Bible Study

This is a copy of the Sunday School Lessons presented to an adult class each Sunday.

Name:
Location: Spartanburg, South Carolina, United States

Retired, Lobbyist in Washington,DC - Management - BS Chemistry and various continuing education courses

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Bible Study - Re-Finance (2) - Make Arrangements Caustiously - Proverbs 6:1-5; 22:7 - July 24, 2016



Bible Study – Re-Finance (2) – Make Arrangements Cautiously – July 24, 2016

This is lesson two (2) in our series entitled “Re-Finance: Ancient Wisdom for Money Management.”

Our focus scripture is Proverbs 6:1-5; 22:7

Avoid financial obligations that could sink you.

These are wise words. Often, we may have friends or acquaintances who ask us to cosign a note/loan at the bank or some financial institution with them. We trust the person to pay off the note/loan but if they do not, guess who the financial institution will come to for payment? The person cosigning the note/loan is responsible for paying the loan if the person borrowing the money does not. Those who would be cosigners need to ask themselves, if cosigning a loan with a person who cannot get a loan help them or hurt them. Young folks starting out in life may need help in getting started and need to build their credit. Getting money is one thing but paying it back is quite another.

We will study two sides of debt; the person borrowing and the lender or cosigner.

Let’s explore!

Let’s read Proverbs 22:7:

7 The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is a slave to the lender.

Those who have means/wealth have the upper hand when it comes to having access to the things they need or want. If someone in need comes to the wealthy to help them, the wealthy can dictate the terms to those needing to borrow money. The terms will often reflect the heart of the wealthy combined with the ability of the borrower’s ability to repay the loan. Some unscrupulous lenders may set the terms of repayment such that they know the borrower will default setting up the opportunity for the lender to take the borrower’s collateral or getting him or her as a slave or obtaining one or more of his or her children.

Ancient and today’s wisdom are the same. Do not let yourself get into a situation where you become the borrower. A borrower will become the slave of the rich.

Those of us who have borrowed to own a house focus on getting our house paid off. Until the house loan is marked “paid in full,” we fret until it is paid. So many home owners, in the last few years, have experienced what we know as “under the water loans.” That is their home is worth less than the money they owe on their home. This situation has caused many to go through awful times in their lives including losing their homes and resulting in bad credit. Lenders made it easy for many to purchase homes during the good, boom times but when difficult times came along, they were not as diligent to work with them to keep their homes. The children of these parents witnessed these times and it made a lasting impression on many of them, much like the depression made on many of us who had parents who lived during the Hoover days.

I understand that many millennials do not have credit cards. They use debit cards. It could be that their parents taught them a very important life lesson not to get into debt. Many children saw their parents lose their homes and struggle to pay off debt and often both parents having to work. This is a very important lesson for all of us to keep in mind.

I thought the following, in brackets, copied from page 105 written by Dr. Garrett, professor of Old Testament at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary as published in Advanced Bible Study, summer, 2016, published by LifeWay, One LifeWay Plaza, Nashville, TN 37234-0175 was very interesting regarding the Israelite's.

[As mentioned, a large number of slaves in Israel were debt slaves. Most of these would not have been foreigners but fellow Israelites. The Bible does not regard slavery as a desirable condition. Normally, the people of Israel called themselves “Israelites” (traditionally, “the children of Israel”). But an Israelite who was a slave was called a “Hebrew,” not an “Israelite.” (Exodus 21:2; Deuteronomy 15:12). The term “Hebrew” was fairly derogative, and it hearkens back to the time when the Israelites were slaves in Egypt (Exodus 2:6-7; 2:11-13; 5:3; 7:16). The idea was that an Israelite who became a slave had gone back to his or her prior condition in Egypt, as if the exodus had never happened. The term was not meant to demean Israelites who fell into slavery but to press upon them the fact that they should do everything possible to avoid slavery.]

A number of years ago, the young people in Germany would save at least 50% of the cost of a house before they would purchase it. In the USA, we make it easy for people to purchase a home with very little down. Purchasing a house is likely the largest expense young people will make in their lifetime, although new automobiles and pickup trucks run a close second.

My wife and I have longtime friends who managed their finances in a much disciplined manner. To my knowledge they only borrowed money to purchase a house. They knew that in time there would be home repair, appliance replacement, auto replacement, etc. They planned for these known occurrences. They set aside each payday a portion of their income to cover these known events. They knew that appliances were designed to last about 7 years. To my knowledge they never purchased a new car. They would purchase a 2-4 year old car and trade it every 2-3 years. That takes discipline and commitment but also puts them in control of their finances.

