Daily Inspirational devotionals Sunday School RCCG YAYA SUNDAY SCHOOL FOR SUNDAY 26TH OF MAY, 2024 (QUARTERLY REVIEW)

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

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RCCG YAYA 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: BEFORE YOU SAY ‘I DO’
BIBLE PASSAGE: Genesis 29:11-20 (NKJV)
MEMORY VERSE: “Let all things be done decently and in order” 1 Corinthians 14:40 (NKJV).
INTRODUCTION: The foundation of a godly marriage must be properly laid on sound moral and biblical principles. Before the exchange of vows, where the Christian fiancé and fiancée will say ‘I do,’ they should have passed through the phase of courtship and ensure that all things are done decently and in order (1 Corinthians 14:40; Amos 3:3). The intending couple should also watch out for some ‘red flags’ before saying ‘I do.’
OUTLINES:
1. DESCRIPTION AND PURPOSE OF COURTSHIP
i. The teacher should ask the students to explain what they understand by “courtship” and the purpose of Christian courtship
ii. The teacher should raise discussions on the description and purpose of Christian courtship as follow:
a. Christian courtship is that period before marriage when an intending couple – a Christian brother and sister – make plans, relate and find the middle ground on so many issues pertaining to their future together.
b. Courtship is important and necessary for the intending couple as they use this period to lay a proper biblical foundation in order to have a fulfilled married life (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
c. One vital issue that must be addressed during this period is obtaining the consent of both parents (Genesis 24:54-59).
d. Courtship is also a period to intentionally get to know each other better and not a time to engage in any form of sexual immorality. (1 Corinthians 6:18-20; Romans 12:1-2).
e. Intending couples should pray, study the Bible, attend Christian programmes, etc. together but avoid hanging out in secluded or dark places (2 Corinthians 2:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:22).
f. Discussions should cover their dreams, visions, purpose for living, plans, fears, health status/history and past relationships (if any).
g. They should endeavour to discover each other’s strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, differences (upbringing/orientation, cultural background), etc. through observation and by asking questions.
h. Intending couples should be open and sincere with each other in all aspects of their dealings (financial status, source of income, etc.).
i. There should be no pretence (stage-managed character).
j. It is also expedient to undertake marriage counselling lessons together during courtship (Proverbs 11:14).
CLASS ACTIVITY 1: The students should discuss other important activities that are expected in Christian courtship.
2. RED FLAGS TO WATCH OUT FOR
The teacher should allow students to mention some “red flags” they have identified in relationships.
A. There are a number of “red flags” to watch out for before entering a permanent marriage relationship.
B. Intending couples should fervently pray for God to reveal anything that is covered by either of the engaged partners. However, some things to look out for include:
i. Irrational jealousy (Proverbs 6:34; 27:4).
ii. Deception (Proverbs 24:28).
iii. The struggle to always be in control or dominate the other partner (Philippians 2:3).
iv. Physical or emotional abuse/violence (Isaiah 59:6);
v. A quick temper (Proverbs 22:24-25).
vi. Adherence to unscriptural traditional values (Colossians 2:8);
vii. Attempts to isolate the other person from his or her friends and family (Proverbs 18:24);
viii. A show of dislike for would-be in-laws (Matthew 19:19);
xiv. Defiance to spiritual matters (2 Timothy 3:5);
xv. Drug or alcohol abuse, smoking, disrespect for boundaries, privacy/personal space or low moral values.
C. If you see any of these warning signs or other strange behaviours in a person you are entering a marriage relationship with, please pray and seek advice from your spiritual leader or marriage counsellor before you say “I DO’ (Mark 14:38; Proverbs 15:22; 19:20).
D. Marriage should not be entered into “at all cost.” You have your destiny to fulfil (Jeremiah 29:11).
E. You may consider the saying, “a broken courtship is better than a broken marriage’ and make a wise/informed decision (Ecclesiastes 10:10; 1 Corinthians 7:15b).
CLASS ACTIVITY 2: The class should identify other red flags not mentioned above.
CONCLUSION: Watch and pray before you say “I DO.”
