Strengthen Your Heart and Endure — James 5:7-12

Indeed we call blessed those who showed endurance. You have heard of the endurance of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful (James 5:11).

In an uncertain world where disaster, disease, and death can surprise us at any moment, James tells Christians to be patient, to endure, and strengthen their hearts. Then, he tells us why. “The coming of the Lord is near.” We need to remember that the Lord is near now. The Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit indwell Christians. In 1 John 4:4 & 6, John wrote, “Little children, you are from God, and have conquered them; for the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us, and whoever is not from God does not listen to us. From this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” Jesus will come again, though His coming has not been as soon as many Christians have hoped, and Peter tells us why. Peter explained in 2 Peter 3:8-9 “But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance.” In addition, remember this: whenever Christians die, the Lord Jesus has come to take them to the place He has prepared for them. Jesus promised in John’s gospel, in John 14:3, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.” We can endure with this blessed hope. Christians have good reasons to patiently endure because of the character of God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Christians can remind themselves that God is compassionate and merciful. God’s mercies are new every morning as Jeremiah explained in Lamentations 3:21-25, “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The LORD is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him.’ The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him.” Our trials have a purpose and through them we will become more like Jesus Christ. We will become more compassionate and merciful, and others will see the work of Jesus Christ in us and be drawn to faith in Jesus Christ. Amid our afflictions and before they begin, Christians need to strengthen their hearts. We do this through praise and prayers to the Lord God. We do this through the study of the Bible and through daily quiet times of Bible reading. We do this by showing the Lord we love Him by our daily obedience to Him and His Word. By believing and doing what the Bible teaches, people will be blessed.

For Commentary and Discussion Questions
see The Letter of James,
Good News for Uncertain Times at
https://www.ouosu.com/IBLC/JamesBibleCommentaries.html

Seven Gifts for Jesus’ Sheep

Recently on social media, a lot of bad comments have been made about sheep, some have been called sheep in a derogatory manner, and some have been told to quit being like sheep. We now have the word “Sheeple” in our vocabulary. One online dictionary defines “Sheeple” in these words: “DEROGATORY NOUN: people compared to sheep in being docile, foolish, or easily led. Example: ‘by the time the sheeple wake up and try to change things, it will be too late'”

In the Gospel of John, we find two types of sheep: those who hear the voice of Jesus and follow Him and those who do not hear the voice of Jesus because they are not His sheep. The Bible sometimes talks about separating the sheep from the goats. It is no accident that the devil is sometimes depicted as a goat-headed figure. Some have the Good Shepherd, Jesus, as their Leader, and some sheep do not. Keeping these things in mind, think about:

Seven Gifts for Jesus’ Sheep

In John 10:27-28, we read these words of Jesus:

My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand.”

What makes Jesus’ sheep different from other sheep? First, Jesus’ sheep believe in and believe Jesus. Some claim to believe in Jesus, but they do not indicate by their actions that they believe Jesus. They do not believe all His promises, or they disregard some of His commands. Second, those who believe Jesus hear His voice. As they pray and read the Bible, they hear Jesus speaking to them as the Holy Spirit gives them understanding of the Bible’s teachings. They hear and believe the Word of God. Third, Jesus knows His sheep and Jesus knows those who are not His sheep. Jesus told some of the religious leaders that they did not believe Him because they did not belong to His sheep. Fourth, because Jesus and His sheep know one another, Jesus’ sheep follow (obey) Jesus wherever He leads, and He always leads according to the Bible. Fifth, Jesus gives His sheep eternal life, a God-given quality of life in this world that will last throughout eternity. The gift of eternal life transforms believers into new people who love God and others. Sixth, Jesus’ sheep will never perish. They may suffer afflictions, diseases, persecutions, and physical death, but they will not perish. They cannot die spiritually but will live as Jesus’ sheep forever. Seventh, no one will be able to snatch Jesus’ sheep out the Father’s hand or Jesus’ hand. Jesus has a firm grip on those He loves and those who love Him. If one of Jesus’ sheep stray, He will find them and bring them home.

The International Bible Lesson for August 16, 2020 from the International Bible Study Commentary for August 16, 2020 (available on August 9. 2020).

