Fruits of the Spirit: LESSON 2 PART 1 – Joy (1 Corinthians 13:6)

Fruits of the Spirit: LESSON 2 PART 1 – Joy (1 Corinthians 13:6)

LESSON: JOY

Memory Verse:

“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.” – 1 Corinthians 13:6

Lesson Presentation:

  1. When we say “rejoice,” what other words come into mind? Some might give any one of these:
    1. Laughter
    2. Tickling
    3. Something funny
    4. Jokes
    5. Parties
    6. Having fun
    7. Celebration
    8. happy

2. In this verse which talks mainly about LOVE, it is said that we are to “rejoice with the truth.” As a fruit of the spirit, JOY is directly connected to the main fruit which is GOD’S LOVE. This means loving the truth and standing up for the truth gives us reason to rejoice.  True joy is not merely about laughing and having fun – it is about having God’s love inside you to guide you to believe and stand up for the truth from God’s Word. HONESTY and INTEGRITY are important traits of a believer of Christ.

Do not delight in evil

We should REJOICE with the truth:

We should not find any reason to be joyful when something bad happens to anyone, even when it happens to bad people. (ex. Somebody trips over a rock or toy) When somebody gets hurt, our response would be to offer help, if possible. This is the truth that we should rejoice in: Jesus showed us how to love and not to cause hurt (Luke 6:31). When we show a loving response, we rejoice in this truth.
Jokes that make fun of others and hurt their feelings is not something we should be happy about.  (ex. Jokes about fat people or about disabilities) The truth is that God made everyone special and unique; each person is “wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). When we respect and care for each other’s feelings, we are rejoicing in this truth.
Somebody else gets the blame for something bad that you did you’re your brother gets blamed for breaking a vase which you broke) Even if nobody finds out we made a mistake, when we don’t admit it and ask for forgiveness, we are in fact lying, and we know that the Bible tells us that to lie is a sin. We should rejoice in the truth that “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
You found a P1000 bill on the floor and since nobody else was around, you put it in your pocket. You now have money to buy a new toy. When we find something valuable, we should make every effort to find the owner and return it. “Finders keepers; losers weepers” was never God’s way. We should rejoice in the truth that when we respect and care about other people’s things, we are honoring God.

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The Lord is my Shepherd…I shall not want!

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Right now we’re going through the miscarriage of our 3rd child, little “Riley” who’s about 6-7 weeks old. I’ve been bleeding for 4 days with cramping and back pain, the ultrasound is showing and empty sac, and my beta HCG levels have gone down from 5900 to 1700 in 2 days. We thank the Lord for giving us this little blessing even if we only got to spend less than a month with her inside mommy’s womb. In a few hours we’re going to the hospital most likely for admission and a D&C. As I take in this loss, I am encouraged by many verses such as the psalmist Asaph’s declaration that,

” My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.” – Psalm 73:26

Or Paul confidently saying,

“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. ” – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

I too want to shout it out from the top of my lungs that,

“I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.” – Psalm 91:2

I remember Job and how he said,

“The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” – Job 1:21

I cry out to the Lord in pain and surrender,

“Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.” – Mark 14:36

But as I go through each painful contraction and spend countless hours waiting for the result of the blood tests, or for the doctor to come, David’s Psalm 23 is foremost in my mind.

My daughter Allyra had to memorize this a couple of weeks ago for her bible class, and it was the first time I committed it to memory too. I looked for coloring pages for each verse to help her remember the verse and we compiled it in a folder.

How was I to know that I would need to have it in my heart for such a time as this…

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We’ve done so many sheep crafts in the past 3 years as we studied about David and the Good Shepherd, and as I reflect on all that is happening, I take comfort in the love that our Good Shepherd has for us.

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As Warren Wiersbe* beautifully points out, each of the OT names for God is seen in Psalm 23:

  • Jehovah-Jireh, “The Lord will provide”
  • Jehovah-Rapha, “The Lord will heal or restore”
  • Jehovah-Shalom, “The Lord our peace”
  • Jehovah-Tsidkenu, “The Lord our righteousness”
  • Jehovah-Shammah, “The Lord is there”
  • Jehovah-Nissi, “The Lord our banner,” and
  • Jehovah-Raah, “The Lord is my shepherd,”

Dear Lord, you are indeed our Shepherd! There is nothing that we lack! You have graciously provided for all our needs: a loving family, a supportive husband, beautiful children, a spiritual family, caring friends… truly, we shall not want!

*Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines on the Old and New Testament.