*LESSON TWENTY EIGHT (28)*
TOPIC: THE EYE GATE
BIBLE PASSAGE: Luke 11:33-36.
MEMORY VERSE: “The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness.’’ Luke 11:34 (NKJV).
INTRODUCTION: The eye gate, which is also referred to as the windows of/to the soul plays a strategic role in the information transmitted to the mind. The eyes dominate emotional communication because what we allow through our eye gate will eventually leach into our mind which is the centre of our thoughts, feelings, and reasoning. For any believer to stay pure and honour Christ always, the person must consciously guard what is allowed into his/her being through the eye gate (Job 31:1).
OUTLINES:
1. THE WORKS OF ‘‘UNHEALTHY EYES’’
2. CONSTITUENTS OF ‘‘HEALTHY EYES’
1. THE WORKS OF ‘‘UNHEALTHY EYES’’
People with “Unhealthy Eyes’’ exhibit the following works of the flesh:
1. They are full of lust of the flesh to practice all forms of ungodliness (1 John 2:16).
2. Due to a lack of the fear of God, these eyes have been exposed to iniquity and immorality (Romans 3:18).
3. They are full of adultery and cannot cease from sin (2 Peter 2:14).
4. They are blinded by darkness and filled with hatred (1 John 2:11).
5. They hide from doing good (Proverbs 28:27).
6. They are pure in their own eyes and filled with pride (Proverbs 30:12-13).
7. They give their eyes to excessive sleep and are lazy (Proverbs 20:13).
8. Their eyes are closed to do perverse things (Proverbs 16:30).
CLASS ACTIVITY 1: The class should discuss other components of “unhealthy eyes”.
2. CONSTITUENTS OF ‘‘HEALTHY EYES’
“Healthy eyes’’ are consciously developed by believers in Christ Jesus, so as to guard against any form of pollution. Some of the elements of “healthy eyes’’ include:
1. Self-Control: We must develop the self-will to control what we allow to pass through our eye gate all the time (Galatians 5:22-23). The eyes must be restrained from roaming unnecessarily. This must be a personal resolve to only expose the eyes to anything that will benefit it (Job 31:1).
2. Exposure: We must consciously guard our eyes against any exposure to vile things. (Psalm 101:3).
3. Censor: There are some films we must deliberately refuse to watch and there are some books we must not feed our eyes on (1 Thessalonians 5:22).
4. Discipline/Guidance: We guide our eyes when we quickly take them off anything that can pollute our minds. This must be done on purpose to avoid any contamination (Genesis 9:22-25).
5. Conscious: As believers, we must be conscious of where we are and quickly leave any environment or item that can harm us in the long run through our eyes (2 Samuel 11:1-2).
CLASS ACTIVITY 2: The students should discuss the gains of having “healthy eyes.’
CONCLUSION: Believers who desire to honour God must scrutinize what they allow through their eye gate which ultimately is the window of the soul.
*LESSON TWENTY NINE (29)*
TOPIC: NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
BIBLE PASSAGE: Nehemiah 2:1-8 (NKJV)
MEMORY VERSE: “And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favour in your sight, I ask that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.” Nehemiah 2:4 (NKJV).
INTRODUCTION: National development is simply an approach that entails the process of progressive growth in a diverse and specified direction of a group of historically constituted, stable community of people. The nation and its development is a major concern to God, hence, He works through an individual or group of people as building blocks for any nation to develop. The quality of the people is indeed the quality of the nation.
OUTLINES:
1. THE MAKING OF A NATION
2. STEPS TO NATION BUILDING
1. THE MAKING OF A NATION
A. God is mindful of nations and their development (Genesis 17:5-6).
B. His concern is such that He wants to make individuals become nations and at the same time influence nations even with His gospel (Matthew 28:19; Micah 4:1-2).
C. The making of a nation, therefore, entails some principles which include:
1. The principle of Indoctrination (Daniel 1:3-8): To indoctrinate simply means to introduce someone to a kind of attitude. This is a principle adopted by the Babylonian king in order to align her citizens into their thought patterns. By so doing, there is a continuation of what the nation stands and lives for (Nehemiah 8:8).