Ancient wisdom applies today; be careful and thoughtful before borrowing to obtain things that will likely cost you to maintain them once you become the owner e.g. upkeep, taxes, insurance, etc. Plan wisely before you assume debt.

Let’s read Proverbs 6:1-2:

Financial Entanglements

1 My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor or entered into an agreement with a stranger,

2 you have been trapped by the words of your lips- ensnared by the words of your mouth.

The bracketed section is copied from page 107 of the Advanced Bible Study, summer, 2016.

[Proverbs 6:1-5 is a conditional statement in the form of “if X is true, then Y.” The text is in two parts. The first, verses 1-2, is a “protasis.” This is simply the “if” part of the statement. The second, verses 3-5, is an apodosis. This is the “then” part of the statement. In this case, the apodosis is a series of commands. Thus, the whole passage has the structure, “If this is the situation you are in, then you must do the following things.”]

This deals with such financial matters as co-signing loans or using your collateral to secure another person’s loan or purchase. That is you have “put up security” should the person you are cosigning with defaults on the loan. In ancient times, banks as we know them today did not exist but money lenders did exist. It was common that the first person a person in need would contact would be a family/relative member. It seems that Jewish tradition was to take care of family and those living in the same general area e.g. neighbor.  

The reference, my son, did not necessarily refer to blood relations but more likely a term used in teaching a young person. It was a term of endearment and used to connote the importance of what was about to be stated.  It also carries the idea of teaching fellow Jews or those who have placed their faith in the One True GOD, Yahweh regarding the consequence of entering into financial agreements that could come back to haunt you, therefore, be wise. Your neighbor, in this context, is anyone who is your fellow countryman e.g. Jew, relative, friend, neighbor basically a fellow Jew. The stranger often referred to a non-Jew.

Let’s read Proverbs 6:3-5:

3 Do this, then, my son, and free yourself, for you have put yourself in your neighbor's power: Go, humble yourself, and plead with your neighbor.

4 Don't give sleep to your eyes or slumber to your eyelids.

5 Escape like a gazelle from a hunter, like a bird from a fowler's trap.
Verses 3-5 are the apodosis or the “then” which communicates to us what we should do.

Ancient wisdom dictates which is true today; when you realize that you have made a bad deal, and then do not hesitate to get out of it immediately. Many think, “Oh it will work out.” Don’t count on it. We are often coerced in helping another person out but when we have time to think about it and we realize that we have entered into a bad deal, we must move in haste to get out of it. In South Carolina we have a cooling off period of 3 days but I learned that is not true when you purchase a used vehicle.

The key is, once you realize that you have made a bad deal move with great haste to get out of it. That is, go to the person for whom you have either put up your security or cosigned a loan with him or her and ask him or her to let you out of the deal. Then both of you go to the lender and terminate the agreement. Always have a witness or something to show that the deal has been terminated. Document and document!

Recently, we purchased a 60-day money back guaranteed deal. When we received the product it was not what we expected. The tendency is not to take care of it quickly. The good news for us is that we did not hesitate and received our money back. But many businesses promote money back guarantees knowing that most will procrastinate.  

Wisdom comes from GOD. Seek HIS guidance in all matters. HE may allow us to go through a tense time to teach us a lesson. Life is to teach us to seek GOD and to get to know HIM through our relationship with JESUS The CHRIST. Live wisely by seeking the right relationship with JESUS and applying GOD’S wisdom, as led by the Holy Spirits! Blessings!!!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Bible Study - Re-Finance (1) - View Money Properly - Proverbs 23:4-5; 30:5-9 - July 17, 2016



Bible Study – Re-Finance (1) – View Money Properly – July 17, 2016

This is lesson one (1) in our series entitled “Re-Finance: Ancient Wisdom for Money Management.”

Our focus scripture is Proverbs 23:4-5; 30:5-9.

Contentment and security rest in GOD, not money.

We begin a new six (6) week series of study. The scripture for five lessons will come from Proverbs and one lesson from Ecclesiastes.

I know many reading this are likely to say, “Here we go again, always talking about money.” How we use our money is a reflection of our heart.  Finances and how we handle them is a vital subject for every person and especially for couples planning marriage. Credit cards can be maxed out in a heartbeat but paying them off is often very painstaking. In America, we can accumulate a mountain of debt in a heartbeat. Commerce makes it easy to obtain possessions but when you obtain more than you can afford, the bill collectors will come after you with great gusto.

