Sunday School Lessons – Sep-Dec 2020


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Day 21 – 1/25/2020

 
What Has He Shown You?
 
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 2:10 (NLT)
 
But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets.
 
Thought for Today:   On this 21st day of our season of prayer and fasting, let’s pause to reflect on the journey with God. Prayerfully you have experienced a real and permanent spiritual transformation, through the power of spending focused time in prayer, fasting, worship and the Word of God. Hopefully, He has drawn you closer to Him and increased your desire to serve Jesus and live the Spirit-filled life.   But what has He shown you and what has the Holy Spirit revealed?
          …about your walk with Jesus
          ….about keeping your eyes on Jesus
          …about listening to His voice
          …about having the mind of Christ
          …about trusting God at all times
          …about obeying Him
          …about forgiving others and yourself
          …about serving Him faithfully
          …about your relationships
          …about your spiritual gifts
          …about the deeper things He has for you  
 
This passage of scripture really resonates. Apostle Paul reminds the Corinthians that “it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit.”   God has shown you things by His Spirit, during these 21 days. How will you respond to the Spirit of God? He is waiting for your answer.  
 
It’s Time to Pray: Heavenly Father, what have you shown me in these 21 days of prayer and fasting? Help me to respond to those things in obedience so that I may be used by you in 2020 and beyond…in Jesus name, Amen!

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Day 20 – 1/24/2020

It’s About Time!

Scripture: Ephesians 5: 15-16 
 
See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time (making the most of every opportunity), because the days are evil. Psalm 90:12 So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.
 
Thought for Today:   Time is the most valuable resource we have in this life. The ways you utilize time in your day will determine how productive you are. Let’s ponder the passing of time…seconds turn to minutes, minutes to hours, hours to days, days to weeks, weeks to months and months to years. Each of us has the same amount of time each day. The question is how we choose to use and invest the time each day. Why do we waste so much time on things that amount to nothing? Our children develop patterns of living by watching us. They witness us watching hours of television shows, interacting on social media, playing video games, texting friends and other activities that consume hours of unproductive time. Many chase dreams, accomplish great things, work many years completing rewarding careers. But has all the time spent on those things accomplished God’s will and purpose in their lives? How much value do you place on the use of the time God gives you each day?   The Word of God offers an understanding of time and its use. It will change your life when applied. Here are a few of them.
  1. Your time is not your own. Before you were born, God knew you before you were formed in your mother’s womb. (Jeremiah 1:5) God determined the length of your life on earth and had a plan for your life. (Jeremiah 29:11)
  2. The Psalmist teaches us to ask the Lord to show us the length of our days (time) so that we may gain wisdom from God. (Psalm 90:12)
  3. Live your life in the will of God with wisdom and purpose; Pay attention to the way you live your life. (Ephesians 5: 14-15)
  4. Don’t miss key moments in life. Redeem the time and make the most of every opportunity for Christ! (Ephesians 5: 14-15)
  5. God is not bound by time, He created time. He was before the beginning and He shall be after the end. (Genesis 1:1, John 1:1)
 
God expects His people to be fruitful and productive with the time He has given us. He expects you to utilize time to seek the Kingdom, learn of Christ, serve Him and bring others to Him. He also desires for you to prepare and gain skills that will enable you to represent His Kingdom with excellence in the marketplace. The days that we live in are evil. He wants you to share the Gospel in a lost and dying world. God desires you to use the time He has given you to fulfill His purposes and touch people in His name.   Will you stop and assess where and how you spend the time He has given you? Will you give more of your time to preparing and doing the Lord’s work?     Remember, It’s about Time! “Only what you do for Christ will stand the test of time.”  
 
It’s Time to Pray: Heavenly Father, Please forgive me for all of the time I have wasted on things that were not important in your plan for my life. Teach me to number my days, grow in my faith and relationship with Christ daily so that I may draw people to You and fulfill my purpose…in Jesus name, Amen!

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Day 19 – 1/23/2020

 
The Power of the Word!
 

Scripture:  Hebrews 4:12  

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  

Thought for Today:  Great surgeon’s focus on identifying the “root cause” of disease in the body.  Surgery is performed to save a person’s life requires the use of invasive tools that cut deep into flesh, tissue, bone and cells. Surgeons are trained to identify and remove disease from the body of their patient to help enable the patient to heal.  They accomplish this by using very sensitive diagnostic imaging equipment and precise surgical tools that can remove the most microscopic pieces of diseased tissue and cells.
 
