It is by God’s spirit that anybody will come to believe in His Son, Jesus Christ, as Lord and Savior. As it is written,
Zechariah 4:6 So he answered and said to me:
“ This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel:
‘ Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’
Says the LORD of hosts.
However, it is our duty as Christians to proclaim the gospel. Therefore, I am reposting this presentation which I made last year to proclaim the gospel on this Easter Sunday of 2008. Happy Resurrection Sunday!
I hope everybody had a good Thanksgiving (for those who celebrate it). Thanks be to God for all that He’s done for us, for the little things and the big things.
Thanksgiving gave me some time to get good rest. I have also been resting from writing on the website for some time now. I’ll be resting for awhile longer before continuing the website. Actually, there were some new features on the blogging system that I wanted to try out so it takes some time for me to become familiar with the new system.
Here’s a good website I found to study the Bible.
Until next time, may God be with you!
Luke 15:11-32 (New King James Version)
The Parable of the Lost Son
11 Then He said: “A certain man had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. 13 And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. 14 But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. 15 Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.
Video: Pig Food
17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, 19 and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”’
20 “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring[a] out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. 23 And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; 24 for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.
25 “Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’
28 “But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. 29 So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. 30 But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’
31 “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. 32 It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’”
Video: The Prodigal Son
This parable told by Jesus is similar to His parable of the lost sheep. Here, the father character represents God, and the prodigal son represents all of us. Because of our sins, we have drifted away from God the Father and we become spiritually dead and lost. However, should we desire to return to Him, we can do so by believing in His son, Jesus Christ. God will forgive us if we do so, and He receives us with great rejoicing and all of heaven throws a big celebration. We will no longer be spiritually dead and lost, but instead we will be spiritually alive and found.
Notice, however, that one character in the parable was not very happy. The brother of the prodigal son, who had stayed at home and continued to serve his father, did not receive any special celebration or even a small celebration. However, the father told him that he should not be upset, because whatever the father already had belonged to the son that stayed home. Jesus included this part of the parable because there were a group of people called Pharisees in those days who were religious people and tried to obey and enforce upon others the laws of God. They were angry that Jesus spent time with sinners, and like the brother in the parable, they were not happy that Jesus would sit down and show compassion to these evildoers and teach them how anybody could enter into eternal life. Even today, there are some people who think that there are sins that can never be forgiven, and that such sinners should never be able to go to heaven just by believing in Jesus.
Yet, Jesus reveals to us that we are all sinners, and we are all like that prodigal son at one point in our lives. Though we all deserve death, Jesus has paid the price for all of our sins. Therefore, just as Jesus and all of heaven rejoices when we return to Him by believing in Him, regardless of what we have done in the past, we should do likewise for other sinners who choose to believe in Jesus also. We should be greatly rejoicing with gladness for others because though they were once dead, they are now alive in Christ Jesus the Lord.
10 “Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven. 11 For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.
12 “What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? 13 And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. 14 Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.”
Video: The Lost Sheep
Sheep. They are cute, cuddly, fluffy, and seem to be very peaceful creatures. However, sheep need a good shepherd to lead them to green pastures and still waters because they are defenseless, weak, and also make poor decisions. Jesus told a parable about a lost sheep, and how that sheep is actually us. We are like the lost sheep, and Jesus is the good shepherd. We have gotten lost because we have sinned and drifted away from God. We have made poor decisions, and spiritually become lost. However, as long as we are willing to believe in Jesus and repent of our sins, He will bring us back to become part of His flock. Furthermore, He receives us back with great rejoicing and throws a big celebration for our return to God’s flock.
Video: Flying House – The Lost Sheep
Download the handout by clicking here and follow the instructions.
Water Turned to Wine
1 On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. 3 And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.”
4 Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.”
5 His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”
6 Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. 7 Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it. 9 When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. 10 And he said to him, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!”
11 This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him.
12 After this He went down to Capernaum, He, His mother, His brothers, and His disciples; and they did not stay there many days.
Jesus Cleanses the Temple
13 Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. 15 When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. 16 And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” 17 Then His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house has eaten[a] Me up.”[b]
18 So the Jews answered and said to Him, “What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?”
19 Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
20 Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”
21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body. 22 Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them;[c] and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said.
The Discerner of Hearts
23 Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did. 24 But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, 25 and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.
Download the handout by clicking here and follow the instructions in it.
The Eternal Word
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend[a] it.
John’s Witness: The True Light
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.[b]
10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own,[c] and His own[d] did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
The Word Becomes Flesh
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
15 John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’”
16 And[e] of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son,[f] who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.
A Voice in the Wilderness
19 Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?”
20 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.”
21 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?”
He said, “I am not.”
“Are you the Prophet?”
And he answered, “No.”
22 Then they said to him, “Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?”
23 He said: “I am
‘ The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
“ Make straight the way of the LORD,”’[g]
as the prophet Isaiah said.”
24 Now those who were sent were from the Pharisees. 25 And they asked him, saying, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”
26 John answered them, saying, “I baptize with water, but there stands One among you whom you do not know. 27 It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose.”
28 These things were done in Bethabara[h] beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
The Lamb of God
29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ 31 I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water.”
32 And John bore witness, saying, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. 33 I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.”
The First Disciples
35 Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. 36 And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!”
37 The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. 38 Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, “What do you seek?”
They said to Him, “Rabbi” (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), “where are You staying?”
39 He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where He was staying, and remained with Him that day (now it was about the tenth hour).
40 One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus.
Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, “You are Simon the son of Jonah.[i] You shall be called Cephas” (which is translated, A Stone).
Philip and Nathanael
43 The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me.” 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
46 And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”
Philip said to him, “Come and see.”
47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!”
48 Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?”
Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”
49 Nathanael answered and said to Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”
50 Jesus answered and said to him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” 51 And He said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter[j] you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”
Today was the day for the Sunday School Store. Lots of students used their bonus points to buy prizes, like giant bubble wands, glow sticks, bouncy balls, and more! The lesson plan was short today, and no handout was given in class due to it being store week. Next week we will review the lesson for today and include today’s lesson in the handout.
We’d appreciate some ideas for the store! If you’d like, please reply in the comments to help me think of store items for the children. The age groups range from 5 to 14 years old. What sorts of items would you like to see if you were between the ages of 5-14 years old? How about if you were a boy in that age group, or if you were a girl in that age group? Or, if you were a teenager aged 13-17, would there be anything you would like to see in a Sunday School Store?
(Yeah, our budget is not so big that I could offer a Playstation 2 at the Sunday School Store, if you know what I mean. ^_^ Something inexpensive yet fun or useful would be preferable.)
May God richly bless you!