Yes, Jesus Loves Me!

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, it is with heartfelt gratitude that I stand before this waiting congregation this morning. I invite the Holy Spirit to continue to lead and guide this service. It is my hope that all who hear these words will grow to understand your love for each of us, and that we will pass that love on to others. In Jesus name I do pray. Amen.

Key Scripture:  1 John 3:1-6.  “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!  And that is what we are!  The reason the world does not know us is that it does not know him. 

  1. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known.  But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 
  2. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.
  3. Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.
  4. But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins.  And in him is no sin.
  5. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning.  No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.

 

The Song:  Jesus Loves Me:

Jesus loves me, this simple child-like song was written in the 1800’s.  The lyrics are credited to Anna Bartlett Warren in 1860, and the music and chorus  is credited to William B. Bradbury. (Google)

If you grew up as a “church-kid”, “Jesus Loves Me,” was probably one of the first songs you were taught that you can still remember.

Jesus Loves Me! This I know, For the Bible tells me so; Little ones to him belong, They are weak but He is strong.

The song and our key Scripture (1 John 3:1-6), goes on to affirm that the proof of Jesus’ love for you and me can be found in the Bible.  One of my favorite teaching questions in any Bible Study or Sunday School class, is  asking “where can we find that information in the Bible” Someone may be courageous enough to ask why finding information in the Bible, makes an affirmation or statement so special, and true?

BIBLE HISTORY:

We can then explain that the Bible is a very important book.  Psalm 119: 105  says, “ Your word (the Bible) is a lamp unto my feet and a light for my path  ( Ft. nt. Lamp…light. Apart from which I could only grope about in darkness.( NIV pg. 1253)  We’ve all had periods of groping about in darkness.  We don’t need to continue groping in darkness. By asking the Holy Spirit to help us as we read and study the Bible will guide us to an understanding of God’s Words. Light and/or understanding can be gained which is meant to put us on the right path. The path that God wants us to travel.   He has a path for each of us, based on the gifts and talents He has given us.

The Bible is a collection of ancient writings about God (Yahweh) in two (2) parts, the Old Testament and the New Testament.  Testament means agreement, Scripture means “Sacred Writings”.  The Old Testament contains stories about an old agreement between God (Yahweh) and man (the Hebrews) when the Hebrews came out of Egypt …and how it worked out.  (1. A Scriptographic Booklet, pg.2).

The Scriptures that we study are “God Breathed,” the life that God’s breath  gives to His words is the same life that God breathed into Adam.  “Genesis 2:7 Then the Lord formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”(2. NIV Study Bible, pg. 13). “ 2 Timothy 3:16-17- All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,: 17- so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”( 3. NIV Study Bible, pg, 2525).

The New Testament contains stories and teachings about a new agreement between God and man based on the teachings and life of Jesus –who opened up a relationship with God to all men who believed in Him and accepted God’s forgiveness of their sins. (4. A Scriptographic  Booklet, same pg 2)

The Bible was written by many different authors, mostly Hebrews, some unknown.  It was written at different times over about 1,000 years —from about  900 B.C. to 100 A.D.  At different places – Palestine, Babylon, Egypt. Rome, Corinth. The Bible was written for different purposes—to teach religion and patriotism, to describe the Messiah.  (3. Same)

The Protestant Bibles includes 66 writings. Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Angelician Bibles contains 73 writings.(4. Same).  Protestant – any Western Christian who is not an adherent of a Catholic, Angelican, or Eastern Church. (Google- Protestant)

Scriptural Proof of Jesus’ love for us:

Where does the Bible tell me that Jesus loves me? Here are just a few Scriptures that teach of Jesus’s love for us: (Note: use of NIV translation of the Bible)

  1. John 3:16 – 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.
  2. 1 John 4:8 – Whoever does not love does not know God because God is love.
  3. John 15:9-10 – As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.  Now remain in my love. If you obey my commandments you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in His love.            
  4. John 13:34 – A new command I give you, Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
  5. Psalm 145:9 – The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.

Who is Jesus? 

Genesis 1:1 – In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

John 1:1-14 –In the beginning was the Word, and the word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.

  1. 2 Chronicles 7: 14 – If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
  2. 1 John 4:19 – 21

19.We love because he first loved us. 

20.If anyone says, “ I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar.  For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.

  1. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.

 

Jesus’ love is not a permissive love, by any means.

