Anything is possible. Believe that your group is a place where God dwells and where He is actively working to transform all of you. Think about the transformation that happened in the lives of Jesus’ disciples. Think about the transformation that happened in first-century churches like Corinth and Thessalonica. Then believe that it can happen within your group. We are all clay in the hands of the Potter, and He can use your group in a powerful way to transform the hearts and minds of your group, starting with you!
Read Proverbs 18:23 — 19:3
“A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother” (v. 24).
As I write this devotional, our church is making a special effort to invite people to church. This morning, while walking and praying around our community, I saw a man on his front porch. Stopping to hand him a brochure, I learned that he attends another church in town. His first question was about salvation by grace. We were very much in agreement. We stood on his sidewalk and visited, and he shared his testimony with me. He did not emphasize some outlandish experience; instead, he talked about how God dealt with him until he finally realized that he could not save himself. Only God could do that! We prayed together, wished each other a blessed day, and I walked away. Friendly people find friends. Not everyone is as outgoing as I try to be, but a friendly attitude does open the door to sharing our testimony. Most of us also know people whose attitude is very different from this man. Instead of friendliness, they exude anger, hatred, and bitterness. You don’t have to be around them for long before you discover those traits. Today, let’s demonstrate the character and attitude of our best friend, Jesus. As we reflect Him, others may be drawn to Him. (Mark D. Avery)
Focus Text: Proverbs 19:1-8, 17; 22:16-23
Objective: By the end of this lesson my students should be able to list ways in which they may help people in need.
Central Truth: Christian compassion toward the needy in this world is an obligation for which God holds us accountable.
I. Condition of the Poor (Prov. 19:1-8)
II. Compassion for the Poor (Prov. 19:17)
III. Champion of the Poor (Prov. 22:16-23)
Nobody is perfect. John said, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” As a teacher, you set the atmosphere for your group. Be determined that the worldly social practices of pretense, hiding, reputation building, and judging do not take root in your group. Create an atmosphere of safety where there is acceptance and openness. It might sound like this kind of atmosphere is tolerant of sin. Practically, the opposite is true. In this atmosphere, we are able to confess our struggles and bring them into the light where we can receive prayer and support to help us overcome them. You can lead the way by being honest and open in your group about your struggles. When someone is brave enough to be real, the walls of pretense and superficiality come down as you demonstrate what everybody in your group already knows — nobody is perfect.
Read Psalm 91:4-10
“He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings, shalt thou trust; his truth shall be thy shield and buckler” (v. 4).
This scripture passage is often misused by people to support the belief that Christians will never be ill or suffer loss in a physical sense. To understand how to live these verses requires one to be surrendered to the absolute will of God. We must recognize that God’s ways are indeed higher than our ways. That we are looking at the happenings of this life from Earth’s point of view while He is allowing events to transpire based on heaven’s purpose. The fact that some of the negative events described here may happen to us does not mean that His care for us is any less, nor that we have “fallen through the cracks” of His consideration or become a disposable commodity. It does mean that He is using us to see His will accomplished. It is through these times that we learn to run under His wings and take strength from His truth. Understanding the deeper truths of God’s love for us enables us to see that he truly does care for us as individuals as well as a creation of never dying souls. (Tim J. Brubeck)
“The flames shall not hurt thee, I only design thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine” (John Rippon).
Focus Text: Proverbs 10:1-14
Objective: By the end of this lesson my students should be able to list three evidences of a godly person.
Central Truth: Godly living must be demonstrated in our actions and attitudes.
I. The Mark of Righteousness (Prov. 10:1-3)
II. The Mark of Diligence (Prov. 10:4, 5)
III. The Mark of Integrity (Prov. 10:6-10)
IV. The Mark of Righteous Speech (Prov. 10:11-14)