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.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Romans 9:22-29

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

22What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— 24even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? 25As he says in Hosea: "I will call them 'my people' who are not my people; and I will call her 'my loved one' who is not my loved one,"[a] 26and, "It will happen that in the very place where it was said to them, 'You are not my people,' they will be called 'sons of the living God.' "[b]
27Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: "Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea, only the remnant will be saved. 28For the Lord will carry out his sentence on earth with speed and finality."[
29It is just as Isaiah said previously: "Unless the Lord Almighty had left us descendants, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah."

Okay, This is a little longer reading than usual. However, it all flows together. Have you ever wondered how the Old Testament and New Testament tied together? Basically, it's by prophecy. Paul knew the Hebrew Bible(Old Testament,) well. He quotes the prophet Hosea saying "I will call them my people who are not my people." Paul interprets this, (as do I,) as meaning the gentiles.
Paul was a good Jew, and whenever he went into a new town he preached to the Jews first, so that they would have the first opportunity to accept the "Good News." Sadly, they usually did not accept Paul. Paul knew he was commanded to spread his message to everyone, and had more success with the Gentiles, fulfilling Hosea's prophecy.
Can we do the same? Can we spread the news to all people? We can if we want to please God, (and we all want to please God.)
Prayer- Lord, Give us the strength and courage to spread your gospel. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Romans 9:19-21

Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer- Lord, Open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
19One of you will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?" 20But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?' "[a] 21Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?
It is amazing how many of the same questions that troubled Christians during Paul's days still trouble us. How many times do you wonder why God acts the way He acts? Either to us or our friends, we see things that trouble us and cause us to question our faith.
In the big picture, (el cinema grande,) who are we to question God/ Did we make ourselves? No, even so called "self-made men" were created by the same God that created kings and killers. So, why should we question God's blessings for us.
Sidebar: Paul's comparison of pots of clay does not mean that some of us are worth more than others. Quite the contrary. We are all made from the same material. It is the world, not God, that puts value on objects. Is it not man that puts value on people as well? Think it over.
Prayer-Lord, Help us remember that we are all created the same, and that is Your image, which is nice. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Romans 9:14-18

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

14What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."[a] 16It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy. 17For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: "I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth."[b] 18Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.

I have been thinking about faith a lot lately,(that is a constant thing.) Sometimes it is difficult to maintain faith, or really knowing what to believe. Does God really raise people up for evil purposes? Did he make Hitler kill millions of Jews, his chosen people? Did he really raise up Pharaoh to butt heads with Moses? This can be very confusing.
Here is a hint that keeps me going in a positive fashion. We are all going to be blessed by God, the problem is that we do not know what that blessing may be or when it may come. For many young women, an unplanned pregnancy may be one of the most disastrous things that can happen. Sometimes, God blesses this person greatly with this child. Out of bad things, miracles happen. If the bad things did not come, the miracle would not come either. All things happen for the glory of God, and because we are not God, we do not always know when glorious things are happening.
Prayer- Lord, Help us remember that you are great and do great things, Give us the patience to accept your will. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Romans 9:10-13

Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer- Lord, Open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
10Not only that, but Rebekah's children had one and the same father, our father Isaac. 11Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God's purpose in election might stand: 12not by works but by him who calls—she was told, "The older will serve the younger."[a] 13Just as it is written: "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."
Where is Paul going with this? He is showing that lineage does not really matter. The Jews were proud that they were descendants from Issac, who was Sarah's (the legitimate wife) son, not Ishmael, who was the child of the maid. Paul reminds them that it doesn't matter. The next generation of the Jewish patriarchs got twisted with Jacob and Esau. Since Esau was the eldest, the line should have gone through him. Oh well!
God decides who he saves. It doesn't matter who your parents are or what you do. God saves us through His goodness and mercy, not by our own merit.
Prayer- Lord, Thank you for saving me, even though I do not merit it. Help us show your goodness and mercy to the world. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Romans 9:6-9

Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer- Lord, Open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
6It is not as though God's word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. 7Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham's children. On the contrary, "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned."[a] 8In other words, it is not the natural children who are God's children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham's offspring. 9For this was how the promise was stated: "At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son."
The children of Israel are God's people. Paul knows this. the question is ,"who are the people of Israel?" Paul (the Jew's Jew) proudly state that Jews are not people of Abraham's descent- they are people of Abraham's faith! The people that keep Abraham's covenant, (not just the external markings-but the internal markings,) are the descendants of Israel.
If Paul believes that is it by our faith that we are in God's family, what does that mean for us? Plenty. Jesus came to share the love and grace of his Father to everyone. To you, me, and the sinner down the street,(or down the hall.) If we have the faith of Abraham in us, we are adopted into the chosen people.
Prayer- Lord, Thank you for adopting us as your children. Help us spread the news and show our faith. Go-Fight-Win. Amen

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Romans 9:1-5

Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer- Lord, Open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
Romans 9
God's Sovereign Choice

1I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it in the Holy Spirit— 2I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race, 4the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. 5Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.
Say what you will about Paul, but he had love in his heart for people. He knew the Jewish beliefs and traditions, actually he knew them very well. He understood that they were God's adopted people, the chosen ones. He also knew there was a knew adoption available. This adoption was for everyone to take, Jew or gentile. He states that he would offer himself up to be cut off from Christ, (and therefore God,) for the sake of his people. That is love!
Paul is willing to sacrifice all for many people he has never met, nor would likely ever meet. What are we, as the body of Christ, willing to sacrifice for others? Our time?, our money?, our safety? How much do we love?
Prayer- Lord, Help us love our neighbors, all of them, as we love ourselves. Give us the strength to show the world Your love through and in us. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Romans 8:37-39

Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer- Lord, Open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go- Fight- Win. Amen.
37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
These are a continuation from yesterday's verses of comfort. Paul knows that God loves us, and there is nothing that can seperate us from that love.
How important is that? This is one of the most important things to remember. We all sin, we all fall short. Evil has a way of using our sins against us. We start to think that we are not worthy of God's love and forgiveness, and so we hide from God. Evil tries to seperate us from God by guilt, but nothing will be able to seperate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Nothing!
Prayer- Lord, Help us remember than no matter what happens our what we do, You will always love us. Go-Fight-Win. Amen

Monday, October 01, 2007

Romans 8: 31-36

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

31What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."

Do you ever wonder why God would love you? Some of us lack a positive spiritual self image. If you ever feel this way, re-read these verses! God gave up His Son for you, for all of us. If God is willing to do that, wouldn't it be obvious that God will do anything for us? If God is with us, who can be against us? Nothing important, nothing powerful, nothing that even comes close to God!
Remember a historical note here. Paul is writing this letter to the church at Rome. This is not the grand Vatican church at Rome we know today. This was the church that was about to be persecuted severely by the Roman emperors, (remember being eaten by wild animals in the Colosseum for entertainment?) Yes, the big trial were about to start, but because of letters like this, the church survived and eventually conquered. We should also take encouragement.

Prayer- Lord, Thank you for giving us your power and might. Let us remember that we are yours, and nothing else can deal with that. Go-Fight-Win. Amen