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RCCG SUNDAY SCHOOL FOR SUNDAY 26TH OF MAY, 2024 (QUARTERLY REVIEW)

Table of Contents

RCCG SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHER’S MANUAL
SUNDAY 26TH OF MAY, 2024
LESSON: THIRTY NINE(39)
TOPIC: QUARTERLY REVIEW & SUMMARY

*SUMMARY OF LESSONS 27-38*
*LESSON TWENTY SEVEN (27)*
TOPIC: KINGDOM INFLUENCERS

BIBLE PASSAGE: Luke 23:49-53.
MEMORY VERSE: And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance. Luke 8:3.
INTRODUCTION: Kingdom influencers are believers who impact the world through their ministries and in the marketplaces like the media, politics, hospitality, fashion, marketing, music, education, and technology; by sharing their faith, substance, and expertise to enlarge God’s kingdom here on earth. God needs His children to be Kingdom influencers who will take over the spheres of influence here on earth for the excellent execution of His agenda. Are you willing to partner with God on this mission?

ALSO READ; open-heaven-26-may-2024

OUTLINES:
1. ATTRIBUTES OF KINGDOM INFLUENCERS
2..BECOMING A KINGDOM INFLUENCER
1. ATTRIBUTES OF KINGDOM INFLUENCERS
i. Kingdom Influencers are believers in Christ who contribute significantly to the economy and social well-being of their societies through their chosen careers, vocations, or divine calling (Acts 16:14-15, 40).
ii. They are full of good works and positively showcase the grace of God to the people around them (Acts 9:36-40; Luke 23:50-51).
iii. They are believers who have a good mastery of their respective industries and thus use a combination of faith and competence to influence happenings around them (Exodus 31:2-6).
iv. They are core professionals who strategically promote Jesus along with their trade e.g. football stars, athletes, scientists, etc., and give the credit for their achievements to God.
v. Kingdom Influencers have specialised knowledge and authority in a specific subject and as such are irresistible forces in their domain (Judges 4:4-5; 2 Samuel 23:9-10).
iv. They are Christ Ambassadors who deliberately publicise Christ anywhere they find themselves. (2 Corinthians 5:20).

CLASS ACTIVITY 1: Is it possible to be a kingdom influencer in your profession?
2. BECOMING A KINGDOM INFLUENCER
Question: How can a person become a kingdom influencer?
Answers: The person must:
i. Have confessed his/her sins to Jesus and accepted Him as personal Lord and Saviour. (Romans 10:9).
ii. Be ready to always share the good news about Jesus. (Romans 1:16).
iii. Be filled with the Holy Spirit- the Master Strategist who will help him/her as appropriate. (Ephesians 5:18).
iv. Develop a ‘large heart’: friendly and accommodating (Proverbs 18:24).
v. Be ready to work hard, work smart, work tenaciously, and aim at becoming a known authority or expert within his/her fields of endeavours (1 Kings 7:13-14).
vi. Establish a strong voice in his/her position like the three Hebrew men (Daniel 3:16-19, 28-29).
vii. Be a game changer in his/her sphere of domains. (1 Samuel 17:32).
viii. Be good stewards with accountability in mind (Luke 19:16-17).
CLASS ACTIVITY 2: What roles can Kingdom Influencers play in a nation’s policy formulation?

CONCLUSION: Everyone has influence. God expects us to be good stewards of that influence for His kingdom’s sake.
*LESSON TWENTY EIGHT (28)*
TOPIC: CHRISTIANITY AND SOCIALISATION
BIBLE PASSAGE: 1 Corinthians 6:12-13.
MEMORY VERSE: Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Philippians 4:5.
INTRODUCTION: To socialise simply means to talk to and do things with other people in a friendly way. There are various ways of socialising, ranging from relating with people in the immediate environment, to getting involved in governance and community development activities. Christian socialisation cuts across recreation, social interaction, cultural activities, and political issues. While there may be diverse opinions on the extent of the involvement of Christians in social issues, it should be noted that moderation should be the watchword.

 

OUTLINES:
1. BIBLICAL INSTANCES OF SOCIALISATION
2. WORLDLY PERSPECTIVES VERSUS BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVES
1. BIBLICAL INSTANCES OF SOCIALISATION
The Bible contains instances of different forms of socialisation. We shall x-ray a few of them.
a. The Lord Jesus socialized in the following instances:
i. Jesus Christ and His disciples attended a wedding ceremony at Cana of Galilee (John 2:1-2).
ii. He dined with Zacchaeus in his house (Luke 19:5).
iii. He was a friend to the family of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha (Luke 10:38-42) and also paid them a condolence visit (John 11:33-35).
iv. He and His disciples also participated in the Feast of Passover (Mark 14:12-14)
b. Apostle Paul interacted with diverse classes of people for the sake of the Gospel to win some (1 Corinthians 9:19-23).
c. Daniel was involved in political administration in his days (Daniel 1:18-21; 6:1-3).
CLASS ACTIVITY 1: Students should explore some other examples of social events in which God’s people participated in the Bible.

