4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. 7 Now to each person the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
All of us are given different gifts and blessings by God. How should we use them? The Bible teaches us that we should use our abilities in order to build up our communities in a positive way. How do you use your gifts?
Better Understanding through Drama (Stone Soup)
（Note: Stone soup is simply stones cooked in hot water. ）
Poor Person: I have nothing to eat! I will have to make stone soup for dinner.
Neighbor 1: Hey Poor person, what are you making?
Poor Person: Stone soup. It’s really good, but it needs more flavor!
Neighbor 1: Well, I have some extra carrots, do you want them?
Poor person: Sure, throw them in!
Neighbor 2: Hey, what are you two guys making?
PP & N1: Stone soup! It’s really good, but it needs more flavor.
Neighbor 2: Well, I have some leftover chicken. Do you want it?
PP & N1: Sure, throw it in!
Neighbor 3: Hey, what are you three guys making?
PP, N1, N2: Stone soup. It’s really good, but it needs more flavor!
N3: Well, I have some potatoes. Do you want them?
PP, N1, N2: Sure, throw them in!
PP: Hey everybody, what were you going to make for dinner tonight?
N1: Well, I`m very poor, so I was only going to eat those carrots.
N2: Well, I`m also very poor, so I was only going to eat that leftover chicken.
N3: Well, I`m also very poor, so I was only going to eat those potatoes.
PP: Wow, when we share what we have, we`re not so poor anymore, are we!
Everybody: Let’s always make stone soup!
2012 Winter Semester
Week 2 Bible Study
January 17th – January 20th
Bible Verse: Joshua 1:9
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Every child knows the parental promise, “Don`t be afraid, I am right here with you!” In the Bible God, our Father, makes us this promise over and over again. This promise of God`s presence is a promise of care, and while God`s presence may not always be the only thing we want from God, it is a gift He consistently gives without holding back.
Better Understanding Through Poetry!
One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
Other times there was one set of footprints.
This bothered me because I noticed
That during the low periods of my life
When I was suffering from anguish, sorrow, or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints.
So I said to the Lord, “You promised me Lord, that if I followed you,
You would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life
There have only been one set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?”
The Lord replied, “The times when you have seen only one set of footprints
Are the time when I carried you.”
2012 Winter Semester
Week 1 Bible Study
January 10th – January 13th
●Bible Verse: Philippians 4:12-13
12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Unfortunately in the Bible God never promises to keep us from trouble in this life. In fact, Jesus at one point tells His disciples, “In this life, you will have trouble.” What this means is that faith does not help us avoid trouble in our lives. Instead our faith in God helps us overcome the troubles that we meet.
●Better Understanding Through Drama!
A conversation between Peter and Jesus in Heaven
Jesus: Hey Peter, you look sort of sad. What’s wrong?
Peter: Well Jesus, I’m a little mad at you.
Jesus: Really, why?
Peter: Well, I spent most of my adult life following you and working for you, right?
Jesus: Yeah, and you did a great job! Thanks!
Peter: Yeah, I did a great job, but what did I get out of it? I hardly ever saw my family. I was poor and so I missed lots of meals. And in the end, I died a rather young man. I had lots of trouble!
Jesus: Peter, I told you that following me would be difficult. I said that following me would give you a blessed life, not an easy one.
Peter: What’s the difference?
Jesus: A blessed life is a life full of love, friendship, purpose, joy, wisdom, faith and courage. Didn’t you have all of those things when you were working with me?
Peter: Yeah, I guess I did. Sorry Jesus, you’re right, it wasn’t so bad!
Week 1: Philippians 4:12-13.
Teaching point: Faith does not help us avoid trouble, faith helps us get through trouble.
Week 2: Joshua 1:9.
Teaching point: Confidence is not only a gift we receive from God, but a command God gives us. He says, “Be confident, I am with you!”
Week 3: 1 Corinthians 12:4-6.
Teaching point: All people are given different gifts by God to be used for the building up of our community. Others lean on us for our gifts and we lean on others for theirs.
Week 4: Pastor Yasui
Week 5: Matthew 18:21-22.
Teaching point: God never limits His forgiveness for us, and He asks that we never put a limit on our forgiveness for others.
Week 6: Job 1:21.
Teaching point: God is the source of our blessings and our challenges. God’s work in our life is not to give pleasure, but to make us holy and joyful. This makes faith difficult.
Week 7: Matthew 5:38-39.
Teaching point: Violence only creates more violence. Peace and love are the things that destroy hate and anger.
Week 8: John 1:14.
Teaching point: Jesus is God with and among us. If we want to know what God is like we just have to remember Jesus!