Thursday, November 29, 2012

Road Signs

Phew! I made it! 

Last night I had the privilege of giving a lesson to three groups of children at our church.  You only have 10-20 minutes to give you lesson to each group, children's ages in groups range from 1-2 grade, 3-4 grade, 5-6grade.

I haven't been able to do this in years, and went all out on my self-management skills to get there and do it! 

With my poor memory- I'd put in days of preparation, and put my trust in God to help me remember and speak out the lesson with clarity.  (yep- lookin for  a miracle!)

In my preparation- I was learning the lesson as well; which is a huge benefit as a teacher, you get to learn a lot!

I am hoping the children learned something last evening...I know I learned something.  And, I hope you do too.   While going through this lesson, I kept thinking what a needed lesson/reminder this was for me on my faith journey, especially with Lyme affecting my life to the degree it has, and does. 

For the sake of energy- I am basically going to copy/paste the lesson into this post...please understand a) it was for elementary aged children   b) these are the raw notes, but delivery varied for each aged/gender group... 

Before Thanksgiving break-  Mrs. G shared a bit about someone who lived thousands of years ago, and about whom the Bible tells us~
Abraham!   Remember- Mrs. G was telling you about Abraham’s long journey  to a place he’d never been before!

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been on a LONG journey- (somewher you'd not been before..)

You had to TRUST the person driving to know the way!
 Along most roads- there are road signs to help us keep safe and give us directions so we know we are headed the RIGHT way!

Now- have you ever been riding with someone who realized they were going a wrong way and they had to TURN BACK to look for the RIGHT road signs to go the RIGHT way?

 There were times in Abraham's journey where he started to get off God's road for him and began to go his own way..... he had to turn himself around and get back on the RIGHT way.   And each time, He has learned more about God telling him the TRUTH and that God is TRUSTWORTHY. 

 The longer Abraham followed along God’s path- the stronger his FAITH became because he found that what God would tell him was TRUE and TRUSTWORTHY.

Whenever Abraham was TRUSTING God by FAITH, and then doing what God wanted him to do, or not do- (being OBEDIENT)  God was pleased with Abraham-

 Their relationship with each other was ‘RIGHT’-   In fact, God called Abraham righteous (full of rightness) because Abraham TRUSTED, and then OBEYED God. 

It is always so good to know someone we can TRUST- it is easy then to do things they want us to do, in fact we even want to do things to make them happy, and for us to have a good (right) relationship with them.

 We join Abraham when he is very old (like 100!)- and Sarah is 90 years old!   And still they have not had their own baby together- even though God told them long ago they would not only have a baby, but that their descendents ( baby’s babies, babies..) would be like the numbers of stars in the sky!  (Genesis 15:5-6God took Abraham “outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” 6 Then he believed in the Lord; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.”)
Both Abraham and Sarah were very excited, after waiting SO MANY years- to find out that Sarah was expecting a child.   BTW- That child’s name was Isaac!  Abraham has more adventures and experiences with Isaac- but that’s for another Council time…

 Tonight- I want you to learn some important things that Abraham realized and did that were like Road Signs along his journer- that helped Abraham be RIGHT with God, and helped him to stay on God’s chosen pathway in his life-journey.
You’ve already heard some of them- now let’s look at them- then you can practice them with a partner! 

 First road sign is TRUTH  (it is very important to know that what God has told us is always TRUE, He cannot lie!  God is truth!)

The second sign is TRUSTWORTHY-  because God never lies- we can always TRUST Him…which is being TRUSTWORTHY!

Knowing God is TRUSTWORTHY we can believe in Him to do what He says, gives us a CONFIDENT TRUST in God even if we don’t see it right away- which is FAITH.

Because of our FAITH  is in God being TRUSTWORTHY- we want to show God our FAITH and love by OBEYING Him- because we TRUST Him.

And this makes God happy with us, and us with Him—our relationship is good and RIGHT.  And, we will be on the RIGHT path in life too!  

 And, if we ever get off track- we can just do what Abraham did- he turned himself around (repentance)- and got back on track by following the road signs-

We need to remember:  (DO WITH HAND MOTIONS!)

God is TRUTH (rigth hand up as if taking an oath)

And so He is TRUSTWORTHY    (handshake with your buddy)

Which gives us a CONFIDENT TRUST in Him (two thumbs-up with a smile)

Which is FAITH that God will do as He says- even if we can’t see it right away. (hands pressed together as in 'praying hands')   Note-  as important as FAITH is- the even bigger issue is in whom, or what, are you placing your faith-- many people have a very deep and sincere faith, but their faith is not unto salvation-- for faith that is a saving faith- it is the object of our faith which matters most....and that is that we place our faith in the Only One worthy of it- the LORD God, through His Son Jesus Christ. 

 So- we want to OBEY Him (salute)-  we don't have to obey- but we want to obey this God  who loves us so much, and wants good for us, and in whom we can TRUST, because He is TRUTH, and TRUSTWORTHY!
Our CONFIDENT TRUST/FAITH in God- makes us RIGHT with God. (hand-bump, high five...)
 and so He is TRUSTWORTHY …
which gives me a CONFIDENT TRUST in Him….
which builds up my FAITH …
so I want to OBEY! …
This make me RIGHT with God!
Hebrews 11:11-12 says"
New Living Translation (NLT)
11 It was by faith that even Sarah was able to have a child, though she was barren and was too old. She believed[a] that God would keep his promise. 12 And so a whole nation came from this one man who was as good as dead—a nation with so many people that, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore, there is no way to count them."  (BTW- We read in the first chapter of Matthew that about 42 generations later, off a descendant of Abraham's, named Joseph....he marries a young woman named Mary...we'll hear a lot about this couple in December..)Romans 4: 4-8 says "
4 When people work, their wages are not a gift, but something they have earned. 5 But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners. 6 David also spoke of this when he described the happiness of those who are declared righteous without working for it:
7 “Oh, what joy for those
    whose disobedience is forgiven,
    whose sins are put out of sight.
8 Yes, what joy for those
    whose record the Lord has cleared of sin.”
and verses 20-25 say " 20 Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. 21 He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. 22 And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous. 23 And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was recorded 24 for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.
Those of us with Lyme all find ourselves on a LONG journey....we've not been down this road before..we are trusting the LORD to not only direct us, but to lead us in learning what He has to show us along the way...
Lyme is regularly pulling me toward the ditch, off the right pathway... I must regularly remind myself...He is Truth, Trustworthy- my Confident Trust/Faith is in Him...willing me to Obey, and giving joy and comfort to my soul that by Faith in His Son Jesus Christ, I am Right with Him...  I especially need to review these principles on those very foggy days!  And, it is good to have others who walk alongside me, and are willing to gently remind me- encourage me, to keep on His pathway in this journey-
May you be encouraged in your Faith Journey in Him today-  As a Believer, you are not walking this journey alone- He will never leave you, stay close to Him.  And as you walk through this with Him- may your own faith/confidence in the LORD increase with great measure~
a fellow sojourner

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