 

2. WORLDLY PERSPECTIVES VERSUS BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVES
The teacher should state that Christians cannot live in isolation in this present world. However, we must know when and how to draw the line between worldly (sinful) and acceptable (holy) socialisations. For instance:
i. Christians are expected to recreate (1 Timothy 4:8) but visiting bar/beer joints and nightclubs for recreation is unacceptable.
ii. Christians should avoid participating or feasting on occasions where idols are celebrated (1 Corinthians 10:28).
iii. Modernised carnivals with satanic undertones and other places where Christian integrity is questionable should also be avoided (1 Corinthians 8:10-11; 10:19-21).
iv. Watching immoral movies, listening to/singing ungodly music, and wearing seductive dresses in the name of socialisation are also ungodly things Christians must avoid (1 Corinthians 8:8-11).
v. While getting involved in secular activities, Christians should watch out and abstain from things that can make them compromise their faith (Philippians 4:8).
CLASS ACTIVITY 2: Students should identify the inherent dangers of unguarded/reckless socialisations.
CONCLUSION: Whatsoever we do to socialise should be to the glory of God and the edification of the saints (1 Corinthians 10:31).
CONCLUSION: Christians are to show moderation in social interactions.

 

*LESSON TWENTY NINE (29)*
TOPIC: CHRISTIANITY AND GOVERNANCE
BIBLE PASSAGE: Romans 13:1-6
MEMORY VERSE: And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. Revelation 5:10.
INTRODUCTION: The opinion held by some Christians that if they are going to follow Christ, they must be quiet and withdrawn from things happening on the earth, negates the will of God as spelled out in the Scripture. Christ has called believers unto a life of influence, control, and dominion (Psalms 8:6). They are to take charge (Matthew 5:15-16) and the issue of governance is no exception. As the light of the world, they are to dispel the darkness of unrighteousness, sycophancy, etc. which are the order of the day, in present-day governance systems of the world.

OUTLINES:
1.THE VIEW OF GOD ON GOVERNANCE
The students should be made to know that:
i. God instituted governance. It is not a secular concept or people’s creation.
ii. God is the ultimate “Governor” who delegates the function to humans (Psalm 22:28; Daniel 4:34).
iii. It is one of the purposes for which the spirit-being called ‘man’ was created (Genesis 1:26).
iv. It is a calling and manifestation of the gift of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:28).
v. It is a tool for orderliness and sanity (1 Corinthians 14:40; Exodus 18:21).
vi. It is instituted by God for administration, justice, and general welfare of citizens (1Timothy 2:2).
vii. Like marriage, it is instituted by God and should be submitted to (Mark 12:17; Romans 13:1-2).
viii. Governance is servanthood. It is a means of serving the governed (Matthew 20:25-28).
ix. Governance is a ministry and governors are ministers of God (Romans 13:3-4).
CLASS ACTIVITY 1: What do you think government can do to deliver more services to the citizens?

 

2. CHRISTIANS SHOULD BE INVOLVED IN GOVERNANCE
Christians need to be involved in governance because:
1. It is part of our inherent design as believers (Genesis 1:26; Matthew 5:15-16).
2. We are to effect positive and lasting change (Genesis 41:46-49; 53-57).
3. It stands out the nation among other nations (Proverbs 14:34).
4. We shall make righteous laws and decrees that lead to national progress (Mark 6:27; Luke 2:1).
5. It is obeying God’s ordinance of submission to authority (Hebrews 13:17, 1 Peter 2:13-14).
6. It brings blessings and breakthroughs to the nation and fulfilment for her citizenry (Proverbs 11:10).
7. Governance is God’s institution and the word of God. So, people of God should not be kept out of God’s institution (Romans 13:1-6).
8. We must avoid paying the costly price of bad leadership (2 Samuel 23:3).
CLASS ACTIVITY 2: Mention the dangers of not participating in politics.
CONCLUSION: Believers should take their rightful place in deciding the destiny of their nations and turn the kingdom of this world into the kingdom of our God which is God’s divine mandate for us.

