Sunday School Lessons

Explore the Bible Lesson for July 30: His Faithfulness

July 11 2017 by Emily Carter, member, University Hills Baptist Church, Charlotte

Focal Passage: Psalm 146:1-10
 
Recently I attended a memorial service where the pastor began his sermon by sharing that we all had one thing in common with the deceased. At some point in our lives we will face death. The author who penned Psalm 146 shared this perspective, but wanted to live life to the fullest by expressing his praise of God Almighty.
 
We can praise God because He is worthy of it. He deserves our praise.
 
Praise is powerful. Praise defeats discouragement. Praise focuses our thoughts on God. Praise prepares us to receive what God has for us. Praise changes our perspective on life.
The Psalmist understood all of this and sought to warn us that it is not mortal men who save; neither can the things of this earth that we work so hard to attain.
 
It is God who is our help and our hope. He is the one that holds the power to create and change our circumstances. He is able to make something from nothing.
 
He is the one who lifts up the head of the down-trodden. The Lord produces the miracles and takes care of the needy. God is faithful to remain true to Himself. He will not go against His character. God reigns now and forevermore.   
 
If you want to live life well then become a person of praise. Praise the Lord for who He is. You can simply pray Psalm 146 back to the Lord if you are having a hard time thinking of something for which to praise Him.
 
Praise God for a time when He has helped you through a difficult time or given you hope (v. 5). Praise Him for His creation (v. 6). Praise Him for a time He upheld your cause or set you free from bondage (v. 7). Praise the Lord for a time when He has watched over the weak (v. 9).
 
As Christ’s followers we have much for which to praise the Lord!
 

7/11/2017 8:00:07 AM by Emily Carter, member, University Hills Baptist Church, Charlotte | with 0 comments



Bible Studies for Life Lesson for July 30: Objections Overruled

July 11 2017 by David Crowther, pastor, Mount Olive Baptist Church, Pittsboro

Focal passage: Exodus 3:11-12; 4:10-17
 
I once attended a school that was great at many things, but football was not one of them. We did not win many games, and it was often painful to even think about an upcoming game. When a no-name school plays a big school with a great football program you don’t expect things to end well.
 
Moses must have felt even greater inadequacy when God spoke to him as he was herding sheep on the backside of the desert. God appeared in a burning bush and ordered Moses to go to Pharaoh and demand the release of Egypt’s workforce (Exodus 3:10). Naturally, Moses was not inclined to boss around the most powerful man on earth. Moses objected to God’s plan three times.
 
First, Moses argued that he wasn’t the right person for the job – “But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh?’” Moses thought he wasn’t important or skilled enough to be used in such a special way. However, the Lord promised Moses that He would go with him (Exodus 3:12). Second, Moses objected that he didn’t have the power or authority to accomplish the task to which God had called him (Exodus 4:1). God asked Moses what was in his hand (Exodus 4:2). God took Moses’ staff and turned it into a serpent.
 
Thus, Moses learned that he would receive power from God to accomplish his mission.
Finally, Moses claimed that he wasn’t persuasive or a good speaker (Exodus 4:10). God had an answer for that too – because He made Moses’ mouth, God could certainly fill it with the right words.
 
When we read the story of Moses’ calling we should remember that regardless of our shortcomings, God can use us. God has given us work to do, and Jesus has already assured us that He will go with us (Matthew 28:20).
 
I believe in the adage, “God doesn’t call the qualified, God qualifies the called.” When you feel incompetent to speak God’s truth, remember who made your mouth. When you feel unable to do God’s work, remember who made your hands. When you feel unable to go where God is sending you, remember who made your feet. And, when you don’t think you have the resources, God is asking you, “What’s in your hand?”
 

7/11/2017 7:58:34 AM by David Crowther, pastor, Mount Olive Baptist Church, Pittsboro | with 0 comments



Explore the Bible Lesson for July 23: His Love

July 11 2017 by Emily Carter, member, University Hills Baptist Church, Charlotte

Focal Passage: Psalm 136:1-5, 10-15, 23-26
 
In her autobiography, The Hiding Place, Corrie ten Boom tells a story of her sister Betsie encouraging her to be thankful in all circumstances.
 
Corrie tells her that there is no way she will ever be thankful for the fleas that are in their concentration camp barracks.
 
Night after night Corrie and Betsie were able to lead Bible studies that were translated into different languages by the other women in their group.
 
Why?
 
They were able to share God’s love because their captors were afraid to enter the flea-infested building.
 
The things that Corrie hated so, Betsie saw as a blessing.
 
It was one more way that God showed that His love goes beyond our comprehension. His love provided not for their initial need, but for the eternal salvation of others.
 
At the beginning of each verse in Psalm 136 there is a truth about God that is followed by the statement “His love endures forever.”
 
Whether it is in creation, in conquest or in compassion, over and over again we see that God’s love for us is everlasting.
 
Twenty-six times the Psalmist reminds Israel that God’s love has seen them through the best and worst of times: through slavery in Egypt, the Exodus and into the Promised Land.
Let us be strengthened by the verses from Romans 8:35, 37-39: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? ... No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
 
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
 

7/11/2017 7:56:09 AM by Emily Carter, member, University Hills Baptist Church, Charlotte | with 0 comments



Bible Studies for Life Lesson for July 23: A Fresh Start

July 11 2017 by David Crowther, pastor, Mount Olive Baptist Church, Pittsboro

Focal passage: John 18:15-18, 25-27; 21:15-19
 
If Peter slept at all after Jesus was crucified, he must have woken to find a burden of grief so heavy that he could scarcely rise. I can’t imagine how tight the knot in his throat must have felt knowing that he had denied his Lord. What guilt must have flooded his conscience when that rooster crowed on Thursday night?   
 
As horrible as the moments of denial must have been for Peter, there was a greater joy when Jesus forgave Peter.
 
In the presence of the 11 other disciples, Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him more than “these.” Peter exclaimed his love for Jesus to which Jesus charged him, “Feed my lambs.”
 
Jesus repeated His question a second time, and Peter responded once again in the affirmative. Jesus said, “Tend my sheep.” A final time Jesus asked Peter the same question. Peter once again pled his love for his Lord and Jesus replied, “Feed my sheep.”
 
Three times Peter denied Jesus and three times Peter declared his love for Jesus. It was through his actions that Peter denied Jesus, and it was through his actions that he showed his love for Jesus. By receiving Jesus’ forgiveness, Peter was restored.
 
We all need a fresh start in life at times. There will be moments in life when we will realize that we haven’t acted like disciples and we can only be restored by confessing our sins and letting Jesus wash them away (1 John 1:9).
 
One day when I was a sophomore in college I sat all alone in an empty apartment in Charleston, S.C. Several years earlier I had surrendered my life to ministry and even preached while I was in high school, but in college I made choices that took me far from God.

I desperately wanted to get back on the tracks that I had been traveling on before my massive derailment. I concluded that God was done with me. I even wondered if I had ever been saved. However, I came to a striking realization – although through my actions I had denied Jesus, Jesus hadn’t denied me.  It was through this experience that God reaffirmed his grace and his calling on my life. Even “if we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot disown Himself” (2 Timothy 2:13).
 

7/11/2017 7:53:18 AM by David Crowther, pastor, Mount Olive Baptist Church, Pittsboro | with 0 comments



Explore the Bible Lesson for July 16: God Revealed

June 27 2017 by Emily Carter, member, University Hills Baptist Church, Charlotte

Focal Passage: Psalm 19:1-14
 
Have you ever searched YouTube  for “Indescribable” or “How Great is Our God” by Louie Giglio?
 
If you do, you’ll view some amazing teaching about God and the incredible universe He has created. The pictures of the galaxy are worth the effort.
 
In Psalm 19:1-6 we see that God can be seen through His creation. God’s creation is marvelous, and it shows His might and His ability. It also reveals who He is.
 
Romans 1:20 explains, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”
 
God also reveals himself through His Word. As I read through Psalm 19, the first time, I could not help but feel like I was reading the abridged version of Psalm 119, where we are taught even more about God’s teachings, precepts and laws.
 
In God’s Word we will uncover the wisdom we seek. If we will take the time and dig in to it we will discover more about the amazing character of God. We would see His love for us and discover His plans for our lives.
 
Finally we learn about God from our common daily struggles and experiences as Psalm 19:13-14 shows. Often times the more we strive to be like God the more we realize our great need for Jesus and His forgiveness.
 
There is amazing power in God’s creation and His Word. A walk in the woods, a view of the vast ocean, hearing the waves crash on each other or seeing the stars in the night sky: there are so many things about God’s creation that draw us to Him. But, nothing calls us quite the way that His Word does.
 
When we are alone in God’s presence, seeking for Him to meet us, He will show up with a fresh word of encouragement or challenge.
 

6/27/2017 8:26:10 AM by Emily Carter, member, University Hills Baptist Church, Charlotte | with 0 comments



Bible Studies for Life Lesson for July 16: First Things First

June 27 2017 by David Crowther, pastor, Mount Olive Baptist Church, Pittsboro

Focal passage: Haggai 1:2-13
 
There’s a popular saying that reminds us to “Put first things first.” It is a way of remembering that if we fail to keep the proper perspective on life, we can make the minor things major and the major things minor.
 
Throughout scripture, God is clear – He is to be our first priority. When anything else comes before God, we are setting ourselves up for failure.
 
Haggai lived over 500 years before Christ. He spoke to exiles who had returned to Jerusalem years after the Babylonians had destroyed the city and temple. While these exiles were busy repatriating themselves in their homeland and building their homes and working their fields, God’s house remained in ruins.
 
Haggai pointed out to the people that if they wondered why their endeavors had been met with difficulty, the answer was that they had neglected to put God first. Haggai says that attempting to work and live our life without God is like a man putting his money in a bag with a hole in it – whatever you get won’t do you any good and it will quickly be lost (Haggai 1:6). The people of God planted their seed and worked in their fields but there was no rain and little yield. However, God told them that if they would prioritize worship by building a place to worship Him, He would bless them.
 
Today, we know that God “does not dwell in temples made with hands” (Acts 7:48), but we must prioritize God in all things. God is to be our “first love” and He is to have “pre-eminence” (first-place) in our life. We must prioritize our relationship with God above our relationship with our spouse, children or grandchildren and before our career, pleasure or hobbies. God is a jealous God, and there is no room for anything else before or above Him.
 
Are you finding your plans and labors are often frustrated? Do you feel that there is just not enough time in the day? If so, perhaps you need to put first things first. Do you prioritize time spent with God every day? Do you prioritize obedience over pleasure? Do you prioritize Kingdom work in your giving? Do you prioritize gathering with other believers above having “your weekend”?

Jesus said, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you” (Matthew 6:33).

6/27/2017 8:24:14 AM by David Crowther, pastor, Mount Olive Baptist Church, Pittsboro | with 0 comments



Explore the Bible Lesson for July 9: The Creator

June 27 2017 by Emily Carter, member, University Hills Baptist Church, Charlotte

Focal Passage: Psalm 95:1-11
 
Before the sun rose, I began the drive to my first computerized tomography (CT) scan to check for advancing cancer. I was going by myself because I thought I could handle it.
My husband wanted to go with me, but somehow I convinced him that we would need to use his vacation days later on that year. I didn’t realize how much fear I had wrapped up inside me.
 
I told God, “I can’t do this.” Then I looked up and saw a huge full moon. God’s Spirit said. “I AM a big God.” That is when I knew the God who created that huge moon could handle my cancer. I worshiped Him with songs and prayers of praise as I drove.
 
Psalm 95 encourages us to worship the Lord. The invitation is for all to come and celebrate the Lord with joy, thanksgiving and song.
 
I invite you to read through Psalm 95 and make a list of the different names of God. For instance, in verse one He is called “the Lord” and the “Rock of our salvation.” In verse three “the great God” and “the great King above all gods.”
 
What do the descriptive names of God make you think and feel?  Do they promote your heart to worship?
 
The posture of our worship will take on various forms. In corporate worship, we must be careful not to judge others who worship differently from ourselves. God is most concerned about the posture of your heart, not whether you kneel, raise your hands, close your eyes or stand still.
 
The humility of your heart in contrast to the majesty of God should allow you to take on a posture that is pleasing to Him. He longs for us to humble ourselves.
 
Today is the right time to begin worshiping the Lord. Psalm 95:7b-8 says, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts …” Worship the Lord today. Bless Him today with your worship for He is worthy.
 

6/27/2017 8:22:40 AM by Emily Carter, member, University Hills Baptist Church, Charlotte | with 0 comments



Bible Studies for Life Lesson for July 9: Encourage One Another

June 27 2017 by David Crowther, pastor, Mount Olive Baptist Church, Pittsboro

Focal passage: Acts 11:19-26
 
Group behavior is fascinating. I am always amazed when a video emerges in which acts of atrocity are committed on crowded streets. How could those who are passing by fail to act? It is evident that most of us conform to the behavior around us. Yet, when one person has the courage to step forward, others are encouraged to follow their example.
 
A similar phenomenon is described in Acts. Although Jesus commanded His disciples to be witnesses to the ends of the earth in Acts 1:8, the church only heard half of what He said and stayed around Jerusalem.
 
Just as in our own day, the early church had difficulty doing evangelism. However, God had a way of fixing the problem when He allowed persecution to come upon the believers and they were “scattered” (Acts 11:19).
 
Many of these Christians went to Antioch where they began to share Jesus. Still, they were only sharing Jesus with people who were like them. Yet, the only thing needed in Antioch was a little encouragement. When some believers from Cyprus and Cyrene arrived and started sharing Jesus (Acts 11:20), many Gentiles were saved (Acts 11:21). When we encourage lost people to follow Jesus, it encourages unbelievers and believers. Although we don’t even know the names of these believers who first started sharing Jesus with the Gentiles, their testimony encouraged believers all the way in Jerusalem (Acts 11:22).
 
