Monday, January 26, 2015

On 2-1-15, Daniel 1:5, 8-17; Matthew 6:16-18 will be our Adult Sunday School/Uniform Series/International Sunday School Lesson herein is my commentary. This lesson is known by some as Feasting and Fasting


Feasting and Fasting

Daniel 1:5, 8-17; Matthew 6:16-18

International Sunday School Lesson

February 1, 2015

                                                                                 

 

 

Commentary

By

Jed Greenough

 

I am sure no poker player or any cards for that matter but I am familiar with the expression “dealing with the hand you’ve been dealt” and sometimes I feel that way with the scriptures that are chosen.  This week I felt just like that and I struggled almost to the very end with tying these scriptures together.

But then that expression came into my mind and I realized that is exactly what Daniel did, he dealt with what was given to him.  What’s more, Daniel did it in a way that pleased God and not man.

Daniel could have chosen to please the king or the king’s representative but he followed what had been prescribed for his people in Leviticus 11.  He had to know what happens when you don’t please the king or he soon would (Daniel 2).

What Daniel did though was acknowledge God.  In a way he worshiped Him in the way that God wants to be worshiped and that is in Spirit and truth.  Some could go through the motions just as many do today and just merely been following the diet.  That is how I read Daniel 1 in that some of the Jews who would have followed God’s rules chose to take the royal food but Daniel and his friends lived what they professed.

Now this is where these two sets of scripture come together for me, the living out of your faith or worshiping in Spirit and truth.  Not doing as hypocrites do as mentioned in today’s verse 19.  Similarly Matthew 6 shows it again in 6:1-4 when Christ talks of our giving.

Sometimes it is hard to come up with how to tie scriptures together but in the end its better as we end up spending more time in God’s word.  In the end we always see that this is God’s word and that as always He is consistent.

 

For Discussion:

  1. Find other examples where we see the private nature of worshiping God such as giving, fasting and one I was going to include above, praying which is also discussed in Matthew 6.
  2. Compare the examples given in Matthew 6 and those of praying in private such as found in MT 14, MK 6, LK 9 and JN 6 to how other religions practice their faith.
  3. If God wants us to be like this concerning praying, fasting and giving and He is consistent in what other ways might want us to live this out?  Discuss
  4. How might we in the not too distant future have to take risks as Daniel did?
  5. Discuss the ways that the king’s food would have been unclean to a Jew.
  6. Discuss Daniel’s bargaining with the guard.
  7. Discuss peoples motives for following God’s word or in giving, praying and fasting.

 

Upcoming Lessons

2-8-15     Serving Neighbors, Serving God     Luke 10:25-34 or 10:25-37

2-15-15    Serving the Least     Matthew 25:31-46

2-22-15    Clothed and Ready     Ephesians 6:10-20

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved

 

 

 

 

Monday, January 19, 2015

On 1-25-15, James 5:13-18 or James 5 will be our Adult Sunday School/Uniform Series/International Sunday School Lesson herein is my commentary. This lesson is known by some as Powerful Prayer or We Prayer for One Another

Powerful Prayer or We Pray for One Another
James 5:13-18 or James 5
International Sunday School Lesson
January 25, 2015
                                                                                 


Commentary
By
Jed Greenough



As a teacher or a student who actively participates you are always in search of that tidbit you hadn’t thought about or that new way to share a familiar scripture.  Some might be looking at 6 verses this week and others the whole chapter.  Coming up with those ideas is obviously harder for the former than the latter.

I’d bet that when we pray before we seek we will come up with those tidbits or new ideas. Further I’d wager you’ve found no matter the number of verses the ways we share when we come together are still diverse.

For me this week in James 5 what I would bring to class is how we need to do more for each other through out the life of our Christian walk.

Most of us, while we might not be rich in the ways that many might label the rich, realize that they do have a roof, a car, many pairs of shoes and clothes and excess pounds.  There is a pantry, many pots and pans and often food that gets wasted.  There are 401k’s, savings accounts, jars with change and forgotten dollar bills in jackets.  What that means is that we are in fact rich.

Most of us will not have workers and harvesters per say in the literal sense as mentioned in verse 4 but we all have them figuratively in each other.  By all I include the churches not just its members when we cast the net of saying there is neglect.  Jesus said, “give to everyone who asks you…” Luke 6:30a  How are we doing as churches when we limit our giving to 2 church camps, 1 college and 3 missionaries?  What about the struggling churches, missionaries and ministries some that we even take advantage of in some capacity?  Instead we add an addition, buy publications, new iPads, and carpet and so on, again INSTEAD.   Oh, but be sure everyone puts as much as they can into the plate on Sunday.

The neglect is not just in the sharing of our wealth monetarily there are other ways that we can be motivated by today’s James 5 to not neglect.  In many of our places of worship neglect extends to our prayer and prayer has been our background theme for weeks now so I hope this aspect of today’s scripture will leap out.

Do you have the structure where you worship for the individual to freely pray when they are in trouble or happy as mentioned in verse 13?  How about feeling like they can burst into a song of praise or ask that the elders pray for them in their sickness?  Will you elders come together in your role for this individual or is it passing consideration at best?

There is much in this chapter, and tidbits to share, no longer appears to be an appropriate word.  It doesn’t fit when we have so much to do for each other that we currently neglect.

For Discussion

1.      Discuss ways that you are wealthy.
2.      Discuss ways that you could give more.
3.      Discuss church choices in how they use what they have.
4.      Discuss how members of congregations, not just classes could more freely pray.
5.      Discuss ways that people could begin to come to their elders.
6.      Discuss ways that elders could take this role more seriously.
7.      Discuss how we will have to answer for the use of our wealth, our worship practices and our responsibility to each other from congregant to elder.
8.      Discuss how your class could take a leadership role with regard to your church in seeing these ideas implemented.


Upcoming Lessons

2-1-15     Feasting and Fasting     Daniel 1:5, 8-17; Matthew 6:16-18






Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved