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Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION

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BIBLE STUDY MATERIAL FOR FRESHMEN

Lesson 1: The Gift

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Lesson 2: Too Short

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Lesson 3: Signing Up

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Lesson 4: Preparing Yourself: Removing the Excess Baggage

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BIBLE STUDY MATERIAL FOR JUNIORS

Lesson 1: Choosing Sides

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Lesson 2: Responding to Criticism

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Lesson 3: Don’t Give Up

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Lesson 4: Live in Peace

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BIBLE STUDY MATERIALS FOR SENIORS

ONE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Lesson 1: Renewed Life With Christ

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Lesson 2: It’s Show Time

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Lesson 3: UMYFP COVENANT:

Continuing Life With Christ

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Lesson 4: UMYFP COVENANT:

Witness and Serve Towards a Future with Hope

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INTRODUCTION

There is always a first time for everything. Sleeping out, going far away from home, are just a few of the things you could possibly look back do- ing it for the first time. I was so excited to attend my first Christmas Institute (way, way back)! I thought that meeting new friends and reuniting with old ones is already the fellowship expected in any other youth camps—so I invited classmates and neighbors to come along. But the experience is not merely the “fun” side. It goes deeper than that. It has changed my life and I am sure it will change yours also. My parents back then reminded us that in the Christmas Institute (CI) we become better Christians and deepen our faith, which are fun and exciting journey too!

This Bible Study material is prepared especially for all those newcom- ers to the Christmas Institute. I hope that as you encounter new faces and cre- ate another circle of friends, you will also meet the one true friend who is al- ways around, Jesus Christ. May you deepen this friendship with Him as you walk through your Christian life. Have fun!

This guide focuses on the theme “UMYFP Covenant: Continuing the Journey with Jesus into a Future with Hope.” The verses from Philippians 2:12 to 13 guide us in this journey. Paul, while in prison, reminds the believers in Philippi to work with God as God is working in them. Paul reminds us that our faith and salvation are not just a onetime event but a gradual process. This is what the Methodist Founder John Wesley refers to as the Scriptural Way of Salvation. As Paul encourages the Philippians, he is also calling us to continue to deepen our faith with God alone. The CI experience is more than the rela- tionship among our co-youth and church workers. It is the relationship we have in Christ that greatly matters. Even without our new friends, teachers and mentors we must continue to work and strengthen our faith because God continues to work in us. This study is focused about the way of salvation and the journey of our faith. Divided into eight parts, the first four are designed to introduce the Wesleyan way of salvation. On the other hand, the next four parts are designed to strengthen that relationship we have built in Christ Je- sus, continuing journey of our salvation after our CI experience.

I. The Gift: A Christmas Story (Gods Love)

II. Short: All are Sinners (Responsible Grace)

III. Signing up: Removing excess and unwanted baggage (Transforming Grace)

IV. Preparing Yourself: Backsliding (Sanctifying Grace)

V. Holiness of Heart and Life: Sanctification (Towards Christian Perfection)

VI. Preparing for the real world: Simulating the Christian life (Works of Mercy)

VII. Problem Solving: How to face challenges

VIII. On your own (Not just spirit but body as well)

IX. Referral: Calling for backup (Social Holiness)

Present context:

United Methodist Youth Fellowship in the Philippines, the challenge to “level up” is in your hands. It’s your choice to move to the next level. Do your part today before time runs out. We have great programs and planning, excel- lence in leadership but we must put it in action. This is now your time to ACT, your covenant to witness and serve will require passion for CHRIST. Remember, the book of James says faith without action is dead. Let your local church, dis- trict, annual and to the national be a living witness to serve God through the UMYFP nationwide.

Questions for Discussions

1. How are you experiencing the truth of the scripture and the power of God today?

2. As we seek to share the gospel of Jesus, what can we learn about answer-

ing and asking question from the text?

3. In what context as UMYFPers this text is applicable to you (Romans

1:16)? Are you ready to witness and serve for the future with hope of our church?

4. What relevance do these warnings such as earth quakes, war, corruption,

and politics in the church have for us today? Explain.

5. In what practical ways are you actively serving Christ?

This is my covenant of service to Christ after Christmas Institute 2011…

Closing song: Covenant

Let me walk with you, as I journey to this land , Searching for a meaning as each moment passes by Let the hand of time be like footprints in the sand , As I carry you from the dawn to the setting sun.

Chorus:

With just one hand we can travel far together , One's life sharing in love I will hold you forever , Yes, I love you with all my heart.

There'll be many crossroads as we walk along the way, There'll be many questions as we live life day by day This will never matter if the Lord will always be there, He will surely find the answers 'coz he cares

Repeat Chorus:

Yes, I love you with all my heart.

Closing Prayer

Each one should read his/her own Covenant of Service to Christ. Then the BS leader will close it in prayer.

Lesson 4

UMYFP Covenant-Witness and Serve Towards a future with hope (Level Up)

Text: Philippians 2:12-13, Romans 1:16

The Real Deal: Divide your BS group into two, each team should come up with a word or short phrase that fits in the category to the left and begins with the letter above each box. Try to be creative. Your team scores a point for each response that no other team has. (5 minutes)

Category

P

T

W

Times we are glad that Jesus is fighting

     

Accusations that Satan makes of

     

Evidence of Satan's anger

     

Ways we are pro- tected by God.

     

Text Explained:

The passage from Philippians and Romans makes us aware that we are look- ing forward to witness and serve. Paul here enters a large discourse of justifica- tion in the latter part, making a proof that he is ready to proclaim the gospel no matter what happens, whether the result is good or evil. Paul was not ashamed of the power of God working in him (Phil 2:13).

Our Wesleyan Heritage:

Wesley insists that as United Methodists our personal salvation involves Christian mission and service to the world. By joining hearts and hands, we as- sert that personal religion, evangelical witness and Christian social action are reciprocal and mutually reinforcing. Scriptural holiness entails more than per- sonal piety; love of God is always linked with love of neighbor, a passion of jus- tice and renewal in the life of the world. The general rule represents one tradi- tional expression of the intrinsic relationship between Christian life and thought as understood within the Wesleyan tradition. Theology is the servant of piety, which in turn grounds social conscience and the impetus for social action and global interaction, always in the empowering context of the reign of God.

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BIBLE STUDY MATERIAL FOR Freshmen
BIBLE STUDY MATERIAL
FOR
Freshmen

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BIBLE STUDY MATERIAL FOR

FRESHMEN

Lesson 1

The Gift

Game: Something Precious

1. Divide the class into three groups. Tell them to bring to the leader five items listed in the paper. The items are: a perfume; a handkerchief; a box; a ribbon; and a red heart shaped object.

2. Give the class five minutes to accomplish the requirements.

3. Whichever team brings ALL the complete items wins and receives a prize. If

the team cannot complete the items still give them a prize.

All the three groups will probably not be able to complete the re- quired items. But all the three groups will still be given a prize. Let the group analyze the significance of not “deserving” to receive a prize. Compare and make analogies with the gift God gives us even if we do not deserve it.

