Christian Bible Lesson 121: Thinking of Others

Bible Verses

“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” – Philippines 4:8

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” – Philippines 2:3

“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” – Romans 12:10

“But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” – 1 John 3:17

Christian Bible Lesson Overview

It is critical to always think about others, especially during times of hardship. Of course, when a family member or friend needs your help, it is essential to stand by them. We do not know about all the occasions other people helped us when we were in need. There will come a time when you need the help of someone, possibly someone you do not know. 

Our world depends on all of us helping each other. Sometimes we may need to help someone physically, such as when someone loses strength and cannot support themselves. We may need to help someone financially when someone needs to eat or find shelter. 

We may need to help our friends when they need moral support. We may need to give physical support to family members. 

We all depend on each other. We must use our resources:  financial, physical, emotional, or spiritual, to help other people in need. Sometimes we may not even know the other person. We were born with specific gifts, which are critical to share with others. Everyone will benefit.

Christian Bible Lesson for Today

Cyndy with one of her clients

Cyndy worked for a large real estate agency as an agent. She was very concerned about moving up in the company, so she wanted to look good to people from the company who was senior to her.

Whenever Cyndy noticed an opportunity to pursue a sale, she quickly did everything she could to lock in the chance for herself. She was not close to the other salespeople. Cyndy never shared any information with them. There were times when she learned negative things about the real estate listings of her fellow agents, but she did not share that information with them because she did not wish them to close more sales than she did.

After several months, the other agents began to see that Cyndy was not helping the other agents. They began to ignore her and not keep her informed of all the opportunities. After a few more months, Cyndy began to suffer from a lack of listings. Her sales were much lower than earlier, and no one was willing to help her.

Cyndy became very worried. She talked with her mother about the situation. After listening to Cyndy and asking her several questions, Cyndy’s mother felt she understood the situation. Her mother told her that if she only cared about herself and was not helping the other agents, why did she think they would help her? She should not be concerned about how good she looks but should do everything she can to help everyone.

Cyndy thought about what her mother had told her. She was unsure about the advice, but she decided to try before it was too late. Cyndy started informing her associates about everything Cyndy knew about current and future listings. She took excellent notes and spent time letting the agents know the details. She also helped her fellow associates when calls came into the office for them, and they were out.

After a few months, the other agents began to work with Cyndy. The entire company began to work together, and they all benefited. Cyndy quit worrying about her status and just tried to help the clients and the other associates. She was so much happier with her life.

Christian Bible Lesson Summary

It is essential to think about everyone, not just yourself. Your life will be much better if you help others with their lives. If everyone worked to help others, we would all have better lives.

Christian Bible Lesson 120: Working Hard

Bible Verses

“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. ” – Colossians 3:23
“For you remember, brethren, our labor and toil; for laboring night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God.” – 1 Thessalonians 2:9
“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.” – Ecclesiastes 9:10
“Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established.” – Proverbs 16:3

Christian Bible Lesson Overview

It is important to put major effort into your work.  Completing work with limited effort to satisfy earthly desires will cause future challenges for you and others.  Taking the time to review all your responsibilities and make sure you satisfy them properly will not only reduce your stress, but it prevents future challenges because sometimes reduced effort will not deliver the desired results.

It is tempting to complete your work quickly and not review it to make sure everything scheduled was accomplished.  Over time, this approach can lead to major challenges requiring much more work than if the work were completed properly the first time.

Another challenge is that sometimes when you do not make the effort to complete your work properly, it can affect others.  There are times when the work assigned to one person requires completed work from another person.  If the first work is not completed properly, it can affect the evaluation of the work completed by the second person.

It is important to stay focused when you are working and be careful to always do a complete job.  Other people are depending on your dedication.

Christian Bible Lesson for Today

Greg working with some of his salespeople

Greg works as a sales manager for a software company.  He has eight in-house salespeople and five telemarketers in his group.  Greg is responsible for managing the leads from the marketing group, training the sales team, and managing the overall sales effort.  His sales plan includes contacting major lead sources, conducting sales calls with his salespeople, and helping close sales. 

Greg started spending significant personal time during working hours.  It was easy for him to control the support he provided his salespeople.  They would not know that he was not spending time with other salespeople.  He made sure he logged enough calls to cover him. 

