Recently, I was asked by my pastor to be a Sunday School Teacher for our teens. I begin to search for content that will bring Scriptures to life for our teens. Although the teens have participated in our Christmas pageants, my goal is to develop a deeper understanding and relationship with God. Celebrating and understanding our Savior’s birth, builds upon the teens understanding the significance of His death and resurrection.
Rose Publishing has published a pamphlet entitled, “The Christmas Story.” This publication covers the Advent Season including the Advent of Hope, Advent of Peace, Advent of Joy, and Advent of Love. The pamphlet provides a recount of the anticipated Savior and the need for His arrival. It provides an overview of the celebratory and suggested sacred practices of the season including scriptural references and songs. Old and New Testaments Scriptures are emphasized to highlight the promise and fulfillment of prophesy.
I believe that Rose Publishing provides a good structure for recounting the greatest story of love, peace, joy, and hope while highlighting the prophesy in the Old Testament and revealing the fulfillment in the New Testament. This is a great read for teens and Adults. I would definitely recommend this pamphlet for small study groups and parents to teach their children about the true meaning of Christmas.
What makes us true disciples for Christ? True discipleship is more than acknowledging God, being baptized by water, identifying ourselves as Christians, and attending worship services religiously. Jesus made this clear to the mixed multitude of followers in Luke 14:25-35. Not everyone that followed Christ were true Believers or Disciples. It is evident through the Scriptures that Jesus wanted people to be aware of the requirements. He was not seeking enthusiasts, fascists, or groupies who falsely identified themselves as His disciples. Jesus was specific about the requirements.
True Disciples will…
Love God with all our hearts, souls, and minds (Matthew 22:37; Luke 14:26-27; John 14:15)
Study the Scriptures for teaching, reprimand, improvement, and training in morality which will equipped us for every good work (II Timothy 3:16-17)
Possess faith in God (Hebrews 11:6)
Assist in spreading the Gospel (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 19:9-10, John 8:31)
Acknowledge that we are not exempt from enduring affliction, persecution, and suffering (Matthew 10:24-25; Luke 14:27)
Pursue Christ (Luke 14:27)
Be productive, fruitful (John 15:8)
Teachable (John 14:26; John 6:60-66)
Live our lives characterized by love (John 13:35)
Worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24)
In Psalm 15, David asked God, “Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill?” David was making inquiry to what characteristics were necessary to be Citizens of Zion. This Psalms identifies five important characteristics for the Citizens of Zion. The Citizens of Zion will be…
Psalms 15:2 ~ Sincere about their relationship with God and be blameless in their Christian Conduct. Obedient to all ordinances and commandments of God.
Psalms 15:3 ~ Those who avoid speaking evil (gossiping and backbiting), and are careful not to cause harm to anyone.
Psalms 15:4 ~ Values and respects virtues and godliness, but despises wickedness and does not envy their possessions.
Psalms 15:5 ~ Philanthropists who freely gives to the poor within their ability. They will not accept bribes or be a party in extortion.
When we compare the requirements with the characteristics, we are able to see how they align with one another. In knowing the requirements and characteristics, do we still say “Yes”? If we examine our personal relationship with God, are we meeting His expectations? Are we sincerely striving to be the true worshippers that God seeks?