LA PALABRA DIARIA DE DIOS

“ He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. ” (Psalm 91:1) (Read by Max McLean. Provided by Zondervan.)

Thursday, July 14, 2005

PARA LA MAMA







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When You Thought I Wasn't Looking



When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator, and I wanted to paint another one.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you feed a stray cat, and I learned that it was good to be kind to animals.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you make my favorite cake for me and I learned that the little things can be the special things in life.





When you thought I wasn't looking, I heard you say a prayer, and I knew there is a God I could always talk to and I learned to trust Him.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you make a meal and take it to a friend who was sick, and I learned that we all have to help take care of each other.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you give your time and money to help people who had nothing, and I learned that those who have something should give to those who don't.



When you thought I wasn't looking, I felt you kiss me goodnight and I felt safe and loved.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw tears come from your eyes and I learned that sometimes things hurt, but it's all right to cry.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I learned most of life's lessons that I need to know to be a good and productive person when I grow up.




When you thought I wasn't looking, I looked at you and wanted to say, "Thanks for all the things I saw when you thought I wasn't looking."









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GOD SAID NO!!!!







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God Said, NO



I asked God to take away my pride.
God said, No.
It is not for me to take away, but for you to give it up.



I asked God to make my handicapped child whole.
God said, No.
His spirit is whole, his body is only temporary



I asked God to grant me patience.
God said, No.
Patience is a by product of tribulations; it isn't granted, it is learned.



I asked God to give me happiness.
God said, No.
I give you blessings; Happiness is up to you.



I asked God to spare me pain.
God said, No.
Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares and brings you closer to Me.


I asked God for all things that I might enjoy life.
God said, No.
I will give you life, so that you may enjoy all things.



I ask God to help me LOVE others, as much as He loves me.
God said...Ahhhh, finally you have the idea.

If you love God, share love!

THIS DAY IS YOURS DON'T THROW IT AWAY



"To the world you might be one person, but to one person you just might be the world"

written by Claudia Minden Weisz



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FOOTPRINTS







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Footprints in the Sand







One night a man had a dream. He dreamed
he was walking along the beach with the LORD.


Across the sky flashed scenes from his life.
For each scene he noticed two sets of
footprints in the sand: one belonging
to him, and the other to the LORD.


When the last scene of his life flashed before him,
he looked back at the footprints in the sand.


He noticed that many times along the path of
his life there was only one set of footprints.


He also noticed that it happened at the very
lowest and saddest times in his life.


This really bothered him and he
questioned the LORD about it:


"LORD, you said that once I decided to follow
you, you'd walk with me all the way.
But I have noticed that during the most
troublesome times in my life,
there is only one set of footprints.
I don't understand why when
I needed you most you would leave me."

The LORD replied:


"My son, my precious child,
I love you and I would never leave you.
During your times of trial and suffering,
when you see only one set of footprints,
it was then that I carried you."



written by Mary Stevenson







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Friday, June 24, 2005

DREAM BOOK






Thursday, June 23, 2005

LAS CUATRO LEYES ESPIRITUALES

¿conoces las
CUATRO LEYES ESPIRITUALES?

[Read the Four Spiritual Laws in Your Language ]


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"Así como hay leyes que rigen el Universo, también hay leyes espirituales que rigen nuestra relación con Dios."

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PRIMERA LEY

Dios te AMA, y tiene un PLAN MARAVILLOSO para tu vida.

(Los textos de las Sagradas Escrituras contenidos en este folleto, de ser posible, deben leerse directamente de la Biblia.)

El amor de Dios
"Porque de tal manera amó Dios al mundo, que ha dado a Su Hijo unigénito, para que todo aquel que en El cree, no se pierda, mas tenga vida eterna." (Juan 3:16)

El proposito de Dios
(Cristo afirma) "Yo he venido para que tengan vida, y para que la tengan en abundancia" (Una vida completa y con propósito). (Juan 10:10)

¿Por qué la mayoría de personas no experimentan la vida en abundancia?



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Porque
SEGUNDA LEY

El hombre es PECADOR y esta SEPARADO de Dios; por lo tanto no puede conocer ni experimentar el amor y el plan de Dios para su vida.

El hombre es pecador
"Por cuanto todos pecaron, y están destituidos de la gloria de Dios." (Romanos 3:23)

El hombre fue creado para tener relación perfecta con Dios, pero debido a su egocentrismo y desobediencia, escogió su propio camino y la relación con Dios se interrumpió. Esta acto de voluntad propia que se manifiesta por una actitud de rebelión activa o indiferencia pasiva, es una evidencia de lo que la Biblia llama pecado.

Esta separado
"Porque la paga del pecado es muerte" [separación espiritual de Dios] (Romanos 6:23)

Dios es santo y el hombre pecador. Un gran abismo les separa. El hombre trata continuamente de encontrar a Dios y la vida abundante mediante su propio esfuerzo,"no haciendo mal a nadie", con una vida recta, con filosofías, etc. pero todas sus tentativas son en vano


La Tercera Ley nos da la única solución a este problema.....



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TERCERA LEY

Jesucristo es la UNICA provision de Dios para el pecador. Solo en el, puedes conocer el amor y el proposito de Dios para tu vida.

El Murio en Lugar Nuestro
"Mas Dios muestra su amor para con nosotros, en que siendo aún pecadores, Cristo murió por nosotros" (Romanos 5:8).

El Resucito
"Cristo murió por nuestros pecados... Fue sepultado..., Resucitó al tercer día, conforme a las Escrituras;... Y apareció a Cefas... Y después a los doce... Después apareció a más de quinientos." (1a Corintios 15:3-6).

El es el Unico Camino
"Jesús le dijo: Yo soy el camino, y la verdad, y la vida; nadie viene al Padre, sino por mí" (Juan 14:6).

Dios ha salvado el abismo que nos mantenia separados de El, al enviar a Su Hijo, Jesucristo, para que muriera en la cruz en nuestro lugar.


No es suficiente conocer estas tres leyes.



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CUARTA LEY

Debemos RECIBIR a Jesucristo como Señor y Salvador mediante una invitacion personal; entonces podremos conocer y experimentar el amor y proposito de Dios para nuestras vidas.

Debemos Recibir a Cristo
"Mas a todos los que le recibieron, a los que creen en su nombre, les dio potestad de ser hechos hijos de Dios." (Juan 1:12)

Recibimos a Cristo Por Fe
"Porque por gracia sois salvos por medio de la fe; y esto no de vosotros, pues es don de Dios; no por obras, para que nadie se gloríe." (Efesios 2:8-9)

Recibimos a Cristo Mediante Una Invitacion Personal:
(Cristo afirma) "He aquí yo estoy a la puerta y llamo; si alguno oye mi voz y abre la puerta, entraré en él" (Apocalipsis 3:20). El recibir a Cristo implica volvernos a Dios (arrepentimiento) confiando que Cristo viene a nuestros vidas, perdona nuestros pecados y hace de nosotros la persona que quiere que seamos. No es suficiente dar un asentimiento intelectual a sus pretensiones ni aún tener una experiencia emocionmal.


Estos dos círculos representan dos clases de vidas:


¿Cuál de estos dos círculo representa tu vida?
¿Cuál te gustaría que representaràa tu vida?

¿Tienes alguna razón pór la cual no deseas recibir a Cristo ahora?



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A continuación se explica cómo puedes recibir a Cristo:
PUEDES RECIBIR A CRISTO AHORA MISMO MEDIANTE LA FE EXPRESADA EN UNA ORACION

(La oración es hablar con Dios)

Dios conoce su corazón y no tiene tanto interés en tus palabras, sino más bien en la actitud de tu corazón. Te sugiero como guía la siguiente oración.


"Señor Jesucristo, te necesito. Te abro la puerta de mi vida y te recibo como mi Señor y Salvador. Gracias por perdonar mis pecados. Toma el control del trono de mi vida. Hazme la clase de persona que quieres que sea."
¿Expresa esta oración el deseo de tu corazón?
Si lo expresa, ahora mismo ora y Cristo vendrá a tu vida como El lo ha prometido.



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Como Estar Seguro De Que Cristo Mora en Su Vida:
¿Invitaste a Cristo a entrar en tu vida? Según su promesa, contenida en Apocalipsis 3:20. ¿Donde está Cristo ahora en relación contigo? Cristo dijo que entraría en tu vida. ¿Te engañaría? ¿Sobre qué autoridad te basas para saber que Dios ha contestado tu oración? (En la fidelidad de Dios y su Palabra.)

La Biblia Promete Vida Eterna a Todos Los Que Reciben a Cristo
"Y éste es el testimonio: Que Dios nos ha dado vida eterna; y esta vida está en su hijo. El que tiene al Hijo, tiene la vida; el que no tiene al Hijo de Dios no tiene la vida. Estas cosas os he escrito a vosotros que creéis en el nombre del Hijo de Dios, para que sepáis que tenéis vida eterna, (1. Juan 5:11-13).

De frecuentemente gracias a Dios porque Cristo ya está en tu vida y porque El nunca te dejará (Hebreos 13:5) Puedes saber que Cristo está viviendo dentro de ti y que tienes vida eterna, desde el momento en que le invitaste, basándote en Su promesa. El no engañará.

¿Qué pasa con los sentimientos?



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No Depende De Los Sentimientos

La promesa de la Palabra de Dios, no nuestros sentimientos, es nuestra autoridad. El cristiano vive por fe (confiando) en la fidelidad de Dios y su Palabra.

Este diagrama del tren ilustra la relación entre el hecho (Dios y Su Palabra), fé (nuestra confianza en Dios y su Palabra) y sentimientos (el resultado de nuestra fe y la obediencia) (Juan 14:21).



El tren correrá con o sin el furgón. De todas formas, sería absurdo intentar hacer correr el tren por el furgón. De la mismo manera, nosotros, como cristianos, no dependemos de nuestros sentimientos o emociones, sino que ponemos nuestra fe (confianza) en la fidelidad de Dios y las promesas de Su Palabra.



