NBC SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON FOR YOUR PREPARATION FOR AUGUST 9, 2020 : TOPIC – HEARING AND DOING THE WORD.
SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON FOR YOUR PREPARATION
NBC SUNDAY SCHOOL OUTLINE
Date:Sunday, August 9, 2020.
TOPIC: HEARING AND DOING THE WORD.
Devotional Reading:1 Corinthians 1:26-31.
Background/Lesson Scripture:James 1:19-27.
GOLDEN TEXT:Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. James 1:22
Primary Learning Outcome/Indicators:
Learners will demonstrate the virtues of faith and wisdom and indicate achievement of this by:
• Stating practical things they can do in order to obey the instructions in James 1:19;
• Discussing the benefits of positive response to doing God’s Word;
• Suggesting practical steps they will take as regards the use of their tongues.
At the beginning of the new session, the School Management organized an orientation programme for the new students. The rules and regulations governing the school were emphasized at the event. The academic activities soon commenced and the students began to struggle between the challenges of either to or not to abide by the rules and regulations. While majority of the students violated the rules and were punished, some abided and were celebrated, like Peter. Peter is from a good Christian home and had been taught to revere God and His Word, as well as to always allow to his words match his actions. Though he was tempted like others to violate the rules of the school but he remained resolute and determined not to tarnish the image of his parents and the name of God. Throughout his stay on campus, there was no record of misbehavior. His words matched his actions. People’s perception of him were the same. Soon, he was nicknamed by his colleagues as SU, but he was not deterred by their mockery. At the School’s graduation ceremony, apart from winning virtually all the academic awards, Peter was also given an award as the best well-behaved student. Consequently, he was offered immediate employment.
The Bible emphasizes the importance of matching our actions with what we learn from the Word of God. In today’s text, James stressed the importance of listening to the Word of God and applying it to our lives.
THE LESSON EXPLAINED
A. ENCOURAGEMENT TO ACCEPT THE WORD: [JAMES 1:19-21]
The letter of James was addressed to Christians in general (v. 1). From the issues addressed by the author, it seems the Jewish Christians were confronted with personal and relational challenges in the church. Particularly, the problem of communication through the misuse of the tongue was widespread to the point that there was division in the church. In order to overcome the challenges, James wrote and placed great importance on obeying the Word of God. First, he suggested three practical ways to overcome the challenges:
• They should be quick to listen to one another. The phrase: “Quick to listen” is a call to be better or active listener. This means they should pay apt attention to those who have issues to present.
• They should be slow to speak or not too fast to respond to issues. • They should be slow in getting angry.
In verse 20, James stated that man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. He warned that believers should get rid of all the evils and humbly accept the Word of God, which has been planted in them. After all, our impatience, emotional outburst and negative attitudes cannot produce godliness in us.
Similarly, Apostle Paul identifies anger as one of the works of the flesh, a sinful act which will make many to miss the opportunity of eternal reign with God (Galatians 5: 19-21). His encouragement is that believers should get rid of those things that make us morally offensive and ungodly. We should accept and live by the Word of God, which guarantees salvation (v. 21; Colossians 3:8-10). James believes that when we accept the Word of God and allow it to control our lives, especially in times of trials, we will be described as people who match their words with their actions.
1. Discuss the dangers of anger in the life of a Christian.
2. Discuss the instructions, “quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.”
3. How and why are listening and anger management necessary tools for life and trials
B. ENCOURAGEMENT TO OBEY GOD’S WORDS: [JAMES 1:22-25]
Whenever God speaks to Christians, He wants us to respond positively. James reminds us in verse 22 that we should not merely listen to the Word of God, and so deceive ourselves; rather, we should do what it says. From verses 23 to 25, he used the imagery of a mirror to explain the meaning of his message. He said, “Anyone who listens to the Word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and after looking at himself goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.” The mirror analogy suggests how ridiculous it is for believers to simply hear the Word of God without applying it to their daily lives. In contrast, those who look closely to the Word of God look into the perfect law that brings freedom and apply what they have heard- they will be blessed by God in what they do (v. 25). Similarly, Jesus emphasized the principle of hearing and doing. He said, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who build his house on the rock.” (Matthew 7:24}
The essence of hearing the Word of God is to apply it to daily lives because it gives a true picture of the spiritual state of the person just as a mirror shows how someone looks like physically.
But if we hear the Word of God without practicing it, we can be compared to someone who looks at him/herself in a mirror without making necessary adjustments and such people live in self-deception (v. 22). The lesson is a reminder of the benefits of the Word of God, which serves the purposes of teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in order to produce pure and righteous believers (Psalm 119:9; 2 Timothy 3:16). It will achieve these purposes only when its principles are applies by the hearers. Verse 25 affirms that those who live according to the World of God shall be blessed (Deuteronomy 28:1-2). But those who made it a habit to disobey God’s Word are demonstrating that they do not belong to God’s family.
1. What are the benefits of positive response to God’s Word, especially in times of trials and temptation?
2. Discuss practical ways believers can demonstrate they are practicing the Word of God.
3. Mention possible reasons some believers give for not obeying the Word of God. Are these reasons tenable?
C. ENCOURAGEMENT TO PRACTISE TRUE AND PURE RELIGION: [JAMES 1:26-27]
Among the many godly virtues James encouraged his recipients to practice was true and pure religion. Religion, as it is used in the passage, refers to outward acts of service like fasting, giving to the needy, praying and general worship. He explained this clearly in verses 26 and 27. He said, “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.” He concluded his words of encouragement with detailed explanation of the meaning of pure and true religion that please God. According to him, pure religion is all about showing hospitality to orphans, widows, those in distress and to refrain from being polluted by the filth the world. According to the Old Testament order, it is certain that among those whom God will judge are those who take advantage of widows and orphans. Probably, there were some who believed they were practicing true religion, who James made to understand that there is a relationship between beliefs and behaviours.
The command to Christians to care for the underprivileged is an Old Testament law. Anyone who is truly religious will demonstrate it by careful speech and care for the needy (Malachi 3:5). The tongue is an essential part of human body. It tells more about one’s state of spirituality and it also possesses the ability to make or mar the testimony of believers. Unless we control what we say, our outward activities: like being dutiful and pious are considered worthless (fruitless). On the other hand, those who cannot control their tongues ridicule themselves and their faith in Christ; hence the caution to be careful of its usage. Furthermore, James stressed total abstinence from the corruption of this sinful world. It is, therefore, apparent that God’s emphasis is not on religious activities but on right living.
1. Lead class members to make a list of what people think are the necessary components of religion and compare it with James’ interpretation.
2. Enumerate the evil ways people use their tongues today and how believers can guard their tongues from such usage.
• Pray for grace to obey the Word of God, practice pure religion and live what you teach so that you will not be a hypocrite.
• Pray for grace to have a productive faith.
• Pray that you will be a blessing to the needy around you.
FELLOWSHIP AND BUILDING ACTIVITIES:
• Today’s lesson challenges us to hear and obey. In the light of the admonition of James in verse 27, divide your class members into group of three persons; ask each group to meet the needs of either an orphan, widow or other needy persons in their community this week. They should give their report next week.
• Lead class members to sing Baptist Hymnal 181: Wonderful Words of Life. They are to sing the first stanza, collectively read the second stanza and meditatively sing the other stanzas.
• Believers should be cautious of the way they use their tongues.
• Doing and living the Word of God is paramount to Christian living.
• Meeting the needs of the poor is a spiritual duty expected of all believers.
• True religion is not in words but sacrificial service to God and humankind.
• It is not enough to merely read the Word of God but we must also practice what it says.
• The Word of God reveals what we are on the inside.
• We should show love to the less privileged.
🌨 Remain Inspired & Be Lifted!📍