Object and Analysis: A gift

We usually receive wrapped gifts on Christmas. Imagine your excite- ment and joy when you receive these wrapped gifts. You can’t wait to open the gift. You want to unwrap it the moment you receive it. In our excitement, we immediately and unconsciously tear the gift wrap. We are thrilled because we want to know what’s inside the wrapper. The fun is different to receiving an unwrapped gift. And most of us prefer the former.

God is giving us a gift, wrapped in swaddling clothes, this Christmas. This is a gift that will change our lives forever. It is a very precious and impor- tant gift. Would you be willing to unwrap the gift beneath the swaddling clothes that God is giving us?

Our Scripture: John 3:16; Luke 2:1 to 16

Our Wesleyan Heritage:

Trivia: Did you know that the first conference of all Methodists was held on Christmas? The first ever meeting of all Methodist preachers in America hap- pened in Baltimore, Maryland in December 24, 1784. This was called the Christmas Conference and this marked the birth of the Methodist Church.

Christmas conferencing and fellowships not only have a spiritual sig-

nificance but also a historical value. One of the reasons why the annual fellow-

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Reflect on this short story. Noel works at a local fast food restaurant. Al- though it is a common practice among his coworkers, Noel never undercharges his friends who come in. He also resists the temptation to snack on a handful of fries or an extra burger, insisting upon paying for every meal he eats at work. In the last few days a substantial amount of money was taken from the cashier dur- ing Noel’s shift. A shift supervisor, who has always disliked Noel, tried to con- vince the manager that Noel was the thief. Because of Noel’s reputation for hon- esty, the charge was dismissed as the spiteful attack that it was.

Questions for Discussions

Do you know of a UMYFP’er who is honest in his/her covenant with the LORD?

1. Covenant is deeper than promise, differentiate the two.

2. In the text that Paul writes to the Philippians, What is the covenant of

this people that even without his presence they are still trustworthy? Compare

to your covenant to the Lord today.

3. As Young People what do you suggest to develop strong and attainable

covenant?

4. What is your covenant with the Lord to continue a life with Christ? Are you

doing them? Start making your covenant.

My covenant to the Lord from now on

From the Real Deal: To fulfill your covenant you need the Armor of God such as: Gospel, power/powerful, living, active, enduring, alert, love, hope, stand.

Closing Song: “KAYBUTI BUTI MO”

Kaybuti buti mo Panginoon, Sa lahat ng oras sa bawat araw

Ikaw’y laging tapat kung magmahal, Ang iyong kaawaay magpawalang hanggan (2x)

Koro:

Pinupuri, sinasamba kita, Dakilang Diyos at Panginoon,

Tunay ngang Ikaw’y walang katulad, Tunay ngang Ikaw’y di nagbabago

Mabuti ang Diyos na sa akin ay nagmamahal(2x) (2x)

CLOSING PRAYER:

Lord of Covenant, we know you did your part and you are always with us. We believe as we made a covenant with you today, we believe that you will con- tinue to be a loving God no matter what. Thank you for your faithfulness and we are now faith servants by your grace and mercy in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen

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pel. As you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only but now much more in my absence (Phil 2:12). The believers had always been eager to know God whether or not Paul is with them. This should encourage us to do our ut- most, because our labor shall not be in vain. God is ready to concur with His grace and assist our faithful covenant. Observe that though we must use our best endeavors in working out our salvation, yet we still must be dependent upon the grace of God. Phil 2:13 says because God is always at work in you; to make you willing and able to obey his own purpose. God has given us undeserved grace so we can never claim or pretend to deserve it. God’s good will to us is the cause of His good works in us and He is under no engagement to His creatures, but those of his gracious COVENANT.

Our Wesleyan Heritage:

The underlying energy of the Wesleyan theological heritage stems from an emphasis on practical divinity, the implementation of genuine Christianity in the lives of believers. Methodism did not arise in response to a specific doctrinal dis- pute, though there was no lack of theological controversy. Early Methodist claimed to preach the scriptural doctrines of the Church of England as contained in the Articles of Religion, the Homilies, and the Book of Common Prayer. Their task was not to reformulate doctrine, but to summon people to experience the justifying and sanctifying grace of God and encourage people to grow in the knowledge and love of Christ through the personal and corporate disciplines of Christian life. The thrust of the Wesleyan movement of the United Brethren and Evangelical Association was to reform the nation, particularly the church and to spread scriptural holiness over the land. Wesley’s orientation towards the prac- tical is evident in his focus upon the “SCRIPTURE WAY OF SALVAITON”. He considered doctrinal matters primarily in terms of their significance for Chris- tian Discipleship. The Wesleyan emphasis upon the Christian life faith and love put into practice – has been the hallmark of those traditions now incorporated into THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH. The distinctive shape of the Wesleyan theological heritage can be seen in a constellation of doctrinal empha- sis that display the creating, redeeming, and sanctifying activity of God.

Present context:

Covenant with God today merits honesty. UMYFPers find it very difficult to prove that their covenant in the Lord to Continue a life with Christ is now the great wall of challenge. As the text in Philippians reminds us that we are the young people of the Church who need to abide by the covenant to the Lord. Re- member God’s covenant to Noah (Genesis 9:11-13And I will establish my cove- nant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.) Let us keep our covenant and never break it.

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ship of United Methodists Youths is held during the Christmas season was to remember the significance of the Christmas Conference.

Group Discussion:

The whole world pauses for a holiday season during December— especially Christians. But the Christmas season has become so commercial- ized. Santa Claus became the symbol of Christmas for children. It has become a tine for parties and vacations for barkadas and families without even know- ing what they are celebrating. How about you; how did you celebrate Christ- mas? What did you celebrate last December 25? Did you have exchange gifts? What is the meaning behind such gift giving? What things should we never forget during Christmas?

Song of Reflection and Analysis:

Jingle Bells Jingle Bells Jingle All the Way

O what fine it is to ride in a one horse open sleigh, Hey!

Jingle Bells Jingle Bells Jingle All the Way

O what fine it is to ride in a one horse open sleigh, Hey!

This song has long been a traditional Christmas song that even carol- ing kids frequently sings. This is a very jolly and fun song to sing. But why did this became a Christmas song? Where is the Christmas message in this song? Is your celebration of the Christmas season similar to the signifi- cance/insignificance of this Christmas song?

Compare with this other Christmas song:

Joy to the World the Lord is come, Let earth receive her king

Let every heart prepare Him room

And heaven and nature sing, And heaven and nature sing

And heaven and heaven and nature sing

Application:

As we celebrate the Christmas season let us remember its reason. When you sing Christmas songs, make sure the message of Christmas is in your song. When you give gifts, make sure that you know why you are giving and receiving them. When you are going to a Christmas party, make sure you have the right reason for your celebration.

Prayer:

Dear God, you are the God of unconditional love who gave your Son

Jesus Christ on Christmas day to show your love to the world. Help us under-

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stand that the reason for our celebration is the new life that you offered to us through the birth of Jesus Christ this Christmas. Move into our hearts as we receive your precious gift to us. Teach us to love you more by loving our neighbors as you have loved us. Amen.

Lesson 2

Too Short

Topic: All are Sinners

Game: Reach

1. An invitation letter is placed on a very high area.

2. Ask each member of the group to reach the invitation without jumping or

using leverage materials.