2. The Principle of rightful positioning (Daniel 6:1-3): This simply entails positioning individuals who are knowledgeable and skilful in the various sectors of nation-building (Genesis 41:39-43).
3. The Principle of collective effort (Genesis 11:1-6): This principle focuses on joint efforts of people with a common outlook – in the direction of common growth and development. Everyone contributes positively in the right direction.
4. The Principle of preservation (Genesis 41:48): This focuses on resource management and distribution.
CLASS ACTIVITY 1: Students should discuss their views on the current state of their nation.
2. STEPS TO NATION BUILDING
A. God’s build-up in the life of an individual is always beyond that individual.
B. His aim, however, is to bring nations out of the person or give him/her power over nations (Genesis 17:5; Revelation 2:26).
C. We are very instrumental in the hands of God in the development of nations. This development entails us knowing that our identity is beyond the “Me syndrome” but that of a nation, and thus we are to have a mentality that is induced with nation development (1 Peter 2:9).
There are steps individuals and groups must take to aid national development. These include:
1. Being born again: This put you at an advantage because of your oneness with God’s thoughts and ways (1 Peter 1:23).
2. Allowing the word of God indoctrinate us (Romans 12:2).
3. Partnering with the Spirit of God in the finding and fulfilment of our purpose (Nehemiah 2:3-5).
4. Learning valuable skills in line with what you have discovered as your sphere of influence (Daniel 1:3-4).
5. Being productive and getting involved in projects of national interest and recognition.
6. Being politically informed. Avoid being a political novice as politics control major decisions in every nation (Daniel 6:3).
7. Reaching out to people in our sphere with the reality of the gospel of Christ (Romans 1:16).
CLASS ACTIVITY 2: Students should discuss the practical things they would do to effect positive changes in their nation.
CONCLUSION: The quality of the people indicates the quality of the Nation; therefore, building people inevitably builds the nation. Let our hands be strengthened to build.
*LESSON THIRTY (30)*
TOPIC: SHINING FORTH
BIBLE PASSAGE: Matthew 5:13-16 (NKJV)
MEMORY VERSE: “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.’’ Matthew 5:14 (NKJV).
INTRODUCTION: Naturally, light illuminates and sends darkness parking. As believers, Jesus is our light and the source of our uncompromising brightness. As a result, we are expected to shine forth in every sphere of life (Matthew 5:16). We are to establish the rule and reign of our Master in this world and take over territories as we shine as light. We shall examine how to shine and the hindrances to shining.
OUTLINES:
1.NHOW TO SHINE FORTH
2. HINDRANCES TO SHINING FORTH
1. HOW TO SHINE FORTH
A. As the light of the world, it is expected that we show forth the glory of God in all areas of human endeavours: academics, business, marriage, politics, and more importantly in spiritual matters.
B. Therefore, we must:
1. Be Distinguished: We must be eminent in everything we do by standing out in the midst of this crooked generation (Daniel 1:8).
2. Reflect The Light: As believers, we must be a reflection of Jesus – the Light. We must mirror Jesus in everything we do or say (1Peter 2:12).
3. Be A Natural Light Agent: We must operate in dominion and be an ambassador of peace (Ephesians 6:20; Genesis 1:28; Matthew 5:9).
4. Stand Firm: We must stand firm in the faith till the end of the age and continue to proclaim the Lordship of Jesus anywhere we find ourselves. (Ephesians 6:13-18).
5. Register Your Presence: Light signifies God’s presence. As carriers of the light of Christ, we must be positive influencers in our generation. All our social media handles and communication must reflect the presence of God in our lives (Genesis 39:9; Daniel 3:16-18).
CLASS ACTIVITY 1:Students should mention at least one thing they are doing that could bring them to the limelight.
