Trees

May 15, 2015


Celebrate Jesus.crimsonjpg

SCRIPTURE

The LORD God made all sorts of trees grow up from the ground—trees that were beautiful and that produced delicious fruit. In the middle of the garden he placed the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

~Genesis 2:9, NLT

 QUOTE

“If I knew that tomorrow was the end of the world, I would plant an apple tree today!”

~Martin Luther

 my thoughts red

When I am doing my daily bible reading the strangest things grab my attention. For example, reading Genesis 1-3, I noticed the emphasis on TREES.  I counted some 20 times the word tree is found in the first three chapters of the bible. Martin Luther, the great reformer, loved trees and so do I.  [1] First of all, trees are beautiful and God made all sorts. I love maples, oaks and even sweet gums in fall. It is better to see a sweet gum on the side of mountain than in your yard. When fall arrives each year, what to you hear most: people talk about the magnificent colors of the leaves and some drive hundreds of miles just to see autumn the beauty of the trees. [2] Trees are also a source of food. I love apples, oranges, pears, pecans and peaches to mention a few. [3] An assortment of good things come from trees: sugar, paper, furniture, tooth picks, ball bats, adhesives, cardboard and a thousand other things. [4] Trees are the number one provider of shelters; most of our homes are built out of wood, some of our clothing comes from trees and who does not understand the value of a good shade tree. [5] Trees also have spiritual value. The Tree of Life in the middle of the garden foreshadows Christ who four thousand years later would die on a tree. Jesus transformed the Roman cross into the Tree of Life.

One thing is certain: Jesus is our source of life and everything revolves around HIM: He is the true center.

TODAY WE PRAY FOR FAMILY

three generation of VBS workers

  • SENIOR DAY this Sunday in the a.m. service: Seniors will be recognized in the a.m. service and Joe David and Lori will take them to lunch.
  • BACCALAUREATE Sunday Night at 6:00. We have a great line up and we are doing something we have never done before: imagine that!
  • WEE CARE Graduation Sunday evening at 2:00.
  • We will have a Deacon’s meeting this week at 8:15.
  • May 29 Senior Adult Cook Out.
  • I may as well go ahead and tell you: DAYLIGHT donuts are closing for the entire month of June.
  • June 6…Rally for Biblical Marriage in Montgomery. I think the time is 3:00 PM
  • June 8-12…VBS and VBX
  • June 14…Vote on Minister of Music [AM in the foyer, secret ballot]
  • Two new articles on the SOAPBOX. One is a cut and paste job about Obama mental disorder. One is by me on the future of Israel in comparison to the U.S.
  • GREAT LIFE CHANGING BIBLE STUDY Lesson this Sunday…Its on serving others humbly with love. There is a question in your quarterly, “What opportunities does our group [your class] have to work for the good of others?” I want every class to come up with at least one idea of things we can do to help others. I hope you come up with more than one. Turn them in to me. I want to hear your ideas.
Proud of Ginger...she puts up with a lot but keeps smiling.

Proud of Ginger…she puts up with a lot but keeps smiling.

Collage9

LIFE CHANGING BIBLE STUDY LESSON PREVIEW

STICK WITH SERVICE

Introduction

Super Glue can fix just about anything but a relationship. Relationships are fragile and often this frailness leads to fractures; unfortunately, there is no super glue for fractured relationships. In my line of work, it would be a precious commodity. It breaks my heart when moms and dads go separate ways leaving their suffering children in the wake. Divorce is like an oil tanker with a leak, it leaves an oil slick a half of mile wide.

The sad thing is that most fractured relationships would have survived had they been nurtured properly. How do we strengthen a relationship? This is where today’s lesson comes into play, STICK WITH SERVICE. Nothing says “I love you” more than humble service.

I love the story in the introduction: A man books a last minute flight because his grandson is dying and he wants to see him one more time before his departure. He gets caught in traffic and runs 12 minutes late. He hurries to his gate hoping that there may have been a delay. He was shocked to the see the Pilot waiting for him at the ticket counter….The Pilot said, “They can’t go anywhere without me and I wasn’t going anywhere without you. So relax, we will get you there and again, I’m sorry.”

I like Ben Mandrell’s quote…Good customer service isn’t about making a sale or even keeping a customer. It is about doing what is right and helping another person.

We are not talking about customer service or running a business; we are talking about ministry, serving others as a tangible expression of love.

SCRIPTURE

Galatians 5:13-15

13 For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. 14 For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.

Galatians 6:1-6

Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.

Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct.

  1. Christ has set us free but what are we free to do?
  2. Paul talks about the ‘sinful nature’ in verse 13: how would you describe this nature? Do all human beings share this nature?
  3. Following the sinful nature can lead to selfish ambition where we become competitive with those around us. This lifestyle is often referred to as “Dog eat dog” or “Rat race”. What has happened to those who become proud of having more than others?
  4. Christ has freed us to serve others: our old sinful nature tempts us to focus on ourselves, after all, if you don’t look out for yourself, who will? This inverted, self-centered attitude harms relationships and hinders us from serving others in love and humility. Has Christ given us the power or freedom to crucify our selfish nature and put the emphasis on others?
  5. Draw a cross…at the top of the vertical line write Christ…at the end of the horizontal line write others. What happens when we get our focus on the vertical relationship?
  6. What do you think would be an ideal service project for your class?
  7. Relationships are built on honesty and integrity: do you have a relationship when a friend or family member who is honest with you about your blind spots?
  8. How do we come to know the needs of our friends?
  9. Do believers need ministry? What would Paul say about you helping another believer?
  10. Our writer says, “We are not to ignore the needs outside the body of Christ but we are to do good[especially] to those who belong to God’s family. Do you agree or disagree?
  11. Who can you help today? [Take lunch to a shut-in, help you wife clean the kitchen after lunch, send a friend an encouraging text or maybe make a call]
  12. Be intentional: make helping others a part of your daily routine. I call it an ARK, Act of Redemptive Kindness. What is keeping you from making this commitment?

 

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