Friday, July 13, 2012

Vessels of Honor

The bible tells us that we are "vessels", "earthen vessels".  Yes we are made of earth (the dust of the earth) and God said we are vessels in which he wants to dwell... 

" a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour." 2 Timothy 2:20

"...we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us." 2 Corinthians 4:7

If you are looking for a theme and message for your next inspirational ladies meeting, how about the topic of "Being and Building Vessels of Honor".

For scripture references and other thoughts on this topic please click HERE for my "Being and Building Vessels of Honor" post.  I think you will come away with some very inspiring ideas and information with which to encourage your ladies in this area.

As with all ladies meetings, there must be decorations!  For this theme, try finding a bunch of "earthen vessels" (clay pots) to use as centerpieces and such.   You can find terracotta pots just about anywhere during the gardening season and they are relatively inexpensive.  If money is really tight, ask the ladies to borrow things they may have around their house or garden.

We chose this theme for our last Mother/Daughter banquet.  We used old fashioned bowl and pitcher sets as decorations which we borrowed from some of the ladies of the church and displayed them on the rungs of old ladders, as seen below.

Have fun and use your imagination!  Most importantly, make sure your ladies come away with a message from the Lord about "Being and Building Vessels of Honor".

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Troubled on Every Side...yet NOT Distressed!

In recent years it seems as if all hell has broken loose in this world.  There seems to be trouble everywhere.  I'm not just talking of wars and foreign affairs but trouble in our own backyard.  Our country and our own lives are in a state of crisis.  Things are just falling apart!


We have family troubles too numerous to mention, financial troubles, health problems and employment issues.  There has even been troubles with the weather.  We have had a drought and now ferocious storms are tearing things up.  You name it, there is some kind of trouble in just about every aspect of our lives and nothing seems to be getting any easier nor does it seem as if these troubles are going to end any time soon and people everywhere are going berzerk.

Sounds depressing doesn't it?

However, I am reminded of God's inspired word as written by the Apostle Paul...

We are troubled on every side, yet NOT distressed; we are perplexed, but NOT in despair; persecuted, but NOT forsaken; cast down, but NOT destroyed.  2 Corinthians 4:8-9

What? How can this be?..Troubled, yet not distressed?  Did the Apostle Paul have a secret we don't know about?  How can he have peace in the midst of crisis?

He gave the answer to this mystery in the scripture just preceding the above passage...

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
2 Corinthians 4:6

We are the earthen vessel, the treasure is the Holy Ghost. When we are filled with the Holy Ghost we receive the power to be able to endure trouble but not be distressed and by that, others can see the excellency of the power of God's Spirit in us and glorify Him.  

Jesus described it like this...

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father has sent in my name, shall teach you all things; and bring to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.  John 14:26-27

Jesus Christ has sent us peace in the midst of a troubled world.  This peace is the gift of the Holy Ghost.

You too can have peace in the midst of your crisis by receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost today.  Yes, we are in deed troubled on every side, yet not distressed because Jesus is our comforter.  He is our peace and he can be yours too.  Please don't hesitate to call on the Lord in your time of trouble and ask him for this gift of peace which he sent in his name to ALL that would receive Him.

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3

Friday, July 6, 2012

Garden Party

Do you love gardening, pretty plants and flowers?  Do any of the other ladies in your church or group love those things too.  If so, why not have a GARDEN PARTY.  This is an outdoor party is all about location, location, location.  Host this party at a place where there is a nice, beautiful garden to enjoy.  This could be in your backyard, one of the other ladies backyards or perhaps a nice park where there are some beautiful annual and perennial gardens to enjoy.

Colorful suspended flower pots

This party can be as formal or casual as you like.

Set a date, time and location.  Then, hand out invitations.

On the invitation be sure to ask each lady to bring small potted seedlings (enough for each guest to take one home) of their favorite plant/flower/herb from their very own gardens.  You may need to hand out the invitation a few weeks in advance to give each lady a chance to get everything together.

Ask them to make sure each potted seedling is marked with what type of plant/flower/herb it is.


This is an exchange type party, i.e. if each lady is supposed to bring 10 seedlings of one kind of plant (one for each guest), each lady will take home 1 seedling of 10 different plants to either repot or transplant into their own yard/garden.

Suggestion:  You may want to provide a few refreshments, light snacks and beverages for the occasion. If so, think about how you can use garden tools and things like flower pots as serving utensils, i.e. use small hand trowels as serving spoons.  Place cupcakes in the top of small terracotta pots.  Serve chips in larger flower pots.  Use your imagination.

Suggestion:  Depending on how formal or casual you decide to go, you might want each lady to dress up in gardening attire (gardening hats, gloves and summer dresses).  You may also want to decorate the outdoors for the occasion as well.

Suggestion:  This type of party would be great as a house warming party for a friend who has just moved to a place with little or no landscaping.  In that case, have each lady to bring only one seedling/start from their garden to give as a housewarming gift.

Follow any of the links below for more ideas:

Picnic at the Park

I live in an area where there are a lot of beautiful state parks, city parks and other outdoor treasures to enjoy.  On a nice day I like to enjoy having lunch at one particular park in my area, Hoppe Spring Park.  It's a park where there is a duck pond, waterfalls, a playground for the children and shaded picnic tables. It's so relaxing and refreshing to get outdoors!


Wouldn't it be nice to get the ladies in your group together for a picnic in your neck of the woods?   Sounds fun now doesn't it?

Briefly research your area for nice parks or other one of a kind natural treasures where picnicking is possible, then gather your ladies together for a casual day away.

Picnic set up, engagement party ideas ideas and trends holidays   

Ask each lady to bring her favorite picnic snack or beverage.

You may want to decorate for the occasion.  If so, bring plenty of inexpensive plastic tablecloths in whatever theme or color you like.  Red and White checks is always a favorite.

Picnic - Mykl Roventine

Don't forget, you will also need napkins, paper plates, plastic cups and cutlery.  


Thursday, July 5, 2012

G.R.O.W. Go Reach Our World

Start with prayer—

Last week we talked about having an attitude of servitude and I want to briefly go over that again because we really didn’t get enough time to finish that up.  We talked about the two different kinds of people the “givers and takers” and what it means to be a true servant of God which is by serving others.  Serving God by serving others is the highest honor and job that any person could possibly have.  Seems funny that God chose working to help others as the highest vocation.  As our memory verse says “...he that is greatest among you shall be your servant”.  And you know what the best part of that is, is that we ALL can have that job.  

You know people today are seeking the best career that pays the most when all along the job that pays the most (has the most spiritual reward and rewards of self-satisfaction, rewards of friendship, honor and respect) is simply being a servant.  What are some ways that we serve others?  

How about witnessing and reaching out to save the lost?  Is that a way we can serve others? Actually yes it is.  It goes hand in hand with servanthood. Your acts of kindness, gratitude and helpfulness show others that you are a true Christian and the one thing that God asks of us besides just serving others is winning others to him.  We cannot do that without being a servant.   We have to be willing to spend our time, money and much effort to win the person that needs God in his/her life.  We have to spend time making friends with them even if they are someone that is not necessarily the type of person you normally hang out with.  You must be willing to help them when you see they have a need.  You must show them the Jesus inside of you at all times so that they would want to be like you and would want to know the same Jesus that makes you so friendly, helpful and special. The bible talks A LOT about soul winning, witnessing and spiritual reproduction (making more Christians).  At least as much if not more than servanthood.  We need to G.R.O.W. In order for the church to grow, we must GO.REACH.OUR.WORLD.