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Ahora Que Has Recibido A Cristo

En el momento que tú, por un acto de fe, recibiste a Cristo, han sucedido muchas cosas, entre ellas las siguientes:

Cristo entró en tu vida (Apocalipsis 3:20 y Colosenses 1:27).
Tus pecados fueron perdonados (Colosenses 1:14).
Has venido a ser un hijo de Dios (Juan 1:12).
Has émpezado la gran aventura para la cual Dios te ha creado (Juan 10:10, 2a Corintios 5:17 y 1a Tesalonicenses 5:18).

¿Puede pensar en alguna cosa más maravillosa que te haya podido suceder y más importante que recibir a Cristo? ¿Te gustaría dar gracias a Dios ahora mismo por lo que El ha hecho por ti? El simple hecho de darle gracias a Dios demuestra tu fe.

¿Y ahora qué?



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Sugerencias Para El Crecimiento Cristiano

El crecimiento espiritual es resultado de confiar en Jesucristo. "El justo vivirá por fe" (Gálatas 3:11). Una vida de fe que te capacitará para confiar en Dios progresivamente en cada detalle de tu vida y a practicar lo siguiente:

C. Conversa con Dios en oración diariamente (Juan 15:7).

R. Recurre a la Biblia, estudiándola diariamente (Hechos 17:11).
Empieza con el Evangelio de San Juan.

I. Insiste en confiar a Dios cada aspecto de tu vida (1a Pedro 5:7).

S. Sé lleno del Espíritu de Cristo. Permítele vivir su vida en tí (Gálatas 5:16-17; Hechos 1:8).

T. Testifica a otros de Cristo verbalmente y con Tu vida (Mateo 4:19, Juan 15:8).

O. Obedece a Dios momento a momento (Juan 14:21).





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La Importancia Del Compañerismo Cristiano

En Hebreos 10:25, se nos amonesta "no dejando de reunirnos." Varios troncos de árbol arden fuertemente cuando están juntos, pero al separarlos se apagan. Lo mismo acontece en tu relación con otros cristianos. Si no perteneces a ninguna iglesia, no esperes a ser invitado. Toma la iniciativa; llama o visita a un ministro de Dios, en una iglesia cercana en donde se exalte a Cristo y predique su Palabra. Empieza esta semana y haz planes para asistir a ella regularmente.

¿Quieres compartir tu descubrimiento?



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DEVOTIONALS

Promises to God Based on Promises from God


He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." So we may boldly say: "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?" (Hebrews 13:5-6)


Another acceptable category of promises to God involves those based on His promises to us. God has already promised to be with us every step of our pilgrimage here on earth. "I will never leave you nor forsake you." Consequently, we can declare with great confidence: "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me? "


The Lord knows our vulnerability to fear, particularly, the fear of man. "The fear of man brings a snare" (Proverbs 29:25). Many traps and entanglements await those who are afraid of man's opinions or actions. Abraham jeopardized his own wife, because he was afraid of the Egyptians. "Therefore it will happen, when the Egyptians see you, that they will say, 'This is his wife'; and they will kill me, but they will let you live. Please say you are my sister, that it may be well with me for your sake, and that I may live because of you" (Genesis 12:12-13). King Saul sinned against God, because he feared the people. "Then Saul said to Samuel, 'I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice' " (1 Samuel 15:24). Of course, God's protection against such snares is to depend upon Him, when we are tempted to fear man. "The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe."


The Lord has given many promises of His presence with His people to protect them from man. To Joshua, God promised: "No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you" (Joshua 1:5). To Paul, the Lord promised: "Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city" (Acts 18:9-10). To every believer in Christ, He has promised: "Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20). Therefore, "we may boldly say: 'The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?' "


When our promises are based on the promises of God, the faithfulness and the ability of God become their validation.


Dear Lord, You know my tendency to think and act from fear of what others might say or do. When I am tempted to respond in this carnal manner, please remind me of Your constant presence. I want to trust You as my helper and not fear what man may do, Amen.

THE 4 SPIRITUAL LAWS

THE FOUR SPIRITUAL LAWS




1. God LOVES you and offers a wonderful PLAN for your life.

(References contained on this Home Page are from the Bible and should be read in context wherever possible.)

God's Love
"God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life"
(John 3:16 NIV).

God's Plan
[Christ speaking] "I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly" [that it might be full and meaningful] (John 10:10).

Why is it that most people are not experiencing the abundant life?
Because...



2. Man is SINFUL and SEPARATED from God. Therefore, he cannot know and experience God's love and plan for his life.


Man Is Sinful
"All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Man was created to have fellowship with God; but, because of his stubborn self-will, he chose to go his own independent way, and fellowship with God was broken. This self-will, characterized by an attitude of active rebellion or passive indifference, is an evidence of what the Bible calls sin.

Man Is Separated
"The wages of sin is death" [spiritual separation from God] (Romans 6:23).




This diagram illustrates that God is holy and man is sinful. A great gulf separates the two. The arrows illustrate that man is continually trying to reach God and the abundant life through his own efforts, such as a good life, philosophy, or religion - but he inevitably fails.

The third law explains the only way to bridge this gulf...




3. Jesus Christ is God's ONLY provision for man's sin. Through Him you can know and experience God's love and plan for your life.


He Died in Our Place
"God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).

He Rose From the Dead
"Christ died for our sins...He was buried...He was raised on the third day, according to the Scriptures...He appeared to Peter, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred..."
(1 Corinthians 15:3-6).


He Is the Only Way to God
"Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me'" (John 14:6).






This diagram illustrates that God has bridged the gulf which separates us from Him by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross in our place to pay the penalty for our sins.

It is not enough just to know these three laws...




4. We must individually RECEIVE Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; then we can know and experience God's love and plan for our lives.


We Must Receive Christ
"As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name" (John 1:12)

We Receive Christ Through Faith
"By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast" (Ephesians 2:8,9).

When We Receive Christ, We Experience a New Birth
(Read John 3:1-8.)

We Receive Christ by Personal Invitation
[Christ speaking] "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him"
(Revelation 3:20).

Receiving Christ involves turning to God from self (repentance) and trusting Christ to come into our lives to forgive our sins and to make us what He wants us to be. Just to agree intellectually that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died on the cross for our sins is not enough. Nor is it enough to have an emotional experience. We receive Jesus Christ by faith, as an act of the will.

These two circles represent two kinds of lives:





Which circle best describes your life?
Which circle would you like to have represent your life?

The following explains how you can receive Christ:







You can receive Christ right now by faith through prayer
(Prayer is talking to God)

God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart. The following is a suggested prayer:

"Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be."

Does this prayer express the desire of your heart? If it does, I invite you to pray this prayer right now and Christ will come into your life, as He promised.

Did you pray this prayer?
YES

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

FROM CHILDRENS

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Free-giveness and Other Truths From Children
One father shared how his boys had been overtired and a bit testy on a recent late evening. As Wayne was putting five-year-old Nathan to bed, the little boy put his arms around his dad and implored, "Daddy, free-give me."

Oh the wonderful things small children do with words! Inventing new ones, they bring totally new pictures to our brains.

One called grape juice "purple milk." Another, noticing one of the first strands of gray in my hair said, "It looks like you have tinsel in your hair." Somehow I didn't mind it so much with her word; it was a celebratory piece of magic.

Small children, in spite of sometimes being maddening to the point of exhaustion and exasperation, have such a beautiful way of helping us get in touch with God, our larger priorities and our emotions. These little people come to us fresh from the realm of God, wherever it is that our souls and spirits reside. We would do well to pay attention to the lessons they teach inadvertently and at times, out loud.

"Free-give me"; what a concept. It goes a bit beyond forgiveness and hints at the true beauty of what happens when we truly forgive. We give ourselves and the other person a chance to let go of nasty, even tragic experiences and bitter feelings, and the freedom and the opportunity to move on.

Words from children oftentimes take the form of an honest question and can help us get back in touch with some forgotten truth about God. I was driving the preschool carpool which included a little boy named Brian. In the busy weeks before Christmas, he was chattering about not believing in Santa, because "how could he come down a chimney?" Then this four-year-old followed up by asking, "Why doesn't God come down?" Good question! I thought he meant something along the lines of why doesn't God come down and be visible and responded accordingly. But it made me ponder the great theological truth of how we do see God in the world.

Sometimes children offer a simple gesture, or even just a touch or hug that speaks more than words. One of my favorite stories along these lines comes from a book, The Ministry of the Child, by Dennis C. Benson and Stan J. Stewart (Abingdon Press, 1979), about a woman who had just discovered lumps in her body, and was awaiting tests. She (and her minister) were expecting the worst, because she had not been looking or feeling well for weeks. The minister searched long and hard for just the right text to use in his Sunday sermon, the right prayers and the right words. He knew she would be looking for a word of comfort from God through him as a minister.

"Sometimes, the more you prepare, the worse it gets. That Sunday the worship was heavy. The fine phrases didn't flow, the warmth I so much wished to project seemed to have evaporated." He felt like he was delivering her eulogy instead of a word of hope and comfort.

As the minister launched into his third point, "a small toddler left his parents in a pew and made his way down the aisle. At her row, he paused, turned, and climbed onto the seat. He sat there beside her. I don't think he said anything; just snuggled in next to her. Her arm encircled him. He responded with a hug. He sat with her for only a minute or so, and then he went back to his parents. But in her face, I saw it; warmth and hope once again lived in her eyes and courage shone in her bearing. She had received her gospel for the day. As I walked home, I thought about the way we tend to presume that messages from God could come only through the pulpit. I thought about what she said on her way out, 'The service was such a help,' she said. I knew why, and I thanked God."

Thank God for the special children in your life, no matter what age they are and no matter who their parents are. Allow their sometimes eternal questions and babbling to help you get in touch with eternal priorities.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

PLAN OF SALVATION

Plan of Salvation
No one is good enough.
"There is no one righteous, not even one;" - Romans 3:10
You are a sinner.
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." - Romans 3:23
God loves us, even though we are sinners.
"But God demonstrates His Love for us, in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." - Romans 5:8
The provision - God's Gift.
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." - Romans 6:23
"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." - Ephesians 2:8-9
There must be repentance of sin (turning away from sin).
"Repent and believe the Good News!" - Mark 1:15
The required action - believe and confess.
"That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, YOU WILL BE SAVED. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved." - Romans 10:9-10
The result - Salvation.
"Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord WILL BE SAVED." - Romans 10:13
"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." - Acts 4:12







Do you want to go to heaven?

Friday, June 10, 2005

THE PARABLES OF JESUS

The Parables of Jesus : EASY FINDER

What Is a Parable?
Parables make up about 35% of Jesus' recorded sayings, so it is important to understand them. Jesus repeatedly uses illustrations from daily life in his parables, but the parables are not merely illustrations in his preaching: they art the preaching. Though the illustrations are drawn from familiar objects and events, they often include exaggeration and unexpected behavior.

The Kingdom
The parables focus on God and his kingdom, and in doing so reveal what kind of God he is, the way in which he works and what he expects of human beings. Because many of the parables focus on the kingdom, some also reveal aspects of Jesus' mission. The parables are also intended to challenge and call to a decision: they are told in order to bring the listener to concede a point which he or she has not regarded as relevant to himself or herself.

Yet we also read in Mark 4:10-12 that Jesus taught in parables to conceal his message. Some are far from self-evident and teaching in this way helped to conceal Jesus' message from those hostile to him. Teaching by parable also offered aid to the memory and could serve to by-pass resistance in Jesus' listeners.

The following are Jesus' parables about the Kingdom:


Parables of The Kingdom Matthew Mark Luke
The sower 13:3-9,
18-23 4:3-9,
13-20 8:5-8,
11-15
Growing seed 4:26-29
Weeds 13:24-30,
36-43
Mustard seed 13:31-32 4:30-32 13:18-19
Yeast 13:33 13:20-21
The pearl 13:45-46
The hidden treasure 13:44
The fishing net 13:47-50
The unwilling children 11:16-19 7:31-35
The unfruitful fig tree 13:6-9
The workers in the vineyard 20:1-16
The two brothers 21:28-32
The royal wedding feast 22:1-14
The great dinner 14:16-24
The wicked workers 21:33-46 12:1-12 20:9-19
Lost sheep 18:12-14 15:3-7
Lost coin 15:8-10
Lost son 15:11-32
The two creditors 7:41-47
The Pharisee and the tax-collector 18:9-14
The rich man and Lazarus 16:19-31
The watchful servants 12:35-40
Ten girls at a wedding 25:1-13
The unreliable servant 24:45-51 12:42-46
The five talents 25:14:30
The ten gold coins 19:11-27
The rich fool 12:16-21
Good Samaritan 10:25-37
The unforgiving servant 18:23-35
The troublesome friend 11:5-8
The dishonest manager 16:1-13
The unjust judge 18:1-8

THE MIRACLES OF JESUS

The Miracles of Jesus : EASY FINDER

Three things are needed to make a true miracle: the event must be visible, the event must go beyond the powers of nature and the event must be the sign of a divine message.

Jesus did many miracles or signs. They showed his power, his love for people and his desire to help.

Jesus' miracles explained his mission, revealed his divinity, proved him to be the Messiah and began the world's renewal.

Miracles in John
John's Gospel records seven miracles, apart from the death and resurrection of Jesus. John chose particular miracles to help his readers see Jesus as the Son of God and to show the need to trust in him.



Healings Matthew Mark Luke John
Son of government official 4:46-54
Sick man at pool 5:1-18
Man in synagogue 1:21-28 4:31-37
Man with skin disease 8:1-4 1:40-45 5:12-16
Roman officer's servant 8:5-13 7:1-10
Dead son of a widow 7:11-15
Peter's mother-in-law 8:14-15 1:29-31 4:38-39
An uncontrollable man 5:1-20 8:26-39
Paralysed man 9:1-8 2:1-12 5:17-26
Woman with severe bleeding 9:20-22 5:25-34 8:43-48
Dead girl 9:18-26 5:21-43 8:40-56
Dumb man 9:32-34
Man with a paralyses hand 12:9-14 3:1-6 6:6-11
Blind and dumb man 12:22-23 11:14
Canaanite woman's daughter 15:21-28 7:24-30
Deaf and dumb man 7:31-37
Blind man at Bethsaida 8:22-26
Boy with epilepsy 17:14-20 9:14-29 9:37-43
Blind Bartimaeus 10:46-52 18:35-43
Woman with a bad back 13:10-17
Sick man 14:1-6
Man born blind 9:1-41
Dead friend named Lazarus 11:1-44
Slave's ear 22:49-51
Crowd in Capernaum 8:16-17 1:32-34 4:40-41
Two blind men 9:27-31
Crowd by Lake Galilee 3:7-12
Crowd on the hillsides by Galilee 15:29-31
Ten men 17:11-19
Control over Laws of Nature
Water changed into wine 2:1-11
Catch of fish 5:1-11
Jesus calms a storm 8:23-27 4:35-41 8:22-25
5,000 men alone are fed 14:13-21 6:30-44 9:10-17 6:1-15
Jesus walks on the water 14:22-33 6:45-52 6:16-21
4,000 men alone are fed 15:32-39 8:1-10
A fish and the payment of taxes 17:24-27
Fig tree withers away 21:18-22 11:12-14, 20-24
Another catch of fish 21:1-11
Christ conquers death 28:1-10 16:1-11 24:1-12 20:1-18

THE MIRACLES OF JESUS

The Miracles of Jesus : EASY FINDER

Three things are needed to make a true miracle: the event must be visible, the event must go beyond the powers of nature and the event must be the sign of a divine message.

Jesus did many miracles or signs. They showed his power, his love for people and his desire to help.

Jesus' miracles explained his mission, revealed his divinity, proved him to be the Messiah and began the world's renewal.

Miracles in John
John's Gospel records seven miracles, apart from the death and resurrection of Jesus. John chose particular miracles to help his readers see Jesus as the Son of God and to show the need to trust in him.



Healings Matthew Mark Luke John
Son of government official 4:46-54
Sick man at pool 5:1-18
Man in synagogue 1:21-28 4:31-37
Man with skin disease 8:1-4 1:40-45 5:12-16
Roman officer's servant 8:5-13 7:1-10
Dead son of a widow 7:11-15
Peter's mother-in-law 8:14-15 1:29-31 4:38-39
An uncontrollable man 5:1-20 8:26-39
Paralysed man 9:1-8 2:1-12 5:17-26
Woman with severe bleeding 9:20-22 5:25-34 8:43-48
Dead girl 9:18-26 5:21-43 8:40-56
Dumb man 9:32-34
Man with a paralyses hand 12:9-14 3:1-6 6:6-11
Blind and dumb man 12:22-23 11:14
Canaanite woman's daughter 15:21-28 7:24-30
Deaf and dumb man 7:31-37
Blind man at Bethsaida 8:22-26
Boy with epilepsy 17:14-20 9:14-29 9:37-43
Blind Bartimaeus 10:46-52 18:35-43
Woman with a bad back 13:10-17
Sick man 14:1-6
Man born blind 9:1-41
Dead friend named Lazarus 11:1-44
Slave's ear 22:49-51
Crowd in Capernaum 8:16-17 1:32-34 4:40-41
Two blind men 9:27-31
Crowd by Lake Galilee 3:7-12
Crowd on the hillsides by Galilee 15:29-31
Ten men 17:11-19
Control over Laws of Nature
Water changed into wine 2:1-11
Catch of fish 5:1-11
Jesus calms a storm 8:23-27 4:35-41 8:22-25
5,000 men alone are fed 14:13-21 6:30-44 9:10-17 6:1-15
Jesus walks on the water 14:22-33 6:45-52 6:16-21
4,000 men alone are fed 15:32-39 8:1-10
A fish and the payment of taxes 17:24-27
Fig tree withers away 21:18-22 11:12-14, 20-24
Another catch of fish 21:1-11
Christ conquers death 28:1-10 16:1-11 24:1-12 20:1-18

Thursday, June 09, 2005

IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH

LESSON
THREE 3
In Spirit and in Truth
The church is made up of people from
different backgrounds with a multitude of
gifts and abilities. The variety in the church
testifies to the unifying power of Christ.
Every believer seeks to glorify God using
the gifts he or she possesses. But what does
Scripture teach us about worship when we
gather with other believers? In this lesson,
you will learn how God wants his people
to worship together as one body.
STARTER
1. How would you describe the worship at the church you attend?
2. What do you enjoy most about the worship at your church?
STUDY
Read the following three sets of Bible passages and application notes.
Answer the questions for each set before moving on to the next.
John 4:23-24
K J V
But the hour cometh,
and now is, when the true
worshipers shall worship
the Father in spirit and in
truth: for the Father
seeketh such to worship
him. God is a Spirit: and
they that worship him
must worship him in
spirit and in truth.
N I V
Yet a time is coming
and has now come when
the true worshipers will
worship the Father in
spirit and truth, for they
are the kind of worshipers
the Father seeks. God is
spirit, and his worshipers
must worship in spirit and
in truth.
N L T
But the time is coming
and is already here
when true worshipers
will worship the Father
in spirit and in truth. The
Father is looking for anyone
who will worship him
that way. For God is
Spirit, so those who worship
him must worship in
spirit and in truth.
When it comes to worship, attitude is everything. Jesus explained to the woman at the well
that the location of worship is not nearly as important as the attitude of the worshipers. The
phrase “God is spirit” means that he is not a physical being limited to one place. He is present
everywhere, and he can be worshiped anywhere, at any time. It is not where we worship that
counts but how we worship.
3. What does it mean to worship God “in spirit and in truth”?
4. How does the Holy Spirit help us worship?
5. What are the qualities of “the kind of worshipers the Father seeks”?
L E S S O N 3 20
6. How can you develop those qualities?
1 Chronicles 16:8-12
K J V
Give thanks unto the
LORD, call upon his
name, make known his
deeds among the people.
Sing unto him, sing
psalms unto him, talk ye
of all his wondrous
works. Glory ye in his
holy name: let the heart of
them rejoice that seek the
LORD. Seek the LORD and
his strength, seek his face
continually. Remember
his marvellous works that
he hath done, his wonders,
and the judgments
of his mouth.
N I V
Give thanks to the
LORD, call on his name;
make known among the
nations what he has done.
Sing to him, sing praise
to him; tell of all his wonderful
acts. Glory in his
holy name; let the hearts
of those who seek the
LORD rejoice. Look to the
LORD and his strength;
seek his face always.
Remember the wonders he
has done, his miracles,
and the judgments he pronounced.
N L T
Give thanks to the
LORD and proclaim his
greatness. Let the whole
world know what he has
done. Sing to him; yes,
sing his praises. Tell
everyone about his
miracles. Exult in his
holy name; O worshipers
of the LORD, rejoice!
Search for the LORD and
for his strength, and
keep on searching.
Think of the wonderful
works he has done, the
miracles, and the judgments
he handed down.
David’s song of praise contains two important principles of worship: (1) We should remember what
God has done, and (2) we should tell others about it. David achieved both principles when he led the
people in worship, reminding them of God’s wonderful acts and miracles. When Christians remind one
another of God’s faithfulness, they give God glory and are encouraged to trust him with their future.
7. What keeps us from telling others about God’s work in our lives?
8. How does telling others about God’s faithfulness show our love for
God and for others?
21 L E S S O N 3
9. When has the testimony of another believer inspired you to worship
God?
10. What examples of God’s faithfulness to you could you share with
others?
1 Corinthians 14:26, 40
K J V
How is it then,
brethren? when ye come
together, every one of you
hath a psalm, hath a doctrine,
hath a tongue, hath
a revelation, hath an
interpretation. Let all
things be done unto edifying.
. . . Let all things be
done decently and in
order.
N I V
What then shall we
say, brothers? When you
come together, everyone
has a hymn, or a word of
instruction, a revelation,
a tongue or an interpretation.
All of these must be
done for the strengthening
of the church. . . . But
everything should be done
in a fitting and orderly
way.
N L T
Well, my brothers and
sisters, let’s summarize
what I am saying. When
you meet, one will sing,
another will teach, another
will tell some special revelation
God has given, one
will speak in an unknown
language, while another
will interpret what is said.
But everything that is
done must be useful to all
and build them up in the
Lord. . . . But be sure that
everything is done properly
and in order.
Worship is vital to the life of the whole church. Everything done in corporate worship must
benefit those present. Singing, preaching, reading of Scripture, and the exercise of other spiritual
gifts must be offered in a spirit of love so as to strengthen the faith and enhance the worship
of other believers. Order is important, too, for it keeps reverence for God and respect for
other worshipers in focus. As Paul notes, a visitor to a worship service should “fall down and
worship God, exclaiming, ‘God is really among you!’” (1 Corinthians 14:25, NIV).
L E S S O N 3 22
11. How do first-time visitors typically react to the worship services at
your church?
12. What are the dangers of disorderly worship?
13. What can you do if you feel uncomfortable or unable to contribute
to the worship at your church?
14. How can you improve the way you prepare for and participate in
worship?
SUMMARY
We do not have to guess about the right way to worship—the Bible
describes the kind of worship that pleases God. Scripture emphasizes the
importance of (1) worshiping in spirit and in truth, (2) telling others what
God has done, (3) using our spiritual gifts to help others worship, and
(4) worshiping in an orderly way so that all the members of the church
will benefit. God wants us to join with other believers so that we can help
each other worship. To neglect worship services is to spurn the encouragement
and example of other believers. Remember, the goal of corporate
worship is to glorify God and strengthen one another in the Lord.
23 L E S S O N 3
15. How can you more fully worship God in spirit and in truth the next
time you worship?
SUPPLEMENTAL QUESTIONS
Read Numbers 29:1-6.
God instructed the Israelites to set aside certain days to celebrate and to worship him. This
passage describes one of those days known as the Feast of Trumpets. The Feast of Trumpets
gives us important principles to follow in our worship today: (1) The people gathered together
to celebrate and worship. Joining with other believers to worship is mutually edifying. (2) The
normal routine was suspended, and no hard work was done. It takes time to worship, and
setting aside the time allows us to adjust our attitudes beforehand and reflect afterward.
(3) The people sacrificed animals as burnt offerings to God. We show our commitment to God
when we give something of value to him.
16. What special days do we set aside for celebration and worship?
17. How do you change your routine during days or seasons that are
important to the life of the church (such as Easter, Advent, or Christmas)?
18. How do you need to change your weekend routine to better
prepare for and reflect on worship?
Read 1 Chronicles 24:1-19.
The temple service in the Old Testament was highly structured, but this did not hinder the Spirit
of God. Rather, it provided an orderly setting for worship. Sometimes we feel that planning and
L E S S O N 3 24
structure are unspiritual activities that may hinder spontaneity in worship. But order and structure
can free us to respond to God. Order brings glory to God as we experience the joy, freedom,
and calm that come when we have wisely prepared to worship him.
19. How do you usually prepare for worship?
20. What often keeps us from preparing our hearts for worship?
21. How can you contribute to the planning and preparation for worship
at your church?
Read Romans 12:4-6.
God gives all believers spiritual gifts to use for the benefit of the church. You may not be a
master musician, a prophet, or a teacher, but God appreciates whatever you have to offer.
Keep in mind that there are many different ways to contribute to worship.
22. How has your worship been enhanced by the gifts and abilities of
fellow believers?
23. How can having pride in one’s spiritual gifts interfere with a
person’s worship?
24. What spiritual gift has God given you to contribute to the worship
at your church?
25 L E S S O N 3
25. How can you use that spiritual gift in a way that will benefit others
in the church?
Read Romans 12:1-2.
In worship, we give God the freedom to renew our minds and change us from the inside out.
We willingly offer ourselves as “living sacrifices,” putting our minds at his disposal. This sacrifice
of our own desires becomes a “spiritual act of worship.” Because he wants only what is
best for us, and because he gave his Son to make our new lives possible, we should joyfully
give ourselves to be used of God.
26. How can worship motivate you to be a living sacrifice?
27. How are other believers helped when we give ourselves to God?
28. How can you be a living sacrifice to God this week?
Read 1 Timothy 2:1-15.
This passage gives us more practical advice about corporate worship. Paul warns that anger
and strife make prayer and worship difficult. That is why Jesus said that we should interrupt
our prayers, if necessary, to make peace with others (Matthew 5:23-24). Paul also exhorted
women to worship in quietness and respect, not flaunting their beauty or knowledge. Our
efforts should focus on pleasing God, not impressing others.
29. How can a broken relationship with a friend interfere with our worship?
L E S S O N 3 26
30. How does quietness and respect encourage worship?
31. In what relationship do you need to seek healing or restoration so
that you can worship God with an untroubled spirit?
27 L E S S O N 3

GOING TROUGH THE MOTIONS

LESSON
TWO 2
Going through the
Motions
Worship is our response to God’s
tremendous acts on our behalf. Yet too
often our gratitude subtly becomes a
casual obligation or a meaningless ritual.
Worse still, our habit of insincere worship
can blind us to unconfessed sin in our lives.
This lesson will reveal the consequences
of improper worship and will challenge
you to evaluate your motives and attitudes
as you come before God.
STARTER
1. How would you describe what worship is, and is not, to a new
Christian?
2. With what attitude do you typically enter God’s presence?
STUDY
Read the following three sets of Bible passages and application notes.
Answer the questions for each set before moving on to the next.
Genesis 4:3-7
K J V
And in process of time
it came to pass, that Cain
brought of the fruit of the
ground an offering unto
the LORD. And Abel, he
also brought of the firstlings
of his flock and of the
fat thereof. And the LORD
had respect unto Abel and
to his offering: But unto
Cain and to his offering he
had not respect. And Cain
was very wroth, and his
countenance fell. And the
LORD said unto Cain, Why
art thou wroth? and why is
thy countenance fallen? If
thou doest well, shalt thou
not be accepted?
N I V
In the course of time
Cain brought some of the
fruits of the soil as an
offering to the LORD. But
Abel brought fat portions
from some of the firstborn
of his flock. The LORD
looked with favor on Abel
and his offering, but on
Cain and his offering he
did not look with favor.
So Cain was very angry,
and his face was downcast.
Then the LORD said
to Cain, “Why are you
angry? Why is your face
downcast? If you do what
is right, will you not be
accepted?”
N L T
At harvest time Cain
brought to the LORD a
gift of his farm produce,
while Abel brought
several choice lambs from
the best of his flock. The
LORD accepted Abel’s
offering, but he did not
accept Cain’s. This made
Cain very angry and
dejected. “Why are you
so angry?” the LORD
asked him. “Why do you
look so dejected? You
will be accepted if you
respond in the right
way.”
The Bible does not tell us why God rejected Cain’s offering, but it was probably because Cain’s
attitude was improper or his offering was not up to God’s standards. In Proverbs 21:27 we
read, “The sacrifice of the wicked is detestable—how much more so when brought with evil
intent!” (NIV). God evaluates both our motives and the quality of our worship. He does not
accept improper worship. Cain’s false worship destroyed his relationship with God and eventually
led him to murder his own brother. When we do not give God the worship he deserves,
our relationships with him and others suffer.
3. For what reasons might God reject our worship?
L E S S O N 2 10
4. Why is it so easy simply to go through the motions when we worship?
5. How would you characterize a sacrifice offered with evil intent?
6. How do you think your worship of God affects your relationships
with others?
Leviticus 10:1-2
K J V
And Nadab and
Abihu, the sons of Aaron,
took either of them his
censer, and put fire
therein, and put incense
thereon, and offered
strange fire before the
LORD, which he commanded
them not. And
there went out fire from
the LORD, and devoured
them, and they died
before the LORD.
N I V
Aaron’s sons Nadab
and Abihu took their censers,
put fire in them and
added incense; and they
offered unauthorized fire
before the LORD, contrary
to his command. So
fire came out from the
presence of the LORD and
consumed them, and they
died before the LORD.
N L T
Aaron’s sons Nadab
and Abihu put coals of
fire in their incense burners
and sprinkled incense
over it. In this way, they
disobeyed the LORD by
burning before him a
different kind of fire
than he had commanded.
So fire blazed forth from
the LORD’s presence and
burned them up, and
they died there before
the LORD.
Nadab and Abihu abused their office as priests in a flagrant act of disrespect to God, who had
just reviewed with them precisely how they were to conduct worship. In response to their care-
11 L E S S O N 2
less worship, God destroyed them with a blast of fire. Performing the sacrifices was supposed
to be an act of obedience, but they did not take their duties seriously enough. We are all in
danger of making the same mistake Nadab and Abihu did when we treat lightly the holiness of
God. Do not forget that the opportunity to worship God is based on his gracious invitation to an
unworthy people; it is not a gift to be taken for granted.
7. What can we learn from this passage about the kind of worship
God demands of us?
8. In what ways, even unintentionally, do we show disrespect for God
in the way we worship?
9. What is one way we can humble ourselves before God in worship?
10. What truths in this passage can help you prepare to enter God’s
presence this week?
L E S S O N 2 12
Isaiah 29:13
K J V
Wherefore the Lord
said, Forasmuch as this
people draw near me with
their mouth, and with their
lips do honour me, but
have removed their heart
far from me, and their fear
toward me is taught by the
precept of men.
N I V
The Lord says: “These
people come near to me
with their mouth and
honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far
from me. Their worship
of me is made up only of
rules taught by men.”
N L T
And so the Lord
says, “These people say
they are mine. They
honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far
away. And their worship
of me amounts to nothing
more than human
laws learned by rote.”
The people claimed to be close to God, but they were disobedient and merely went through
the motions. Therefore, God would bring judgment upon them. Religion had become routine
instead of real. Jesus repeated Isaiah’s condemnation when he rebuked the Pharisees, the
religious leaders of his day (Matthew 15:7-9). We can also slip into lifeless routines when we
acknowledge God but fail to give him our love and devotion. If we want to be called God’s
people, we must worship him honestly and sincerely.
11. Why did Jesus hold the Pharisees up as an example of how not to
worship?
12. How can believers fall into a habit of empty, meaningless worship?
13. How do our motives and attitudes toward worship affect our worship?
14. How can we make sure that the way we worship is pleasing to God?
13 L E S S O N 2
SUMMARY
This lesson looked at three biblical examples of people breaking
their covenant with God through improper worship. Their stories reveal
the serious consequences of false worship. While true worship nurtures
love for God, false worship erodes our relationship with him! Examine
your current worship habits. If you find yourself only going through the
motions, ask God to forgive you and to reveal the joy of true worship.
15. How can you avoid the trap of simply going through the motions in
your worship of God this week?
SUPPLEMENTAL QUESTIONS
Read Leviticus 7:37-38.
God gave his people specific directions to follow when they worshiped. All of the rituals symbolized
deeper spiritual truths. But over time, the people became indifferent to the meanings of these rituals
and to God himself. Many churches today observe rituals that have lost relevance to worshipers,
but others have revitalized their worship by rediscovering the meaning and purpose behind
their customs. Whether you are struggling with private devotions or stale public worship, a rediscovery
of the Scriptures and of the actions of faithful Christians can breathe new life into old forms.
16. What rituals or traditions does your church include in worship?
17. How can you discover the meaning or purpose behind those traditions?
18. What custom or practice in your church’s worship is most meaningful
to you? Why?
L E S S O N 2 14
Read 1 Samuel 4:1-11.
The Israelites rightly recognized the great holiness of the ark, but over time they began to
regard the physical presence of the ark itself as a god. God wanted the ark to remind Israel
to worship him, not the ark. They treasured it as a good-luck charm, expecting it to protect
them from the Philistines. Their neglect of spiritual matters lulled them into a false sense of
security and idolatry. It also led to military defeat and oppression. The consequences of
Israel’s sin would linger for several years.
19. When have you seen spiritual failure result in other far-reaching
consequences?
20. How can religious customs crowd out our worship of God?
21. How can we make sure rituals and customs point us to God’s
presence without their becoming objects of worship themselves?
Read 1 Samuel 15:1-31.
This is the first of numerous places in the Bible where the theme “to obey is better than
sacrifice” is stated (see also Psalm 40:6-8; Proverbs 21:3; and Matthew 12:7). A sacrifice
was a ceremony that allowed humans to express praise or show sorrow for sins; God would
grant forgiveness based on the sacrifice. But if the person’s heart was not truly repentant
or he did not truly love God, the sacrifice became a hollow ritual. All religious ceremonies or
rituals are empty unless they are centered on love for and obedience to God.
22. Do you think Samuel was saying that sacrifice is unimportant? Why
or why not?
15 L E S S O N 2
23. How do you think the quality of our worship is related to our
preparation for worship?
24. How can you show obedience as you worship this week?
Read Jeremiah 7:1-11.
The nation of Judah worshiped, but it did so in a way that ignored its apathy and sin. Therefore,
God sent Jeremiah to the temple gates to confront the people about their false worship.
We can easily do the same as the Judeans did. Attending church, taking Communion, teaching
Sunday school, and singing in the choir are good in themselves, but they should not replace
devotion to God. The busy pace of life can cause us to be satisfied with the mere performance
of religious duties.
25. What usually motivates people to participate in church activities?
26. What activities or ministries are you involved in at your local church?
27. How can you participate in those activities in a way that honors God?
Read Malachi 1:7-14.
Malachi confronted God’s people about their false and profane worship. God’s law required
that only perfect animals be offered, but the priests were allowing the people to offer blind,
crippled, and diseased animals to God. The priests knew what God required, yet their
sacrifices were unworthy and their worship was insincere. They were lazy, arrogant, and
insensitive. God charged the priests with failing to honor him—to the point of showing
L E S S O N 2 16
contempt for his name. If we give God only our leftover money, time, and energy, we
follow the same path as those worshipers whom Malachi criticized.
28. What is an example of an unworthy offering today?
29. How freely do you give your time and money to God?
30. What can you give to God next Sunday as an act of worship?
Read Mark 7:7.
A hypocrite is someone who acts a part. He pretends to be something he is not and holds
others to a standard he has no intention of meeting. Jesus called the Pharisees hypocrites
because they appeared to be devout religious leaders but had no love for God in their hearts.
Their worship was motivated by a quest for status, wealth, and admiration. We become
hypocrites when we are satisfied with playing a part and follow certain rules of worship while
allowing our hearts to remain distant from God.
31. In what ways can we be hypocritical in our worship?
32. Why are we so reluctant to face our hypocrisy?
33. How can genuine worship overcome the hypocrisy in our lives?
17 L E S S O N 2