3. Whoever reaches the letter wins.

Object and Analysis: Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam

Object and Analysis: Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam This famous masterpiece of Michelangelo is painted on the

This famous masterpiece of Michelangelo is painted on the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling. This is the artist’s depiction of creation in Genesis. But one of the most interesting sections of this paint is the stretched-out arm of God (interpreted as an old man) to Adam. Look at the difference between Adam (left) and God (right): God is all-stretched out to Adam while Adam is seem- ingly laidback and hesitant. Notice that the fingers of God and Adam never touched. What would have happened if Adam tried a little harder to reach God?

Our Scripture: Romans 3:23

Our Wesleyan Heritage:

John Wesley is the founder of the Methodist movement. He was a priest of the Church of England and was also the leader of the Christian group called the Holy Club. The Holy Club practices holiness from oneself to the society, emphasizing that the first step in our journey towards holiness is rec-

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Lesson 3

UMYFP Covenant-Continuing Life With Christ

Text: Philippians 2:12-13

Song of Preparation: STILL

Hide me now, Under your wings, Cover me, within your mighty hand

When the oceans rise and thunders roar, I will soar with you above the storm

Father you are king over the flood, I will be still and know you are God

Find rest my soul, In Christ alone, Know his power, In quietness and trust

The Real Deal: The Armor of God. Discover the Bible passages that say about our Christian armor to continuing life with Christ. (Fill in the blank, again it’s a Bible drill)

1. Romans 1:16 ---I am not ashamed of the of God for the Salvation of everyone who believes.

2. Hebrews 1:3----The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact repre-

because it is the

sentation of his being, sustaining all things by his

word.

3. Hebrews 4:12----For the word of God is

than any doubled –edge

and

Sharper

4. 1 Peter 1:23---- for you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of

imperishable through the

and

word of God.

5. 1Peter 5:8----Be self controlled and

6. 1 Thessalonians 5:8 ---But since we belong to the day, let be self controlled,

putting on

and

as a breastplate, and the

of

salvation as a

helmet.

7. Ephesians 6: 13---Therefore put on the full armor of God so that when the

day of evil comes, you may be able to

done everything, to stand.

your ground, and after you have

Text Explained:

Paul, while in prison, exhorts the believers in Philippi to diligence and seri- ousness in their Christian Life. You need to work out for your salvation. In the text, Paul urges the Philippian Christians to be ready always and obey the gos-

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Song before closing prayer :

STAND UP, STAND UP FOR JESUs

Stand up; stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross

Lift high His royal banner, it must not suffer loss

From victory to victory His army shall He lead

Till every foe is vanquished and Christ is Lord indeed

Stand up; stand up for Jesus, the trumpet call obey

Forth to the mighty conflict, in this His glorious day

Ye that are brave now serve Him against unnumbered foes;

Let courage rise with danger, and strength to strength oppose

Stand up; stand up for Jesus, the strife will not be long

This day the noise of battle, the next the victor’s song

To those who vanquish evil a crown of life shall be

They with the king of glory shall reign eternally.

Closing Prayer:

Lord Jesus, You CALLED me to these purpose now I am standing showing up as salt and light of the WORLD. I know it is not so easy, rather it is hard to follow your command, but I will do my best because I know You’re with me al- ways. Give me strength that I need, knowledge, right attitude. I pray to enjoy your love as I share to other people. I love You, Jesus. Thank you for the Cross. Amen

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ognition that we are sinners and that the only way to salvation is through Je- sus.

Wesley’s group grew and became known as the Methodists. When these Methodists migrated to America, Wesley sent preachers to help the lo- cals in their spiritual needs. These preachers shared to both Methodists and non-Methodists. People realized how sinful they are and the only way to be free from doing bad things is to receive God’s grace. There is no amount of good works that can heal our sin-sick souls. We must recognize that we need God’s healing.

Group Discussion:

“I am not perfect. I am only human” Familiar? We tend to make our imperfection an excuse when we do wrong because we don’t want to admit our sinful acts. Maybe you’re the boyfriend/girlfriend that upsets your girl- friend/boyfriend when you forget your monthsary or even anniversary. Or a child that worries his/her parents because you went home very late. Or an em- ployee who didn’t complete his/her job on time. The Bible tells us that human- ity severed its perfect relationship with God when Adam and Eve disobeyed Him. The book of Romans reminds us that all humans are sinners. Are you just going to be a sinner forever and keep sinning? Or would you bring it all to God and accept His redemption?

1. We have a broken relationship with God, what are the consequences?

2. Can this broken relationship with God still be restored? How?

3. Should being human an excuse to make mistakes? Is being a sinner an ex-

cuse to keep doing sins?

Song of Reflection and Analysis:

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me.

I once was lost but now am found, Was blind, but now I see.

The Lord has promised good to me. His word my hope secures.

He will my shield and portion be, As long as life endures.

T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear. And Grace, my fears relieved. How precious did that Grace appear, The hour I first believed.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail, And mortal life shall cease, I shall possess within the veil, A life of joy and peace.

Through many dangers, toils and snares,

I have already come;

'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far and Grace will lead me home.

When we've been here ten thousand years,

Bright shining as the sun.

We've no less days to sing God's praise, Than when we've first begun.

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This song was written by John Newton, a slave trader, who was con- victed by the “amazing” grace of God that kept calling him to change despite his background of being profane, even mocking God.

Application:

In our sinful state, is there a chance for us to be forgiven by Christ? How about your worst enemy who have committed the gravest sin to you? Can God still forgive and change him?

Prayer:

Lord, forgive me for I am a sinner. I know you gave your Son Jesus Christ to live and die for me for the forgiveness of my sins. He also restored my broken relationship with you. I accept Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior in my heart. Heal me of my sinfulness and help me to become more like Jesus.

Lesson 3

Signing up

Topic: Undeserved grace and justification (practicing the grace for your salvation)

Game: Sign up (8-10 participants)

Materials: Bible

The objective of the game is for the participants to reach the altar and be enrolled in the Tropang CI in five steps. Everybody should join. The facilita- tor will ask questions and the participants will respond to each question. Those who cannot proceed to the next step will have to go back to start and wait for the next round. There can be three rounds or until all the participants reach the altar.

Step 1: The facilitator will invite everybody to join. For example, “Those who want to be part of Tropang CI come in front.” Then, all contestants should do a jumping jack for 8 counts. All those who can do it can proceed to step 2.

Step 2: All contestants should show their Bibles. All those with Bibles can pro- ceed to step 3. (Participants who left their Bibles on their chairs cannot pro- ceed to the next step and have to wait for the next round.)

Step 3: With their Bibles held in both hands, the participants should do a stretch up and bend down for 10 counts. Those who can do the stretching ac- tivity can proceed to step 4. Alternative: Balance the Bible on the head.

Step 4: Participants who reached this level should recite one memory verse. Those who recited one verse can proceed to step 5.