Present a poster to the class to be placed on your bulletin board at this time.  You can make your own with a poster board.  Ours had the words GO REACH OUR WORLD at the top and some people (magazine cut outs) at the bottom.  For the center, have each child trace one of their hands and cut it out.  Glue the hands in the center of the poster board.

Throughout Jesus’ ministry he was teaching his disciples (souls he had won) how to be soul winners.  Jesus spent time, touching, healing, teaching and ministering to others.  Mostly sinners (ministering means serving by the way).  He ate dinner with and talked to the sinners and publicans telling them marvelous things about the kingdom of heaven and how to get there.  He gave us many examples of soul winning, but my favorite has to be the “woman at the well”.  

John 4:1-42        

Whew!  That was a long passage of scripture with much information, but the point is that Jesus gives us a straight forward example of witnessing and reaching out to a lost soul and to the many other souls that knew her.  He said that this reaching out (witnessing, soul winning) was his meat to eat and that the meat was to do the will of the father by finishing his work (it was filling and satisfying).  The work of God is to save the lost and as one of his servants that is also our work.  It should be our desire to finish God’s work.  It is filling and satisfying to help in winning a soul to the Lord.  It’s not just our duty it should be our passion.  

Suggestion:  Perhaps start a special club just for your class.  The G. R. O.W. (Go Reach Our World) Club.  G.R.O.W. is a club exclusively to reaching out to lost souls and winning them to the Lord.  Have a contest giving prizes for the student who brings the most friends to church this month, etc.  Take a few hours on a Saturday here and there to take your students door knocking (providing their parents and pastors permission).  Hand out flyers inviting the children in your neighborhoods and schools to Sunday school.  Make the club exciting to the kids so that they stay involved.  Take a look back in a year and see if there are more students in your class, more converts because of your classes efforts to G.R.O.W.  In order to G.R.O.W. we must GO.  

Memory Verse:

Mark 16:15—And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 

First, we have to have an official G.R.O.W. poster.  Let’s finish our poster.  Perhaps if the children in your class' hands are too large to fit in your space provided, ask the primary class teacher if your students can trace and cut out the little children's hands for their poster.   

Next, I have here invitations for Sunday School.  Take a few and invite some of your friends to church this week.  Tell them you are a member of G.R.O.W. and would love for them to come to Sunday School.  Tell them how fantastic our church is, how fun Sunday School is) or something like that.  Even kids you normally don’t talk to.  After all the woman at the well was someone who did not have a good reputation, and was not even the same nationality as Jesus or his disciples, but Jesus loved her soul enough anyway to speak to her and show her the way to salvation.  The rest of the cards we will leave here in the classroom with our poster in case you need more.  

There are many, many, many lost souls needing to be rescued before God returns to take his church home.  So let’s GO win some lost souls so we can G.R.O.W.

I Want to Be Holy (Part II)

Start with Prayer---

1 Peter 1:15-16—But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, BE YE HOLY; FOR I AM HOLY.

This phrase all manner of conversation means: all manner of life, conduct, behavior...LIFESTYLE.  How we live!  Every part of our life is to be holy.

Starting from there let’s pin point all the areas of our life...

Think of all the areas of your life and how you live.  Lets name these areas...




Dress/clothing/our body— 







Okay, so the bible says that we are to be HOLY (pure, clean, modest) in ALL these areas

Before we take a look at the areas where we live, like home, school or work.  Let’s look at ourselves and how we live.  Are we Holy?  Last week when I asked “what is the first thing that comes to mind when I say the word HOLY”, you said “dress or outward appearance” and we briefly spoke about that.  This week let’s go into greater detail about that because this is there area in which we have the most questions or concerns. 

Let’s see what the bible says about our appearance and how a lady should dress and or not dress and how see should appear to others.  Yes, the bible does talk about clothing and modesty because apparently God cares about how is people dress.

Deut. 22:5—The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.

Deut. 22:11—Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woolen and linen together. 

This goes along with purity...purity in the fabric was important.

And only men (the priests specifically) wore breeches...meaning—underwear, drawers, trousers...a priestly undergarment of linen

Okay so we know for this verse that a lady should wear ladies clothing and not men’s. 

1 Timothy 2:9-10

Shamefacedness—a sense of shame or honour, modesty, bashfulness, reverence, regard for others, respectmodest— well arranged, seemly, 
apparel—a lowering or letting down; a garment let down, dress, attire

1 Peter 3:1-5—this touches on hair, dress and attitude
Titus 2:3-5 

Now in today’s world, accessories are a part of clothing.  A lady likes to look good and feel good about herself.  Today, many woman (most women) wear things like make-up, jewelry and other accessories to adorn themselves.  

Why do you think God does not want his ladies to wear make-up or jewelry?  For one, we already read it, “whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting of the hair and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel” (1 Peter 3)

We are supposed to be plain, pure, unadorned. Does that mean we can’t dress nice?  No, it simply means that we should not be drawing attention to ourselves through our clothes, hair styles or other things.   Woman use make-up to make themselves appear differently than what is natural, perhaps “prettier”, more attractive to opposite sex.  God doesn’t want his ladies to be unnatural or appear to be anything other than what he made them.  

We have two very good examples of ladies in the bible that display a particular look and attitude.  One God hated and the other God loved.

There’s Jezebel...God hated her!  She was not modest, was overpowering, vocal, Controlling and worshiped Baal.  The bible says that Jezebel painted her face to intrigue Jehu (one of God’s men).  She did this to try to appear as a “nice lady” but her motives were deceitful.  .  God did not like it (2 Kings 9). She also wore gold and jewels.  God did not like it.  She was not shamefaced but was disrespectful, overbearing, outspoken and a murderer.  God does NOT want his ladies to be like that.  

Queen Esther on the other hand was the epitome of modesty and holiness.  She didn’t require anything special like the other ladies were wearing, and the king chose her because of her purity, honesty and naturality.  She didn’t put on airs and he liked that about her.  He knew that she was going to be honest, moral, respectful and decent simply because she was not trying to fool him into believing she was something that she wasn’t.  

Let’s answer a few questions about modesty...

How tight or loose should our clothes be? (Not too tight but not too loose either)

Are there certain colors we can’t wear? (No, although wearing all black all the time makes a statement to the world that you are a witch or devil worshiper.)

Are there certain styles we shouldn’t wear? (Yes, anything provocative, things that display sin or worldliness)

What about accessories, are there things we shouldn’t use to accessorize our clothes?  (Yes, we should not put jewelry on our clothing or in our hair)

In today’s world the ladies are adorning themselves with jewels and make-up in an attempt to be prettier or more attractive to the opposite sex.  God says that ladies don’t need that stuff to be beautiful.  He made us beautiful already.  He says that a meek and quiet spirit is what is attractive and that’s what he wants his ladies to have.  We don’t need the make-up, baubles and accessories of this world to be pretty.  We are to be pure, honest, modest and holy.  

I Want to Be Holy...Holy Like You (Part 1)

Start with prayer—

This morning we are going to start a short lesson series about holiness.  I want to be Holy...Holy Like You.  The next few weeks we will discuss what holiness is and how to achieve it? Like anything, it is a process but the more you know the better you will be able to achieve your goal.