The key is to be wise. Let’s explore GOD’S Word over the next six-weeks to discover HIS wisdom. King Solomon wrote most of Proverbs, with Agur and Lemuel contributing some of the later sections.

The following, within the brackets, was taken straight from the Advanced Bible Study, summer, 2016 Commentary written by Dr. Garrett, professor of the Old Testament at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, published by LifeWay, One LifeWay Plaza, Nashville, TN 37234-0175.

[Proverbs 22:17-24:22 is a collection of teachings commonly called the “Thirty Sayings (22:20). It is made up of a set of introductory remarks in 22:17-21 followed by 30 distinctive teachings (22:22-24:22). In the introduction, 22:20 says, “Haven’t I written for you thirty sayings about counsel and knowledge?” This follows a model set by an Egyptian text called “The Sayings of Amenemope,” which is also divided into thirty distinct teachings. Some of the sayings in Proverbs 22:17-24:22 are quite similar to what we see in Amenemope, testifying to the fact that the desire for wisdom was common in the ancient world. Our text, 23:4-5, is the seventh saying.

Proverbs 30:5-9 comes from the “words of Agur son of Jakeh,” a collection that takes up all Proverbs 30. Agur is only mentioned here, and we do not know anything about him. His little set of teachings is perhaps the most colorful and enigmatic chapter of Proverbs. Although edifying, Agur’s sayings are somewhat mysterious. At least one saying 30:18-19, could be called a riddle. This passage gives a list of four items, and the reader has to struggle to determine what they have in common and what their main lesson is. We often have to pause and ask what Agur means. The sayings about animals illustrate this. What, precisely, is the point to the observation, “A lizard can be caught in your hands, yet it lives in king’s palaces. (30:28)? Even the teachings of our fairly straightforward text, 30:5-9, contains puzzles.]

Wisdom comes from GOD. As Christians, we have direct access to GOD 24/7 but do we seek HIS advice and guidance? Often, we only go to HIM when we get into difficulty. HIS desire is for HIS children to seek HIM first. Let’s explore!

Let’s read Proverbs 23:4-5:

4 Don't wear yourself out to get rich; stop giving your attention to it.

5 As soon as your eyes fly to it, it disappears, for it makes wings for itself and flies like an eagle to the sky.

Many of us pursue wealth only to find that when we achieve it, it is not what we thought it would be like. The pursuit is the challenge and occupies our time and often is an obstacle to us in building the right relationship with GOD. 

Making money is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Most of us desire that gift but for selfish reasons. Our egos are the drivers and blinds us to the real intent of our hearts e.g. LORD, we could do so much for YOU if we were wealthy, when our desire is to use it for ourselves or to inflate our ego. We often attempt to deceive GOD but HE knows our hearts and our intents.

It is written in 1 Timothy 6:10:

10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.

GOD often allows us to pursue wealth just to prove the point that when we arrive, it is not all that great and it has many problems associated with it. Often the greatest tragedy in having or obtaining wealth is one of the things we desire most, which is a unified, loving family that loves the LORD and obediently serves HIM. I quickly add that there are many wealthy families that have achieved this by keeping their eyes fixed upon the LORD as they use their wealth to obediently serve HIM. Their first desire is to know GOD through faith in JESUS CHRIST.

Pursuing wealth often robs us of spending time getting to know GOD through our relationship with JESUS. It is easy to know about GOD but it takes being in right relationship with JESUS to get to really know GOD, the Father of every Christian.

In our last lesson series JESUS stated in Matthew 6:33:

33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.

How much time do you spend reading GOD’S Word, talking to HIM, listening to HIM and putting into practice the things that HE reveals to you?

In our previous lessons, we know that, as Christians, we are building upon the solid foundation that GOD has laid. That foundation is placing our faith in JESUS The CHRIST as our Savior. We are building upon that foundation of faith with Gold, Silver, Precious Stones, Wood, Hay or Straw. One day, our building will be tested by fire. As Christians, when we obediently serve our LORD, we are building with the materials that will survive the test by fire. When we, as Christians, are in right relationship with GOD through faith in JESUS, we are building with materials that will survive the test by fire. As a Christian, allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you as you walk with JESUS to obediently serve GOD according to HIS plan and purpose for your life.

It is vital that every Christian get to know GOD and not just know about GOD. When you get to know GOD you learn to trust HIM as we read in our next scripture.

Let’s read Proverbs 30:5-6: (As stated in the opening of our study, these words were written by Agur.)