Letter of James Uniform Lessons

During the past ten years, so many International Bible Lessons on the Letter of James have been written that I only need to write three more to complete a commentary on the Letter. For this reason, if you go to the Letter of James Archives, you will find lessons and activities completed or in preparation that should help you with your studies during the month of August. The goal is to provide 12 lessons that you can mix and match to cover all your lessons and finish a complete commentary. Go to this new and in process Letter of James Commentary.

John 14:1-14 Uniform Lesson

For July 26, 2020 John 14:1-14

These commentaries and lessons are from the International Bible Lesson Commentary Archives (Uniform Lesson Series) from May 27, 2012.

I hope you find them helpful in teaching your class or for personal study.

John 14:1-14 for July 26, 2020

John 14:1-14 Easy-Print Commentary

John 14:1-14 Easy-Print Large Print Commentary

Teacher Study Hints for Thinking Further

Teacher Study Hints for John 14:1-14

Teacher Study Hints for John 14:1-14 Large Print

International Bible Lesson

Do not let your hearts be troubled.
Believe in God, believe also in me”

(John 14:1).

Reasons Not to Worry

Reasons Not to Worry (Large Print)

Reasons Not to Worry (Bulletin Size)

Receive our periodic International Bible Study Newsletter by sending me an email request to lgp@theiblf.com.

May God continue to bless your Bible study and teaching and encourage you by His Word and Spirit!

Begin your study of the Gospel of John now!! OR Go to the “Contents” page to begin with John 1:1. Use for private Bible study, mid-week Bible study and Sunday schools.

Teaching the Truth in Love for the Love of God’s Word and His people,
L.G.

Study of the Second and Third Letters of John

The July 19, 2020 International Bible Study Commentary and Lesson is a study of the Second Letter of John: Links to Resources Below.

The July 26, 2020 International Bible Study Commentary and Lesson is a study of the Third Letter of John: Links to Resources Below.

These commentaries and lessons are from the International Bible Lesson Archives and include some additional materials.

I hope you find them helpful in teaching your class or for personal study. We will return to our study of the Gospel of John on August 2, 2020.

2 John 1:1-13 for July 19, 2020

English Standard Version

2 John 1:1-13 ESV Easy-Print Commentary

2 John 1:1-13 ESV Easy-Print Large Print Commentary

King James Version

2 John 1:1-13 KJV Easy-Print Commentary

2 John 1:1-13 KJV Easy-Print Large Print Commentary

New American Standard Bible

2 John 1:1-13 NASB Easy-Print Commentary

2 John 1:1-13 NASB Easy-Print Large Print Commentary

New International Version

2 John 1:1-13 NIV Easy-Print Commentary

2 John 1:1-13 NIV Easy-Print Large Print Commentary

New Revised Standard Version

2 John 1:1-13 NRSV Easy-Print Commentary

2 John 1:1-13 NRSV Easy-Print Large Print Commentary

Audio Edition with New International Version

Audio Edition 2 Thessalonians 3: 1-5 & 2 John 1:1-13 NIV Commentary

International Bible Lesson [New Series]

“I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children
walking in the truth, just as we were commanded by the Father”

(2 John 1:4).

Living Truthfully in Love

Living Truthfully in Love (Large Print)

Living Truthfully in Love (Bulletin Size)

Teacher Study Hints for Thinking Further

Teacher Study Hints for 2 John 1:1-13

Teacher Study Hints for 2 John 1:1-13 Large Print

Crossword Puzzle with Answer Key

2 John 1:1-13

True and False Review Test with Answer Key

2 John 1:1-13

Word Search International Bible Lesson Puzzle

2 John 1:1-13

International Bible Lesson [Old Series]

“Everyone who does not abide in the teaching of Christ,
but goes beyond it, does not have God;
whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son”

(2 John 1:9—NRSV).

Who Has the Father and the Son?

