2014 year of “Break Out”: Breaking out of self imposed limitations and boundaries.
Their is greatness on the inside of you, let it come forth and flow with it. Don’t be afraid of it, only believe.
Discipleship in Action
Have you ever looked at someone as a lost cause, spiritually speaking? It might be a neighbor, coworker, or family member entrenched in a sinful lifestyle that espouses sinful values and promotes self-serving, humanistic principles.
The story of Sodom offers a twofold warning against labeling anything a lost cause. First, redemption is always possible when God’s mercy is extended. Judgement has not yet come, so Christians mustn’t resign themselves to a tragic outcome.
Second, your response to God’s impending judgement should mirror that of Abraham: compassion and intercession. Recommit to prayer on behalf of the lost no matter how degraded their lifestyles become. Also, proclaim the message of hope and redemption.. Salvation can be found by those who turn to God in repentance.
For Further Study
God Shows Mercy
1 Timothy 1:12-17
12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;
13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
For Personal Reflection
Why should we focus on the overall spiritual need of sinners rather than on details of their specific sins?
We are continuing on in our Sunday school lesson for 29 Sept 2013. All lessons are taken from Radiant Life, Volume 95 Number 1, Sept,Oct, Nov 2013.
Their are two important lessons that stand out amid the tragedy of Sodom and Lot’s wife. First, sin ultimately leads to tragic consequences. God is merciful beyond our comprehension. But there will come a time of reckoning. His calls for repentance and restoration cannot go unheeded forever. God’s just and holy nature demands it.
Second, even believers can become ensnared in the trap of sinful desires. We must remain guarded; temptation often comes not in the form of vile transgressions, but misplaced priorities or selfish desire. Slowly and subtly, we begin to move away from God’s plan for us. As we drift away from God, we will find ourselves in danger of judgement if we do not repent.
Jesus strongly rebuked cities that had seen His miracles yet did not respond to His ministry (Matthew 11:20,23). Because of their rejection, they were subject to a more severe judgement than what befell the people of Sodom
Jesus’ message is sobering. God’s judgement will fall most harshly on those who have heard Jesus’ message and still reject Him.
Why do you think Jesus singled out the cities mentioned in Matthew 11 for wrath?
For Further Study
Repent or Perish
1There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?
3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?
5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
Lessons are taken from Radiant Life, Volume 95 Number 1, Sept,Oct, Nov 2013.
4 Moreover thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord; Shall they fall, and not arise? shall he turn away, and not return?
5 Why then is this people of Jerusalem slidden back by a perpetual backsliding? they hold fast deceit, they refuse to return.
6 I hearkened and heard, but they spake not aright: no man repented him of his wickedness, saying, What have I done? every one turned to his course, as the horse rusheth into the battle.
7 Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the Lord.
8 How do ye say, We are wise, and the law of the Lord is with us? Lo, certainly in vain made he it; the pen of the scribes is in vain.
9 The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected the word of the Lord; and what wisdom is in them?
10 Therefore will I give their wives unto others, and their fields to them that shall inherit them: for every one from the least even unto the greatest is given to covetousness, from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely.
11 For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.
12 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore shall they fall among them that fall: in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down, saith the Lord.
“Is it not a natural instinct, that if one falls, he rises again; if one turns away (that is, wanders from the way), he will return to the point from which he wandered? Why then does not Jerusalem do so?” “Why then does not the church do so?”
If Sodom was to be destroyed, it would not be because God lacked mercy. Sadly, other than Lot and his family, Sodom counted no righteous men or women among its residents. The city had sealed its own demise by rejecting all that is good and holy.
Societies around the globe today are steeped in ungodliness. We might be tempted to write off people as hopelessly lost. The better response, though, is to begin seeking God’s mercy. We are reminded in 2 Peter 3:9 that God does not enjoy judgement. He would rather see people turn to Him. May that be our passion as well.
How would you respond to someone who accused you of being negative and judgemental because you believe that God punishes sin?
For those that don’t necessarily have time or take the time to read their Sunday school lesson this is for you. We all have busy schedules, our day can be so demanding…no worries. I’m going to attempt to help you with a jump-start for your Sunday morning. All you have to do is click a button and read. This won’t be the whole lesson but excerpts…just enough for you to ponder.
At the end of this lesson you will find a “Personal Reflection” by all means read it and reflect, maybe God will lay something on your heart to share with the class.
Introducing the Study
Have you ever heard someone yearn for the good old days? There’s a tendency to conclude that life in bygone years was somehow better, gentler, and perhaps even godlier than today.
However, while the past may hold many wonderful memories, we need only look to God’s judgement on Sodom and Gomorrah, recorded in Genesis, to realize that the curse of sin has poisoned the world from ancient times. These cities practiced wickedness until God destroyed them in a down-pour of sulfur and brimstone.
Even in our permissive society, this truth is irrefutable: God will judge unrepentant sinners. As we explore Sodom and Gomorrah’s tragic end, we will discover valuable lessons on mercy, restraint, and spiritual character to help us overcome sin even as we aid the lost in avoiding the judgement to come.
2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish,m but that all should come to repentance (KJV)
For Further Study
God Will Judge
10 The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth.
11 The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.
12 And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
Is there anything in your life that would cause you to “look back” if God called you to sacrifice it for His purpose?
Our lessons are being taught at New Manna Intl Ministries by one of the most prolific, anointed, and revelatory bible teachers in Southeast MS, Evangelist/Minister Charlette Willis.
This is our fifth study which brings us back to the issues of sin, judgement, and mercy. The people in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah had become so wicked that God chose to destroy them with a fiery judgment. Yet again, we see both God’s just and merciful nature, for he spared the righteous (Lot and his family) from His judgement on these cities.
Genesis 18:16 – 19:29
God judges sin but will forgive all who repent.
For Further Study
A Change of Heart
1 Kings 8:46-50
46 If they sin against thee, (for there is no man that sinneth not,) and thou be angry with them, and deliver them to the enemy, so that they carry them away captives unto the land of the enemy, far or near;
47 Yet if they shall bethink themselves in the land whither they were carried captives, and repent, and make supplication unto thee in the land of them that carried them captives, saying, We have sinned, and have done perversely, we have committed wickedness;
48 And so return unto thee with all their heart, and with all their soul, in the land of their enemies, which led them away captive, and pray unto thee toward their land, which thou gavest unto their fathers, the city which thou hast chosen, and the house which I have built for thy name:
49 Then hear thou their prayer and their supplication in heaven thy dwelling place, and maintain their cause,
50 And forgive thy people that have sinned against thee, and all their transgressions wherein they have transgressed against thee, and give them compassion before them who carried them captive, that they may have compassion on them:
Psalm 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
Father thank you this morning for your goodness and your mercy, for they shall follow me all my days as long as I walk up right before you.
I decree and declare that I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. In Jesus name. Amen!!