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Showing posts from December 16, 2012

PART OF ONE BODY IN CHRIST

December 16
Lesson 3
PART OF ONE BODY IN CHRISTDEVOTIONAL READING: Romans 12:3–8 BACKGROUND SCRIPTURE: Ephesians 4:1–16
KEY VERSES

"There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism." Ephesians 4:4, 5


LESSON AIMS

After participating in this lesson, each student will be able to:
1. Identify the source, expression, and result of unity in the body of Christ.
2. Compare and contrast the unity of the body of Christ with the sense of fellowship expressed in nonreligious groups.
3. Identify one’s own role in the body of believers and make a commitment to fulfill that role in a manner that helps the body grow.




LESSON OUTLINE

Introduction
A.      Selfish Gifts
      B.      Lesson Background
          I.      Called to Unity (EPHESIANS 4:1–6)
      A.      Hard Work (vv. 1–3)
      The President and the Rabbit
      B.      Grand Scope (vv. 4–6)
          II.      Called to Service (EPHESIANS 4:7–16)
      A.      Giving to Equi…

THIRD SUNDAY IN ADVENT

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2012 | ADVENT
THIRD SUNDAY IN ADVENT

   Old Testament:      Isaiah 35:1–6
             Psalm:       Psalm 111
             New Testament:       1 Corinthians 1:26–31
             Gospel:      Matthew 11:2–10


Christian Worship One Year Lectionary (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2009).
Sunday, December 16
LIFE AND DEATH AT CHRISTMAS

 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” —John 10:10
As I was about to begin this devotional, I received word that Marion Newstrum had just died. She and her husband Elmer have been part of Bethlehem longer than most of our members have been alive. Marion was 87. They had been married 64 years.

When I spoke to Elmer and told him I wanted him to be strong in the Lord and not give up on life, he said, “He has been a true friend.” I pray that all Christianswill be able to say at the end of life, “Christ has been a true friend.”

Each Advent I mark the anniversary of my mother’s death. She was cut off in her 56th year in a bus accident in Israel. It was December 16, 1974. Those events are incredibly real to me even today. If I allow myself, I can easily come to tears—for example, thinking that my sons never knew her. We buried her the day after Christmas. What a precious Chr…

After the Storm

December 15: After the StormJeremiah 29:1–30:24; Romans 6:1–14
As we blink and squint in the light that emerges after a storm, we marvel that the sun was there all along and we just couldn't see it. The same is true during times of difficulty. When we’re in pain or worried, it seems impossible to find God, but in retrospect, it always seems obvious: God was there all along.

Jeremiah prophesied to God’s people about their unraveling. The people heard words from Jeremiah’s mouth that must have seemed hopeless and full of despair. But in Jeremiah 29, we catch a glimpse of the light that comes after: “Build houses and live in them, and plant gardens and eat their fruit. Take wives and father sons and daughters … and multiply there, and you must not be few”(Jer 29:5–6).

Even in exile, God will continue to guide His people. Because of their sins, they have endured (and lost) war and been driven away from the land that God gave them; but God remains with them nonetheless. They may need …