 

*LESSON THIRTY (30)*
TOPIC: PHYSICAL BREAKTHROUGH
BIBLE PASSAGE:Genesis 26:1-6,11-14
MEMORY VERSE: And he removed from thence, and digged another well; and for that they strove not: and he called the name of it Rehoboth; and he said, For now the LORD hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land. Genesis 26:22.
INTRODUCTION: Generally, a breakthrough is major progress such as great innovation or discovery that overcomes significant obstacles. In other words, it is overcoming something challenging and having an achievement. A breakthrough usually gives a miraculous result. Breakthrough is often associated with prosperity although it means different things to different people. We can, therefore, talk about physical (financial, material, scientific, academic, etc.) and spiritual breakthroughs.

 

OUTLINES:
1. INSTANCES OF PHYSICAL BREAKTHROUGHS
2. FROM NEGATIVE TO POSITIVE
1. INSTANCES OF PHYSICAL BREAKTHROUGHS
Question: Mention some physical breakthroughs apart from wealth.
Answer: Physical breakthroughs include but are not limited to wealth (financial and material), science, warfare (2 Samuel 23:15-16), and academics.
Question: What kind of breakthrough did the lepers experience?
Answer: They got an unimaginable and amazing breakthrough during famine and war (2 Kings 6:25; 7:8).
Question: What kind of breakthrough did Abraham experience
Answer: Abraham laid the foundation of breakthroughs for generations after him (Genesis 18:18).
i. Isaac got a breakthrough in Gerar; he became greater than Abraham his father and a whole nation envied him (Genesis 26:13-14).
ii. Jacob had an extraordinary ‘scientific’ breakthrough and increased exceedingly (Genesis 30:37-43).
Question: What did Solomon do to get a breakthrough?
Answer: Through unprecedented sacrifices, Solomon had a ‘multidimensional’ breakthrough (2 Chronicles 1:6-12).
CLASS ACTIVITY 1: From the above examples, does sowing/giving facilitate breakthroughs?

2. FROM NEGATIVE TO POSITIVE
Quite often, a breakthrough connotes a change in trend. One can experience a breakthrough from negative/unfavourable circumstances to positive/favourable conditions. Let us examine some biblical instances:
i. Obededom: From apparent nothingness to unimaginable blessings. 1 Chronicles 13:13-14.
ii. Jabez: From sorrow to success. 1 Chronicles 4:9-10.
iii. Peter: From emptiness to abundance. Luke 5:4-7.
iv. The widow of Zarephath: From hopelessness to miraculous supplies. 1 Kings 17:10-16.
v. Naaman: From affliction to wholeness. 2 Kings 5:1-14.
vi. Elizabeth: From barrenness to fruitfulness. Luke 1:5-7, 57.
vii. The widow with overflowing oil: From indebtedness to wealth. 2 Kings 4:1-7.
CONCLUSION: There cannot be a physical breakthrough without divine intervention. Therefore, if you are expecting a breakthrough in any facet of your life, you must turn to God for help (Deuteronomy 8:18).

*LESSON THIRTY ONE (31)*
TOPIC: INTENTIONAL PARENTING
BIBLE PASSAGE: Esther 2:5-9.
MEMORY VERSE: Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
INTRODUCTION: Good parenting does not just happen. The actions we intentionally take or refuse to take and the ways we consciously parent in the midst of all of life’s challenges have a direct impact on our children. In this lesson, we shall consider what it means to parent intentionally and some of the ways to go about it.

 

OUTLINES:
1. INTENTIONAL PARENTING DESCRIBED
2. WAYS TO BE INTENTIONAL
1. INTENTIONAL PARENTING DESCRIBED
INTENTIONAL PARENTING DESCRIBED
A. The teacher should test the knowledge of the students on the topic by asking them to explain what intentional parenting means.
B. The teacher should define the meaning of intentional parenting as follows:
i. Parenting with a goal— (Habakkuk 2:2).
ii. Ability to think through every step of your child’s stage of development. (1 Samuel 1:11).
iii. It is making informed and conscious parenting choices concerning the child. (Genesis 24:3-4; 1 Samuel 1:24).
C. The teacher should explain to the students that intentional parenting focuses on:
i. What parents can do to help their children succeed. (2 Timothy. 1:5; Proverbs 13:22a).
ii. The specific actions parents should take to support their children’s strengths and weaknesses. (Exodus 18:15-24, Ruth 3:1-5).
iii. Parents’ activities to facilitate the development of their children to achieve their desired or desirable results. (2 Timothy 3:14-15).
D. The teacher should ask the students to mention the goals of intentional parenting as indicated below:
i. To help children walk in the footsteps of godly parents. (1 Corinthians 11:1).
ii. It is not permissive parenting; it involves giving up control to God while we intentionally do our part as parents (Genesis 18:19; Joshua 24:15).
iii. It also means parents understand themselves, their values, their motivations, strengths, and weaknesses.
iv. Intentional parenting begins with the parents and not with the child. It cannot be outsourced.

