APR. 23: WHAT ABOUT THE FUTURE?

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

Sunday School Lessons explore the bibleFocal Passage: Matthew 24:36-51

Ah, the future! That’s the great known and unknown. I had a conversation with a man recently who had celebrated his 94th birthday the day before. His eyes twinkled as he told me about what he had planned to do in the future. That’s what I call positive thinking! I don’t know if he will live to complete his projects but he was certainly excited about his future. [Read more…]

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APR. 23: LIFE IN CHRIST

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

Sunday School Lesson Bible Studies For LifeFocal Passage: Luke 9:18-26

When I was 16 I learned to fly. During a solo cross-country flight one afternoon the radios in my little plane malfunctioned and I had to learn — quickly — how to reenter controlled airspace using light signals from the control tower. By watching the tower, a pilot can see air traffic controllers flashing red and green lights. A steady green light means it’s safe to land, a flashing green light means it safe to head back to land. Red lights mean stay away. A safe landing depended on two things: my ability to identify the lights and my willingness to ignore everything else and obey the lights. [Read more…]

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APR. 16: WHERE IS JESUS?

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

Sunday School Lessons explore the bibleFocal Passage: Matthew 28:1-15

Well, this is certainly an interesting subject. We have discussed several things about Jesus in our study this quarter, but I’ll have to admit that I had no idea we would be looking at the present residence of Jesus!  However, on further study, I believe it will be quite interesting!

Of course we know Christ was first of all with His Father before creation, in creation, after creation, and from creation until that moment when He was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the virgin Mary. He spent nine months in gestation, and then He was born that night in Bethlehem of Judea on that first Christmas morn. He spent approximately 33 years in a human body here on this earth before He was crucified. He was placed in a borrowed tomb one late afternoon on Friday until sometime Sunday morning, at which time He got up, rid Himself of His grave clothes, rolled the huge stone away, and marched victoriously out of the grave! And that’s the story before us for our lesson today. [Read more…]

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APR. 16: HE IS RISEN

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

Sunday School Lesson Bible Studies For LifeFocal Passage: Luke 24:1-8, 36-40

It starts like the thin plot of a low budget thriller. Luke relates the resurrection story in characteristically uncomplicated, simple verb statements: they came, they found, they went in, they were perplexed, and they were terrified. “They” were the loyal, all-female band of Jesus’ followers. And they were out early — very early (Luke 24:1). But this early morning drama quickly gives way to the most recognizable statement in Christian history: “He is not here, but he has risen!” Human fear yields to heavenly victory. The resurrection story is a story of immediate transitions.

Oswald Chambers wrote that we should always be ready, as believers, for the surprise appearances of Jesus. Things change quickly near Jesus. Bodies are healed immediately. Storms are calmed immediately. Water becomes wine immediately. The power of a living Lord makes those transitions happen at the right time in the right way at the right speed — immediately. Teachers, point this out to your class members and encourage the hope that the power of the resurrection means that today’s pain and distress can quickly give way to today’s comfort. [Read more…]

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APR. 9: OFFERED TO ALL

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

Sunday School Lessons explore the bibleFocal Passage: Matthew 22:1-14

In lesson six from Matthew 22 Jesus tells a parable about a king who is preparing a wedding feast for his son. The preparation goes well until we get to the invitations. The father of the groom is the king, and we would think when the invitations went out those who were invited would respond very enthusiastically with an affirmative, “Sure, we’ll be honored to be there!”

To the king’s surprise when the responses began to come in he is flooded with “Thanks, but no thanks, we will not be able to attend your son’s wedding.” Can we imagine what a hurt this was to the king? After all, he was the king and everyone ought to respond by saying, “My dear king, with pleasure we accept your most gracious invitation to the wedding of your son.” [Read more…]

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APR. 9: VICTORY SHARED

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

Focal Passage: Luke 24:44-49

Sunday School Lesson Bible Studies For LifeThe summer after my kindergarten year my grandmother taught me to crochet. I practiced and practiced and finally made a little pillow that I proudly took to show and tell in the fall when I entered first grade (I didn’t know back then boys could get beat up for stuff like that)! I meekly stood up and told Mrs. Banner’s class how I did it — and won “Best Show and Tell” for the week. I’m sure the school is still talking about it. But it wasn’t the pillow that won the award. The victory was secured because I understood it enough, and was brave enough, to tell about it.

Rewind the tape 2,000 years. Jesus speaks to His disciples after His resurrection and says, “Gentlemen, it’s time for show and tell — I’m going to show you how it all fits together and you go tell.” That’s the clear message our passage gives. And the message the student should hear should be equally clear: through Christ’s death and resurrection, you’ve won the right to understand and live the promises of God. Why wouldn’t you tell someone about that? [Read more…]

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APR. 2: IF I REJECT JESUS?

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

Sunday School Lessons explore the bibleFocal Passage: Matthew 21:33-45

Today’s lesson from Matthew 21:33-45 has the very important subject, “If I Reject Jesus?” The parable in modern language proceeds to tell the story about a man (God) who owned a vineyard, of which he was very proud. He prepared, fertilized the ground, and planted the seeds. Then he was called away on a business trip. When harvest time came he hired overseers (Jewish leaders) to oversee the harvest. They hired some slaves (the prophets of the Old Testament), but the overseers beat and killed the slaves! They hired other slaves and they also killed them! [Read more…]

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APR. 2: VICTORY OVER FEAR

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

Sunday School Lesson Bible Studies For LifeFocal Passage: Romans 8:31-39

When my children were small I took them to the animal shelter to pick out a puppy. They chose a small terrier named “Bambi.” Bambi needed shots and a bath so we promised to return later to take her home. By the time the children went back someone else had already adopted Bambi and they were heartbroken. But my 7-year-old son called to put my mind at ease. “Don’t worry, Dad, we got a llama instead!” Before I could have a cardiac event, I heard his older sister in the background say, “it’s a Lhaso Apso!”  I was scared, but one word made a difference. [Read more…]

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MAR. 26: MORE THAN A PROPHET?

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

Sunday School Lessons explore the bibleFocal Passage: Matthew 21:1-11

Our text for this fourth lesson in a series of 13 is the first 11 verses of Matthew 21, and the subject is “More than a Prophet?”  As we study the world’s religions we find that many of them acknowledge Christ as a great prophet. Judaism, Islam, and several others admit that Christ was a great prophet and have admiration and respect for Him. But those of us who know Him and claim Him as Savior know that He is more, far more than just a great prophet. We know He is Jesus Christ, Son of the living God. We know Him as our Lord and Savior.  [Read more…]

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MAR. 26: VICTORIOUS FAITH

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

Sunday School Lesson Bible Studies For LifeFocal Passage: Hebrews 11:1-6

Curious, isn’t it, that the book of the Bible that encourages believers to have faith based on evidence of things not seen is itself evidence of an author not known? The writer of Hebrews uses tactile terms to give believers hope that true faith — concrete faith — pleases God and writes this passage to show that while we enjoy its benefits, concrete faith is mixed, poured, finished, and cured by God.

Engineers know that the key to strong concrete is getting the right recipe — the mix of cement, aggregate, sand, and water. It’s called slurry. The right slurry, poured into well-constructed forms, and finished and cured correctly results in strong concrete.  [Read more…]

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