Scripture: Matthew 19:21
Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
Lesson Objective: To understand that we sometimes allow “things” to come between God and us.
When asked why we do not serve God, we would all reply that we do serve God. However, we are faced with choices each day that test our real desire to serve God. To serve God we must be willing to put all material things away and not allow them to come between God and us. The question is do we use the material things in life to glorify God. Do we use our car to take someone to the grocery store or take them to work without asking or taking money for gas? Do we choose to work those extra hours in lieu of serving mankind for God so that we can obtain that extra tv set or extra pair of shoes that we only wear on special occasions because we do not want to mess them up?
Thought for today: Do you have a material item that you refuse to share with others?
Scripture: Matthew 10:37
Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
Lesson Objective: To understand that God is to be loved over everyone which may mean making some hard decisions?
The Bible is very clear that it is impossible to have two masters; you will love one and hate the other. For most, we grow up loving our parents and other siblings because they are “blood”. Sometimes however that natural love can be challenged by the actions of our family members. We cannot allow that natural love to interfere with our serving and worshiping God. It is our obligation to witness to our family if the need arises. We must never make decisions that are inconsistent with the teachings of the Bible even if that means going against family members. Being a member of God’s family is most important and should drive all of our decisions.
Thought for today: Are there family members in your life with whom you need to witness?
Scripture: Revelation 3:19
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore, be zealous and repent.
Lesson Objective: To understand that love without rebuke is not love at all.
We tend to feel uncomfortable when we have to give a review. We feel even more nervous when we know that we are being reviewed. However, constructive criticism given by a true friend should be welcomed.
How can we ever get better at what we do if no one takes the time to review us and share with us our shortcomings so that we can do better? A person who does not care will let you think that you are doing well at a given task just to see you fail: However, a true friend will share with you genuine concerns so that you will not fail. It is up to each of us to learn how to accept the corrections with the love that it is given and stop being so defensive that we stop listening and go on to make unwarranted mistakes.
Thought for today: How willing am I to accept loving rebuke and corrections?
Scripture: 1 John 4:8
He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
Lesson Objective: To continue the discussion on the importance of love in our lives.
In sports there are individuals that transcend the sport and their name becomes synonymous with the sport. It is the same for movies and other various professions. Usually one only has to say the initials or the first name. MJ- Basketball; Denzel- Movies; Babe- Baseball; or nicknames such as Say Hey Kid- Willie Mays or The Greatest- Muhammad Ali. The word Love is synonymous with God. The Bible is very clear of the importance of love as it relates to God and mankind. God created all mankind and how can we say we love God if we do not love something that he created. As 1 John 3:10b says “Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother”
Thought for today: How can you say you love God who you have never seen and hate your brother who you see every day?
Scripture: 1 John 3:14
We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death.
Lesson Objective: To understand that learning the power of love is essential for the process of becoming a Christian.
Sadly many individuals go through life never understanding the importance of love in their lives. They fail to understand the importance that Christ puts on love for those who wish to have eternal life. We must understand that we are striving to come from a state of sin and death to a state of eternal life through Jesus Christ. The ticket and the only way to eternal life is love. This means that we must have love for all. We cannot choose whom we love and whom we do not love. It is certain just as we cannot enter heaven if we fail to repent for our sins, we cannot enter heaven without loving our neighbor and all are our neighbor.
Thought for today: How would you feel if the only one that could punch your ticket for eternal life was someone that you did not love?