Friday, March 16, 2018

An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday March 18, 2018

Over 154,000 readers worldwide

(Responding to GOD with thanksgiving and sacrifice)
(2 Chronicles 7:1-10)

   In 2 Chronicles 7, verses 1-10 GOD responds to Solomon’s prayer with a supernatural fiery exhibition that consumed all of the sacrifices (142,000 peace offerings) that the king himself had to offer, and, the unspecified amount that the people of Israel had offered up on the altar and in the pre-dedicated space (v.7) in the courtyard of the temple of the LORD (v.4). This distinctive act of GOD symbolized HIS acceptance of Solomon’s prayer for Israel.
    Then the glorious theophanic presence of the LORD HIMSELF filled the temple, preventing even the priests from entering into it (v.2). And when all of people saw the fire coming down from Heaven, and the glorious presence of the LORD filling the temple, they all fell face-down on the ground worshiping and praising the LORD, saying, “HE is good! HIS faithful love endures forever!” (v.3)
    After the sacrificial offerings were made, all of the priests and the Levites took their assigned positions. They took the musical instruments that King David had made specifically for worship, and played and sang to the LORD, these words, “HIS faithful love endures forever”.
    For the next fourteen days Israel celebrated the “Festival of Shelters”, or, “Feast of Tabernacles” (7 days) with the inauguration and dedication of the opening of the temple of the LORD (7 days). Solomon had timed it that way to take advantage of the massive crowds of people that would be in Jerusalem at that time. People came from as far north as Hamath, or, Lebo-hamath, Israel’s northernmost border towards the Euphrates River, and from as far south as the Wadi Valley of Egypt.
    The Feast of Tabernacles traditionally began on the fifth day after the “Day of Atonement”, and all Israelite adult males were required to attend. It opened up with a sacred assembly on the first day, and all regular work ceased on that day. And the same was done on the special day of closing (the eighth day).  On each of the seven days during the Festival, offerings by fire were presented to the LORD.
    The Feast of the Tabernacles became known as the Feast of Shelters, because all native-born Israelites had to live in tents for the duration of this seven-day period. Through this GOD-appointed festival the people of each generation would be reminded of the time when Israel had to live in tents after GOD rescued them from slavery, out of the land of Egypt.
    The portion of the sacrifices, that were set aside to be eaten by the people, provided them with nourishment throughout the duration of the festival. In that way, GOD was literally viewed as the “Host”, and the eating of this food placed the worshipers under HIS protection and dependence.
    On the eighth day after the Festival of Shelters began, the people held the traditional closing ceremony and then Solomon sent the people home. They were all filled with joy and happiness because the LORD had been very good to David and Solomon and, to them as a nation. In all, the festivities lasted for fifteen days. It had begun in the seventh month (2 Chronicles 5:3), and probably on the fifteenth day of the month (Leviticus 23:39).
     These GOD-appointed festivals and gatherings, such as the “Festival of Shelters” (Feast of the Tabernacles), “Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread”, “Festival of First fruits”, “Festival of Harvest” (Feast of Weeks), “Festival of Trumpets” (Rosh Hashanah), and the “Day of Atonement” (Yum Kippur), are not just for the Jews, but rather they are for all “GOD’s people” to share in worship, and, in praise. They are meant to help us to focus on “our commonalities under GOD”, rather than on “our self-created differences”. Our aspirations as professed Christians should be to “unite as one under GOD”, and not, as one under our own various “so-called” “Christian denominations, which are all, by the way, a product of our own minds, not GOD’s.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander

Friday, March 9, 2018

An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday March 11, 2018

Over 154,000 readers worldwide

(GOD is worthy of our praise)
(2 Chronicles 6:12-42)

