Friday, January 27, 2017

An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday January 29, 2017

Over 121,000 readers worldwide

(GOD created all things to praise HIM)
(Psalm 146)

   Here begins what is known to serious bible studiers as “the Hallelujah Psalms” of Scripture (Psalms 146-150). That is because all of these final five psalms begin and end with the phrase “Praise the LORD!”, or in the Hebrew, “Hallelujah!”. In the opening lines here in psalm 146, the psalmist vows to “praise the LORD” all the days of his life, and in fact, to the very moment of his final, dying breathe (Vs.1-2).
    In verse 3, he exhorts the people of the congregation to put all of their trust in GOD, WHO has sovereign power over all things, living and inanimate, rather than to place their trust and fear in even the strongest men they know. He goes on to explain in verse 4 that when the strongest of men stop breathing, they return to the dust of the earth just like any other human being on this earth.
    In verse 5 the psalmist blesses those who place their faith in GOD the CREATOR as their only help and hope. Everything we now see was spoken into existence by a GOD we cannot physically see, but WHOSE presence is manifested through remarkable deeds that allow us to understand HIS character. Through HIS deeds, HE shows us that HE keeps every promise that is written about and spoken in HIS Word. HE protects us, provides for us, and plans for us.
    GOD also brings justice to the oppressed, food to the orphans and widows, and HE enables the strong and virile to see to it that HIS agenda is forever promoted in a seemingly hopeless world. HE quite literally frees us from the dominion of sin that once bound us in chains, as HE opens the eyes of those who earnestly seek after HIM. HE then lifts their burdens, while, at one and the same time, HE frustrates the plans of the wicked who oppose HIM (Vs.6-8).
    This psalm reminds us that we need to praise GOD (Vs.1-2), trust GOD (Vs.3-6), love GOD (Vs.7-9), and in the end we can reign with GOD (v.10). This psalmist clearly understands that GOD is not just a part of life, but rather, GOD is the center of life. GOD provides us with life, and it is only fitting that we use our lives to honor GOD, and to worship and praise HIM in the way we live.
    To receive the gifts of GOD, and then ignore HIM, goes to heart of idolatry and selfishness. We must recognize WHO the GIVER is, and not instead, let those gifts become the focal point of our worship and attention. The things given are temporal, but the PROVIDER of those things, GOD, is eternal.
    It is easy to put our trust in people, who we can see, however, it is another thing entirely to put our faith in an abstract, invisible, spiritual GOD, WHOM we can’t see physically, but must accept on faith. However, we would all be hard-pressed to find a person whom we have known for a good length of time, who has never let us down in life. GOD, on the other hand, is a eternally faithful GOD WHO will never let us down, when we rely on HIM, and claim HIM as our help, and, our source of strength.
    To love GOD is to share a love that will always be returned, and will always be available to us. HE loves the Church, as well as the lost. HE loves HIS chosen nation of Israel, as well as those who inhabit other parts of the world at large. We can’t beat HIM giving, we can’t top HIS faithfulness, and we can’t out love HIM. We can only use HIS glorious standards to inspire us to become better to others, and live better lives for ourselves.
    Because of the life examples of JESUS, GOD’s only begotten SON, WHO is also “Monogenes Theos” (“the only begotten GOD” – John 1:18), we are able to see exactly what GOD is like. JESUS, while living on earth as a 100% human being, exuded exactly, the character and personality of HIS FATHER GOD.
    Every human being who is born into this world also shares GOD’s nature in that respect, and we can all follow the wonderful examples of CHRIST, just as HE follows the wonderful examples of the CREATOR, our FATHER in Heaven. We can begin to praise and worship HIM with our whole heart, all the remaining days of our lives, as long as we focus on the ways of CHRIST, and not give our attention so much, to the ways of this world that we live in.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander

                                           LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website


Friday, January 20, 2017

An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday January 22, 2017

Over 121,000 readers worldwide

(GOD has given us everything that we need)
(Psalm 104)