Step 5: Participants who reached this level should do a stretch up, sit on the air, and bend down with the Bible held in both hands while reciting their

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Present context:

A lot of people, especially the youth, face the challenge to “show it” if they truly want to be the salt and light of the world. Being salt and light will serve as evidence of renewed life in Christ. UMYFP today should exist not only having inward change but also outward change. If there is a time in the past that you are lazy to study your lessons in school, doing house hold shores, and in reading the word of God; now you need to show it by regularly obeying your parents and following all the instruction for you to grow up. Prove as UMYFPer that Wesleyan Spirituality and Christian discipleship is manifested in all aspects of your life. Make it as a major part of your Christian life. Serving people will merit a lot, but we first need to strengthen our spiritual lives, we must seriously read the word of God, pray, and have fellowship with other Christians. This strength will help us face the battle of this world and MAKE A DIFFERENCE! Do not forget to show CHRIST in your life.

Questions for Discussions

1. What are the issues today bothered you? Is it spending time on the com- puter, facebook-ing, games, friends outing, etc.?

2. Do you find it boring to serve as Salt and Light by showing up your faith

in Jesus, to other people?

3. How do you react to this issue: many UMYFPers today are only active in

youth activities but not in their local churches? Are you one of them?

4. How did Jesus challenge His disciples to be salt and light of the world?

Asked to you, would you take the challenge? (Verse 16) Explain.

5. Identify your strengths and weaknesses in sharing your faith and be salt

and light for Christ. Briefly elaborate your answer.

RESULT OF SHOWING UP

1. Persecution.

Agree

Disagree

2. Blessing and Insult.

Agree

Disagree

3. Eternal Life in heaven

Agree

Disagree

REACTION/REFLECTION

From the Real Deal, Your KNOWLEDGE (96%), being HARDWORK (98%), Your ATTITUDE (100%), And most of all the LOVE OF GOD (101%), Is the amazing grace of all. You got the answer. Use it for your faith journey.

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Lesson 2

It’s Show Time

Text: Matthew 5:13-16

The Real Deal: A B C D E F G H I J K L M

Is equivalent to 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26. Based on this formula, 1=A /A=1, find the hidden words and get the sum of the

following. See how God is amazing. (5 Minutes).

1. 11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5=

2. 8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11=

3. 1+20+9+20+21+4+5=

4. 12+15+22+5+15+6+7+5=

N O P Q R S T U V W X Y

Z-

Read Text: Matthew 5:13-16

Text Explained:

You are the salt of the Earth; if the salt lost its saltiness it is indeed worth- less. You are encouraged to support fellow Christians who are suffering. The Apostle was the salt of the earth for they must go into all worlds to preach the gospel--“it’s show time”. Now that we are Christ’s disciples, we are already renewed; we learned the gospel and are tasked to teach it to others - we are a SALT. We should not only Be Good but also Do Good. At the same time as LIGHT of the world, we must show enlightenment to those who live in dark- ness. Let others see your good works that they maybe convinced of the truth and power of our faith. Let your light shine before men that they may be saved, those around us must not only HEAR our GOOD WORDS but SEE our GOOD WORKS that all will be convinced that our faith in Christ Jesus is more than a religion.

Our Wesleyan Heritage:

The coherence of faith with ministries of love forms the discipline of Wesleyan Spirituality and Christian discipleship. The General rule was origi- nally designed for members of Methodist Societies who participated in the sacra- mental life of the Church of England. The terms of membership in these societies were simple: “a desire to flee from the wrath to come and to be saved from their sins.” Wesley insisted, however, that evangelical faith should manifest itself in evangelical living. He spelled out this expectation in three-part formula of the Rule: it is therefore expected of all who continue therein that they should con- tinue to evidence their desire of salvation by “(1) Doing No Harm, (2) Doing Good, and (3) Staying in love with God.

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memory verse. Those who can perform all these are considered winners. Alter- native: stand in one leg and balance the Bible on the head.

Before starting the game, make sure no one has cardio-respiratory problem. Those with heart problem or asthma can do the alternative, i.e. stand in one foot.

or asthma can do the alternative, i.e. stand in one foot. Game Analysis: • Our Christian

Game Analysis:

• Our Christian life is like this game, in what ways?

• The invitation is always open, how can you join?

• What can the Bible signify?

Object: Flowing water with glass.

Picture Analysis:

1. If thirsty what does flowing water do?

2. Is the water always there?

3. How can we drink from the flowing water?

Lesson Presentation:

Water is the source of life. It is vital for our sustenance and existence. Studies showed that a human can go for 30 days without food but with water only. But humans can die in three days of no water. This is because it dries out our bodies. In the same way, our spirit needs water – living water that comes only from God. Without this water, our spiritual lives will dry out. But where can we get this water? And how often can we get from it?

The Bible tells us in John 4:14 that, God is the eternal spring of living water that never goes dry. The wonderful thing is that God offers this eternal living water to us 24 hours a day seven times a week. Thus, we can get this living water to make us spiritually alive anytime, anywhere. The offer is always there, we only need to respond. We need to bring our cups and receive this living water.

Our Scripture: Philippians 2:12-13.

1. Read Philippians 2:12-13. How does it relate to the popular Filipino saying, “nasa Diyos ang awa, nasa tao ang gawa?”

2. This verse captures the essence that God’s grace is always present. However,

humans need to respond to that grace from God. What is the human response

that Paul was telling the Christians in Philippians?

3. Our salvation begins from the grace that comes from God. However, we

must cooperate with God’s grace for the salvation of our souls. This is the es-

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sence of “working for our salvation.” As humans, we are given an ability to respond to this grace. When we are working out our salvation and who is really at work?

Our Wesleyan Heritage:

John Wesley talked about the prevenient (preceeding) grace and the sanctifying grace that helps us move towards Christian perfection. This is the grace from God that is offered to everybody. While humans are corrupted by the works of sin, prevenient grace allows persons to engage their God-given free will to choose the salvation offered by God in Jesus Christ. When we re- spond to that prevenient grace we are changed from one glorious state to an- other. We then receive the sanctifying grace from God that moves us closer to Christian perfection.

Group Discussion:

Imagine a world class athlete that you admire. Before he/she became a world class athlete what are the things that he/she needs to do months before the competition? Does he/she undergo training? How often do you think he/she trains: once a week, twice a week, monthly or daily? Why does he/she need to train? As Christians who desire to be Christ-like, do we need to prac- tice our faith only once a week, twice a week, monthly or daily? How do we work out our faith or what is the best way to achieve Christian perfection?

Song of Reflection and Analysis:

I have decided to follow Jesus; I have decided to follow Jesus

I have decided to follow Jesus; no turning back, no turning back

Though none go with me, still I will follow, Though none go with me, still I will follow

Though none go with me, still I will follow, No turning back, no turning back

Application:

Our salvation starts when God offered his Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins. How do we respond to this grace from God?

Prayer:

Lord, I offer myself to you. Please take away all that is sinful within me. Take away the past that hinders me to look forward, whether it’s my atti- tude, habits, and desires. Lord, I don’t deserve Your grace yet You still are will- ing to give it to me. Clean me oh, Jesus for I come before you shameless and humbled. Help me to practice the faith I have in You. Help me to be like You. Thank You, oh Father. Amen.