After a couple of months, the sales began to drop.  The salespeople worked on commission, so their incomes were reduced.  Some of the salespeople requested more help. Greg helped some of his people, but still spent a lot of personal time during working hours.  Then the sales total dropped more. 

Greg became worried and called his brother Bruce.  Bruce listened to Greg’s version of what was happening at his job.   Then Bruce asked Greg how much of his time was committed to supporting the salespeople.  Greg did not mention the lack of his personal work at first.  After Bruce continued to question Greg’s efforts, Greg realized that his lack of work had a major impact on sales.  His salespeople had to find another way to get help on their sales calls or lose sales. 

Greg thought very hard about the entire situation.  He decided to create a “Daily Planner” in excel.  He committed to himself to spend some time near the end of every day to enter the tasks for the next day including training, lead follow-up, cold calls, and misc. work.  Then during the next day, he could mark tasks as complete when he finished them and he included notes.

Within a week, the entire sales team became more efficient and by the end of the month the sales had increased by 15% for that month. 

Greg made sure he planned and completed his assigned tasks.  He reviewed the planner weekly and monthly to add and remove tasks to improve the performance of his team.  Greg saw how important it was for his work to be focused and how when he supported his team, his teammates improved their own performance. 

After this experience, Greg made sure he worked hard to complete all his work, for business, and personal, prior to relaxing.  He found that he enjoyed his off-hours much more when he knew that he was productive during his working time.

Christian Bible Lesson Summary

It is important for you and everyone around you to complete your work thoroughly and you will enjoy your free time much more.  You will help everyone associated with you, and you will all benefit. Remember that completing your work properly affects many other people directly and indirectly.  

Christian Bible Lesson 119: Fear and Anxiety

Bible Verses

“And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?” – Matthew 6:27
“When they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not worry about how or what you are to speak in your defense, or what you are to say;” – Luke 12:11
“But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”” – Matthew 14:27
“But Jesus, overhearing what was being spoken, *said to the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid any longer, only believe.”” – Mark 5:36

Christian Bible Lesson Overview

It is essential that we do not allow fear and anxiety to control our lives.  Of course, it is important for us to always be careful and not expose our lives and the lives of our loved ones to unnecessary danger.  However, when we find ourselves in situations with significant risk, it does not help to be overwhelmed with anxiety.

When we find ourselves in high-risk situations, it takes a lot of strength to focus on addressing the challenge and not be overwhelmed by the danger.  It is important to remember the first verse above, Matthew 6:27 – “And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?”

It does take faith and strength to not allow fear and anxiety to control us, but it is critical to trust that if you make the righteous, you will be supported.

Christian Bible Lesson for Today

John called his attorney

John is married with two children.  Both of his children are in high school.  John works hard to support his family through a small business he started after he earned his master’s degree.  While John worked hard to grow his electronics business, he worked nights and weekends to develop a new product that would make installing complex electrical systems possible for most homeowners.  John worked for three years making sure the new tool would support many different types of buildings. 

John did research on patent law.  He learned that the process is complex.  He met with several people he respected to develop a plan to achieve a patent for his new product.  One of his friends recommended an attorney who had the experience to help him through the entire process.

John met with the attorney and was confident with his expertise.  The attorney, Bob, presented John with a contract to support their project.  John read the contract and signed it.  Part of the contract was that Bob would need to create several documents and conduct testing using experts in the electrical support field.  The contract included a cost of $45,000 to conduct all the testing and product reviews.  However, the contract also included a contract from a well-known electrical contract company for $250,000 for the rights to John’s product. 

John thought about it and decided to borrow the money in a short-term loan because he would receive the $250,000 within two months.  John borrowed the money and paid Bob. 

Then after two months passed, John did not receive the $250,000.  He contacted the electrical company and was told they had no contract with John.  John called his attorney.  The attorney said Bob forged the contract with the electric company and there would be no $250,000.

John tried to contact Bob but was not able to reach him. John was devested.  He was so depressed that he could not sleep or even think about his business.  His wife and children were worried about him.  His wife called the minister from the church.  The minister agreed to meet with John and help John work through the challenge. 

John met with the minister and discussed all his feelings.  John was worried about so many things.  He would owe the money in two weeks and he did not have a way to earn it.  The minister talk to him about how important it was for John to be strong and focus on possible solutions and not think about getting back at Bob.  They prayed together and discussed how important it was to have confidence that the money challenge will be resolved and that John should focus on solutions, not feeling awful about his awful decision.

