MAY 28: WHAT DO WE DO NOW?

By Charles D. Earl
Former Director of Missions, Holston Valley Baptist Assoc., Rogersville

Sunday School Lessons explore the bibleFocal Passage: Matthew 28:16-20

We have arrived at our final session of this quarter from the gospel of Matthew having to do with the life, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension of God’s only begotten Son, and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Our lesson for today is taken from Matthew 28:16-20, and is, of course, what we call The Great Commission, and titled “What Do We Do Now.”   [Read more…]

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MAY 28: LIFE ON MISSION

By Mark D. Proctor
Pastor, Highland Park Baptist Church, Columbia

Sunday School Lesson Bible Studies For LifeFocal Passage: 1 Corinthians 9:19-27

“What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down.” Nothing can stop a man in love. That’s the message from George Bailey, played by Jimmy Stewart, in the Christmas classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”  And it’s the powerful message of Paul writing to the church in Corinth in I Corinthians 9. “I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them” (I Corinthians 9:19).  No matter what, I’ll do it! [Read more…]

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MAY 21: CRUCIFIED

By Charles D. Earl
Former Director of Missions, Holston Valley Baptist Assoc., Rogersville

Sunday School Lessons explore the bibleFocal Passage:  Matthew 27:41-52

We come today to the 12th of 13 lessons that Matthew gives us in the life of our Lord. We have tried to look at many experiences in the life of Jesus, and we come now to that central prophetic event for which He came and toward which He has been marching since the day He was born in Bethlehem. It is that signal act when and where and how He would do for us what we could not do for ourselves. I speak, of course, of that event in His life that began when He and His apostles observed the Passover. He then went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray, followed by the betrayal by Judas, the arrest, and the cruel ordeal of the trial at the house of Caiaphas, the high priest. Jesus then endured the Roman scourging and the mockery of a trial in the courtroom of Pontius Pilate. Then we watched as our Lord made that long, lonely, laborious trek from Pilate’s courtroom to Golgotha. [Read more…]

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MAY 21: LIFE IN THE COMMUNITY

By Mark D. Proctor
Pastor, Highland Park Baptist Church, Columbia

Sunday School Lesson Bible Studies For LifeFocal Passage: Matthew 25:34-40

In the seventh grade, I scribbled a profound thought in my Bible: “You only really believe what motivates you to action.” It was brilliant, and it was stolen from the very lips of my youth pastor, who stole it from Jesus. Matthew records in Matthew 25:34-40 that Jesus told the same thing to His disciples:  You never truly understand the kingdom until you learn to serve the least of its inhabitants. This indeed is the heart of the gospel. [Read more…]

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MAY 14: LOYAL?

By Charles D. Earl
Former Director of Missions, Holston Valley Baptist Assoc., Rogersville

Sunday School Lessons explore the bibleFocal Passage: Matthew 26:63-75

I fear loyalty is a characteristic we find in short supply as we look across the mainstream of Christianity today. The question stares each of us in the face: Just how loyal am I? We should ask that question of ourselves often.  Well, let us give an answer. Really now, just how loyal are we?

In our text Jesus has already gone with His disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. Since Judas has already departed from the 12, Jesus has taken the 11 with Him to the Garden. At some point in the garden He leaves the eight and takes Peter, James, and John to go a “little farther” to pray. [Read more…]

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MAY 14: LIFE AT WORK

By Mark D. Proctor
Pastor, Highland Park Baptist Church, Columbia

Sunday School Lesson Bible Studies For LifeFocal Passage: Colossians 3:22-4:1

When I graduated from college, my goal was to be a millionaire by the age of 30.  (Today, at 53, my goal is still to be a 30 year-old millionaire!)  My hard-driving, workaholism dishonored my family and God. As I tried to reconcile my ambitions with God’s Word, I listened to every sermon I could find about God and work. Surely, my work had to matter to God. My problem was that being successful was a “me goal” not a “He goal.” In our passage today, we find that our work matters to God because it glorifies Him and our reward for that is an inheritance. [Read more…]

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MAY 7: DO I HAVE THE STRENGTH?

By Charles D. Earl
Former Director of Missions, Holston Valley Baptist Assoc., Rogersville

Sunday School Lessons explore the bibleFocal Passage: Matthew 26:36-46

Lesson 10 of this quarter has to do with the last hours Jesus spends with His disciples before His crucifixion. The place is known as the Garden of Gethsemane, a place that seemed to be a very, very special place for Jesus’ prayertime. But this short text, covering only 11 verses, has a number of great lessons for us! The other 11 disciples, with Judas being conspicuously absent, have made their way with Jesus to the garden. [Read more…]

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MAY 7: LIFE AT HOME

By Mark D. Proctor
Pastor, Highland Park Baptist Church, Columbia

Sunday School Lesson Bible Studies For LifeFocal Passage: Ephesians 5:22-28; 6:1-3

My house has a design flaw. When a visitor is in the living room, he or she can see right into the master bedroom if the door is open (we can cover how I learned this in another article). A poorly designed home affects the behavior of the residents. In our passage, Paul writes to the Ephesian church with specifications for a home designed by God. And that design produces the behaviors that glorify God and His church. [Read more…]

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APR. 30: HOW DO WE REMEMBER?

By Charles D. Earl
Former Director of Missions, Holston Valley Baptist Assoc., Rogersville

Sunday School Lessons explore the bibleFocal Passage: Matthew 26:17-30

The subject of the lesson asks the disciples then, as well as those of us living now, “How Do We Remember?” The extended version of that question, of course, is “how do we remember” this man Christ who will soon be crucified, risen, and ascended?

The story begins with Matthew telling us the time frame in which this took place was “the first day of the feast of unleavened bread” (Matthew 26:17). The disciples came to Jesus to ask Him where He wanted them to prepare for this Passover feast. His instructions were for them to go into the city and find a man and tell him that the Master says His time has come, and that He wants to keep the Passover with His disciples. Minimal instructions to be sure, but the disciples did as they were instructed and the Passover was made ready. [Read more…]

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APR. 30: LIFE IN THE CHURCH

By Mark D. Proctor
Pastor, Highland Park Baptist Church, Columbia

Sunday School Lesson Bible Studies For LifeFocal Passage: 1 Peter 4:7-11

A favorite Gary Larson cartoon of mine is one with two deer talking in the forest. One has a marking on the fur of his chest that closely resembles a target. His friend remarks, “Bummer of a birthmark, Hal.” Christians in the first century church must have felt the same way. Their Christianity made them easy marks in a hostile, Roman world. How could a Christian live a victorious life in Christ in that world? Peter’s letter, written to the ‘sanctified elect’ (I Peter 1:1), was intended to encourage just such a life and is every bit as appropriate today in an increasingly hostile world as it was in the first century. [Read more…]

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