As powerful as surgery is to remove disease and promote healing, The Word of God is even more powerful to change your life. Sin is the disease that produces spiritual sickness and death in us. Jesus Christ is the Living Word, who gave His life and shed His blood to cleanse us of our sins, so that we may live. When you read and study The Bible, God’s Holy Word, it gets inside of you and changes you from the inside out to enable you to live for Jesus Christ. Through His Holy Word, God reveals His plan of love, salvation and redemption for mankind directly to you.
 
In Hebrews 4:12, the Hebrew writer provides a vivid description of the power of the Word of God. It is living (active, always at work in you), powerful (filled with God’s power), with sharpness/precision/accuracy to pierce your total being (Amplified Bible: the completeness of a person and the deepest parts of our nature). God’s Word diagnoses and shows the inward condition of our thoughts and intentions. It will produce permanent change in your life. That’s the power of God’s Word!   The Word of God is life-saving and life-giving! You can’t live a victorious life without it. Read it, study it, meditate on it, apply it! Hide (deposit) the Word in your heart. God wants to unleash the power of His Word in your life. Are you open to it?
 
It’s Time to Pray: Heavenly Father, Reveal to me the power of Your Word. Give me a love for Your Word so that I will read it daily. Holy Spirit, please teach me how to study and apply the Word of God in a way that produces growth and Christ likeness in me…in Jesus name Amen!
 

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Day 18 – 1/22/2020

 
What’s Right!
 
Scripture: Philippians 4: 8
 
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
 
Thought for Today:   We live in a world filled with trouble. Negative news, negative responses, negative communications come at us from every direction. Many days it can be difficult to find good news in the midst of the all the bad. Troubling times and bad news can produce a negative spirit and pessimistic, cynical responses even in believers. When a negative spirit is received, you begin to focus on what is wrong in your life and circumstances rather than what is right. A great friend once preached a message “The Good News is that the Bad News Ain’t So Bad!” That message stuck with me. It helped me to understand that no matter how bad things may seem at times, there is always greater Good News God is in control, my faith is in Him! The Gospel literally means: Good News.” Apostle Paul challenged the Philippians to focus their minds on positive things that are True, Noble, Just, Pure, Lovely, and of Good Report…Meditate on (ponder deeply) these things. When you choose to focus on these virtues, you focus on ‘What is Right’ and God’s limitless possibilities, rather than what is wrong. As I ponder this passage, I realize that my attitude and reactions to life are shaped by the way I think!  
 
It’s Time to Pray: Gracious God, help me to be mindful of all that I take in to my mind, soul and spirit. Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit to choose to think on ‘What is Right’ and respond to every situation with a positive mindset and unlimited faith…in Jesus name. Amen!

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Day 17 – 1/21/2020

ASK (Ask, Seek, Knock)

Scripture: Matthew 7:7-8
 
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.  “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”  
 
Thought for Today:   What do you want to ask of God?   ASK is a term that is often overlooked as an important part of our relationship with Christ. In our desire to really know Christ, we must learn how to approach Him in prayer in order to express our concerns, needs and desires. He alone is the source for everything that we need spiritually and naturally to live “life more abundantly” as He has promised. He is willing and waiting to supply every need that you have if you will simply ask Him! In prayer, we have a personal privilege of talking with the Lord and asking Him questions that only He can answer and asking for solutions that only He can provide. But the key is asking in faith according to His Word, waiting on His answer and obeying His instructions. As you ask things of God in prayer, the Holy Spirit will give you the words to speak and will intercede before the Father on your behalf.
 
The Adam Clarke Commentary describes the three steps in the process as follows:
  • Ask with confidence and humility
  • Seek with care and application
  • Knock with earnestness and perseverance

Jesus teaches the disciples (and us) how to approach Him in Matthew 7:7-8 when He compels them to Ask, Seek and Knock. He challenges and invites them to make their requests known directly to Him. Later, He says to them “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” (John 14:14)  So as we pray, let’s pray with boldness, yet approaching the Lord in humility. Ask (believing) with confidence, Seek with care and pursuit, Knock with persistence and watch God move with power and authority in your life and circumstances.   And Remember, it’s in the Asking!