   In the biblical Greek, the word used for “promise” is “epaggelia” (ep-ang-el-ee-ah), and it is “an announcement of divine assurance of good”. In 2 Chronicles 6, verses 12-42, King Solomon, the son of David, prays a petition of dedication at the opening day of the newly built “Temple of the LORD” at Jerusalem. It was the fulfillment of a promise from the LORD to King David that one of his sons would build HIM a Temple (2 Samuel 7:12-13) using the plans that GOD had given to David before he died.
    After Solomon had finished the seven-year construction project at Jerusalem, he blessed the people and then stood upon a newly constructed special platform, and with his hands spread out before the altar of the LORD, he began to pray a “prayer of thanksgiving” to GOD for keeping HIS promise to his father David.
    Solomon then asked the LORD to continue bestowing HIS favor upon the Davidic Dynasty, because all the people had continued, up until that point, to be faithful and obedient in their service to HIM. Solomon clearly understood that GOD’s promise to his father David was conditional, and would always hinge upon their continued obedience to GOD.
    Here in this passage, Solomon’s prayer to GOD that HE will keep HIS promise is evidence of his faith, not unbelief. GOD has already promised to meet all of our needs, yet, we are still taught by JESUS to pray that GOD “give us this day, our daily bread”. Our prayers should always express our continued dependence on GOD. Such prayers give honor to GOD, especially when we express them with joy and regularity.
    Solomon was persuaded of GOD’s interest in human affairs, and that is why he prayed that the LORD would also recognize the temple as a focal point of HIS communion with Israel. He prayed that GOD would always respond to the prayers of the faithful, not only while in the temple, but also, in those times whenever they might be away from Jerusalem, and prayed while facing in the direction of the temple. Solomon knew that GOD would keep HIS promise to care for HIS faithful, no matter where in the world they might find themselves (Vs.18-21).
    Most of the troubles that Solomon prays about in verses 22-39, are self-inflicted and befall us as a result of sinful choices in life. Thankfully, GOD’s grace is greater than our failures. Only GOD can justify and declare the guilty innocent, restoring us after we’ve been defeated by sinful choices. HE can forgive us and, through HIS Word, transform us so that we will begin to desire right-living (Vs.22-27).
    GOD, makes us aware of our deepest needs, through testing, so that we might fear HIM more than we fear man, and the various ways that the world can affect and influence us, through constant daily pressures. HE hears us, even when we have alienated ourselves from HIM, and HE graciously answers our prayers when we finally realize that we need HIM, and then humble ourselves and repent (Vs.28-33).
    The Almighty GOD, through JESUS CHRIST, is the only ONE WHO can uphold us in our struggles, and then, actually restore us back into an experiential, personal relationship with HIMSELF, all after we have willingly abandoned HIS plan for us, as HIS greatest creation. Yes, if we pray here on earth, GOD will answer those prayers from Heaven (Vs.34-39). GOD, is worthy of our praise, and HE always delivers on HIS promises, whenever we keep our end of the bargain.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander


Friday, March 2, 2018

An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday March 4, 2018

Over 153,000 readers worldwide

(Our obedience leads to GOD’s provisions)
(Genesis 22)

