30
January
2013

Watermark Class – January 20th, 2013

Posted in : about life/the Christian faith

(it ended up that we discussed some of these points, and not others, and that is by design; it’s because I don’t necessarily follow outlines that I make; if the conversation or Lord leads us in another way, and it is in a way that diverts from the lesson outline, then so be it ^_^ )

Travis Jones

January 20th, 2013

Sunday School Class

Watermark Class Lesson 1-20-2013

1)          FROM WHENCE comes this strength, confidence, assurance of knowing Christ

and His ways

– The nature of this strength, confidence, assurance

i) Esther 6.1-14
ii) (summarize a context of book of Esther up to chapter 6)
iii) (read )
iv) Discuss particularly verse Esther 6.13b .
v) It is not just the fact that they say, “It’s cuz he’s a Jew and you’re in TROUBLE HAMAN~” Now is true that at this point in historical time, God would do supernatural things, and then other races and other people groups around the Jews would every so often hear that is was the Jews, and it was these HEBREWS’ God that was taking care of them and doing supernatural thing.

 

– But it goes beyond that. It’s the fact that Mordecai was acting out of a faith in God. He could take confidence in that. And even people that were dead-set against him recognized that Mordecai was set apart.

i) People realize us as set apart—which, that’s another lesson for another time. The fact that as Christians, we truly are (or should be) a light to the world—a salt to this world as Romans 13.1-5 says.

ii) We can take strength in this confidence—that is the essence of today’s thoughts in this Sunday School class.

Quite simply—it comes from God, and it is available to us

 

2)          THAT we should have strength, confidence, assurance in taking on the

ways of God. We do NOT have to be doormats to the people of the world. While it is true Jesus Christ taught us different virtues like “turning the other cheek” when someone does you wrong (Matthew 5.39), or “loving and praying for your enemy as yourself” (Matthew 5.44). There *ARE* certain verses in the Bible to tell us to take heart, and to be strong. One about which we’ll talk below, is the one that says “quit ye like men—be STRONG!” Another one is Matthew 10.16, which tells us to be “Shrewd as serpents, yet innocent as doves”. Many of us have gone through things in our lives where we are, how you say “educated” in some of the uglier, terrible, and perverted things of this world. It is not a sin to be aware of these things. Certainly, as (in the world not OF the world), it is a sin to take part in such things; but I would hesitate to say that it would be a sin to DENY that there ARE certain evils in the world. There’s nothing wrong with being aware of these evils. And then guess what—CONQUERING them. Rising above them. Warning other people about them; not being naive about them. Not by us—not by our own power. But by the power of the Holy Spirit. And it is a power and a strength in which we should take GREAT confidence.

– Romans 2.7  – “continuance in well-doing”

This is somewhat where it gets tough. Many of us who have made the decision to accept Christ as our Lord and Savior did it in within the midst of a certain struggle through which we were going. Now that’s not *ALWAYS* the case, but it is sometimes. When your first get to know God through Jesus Christ, you take on a certain DIFFERENT outlook on life, on the people around you. You develop a bit more of a patience, a level of understanding, and sensitivity to people around you. Now, obviously, I’m a big believer in the fact that we are all wired DIFFERENTLY—some of us are more sensitive than others, that’s understandable. But the point is, when you first start to know Christ, you are sort of on a bit of a HIGH. It’s right. It is good. Your senses feel better, you begin to take on the outlook of Christ as we see Him and His actions and His honest and unconditional care for others, in the Bible. But over time, we lose this. We must remain steady. We must remember that there is great STRENGTH in living with this higher sense of love for your fellow man—this UNCONDITIONAL love for your fellow man. And here is something not a lot of teachers will tell you: it’s something that gets EASIER over time. As you practice this over time, you being develop a second NATURE to love other people and put their needs ahead of your own.

– Romans 8.28 – “God causes all things to work together for GOOD for those who love God, for those who are called according to His purposes.”

Those of us in here can think of examples in our lives where we can think of things that seemed terrible, some things that seemed neutral—yet when we came through them on the other side, we can see how they brought us to God, or they taught us something about God or ourselves. And we know that God is involved in an everlasting effort of drawing us to Himself, from the moment that we seriously, consciously, and purposely make the decision. That is how it seems so asinine and people think so oddly of Christians whenever we can come through terrible tragedies, but yet thank God THROUGH those things. We SEE how they instructed us and brought us closer to God through those things, in different ways. To me, this is a STRENGTH that we carry with us in this world, AGAINST the world. That is something that often encourages me.

 

– 1 Corinthians 16.13 – “Quit you like men, be strong!”

This is pretty self-explanatory. Sometimes, in the end, we know that we know that we know what is the RIGHT thing to do is. Yet we doubt ourselves. Or, God forbid, we become a little bit lazy. Some of us were born and raised in more sheltered worlds than others. Maybe some of us came from INCREDIBLY difficult circumstances, compared to others; maybe some of us simply went THROUGH some difficult circumstances, compared to other people. Maybe we put it off. Maybe we’re not so convinced that spiritual things aren’t all that important right now, and we’ll “handle it later”. Really? I submit that in some cases, Spiritual things are of the UTMOST importance, in life.  I submit to you that this can be true of the initial act of Salvation with Jesus Christ, but then also as He continues to shape and mold us to become more like Him in the process of discipleship, in our lives, from here on out—which BECOMES our calling as His children, once we accept Him as our Savior, individually. Let us cast down the hindrances that entangle us, like Hebrews 12.1 says. Let us seize the moment and be strong. Again, not to boast in our own strength—not to “solve our own problems and call ourselves self-made men and self-made women”—but for the glory of God.

 



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I'm very big into education, and my energies are devoted to inspiring this desire for education into other people--at home and abroad.

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