2. WAYS TO BE INTENTIONAL
i. Believe that God has given you the power to influence your child positively. (Philippians 4:13).
ii. Get the right knowledge: through the word of God, counselling, reading of books on parenting, attending trainings/seminars, etc. (Proverbs 4:7).
iii. Know that childhood is neither a race nor a competition. There is no basis for comparison. (2 Corinthians 10:12).
iv. Give them appropriate responsibilities according to their age. (Genesis 37:13-14, 1 Samuel 17:17-18).
v. Teach them essential life skills. (Proverbs 31:1-9).
vi. Deliberately teach them the word of God. (Deuteronomy 6:6-7, 2 Timothy 3:15).
vii. Accept your child’s uniqueness. (Psalm 139:14).
viii. Be a great role model. (Titus 2:7).
ix. Be consistent, persistent, and deliberate with discipline. (Proverbs 29:15, Hebrews 12:7).
x. Communicate values clearly to your children. Do not parent on assumption. (Psalm 78:2-4).
xi. Be an emotionally intelligent parent. (Colossians 3:21).
xii. Work on yourself as a parent. (Matthew 7:3-5).

CLASS ACTIVITY 2: Discuss the ways to be intentional in raising a child who is showing traces of disobedience.
CONCLUSION: Parenting with intentionality will bring you and your child greater happiness (Proverbs 29:17). Start early.

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*LESSON THIRTY THREE (33)*
TOPIC: MARRIAGE STATUS
BIBLE PASSAGE: Ephesians 5:22-29
MEMORY VERSE: Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband. Ephesians 5:33.
INTRODUCTION: Marriage is a state of being united as man and woman in a consensual and contractual relationship recognised by law. According to the Bible, marriage is a honourable institution (Hebrews 13:4) and a lifetime commitment (Matthew 19:6). However, it is generally observed that some marriages are in a state of coma or completely dead, while some merely exist. What is the status of your marriage as a believer? It is interesting to know that God desires that we all have living marriages.

 

OUTLINES:
1. MARRIAGE STATUS
2. CHARACTERISTICS OF A LIVING MARRIAGE
1. MARRIAGE STATUS
The teacher should highlight the characteristics of the following marriage status as indicated below:
I. ‘Marriage In Coma’: This is a marriage in which neither of the spouses feels the presence of the other nor spends quality time together.
This marriage has the following characteristics:
i. Bitterness and resentment (Hebrews 12:15).
ii. The couple refuses to keep communication lines open.
iii. They dwell more on each other’s weaknesses or offenses (1 Samuel 25:25-26).
iv. There is selfishness
v. Partners may be inconsiderate (Philippians 2:3).
II. Dead Marriage: In this kind of marriage, there are no traces of true love
i. Even if they are living under the same roof, there may not be emotional attachment/attraction or genuine concern for each other’s wellbeing.
ii. They are more like familiar strangers or two people just cohabiting (1 Corinthians 3:3).
III. Living Marriage: This is a kind of marriage in which the couple dwells together in understanding
i. There is genuine love.
ii. There is sacrifice and patience.
iii. Couple enjoys the company of each other (Genesis 26:8).
iv. Over time they have learned to manage their weaknesses or excesses.

2. CHARACTERISTICS OF A LIVING MARRIAGE
A living marriage is a function of mutual fulfilment derived from a selfless commitment to the marital union. This can only be achieved by the grace of God, determination, and deliberate efforts of both partners. Below are some characteristics of a living marriage:
i. The fear of God: The couple subjects their decisions to the standard of God’s word and operates their home based on the fear and love of God. (Genesis 18:19; Isaiah 8:13).
ii. Love: The love between such a couple transcends “eros’’ (sexual intimacy) or phileo (friendship). It is God’s kind of Love that is unconditional and sacrificial (1 Corinthians 13:4-8, Ephesians 5:24-25). A couple in a living marriage is prepared to ‘weather the storm’ throughout their lifetime.
iii. Mutual support: This couple makes the decision to stay and support each other through thick and thin (Galatians 6:2).
iv. Forgiveness: Conflicts are inevitable and sometimes healthy because it promotes a better understanding. The couple is quick to ask for forgiveness as well as to grant it (Ephesians 4:32).
v. Kindness: they maintain a great habit of being kind and understanding of each other (Romans 12:10).
vi. Commitment: they show a keen interest in the progress of each other’s career, ministry, business, extended families, etc. They share each other’s views and visions (Philippians 2:4).
vii. Appreciation: They develop the attitude of gratitude and celebrate each other (Philippians 2:3).
viii. Acceptance: They do not dwell on the weakness of each other but prayerfully work on each other and trust God for positive changes (Ephesians 4:2).
ix. Time: They spend quality time together in understanding and knowing each other (Genesis 26:8, Ecclesiastes 9:9).
CLASS ACTIVITY 2: The class should discuss the enemies of a living marriage.

