Fruits of the Spirit: LESSON 9 PART 1 – Self- Control (Psalm 119:11)

LESSON: Self-control comes from putting God’s Word in our hearts

Memory Verse: “I have hidden your Word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” – Psalm 119:11

Bible Story: The Temptation of Jesus (Matthew 4:1-17)

The temptation of Jesus was part of His preparation for ministry. It showed how the King of kings met His enemy, “the prince of this world” (according to John 14:30) and defeated him.

  1. The first temptation

Satan used the desires of the flesh – hunger – to tempt Jesus into using his divine powers to make bread for himself. Jesus responded by quoting Scripture, specifically Deuteronomy 8:3, “Man does not live by bread alone, but on every word that comes out of the mouth of God.” Notice that Jesus had the Word “hidden in His heart” – HE MEMORIZED SCRIPTURE — and He was able to quote it and use it at the right time.

  1. The second temptation

Satan then used a “dare” to tempt Jesus into proving the faithfulness of God. This time, Satan also showed that he too knew the Scriptures, and so he uses this to deceive Jesus by quoting Psalm 91:11-12. Satan said, “throw yourself off the temple and let the angels catch you just as your God promised.” However, Satan left out an important phrase from this verse that says, “In all your ways.”

“For He will command His angels concerning you, to guard you IN ALL YOUR WAYS; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.” – Psalm 91:11-12

This is how Satan and how false teachers and false prophets deceive using quotes from the Bible. They twist its meaning and make it seem like the Bible supports their worldly ideas and choices by either ADDING or REMOVING some parts of the verses. This is why we should READ AND STUDY THE BIBLE so that we can gain a better understanding of God’s heart so that we won’t be deceived by Bible verses that are taken out of context.

Jesus replied with a quote of the Word again, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” It is wrong to dare God to “rescue” us when we just want to prove His power to do so. He is not obliged to save those who deliberately put themselves in danger.

  1. The third temptation

Satan now tempts Jesus with an “easy way” to become King. Jesus would reign over all creation as the King of kings, but He would have to suffer and die on the cross first. Satan was trying to make Jesus take the shortcut and not have to die on the cross.

For the third time, Jesus uses Scripture to rebuke Satan and said, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: WORSHIP the Lord your God, and serve Him only.” Jesus chose to worship and follow God’s will even if it means having to suffer and even die on the cross in order to fulfill God’s plan and purpose for the salvation of mankind.

            In the three attempts at temptation, Jesus fought and won by using a very powerful weapon – the WORD OF GOD. Ephesians 6:17 tells us that the Word of God is the “sword of the spirit.” It is our weapon, which is why we should hide it in our hearts through daily reading, study and memorization, so that we are ready to use it whenever we need it.

This is what “hiding God’s Word in our heart” means – to make it part of our daily life by making an effort to read and study and memorize. This is so we can have control over how we fight temptations, because God’s Word guides us to what is right and reveals to us what is wrong. It gives us the power to have self-control over all kinds of temptation, just as Jesus showed us how to:

  1. Knowing it by heart allows us to be ready to use it anytime.
  2. Studying it helps prevent us from getting deceived when false teachers and false prophets use it to make it look like the Bible supports their worldly thinking.
  3. Worshipping only the one true God means we serve Him only and we will not allow anything or anyone else to take “first place” in our lives.

Lesson 9 Part 1

 

 

 

 

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Fruits of the Spirit: LESSON 4 PART 4 – Kindness (Hebrews 13:16)

LESSON: KINDNESS is sharing what we have.

Memory Verse:  

Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” – Hebrews 13:16

 BIBLE STORY: The Parable of the Rich Fool

13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”

14 Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” 15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”

16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’

18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’

20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  1. What did the rich man have? (an abundant harvest)
  2. What was the rich man’s problem? (he needed a bigger barn)
  3. What was his plan? (to tear down his barns and build bigger ones)
  4. Why was that his plan? (He wanted to have enough grain stored so he would not have to work anymore. Instead, he will simply relax and enjoy himself.)
  5. What happened to the rich man? (God took his life that very night.)
  6. Who benefitted from the rich man’s abundant harvest? (definitely not the rich man)
  7. What is the purpose of God’s blessing for us? Is it only for our own benefit and enjoyment?

READ: 2 Corinthians 9:8

“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”

GOD’S PURPOSE FOR HIS BLESSINGS

The rich man’s problem was that he only thought of himself. He clearly had more than enough for himself, but it did not occur to him to consider sharing his abundant harvest to anybody. This is not the attitude of a man with a kind heart.

A kind person does not only think of his or her own needs. Instead, a person shows kindness by sharing what he or she has. Whether it is for one’s own family or friends, and especially to those who are poor an unable to return the favor. The Bible shows us that God’s purpose for blessing abundantly is so we can be a channel of his blessings to others. If we are blessed with a lot and we only want to keep it for ourselves, then we have failed to use it for its purpose.

The parable of the rich fool is a reminder to us it is He who gives blessings, our generous and awesome God. Therefore, it is only fitting that we find and fulfill his purpose for the blessings He has graciously given us. We can ask God for wisdom in how to manage His blessings and as we follow His lead then we are able to please Him. It is a sign of our respect and gratitude for the blessings we receive.

Lesson 4 Part 4

If a child is corrected, he becomes wise. But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.

If you train your children, they will give you peace. They will bring delight to you. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭29‬:‭15, 17‬ NIRV)

Thou shall not covet…

Our morning devotion today was about the Ten Commandments. We read each commandment and I gave a brief explanation about each one.

We ended with the 10th commandment, “Thou shall not covet.” I explained that this meant wanting something that another person has and being miserable and cranky if you don’t get it.

We all want something we don’t have, and that’s fine. It’s good to like and want beautiful things, even expensive ones. But it’s not really in the “wanting” that the problem arises: it’s in how we respond to those desires.

When we focus our energy on getting whatever it is that we want even if it means crossing the line and making compromises that lead us to sin, then that’s a problem.

When we grumble and complain and get depressed over things we can’t have, then we are also sinning.

The remedy? Being thankful.

When we take the time to reflect on our blessings, we begin to see life is full of good things. We renew our mind and refresh our spirit as we realize how much we have to be grateful for. Be thankful for the things we have accomplished through our hard work and patience, and more so for the favors we have received that we do not deserve.

“It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” (‭Lamentations‬ ‭3‬:‭22-23‬ KJV)

Thank You, Dear LORD, for all Your wonderful blessings!

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Homeschooling in the 21st century – Signs of the times

Today we made the most of what it means to be homeschooling at this day and age.

  • Science: While studying about the parts of the plants, we read about how stems and leaves grow from buds that pop open in the spring.  A quick youtube search led us to spectacular time-lapse videos of actual buds opening.

  • Language: Verbs were introduced using a sports theme. We read about soccer and how it is the most popular sport in the world. Since my daughter wasn’t very familiar with it, I had her watch clips from the movie “Shaolin Soccer” as it was the first thing that came to mind.

Of course, I did teach her how the sport was actually played, along with watching some stuff from the World Cup.

  • Filipino: We read a story entitled, “Ang Kaharian sa Kagubatan” (“The Kingdom in the Jungle”) about how the jungle was full of trash and the King Lion asked for a meeting. The animals realized that waste segregation was the best solution to their problem and resolved to separate their trash into “biodegradable” and “non-biodegradable.” In order to illustrate how biodegradable materials decompose and become part of the earth again, we watched this time lapse video of a dead piglet decomposing: (WARNING: IMAGES CAN BE DISTURBING FOR SOME.)

 

  • Mathematics: We’re adding two-digit numbers now. And since we started with some “mental math” strategies from Shelley Gray (which by the way have been very helpful):

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Mental-Math-Strategy-Units-the-Complete-Addition-Collection-166682

I did a quick google search on more mental math strategies and found this:

http://www.homeschoolmath.net/teaching/a/adding_2_digit.php.

 

I honestly don’t know how moms homeschooled decades ago when all these stuff wasn’t available with just a couple of mouse clicks. But, I am very grateful that they are now just a few seconds away now that I am the one doing the homeschooling. Google and youtube have proven invaluable in enhancing what we learn from textbooks. It’s overwhelming how so much information is right at our fingertips.

However, this fact also reminded me about how we are living in the end times. Daniel 12:4 tells us:

“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.”

I remember reading somewhere how this verse has been said to refer to both transportation and the internet, because at no time before now are people travelling from one place to another so much (running to and fro) and the process of transferring information or knowledge been so quick and so widespread (knowledge shall be increased).

And at no time until now has prophecy after prophecy being fulfilled right before our eyes. Just read the news about what’s going on in Israel and the Middle East; the policies and trends being adapted by Obama, the call for religious unity by the Pope, etc… and if one has enough knowledge on Biblical end-time prophecies, it would be easy to see how we are indeed, living in the end times.

Of course, no one knows the exact date as Jesus would come like a thief in the night (Matthew 24), but the Bible also says we would not be like the children of darkness that we would not know when the thief would come. Instead, we are to live as children of light, and therefore, we will not be taken by surprise (1 Thessalonians 5). The signs are here for us to be warned — and for us to pray —  and be ready.

And ready we should be. For us, it’s a reminder not to put too much focus on academics that the education of the heart and spirit is neglected. As with all things, we must seek God first and do all things for His glory.

And be thankful. Thankful for each day that God is still graciously giving us to learn more about Him and experience His love. These are things that cannot be searched in google and is not something we could expect from watching youtube. It comes from having a quiet time of prayer and meditating His Word — something that we honestly have a hard time keeping. Being techie does make it harder for us to know how to have a quiet time with the Lord, but thankfully, He is gently reminding our family to make this our top priority.

Thank You LORD.

 

 

 

Keeping it simple… An art project turned life lesson

A couple of weeks ago, we started on an ambitious art project — making a paper mache globe. I had envisioned it to show some elevation on the continents and our labels would be relatively simple — just the continents and oceans. I thought it would be a perfect project that would match our science lesson on Creation (days of creation / living and non-living things).

We used glue + water mix for the first layer and started with a balloon as a mold.

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We switched to a flour + water mix for the next couple of layers. The kids would tear the paper and help out with laying down the pieces onto the mold, but honestly, most of the work was done by mom. I read that you had to make sure each layer is completely dry before adding another layer to prevent the growth of molds. So we figured since we needed around 6-7 layers for it to be really sturdy, it would take more than a week before we could start painting our globe.

Then one fine sunny day, mom had a brilliant idea: Why not let the paper mache dry outdoors under the sun? That would speed things up. Or so I thought….

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BOOM! This is what we came home to that night. The balloon inside exploded because of the extreme afternoon heat.

I had a couple of more brilliant ideas to try and rescue our project, but generally lost interest for a while…

Then today, I cut up some shapes for my daughter for her to put together and make some sort of artwork during her free time.

And this is what she decided to make: The days of creation.

It then dawned on me how sometimes, as parents, we tend to be overly ambitious with our kids’ projects and presentations, trying to make them as unique, eye-catching and as amazing as those projects we see on pinterest and all those mommy-blogs out there. Or maybe it’s just me.

The Lord reminded me today of our memory verse last week, that each individual is “fearfully and wonderfully made.” I had been trying to make her do something really complicated, and in truth that means I am going to have to do most of the work to make it. And upon reflection, my desire to make an amazing project was so that I could have something to show off — rather than to really make it part of the learning process. I had wanted for her project to be at par with those that I also see on the internet. I had wanted her to be like the other wonderfully-talented homeschooled kids — and I had wanted me to be like the other cool and creative homeschooling moms. I had forgotten to let our own uniqueness shine and bring out the best from what God has so graciously showered us with.

Today, all I had to do was to cut up some colored paper and she did all the work — from conceptualizing (I suggested she do a self-portrait but she said she wanted to do days of creation), to designing her work and putting them all together.

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And she did it all with a smile. No need for pushing or coaxing or bribing. She finished it all on her own and even cleaned up afterward. 🙂

Keeping it simple. Making learning fun. Celebrating how God made us special.

Thank You, LORD!

” I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” – Psalm 139:14