Tell me what you think of when I say the word...Holiness?

Perhaps you think about our dress (apparel), the outside part of are right, but that is just a small part of holiness, but that is a good starting place.

First, let’s take a look at the definition for Holy from the Strong’s concordance—

The Hebrew word for Holy—H6918-Kadoshe—means saint or set apart, pure & clean, void of sin or uncleanness.

The Greek word for Holy—most holy thing, a saint, of things on which on account have some connection with God, possess a certain distinction and claim to reverence, set apart to God, to be, as it were, exclusively his.  Sacred, set apart, special different.

Since our dress has been mentioned let’s start with this from the bible

Luke 11:39-40

Here we see Jesus having dinner with a Pharisee.  Pharisees were the Jewish religious leaders of that day, the scribes and priests, Levites, those in the ministry.  Here the Pharisee was astounded because Jesus didn’t wash his hands before he ate dinner.  Jesus answered him back but not about having washed hands.  He said “now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness”.  What do you think he meant?  

He was talking about the Pharisees attitude.  He said you made sure your outside is clean but, you have a problem, your inside is wicked.  He was talking about “holiness”.   He said you appear to be holy on the outside but on the inside you are wicked, unclean.

Matt. 23:25-28

Here again we see Jesus talking to Scribes and Pharisees.  He called them hypocrites.  Once again he said you are worried about appearance when the things on the inside are in pour shape. He said they are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.  

Okay so we see and understand from these passages that holiness is more than just our dress or outward appearance.  Holiness comes from the inside and it is an attitude.  

Isaiah 35:8—And an highway shall be there and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.

Matt. 7:13-14—Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

The bible talks in these passages about a way, an highway that leads to life.  No it is not talking about a literal “road”, it is talking about a “way” of life.  A “high” way.  I higher standard of living.  A particular way to live.  We can’t see this highway, it’s not a literal one, but we can get on it.  

The bible tells us that this way is strait and narrow and it leads to life.  That means that there are some set standards where there is no swaying and no bending from.  It is solid and sure. 

You know a curvy road has bends and movement, but the way of holiness is strait.  It don’t bend and shift with every whim or trend of society or wave of doctrine that comes around.  God set his way out in the bible and any other way is wrong.  Remember the little children’s song....There’s only one, one, one; one way to God.  It’s not a broad way that has enough room to accept any new idea and craze the world finds fun and exciting.  It is a narrow way, only able to hold the things that God has chosen to allow and that has already been set and established by Him.  

With that in mind, if you wish to be holy, which by the way is necessary to get to heaven, you have to live according to God’s set standards, but as we have already learned there is more than just clothing and appearance.  True Holiness comes from the inside.

Memory Verse:  1 Peter 1:16—Because, it is written, be ye holy; for I am holy.

Taking a Good Look at the Man in the Mirror

Start with Prayer---

Exercise: Look at yourself in this mirror (teacher provides a mirror) and tell me what you see.  What do you look like to yourself?  Let each student tell you how they see themselves in the mirror.

Does anyone remember the fairy tale, Show White.  Remember the wicked queen and her magic mirror.  While gazing into the mirror she cited to it each day, “mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest one of all”.  Though the queen’s outward appearance was very attractive, the mirror always replied, “it’s not you my dear, but Show White is the fairest in the land”.  This would anger the wicked queen horribly until one day she cooked up a scheme to get rid of Snow White once and for all, for if Snow White was gone the mirror would have no choice but say that she, the queen, was the fairest in the land.  However, no matter her attempt, Snow White was still deemed by the mirror as the fairest in the land.

You might ask, why am I telling a fairy tale in Sunday School.   Well, though this story is not true, it does bare some truths about our lives and perhaps our Christianity.  As a matter of fact some fairy tales, are based off of biblical principles in some form or another.  

1 Sam. 16:7—but the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.

Here God was telling Samuel, that’s not the guy I have chosen to be king, just because he is good looking, tall and strong.  I don’t look at the outward appearance as men do, I look at the heart. 

Have you heard that old adage, beauty is only skin deep.  That’s kind of what the Lord is saying here “he may be good looking, he may look stately and king like outwardly, but he don’t have what it takes to be king over my people.

And in the story of Snow White, the wicked queen just did not understand when the mirror was telling her that she wasn’t the fairest in the land, that it wasn’t because of her looks, it was because the mirror could see what “kind” of person she was.  Beauty has nothing to do with looks.  Snow White was deemed the fairest because of her inward beauty and purity.  

And so, the Lord looks at us in the same way.  He can see what kind of person we are, not just what we “look” like. 

Let’s turn to James 1:21-25

Here the bible tells us, that a person who hears the word and does not do the word is like a man looking at himself in the mirror, and then once he turns away from the mirror he forgets what he is.  The word helps him to see himself through God’s eyes, but once his face is turned from the mirror he forgets what he saw. 

Here the bible says, but whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty (the word of God) and continueth therein (continueth being the keyword), he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

There are some people who after looking into the word of God and see that there are some things in their life and some things they are doing that are ugly, they turn away from that “mirror” so they can no longer see themselves.  They figure if they don’t look then nothing is wrong.  

But the person who continues in the Word when he sees something is ugly in his life, will do what the Word tells him to do to correct that problem, and will be blessed by his willingness to change.
Look one more time in the mirror here.  Try picturing yourself as God sees you. Is there any ugliness staring back at you.  Do you have some things in your life, things maybe you do in private, believing that no one can see you.  Maybe you know what the bible says about lying, or that your pastor preaches against certain things on the internet or certain other activities.  Maybe these things seem so little or insignificant.  They are hidden, no one will ever know, but I am here to tell you today, that God knows.  He sees the “real” you even when you are alone.  No matter where you are or what you are doing, he’s sees it and the bible tells sure, your sin will find ye out.  

You see eventually, if you ignore the correction of God’s word enough, you can be sure, your sin will find you out.  That sin will appear on the surface, kind of like a pimple on your face.  It will become manifest in your attitude and actions, it will eventually come to the surface where not only God sees it, but others will too.

---Tell a story of someone you know who has been rebellious, and has done something even after being told not to, and they are caught.  Like my daughter who was forbidden to get on facebook but then when telling me a story about one of her friends, told me she found all this stuff out on facebook.  Oops, she slipped up and told on herself.  Your sin WILL find you out.  

Today, let’s take a good look at the man in the mirror and allow the perfect law of liberty to correct the blemishes in our inner man.  The bible tells us that God is coming back for a bride who has made herself not having spot, or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish (Eph. 5:27)  

Rev. 20:12—And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of lie; and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

Who’s the fairest of them all, is God's question.  Is it you?


POEM: with Memory verse...

Mirror, Mirror
on the wall
How do I look
to the Lord of All?
Am I pure, or full of sin?
What does He see
when he looks within?

...the Lord seeth
not as man seeth; 
for man looketh on
the outward appearance,
but the Lord looketh
on the heart.
1 Sam. 16:7

What's Your Price?

Start with prayer!

Play pricing games— like on The Price is Right gameshow

1. Make poster board with spots for each of the five items you have on the table (candy bars, hair ties, etc.,) underneath the words write down some numbers.  The contestant has to guess out of those numbers the correct price of the item.  Example, a candy bar might cost .79 cents.  on the place card in front of the candy bar put  a  7 a 9 and a 5 in random order.  The child has to be able to guess that the correct price of the candy bar is .79 cents, not .75 cents or .95 cents.  They can win that item they got correct or give them a piece of candy.

2. $100.00 bill bean bag toss.  Using a green posterboard and make it look like a $100.00 bill.  Cut out large holes for a bean bag toss, one on each corner and a few in the center.  Place five everyday food items on a table.  Place 3 place cards with prices in front of each item.  The contestant gets a bean bag if they guess the correct price of the item.  The holes of the bean bag toss will have listed the prize they will (lg. Candy bar, $1.00 bill, 3 or four holes that say a piece of candy, etc.)



What did you think of our little pricing games?  Wonder what they have to do with church or God?  Yes, I bet you are a little confused!  Well, it’s been said that everyone has a price.  Just like the items on our table up there which can be bought at the local store by customer’s who desire them, we (people) also have a “price”.  Everyone can be bought, so it’s been said.  

Scripture text— Zechariah 11:12-13 Matt. 26:15-16

Judas had a price.  It was a mere 30 pieces of silver that won him out.  What’s your price?  How much money would it take for you to betray Jesus? $100,000/$1,000,000?  How much? How much would it take for you to give up this truth?

Scripture text— Gen. 25:29-34

It only took a little bowl of lentils for Esau to give up his inheritance.  The satisfaction of a temporary hunger won out.  Esau lost everything, including heaven, for one morsel of meat.  Hebrews 12:16—Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.

Remember Adam and Eve they traded paradise for one bite of the forbidden fruit.  

So I ask what’s your price?  What would it take for you to give up Jesus?  Would it be fortune, fame?  What about beauty or LOVE?   The devil really wants to know this.  He’s bidding for you every single day.  He sets temptations in front of us everyday.  Offering up the very best he has.  He shows off scantily clad beautiful woman and tells us that’s true beauty. He tells us that we can have that if we would trade in our modest apparel.  If we would just cut off our glory for that ohhhh so cute hairstyle donned by this weeks superstar magazine model.  

He flaunts those who’ve made millions and makes us believe they don’t have any problems because they can buy whatever they want.  He says we can have it if we would only boot our integrity and honesty out the door.  We could lie, cheat and steal (or sleep) our way to the top.

Ohh and what about LOVE.  Everyone is looking for LOVE. For someone to fulfil their life.  The devil sends that ohhhh so cute, dreamy bad boy our way.  Oh yes you can have him if you really want him, but you have to give up all dignity and moral decency for him.  

So what’s your price, I ask?  The devil’s looking for your price!  He believes that everyone can be bought.  That there is something out there that will catch your attention and that will steal away your affections.  

What do you think?  Does everyone have a price? Let’s find out.

Scripture text— 1 Kings 21:1-3 1 Kings 21:4-15

King Ahab must have heard the ol’ saying “everyone has a price, everyone can be bought” because he tried to buy something that wasn’t for sale.

King Ahab wanted Naboth’s vineyard, but Naboth was not willing to sell.  Not at any price.  Naboth stood for what he knew was right and would not be bullied into selling out.  Not even to the king.  Unfortunately Naboth was killed for standing up for what was his.

Scripture text— Gen. 39:1, 7-20

Potiphar’s wife sure wanted Joseph and she offered herself to him but Joseph would have no part of it.  He knew not only would it ruin his standing in the kingdom and that if he was caught it would mean his death, but more importantly he knew this affair would rob him of his relationship with God.  Something he just couldn’t afford to lose.  He did go to prison, but he still had his dignity, purity, honesty, integrity, clear/clean conscience, and his God.  

You see not everyone can be bought although many (mannnnnnny) fall into Satan’s trap and sell out to the temporary pleasures of this world.

Don’t sell your soul to the devil.  What you get for it will never be enough. Besides we are not for sale.  We don’t own ourselves.  Jesus purchased us with the price of blood.  He allowed himself to be crucified so that Satan couldn’t have us.  So don’t allow Satan do your bidding.  Don’t sell out to the empty wealth of this world.  

We must hold onto this salvation that Jesus paid so dearly for. 

Play a worship song.  Pray and worship.

Memory verse: Proverbs 23:23—Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.

If time:   Memory verse review— James 4:7 James 4:8a Heb. 11:1

What Shall I Wear?

Have you ever thought that, What Shall I Wear?  Maybe you were going to go to a party.  Maybe a special church service or maybe it’s something that you ask yourself everyday when you are ready to get dressed.

So let’s ask ourselves today, What shall I wear.  

When we think of getting dressed we always think of clothes.  We always look on the outside.  Holiness demands that our outward appearance be right.  We ourselves have a standard that we follow to “keep up appearances” as to not degrade ourselves and we each have our own unique style, but today we are going to talk about our spiritual wardrobe.  

There is much talk in the bible about clothing but what about clothing our spiritual body.  Let’s see:

The bible tells us that when we are baptized in Jesus’ name that we become new creatures in Christ.  That old things are passed away.  All things become new.  Our spiritual man gets a new outfit.  Gal. 3:27—for as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

We are always talking about standards.  Usually we are referring to our outward clothing.  No tight clothes, skirt must be long enough, nothing sheer, etc.  However the bible has some standards set for our spiritual man as well.

Romans 13:11-14—And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.  The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.  Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.  But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lust thereof.

Eph. 4:24-32—And ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun g down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.  Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.  Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.  And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.  Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice.

What suppose do you think our new garments are?

Job 29:14—I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment was as a robe and a diadem.

Is. 59:17—For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing and was clad with zeal as a cloak.

Col. 3:10 &12&14—And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels, of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; and above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

Eph. 6:11&13-18—Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

1 Peter 1:13—Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ:; as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: but as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, be ye holy; for I am holy.

Sounds like our spiritual clothing is pretty important.  Every bit as important and even more so than our outward appearance.  Once we get our spiritual man dressed right the outside man will follow suit.  Yes we must dress holy outwardly, but more importantly we must put on clean spiritual clothes everyday.  We need to check ourselves in the mirror every morning to make sure we look okay.  How can we check our spiritual man in the mirror after all we can’t see our spirit, right?  How about we check ourselves in the mirror of the word. 

James 1:22-23—Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.  But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgethful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

Keeping a good spiritual appearance is hard.  Very hard.  Praying everyday and reading the word everyday.  Questing the word for what is right is not easy, but as all girls know, appearance is important.

Our spiritual woman’s clothing is the most important thing you will ever put on and it is so very beautiful.  I like the way Isaiah said it...

Memory verse:

Is. 61:10—I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath convered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.

What Do You REALLY Want for Christmas

Start with prayer—

Ask the question what to you want for Christmas?  

Scripture text–

Luke 1:26-35
Matthew 1:18-25
Luke 2:1-16
Matthew 2:1-11

We have heard the Christmas story so many times that it has become something we really don’t even pay much attention to anymore.  Not only have I heard the Christmas story many times and have also read it many times but I had forgotten that the wise men didn’t come and worship Jesus at the manger.  I have been so used to seeing the world’s rendition of that holy night and the abundance of nativity scenes that show the wise men at the manger.  

