NBC Sunday School Manual For March 12, 2023 :Topic – The Wonder Of Childlike Qualities
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SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON FOR YOUR PREPARATION
NBC SUNDAY SCHOOL OUTLINE
Theme of the Month:
CALLED FROM THE MARGINS OF SOCIETY.
SUNDAY, 12TH MARCH, 2023.
TOPIC: THE WONDER OF CHILDLIKE QUALITIES.
Matthew 18:1-9; Mark 10:15.
“Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:4
By the end of the lesson, class members should be able to:
● Discuss the necessity of childlike qualities in our relationship with God as Christians.
● Identify some things that can deprive people of entering the kingdom of God.
● Make personal resolution to always exhibit childlike faith as explained in the passage.
Recently, I carefully listened to the story of a grandmother who often hosted her grandchildren in their hometown during the long vacations. For the children, it was usually a time of fun, togetherness, storytelling and sharing. The children were so fond of grandma that they always desired to follow her everywhere she went. According to her, one day, she was to attend an occasion in another city with her friends and other family members. Surprisingly, the children dressed up in their best attires with the intention of going out with her. She thought of what to do to discourage them from going with her. She then called the children and promised to buy each of them a gift, asking them to name what each of them wanted. Surprisingly, one of them mentioned a car, another a bicycle and so on. To her amazement, the children believed that they would get exactly what they asked for upon her return and they returned to their rooms with great excitement. They began to discuss their preferred colour and how they would ride to school every day and so on. The woman shook her head and said to herself, “Imagine the wonders of childlike qualities!”
According to the psalmist, children are a heritage from the Lord (Psalm 127:3). They have special qualities like simplicity, sincerity, faith and truthfulness. They easily believe whatever they are told, especially by their parents and teachers whether it seems possible or not. Furthermore, they possess teachable hearts. Today’s lesson focuses on the wonder of childlike qualities, which are a prerequisite for entering the kingdom of heaven.
THE LESSON EXPLAINED…
A. JESUS’ LOVE FOR LITTLE CHILDREN:
Jesus’ life and ministry on earth was characterised by humility and compassion. He related with the rich and the poor, sinners, adults and little children. His disciples would have heard so much about the nature of the kingdom of heaven and they wanted to know who among them would be the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven (v. 1). Their question was necessitated by an argument about who should be the greatest in the kingdom of God (Mark 9:33). Jesus did not respond directly to the question. Rather, He called a child to stand among them. According to verses 3 and 4, He said to them, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” He added in verse 5 that anyone who receives little children in His name welcomes Him. However, Jesus did not necessarily mean that the kingdom of heaven belongs to little children only, but that only those who exhibit childlike qualities will enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus is the Great Teacher. He seizes every opportunity to teach about God’s expectation from His children (v. 2). In response to the question asked by the disciples about the greatest in the kingdom, Jesus made it known to them that if they must enter the kingdom of heaven and become great by God’s standard, they must manifest childlike qualities like humility, dependence and trust (vv. 3-5). Other qualities that are associated with little children, which Jesus’ followers must possess, include innocence, willingness to learn, ability to love, readiness to forgive, dependability, and adaptability. It is however important to point out that Jesus did not ask us to be childish, act immature or silly. Rather, He said we are to be childlike in our attitude especially in humility.
1. Discuss the difference between being childlike and being childish and draw out lessons for application. (See 1 Corinthians 3:13, Hebrews 5:11-14).
2. Carefully explain why manifesting childlike qualities launches one into greatness in the kingdom of God. (1 Peter 5:5-6).
B. AVOID THE TEMPTATION TO SIN:
After Jesus has established that the greatest in the kingdom of heaven are those who possess childlike faith, He then warned against the temptation to make people sin. He said in verse 6, “But if anyone causes one of these little ones- those who believe in me – to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” In other words, He made a pronouncement of doom against anyone who makes people sin against God. Anyone who causes those who possess childlike faith in God to sin will suffer the wrath of God (v. 7). Jesus also warned in verse 8 saying, “If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire.” Without doubt, the statement ‘cut it off and throw it away’ stresses the seriousness of the encouragement to avoid the temptation to sin. In summary, anything that can cause one to miss the gift of eternal life should be avoided no matter how pleasing it may be. It could be money, friends, pleasure, pride and many more.
Jesus did not mean the physical cutting of the hand or the removing of the eyes. What He meant is that anything that can deprive one of entering the kingdom of God should be avoided. Jesus’ followers should be ready to live responsibly by ensuring that they do not become stumbling blocks to others, thereby making them sin against God. This admonition is important because the consequence of doing so is severe. Instead, we should make our service to God a priority so that the gift of eternal life will be our portion. Furthermore, no matter how important something is to us, as long as it is serving as a hindrance to our walk with the Lord, we must be ready to get rid of it.
1. Discuss some of the ways people cause their fellow brethren to sin against God.
2. Identify some ways believers can serve as stumbling block to other people and how to avoid it.
Fellowship and Ministry Building Activity:
● Let each class members identify at least two (2) good qualities in the life of little children which they desire to emulate based on the lesson.
Take Home: State at least three main lessons you are taking home, based on today’s lesson:
Commitment: Make a commitment to always demonstrate childlike faith and not cause anyone to stumble and miss the gift of eternal life.
Remain Inspired & Be Lifted!