Sunday School Lessons
Mrs. Daisy B. Scott - Superintendent
(Updated April 12, 2021)

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


 


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April 4 – Salvation is Sealed

Alternate Title – The Suffering Servant

Alternate Title #2 – Jesus Suffered for Us

Bible Lesson: Luke 24:13-16, 22-35 KJV

Secondary Scripture: Isaiah 53:4-11a KJV


The key verse:
Luke 24:31 (KJV) - "And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight."

(Pop-up references come from The New Living Translation courtesy of Faithlife Reftagger)


What shall we learn from this lesson:

When the resurrected Jesus came upon two disciples walking, He joined them and listen to their conversation. They were followers of Jesus but with His death on the cross, they had lost hope and faith in Him as the Messiah. This is what Jesus heard them say:

"But our leading priests and other religious leaders handed him over to be condemned to death, and they crucified him. We had hoped he was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel. This all happened three days ago."
Luke 24:20-21 NLT

Jesus taught them why the Messiah had to suffer as in accordance with the Prophets. He said to them:

"Then Jesus said to them, 'You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. Wasn't it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?'" Luke 24:25-26 NLT

The suffering of Jesus on the cross forever healed our wounds that were made by sin. He was the spotless lamb who was killed as a sacrifice for our transgressions. With His death and resurrection, our salvation is sealed and through Him all our sins are forgiven. He suffered for us so we wouldn't have to. He is the Suffering Servant.

The prophet Isaiah wrote about the suffering servant:

"But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed."
Isaiah 53:5

We are not healed of sin by our works, our vows, or our own doing. We are healed of sin through the suffering of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ - the Suffering Servant. Through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross we receive salvation by the grace of God.

The Bible lesson link (at the beginning of the lesson) is for the King James Version. You may also wish to read the New Living Translation Bible Version of Luke 24:13-16, 22-35 NLT

Secondary scripture: Isaiah 53:4-11a NLT

The key verse: Luke 24:31 (NLT) - "Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared!"





April 11 – Faith and Action Preacher

Alternate Title – The Faith-in-action Preacher

Alternate Title #2 – Stand Up for God's Word

Bible Lesson: Ezra 10:1-12 KJV


The key verses:
Ezra 10:10-11 (KJV) - "And Ezra the priest stood up, and said unto them, Ye have transgressed, and have taken strange wives, to increase the trespass of Israel. Now therefore make confession unto the LORD God of your fathers, and do his pleasure: and separate yourselves from the people of the land, and from the strange wives."

(Pop-up references come from The New Living Translation courtesy of Faithlife Reftagger)


What shall we learn from this lesson:

When a command comes from God, regardless of what we think, His morality and desires come first and are superior to our own. We are part of His creation and belong to Him; not the other way around. Therefore we should practice accepting God's wisdom and avoid criticizing His decisions.

As an example, when God commanded the Israelites (and us) to have no other gods before Him (Exodus 20:3), this was not a suggestion or guideline but a commandment. To do otherwise would invite His anger against us.

In the lesson for today, we find Ezra, the scribe, openly lamenting over the sins of the people with his face down to the ground in front of the Temple of God. Specifically, he was crying out over the sinfulness of the Israelites who were intermarrying with pagan women. Shecaniah, son of Jehiel, agreed with Ezra (Ezra 10:2).

God had told the IsraelitesHis special peoplethat when He brought them into the promised land and they conquered the people living there they were commanded to completely destroy them. (Deuteronomy 7:2). He specifically commanded them to not intermarry with the people of that land (Deut 7:3).

Even though He did not have to give the Israelites an explanation of why He decided this, nevertheless He did. He said if they intermarried with the people of the land who worshiped other gods, that might be the seed to lead their children away from the only true God so that they might then worship false gods (Deut 7:4).

Therefore, this decision was not one based on race but rather one based on religious beliefs and loyalty. In fact, the Bible gives us Ruth and Rahab as examples of women who embraced faith in the Lord and not in the false gods of their land. They were committed to God and were not punished even though they had each come from a nation where people worshiped false gods.

Worshiping false gods by the Israelites would anger the Lord and He could destroy them as a result. Of all the people on earth, He had chosen them to be His special possessiona holy people (Deut 7:6).

In our reference text, the Israelites were faced with a tough decision. Those men who had married pagan women were told to divorce the women and split up the family. This was to be a commitment to honor God by adhering to His desire and command.

These Israelites had already been punished by being exiled by the Babylonians. This remnant had been allowed to return to Jerusalem. Shekaniah and Ezra were the leaders who wanted the people to do what was right in the sight of God.

They were told in the very beginning not to marry pagan women but they did so anyway. Now it was time to suffer the consequences.

To be a good leader may require that we convince the people to do something that they ordinarily would not like or want to do. Today, getting people to Fast and Tithe are two such examples. Some pastors have struggled to convince all the membership to do these two things.

Today, we also have to be careful who we marry. To marry someone who does not worship God and is an unbeliever is to chance our children becoming heathens. In fact, the influence of an unbeliever could have a detrimental effect on our own faith.

Before we know it we could not be going to church as much as before or studying God's word as much as before because our spouse has other things he/she wants to do. This is the of type thing God wanted to avoid for his special holy peoplethe Israelites.

The Bible lesson link (at the beginning of the lesson) is for the King James Version. You may also wish to read the New Living Translation Bible Version of Ezra 10:1-12 NLT

The key verses: Ezra 10:10-11 (NLT) - "'Then Ezra the priest stood and said to them: 'You have committed a terrible sin. By marrying pagan women, you have increased Israel's guilt. So now confess your sin to the LORD, the God of your ancestors, and do what he demands. Separate yourselves from the people of the land and from these pagan women.'"






April 18 – Nehemiah: The Captive Cupbearer Rebuilds a Nation

Alternate Title – The Restoring Builder

Alternate Title #2 – Have Faith in God's Plans

Bible Lesson: Nehemiah 2:11-20 KJV


The key verse:
Nehemiah 2:17 (KJV) - "Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach. land, and from the strange wives."

(Pop-up references come from The New Living Translation courtesy of Faithlife Reftagger)


What shall we learn from this lesson:

One of the first things we can notice from the reference text (Nehemiah 2:11-20) is it was written in first person as if Nehemiah was keeping a diary of his movements and thoughts. Many of the sentences start or contain the word "I."

This is commonplace in several chapters in the book - like chapters 1-7. Even though the book itself does not identify the author, it is reasonable to believe some of the book (especially the first person accountings) came from Nehemiah's memoirs or perhaps a report he could have presented to the Persian court about his reconstruction progress. In reading the Bible, so often do we have to "read between the lines" and deduce or guess what the writer was saying. Very little guesswork is needed for our reference text.

First, let's look at some background concerning the wall. Long before Israel first conquered the land of Canaan, the city of Jerusalem, with protected walls, already existed. The Jebusites lived there in relative safety within those walls. Think of this arrangement as being similar to the arrangement of a fort.

However, King David captured the city and it became to be known as the City of David. Then, Kings David, Solomon, and Hezekiah expanded the walls to the state it was in before the Babylonians attacked and conquered the Israelites.

In 586 BC, Jerusalem was defeated by the Babylonians. The Temple was destroyed as was also the wall around the city. The wooden gates were burned with fire. Many of the Israelites were sent into exile. Nehemiah grew up while in exile in Babylon. He had never seen Jerusalem when it was in its glory.

The Babylonians themselves were defeated by the Persians about 47 years later in 539 BC. A year after that, King Cyrus II of Persia signed a decree allowing the exiles to return to Judah (Judea).

However, about 140 years after the Babylonian victory over the Israelites, the disrepair of the city and the walls still remained. Nehemiah learned of this troubling news from one of his brethren, Hanani, who had come to visit him with some men from Judah (Neh 1:3). With the wall broken down and the gates burned, the city was vulnerable to attack and was also very unsightly.

The walls that were in shambles did not reflect a people that God had blessed. In fact, it came close to representing a defeated people. Nehemiah was burdened by this thought. Ezra had already successfully led the effort to rebuild the Temple over 10 years before.

Nehemiah became inspired to undertake the massive rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalemthe land of his ancestors. He believed God had put this inspiration on his heart (Neh 2:12). But he had some huge obstacles to overcome.

First, he was the cupbearer for the king of Persia, Artaxerxes, and would have to get permission from him to leave and travel to Judah to head up the project to rebuild the wall. The cupbearer was responsible for serving the king his wine and ensuring it was not poisoned. The king ordinarily trusted the cupbearer greatly and we would expect the two would have a close relationship.

Secondly, he was located a long way (close to 1,000 miles) from Jerusalem and would have to travel that long distance to perform the task. The king asked him how long would he be gone but the Bible does not reveal the time period he responded with. Some have estimated it would take three months just to travel to Judah.

Thirdly, he would need extensive resources such as building materials and labor to complete this enormous task.

Nehemiah was a godly man and, like Ezra, undertook a worthy mission. Ezra's mission was to rebuild the Temple while Nehemiah's mission was the rebuilding of the Jerusalem walls.