2. HINDRANCES TO SHINING FORTH
Despite God’s awesome plans for believers, there are certain factors that can hinder their full manifestations as the light of the world. These factors include:
1. Fear (Numbers 13:31);
2. Laziness and Procrastination (Proverbs 22:13);
3. Faithlessness (Hebrews 11:6);
4. Unfaithfulness (2Kings 5:22-27);
5. Lack of focus (Matthew 6:22);
6. Lack of intentionality (Luke 9:62).
CLASS ACTIVITY 2: Students should mention one habit they have identified that could hinder their shining.
CONCLUSION: Every believer is light that must shine very bright for the illumination of the whole world. Believers must not compromise their faith in the face of darkness but rather expose them (Ephesians 5:11).
*LESSON THIRTY ONE (31)*
TOPIC: EXCEEDING LIMITS
BIBLE PASSAGE: 2 Kings 6:1-2 (NKJV)
MEMORY VERSE: ‘‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’’ Philippians 4:13 (NKJV).
INTRODUCTION: A limit is a point or level beyond which something or someone does not or may not extend or pass. There are people who limit themselves by setting a barrier to what they can achieve or how far they can go in life. For some people, statements such as, “why did I ever come into this family?’’ ‘‘Can I make it in life?’’ ‘‘I know I can never reach that height’’ are very common in their words, thoughts, or actions. It is important therefore to identify factors capable of limiting you and how to enlarge your scope.
OUTLINES:
1. FACTORS RESPONSIBLE FOR LIMITATIONS
2. ENLARGE YOUR SCOPE
1. FACTORS RESPONSIBLE FOR LIMITATIONS
Several factors can be responsible for human limitations, but we shall examine the following:
1. Fear of the unknown or uncertainty (Numbers 13:33).
2. Refusal to make good use of the opportunities around to do exploits (Matthew 25:24-25).
3. Placing an embargo on self (1 Kings 19:4).
4. Failure to network with people of like passion (1 Samuel 22:1-2).
5. Incessant complaints and excuses (1 Corinthians 10:10).
6. Being passive about life: “Life will not give you what you desire but what you demand.” (Joshua 14:12).
7. Inactive prayer life. Some limitations need divine intervention – like Jabez (1Chronicles 4:9-10).
8. Unwarranted covenant entered into ignorantly or deceitfully (Joshua 9:6; 22-23).
9. Living continuously in regrets (Philippians 3:13-14).
CLASS ACTIVITY 1: Students should mention other factors responsible for limitations.
2. ENLARGE YOUR SCOPE
There are certain things believers must do to enlarge their scope.
1. You must be deliberate to enlarge your scope (Luke 12:18).
2. Knowledge is power, make conscious efforts to add to what you know to grow big (Proverbs 2:10-11; 8:12).
3. You need to do more than what you are doing now (Ecclesiastes 11:6) – there is always room for improvement.
4. Confront your fears, deal with them, and see a new lease of life open before you (Numbers 27:1-7).
5. It is necessary to develop the “I can do it’ attitude (Philippians 4:13).
6. Step into new terrains, be bold to take over territories and move upward on the ladder of success (Joshua 15:13-14).
7. Prayerfully remove any seal that wants to limit you (1 Chronicles 4:10).
8. Believe that no force can limit you (1 Peter 2:6; Ephesians 1:20-21; 2:6).
CLASS ACTIVITY 2: Students should mention what they are doing currently to enlarge their coast
CONCLUSION: Take the limits off and be the best you can. There is room at the top for you!
*LESSON THIRTY TWO (32)*
TOPIC: DRUG/SUBSTANCE ABUSE
BIBLE PASSAGE: Luke 10:30-35
MEMORY VERSE: “When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.” Matthew 9:12 (NKJV).
INTRODUCTION: Healthcare is the maintenance or improvement of health via the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, illness, injury, and other physical/mental impairments in human beings. The Bible is definitely pro-health and encourages us to take care of ourselves when we are sick. Proper attention should be given to any ailing parts of our bodies (Isaiah 1:5-6). The goal is to keep the body fit, as much as possible, in order to fulfil the purpose of living, serving and glorifying the Lord (Isaiah 38:19).