Fruits of the Spirit: LESSON 1 PART 4 – Love (Luke 6:31)

Fruits of the Spirit: LESSON 1 PART 4 – Love (Luke 6:31)

LESSON: LOVE

Memory Verse:

“Do to others as you would have them do to you.” – Luke 6:31

 Lesson Presentation:

  1.  This verse is known by many as the “golden rule.” It is also found in Matthew 7:12, where Jesus says it “sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Nearly every major religion has their own version of this rule but many are stated NEGATIVELY, such as:
    1. Confucianism – “Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself.”
    2. Hinduism – ‘This is the sum of duty: do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you.”
  2. Zoroastrianism – “Do not do unto others whatever is injurious to yourself.”
  3. This basically tells us that even if we have different cultures and backgrounds, people from all over the world have a common belief that it is not right to harm anyone else. Actually, when we think about it, even the ten commandments also tell us to do the same thing: to AVOID CAUSING HARM OR PAIN to others by not stealing, killing, breaking promises, coveting and lying.
  4. But Jesus showed us a better way, for as He said, he did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill them (Matthew 5:17). Jesus made it clear to us that we should go to the heart of the matter— and it is not about DOING NO HARM, but ACTIVELY DOING GOOD for others that God requires from us.
  5. This means that we do not simply get out of the way of others and let them be, trying our best to avoid hurting them in any way. Jesus is telling us what we should be doing is to think of ways to help others and actually DO these good deeds as we would want others to do for us.
  6. It means that WE DO NOT WAIT until someone does something good to us before we return the favor. It means we do good for people around us regardless of whether they are able to return the favor or not, because to be honest, we also don’t like it if whenever somebody does something good for us, they would expect and sometimes even demand that we do something good for them in return. Examples:
  7. Sacrificing what we want so that others may have what they need like not buying a new dress so we can give to the poor.
  8. Helping mom or dad with chores at home even if we would rather play.
  9. Offering a helping hand to someone in need, even if person has not been nice to us in the past.
  10. Now this is what LOVING OTHERS really means, because LOVE SEEKS TO BLESS OTHERS and DOES NOT ASK FOR ANYTHING IN RETURN.  For this is the kind of love that we received from God, and if we are connected to that love, then this is the kind of love that we will have for others. It’s not just about DOING NO HARM, but instead, BEING A BLESSING! Be a blessing to someone today!

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Life’s little distractions…

I haven’t been teaching my kid anything much these past couple of days because I’ve been very distracted… the passing away of two famous people whom I honestly never heard of until I saw some posts in facebook has left me asking a lot of questions and wondering about so many things. I’m talking about Cory Monteith and Talia Castellano, a 31-year-old young man and a 13-year-old young lady who died within 3 days of each other. Now as I mentioned, I’ve never even heard of them before, but just a few clicks on google helped me know Cory to be a young actor with a troubled childhood who had a promising career after being cast in “Glee.” As I watched a few clips of him singing in youtube, I couldn’t help but feel that his sudden passing was just plain sad, for he had so much going for him but it was all taken away by his addiction to drugs. And then a few days later somebody posts in facebook about Talia, and again google allowed me to get to know an amazing little girl who touched so many lives through her make-up tutorials in youtube. Talia had been battling cancer for the past six years, but aside from her being bald, you wouldn’t know she had a problem because she was just so full of life. She lived 13 years, but her impact in the world was something most of us could never even dream of coming close to — even if we live to be a 100. I couldn’t help but compare how these two goodbyes felt so far apart — with Cory it was too soon; his life was just beginning, he was about to get married and start a family… but with Talia, it was her time; it feels like she’s accomplished in her 13 years what she’s been sent here to do.

In the middle of all these distractions of mine, my own little girl found a way to amuse herself and she reminded me that what we should be focusing on is “life,” not “death.”

It all started with this little creature that she made by gluing googly eyes on a pink pom-pom. She named her “Mattiya.”20130718-195915.jpg

She said Mattiya was her pet. Her pom-pom creations eventually grew to be a whole family.

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Then she drew some stuff on a small notebook and made it into a booklet. This is their TV.20130718-200046.jpg

Daddy, Mommy and Big Brother have their own beds…20130718-195951.jpg

The little girls have their own beds too, but here, big bro reads a bedtime story to little sis, while in the next photo, little sis reads a bedtime story to the baby. (They’re reading bible bedtime stories.)20130718-200006.jpg

The kids eat together (yup, that’s a table on the left), take a bath together (the middle shows them playing in the bathtub) and play with balls together (pom-poms playing with balls…now that’s cool).20130718-200017.jpg

Here’s Allyra playing with her “pets.”20130718-200151.jpg

I know we all have our own distractions in life and I realized today that my little girl made the wiser choice. While I preoccupied myself with facts and videos about the dead, my child was busy making her own little “pet family” and brought them to life.

Gotta remind myself to remember this:

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” – Philippians 4:8

And right on cue, with a little duct tape, some old boxes and a stool, my hubby made this little distraction for the kids. Now it sure is great to be distracted with stuff like these. It’s lotsa fun. 🙂

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Sabbatical leave

It’s been half a year since I last posted in this blog… Our family went home to the Philippines for an extended vacation from February to June, and I’ve been so busy “living” that I simply didn’t have time to write all about it. And I also found out that when you stop blogging for a while (in my case, a loooong while), IT’S. HARD. TO. START. AGAIN.

But I’m back and hopefully will be updating this site in the next few weeks. A lot has been going on with us and so much has happened in the last few months. So much to be thankful for like new friends, a new church, and a new baby… YES! We’re going to have another precious blessing from the Lord probably sometime in February next year! Praise the Lord for He is good indeed!

That being said, I feel that I should start — or should I stay – “restart” this blog with the craft that my daughter Allyra made last month (6-22-2013) for her Bible studies:

Things God has done for me

The new baby is missing from this list because we found out we were pregnant just 2 weeks ago, about a week after we did this craft. It’s based on the 12 stones that Joshua set up in the middle of the Jordan as a memorial (Joshua 4:8-9).

The task was to list down 12 things that God has done for her that she would like to thank God for, and truly, there is so much more to be thankful for, but I am proud of the things that my child came up with. Some of the recent changes in our family life could have caused her some major adjustment issues, but God’s grace just abounds and she took it very well — excited even.

God is just so good, that all we could really do is:

“Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning us.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

Thank You, Lord!

Fruits of the Spirit: LESSON 1 PART 3 – Love (1 John 4:16)

LESSON: LOVE

Memory Verse:

“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” 1 John 4:16

 (For younger kids)

” God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” – 1 John 4:16b

Lesson Presentation:

  1. The Bible tells us that the GOD IS LOVE. This does not only mean that our God is a loving God or that He loves us, but that the word L-O-V-E in its purest sense is the character of God Himself. And we learn about this love by reading the BIBLE, God’s Word.
  2. As we learned from John 3:16, God loved us so much that He gave up His one and only Son Jesus as a sacrifice for us so we can be saved. “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” – John 15:13
  3. How much did Jesus love you and me? It cannot be measured in hugs and kisses. It was measured in the life He gave. Jesus loved us so much that He stretched His arms wide open (stretch out your hands as wide as you can and ask the students what they think Jesus was going to do looking like this). Jesus stretched out His arms wide open….not to give us a HUG, but to DIE on the CROSS.
  4. This is what LOVE means, and it’s not the same as how we sometimes say we love candy and chocolate, we love to play and go shopping, or we love our friends but not our other classmates. The love that God showed us is what we call UNCONDITIONAL LOVE and God did not wait for us to show Him any sign of our love for Him before Jesus died for us.
  5. We are only able to truly love others because God loved us first. GOD IS THE SOURCE OF LOVE. We are incapable of loving others if we do not have God’s love in our hearts. Love that is not connected to God is called SELFISH LOVE because it’s the kind of love that expects and even demands something in return.
  6. Think of how a light bulb is connected to the electrical outlet. It cannot produce any light if it is only pretending to be connected or is very close to being connected. It has to be absolutely connected for it to turn on and emit light. In the same way, we cannot show true love for others if we are not connected to the source of love – GOD. Others can pretend to love but it will prove to be selfish love, a kind of love that gets hurt and sometimes even mad when it is not loved in return.
  7. ACTION POINT: We need to accept God’s love and believe in Jesus so that the Holy Spirit can guide us to love others the way God wants us to love. We cannot do it by ourselves; we need to be connected to the source. When we allow ourselves to be filled with God’s love, then this love flows through us and is manifested by our love for one another. “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” –John 13:35
  8. Lead those who want to accept God’s love in prayer: “Almighty God, thank You for the love that you have given us. Forgive us for the times when we failed to acknowledge this love. Help us with the Holy Spirit to know You and to let Your love fill our hearts and guide us to love one another as You have loved us. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.”

 

Fruits of the Spirit: LESSON 1 PART 3 – Love (1 John 4:16)

Fruits of the Spirit: LESSON 1 PART 2 – Love (Matthew 22:37-39)

Memory Verse:

“Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”– Matthew 22:37-39

Lesson Presentation:

  1. God gave Moses two tablets containing the Ten Commandments in Mt.Sinai.
  2. The Israelites have tried to keep theses commandments from that time until the time of Jesus. But no one could really obey these commandments completely.
  3. Jesus summarized the commandments into only two: LOVE GOD and LOVE OTHERS.
  4. When we LOVE GOD, then we:

1st Commandment:              Put God first

2nd Commandment:             Have no idols

3rd Commandment:            Will not misuse God’s name

4th Commandment:             Keep the Sabbath holy through worship and rest

  1. When we LOVE OTHERS, then we:

5th Commandment:             Honor our father and mother

6th Commandment:             Don’t kill or hurt others

7th Commandment:            Don’t commit adultery

8th Commandment:             Don’t steal

9th Commandment:             Don’t lie (bear false witness)

10th Commandment:          Don’t covet (envy)

6.  Jesus made it clear that what God wants from us is not to simply obey out of obligation or fear, but we do what God wants because we first have LOVE in our hearts.

7.  When our hearts are guided by the LOVE of GOD, then good things follow. We don’t even have to think very hard about obeying the Ten Commandments. When we LOVE GOD, we instinctively do what is right and seek to do things that please God. When we LOVE OTHERS, we also seek to do good to others and not cause them any harm.

8.  Pray for each other for God to send the Holy Spirit to each of us so that we may always be guided by God’s love in all we say, think or do.

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Fruits of the Spirit: LESSON 1 PART 2 – Love (Matthew 22:37-39)