Who Has the Father and the Son? (Large Print)

Who Has the Father and the Son? (Bulletin Size)

________________________________________

3 John 1:1-15 for July 26, 2020

English Standard Version

3 John 1:1-15 ESV Easy-Print Commentary

3 John 1:1-15 ESV Easy-Print Large Print Commentary

English Standard Version and Student Study Handout for 3 John 1:1-15

King James Version

3 John 1:1-15 KJV Commentary

3 John 1:1-15 KJV Large Print Commentary

King James Version and Student Study Handout for 3 John 1:1-15

New American Standard Bible

3 John 1:1-15 NASB Commentary

3 John 1:1-15 NASB Large Print Commentary

New American Standard Bible and Student Study Handout for 3 John 1:1-15

New International Version

3 John 1:1-15 NIV Commentary

3 John 1:1-15 NIV Large Print Commentary

New International Version and Student Study Handout for 3 John 1:1-15

New Revised Standard Version

3 John 1:1-15 NRSV Commentary

3 John 1:1-15 NRSV Large Print Commentary

New Revised Standard Version and Student Study Handout for 3 John 1:1-15

Audio Edition with New International Version

Audio Edition 3 John 1:1-15 NIV Commentary

Teacher Study Hints for Thinking Further

Teacher Study Hints for 3 John 1:1-15

Teacher Study Hints for 3 John 1:1-15 Large Print

Crossword Puzzle with Answer Key

3 John 1:1-15

True and False Review Test with Answer Key

3 John 1:1-15

Word Search International Bible Lesson Puzzle

3 John 1:1-15

International Bible Lesson

“So if I come,
I will call attention to what he is doing
 in spreading false charges against us.

And not content with those charges,
 he refuses to welcome the friends,
and even prevents those who want to do so
 and expels them from the church”

(3 John 1:10—NRSV).

Facing Liars in the Church

Facing Liars in the Church (Large Print)

Facing Liars in the Church (Bulletin Size)

Receive our periodic International Bible Study Newsletter by sending me an email request to lgp@theiblf.com.

May God continue to bless your Bible study and teaching and encourage you by His Word and Spirit!

Begin your study of the Gospel of John now!! OR Go to the “Contents” page to begin with John 1:1. Use for private Bible study, mid-week Bible study and Sunday schools.

Teaching the Truth in Love for the Love of God’s Word and His people,
L.G.

Playing the Blame Game—John 9:2

Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” (John 9:2).

Humans often spend a lot of time trying to assign blame for the diseases, misfortunes, and horrible evils in our world. Some blame God. When bad things happen, some say God is evil or not much of a god. Others say God causes every evil that happens, but He does not sin when He does evil. Similarly, when Jesus’ disciples met a man born blind, they wanted to know if he or his parents had sinned and caused his blindness. Jesus said neither. Jesus looked at people from God’s point of view. Jesus saw every person as created in the image of God, and in some mysterious way Jesus is involved in the creation and birth of every person. Rather than look for someone to blame when He saw an evil, a misfortune, sin, disease, or genetic disorder, Jesus looked for ways to solve problems and help those in need when given the opportunity. By helping those in need, by healing people, by telling people the truth, by dying to save sinners, Jesus did the work of God and those He helped revealed the work of God. Jesus told His disciples and everyone who wants to follow Him that they have God’s work to do. Rather than always trying to assign blame for all the bad things that happen, Jesus expects His followers to do as He did. Jesus prayed fervently every day for opportunities to help others, even those who wanted to kill Him. Jesus expects Christians to pray, study the Bible, learn the will of God, use God’s special gifts to them, prepare themselves, and look for opportunities to help others.

The International Bible Study Commentary on John 9:1-12, along with activities for students and a Study Guide to the questions below, will be published on the evening of June 7.

Thinking Further

1. Who sinned that the man was born blind?

2. In what special way did Jesus look upon the man who was born blind? How do you look upon people who have a genetic disorder?

3. How did Jesus explain our responsibility to do the works of God?

4. What did Jesus do to heal the man? Why do you think Jesus healed him this way?

5. What did the man do to receive his sight? If he had disobeyed Jesus, do you think he would have been able to see?

Do you or someone in your Bible study group have a question? Send your questions to me at lgp@theiblf.com and I will answer them (or try to) here on the IBSF. You can also write me at lgp@theiblf.com if you would like to subscribe to our periodic newsletter.

If you have not yet started to study the Gospel of John, you can join us and begin with the Bible commentary and Bible lesson on John 1:1-14, or you can begin with today’s lesson. Begin your study of the Gospel of John now!!  OR Go to the “Contents” page to begin with John 1:1.

May God continue to bless your Bible study and teaching and encourage you by His Word and Spirit!