CONCLUSION: In a living marriage, the human ego is reduced to the barest minimum to enjoy marital bliss.

*LESSON THIRTY FOUR (34)*
TOPIC: LOVE LANGUAGE IN MARRIAGE
BIBLE PASSAGE: Genesis 2:18-25.
MEMORY VERSE: By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone. Proverbs 25:15
INTRODUCTION: Many marriages are needlessly failing because the marriage partners have a lack of knowledge regarding relationship dynamics (Hosea 4:6). Most couples, sadly to say, are ignorant on purpose. In this study, we will look at the scriptural principles and the love language that should characterise our marital relationships.

 

OUTLINES:
1. SCRIPTURAL PRINCIPLES GUIDING MARRIAGE
2. UNDERSTANDING THE ‘‘LOVE LANGUAGE’’
1. SCRIPTURAL PRINCIPLES GUIDING MARRIAGE
The teacher should explain the following eight ( scriptural principles guiding marriage to students:
i. The image of God is best expressed in the combination of male and female (Genesis 1:27).
ii. The God-designed difference between male and female is to be accepted as complementary, not competitive (Genesis 2:18).
iii. Marriage is a divine, not human institution (Genesis 2:21-23).
iv. It is to be a relationship of companionship, completion, and communion (Genesis 2:25; Matthew 19:5).
v. Marriage was designed by God to be a permanent, mutual, covenant relationship (Matthew 19:6).
vi. God’s intent is for marriage to be an inestimable source of joy and fulfilment (Proverbs 18:22).
vii. Marriage is a major part of God’s plan to bring redemption to the human race (Genesis 22:18).
viii. The seed of the marriage relationship provided the vehicle for the incarnation of the Saviour, Jesus Christ (Genesis 3:15; Ephesians 5:31-32).
CLASS ACTIVITY 1: The class should discuss the human principles that have been introduced into marriage today but which were not at the beginning.

2. UNDERSTANDING THE ‘‘LOVE LANGUAGE’’
Many problems in marriage, usually, occur due to the inability of the partners to understand each other’s love language. Love language is an expression that makes you or your partner feel loved.
There are five (5) primary love languages. They are:
i. Quality Time: Spending time with each other and talking without interruptions, going out and about, having fun together, celebrating birthdays, and wedding anniversaries, etc. let the courtship experience continue. (Genesis 26:8).
ii. Acts of Service: Do things you know your spouse will like you to do. For example; cooking meals, helping each other, especially in household chores, etc. (Ecclesiastes 4:9).
iii. Exchange of Gifts: Express your love for each through giving/receiving gifts no matter how small. (1 Samuel 1:5; Proverbs 17:8).
iv. Words of Affirmation: Couples must be consistent in saying ‘I love you’, ‘I am sorry’, ‘Thank you’, ’You look nice in that dress’ etc. to each other. (Song of Solomon 1:15; 4:1, 7).
v. Physical Touching: This is a way of communicating emotional love, e.g. holding hands, kissing, pecking, embracing, patting, sitting close to each other, etc. (Genesis 26:8; Song of Solomon 1:2).
CLASS ACTIVITY 2: Which of the points above are commonly absent as marriages get older? How can a spouse recover it/them?
CONCLUSION: Couples should discover and express to each other what ‘their’ primary love language is and not just say them but do them

*LESSON THIRTY FIVE (35)*
TOPIC: THE “WAITING ROOM”
BIBLE PASSAGE: Lamentations 3:24-26
MEMORY VERSE: My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. Psalms 62:5.
INTRODUCTION: Waiting on God is not only difficult, but sometimes, it seems impossible. We want things to happen in our timing, according to our plan, but God does not operate on our schedules (Isaiah 55:8-9). God wants us to wait on Him in eager anticipation, knowing that He is with us and in control of our lives. He will do what He has promised. He will rescue and save us. He is always working for our good, even when we do not feel His presence or understand the situation (Romans 8:28).

