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Showing posts from September, 2016

Friday - September 30, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study FRIDAY
BIBLE READING:Hebrews 12:5-11

MAIN IDEA:  “Discipline, Education, Instruction, Cultivation and Improvement.”

DISCUSSION
Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” 

I believe the phrase “way he should go” has more than one application. When children, both boys and girls, start maturing, parents have a responsibility to recognize where their children's talents lie. God has blessed each of us with talents and abilities. Each child is more inclined to excel in areas they are interested in and possess talents for. This, however, may not be the way parents wish for. Remember, trying to put a square peg (your child) into a round hole (what you want for them) is frustrating, for both the peg and the one trying. Change the hole, not the peg.

Another, even more important application of this proverb is to ensure we train our children to understand God’s plan for our salvation, to follow that plan, t…

Thursday - September 29, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study THURSDAY
BIBLE READING:Colossians 3:20; Ephesians 6:1-4

MAIN IDEA: “Why is it important to obey parents?”

DISCUSSION
God has given us a pattern for the leadership of our homes. First, God expects children to listen to their parents and mind what they say. Children must learn that there are boundaries that are set by parents for their behavior. They must also learn from their parents that there are consequences for not staying within these boundaries. Children are not born with the ability to set their own boundaries correctly (see Genesis 8:21). It is a great responsibility placed on parents to set clear, correct boundaries and the appropriate discipline. The welfare of the child depends on learning the importance of subordination within the family. It is important for parents to instill obedience to boundaries (laws). To train a child to be obedient to a parent is one method of leading them to be obedient to God.

Parenting is an awesome responsibility. There w…

Wednesday - September 28, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study WEDNESDAY
BIBLE READING:Proverbs 22:1; Ecclesiastes 7:1

MAIN IDEA:  “Everyone has a reputation”

Discussion:
“Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.”     --Abraham Lincoln

As with most things, a good reputation is harder to build than to destroy. Building a good reputation requires effort, patience, time and commitment. Destroying a good reputation only requires a single moment of a bad choice. What is the secret to building a good reputation? Become a person who deserves one. Choose to be consistent in your choices and actions that will reflect the characteristics you want others to associate with you. 

Your reputation is not only a reflection of you but also of what people see as a follower of Christ. A good reputation doesn’t come from what you intend to do. Don’t feel you must tell others about your beliefs. Rather, let others discover them in you. A reputation is a fragile thing. It…

Tuesday - September 27, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study TUESDAY
BIBLE READING:Ephesians 4:17-19

MAIN IDEA: “What entertains me?”

DISCUSSION
If we, as parents and grandparents, don’t guide the young, then how do they know where to go?  Children doing and behaving in a good way is not something they are born with (Genesis 8:21). We must train them in a way that will please God (Proverbs 22:6). When it comes to entertainment, today’s society offers too much. How can a child know what is good or bad for them without your help? Many will get a lot of “help” from their peers. No matter what we do, this will happen. Our responsibility is to show them what is right.

Don’t be part of the problem by the example you set. What is being allowed into your home through TV, Radio, Internet, and phones?  Don’t think you’re hiding what you say and your attitude from little ears either. The more we allow into our home as questionable, “OK” entertainment, the more calloused our hearts become to that “OK” threshold.

APPLICATION: Have you…

Monday - September 26, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study MONDAY
BIBLE READING:1 Kings 11:1-6; 1 Corinthians 15:33

MAIN IDEA: “Choose friends that will not pull from Christ”

DISCUSSION
Solomon had everything anyone could want and then some. He had always been part of royalty and was honored by many. God warned him to not associate with the people from foreign lands, but Solomon chose them as wives and friends. God told Solomon not to associate with these people because they would harden his heart, and turn him from Him. Greed and pride was more than the wisest man on earth could handle. 

We need to ask ourselves, “Can I handle the circumstances I am exposed to?” What criterion does one use for making new friends or continuing relationships with old friends?" Paul tells us to be careful who we hang out with. The people you are with will rub off on you and will encourage you to be like them. The wrong group, with their calloused hearts and ignorance which alienates them from God, can and will rub off on you. They a…

Saturday - September 24, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study SATURDAY
BIBLE READING:Luke 9:57-62

Many of us Americans seem to be professional procrastinators. We put off everything from going to the doctor, to changing the oil in our car. However, procrastination can involve a great deal of risk. Maybe you developed a disease that could have been diagnosed and cured earlier, but you put off a doctor’s appointment. Maybe, months ago, you heard a knocking noise under you car’s hood that could have been prevented if only you hadn’t procrastinated an oil change. Sometimes, the level of risk with some things is much greater than others. Consider you spiritual life in light of Isaiah’s comments when he says, “Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near” (Isaiah 55:6).

Even this very moment, we can seek God and request His salvation. Tomorrow, He may not be found. Salvation is not something we should procrastinate. 

Application: Think about something you put off till tomorrow. What could you have changed …

Friday - September 23, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study FRIDAY
BIBLE READING:  Proverbs 21:1

What do people think about when they hear your name? Do they remember you as the kid in high school who was always getting into trouble? How about the young adult who dropped out of college to pursue his dream, only to be a 40 year old who still lives with his parents? Do they think of a person who can’t go two minutes without belting out a barrage of obscenities? Do they think good thoughts or bad? It sounds crazy, but you can live a life that is consumed with good deeds, make one slip up and now you are known as the guy who did __________________ (you fill in the blank).

Just think for a moment about people like Tamar, Bathsheba, and even Peter (who’s denial always pops into our minds pretty quickly). Your name is important because people usually define who you are by your name. It is imperative to have a good name. Solomon said, “A good name is to be chosen rather than great richer” Proverb 22.1. 

Application: Pause for a …

Thursday - September 22, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study THURSDAY
BIBLE READING:  1 Samuel 17:32-58

Many people consider 1 Samuel 17 as the “underdog story.” A small shepherd boy named David used the power of God to defeat the nine-foot giant, Goliath. However, even before that, the Bible provides us with a story that is equally against the odds. In Judges 7, we find Gideon with his men standing above the valley of the Midianites camp. The odds were 300 of the good guys versus roughly 135,000 of the bad guys. In each of their hands was a torch, a pitcher, and a trumpet. As the Israelites prepared for battle, their instructions were simple: Look at Gideon, and do as he did. The men did just that! When Gideon blew his trumpet, smashed his pitcher and shouted, they followed suit. The result? The good guys won! But how? Of course, God was on their side, and 1 + God can defeat any army. 

However, there was also something else important to note. When Gideon provided them with the mark to begin the battle, the Scripture say…

Wednesday - September 21, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study WEDNESDAY
BIBLE READING:1 Thessalonians 1:1-10

I love to read the letters of the New Testament. That is exactly what they are, letters. As with any letter, they have some basic components that make make them letters. First, there is the salutation, where the person or party written to is addressed. Next you have the body of the letter, which addresses the concerns the person is writing about. Finally, you have the benediction, which come at the end of each letter to close it out. 

Some of the best parts of each letter lie in the salutations, where the author will brag on the party he is addressing. For instance, notice what Paul says about the church at Thessalonica: “You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all that believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your …

Tuesday - September 20, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study TUESDAY
BIBLE READING:Psalm 66

Have you ever been  in a situation where you are in desperate need to speak with someone, yet they are unwilling to speak with you? It could be something like needing to get in touch with someone on the phone, yet they will not answer. There have been times I needed to speak with my wife (although it wasn’t and emergency), yet call after call after call there would be no answer. It would worry me that something might be wrong. There had to be a legitimate reason (and usually it was) as to why she was not answering my calls. 

Sometimes we can feel that way with God. We can pray and pray and pray for Him to intervene or answer, yet we get nothing from Him. So we begin to worry as to why. Is it because there is no God to hear my prayer? No, that is obviously not the case, because we have seen Him work many times before. Is it that He does not care about my situation? No, that is isn't it either. There has to be some logical expla…

Monday - September 19, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study MONDAY
BIBLE READING:Mark 10:46-52

In Mark 10:46 we find one of those obscure Bible characters who has recently become one of my heroes. His name was Bartimaeus, and he was a blind beggar. What strikes me about this man is that he was not going to allow anything to stop him from getting to Jesus. Being a blind man placed him at the mercy of others for his needs, but Bartimaeus understood that, although he was physically disabled, he was still responsible for himself. When he hears that Jesus is near, he begins to cry out for Him. I would imagine that these cries kept getting louder and louder because the crowd rebuked him and wanted him to be quiet. However, Bartimaeus was not concerned what other people thought. He was concerned with allowing the Son of David to heal him. He was bold, to the point, and expecting to get what he was asking from Jesus. 

How often do we cower amidst the world when they tell us to be quiet in our crying out for Jesus? How much fait…

Saturday - September 17, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study SATURDAY
BIBLE READING:Philippians 4:8, 9

MAIN IDEA: “If there is any virtue, any praise, think on and do these things”

DISCUSSION:     
"Respect for ourselves guides our morals; respect for others guides our manners” 
                                               ― Laurence Sterne
There are good behaviors that are accepted by most people in this world. These behaviors, when observed, promote respect for the person who uses them. We should set an example by having behaviors such as courtesy, politeness, good manners, kindness, respect for parents, etc. 

We each have an internal moral barometer that we use to determine how we feel about ourselves. It is the threshold we use to determine respect for our self.  It is very hard to be a respectful person if you don’t respect yourself. Good morals are critical in our life. Virtues help makeup our personality and help us establish that threshold of acceptable morality.  
Having good morals, although very important, i…

Friday - September 16, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study FRIDAY
BIBLE READING:1 Corinthians 13; 1 Peter 3:8

MAIN IDEA: “A Loving Attitude”

DISCUSSION
Paul tells us in Philippians 4:8 to think on things that are lovely. Here, lovely means what is amiable – such as a tempered mind, so people can love your kindness; or such as agreeable to others. A Christian should not be sour, crabby, or irritable in their temperament. 

It is hard to approach someone and tell them about a loving Savior like Jesus and be effective, if your attitude is not a loving one. Whether you are talking to fellow Christians or non-Christians, the way you relate to them will do more good by being amiable. 1 Corinthians 16:14 says, “Let all that ye do be done in love.”

It probably isn’t hard for you to think of a difficult person in your own life. In our broken, sin-filled world they are everywhere. We run into these people at work, school, shopping, athletic events, and yes, even at church. Don’t approach a difficult person with any expectation tha…

Thursday - September 15, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study THURSDAY
BIBLE READING:1 Timothy 4:12- 5:3; Matthew 18:6

MAIN IDEA: “Don’t be a stumbling block”

DISCUSSION:
Paul tells us, in Philippians 4:8, to think on things that are pure. What does pure mean? One thing pure means is freedom from contaminated or improper thoughts. We are accountable to God for our thoughts (Matthew 5:28). In 1 Timothy 4:12- 5:3, Paul is telling the young man Timothy many things he must do to ensure that he is setting a Christian example that is pleasing to God. 

Thinking on pure things can get more difficult during the summer months because some relax their standard for dressing and justify it because of the heat. That really doesn’t justify less clothing. In excessively hot countries covering exposed skin is the method of dealing with exposure. We really need to think about our motives, both men and women, young and old. A lot of times there seem to be too little thought given to modesty and the effect our dress can have on others or to ou…

Wednesday - September 14, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study WEDNESDAY
BIBLE READING:2 Timothy 2:15; Deuteronomy 6:18; 1 Peter 3:13,14

MAIN IDEA: “Be prepared to do the right thing”

DISCUSSION:
“The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.” 
― Abraham Lincoln
Living in a world of much evil, we have a continuous challenge to do what is right or just. We are constantly faced with making choices that will either be right or wrong. For this reason it is so important to be prepared before you have to choose. We can do this by studying God's word, having family bible studies, through prayer, and having Christian friends. 

Do you know each day what your choices are going to be? Probably not, but you can be sure of the choice you will make. Preparing ourselves for these avenues, we can make the right choice. 

Can you trust your conscience to make the right choice? We each set a threshold in our lives of what is and is not acceptable. Make sure your thres…

Tuesday - September 13, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study TUESDAY
BIBLE READING:1 Peter 2:11-20  

MAIN IDEA: “Develop an Honorable Reputation”

DISCUSSION:  
As Christians, we must be extra careful concerning our actions in a society like we are living in today.  Peter tells us, “When you do good, you stop ignorant people from saying foolish things about you. This is what God wants” (1 Peter 2:15).

As we associate with people in our daily lives we should always remember that we are representing more than just ourselves. As a Christian you are an ambassador for God. The influence you rub off on someone will be critical in representing a Christian and how others feel about the church. The influence we make on our society is going to be critical in establishing an honorable reputation. 

As Christians we should show respect to people and the customs in which our society has determined honorable, when it does not violate our conscience or interfere with the law of God (Acts 4: 18-20; 1 Peter 2:11-20). 

APPLICATION
Ask yourself…

Monday - September 12, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study MONDAY
BIBLE READING:Daniel 3:13-30

MAIN IDEA:  “The Truth is the Right Answer”

DISCUSSION
In Philippians 4:8, Paul gives us a list of virtues that a Christian should focus on to help them live a life of good moral character, even in a society of immorality. These are the duties we owe each other in our society. This week we will study some of these virtues.

The truth is always the right thing even though the consequences at the time may seem unbearable. Would it have been easier for Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to say “no” in verse 14?  Their desire to please God by being true to Him influenced an entire nation. The influence we make on others by being truthful will make a positive difference on the people of our society and could possibly change an entire nation. Being true is not something we do selectively. Proverbs 14:25 tells us, “A true witness delivers souls, but a deceitful witness speaks lies." 

APPLICATION:
Is silence an acceptable answer to so…

Saturday - September 10, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study SATURDAY
BIBLE READING:Acts 17:1-9

The world needs more troublemakers. 

That is not what you would expect me to say, but that is exactly what we need. In Acts 17, when Paul and Silas were preaching in the synagogue in Thessalonica, a great number of the Greeks were believing as were some of the Jews. However, there were a good number of Jews upset with what had been taught. They were jealous and had formed a mob and dragged some of the people there with Paul and Silas to the officials saying that these men (Paul and Silas) have come here and have "turned the world upside down" (Acts 17:6). That phrase means that they were causing trouble, hence being troublemakers. 

The message of the cross is one that causes trouble. Jesus lets us know ahead of time that His message would cause trouble. “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughte…

Friday - September 9, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study FRIDAY
BIBLE READING:James 3:1-12

James tells us the tongue is an unruly evil no one of us can tame. When you think about it, there are more than 101 ways we can sin with our tongue. We can use foul language, gossip, slander someone, lie...shall I go on? However, there is one problem that comes from the tongue that rarely gets discussed: Bragging. It is also referred to as pride or arrogance. Make no mistake. This type of sin comes forth from our tongue. It seems that this has become more prevalent among the professional sports industry. Many professional athletes seem to have a verbal claim on being the best. Well, that can’t be true, because all of them cannot be the best at what they do. It seems that what they really need is a good dose of humility. 

Solomon said “Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips” (Proverbs 27:2). There is something to be said for self-confidence, but if the only praise we are able to get is …

Thursday - September 8, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study THURSDAY
BIBLE READING:Matthew 15:22-28

It is so easy to get caught up with ourselves and our schedules in today's world. We all have important things to do and important places to be. The last thing we want is to have a hiccup in our schedule, an inconvenience brought about by someone or something that, if we are honest with ourselves, is not as important as we are to this world. It might be a favor that someone might need, a ride, a few extra dollars, or simply just someone who wants someone to talk to. Don’t they understand that I am on a schedule? Don’t they know how important I am and how much work I have to do?  Do they have any clue how difficult they are making my day? Do they not realize that they are wasting my precious time?

STOP! Wait just a minute! Do you actually hear yourself? Do you even realize how selfish that sounds?

