Our Sunday School Teacher's Meeting was really good. I always get tremendous feedback from the students, which makes for a good class. Our lesson was entitled " A new beginning for Saul", taken from Acts 9:1-19a.
This lesson was packed with points for us to ponder. I will lift just 2 that really caught my eye and excited our class. The first is the the Protest of Ananias. Acts 9:13 (NIV) "Lord," Ananias answered, "I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem." How many times have we protested what God has said based upon someones past? I have some scars from my past. Most people call them tattoos. I have been excluded from so many things in church because of what someone has heard or assumed about my past. I do believe that we need to make wise decisions about people, however we can miss out on something beneficial if we only look at a person's past.
Next, look at the Providence of God, Acts 9:15-16 (NIV) But the Lord said to Ananias, "Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name." Unknown to Ananias was the fact that God had already had an encounter with Saul. God can work on both ends at the same time! When God commissioned Ananias, He had already converted Paul! We must be careful not to let our protest outshine God's providence!
In Bible Class, we continued our study in the book of Romans. Today, we looked at Romans 1:24-32. In these verses, Paul gives us the results of God's condemnation of the heathen. These verses suggest that God condemned the heathen for his own willful rejection of the Truth of God manifested in them and in Creation. God dealt with them, not by sending down fire, but by giving them over to their thoughts, imaginations, and affections. I often tell the congregation that God does not have to knock your eye out. He can stop holding it in!
Romans 1:25-27 (NIV) They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. This passage deals with the often taboo church subject of sexual immorality. I went at it head on! Fornication, adultery, and homosexuality was, is, and always morally, physically, and spiritually wrong. We must not compromise our Christian convictions because of our current culture.
I could go on and on about this, but I will stop here. God Bless!!!