So happy to have finally finished our plants lapbook!!!
All glory to God!
Week 3: Obedience: Hear and Obey
“For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.” – Romans 2:13
Bible Story: The Parable of the Two Sons (Matthew 21: 28-32)
28“What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’
29“ ‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.
30“Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.
31“Which of the two did what his father wanted?”
“The first,” they answered.
Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.”
Jesus told this parable to the people, particularly to the chief priests and elders of the temple who questioned his teachings. This story tells us how some people may at first, appear to reject Christ and continue to live sinfully, but then after some time, will have a change of heart and decide to follow Jesus and obey His commands. Then there are those people who proudly claim to be believers of Jesus, but then as time passes by, it becomes obvious that they do not really follow the teachings of Christ. Thus, Jesus is saying it is from those who appear to be great sinners that there will be ones who will truly accept Jesus in their hearts, while those who appear to be “righteous” and “holy” are in fact, too proud to truly surrender their lives to Jesus and merely say they believe, but the way they live their lives show otherwise.
Our verse, Romans 2:13 says, “For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.” What does “RIGHTEOUS” mean?
To be “righteous” simply means to “be right with God.” Remember that because of our sins, we all deserve to be punished, but because of God’s great love, He sent His only Son Jesus who bore our sins and took the punishment for them on the cross. Therefore, anyone who believes in Jesus and what He has done is cleansed from all unrighteousness and becomes “right with God.” This gift of “righteousness” is for all those who BELIEVE in Jesus and what He has done for us.
However, God is not merely interested in people who only SAY they believe in Him. God wants us to truly believe in our hearts and show our faith by our OBEDIENCE to His Word. Jesus was very serious about this, and even gave this warning, “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 who is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21).
A true believer of Christ does the will of the Father, and this means obeying His commandments. James 1:22 tells us, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” And for those who choose to not only HEAR, but more importantly, OBEY, Jesus gave this promise, “Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” – John 14:21.
Dear Lord, thank You for reminding us today that it is not enough to simply say we believe in You, but more importantly, we should show our faith by our actions. Forgive us, Lord, for the times that we have chosen not to follow Your commands or sometimes, we also forgot to do so. Help us Lord to hear and obey, and may our obedience be from hearts that are truly surrendered to You. Help us, dear Lord, to live our lives in a way that is pleasing to Your sight. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Week 2: Obedience leads to blessing
Grades 4 and up: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.”Honor your father and mother”–which is the first commandment with a promise–“that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” – Ephesians 6:1-3
Review of last week’s lesson
Last week we spoke about the way of OBEDIENCE and the importance of listening and obeying God’s voice. When we disobey God, we commit SIN, and this is the way of REBELLION.
(1) The Way of Jesus: The Way of Obedience. It is when a person says in his/her heart, “I want to do what God wants me to do.” It is when we make a decision to know God’s will by reading His Word and then doing our best to follow it. We may not always get it right but with the help of the Holy Spirit, we are able to understand what God wants and have the courage and strength to do it.
(2) The Way of Satan: The Way of Rebellion. It is when a person says in his/her heart, “I don’t care what God says, I will do what I want to do.” It is when we choose to listen to other voices (like from television, movies, wrong kinds of friends, or even one’s own selfish desires) instead of following what the Bible tells us to do.
BIBLE STORY: The Story of Ruth and Naomi (Read Ruth 3:1-5)
Naomi and Ruth were both widows. Naomi is Ruth’s mother-in-law. During their time, widows were considered really poor, because they had no more husbands to protect them and take care of them. When their husbands died while they were still in Moab, Naomi asked her two daughters-in-law to return to their families while she went back to Bethlehem alone. One of them said goodbye, but Ruth told Naomi, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people, and your God my God.” So Ruth went with Naomi and took care of her elderly mother-in-law.
Ruth had been gathering leftover grain in the fields of one of Naomi’s relatives, Boaz. Now, Naomi thought it was good for Ruth to get married to Boaz, so that Ruth would have a good life and a better future. So she gave instructions for Ruth to prepare herself and at the right time, let Boaz know she was available for marriage by lying down near Boaz’s feet as he slept. This might sound a bit weird to us, but this was the proper way they did it during their time. Ruth obeyed her mother-in-law’s wise advice and did as she was told. True enough, Boaz acknowledged her and soon they were married.
Ruth was blessed because first of all, she chose to follow the one true God that Naomi believed in instead of going back to her old life and false gods in Moab. She honored her mother-in-law by going with her to take care of her instead of letting her fend for herself as an old widow. She also chose to obey Naomi’s advice which led to God’s blessing. She was “redeemed” from her poor life as a widow and became the wife of a good man named Boaz. Ruth was truly blessed because she bacame the mother of Obed, who was the father of Jesse, the father of David. And we know David became Israel’s greatest king, from whose family came Jesus, the Messiah.