OUTLINES
1. BIBLICAL INSTANCES
2. THE RIGHT APPROACH
1.BIBLICAL INSTANCES
A. Seeking medical attention should not be viewed as demonic, lack of faith, or carnal.
B. There are scriptural prescriptions as well as contemporary medical interventions that do not just bring about quick relief but also save lives (Isaiah 38:21) – ultimately, God heals (Exodus 15:26).
C. The Bible mentions various medical processes/treatments. For instance:
1. People applied bandages and ointments to wounds (Isaiah 1:6).
2. Oil and wine were used as healing agents (James 5:14; Luke 10:34; 1 Timothy 5:23).
3. Balm was also applied on sick people (Jeremiah 8:22).
D. This also implies that medical technological advancements, modern surgery, therapies or pharmaceuticals are not unbiblical.
E. The gap lies in the fact that, when the Bible was written, those treatments had not yet been invented (Daniel 12:4; Isaiah 33:6).
CLASS ACTIVITY 1: Students should state at least one reason why some believers reject medical assistance.
2. THE RIGHT APPROACH
A. There are several provisions at our disposal to improve or correct our health:
1. Preventive healthy habits such as eating and sleeping well, drinking enough water, and doing regular exercises will steadily improve anyone’s health.
2. Christians should not hesitate to visit or consult with the appropriate medical practitioners when the need arises (Proverbs 11:14).
3. Maternal health care is essential for pregnant women. Immunisation of children, against strange diseases/epidemics, should not be taken for granted. It is also good to participate in healthcare insurance plans.
B. We should however avoid patronising Quacks, Magicians, or witch doctors (Leviticus 19:31; Deuteronomy 18:10).
C. Our ultimate faith and trust should be in God and not in medical experts or medicine (Mark 5:25-26).
D. All medical processes/treatments should be committed unto God before, during, and after. Physicians care, and God heals (Psalms 103:3; 107:20).
CLASS ACTIVITY 2: Students should mention at least one danger of patronising quacks.
CONCLUSION: If we lack wisdom and let our bodies fall into disrepair, we risk sudden sickness or injury that can take us out of God’s purpose for living. Be intentional about your health.
*LESSON THIRTY THREE (33)*
TOPIC: HEALTH CARE
BIBLE PASSAGE: Ephesians 5:6-12
MEMORY VERSE: “Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls.” Proverbs 25:28 (NKJV).
INTRODUCTION: Drug or substance abuse is the maladaptive pattern of substance use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress. People use illicit (hard) drugs for different reasons. Stimulants (cocaine, nicotine, caffeine, etc.) speed up messages travelling between the brain and the body. They make one feel awake and energized. Depressants (Alcohol, heroin, codeine, Tramadol, inhalants, etc.) reduce the level of stimulation and arousal. They slow down a person’s ability to respond to unexpected situations. Hallucinogens (ecstasy, cannabis, etc.) cause profound distortions in a person’s perceptions of reality, otherwise known as hallucinations. The usage of drugs in itself is not evil but abuse.
OUTLINES:
1. EXCUSES AND EFFECTS
2. ANTIDOTES TO DRUG/SUBSTANCE ABUSE
1. EXCUSES AND EFFECTS
The teacher should ask the students the reasons for the prevalence of drug/substance abuse among youths.
The teacher should explain thus:
A. There are several excuses for the prevalence of drug/substance abuse among youths. Some of which include:
1. Peer Pressure (1 Corinthians 15:33; Proverbs 1:10).
2. Undue Exposure: Youths tend to practice what they watch others do (Exodus 23:2). Also, exposure to high-risk jobs could lead to drug misuse.
3. Curiosity: Many youths want to indulge in DIY (do it yourself) in order to have a feeling of the effect of the drugs (Romans 1:24).
4. Unpleasant situations: Wrong belief that drugs will ameliorate the seemingly unpleasant situation (Proverbs 24:10; Ecclesiastes 7:14).
5. Family Breakdown: Dysfunctional family may encourage drug abuse (Luke 11:17b).
B. The adverse effect of drug/substance abuse can be:
1. Biological (Liver damage, Cancer of the lungs, Diabetes, impotence, infertility, accidents, and eventual death);
2. Psychological (Depression, Psychosis, suicide, low self-esteem, personality changes, etc.);
3. Social (unfulfilled dreams, marital disharmony, financial difficulties, relational problems, irrational decisions, etc.);
4. Spiritual (Prayerlessness, lack of interest in the things of God, apostasy, spiritual death, etc.).
Summarily, destruction awaits anyone engaging in drug/substance abuse (1 Corinthians 3:16-17).
CLASS ACTIVITY 1: Students should disclose if they always consult a physician before using any drug.
2. ANTIDOTES TO DRUG/SUBSTANCE ABUSE
The teacher should ask the students to suggest the antidotes to drug/substance abuse.
A. The teacher should explain as follows:
1. Christians are all required to be good stewards of what God has entrusted to us including our earthly bodies (1 Peter 4:10). As Christians, our bodies are not our own – we “have been bought with a price” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
2. We need to be sober and avoid being ensnared through deception (1 Peter 4:7). 1 Corinthians 15:33 tells us that “…evil communications corrupt good manners.” It is therefore expedient to keep godly friends (2 Corinthians 6:14; Psalm 1:1) and flee from youthful lust (2 Timothy 2:22).
3. Parents/guardians must be positive role models and be familiar with their children’sn friends (Titus 2:7).
4. Intentional teaching of the undiluted word of God (Romans 14:19), mentoring and discipleship, (2 Timothy 2:2) should be put in place to forestall the spread of drug/substance abuse.
B. Peradventure you are already involved, know that there is a way out.
i. Pray to God for forgiveness.
ii. Seek help from a pastor and/or professional.
iii. Do not let the devil deceive you that it is too late (James 5:16).
CLASS ACTIVITY 2: Students should make a conscious effort to reach out to anyone they know who is suffering from drug/substance abuse.
CONCLUSION: All hands must be on deck to fight drug/substance abuse.
*LESSON THIRTY FOUR (34)*
TOPIC: YESTERDAY
BIBLE PASSAGE: Numbers 11:4-7
MEMORY VERSE: “We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic.’’ Numbers 11:5 (NKJV).
INTRODUCTION: After the children of Israel left Egypt, it is unfortunate that “Egypt” did not leave them. Despite the miracles of deliverance and divine provisions, they still longed for the cucumbers and garlic they ate as slaves because “yesterday” was vivid in their memories. The same thing applies to some of us who refuse to let go of our past! Whatever happened in the past must be history and we must embrace today and forge ahead to take a brighter tomorrow.
OUTLINES:
1. DEALING WITH THE PAST
2. EMBRACE THE FUTURE
1. DEALING WITH THE PAST
Below are some of the ways to deal with past events or occurrences:
1. Be intentional to deal with any ugly past because some bad memories always want to fill our thoughts (Philippians 4:8).
2. Learn from the mistakes so as to avoid the repetition of any ugly or undesirable past (John 8:10-11).
3. Forgive yourself and others for whatever happened in the past (Genesis 45:5). Remove the “veil of offense” and never allow it to degenerate into an obstacle (Ephesians 4:31; Hebrews 12:15).
4. Accelerate your forward movement (Exodus 14:15) by thinking and taking the next step into a brighter tomorrow.
5. Forget “yesterday’ because it is gone! Stop holding on to the past or referring to it incessantly as if you can bring back the hand of the clock. (Philippians 3:13).
6. Free your mind because a negative past enslaves you. (Galatians 5:1).
7. Cry to God to take any unwanted memory away. Remember that vengeance is of the Lord: leave the matter to Him (Romans 12:19).
CLASS ACTIVITY 1: Students should mention any past event that is still hurting them.
2. EMBRACE THE FUTURE
1. Believers must walk with the assurance that tomorrow will be better (Job 14:7-9; 2 Corinthians 5:17).
2. Hope is a prerequisite needed to forget the past and look forward to the future (Job 11:18; Romans 5:5).
3. Having a focus will sustain a believer to keep moving (Philippians 3:13).
4. Give yourself to the study of God’s word (Psalm 119:16) and know that He is your help (Psalm 46:1); this gives uncommon happiness and joy (Psalm 146:5).
