Topic: Obedience Vs. Disobedience I - The Fruit Of Laboring In Jesus Christ
Episode: Smurfs At Sea
Lesson PDF link: 25a.pdf
We are talking about the good side of this lesson; which is obedience. We are looking at a Smurfs episode called "Smurfs At Sea" to illustrate this lesson. We are looking at two characters in general who are Smurfette and Dreamy who are feeling compelled or led to try things that are different. At first, they are unsuccessful, and they are discouraged. This part of the lesson is geared to show God's hidden plans for His saints and the blessings of obedience to His will.
Scriptures Used Include: Romans 12: 1-2; I Peter 4: 12-19, James 1: 2-8; Mark 4: 26-29; John 10: 1-21
How easy do you believe that you hear God's voice right now? Have you had a hunger in your heart that you are sure is of God's leading? What is/was it specifically (if you can remember)? What does this feel like? How did this situation turn out? Can you think of a specific time in which you doubted God in one of these leadings of the heart? How did it turn out? Is there a difference? Why or why not? On this topic of God's leadings I will show a cartoon from the Smurfs series called "Smurfs At Sea". Afterwards, we will have a series of Bible passages and discussion.
Cartoon Show: Smurfs: "Smurfs At Sea":
Bible Study (Shown In Three Parts With Their Interpretations), Analysis, And Discussion:
Part A: Romans 12: 1-2'At the first of this cartoon, we see Smurfette having a leading of the heart to decorate the village in secret. No lies are found in her as she is trying to surprise everyone. Her attitude is 'Good night, I'll see you early to show you what is new.' This is saying her work is going to be completed without the other Smurfs knowing.
If we think of Smurfette as a Christian trying to do God's work, we can perhaps see something interesting. This "something interesting" is an opportunity to be obedient to God's leading.
My thoughts on the matter are as follows: Sometimes in my times of ministry I am brought to my home sometimes (of course, the person who brings me home thinks I am going to stay there). Often times this is true, other times it is not. Sometimes, I have been led in the past to go witness to people at around 2 AM at places that shall remain nameless unless I am asked. I, of course talk about it with the person that brought me home the next day or when I can. These leadings have never been wrong before because I hear God's voice. I didn't lie because there was no lie intended. I discerned God's will period.
Part B: I Peter 4: 12-19, James 1: 2-8: We see that soon after Smurfette does what she does, her plan seems to be going sour. Why? Next, we see a flashback of when Dreamy had a leading of the heart. Let's say he is a Christian, trying to do God's will as well. Why do you think that it took so much effort and enthusiasm to gain the crew support that Dreamy needed? This plan also appeared to go sour. Why? All of these things: the bees, the turtle that Dreamy thought was land, the storm, the whale, the fishing net, and the pirates of course, symbolize the trials and tests of these Christians' faith. Would you be discouraged as Smurfette, or still adventurous (however doubting) like Dreamy? Or, would you really stick to your guns and not become like them? The natural things to do are doubt and get discouraged because nothing is going right supposedly for both Dreamy and Smurfette. What do you think about the 'fake ghost' routine played on the Captain?
For this lesson we are saying this is symbolizing God's convicting power on sinners. The Captain heard the phrase "Dead men tell no tales". Return what you stole before it's too late!! This, of course, has a "repent or perish" type of feel to it. Now, the Captain is questioning (rightfully so) his line of work.
Why do you suppose that the Smurfs said "We haven't helped anyone, especially ourselves?"
I would disagree with the above quote. The Smurfs worked together to free themselves out of the various traps that they fell into and God (symbolized by the 'fake ghost' routine, helped the Smurfs do what they needed to do. It looks like God had other ideas and affirmed the original plans of Smurfette and Dreamy because of the end of the flashback and the actual end of the cartoon. We are talking about the smurfberries and honey.
Part C: Mark 4: 26-29: This little scripture passage says a mouthful. Way back in the beginning of the episode, we saw good plans by Smurfette and Dreamy because they took leaps of faith. Their hearts' leadings were fruitful because they were obedient to their respective calls of God. We as Christians need to learn how to hear God's voice better and be obedient to it. This scripture says that obedience yields a good crop or harvest.
We may not see when or how it will happen, but the crop will come and will be able to be enjoyed eventually. There is yet another scripture in this section of the lesson that we are going to look at to close this out and bring our lesson home.
The Bible States In John 10: 1-21
Jn 10:1 "I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber."
Jn 10:2 "The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep."
Jn 10:3 "The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out."
Jn 10:4 "When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice."
Jn 10:5 "But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice."
Jn 10:6 Jesus used this figure of speech, but they did not understand what he was telling them.
Jn 10:7 Therefore Jesus said again, "I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep."
Jn 10:8 "All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them."
Jn 10:9 "I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture."
Jn 10:10 "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."
Jn 10:11 "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep."
Jn 10:12 "The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it."
Jn 10:13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep."
Jn 10:14 "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me - "
Jn 10:15 "just as the Father knows me and I know the Father - and I lay down my life for the sheep."
Jn 10:16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd."
Jn 10:17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life - only to take it up again."
Jn 10:18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father."
Jn 10:19 At these words the Jews were again divided.
Jn 10:20 Many of them said, "He is demon - possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?"
Jn 10:21 But others said, "These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?"
After all of this, are you confident that you are one of Jesus's sheep that knows his voice? How can you hear God's voice better in your life? How obedient are you now and how can you improve? Pray with me that we sow some good gospel seed and that it will yield a harvest, no matter if things try to discourage or beset us. Let's pray that we will be given strength to do the job right. Let's ask for the strength of faith and patience necessary. Let's pray not to doubt God's voice, even if he tells us to do something that looks goofy or even useless in others' sight. God rewards such 'foolishness', because He promises this in His word we have studied even today.