This brings up a question of faith. When presented with some important task in life, should we do a lot of planning, evaluation, and preparation or should we just depend on the Lord to make things work out as they should? If you are a Sunday school or Bible Study teacher, should you make detailed preparations for your class or just trust God that everything will work out for the best?

Nehemiah was a godly man and had great faith in the Lord, but he still planned the venture with great details. Following his example, we would conclude that we should always make plans and evaluations for important decisions or assignments in our worldly life and in our church life. But we should also incorporate faith in God as a significant and first part of our plans.

God is the ultimate planner. His advantage is that he knows what is around the corner - what will happen in the future. In fact, He controls the future. So, if we have big decisions to make and big plans for our future, we should seek to be on the Lord's team. He is our greatest asset. However, that should not hinder us from doing our part which includes giving our ventures in life diligent study.

The Bible says:

The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty. Proverbs 21:5

God wants us dedicated to His desires and objectives and He wants us to include Him in our life's decisions; in our plans.

An automobile insurance agent told me once that she did not look forward to talking to an engineer about insurance because engineers always had so many questions about the details.

We should realize that quite often an engineer will spend a lot of time thinking of things that can go wrong and things that most likely will eventually go wrong. A great deal of pre-planning quite often is involved in engineering projects so the finished product will work as desired.

When we drive across a bridge in rush hour with a hundred other vehicles, and the bridge doesn't collapse, it is because some civil engineer designed it to handle the weight. When we flip the light switch and the lights come on it is because electrical engineers designed the power plant and distribution power system to deliver the electricity to that switch.

Nehemiah took, what some would say, was mostly an engineering or methodical approach to the mammoth task of rebuilding and repairing the wall around Jerusalem. However, he also included God in a big way. The whole process of rebuilding the walls began with four months of prayer and fasting before he even approached the king with his request.

He started praying and fasting after the visit from Hanani in the month of Kislev (Neh 1:1, 1:4) in late autumn. He went to the King with his request early in the spring of the following year in the month of Nisan (Neh 2:1). This was a total of about 4 months.

His praying specifically included God's promise of restoration told to Moses by the Lord. Why? Because this promise fitted the Israelites of that day since they had been defeated and exiled because of sin:

Neh 1:7-9 NLT:

7. "We have sinned terribly by not obeying the commands, decrees, and regulations that you gave us through your servant Moses."

8. "Please remember what you told your servant Moses: If you are unfaithful to me, I will scatter you among the nations."

9. "But if you return to me and obey my commands and live by them, then even if you are exiled to the ends of the earth, I will bring you back to the place I have chosen for my name to be honored".

As part of Nehemiah's planning, he arranged for the necessary identification and paperwork from the king so that he would not be hindered unnecessarily in traveling and accomplishing the work (Neh 2:7).

He had a letter that would allow him to be supplied with the timber needed in the construction of the gates and also for a house for himself. The fact that he was planning to build a house for himself meant he was planning to commit a substantial investment of time (Neh 2:8):

And may I have a letter to Asaph, keeper of the royal park, so he will give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel by the temple and for the city wall and for the residence I will occupy?" And because the gracious hand of my God was on me, the king granted my requests.
Neh 2:8 NIV

As it turned out, it was 12 years later before he returned to Babylon after the walls were rebuilt. During that time, he had been designated as the governor of Judea.

When Nehemiah went to Jerusalem, he did not travel alone. He had an entourage that included army officers and horsemen for protection (Neh 2:9 ESV):

"Then I came to the governors of the province beyond the River and gave them the king's letters. Now the king had sent with me officers of the army and horsemen".

Once he had arrived in Jerusalem, he surveyed the damage to the walls personally during the night when unwanted people would not be around. It's always a good plan to personally verify conditions before proceeding with a solution. When my hip needed replacing, the surgeon did not blindly accept what my family doctor said. He took a series of x-rays and performed other evaluations and determined for himself that the hip joint needed replacing.

In our personal lives, we should occasionally evaluate our Christian status. What is good in our Christian life and what needs to be repaired or built up? Then, just like Nehemiah did with the wall, we should formulate a plan to improve ourselves so we will be more like the Lord wants us to be.

Those who have ever presented a proposal to have something fixed know how important it is to determine the extent of the problem before presenting a fix to those who have to approve it. After personally evaluating the condition of the walls and determining the extent of the damage, he had to then get buy-in from the leaders and anyone else that was needed to get the work started.

He appealed to their pride and sense of loyalty to God by calling the damaged walls a disgrace (same as reproach) (Neh 2:17). When he told then how the gracious hand of God had been on him and how the king had approved the project, they were ready to begin the repair of the walls (Neh 2:18).

Also, no doubt the people were very impressed with him because of his close association with the King as the cupbearer and the fact that the king not only had approved the project but would also provide for some of the expense like the timber for the gates.

Nehemiah was careful to give God the credit for the approval of his project by the king:

And because the gracious hand of my God was on me, the king granted my requests. Neh 2:8b NIV

But this project was not all smooth sailing. He had opposition who opposed the rebuilding effort. The three main ringleaders of the opposition were Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem.

They didn't want the Israelites to become a force in the region again for political and economic reasons. They questioned Nehemiah's authority and motives (Neh 2:19). They threatened Nehemiah (Neh 4:11). And they tried to lure him into a compromising situation.

Nehemiah responded with more prayer (Neh 4:4) and more planning (Neh 4:13). He made faith in the Lord a primary focus:

"Then as I looked over the situation, I called together the leaders and the people and said to them, "Don't be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious, and fight for your friends, your families, and your homes!" (Neh 4:14).

When we are trying to accomplish something for the Lord or working to correct some ungodly habit, we will also have opposition. Our opposition is the evil one - Satan. In the past, many of us have seen the devil throw everything at us to break our momentum toward a godly life.

The more we try to do right in the sight of the Lord, the more Satan will get desperate and try to lure us away from our path. But, just as it was with Nehemiah, we must not let the enemy get the upper hand.

As a result of involving God in his decisions and also with meticulous planning and preparation, the walls were rebuilt in only 52 days. This was a miracle to the people and God was given the credit for this momentous achievement (Neh 6:16).

Since God controls the world and has made everything in heaven and earth, He should be given credit for all of our achievements and successes. All good things come from Him (James 1:17)

The Bible lesson link (at the beginning of the lesson) is for the King James Version. You may also wish to read the New Living Translation Bible Version of Nehemiah 2:11-20 NLT

The key verse: Nehemiah 2:17 (NLT) - "But now I said to them, 'You know very well what trouble we are in. Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire. Let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem and end this disgrace!'"









April 25 – A Plea for Restoration

Alternate Title – The Nation's Plea

Alternate Title #2 – Disobeying God Brings Suffering

Bible Lesson: Lamentations 5 KJV


The key verses:
Lamentations 5:21 (KJV) - "Turn thou us unto thee, O LORD, and we shall be turned; renew our days as of old."

(Pop-up references come from The New Living Translation courtesy of Faithlife Reftagger)


What shall we learn from this lesson:

A lamentation is an expression of sorrow, mourning, or regret. In other words, we feel sorry for how things have turned out. The book of Lamentations is mainly about one thing - the sorrow felt as a result of the defeat of Jerusalem and the fall of the city to the Babylonians.

The lesson text of the 5th chapter is a statement of how terrible things had degraded in the city:

"Our hearts are sick and weary, and our eyes grow dim with tears. For Jerusalem is empty and desolate, a place haunted by jackals." Lamentations 5:17-18

But the chapter ends with hope in the midst of despair. It ends with a hopeful prayer and a plea for restoration:

"Restore us, O LORD, and bring us back to you again! Give us back the joys we once had!" (Lam 5:21).

Unlike the Israelites of Jerusalem, as a country we have not known the despair of being defeated on our home territory and being occupied by another nation. We have not had to remember how "good things used to be". The Lord has blessed us in this way and every day we should remember this as the great blessing it is. 


The Bible lesson link (at the beginning of the lesson) is for the King James Version. You may also wish to read the New Living Translation Bible Version of Lamentations 5 NLT

The key verses: Lamentations 5:21 (NLT) - "Restore us, O LORD, and bring us back to you again! Give us back the joys we once had!"




May 2 – Micaiah: Speaking Truth to Power

Alternate Title – Speak the Truth for God

Bible Lesson: 1 Kings 22:15-23, 26-28 KJV


The key verse:
1 Kings 22:14 (KJV) - "And Micaiah said, As the LORD liveth, what the LORD saith unto me, that will I speak."

(Pop-up references come from The New Living Translation courtesy of Faithlife Reftagger)


What shall we learn from this lesson:

The lesson for today is about Ahab, king of Israel, and how he sought to ignore God's wisdom in favor of his own. Ahab wanted to go to battle to recapture the town of Ramoth-gilead which was inside the original territorial boundaries of Israel (the northern kingdom of Israel). This town had been previously lost to Syria in the battles between Israel and Syria.

Ahab worshiped false gods and had married a pagan woman, Jezebel, who despised God's people (1 Kings 18:4). The Bible says that Ahab did more to anger God than all the kings before him (1 Kings 16:30).

Ahab convinced Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, to join forces with him to recover Ramoth-gilead (1 Kings 22:4). But then Jehoshaphat said that they should first see what the Lord says about it (1 Kings 22:5).

So Ahab called on 400 false prophets who would agree with him to go to war (1 Kings 22:6). He was really not interested in the wisdom of the Lord but only in his own desires.

Jehoshaphat could see what was going on with the "yes men" false prophets Ahab had called. They would obviously say whatever the king wanted. So Jehoshaphat inquired, "Is there not also a prophet of the Lord here?"(1 Kings 22:7).

Even though he, no doubt, didn't want to mention the true prophet Micaiah was available, Ahab did so anyway, but with a caveat. He said that he did not like Micaiah because he always prophesies trouble for him (1 Kings 22:8). In other words, Micaiah was not one of his "yes men."

The most valuable friends oftentimes are the ones who will tell us the truth about some idea we are considering. We are doing ourselves a disservice by only listening to people who will agree with our thinking.

Micaiah was brought into the presence of the kings. We can only imagine the majesty of the two kings, in their royal robes and sitting on their thrones.

Ahab put the same question to Micaiah as he had done with the 400 false prophets. But even with the 400 prophets still there and the kings sitting on their thrones, Micaiah was not deterred from speaking what the Lord had told him to say.

Even though Micaiah first answered with the same words of agreement as the false prophets had done, Ahab knew he was only agreeing from a sarcastic point of view. So Ahab demanded that Micaiah speak the truth. This is similar to someone asking that we speak in plain words.

Micaiah responded with what he had seen in a vision. In that vision, Ahab had been killed (1 Kings 22:17). Also in the vision, God was looking for suggestions on how to get Ahab to go into battle against Ramoth-gilead so he could be killed. The favored suggestion was to inspire all of Ahab's prophets to speak lies which is exactly what they did when they told Ahab he would be victorious.

The Lord had decided on his fate; Ahab would be killed in the battle to win back Ramoth-gilead. He could have humbled himself before the Lord and repented as he had done before (1 Kings 21:27). But instead, he called for Micaiah to be punished for telling the truth and then he tried to change the outcome by later disguising himself during the battle. But an arrow shot at random fatally injured him and he died just as the Lord had said.

Even though we may not have 400 false prophets at our disposal who would say what we want them to say, many of us still find a way to rationalize some of our sinful actions and intentions.

As an example, when we are in an illicit affair, we sometimes may convince ourselves that God brought this person into our life for our benefit. But we know that cannot be because God will not himself lead us into sin (James 1:13). So, if we lie, steal, cheat, or gossip, we should not blame it on God ... it's our responsibility.

We cannot even blame our sin of Satan. Even though he may be the one who tempts us, it is still our responsibility to resist the temptation. God has promised us that He will not allow more temptation on us than we can handle1 Corinthians 10:13b ESV:

"God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it."

The old common expression of, "You can run but you can't hide" is a lesson we should all learn from Ahab. It doesn't matter how careful we are, that we think we have covered all the bases, when we sin against the Lord we should not be surprised when we are exposed. To avoid His discipline, we should simply quit trying to hide our sin from God and just truly repent and ask for His forgiveness and mercy.


The Bible lesson link (at the beginning of the lesson) is for the King James Version. You may also wish to read the New Living Translation Bible Version of 1 Kings 22:15-23, 26-28 NLT

The key verse: 1 Kings 22:14 (NLT) - "But Micaiah replied, 'As surely as the LORD lives, I will say only what the LORD tells me to say.'"





May 9 – Isaiah: Offering Hope for the Future

Alternate Title – Offering Hope for the Future

Alternate Title #2 – God Gives Hope for the Future

Bible Lesson: Isaiah 29:13-24 KJV


The key verse:
Isaiah 29:24 (KJV) - "They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine."

(Pop-up references come from The New Living Translation courtesy of Faithlife Reftagger)


What shall we learn from this lesson:

The synopsis for this lesson will be posted on or before Monday, April 19, 2021.


The Bible lesson link (at the beginning of the lesson) is for the King James Version. You may also wish to read the New Living Translation Bible Version of Isaiah_29:13-24 NLT

The key verse: Isaiah 29:24 (NLT) - "Then the wayward will gain understanding, and complainers will accept instruction."








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 Standard Lesson Commentary, and Commentary by David Guzik, and gotquestions.org. Frederick L. Marsh is the commentary author of the information contained in this page. He is the author of the book: "The Book of the Holy Spirit: Joyful living." The opinions expressed on this page are his alone.



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