You can do a lot of fun things with bananas. There are banana splits, banana pudding, banana cream pies, banana bread, etc. The term “going bananas” means “going to extremes, going overboard, going nuts over something.” It means to be completely sold out for something.
1. What do you “go bananas” over? Appearance, Clothing, Sports, Church, Being Popular, Computers, Food, God, Music, Money, etc.
2. What is good and what is bad about “going bananas” over these things?
Read Exodus 35:4-9, 20; 36:2-7 concerning “going bananas” about giving to God!
3. How did the Israelite's show they were “going bananas” over building a sanctuary for God?
4. Can you imagine people at Grace having to be restrained from giving more?
5. What do you think was going on for this attitude to be so dominant?
Read Acts 26:19-32 about an apostle who goes bananas for Jesus.
6. What made Festus think Paul had literally gone bananas?
7. What do you think of Paul’s witness to Agrippa? Was he courageous? Foolhardy? Crazy?
Points to Ponder:
What would it take for you to go bananas in giving to God?
What would it take for you to go bananas for Christ?
In His service,
Psychologists and Counselors report that some people refuse to admit that they have any kind of behavior problem, even though they have police records, terrible relationships with others, etc.
Some people say, “It’s my son’s fault that I told that lie. He asked me to cover up for him!”
Some people blame “the system,” their parents, their wife or husband, and many other people/things for their behavior and the consequences of their behavior. Why do we sometimes not admit when we have done wrong?
Psychologists and Counselors report that there is usually an “attitude problem” with people who won’t take responsibility for their actions and acknowledge when they are wrong (have make wrong choices and actions, etc.). Until they stop defending their behavior, they will not change. They never tap into the real life they could have.
At times, we all deny taking responsibility for our actions, especially when the consequences reflect negatively upon us. It’s difficult to admit that we have done wrong because we feel ashamed and exposed. James 5:16 says, “Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”
We can only be transformed into the likeness of Christ when we make the choice to walk in truth, no matter how painful that truth may be. Facing the truth of our own mistakes forces us to admit that we are not always able to see ourselves as we would like to be. But confessing the truth about ourselves is exactly what we need to help us grow into the people that God created us to be.
1. Think about the times you have covered up, or denied, the truth about yourself so that others could not see the real you. What were the results of that denial?
2. How did you feel about yourself afterwards?
3. Was the truth eventually revealed?
4. Why don’t we want others to know the real person inside of us?
5. How can you help another person who doesn’t take personal responsibility for his/her actions/behavior?
6. Could the reason that the Bible is avoided by so many people be that it paints an accurate portrait of humanity’s true condition and the truth hurts?
Proverbs 28:13 says, “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”
Proverbs 12:22 says, “The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy.”
Galatians 6:7-10 says, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”
Luke 6:31 says, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”
Galatians 5:19-21 says, “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Colossians 3:1 says, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.”
In His service,
Sometimes we think the Christian life should be free of pain, trouble and temptation. That’s not what the Bible teaches! In fact, Jesus Himself experienced all three. The Bible gives special attention to the fact that Jesus was tempted to sin. And just as the devil gave it his best shot in trying to seduce Jesus, we should expect the same.
Read Matthew 4:1-11 (below), then answer the following:
1Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” 4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” 5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” 7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” 10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” 11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
If I had experienced these three particular temptations, I would have:
Temptation #1, vv. 1-4
1. Made some “stone bread” to ease my hunger.
2. Told the stones to become prime rib au jus.
3. Resisted putting physical needs above spiritual needs.
Temptation #2, vv. 5-7
1. Had some fun at the temple using angels as a bungee cord.
2. Watched with delight the expressions on the priests’ faces as I came in for my landing.
3. Avoided doing something spectacular just to get the glory.
Temptation #3, vv. 8-10
1. Taken Satan’s offer of all the kingdoms of the world for one quick bow.
2. Thought of all the good I could do to make up for only one sin.
3. Remained focused on my Father in heaven.
In falling to any of these temptations, would Jesus have been doing God’s will?
What was God’s will for Jesus?
What is God’s will for us?
Does it surprise you that Jesus, the Son of God, God Incarnate, was tempted by the devil? Why or why not?
In each instance, what did Jesus do in resisting the devil?
Give in to the devil?
Saw through the deceit?
Felt like He was a victim of peer pressure?
Did not give an inch?
Made the easy choice?
Things to think about in your life:
How are you tempted in your life?
What temptations really get your attention?
Is it difficult to resist temptation? Why or why not?
What do you do to resist temptation?
What should you do to resist temptation?
Remember, at the end of it all, we have a home in Heaven with God where there will be no more temptation or sin!
That’s the Good News of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ! Spread this Good News!!
Love and prayers,
There’s always lots of competition for the top spot in our lives!
Jesus said that the most important thing is to love God “with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Luke 10:27). Often, however, we crowd Him out with other things.
A famous Christian once said, “Jesus came to be Lord of all, or He will not be Lord at all.”
How are you doing with making Jesus the Lord of everything in your life? What keeps you from worshiping God every Sunday in church or online during Covid-19? What keeps you from attending or watching Sunday School every Sunday? How can you do better at putting God first in your life?
Deuteronomy 5:11 says, “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.”
1. What kinds of gods would people today be tempted to put before the living and true God?
Matthew 6:19-24 says, 19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 22 The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
2. What are ways people store up treasures on earth?
3. How can we store up treasures in Heaven?
4. Why does Jesus say you can’t have two masters?
Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
5. What are we supposed to seek first?
6. Write down how you personally could do this.
Matthew 22:37-38 says, 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment.”
7. Name the three aspects of your life in which you should put God first.
Beside each aspect write one thing you need to do to put God first.
These are things we all need to focus on!
In His service,
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