October 2021 week 3


Contentment or Happiness

Scripture:  Hebrew 13:5 Philippians 4:11

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content

Lesson Objective: To understand the true meaning of contentment and to determine if one can be content or should they continually seek happiness.

One dictionary defines contentment as “the state of being mentally or emotionally satisfied with things as they are. Happiness is a feeling that one may have but is not everlasting for we are constantly seeking happiness. The first sin recorded in the Bible is a result of Adam and Eve not being content with all that God had given them. The major reason why one may not be content is the constant comparison to others and desiring what someone else may have regardless of whether we actually need it or not.  I remember a friend telling me that after I had purchased a house that I needed a boat because some others in the neighborhood had a boat. He said even if the boat had a hole in it, I needed to buy a boat. That is how we think sometimes. It does not matter if something makes sense, that is not important. What is important is that we have what others have. For whatever reason, we are constantly in this battle of comparing ourselves to others which causes us not to be content. The 10th commandment warns us about lack of content for it says do not covert. Do not want something because someone else has it.   One of the best ways to become content is to focus on God and not on others in this world. Always be thankful for what we have and give praise and rejoice for what God has given us. It can be said that it is a sin to not be thankful for the blessings of God. Content is a learned behavior as stated by Paul in Philippians 4:11-12. Content is not based on circumstances but is based on a mindset that is continually nurtured.  Some ask the question—can I desire more? The answer is yes as documented in the prayer of Jabez- 1 Chronicles 4: 9-10. Being content does not mean not desiring more but checking your motives for the request. James 4: 2-3

Thought for the day: Know that true contentment is achieving happiness. It is not one or the other but Contentment brings one happiness.




Real Love

Scripture:  1 Corinthians 13:12-13

For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love

Lesson Objective: To discuss true love and how it impacts our daily lives

Although most people would agree that love is an important if not the most important factor in life, many people go through life without ever finding true love. This is demonstrated by failed marriages, ruined family relationships and unhealthy life styles. Often times this is a result of people depending on external forces to bring that love that they may so desperately seek. Some suggest that one must learn to love themselves first before loving others. While that may sound good, I want us to look at another option. First, the definition of love as used today may be the problem. Love is not a sexual attraction; love is not caring for someone because they are a relative; and love is not loving someone because they love you. True love is unconditional and is how we feel to others and not how they may or may not feel towards us.  An example is how we feel when we give someone a present. Regardless if that person says thank you or not should not affect how we feel in giving the gift. But too often we allow how the person reacts to cloud our feelings. Let’s check our EGOs. Ken Blanchard states that EGO can stand for Edging God Out.  This EGO can be manifested by fear and pride that keep a person from experiencing true love. Fear keeps us from loving because we are afraid of how others may react. Pride gets in the way because we feel like we must be loved before we can love. Please note that the Bible does not say that others must love us but it does say that we must love.

Thought for the day: True love is found not by being loved but by loving.


What is my gift?

Romans 12: 6-8

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

Lesson Objective: Understanding the importance of your gift

Often times we spend a lot of time and effort trying to determine what is our gift as if it is something that we need to find. Sometimes we may look at the gifts listed above in the scripture and try to put a round peg into a square pole or we look at others around us and marvel at their gifts and feel inadequate because we seem not to be as talented as others. First and foremost it was never intended that these are the only gifts but only examples of gifts that come from the Holy Spirit. There are other gifts that should be used for the upbuilding of the Kingdom such as music, writing skills, etc. The aptitude for the use of computers will not be specifically identified in the Bible but we know that some have the gift for web page designing that can be used to promote Church activities. Also teaching is not just teaching the bible but also teaching employment skills. Secondly know that all gifts are equal and that none are more important than others no matter what it appears. A perfect example is salt. When cooking, one should only use a pinch of salt which is usually less than any other ingredient but without the salt, the food would not taste as good so the importance of a little salt cannot be overlooked. We even use salt when baking a cake which I still do not understand but it teaches that we do not need to always understand but just follow the recipe. God has given us a recipe and we must use what he has given us. Thirdly, we must use the gift that he has given us and stop looking for something else for God has already prepared us for his purpose. Most if not all really know what we do best and what we enjoy doing. All we need to do is to use that gift for God’s purpose.

Thought for the day: Be intentional and look for opportunities to use your gift. You have the gift now just go out and use it


What kind of fruit are you?

Scripture: Galatians 5: 22

 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Lesson Objective: Looking inward to see what others may see. Self-reflection

I do not have a farming background so when I see trees or plants, I usually have no idea what kind of tree that it is until I see the fruit then I know that it is an apple tree or I know that it is a banana tree or a fig tree. It is the same for us today. When we first meet people they may have no idea who we are as a person and who we represent. They form an opinion of us based to some degree on what say but more importantly on what we do. Another factor is who we associate with. Who introduced us. Just as we look in the mirror to see if our outward appearance is appropriate, we must everyday look inside to see if we are demonstrating the fruit of the spirit. Remembering that we only get to make one first impression. Does our fruit reflect the tree called Christ? We must remember that we need to tend to our fruit tree and remove the weeds daily.

Thought for the day: Who do people see when they see you?

Who do you represent?

Scripture:  1 Corinthians 12: 4-7

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.

Lesson Objective: To seek unity and not differences.

Puzzles can be fun but also can be very frustrating. Each piece of the puzzle has a unique shape and fits only a set number of other pieces. The picture on the front of the box is beautiful which entices us to purchase the puzzle but when we get home and begin to put the puzzle together we may begin to re-think our purchase. The key to completing the puzzle is to identify the foundational pieces which is usually the outside borders and then fill in the middle until we get to the last piece. The foundational pieces represent God for we cannot begin the project without first reaching out to God for his guidance. The middle may be the pretty picture but without the border we can never get to the middle. Each piece is important as the puzzle will never look like the picture on the front if even one piece is missing. To assure that the pieces fit correctly they are cut with the same saw. It is the same with us. Everyone is different but all are cut from the same saw. All of the gifts come from the Holy Spirit. Knowing that we all have gifts given by the Holy Spirit, we should recognize that while different we are the same and the unity brought about by the Holy Spirit overrides all differences. To say it another way, we are like the puzzle that is the sum of different pieces that makes one beautiful picture that will not be complete without every piece.

Thought for the day: We represent God who takes the differences and makes a whole.