After much thought, John realized he had to work through his challenge.  He realized that things could be much worse.  He had a good friend that just learned he had cancer. 

After reviewing the options available to him, John decided that a home equity loan was the right solution for him.  After making the decision to pursue the loan, he realized that things could be so much worse.  He still had his family and business.

Christian Bible Lesson Summary

It is important to focus on the things we can accomplish, not dwell on things we can not control.  We must have faith and continue to do things we need to do to support our family, friends, and other people. Sometimes it takes all our strength to continue to accomplish good things regardless of the challenges we face.  We must not allow fear and anxiety to control our lives.

Christian Bible Lesson 118: New Year

Bible Verses

“ Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” – Isaiah 43:18-19
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” –  2 Corinthians 5:17
“And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. ”  – Romans 13:11-12
 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  – Jeremiah 29:11

Christian Bible Lesson Overview

The beginning of a new year gives us a chance to reflect on the past year or even earlier and think about ways we wish to change.  It is a time to think about the things we accomplished as well as the changes we wish to make. 

It is important to think about those things most important to you.  Your family and close friends are probably on that list.  We should reflect on how much we helped other people grow as well as think about our own accomplishments.

Of course, we should make plans to improve our lives.  However, we should consider those people around us as we finalize those plans. 

Christian Bible Lesson for Today

Planning their trip to Iceland.

Richard was a realtor who specialized in expensive homes found in luxury neighborhoods.  He worked hard to earn large commissions so he could grow his investments.  His number one goal was to grow his investments to over $5 million before he was forty-five.  All his plans are related to that goal. 

Richard had two brothers:  Tom and William.  They both worked in construction like their father.  Tom and William worked enough hours to support their families, but they spent as much time as they could experiencing life with their families and friends.  They enjoyed life and helped their friends while they did things they enjoyed.  One example was a trip they planned to Iceland.  They worked with their friends and family to raise enough money for a group of thirty friends and family to spend Christmas vacation in Iceland. 

The two brothers worked with their friends to help everyone have the resources they needed to go on the trip.  Of course, Richard did not wish to participate because he wanted to spend his time accumulating more wealth.

The thirty people went on the trip to Iceland and had a wonderful time.  They had memories that would last the rest of their lives.  When they returned, Richard noticed how happy they were.  He also noticed all the items they brought back to remind them of the great time they had. 

Richard realized that he accumulated some wealth, but he did not have any memories like his brothers gained from one trip.  He began to think about how he did not have close relationships and he rarely had fun.  He did help other people sometimes, but that was when it helped him.

Richard realized that this was the first New Year that he really reflected on his life and what was really important.  He saw how good his brother felt when they spent time with other people and helped others when needed.  Richard had no close friends and his brothers had many.  Richard had more wealth than his brothers, but they built a much stronger life. 

Richard made a commitment to himself to change his priorities and put other people much higher on his list.  He realized that having a large investment portfolio is not the most important part of living.

Richard used this New Year vacation to change his view of life and make completely new plans that would help him be much closer to his family and friends.

Christian Bible Lesson Summary

The New Year celebration is a good time to reflect on your life and decide what is important to you and those around you.  Look at your priorities and make the adjustments that will lead you closer to where you wish to go.

Christian Bible Lesson 117: Strength and Courage

Bible Verses

“I can do all things through him who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:13

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” –  Joshua 1:9
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  – Isaiah 41:10

 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” Ephesians 6:10

Christian Bible Lesson Overview

It is very important that you have the strength to make good honest choices and the courage to behave accordingly.  Sometimes it may seem easy to withhold some truth or mislead others at the time.  However, over a long period, it is important to have the strength to consider an honest decision and to exercise the courage to defend that decision regardless of the consequences. 

Often it may seem ok to ignore small truths to secure something that is important to you.  After significant time passes, your lack of strength and courage to consider everything may cause harm to you and others.

Christian Bible Lesson for Today

Bob presenting the proposal.

Bob worked for a software company that developed and sold business applications.  Bob was a salesperson who received a base salary plus a commission as his compensation. When Bob completed a sale the customer received the base software application, the implementation, and a basic training package. 

Bob was engaged in the sales process with a business owner who imported machine parts from China and assembled the parts into machines that created model train engines and train cars.  The assembly process included combining the parts from China and attaching labels to the engines and cars.

Bob gave the prospect a proposal to purchase the software, implement the software for the prospect’s business, and provide onsite training.  The challenge was that Bob knew the software did not account for the labor of assembling the parts, and the training did not include teaching how to account for the importing of the parts.  Bob left those two items out of the proposal.  He hoped that the prospect would not notice.

When the prospect reviewed the proposal and compared the proposal to two other proposals he received from other companies; he liked Bob’s proposal because it was 30% lower in overall cost.

Bob closed the sale and began to work with other prospects.  Three months later, the implementation team encountered major challenges.   The customer had to manually enter accounting transactions for all the parts imported.  This included import duties, shipping costs, and labor from their employees.  The customer threatened to sue if the company did not automate those processes. 

The cost to customize the software was greater than the entire sale.  The owner of the company met with Bob and told him that he can no longer work for the company.  It was not OK to mislead prospects to close sales. 

Bob felt awful about the situation.  He realized that it was not worth closing the sale if it meant being dishonest with the prospect.  It was important to work much harder to present a proposal that addressed all the requirements discussed.

Christian Bible Lesson Summary

Often the quick solution to a challenge is not the approach to use.  Over time, it is always better to review the entire situation and not hide information that may be disclosed later.

It takes strength to think about all the information regarding a decision and to have the courage to make the right choice. It is much better to not worry later about decisions you make today.

Christian Bible Lesson 116: Being A Father

Bible Verses

“Fathers do not exasperate their children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” – Ephesians 6:4
“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not turn from it.” – Proverbs 22:6
“The father of a righteous man has great joy; he who has a wise son delights in him.” – Proverbs 23:24
“My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, 12 because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.” – Proverbs 3:11-12
“Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?” – Hebrews 12:7

Christian Bible Lesson Overview

It is critical for a father to teach Christian Lessons to his children.  Sometimes it is necessary to use discipline to prepare children for adulthood.  A good father will follow Christian Lessons and guide his children accordingly even when he feels pressure from others not to enforce specific rules. 

It is important for a father to enforce rules for his children based on his beliefs, so he knows he is preparing his children to become caring and thoughtful adults.

Christian Bible Lesson for Today

Blake was a father with a wife and two children.  He worked as a civil engineer for the State of California.  He was a Christian and attended Church regularly.  Blake knew it was important to teach his children to develop strong values.  As his children grew older, he gave them more freedom, but he was careful not to give them too much freedom.

His daughter was his firstborn child.  She was a sophomore in college.  Blake had supervised her until she left home for college.  His son was a senior in high school.  His son made plans with his friends to go on a camping trip on the final night of school after graduation.  There were twelve students, six boys and six girls included in the planned camping trip. 

Blake was told about the camping trip four days before the end of the school year.  Blake told his son that it was not OK for him to spend the night on a camping trip with boys and girls without adult supervision. 

The son was very upset.  He talked to his mother.  His mother told him that she would talk with his father and see if she could convince him that the trip was ok.  The mother talked with Blake, but Blake felt it was wrong and he was not willing to give his permission.  Blake believed he had a responsibility as a father to provide his son with high-quality supervision.  He told his son that after he left for college, he would have the freedom to make many decisions, but when he lived with his family, he needed to follow the family rules.

Then his daughter called Blake from her college dormitory.  She suggested that she could drive home and go on the camping trip with her brother if Blake would allow the son to go.  Blake said no, that until the son was over eighteen years old, he must have an adult be with him when he was with boys and girls overnight.

The entire family applied pressure on Blake to change his mind.  The night before the scheduled camping trip, Blake told his son that he still did not wish his son to go on the unsupervised trip, but that if he did go, there would be no punishment. 

The son did go on the camping trip, but he came home around ten that night instead of spending the night.  He told his father that he understood the message and it was more important to support his father than to spend that night with his friends.  Blake was so relieved and happy for his son.  He believed the son really learned the lesson.

Christian Bible Lesson Summary

It is important to follow Christian Lessons even when it is not popular.  Just because everyone else breaks rules, that does not mean that a father should ignore his responsibility.

Christian Bible Lesson 116: Christmas – Help Others

Bible Verses

 “Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward them for what they have done.” – Proverbs 19:17
“The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously.” – Psalm 37: 21
“If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” – Matthew 19:21
“Those who give to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to them receive many curses.” – Proverbs 28:27

Christian Bible Lesson Overview

Christmas is a time to be with family and friends.  It is good to focus on those things you love about all those people who are close to you.  Of course, that is important.  It is also important to think about those who are in need and will not enjoy a happy Christmas.  It can be as simple as inviting a friend to spend Christmas with you when you know that friend is having a very difficult time.  You could also contribute to a charity that provides special Christmas meals for needy people. 

One example of needy people would be people from Ukraine.   Some of these people have no electricity, food, water, etc.  There are many ways to contribute to their cause.

Regardless of which method you choose to help other people, think about people in need during Christmas and New Year’s Day and help those you believe need your help. 

Christian Bible Lesson for Today

Joe with his sister and friends

Bill Williams is a junior in college studying to be an engineer.  He was excited about his two-week vacation for Christmas and the New Year.  He thought about all the things he wanted to do when he was home.   He wanted to go out with his friends and have a good time.  He already purchased gifts for his family. 

When he arrived home, his sister Gloria was home.  He told her about his plans for the two weeks.  He already paid a deposit for a hotel in the mountain for himself and his friends.   He told Gloria she was welcome to go with him.  Gloria had a sad look on her face.  She told Bill that one of his friends, Joe, is in trouble.  Joe’s father lost his job, and they are about to be evicted from their house.  Bill said that was very sad, but he still wanted to go to the mountain with his friends.  He said he will see Joe when he returns from the trip. 

Gloria was upset with Bill.  She told Bill that his friend was more important than a trip to the mountain.  Then Gloria left.

Bill thought about what Gloria said.  He did not have enough money to save Joe’s family house, but he decided to call a couple of his friends and see what they think.

Bill called Greg and told him about Joe’s situation.  Bill said that Joe would need several thousand dollars to save their house.  Canceling the mountain trip would only save a few hundred dollars. 

Greg thought about it and then he told Bill that it is important to find a way to help Joe, but immediately we need to let him know that we care about him and his family.  Our entire group should meet and discuss how we can help Joe, even if it is not enough to solve all his problems.  Greg said he could not enjoy the trip to the mountain knowing that Joe will lose his house. 

Bill thought about it and began to see Greg’s point.  Especially since it was Christmas.  It is important to think about other people.  Bill called his other friends, but his conversation was very different.  He wanted to have everyone think of ideas to raise money for Joe. 

The result was that after a couple of days of discussing the situation, the group sponsored several events locally to raise money for Joe.  They did not raise enough to solve all of Joe’s challenges, but Joe was so happy because his friends really cared about him.

Christian Bible Lesson Summary

It is important to spend time with your family and friends on Christmas and have a wonderful time.  It is also a good time to think about people in need.  It can just be a friend with minor challenges.  The important point is to spend some of your time during Christmas thinking about people who need help, especially people you know.

Christian Bible Lesson 115: Control Stress

Bible Verses

“Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” – Matthew 6:34
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” –  Philippians 4:6
“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.” – Psalm 94:19
“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?” – Luke 12:25

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5-6

Christian Bible Lesson Overview

The medical community has provided significant information regarding preparing for stress.  Their suggestions include at least seven hours of sleep at night, exercising regularly, meditation, and staying socially connected.  However, living with stress while you are experiencing it is much more challenging.  Sometimes you can face challenges that seem overwhelming.  Once you face situations that appear to be out of your control, you begin to lose your ability to think clearly, and you are not able to work towards improving your situation.   Sometimes lack of sleep, headaches, and a loss of focus follow.  The stronger the stress becomes, the more difficult it is for you to function.

Regardless of how difficult or frightening your situation becomes, it is critical to have faith that God will be there for you.  It is important to realize things are not as bad as they seem and that you do have the ability to trust God and understand that you need to accept your challenges and trust that God will be there for you.  That does not mean that you can sit back and let things happen to you.  You must try to address the situation causing the stress.

Christian Bible Lesson for Today

Greg working

Greg owns a small business that provides cooking equipment and support to restaurants.  His business helps restaurants maintain all the equipment so the restaurants can continue to operate without affecting business.  He sells and maintains the equipment in the kitchens. 