5. Carve the future by channelling all your energy to positive endeavours in order to fulfil your purpose in life (Proverbs 16:9).
6. No matter what, win your future (Proverbs 23:18).
CLASS ACTIVITY 2: Students should mention where they hope to see themselves in the next five (5) years.
CONCLUSION: Remembering the irreparable past generates sorrow, therefore set your mind on a better tomorrow.
*LESSON THIRTY FIVE (35)*
TOPIC: FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE
BIBLE PASSAGE: Genesis 26:12-16.
MEMORY VERSE: “But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.” Deuteronomy 8:18 (KJV).
INTRODUCTION: There has been so much instability in recent times and it looks like a whole lot of things are becoming unattainable, especially in the place of finance. Dwindling economic realities around the world make it more difficult to believe that financial independence exists given the rate at which companies fold up, the rate of inflation, and exchange rate vulnerability just to mention but a few. A lot of people today either borrow to survive or wait on a paycheque from their employer before any financial decision or action is taken over their well-being and that of their family.
It is important to know that God has a financial plan for us as his children and he does not want us to be poor (3 John 1:2a). We would be looking at what financial independence is, how it relates to us as Christians, and practical steps we can take to attain financial independence.
OUTLINES
1. MEANING OF FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE
2. ATTAINING FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE
OUTLINES:
1. MEANING OF FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE
Financial Independence is an act of being financially sufficient.
B. It means having sufficient income, savings, or investment to last a lifetime without necessarily waiting to be paid by someone else at the end of the month.
C. It is being able to attend to your needs conveniently without regrets while preparing for tomorrow.
D. Financial Independence is not starvation, the inability to attend to today’s need just to provide for tomorrow.
E. It is not being stingy or lacking the ability to be compassionate and do good to others.
F. It is also not to love money like Achan or Judas (Joshua 7:20-21; John 12:4-6).
CLASS ACTIVITY 1: Have you attained financial independence?
2. FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE
1. Believers can attain financial independence by:
a. Looking unto God for their financial independence (Deuteronomy 8:18).
b. Depending solely on the Holy Spirit for inspiration (Proverbs 10:22).
c. Tithing (Malachi 3:10-12).
d. Working towards having multiple streams of income.
e. Being disciplined (spending prudently).
f. Investing and not just saving.
g. Eliminating or avoiding debt
h. Acquiring financial knowledge, being wise and diligent.
2. It is possible to be financially independent, especially as Christians (Luke 1:37).
3. Even if it seems hard for others, we should always believe that it is attainable (Deuteronomy 8:18).
4. Abraham and Isaac are examples of people who were financially independent in the Bible (Genesis 24:1, 35; 26:12-16).
CLASS ACTIVITY 2: Students should mention some intentional steps they would take to overcome financial dependency.
CONCLUSION: Financial independence is possible for a Christian and you have a role to play in attaining it.
*LESSON THIRTY SIX (36)*
TOPIC: EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE
BIBLE PASSAGE: Galatians 5:13-18
MEMORY VERSE: “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.” Proverbs 16:32 (KJV).
INTRODUCTION: Emotional intelligence is the concept of knowing our feelings, managing, and expressing them appropriately. It is also the ability to skilfully recognise how others feel and modify our own behaviour depending on the situation at hand in order to live in harmony with them. Our God is emotionally intelligent (Psalm 78:38). His emotions are positive and appropriate. Since we are created “in His image”, then it means, as we mature in Christ, our emotions should, in great measure, share His divine qualities with the help of the Holy Spirit.
OUTLINES:
1. CLASSIFICATION OF EMOTIONS
2. MANAGING EMOTIONS
1. CLASSIFICATION OF EMOTIONS
We shall break down emotions into three classes for easy identification.
1. Holy Emotions – these are emotions expressed by God such as compassion (Psalm 78:38), and holy indignation (Deuteronomy 32:16).
a. Holy emotions can also accompany a believer’s life in the Spirit in times of worship (Ephesians 5:19).
b. They are not necessarily religious or pious emotions. They are good and beautiful (Philippians 4:8).
2. Human Emotions -these are based on our human nature and situations.
a. Jesus Christ expressed natural human emotions while on earth, for instance, He wept at the tomb of Lazarus (John 11:35).
b. Feelings such as happiness, ecstasy, grief, fear, anxiety, and vulnerability are natural human emotions. For the “Christian,’ they are temporary. While some of these emotions may be bad, they are not evil or toxic if and when properly managed.
3. Fleshly Emotions – these are toxic and destructive emotions such as untamed anger, malice, envy, selfish ambition, bitterness, lust, hatred, etc. They are closely tied up with the works of the flesh and evil deeds (Galatians 5:19-21). Their outcome is spiritual death (Romans 8:6, 13; Galatians 5:21b). These emotions were not part of mankind at creation (Genesis 1:31a). They constitute what Apostle Paul calls the “old man’ that must be put off and crucified (Romans 6:6; Ephesians 4:22).
CLASS ACTIVITY 1: Students should mention one of the dangers of entertaining fleshly emotions.
2. MANAGING EMOTIONS
A. Below are some practical steps on how we can manage our emotions and relate better with others.
1. Self-awareness: identify and admit that you have issues with emotions and have a clear picture of how you appear to most people in order to make self-improvements (2Corinthians 13:5).
2. Self-control: Put your emotions under check so it does not take you over (Proverbs 16:32).
3. Self-motivation: Rather than being depressed, encourage yourself and maintain a stable temper (1 Samuel 30:6).
4. Self-expression and empathy: always find an appropriate channel and time to politely express your feelings (Proverbs 15:1) and judge people less by seeing things from their points of view (Matthieu 7:1-5).
5. Self/social-skill development: Develop the right level of rapport with people and be patient in your dealings with them (2 Timothy 2:24).
B. However, all the practical approaches mentioned above may not yield the expected result unless the believer yields first to the Holy Spirit who helps him/her respond differently to each of the three categories of emotion.
C. The Holy Spirit assists when we engage in holy responses.
i. He produces within us “the fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22-23).
ii. He comforts us when human emotions such as grief overwhelm us (John 14:16).
iii. He helps us break the grip of fleshly emotions such as lust and revenge.
iv. The Spirit wars against such impulses so that we cannot fully give way to our worst desires (Galatians 5:16-18).
v. Hence, the Holy Spirit becomes the source of our intelligence when we take heed of His promptings.
CLASS ACTIVITY 2: Students should mention practical ways to control their emotions.
CONCLUSION: The power to defeat deep and difficult emotions comes from God and involves the human spirit coming into contact with God’s Spirit.
*LESSON THIRTY SEVEN (37)*
TOPIC: DEPRESSION (PART 1)
BIBLE PASSAGE: 1 Kings 19:1-4.
MEMORY VERSE: “Now when Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister, and said to Jacob, “Give me children, or else I die!” Genesis 30:1 (NKJV).
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
2. PREVENTION OF DEPRESSION
i. The teacher should discuss the following with the students.
A. Biblical Instances
i. Depression is often viewed as a persistent feeling of sadness (Romans 8:20-22).
ii. There are many biblical examples of men of God who struggled with sadness, even to the point of depression.
a. 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).
b. 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
1. 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). viii. Biologically, depression manifests when some chemical changes occur in the human brain due to persistent uncontrollable sad feelings.
2. These cause changes in the levels of some hormones in the brain which include cortisol, adrenaline, and dopamine.
3. 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?
Answer: 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?
Answer: 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).
1. He will strengthen and uphold His children regardless of the situation (Isaiah 41:10).
2. God hears our cry (Psalm 40:1-3).
3. God is near to the broken-hearted (Psalm 34:18-19; Matthew 11:28-30).
4. Develop positive attitudes.
5. Understand our mental limits.
6. Build problem-solving skills, resilience skills, and good communication skills.
CLASS ACTIVITY 2: Can a Christian seek medical assistance for 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)
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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