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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Leah, Ten (10) Bible Study Points – April 2, 2016

Leah: Her name may mean “Impatient” or “Wild Cow”

Her Character: Capable of both strong and enduring love, she was a faithful mother and wife. Manipulated by her father, she became jealous of her sister, with whom, it seems, she never reconciled.

Key Scriptures: Genesis 29-35; Ruth 4:11

  1. Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the youngest was Rachel.

 

  1. Leah is described as having weak eyes, but Rachel was very beautiful and well favored. (Genesis 29-17 NIV)

 

  1. Jacob was in love with Rachel, Leah’s younger sister

 

  1. Laban [the father] was deceptive by giving Leah to Jacob to marry instead of Rachel whom he was in love with. Genesis 29:16-30

Genesis 29:22-23 So Laban brought together all the people of the place and gave a feast. But when evening came, he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob, and Jacob made love to her (Leah).

 

  1. Jacob worked Seven year with the intent on marrying Leah’s younger sister.

Laban replied, “It is not our custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older one. 27 Finish this daughter’s bridal week; then we will give you the younger one also, in return for another seven years of work.”  Genesis 29:26-27

Jacob made love to Rachel also, and his love for Rachel was greater than his love for Leah. And he worked for Laban another seven years. Genesis 29:30 NIV

  1. Jacob Married Leah and her sister

 

  1. Leah was not loved by Jacob

And when the LORD saw that Leah [was] hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel [was] barren. And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben: for she said, Surely the LORD had looked upon my affliction, now therefor my husband (Jacob) will love me. 33And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Because the LORD hath heard that I [was] hated, he hath therefore given me this [son] also: and she called his name Simeon. 34And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Now this time will my husband be joined unto me, because I have born him three sons: therefore was his name called Levi. Genesis 29:32

  1. Leah gave birth to her first son, believing that Jacob would love her.
  2. Leah had three sons that were fathered by Jacob
  3. Leah and her sister together were known for building up the family of Israel.

Ruth 4:11 Then the elders and all the people at the gate said, “We are witnesses. May the LORD make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the family of Israel. May you have standing in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem.

Sources:

  1. NIV Study Bible, Zondervan Corporation, 1995
  2. Syswerda, Jean, Women of the Bible, Zondervan, 1999

Gomer—13 Study Points for Bible Study November 21, 2015

Key Scriptures: Hosea 1-3                                 

Supporting Scriptures: Genesis 22:17

1. Her Character: Though a married woman, she carried on numerous affairs, crediting her lovers for the gifts her husband had given her. (1; pg. 139)

 

2. God’s Instructions: Hosea 1:2a—“… the Lord said to him (Hosea) Go, take to yourself an adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness,…”

 

3. God’s Explanation: Hosea 1:2b—“.….because the land is guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the Lord”.

 

4. Obedience required: Hosea 1:3a—“So he married Gomer…”

 

5. God’s Wrath:

A. Hosea 1:3b—“she conceived and bore him a son. Then the Lord said to Hosea, call him Jezreel, because…I will put  an end to the kingdom  of Israel. ”

NOTE: NIV footnote 1:4—Jezreel means “God scatters”

B. Hosea 1:6—“Gomer conceived again….Then the Lord said to Hosea , call her Lo-Ruhamah, for I will no longer show love to the house of Israel that I should at all forgive  them.

NOTE: NIV footnote 1:6—“The naming represents a reversal of the love (compassion) that God had earlier shown to Israel.”

C. Hosea 1:8a-9—“…Gomer had another son. Then the Lord said, call him Lo-Ammi, for you are not my people, and I am not your God.”

NOTE: NIV footnote 1:9— “The name represents a break in the covenant relationship between the Lord and Israel, which later, however, would be restored. The warnings became more severe in moving from the first to the third child.”