 

OUTLINES:
1. THE “WAITING ROOM” AND ITS BLESSINGS
2. THINGS TO DO IN THE WAITING ROOM
1. THE “WAITING ROOM” AND ITS BLESSINGS
This outline is subdivided into three units.
A. DEFINITION OF THE “WAITING ROOM”
i. The ‘waiting room’ is a place of seeking God’s intervention over a situation or condition. (Psalm 40:1).
ii. It is the gap between God’s promises and their fulfilments. (Genesis 21:2; Romans 4:18-21).
iii. It is the space between “crying” for a change and God’s response to the cries. (Jonah 2:2; Lamentations 3:55-58).
iv. It is where we prepare for the next phase of the journey. (Genesis 28:10-16).
B. NATURE OF THE ‘WAITING ROOM’:
i. Waiting is unavoidable (Psalm 145:15); at one point or the other, we all have to wait on God for something (Psalm 130:5-6).
ii. Waiting will not be forever (2 Corinthians 4:17; Romans 8:18).
iii. Sometimes, God puts us in the “waiting room” against our will to allow us to change (Jonah 1:17).
iv. At other times, God uses the “waiting room” to test our commitment and grow our faith (Psalm 66:10-12).
v. The ability to wait on the Lord comes from being confident and focused on who God is and what He is doing (Philippians 1:6).

 

C. BLESSINGS OF WAITING
Some blessings accrue to us when we are in God’s waiting room.
i. We learn and experience trust (Romans 4:21).
ii. Waiting renews our strength (Isaiah 40:31).
iii. Builds our faith and confidence in God (Romans 4:19-20).
iv. Takes away shame (Isaiah 61:7).
v. Builds patience (James 1:3), makes us authorities as we showcase His glory (Job 23:10).
CLASS ACTIVITY 1: Biblical examples of people who waited on God.

2. THINGS TO DO IN THE WAITING ROOM
How we emerge from God’s waiting room is dependent on our attitude. We must take heed of the following:
i. Waiting on God requires us to put aside our ways of doing things, and trust His timing and plans (Psalm 90:4).
ii. We should not alter God’s timetable by going contrary to His will (Job 14:14; Hebrews 12:2).
iii. We must be sure of God’s direction (Psalm 37:23; Isaiah 30:21). We should be thankful for what God will do in our situation (Philippians 4:6-7; 1 Thessalonians 5:18).
iv. We need to also learn to be content and patient (Hebrews 6:15; 10:36).
v. We should be of good courage (Psalm 27:14), actively seeking God in prayer and studying the word of God (1 Chronicles 16:11; Psalm 130:5).
vi. We need to consciously take actions as directed by the Holy Spirit (Proverbs 3:5-6).
viii. We must channel our strengths to other areas of interest, our lives must not revolve around our challenges.
CLASS ACTIVITY 2: Discuss why some people decide to take shortcuts instead of waiting on God.
CONCLUSION: Remember that delay is not denial. You are in God’s waiting room, and He is at work.

 

*LESSON THIRTY SIX (36)*
TOPIC: MEMORIES
BIBLE PASSAGE: 1 Samuel 17:33-37.
MEMORY VERSE: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8.
INTRODUCTION: Memories are events or experiences that happened in the past. God designed us each with memory – the capacity and capability of the human brain to store and retrieve past events. The human memory is utilised continuously moment-by-moment to record what is going on in our lives even things done secretly. This lesson shall highlight some facts about human memory and how believers should manage their memories.
OUTLINES:
1. FACTS ABOUT HUMAN MEMORY
2. MANAGING OUR MEMORIES
1. FACTS ABOUT HUMAN MEMORY
The human memory is involved in virtually almost what we do as humans:
1. It records what is ongoing in our lives, even mental images in our sleep (Genesis 41:1-8). Without it, we have no identity and purpose, and life will be meaningless.
2. It provides us with a source of the direction of what to do and how to do it through experience (1 Samuel 17: 33-37).
3. The capacity of the human brain (memory) is believed to be approximately 2.5 million gigabytes or 2,500 terabytes (2.5 petabytes). This storage device can store up to 300 years of continually recorded non-stop television video.
4. Unlike a hard disk drive, you cannot delete memory from your brain. If you stop thinking about certain memories and focus on others, they will slowly recede into the background.
Some memories may not recede but are inaccessible, they are not entirely gone and could potentially be retrieved (Daniel 4:33-34, 36).
5. Memories are spiritual and part of our soul for instance; the martyrs could still recall how they were treated on earth (Revelation 6:9-10).
6. The entire body will decay in death but the memory and soul will remain.
CLASS ACTIVITY 1: The class should recall any mighty act of God in their lives.