The people of this world have been blinded (deceived) into forgetting what the true meaning of Christmas is.  Forgetting the reason that the Christ was even born.  Nowadays Christmas is all about giving and getting.  Shopping and eating.  Santa and presents.  When I was a kid most people at least went to church on Christmas but now it’s hard to find very many that even remember that Christmas is about Christ, and in order to be “politically correct” some people don’t even allow the word “Christmas” be said.  Now it’s just a “holiday”.  They have taken Christ out of Christmas.  Then like I said there are those of us who have heard the Christmas story sooo much we don’t even pay attention to it anymore.  

So what really is it all about?  Is it about giving or getting? Yes, no, maybe. Of course, we know it’s about the birth of a savior, but so what about that birth.  What’s a savior anyway?  So you mean to tell me that the true meaning of Christmas is about salvation?  Yes, it is about salvation.  We can see from the scriptures that God came to earth in the flesh in the form of a baby, his life was to teach us how to be saved from impending death and destruction due to sin, and to show us God’s will for our lives. Then he gave his life as the sacrificial lamb that his precious shed blood might be able to cleanse humankind from sin should they choose to accept it.  So truly he was born to die, that we might live.  Sounds kind of weird, but it’s true.  So what about presents at Christmas time?  Why do we give gifts?  Well, some folks believe the tradition started because the wise men gave gifts to Jesus but the truth is, the first Christmas gift ever given was from God.  He gave himself!   So is Christmas about giving, or getting.  Well, I say it’s yes and no.  It’s who did the giving that’s important and what was given that’s even more important.   The bible says...

Gal 1:4–Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our father.

Titus 2:14–Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

So you see Christmas really isn’t about the birth of a baby.  It about the birth of the plan of salvation.  Christmas is about the birth of a savior.  Our savior, Jesus Christ, the offering for our sins.

So it was unto us that this child was given that we might be saved.  God’s whole plan from the foundation of the world was that he would come to this world in the likeness of humanity, and then offer that human life for atonement of our sin.  Isn’t he wonderful!  

Memory verse:  Isaiah 9:6—For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

His name is JESUS!

To Believe Or Not To Believe...That is the Question

Start with Prayer---

Faith v. Doubt—Trial by Jury

Note:  This is a very fun, interesting lesson that leaves a lasting impression.  We had a mock trial...Faith v. Doubt.  If you have a large group of children, you should have one attorney (child) who represents the side of faith and another attorney (child) who represents the side of doubt.  The rest of the children can be jurors.  Teacher is the judge.  The setting is the Gospel Courtroom.  The Judge (teacher) is Hon. Ima Notshur.  Set up the room like a courtroom.  Teacher sets at desk (put a name plate on desk (with judges name), wear a black robe if possible and use a gavel).  Court is in session.  The Judge is not sure if there is a god or not and if the Bible is really His word.  The attorney on the side of faith uses scripture to convince the judge there is a god and that the bible is His word.  The attorney on the side of doubt uses scientific theories such as evolution, big bang theory to attempt to convince the judge there is no god and that the bible must have been written by mere men.  FAITH MUST WIN THE ARGUMENT.  You should give each attorney a file folder.  Faith's folder contains bible evidence (scriptures) proving God and His written word.  Doubts folder contains googled "evidence" (documents) of no god and erroneous word.  Teacher, ad lib.  Be like a judge deciding what is good and acceptable evidence and determine at the end that there is a God and the Bible is His infallible word.  (pound your gavel a few times in objection to the "doubt" attorney's case).
Faith v. Doubt—Have the trial now...ask the attorneys to present their cases (give them each 3-5 minutes to do so.  In the end the judge (and jury) must be convinced that there is a God and that the Bible is His word. 

After your short (10 min. or so) trial, do the following object lesson (optional) or skip to the lesson below it!  

Object lesson—water and air---explain that faith is believing in something that you cannot see.  State that although you cannot see God (Jesus) because he is a Spirit, you can still know that He is real.  Explain that something else you cannot see, but is real is the air.  State that you are now going to prove that the air in the room is real.  

You will need two glasses for this experiment.  One clear glass (which you will fill 3/4 of the way full of water)  and one opaque (not see through) glass with a small sponge glued inside the bottom.  You also need one piece of cardboard cut slightly larger than the mouth of the clear glass of water.  

Pour water into a glass until it is almost full.  Place the piece of cardboard, over the top, shiny side down.  (An old breakfast cereal box is an ideal source of suitable cardboard)  Hold cardboard in place, and invert glass (turn glass with cardboard upside down).  Take away your hand from the cardboard.  Explain that gravity is still at work trying to make the water fall on the floor, but that the air air - which we cannot see - is stronger than gravity and is keeping the cardboard in place.  Invite a few of the children to put their faith in the air - which they cannot see - and walk under the glass.  As they are doing so, reinforce the truth that they are trusting in something that they cannot see.

If you wish, you could conclude this illustration as follows:

State that you are now looking for someone with GREAT faith.  Choose a volunteer.  State that you are now going to hold the glass of water over their head as before and tip it upside down, but this time you are not going to use any cardboard!  Say you wouldn't want them to get too wet if things went wrong, so you will pour some of the water out of the glass.  Pour out water until about 2 or 3 cm. remains.  State that you still don't like the idea of wetting their hair-if things did go wrong-so you will hold a cup between the glass and their hair. Pour the water out of the glass and into the cup.  Act surprised that the water came out of the glass.  State that you have worked out the problem.  You weren't really using faith, because real faith in Jesus is trusting in Him alone.  Therefore, real faith in the air is trusting in the air alone.  Therefore you are now going to invert the cup (now containing the water) over the volunteer's head, but with nothing in between.  Do this.  The will not come out of the cup, because you had previously placed a SPONGE in the bottom!

This little object lesson is to simply prove that you can believe and trust in a God that you cannot see.

To Believe Or Not To Believe...That is the Question

I have heard many people tell me, even recently, that they just don’t believe the Bible is God’s word.  That it’s a great book and that it’s got a lot of good principles for living in it, but that it was written by men and therefore there is no need to take it seriously.  I recently had a friend of mine tell me that he didn’t believe the whole bible was the word of God and that furthermore it was not even understandable by most people.  He said, that the interpretation of the scriptures was at the discretion of the reader.  That no one could say for sure what exactly was meant in the scriptures.  Basically, what he was saying is that he believes there is a God, but that there was no way that God would speak to men so his word could be recorded for all generations to have and understand.   I told him that it was very understandable.  That is was not left up to individual interpretation but that one must believe and follow God’s plan for salvation and allow the Holy Ghost to lead him and guide him into all truth and understanding.  The main point is believing (faith).
2 Peter 1:20—Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
John 1:11-12—He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.
Hebrews 11:6—But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

John 14:26—But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
John 16:13—Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth...

Do you believe what the bible says is true, or not?  Do you believe what it says about God, or not?  Do you believe that it’s God’s word and not mans; or, like some, do you believe God said only the things that you like, but that the rest of the bible was written by selfish, egotistical men? Do you even believe in God?   

What it all comes down to is faith v. doubt.  Just like in our little trial.  You have faith on one side that believes that there is a God and that he really did inspire men to write his word for us to have and to live by and that he really does love us and wants to save us from our sins.  

2 Tim. 3:16—All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness:

On the other side is doubt (which includes pride). Those doubting that there even is a God because they can’t see him and that if there was such a being he would never lower himself to save humanity or that he would allow us to come into his presence.  