In Matthew 15:22, we see a Syro-Phoenician woman whose daughter had been cruelly possessed by a demon. In reading the text w…

Wednesday - September 7, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study WEDNESDAY
BIBLE READING:Joshua 3

Their eye witness accounts had become legendary. To someone who had not been there, it must have sounded a bit exaggerated or embellished. I am sure that everyone knew the story of the Israelites had crossing the Red Sea, but there were few that had actually witnessed it. Lo and behold, they find themselves in a very similar situation. A large body of water stands between them and their promised destination. Could it be that God was about to do it again? As the nation of Israel listened intently to their new leader announce that in three days we are going to cross that river, I am sure there had to be a few butterflies in their stomachs. How do you prepare for an event like that? What kind of things must be done to ensure you are ready for God to do something incredible like that?  Of course there was some packing up that was involved, but their new leader gave them another task to ensure they were ready. Then Joshua said to th…

Tuesday - September 6, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study TUESDAY
BIBLE READING:Joshua 2

Two men narrowly slip through the city gates of the great walled city of Jericho. Their task is to spy out the land of Jericho to see what will need to be done before they overtake the city. I have always thought it strange that Joshua was the one who sent out the spies. Of all people, he knew that the city was already theirs due to God’s promise.  After all, he had been down this road before some forty years ago. By the providence of God, the spies find themselves near the home of a woman named Rahab. The king of Jericho had been alerted to their presence in the city, so only by the divine providence of God the spies found themselves at the home of the one person in the city that would hide them. Rahab hid the men on her roof and threw the kings minions off of their trail for one reason: God. You see, word had spread of how the God of the Israelites had brought down the mighty Pharaoh in Egypt, parted the waters of the Red Sea, …

Monday - September 5, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study MONDAY
BIBLE READING:Psalm 118:24

Today is Labor Day.  Doesn’t it seem strange to you that the one day that is named for “work” is a day that everyone is off “work”?  It seems that it would be more fitting to call it just “Monday” and we all take off work every Monday, because …it is Monday! Nevertheless, Labor Day is always the first Monday in September.  It was a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It serves as a yearly “tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country” (US Department of Labor).   

Ever since the first Labor Day almost 130 years ago, there is still some question as to who should get the official credit for its observance.  Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday. Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of t…

Saturday - September 3, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study SATURDAY
BIBLE READING:John 14

As Jesus closes out His  ministry here on Earth, he seized an opportunity to bond with His disciples. He had just sent Judas out of the room after washing their feet and was now giving them  His final instructions before His arrest. He knew they were troubled. He could see it in their eyes. I don’t think they could help it. They had never been in a situation like this before, nor did they understand Jesus’ demeanor. After all, these men had left their homes, their families, their jobs for Jesus and it if He was leaving, that left their future unknown. To comfort them Jesus offers these words: “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms..”(John 14.1-2). 

There are other versions that use the term mansions instead of rooms. The word actually means “a staying place or residence: and it can be translated as “mansion”, but I prefer use of the word rooms. I don’t believe thes…

Friday - September 2, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study FRIDAY
BIBLE READING:1 Samuel 26

The television commercial for Dos Equis beer will have you believe their spokesman is the most interesting man in the world. However, I believe at least for a period of time, David was the most interesting man in the world. He was a man’s man! Not only had he killed Goliath, he had killed ten thousands had been anointed the new King over Israel. 

Probably the most interesting thing about David is that he was a man who respected the authority of God. In 1 Samuel 26, David has a second opportunity to take the life of the man that had been a thorn in his side, yet he refrains because he did not want to harm the Lord’s anointed. Even though Saul had sought to kill David on several occasions, David still respected the office and the authority of God as represented in His king. Sometimes real strength is shown in our ability to refrain from expressing it. Somewhere down the centuries we have lost respect for the authority of God. 

Appl…

Thursday - September 1, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study THURSDAY
BIBLE READING:1 John 4:7-21

How often do you use the word “love”? It is a word that is common within our vocabulary and covers such a broad spectrum of meaning. It can be used to convey our feelings for anything from pizza, to a brand of car, to our spouse. It is also a word where meaning is determined by the context. For instance, my teenage daughter can love the latest boy band and love me as her father, and I can understand her degrees of love (or at least I hope I can). 

However, we must not forget that the real definition is much more complex and sufficient in its true meaning. Love is God, or rather, God is love, which is how 1 John 4:8 describes it. The very essence of God is love. As we look at Scripture, we can see that virtually every time God expresses Himself to us it is out of love. His creation of man was an expression of love. His promise to Abraham was an expression of His love to His people. His delivery of Israel out of Egypt was an e…