   Genesis 22 comprises the, now famous account, of Abraham’s “faith and obedience test” that is actually given by GOD to all those who profess to love, worship, and serve HIM, even to those here in this 21st century. However, in Abraham’s test, GOD instructs him to take his son, Isaac, to the land of Moriah (which means “bitterness of the LORD”) some 50 miles away (approximately 3 days journey) from his home in Beersheba.
    Mount Moriah is an elevated area in Jerusalem, then known as Salem, where Abraham once met with Melchizedek (Genesis 14:17-24). It is also the place where King Solomon would later build the first temple of GOD here on earth (2 Chronicles 3:1-2). By sending Abraham to Moriah, and with Abraham knowing the meaning and history of the name, GOD was setting the stage for Abraham’s greatest test of faith.
    Real tests from GOD often defies human logic, because, in order for a test of faith to be effective, it has to be composed of those elements that the flesh will vehemently be opposed to. The test has to present us with a genuine opportunity to choose between obeying the flesh (satan), or clinging to the SPIRIT (GOD). Through those tests, GOD is seeking to prove to us, for our own spiritual confidence, whether or not we are “true believers”, or just “professed Christians”.
    In order to serve GOD properly, we have to prove through our actions and behavior (not just through our mouth), that we love HIM more than our father, mother, sister, brother, children, or property here on earth (Mark 10:29-31), and be willing to give up any and all things (your whole life) for the kingdom, and for CHRIST’s sake, the way JESUS did for us.
    GOD never intended for Abraham to kill his son Isaac, but rather, HE was trying to prove to Abraham himself, if he would truly be willing to do it, if he had to. Our tests are never done for GOD’s sake, because GOD already knows the answer to all things. However, in order for us to serve HIM with complete confidence and faith, we ourselves have to know where we truly stand at all times, and how we will react in pressure situations when things aren’t going well, and we are beset with tribulations and persecutions from the world (satan).
    Several things in this passage confirm Abraham’s faith in GOD, and we’ll investigate some of those right now. First of all, GOD tells Abraham up front that he would be taking Isaac to Moriah to present him as a sacrifice to HIM (v.2). In those days, child sacrifices by pagan cultures, especially to the idol god Mollech, were very popular, and was almost certainly a ritual term that Abraham was familiar with. However, he also knew that it was something that his GOD detested and would never indorse among HIS people.
    Nevertheless, operating on total faith, Abraham got up early the next morning, saddled a donkey, and took Isaac, along with two of his servants and some wood for the sacrificial burnt offering, and set out on the 50-mile journey that had been designated by “the GOD of his faith”. We can assume that GOD requested this be done some 50 miles away so that Abraham would have at least three days to think about it, and have amble time to change his mind, and not go through with it, if he chose to. This was indeed, another part of the test.
    On the third day of the journey, Abraham could see from a distance, the place where GOD had instructed him to go, and so he directed his servants to stay where they were, and he traveled the remaining short distance alone with Isaac, and the supply of wood. He told them that they would go and worship, and would be back shortly.
    This was an astounding statement by Abraham that seemed to confirm his faith that GOD would keep HIS promise to him and would not actually kill the heir to that promise, which was Isaac, or, at worse, GOD would kill him, and then raise him from the dead. However, either way, his “faith reasoning” was that, he would not lose his son in this ordeal.
    Throughout Old Testament Scripture, and, in levitical law, the lamb is not only the animal most preferred for sacrificial offerings, but, over time, it has become the literal symbol of sacrifice. JESUS, WHO is the innocent lamb of GOD, voluntarily offered HIMSELF up as a sacrifice for all mankind. HE, quite literally, took our place “as payment” for our sins against GOD, past, present, and future.
    Here in Genesis 22, verses 6-8, Abraham places the wood for the burnt offering on “Isaac’s shoulder” and he took a lighted torch and a knife in his own hands, and the two of them begin to “walk to their final destination” (this is reminiscent of JESUS’ death walk from the courthouse to Golgotha, bearing HIS OWN cross). It was then that Isaac said to his father, “We have the wood and the fire, but where is the lamb for the sacrifice? Here Abraham responds with another statement of faith, “GOD will provide a lamb my son”.
    When they arrived at the place where GOD had told Abraham to go, he built an altar to the LORD and placed the supply of wood on it. He then tied Isaac up, and laid him on top of the wood and took his knife and raised it up over his head to kill him as a sacrifice to the LORD. At that moment “The ANGEL of the LORD”, which is a theophany of CHRIST in the Old Testament, shouted out to Abraham from Heaven, “Abraham, Abraham!”
    Abraham immediately stopped his downward motion with the knife and said, “I’m listening” (Vs.9-11). The ANGEL then told Abraham to “Lay down the knife. Do not hurt the boy in any way, for “now I know” that you truly fear GOD. You have not withheld even your beloved son from ME”.
    In the Old Testament, prophets were reformers of sort, who, not only delivered GOD’s Word, but also, at one and the same time, challenged the people to actually serve the LORD and obey HIS Word. They were called “men of GOD” or “seers”, and were distinguished by their holy lifestyle before men, under GOD. They were able to faithfully see beyond that which is natural in the eyes of man.
    JESUS wholly fitted the role of the Old Testament prophet. In fact, in the Old Testament, the future CHRIST served in the role of a prophet as “The ANGEL of the LORD” and even “The COMMANDER of the LORD’s Army” in Joshua 5:13-15. As a prophet, HE delivered many messages from GOD the FATHER to men such as Abraham here in Genesis 22:11-17, to Moses in Exodus 3:2-3 (the burning bush), to Joshua, to Baalam in Numbers 22:21-35, and, to the Israelites in general at Bokim  in Judges 2:1-5.
    The Scriptures teaches us that “the pre-incarnate JESUS” and “the incarnate JESUS” was not “all-knowing” (omniscient) as GOD the FATHER is. We see that here in this passage in the ANGEL’s response to Abraham, were HE says “now I know” that you truly fear GOD”, meaning that HE didn’t know how Abraham would respond to his test from GOD the FATHER beforehand. Also, JESUS tells us HIMSELF in Matthew 24:36 that HE was not all-knowing at that stage in HIS humanity, but was not granted omni-power, in Heaven and on earth, until just before HIS ascension back into Heaven, as “the Resurrected JESUS”, and SAVIOR of the world (Matthew 28:18).
    In verses 13-14 we see Abraham looking up and seeing a ram (symbolic of CHRIST) caught in a bush, a “sacrificial substitute” to replace his son, Isaac (mankind), on the altar of GOD. Here the concept of how GOD would later bring salvation to man, through HIS only begotten SON, CHRIST JESUS, is being introduced into the world. And Abraham named the place “The LORD will provide”. This name gave rise to a future popular Jewish proverb that would state “On the mountain of the LORD, it will be provided”.
    Then “The ANGEL of the LORD” spoke again to Abraham saying, “This is what the LORD says: “Because you have obeyed ME and have not withheld even your beloved son, I swear by MY OWN SELF that I will bless you richly, I will multiply your descendants into countless millions, like the stars of the sky and the sands on the seashore, they will conquer their enemies, and through your descendants, all the nations of the earth will be blessed---all because you have obeyed ME”.
    Abraham then traveled back to Beersheba and lived there for a long time. As this chapter ends, we see GOD already making preparations in the life of young Isaac, and we are introduced to his future wife, Rebekah, who had already been born to the youngest son of Abraham’s brother, Nahor, who was now living in the east. Rebekah’s father’s name was Bethuel. Stay tuned.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander   

