sunday School Lesson - Acts 2:42-47 - 5/13/18

The Believers Share Their Lives Together. The Fellowship of the Believers. Spiritual unity finds practical expression in readiness to share money and possession.

What things do people do at Church?

The believers studied what the apostles taught. They shared their lives together. They ate and prayed together.

Everyone was amazed at what God was doing. They were amazed when the apostles performed many wonders and signs.

All the believers were together. They shared everything they had.

They sold property and other things they owned. They gave to anyone who needed something.

Everyday they met together in the temple courtyard. They ate meals together in their homes. Their hearts were glad and sincere.

They praised God. They were respected by all the people. Every day the Lord added to their group those who were being saved.

What things do people do at Church? When the Church first started the people were excited. They like spending time together. They wanted to learn more about Jesus. They wanted to praise God for doing such wonderful things for them.

Reference Scripture used from The NIrV May the Faith Be With You Holy Bible @ Zondervan 2017

Happy Mothers Day 2018

I would like to wish all my readers a Happy Mothers Day to all Mothers, Grandmothers, Greatgrandmothers and Mothers To Be. I hope that you will have a weekend of love and a safe weekend.

Be blessed.

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Monday, May 7, 2018

Sunday - God Starts the Church - Children's Sunday School Lesson - Acts 2:1-12, 22-24, 36-41 - 5/6/18

God sent the wind and the fire and gave the disciples the ability to speak in different languages. He did this so all the people would know that God had decided it was time to start the church.

Peter wanted everyone to know that the man they knew as Jesus was the Son of God. People who belong to God's church believe that Jesus is God's Son.

What makes the church special? What special thing about Jesus do people in the church believe?

The Holy Spirit comes at Pentecost. Peter speaks to the crowd (Peter's Sermon).


As one child reads the Bible, let other children act out the Scriptures/Words from the Bible:

The Wind Blew.

Fire fell.

The crowd listened.

Peter spoke.
"You crucified Jesus."

The crowd cried out.
"What do we do?"

The disciples preached.
"Come to Jesus."

3000 came.

The Church began.


Therefore, let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ. _ _ _ Acts 2:36


The apostles, filled with the Holy Ghost, and speaking divers languages languages, are admired by some, and derived by others.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Sunday - Jesus Returns to Heaven - Children's Sunday School Lesson - Luke 24:50-53; Mark 16:19; Acts 1:9-11 - 4/29/18

Jesus Is Taken Up Into Heaven. The Ascension.

The Disciples Commissioned.

Where did Jesus go? Will people on earth ever see Jesus again?

Acts 1:11 ... "Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking at the sky? Jesus has been taken away from you into heaven. But He will come back in the same way you saw Him go."

Jesus' work on earth was done. He got to go back to heaven and reign with God, His Father. He promised to come back someday. If we, believe in Him, He will take us to heaven to live with Him.

When Jesus went to heaven, He was no longer a man. He had a heavenly body. He now could reign in heaven with God.


Jesus led His disciples out to the area near Bethany. Then He lifted up His hands and blessed them.

While He was blessing them, He left them. He was taken up into the heaven.

Then they worshiped Him. With great joy, they returned to Jerusalem.

Every day they went to the temple, praising God.


When the Lord Jesus finished speaking to them, He was taken up into heaven. He sat down at the right hand of God.


After Jesus said this, He was taken up to heaven. The apostles watched until a cloud Him from their sight.

While He was going up, they kept on looking at the sky. Suddenly two men dressed in white clothing stood beside them.

"Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking at the sky? Jesus has been taken away from you into heaven. But He will come back in the same way you say Him go."


1. Jesus went to heaven.

2. Jesus reigns in heaven with God.

3. Jesus is coming back someday.

Reference scripture used from The NIrV May the Faith Be With You Holy Bible @ Zondervan 2017 and The New American Standard Bible (Parallel Bible) Zondervan Bible Publishers

Friday, April 27, 2018

Sunday - Jesus Gives His Followers a Job to Do - Children's Sunday School Lesson - Matthew 28:16-20; Luke 24:36-49 - 4/22/18

Matthew 28:16-20 ... Jesus' Final Orders to His Disciples. The Great Commission.

Luke 24:36-49 ... Jesus Appears to the Disciples. Jesus Other Appearances.

A witness is someone who has seen something happen and tells others about it. The disciples were witnesses of Jesus'miracles, His death, and how He came back to life. Jesus wanted to tell other people about all the things He had done.

A good exercise is to let children spell the name of the city and state they live in and name states from a map that is close to their state.

You may pray that people in this country learn about Jesus. Someday, God may even use you and or others to tell people in that country about Jesus.

Acts 1:8 ... You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.


Then the 11 disciples went to Galilee. They went to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.

When they saw Him they worshiped Him. But some still had their doubts.

Then Jesus came to them. He said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

So you must go and make disciples of all nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And you can be sure that I am always with you, to the very end."


The disciples were still talking about this when Jesus Himself suddenly stood among them (Jesus Appears to the Disciples).

They were surprised and terrified. They thought they were seeing a ghost.

Jesus told the disciples to look at His hands and feet.

Jesus told them it was really Him. He told them to touch Him and see. A ghost does not have a body or bones. But they could see that He did.

After Jesus said that, He showed them His hands and feet.

But they still did not believe it. They were amazed and filled with joy. So Jesus asked them do you have anything to eat? They gave Him a piece of cooked fish.

Jesus took it and ate it in front of them.

Jesus said to them, "This is what I told you while I was still with you. Everything written about Jesus in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms must come true."

Then Jesus opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.

He told them, "This is what is written. The Messiah will suffer. He will rise from the dead on the third day.