Teaching the Truth in Love for the Love of God’s Word and All His people,
L.G.

Proverbs 1:1-4, 7-8, 10, 20-22, 32-33 Activities for June 7, 2020

Now available for Proverbs 1:1-4, 7-8, 10, 20-22, 32-33.

GO TO: CROSSWORD PUZZLES, TRUE AND FALSE TESTS, AND WORD SEARCH PUZZLES

Even though the new International Bible Study Commentary is now a verse-by-verse study through the Gospel of John, I will try to answer any of your questions on each week’s Uniform Lesson, if you will send your questions to me at lgp@theiblf.com. I will answer them (or try to) here on the Forum, where you can also make Comments.

Receive our periodic International Bible Study Newsletter by sending me an email request to lgp@theiblf.com.

May God continue to bless your Bible study and teaching and encourage you by His Word and Spirit!

Begin your study of the Gospel of John now!! OR Go to the “Contents” page to begin with John 1:1. Use for private Bible study, mid-week Bible study and Sunday schools.

Teaching the Truth in Love for the Love of God’s Word and His people,
L.G.

Jesus’ Answer to Racism—John 8:48

“The Jews answered Jesus, ‘Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?’” (John 8:48).

Jesus told the religious leaders who wanted to kill Him that their spiritual father was not Abraham or God but the devil, because the devil is a liar and a murderer, and they acted like the devil. Then, they attacked Jesus using a racial slur when they called Him a Samaritan. They hated Samaritans too. Amazingly, Jesus did not defend himself against the false charge that He was a Samaritan. Though the Bible does not tell us directly why Jesus did not defend himself against a racist insult, the Bible tells us enough about Jesus and His character to believe Jesus did not defend himself because Jesus saw nothing wrong with being a Samaritan (or a member of any other race, for He created all races and loves all races); therefore, He ignored the accusation. Jesus was not racially prejudiced against anyone. Jesus came to show the Father’s love and save the world, people of all races. For examples, He visited with a Samaritan woman at a well and led her and a Samaritan town to believe in Him as the Savior of the world (see John 4). He also told a parable that involved a good Samaritan who loved his neighbor as the LORD commanded and helped a stranger who had been left for dead (see Luke 10:25-37). Because Jesus was not racially prejudiced against anyone, He did not take the charge that He was a Samaritan as an insult. The Bible teaches that every person is “fearfully and wonderfully made” and God’s works are wonderful (Psalms 139:14). Jesus commanded: “Love one another as I have loved you” (John 13:34).

Included with each week’s commentary on the Gospel of John is a short 300 word weekly Bible Lesson (the Bible Lesson above), and in light of all that is currently taking place in the United States today, I thought I would post it early on the International Bible Study Forum. Your comments are welcomed and may help others as we seek to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with those who need to hear and receive Him and His message. If you would like to read the Bible commentary on John 8:48-59, (which will be published in the evening on May 31), go to the International Bible Study Commentary.

Do you or someone in your Bible study group have a question? Send your questions to me at lgp@theiblf.com and I will answer them (or try to) here on the IBSF. You can also write me at lgp@theiblf.com if you would like to subscribe to our periodic newsletter.

If you have not yet started to study the Gospel of John, you can join us and begin with the Bible commentary and Bible lesson on John 1:1-14, or you can begin with today’s lesson. Begin your study of the Gospel of John now!!  OR Go to the “Contents” page to begin with John 1:1.

May God continue to bless your Bible study and teaching and encourage you by His Word and Spirit!

Teaching the Truth in Love for the Love of God’s Word and All His people,
L.G.

Hosea 11:1-10 & Hosea 12:1-14 Activities for May 31, 2020

Now available for Hosea 11:1-10 & Hosea 12:1-14.

GO TO: CROSSWORD PUZZLES, TRUE AND FALSE TESTS, AND WORD SEARCH PUZZLES

Even though the new International Bible Study Commentary is now a verse-by-verse study through the Gospel of John, I will try to answer any of your questions on each week’s Uniform Lesson, if you will send your questions to me at lgp@theiblf.com. I will answer them (or try to) here on the Forum, where you can also make Comments.

Receive our periodic International Bible Study Newsletter by sending me an email request to lgp@theiblf.com.

