Welcome to “Sunday SchoolSunday School”.  Each week we will highlight our Adult Class Sunday School Lesson for the upcoming week.  This site is designed to prepare you for the upcoming lesson, and give you greater insight into the Word of God.  Get ready to bestretched.  Get ready for an exciting  journey.  Get ready for a stir in your Soul.

 

Daily Scripture reading for the week is at the end of the page.           

 

                                                                                                                                                                                Dr. June Normil

 


 

 

                                            Unit 2 Study 13

                                        November 30, 2014

 

Study Scriptures for this week's Lesson: Matthew 20:1-16; Luke 14:15-24

 

Key Verse: revelation 3:20 Behold, I [Jesus] stand at  the  door, and knock: If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, an he with me (KJV).

 

Central Truth: Responding to Christ with faith and obedience brings salvation.

 

Our Focus: To acknowledge the call of Christ and respond with obedience to Him.

 

 

                                            Stories about Responding to Christ

 

 

                                                                                         

Introducing the study

 

A church launched a food pantry ministry. Members donated canned goods and other  food items. The church advertised its new ministry. Volunteers assembled on the first day the program went into operation, excitedly awaiting the first people to show up and receive their box of provisions. To their surprise, however, no one arrived. The blessing they intended to bestow meant little without a response from the community. This same principle rings true with God's gracious offer of salvation. His offer accomplishes nothing if people do not respond to it. The parables studied in this lesson remind us that those who respond to Christ with heartfelt commitment and obedience will experience eternal life. At the end of this study, you will be able to: (1). Perceive the importance of responding to Christ. (2). Recognize the danger of ignoring Christ's call. (3). Appreciate that God rewards all who follow Him.

 

Responding Early and Late

 

In this story about workers in a vineyard, Jesus pictured a landowner who set out early one morning to hire workers for his vineyard (Matthew 20:1-2). He promised the workers that  they would receive the common pay for a day laborer, which was a "penny". Later that morning the landowner  found other available workers in the marketplace (verse 3-4). He hired these as well, promising to pay them what was right. The landowner repeated the offer three times during the day: at noon, 3 p.m., and finally 5 p.m. (verses 5-7).  This is a picture of constant activity, with the landowner seeking all who would respond to his invitation. This parable establishes that God rewards service no matter the length of time  served. A person who spends much of a lifetime serving Jesus will be rewarded in eternity, as will the person who comes to Christ late in life and only serves for a brief time. Early or late, God honors faithfulness. The parable also illustrates the importance of responding to Christ. Each group the landowner approached throughout the day faced a choice. They  could either accept or reject his offer of work. It didn't matter when the offer had come. What really mattered was that they responded when the offer was made. No one at any stage of life should refuse to respond to the offer Christ gives humanity. It would be the most foolish of choices. Responding obediently to the offer of salvation has eternal rewards.

 

[For Personal Reflection] Why some people fail to answer God's call to salvation until later in life?   

 

All Who Respond Are Rewarded

 

That evening, the workers gathered to received their promised wages. Whether they were hired early in the morning or at the last call of the afternoon, they would be paid (verses 8-9). But, surprisingly, all were paid the same amount (verse 10). This led to some complaints from those hired early (verses 11-12). After all, they had worked in the hot sun throughout the day. It didn't seem fair that workers who had labored only a single hour during the cooler part of the day would receive the same wages. The vineyard owner disagreed (verses 13-15). He reminded them that they agreed to the wage they received. The decision regarding the amount to pay each worker was his. Jesus then articulated a major point of this parable: Those who seek to be first will be last, and the last, first. Rewards rest in God's control. Every person will face an accounting before Him (Romans 14:12). Those who expect a great reward may find themselves as surprised as the first workers in the parable. Likewise, people deemed less deserving may find an equal surprise in receiving a greater reward than they ever imagined. The amount of work and service we accomplish for the Lord is not the issue. What  does matter is that we have responded to Him at some point in our lives and have served Him faithfully following that response. He is looking for faithful workers motivated by love for Him. God is more concerned about the workers themselves than about the reward each might receive. We are wise to adopt this same set of values as we endeavor to serve the Lord.

 

[For Personal Reflection] "Faithfulness and love in service to God is more important than length of service and the amount of work accomplished ?" 

 

Ignoring Christ's Call Is Inexcusable

 

There will always be those who ignore Christ's call for salvation. They avoid the issue in favor of their own self-centered pursuits. Rewards for service hold no motivation for them. Such people pay little attention to the Lord who loves them and reaches out to them. Jesus addressed such people in a unique way (Luke 14:15-24). During a banquet, He suggested that His host invite the outcast of society to meals in his home. In response, one of the guest exclaimed that those who will eat at the great feast in God's kingdom are truly blessed (verse 15). Jesus then told a parable about a man who sent out an extensive invitation to a meal he had prepared (verse 16). This parable illustrates God's desire for all to come to His kingdom by responding to His offer of salvation through Christ. When the time of the banquet approached, the host sent out a call to the invited, urging them to come to the meal (verse 17). But every person invited gave an excuse for not attending (verses 18-20). The servant reported this to his master, who became so upset that he gave a new order. This invitation offered individuals who were considered as the outcast of that day (verse 21). And so, these came to the banquet. In the eyes of those originally invited to this banquet--particularly the Jewish leaders--these were not people expected to appear in such a setting. These new invitees had a different response to Jesus than that of the Pharisees. They sought the Lord out of a heartfelt desire to make Him their Lord and Savior. Instead of excuses, they accepted His offer--an offer that is made to all. We, too, can be tempted to offer excuses. We might grow spiritually cold over time, and become focused o selfish goals and priorities. But there is no valid excuse for not accepting Christ. He is looking for those who have sincere hearts filled with love for Him. A heartfelt response such as this will surely bring eternal life in His kingdom.

 

[For Personal reflection] What causes people to choose the temporary over the eternal?

 

 Discipleship in Action

 

The key theme in each of these parables lies in response. In the story of the vineyard workers, their wages were based not on the amount of labor rendered, but on their willingness to respond. In the story of the great banquet, those who refused to respond to the invitation missed the banquet, while others accepted and enjoyed the meal. Think of your personal response to Jesus Christ. It's not too late to accept His offer of salvation. By saying yes to Him today, you begin a journey that leads to God's eternal kingdom. Or perhaps you've grown spiritually cold and you find yourself excuses for not serving God. Rekindle a heartfelt desire for Him today. Surrender to His plans, then refocus on eternal priorities. 
  

                                                                ANSWER JESUS' CALL...HE'S  WAITING!                                                   

                          
 
 

 

 

 Monday               Choose Life and Blessing                    Deuteronomy 30:15-20

 

 

 

Tuesday               Danger in Rejecting Wisdom.               Proverbs 1:20-33

 

 

 

Wednesday         Respond to Wisdom's Call.                  Proverbs 8:1-11               

 

 

Thursday           Jesus' Invitation.                                       Matthew 11:25-30                      

 

 

 

Friday                 Respond to the Gospel.                          Acts 2:36-41                  

 

 

 

Saturday            Confess Faith in Christ.                          Romans 10:6-13                                               

 

   

 See You In Sunday School Next Week!!!! 

 

   

Copyright Reference:  Radiant Life, Volume 96 Number 1 Sep. Oct. Nov 2014 by Gospel Publishing House, 1445 N. Boonville Ave, Springfield, Mo  65802.

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                Dr. June Normil