5 Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.

When we really know GOD, we know that HE is truth and HIS Word is pure. 

That is a process. Salvation is just step one in a lifelong journey of revelation through sanctification. As we get to know GOD and learn to trust HIM, we learn that HE is our shield and that we can take refuge in HIM, even when we make mistakes and follow the desires of our hearts. The Apostle Paul learned this as he walked with GOD as he wrote in Romans 8:28-30:

28 We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.

Things do not guide our lives but GOD is in all things bringing about HIS will and purpose even when we take a wrong turn because HE has a plan for every Christian. Our part is to confess our wrong doing and stop doing it. GOD forgives, restores our relationship with HIM and we are to continue our walk with HIM as led by the Holy Spirit.

29 For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers.

GOD’S goal for every Christian is to be made unto the image of JESUS.

30 And those He predestined, He also called; and those He called, He also justified; and those He justified, He also glorified.

Predestined does not mean that our choice has been taken from us because every Christian still makes choices. GOD has a vision for every Christian

When we walk with HIM, as led by the Holy Spirit and are in right relationship with HIM, we are in HIS will. It is all about getting to know GOD through the study of HIS Word, talking to HIM and obediently serving HIM by putting what HE reveals to us into action.

6 Don't add to His words, or He will rebuke you, and you will be proved a liar.

This is an important verse. Often, we try to make more out of GOD’S Word than HE intends. This scripture warns us not to do that. Let the Holy Spirit reveal the truth of GOD’S Word to you and do not try to make HIS Word say what HE did not intend for it to say regarding you.

I heard a story many years ago regarding GOD’S Word. It went something like this. A man decided that he would do whatever GOD’S Word, the Bible revealed to him. He would randomly open GOD’S Word and blindly point to a verse and do what the verse stated. He did this and the verse was “and he went and hanged himself.” The man did not like that so he made another attempt and his finger landed on a verse that stated “what thou must do, do quickly.”

We laugh at such random ways we attempt to get direction from GOD. Build the right relationship with HIM by getting to know HIM through faith in JESUS. JESUS came to show us how to have the right relationship with GOD. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you build the right relationship with GOD through faith in CHRIST.

What does this have to do with the wise use of our resources? Seek first the kingdom of GOD. Being in right relationship with GOD means that all that we have falls under HIS authority and since wisdom comes from GOD, GOD’S wisdom flows through us as we walk with HIM.

Let’s read Proverbs 30:7-9: (These words were written by Agur. What was he saying and how does it apply to us today? We need to keep in mind that Agur was talking to GOD.)

7 Two things I ask of You (GOD); don't deny them to me before I die:

Agur was making his request known to GOD. This is what we all need to do. Verbalize our request. The only timetable he put on his request was that GOD respond before he died. Such a request can come from a heart that realizes that often we have to grow Spiritually before we can understand or comprehend some Spiritual things.

So what were the two things he asked of GOD?

8 Keep falsehood and deceitful words far from me. (1) Give me neither poverty nor (2) wealth; feed me with the food I need.

We all live in this world and in doing so we all have both Spiritual and physical needs. GOD provides for those needs but the world can deceive us into believing that our plight in life reveals our relationship to GOD. This deceit can result in us concluding that GOD has punished us when we are in poverty or rewarded us when we prosper. Agur knew that these conclusions were deceitful and would lead us to the wrong conclusion regarding GOD in our lives.

Therefore, he asked GOD to not allow such thinking to mislead him. As a result, he asked GOD not to give him poverty or wealth because he did not want to run the chance of falling into the trap of associating GOD with either condition. Poverty and wealth are deceitful. If he was not poor or wealthy he was free to discover the truth regarding GOD and HIS role in his life as they walked together. His desire was to walk with GOD and to trust HIM to provide him the things that GOD wanted him to have to meet all of his needs both physical and Spiritual.

This is, in essence, what JESUS stated in the model prayer we studied a few weeks ago as recorded in Matthew 6:11:

11 Give us today our daily bread.

This is both physical and Spiritual food. GOD knows that we have to have physical food to sustain us as humans. JESUS got hungry as recorded in Matthew 21:18:

18 Early in the morning, as He was returning to the city, He was hungry.

But we need Spiritual food as well as JESUS stated in Matthew 5:6:

6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, because they will be filled.

Wealth is a lie because it implies that we don’t need GOD and Poverty is a lie because it implies that GOD does not care.

Let’s read our next verse - Proverbs 30:9:

9 Otherwise, I might have too much and deny You, saying, "Who is the Lord?" or I might have nothing and steal, profaning the name of my God.

Agur gives his reasons why he did not want wealth or poverty. If he had plenty he might become self-sufficient and not seek GOD in his life and realize his dependence upon HIM. By the same rational, if he was poor, he might steal to meet his needs and in doing so it would dishonor GOD.

This statement focuses upon the desire of Agur’s heart to know GOD and to be a positive witness for HIM to others. Agur wanted balance in his life by not having too little or too much but to depend upon GOD and to seek HIM in his life not encumbered by poverty or plenty.

What is the desire of our hearts? Do we blame GOD because we do not have riches? Do we not acknowledge GOD in our lives because we are self-sufficient? Or do we go through the motions of worshipping GOD because we are afraid that GOD will take away our wealth or health? Keep in mind that GOD knows our hearts and our intents.

Seek first the Kingdom of GOD and HIS righteousness. HIS righteousness is imputed to those the instant they place their faith in JESUS THE CHRIST. Righteousness is a gift from GOD as the Apostle Paul recorded in Second Corinthians 5:21:

21 He (GOD) made the One (JESUS) who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we (All who place their faith in JESUS) might become the righteousness of God in Him.

So what does this have to do with having the proper perspective regarding our money? JESUS stated it best in Matthew 6:21:

21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Matthew 6:33:

33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.

Ground zero is our relationship with GOD. Is it personal and real or obscure and unsure? If your relationship with GOD is obscure and unsure, I urge you to tell HIM and ask HIM to reveal truth to you. But you need to read HIS Word and be alert to the truth as HE reveals it. Don’t ask and then park your brain but be vigilant to seek what HE reveals. It is an awesome journey. Blessings!!!
 

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Bible Study - Transformed (6) - Transformed by My Choices - Matthew 7:13-27 - July 10, 2016



Bible Study – Transformed (6) – Transformed by My Choices – July 10, 2016

This is lesson six (6) and the final lesson in our series entitled “Transformed: 
My Life in GOD’S Kingdom.”

Our focus scripture is Matthew 7:13-27.

Choose to follow JESUS.

All that we have studied in this series applies to every Christian. JESUS was teaching HIS followers and disciples how they were to live as Christians. Living as JESUS taught in HIS sermon on the Mount is mind-boggling and impossible without the indwelling Holy Spirit. Living the true Christian life is only accomplished by the empowering, teaching, enlightenment of the indwelling Holy Spirit through the process of sanctification. At the instant a person receives CHRIST as his or her Savior, he or she is set aside or sanctified to serve GOD. GOD never overrides the will of HIS child to choose. Christians still make choices; that is part of the Spiritual growth and sanctification process.

JESUS was still teaching about GOD’S Kingdom and what a Christian needs to do as a citizen of GOD’S Kingdom.

Let’s read Matthew 7:13-14:

Entering the Kingdom

Choose the path that leads to life in CHRIST.

13 "Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it.

Life is all about choices; ideally making the right choices.
How often do we say, “If only?”

JESUS makes it clear that the world or flesh offers many no brainer choices that look very attractive until we see or discover the result of those choices. JESUS taught that these choices lead to destruction but there is another way. Both ways are choices but one way leads to eternal life and the other to destruction. The question is which way will you choose? JESUS continued HIS teaching. Keep in mind this is GOD’S Son Who is teaching.

Let’s read John 17:1-5: (JESUS was praying to GOD, HIS Father as HE approached HIS passion. HE knew that HIS death was eminent as the scriptures had revealed.)

1 Jesus spoke these things, looked up to heaven, and said: Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son so that the Son may glorify You,

2 for You gave Him authority over all flesh; so He may give eternal life to all You have given Him.

3 This is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and the One You have sent-Jesus Christ.

4 I have glorified You on the earth by completing the work You gave Me to do.

5 Now, Father, glorify Me in Your presence with that glory I had with You before the world existed.

Verse 5 reveals and confirms that JESUS left HIS Home in Heaven to come to earth to be born as a human, yet GOD. HE did this just for you and for me. All who choose HIM by placing their faith in JESUS go through the narrow gate that leads to life. Have you made that choice? If not, why not? Has Satan blinded you to think that you will never die physically yet somehow you will get to heaven? Why take that chance when GOD’S Word makes it clear that you can be eternally secure by placing your faith in JESUS and what HE did for just you on the cross at Calvary. The choice is yours to make. Choose wisely!

JESUS continued to teach as we read the next verse.

14 How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it.

JESUS makes it clear that there is another way to eternal life but that path is narrow and the road is very difficult. This narrow gate and road leads to life eternal and few find it. Why do few find it?

Which is easier today to follow the crowd or take a stand as a Christian? You know the answer. It is harder to take a stand as a Christian.

JESUS warns all people to watch out because some will attempt to take advantage of the opportunity to offer an easy way to be secure in CHRIST. But are they offering truth?

We are living in a politically correct world. JESUS was teaching that being politically correct is not truth. Do we want truth or error? Many of us find tainted truth pleasing. We want to feel good and the world offers us tainted truth but JESUS reveals that tainted truth is false as we read our next scripture.

Let’s read Matthew 7:15-23:

Choose to live in obedience and bear fruit for CHRIST.

15 "Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravaging wolves.

16 You'll recognize them by their fruit. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes or figs from thistles?

How do we judge success? Often, it is by the largeness. The largest churches must teach truth. Don’t they? After all they are successful by the world’s standard. They have big buildings and have lots of money. Many do teach the truth but size does not always mean that truth is being taught.

JESUS reveals a way to test truth as we read our next scripture.

17 In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit.

18 A good tree can't produce bad fruit; neither can a bad tree produce good fruit.

19 Every tree that doesn't produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

20 So you'll recognize them by their fruit.

What fruit is being produced by you or the place where you worship? Christian or church is known by the fruit produced. Is it good fruit or bad fruit? Who judges? GOD judges and you judge as GOD gives you discernment.

21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord!' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but [only] the one who does the will of My Father in heaven.

22 On that day many will say to Me, 'Lord, Lord, didn't we prophesy in Your name, drive out demons in Your name, and do many miracles in Your name?'

23 Then I will announce to them, 'I never knew you! Depart from Me, you lawbreakers! '

Satan can mislead people into thinking they are Christian by appearing as an angel of light. How can we know that we belong to GOD? Romans 8:16:

16 The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God's children,

GOD is not fickle and HIS judgment is based upon truth because HE knows the heart and the intent of the heart. We may fool some of the people but we will never fool GOD. That is why every person needs salvation. JESUS makes it clear there is but one way to GOD as written in John 14:6:

6 Jesus told him (Thomas), "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

To be a Christian we must have a personal relationship with JESUS.

My prayer is that you will ask JESUS to forgive you for your sins and ask HIM to come into your life.

If you make this decision, then go tell someone what you have done and get into a church that teaches truth. Ask JESUS to lead you to the place where you can grow Spiritually. If you do not have a Bible, get one and begin with the Gospel of John and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal truth to you as you study and get to know JESUS through the study of GOD’S Word and putting what the Holy Spirit reveals to you into action.

Build your life upon the solid foundation of JESUS. Yes, it will be difficult but look to JESUS and HIS strength. Allow the indwelling Holy Spirit to be your teacher and guide as you go through each day as you obediently serve HIM and grow Spiritually. Build upon the solid foundation of JESUS.

JESUS continued to teach and reveal the answer regarding the spiritual foundation upon which we build.

Let’s read Matthew 7:24-27:

Choose to build Your Life on CHRIST and HIS Teaching.

The Two Foundations

24 "Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on the rock.

25 The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn't collapse, because its foundation was on the rock.

26 But everyone who hears these words of Mine and doesn't act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.

27 The rain fell, the rivers rose, the winds blew and pounded that house, and it collapsed. And its collapse was great!"

What is the foundation upon which we build our Spiritual lives? Is it that which sounds good and feels good or that which is truth?

We can build upon what we think is truth but when tested, we discover that we have built upon false notions and politically correct ideology. These will not stand the test of truth. Study GOD’S Word, the Bible, to discover truth as the Holy Spirit reveals truth to you.

Are we building upon the solid foundation of CHRIST or upon a false foundation? When tough times come into our lives our faith will be tested. Have we sought truth from GOD or something we have dreamed up? As JESUS taught, when we build upon a false foundation there will be a great collapse but when we build upon the solid foundation of JESUS THE CHRIST, we will be standing when all else has collapsed.  

What a sad day should we, who thought we knew truth, find out that what we thought was truth was false! Do we embrace truth or do we choose to believe something false because embracing truth does not promote our social, political or social agenda.

In last week’s lesson JESUS taught:

7 "Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you.

Seek truth. Do not be misled by the gospel the world offers but as JESUS taught:

33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.

Blessings!!!