Obedience leads to blessing
God is our “supreme authority” – as our Creator, He has the right to rule us and be obeyed. One way God guides and leads us is through the different people he has placed as authorities over us. They are what we call as God’s delegated authorities. When we respect and obey them, we are obeying God. But when we choose to rebel against them, then we are rebelling against God.
God has placed our parents and guardians (ex. titos and titas or lolos and lolas who take care of us) as the authorities in the home. Ephesians 6:1 tells us, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” This is just a reminder to follow the fifth commandment (NOTE: review 10 commandments) to “honor your father and mother.” Our parents were given the responsibility of raising us, and part of what they do is ask God’s help in taking care of their children. God then gives them wisdom to teach what is right and wrong so that their children will grow up as good men and women of God. Our responsibility as children is to honor and respect our parents and obey them for this pleases the Lord.
Obedience to the commandment to honor our parents and obey them leads to a life of BLESSING which is “that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”(Ephesians 6:3). If we think about it, a child that is trained up by his parents in the way of the Lord is truly blessed. For example:
a. As a young child: An obedient child is a joy to have around, unlike a spoiled brat who can be very annoying and sometimes even causes harm to other kids.
b. While in school: An obedient student gets along with classmates and enjoys learning in school, unlike bullies who get into trouble. Obedience to parents leads to respect and obedience to school authorities such as the principal, teachers and staff.
c. As adults: A person who grew up obedient to parents will also respect authorities in the workplace. Because of this, they are able to perform well and do good in their jobs, winning the favor of their superiors and peers. They also follow the rules and therefore avoid danger (ex. fights with other people, car crash due to disobedience to traffic rules and the like).
Obeying God’s Delegated Authorities
Indeed, obedience to our parents and guardians is just a start. God expects us to obey His other delegated authorities such as those in school (ex. teachers) and in the community (ex. government officials, police officers, etc.) Hebrews 13:17a tells us,“Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account.”
Our Father in heaven, thank you for reminding us today about honoring our parents by obeying them. Help us to be obedient to the authorities you have placed before us, that we may live a life of blessing and so that our lives will also bless others. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Fruits of the Spirit: LESSON 8 PART 4– Gentleness (Matthew 11:29)
Bible Story: John 13: 1-20
It was the day before the Passover festival, and Jesus just had supper with his disciples. Judas was about to betray Jesus, but Jesus knew that the Father had given him complete power and that He was going to return to the Father soon. So Jesus rose from the table and poured some water onto a washbasin. He began to wash his disciple’s feet and wiped them with a towel which he tied around his waist. When it was Peter’s turn, Peter objected, but Jesus answered, “If I do not wash your feet, you will be no longer my disciple.” Upon hearing this, Peter then said he wanted Jesus to wash not only his feet, but his hands and head also!
Jesus told them that those who have taken a bath are clean and only need their feet to be washed. And he also said that all those present were clean, except one, because Jesus knew one of them was the betrayer.
When he had finished, Jesus explained what he did. Verse 13-16 tells us this, “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”
Points to Ponder:
Fruits of the Spirit: LESSON 8 PART 3 – Gentleness (Titus 3:2b)
Lesson: GENTLENESS (Be considerate)
Memory Verse: “Be gentle toward everyone.” – Titus 3:2b
Lesson: Gentleness in this verse is taken from the greek word “epieikēs” (pronounced as epi-yay-keis) which means “suitable” or “fair.” It implies acting in a manner that is moderate and careful; it is responding in a way that is not harsh nor quick to judge. Rather, being “gentle” in how we treat others is a way of letting God’s love flow through us and be experienced by the people around us. It is “loving our neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39). It is also the same word used in the following related verses:
“Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, “to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.” – Titus 3:1-2
This shows us that being “gentle” means – it is being considerate of others. In other words, it is being conscious about how our words and actions can affect others, and it implies taking that extra step to be careful with what we say and do so that we do not hurt other people’s feelings.
“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” – James 3:17
The KJV version translates the word “considerate” as “gentle.” Notice the following similarities:
|Titus 3: 1-2||James 3:17|
|be subject to rulers and authorities and be obedient||submissive|
|be ready to do what is good||full of… good fruit|
|slander no one||Impartial and sincere|
Gentleness is then best viewed along with these other virtues or characteristics which go hand-in-hand to show us a more complete picture of what it means to be a “gentle Christian.” It is something which we should remember not only when we are with good people; but more so when there are others around us who hurt us or cause us much stress.