His followers will preach in His name. They will tell others to turn away from their sins and be forgiven. People from every nation will hear it, beginning at Jerusalem.

You have seen these things with your own eyes.

I am going to send you what my Father has promised. Stay there until you have received power from heaven."

Reference scripture used from The NIrV May the Faith Be With You Holy Bible @ Zondervan 2017 and The New American Standard Bible (Parallel Bible) Zondervan Bible Publishers

Monday, April 23, 2018

He has Risen - Luke 24:1-12 - Daily Sunday School Reading

The women brought spices to the tomb as we would bring flowers - as a sign of love and respect. Ordinarily a body was embalmed at burial and not a day and a half later, but Jesus died only a few hours before sun down on Friday. When the Sabbath began. By the time Joseph had received Pilate's permission to take the body and had put it in his tomb, there was longer time for embalming. The women went home and kept the Sabbath as the law required. From sundown Friday to sundown Saturday, before gathering their spices and returning to the tomb.

The two angels in shining garment. They asked the women why they were looking in a tomb for someone who was alive. Often we run into people who are looking for God among the dead. They study the Bible as a more historical document and go to Church as if to a memorial service. But Jesus is not among the dead - He lives! He reigns in the hearts of Christians, and He is the head of the Church. Do you look for Jesus among the living? Do you expect Him to be active in the world and in the Church? Look for signs of His power - they are all around you.

People who hear about the resurrection for the first time may need time before they can comprehend this amazing story, like the disciples, they may pass through four stages of belief.

(1) At first, they may think it is a fairy tale, impossible to belief.

(2) Like Peter they may check the facts but still be puzzled about what happened.

(3) Only when they encounter Jesus personally are they able to accept the fact of the resurrection.

(4) Then as they commit themselves to Jesus and devote their lives to serving Him, they begin to understand the reality of His presence with them.

It was very early in the morning on the first day of the week. The women took the spices they had prepared. Then they went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled back away from it.

When they entered the tomb, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.

They were wondering about this. Suddenly two men in clothes as bright as lightning stood beside them.

The women were terrified. They bowed down with their faces to the ground. Then the men said to them, "why do you look for the living among the dead?"

Jesus is not here! He has risen! Remember how He told you He would rise, it was while He was still with you in Galilee.

He said, the Son of Man must be handed over to sinful people. He must be nailed to a cross. On the third day He will rise from the dead.

Then the women remembered Jesus words.

They came back from the tomb. They told all these things to the eleven apostles and to all the others.

Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them were the ones who told the apostles.

But the apostles did not believe the women. Their words didn't make only sense to them. Their words didn't make any sense to them.

But Peter got up and ran to the tomb. He bent over and saw the strips of linen lying by themselves. Then he went wondering what had happened.

At the crack of dawn on Sunday, the women came to the tomb carrying the burial spices they had prepared. They found the entrance stone rolled back from the tomb, so they walked in. But once inside, they couldn't find the body of the master Jesus.

They were puzzled, wondering what to make of this. Then, out of no where it seemed, two men, light cascading over them, stood there. The women were awestruck and bowed down in worship. The men said, "why are you looking for the living one in a cemetery? He is not here, but raised up. Remember how He told you when you were still back in Galilee that He had to be handed over to sinners, lost his life on a cross, and in three days rise up?" Then they remembered Jesus words.

They left the tomb and broke the news of all this to the eleven and the rest. Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them kept telling these things, to the apostles, but the apostles didn't believe a word of it.

Reference scripture used from The Life Application Bible, The NIrV Bible, and The Message Bible

Sunday, April 22, 2018

God's Exclusive Claim - Daily Sunday School Reading - Exodus 20:1-12

God spoke all these words: I am God your God. Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of a life of slavery. No other gods, only Him.

No carved gods of any size, shape, or form of anything whatever, whether of things that fly or walk or swim. Don't bow down to them and don't serve them because I am your God and a most jealous God, punishing the children for any sins their parents passed on to them to the third, and yes, even to the fourth generation of those who hate God. But I'm unswervingly loyal to to the thousands who love me and keep my commandments. No using the name of God, your God in curses or silly bantor; God won't put up with the irreverent use of his name.

Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Work six days and do everything you need to do. But the seventh day is a Sabbath to God, your God. Don't do any work - not you, nor your sons nor your daughter, nor your servant nor your maid, nor your animals, not even the foreign guest visiting in your own town. For in six days God made Heaven, Earth, and Sea, and everything in them; He rested on the seventh day. Therefore God blessed the Sabbath day; He set it apart as a holy day. Honor your father and mother so that you'll live a long time in the land that God, your God, is giving you.

The Israelites had just come to Egypt, a land of many. Since each god represented a different aspect of life, it presented a different aspect of life, it was common to worship many gods in order to get the maximum number of blessings. When God told His people to worship and believe in Him, that wasn't so hard for them - He was just one more god to add to the list. But when He said, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me," that was hard for the people to accept. However, if they didn't learn that the God who led them out of Egypt was the only true God, they could not be His people - no matter how faithfully they kept the other nine commandments. Thus God made this His first commandment and emphasized it more than the others. Today we can allow certain values to become gods to us. Money, fame, work, pleasure can become gods when we concentrate too much on them for meaning and security. No one sets out with the intention of worshiping these things. But with the amount of time they occupy in our lives, they can grow into gods that ultimately control our thought and energies. Letting God hold the central place in our lives keeps these things from turning into gods.

God's name is special, for it carries His personal identity. Using it frivolously or in a curse is so common today that we may fail to realize how serious it is. The way we use God's name conveys how we really feel about Him. We should respect His name and use it with great respect, speaking it in Praise or Worship rather than in curse. We will be found guilty if we dishonor His name.