12

There are UMYFPers in our church procrastinate, dwelling only on what is temporary—worldly things, influence, power, authority. If we allow this to con- tinue, we might be losing the “future” of our church. Satan is also making its way to us. Zaccheus couldn’t go near the Lord because of the crowd, which hinders him from seeing Jesus. Like Zaccheus, there are so many things that crowd our sight to Jesus and we end up losing focus on Him. We need to climb our own Sycamore tree to see the bigger picture and see Jesus coming forth us. With open hearts and spirit, accept Christ Jesus’ offer of a life renewed found only in Him.

Questions for Discussions

1. What are the hindrances that you encountered while preparing for Christ- mas Institute 2011?

2. Did you find help (Sycamore tree), that offer you financial support and

encouragement to attend the Christmas Institute 2011?

3. How would your spiritual life go to a deeper faith? Explain briefly.

4. What attitude would you like to remove upon listening to the lesson

taken from the Story of Zaccheus? Why?

5. Do you really have a renewed life with Christ? Or still looking for a CALL

from Jesus to seek and save you because you are still LOST?

RESULT OF RENEWED LIFE WITH CHRIST

1. Experience a great joy in your life and family as well.

2. Your focus is Jesus and not with other people who serve as deceiver of

your faith.

3. Enjoying a life free from bondage of Sin. And Experience unlimited grace

of God.

From the Real Deal, the Dragon, tempter, Satan, Devil, Beelzebub are LOST if we have a RENEWED life with CHRIST. RENEWED UMYFPer FOREVER.

Song before closing prayer :

Read your Bible, Pray everyday (3x)

(2x)

And you Grow, grow, grow… And you Grow, grow, grow…(2x)

(2x)

Closing Prayer:

Lord Jesus, today, as we first involved ourselves in this Bible Study group, it is you that we encounter. Great is your power and love that you call us even amidst the unavoidable hindrances. You made the way to seek me. Thank you for your patience Lord. I am saved because of You. My life is changed. Amen

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BIBLE STUDY MATERIAL FOR

Senior

“ONE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE”

Lesson 1

Renewed Life With Christ

Text: Luke 19:1-10

The Real Deal: Look up the Scriptures listed below. There you will find some names and description of Satan. (5 minutes to play)

1. Revelation 12:7

2. 1 Thessalonians 3:5

3. Romans 16:20

4. John 8:44

5. Matthew 12:24

Read the Text: Luke 19:1-10

Text Explained:

Many conversion stories of believers of Jesus Christ were not written in de- tails in the Gospel, unless they are extraordinary like the life of Zaccheus. Zac- cheus was a short man, working with the government as tax collector. He cheats people and everyone in his town knows his wrongful acts. One day, Jesus passed Jericho. Zaccheus was so excited to see Him but his physical built limits him to see over the crowd. He climbed over a Sycamore tree and there he found Jesus. His eagerness led him to a renewed life in Christ despite his physical hin- drance—a turning point.

The gracious design of God is to seek and save which was lost.

Our Wesleyan Heritage:

Our Doctrinal history: the pioneers in the traditions of Methodism that flowed together into the United Methodist Church understood themselves as standing in the central stream of Christian Spirituality and doctrine; loyal heirs of the authentic Christian tradition. In John Wesley’s words, theirs was “the old religion, the religion of the Bible, the religion of the whole church in the purest ages”. Their gospel was grounded in the biblical message of God’s self-giving love revealed in Jesus Christ.

Present context:

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Lesson 4

Preparing Yourself:

Removing the excess baggage

Topic: Sliding down

Game: Modified Basketball Snakes and Ladders

1. Have two groups of 5 to 8 members

2. One member of the group will act as the token

3. Each member will try to shoot the ball into the small basket. If the ball goes

in then the token of that group will move one-step. If the ball misses then the

token moves one step backwards.

4. The token who will reach the finish after ten steps wins.

Picture: A slide
Picture: A slide

Lesson Analysis:

The slide is supposed to bring people down. Have you ever tried climbing up the slide? It is difficult because it is slippery, and gravity will pull you down, making it hard to reach the top. Our life as Christians is like climbing up the slide. The gravity is the challenges and the temptations that we face every day. These temptations will always pull us down and make our

climb to the top difficult. When- ever we do wrong and give in to the temptations, we slide back down. When- ever we backslide to the bottom, our goal of Christian perfection seems far and

difficult. But God’s grace will always help and guide us if we only need to fo- cus in our climb and never backslide.

Our Scripture:

Leviticus 20:26 and 1 Peter 1:15-16; James 5:19-20; Psalm 77:7-9

1. Read Leviticus 20:26 and 1 Peter 1:15-16. What is God calling us to become? What is our goal as Christians?

2. Read James 5:19-20. Is it possible to move away from God’s grace? What are

some of the common reasons that make us wander away from God?

3. Read Psalm 77:7-9. Why is the Psalmist crying out to God? Why is he asking

if God will ever forgive him?

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Our Wesleyan Heritage:

John Wesley evangelized to a society that was already predominantly “Christian.” The problem was not how to introduce Jesus because most of them are already baptized. What Wesley saw was that these supposed Chris- tians did not live up to their name instead they were backsliders. Wesley’s mission is to awaken the backsliders for they are already falling fast away from the grace of God. These people have failed to respond to God’s grace and are pulling farther from God.

The Philippines is a Christian country but the Methodists and other Protestant churches still needs a lot of evangelical work. One of our missions is to make every Christian Filipinos have a closer relationship with God and move towards Christian perfection especially those who are backsliding. You can do your part. Pray to God to put a burden in your heart to see what needs to be done to the people around us and bring them to Christ.

Group Discussion:

1. Have you backslid from your faith? Do you know of somebody who did?

2. How did they go back on the right track?

3. What happens to backsliders? Is there a chance for them?

Song of Reflection and Analysis:

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing

Come, thou Fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing thy grace;

streams of mercy, never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise.

Teach me some melodious sonnet, sung by flaming tongues above.

Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it, mount of thy redeeming love.

Here I raise mine Ebenezer; hither by thy help I'm come;

and I hope, by thy good pleasure, safely to arrive at home.

Jesus sought me when a stranger, wandering from the fold of God;

he, to rescue me from danger, interposed his precious blood.

O to grace how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be!

Let thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee.

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love;

here's my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above.

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BIBLE STUDY MATERIAL FOR SENIORS
BIBLE STUDY MATERIAL
FOR
SENIORS

35

This hymn was written by Robert Robinson as a young pastor. How- ever, he backslid from his faith and wandered away from God. He eventually found his way back when a young woman she was riding with in a coach asked him to comment about a beautiful verse that she was reading. The verse was from the poem that Mr. Robinson actually wrote. (see italicized verse above)

Application:

It is important that we reflect our actions every day. Try this activity:

At the end of the day, before you go to sleep, look and reflect of what happened during that day? Remember if you offended, cursed, forgot to pray and the likes to somebody. In a scale of 1 to 10, one being far and 10 being close to God, how will you rate yourself? Write it in a paper and at the end of the week, look at your score and see if you are backsliding or moving towards Christian perfection.

Prayer:

Dear God of holiness and perfection, You have called us to be perfect and holy like you. Forgive us if we fall away from you. Help us to focus back towards Christian perfection that we may be more like your son Jesus Christ. Amen.

"Because," explained the King, "peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart. That is the real meaning of peace."

What does this Biblical passage tell you?

John 16:33 (NLT)

"I have told you all this so that you may have 'peace' in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world."

Application: Spot the Difference

overcome the world." Application: Spot the Difference Explain: “Each has to find peace from within. And

Explain:

“Each has to find peace from within. And peace to be real should not be affected by outside circumstances”

Song of reflection and analysis

“ Still”

Hide me now Under your wings, Cover me Within Your mighty hands

When the oceans rise and thunders roar, I will soar with You, above the storm Father, You are king over the flood, I will be still and know You are God

Find rest my soul, in Christ alone, Know His power, in quietness and trust

Prayer

Lord, the Prince of peace, who loves justice and peace. The real peace is truly found in You. Forgive me if I at times try to find peace from people, places and worldly things. You oh God created this world that Your people would live in harmony and peace, yet what is happening right now is different. Help us to love peace and justice and be peacemakers in our ways that we may affect others. Amen.

Our Wesleyan Heritage:

John Wesley wrote a Hymn entitled “Peace Doubting Heart My Gods I Am”. Here are few stanzas from this Hymn

PEACE, doubting heart! my God's I am; Who formed me man, forbids my fear;

The Lord hath called me by my name; The Lord protects, for ever near;

His blood for me did once atone, And still he loves and guards his own.

When passing through the watery deep, I ask in faith his promised aid,

The waves all awful distance keep, And shrink from my devoted head;

Fearless their violence I dare; They cannot harm, for God is there!

When darkness intercepts the skies, And sorrow's waves around me roll,

When high the storms of passion rise, And half o'erwhelm my sinking soul,

My soul a sudden calm shall feel, And hear a whisper, "Peace; be still!"

Group discussion

Perfect Peace

There once was a King who offered a prize to the artist who would paint the best picture of peace. Many artists tried. The King looked at all the pictures, but there were only two he really liked and he had to choose between them.

One picture was of a calm lake. The lake was a perfect mirror for peaceful towering mountains were all around it. Overhead was a blue sky with fluffy white clouds. All who saw this picture thought that it was a perfect pic- ture of peace.

The other picture had mountains too. But these were rugged and bare. Above was an angry sky from which rain fell, in which lightening played. Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall. This did not look peaceful at all.

But when the King looked, he saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush a mother bird had built her nest. There, in the midst of the rush of angry water, sat the mother bird on her nest perfect peace.

Which picture do you think won the prize?

The King chose the second picture.

Do you know why?

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BIBLE STUDY MATERIAL FOR JUNIORS
BIBLE STUDY MATERIAL
FOR
JUNIORS

17

BIBLE STUDY MATERIAL FOR

Junior

Lesson 1

Choosing Sides

Game: Agree or Disagree

Materials: Masking Tape, 2 sheets of paper, Marker

Getting Ready: Lay a piece of masking tape across the middle of the floor ( or street) to divide it into two sides. Write “Agree” on the other side and “ Disagree” on the other.

Instructions:

The facilitator will be reading a series of statements. The participants will make a choice that reflects their opinion about each belief or statement. If you agree with the statement, you will move to the "agree" side, and if you don't, you will move to the "disagree" side. If you are not sure, stay on the taped line in the middle. After each statement and everyone has moved, they will be asked why they are standing on that side.

Suggested Statements

(Facilitator may ask different statements depending on the need):

1. I believe in the literal resurrection of Jesus Christ.

agree

disagree

2. I believe the miracles were supernatural occurrences as presented in the

Biblical account.

agree

disagree

3. I believe a Christian cannot lose their salvation.

agree

disagree

4. I believe in a literal heaven and hell.

agree

disagree

5. I believe the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three persons but one God.

agree

disagree

6. I believe a Christian receives the Holy Spirit when they are saved.

agree

disagree

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Questions :

1. How was it looking for the words synonymous to “peace”?

2. Were you able to experience such kind of peace being defined by the words?

Our Scripture: Read: John 14:15-27

Questions for discussion:

1. Who was the best counselor you’ve ever had? Why was this person so special?

2. How are the disciples to show love to Jesus? (v.15) Why is this idea re-

peated four times (vv. 15, 21, 23-24)?

3. What do you learn about the Holy Spirit in verses 16-17 and 25-27?

What is the relationship of the Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit to the be-

liever?

4. What is the difference between how Jesus gives peace and how the

world does?

It's been years that peace reign in our planet; peace became a very rare commodity. There are wars, domestic violence, calamities, quarrels, even church splits. The peace in our hearts seems to be an unreachable dream. We may ask: “Where is the peace that Jesus promised?”

Jesus brought all that is needed for peace in our world. He taught the principles of peace, calling for people to love their neighbors as they love them- selves. And as He was leaving, He promised “Peace, I leave with you… My peace I give to you.” He told us to turn the other cheek, go the extra mile, for- give offenses, reject greed, tolerate each others’ weaknesses, live to serve and love one another as He has loved us. It is different with what the world offers us. According to Matthew Henry, “The world’s gifts concern only the body and time; Christ’s gifts enrich the soul for eternity: the world gives lying vani- ties, and that which will cheat us; Christ gives substantial blessings, which will never fail us: the world gives and takes; Christ gives a good part that shall never be taken away. The peace which Christ gives is infinitely more valuable than that which the world gives.

The world’s peace begins in ignorance, consists with sin, and ends in endless troubles; Christ’s peace begins in grace, consists with no allowed sin, and ends at length in everlasting peace. “

Peace is up to us, especially if we know that we have the Lord Jesus in our hearts, and the abiding comfort of the Holy Spirit. And of course, if we had experienced peace with God, we can share His peace with others.

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Prayer

7.

I believe that human beings evolved from something

Our Father, I am tired. At times I think I could no longer go on. Amen.

Lesson 4

Live in Peace

Scripture: John 14:15- 27

Word puzzle : peace

Divide the group into to smaller groups. Let them look for the follow- ing words which are synonymous to the word “peace”.

a

o

b

Q

s

t

s

e

r

h

b

m

r

C

o

n

t

e

n

t

c

v

p

D

s

c

x

n

l

q

h

u

s

H

e

v

r

u

u

f

c

r

a

w

d

r

f

i

p

b

p

i

h

S

d

n

e

i

r

f

O

c

s

E

f

t

v

h

q

n

k

d

d

R

g

b

c

a

w

o

u

n

i

T

y

o

t

r

l

i

l

c

f

T

n

b

g

m

l

t

s

n

g

C

h

n

u

o

u

a

f

e

o

Y

j

l

n

n

l

i

f

r

h

U

k

q

i

y

d

l

d

r

e

L

a

x

o

j

g

i

g

e

j

I

m

a

n

m

u

c

j

k

k

O

l

z

b

i

l

n

c

a

l

m

n

e

s

s

o

O

m

l

o

P

z

w

y

k

v

C

m

p

z

A

x

s

h

o

e

e

y

t

i

m

i

n

a

n

u

r

 

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Friendship

concord

union

unity

quiet

relax

rest

content

hush

Order

love

unanimity

Calmness

harmony

full

less than human.

agree

disagree

8. I believe in the priesthood of the believer, that all Christians have direct

access to God.

agree

disagree

9. I believe in the power of prayer to affect and change lives.

agree

disagree

10. I believe that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin.

agree

disagree

11. I believe that human can be saved from death depending on the weight of

his/her sin, whether small, average, and big.

agree

disagree

12. Christians can’t dwell with unbelievers.

agree

disagree

13. You don’t sin if you think bad as long as you don’t say it.

agree

disagree

Questions for discussion:

1. What statements really made you think? Explain.

2. Are there situations where your friends or family expect you to act or believe

a certain way even though you don’t? Explain.

