under a special agreement with
presents Best Friends Series 2
under a special agreement with
Series 2 Lesson 11
After becoming a Christian, I made a shocking discovery. I discovered that sin is still with me. I have an enemy in me called "the flesh." The flesh is very sinful.
The "flesh" is not my body itself, but the sinful nature that dwells in my body. If you spell the word "flesh" backwards and leave off the "h," what do you have? You have S-E-L-F. The flesh is SELF!
Before I received Christ as my Savior, SELF was on the throne of my heart. I lived for myself. I did what I wanted to do. I lived to please myself. When the Lord Jesus came to live in my heart, I was so happy! I loved the Lord and I wanted to always please Him.
But I soon discovered that Self was still with me. SELF was still in my heart, and SELF wanted to continue ruling. When SELF is on the throne of my heart, I commit many sins. The animals in the picture represent various sins. Let us see what they are.
The sin of Pride
Are you ever proud? Do you think, "I'm better than that person"? This is the sin of pride. A peacock represents this sin. The peacock is a very proud bird, always strutting around and showing off.
The sin of Selfishness
Are you ever selfish? Do you ever say, "That's mine! You can't have it"? Do you want the best and most for yourself? Let us use a hog to represent the sin of selfishness.
The sin of Bad Talk
Do you ever say bad things or talk ugly? Do you tell or listen to dirty stories? Do you gossip and say bad things about other people? We will use this ugly frog to represent the sin of bad talk.
The sin of Complaining
Do you ever fuss and complain when you are told to do a certain job? You fuss and complain and drag it out, doing it very slowly. This slow turtle represents this sin of complaining.
The sin of Anger
Do you ever get angry with someone and want to hurt them? Do you want to "get back" at those who have hurt you? Do you lose your temper and say mean and hateful things to others? We will use this tiger to represent the sin of anger.
The sin of Rebellion
Do you ever get into trouble because you do things that you know you should not do? Perhaps your parents or your teachers tell you not to do something, but you go ahead and do it anyway. This is the sin of rebellion. Let us use a goat to represent this sin.
The sin of Lying
Do you tell lies? Jesus said that Satan is "the father of lies." This means that all lies come from him. When we tell a lie, we are acting like Satan. Satan used a serpent to deceive Eve. He uses lies to get us to do wrong things. God says that He hates lying lipes. We will use this snake to represent the sin of telling lies.
SELF is my enemy! If I allow SELF to be on the throne of my heart, I will be living the SELF-life, and there will be all kinds of ugly sins in my life. A child of God can never be happy living the SELF-life.
SELF is not only my enemy, but it is God's enemy as well. SELF hates God. Self will never obey God. Because sinful SELF is so hateful to God, He crucified it with Christ. The Bible says,
"Knowing this, that our old man [my old SELF] was crucified with Christ…" (Romans 6:6).
What does God want me to do? God wants me to agree with Him that SELF shall be put on the cross and kept there.
Even though SELF is still with me, I do not have to let it rule over me. The Lord Jesus defeated all our enemies for us, and He gives us the victory over them. The Bible says, "Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 15:57).
If I choose to make Christ King in my life, then Christ is on the throne of my heart, and SELF is on the cross. This is the beginning of a happy life!
The "Christ-life" is Christ living His life in me. When Christ is on the throne of my heart, He can live His life in me. In myself, I do not love others, but Christ does.
In myself, I do not have patience with others, but Christ does. In myself, I am not gentle and kind, but Christ is. In myself, I want to be selfish, but Christ is unselfish.
When Christ is on the throne of my life and SELF is on the cross, people can see the beautiful life of Christ instead of my ugly SELF-life. The Bible says, "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance…" (Galatians 5:22-23).
Which life do I choose?
The question which every believer must answer is this: Which life do I choose—the SELF-life or the Christ-life?
How do I choose the Christ-life? I choose the Christ-life by doing three things:
Making Christ King in my heart.
Jesus Christ is my Lord. His rightful place is on the throne of my heart. I choose to love and obey Him, not SELF.
Saying "No" to Self daily.
Day-by-day I must choose to say "No" to SELF.
Letting the Lord Jesus live His life in me.
I say, "Lord Jesus, You are my victory. I want You to live Your life in me."
God wants others to see Christ in me—not SELF. Suppose somebody says something mean to me. If I get angry and say something mean back to them, they see SELF!
But suppose I say, "Lord Jesus, please take care of this for me." I smile and say a kind word to them. Who do they see now? They see Christ in me. This is what God wants. This brings joy to His heart!
Through Christ we can have victory over this enemy, SELF. The apostle Paul said, "Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 15:57).
3 Great Facts
I have a great enemy that lives within me—SELF. If I allow SELF to be on the throne of my heart, I will commit many sins.