Even in correcting others, the bible tells us to do it gently – because God calls us to be humble and recognize that none of us is perfect and we have “different measures of faith” (Romans 12:3). It is acknowledging that though some may seem better than others, the truth is, an honest estimate of ourselves would show us all to be living way below God’s standard – which is holy and perfect – a standard only Jesus was able to meet. Jesus actually tells us to learn this virtue from him, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:29). Therefore, we leave it up to God to judge; our role is to encourage one another and to be gentle and kind and most of all, to pray that God will touch people’s hearts and bring them to repentance and belief in Jesus Christ so that they might be saved.
“And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.” – 2 Timothy 2:24-26
Fruits of the Spirit: LESSON 8 PART 2 – Gentleness (1 Kings 19:12)
LESSON: GENTLENESS (The Spirit’s still, small voice)
Memory Verse: “And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.” – 1 Kings 19:12 (NKJV)
In 1 Kings 18, Elijah, a prophet of God had a “showdown” on Mount Carmel with the prophets of Baal, wherein they set up two altars and declared that whoever is able to call on their god to bring down fire on the sacrifice is the true God. Sure enough, even when 450 prophets of Baal cried out to their false god from morning to evening, shouting and dancing and even slashing themselves as was their practice when offering sacrifices, nothing happened. But when Elijah had the people pour water on the sacrifice and drench the whole altar in water, he simply prayed that God would show the people that He, the Lord, is God, and fire fell from heaven and burned the sacrifice, the altar, even the stones and soil and dried up all the water. This miracle resulted in the Israelites’ repentance and they killed all the false prophets. This also greatly angered King Ahab’s wife, Queen Jezebel, so much that she sought to kill Elijah, and Elijah ran for his life and hid in the wilderness to escape Jezebel’s wrath.
Here we find Elijah after all his running and hiding. He was feeling very much sorry for himself and he didn’t know what to do. But God had a message for him; a plan, a message and a word of instruction; and in Elijah’s case, this is how He let His presence be known.
Bible Passage: 1 Kings 19:11-12
“Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.”
Points to Ponder:
Prayer: (A prayer by Fr. James B. Reuter, S.J.)
LORD, Look down upon us, this day, this hour. Regardless of what has gone before, or what will come after, give us the grace to consecrate this time entirely to You—all the actions of our body and soul.
May all the thoughts that come to us be true.
May all the things to which our hearts go out be beautiful, with the beauty of God.
May all the things we want be good.
Give us the light to see Your will, the grace to love it, and the courage and strength to do it.
We ask You this through Christ Our Lord.
Fruits of the Spirit: LESSON 8 PART 1 – Gentleness (Proverbs 15:1)
LESSON: GENTLENESS (Gentle means being humble)
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” – Proverbs 15:1
Bible Story: David, Nabal and Abigail (1 Samuel 25)
David and his friends were staying in the Desert of Paran. While they were there, they were kind to the shepherds who were with them in the fields. Those shepherds were servants of a rich but foolish man named Nabal. Nabal had a wife named Abigail.
When it was time to shear the sheep, David sent some of his men to Nabal to ask him for a gift which he would be kind enough to give, considering that David and his men helped protect his sheep in the fields. Instead of giving a gift, Nabal insulted David, and this made David so mad that he planned to kill Nabal in revenge. When Abigail heard about this, she acted quickly and wisely. She gathered food and other supplies and went to David to make peace for Nabal.
With kind and gentle words coming from a humble heart, Abigail helped David to see it would be wrong for him to kill Nabal. She asked for forgiveness in behalf of her husband and through her careful gentle words, David’s heart was changed. In 1 Samuel 25: 32-34 it says,
“David said to Abigail, “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who has sent you today to meet me. May you be blessed for your good judgment and for keeping me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself with my own hands. Otherwise, as surely as the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, who has kept me from harming you, if you had not come quickly to meet me, not one male belonging to Nabal would have been left alive by daybreak.”
When a meek or humble person decides to speak to an angry or highly emotional person, his initial goal would not be to prove who is right or wrong, but simply to show respect and kindness, even if the other person is using very hurtful words. This kind of gentleness is something that comes from the Holy Spirit, and to attempt to do it using only our own human abilities would be futile. It takes time and prayer and allowing the Spirit to mold us in order to bear His fruits.
In this story, we see how Abigail’s gentleness helped change the outcome of the situation. David was very angry, and harsh words would have only fueled his anger more. But kind and gentle words have a way of calming down an angry person.
Gentleness as a fruit of the spirit is more of an outward action, and it comes from a person’s inner attitude – being humble. Some might think that being gentle is a sign of weakness, but the truth is, it is “God’s power used in love.” When we are motivated by God’s love, then surely we can give a gentle answer in any situation and it brings the peace of God to whomever gets to hear it.