Today's goal is to turn jellyfish into lions. There is a reason why the Bible says not many of us should be teachers. Only God can turn jellyfish into lions. But, we can do all things through Christ. Pray that God would empower you to lead your class to being a room full of courageous Christians who are ready to take this world for God. God has told us the gates of hell will not withstand our attack. "God, make us into attackers."
Last week we talked about Barnabas-- Mr. Encouragement. Anyone have a chance to write a note, say a word, or make a call of encouragement this week? Did anyone encourage you?
God, I want to be more courageous for you. I want to stand up, speak out and be bold you. Show me how. Give me wisdom as you gave Stephen wisdom. Allow me to serve you boldly, while never being needlessly offensive. Empower me to speak the truth in love. Give me an opportunity this week to express boldness for you.
1. Matthew 5:10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
John 15:20 Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.
2. People sometimes wrongly make this conclusion. I have known many-a person who was "rude for God." The more they offended people, the more righteous they thought they were. This is not God's way. There will be some persecution that comes the way of the righteous. However, we don't need to create our own. What some people call being persecuted for righteousness sake is really just the natural result of being obnoxious.
3. Absolutely, positively we can serve God better if we have better people skills. The number one problem in most churches is that people do not know how to get along with one another.
4. It is a history lesson on Israel. The them is, "God's people often missed God's man." They missed Moses. They missed Joseph. Now, God's people are missing Jesus.
5. Some questions are intended to create conversations. Others are intended to be asked one after another, very quickly. There should not be a lot of pause between these next three questions.
6. Apparently so.
7. One of my goals is that any group I teach for a couple of years would be able to tell the story of the Old Testament from memory. Many of our adults know the stories of the Old Testament, but they do not know the story of the Old Testament.
8. Gutsy is the word that comes to my mind. Courageous. Brave.