The Sabbath was a day set aside for rest and worship. God commanded a Sabbath because we need to spend unhurried time in worship and rest each week. A God who is concerned enough to provide a day each week for us to rest is indeed wonderful. To observe a regular time of rest and worship in our hurried world demonstrates the importance of God in our lives while having the extra benefit of refreshing our Spirits.

This is the first commandment with a promise attached, to live in peace for generations in the Promised Land, the Israelites would need to respect authority and build strong families. But what does it mean to "honor" Parents? Partly it means speaking well of them and politely to them. It also means acting in a way that shows them courtesy and respect (but not to obey them if this means disobedience to God). Parents have a special place in God's sight. Even those who find it difficult to get along with their parents are still commanded to honor them.

Reference Scripture used from The Life Application Bible and The Message Bible

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Jesus Fixes Breakfast - John 21:1-14 - Children's Sunday School Lesson - Sunday - 4/15/18

Jesus Appears at the Sea of Galilee. Jesus and the miracle of many fish. Only the book of John tells us how Jesus came to the seven disciples as they were fishing. John remembers how many fish they caught, and their surprise and relief of finding the fishing had not been torn.

Jesus provides.

Once before, Jesus helped His disciples catch a big bounce of fish. Helping them catch a miraculous amount of fish this time showed the disciples it really was Jesus who was alive again.

How did the disciples know that this man was Jesus? ... None of the disciples dared asked Him (Jesus), "Who are You?" They knew it was the Lord. John 21:12

Only Jesus could make that big catch of fish happen. This man on the beach had to be Jesus who had come back to life!

Jesus showed the disciples He had come back to life by helping them catch a miraculous amount of fish.

How many fish did the disciples catch during the night? Zero

When did the disciples go fishing? At night time.

How many fish did the disciples catch when Jesus told them to fish? 153

What was Jesus doing on the lake shore? Making breakfast

Simon Peter said to the disciples, "He was going fishing." The disciples said to Simon Peter, "They would also go with him." They went out and got into the boat; and that night they caught nothing.

But when the day was breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.

Jesus therefore said to them, "Children (Disciples), you do not have any fish, do you?" They answered Jesus, "No."

And Jesus said to the disciples, "Cast the net on the right-hand of the boat, and you will find a catch." They cast therefore, and then they were not able to haul it in because of the great number of fish.

But the other disciples came in the little boat, for they were not far from the land, but about one hundred yards away, dragging the net full of fish.

And so when they got out upon the land, they saw a charcoal fire already laid, and fish placed on it, and bread.

Jesus, said to them, "Bring some of the fish which you have now caught."

Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land, full of large fish, and a hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many that the net was not torn.

Jesus said to them, "Come and have breakfast." None of the disciples ventured to question Him, "Who are You?" knowing that it was the Lord.

Jesus came and took the bread, and gave them, and the fish likewise.

This is now the third time that Jesus was manifested to the disciples, after He was raised from the dead.

Scripture reference used from The Comparative Study Bible, Copyright 1984 by the Zondervan Corporation, New American Standard Version and NIrV May The Faith Be With You Holy Bible @ Zondervan 2017

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Results of Solomon's Decisions and Actions - Daily Sunday School Reading - 2 Chronicles 7:12-22

Months, maybe years, had passed since Solomon's prayer of dedication. Several other building projects were completed after the Temple. After all this time, God told Solomon that He had heard his prayer. How often do we look for immediate answers to our prayers and, when nothing happens, we wonder if God heard us? God does hear, and He will provide for us, but we must trust that He will answer at the proper time.

In Chapter 6, Solomon asked God to make provisions for the people when they sinned. God answered with four conditions for forgiveness: (1) humble yourself by admitting your sins, (2) pray to God asking for forgiveness, seek for God continually, and (4) turn from sinful behavior. True repentance is more than talk - it is changed behavior. Whether we sin individually as a group, or as a nation, following these steps will lead to forgiveness. God will answer our earnest prayers.

When we are in need, there may be no one with whom we can talk, or we maybe afraid to share our need with another person, God assures Solomon, however, that He will not lack assistance when he comes to God in humility, seeking help. God promises to listen to every prayer offered in the right attitude. God is always available.

God plainly set forth certain conditions for Solomon to meet if he wanted the kingdom to continue. If he followed God Solomon and his descendants would prosper: if he did not, he and the nation would be destroyed. In Deuteronomy 27 and 28, these conditions were outlined before all the people. But sin is deceptively attractive, and Solomon eventually turned from God. As a result, his son and heir lost most of his kingdom. Following God brings benefits and rewards (not necessarily material). Turning away from Him brings suffering, punishment, and ultimately destruction. Today, God conditions are just as clear as they were in Solomon's day. Will you choose to obey God and live?

The LORD appeared to Solomon at night. The LORD said, I have heard your prayer, I have chosen this place for myself. It is a temple where sacrifices will be offered.

Suppose I close up the sky and there isn't any rain. Suppose I command locusts to eat up the crops. And I send a plague among my people.

But they make themselves humble in my sight. They pray and look to me. And they turn from their evil ways. Then I will listen to them, from heaven. I will forgive their sin. And I will heal their land. After all, they are my people.

Now my eyes will see them. My ears will pay attention to the prayers they offer in this place.

I have chosen this temple. I have set it apart for myself. My name will be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.

"But you must walk faithfully with me, just as your father David did. Do everything I command you to do. Obey my rules and laws. Then I will set up your royal throne. I made a covenant with your father David to do that. I said to him, You will always have a son from your family line to rule over Israel'.

But suppose all of you turn away from me. You refuse to obey the rules and commands I have given you. And you go off to serve other gods and worship them.