Then we have extreme doubter (which is really pride) who don’t’ want to believe there is a God.  They don’t believe they need one.  That they can do everything without him.  If they can persuade themselves that there is no god then they are persuaded that they can live however they wish and there is no punishment for it.  They can’t fathom a being who is bigger and better than they are.  One who would inflict judgment on them for their unrighteousness.  

Then there are also those that believe in God but they don’t take his word at face value and only do or believe those things they want and those things that make them feel good about themselves and of God.  They also really don’t believe in his judgment. 

 All doubters, regardless of what type they are, have placed themselves in a position above God and resist him simply because they can’t fathom his vastness, they believe they don’t need him, or they don’t want him meddling in their business and they doubt that if God is so loving and good that he will punish them eternally for not obeying him.  They resist God on all counts.

Acts 7:51—Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.

1 Cor. 2:13—Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

That’s wherein the problem lies.  They are comparing spiritual things to natural things.  They are comparing God to natural man and not as God.  They can’t explain the spirit world so they dismiss it as false or nonexistent.  They really can’t fathom that there is a God and that he is what he says he is, and that he will do what he says he will do. That he will save or he will punish because they can’t see him or understand him.  But, you see that’s where faith comes into play. The bible says that we must walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corin. 5:7).  Faith is believing in what we can’t see,  fathom or understand.  No one has proof that God breathed every word of the bible to the men of old who wrote down his words on paper (or stone) (except for the bible which tells us it is) (2 Tim. 3:16).  No one has proof that God framed the worlds just by speaking the word because no one saw him do it (Heb. 11:3).  No one can see that their sins have been forgiven when they ask and remitted in baptism except for by faith.  

We can only choose to believe or choose not to believe.  Believing is faith.  No man has ever seen God at any time so does that mean he doesn’t exist?  In John chapter 14 Jesus says to Philip and doubting Thomas, if you don’t believe me because of what I say then believe me because of my works. Saying that, we can have proof of God because of the works he has done.  We have seen the evidence through creation and other natural forces (tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, birth of a baby) that there is a being bigger, smarter and more advanced than we are (we can’t do those things, although egotistical scientists have tried). We have the proof that God’s word has never been able to be disputed. The walls of Jericho really did fall.  Sodom and Gomorrah really was destroyed by balls of fire. It must be truth.  We may not have seen our sins forgiven or washed away but we have the evidence of speaking in other tongues as proof that he has given us the gift of the Holy Ghost which he promised.  Hebrews 11:1 says that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  We may not see God but there is evidence that he exists.  

Faith is the key to everything.  Faith that God exists (Heb. 11:6).  Faith that he did come to earth in the form of lowly man to become the pure sacrifice for our sins (that is grace).  One can only be saved by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8) (this is believing in the grace of God unto salvation (1Pet.1:5)).  We must have faith that he does forgive and remit sins within the constraints of the Acts 2:38 plan of salvation.  Those who doubt are missing out.  They will not receive the grace that God sent unto salvation because they simply do not or will not believe.  

So where does faith come from?  The bible says that faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.  So does that mean that if someone has not heard they cannot have faith and so maybe that’s why there are those who doubt?  I guess we could say that to a certain extent, but the bible also says that God has given to every man a measure of faith.  So you see there really is no good excuse for doubt especially to those who have heard the word. 

The problem with man is that everything has to be proven, visible, reasonable and understandable.  We have a need to rationalize things and make sense of things but that’s precisely why God operates in the realm of faith.  If we could understand everything we would have no need for God.  You see God is not a man and his understanding is unsearchable (Isaiah 40:28).  His ways are higher than our ways and his thoughts greater than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:9).  They can’t understand that His abilities are not limited like ours are, but you see God limited us on purpose so that we would have a need for him and that we would look toward him for answers.  So that we would trust and depend on him and so we would respect his power and authority.  Instead because God is unexplainable some have become as fools who have said in their heart that there is no God (Psalm 14:1).  THOSE OF US WHO ARE BELIEVERS NEED TO STAY AWAY FROM THOSE WHO WOULD DISPUTE GOD WITH US.

1 Tim. 6:20-21 says—O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: which some professing have erred concerning the faith.

2 Tim. 2:16 also says—But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

It’s important that we don’t entertain the thoughts and ideas of men disputing God’s supremacy, power or existence.  We should take God at his word then there will be no doubt in our hearts. 

Just like our little trial where we had two sides disputing over God, that happens all the time in the real world.  People debating where one side is defending their faith and the other side is defending their non-faith.  However, God’s word is not up for debate and it is unwise to do so and God does not want us to do so.

Remember the story of Peter cutting off Malchus’ ear with his sword when the officials came to arrest Jesus?  Jesus rebuked Peter and told him to put his sword away.  Jesus did not need for Peter to defend him then and He don’t need for us to defend him now.  He doesn’t need us to defend his existence or his word, so when those around us come to crucify the God we believe in, we need not pull out the sword (the word) in defense of God.  He can and will take care of himself.

So, to believe or not to believe, that is the question?  Here’s my thought on the whole matter, I would rather spend my life believing in God, living the way his word says and find out when I die that there is no god, than to live how I wish now only to find out that there really is a God and be judged by him according to his word.  Truly those who don’t believe are fools!!  Case closed!

Choose your memory verse—

Hebrews 11:1               Hebrews 11:6 Psalm 14:1

More Subtle Than Any Other Beast

Start with Prayer---

Scripture text: Gen. 3:1-7

The serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field.

Let’s talk about some key points of this scripture passage:   

First, Eve probably was familiar with this serpent.  She wasn’t all of the sudden convinced after one conversation with him to disobey God.  There must have been more than one encounter with this creature.  Just as the devil used a snake in this incident, I want to stress this point.  The devil is not an individual person such as Jesus Christ was.  The devil uses people and objects to try and cause us to sin.  He is good at his job.  

Why do you think the devil chose Eve to deceive instead of Adam?  The devil always preys on the weaker vessel.  He always preys on the one who cannot defend themselves (who can’t defend themselves because they don’t have enough knowledge of God’s word).  So guess what the is preying on children such as you all every single day.  If he can kill you early, before you become strong, then he wins.  Eve got the Word of God second hand from Adam.  She didn’t hear it from God for herself.  That’s a problem.  We must hear God personally.  Eph. 6:11—Put on the whole armour of God that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  In Ephesians it talks about putting on the armor of God.  We have to have our own armor.  We have to get it for ourselves.  Your friends armor is not going to fully protect you.  Your mother’s armor is not going to fully protect you.  

Their nakedness was an expression of innocence, naivety and purity.  They were out in the open.  There was nothing hidden about them.  

Their eyes were opened.  Before they tasted of the forbidden fruit, they had been spiritually one sighted.  They could only see God.  They had Singleness of vision.  Remember the scripture that says (the light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light, but if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness However, when they tasted of sin their eyes were then opened to sin.  The devil always tells us that God just doesn’t want us to have any fun.  He is holding back on us.  He knows that we would enjoy “it” and then we would find out just how much we have been missing out on.  The devil knows that once you taste of the fruit of sin you are changed forever.  God has mercy but you can never be like you were before.  You are no longer pure and innocent.  

The leaves that they put on after sinning was “to cover or hide their sin” isn’t that just like us.  Always trying to cover and hide what we’ve done wrong.  However, we can’t hide from God. 

I know we have all heard this lesson before, and I don’t want to bore you, but there are many important lessons to learn from this one little passage of scripture.  You see the devil is still doing this very same thing today.  He may not appear to you in the form of a serpent but the devil is still using this same technique to try and destroy you.  We need to be able to recognize his tricks so that we don’t fall prey in his trap of destruction.  