It’s Time to Pray: Dear Holy Spirit, teach me how to pray in faith with greater boldness. I desire to Ask with confidence, Seek with care and pursuit, Knock with persistence in the Name of Jesus and believe God for the impossible… Amen!
 

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Day 16 – 1/20/2020

 
How May I serve You?
 
Scriptures:  
 
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” — Mark 10:45  
 
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” —1 Peter 4: 10  
 
Thought for Today:   Do you have a heart to serve?   Mr. Truitt Cathy founded Chick-Fil-A as a Christian restaurant chain with desire to honor God and serve people. He made a vow to operate his restaurants Monday thru Saturday and to close on Sunday to honor God and to enable employees to worship in their local church. When purchasing food at Chick-Fil-A, customers are greeted by an associate who says “Welcome to Chick-fil-A, How may I serve you?” Following payment for the food, the order is filled by and associate that says, “Thank you, It’s my pleasure!” These greetings and customer service expressions are more than mere words. Chick-Fil-A intentionally trains each employee to serve customers with sincerity, honesty and integrity. Customers are very loyal and have made Chick-Fil-A one of the best restaurant chains in history.  
 
In daily life, it seems that many people want to be served, but few are willing to serve others. Serving other people takes time, can be challenging and is often inconvenient. Christian service must be given from a heart of love and desire to serve Christ. The result is a genuine act of kindness or labor that helps people to feel appreciated. Serving should be a labor of love for Christ’s sake. To please Him, you must serve with the right attitude.  
 
Jesus lived a life of service to others. The gospel tells us that “even the Son of Man” did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28). It further tells us “He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed of the devil for God was with Him” (Acts 10:38). Our Savior, who performed miracles, healed the sick, raised the dead and gave His life for our sins, made himself a servant out of His great love for us. We are called to “serve others as faithful stewards” (1 Peter 4:10) following Christ’s heart, pattern and example. It is great to serve with a joyful spirit and a glad heart.  
 
Are you willing to serve with a renewed spirit by asking “How may I serve you?” And when your service is completed you can respond “It is my pleasure!” Keep in mind, by serving others well, you serve Christ well.  
 
It’s Time to Pray: Lord Jesus, thank you being the greatest servant who ever lived! I am your servant. Teach me to serve you and the people in my life with gladness and excellence. Be pleased with my attitude and my service…  Amen!
 

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Day 15 – 1/19/2020

 
 
 
Remember Who You Are!
 
This reading is dedicated to the life, legacy and ministry of our great emancipator Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the occasion of the celebration of what would have been his 91st birthday. On December 6, 1956, he preached a sermon to the students, faculty, administrators and community at Howard University, Washington, D.C. entitled “Remember Who You Are.
 
 
Scripture:  1 Peter 2:9
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light…
 
There is a story of a young girl whose mother taught her ‘always remember who you are’. One day a classmate at school began to insult her by calling her names other that her name. The incident bothered her but she ignored it and did not share it with her teacher or her mother. Day after day the insults became more aggressive. As the pressure grew, she came home one day in tears and share the bullying and name calling incidents with her mother. Taken back by the experience her daughter was enduring, she loved and comforted her daughter and asked, ‘are any of the names the girl is calling you your name?’ The daughter replied, ‘no mommy’. The mother reminded her daughter ‘remember what I named you and always remember who you are.’ The girl returned to school the next day reassured of her identity and confident in who she was and whose she was. Knowing her identity gave her a renewed confidence to confront her fear and reject the insulting names. The bully no longer had power over her.
 

In his ministry, Dr. King emphasized the importance of loving ourselves and knowing our identity as a means of achieving civil rights, freedom and justice. 

He once preached,  “You will change your mind, you will change your looks, you will change your smile, laugh, and ways; but no matter what you change, you will always be you.”
 