Friday, February 23, 2018

An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday February 25, 2018

Over 152,000 readers worldwide

(True life is in GOD, not in the world)
(1 Timothy 6)

   In the New Testament Greek, the word used for “godliness” is “eusebeia” (you-seb-i-ah), and it can only be found in the “pastoral letters” of the Apostle Paul, and, in 2 Peter. It is a term that describes “a reverent faith that expresses an awe of GOD”, that is coupled with “a desire to be obedient to GOD at all times”.
    Here in First Timothy 6, after reminding Christian servants that they should always show respect for their superiors in the workplace (whether their superiors are believers or non-believers), and always work hard and put forth their best effort on the job (Vs.1-3), Paul moves on to give young pastor Timothy a final warning concerning the ever-present threat and reality of false doctrine, that had indeed, already infiltrated the newly founded Christian network of believers.
    The Greeks of the first century, just as we are here in the twenty-first century, were fascinated by fancy speech from entertaining preachers and speakers. They loved to hear expertly trained motivational speakers, who, could deliver on a good topic, or word that could make them feel good about the sinful life that they were living, and not put pressure on them to change. And it was against this backdrop of selfishness that false teachers came preaching their own religious ideology to the Church in Ephesus, where Timothy was now residing as pastor.
    The Christian Church, both wittingly and unwittingly, gave these savvy speakers a new forum in which they could work their magic charm, while, at one and the same time, making themselves rich and famous. They cared nothing about, and knew nothing or very little, about the sound doctrine of CHRIST JESUS that Paul had birthed the Church with. They were simply there to promote and glorify themselves, while under the guise of being “Holy men GOD”.
    Paul warned Timothy that, anybody who taught anything different than what he had already been taught by him, was both, conceited, and, ignorant. Such people possess an unhealthy desire to argue over words that would lead to jealousy, slander, and evil suspicions. Their minds were corrupt, and they were only looking for power and prestige in the Christian Church. To them, religion is just another way to get rich, and, to increase their selfish evil influence.
    Paul tells us in verse 6 that true religion with contentment is great wealth. We didn’t bring anything into this world, and it is a certainty that we can’t take anything of a material nature out of this world when we die. We have to allow ourselves to be content with having enough for our daily needs. This must be the attitude of the true Christian, as having any other mindset puts us at a greater risk of being tempted by satan into abandoning GOD’s plan. And if we move away from GOD’s plan, we can be sure that we will be pierced with many sorrows as a result (Vs.6-10).
    The Christian who is willing to leave material things behind, in their pursuit of an experiential relationship with GOD, stands to gain far greater treasures than the earthly perishables that he or she has long become accustomed to valuing and desiring. When we choose to go the way of CHRIST JESUS, we obtain insurmountable spiritual gains, such as the following;

·         We gain a personality that begins to exhibit GOD’s transforming works in our lives to others.
·         We begin to share the mind of CHRIST in our thinking, as we are, more and more, attuned to the things of GOD.
·         We gain a heart that beats more and more in sync with GOD’s OWN heart.
·         We gain a will that shapes all of our choices, so that we may glorify GOD more, and glorify ourselves less.
·         We store up spiritual gains that are waiting for us, when we are forced to part from this world of material lures, and the evil influences from the people of this world.

    In verses 11-16, Paul urges young Timothy to shun, or, turn his back to the evil influences of the world because he belongs to GOD. People who truly belong to GOD are interested only in pursuing GODly lifestyles that include love, faith, perseverance, and gentleness. We have to “fight the good fight“, for what we believe in, and begin to defend the Gospel of CHRIST with our whole life. Then, at the right time, CHRIST will be revealed to us by GOD the FATHER, as being the KING of all kings, and, the LORD of all lords.       
    In verses 17-21, Paul closes this pastoral letter with a warning to the rich people of this world. Here he instructs Timothy to tell all who are rich, not to be proud, and not to trust in their wealth, which might soon enough be gone. The rich should instead, put their trust in the LIVING GOD, WHO, is richly willing to give to, even the poorest of men, everything that he daily needs.
    The apostle goes on to say that, the rich should use their money to do good works, and to always show a willingness to give generously to those in need. That way, they will not only be “storing up treasures in Heaven”, but they will also be establishing a solid foundation for themselves and their children’s children, here on earth.  
    And finally, Paul urges Timothy to guard what GOD has entrusted to him, and to avoid GOD-less, foolish discussions with people who oppose the LORD with their so-called knowledge. For some people have actually wandered away from the faith, and instead, chose to follow their own foolishness, all the way to the grave.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander

Friday, February 16, 2018

An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday February 18, 2018

Over 151,000 readers worldwide

(GOD takes care of HIS faithful disciples)
(Acts 9:32-43)

   Acts chapter 9 closes with Luke’s account of when the Apostle Peter traveled to the town of Lydda, one of his many stops on his itinerant missions around Judea. Today this city is called Lod, and it is located just south of Israel’s international airport. It was there that Peter encounters a man named Aeneas, who was paralyzed, and had been bedridden for eight years. Peter’s miraculous healing of this man, in the name of CHRIST JESUS, caused many Jews in Lydda, and, in the nearby plains of Sharon, to convert to the Christian faith, and accept CHRIST as their LORD and SAVIOR.    
    While Peter was in Lydda, an endeared Christian woman by the name of Tabitha (“Dorcas” in the Greek ), who lived in the nearby city of Joppa, became ill and died. Dorcas was widely known for her ministry in working with the poor. After hearing of Peter’s miraculous healing of Aeneas in Lydda, two men were sent there to try and persuade Peter to take the eleven-mile trip to Joppa, and perhaps perform another miracle by restoring the beloved Dorcas back to life. They had faith that, through Peter, GOD, could and would, raise this beloved woman from the dead, just as CHRIST had done a few years earlier with HIS resurrection of Lazarus.
    Upon his arrival in Joppa, Peter was taken to an upper room where Dorcas’ body laid in state awaiting burial. The room was filled with weeping widows whose lives had been touched by Dorcas’ charity, caring, and compassion over the years. After entering the room, in the tradition of Elisha the prophet (2 Kings 4:33), and our LORD JESUS CHRIST (Luke 8:51), Peter sent everyone out of the room.
    He then knelt down and began to pray before turning to the deceased and commanding her to get up. Dorcas opened her eyes and Peter took her by the hand and helped her up, and then, called the others back into the room to see that she was indeed alive.
    Because of these miraculous events, news spread throughout the land of the goodness of GOD, and how HE can work in the lives of those who believe on CHRIST JESUS. It was events like these that Luke tells us, catapulted Christianity from being a tiny little-known Jewish sect, in those days, into a major religious movement by the end of the first century. And it all began with the real-life examples of charitable, caring people like Peter, Dorcas, and originally, CHRIST JESUS, HIMSELF. 
   When we show others that we care for them, we are exercising the same form of evangelism that was used to springboard and spur the growth of the Christian Church into prominence in the first century. And it is that same formidable mechanism of love and care, that we can help us to regain that kind of momentum in today’s Christian Church.
    Miracles have never been solely for those believers who benefited from them personally, and in fact, they are most often used by GOD to help non-believers make the decision to come to CHRIST. By showing others that we care for them, we are really showing our love for JESUS, and in fact, we don’t really even prove our love for JESUS unless we are willing to take on HIS task, and, take up our own cross.
    In other words, we must begin to pull our own weight as responsible Christians in the “spiritual battle” that is already upon us. And perhaps the biggest part of performing that task lies in us learning to love and care for one another in the traditions and examples of “agape love” that has already been exhibited to us by CHRIST JESUS, and the CHRIST-like people of Scripture who preceded us in time.  