God gave Christ to me, to live in me, so I could live the Christ-life instead of the SELF-life.
God wants people to see Christ in me, not SELF. I live the Christ-life by counting on Christ to live His life in me.
The story so far…
Nancy asks Jesus to be her Savior. At the morning session, Susan is saying the camp verse but suddenly stops.
Just when Mr. Douglas started to tell Susan to sit down, she remembered the words and finished the verse with a rush.
"Good for you," said Mr. Douglas. As Susan sat down with a sigh of relief, Maria whispered to her, "I prayed for you." Susan smiled at her friend.
After the morning session, all the boys went on their hike through the woods, while the girls practiced for the final sports event taking place the next day.
Maria had not seen Linda Sooter very much during the week, but for some reason she stood right next to her as one of the races began. As the whistle blew, all the girls took off running.
When Maria began to run past Linda, Linda tripped her. Maria fell down, scraping her knee.
She felt angry tears sting her eyes when suddenly the camp verse came to her mind: That you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way.
Maria got up and continued to run. She saw Linda grin at her as she crossed the finish line last. Maria was tempted to say something to Linda, but instead looked the other way.
Susan came over to comfort Maria and said, "I saw the whole thing! That was mean of Linda. She needs to ask Jesus to be her Savior."
Maria answered slowly, "I am asking the Lord Jesus to help me to forgive Linda and not be mean to her like she was to me. I want her to see Jesus in me."
Just then Steven and Randy came running towards them. They were wild with excitement. "Oh girls, we have to tell you about our exciting hike this afternoon!" Steven exclaimed.
"What happened?" the girls both asked.
The boys took turns telling Maria and Susan what had happened. Mr. Bob and the counselors had taken all the boys on a hike. Pete and his friend Biff were pestering Steven and Randy. When they did not get angry, Pete and Biff started to lag behind. Suddenly they took off into the woods.
At first, everyone thought they were just acting smart and would meet up with them later. But when they did not return to the path, the counselors were told.
Mr. Bob ended the hike and took all the boys back to camp. Mr. Ken took Steven and Randy with him to look for Pete and Biff. Before long they found Pete.
He was bruised and dirty from a fight with Biff, who was nowhere to be found.
Pete told them that he had been getting fed up with the things Biff was doing and that he was ashamed of his part in it.
When Pete told Biff about it, he got angry and started hitting Pete. Suddenly, Biff knocked Pete over backwards and he fell into a hornet nest.
"Oh, how terrible!" Maria exclaimed. "Did he get stung a lot?"
"Oh, yes, he did," Randy said. "His face and hands were swollen all over. He felt so bad, he could hardly walk. Mr. Ken asked us to take Pete to the camp nurse, and he went looking for Biff."
Steven continued excitedly, "We were glad to help Pete. On the way back to camp, Pete told us that he was sorry for the bad things he had done at camp. He admitted that he was the one who took Bobby's money and also that he cut my wallet.
"But, there is something even better," Steven went on with excitement. "Pete asked me if I would forgive him and, of course, I did.
"Then he asked Randy and me if Jesus would forgive him. We told Pete that is what Jesus does. He forgives everyone who asks for His forgiveness.
"So right there on the path, Pete asked us to pray with him. He told Jesus that he was sorry for all the wrong things he had done at camp. Then he asked Jesus to forgive him and be his Savior.
"Right after that he started to laugh when he told us he hurt really bad on the outside, but he felt very good on the inside. Now I have a real camp buddy!"
"Wow!" said Maria. "God has been very busy at camp this week. He answered another prayer. I sure hope they find Biff soon. He needs Jesus too."
The next morning the camp was full of noise and excitement. It was the last day of camp.
Many of the parents would be coming for the final activities and closing program. Some would go home with their parents. The rest of the campers would leave by bus the next morning.
Maria and Susan went over to cabin 8 to meet their buddies. They found Nancy packing her suitcase. "I have everything ready to go," Nancy said.
"I can't wait to tell the kids in our neighborhood about Jesus and all the things I learned about Him this week. I love camp."
Maggie came over. "My parents are coming this afternoon," she said softly. "Would you like to meet them, Maria?"
"Oh, yes!" Maria answered with enthusiasm. Maria smiled at Maggie who had become such a good friend. She thought about how much Maggie had changed this week and how pretty and clean she looked today. She was so happy for Maggie.
Later in the morning, the girls found four seats together in the assembly hall. They saw Steven, Randy and Pete sitting together. Everybody quieted down when Mr. Douglas started to speak.
What will happen on the last day of camp?
Don't miss the final exciting chapter in your next lesson!
Now click on the Questions link below so you can do the questions.