Every teacher has them — participants that talk too much, whine too much, can’t stay focused, or are too self-focused. These people are EGRs: Extra Grace Required. What do we do with them? The answer is in the name: Extra grace is required. The reason we lose patience with people in our groups who have problems is that we are missing God’s grace. As a teacher, you must come to the realization that in these situations the person who requires extra grace is YOU! Perhaps the purpose of EGRs in your group — and who knows? You may be the EGR! — is to help you grow in grace as a teacher and servant of God. To grow in grace means to become more Christlike in the way we see people. To grow in grace means that we don’t avoid EGRs, rather, we invite them to participate, and with the grace of God we begin to transform them, and ourselves.
Read Psalm 29:1-11
“The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty” (v. 4).
One way the power of God is displayed in nature is through thunder. The psalmist calls it the voice of the Lord. There is no sound like it on earth. It originates in the heavens above us, and with great might, it crashes and shakes the earth. It is how we would expect God to sound if He would audibly speak to us. Let us not only be awed as God’s power is displayed in nature, but also as it is seen in the lives He saves and changes. A man attends our church who had been bound in the chains of sin for many years. He had tried on his own to break free but failed time and time again. Giving up his efforts and turning to Jesus, he was saved and has been faithfully serving the Lord. Looking back at what God has done for him, he told the writer “I didn’t know God could do what he could do.” He had found the power of God was more than just a doctrinal point or a lofty idea but a practical reality that he has experienced in his life. The power of God can change your life. (Robert C. Blankenship)
He breaks the power of canceled sin, He sets the prisoner free; His blood can make the foulest clean, His blood availed for me. — Charles Wesley
Our greatest resource is access to God’s power.
Focus Text: Job 38:4-8, 22-29; 42:1-3
Objective: By the end of this lesson my students should be able to identify three attributes of God and the effects each of these has on their lives.
Central Truth: God, though omnipotent, transcendent, and Lord of all creation, is forever at work with man in all the experiences of life.
I. God's Greatness (Job 38L 1-8, 22-29)
II. Job's Humility (Job 42:1-6)
What to do with children. A toddler adds energy to a group but not the kind of energy that promotes good discussion. There is no perfect answer to the kid question, although there are bad options. The worst is to expect the same person to care for children all the time; eventually, that person will resent being “stuck” with the kids, no matter how much they love Jesus. Some groups take turns, with two adults watching kids while the others meet. Other groups pay a sitter or develop lessons that encourage kids and adults to learn together through intergenerational activities. Groups can thrive with almost any solution, as long as children are safe and everyone feels like it works.
Read Psalm 77:1-12
“I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and he gave ear unto me” (v. 1).
I know from personal experience that an urgent, silent cry can be heard by Almighty God, and the answer be just as effectual. Lying on my bed in the middle of the night with my head covered with a bath towel and having my hands and feet tied, I cried unto the Lord, and He graciously responded. My predicament, posture, and presentation may not have been natural or normal, but God knew my heart. Thank God for His care and protection! We can know that our prayers are being heard any time, anywhere, and under any circumstances. (Shirley J. Gordon)
All you may need He will provide; God will take care of you. Nothing you ask will be denied; God will take care of you. — Civilla D. Martin
“I have proven Him true; what He says He will do” (W. J. Henry).
Focus Text: Job 13:15-18; 19:23-29
Objective: By the end of this lesson my students should be able to list several reasons why they can have confidence in God.
Central Truth: The confidence of the righteous in the midst of adversities of life must be based upon God who promises never to fail.
I. An Unwavering Trust (Job 13:15-18)
II. An Indestructible Faith (Job 19:23-29)
Meet privately with God. You cannot share a deep faith with the group if you fail to nurture it in your own life. Plus, spending time in meditation and prayer gives you confidence that God will work through your teaching. Time spent this way will work wonders for the graciousness and wisdom with which you teach. You will also be more tuned to how the Spirit might be leading you and your group members.
Read Job 19:21-27
“And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God” (v. 26).
Job’s testimony was, “In my flesh shall I see God.” Three times Job says “I shall see God, . . . I shall see for myself . . . mine eyes shall behold [Him]” (vs. 26,27) Job’s testimony was, “I know that my Redeemer liveth.” (v. 25) The greatest moment in life is when we shall really see Jesus, our blessed Redeemer! Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8). In the original language, this meant more than just looking at a person. Thayer, in his Lexicon, says it means “to be admitted into intimate and blessed fellowship with God.” Some commentators place Job seeing God when we shall see Jesus at His second coming. However, careful study shows that Job is referring to when his own body shall decay and in his soul and spirit, he shall see the Lord. This is Job’s assurance of eternal life! (Richard A. Grout)
Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! O what a foretaste of glory divine! I in my Savior am happy and blest; Watching and waiting, looking above, Filled with His goodness, lost in His love. — Fanny J. Crosby
Because we have fellowship with God here and now, we can have the blessed assurance that when we are absent from this body, we shall be present with the Lord.
Focus Text: Job 1:20-22; 2:1-10
Objective: By the end of this lesson my students should be able to explain how to reconcile God’s promise of help with the occurrence of difficulties in life.
Central Truth: God’s care and grace are available to us in the hardest circumstances of life.
I. A Righteous Response (Job 1:20-22)
II. Satan's Persistence (Job. 2:1-6)
III. Job's Patience (Job 2:7-10)
Read Ecclesiastes 9:11-15
“Now there was found in [a little city] a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man” (v. 15).
In today’s passage, the Preacher turns to something that troubles many people, the apparent randomness of life on earth. As verse 11 notes, the fastest doesn’t always win the race, and the strongest doesn’t always win the fight. In the key verse, the Preacher concludes his sketch of a miniature drama, where a poor man’s counsel delivers a small city from a powerful king’s siege. Wisdom has greater value than power or wealth either one! But although he saved them, the townspeople forget all about the poor man. For some, these realities suggest that there is no God or that God is remote from our lives or that God is malicious. Otherwise, surely the world would make more sense! The wise response differs. God gives us freedom and a brief time on earth; He lets us choose how we use our time and resources. It should not surprise us that, aside from grace, human choices are topsy-turvy, often distributing rewards erroneously. But wisdom delivered the poor man, as well as his city. Wisdom delivers us also, from meaningless living. And wisdom, best of all, delivers our souls into the deeper reality of eternal life! (Aaron D. Profitt)
Wisdom divine! who tells the price Of Wisdom’s costly merchandise? Wisdom to silver we prefer. And gold is dross compared to her. — Charles Wesley
Wisdom brings meaning to life on earth, where folly sees only emptiness.