   There is no greater evidence of the power and existence of GOD than the reality and existence of the creation that HE shaped and sustains. In Psalm 104, the unknown psalmist gives us a vivid description of his personal view of three things about GOD; HIS power to bring into existence, all creation (Vs.1-9), HIS concern for HIS creation (Vs.10-23), and, HIS provisions to sustain HIS creation (Vs.24-30).
    We, as Christians, have come to rest in, and share the psalmist’s thoughts, and we also thoroughly understand, through our great faith, that, the world was fashioned by the Word and hand of GOD. We understand that all the things that we now see around us came from that which is not seen, and is quite literally from “the mind of GOD”. We are of the attitude that, in terms of eternity, we would rather stake everything on GOD, the CREATOR of this existence, than to trust in the temporal rewards that we can obtain from HIM, because of HIS existence.
    Sadly though, we as human beings, still, often fall in love with the “creations of the CREATOR”, instead of endearing ourselves to the HOLY CREATOR, HIMSELF. When GOD created man in HIS OWN image (in other words, shared HIS nature with us), HE also placed inside of us, a hunger and thirst which would, hopefully, ultimately draw us to HIM, and, hold us near to HIM, forever.
    However, because of the “sin nature” that we obtained, through disobedience to GOD (the fall of Adam and Eve), we’ve became confused, and have, since that time, tried to satisfy our hunger and thirst by seeking after “the temporal things of this world”, and, “those things that we, ourselves, have made from HIS created substances”.
    Here in Psalm 104, the psalmist seems to have a very sane and firm grip on where we should direct our praises. He is, no doubt, a man who has fallen in love with the BLESSER because of the blessings, and not, the blessings themselves.

·         In verses 1-9 the psalmist praises GOD and expresses his awe and reverence for GOD’s sovereign power.
·         In verses 10-23, he displays a deep understanding of how deeply GOD is concerned about HIS creation, and how HE shows it, through HIS provisions, which HE uses to sustain HIS creation.
·         And finally, in verses 24-35, the psalmist praises GOD yet again, and prays that GOD would remove sin from the world, because it is out of harmony with HIS wonderful creation.

    G. K. Chesterton once wrote, “For whatever is, or is not true, this one thing is certain, we are not what we were meant to be”. We are that which was created. And we are the benefactors of the brilliance and largesse of the CREATOR. We as men and women were made by GOD, and HE attempted to give us dominion over the works of HIS hands here on earth. But instead, through our disobedience, we’ve become creatures who are “frustrated by our own, self-imposed circumstances”, who are “defeated by our own temptations”, and, who are “surrounded by our own weaknesses”. And so, it was into this seemingly hopeless situation, that GOD sent us his only begotten SON, so that whosoever believes in HIM, would not perish, but rather, would have everlasting life.
    It is a life-changing thing, getting to know, and then, becoming accustomed to practicing, the Word of GOD. GOD’s Word has already come into the world. In fact, its concept has been with us since the beginning of creation. GOD’s Word simply cannot be, nor, will not be, disregarded. GOD’s Word is synonymous with life, and is, both, effective and penetrating.  In fact HIS Word absolutely scrutinizes all of our thoughts, desires, and, intentions.
    All things lay naked before THE ALMIGHTY GOD, and HE simply “sees all”, “hears all”, and “knows all” that we do. And every one of us, whom GOD has created, will have to make an account for the deeds done in our lifetimes. And whether or not we believe that HE exists, becomes totally irrelevant in HIS design and scheme of things here on HIS earth, and, in this whole universe and beyond.  GOD’s sovereign plans for all of HIS creation, will prevail.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander


                                           LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website

Friday, January 13, 2017

An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday January 15, 2017

Over 120,000 readers worldwide

(We are all blessed with GOD’s provisions)
(Psalm 65)

   The forgiven should always praise GOD, knowing the awesome power that HE has exercised on their behalf. Psalm 65 was probably written by King David to be sung annually when the first grains of the barley harvest were taken in, and brought to the LORD as a sacrifice, and, to the priests, as a “wave offering”.
    This Psalm of “harvest time blessing” celebrates GOD’s goodness to Israel by hearing their “earnest prayers”, and rewarding them for giving HIM “earnest worship”, the only kind that HE can and will accept and receive. Through GOD’s power, not only are our sins atoned for, but we are also benefactors of the enormous bounties of provisions that HE showers on us from HIS unlimited storehouse.
    In verses 1-4, David expresses his understanding of how, once GOD makes atonement for our sins, after we have demonstrated “earnest repent”, HE is able to bless us abundantly. “Our repent” is the first step in our preparations to praise GOD, and it cannot be taken lightly, if our prayers are to be effective. GOD will only bring near to HIM, those who have hearts (minds) that are filled with regular thoughts of HIM. Only those will be able to share in the joy that can only be found in GOD’s Holy Courts (Heaven) (v.4). And so verses 1-4 demonstrate clearly, David’s wonderful understanding of “GOD’s perspective of salvation” to man. For man to receive salvation, GOD has to look into his heart and see HIMSELF, before HE sends him to JESUS. JESUS HIMSELF confirms this thought when HE says that “no man can come to HIM unless the FATHER sends them” (John 6:43 and 65).
    GOD faithfully answers all of our prayers with bountiful deeds here on earth. HE is the hope of all mankind, Believers and unbelievers, whether we realize it or not. However, only the Believer will be able to experience and benefit eternally from the results of their faith in HIM. The faith of the Believer is a “saving faith” that spurs them to right actions under GOD. If one’s faith does not motivate them to live a righteous life under GOD, while living here on earth, it is not the “saving faith” that is needed to unlock for them, the doors to the Kingdom of Heaven.
    In this psalm, as in many of the psalms that are written by King David, he recognizes GOD’s power and sovereignty over all of the things that HE created. Through HIS OWN power, HE formed the mountains and quieted the seas, and people all over the world must recognize the awesomeness by which GOD operates. Throughout the land, from east to west, GOD perpetually demonstrates to the whole world, just who really is in charge of the whole universe (Vs.5-8).
    In verses 9-13, David summarizes how GOD provides for, and takes care of, all of HIS creation each day. And the fruitfulness of HIS creation, testifies of its appreciation of how GOD has blessed it, merely by way of its manifestation before us. With the exception of man, all of GOD’s creation shows great joy, through its obedience and productiveness, for what GOD has done for it. Because GOD blessed mankind with “wills that are free”, we are the only part of HIS “living creation” that ever can, and often does, choose to do the wrong things in life.
    However, man’s unfaithfulness to GOD does not cause GOD to be unfaithful in HIS treatment of mankind. HE continues to water the earth for us, leaving it rich and fertile, and the overwhelming majority of HIS rivers, never run dry. They continue to provide for bountiful harvests of grain to feed us, all at the command of GOD.
    In addition, GOD continues to drench the grounds of the world with plenty of water to soften them, making them easy to prepare for the planting of life-giving seeds that are capable of feeding every living thing that requires that type of nourishment. Any wilderness can become a lush pasture at the command of GOD, and every hillside can suddenly blossom with the joy of GOD’s blessings. The meadows are filled with sheep and cattle, and the valleys are carpeted with grain. And they all shout with joy to GOD by way of their very presence and life-giving existence.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander


Friday, January 6, 2017

An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday January 8, 2017

Over 119,000 readers worldwide

(Recognizing the only GOD)
(Psalm 96)

   Because we receive new mercies, grace, and blessings from GOD each day, we should be motivated to sing a new song to HIM each day. In Psalm 96, the psalmist suggests that all people everywhere should sing praises to GOD, because all people everywhere, believers and unbelievers, receive HIS blessings everyday of their lives, whether they realize it or not.
    GOD, as creator of all things that exist, has a moral right and responsibility to evaluate human actions and activities, and, as a result of those human choices and behavior under HIM, to dole out appropriate reward and punishment accordingly. HE is the sovereign master of the universe, and HE absolutely controls the destiny of everything and everyone that exist. Therefore, whether or not we even believe that HE HIMSELF exists, becomes totally irrelevant.
    As Believers, we only need to announce the offered “salvation” from GOD to an “unsaved” world, however, that in itself seems to be a mighty enough task, that most people will refuse to take it on. However, if our desire is to obey and serve GOD, we must be willing to glorify HIM by taking up our own cross (dying to sin), and then begin to take on the task of fulfilling the charge assigned to us by CHRIST JESUS, even to point of death, being motivated by the remembrance that JESUS died for us.
    Here in psalm 96, the psalmist exhorts all people to sing praises to GOD for HIS majesty, glory, and strength, verbally publishing HIS glorious deeds to all nations (races). GOD is worthy to be praised perpetually, all the day long, and, HE is glorious and mighty to save us from ourselves.
    GOD must be revered above all people, places, and things that we wittingly, or unwittingly, worship or care about. In fact, we should worship GOD only, while we love people, and use things. That should always be the order by which we are related to GOD, mankind, the things created for our comfort and existence.
    Unfortunately, we tend to make anything and everything an idol. Every nation and people under GOD has, at one time or the other, taken on idols that best fit their wants and desires for their own lifestyle. That is why we have all of the various, so-called, Christian denominations, as well as non-Christian denominations. That is why we worship rock stars, national leaders, church leaders, houses, cars, children, pets (particularly dogs and cats), and even cell phones!
    Honor and majesty surrounds only the true GOD in Heaven. Real strength and beauty can only be found in HIM. Fortunately, all the nations of the world also contains a remnant of people who actually really do have a heart for the real GOD, and despite the things going on around them, they still recognize that HE is glorious, strong, sovereign, and in control.
    As GOD’s greatest creation, all mankind will eventually have to cede to GOD the glory that HE deserves, and come before HIM with offerings of humbleness that is befitting to nothing, and to no one else, but GOD. Every knee must eventually bow, and every tongue must eventually confess, that JESUS CHRIST is LORD, and, that GOD the FATHER is sovereign over all things.
    And so let the Heavens and the earth be glad and rejoice! Let the Seas and everything in them shout with praise! Let the fields and crops explore forward with fruitful bounties of joy! Let the trees of the forests whisper gently before the LORD, all knowing that HE is coming to judge the earth, and to judge it with righteousness and truth.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander