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Unit 4: Get Ready 



Texts: 1 Thess 2:13; 4:9-12; 2 Thess 3:2-4,7-9


Key Verse: 1 Thessalonians 2:8 We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us. (NIV) 


>> Focus

One of the toughest things for most teens to accept is that there are ABSOLUTES. They have grown up in a world that tolerates, even celebrates, variety of lifestyles and opinions. In times past, many of such behaviours were considered by the society to be unacceptable and deviant.


But to most people today, virtually anything can be right depending on the situation. Even so, to believe that there is only one way to God is often viewed as anti-culture.

In this study, you will seek to establish in students’ minds that the Bible is TRUE. The Bible ALONE can be TRUSTED to show a person how to form a relationship with God that leads to spending eternity with Him in heaven.

Although many teens embrace a relativistic view of life, there will be some in your class who go to the other extreme. They impose standards on themselves and others that are unrealistic, contradictory, or hindering to others’ relationship with God. It’s important that you reinforce the fact that salvation is by a simple act of faith, and that our spiritual development is a process that includes both successes and failures. Encourage students to experience the grace and mercy that is available to them through their relationship with God, and to show appropriate level of personal responsibility and acceptance toward fellow Christians.


>>The Basic Message: Explain to students…


The key to spiritual readiness is to understand and accept God’s standards as presented in the Bible.


Without a standard and the discipline to live up to it, our lives will differ little from those who do not know Jesus.


Determine to live by the Bible standards, share those standards with others through words and actions, and commit to grow spiritually through discipleship.


>>Guide: Explain that there are situations that often complicate our Standards and beliefs, causing us to wrestle with the issue of truth and faith. If our struggle leads to a more thorough study of God’s Word, and greater dependence on Him, tough issues can help us grow in our relationship with God.


>>Study Overview: Explain that today’s study considers…

• The standards God wants us to uphold in our lives.

• The example we set for others.

• The commitment necessary to live according to our standards.


a). Standard


>>Guide: Read or ask a volunteer to read 1 Thess 2:13. Explain that the Bible is not simply a “good” book. It is the actual Word of God that demands our respect and obedience.


1. What impact do you think our culture has had on our attitudes about the Bible? What things tend to shape those attitudes? [Hint: Some believe that everyone establishes his or her own truth. They feel the Bible may be true for some but not all. Others view the Bible as an error-filled document that produces narrow-minded people. These attitudes are often communicated through TV, movies, advertising. In some advanced countries they’re also communicated through best-selling books, school texts, and curriculum.]


2. How do you think unbelievers view Christians who say they believe the Bible is God’s Word yet knowingly live in ways that are contrary to it? [Hint: Such people are seen as hypocrites and are ridiculed by the world. Their actions cause many unbelievers to doubt the validity of God’s Word.]


3. How can a firm belief in the Bible help with day-to-day decisions? [Hint: Our decisions are made more easily as we choose to do what God wants us to do and has clearly shown in His Word.]


>>Guide: Explain that the Bible must be the single standard for Christians because it is the Word of God – and we trust Him alone for our salvation. If portions of the Bible can be ignored or considered unreliable, we have no basis for belief in anything it says. No document with such varied collection of writings from various authors — all professing belief in the same God —has withstood the test of time, scrutiny, cohesiveness, and fulfilled prophesy like the Bible.


b). The Example


1. Read or ask a volunteer to read 1 Thess 4:9-12. List the actions Paul called us to exhibit and describe how each will affect our lives. [Hint: i. Show love to others: This is true even when they treat you badly. ii. Lead a quiet life: Draw attention to God instead of yourself. iii. Mind your own business: Avoid offending others by your actions. Iv. Work with your hands Honour and fulfil your responsibilities.]

>>note: Often we think we have to make a statement that opposes the Word in order to be heard. Paul said a simple lifestyle testimony is an effective approach.


2. Why would the list Paul outlined be rejected by some in the church today when it comes to changing our world? Why do you think Paul promoted this simple approach to Christian living? [Hint: Some want to be more proactive and change the way the world acts. But because people change from the inside out, we need to show them that salvation is a simple act of faith. If we live according to the Bible’s standard, people will be drawn to Jesus through us.]


3, Read or ask a volunteer to read 2 Thess 3:7-9. How does this passage confirm what Paul wrote in 1 Thess 4:9-12? [Hint: Paul explained that if we don’t live what we believe, it will destroy our testimonies. But when we do live out our beliefs, we set worthy examples, and God models through us what it means to have a relationship with Him.]


c). The Commitment


>>Guide: Read or have a volunteer read 2 Thess 3:2-4. Explain that it’s not easy to remain faithful to God’s Word in a society that battles for our minds. Yet, as we determine to keep God’s command, He will be faithful to us, provide us with strength, and protect us from satanic attacks.


1. What does Paul instruct us to do when encountering wicked people, and how will this affect your life? [Hint: Pray for your deliverance from evil men. Sometimes, though, you may have no choice but to be around them. In that case, continually pray and live so that their attitudes and values won’t affect you.]


2. How does committing to do right protect us from evil? [Hint: If we decide to do what is right in advance, it’s easier to resist temptation.]


3. How can being a member of a church or Sunday School class provide strength to accomplish God’s commands? [Hint: Being around other Christians reinforces our beliefs and provides strength when we get weak. We can challenge and encourage one another.]

>>Note: People who find a small group of Christians to fellowship with will grow in their commitment to Christ and to one another.


>>Involve Them: WHAT’S MY ROLE?

Distribute paper and pens or pencils. And ask students to write these Categories on their paper: 1. The movies and TV shows I watch; 2. The places I go with my friends; 3. How I treat new kids in my school or teens’ group; 4. How I act toward my parents; 5. How I respond when someone upsets me. Explain that these areas affect the kind of role models they will be. Under each category, have students write responses to these questions:


• What standards do I currently apply to choices in this area?


• How will my choices affect the kind of Christian role model I will be to my unsaved friends and relatives?


• What standards do I need to maintain in this area in order to be a better role model?


>>Guide: Explain that Christian teens’ standards in many areas should be distinctly different from those of their non-Christian peers. Emphasize that as Christians our standard should most closely resemble Christ’s. Remind them that keeping these standards isn’t what saves, but it demonstrates our gratitude toward and dependence on God, and helps us grow in spiritual discipline.


>>Inspire Them: Remind students THE BASIC MESSAGE of this study (pg 77), even as you explain WHAT the Big Idea behind the study is; WHY it Matters; and HOW we can live the lesson captured in this study. Point out that we’re all role models — good or bad. We will be positive Christian role models if we make decisions based on God’s standards.


>>Ministry Activity: YOUR STANDARDS

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Have students consider their current level of compliance to God’s standards and the impact their choices have on their lives and testimonies. Explain that this may seem overwhelming to someone who has never considered that our standards are set by God. We can see those standards in the Bible by examining the life of His Son Jesus, who died on the cross for our sins. Because He did that, we can be made acceptable in God’s presence by asking forgiveness for living by our own standards and accepting Jesus as the Leader of our lives. Invite students to pray privately, asking God to forgive any unfaithfulness to Him and to help them make His standards theirs, so they can please Him and be role models to others.


Conclude the study by challenging students to re-evaluate their relationship with God and commitment to His standards on a regular basis. Remind them that the world would try to get them to compromise and water down their commitment. Encourage them to rely on God and continually request His strength and protection.


>>Teacher Hint: Ask Yourself…

1. Have students made a commitment to God as their sole source of Spiritual truth?


2. Do they understand that living a simple, Christ-centred life is the best way to communicate the gospel?


3. Have they asked God for strength and protection as they live for Him?

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Open Heavens Daily Devotional guide was written by Pastor E.A. Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, one of the largest evangelical church in the world and also the President of Christ the Redeemer’s Ministries. The Open Heavens devotional application is available across all mobile platforms and operating systems: iOS, Android, Blackberry, Nokia, Windows Mobile and PC.

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