Hebrews 12: 5-8 says:

  1. And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
  2. because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.
  3. Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons.  For what son is not disciplined by his father? 
  4. If you are not disciplines (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons.

 

It is my hope that the Song: Jesus Loves Me,  will get into our hearts and minds in a new way.  Not to minimize our time spent together, but to enhance how we value the love Jesus has for us. Jesus loves us completely.  He wants a continuing love relationship with us.  He doesn’t want anyone to be lost to sin.

 

“Yes, Jesus Loves Me” is the title of the message delivered by Reverend Glenda Brunson in the worship service at Grand Villa of Saint Petersburg, FL on September 27, 2015. The Sunday services are provided by Sharing the Glory Ministries, Pastor Alfonso Woods, Pastor. 

 

 

 

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The Syrophoenician Woman – 8 Points for Bible Study

Bible Study February 13, 2016  – Matthew 15:21-28; Mark 7:24-30

1. The woman’s name is not known. Her identity by Matthew says she is a Canaanite.  As there was no country of Canaan at that time, the term may be a Semitic identification of reference by the Jews to the Phoenicians. Mark identifies her as “….a Greek born in Syrian Phoenicia…” (Mark 7:26).

2. Her story is a lesson in faith and love as she came to Jesus and begged him to drive the demon out of her daughter (Mark 7:26).

3. It is evident, that from the answer Jesus gave her; “First let the children eat all they want” (Mark 7:27) all involved understood the tension between the Jews and the Greeks.

4. Love – Jesus said the greatest commandment is: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the Greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:37-40).  Jesus also said in John 3:16, “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.” The Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 13 list a number of admirable attributes such as, speaking in tongues, the gift of prophecy, faith to move mountains, giving to the poor, suffering martyrdom and being burned at the stake, but concludes that these great accomplishments are nothing without love. The Apostle John says “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1 John 4:8). However, Reverend Al Green reminds us that love is “Something that can make you do wrong, make you do right, love.” It is a mother’s love in this case, that makes the women risk prejudicial condemnation, to go to a person from a group that despised her people, and seek healing for her daughter. I’m sure this didn’t sit will with the Jews or her people, the Greeks of Syrophoenicia. Love however, conquered all.

5. In her initial call for help, she recognized him as being a direct desendent of King David. “A Canaanite woman from the vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly  from demon-possession.” (Matthew 15:22)

6. Jesus ignored her plea, but she was persistent. “Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” (Matthew 15:23)

7. There seems to be no real answer at why Jesus ignored the woman and spoke to her as he did in Matthew 15:24-26. Was he being witty to let her know he didn’t despise her like other Jews? Was he teaching his disciples a lesson regarding the scope of their ministry in the future? Did Jesus in his humanness have to come to grips with the true mission of his Father, God? Was he testing the woman’s level of faith? Or, was he using the woman as an example of what level faith in the healing power of God produced a response? No one knows the answers, but we know the woman had faith.

8. Faith – Many times the drive of the inward assurance of success outweighs the skill level. This is not to say that the woman didn’t have sufficient language skills to make her point to Jesus. In order to make the attempt, as She “begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter” (Mark 7:26), she had to have great faith that she would succeed. How many know how to solve their problems of life, but don’t have faith to not only take the first step in the right direction, but approach the task with the tenacity of guaranteed success. The Greek word parakaleo indicates an urgent call. Urgent enough that despite what may appear as rudeness from Jesus put him in a witty, seemingly challenging conversation which resulted in her showing him she had faith that be could and would heal her daughter. For, “Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour” (Matthew 15:28).

Study Guide:                                                                                                                                                    Syswerda, Jean E, Women of the Bible, 52 Bible Studies for Individuals and Groups, Zondervan, 1999

 

 

The Widow of Zarephath – 14 Key Points for Bible Study October 17, 2015

Key Scriptures: I Kings 17:8-24; Luke 4: 25-26

Supporting Scriptures: I Kings 17:1-7; Ex.16:4, 8a; Jer. 1:5; Is. 55:8; Phil. 4:6; I John 5:14b

Her Character: “A foreigner facing starvation, she showed extraordinary hospitality to one of God’s prophets, providing a safe harbor for him”.  (2; pg. 123)

  1. GOD’S OMNISCIENCE

I Kings 17:1—“… As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives,

whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.”

  1. WE CAN STAND ON GOD’S PROMISES

I Kings 17:4— “You will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there”.

I Kings 17:5-6— “So he did what the Lord had told him…the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook”.

NOTE: When Going Thru Remember What God Has Already Done

See Exodus 16: 4, 8a—–“Then the Lord said to Moses, I will rain down bread from heaven for you….you will know it was the Lord when He gives you meat to eat in the evening and all the bread you want in the morning,..”

  1. GOD IS ALWAYS AT WORK AND CAN USE ANYONE

I Kings 17: 7-9— “…later the brook dried up because there was no rain in the land…Then the word of the Lord came to him: Go at once to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there. I have commanded a widow in that place to supply you with food.”

NOTE: EVEN UNBELIEVER’S CAN BE USED BY GOD

# 1: See NIV Footnote I Kings 17:9—Zarephath was a coastal town in the territory ruled by Jezebel’s father, Ethbaal. God sent Elijah to the area where Baal worship was predominant. The widow was therefore from a pagan nation and completely outside of God’s own people.

#2: See Luke 4:25-26 (Jesus said) “I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time….yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon.”

NIV footnote Luke 4:26-27—“Jesus’ point was that when Israel rejected God’s messenger of redemption (Elijah), God sent him to the Gentiles.”

  1. WE MUST WALK BY FAITH

I Kings 17:10— “So he went to Zarephath”.

  1. FAITH REQUIRES OBEDIENCE

I Kings 17:10b-11—“…..a widow was there…he asked… would you bring me a little water in a jar…and bring me, please, a piece of bread.”

NOTE: ELIJAH FOLLOWED GOD’S INSTRUCTIONS BY APPROACHING THE WIDOW.

  1. GOD IS ALWAYS WITH US

I Kings 17: 12a— “As surely as the Lord your God lives,” she replied, (NIV Footnote I Kings 5:7—-“in polytheistic Cultures, it was common practice for the people of one nation to recognize the deities of another nation”.

I Kings 17:12b—“I don’t have any bread only a handful of  flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug….to take home and  make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die”.

NOTE: NO MATTER THE SITUATION, SEEMINGLY GOOD OR BAD, LOOK FOR GOD IN IT—HE IS THERE!

“When Elijah came and asked the widow for bread, it appeared as though he were asking her to give up the last food she had for herself and her son. Actually, he provided her with sustenance that would last until the famine was over”. (2; pg. 124)

Often when we are in the midst of crisis, we can only see the immediate. As believers, we must stand on faith, trust and know that God has the answer.

  1. BOLDLY SHARE GOD WITH OTHERS

I Kings 17:13-14—“Elijah said..don’t be afraid..make a small cake of bread for me..then make something for yourself and your son. For this is what the Lord God of Israel says: The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord gives rain on the land.”

  1. OBEDIENCE BRINGS REWARDS

I Kings 17: 15—“She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family.”

THOUGHT QUESTION: WHY DO YOU THINK THE WIDOW DID AS ELIJAH INSTUCTED?

  1. GOD’S PROMISES ARE ALWAYS FULFILLED

I Kings 17: 16— “For the jar of flour was not used up and

the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah.

  1. GOD KNOWS

I Kings 17:17— “Sometime later, the son of the woman

….became ill….and finally stopped breathing.

NOTE: SEE JER. 1:5— “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you”.

  1. SHOULD WE QUESTION GOD?

I Kings 17:18b—“She said to Elijah…did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son”.

I Kings 17:20— “he (Elijah) cried out to the Lord…have you brought tragedy also upon this widow…by causing her son to die?”

NOTE: Is 55:8—“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.

  1. TAKE EVERYTHING TO GOD IN PRAYER

I Kings 17:21—“Then he…. cried to the Lord, O Lord my God, let this boy’s life return to him”.

NOTE: Phil. 4:6—“Don’t be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God”.

  1. GOD LISTENS

I Kings 17:22—“The Lord heard Elijah’s cry and the boy’s life returned to him and he lived…..He gave him to his mother and said look your son is alive”.

NOTE: I John 5:14b—“….if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us”.

  1. GODS WANTS A PERSONAL, INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP WITH US

I Kings 17:24—“Then the woman said to Elijah, NOW I KNOW that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord from your mouth is the truth”.

  1. NIV Study Bible, Zondervan, 1995
  2. Women of The Bible, 52 Bible Studies For Individuals And Groups,

Jean E. Syswerda, Zondervan 1999