3. Have you ever been in a situation where you were unable to let your true

feelings show? What did you do? If you never experienced this, what will you

do if it happened?

Our Scripture:

Read verses 14 and15

2 Corinthians 6:14 – 18

What is a “Yoke”? What do you think does “being yoked together with unbelievers” mean?

Site situations or examples about this passage. Explain.

Read verse 16 - 18

What does it mean to be a dwelling place of God? What do you think are the things that can make you “unclean” in the following aspects:

physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual?

Is there something that makes you “unclean” right now? Share your ex-

19

perience.

How can a believer be a friend and a witness to an unbeliever without becoming yoked?

Paul in this passage instructs Christians not to be “bound together with unbelievers,” and then goes on to give the reasons he requires this. From the middle of verse 14 through the first part of verse 16, Paul writes why Chris- tians and non-Christians cannot be partners in God’s work. He points out that Christians and non-Christians are worlds apart by giving five areas of contrast. Christians cannot be yoked together with unbelievers in God’s work because of their moral incompatibility.

“Christians are all about the pursuit of righteousness; unbelievers are sinners, whose common characteristic is lawlessness. Christians live in the light; non-Christians live in darkness. Christians worship and obey Jesus Christ as Lord of all; unbelievers are knowingly or unknowingly followers of satan. Believers and unbelievers have no common ground when it comes to their relationship with God in Christ Jesus.”

But of course, as Christian Young people, we still have the responsi- bility over non-believers, especially those who belong to our family and friends. We need to be firm with our faith and convictions, so as not to be car- ried away by the world but to carry these unbeliever neighbors and win them over to Christ. Being Believers of Christ should not only be seen in our actions but also be felt in our intentions of having relationships with the people around us.

Our Wesleyan Heritage

Founder John Wesley and the early Methodists were particularly concerned about inviting people to experience God’s grace and to grow in their knowledge and love of God through disciplined Christian living. They placed primary emphasis on Christian living, on putting faith and love into action. This emphasis on what Wesley referred to as "practical divinity" or social holiness has continued to be a hallmark of United Methodism today.

Group Discussion

Giving Calhoun the Ball

by: Brian Cavanaugh, T.O.R., The Sower's Seeds

There once was this important football game between two teams. One team was much larger than the other. The larger team was dominating the game and beating the smaller team. The coach for the smaller team saw that his team was not able to contain or block the larger team. So his only hope was to call the plays that went to Calhoun, the fastest back in the area who could easily outrun the larger players once he broke free.

20

Reflection and Analysis

DO NOT QUIT (poem)

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,

When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,

When the funds are low and the debts are high,

And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,

When care is pressing you down a bit,

Rest, if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,

As every one of us sometimes learns,

And many a failure turns about,

When he might have won had he stuck it out;

Don't give up though the pace seems slow--

You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than,

It seems to a faint and faltering man,

Often the struggler has given up,

When he might have captured the victor's cup,

And he learned too late when the night slipped down,

How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out--

The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,

And you never can tell how close you are,

It may be near when it seems so far,

So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit--

It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.

Author unknown

29

Dressed in his doctor’s gown he went in to see her. As he recognized her at once, he went back to the consultation room determined to do his best to save her life. From that day he gave special attention to her case.

After a long struggle, the battle was won.

Dr. Kelly requested the business office to pass the final bill to him for ap- proval. He looked at it, then wrote something on the edge and the bill was sent to her room. She feared to open it, for she was sure it would take the rest of her life to pay for it all. Finally she looked, and something caught her attention on the side of the bill. She read these words…

“Paid in full with one glass of milk.” — Signed — Dr. Howard Kelly.

Tears of joy flooded her eyes as her happy heart prayed: “Thank you, God , that Your love has spread through human hearts and hands.”

(Author Unknown)

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the results of not quitting?

2. Share experiences where in God helped you and strengthened you so you would

not quit.

Application: Spot the Difference

you so you would not quit. Application: Spot the Difference Explain: “ When you’re working for

Explain:

“ When you’re working for Jesus, it’s always to soon to quit.”

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The coach talked with his quarterback about giving the ball to Cal- houn and letting him run with it. The first play the coach was excited, but Calhoun did not get the ball. The second play was again signaled for Calhoun, but once again Colhoun did not get the ball. Now the game was in the final seconds with the smaller team's only hope being for Calhoun to break free and score the winning touchdown. The third play and again Calhoun did not get the ball. The coach was very upset so he sent in the play again for the fourth and final play. The ball was snapped and the quarterback was sacked, ending the game. The coach was furious as he confronted the quarterback: "I told you four times to give the ball to Calhoun and now we've lost the game."

The quarterback stood tall and told the coach, "Four times I called the play to give the ball to Calhoun. The problem was that Calhoun did not want the ball."

Questions:

1. How are you like Calhoun in the story?

2. What does this story say about being a Christian Youth given the

responsibility over non-believers?

Application: Spot the Difference

over non-believers? Application: Spot the Difference Explain: “ As Christians we are to run the race

Explain: “ As Christians we are to run the race of faith, but as we go along the race, we might be able to run with people who needed our help to finish the race as well.”

Song of Reflection and Analysis

CHOOSE TO FOLLOW (Rahab’s song-AKY 2, 3rd Prize)

As the night wind heaves a sigh, Under a dark and gloomy sky

I think of one more day lost And I’m afraid I’ll pay the cost

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Refrain:

I no longer hope for salvation, For my life has been nothing but sin

But through these men from God’s nation, My faith was stirred deep within

Chorus:

So tonight I’ll choose to follow You, In Your hands I offer You my life

Guide me as You make me committed, I will shout Your name in the highest

Though we know we’re not alike, We are one in Your eyes

As we march to proclaim Your glory, You will bring us victory

Refrain 2:

For now we have Your salvation, We have chosen to depart from sin

Raise up a new generation, Light up a fire deep within

Chorus 2:

And this time, we choose to follow You, In Your hands, we offer You our lives

Guide us as You make us united, We will shout Your name in the highest

Bridge:

Now here we are one as we witness your power

The walls fall down and the long wait is over now

Redeemed by Your grace to obey we are eager

Exalting Your name, forever and ever more

Chorus 3:

And this time, we choose to follow You, In Your hands, we offer You our lives

By grace You have made us united, Forever You reign in the highest

Forever You reign in the highest

Prayer

Dear Jesus. Thank You for choosing me, although I chose the world before you. Today, as I talk to You in prayer, I choose to follow You and You alone. I am scared because I don’t know what’s in the future but because You are there, I know my life is forever well. Touch my heart oh Father as I would also choose to walk right, live like Christ, and be your instrument of blessing to the people around me. Thank You. I praise you for everything, Amen.