Subtle—deceitful, that is the devil’s business and he’s good at it!  In this record of the downfall of man (or woman) we see that the devil can and will use whatever he has to in order to overthrow our faith, our walk with God, our spiritual one sightedness, he is looking destroy us and that’s what I want to talk about today.  The wiles of the devil.  Wiles meaning the tricks he uses to get to us.  Our question is, who or what does the devil use to get to use? 

In the case above he used a piece of fruit and a serpent.  Okay we can understand him using a piece of fruit to tempt Eve.  Just the same as he uses worldly things to tempt us.  Clothes, entertainment, etc.  The fruit was tempting to Eve.  She had never tasted it and it looked good. The befuddling question; however, is why would the devil use a serpent to speak to Eve? After all doesn’t he know that every women is scared to death of snakes?  Of course he does (well at least they are now), but here’s the thing, I don’t think Eve was afraid of snakes.  God had not yet put enmity between the woman and the serpent.  That came later.  The serpent and Eve coexisted together in the garden and I bet she was pretty familiar with this particular serpent.  I bet she was comfortable with him being around and she trusted him.  He might have even been one of her pets, and I can almost bet that he had spoken to her (or beguiled her) many times prior to this day.  I mean there’s no way that Eve would have let just one conversation with a strange snake cause her to disobey the God that she and her husband had known intimately for some time, not over one measly piece of fruit.  She had to have known this serpent.  She must have trusted that the serpent was friendly and that he was not a threat to her (or at least she thought he wasn’t).  You know, the devil is doing the same thing to us.  Although he is not using a serpent to talk to us (as I said woman hate snakes), he is using something or someone to beguile us.  It’s the someone that I want to talk about today.  We all know the what(s) that he uses.  But we often fail to recognize the who(s) that he uses.  

I can tell you for a fact that the devil has not stopped his attempts to destroy women or men, or even children.  The devil is still using a something or a someone in his attempt to destroy every single one of us.   The thing is it’s usually not an inanimate object that he’s using.  I can guarantee there is almost always a someone involved.  That’s scary!  He almost always uses someone we trust, love or admire to influence us.  It’s imperative that we find out today the who behind Satan’s ploy to destroy our lives.  

You see I recognized this past week that the devil was doing this very thing with someone in my family.  My daughter, Kayla.   The devil has been using her aunt Cindy to downgrade church, our doctrine and beliefs and to persuade Kayla that the Bible is not true.

The devil has tried this same things with me.  My best friend LaDonna tried this stuff shortly after I started coming to church.  She was unsuccessful because I kept referring to the word of God as my answer to her (remember the lesson of how Jesus was tempted?) That’s what I did.  It’s our only defense against him.   However, Kayla is not as versed in the Word of God as I am and so the devil is using her aunt Cindy to confuse her.  Thank God that he showed me what was going on so now I can protect her.  Now Kayla is not allowed to hang around with her aunt Cindy without me.  

Do either of you have anyone in your life that you love, trust or admire who is trying to take away the Word of God out of your heart?  Let’s think about it.  Let’s talk about it.

The Right Fit

Start with Prayer---

Scripture Text—1 Samuel 17:38-40

Here we see young David as he prepares to fight Goliath.  Saul, the king, had given David his armor to protect David.  However, David couldn’t wear Saul’s armor.  Why?  Well, David was just a child and Saul was a big man.  The bible says he stood head and shoulders above all the other Israelites.  David was only about 12-14 years old when he fought against Goliath.  There was no way Saul’s armor would have fit him.  David would never have been able to fight because he would have been too weighted down by the armor. 

That kind of like us today.  Sometimes when we are in a battle with the devil we try using Mom’s armor, or dad’s armor, well, because they are more skilled in fighting against the devil than we are.  They are spiritual warriors, bigger than us and we are just lads; but, just like David we must stop trying to use armor that’s not ours and that’s not our size in order to have victory over the devil.   We have to fight the battle on our own.  We need armor that fits. 

*****Do the pots and pans armor example (gather things from kitchen to use as examples of different sized armor: bowls as helmets, cookie sheets as breastplates/shields, pancake turner as swords, etc.)

You see just like the pots and pans that fit me but not you, we have to have armor that fits good.  It has to be the right size in order to protect us effectively.  If David had worn Saul’s armor he would have never been able to even walk to the battle field, much less fight.  He would have been defeated.  He would have died.  Thankfully David chose not to wear Saul’s armor and all went well.  Today, although we are not fighting a physical war like David did against Goliath, we are fighting a spiritual war.  Everyday the devil comes against us with temptations, evil thoughts and trickery to cause us to lose our spiritual life.  He is like Goliath; big, bad, and ugly.  He makes horrible threats, and there is always someone around like Saul who offers us their armor.  Oh do things this way, or that way.  Oh, don’t worry those things.  They don’t bother me so they won’t hurt you either.  However, we are each individual people.  Each with our own temptations.  Each with our own problems and situations in life.  Other people’s armor is not the right size for our situation. 

Fortunately God has provided all of us spiritual armor that always fits perfectly no matter what our physical size is and no matter what kind of Goliath we have in our lives.

Ephesians 6:11-18—He gives us everything we need to protect us against the tricks of the devil.  
Discuss the different pieces of armor and what they are used for.  

*Gird about loins with truth.  We need to put on the belt of truth.  The devil is always trying to hit us below the belt (the waste).  You know in a boxing match it’s an illegal move to hit someone below the waste, but as usual the devil never follows the rules and is always taking swipes at us where it would hurt the most, however, if we protect our most vulnerable parts with truth then we will not be deceived.  The bible says that God’s word is truth and that the truth will make us free.  We have to have truth!

*Breastplate of righteousness.  In a soldier’s uniform the breastplate is the one piece that protects the heart.  You see the devil is always trying to accuse us of wrong doing and pin us down with the heartaches and sorrows of our mistakes.  However, doing right and living right is our breastplate that protects our heart.  The devil can’t accuse someone of doing wrong if they haven’t done anything wrong. 

*Shod your feet with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace.  Where we go is important.  It’s important that we don’t let our feet take us to places that God wouldn’t go or want us to go.  It’s the devil’s trick to try to get us to go to bad places where bad people hang out, but that’s not all.  Remember, Mark 16:15–says “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.  The Apostle Paul said follow me as I follow Christ.  We need to take the message of Christ to every creature and we cannot do that if we haven’t prepared ourselves with what exactly that gospel is.  
That gospel is...Luke 24:46-49—Christ suffered and died so that repentance and remissions of sins might be preached in his name and then the comforter (holy ghost) would come.  Sounds kind of like Acts 2:38 don’t it.  (Peter preached exactly what Christ said should be preached.  That is the whole reason that Christ died, that people everywhere might be saved) This is the gospel that we need to take everywhere we go that everyone we meet might be saved. 

What does this have to do with armor and protection?  Well, if you don’t know the gospel you can and will be tricked into believing any other gospel besides the one that Jesus said to believe.  The apostle Paul said, that if the gospel be hid it is hid to them that are lost and in Galatians 1:8 he said—that if any person or even an angel preach any other gospel to you than the gospel that Jesus and the apostles have preached to you, let them be accursed.  He said BEWARE!  THERE IS ONLY ONE TRUE GOSPEL AND IT’S IMPORTANT THAT YOU KNOW IT AND TAKE IT WITH YOU EVERYWHERE YOU GO.