2. MANAGING OUR MEMORIES
Our memories can be pleasant or unpleasant which may be triggered by something we have seen or heard; or will just appear in our mind without a ‘trigger.’ However, as believers:
1. We should know what to dwell on and what to let go of (Philippians 4:8).
2. We should treasure things that are inspiring in our hearts. Be it prophecies, revelation from the scriptures, and so on. One of the ways of doing this is by taking notes (Luke 2:19).
3. We should recall what the Lord has done; how he drew us unto repentance and salvation, His faithfulness, kindness, and so on (Ephesians 2:11-13). This, in turn, provokes worship that glorifies God and brings strength, courage, hope, and faith when we struggle with afflictions and oppositions (Psalm 8:1-4; 1 Samuel 17:36-37).
4. We should recall others in our prayers, be they unsaved family members, co-workers, or friends in tough situations (2 Timothy 1:3-5; Hebrews 13:3).
5. The painful memories we recall should be handed over to our Saviour who can pour out love and comfort, to restore our broken hearts (Psalm 116:3-5; Hebrews 4:15).
6. Everyone will one day be just “a memory.” We should live in such a way that we would leave the stage with a good memory of ourselves to encourage and inspire others after our death (Proverbs 10:7; Psalm 112:6).
CLASS ACTIVITY 2: The class should discuss the effective ways to handle our memory to ensure that it works to glorify God only.
CONCLUSION: Humans have the power to store a vast amount of experiences throughout their lives, but as believers, we should know which to recall or to let go, to the glory of God.

 

*LESSON THIRTY SEVEN (37)*
TOPIC: DEPRESSION (PART 1)
BIBLE PASSAGE: 1 Kings 19:1-4
MEMORY VERSE: And when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister; and said unto Jacob, Give me children, or else I die. Genesis 30:1.
INTRODUCTION: Depression is a word from the Latin verb “deprimere,” meaning to press down. It is an emotional response triggered by circumstances beyond one’s mental stability. It is a mental health illness or mood disorder where one experiences unusual persistent sadness. As the saying goes, there is no health without mental health. This shows that other aspects of health such as physical, financial, spiritual, and social can also take a downward spiral due to a depressive illness. Hence, it is important to educate ourselves on the causes, symptoms, and the way out of depression.

OUTLINES:
1. BIBLICAL INSTANCES AND CAUSES
A. BIBLICAL INSTANCES
Depression is often viewed as a persistent feeling of sadness (Romans 8:20-22). There are many biblical examples of men of God who struggled with sadness, even to the point of depression. David, a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22), did not gloss over his sadness; he expressed it to God (Psalm 56:8). Both Moses (Numbers 11:15) and Elijah (1 Kings 19:3-5), two heroes of the faith, confessed to God that they preferred to die than live in their current reality.
B. CAUSES
Depression can be triggered by negative events such as
i. The loss of a loved one.
ii. Loss of a job.
iii. Loss of a relationship.
iv. Loss of a pet.
v. Economic crises.
vi. Financial instability.
vii. Unpleasant circumstances, etc. (1 Samuel 1:6-7; Nehemiah 2:2).
Biologically, depression manifests when some chemical changes occur in the human brain due to persistent uncontrollable sad feelings. This causes changes in the levels of some hormones in the brain which include cortisol, adrenaline, and dopamine. These changes affect multiple organs in the body including the brain leading to a gross reduction in human productivity and health.
C. SYMPTOMS
Consequently, symptoms of depression include a depressed mood or feeling of sadness, constant tiredness, reduced or lost interest in previously enjoyable activities, forgetfulness, hopelessness, helplessness, worthlessness, thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts, and being overly suspicious of people or events. Excessive complaints of body pains, loss of appetite, loss of interest in sex, loss of sleep, and poor attention can also signal a depressive illness.
CLASS ACTIVITY 1: Can a true Christian suffer depression?
2. PREVENTION OF DEPRESSION
Question 1: What are some inadequate coping mechanisms some people use for this mood disorder?
Answers:
i. Abuse of alcohol.
ii. Smoking.
iii. Absenteeism.
iv. Spouse battery
v. Over spirituality.
vi. Over-socialization. Etc.
Question 2: Can this coping mechanism cure depression?
Answer: These maladaptive coping mechanisms give short-term relief but only worsen the symptoms and eventually lead to a severe mental illness.
Question 3: In addition to seeking medical or professional interventions. What can believers do to prevent depression?
Answers:
1. Be filled with joy (Romans 15:13). Joy is something the Holy Spirit produces in the life of a follower of Jesus Christ (Galatians 5:22; 1 Thessalonians 1:6).
2. Christians should know that God will never leave His own (Deuteronomy 31:8).
3. He will strengthen and uphold His children regardless of the situation (Isaiah 41:10).
4. God hears our cry (Psalm 40:1-3).
5. God is near to the broken-hearted (Psalm 34:18-19; Matthew 11:28-30).
6. Develop positive attitudes.
7. Understand our mental limits.
8. Build problem-solving skills, resilience skills, and good communication skills.
CLASS ACTIVITY 2: Can a Christian seek medical assistance to depression? Discuss.
CONCLUSION: Depression contributes to poor personal, family, community, and economic growth. It can be difficult to recognise but once any of the symptoms are noticed, it is important to seek care immediately.

