Sunday School Lessons

Explore the Bible Lesson for October 22: Rebellion

October 3 2017 by Casey Short, pastor, Reddicks Grove Baptist Church, Williamston

Focal Passage: Exodus 32:1-6; 11-14
 
We can read the story of the Israelites worshipping the golden calf with detached indifference. Bowing to statues seems futile and foreign to our civilized Western sensibilities. Idolatry, however, is anything that demotes God and substitutes itself.
 
At the end of the day, we are all idolaters. For some it’s obvious sins of rebellion, sex, drugs and the like. For most, however, it is more subtle.
 
You’ve seen the picture. A beautiful family sits down for dinner, perhaps at their favorite local restaurant following corporate worship. Dad sports his best coat and tie, and mom, a lovely skirt and blouse. Johnny and Suzy are equally striking in their Sunday dress. But something is awry about the scene. Each is hunched over in what looks like an uncomfortable pose. A dim light shines on each face as well and reflects vibrant flashes of color in their catatonic eyes.
 
“Can I take your order?” the waitress asks.
 
No one hears. Social media has captured their hearts. The lure of the latest app has captivated their gaze. The golden cell phone is now all that matters. Idolatry has won the day.
 
Thanks be to God that in Christ there is much grace.
 
For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10, NASB).
 
In Christ, our idolatry is confronted and defeated. Because He has been judged for our sin and now intercedes before the Father, God relents and grants repentance and faith to His people. Now, we share in the ministry of intercession, pleading for others that God might also impart His saving grace to them (2 Timothy 2:25).
 
And when idolatry rears its ugly head, we do not despair. In this life, the flesh will always wage war against the Spirit. Repent, and take heart. He has overcome. In glory, idolatry will be no more.
 

10/3/2017 7:39:12 AM by Casey Short, pastor, Reddicks Grove Baptist Church, Williamston | with 0 comments



Bible Studies for Life Lesson for October 22: Solomon: Unfailing Wisdom

October 3 2017 by Matthew Jacobs, associate pastor, First Baptist Church, Crossnore

Focal passage: 1 Kings 3:3-14; 4:29-34
 
There is no lack of information today.
 
Some might even say we have too much.
 
Most any burning question we have can be answered with the click of a mouse.
I remember my last course in college.
 
We had to give presentations to the class, and a student was giving a lesson on the pyramids of Egypt and what they were made of.
 
Our teacher began to question the student’s information, because it was not accurate.
 
The student had searched online, found something and just ran with it to get the task done.
 
There is so much information available today, yet how can we know what is true or untrue?
 
Solomon, as many of us have been told, was the wisest man on earth. He did not become this way by going to college.
 
No, Solomon as we see in this study, prayed to God for wisdom and discernment.
 
He asked for an understanding mind, so he would know how to govern his people.
 
The result of Solomon’s prayer was God-given wisdom. He became the wisest man ever.
We, too, must seek knowledge from God. God imparts His wisdom to us through His Word and His Holy Spirit, who helps us to understand His Word.
 
The outcome of Solomon’s wisdom was the benefit of others: “And people of all nations came to hear the wisdom of Solomon” (1 Kings 4:34).
 
People from all over the world came to learn from this man.
 
We, like Solomon, must seek God for understanding of what is true and false in this world.  The beautiful thing is we never have to wonder if God’s word is untrue.
 
The Bible is truth; it gives life, it brings change and it is what the world needs today.
 
Just as Solomon offered wisdom to all, we too must go and give the world the wisdom that can only come from God.
 

10/3/2017 7:37:38 AM by Matthew Jacobs, associate pastor, First Baptist Church, Crossnore | with 0 comments



Explore the Bible Lesson for October 15: Equipped

October 3 2017 by Casey Short, pastor, Reddicks Grove Baptist Church, Williamston

Focal Passage: Exodus 25:1-9; 31:1-6
 
Have you ever endured the credits following a feature film? Had I asked that question 20 years ago, the answer would most assuredly be no. Today, filmmakers have developed clever ways to keep their audiences until the last words scroll by.
 
What strikes me about film credits is the sheer number of people involved in the process, each with a particular skillset vital to bringing the vision of the producers and directors to life. No doubt within this field of specialists there are some who labored hard at their training while others seemed to possess a gift that propelled them to the top.
 
Exodus 25-31 is hardly detailing something as trivial as filmmaking. God instructed His people to erect a dwelling place in which He would commune with them.
 
His vision was laid out in meticulous detail, so meticulous in fact that no one man could accomplish the task. So, God graciously gifted those called to labor with the skillsets needed to build the furniture, craft the elements and utensils and weave the curtains and the garments. To others He imparted gifts of wisdom to oversee and to lead in the construction of the tabernacle.
 
God’s calling and God’s gifting work the same way in the church. The Bible teaches that Christ is building a spiritual house (1 Peter 2:5) and that He calls believers to use both their skillsets (Colossians 3:17) and their spiritual gifts (Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:8-10; 1 Peter 4:11) for the construction of that house in love (Ephesians 4:15-16).
 
What He calls us to do, He equips us to do. And just like Bezalel and Oholiab He has granted to some to aid in that equipping through gifts of administration and leadership – prophets, evangelists and the pastor/teacher (Ephesians 4:11-12).
 
Having been graciously equipped, we willfully and joyfully labor, using our talents and spiritual gifts, not to see our name scroll by in the credits, but rather to bring glory and honor to the One who has granted us the privilege of His presence.
 

10/3/2017 7:35:59 AM by Casey Short, pastor, Reddicks Grove Baptist Church, Williamston | with 0 comments



Bible Studies for Life Lesson for October 15: Caleb: Unwavering Faith

October 3 2017 by Matthew Jacobs, associate pastor, First Baptist Church, Crossnore

Focal passage: Numbers 13: 26-30; 14:6-10, 21-24
 
Trusting in God, not in our circumstances, is often hard.
 
A little more than a year ago, my wife and I were in a place much like Caleb. I was in seminary and our first child had just arrived. I also received a call to interview at a church.
 
The meeting went well, and before we made it 300 yards from the church, I looked over at my wife and said, “They might not know it yet, but this is where we are moving.”
 
But not long after, my wife was offered a teaching job where we were currently living. We were faced with a decision.
 
Just like Caleb, we had to trust God more than circumstances.
 
In this study, we read that the Israelites sent spies out into the promised land.
 
When the agents came back they told of how great the land was, yet they couldn’t take it, for it had giants in it.
 
But Caleb knew the promise of God and believed they needed to take it.
 
Caleb also trusted God to continually be with him. When he spoke about the promise of God, they wanted to stone him.
 
Caleb did not change his mind; he knew God had given them the land.
 
Caleb trusted God and His faithfulness. God made a promise to Caleb for his unwavering faith, that he and his children would see the promised land. God said no others from that generation would see it, but because Caleb stood firm on the promises God had given him, he was given a promise to see it.
 
My wife and I knew God had called us to that church, yet we were still in the waiting stage. We had to seek God on what the next step of life would be.
 
So, we turned down the teaching job. A few days later we received word the church was going to vote me in as their next associate/youth pastor.
 
We must have unwavering faith when it comes to God and what He calls us to do. 
 

10/3/2017 7:29:51 AM by Matthew Jacobs, associate pastor, First Baptist Church, Crossnore | with 0 comments



Explore the Bible Lesson for October 8: Commanded

September 19 2017 by Casey Short, pastor, Reddicks Grove Baptist Church, Williamston

Focal Passage: Exodus 20:1-17
 
In M. Night Shyamalan’s critically acclaimed 2002 film, “Signs,” Mel Gibson plays Graham Hess, a grieving widower who is forced to reckon with God after the death of his wife.
 
Seemingly random details abound in the film, set against the backdrop of an alien attack on mankind: a daughter who leaves full glasses of water throughout the house, a son who struggles with asthma, a single live-in brother-in-law who failed to achieve his dream of becoming a major league baseball player. The narrative climaxes when an alien threatens to kill Graham’s son.
 
Graham recalls an ominous statement made to him by his wife as she died. Suddenly, all of the random details come into focus. All was for a purpose, that Graham would remember her words and save himself and his family. The aliens were allergic to water. His son’s asthma would prevent their toxin from infiltrating his lungs. The would-be sports star could strike down the enemy with the prized bat that hung upon the wall.
 
The context surrounding Exodus 20:1-17 indicates God’s law was given for a purpose, to remind Israel of all that God had done and to warn her of all that He expected in return – love of Him and love of fellow man. To heed the warning and to obey was to save oneself. Of course, we know the law could not produce such obedience because of sin (Romans 8:3). In fact, the law that should have produced obedience aroused “sinful passions” leading to death (Romans 7:5).
 
God’s holy standard hasn’t changed. But it is made available in Jesus who fulfilled the Law for us. In Him, we are free to joyfully obey the commands of God. Only in Christ can we truly love God with all our heart, soul and might, rejecting other gods and false idols and bringing honor to His name as we rest in him. Only in Christ can we truly love our fellow man, giving honor to those in authority, valuing human life, respecting our neighbors and pursuing peace, contentment and justice.
 
And when we fail, we can rest knowing that Christ’s perfect obedience covers his people.
 

9/19/2017 8:13:15 AM by Casey Short, pastor, Reddicks Grove Baptist Church, Williamston | with 0 comments



Bible Studies for Life Lesson for October 8: Battle Plan

September 19 2017 by Matthew Jacobs, associate pastor, First Baptist Church, Crossnore

Focal passage: Matthew 4:1-10
 
This time of year is known as hurricane season. If you have watched the news over the past few weeks, you have seen some powerful storms that have affected the United States.
 
These storms can be devastating and cause untold damage. Many times they can be deadly, so people in the storm’s path are warned to prepare and evacuate before it’s too late. Plans made by different states save numerous lives.
 
When facing storms of such magnitude, we need a battle plan. The same should be said when battling the evil forces of this world.
 
Jesus, our perfect example, demonstrates how to weather spiritual attacks.
 
Satan will try and tempt us in crafty ways.
 
The first way we notice Satan tempting Jesus is by appealing to his physical needs: “And after fasting forty days and forty nights he was hungry” (Matthew 4:2). Satan enticed him to turn stones into bread, yet Jesus responded with scripture, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
 
Satan also tempted Him by questioning God’s Word.
 
This is not a new tactic. Satan did just the same in the Garden of Eden when he persuaded Eve. Again Jesus responds, “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test” (Matthew 4:7). Jesus uses the word of God to defend against Satan’s misuse of God’s Word.
 
Jesus’ third temptation was to worship something other than God. “I will give you everything if you will worship me,” Satan said. A third time Jesus used the Word of God to defend against the attacks of the tempter.
 
So, what does this say to us? In the same way we prepare for hurricanes with a plan, when facing the attacks of Satan we must have a defensible course of action. As Jesus quoted scripture in response to every attack Satan threw at Him, we too must be prepared with the knowledge of God’s Word to successfully face the temptations of Satan.
 

9/19/2017 8:10:20 AM by Matthew Jacobs, associate pastor, First Baptist Church, Crossnore | with 0 comments



Explore the Bible Lesson for October 1: Sufficient

September 19 2017 by Casey Short, pastor, Reddicks Grove Baptist Church, Williamston

Focal Passage: Exodus 16:1-5, 11-20
 
Remarkable. God has just pulled off one of the most astounding rescue efforts known to man. He sent plagues upon Israel’s enemies. He spared her children from death. He protected her from Pharaoh’s army. He parted the Red Sea. Yet, she grumbles against Moses and Aaron. “Would that we had died in Egypt!”
 
Enter grace.
 
God’s passion for His glory and His love for His people are always put on display in the life of Israel by works of grace.
 
Time and again He proves Himself to be all-sufficient to fulfill His sovereign purposes and to provide for the good of His children, in spite of Israel’s sin.
 
Manna and quail in the wilderness served as a daily testimony to His presence and providence in her life as well as a test of her faithful obedience to Him.
 
Parents can identify here, I think. Our children are never satisfied, are they? My two-year-old wakes up every morning crying, “Umm, umm. Eat!” while her brother grabs the remote and demands his cereal bar and milk.
 
At bedtime, a similar scene plays out. “I’m still hungry!” “I want a glass of water!” “Umm, umm, eat!”
 
My wife and I have provided for their needs throughout the day, making sure they have a good breakfast, lunch and dinner and even a snack or two.
 
Still, they grumble, and we show grace.
 
We provide for their needs while at the same time offering correction to curb their sin patterns and stir their affections and trust.
 
We know how to provide good gifts to our children because we love them.
 
The result? “Thank you, Daddy.”
 
Jesus says in Matthew 7:11, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!” Believer, you need not worry about tomorrow.
 
The God who provided manna and quail will provide for you too.
 
As He does, I pray that you will respond with a grateful heart as you walk in loving obedience to His commands.
 

9/19/2017 8:08:22 AM by Casey Short, pastor, Reddicks Grove Baptist Church, Williamston | with 0 comments



Bible Studies for Life Lesson for October 1: Battle Armor

September 19 2017 by Matthew Jacobs, associate pastor, First Baptist Church, Crossnore

Focal passage: Ephesians 6:10-20
 
Fall is one of my favorite times of the year, and one of the many reasons is football season. In the game of football, the coach gives you all the equipment you need to both protect yourself and be capable of going on the attack.
 
Ephesians 6:10-20 says Christians are given a helmet, shield, belt of truth and sword of the Spirit.
 
Like a good coach, God has given us everything we need for the battle we face.
 