May God continue to bless your Bible study and teaching and encourage you by His Word and Spirit!

Begin your study of the Gospel of John now!! OR Go to the “Contents” page to begin with John 1:1. Use for private Bible study, mid-week Bible study and Sunday schools.

Teaching the Truth in Love for the Love of God’s Word and His people,
L.G.

The Most Misused Verse in the Bible

Jesus promised in John 8:32, “and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

The Jews in Jesus’ day knew truth, but they were not free. The leaders in Jerusalem still wanted to kill Jesus. They were slaves of sin. Many leaders in nations around the world know truth, but they are not free. They are slaves of sin. Many in all types of governments, all types of media, and even all types of churches know truth, but they still lie to their listeners, cheat others when “making deeds,” steal from and kill the less powerful, and mislead the uninformed. They are slaves of sin. It is one thing to know truth and quite another thing to be truthful instead of telling lies when truth is known. Some know truth and use it to deceive others, to control and manipulate others, and to achieve their selfish outcomes without regard to God or anyone but themselves. They are slaves of sin. So Notice: in John 8:32, Jesus did not say, as so many misinterpret, “When you know truth, truth will set you free.”

What did Jesus actually say in John 8:32?  “AND you will know THE TRUTH.” The “And” indicates that we must do something in order to know “the truth,” not just truth. To know “the truth,” people must do what Jesus said in John 8:31, “if you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples.” To know “the truth” we must be disciples of Jesus (students, learners) of Jesus. Until we are disciples of Jesus, we will be slaves of sin. The evils that many in all types of governments, all types of media, and even all types of churches say and do should not surprise us, because many are not disciples of Jesus. They are slaves of sin. To know “the truth, people must become disciples of Jesus and try to do what Jesus commanded and showed us as an example. It is quite clear that those who are not disciples of Jesus, no matter what they may claim to be or what church they claim to belong to, are slaves of sin. Slaves of sin suppress “the truth,” so “the truth” will not influence their thoughts and actions; they suppress and hide “the truth” and misuse many important truths so they can misuse others (see especially Romans 1:18-32). Only Jesus can free someone from slavery to sin.

Remember: Jesus said, “if you continue in my word.” Jesus is the Word of God who perfectly revealed the mind, intention, will, love, and commands of God to the world. True disciples of Jesus continue to learn and do Jesus’ words in the power of the Holy Spirit. True disciples of Jesus are filled with the Holy Spirit who guides, empowers, and gives them the love and understanding to do all that Jesus has commanded with God’s help. Though true disciples of Jesus do not follow and obey Jesus perfectly, continuing in the words of Jesus is the direction of their lives and sin is the exception (not the direction) of their lives—because Jesus has freed them from slavery to sin. Knowing Jesus and the truth, and living as a disciple of Jesus, does not guarantee that a disciple will not be mistreated and killed by those who are slaves of sin, but in many situations Jesus’ followers will recognize when someone is telling lies or telling truths so as to have true freedom from fear, sin, and death as they face the future with Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

So, next time you hear John 8:32 misused, try to explain from memory what John 8:31-32 actually mean and the conditions that Jesus said believers in Him, disciples of Jesus, need to fulfill in order to know “the truth.” If people will do what Jesus commanded, Jesus, who is THE TRUTH will free them from slavery to sin. Indeed, in John 8:36, we read this promise, “So, if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”

We all need to be “free indeed,” freed from slavery to sin. All who lead our nations around the world, our media, and our churches need to be freed from slavery to sin, but only Jesus Christ, the Word of God, can make people who believe in Him “free indeed,” and He will only do so if we will continue in His word as He promised. To learn more about how to be free, read the International Bible Study Commentary.

Do you or someone in your Bible study group have a question? Send your questions to me at lgp@theiblf.com and I will answer them (or try to) here on the IBSF.

If you have not yet started to study the Gospel of John, you can join us and begin with the Bible commentary and Bible lesson on John 1:1-14, or you can begin with today’s lesson. Begin your study of the Gospel of John now!!  OR Go to the “Contents” page to begin with John 1:1.

May God continue to bless your Bible study and teaching and encourage you by His Word and Spirit!

Teaching the Truth in Love for the Love of God’s Word and His people,
L.G.