Greg learned about a new kitchen support service that could be a tremendous boost to his business.  He called a representative from the company that provided the service.  The representative explained how the service worked and stated that Greg could support twice as many customers as he supports now for one-third of the cost.  Greg was very excited.   Greg asked the representative what he had to do to get started.  The representative told him there was a $200,000 investment for the initial equipment which included the training.

Greg thought about the opportunity.  He did not have $200,000, but he did have a good relationship with his bank.  He asked the bank about a loan.  He was told that he did have enough assets and that the loan could be completed within ten days.

Greg signed a contract with the services company and provided the services company with $200,000.   The services company gave him a receipt and told him he would receive his equipment in seven days.

Ten days later, Greg had not heard from the company.  He tried calling the phone number on the business card he was given but the number did not work.  He then went to the address on their brochure and the company was not there.  He realized the entire process was a scam. 

Greg was so shocked.  He paid all that money and now he did not have anything to show for the money spent.  He reported the incident to the police, but the people who scammed him left no trace.

Greg was so depressed.  He was not able to sleep, and he had trouble focusing on his customers.  The stress became stronger as a few days passed.  He could not focus which made it very difficult for him to run his business.

 His wife became very worried about him.  She called her pastor and asked the Pastor to meet with Greg.  Greg explained the situation to the Pastor.  The Pastor listened and then said that he must control the stress before he can address his challenge.  He must first relax and then trust God to be here for him.  Then he needed to create a plan to address the tragic situation.  First, he needed to make sure he was supporting his business, so he did not lose more money.  Then he needed to go to the bank and work out a payment plan that would give him more time to repay the bank loan.

Then he needed to understand that many people face more severe challenges.  Some people discover that they have a life-threatening illness, or a close relative die or people in some countries are attacked.  He needed to accept that although his situation was challenging, it was not life-threatening, and he must have the discipline to trust God and work through the challenge.

Greg met with the Bank and worked out a payment plan.  The police continued to try to find and prosecute the people who scammed Greg.  Greg was able to sleep at night and after two days he was able to focus clearly on his work challenges.  He learned that being stressed and worrying just made things worse.

Christian Bible Lesson Summary

We all have challenges in our lives.  Some of them seem so severe, but we must have Faith in God and do the best we can to address the challenges.  That does not mean that we do not have to work to improve our situation, but we can relieve the stress. 

It is important to get enough sleep, exercise regularly, meditate, and stay socially connected to avoid becoming stressed.  However, somethings situations can occur that are beyond our control, and we must trust in God and work to make things better.  It is important that we do our part.

Christian Bible Lesson 114: Build Relationships

Bible Verses

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” – Ephesians 4-29

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” – John 13-34

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” – John 15-13

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” – James 1:19-20

Christian Bible Lesson Overview

It is important to do everything we can to avoid anger.  As we have all seen, when we allow ourselves to get angry, we lose control of our emotions, which causes us to do things that we regret later.  Developing strong relationships with family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, Church members, and people we meet at random; leads us to strong relationships that benefit everyone. 

When developing relationships, whether a friendship, family member or marriage, exercise control and give the other person/people the freedom to make mistakes without damaging the relationship.  When you are hurt by something a friend or family member said or did, do your best not to react too quickly.  Give yourself time to think about what happened.  If the other person did not intentionally try to hurt you, exercise as much restraint as possible to give yourself time to try to understand what happened.  Do not weaken a relationship because you did not have enough self-control to think about the other person and what caused their action.

Christian Bible Lesson for Today

Randy after practice

Randy is a college student who earned a college football scholarship.  He is very competitive because it is important for him to appear better than everyone else.  He worked hard to get credit for the good things he accomplished.  He put his status above the quality of his friendships with other students or other players on the team. 

Randy’s approach: working to get as much credit as possible, worked fine until he needed help from the other players.  Randy started getting angry at other players when they made mistakes or did not play as well as Randy thought they should.  Randy would get angry and scream at other players. 

Soon the other players began to not try as hard to support Randy.  Randy was not able to perform as well.  Of course, he got angry and lashed out at other players during the games.  Soon Randy realized he can not perform without the support of the other players.  He made them angry, and he had no idea what to do.

The coach noticed the problem right away.  The coach talked with Randy’s father and explained that Randy needed to support the other players and quit trying to get all the credit for himself.  The coach made it clear that the situation was not good, and that Randy will not be able to play much longer if there is not a major change in behavior.

Randy’s father knew Randy’s personality and was aware that he had a difficult time making friends because he always wanted to be better than other people.  The father talked with Randy and explained to him that he needed to stop worrying about himself and do his best to help other people around him.  His father told him that either he changed his behavior and quit getting angry at people who made mistakes, or he will lose control of his future.  His father told him to try to help his teammates, not make them look bad.  His father said he either change his approach or quit playing football and find another college because this one college is very expensive without a scholarship.

Randy thought about what his father told him.  He wanted to continue his education at that school, and he wanted to keep playing football.  He met with the coach as his father suggested and the coach prepared a plan for him to change his relationship with the other players.

Randy focused all his energy on supporting the team and did not think about his credit.  He spent extra time helping the new plays learn some important skills.  He was amazed at how quickly his situation changed.  It was the coach and the other players that made life better for him.  Now he wanted to make life better for other players.  Randy was amazed at how much happier he was when his teammates did well. What a change from the way he used to act.  Before he never felt truly happy, he just wanted to look good.  Now he was happy when other people did well. 

Christian Bible Lesson Summary

Developing solid relationships is critical whether with your family, friends, fellow workers, neighbors, or strangers.  Helping other people and controlling your anger will make life much better for them and you.  It is a matter of changing your priorities to support other people and having the discipline to control yourself when facing situations that used to make you angry. 

This does not mean letting people deliberately take advantage of you.  But do not allow yourself to sink into other people’s level when they take advantage.  Control your anger and take the time to think about how your actions affect you and other people.

Christian Bible Lesson 113: Thanksgiving

Bible Verses

“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18

“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” – Colossians 3:17

“Every good gift and every perfect gift are from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” – James 1:17

“Every good gift and every perfect gift are from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” – James 1:17 “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.” – Hebrews 12:28

“And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your hearts to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to our God and Father.” – Ephesians 5:18-20

Christian Bible Lesson Overview

On Thanksgiving, it is important to think about all the things that make your life better, not just the possessions you have or the family and friends who treat you in a special way.  It is a time for you to reflect on all the things that helped you be the person you are.  Some things were gifts from birth such as your health, your parents/family, your natural abilities, and the environment where you were born. 

Thanksgiving is a time to think about other people and all that God has given you from the time your life started.

Cristian Bible Lesson for Today

Sharah and her professor.

Sarah was a college student in her final year of study.  She needs to finish this semester and one more to graduate with a degree in journalism.  She took a major exam the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  She worked very hard to prepare for the exam because she understands that the exam was one-third of her final grade for that semester. 

After she completed the exam, she had lunch with a fellow classmate Brenda.  Sarah told Brenda about the example she used for one of the questions.  Brenda had a frown on her face.  Sarah asked her what was wrong.  Brenda told Sarah that her example was the wrong one. 

Sarah realized right away that she made a mistake.  She became so upset and began blaming everyone and everything else for her mistake.  She said that she worked so hard all semester and now it will all be for nothing.  She started crying and said her life was no good.  Everything goes wrong.

Brenda told her to calm down and think about all the things in her life that are good.  Sarah’s answers on the test do not cancel all the things that should make her thankful.  Brenda suggested Sarah first think about all the things about her life that are positive like her health, her family, her abilities, and all the friends that appreciate her.  Then, after Sarah has recognized how thankful she should be for all those things in her life, she should meet with the professor and explain what happened.  The worst thing that could happen is the Professor will say the answer stands.

Sarah thought about what Brenda told her.  She was very grateful for her life.  She realized that she should be grateful to God first for all the things in her life that allow her to live and appreciate everything around her. 

Sarah did talk with her professor.  The professor said he will not give her another chance at the test, be he knew that she is a very good student, and he will take that into consideration when he grades the test. 

Sarah was happy with the result.  She was determined never to allow one challenge to keep her from recognizing all the things that make her happy.  She prayed to God to thank him for everything in her life.

Christian Bible Lesson Summary

It is important to not allow one challenge or tragic event cause you to lose sight of all those things in your life that are special.  Be grateful for being alive and having the ability to think and support other people.  Be grateful for your health, even if you have a specific health challenge.