 

6. Israel’s Disobedience: Hosea 2:4— “Their mother has been unfaithful and has conceived them in disgrace. She said, I will go after my lovers, who gave me my food and my water, my wool and my linen, my oil and my drink”

NOTE: Here Hosea’s relationship with Gomer is symbolic of God’s relationship with Israel. The Israelites had been unfaithful by worshiping other gods and attributing their blessings and prosperity to those false gods, not the Lord who was the true source.

 

7. God’s Promise: Discipline Not Destruction: Hosea 1:10-11— “Yet the Israelites will be like the sand on the seashore, which cannot be measured or counted. In the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people’ they will be called ‘sons of the living God’. The people of Judah and the people of Israel will be reunited and they will appoint one leader and will come up out of the land, for great will be the day of Jezreel.”

NOTE: NIV footnote 1:10-11— “The threatened punishment would be for a limited time, and a period of blessing wouldfollow. The Israelites being like “sand on the seashore” refers back to God’s promise to Abraham (Gen. 22:17): “I will surely bless you and make your decendants….as the sand on the seashore.” The break in the covenant relationship signified by the name of the third child, Lo-Ammi, (for you are not my people) changes to ‘sons of the living God’. Also, the meaning of the first child’s name, ‘God scatters’ is reversed with Judah and Israel being reunited.”

 

8. God’s Punishment:

A. Hosea 2:2; 4— “Rebuke your mother, rebuke her, for she is not my wife and I am not her husband…I will not show my love to her children, because they are the children of adultery”.

B. Hosea 2: 6-13—“Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes; I  will wall her in so that she cannot find her way. She has not acknowledged that I was the one who gave her the grain, the new wine and oil,…therefore I will take away my grain when it ripens, and my new wine; I will stop all her celebrations, her New Moons, her Sabbath days—all her appointed feasts. I will ruin her vines and her fig trees…I will punish her for the days she burned incense to the Baals…and went after her lovers, but me she forgot, declares the Lord”.

NOTE: Israel’s disobedience by worshiping Baal and other gods brought dire consequences including separation from God and loss of blessings. During the period of Exile, all celebrations would be stopped (see NIV footnote 2:11) “in exile those joyous seasons  would be only a memory”.

 

9. Israel’s Repentance: Hosea 2:7b—“Then she will say, I will go back to my husband as at first, for then I was better off than now.”

NOTE: NIV footnote 2:7— “go back-The Hebrew for this expression often means ‘repent’; my husband –The Lord”.

 

10. God’s Forgiveness: Hosea 3:3a— “Then I told her, you are to live with me many days;….and I will live with you.”

NOTE: Hosea forgives Gomer and takes her back into his home, as God forgives Israel.

 

11. Repentance Necessitates Change: Hosea 3: 3b— “you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man.”

NOTE: Gomer’s behavior must change to signify sincere repentance. The same holds true for Israel.

 

12 God’s Restoration: Hosea 2:14-15; 18b; 19-20; 21a; 23 “Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her. …give her back her vineyards, and make the valley of Achor (trouble) a door of hope. There she will sing as in the day she came up out of Egypt…. Bow and sword and  battle I will abolish from the land, so that all may lie down in safety. I will betroth you to me forever… in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion.…in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord”.  In that day, I will respond, declares the Lord…I will plant her for myself in the land; I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one’. I will say to those called ‘Not my people, ‘ You are my people’; and they will say, ‘You are my God.”

 

13. God’s Ultimate Desire-Reconciliation

A. Hosea 3:1—“The Lord said to me, Go show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites,”

NOTE: NIV footnote 3:1— “Hosea’s love for unfaithful Gomer illustrates God’s love for unfaithful Israel.”

B. Hosea 3:2— “So I bought her for fifteen shekels of  silver and about a homer and a lethek of barley.”

NOTE: In spite of Gomer’s unfaithfulness, Hosea was willing to pay a price for her return to him. God also was willing to pay a price for His beloved people as shown in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son…”.

C. Hosea 3:5— “Afterward the Israelites will return and seek the Lord their God and David their King. They will come trembling to the Lord and to His blessings in the last days.”

NOTE: NIV footnote 3:5— “Israel’s repentance is envisioned, the reverse of her present stubborn rebellion.”

 

  1. Women of The Bible; 52 Bible Studies for Individuals and Groups; Jean E. Syswerda
  2. The NIV Study Bible; Zondervan Edition 1985

Hannah—14 Key Points for Bible Study August 15th, 2015

Our lesson comes from I Samuel 1:1-2:11; 2:19-21

Supporting Scriptures—Gen. 16:2; Gen. 18:13-14; 29:30; 29:31; 30:1-3, 22-23; Num. 8: 23-26

  1. Hannah, her name means “Graciousness or Favor”. (2; pg. 83)
  2. Her character: “Provoked by another woman’s malice, she refused to respond in kind. Instead, she poured out her hurt and sorrow to God, allowing Him to vindicate her”. (2; pg. 83)
  3. There was a certain man… whose name was Elkanah…. He had two wives; one was called Hannah and the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none. (1; 1: 1-2)
  4. Yearly Elkanah went to worship and sacrifice to the Lord as required. He gave portions of the meat to Peninnah and all her children. “ But to Hannah he gave a double portion because he loved her, and the Lord had closed her womb”.  (1; 1:3-5) NIV Footnote 1:5—“The Lord gives and withholds children”.                                        NOTE: Compare Elkanah’s love for Hannah to Jacob and Rachael. (Gen.29:30)
  5. Hannah was deeply grieved by her barren condition.                                                       NOTE: In Israelite culture it was the woman’s duty to bare children, especially sons. (2; pg. 84; parag. 2-3)  Also, children were seen as a blessing from God and infertility as a curse. (Gen. 18:13-14; 29:31; 30:1-2; 22-23)
  6. Elkanah loved Hannah deeply and was greatly disturbed by her grief.  Elkanah said to her, “Hannah why are you weeping? Why don’t you eat? Why are you downhearted?   Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?” (1; 1:8)
  7. On one occasion when in the temple in Shiloh, Hannah was observed by Eli, the priest, as she began to cry out to the Lord expressing her utmost pain and sorrow because of her infertility. She then made a vow to the Lord, “if you will only…..give your servant a son, I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life and no razor will ever be used on his head”. (1; 1:11) NIV Footnote 1:11—Hannah’s vow goes above and   beyond. The normal period of service for Levites was age 25-50 years. (see Num. 8:23-26)                                                                                                                                            WHY WAS HANNAH CONSIDERED A WOMAN OF FAITH? (2; pg. 84 parag. 5)  HOW DID SHE DIFFER FROM SARAH AND RACHAEL? (Gen 16:2; 30:3)
  8. Eli observed Hannah’s mouth moving, but heard no words. Thinking she was drunk, he confronted her. Hannah assured him she had had neither wine nor beer, but had been praying to the Lord out of “great anguish and grief”. (1; 1:16)
  9. Hannah’s outlook and demeanor changed immediately. She said, “may your servant find favor in your eyes. Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast”. (1; 1:18b)                                                                                    WHAT CHANGED ABOUT HANNAH AND WHY?                                                        Eli responded, “go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of Him”. (1; 1:17)
  10. Elkanah and Hannah were together and she conceived and bore a son.  “She named him Samuel  saying, “because I asked the Lord for him”. (1; 1:19-20)
  11. After weaning the child ( NIV Footnote 1:22—about 3 years) Hannah took him to the temple as she had vowed to the Lord, “the boy ministered before the Lord under Eli the priest”. (1; 2:11)                                                                                                      NOTE: Compare to Jochebed’s actions with the baby Moses. ( Ex. 2:2-4)
  12. Each year, Hannah and Elkanah visited their child at the Temple. Eli would bless them saying “May the Lord give you children by this woman to take the place of the one she prayed for and gave to the Lord”. (1; 2:20)
  13. Hannah was greatly blessed by the Lord as she subsequently “conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters”. (1; 2:21)
  14. What does Hannah’s experience tell Christians today? “We’re not considered God’s faithful people because of all that happens to us. We’re faithful because of how we respond to all that happens. In spite of good times or bad, God’s faithful people trust Him with both their present and their future”. (2; pg. 84; Our Life and Times)

1. The NIV Study Bible; Zondervan edition 1985

  1. Women of the Bible 52 Bible Studies for Individuals and Groups, Jean E. Syswerda

Do Right In Spite

Your losses  due to the evil of others may be your greatest blessings. Don’t give up on God. After the pain you will find success and will be a blessing to others. But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” (Genesis 50:19-21)

 

Potiphar’s Wife – 10 Points for Bible Study 06/06/2015

Genesis 39

  1. The wife of a prosperous and influential Egyptian, she was unfaithful and vindictive, ready to lie in order to protect herself and ruin an innocent man.
  2. She caught Joseph by the cloak and directed him to come to bed with her. Joseph left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house. She told Potiphar that Joseph (a Hebrew slave) came to make sport of her. Potiphar took Joseph and put him in prison.
  3. Potiphar’s wife likely led a life of relative ease and prosperity.
  4. She had no children. She was rich, bored and idle. She had no purpose. She did not seem to love her husband.
  5. She was in constant contact with Joseph, because he ran the household.
  6. She became infatuated with Joseph because of their constant interfacing and his successful running of the household.
  7. She took her revenge on Joseph, for refusing her advances toward him, by accusing him of rape.
  8. She seemed to have been a lonely and bored woman, thrown into the company of an attractive man.
  9. She decided that a male slave should be available to her as the master’s wife, if she wished for him to be available. By Egyptian culture, slaves were available to their masters. By the Israelites’ Moral Code, sex with boys was forbidden. The Hebrew way of thinking was that a woman was the exclusive sexual property of her husband.
  10. She blamed her husband for the bringing of trouble into their home, in the form of a      foreign slave.

Genesis 39:2, 4, 6 – 8, 11 – 12, 16 – 20

39:2  The Lord was with Joseph and he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master.  [Though Joseph’s situation changed drastically, God’s relationship to him remained the same.]  [“The Lord was with Joseph” this fact is mentioned several times here]

39:4  Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant.  Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned.

39:6 – 8  So he left in Joseph’s care everything he had; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food that he ate.

Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!”

(NIV footnote 39:6-7) “But he refused. “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care.  [left in Joseph’s care everything he had.]  As Laban had entrusted his flock to Jacob’s care.  Joseph had full responsibility for the welfare of Potiphar’s house, as later he would have full responsibility in prison and later still in all Egypt.  Always this Israelite came to hold the welfare of his “world” in his hands – but always by the blessing and overruling of God, never by his own wits, as his father Jacob had so long attempted.  In the role that he played in Israel’s history and in the manner in which he lived it, Joseph was a true representative of Israel.  [took notice of.]  Looked with desire at.  The phrase is used in the same sense in Akkadian in Section 25 of the code of Hammurapi.”

39:11 – 12  One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside.  She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!”  But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.

39:16 – 20  She kept his cloak beside her until his master came home.  Then she told him this story.  “That Hebrew slave you brought us came to me to make sport of me.  But as soon as I screamed for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.”

When his master heard the story his wife told him, saying, “This is how your slave treated me,” he burned with anger.  Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined.

But while Joseph was there in the prison, {21 the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the warden.}  [39:20  place where the king’s prisoners were confined.  Though understandably angry, Potiphar put Joseph in the “house of the captain of the guard” – certainly not the worst prison available.]

1. The NIV Study Bible, Zondervan 2008 Edition (All scriptures)

2. Women of the Bible, 52 Bible Studies for Individuals and Groups, Jean E Syswerda, Zondervan, 1999, pg. 221.