I am a middle school football chaplain, and I noticed before the first game there were players who were scared. I asked them why, since they had been given everything they need. The same is true for believers. God equips us for the spiritual battles we face.
 
There are a few things we need to know when it comes to this battle. First, it is a spiritual battle: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood … but against the spiritual forces of evil” (Ephesians 6:12). We fight spiritual forces, not humans.
 
The second thing we need to know is God equips us and protects us completely.
 
In all circumstances,” Paul said in verse 16, God has given us what we need to overcome the temptations of evil powers in this world. In the Spirit, we lack nothing to protect us from sin and spiritual death.
 
Third, equipped by God, we can act in boldness and confidence. Paul, who is in chains, said, “… be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.” He calls these saints to act with boldness, as he demonstrates. We too should act with boldness, opening our mouths “boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel,” because we know God is always with us.
 
And unlike the middle school football team about to take the field, we know who wins.
 

9/19/2017 8:06:11 AM by Matthew Jacobs, associate pastor, First Baptist Church, Crossnore | with 0 comments



Explore the Bible Lesson for Sept. 24: Victory

September 5 2017 by Casey Short, pastor, Reddicks Grove Baptist Church, Williamston

Focal Passage: Exodus 14:13-28
 
It is all too easy to read the parting of the Red Sea and see only pillars of cloud and fire, Moses’ staff of miracles, the Israelites’ crossing on dry ground and walls of water crashing down upon Pharaoh’s army. In fact, the story is so familiar to us that, more often than not, our focus on the what and the how diverts our attention from the who.
 
Consider v. 24, “At the morning watch, the Lord looked down on the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud and brought the army of the Egyptians into confusion.”
 
First, the language connotes battle. “At the morning watch” God looked down.
 
Second, He looks down through the pillar of fire and cloud. God is the one standing in the gap between Pharaoh and His children. God is the one engaging the enemy in battle for His glory and their salvation.
 
The victory belongs to the Lord, and it is a victory so powerful that it produces faith in the hearts of the Israelites, faith in Him and in the one He sent to deliver them.
 
The story reminds me of a scene from the well-known books by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings.
 
The unlikely group of heroes, on the run from Orcs and a Balrog of the underworld, hurry across the bridge of Khazad-dûm. Gandalf, their guide and protector, turns to face the fiery dragon. The wizard strikes his staff upon the ground as he cries out, “You shall not pass!”

Because Gandalf was willing to stand in the gap, his friends escape the enemy and resume their quest.
 
First Corinthians 15:57 says, “… thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” On the cross, Christ the God-man engaged the enemy in battle on our behalf. He defeated sin once and for all, and He stood in the gap between us and God’s righteous judgment.
 
By grace through faith in Him, we enjoy God’s presence, and we achieve victory over daily sin.
 
Therefore, let us walk in joyful obedience to His commands and give Him the praise that is due Him.

 

9/5/2017 10:49:17 AM by Casey Short, pastor, Reddicks Grove Baptist Church, Williamston | with 0 comments



Bible Studies for Life Lesson for Sept. 24: Fear Not!

September 5 2017 by Matthew Jacobs, associate pastor, First Baptist Church, Crossnore

Focal passage: 1 John 4:1-6
 
Talk of evil forces usually makes us uncomfortable. As a new believer, it made me nervous. When I went to college, I had only been a Christian for a few months. Fellow students who had been on overseas mission trips talked to me about demonic possession and different things they had encountered. It was new and scary for me.
 
I always thought when you talk about this stuff, you would open up the door for evil forces to come in. I would often try to fall asleep after these talks with a recycling of Adrian Rodgers’ sermons playing in my room all night, as I thought to myself, “I am not strong, but Adrian and his preaching voice might keep them away.”
 
As I grew more as a believer, texts like 1 John 4:1-6 gave me confidence. We do not need to fear evil forces when we’re in Christ.
 
The Bible says, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God” (1 John 4:1). As followers of Christ, we are not to run from things like this, but test them. We test the spirits to see if they are from God, by discerning whether these spirits line up with God’s Word or not.
 
Every Spirit that confesses Jesus Christ is from God. This should build our confidence when facing evil forces.
 
Not only should we test the spirits, but we should also know that Christ – who is in us – is greater than Satan. “Little children,” Jesus said, “you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
 
He who dwells in us is greater than he who is in the world. This text alone took me from playing Adrian Rogers’ sermons at night as I slept, to being bold when it comes to evil forces. We do not need to fear evil when we’re in Christ.
 

9/5/2017 10:46:35 AM by Matthew Jacobs, associate pastor, First Baptist Church, Crossnore | with 0 comments



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