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    God’s Thoughts and Ways – Part XI (Mary Mother of Jesus)

    What was so special about Mary that she was chosen to be the mother of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? Obviously, she needed to be a female with the ability to become pregnant, carry the baby full term, deliver the baby, and then nurse and provide for the baby. However, as my mother used to say, “any [female] cat can have kittens, but it takes a mother to raise them.”

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    Jesus, the eternal King

    Title:Jesus, the eternal King Aim: To recognize that Jesus is the eternal King of heaven and earth. Scripture: Revelation 1:1–20   The apostle’s opening greeting, Revelation 1:1–8   John began his book by stating that it is a “revelation” (Rev. 1:1). The apostle used the Greek noun, apokalypsis, to describe the nature of what he was about to convey. For this reason, scholars have also called his work the Apocalypse, that is, an unveiling or disclosure of truths about God’s universal judgment and the introduction of a new era.    John stated that God the Father gave the message to His Son, and Jesus the Messiah in turn used an angel to make…

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    Stephen, martyred for the faith

    Title: Stephen, martyred for the faith Aim: To evaluate the importance of being both courageous and gracious in letting others know about Jesus. Scripture:Acts 7:51–8:1   The religious leaders’ formal accusations against Stephen, Acts 7:51–53   Acts 6:9–15 narrates an episode involving a group of emancipated Jewish slaves who told the Sanhedrin (the highest court of justice in ancient Jerusalem) that Stephen was preaching against the Mosaic Law and the supremacy of the temple. Stephen’s opponents decided to use the same sorts of accusations that previously had been successful in getting rid of Jesus.    In offering a critique of the religious leadership in Stephen’s day, it is important to avoid the…

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    Daniel, an elder statesman

    Title: Daniel, an elder statesman Aim: To recognize that God is building a kingdom that is everlasting. Scripture: Daniel 7:9–14   Daniel, the man, Daniel 1–6   The book of Daniel contains historical accounts known and loved by generations of believers and unbelievers alike. What child who has spent any time in Sunday school cannot tell the episode of Daniel in the lion’s den?    Or who does not know at least the basic elements of the deliverance of Daniel’s friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from Nebuchadnezzar’s fiery furnace? Miraculous events such as these have given Daniel a welcomed place in many people’s hearts.   As a member of the Israelite nobility in…