Sunday School Lessons
Mrs. Daisy B. Scott - Superintendent
(Updated January 21, 2015)

Sunday School classes start at 9:30 AM every Sunday.


The lesson segments include a synopsis of the lesson and a link to AudioBible.com where the reference Scripture will be played in audio and displayed on the screen.  If your computer cannot play the file, download a free copy of RealPlayer at the Real.com site. Also in each lesson segment will be a link to the NewLivingTranslation.com site where the Scripture will be displayed in the plain English of the NLT Bible.


January 4 – Jesus' Model for Prayer
Alternate Title – Finding The Right Words

Bible Lesson: Luke 11:1-13 

What we shall learn from the lesson Scripture:

Someone asked why we should pray at all, since God already knows our needs, wants and desires, and that we are sorry for sinning. First, Jesus taught us that we should pray to God. Even He prayed to the Father. We are not equal to God ... we are His creation and subject to His will. We pray to acknowledge His power over us and all that is in existence. We glorify His name, ask for our needs, ask for His protection, and forgiveness of our sins. Only He can grant these things, and by praying to Him we confirm this fact, and praise and honor His name. By praying to him, we can "give it to God" and faithfully wait for His response, knowing He knows what is best for us.

God has given all believers one of the most valuable gifts ever given to humankind (Luke 11:13). The Holy Spirit is this gift and He indwells all believers. Yielding to His influence will help us live a more joyful life; with less depression, and more gratitude for God's love toward us. When it comes to prayer, He helps us pray for the right things, even if we can't express our needs in words. "...We don't know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God's own will." (Romans 8:26-27)

One of the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. Jesus' response is what we call the Lord's Prayer. The parts of the prayer are discussed below:

Verses 5-10 contains a parable which illustrates we should be persistent in prayer. This was also the case with a different parable which starts with Luke 18:1 in which Jesus told His disciples they should pray and never give up (be persistent).

When I was a teenager, my father and I were watching a professional football game between the Baltimore Colts and some other team (believe it was the Chicago Bears). With less than a minute left in the game and the Colts 9 points behind, it appeared the outcome of the game was assured; the Colts would lose. My father left the room. But, miraculously, the Colts got within field goal range and kicked a field goal. The onside kick gave them the ball again. With one second left in the game, on their first play, Johnny Unitas threw a pass that was perfection, as the clock clicked to zero. The ball drifted over the fullback Lenny Moore's right shoulder as he streaked down the left flank, and he caught the ball in dead stride. My father returned a few minutes later and just couldn't believe me when I said the Colts won.

What does that story have to do with prayer? Don't ever give up on God. Continue to pray; be persistent. Just because things don't look favorable and your prayers don't seem to be working, the game's not over until the Lord says it is.

Background: Biblical Manuscripts
The Bible text was originally written by hand and reproduced by hand-copying the words. There were no printing presses of any type until the 15th century AD, and the typewriter was not invented until 1868 AD. The originals and the copies are called manuscripts. To my knowledge, none of the original writings (like from Moses, Isaiah, Luke or Matthew) exist today. Instead, the handwritten manuscript copies were used by the Bible translators. To faithfully maintain accuracy of text for thousands of years is a great undertaking. However, the Bible represents God's word and the contention could be made that our sovereign God, who has power and control over all in existence, surly has the power to cause His word to be correct. If you are interested in knowing more about Bible manuscripts, go to this site: http://irr.org/todays-bible-real-bible. This will help with understanding the footnote in some Bibles, "Not in all manuscripts" or a some similar statement.



The above link is for the King James Version. You may also wish to read the New Living Translation of
Luke 11:1-13
. When you get to the New Living Translation web site, scroll down the page a short distance to find the Scripture.




January 11 – Jesus' Prayer for His Disciples
Alternate Title – A Friend In High Places

Bible Lesson: John 17:6-26  For Alternate Title John 17:6-21

What we shall learn from the lesson Scripture: This was Jesus' final prayer before He was betrayed by Judas and taken into custody to begin His suffering, and death on the cross. Jesus knew His time on earth was drawing to a close, and He told the disciples this (John 16:28). He then prayed to the Father on their behalf (John 17:9).

He petitioned the Father to protect the disciples from the control of Satan (John 17:15) as they went into the hostile world (John 17:18) to spread the good news about Him. Not only was this petition for the disciples, it was for all present and future believers (John 17:20).


The above link is for the King James Version. You may also wish to read the New Living Translation of
John 17:6-26
. When you get to the New Living Translation web site, scroll down the page a short distance to find the Scripture.




January 18 – Jesus' Intercession for Us
Alternate Title – Someone's On My Side

Bible Lesson: Hebrews 4:14-16;   5:1-10 (Reference Scripture may also be listed as Hebrews 4:14-5:10)

What we shall learn from the lesson Scripture: As Christians, we strive to be like Christ. He is our picture of perfection. When He came to earth as a human, He was faced with the same temptations to sin as we are, yet He did not sin (Heb 4:15). That should be the model to which we aspire - to be faced with temptation but not yielding.

But, all to often, we use the excuse of being human to explain away our tendency to give in to temptation and act in favor of doing things which are satisfying to the flesh. We are all fortunate to have a merciful and forgiving Lord (Dan 9.9), because if He were not, His position could be, "If I could do it as a human, so can you." But, Jesus suffered and gave His earthly life so that we could have forgiveness of our sins (Matt 26:28). Through Him, we are saved. Through Him, we can boldly go to God's throne (Heb 4:16) and ask for His mercy and grace. That is why we pray, "In Jesus' name."

On the human level, whether it is government or private industry, if you know someone in a high place, oftentimes you can get what you need or desire, or even receive forgiveness for something done wrong. In the heavenly realm, we know someone in a high place who can help us get what we need or receive forgiveness ... His name is Jesus.



The above link is for the King James Version. You may also wish to read the New Living Translation of
Hebrews 4:14-16;
. 5:1-10 When you get to the New Living Translation web site, scroll down the page a short distance to find the Scripture.




January 25 – Powerful Prayer
Alternate Title – Help! I'm In Trouble!

Bible Lesson: James 5:13-18 

Authorship: The Book of James was written by James, a son of Mary and Joseph and one of Jesus' brothers. He was not initially a follower (John 7:5) of Jesus, but he did received a personal appearance by Jesus after His resurrection (1 Cor 15:7). In the days after the crucifixion and resurrection, James was not only a believer, but also a leader in the Jerusalem church. An indication of this is his address to the elders and the apostles of the church (starting with Acts 15:13-15).

What we shall learn from the lesson Scripture: Someone asked why we should pray at all, since God already knows our needs, wants and desires, and that we are sorry for sinning. The answer is: He wants us to acknowledge His complete control over all in existence, and He wants us to acknowledge we have sinned and that He is the one who can forgive those sins. Praying shows humility (we are not in control), and faith in the power of the Lord to grant our requests. One thing we can learn from the Old Testament, is that God is a jealous god and he demands we acknowledge His power over us, and His control of our life. One way to do this is through the act of praying to Him.

In
"The Book of the Holy Spirit: Joyful Living" (See note 1), the following reiterates our dependence on the Lord through prayer:
"
There are times when we will be burdened down with one thing or another which we can’t handle alone. Oftentimes, we will then seek help from the Lord, because there is no one else to whom we can turn. Fortunately for us, this is exactly what God wants us to do. He wants us to depend on Him when we are faced with terrible times or circumstances in life. He wants us to need Him, and to acknowledge His power over all which exists."

We may pray as earnestly as possible, but the response to our prayers still has a limit. The limit is God's will. If what we pray for is not within His will, our prayers cannot supersede this limit, meaning sometimes His answer is "No." Should we give up on prayer if our loved one died anyway, or our child continued down the wrong path? No, we should continue to pray, because it is powerful in at least two ways: Whenever we pray and ask the Lord for His help, it not only confirms our faith in His power, but it also confirms our faith in His wisdom; He knows the best outcome. Therefore, praying to God and asking for his help is not only a valuable privilege, but is also a way to glorify His name.

A well known example of the power of prayer involves king Hezekiah. When he was sick and close to death the prophet Isaiah told him he would not recover and would die (Isaiah 38:1). The king prayed to God, in a mighty way, and pleaded for his survival (Isaiah 38:2-3). The Lord answered his prayer and gave him another 15 years to live (Isaiah 38:5).

Prayer is powerful in many ways, but we must continue to have faith in God and glorify His name regardless if His answer to our request is yes or no. We should faithfully understand, if we love God, He will make all things work for our good (Romans 8:28).


The above link is for the King James Version. You may also wish to read the New Living Translation of
James 5:13-18
. When you get to the New Living Translation web site, scroll down the page a short distance to find the Scripture.

Note 1 - The Book of the Holy Spirit, page 14, copyright 2015, Frederick L. Marsh. Used by permission.


February 1 – Feasting and Fasting
Alternate Title – The Cuisine Of Resistance

Bible Lesson: Daniel 1:5, 8-17;   Matthew 6:16-18

What we shall learn from the lesson Scripture: There is a saying, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." That means you should adapt yourself to the customs of the places you visit. That way, you blend in with the natives and no one will take offense at anything you do. Teenagers are notorious for using such an approach. How many times have parents heard the excuse, "Well, everybody else was doing it ...", or "All my friends are going, why can't I?" or many other such variations. These type excuses support the saying to do as the Romans when in Rome. However, for those who trust in the Lord, a better saying is, "When in Rome or anywhere, do as the Lord desires!"

Today's lesson deals specifically with Daniel not desiring to sin by eating foods which he understood would defile him in the eyes of God. But, there is a bigger concept involved. He made a decision to show obedience to God even though he was at the mercy of those who worshipped idol gods. He had faith God would take care of him if He remained obedient and faithful in what he ate and in what he did. God rewarded Daniel and those with Him in many ways, including physical protection, and wisdom.

Fasting is another use of food (or lack thereof) to show faith and to develop discipline. It demonstrates we are willing to sacrifice and do without to show humility to God. Jesus fasted for forty days and became physically week, but he still resisted the temptation Satan offered him. A benefit of fasting is it lets us know how it feels to be hungry. Perhaps that feeling will give us more compassion for those who go to bed hungry every night. Jesus came to earth and lived as a human. He understands the temptations to sin we are faced with. Therefore, we are fortunate to have Him to go through to gain salvation and forgiveness of our sins.

Many of us should consider fasting ... and I don't mean just by going without food. Let's consider the concept of fasting from sin. Fast by doing without some sinful practice we find ourselves enjoying. Why don't we fast, and do without a sinful relationship of which we may be a part? Why don't we fast, and do without being verbally and physically abusive to someone? Why don't we fast, and do without lying, gossiping, or exaggerating? Why don't we fast, and do without being overly critical or judgemental of others?

These type sinful practices are metaphorically referred to as sinful roots in "The Book of the Holy Spirit: Joyful Living" (Note 1). In the book, you are asked to imagine hanging by a single tree root protruding from a rocky click with nothing between you and the dangerous rocky shoals below. If you let go, you envision the worse possible result, and so you continue to hang on for dear life. But God says, "Let go and I will catch you." In the book, the final step to living a more peaceful and satisfying life, with help from the Holy Spirit, is to let go of your main sinful root. Are you hanging on to "the root" of animosity, anger, or hatred toward someone for something they did or said to you years ago? Or is it one of the other practices in the previous paragraph to which you are holding? Go beyond fasting as a temporary show of discipline ... just let go of it completely and trust the Lord to take care of you.

Part of being a Christian is developing the discipline to do the right things God desires and the discipline to stop doing sinful things. It means we should sacrifice and avoid the lure of worldly temptations.


The above link is for the King James Version. You may also wish to read the New Living Translation of
Daniel 1:5, 8-17;
. Matthew 6:16-18 When you get to the New Living Translation web site, scroll down the page a short distance to find the Scripture.

Note 1 - The Book of the Holy Spirit, page 141, copyright 2015, Frederick L. Marsh. Used by permission.




February 8 – Serving Neighbors, Serving God
Alternate Title – Do You Know Your Neighbor?

Bible Lesson: Luke 10:25-37 

What we shall learn from the lesson Scripture: Loving your neighbor as yourself is one of the two most important commandments, according to the lesson Scripture (Luke 10:27-28). In the lesson, the man asking the question, "Who is my neighbor?" was a Jew. In the parable Jesus gave, in answer to the question, the man offering help to the injured Jew was a Samaritan. Overall, Jews and Samaritans were not fond of each other. In fact, the Jewish king John Hyrcanus attacked the Samaritans and destroyed their temple about 128 BC (see note 1). For a Samaritan to give aid to a Jew, when other Jews of religious importance (a priest and a Levite) passed him by, was of great significance and contrast. It signifies the love of a neighbor is meant for anyone we encounter, whether or not the person lives close to us, and regardless of who they are. On a larger scale, our "neighbor" could be anyone; from those who are hungry and persecuted in Africa, to the misguided gang member.

But, what about neighbors who are not helpless, as was the injured Jew in the lesson Scripture? The following example will illustrate just how difficult loving your neighbor might be:

The following excerpt from,
"The Book of the Holy Spirit: Joyful Living" (see note 2) presents a more modern example of a challenging situation any of us may be faced with at some time:

"One type of difficult challenge is being a good neighbor. Jesus said, one of the two most important commandments is, "... Love your neighbor as yourself" (Matt 22:39). In this Scripture, "neighbor" means everyone, including the poor, homeless, the good and the bad. What if a drug dealer moved in the house next to yours? Most people would be extremely concerned, if not outraged or even scared. When faced with this type situation, what would you do? Some people would see this situation as a good reason to move to another neighborhood. Others may see this as an opportunity to lead someone to Christ. Although you may not love the criminal nature of your neighbor, you must still love the person. When faced with a situation like that, what a blessing it is to have the Holy Spirit leading your life; to guide your actions. He knows the future, and can lead you to do and say the right things.

"The Lord is more interested in changing us, and how we meet the challenges of life, than to simply change or fix the challenges themselves. If we allow the Holy Spirit to live through us, we will be able to give up our prejudices, selfish desires and plans in favor of doing things God's way. We will be able to meet life's challenges with a more joyful spirit.
"

As can be seen by the above example, loving our neighbor is not always easy and straightforward. It certainly doesn't mean you shouldn't call the police if someone is doing harm to someone else. It doesn't mean you shouldn't seek to protect your family from harm by others. It means you should feel genuine love and concern for those who are your neighbors (everyone), including the ones who have lost their way and fallen from the path God has provided for them. We know everyone came from God, and He doesn't make evil or selfish people; those faults are attained by the people on their own.

Even though we don't love the sin others commit, we should still love the good in them and love them because they are God's creation. Don't we want to be treated that way? None of us is without sin. If churches only allowed people who didn't sin to be members, there would be no choir, no deacons, no pastor, and no congregation.

When faced with a particularly difficult situation (such as the drug dealer example above), we should rely on the Holy Spirit to guide our actions. But, in order to depend on the Holy Spirit, we must allow Him to guide our life in the spirit of Christ. But, there will still be individuals who will not change regardless of what we say or do. That's why we have fines, punishments, and prisons. We can only hope the individuals receiving such punishment will learn from their mistakes and become a better neighbor.


The above link is for the King James Version. You may also wish to read the New Living Translation of
Luke 10:25-37
. When you get to the New Living Translation web site, scroll down the page a short distance to find the Scripture.

Note 1 - NLT Study Bible, note on Luke 10:33 - a despised Samaritan.

Note 2 - The Book of the Holy Spirit, page 139, copyright 2015, Frederick L. Marsh. Used by permission.




February 15 – Serving the Least
Alternate Title – Meeting Others' Needs

Bible Lesson: Matthew 25:31-46 

What we shall learn from the lesson Scripture: In the past, we have studied lessons which remind and command us to love our neighbor as ourself (Luke 10:27-28), and to do unto others as we would have them do unto us (Matt 7:12). These two statements are very much alike in that they are meant to instruct us to have compassion and love for our fellow man. In today's lesson, the Scripture has a very similar emphasis, except it contains a warning that failing to have compassion for other human beings will result in eternal punishment (Matt 25:46).

In a world of terrorism and needless crime, loving our neighbor and showing forgiveness are difficult concepts of which to adhere at all times. The movie theaters are full of productions showing revenge and vengeance in response to heartless acts by criminal and mean people. Many of us applaud an ending in which "some bad person gets what's coming to him." Some people view the homeless and poor as those who threw away their future prospects by not taking school seriously or just by being lazy. Some people view alcoholics as week-minded individuals who are looking for an escape from life's troubles and difficulties. There are also those who have a very difficult time giving compassion to those who would probably rob or injure us in order to get something they want or need?

Against such a backdrop of human nature and reality, what should our attitude be; our response as Christians? How should we react to people in need? I don't mean just financial, but many other situations of need, such as those who are grieving the loss of someone, and those contemplating committing crime, or acts of vengence. Many of us reading these words are, ourselves, in great need of something; maybe a kind word, a friend, a companion, or a mentor. Just about all of us fall into a category of need. The Lord wants us to help others, and He wants others to help us. Oftentimes, showing compassion will only cost the price of a greeting card, or only to offer a handshake, a smile, or a telephone call.

Those of us who have children can appreciate the type of unconditional love needed to support a child who has become lost to crime, alcohol or drugs. No doubt, we hope and pray the child will change and become someone who has a promising future, and someone who will help others, rather than always being the one looking for help. When someone helps our child in a meaningful way, the parent is grateful, even if the child shows indifference. Parents want their children to act toward each other with the love sisters and brothers should have for one another. This is the type of attitude the reference Scripture wants us to have toward all of God's children. God wants all of us in His creation to care for each other with the love sisters and brothers should have. The Scripture indicates when we help a needy person, this pleases God ... just as we parents would appreciate someone showing kindness to our children.

Showing compassion for those in need goes far beyond the financial and physical level. Not only should we help those who are hungry, sick, or homeless, but also those who are criminals, and those who are lonely or otherwise mentally hurting (Matt 25:35-36). Remember, parents want their children to love them, but to also love each other. This is also what God wants. However, in God's case, it goes beyond just simply what He wants ... it is what He commands and demands we do.

We are saved by faith, but action is a by-product of faith (Jas 2:15-16). When we profess faith, but do not act to help others, our faith comes into question (Jas 2:14). Faith in the existence and sovereignty of God, is empty if it does not produce good deeds (Jas 2:19-20).


The above link is for the King James Version. You may also wish to read the New Living Translation of
Matthew 25:31-46
. When you get to the New Living Translation web site, scroll down the page a short distance to find the Scripture.



For access to all chapters of the King James Version Bible in audio and visual formats, visit
the Audio-Bible.com web site.

For other versions (NIV, New Living Translation, etc.) of the Bible in audio and visual formats, visit the
World Wide Study Bible page of Christian Classics Eternal Library site. Also visit the New Living Translation web site.

Some information on this page may be referenced from the NLT Study Bible, the Wryer Study Bible (NIV), and the Standard Lesson Commentary. Frederick L. Marsh is the commentary author of the information contained in this page. The opinions expressed are his alone.



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