Fruits of the Spirit: LESSON 5 PART 4 – Patience (2 Peter 3:9)

Fruits of the Spirit: LESSON 5 PART 4 – Patience (2 Peter 3:9)

LESSON: PATIENCE – The Lord God has been patient with mankind.

Memory Verse:  “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”  – 2 Peter 3:9

(For younger kids: “The Lord is…patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”)

Bible Story: Luke 13:6-9 “The Parable of the Fig Tree”

A man had a fig tree in his garden and came again too see if it had any fruit but he couldn’t find any.  One day, he said to his gardener, “Look, for three years now I have been waiting for this fig tree to bear fruit, and it doesn’t even have a single fig! Cut it down! Why should we let it continue taking up space and using up the soil?”

The gardener replied, “Give it one more chance, Sir! Just one more year!  I will take special care of it and give it fertilizer. If we get figs next year, then that would be good! If not, you can cut it down.”

Context:

Right before Jesus told this parable, some people had been telling Him about some bad people who had been severely punished. Jesus told them this parable to explain to them how God’s love and mercy works. He used the example of a fig tree to explain that God tests our hearts by our “fruits.”

Questions for discussion:

  1. Why do you think the owner wants to cut down the fig tree? (because it has no fruit.)
  2. How many years has the owner waited for the fig tree to bear fruit? (3 years)
  3. Who stopped the owner from cutting the tree? (the gardener)
  4. What was the gardener’s plan? (to take extra care of the fig tree)
  5. What happens if the tree still doesn’t bear fruit after a year? (it will be cut down)

What does the story mean?

  • The man represents God the Father who checks on each tree he planted in the garden.
  • The fig tree represents the people of God. The fruits are the result of a heart turned to God; the fruits of righteousness or the fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) in a Christian’s life.
  • Jesus is the gardener who intercedes (prays) on behalf of the people so that God will give them one more chance.
  • This parable is about second chances. The Lord could have chosen to punish all the people who continue to rebel againstim because He has already given the people much time for them to repent and turn to God, but because of His great love and mercy, He has given us another chance to bear fruit.
  • As 2 Peter 3:9 tells us, God has been very patient with mankind, and He has extended His grace to us and blessed us with the gift of Jesus Christ who died for our sins so that we may not perish (be cut down). God wants people to REPENT and allow Jesus to nourish their hearts with His Word. And with the help of the Holy Spirit, we will eventually show the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in our lives.

Lesson 5 Part 4

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Fruits of the Spirit: LESSON 2 PART 2 – Joy (Psalm 37:4)

Fruits of the Spirit: LESSON 2 PART 2 – Joy (Psalm 37:4)

LESSON: JOY

Memory Verse: “Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.” – Psalm 37:4

Bible Story: 2 Kings 4:8-17: THE SHUNAMMITE WOMAN AND ELISHA

Lesson Presentation:

What does “Delight yourself in the Lord” mean? This verse tells us that we are to find JOY in pleasing God. It implies putting God first in our lives and living our lives the way he would want us to.

  1. A good example of a person who delighted herself in the Lord is the Shunammite woman. The Shunammite woman was not a member of the chosen people called Israelites, but like the Good Samaritan, she did not hesitate to show compassion for a Jew. She saw Elisha as a man of God and felt in her heart a desire to bless him by providing him with food every time he passed by their village. After some time, she thought it would be good to build a room for Elisha so that he would have a comfortable place to stay in whenever he travelled to Shunem. She acted out of love for her neighbor and this pleased the Lord.
  2. The Shunammite woman did all these good things for Elisha out of the goodness of her heart, without expecting or asking for anything in return. In fact, when Elisha asked her what he could do for her to show his gratitude, the Shunammite woman basically said she didn’t need anything because she was content to have a home with her people. It was Elisha’s servant, Gehazi, who revealed that the Shunammite woman had no child.  And we know by her reaction that it was an innermost desire of her heart to have a child that she did not want to have her hopes raised if she wasn’t going to have one.
  3. Truly, we should not do good things so that others will repay us, but instead GLADLY show kindness to others out of the goodness in our hearts because this delights God. Remember that the 2nd greatest commandment is to love our neighbor. In the case of the Shunammite woman, when she showed genuine love and compassion for Elisha the prophet, the Lord saw her heart. And through Elisha, God blessed the Shunammite woman with the desire of her heart — a son.
  4. In our daily lives, when we show genuine love and compassion for other people, especially when we SERVE GLADLY and GIVE CHEERFULLY, we are delighting ourselves in the Lord. And though we do not do good deeds to be rewarded, we often find ourselves being blessed in one way or another because God is faithful and wants to bless his children who please Him.
  5. When our delight is the Lord, then OUR HEART’S GREATEST DESIRE IS TO BE WITH HIM, and so more than any material possession or earthly gift, it is his loving presence in our lives that is the greatest blessing we do receive.

SCRIPTURE READING:

2 Kings 4:8-17: THE SHUNAMMITE WOMAN AND ELISHA

8 One day Elisha went to Shunem. And a well-to-do woman was there, who urged him to stay for a meal. So whenever he came by, he stopped there to eat. 9 She said to her husband, “I know that this man who often comes our way is a holy man of God. 10 Let’s make a small room on the roof and put in it a bed and a table, a chair and a lamp for him. Then he can stay there whenever he comes to us.”

11 One day when Elisha came, he went up to his room and lay down there. 12 He said to his servant Gehazi, “Call the Shunammite.” So he called her, and she stood before him. 13 Elisha said to him, “Tell her, ‘You have gone to all this trouble for us. Now what can be done for you? Can we speak on your behalf to the king or the commander of the army?’”

She replied, “I have a home among my own people.”

14 “What can be done for her?” Elisha asked.

Gehazi said, “She has no son, and her husband is old.”

15 Then Elisha said, “Call her.” So he called her, and she stood in the doorway. 16 “About this time next year,” Elisha said, “you will hold a son in your arms.”

“No, my lord!” she objected. “Please, man of God, don’t mislead your servant!”

17 But the woman became pregnant, and the next year about that same time she gave birth to a son, just as Elisha had told her.

Lesson 2 Part 3

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 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.”

Lesson 1 Partt 3

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