Then I will remove Israel from my land. It is the land I gave them. I will turn my back on this temple. I will do it even though I have set it a part for my Name to be there. God will make all the nations hate it. They will laugh and joke about it.

This temple will become a pile of stones. All those who pass by it will be shocked. They will say, why has the LORD done a thing like this to this land and temple?

People will answer, 'Because they have deserted the LORD. He is the God of their people who lived long ago. He brought them out of Egypt. But they have been holding onto other gods. They've been worshiping them. They have been serving them. That's why the LORD has brought all this horrible trouble on them.

God appeared to Solomon that very night and said, He accepted your prayer; yes, He had chosen this place as a temple for sacrifice, a house of worship. If God ever shut off the locusts to eat the crops or send a plague on His people, Solomon's God-defined, and the people respond by humbling themselves. Praying, seeking God's presence, and turning their backs on their wicked lives, He will be there ready for them: He will listen from heaven, forgive their sins, and restore their land to health. From now on God will be alert day and night to the prayers offered at this place. Believe God, He have chosen and sanctified this Temple that Solomon had built. God's Name was stamped on it forever: and His eyes are on it, and His heart in it always. As for you, if you live in God's presence as his father David lived, pure in heart and action, living the life he had set out for you, attentively obedient to God's guidance and judgments, then God will back Solomon's kingly rule over Israel - make it a sure thing on a sure foundation. The same covenant guarantee God gave to David Solomon's father He will give it to Solomon. Solomon could count on always having a descendant on Israel's throne.

But if Solomon or his sons betray God, ignoring His guidance and judgments, taking up with alien gods by serving and worshiping them, then the guarantee is off: God would wipe Israel right off the map and repudiate this temple Solomon had just sanctified to honor God's Name. And Israel will be nothing but a bad joke among the peoples of the world. And this Temple, splendid as it now is, will become an object of contempt; tourists will shake their heads, saying; What happened here? What's the story behind these ruins? Then they will be told, the people who used to live there betrayed their God, the very God who rescued their ancestors from Egypt; they took up with alien gods, worshiping and serving them.

Scripture reference from The Life Application Bible, The Message Bible and The NIrV Bible

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

God Listens to Obedient Worship - John 9:24-38 - Daily Sunday School Bible Reading

By now the man who had been blind had heard the same questions over and over. He did not know he was healed, but he knew that his life had been miraculously changed, and he was not afraid to tell the truth. You don't need to know all the answers in order to share Christ with others. It is important to tell others how Jesus has changed your life. Then trust that God will use your words.

The man's new faith was severely tested. He was cursed and evicted from the Temple. Persecution may come when you follow Jesus. You may lose friends, you may even lose your life. But no one can ever take away the Eternal Life that Jesus give you.

The longer this man experienced his new life through Christ, the more confident he became in the one who had healed him. He gained not only physical sight but Spiritual sight as he recognized Jesus first as a Prophet than as his Lord. When you turn to Christ, you begin to see him differently. Peter tells us to "grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." If you want to know more about Jesus, keep walking with Him.

Again the Pharisees called the man who had been blind to come to them. Give glory to God by telling the truth! they said. "We know that the man who healed is a sinner.

He replied, "I don't know if he is a sinner or not. I do know one thing, I was blind, but now I can see!"

Then they asked him, "What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?"

He answered, "I have already told you. But you didn't listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become His disciples too?"

Then they began to attack him with their words. They said we are disciples of Moses!

We know that God spoke to Moses. But we don't even know where this follow come from.

The man answered, That is really surprising! You don't know where he come from, and yet He opened my eyes.

We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does what He wants them to do.

Nobody has ever heard of anyone opening the eyes of a person born blind.

If this man had not come from God, He could do nothing.

Then the Pharisees replied, "When you were born, you were already deep in sin. How dare you talk like that to us!" And they threw him out of the synagogue.

Jesus heard that the Pharisees had thrown the man out of the synagogue. When Jesus found him, he said, do you believe in the Son of Man?

Who is He, Sir? The man asked, tell me so I can believe in Him.

Jesus said, You have now seen Him. In fact, He is the one speaking with you.

The the man said, "Lord I believe." And he worshiped Him.

They called the man back a second time - the man who had been blind - and told him. Give credit to God. We know this man is an impostor.

He replied, "I know nothing about that one way or the other. But I know one thing for sure: I was blind ... I now see."

They said, "What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?"

"I've told you over and over and you haven't listened. Why do you want to hear it again? Are you so eager to become His disciples?"

With that they jumped all over him. "You might be a disciple of that man, but we're disciples of Moses. We know for sure that God spoke to Moses. But we have no idea where this man even come from."

The man replied, "This is amazing! You claim to know nothing about Him, but the fact is He opened my eyes! It's well known that God isn't at the beck and call of sinners, but listens carefully to anyone who lives in reverence and does His will. That some one opened the eyes of a man born blind has never been heard of - ever. If this man didn't come from God, he wouldn't be able to do anything."

They said, "You're nothing but dirt! How dare you take that tone with us!" Then they threw him out in the street.

Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and went and found him. He asked him, "do you believe in the Son of Man?"

The man said, point him out to me, Sir, so that I can believe in Him.

Jesus said, "You're looking right at Him. don't you recognize my voice?"

"Master, I believe," the man said, and worshiped Him.

Scripture reference used from The Message Bible, NIrV Bible and Life Application Bible

Monday, April 9, 2018

Solomon Completes The Temple - 2 Chronicles 6:1-11 - Daily Sunday School Reading

As the people received Solomon's blessing, they stood; as Solomon prayed, he knelt. Both standing and kneeling are acts of reverence. Acts of reverence make is feel more worshipful, and they let others see that we are honoring God. When you stand and kneel om Church or at Prayer, let these actions become more than mere forms prescribed by tradition. Instead let them activate your love for God.

It was unusual for a king to kneel before someone else in front of his own people, because kneeling meant submitting to a higher authority. Solomon demonstrated his great love and respected for God by kneeling before him. His action showed that he acknowledged God as the ultimate King and authority, and it encouraged the people to do the same.

Then Solomon said, "Lord, you have said you would live in a dark cloud.

I've built a beautiful temple for you. You can live in it forever.

The whole community of Israel was standing there. The king turned around and gave them his blessing.

Then he said, ""I Praise the Lord. He is the God of Israel. With His mouth he made a promise to my Solomon's father David. With His powerful hands he made it come true, he said.

He brought his people out of Egypt. Since then, a temple for my name has not been built. He have not chosen a city in any tribe of Israel for that purpose. And he have not chosen anyone to be ruler over my people Israel.

But now I have chosen Jerusalem. He will put Solomon name there. And He have chosen David to rule over His people Israel.

With all his heart his father David wanted to do it so the name of God of Israel.

But the LORD spoke to Solomon's father David. He said, with all your heart you wanted to build a temple for His name. His good that David wanted to do that.

But David will not build the temple. Instead, David son will built the temple for God's name. Solomon is David's own flesh and blood.

The LORD has kept the promise He made. Solomon has become the next king after his father David.

Now Solomon is sitting on the throne of Israel. That's exactly what the LORD promised would happen. Solomon built the temple for the Name of the LORD. He is the God of Israel.

The Lord have placed the Ark there. The tablets of the LORD's Covenant are inside it. He made that covenant with the people of Israel. Solomon prays to set the temple Apart to the LORD.

Then Solomon said, God said He would dwell in a cloud,

But Solomon built a temple most splendid, a place for you to live in forever.

The king then turned to face the congregation that had come together and blessed them:

Blessed be God, the God of Israel. Who spoke personally to Solomon's father. Now he has done what he promised when he said, from the day he brought his people Israel up from Israel, he haven't set apart one city among the tribes of Israel in which to build a temple to honor God's name, or chosen one person to be a leader. But now God have chosen both a city and person: Jerusalem for honoring my name and David to lead my people Israel.

Solomon's father David very much wanted to build a temple honoring the name of God, the God of Israel, but God told him, It was good that you wanted to build a temple honoring in my honor - most commendable! But David was not the one to do it. David's son, Solomon will carry on the dynasty, he will build it for God.

And now you see the promise completed. God had done what He said He would do; Solomon had succeeded David his father and now rule Israel; Solomon have built a temple to honor God, the God of Israel, and have secured a place for the Chest that holds the Covenant of God, the Covenant he made with the people of Israel.

Scripture reference used from: The Message, NIrV & Life Application Bible

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Jesus and Thomas - Children's Sunday School Lesson - John 20:19-29 - Sunday - 4/8/18

Thomas didn't believe that Jesus was alive. He wanted to see Jesus for himself before he would believe.

Instruct the children to find the missing letters in John 20:28 ... Thomas said to Him, "My _ _ _ _ and My _ _ _ !"

Instruct the children to place bandages on Jesus' sides and red markers to show where the wounds by the nails were in His wrists.

Thomas had to see Jesus before he could believe Jesus was alive. We can believe Jesus is alive even though we've never seen Him because the Bible tells us so.

We can believe Jesus came back to life even though we don't get to see Him like Thomas did.

Again Jesus said, "May peace be with you! The Father has sent me. So now I am sending you." He then breathed on them. He said, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone's sins, their sins are forgiven.

Thomas was one of the 12 Disciples. He was also called Didymus. ?He was not with the other Disciples when Jesus came. So they told him, "We have seen the Lord!"

But he said to them, "First I must see the nail marks in His hands. I must put my finger into His side. Only then will I believe."

A week later, Jesus' Disciples were in the house again. Thomas was with them. Even though the doors were locked, Jesus came in and stood among them. He said, "May peace be with you!"

Then He said to Thomas, "Put your finger here. Reach out your hand and put it in to my side. Stop doubting and believe."

Thomas said to Him, "My Lord and My God!"

Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen me but still have believed.

NIrV May the Faith Be With You Holy Bible @ Zondervan 2017

Jesus Is Alive - Children's Sunday School Lesson - John 20:1-12 - Sunday - 4/1/18

The Tomb Is Empty. Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene. Jesus Appears To His Disciples.

Who went to Jesus grave? What did she find? Who spoke to her? What happened to Jesus?

Jesus was God's Son. The Bible says it was impossible for Jesus to stay dead.

Jesus really did die. But He had the power to come back to life because He was God's Son.

Jesus Is Alive.

Acts 2:24 ... But God raised Him from the dead, freeing Him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on Him.

Early on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb. It was still dark. She saw that the stone had been moved away from the entrance. So she ran to Simon Peter and another disciple. She said, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb! We don't know where they have put Him!"

So Peter and the other Disciple started out for the tomb. The other Disciple ran faster than Peter. He reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the stripes of linen lying there. But he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him. He also saw the funeral cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus' head. It was separate from the linen. The Disciples who had reached the tomb first also went inside. He saw and believed. They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead. Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.

But Mary stood outside tomb crying. She saw two angels dressed in white. They were seated where Jesus' body had been. One of them was where Jesus' head had been laid. The other sat where His feet had been placed.

They asked her, Woman why are you crying? Who are you looking for?

Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned toward Him. Then she cried out in the Aramaic language, "Rabboni!" Rabboni means Teacher.

Jesus said, Do not hold on to me. I have not yet ascended to the Father. Instead go to those who believe in me. Tell them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'

Mary Magdalene went to the Disciples with the news. She said, "I have seen the Lord!" And she told them that He had said these things to her.

On the evening of that first day of the week, the Disciples were together. They had locked the doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Jesus came in and stood among them. He said, "May peace be with you!" Then He showed them His hands and His side. The Disciples were very happy when they saw the Lord.

Scripture reference used from: NIrV May the Faith Be With You Holy Bible @ Zondervan 2017

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Jesus Tested in the Wilderness - Matthew 4:1-11 - Daily Reading from Sunday School Book

Jesus wasn't tempted in the Temple or at His baptism but in the wilderness where He was tired, alone, and hungry, and thus most vulnerable. Satan often tempts us where we are vulnerable when we are under physical or emotional stress (for example, lonely, tired, weighing big decisions, faced with uncertainly). But Satan also likes to tempt us through our strengths where we are suscepible to pride. We must guard at all times against his attacks.

Satan's temptations focused on three crucial areas: (1) physical desires, (2) possessions and power, and (3) pride. But Jesus did not give in. Hebrews 4:15 says that Jesus was in all points tempted like we are, yet without sin. "He knows firsthand what we are experiencing and he is willing and able to help us in our struggles. When you are tempted, turn to Him for strength.

Angels, like these who ministered to Jesus, have a significant role as God's messengers. These spiritual beings were involved in Jesus like on earth by (1) announcing his birth to Mary, (2) reassuring Joseph, (3) naming Jesus, (4) announcing His birth to the Shepherds, (5) protecting Jesus by sending His family to Egypt, (6) ministering to Him in Gethsemane.


Next Jesus was taken into the wild by the Spirit for the test. The devil was ready to give it. Jesus prepared for the test by fasting forty days and forty nights. That left Him, of course, in a state of hunger, which the devil took advantage of in the first test: "Since you are God's Son, speak the Word that will turn these stones into loaves of bread.

Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy: "It takes more than bread to stay alive. It takes a steady stream of words from God's mouth.

For the second test the devil took Him to the Holy City. He sat Him on top of the Temple and said, "Since you are God's Son, jump." The devil goaded Him by quoting Psalm 91: "He has placed you in the care of angels. They will catch you so that you won't so much as stub your toe on a stone."

Jesus countered with another citation from Deuteronomy: "Don't dare test the Lord your God."

For the third test, the devil took Him to the peak of a huge mountain. He gestured expansively, pointing out all the earth's kingdoms, how glorious they all were. Then he said, they're yours - lock, and barrel. Just go down on your knees and worship me, and they're yours.

Jesus refusal was curt: "Beat it, Satan." He backed his rebuke his rebuke with a third quotation and only him. Serve him with absolute single-heartedness.

The test was over. The devil left. And in his place, angels! Angels came and took care of Jesus needs.


The Spirit led Jesus into the desert. There the devil tempted Him.

After 40 days and 40 nights of going without eating, Jesus was hungry.

The tempter came to Him. He said, "If you are the Son of God tell these stones to become bread.

Jesus answered, "It is written, 'Man must not live only on bread. He must also live by every Word that come from the mouth of God. (Deuteronomy 8:3)

Then the devil took Jesus to the Holy City. He had Him stand on the highest point of the Temple.

"If you are the Son of God," he said "throw yourself down. It is written, the Lord will command His angels to take good care of you. They will lift you up in their hands. Then you won't trip over a stone.

Jesus answered him, "It is also written, Do not test the Lord your God.

Finally, the devil took Jesus to a very high mountain. He showed Him all the kingdom of the world and their glory.

"If you bow down and worship me," he said, "I will give you all this."

Jesus said to him, "Get away from me, satan! It is written, Worship the Lord your God. He is the only one you should serve." (Deuteronomy 6:13)

Then the devil left Jesus. Angels came and took care of Him.


May The Faith Be With You Holy Bible @ Zondervan 2017; The Message copyright @ 1993,1994,1995,1996,2000,2001,2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, IL 60188 & Life Application Bible @ 1986, 1988, 1989 by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, IL 60189

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Jesus Is Crucified - Children's Sunday School Lesson - Mark 15 - Sunday - 3/25/18

Jesus Is Brought to Pilate. The soldiers make fun of Jesus. Jesus is nailed to the Cross. Jesus dies. Jesus is buried.

This was a terrible, painful, and embarassing way for Jesus to die. Jesus could have rescued Himself. Jesus did not have to let those bad men take His life.

Who did Jesus die for? Why did Jesus die for you and me?

Jesus did not do anything wrong so He didn't deserve to die. Instead, Jesus decided to take the punishment all of us deserve for all the wrong things we have done. Jesus did it because he loves us.

The six hours (9am - 3pm) pm the cross Jesus touched a depth of suffering in body, mind and spirit beyond the stretch of our imagination. Jesus death paid in full the penalty for our sin. Jesus saved us from the death sentence, making possible the free gift of eternal life.


Jesus Words from the Cross:

Luke 23:34 ... Jesus said, "Father, forgive them. They don't know what they are doing." The soldiers divided up his clothes by casting lots.

Reference Scriptures: Matthew 27:35; Mark 15:24; John 19:23; Acts 3:17


Luke 23:43 ... (Jesus word to the thief on the cross beside Him who repented) Jesus answered him, "What I'm about to tell you is true. Today you will be with me in paradise.


John 19:26-27 ... (Jesus commending His mother to John's care) Jesus saw His mother there. Jesus also saw the disciple he loved standing nearby. Jesus said to His mother, "Dear woman, here is your son." From that time on, the disciple took her into his home.


Matthew 27:46 (Mark 15:34) ... About three o'clock, Jesus cried out in a loud voice. He said, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachtani?" This means "My God, my God, why have you deserted me?"

Psalm 22:1 ...My God, my God, why have you deserted me?
Why do you seem so far away when I need you to save me?
Why do you seem so far away that you can't hear my groans?


John 19:28 ... Later, Jesus knew that everything had now been finished. He also knew that what Scripture said must come true. So he said, "I am thirsty."

Reference Scripture ... Psalm 69:21


John 19:30 ... After Jesus drank He said, "It is finished." Then he bowed his head and died.

Reference Scripture ... John 17:4


Luke 23:46 ... Jesus called out in a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my life." After Jesus said this, He took His last breath.

Reference Scripture ... Psalm 31:5; Matthew 27:50; Mark 15:37; John 19:30


Scripture reference used from the New International Readers Version (NIRV May The Faith Be With You Holy Bible) Copyright @ 1995, 1996, 1998, 2014 by Biblica, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. & The New Analytical Bible Dictionary of the Bible, Authorized King James Version, World Bible Publishers, Iowa Falls, Iowa
















Sunday, January 21, 2018

Pile of Masks: Exposing Christian Hypocrisy ... Book Review

Dustin Renz (the author), was recently introduced at a speaking engagement as - a graduate of Teen Challenge, Southeastern University and Pure Life Ministries. Both Teen Challenge and Pure Life Ministries are residential Christian programs that assist in setting people free from addictions and bondage. The seasons the author spent in those two programs serve as book - ends for nearly ten years of running from God, much like the biblical prophet, Jonah. But like Jonah, the author too realized the desperate situation he was in and cried out to God for mercy.

The author grew up in a middle - class home. He had parents who loved him and they lived a comfortable life. The greatest attacks came not from inside his home, but outside. They moved to Florida from New York when he was in the second grade. It was that year - at age seven - he was first exposed to pornography. All throughout his childhood, pornography continued to be readily available to him, which became a deeply - rooted stronghold in his life.

He became friends with another young boy and frequently spent time at his house. It was there where he was first exposed to satanic music, Ouija boards, horror movies, violent games, hypnotism and even sexual experimentation.

He went to church as a child. He claimed to be a Christian, but he had not been born again.

When he was eleven years old, his parents announced to his siblings and him that they had decided to get a divorce.

He had always been a deeply emotional person and most of his friends were female. He still attended church, but he despised Christians and hated God.

He discovered that he had the talent to rap and began rapping at parties and writing songs.

He spent all weekend partying and all week getting high or drunk before and after school.

He graduated high school, left home and began living with friends so that he could do as he pleased. It became necessary to live in his car to live in his car after having burned all bridges with family and friends.

His father allowed him to stay with him for a couple of weeks to try to help him get straightened out. After a near overdose, he realized he was out of control, and agreed to go to a program called Teen Challenge.

In July of 2002, he found himself in the intake office of Teen Challenge in Tarpon Springs, Florida. He had told his dad on the way to the program that he was not going to let them "brainwash him with all of that Jesus stuff." It soon became evident that God had a different plan!

He experienced what Scripture promises to those who surrender their lives to the Lord: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" He fell in love with Jesus. For the next year, he could not get enough of the Bible. He spent hours in prayer and worship. There was no doubt he had a real encounter was with Jesus Christ!

After graduating from Teen Challenge, he once again enjoyed freedom to do as he pleased - something he soon discovered he was not prepared for. Before he knew it, an addiction to pornography head once again taken control of his life. It was then that he met a girl named Brittany at the Christian college he was attending, and they fell in love. When he confessed to her about the pornography, she made it clear that unless he got victory over that area, there was no future for them.

They got married in May 2005. He justified his secret life. He cried out to God over and over again: repenting, apologizing and promising to do better. Clearly, he was only giving the Lord lip service and empty promises.

Over the coming months, he fell further from God. Soon, he was drinking liquor and abusing prescription pills whenever he had the chance.

He began to visualize becoming famous in the music industry and he was confident that his career would take off soon.

Brittany and he got involved in youth ministry, and he became the Assistant Pastor of their church. Lust grew in his heart, and whenever he was depressed, he would still go back to satanic music in his head for comfort.

When him and his wife was accepted to go overseas to assist missionaries for two years, everything escalated. They began the process of raising the necessary funds to go. He had definite fears about relocating to a foreign country, but instead of taking those concerns to God, he returned with great fervor to the old empty cisterns of this world.

He persuaded himself that when he got overseas, the struggle would end.

Their first daughter, Abigail, was born in May of 2010. This drastic change in their lives caused him to panic. He knew he was not ready to be a father, and the weight of that responsibility was more than he could take.

His wife began sensing that something was not right in his life. He told her that he had been lying and carrying on a secret life during the entire seven years of their relationship. She was devastated and immediately told their superiors. They were flown back to the U.S. and asked to resign.

You would think this would have been enough to bring him to repentance, but instead he grew bitter. His wife took control of their finances and watched his every moment.

When he arrived at Pure Life Ministries in April of 2011, one of the counselors said he looked like a dead man. He only agreed to enter the program in the hopes of saving his marriage, which at that point was almost certainly going to end in divorce.

There was no network television in any of their homes. They were not consumed with the latest technologies like smart phones and video games.

This was the turning point and the Lord began to restore him.

Dustin now have an abundant life in Christ and he has truly become an overcomer.

But the Lord has opened his eyes to the reality that there is freedom for the addict, purity for the lustful, and righteousness for the wicked.

Adam and Eve's oldest son provides for us the earliest example of hypocrisy.

A lifestyle of hypocrisy was at the root of Jehovah's chosen nation, Israel. This can be seen throughout the Old Testament, from the time Moses led Israel out of Egypt, to the time of the Babylonian and Assyrian captivities. It was the people's unwillingness to be fully devoted to the Lord that resulted in countless trial and judgments.

Hypocrisy is the reason that the Israelites were called to make a decision throughout the Old Testament. Perhaps the most popular Scripture where a line is drawn in the sand occurs in the book of Joshua. At this point in history, the Israelites were just setting foot into the Promised Land, but they had already shown their divided hearts on several occasions.

They had absolutely no faith to believe that the God who rescued them from Egypt could provide for their needs.

Jehovah had been good to them and provided for them the whole way.

The Israelites have the choice to either serve the Lord or to worship other gods. There is no middle ground.

Scripture says in 1 John 4:8 that God is love. Our relationship with Him is born out of a response to His love for us. Continually in Scripture, the relationship of God and man is compared to a marital relationship.

Song of Solomon paints a beautiful picture of the intimacy enjoyed between a husband and wife (and, allegorically, of God and man). We are called the Bride of Christ and Jesus the Bridegroom in several places in the New Testament. The Holy Spirit could have used any metaphor to describe our relationship with Him, but He chose to relate it to a marriage.

Listen to the sound of a heartbroken God calling out to His people through the prophet Micah:

My people, what have I done to you? How have I burdened you? Answer me. I brought you up out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery.

Jeremiah 2:19 sums up a truth he had found to be absolutely certain: "Consider then and realize how evil and bitter it is for you when you forsake the Lord your God and have no awe of me ...

When it came to fighting against idolatry and syncretism in the Old Testament, there was one King who stood out above the rest. His name was King Josiah, and he took the throne of Judah when he was eight years old. He lived in a time when the land of Israel was divided into a northern and southern kingdom. The country was in a mess. Jehovah repeatedly sent prophets to the nation to try to get their attention and cause them to repent and turn back to Him. As we have discovered, Israel remained entrenched in idolatry and the worship of false gods.

Josiah became king a few years after Manasseh, who was one of the most wicked kings to ever rule in Israel.

During his reign, many people made idols for a living. There were full-time priests who served at the altars and temples of the false gods. Many in the land were enjoying the 'benefits' afforded to them by sacred prostitution. But Josiah did not fear men, he only feared the Lord and his actions proved it.

Josiah launches an all - out attack on idolatry.

Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did - with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses.

Pharisaic:
1. adjective. emphasizing or observing the letter but not the spirit of religious law; self-righteous; sanctimonious
2. pretending to be highly moral or virtuous without actually being so; hypocritical

By The Close Of The Lord The Old Testament period, the nation of Israel had returned to their homeland after being held in captivity. Jehovah had allowed northern Israel to be exiled by Assyria in 721 B.C. Eventually, Judah was taken into exile by the Babylonians for 70 years. The period between the Old and New Testaments is a duration of four hundred years of prophetic silence. There was no Word from God to His people during this time.

Then John the Baptist appears on the scene and breaks the silence. Israel was ruled by the Roman Empire at this time and Rome stayed in power throughout the life of Jesus.

The Jewish community that Jesus was born into was not the same Israel He would have encountered had He been born one thousand years earlier. A person could cease visiting temple prostitutes and still be completely driven by lust inside. Remember, hypocrisy is always a heart issue.

The Pharisees were a very influential Jew party during Jesus' time on the Earth.

Historically, the people of Israel had broken even the most basic commandments by serving idols and foreign gods. It is important to understand that the sect of the Pharisees had good intentions. It is not fair to assume that every Pharisee was wicked, despite the descriptions given in the New Testament.

We also need to realize that there were some Pharisees who were on the right track. Some did love the Lord and honored Jesus, like Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea.

Hypocrite:
1. noun. a person who pretends to be what he or she is not; one who pretends to be what he or she is not; one who pretends to be better than they really are so; or to be pious, virtuous, etc. without really being so.

We Have Looked In-Depth At Hypocrisy in the lives of the Israelites in the Old Testament, and we have also encountered the double-minded Pharisees of Jesus' time. Neither the Israelites nor the Pharisees were born again believers, or even had a full knowledge of the New Covenant.

John Calvin was a follower of Christ with a great understanding of Scripture. He understood what the Bible teaches about looking for spiritual fruit. What he actually taught was that if you are genuinely converted, there has to be evidence of it in your life. He taught that true conversion was an irreversible decision on the Lord's part. He taught that the moment you are converted, your salvation is eternally secure. There would be no way for a true Christian to ever go back into habitual sin and fall away. That is not an option in Calvin's teaching.

Joseph Arminius was also a godly man who studied the Word of God. He agreed with Calvin that if you were truly saved, your life would have spiritual fruit as evidence. The major point they differed on - in regards to the permanence of salvation - is that Arminius believed that a person could fall so far away from God that they could 'lose' or 'reject' their salvation. He believed that humans had more free will in cooperating with God in salvation than Calvin did.

According to Calvin's interpretation of Scripture, the lack of fruit is in itself proof that the person was never truly converted. The Arminians would say to the same person that the lack of fruit is evidence that they either were never saved in the first place, or they are backslidden and in danger of losing (or rejecting) their salvation. Either that person needs to repent (and either return to Christ or be saved) or they are in danger of Hell.

The kind of fruit that we should be looking for is in our character and walk with the Lord.

Hypocrites need to examine whether or not their beliefs actually line up with the whole teaching of the Bible.

In the Kingdom, we humble ourselves and the Lord gives promotion to us. When Jesus gave the parable of the feast in Luke 14, He said:

But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, "Friend, move up to a better place." Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

Dustin Renz is a minister with a passion to see the Body of Christ become all that God has created it to be. He is the founder of Make Way Ministries, which exists to see the Body of Christ awaken, mature and arise to its responsibility in these last days.