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander

Friday, February 9, 2018

An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday February 11, 2018

Over 150,000 readers worldwide

(Let your words reflect and honor GOD)
(James 3)

   When JESUS becomes the LORD of our heart (kardia), HE also automatically becomes the LORD of our thoughts, and our thoughts control our tongues. Not many people should become teachers in the Christian Church, because those who teach will be judged by GOD with greater strictness (James 3:1).
    After explaining the Christian characteristics of “patience” in chapter 1, and of “truth”, in chapter 2, James, the brother of JESUS, now moves on to the subject of “Christian maturity” here in chapter 3. Here he endeavors to explain the all-important characteristic of a Christian being able to “control his or her thoughts and tongues”.
    Here James begins by discouraging the efforts, or ideas of too many people seeking to be teachers in the Church. He reminds us that teachers are evaluated by GOD in a much stricter manner than everyone else. To teach GOD’s Word is the most serious of undertakings, and must by no means be taken lightly. And while it is a great privilege to teach, such a calling comes with an even greater responsibility and dedication. And perhaps the greatest responsibility of all is controlling the tongue with which we teach. In fact, James says that, if we are successful in doing so, we should also be able to control ourselves in every other area of our lives (v.2).
    The mature Christian must “be patient in troubled times”, “practice the truth”, and, “exercise power over his or her own tongue” constantly. Our words must always reflect GOD’s wisdom, and not, the wisdom of the world. Thereby, James is saying that, “controlled talk”, and “cultivated thought” are both necessary at all times.
    As Christians, we must not be prone to gossip, sarcasm, or trying to hurt or destroy one another with the words that we speak. The tongue is a small, but powerful instrument, and with it, we have the power to direct (Vs.1-4), destroy (Vs.5-8), or delight one another (Vs.9-12). We can use our tongue, to praise GOD, and, to curse. Or, with our use of foul language, we can even cuss those who are made in the image of GOD.
    In verses 3-5a, James uses the examples of “a horses bit”, which is used to control the horse’s direction, and “a rudder”, which is used to pilot, or steer a ship in any direction, even in a storm. As small as these two items are, they are very effective in controlling the powerful horse on land, and the massive ship in the storm. The human tongue can be likened to that in its size-to-power ratio. It can be a great director of GOD’s wisdom as it is taught to others, or, it can be a great destroyer, and do tremendous damage to mankind if its teachings are false.
    In verses 5b-6, James likens the tongue to a tiny spark that can set off a great forest fire. He tells us that the tongue can be a flaming fire full of wickedness that can ruin your whole life. It can turn the course of a person’s life into a blazing flame of destruction that seems to have been set off by hell itself.
    Even a person, who possesses a faith that produces many works, will still have to meet many challenges along their Christian walk. Among the first of those challenges is to learn to deal with the very tongue that has always been with them. The tongue can be uncontrollable, and it exerts a tremendous amount of influence into the lives of all people.
    The term “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is a statement that is a classic example of worldly wisdom, and is in fact, a lie. Words can sometimes cut to the bone, even more deeply than sticks and stones, and can indeed, be very painful, and can hurt for a lifetime.
    The words of our tongue changes only when our “thought process” changes. As Christians our thought process must be more reflective of GOD, and more fixed on the will of GOD, and thereby, our goal must be to be able to share the mind of CHRIST. Until our hearts, or, thought processes changes, we won’t ever be able to tame our tongues, or replace “worldly wisdom” with “the wisdom and knowledge of GOD”.
    Another problem that we as humans face in life, rather Christian or non-Christian, is that of our own “sin nature”, which causes us to harbor bitterness and ambition in our hearts. Through the influence of sin nature, we become moved by a worldly wisdom that aids us in achieving worldly selfish ends, that leaves others in ruin in our wake.    
    Wisdom from GOD, on the other hand, directs us into a pure, peace-loving, and submissive way of life and thinking under GOD, that, we will not, and cannot, find through our dealings in world wisdom. We need to become accustomed to living by the GODly wisdom that will ultimately bring us a harvest of righteousness through CHRIST JESUS. We must learn to speak with thoughtful speech, and always let our words reflect the wisdom that comes from GOD HIMSELF.
    However, this does not mean that we won’t ever offend others while we are defending the Word of GOD (the Gospel), with our speech, in the world. For, the Word of GOD will often offend those who are anti-CHRIST in their thinking. And hopefully, we ourselves, as Christians, won’t be offended on those occasions when we too need to be “rebuked” by others for intentionally, or, unintentionally straying from the Word of “the GOD we say we serve and represent”, in this world.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander