Alumni Bible Study

A Bible study initially set up for alumni of the Senior Sunday School Class at the First United Methodist Church of Lufkin, Texas. It is our hope and our prayer that this study touches the hearts of those who participate and helps spread the love and grace of Our Lord and God. All who want to learn more about God are welcome

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Location: lufkin, Texas, United States

I am a Christian family man, Lay Pastor and writer from Deep East Texas. I love life, and I enjoy working with young people. I have published two books; "A Small Mind Among Tall Trees" and "God If You Are Not Too Busy, Can You Give Me a Hand". If you want to obtain a copy drop me an e-mail or go to or barnesand . I have been a salesman, cowman and athlete in my past. I still have a strong sense of humor and am not afraid to use it.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Romans 8:28-30

Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer- Lord, open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,[a] who[b] have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
God does work for the good of those who love him, but this does not mean that everything that happens to us, (those who love him, ) will be good. The is evil in this world, and that can effect our lives. In the long haul, the full life, God can make even the evil that may touch us into something that can bring us closer to Him.
Does verses 29 and 30 mean that our lives are predestined? That we have no control or responsibly in our lives? Not really. God calls all of us, but not all will respond to the call. That is our choice. Only those who answer the call will be justified, and then glorified to eternal life with God.
Prayer- Lord, help us understand that even though things are not always fun or pleasant, all is done to bring us closer to you. We hear your call and want to be like you, we aim to be Your children. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Romans 8:26-27

Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer- Lord, Open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
26In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. 27And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.
Have you ever known you needed to pray to God, but did not know what to say? We all have. A lot of us live in fear that we will be asked to pray in public, and think to ourselves-"what if I don't say the right words?"
Remember this; the Spirit helps us and intercedes for us. As an added bonus, the Spirit is always there to help us with God's will. We never need to worry about failure, because if God is with us- who is against us? Nothing that can defeat the Spirit.
Prayer- Lord, Thank you for sending Your Spirit to us. May we always us it for your will and glory. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Romans 8:22-25

Relax, Read and Reflect.
Prayer- Lord, Open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
22We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? 25But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

One of the really neat things of our lives in heaven will be that things will be perfect. Perfect bodies, perfect humor, perfect love. This is a promise of God. Our earthly creation is imperfect, but heaven will be perfect.
We trust our parents, even when some of the promises they make may not come true. As a parent, I understand the pain that both parties can feel when a parent lets down their children. God never makes a promise He can't keep, and his promises of eternity with Him are great. Our future is wonderful, but still we must wait patiently.

Prayer- Lord, Thank you for the promise of heaven. Help us live our lives on earth to the expectations and the patience You desire. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Romans 8:18-21

Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer- Lord, Open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
18I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 20For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21that[a] the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
The world is decaying around us- and being built. We, as a people are sinful. The wages of sin are death. Therefore, we live in a dying world. Paul continues to hammer this thought home.
Sometimes we forget this basic fact. We can believe that we are "bullet-proof," that nothing can hurt or stop us. We have a full life ahead and there is plenty of time to make good on our sins. Then bad things happen to us or a friend and we wonder, "Is life really worth living?" If the final act of life is death, why go through the pain and suffering?
We, as Christians, no there is a better world in our future, and that world is why we push ahead. We may be slaves here, but there is freedom ahead, and that freedom is Christ.
Prayer- Lord, help us understand that ther is hope, and You are that hope. Go-Fight-Win. Amen

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Romans 8:12-17

Relax, Read and Reflect

Prayer- Lord, Open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

12Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.[

] And by him we cry, "Abba,[b] Father." 16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. 17Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

When we accept Christ into our lives, we become His children, we are "adopted" by God. That is what Paul refers to as "sonship," In roman law, when a person was adopted by a family, he gave up all ties and rights to his former family, they basically no longer existed-wiped clean.

So when we cry out to God, and ask him into our lives, our sinful past is gone. Through the adoption by Christ our past has been "wiped clean." We are now heirs to a new family, a new life. A life eternal with God.