WORSHIP IS GOD IDEA

LESSON
ONE 1
Worship Is God’s Idea
People go to church for different reasons.
Some people feel obligated—they go
because it is the right thing to do. Others
go to church to maintain appearances or
to make friends or even to make business
contacts. And some view church as a safety
net, hoping God will protect and help them
if they attend church regularly. But Scripture
gives us a different reason to attend church—
worship! This lesson will teach you that
worship can revitalize your relationship
with God.
STARTER
1. On Sunday mornings, what is the atmosphere in your home as your
family gets ready for church?
2. On a typical Sunday morning, what does your church do to create
an atmosphere of worship?
STUDY
Read the following three sets of Bible passages and application notes.
Answer the questions for each set before moving on to the next.
2 Kings 17:35-36
K J V
With whom the LORD
had made a covenant, and
charged them, saying, Ye
shall not fear other gods,
nor bow yourselves to
them, nor serve them, nor
sacrifice to them: But the
LORD, who brought you
up out of the land of
Egypt with great power
and a stretched out arm,
him shall ye fear, and him
shall ye worship, and to
him shall ye do sacrifice.
N I V
When the LORD made
a covenant with the Israelites,
he commanded them:
“Do not worship any
other gods or bow down
to them, serve them or
sacrifice to them. But the
LORD, who brought you
up out of Egypt with
mighty power and outstretched
arm, is the one
you must worship. To him
you shall bow down and
to him offer sacrifices.”
N L T
For the LORD had
made a covenant with
the descendants of Jacob
and commanded them:
“Do not worship any
other gods or bow before
them or serve them or
offer sacrifices to them.
Worship only the LORD,
who brought you out of
Egypt with such mighty
miracles and power. You
must worship him and
bow before him; offer
sacrifices to him alone.”
Why would God require his people to worship him? Worship does not just benefit God—it
also benefits those who worship him. It keeps our lives in order. It helps us to remember all
that God has done for us and is a way of thanking him for it. Worship also causes us to rely
less on our own abilities to control events around us. When we worship, we throw off the
pressing demands of life to simply enjoy God’s presence. We keep ourselves from the sorrow
of following false gods that can harm us. Worship is not only appropriate, it is essential to the
well-being of our spiritual lives.
3. How have you benefited from a recent worship service?
4. Describe a time when you knew you were truly worshiping God.
L E S S O N 1 2
5. In what ways does worship deepen your relationship with God?
6. What happens to believers who never take the time to worship?
Numbers 28:1-2
K J V
And the LORD spake
unto Moses, saying,
Command the children
of Israel, and say unto
them, My offering, and
my bread for my sacrifices
made by fire, for a sweet
savour unto me, shall ye
observe to offer unto me
in their due season.
N I V
The LORD said to
Moses, “Give this command
to the Israelites
and say to them: ‘See that
you present to me at the
appointed time the food
for my offerings made by
fire, as an aroma pleasing
to me.’ ”
N L T
The LORD said to
Moses, “Give these
instructions to the
people of Israel: The
offerings you present
to me by fire on the
altar are my food, and
they are very pleasing
to me. See to it that
they are brought at the
appointed times and
offered according to
my instructions.”
In the Old Testament, the people brought animals to the tabernacle or temple as sacrifices that were
burned on the altar. God was pleased when these burnt offerings were made according to his instructions.
Today, God wants a sacrifice of praise from his people. His greatest joy comes from our genuine
worship. He does not want us to turn to him grudgingly or out of a sense of obligation but out of
love. When we imagine God to be a taskmaster demanding our devotion and obedience, worship
can feel like a burden. But when we realize that God delights in our worship, we will find true joy as
we offer him our praise.
7. How has your understanding of God’s nature encouraged—or
discouraged—your worship?
3 L E S S O N 1
8. In what way is the comparison of our worship with a pleasing
aroma helpful for you?
9. What kind of worship do you think is a pleasing aroma to God?
10. How can you offer praise to God this week?
Matthew 4:8-10
K J V
Again, the devil taketh
him up into an exceeding
high mountain, and sheweth
him all the kingdoms of the
world, and the glory of
them; And saith unto him,
All these things will I give
thee, if thou wilt fall down
and worship me. Then saith
Jesus unto him, Get thee
hence, Satan: for it is written,
Thou shalt worship the
Lord thy God, and him
only shalt thou serve.
N I V
Again, the devil took
him to a very high mountain
and showed him all
the kingdoms of the
world and their splendor.
“All this I will give you,”
he said, “if you will bow
down and worship me.”
Jesus said to him, “Away
from me, Satan! For it is
written: ‘Worship the
Lord your God, and serve
him only.’”
N L T
Next the Devil took
him to the peak of a very
high mountain and
showed him the nations of
the world and all their
glory. “I will give it all to
you,” he said, “if you will
only kneel down and worship
me.” “Get out of
here, Satan,” Jesus told
him. “For the Scriptures
say, ‘You must worship
the Lord your God; serve
only him.’”
Satan promised Jesus all the kingdoms of the world if Jesus would bow down and worship
him. He was trying to turn Jesus away from his mission to pay for the world’s sin. Satan
L E S S O N 1 4
strongly opposes our worship, too. He knows that worship keeps us in communion with God,
so he tries to distract or prevent us from worshiping God. Jesus’ response to Satan reminds us
of our purpose: to worship God and serve only him.
11. How does Satan try to keep us from worshiping God?
12. What happens when we fail to give God our worship?
13. What usually distracts or prevents you from worshiping God?
14. How can you guard against distractions or hindrances to worship?
SUMMARY
Halfhearted or indifferent worship is easy to achieve. Simply turn to
other gods or believe Satan’s lies that worship is boring, irrelevant, useless,
time consuming, or too much work. Yet, when we do that, we lose
the benefits that worship can bring to a dry spiritual life, for God longs to
refresh and renew us. Remember, true worship pleases God and brings
lasting joy.
5 L E S S O N 1
15. In light of what you have learned in this lesson, how do you want to
worship differently next Sunday?
SUPPLEMENTAL QUESTIONS
Read Genesis 28:10-22.
God’s covenant promise to Abraham and Isaac was offered to Jacob as well. But it was not
enough to be Abraham’s grandson; Jacob had to establish his own relationship with God.
When he realized that God wanted to be his God and desired his worship and allegiance,
Jacob pledged himself and his future to the Lord. The majesty of God moved Jacob to worship
him.
16. When have you felt overwhelmed by the majesty of God?
17. In what different ways does God reveal himself to us?
18. What would help you to remember God’s majesty throughout the day?
Read Exodus 20:1-6.
The Israelites had just come from Egypt, a land of many gods. The Egyptians believed that
each god controlled a different realm of nature, such as rainfall, fertility, or the afterlife. The
Israelites were used to the idea of worshiping many gods in order to get the maximum number
of blessings. When God told his people to worship him, that wasn’t so hard. But when he said,
“You shall have no other gods before me,” that was difficult for the people to accept. But if
they did not learn that the God who led them out of Egypt was the only true God, they could
L E S S O N 1 6
not be his people—no matter how faithfully they kept the other nine commandments. Thus,
God made this worship requirement his first commandment. From it, the rest of the commandments
flow logically.
19. What false gods attempt to lure you away from worshiping the only
true God?
20. How can we determine whether a goal, desire, relationship, or
material possession is hindering our worship of God?
21. What steps can you take this week to prevent other “gods” from
distracting you from your worship?
Read Exodus 20:8-11.
A God who is concerned enough to provide one day every week for us to rest and worship is
indeed wonderful! God created the Sabbath so that we would take a rest from work to spend
unhurried time in worship. Observing a regular time of rest and worship in our fast-paced world
demonstrates how important God is to us, and it gives us the extra benefit of refreshing our
spirit and strengthening our relationship with God. Thank the Lord for giving you a special time
every week to focus on him and offer him your worship.
22. How do Christians often rationalize or excuse their failure to
observe the Sabbath?
23. What demands or distractions compete with your worship on the
weekends?
7 L E S S O N 1
24. What distractions could you eliminate from your weekend to help
you worship God?
Read Exodus 23:24-33.
God warned the Israelites about their future pagan neighbors who would entice them into false
worship and sin. Years later, when the Israelites entered the Promised Land, they found people
indulging in the most perverse kinds of idol worship. God knew that during this time his people
would turn away from him if they failed to keep his commandments. So he spoke to them
through prophets, fought their battles, and punished sin to remind them how much he loved
them and desired their obedience.
25. In what ways does our culture distract us from worshiping God?
26. What idols today draw God’s people away from the church and
true worship?
27. How can you guard against the negative influence of people who
encourage you to worship the gods of this age?
L E S S O N 1 8

WOTH THE HASSLE

LESSON
THREE 3
Worth the Hassle
Many people want to avoid pain and
problems at all cost. But Scripture clearly
teaches that there is one kind of stress Christians
should not try to avoid. When they
experience problems and persecution
because of their allegiance to Christ, they
should accept these trials as part of the cost
of following him. This lesson will teach you
how to handle the trials that come as a
result of your faith in Christ.
STARTER
1. What tricks or techniques do children use to escape the consequences
of their misbehavior?
2. What is something for which you were wrongly punished when you
were growing up?
STUDY
Read the following three sets of Bible passages and application notes.
Answer the questions for each set before moving on to the next.
Matthew 10:34-36
K J V
Think not that I am
come to send peace on
earth: I came not to send
peace, but a sword. For I
am come to set a man at
variance against his
father, and the daughter
against her mother, and
the daughter in law
against her mother in
law. And a man’s foes
shall be they of his own
household.
N I V
Do not suppose that
I have come to bring
peace to the earth. I did
not come to bring peace,
but a sword. For I have
come to turn “a man
against his father, a
daughter against her
mother, a daughter-inlaw
against her motherin-
law—a man’s enemies
will be the members of
his own household.”
N L T
Don’t imagine that I
came to bring peace to the
earth! No, I came to bring
a sword. I have come to
set a man against his
father, and a daughter
against her mother, and a
daughter-in-law against
her mother-in-law. Your
enemies will be right in
your own household!
Jesus does not bring the kind of peace that glosses over deep differences just for the sake of
superficial harmony. Conflict and disagreement will arise between those who choose to follow
Christ and those who do not. In saying this, Jesus was not encouraging Christians to stir up
dissension. Rather, he was showing that his presence demands a decision. Because some will
follow him and some will not, conflict will inevitably arise. As you follow Christ, expect to face
problems and significant personal stress because of your faith in him.
3. What is your natural response to problems and pain?
4. When has your faith created family problems?
L E S S O N 3 20
5. How does this passage of Scripture change your attitude toward
stress?
6. What do you want to remember the next time you encounter conflict
because of your faith in Christ?
1 Thessalonians 3:2-4
K J V
[We] sent Timotheus,
our brother, and minister
of God, and our fellowlabourer
in the gospel of
Christ, to establish you,
and to comfort you concerning
your faith: That
no man should be moved
by these afflictions: for
yourselves know that we
are appointed thereunto.
For verily, when we were
with you, we told you
before that we should suffer
tribulation; even as it
came to pass, and ye
know.
N IV
We sent Timothy, who
is our brother and God’s
fellow worker in spreading
the gospel of Christ, to
strengthen and encourage
you in your faith, so that
no one would be unsettled
by these trials. You know
quite well that we were destined
for them. In fact,
when we were with you, we
kept telling you that we
would be persecuted. And
it turned out that way, as
you well know.
N L T
We sent Timothy
to visit you. He is our
co-worker for God and
our brother in proclaiming
the Good News of
Christ. We sent him to
strengthen you, to encourage
you in your faith, and
to keep you from becoming
disturbed by the
troubles you were going
through. But, of course,
you know that such
troubles are going to
happen to us Christians.
Even while we were with
you, we warned you
that troubles would soon
come—and they did, as
you well know.
Obeying God in a fallen world sometimes brings its own kind of pressure and problems. It’s
difficult for many believers to accept the fact that difficulties in life may result from doing what
21 L E S S O N 3
is right. When they stand up for the truth or proclaim the gospel, some people will choose to
reject both the message and the messenger. Rather than looking for a way out, accept the
trials, and ask God to give you the strength to handle the stressful situations well.
7. When have you endured pressure or rejection because of your
faith?
8. How would you answer a Christian who wonders why God allows
his people to suffer?
9. If we assume troubles will come, what aspects of the Christian life
will become more meaningful to us?
10. From what Christian friend can you draw encouragement and
strength in standing up for your faith under stress?
L E S S O N 3 22
1 Peter 4:12, 14, 16
K J V
Beloved, think it not
strange concerning the
fiery trial which is to try
you, as though some
strange thing happened
unto you. . . . If ye be
reproached for the name of
Christ, happy are ye; for
the spirit of glory and of
God resteth upon you: on
their part he is evil spoken
of, but on your part he is
glorified. . . . Yet if any
man suffer as a Christian,
let him not be ashamed;
but let him glorify God on
this behalf.
N IV
Dear friends, do not be
surprised at the painful
trial you are suffering, as
though something strange
were happening to you. . . .
If you are insulted because
of the name of Christ, you
are blessed, for the Spirit of
glory and of God rests on
you. . . . However, if you
suffer as a Christian, do not
be ashamed, but praise
God that you bear that
name.
N L T
Dear friends, don’t
be surprised at the fiery
trials you are going
through, as if something
strange were happening
to you. . . . Be happy if
you are insulted for
being a Christian, for
then the glorious Spirit
of God will come upon
you. . . . But it is no
shame to suffer for being
a Christian. Praise God
for the privilege of being
called by his wonderful
name!
Peter reminds Christians that suffering for their faith is unavoidable. But they can choose
their response: They can find an excuse to give in to the pressure, or they can trust God
through it all. When you suffer because of your loyalty to Christ, remember that God has
sent his Spirit to be with you. Depend on him to help you joyfully accept and endure the
pressure.
11. Under what circumstances is it tempting to hide one’s faith or be
ashamed of it?
12. Why do you think some Christians have never had to suffer for their
faith?
23 L E S S O N 3
13. What price have you had to pay to stand up for your beliefs?
14. How can you learn to rejoice even when facing persecution or
difficult pressure?
SUMMARY
These three passages warn us to expect trials and problems in life
because of our faith in God. Instead of trying to avoid these conflicts,
we should accept them and consider it a privilege to suffer for the sake
of Christ. The next time you face stress because of your faith, resist the
temptation to fold under the pressure. Stand strong in God’s power. In
light of eternity, suffering for Christ’s sake is worth every minute!
15. What are you willing to risk to stand up for your faith in Christ?
16. How do you want to respond the next time you have to endure
stress or conflict for the sake of Christ?
L E S S O N 3 24
SUPPLEMENTAL QUESTIONS
Read Acts 5:27-42.
The apostles knew their priorities. While we should try to live at peace with everyone, conflict
with the world and its authorities is sometimes inevitable for a Christian. There will be situations
where you cannot obey both God and man. Then you must obey God and trust his Word.
17. Who was the ultimate authority in the apostles’ lives?
18. When you are forced to choose between obeying God or people,
what makes it easier to obey God rather than people?
19. What are you willing to sacrifice in exchange for sharing the gospel—
your life, your friends, your job?
Read John 15:18.
Christians will get plenty of hatred from the world. Sometimes this hatred will come from
authorities who are angry at those Christians who refuse to do wrong. Such authorities may
punish Christians for obeying God rather than them. Despite the stress the authorities may
cause in our lives, we should not be swayed to compromise our obedience to God. Let Jesus’
words in Luke 6:22 encourage you to be obedient to him under the threat of punishment:
“Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your
name as evil, because of the Son of Man” (NIV).
20. When have you had to disobey someone in authority in order to be
obedient to God?
25 L E S S O N 3
21. What were the consequences of your choice?
22. Is it easier or harder to obey God instead of human authorities
when you are unsure of the consequences you will face? Explain.
Read Luke 12:51-53.
In these strange and unsettling words, Jesus revealed that his coming would result in conflict.
That is because there is no middle ground with Jesus. Loyalties must be declared and
commitments made, sometimes to the point of severing other relationships. Are you willing
to risk your family’s disapproval in order to serve Christ?
23. Why is following Christ worth risking even family relationships?
24. How can you encourage another Christian who has been disowned
by family or friends?
L E S S O N 3 26

STREESED TO KILL

LESSON
TWO 2
Stressed to Kill
If you suffer from headaches, backaches,
allergies, or high blood pressure,
stress could be a significant contributing
factor. In fact, experts agree that most
diseases are stress and lifestyle related.
Beyond the physical effects, however, stress
takes its toll on spiritual health. Christians
must recognize the dangers of stress so they
can take action before they succumb to its
pressures. This lesson will help you to identify
the negative effects of stress on your spiritual
life and to know when to reduce the
level of stress in your life.
STARTER
1. What negative side effects have you experienced from stress?
2. How do you know when you are under too much stress?
STUDY
Read the following three sets of Bible passages and application notes.
Answer the questions for each set before moving on to the next.
Mark 14:33-34, 38
K J V
And he taketh with
him Peter and James and
John, and began to be
sore amazed, and to be
very heavy; and saith unto
them, My soul is exceeding
sorrowful unto death:
tarry ye here, and
watch. . . . Watch ye and
pray, lest ye enter into
temptation. The spirit
truly is ready, but the
flesh is weak.
N I V
He took Peter, James
and John along with him,
and he began to be deeply
distressed and troubled.
“My soul is overwhelmed
with sorrow to the point
of death,” he said to
them. “Stay here and keep
watch. . . . Watch and
pray so that you will not
fall into temptation. The
spirit is willing, but the
body is weak.”
N L T
He took Peter, James,
and John with him, and he
began to be filled with
horror and deep distress.
He told them, “My soul is
crushed with grief to the
point of death. Stay here
and watch with me. . . .
Keep alert and pray. Otherwise,
temptation will
overpower you. For
though the spirit is willing
enough, the body is
weak.”
In times of great stress, a person is vulnerable to temptation, even if he or she wants to resist.
Jesus’ disciples wanted to support him during this time of sorrow and pain, but they succumbed
to temptation and missed the opportunity to help him in his hour of need. If you are
under so much stress that you feel helpless to resist temptation, you may need to look for a
way to eliminate or reduce some of the pressures in your life.
3. How do you usually respond when you feel distressed or troubled?
4. What are some steps Christians can take to prevent themselves from
falling into temptation when they are under a lot of stress?
L E S S O N 2 12
5. How can Christian friends help each other through difficult
times?
6. If you feel vulnerable to temptation, how could you eliminate or
reduce some of the pressures in your life?
Luke 23:20, 23-25
K J V
Pilate therefore, willing
to release Jesus,
spake again to them. . . .
And they were instant
with loud voices, requiring
that he might be crucified.
And the voices of
them and of the chief
priests prevailed. And
Pilate gave sentence that
it should be as they
required. And he released
unto them him that for
sedition and murder was
cast into prison, whom
they had desired; but
he delivered Jesus to
their will.
N I V
Wanting to release
Jesus, Pilate appealed to
them [the chief priests,
the rulers, and the
people] again. . . . But
with loud shouts they
insistently demanded
that he be crucified, and
their shouts prevailed.
So Pilate decided to
grant their demand.
He released the man
who had been thrown
into prison for insurrection
and murder, the
one they asked for, and
surrendered Jesus to
their will.
N L T
Pilate argued with
them, because he wanted
to release Jesus. . . . But
the crowd shouted
louder and louder for
Jesus’ death, and their
voices prevailed. So
Pilate sentenced Jesus
to die as they
demanded. As they had
requested, he released
Barabbas, the man in
prison for insurrection
and murder. But he
delivered Jesus over to
them to do as they
wished.
When the stakes are high and the pressure is on, it is difficult to stand up for what is
right. Had Pilate been a man of real courage, he would have released Jesus no matter
what the consequences. But the crowd roared, and Pilate buckled. Holding on to moral stan-
13 L E S S O N 2
dards under social or political pressure can produce a high level of stress in us.
Taking the easy way out, as Pilate did, may relieve the stress but leave us with a
burden of guilt to deal with later.
7. Why are most people so vulnerable to peer pressure?
8. What has helped you stand up for your faith despite negative
pressure from others?
9. In what area of your life are you most in danger of compromising
your beliefs or moral standards because of stress?
10. How can you better equip yourself to stand strong under this
pressure?
L E S S O N 2 14
Mark 4:14-17
K J V
The sower soweth the
word. And these are they
by the way side, where the
word is sown; but when
they have heard, Satan
cometh immediately, and
taketh away the word that
was sown in their hearts.
And these are they likewise
which are sown on stony
ground; who, when they
have heard the word, immediately
receive it with gladness;
and have no root in
themselves, and so endure
but for a time: afterward,
when affliction or persecution
ariseth for the word’s
sake, immediately they are
offended.
N I V
The farmer sows the
word. Some people are
like seed along the path,
where the word is sown.
As soon as they hear it,
Satan comes and takes
away the word that was
sown in them. Others, like
seed sown on rocky
places, hear the word and
at once receive it with joy.
But since they have no
root, they last only a
short time. When trouble
or persecution comes
because of the word, they
quickly fall away.
N L T
The farmer I talked
about is the one who
brings God’s message to
others. The seed that fell
on the hard path represents
those who hear the
message, but then Satan
comes at once and takes it
away from them. The
rocky soil represents those
who hear the message and
receive it with joy. But
like young plants in such
soil, their roots don’t go
very deep. At first they get
along fine, but they wilt as
soon as they have problems
or are persecuted
because they believe the
word.
In this parable, Jesus said that the pressures of life cause some people to abandon their faith
in God. They fall away because they do not have roots. Some Christians experience such
tremendous stress that they get distracted from their desire to obey Christ. Do not allow the
problems in your life to overwhelm you. Let your problems push you toward Christ, rather than
away. Then the roots of your faith will grow stronger and deeper.
11. What trials or difficulties cause some believers to fall away?
12. When have you felt overwhelmed by your problems?
15 L E S S O N 2
13. What pressures do you face now that could weaken your Christian
commitment?
14. How can you make sure that stress does not choke out the life of
your Christian walk?
SUMMARY
You have learned from these three passages that stress can make
Christians vulnerable to temptation, weaken their resolve to stand against
peer pressure, and even push them to compromise their faith. To protect
yourself, you must acknowledge the power of stress and be willing to
take steps to reduce it when it threatens your spiritual health.
15. What steps can you take this week to reduce or better manage the
stress in your life?
SUPPLEMENTAL QUESTIONS
Read Matthew 14:6-10.
Herod did not want to kill John the Baptist, but he gave the order so that he would not be
embarrassed in front of his guests. How easy it is to give in to the crowd and to be pressured
into doing wrong! Peer pressure often tempts Christians to compromise their faith.
Determine to do what is right, no matter how much pressure you face.
L E S S O N 2 16
16. When are you likely to promise more than you will want to pay?
17. In what circumstances do you feel the most pressure to please the
crowd?
Read Proverbs 4:14-17; 10:12; 12:16-21.
Relationships that cause us to fall bring only additional stress to everyday life. But this
stress is unnecessary and even avoidable. By choosing our friends carefully, we can
eliminate the stress caused by hanging around with the wrong crowd. And God has
provided us with the wisdom we need to choose friends carefully and limit the stress in
our lives. This wisdom is found in Proverbs. If you heed it, you will not add to—and you
may even decrease—the amount of stress already in your life.
18. Which friendships are the most stressful for you to maintain?
19. How can you keep the friendship but reduce the stress?
20. How can you bring more peace than stress to your friendships?
17 L E S S O N 2
Read Hebrews 10:23-25.
Stress can cause people to reshuffle priorities. The pressure of a deadline can loom over every
other activity. The temptation can be to skip church, ignore friends, or neglect family. Make
sure you stay involved with other believers when the pressure is on.
21. What is a way you can encourage someone to remain faithful to
God, family, and friends even through their difficult times?
22. What is the most encouraging thing someone can do for you when
you are under a great deal of stress?
L E S S O N 2 18

STREES (NO PAIN NO GAIN

LESSON
TWO 2
Different from the World
We may say that we do not care what
others think of us, but in reality, most of us
want to fit in and be accepted. However,
if we are true imitators of Christ, we will
never “fit in” to this world’s value system.
As Christians, we should fight our natural
tendency to conform to this world because
its values and priorities oppose Christ’s!
This lesson will challenge you to evaluate
your priorities and help you determine
whether your lifestyle more closely reflects
the world’s values or God’s.
STARTER
1. In your opinion, what most clearly distinguishes you from your
non-Christian friends?
2. What worldly priorities do you think are most challenging for
Christians not to adopt as their own today?
STUDY
Read the following sets of Bible passages and application notes. Answer
the questions for each set before moving on to the next.
1 John 2:15-17
K J V
Love not the world,
neither the things that are
in the world. If any man
love the world, the love of
the Father is not in him.
For all that is in the
world, the lust of the
flesh, and the lust of the
eyes, and the pride of life,
is not of the Father, but is
of the world. And the
world passeth away, and
the lust thereof: but he
that doeth the will of God
abideth for ever.
N I V
Do not love the world
or anything in the world.
If anyone loves the world,
the love of the Father is
not in him. For everything
in the world—the
cravings of sinful man,
the lust of his eyes and the
boasting of what he has
and does—comes not
from the Father but from
the world. The world and
its desires pass away, but
the man who does the will
of God lives forever.
N L T
Stop loving this evil
world and all that it offers
you, for when you love the
world, you show that you
do not have the love of the
Father in you. For the
world offers only the lust
for physical pleasure, a lust
for everything we see, and
pride in our possessions.
These are not from the
Father. They are from this
evil world. And this world
is fading away, along with
everything it craves. But if
you do the will of God,
you will live forever.
When we love the world and the things in it, our priorities are worldly. Worldly priorities are
characterized by three attitudes: “the cravings of sinful man”—preoccupation with gratifying
physical desires; “the lust of his eyes”—bowing to the god of materialism; and “boasting of
what he has and does”—obsession with one’s status or importance. By contrast, God values
self-control, a spirit of generosity, and a commitment to humble service. We must take a hard
look at our lives to align our priorities with God’s.
3. Why are the things of the world so desirable?
4. How do Jesus’ priorities differ from the world’s?
L E S S O N 2 10
5. How can we guard against having worldly priorities?
6. What desire or habit has recently interfered with your commitment
to God?
James 4:4-6
K J V
Ye adulterers and
adulteresses, know ye
not that the friendship of
the world is enmity with
God? whosoever therefore
will be a friend of the
world is the enemy of
God. Do ye think that the
scripture saith in vain,
The spirit that dwelleth in
us lusteth to envy? But he
giveth more grace. Wherefore
he saith, God
resisteth the proud, but
giveth grace unto the
humble. K J V
N I V
You adulterous
people, don’t you know
that friendship with the
world is hatred toward
God? Anyone who
chooses to be a friend of
the world becomes an
enemy of God. Or do you
think Scripture says without
reason that the spirit
he caused to live in us
envies intensely? But he
gives us more grace. That
is why Scripture says:
“God opposes the proud
but gives grace to the
humble.” N I V
N L T
You adulterers!
Don’t you realize that
friendship with this
world makes you an
enemy of God? I say it
again, that if your aim is
to enjoy this world, you
can’t be a friend of God.
What do you think the
Scriptures mean when
they say that the Holy
Spirit, whom God has
placed within us, jealously
longs for us to be
faithful? He gives us
more and more strength
to stand against all
such evil desires. As the
Scriptures say, “God
sets himself against the
proud but he shows favor
to the humble.” N L T
11 L E S S O N 2
God wants us to enjoy a pleasurable life, but at the same time he warns against seeking
worldly pleasures. Pleasures that cause us to compromise God’s standards are wrong. If your
main priority in life is to enjoy all the world has to offer, you will not have time to actively
seek God and his will for your life. But if you choose to make God your first priority, he will
give you true joy that is greater than any worldly pleasure!
7. What do you think it means to become a friend of the world?
8. How can we tell the difference between helpful and harmful
pleasures?
9. How can we guard against giving temporary pleasures high priority
in our lives?
10. What distracts or prevents you from giving God free reign in all of
your life?
L E S S O N 2 12
John 16:20, 22, 33
K J V
Verily, verily, I say
unto you, That ye shall
weep and lament, but the
world shall rejoice: and ye
shall be sorrowful, but
your sorrow shall be turned
into joy. . . . And ye now
therefore have sorrow: but
I will see you again, and
your heart shall rejoice,
and your joy no man
taketh from you. . . . These
things I have spoken unto
you, that in me ye might
have peace. In the world ye
shall have tribulation: but
be of good cheer; I have
overcome the world.
N I V
I tell you the truth,
you will weep and mourn
while the world rejoices.
You will grieve, but your
grief will turn to joy. . . .
Now is your time of grief,
but I will see you again
and you will rejoice, and
no one will take away
your joy. . . . I have told
you these things, so that
in me you may have peace.
In this world you will
have trouble. But take
heart! I have overcome
the world.
N L T
Truly, you will weep
and mourn over what is
going to happen to me,
but the world will rejoice.
You will grieve, but
your grief will suddenly
turn to wonderful joy
when you see me
again. . . . You have sorrow
now, but I will see
you again; then you will
rejoice, and no one can
rob you of that joy. . . . I
have told you all this so
that you may have peace
in me. Here on earth you
will have many trials and
sorrows. But take heart,
because I have overcome
the world.
Scripture tells believers to expect tension and trouble simply because the world’s priorities oppose
God’s purposes. Because of this tension, you will find yourself caught between desiring to live as
God would have you to and, at the same time, wanting to avoid problems with the world. Living
according to God’s priorities, however, should always win this struggle. Although it may be difficult
to live as God desires you to now—especially when you are persecuted for it—you can joyfully
anticipate a peaceful and rewarding eternity with him later.
11. What did you have to give up when you accepted Christ? What
did you gain?
12. What kind of trouble does the world cause for Christians?
13 L E S S O N 2
13. How does your hope in the future affect your priorities now?
14. If we do not experience any hardship as Christians, what does this
reveal about our priorities?
SUMMARY
We are to reject the world’s values and priorities because they
oppose God’s. Even though this sometimes creates conflict, God promises
to bless us when we make his values and priorities our own. Choose
God’s priorities for your life. Believe that he knows what is best for you!
15. What steps can you begin to take this week to get your priorities in
line with Christ’s?
SUPPLEMENTAL QUESTIONS
Read Matthew 5:3-10.
Jesus began his sermon with blessings and promises for those whom the world shuns. As
Jesus’ blessings and promises show, God’s priorities for living contradict the world’s. If you
want to live for God, you must be ready to say and do what seems strange to the world. You
must be willing to give when others take, to love when others hate, to help when others
abuse. By giving up your own rights in order to serve others, you will one day receive the wonderful
blessings God has in store for you.
L E S S O N 2 14
16. How does society’s list of priorities compare and contrast with those
of God’s kingdom?
17. Which beatitude puzzles you the most?
18. In what ways can you live more by God’s priorities found in
Matthew 5:3-10 this week?
Read Matthew 19:28-30.
Jesus turned the world’s values upside down. The world tells us we deserve to have it all, even
if we have to lower our standards to get it! But Jesus tells us we have to be willing to give up
everything to obey him, even our own families. When we give up something valuable for
Christ, he tells us we will be repaid many times over. The next time you are tempted to compromise
your values, ask God to help you do what is right.
19. Which sacrifices for God’s kingdom do you find easy to make?
Which do you find difficult?
20. Why is a willingness to give up anything important in following Christ?
21. If we truly believe that God will one day reward his followers, why
are we reluctant to make sacrifices for him?
15 L E S S O N 2
Read John 17:6-19.
Christ wants his followers to be set apart and different from the world. He does not want his
followers blending in with the crowd. One thing that makes us different from unbelievers is
that we live our lives by God’s priorities. When we do so, we can expect hatred from the
world. That is because our values will be so different from those of the world that our lives will
be living accusations against the world’s immorality.
22. When have your priorities as a believer been in sharp contrast to
those of the world?
23. If you have never risked or sacrificed anything for Christ, what does
this say about your priorities?
24. How can you determine whether your priorities are the same as
Christ’s?
Read 2 Corinthians 6:14-18.
Paul urges believers not to form binding relationships with unbelievers because this might
weaken their Christian commitment, integrity, or standards. Paul explains that this does not
mean isolating ourselves from unbelievers. God wants us to be active in our witness for Christ,
but we should not lock ourselves into personal or business relationships that could cause us to
compromise our faith. If we feel we have to change our Christian beliefs and priorities in order
to match those of our friends, we are on dangerous ground.
25. What are some of the priorities of your closest friends? How can
you tell?
L E S S O N 2 16
26. When have you ever felt pressured by a friend to compromise your
standards?
27. What steps can you take to become a friend who builds up others
spiritually?
17 L E S S O N 2