22

your ministries?

Twice, God asked Elijah what he was doing in that place (vv.9, 13). Both times he answered with identical words – “I alone am left; and they seek to take my life” (vv10,14). He had become so preoccupied with his own fears that he had forgotten what God had done through him at Mt. Carmel. Despite his great victory, Elijah was still discouraged. How easy it is for us to do the same.

Perhaps like Elijah, we are despairing at the circumstances we’re in. Let God speak to you (v.12). Instead of allowing you to quit, He will show you what you can do through His strength.

Our Wesleyan Heritage

John Wesley experienced frustrations in his ministries and there were times that he thought of giving up; but the grace of God prevailed over these trying moments. Here’s a quote from Wesley:

“Immediately it stuck into my mind, "Leave off preaching. How can you preach to others, who have not faith yourself?" I asked Boehler (Wesley’s spiritual friend), whether he thought I should leave it off or not. He answered "By no means." I asked, "But what can I preach?" He said, "Preach faith till you have it; and then, because you have it, you will preach faith.”

Group Discussion

Paid in Full

One day, a poor boy, who was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school, found he had only one thin dime left, and he was hun- gry. He decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door. Instead of a meal he asked for a drink of water. She thought he looked hungry so she brought him a large glass of milk. He drank it slowly, and then asked, “How much do I owe you?”

“You don’t owe me anything,” she replied. “Mother has taught us never to accept pay for a kindness.”

He said… “Then, I thank you from my heart.”

As Howard Kelly left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his faith in God and man was stronger also. He had been ready to give up and quit.

Many years later that same young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled. They finally sent her to the big city, where they called in specialists to study her rare disease.

Dr. Howard Kelly was called in for the consultation. When he heard the name of the town she came from, a strange light filled his eyes. Immedi- ately he rose and went down the hall of the hospital to her room.

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PRAYER

Lesson 2

Dear God, I pray that I would see the world through your eyes, touch each one through Your hands, and go to every person who doesn’t know You yet through your feet. I pray for wisdom and sound judgment as I take every criticism people tell me. That I would see beyond their words and react in the way that is godly and not the other way. I pray that You will open my ears, mind, and heart to criticism I would face every day. Thank You, Lord for Your assurance of presence with me wherever and whenever! Amen.

Lesson 3

Don’t Give Up

Scripture: 1 Kings 19:11-18

Activity: HOW MANY?

Look at the picture… How many dogs can you see? 1,2,3 or 4? Don’t give
Look at the picture… How many dogs can you see? 1,2,3 or 4? Don’t give up!

Our Scripture:

Read 1 Kings 19:11 – 18

How many times did Elijah thought God pass by? In what forms?

Why do you think God that the sound of the gentle whisper was God’s voice? What does this mean?

Do you think Elijah was about to give up? Why or why not?

If you were Elijah, would you have given up because of fear of death (

v.10)?

What are your fears? Would these make you give up especially in doing

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Responding to Criticism

Scripture: 1 Peter 2:4-8;12

Activity: TELL ME (the boat is sinking—modified)

The boat is sinking: ask the participants to stand and group themselves into 50 (total number based on registration), then half, then 10, then finally a group of three (3) members.

With three members each group, each person is to take a turn to share with the two partners the high point and low point of his or her life during the past week. This means he/she will tell what was the most satisfying and what was the least satisfying. Announce that the triads will have five minutes in which to complete the task. The facilitator must blow the whistle as a signal to start conversation starts, then an- other blow when the time is up.

Allow a few moments for the participants to think, then signal for the activity to begin. Time the groups for five minutes. Conduct a discus- sion, based on the questions below

1. Did you feel that others really listened to you? Why or why not?

2. Did you openly share your feelings or did you screen them before

talking about them? Why?

3. Did you think about what others might say to what you have

shared? Why or why not?

Our Scripture

Read 1 Peter 2:4-12

Who is being referred to as the cornerstone? (v.4)

What do verses 5-8 say about the church? What does this require of us as Christians and members of the church?

What is Peter’s advice to us in the midst of suffering and criticisms?

(v.12)

What kind of criticisms have you been facing lately? How do you re- spond to them?

Peter portrays the church as a living and spiritual house where Christ is the foundation and cornerstone and each believer is a stone. Paul portrays the church as a body and each believer as part of one body (Eph.4:15, 16). Both pictures emphasize the community. One stone is not a temple or even a wall; one body part is useless without the others. In our society, it is easy to forget

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our interdependence with other Christians. When God calls us to a task, re- member that he is also calling others with work with us. Together our individ- ual efforts will be multiplied. We should look for those people and join them to build a beautiful house for God.

As Christians, while doing the task given to us by God, we will some- times be put to shame, be criticized for what we are doing, or face disappoint- ments in our lives, but we should never misplace our trust in God. God will not let us down. We can safely put our confidence in Him because the eternal life that He promised us is certain.

This is why Peter advises us in v.12.

If our actions are above reproach, even hostile people will end up praising God. Peter’s readers were scattered among unbelieving Gentiles who were inclined to believe and spread lies about Christians. Attractive, gracious and upright behavior on the part of Christians could show these rumors to be false and could even win some of the unsaved critics to the Lord’s side. Don’t write off people because they misunderstand Christianity; instead show them Christ by your life. The day may come when those you criticize you will praise God with you.

Our Wesleyan History

Here’s a funny story of how John Wesley dealt with criticism.

Once, while he was preaching, John Wesley noticed a lady in the au- dience who was known for her critical attitude. All through the service she sat and stared at his new tie.

When the meeting ended, she came up to him and said very sharply, “Mr. Wesley, the strings on your bow tie are much too long. It’s an offense to me!”

He asked if any of the ladies present happened to have a pair of scis- sors. When the scissors were handed to him, he gave them to the critic and asked her to trim the streamers to her liking. After she clipped them off near the collar, he said, “Are you sure they’re all right now?” “Yes, that’s much bet- ter.”

“Then let me have those shears for a moment,” said Wesley. “I’m sure you wouldn’t mind if I gave you a bit of correction. I don’t want to be cruel, but I must tell you, madam, that your tongue is an offense to me – it’s too long! Please stick it out; I’d like to take some off!”

Group Discussion

Ask the group to choose one of the following tips and share his/her view or experience about it:

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Tips for Dealing with Criticism and Critical People

Assess the feeling and the source

Acknowledge your feelings

Look for the truth

Correct lies and statements about you

Problem-solve from the heart

Stay on target. Focus!

Open your heart and reach out to others

Don’t take it personally

Application: Spot the difference

Don’t take it personally Application: Spot the difference Explain: “ Your most powerful testimony is a

Explain:

“ Your most powerful testimony is a godly life…”

Song of Reflection and Analysis “ Through It All”

You are forever in my life, You see me through the seasons Cover me with Your hand And lead me in Your righteousness

And I look to You And I wait on You

I will sing to You, Lord, A hymn of love for Your faithfulness to me I'm carried in everlasting arms, You'll never let me go through it all

Hallelujah, hallelujah

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