The church in Jerusalem sent Barnabas to go see what was happening in Antioch. The Bible says that Barnabas “… encouraged all of them to remain true to the Lord with a firm resolve of the heart” (Acts 11:24). For the next year, Barnabas and Paul found fulfillment in their work by serving the Lord and serving others in Antioch.
 
This account in Acts reminds us of the importance of encouraging unbelievers to follow Christ and believers to keep walking with Him.  I have been a pastor long enough to know that we find it easier to criticize than to encourage.
 
I urge you to have the courage to lift up Jesus and build up others at your church and in your daily life. It will quickly change the climate and culture in which you live, work and worship.
 

6/27/2017 8:18:43 AM by David Crowther, pastor, Mount Olive Baptist Church, Pittsboro | with 0 comments



Explore the Bible Lesson for July 2: His Presence

June 13 2017 by Emily Carter, member, University Hills Baptist Church, Charlotte

Focal Passage: Psalm 84:1-12
 
I was a good teenager, but one night I left a church youth event, and after dropping off a friend at her house, I headed back into town to hang out with friends from school. No problem, I still had two hours until curfew. 
 
Except the father of the girl I dropped off called my dad and said I was on my way home. 
Since this was before everyone had a cell phone, you can imagine my dad’s worry as he searched for me not knowing where I was. When I got home, my father was both relieved and annoyed, so much so that he didn’t speak to me until the next morning. 
 
His worry had been relieved, but he was undone. From that point forward, I called before starting to drive home. Why? Because my father, who loved me, was waiting for me.
 
In the same way, the Heavenly Father wants us home and in His presence. Does your soul yearn for the courts of the Lord? Does your heart and flesh cry out for the living God? (Psalm 84:2) Is it your passion to worship the Lord? 
 
Verses five through seven point out that as we focus on God, even as we go through hard times, His strength will be ours. Praising God strengthens us and pleases Him.
 
The Psalmist seeks God’s favor through prayer. Prayer is powerful and effective. We should take it seriously. Just as I never took my earthly father’s words for granted after that night, we should also not take for granted that we can go before our heavenly Father’s throne at any time and for any reason (Hebrews 10:19-22).
 
Thankfully our Father in heaven is not searching frantically for us. He knows where we are, and He is waiting patiently for us to arrive home. 
 
He longs for us to be with Him. I can think of nothing better than being in His presence.
 

6/13/2017 9:24:14 AM by Emily Carter, member, University Hills Baptist Church, Charlotte | with 0 comments



Bible Studies for Life Lesson for July 2: Share Christ

June 13 2017 by David Crowther, pastor, Mount Olive Baptist Church, Pittsboro

Focal passage: John 1:35-49
 
As a child I remember my pastor, Bob Marcaurelle, always saying, “Christianity is just one generation from extinction.” He was right; we have a faith meant to be shared. 
 
We do not mind sharing good news with friends and family. We recommend restaurants, businesses, doctors and even churches if we have had a positive experience in these places or with these persons. 
 
On the other hand, many Christians say that Jesus is “the best thing that ever happened to me” but never recommend Him to a friend or family member. 
 
We must share Christ with others by telling them what He has done for us and inviting them to meet Him.
 
In just a few short verses, John the evangelist paints a picture of how we are to share Christ. 
First, John the Baptist introduces two of his disciples to Jesus (John 1:35-36). Then, one of those disciples, Andrew, introduces his brother, Simon Peter, to Jesus (John 1:40-42). 
 
Likewise, another man, Phillip, met Jesus (John 1:43) – possibly because of the testimony of Andrew and Peter – and immediately he found his friend, Nathaniel, and introduced him to Jesus (John 1:43-46). 
 
It is clear that Christians must pass on their faith – your experience with Jesus cannot stop with you. 
 
Not long ago I had the honor of officiating at my own grandmother’s funeral. When I was a child, my grandmother shared Jesus with me and prayed that I would meet Jesus. Although she suffered from Alzheimer’s for the past decade, I will never forget her godly Christian witness for so many years. 
 
As I flipped through her worn and tattered Bible, I found where she had recorded her own testimony of faith that involved how she heard the gospel from others. On the next page, I saw my name – along with the names of my brother and cousins – along with the date of my salvation. 
 
My grandmother’s Bible reminded me that though nearly 20 centuries have passed since Jesus rose from the dead, the faith has been kept alive as it has been passed down from generation to generation. Pass it on by sharing Christ with others.
 

6/13/2017 9:22:34 AM by David Crowther, pastor, Mount Olive Baptist Church, Pittsboro | with 0 comments



 |<  <  11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16 - 17 - 18 - 19 - 20  >  >| 
Displaying results 141-150 (of 1075)