Sunday, August 30, 2015

On 9-6-15, Acts 4:23-31 will be our Adult Sunday School/ Uniform Series/ International Sunday School Lesson, herein is my commentary. This lesson is known by some as Praying for Boldness or Praying for One Another

Praying for Boldness 
or 
Praying for One Another

Acts 4:23-31
September 6, 2015



Commentary 
by
Jed Greenough




I hope that you pray outside the box!  Yes, I said pray not think outside the box.

First it is very important that you pray for your own work for the kingdom and then to pray for your own Christian associations and the people that make them up.  Many times that though is where we stop.

Sometimes it is hard to think outside our sphere and I believe that it will be harder yet for the generations coming up.  Even though their world is seemingly shrinking due to technology in many ways they are turning in to a “me world”.

Like anything, examples teach us how we should be and praying for all the kingdom will teach listeners to include this in their prayers.

In today’s scripture you see Peter and John having just been released from jail and under questioning by the Sanhedrin.  We hold Peter and John in such high esteem that we might not think they needed the peoples’ prayers.  We know they were being successful in their kingdom work because of we read in the not included verse 4 of this chapter, for the incident of healing about which we read and because the authorities released them.  But pray for them is what the people did glorifying God in the process.

The results we will continue to see as Acts progresses but it is important that as a result of the prayer all “spoke the word of God boldly.”  I am not saying that this is why we should pray for others work for God so that we can benefit.  But it is rather like tithing, though not required, try it and watch the floodgates of God open up.

Think about all that we can pray for: High schoolers trying to have a Bible study, college Christian programs, ministries in third world countries and ministries on reservations right here in America which are like third world countries.  Christians who are in danger in parts of the world, pastors giving sermons everywhere, the committee who comes together to choose our scripture for six years and teachers and Sunday school class members.

Of course the list as always is limited by our imagination only but look at what the early church accomplished and imagine what we can!


For Discussion:

  1. Discuss who needs your prayers.
  2. Discuss having your class pray weekly for those doing this work.
  3. Peter and John of course shared what had happened (verse 23).  Discuss the importance of hearing about work being done for the kingdom.
  4. Discuss the immediacy of the prayer as shown by verse 24.
  5. Discuss the different parts of this prayer from verse 24-30.
  6. Read and discuss the not included verses 8-12 and the included 31.



Upcoming Lessons


9-13-15     Sharing with Sincerity or Sharing All Things     Acts 4:34-5:10









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


Sunday, August 23, 2015

On 8-30-15, Malachi 3:1-10 will be our Adult Sunday School/ Uniform Series/ International Sunday School Lesson, herein is my commentary. This lesson is known by some as Return to a Just God or A Plea to Return to God

Return to a Just God 
or 
A Plea to Return to God
Malachi 3:1-10
August 30, 2015



Commentary 
by
Jed Greenough



God does not change.  I wonder how many of you pay enough attention to what I write to see how many times I have said that over the last several weeks.

Despite Israel’s stubbornness and failure to hold up their end God follows through.

In today’s first verse He says, “See I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me.”  Soon to be fulfilled by John the Baptist.  

This is followed by “Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come…”  Soon to be fulfilled by the Messiah.

Both things He eluded to in the past or clearly said He would do and now He will.  Easy for us to see now but like most prophecy at the time, not so much.

What else have we been seeing week after week now?  The consistency of God’s message in how He wants us to act ourselves and treat others.  

This week we read, “So I will come near to you for judgment.”  That makes it personal doesn’t it?  Don't just think of it in general terms such as a group like Israel but for us all as individuals.

He will “be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive aliens of justice, but do not fear me.”

Lest we think that is an all encompassing list and tick them off and say, “whew!” we should instead consider it as the nature of God and how He wants us to act and treat others.  By the same measure He will treat us.

He shows, again consistently, that when we don’t have a walk like this He doesn’t walk with us.  But there is hope, at least for now.

As we read in verse 7, “Return to me, and I will return to you.”

For Discussion:

  1. Look up what Malachi means.
  2. Read Isaiah 40:3-5
  3. Discuss verses foretelling Christ.
  4. Discuss a refiner’s fire.
  5. Discuss how we are to live.
  6. Discuss changes in our church that are changes to what God said.
  7. Discuss how one returns to God.




Upcoming Lessons


9-6-15     Praying for One Another or Praying for Boldness    Acts 4:23-31









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