Sunday School Material 1-12-14: Living as God's People

(Luke 6:12-13, 17-31; 1-12-14)

Introduction:A key idea in today's Sunday School material is Jesus designated His Apostles and taught those around Him about how to live godly lives. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to live godly lives.

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Read Luke 6:12-13

I. Praying and Choosing. In our Sunday School material Jesus went out to pray alone. After praying all night, He called for His disciples in the morning. He designated 12 of the disciples as Apostles.

Applications -

- Prayer life and service. Notice in vss. 12-13 that Jesus made time to pray, apparently this was really the case, when making big decision.

First, as disciples of Christ, we should work on having a healthy prayer life. We should not only pray when we have big decisions to make. Second, we should make sure we seek God's will, before we make big decisions. Choosing church leaders is a big decision.

Third, we should strive to do our best for the Lord, not just what is convenient. It seems as if some of us are staying at follower status, in spite of being able to be sent to do more (i.e., Apostle). Let's work on having godly prayer lives and giving our best in service. 

Read Luke 6:17-31

II. Healing and Teaching. In our Sunday School lesson Jesus went down the mountain with His disciples. There was a great crowd of people looking forward to hearing Jesus and being healed by Him.

Jesus talked about the blessing of suffering now for God because of future blessings. He then talks about it being a bad situation to be doing well now but suffering in the long term.

He talks about seeking good for your enemies. And our text closes with Jesus teaching the crowd to do to others as they want people to do to them.

Applications -

- Hearing and healing. Notice in vs. 18 of our Sunday School material that many people came to hear Jesus and to be healed by Him. First, there is still a huge need for people to hear Jesus.

Without salvation, all of humanity is doomed. Without being in fellowship with Jesus, our lives will be less than satisfying.

Second, people need healing. There are financial, health, and relational issues. But there are also issues related to our spirits and mindsets.

Third, as in the text, many need to be healed first, so they can hear better. People want to know that we love them, before they listen to what we know.

This is true at both an individual level and as a church family seeking to minister to the community. Let's hear and receive what God has for us as we tell others about the Lord and strive to minister to their needs as well.

- Faith based rejoicing. Notice in vss. 20-23 of our Sunday School material that God's people are called to rejoice, when they suffer for the Lord.

First, all suffering is not because of our relationship with God. Sometimes we are reaping some of the bad that we have sown earlier in life.

Second, the basis of our rejoicing is that we believe that God has blessings for us (e.g., the kingdom of God for the poor, etc.). Third, we are called to rejoice and leap for joy. We are called to behave in accord with our faith.

Fourth, since we are called to rejoice that means complaining and being vindictive are sin or contrary to God's will.

Fifth, religious people can be the source of so much pain. Some people have a reputation for being preacher fighters and Christian critics. Let's practice faith based rejoicing in spite of our negative situations.

- Focusing on God’s will. Notice in vss. 24-26 that there are woes for those who experience current and ungodly blessings like wealth and food.

First, the implication of the Sunday School material is that the rich, well fed, and laughing people in the text have obtained such things by ungodly means.

Having wealth, food, and laughter are not bad by themselves. It is how we obtain them that can make things bad.

Second, no matter how good things look for you today, if you are not in the will of God, bad days are ahead. The things of this world are temporary.

Let's make sure we are focused on God's will, instead of the temporary things of this world.

- Overcoming evil with love. Notice in vss. 27-30 that God's people are called to overcome evil with faith based love.

First, our actions are not based on our fearing our enemies or enjoying how they treat us. Our actions are based on our faith in God's working things out for His people.

Second, as challenging as it may be, we are called to be kind and loving towards those who are being mean and hateful towards us.

Let's work on developing the faith needed to overcome evil with love. Prayerful study and obedience with the support of other disciples will help us carryout this application.

- Doing unto others, as we want them to do to us. Notice in vs. 31 of our Sunday School material that we are called to treat others the way we want to be treated.

Think about how some people like to be loved with kind word, others with gifts, and yet others with touch.

If you are one who likes to be loved with touch and you are trying to love some one who likes kind words, you are called to love them with kind words.

Just like you want people to love you the way you want to be loved, you are to do the same for others.

This obviously calls for getting to know people, so you can know how to minister to them. Let's work on loving and doing towards others as we want people to love and do unto us.

Conclusion: Let's work on living godly lives. God has much for those who obey His will.

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