LOVE

Here’s a fun review for a lesson on “adjectives.”

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Page is from ihavenogreaterjoy’s valentine post.

LOVE.

I had a revelation a few days ago about the word love.

My daughter admired our newly scrubbed bathtub and exclaimed, “I looove our bathtub! It’s so white and shiny and I love it! Love it! Looove it!” Somehow, that just did not feel right.

I told her she probably meant that she “liked” our shiny bathtub, well, she liked it a lot, that’s for sure, but “love” is too strong a word.

We all know “God is love” (1 John 4:8) and it dawned on me that it would be a good idea to also think more carefully how we use this word, so as not to “diminish” its significance.

Like, I can say I “love” my mom, but do I really “love” her shoes? Or I can understand how one can “love” her school, but maybe she doesn’t really “love” chocolates (or maybe, she does?”)?

Does using the word “love” so casually make it somehow not seem so precious and pure? Does using love for common things like food or fashion make it less pure and holy?

God is love. Love is of God. It is not just any other word. The whole bible is about God’s amazing love. The greatest commandment is to love. The whole Christian faith rests on God’s love.

God is love. So when we are commanded not to use the name of God in vain, would you consider being careful not to use the name “Love” for trivial and sometimes senseless things as well?

There are other words to describe a desire, admiration or affection for something, and it seems appropriate to think more carefully about how we use this word that is ascribed to the Creator Himself. That was what came to my mind during my “Aha!” moment.

What are your thoughts on this?

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Making God’s Word Simple and Practical

Nehemiah 8:8, 12 NIV

8 “They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people understood what was being read.”

12 “Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them.”
The reading of God’s Word brings about the fruit of joy when its meaning is made clear; God has given certain people in the church such as pastors and teachers the gift of exhortation so that the Scriptures may be explained and others may understand. Diligent study, prayer and meditation play a big part for those called to preach, and careful attention and an open and teachable heart a must for those who listen. But in all this, true knowledge and understanding — along with the wisdom on how to use what is learned — comes from the Holy Spirit.

BJU Bible Class scroll craft

BJU Bible Class scroll craft

We are blessed because we have the Word of God as a lamp to our feet and a light on our path (Psalm 119:105), but how can it be so if people complicate it and make doctrines and teachings that make it hard to understand? Let us therefore allow God’s Word to be what He intended it to be — a bright star that guides our way as we move away from the darkness of this world and into His glorious light!

As I grow in God’s grace each day, I’ve found that the best way for the Bible to be understood is to make it practical. Use every opportunity and circumstance to reflect and apply bible verses and allow it do its work in our lives. We try to learn and memorize scripture but it will only get to really shine its light on us when we find ourselves in a situation where we are able to actually apply it.

Learning God's Word thru crafts and coloring pages

Learning God’s Word thru crafts and coloring pages (BJU Bible Class crafts and Kids Church activities)

In our case, it could be as simple as going on what we initially assumed to be an uneventful and fairly short car trip to claim the iPhone5 that my husband won for me from a facebook contest (Yey! It’s really free! What a wonderful gift!) But, as all good trips go, we got lost. For three hours we drove through the night trying to find the office where to claim the phone. At first we were fine, singing along with really nice acoustic versions of Hillsong praise and worship music, but eventually, our nearly 1-year-and-a-half-old Sam started to get bored and so did 5-year-old Ate Allyra. So it became a lesson in patience and creativity, because we all tried to keep our cool while inventing a million and a half ways to keep the kids busy in the car. We also used the opportunity to teach about prayer, and since we were lost, the most logical bible story that came to mind was the parable of the lost sheep. I asked my daughter whom she thought would be able to find the lost sheep, which at that time meant US, and without hesitation, she replied, “The Good Shepherd!” So she led us in prayer and it went something like this:

“Father God, our Good Shepherd, please help us to be found and protect us. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.”

Simple, right? But it was truly heartwarming to hear our little one pray so innocently, and trusting our Father God, our Good Shepherd, so fully.

Indeed, there are so many spiritual applications to the parable of the lost sheep; it has been preached and taught in so many ways, but I believe that for our family, that particular “Word of God” became most “alive” for us that day. And of course, God is truly faithful, we eventually got found, claimed our free gift and went home.

As I love to claim and exclaim, “God is good, ALL THE TIME!” Be blessed!

Writing and Experience story

Writing and Experience story

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!

L1P1_FruitSpirit_Coloring copy

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

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 1 – Love (John 3:16)

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

Memory Verse:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

Lesson Presentation:

  1. Write the verse on the blackboard and have the students read it.
  2. Ask the students what they think the verse means.
  3. Discuss the following key words from the verse:
    1. God loved – God did what he did because of his great love.
    2. The world – This means ALL of us.
    3. He gave – God showed his love by giving us his very best – his own Son.
    4. Whoever believes – What we need to do is believe – have FAITH in Jesus
    5. Not perish – There is a real place called hell which is reserved for people who reject God’s Son and choose to live a life away from God.
    6. Eternal life – God has prepared a special place for those who believe in Him where there will be no more tears, pain or suffering … this wonderful place is called heaven.
  4. Substitute a student’s name to the verse so that it will read like this:

For God so loved (person’s name) that He gave His one and only Son, that if (person’s name) believes in Him, (person’s name) shall not perish but have eternal life.

  1. • Say, “I would like us to recite this verse again, but this time, I want us to recite it as a blessing to each other.”  Divide group into pairs. If you have an odd number of participants, you can stand in to make the last pair. Say, “This time when you say the verse, I want you to substitute the name of your partner for some of the words.” Have the group recite the verse as a blessing for each of their partners.
  2. Say, “That was great! Now I think we are starting to see that Jesus died for each one of us. Even if your partner was the only one in the world, Jesus would have died for him or her.”
  3.  Substitute the pronoun “me”  and “I” to the verse for it to read like this:

For God so loved ME that He gave His one and only Son, that if I believe in Him, I shall not perish but have eternal life.

  1. Say, “Now I want to recite the verse again, and this time, you are going to substitute yourself for some of the words.” Have each person recite the verse out loud simultaneously, substituting “I” and “me” in the appropriate places.
  2. Ask the students, “How does that make you feel?”
  3.  Say, “Do you see? Jesus died for you! He loved you so much that He was willing to take your punishment for sin. Jesus died for everyone, and He died for anyone….anyone who would accept the gift of His death on the cross. I hope you will accept His gift.”

July 1, 2013 - John 3 16 coloring Big Kids

Lesson Source: http://teachingthem.com/tag/john-316-object-lesson/

Coloring Page Sources: http://jacques-mylittlehouse.blogspot.com/2010/03/john-316.html

http://www.coloring.ws/t.asp?b=m&t=http://www.coloring.ws/bible/jesus/john3.16.gif

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OPTIONAL BIBLE STORY: Genesis 22 (Abraham tested)

ADDITIONAL STUDY GUIDE:

http://carm.org/bible-difficulties/genesis-deuteronomy/why-did-god-tell-abraham-kill-his-son-isaac