*LESSON THIRTY EIGHT (38)*
TOPIC: DEPRESSION (PART 2)
BIBLE PASSAGE: ‭‭Job‬ ‭3:23‭-‬26‬ ‭KJV‬‬
MEMORY VERSE: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4 (NKJV).
INTRODUCTION: Depression is misunderstood by many, and it often carries a stigma. It can distort one’s perception of reality or make one doubt his/her judgement. Only those who have gone through depression can comprehend how terrible the experience can be. Finding healing is possible but may take time. Some people may give the wrong advice because they do not understand depression. Therefore, it is important to find out what is and is not true about depression and tips that can help people going through it.

 

OUTLINES:
1. MISCONCEPTION VS REALITY
2. HELPFUL TIPS FOR THE DEPRESSED
1. MISCONCEPTION VS REALITY
1. Misconception: Depression is not real.
Reality: Depression is a real illness that impacts the brain’s ability to function as it should.
2. Misconception: Depression is a sin. Being depressed means you are failing to trust God.
Reality: Depression is a mental illness, not a sin.
3. Misconception: Depression will go away if you pray hard enough or have enough faith.
Reality: Depression is a serious illness that usually needs prayer plus treatment. God gave doctors and mental health professionals the understanding and skills to help those who are suffering.
4. Misconception: Depression is a punishment from God. If you feel depressed, it is because you have not confessed your sins (John 9:1-3).
Reality: Depression is not the fault of the person who is suffering. It is a trial that can redefine someone’s faith, but it is not a punishment for sin.
5. Misconception: People with depression are unstable and cannot be trusted with church leadership or responsibilities.
Reality: Depression and other mental illnesses do not disqualify people from leadership or church roles except during times of “deep depression.’ The experience can give people compassion or perspective in a way that makes them good leaders (1 Samuel 30:1-10).
6. Misconception: It is shameful to discuss mental illness openly.
Reality: The church community should be a safe environment for people to discuss mental health without prejudice.
7. Misconception: You can always tell if someone is depressed by outward appearances or actions.
Reality: You cannot always tell that someone is depressed from how they look or act. Some depressed people are so skilled at hiding their conditions that you would never know.
CLASS ACTIVITY 1: Why is it that some people with mental health issues shy away from discussing it?
2. HELPFUL TIPS FOR THE DEPRESSED
Below are some helpful tips if you are a Christian going through depression or if you know someone who is:
1. God cares about your state (Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 5:7).
2. Like biblical patriarchs, you are not alone (Jeremiah 20:7-11; 1 Kings 19:4-6; Psalm 42:9).
3. God’s love and faithfulness never depend on you. His love for us is solely dependent on His character, grace, and goodness (Lamentations 3:21-23).
4. God saves and delivers from afflictions (Psalm 34:18-19).
5. God can bring good even out of something as bad as depression (Romans 8:28).
6. There is still hope. Your low thoughts and emotions are not the truth (Job 14:7-9; Romans 8:35-39).
7. You can find strength by leaning on community (Romans 15:1).
8. Your friends and family can help you by praying and being there for you.
9. It is not a sin to seek professional help for depression as a Christian (Luke 5:31).
10. Do not allow anything to separate you from God (Romans 8:38-39; Hebrews 12:2).
CLASS ACTIVITY 2: Why do we have cases of people committing suicide as a result of depression despite the available helpful tips around?
CONCLUSION: With God’s love and support from the people around you, you can get through depression.

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