Sunday School - April 26, 2009

Sunday School - April 26, 2009

What shall we be when we are no more? Shall destiny render our contributions unworthy of mention? Will our associates find remorse in our absence? Will many discover a lost in lack of our being? Shall the lost of our works create a void? Such are the thoughts that search the hearts of many, the evidential impact and influence we shall make during our temporal tenure. Although the quest to achieve a commendable legacy is a worthy goal, the means by which we achieve matters the most. If in life we knew not the Lord and Savior, our commendable legacy will have provided no profitable gain.

Psalms 49:17 For when he dieth he shall carry nothing away: his glory shall not descend after him.

Mark 8:36-37. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

When life in this temporal world determines our destiny, great care and diligence must be given to assure our salvation. An assurance that follows a path that is straight and narrow, on a road less traveled, except by the faithful few. This journey can only be maintained when lead by the Holy Spirit, which masters the desire of the flesh that seeks to lead us astray. The alternative is the broad way with no savior in route, the path of pleasure and plenty, a dangerous road much traveled to a destination of no hope.

Matthew 7:13-14. Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

When the choice between heaven and hell is so clear, we must heed and not delay, for time offers a guarantee only to that which is here and now. Now is the acceptable year of the Lord and today provides an opportunity for salvation. Why wait for tomorrow, when tomorrow offers no guarantee.

Isaiah 55:6 Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:

Luke 13:24-25. Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:

This week's lesson is from the book of Acts. For those who follow the International Sunday School Lesson Plan (aka: The Standard Sunday School Lesson), this Sunday's lesson (April 26, 2009) comes from Acts 9:32-43.

The Church has been given rest (Acts 9:31), such would not be a lasting state, but a temporary blessing from God, a time to rejoice and a time to build.

Peter is now an itinerant minister carrying out the mission given to him by His Lord. During Peter’s visit to the saints at Lydda, he found a man named Aeneas who was bed-ridden eight years with palsy. Although it is not clear if Aeneas was a follower of Christ, he was destine to be the recipient of a miracle performed by God. Peter said unto him, Aeneas, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole: arise, and make thy bed. And he arose immediately (Acts 9:34). Such was an unmerited act of grace, sought not by the recipient but given to bring Glory to Him who gave it. Peter made clear the means by which this healing was delivered and to whom one must give their faith. In response to the healing of Aeneas, all that dwelt at Lydda and Saron saw him, and turned to the Lord (Acts 9:35). To turn to the Lord, one must find hope not in the spiritual gifts but in He who is the giver of such gifts. To seek only gifts and not He who provides gifts is to desire that which pleases only the flesh.

In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha, a woman full of good works, a woman who gave much to the aid of those in need. Tabitha had recently died and was washed and put in an upper room; she was a person who was loved by many, a person whom many lives would be impacted by her death. With word of Peter in the nearby town of Lydda, fellow disciples sent for him to come to Joppa. When so great a personal lost consumes our ability to accept or comprehend, it is always wise to seek God and those you know to be close to Him. It is not clear for what reason the disciples in Joppa wanted Peter to see Tabitha. Their reasons could have been to comfort them during their lost, to speak at Tabitha’s funeral or even to raise her from death; for whatever their reason they had a pressing need to desire his presence. Such a call is made by saints and sinners, a call to the almighty God during difficult and trouble times; unfortunately for many, the calls are often short, brief and soon disconnected.

Peter responded with hast and went to Joppa. He was brought to the upper chamber where widows stood by him weeping and showing the coats and garments with Dorcas (Tabitha) had made, while she was with them. For no greater need was that of a widow, who lacked the means to provide for themselves; thus is no greater work to assist, a widow that has a need (1 Timothy 5:3).

Psalms 146:9 The Lord preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down.

Peter dismissed those in the presence of him and Tabitha. Peter proceeded to kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up (Acts 9:40), after Peter presented her alive to the saints and widows, it was known to all of Joppa and many believed in the Lord. A gift of life (a grace gift) given to a faithful follower, with works of giving. In Tabitha’s passing she left a commendable legacy by means of a Godly life, which will prove to be profitable in all of eternity.

Peter stayed in Joppa a few days and lodged with Simon a tanner. One that makes his profession as a tanner is one to be considered an outcast. However, the grace that is freely given by our Lord, accepts all sinners and tanners with open arms. For there is no respect of persons with God (Romans 2:11), Thank you Jesus!

If you are not a typical Sunday School attendee, Go and surprise the teacher. If your Church does not follow the Standard Sunday School Lesson and you are not aware of the topic of discussion, take on the attitude of "positive anticipation". I am sure you will like it; there is nothing like reading and discussing God's Word.

FYI: Sunday School is not just for Kids, it is also for the Humble (those who need the gift of Grace) at heart.

Good Day and God Bless