Prayer- Lord, thank you for taking us, for adopting us into your family. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Romans 8:9-11

Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer- Lord, Open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen
9You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.
How do we know if we are a Christian? Is there a test? From time to time we all worry about this. The answer is fairly simple; what do you have in your heart? If you have the Spirit of Christ in you, you are a Christian-a follower of Christ. If you don’t, you do not belong to Christ. Those who have the Spirit in them will never die. Those that do not need to fear death, because death is their end. Christ died for us, so that we may live. That, is the good news.
Prayer- Lord, Help us keep Your Spirit whiten us, and help us share the Spirit with others. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Romans 8:5-8

Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer- Lord, Open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
5Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6The mind of sinful man
is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7the sinful mind[b] is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. 8Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.
Paul groups the people of the world, all people, into two groups. One live according to their sinful nature, and the other lives at what the Spirit desires. The sinful man lives for death, the Spirit full man lives for life and peace.
What does this mean? It’s simple; those who live according to ful nature live for this world. What pleases them here. The reward of earth is- death. The Spirit filles person lives for something else- eternal life. Notice verse eight;
Enough said.
Prayer- Lord, Help us live as the Spirit leads us. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Romans 8:1-4

Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer- Lord, Open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen

1Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,[

] 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature,[b] God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering.[c] And so he condemned sin in sinful man,[d] 4in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.
"You are free to Go!" Imagine you are a convicted criminal sentenced to life in prison, or even death, and you are told "you are free to go." We, as a human are condemned to a life of sin, of judgement of the law. As the saying goes- "Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time," meaning be prepared to be punished if you break the law.
Here is the good news; Jesus did the time for us. Our debt has been paid. No longer does the law of the world have us in bondage. We are free to go!
Prayer- Lord, Thank you for sending Your Son, Jesus Christ, to pay for our sinfull human nature. Help us live our lives according to Your Spirit. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Romans 7:21-25

Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer- Lord, Open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

21So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22For in my inner being I delight in God's law; 23but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

The "other law at work in members of my body" is sin. Paul was a real person and therefore had real struggles with sin. Just as we do, he understood that sin was wrong. Whenever he felt he was giving away to sin, he got back to the basics of his faith. Christ is all powerful, and Christ will rescue us from sin. God’s law will win over other laws, God’s law will win over sin.
We are like Paul. We struggle with sin. We look at the world and see the challenges to our faith. We see the challenges to the life we know we should live. Who will save us?
Prayer- "Thanks be to God-through Jesus Christ our Lord." Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Romans 7:12-20

Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer- Lord, Open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

13Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! But in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it produced death in me through what was good, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.
14We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[
a] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

Paul tells us a truth here; We can not succeed by ourselves. We can not live a life without sin by our own strength, we need help. When we think otherwise we are slipping into sins grasp and power.
We may have a sinful nature, but that should never be an excuse, (the devil made me do it.) We have the spirit with us always. Because of Christ great sacrifice, God has been victorious over evil. Therefore; Since we are of God and are with God, sin has no control over us. We can only live this with Gods help, love and mercy.
Prayer- Lord, thank you for your love and grace. Thank you for giving us the power to resist and conquer sin. Please, remind us to use it. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Romans 7:7-12

Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer- Lord, Open our heart and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

7What shall we say, then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, "Do not covet."[
] 8But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from law, sin is dead. 9Once I was alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death.
11For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. 12So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.
Without law there is no sin. OK... Then if we do not know what laws are, are we still sinning? Yes-no-maybe. Even if we have not heard the law, we can still mess up. If we drive down in Mexico and see a sign saying "ALTO! Vacas!" we probably don’t know what that says. If we hit a cow we might have a clue, but the deed is done.
Sin confuses us, and uses the law to do it. There may be things we would never do, but because there are laws against them, we are tempted to do them. Drugs, wild sexual parties and the like. Looking at them logically we would never do them. Sin uses the laws to twist our thoughts, and then get us in trouble. If we focus on Gods love for us, and understand that His laws are there to protect us, then we can avoid sin.
Prayer- Lord, Help us use your laws as you intended them to be, tools for a better and happier life. Help us resist sin and temptation, and keep us safe from evil.Go-Fight-Win. Amen.