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  • James 1:17

10: Living in the USA

  • Deuteronomy 8:7-10
  • We also have great blessings here in this land of plenty.

9: The beauty and wisdom of nature

  • Jeremiah 10:10-13
  • God could have made a barren wasteland, but He gave us so much beauty!
  • “The mountains are calling and I must go.” – John Muir

8: The Benchley church

  • Philemon 1:4-7

7: Easy access to the Bible

  • Deuteronomy 17:18-20

6: Prayer

  • Psalms 5:1-2
  • What a blessing that we can speak to God!

5: Our ability to change

  • Colossians 3:5-10
  • We are commanded to repent – to change! Clearly, we can change.
  • We have the ability to learn and do better if we want to!

4: Forgiveness and fellowship

  • Acts 8:22-24
  • I John 2:1-2; 4:10

3: A clean conscience

  • II Corinthians 1:12 – Paul had this comfort.

2: Hope beyond death

  • I Corinthians 15:12-19, 52

1: God’s love for us

  • I John 4:16-19

For further study, see also:

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Acts 5, continued

  • Acts 5:25-26 – Ultimately, the people feared God and the rulers feared the people.
  • Acts 5:27 – The apostles were teaching in the name of Jesus, led by the Holy Spirit.
  • Acts 5:28 – The rulers didn’t want blame to fall on them.
  • Acts 5:29 – Note that Peter was grouped with the apostles and had no special authority over the other apostles. Between the apostles and the rulers, who was right and wrong? God showed the apostles were right via signs and wonders (Acts 14:3; Hebrews 2:4). We should fear God more than we fear men. See Proverbs 1:7; 2:2-6; Isaiah 33:6; Proverbs 29:25; Acts 9:31. We obey who we fear. Thus, fearing God means obeying Him. Compare Acts 5:14. After Ananias and Sapphira were struck dead, more people believed than ever.
  • Acts 5:32 – The apostles continue to emphasize that they were witnesses of these things. The same Greek word is translated both “witness” and “martyr.” See I Corinthians 5:12.

For further study, see also:

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  • Acts 17:16-23

Discussion opportunities

  • Current events may give us opportunities to start religious discussions.
  • John 4:10
  • John 6:32

“Yes, Christ’s birth WAS amazing!”

  • Luke 1:32-35; 2:10-20
  • This had been God’s plan for a long time.
  • Matthew 1:22-25

“Peace is a wonderful blessing!”

  • Luke 2:13-14
  • Matthew 10:34-36
  • Romans 5:1

“It’s weird that a tradition started about His birth when it’s His death that’s really emphasized in the Bible.”

  • I Corinthians 11:23-26 – Jesus left instructions for how we are to remember His death.
  • We don’t know precisely when Jesus was born. It was probably not in winter.
  • Over time, various facts from the scriptures have been mixed and confused in the modern traditions. For example, the wise men came to a house not a manger. Also, we have no indication that they were kings.

“Have you ever thought about when Jesus grew up?”

  • Mark 1:21-22
  • Luke 17:10
  • Matthew 19:9
  • Many of Jesus’ teachings angered people. Baby Jesus doesn’t challenge us, but grown-up Jesus does!

“Why doesn’t your church do a special Christmas service?”

  • “Well, we honor the birth of Jesus just as much as any other part of the gospels. But in Mark 7, Jesus warned about authorized practices transforming into unauthorized human traditions, and so we try to respect that warning. We want to worship only in the ways authorized in the New Testament without adding to or taking away from it.”
  • Mark 7:1-8
  • Deuteronomy 12:32
  • Mark 9:2-10 – The transfiguration.
    • What if we decided to celebrate a day for Jesus’ transfiguration?
    • II Peter 1:16-18
    • We have no authorization for celebrating such a day in a religious manner!

For further study, see also:

Questions or comments? Join our Discord server for further study.

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[Due to technical difficulties, the first few minutes of this lesson were not recorded. Sorry about that! -MRW]

Genesis 8

  • Genesis 8:1 – The word “wind” here is sometimes translated “spirit.” Whatever this wind was, it was God who dried the earth.
  • Genesis 8:20 – The first thing Noah did after leaving the ark was to build an altar and worship God. He sacrificed some of the animals from the ark!
  • Genesis 8:21 – The phrase “the intentions of man’s heart is evil from his youth” should not be taken as an endorsement of the doctrines of original sin and total depravity. Other passages directly contradict this idea. Compare I Peter 3:18-21. Just because man can sin doesn’t mean that man can’t make good decisions to serve God.

Genesis 9

  • Genesis 9:1-17 – God makes a covenant with Noah. Man is special in God’s eyes, especially when He obeys God. The rainbow was to be a sign of the covenant. Man now has permission to eat meat and is given dominion over the animals. God institutes capital punishment for murder.
  • Genesis 9:20-28 – Noah sinned. Ham had the wrong attitude about it, which brought a curse on him. This shows why Canaan was given to God’s chosen people.

For further study, see also:

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  • I Corinthians 15:58
  • You will never waste your time serving God.

You won’t regret doing your part for God (even though you didn’t do so perfectly).

  • Moses
    • Deuteronomy 29
    • Deuteronomy 31:1-8; 34:1-6
  • Paul
    • Acts 20:18-31 – Paul’s work was hard, with tears and trials.
    • II Timothy 4:6
    • You won’t wish you had done less for God on your death bed.

You won’t regret living honorably.

  • I Samuel 12:12, 1
  • Acts 20:33; I Corinthians 11:1 – Paul was able to say, “Imitate me.”
  • On your death bed, could you tell your kids to live like you?

You won’t regret trusting in God.

  • Joshua 23:1-14
  • Numbers 14:6-10
  • Joshua 14:14
  • Caleb and Joshua were vindicated in their trust for God.
  • Hebrews 9:1, 6, 15.

For further study, see also:

Questions or comments? Join our Discord server for further study.

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© 2023, Mark Watson

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