In this world, we are continually disrespected with insulting names, threats and attacks from the enemy. One of Satan’s tactics is to make you believe lies and accept an identity that is different from the one God has given you. Reject any identity other than that which God has given you!  Peter reminds believers of the identity that God has given us a new testament priests in Christ Jesus. He declares our identity this way: 

  • You are a royal priesthood – priest unto God who serve Him after the order of Christ, our High Priest
  • a holy nation – a people ‘set apart’, ‘consecrated’ for holy service to the kingdom of God
  • that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light – our purpose in this identity is to proclaim (publicly make known) the praises of Jesus through our life and words.
 Purpose in your heart and mind to ‘remember who you are in Christ’ at all times and live the Kingdom identity that the Lord God has given you. 
 
It’s Time to Pray:  Heavenly Father, please reveal my identity in Christ. Remind me continually who you have called me to be. With holy confidence and boldness I reject all false names that the enemy attempts to call me… in Jesus name, Amen!
 
 

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Day 14 – 1/18/2020

 
His Grace is Sufficient for You!

Scripture:  2 Corinthians 12:9 

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

 
 
  Life comes at us from many directions and dimensions. As the saying goes ‘if it’s not one thing, it’s another’. As believers, we experience sickness, pain, suffering, grief, discouragement, conflict and other negative emotions due to the issues of life. At times, the challenges and struggles of life can become overwhelming. When we feel overwhelmed, we often withdraw and focus on the misery of our sufferings rather than allowing God’s grace to fill and sustain us.
 
The Apostle Paul teaches us to know the sufficiency of God’s grace in 2 Corinthians 12 when he reported that he was attacked with an affliction (a thorn in his flesh) mentally/spiritually by a messenger from Satan. After pleading with the Lord for three days to remove the suffering from him, the Lord said to him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Just when Paul needed it most, God showed the power and sufficiency of His grace to strengthen and sustain him. God’s grace kept Paul from giving up. God’s grace at work in Paul was more than enough to enable him to face his suffering and to abound to every good work.
 
It is important to understand that you are insufficient to face the challenges of your life without God’s help. Your weaknesses and limitations provide the opportunity for God to supply His grace  and help in your time of need. Know that God is more than enough to meet any need and to solve any problem that you have.  Trust Him. He knows, cares and understands your circumstance. Allow His power to rest upon you. When you need Him most, His grace will carry you through!
 
 It’s Time to Pray: God of grace, no matter what I experience help me to receive your grace and your strength in my areas of weakness. Oh God, I trust You to pour out your grace upon me when I need You most because You are my sufficiency…in Jesus name, Amen!

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Day 13 – 1/17/2020

 
 
No More Shortcuts!
 
Scripture:   Proverbs 3:5-6 
 
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.   
 
 
The story goes that before the launch of GPS several friends were driving on a long road trip. As they approached the last stretch of the trip, the navigator checked the road atlas (map) and found an uncertain shortcut through a mountain that had a two-lane road with no street lights. The estimated shortcut would shave almost an hour off the trip. So they exited the interstate, drove to the mountain road and began their ascent up the dark mountain road. They were making great time using the shortcut and suddenly there appeared signs for the entrance of a state park and a ranger’s station. As their car slowed to stop at the park ranger’s gate, the driver asked the ranger to raise the gate and for permission to drive through the park to continue their destination. The ranger replied “you can’t get there from here”…”you will have to turn around and go back to the interstate and follow that route to your destination”. By choosing a short-cut to save time rather than the proven route, the friends reached a dead-end and had to return to the original route that would lead them to their destination.  
 
Trust God to lead and guide you in every aspect of your life and don’t take shortcuts. Taking shortcuts can appear to provide an easier way and a shorter path but ultimately lead to dead-ends. Every day you face decisions and choices in life. Every decision has an outcome and every choice has a consequence. Some are significant and some less significant. Collectively, all of your decisions push you in a direction and ultimately determine your destiny. But what is the basis for your decisions and how can you know if your choices are aligned with God’s plan for your life. It all comes down your willingness to trust God with your life and follow His guidance by faith. It is a dangerous thing to take your life into your own hands and leave God out. Trusting in God is having assurance and absolute confidence that He will lead and guide you even through difficult and dark places in life. When you trust God and follow His direction, no shortcuts are needed.  
 
It’s Time to Pray: Heavenly Father, teach me to trust in You alone for every decision in my life and allow you to direct my paths. Help me to learn to live by faith and not my limited understanding and help me to resist every temptation to take shortcuts…In Jesus Name,  Amen!

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