*Shield of faith.  Everyone knows what a shield is.  It is the one thing that you can move back and forth to stop the enemies darts/spears from hitting you.  Faith is our shield.  We talked before about faith vs. doubt, and that’s exactly what faith is.  Believing in something you cannot see.  The devil is always going to try to say that there really is no god.  How can you believe in God.  You’ve never seen him.  Your sins haven’t really been forgiven because you didn’t see God forgive them, did you? Those are the darts the devil is throwing.  He throws them at us everyday either by using other people (like what we talked about a few weeks ago) or puts these thoughts in our minds (which we will discuss next). That’s where faith comes in.  Faith is believing.  Believing in what? The bible says there is only one faith, and that is to believe in God.  That he is (that he exists), and that his word is truth.  The bible also says that God cannot lie and that when we ask he is faithful to forgive us our sins.  When we have the faith to believe these things it is our shield against the darts of the devil.

*Helmet of salvation.  Here we go.  The helmet protects our head (brain, mind).  Oh the devil is always trying to play mind games with us.  Like I just said he is trying to persuade us that God’s not real.  The bible is a lie. Our sins haven’t been forgiven.  He doesn’t love us.  Who is Jesus, there’s no way God would ever come down from heaven and give himself for your sins.  He have to put on the helmet of salvation.  To know you are saved because you have followed God’s plan for salvation protects your mind against these thoughts the devil tries to put in there.  You can know that you are saved, simply because you followed the plan of salvation (which is the gospel that we spoke of earlier). We will most likely have a lesson on that topic soon.

Finally, the our scripture passage says.  Take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  God has not only provided us with protective armor, but he has also provided us with a weapon (the sword of the Spirit) which the bible says is the word of God.  The bible says the word of God is quick and powerful, than any two edged sword.  God’s word is our weapon against the devil.  Remember how I taught that when Jesus was tempted by Satan in the desert that he always used scripture to defeat him.  It still works today for us.  The devil is always trying to pervert God’s word, but we need to know the scripture so that we can use it against him.

Memory Verse:

Eph. 6:11—Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

So there you have it.  Everything you need to fight the devil (your Goliath), and it will always fit right.  The word of God is the right fit every time.  It’s up to you to put it on.  Know the word!!! 

The Point of No Return

Start with Prayer---

Note:  For fun I made a street sign to hang on the wall with arrows going in different directions.  One arrow pointing somewhat toward heaven, one toward left (home), one toward the right (church), and one pointing somewhat towards the ground and label it...POINT OF NO RETURN.

Question: Do all roads lead to home as the old adage says, or do we need to choose carefully the path we follow?

In other words, how much thought should we give to the choices we make in life?  I would say (from experience, of course) that much thought must be given to every decision we are to make to prevent making the wrong decision.

The bible says in Proverbs 3:6 (which is your memory verse)

—In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

What a promise we have just by going to the Lord before we make decisions.

The bible talks much about looking to the Lord for direction.  It talks much about the right way and the wrong ways to go; and by the way, “all roads do not lead to home” (that is, your heavenly home).

Every move we make, every decision we make, takes us one step further down life’s dusty road.  The bible says in Matt. 7:13-14 (turn there in your bibles) read and discuss...

...then the very next verse here begins with the word ‘BEWARE’.  Beware of what?  People and things that would lead you astray!

Prov. 4:27 says—Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove they foot from evil.  

We must stay on the straight and narrow, but how?  By removing our foot from evil.  Removing our foot from evil involves consulting God’s word for direction before we make decisions.  Just like I tell Kayla all the time, In life you only get one chance.  One wrong decision or one bad mistake can ruin your life forever.  Some mistakes can cost you your life altogether.  You see the thing about life is that there is no turning back.  Mistakes cannot be undone so the choices we make must be through careful consideration.  Why, because there is (figuratively speaking) “a place of no return”.  
Let’s take a look at some guys in the bible who figured this out the hard way.  

Esau—turn to Hebrews 12:16-17–although Esau was “tricked” into giving up his birthright, he was considered in this scripture and others as being the one in error.  Why?  It’s because he was fleshly, only desiring what would please his flesh.  He lived for the here and now instead of making decisions based on God’s word.  In Hebrews it tells us that Esau found no place of repentance though he sought it carefully with tears.  He just couldn’t change his way of thinking.  He couldn't have a change of heart to live for God. He just could not submit and humble himself to the ways of God and so he had reached his final destination, “the point of no return”.

Judas also, he betrayed Jesus for a mere 30 pieces of silver.  Now Judas felt bad about his actions and even sought to have them undone.  He wanted to give the money back and stop what was happening to Jesus but it was too late.  Oh sure, he could have found Jesus and asked forgiveness, but instead pride stood in the way and Judas committed suicide.  Judas arrived at “the point of no return”.  

How about Cain.  Because of jealousy, Cain killed his own brother.  When God came calling, Cain could’ve said “oh, what have I done, Oh God, please forgive me.  Instead all he could say was “am I my brother’s keeper?”  He had no sorrow of heart at all and Able was dead.  There’s no taking that back for sure.   God banished Cain from his people to “the point of no return”.

Now I have to ask, what happened to these guys?  Why did they do these things?  They knew right from wrong.  They were taught God’s expectations of them from birth.  They were trained up right, so what went wrong?  

All these guys made mistakes stemming from (as Bro. Self. Preached the other night) a wrong spirit that had developed deep inside them.  Did they know better than to do these things?  Absolutely.  How did they get a wrong spirit?  There are lots of questions here as to why.  It all boils down to making the wrong choices when they were faced with decisions.  They did not go to God for direction.  They just did what felt right and by doing so ended up on the roads that lead to the “point of no return”.   They had gotten themselves in places they did not belong but instead of turning back, truly repenting and getting back to the right road, they continued following the path of destruction.  Those men were so ate up with following their fleshly lusts and desires that they just could not find their way back to the Street called Straight.

I guess this lesson could be about repentance or about making right and wrong choices, but in essence it’s about both.  However, I do want to put more emphasis on making right choices so you don’t end up down the wrong road in life.  Everything we do has consequences.  So what should we do to make sure we don’t stray?  Follow God’s word even if you don’t understand it all!!!

Why don’t we cut our hair?  Maybe it’s simply because God’s likes us to have long hair.  Maybe it’s because it makes us unique (no one else but God’s women practice this).  Really it’s a submission to God issue because that’s what he tells us to do.  Am I saying that if you cut your hair it won’t grow back?  No, but every time we do anything against what God asks of us, we are taking a step off of God’s straight and narrow path that leads to life.  Once you cut your hair you cannot glue it back on.  The mistake has been made forever even if it does grow back over time.  

The best advice is to just not take any chances and whatever you do, don’t end up at “the point of no return”!

These men were ate up with jealousy, bitterness, vanity and pride.  


This blog is dedicated to all things inspirational, with it's basis solely from the infallible, inerrant word of God. Unless otherwise posted all scripture references will be taken from the Kings James version of the Holy Bible. Some biblical material and docrinal views on this blog may be controversial in content. I ask when viewing this type of material that you open your heart solely to the word of God and allow his truth, as written in his word, to teach and guide you.
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