NBC Sunday School Manual For July 7, 2024 : Topic – PREVIEW FOR JULY

NBC Sunday School Manual For July 7, 2024 : Topic – PREVIEW FOR JULY

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SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON FOR YOUR PREPARATION

NBC SUNDAY SCHOOL OUTLINE

Theme for the Month: “EXPRESSING HOPE.”

PREVIEW FOR JULY
Thank God for seeing us through the first six months of the year. We welcome you to the month of July. The theme for the month is “Expressing Hope.” The texts shall be taken from the books of Lamentations and Psalm. Christians are not immune to the challenges of life, as we sometimes experience pain and disappointments. Nevertheless, the writer of the book of Lamentations reminds us that God’s steadfast love and faithfulness triumph over despair. Throughout this month, we shall be considering different sub-lessons with specific emphasis on the following:
● God’s ceaseless love for His people.
● The benefits of hoping in God, notwithstanding the circumstances.
● How God’s Word brings hope
● God’s promise of redemption.

According to Psalm 130, our sins may pull us down but the Lord has the power to redeem us and put us back on track, so we can find hope and encouragement in times of need. This month’s lessons affirm that we can always find delight and assurance in God’s Word, in times of trial.

Suggested Teaching Methods: These suggested teaching methods can be used during the general opening or in the classes.

July 7 – Music: Sing Baptist Hymnal 212: “Love Lifted Me”.

July 14 – Soliloquy: Let a class member soliloquise the words of the psalmist in Psalm 71:14.

July 21 – Scripture Memorisation: Write the Golden Text (Psalm 119:73) on a cardboard and encourage the class members to recite it repeatedly until they memorise it.

July 28 – Music: Sing Baptist Hymnal 208: “Since I Have Been Redeemed”.

DATE: SUNDAY, 7TH JULY, 2024.

TOPIC: CEASELESS LOVE.

Devotional Reading: Psalm 30.

Background Scripture: Lamentations 3:16-24; Psalm 30; Jeremiah 52:1-30.

Lesson Scripture: Lamentations 3:16-24.

GOLDEN TEXT: “Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.” Lamentations 3:21-22

Objectives:
By the end of the lesson, class members should be able to:
● Discuss the cause of the writer’s lamentation;
● Identify what motivated the author of Lamentations to resolve to wait for the Lord’s intervention;
● Make a commitment to remain hopeful, despite their challenges.

INTRODUCTION
In recent times, life in Nigerian has become almost unbearable, particularly for the common man. People are groaning over the situation of things in Nigeria, especially in the areas of security, corruption, poverty, ridiculous increase in taxi fare among other things. Many Nigerians have lost hope, especially because of the indifferent attitude of the government to their plight. People find it difficult to cope with the high standard of living, as their salaries are meagre, and sometimes irregular. People are asking questions about their future and many are waiting for a human saviour, probably a politician who would make their living conditions better. While a few have concluded that God is insensitive to their plight, some believe that there is hope for Nigeria because God’s love never fails but endures forever. The author of the book of Lamentations probably witnessed the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonian army in 578 BC, and how all the inhabitants were taken captive to Babylon. During the siege, Prophet Jeremiah mourned and grieved because of the depravity of the nation that once enjoyed the peace of God. He accused God of being responsible for their plight but he later acknowledged that their misfortune was as a result of their sin of disobedience.

Chapter 3 of the book of Lamentations is a summary of the agony of the nation of Israel, which was conquered by King Nebuchadnezzar, and the inhabitants taken captive to Babylon. The author’s expression captured the period of darkness when they were crushed and battered to the point that their hope in the Lord was completely dashed (v. 18). Conversely, their faith was revived when they remembered the steadfastness of God. Today’s lesson reminds us of Jeremiah’s grief over the state of the people of Jerusalem. He groaned, yet remembered the Lord’s faithfulness and concluded that God’s love never fails. Some people have titled the book of Lamentations “Hope for the Grieving”.

THE LESSON EXPLAINED

A. EXPRESSION OF MOURNING
[Lamentations 3:16-20]

The author of the book of Lamentations spoke on behalf of his people (the Israelites) in exile, though he often personalised his expressions. He claimed to have been punished by God (v. 1) and blamed Him for their predicament. From verses 2 to 15, he used the words ‘He’ or ‘He has’ (referring to God) several times to buttress his point that God was responsible for their misfortune. He was precise in verse 16 when he said, “He has broken my teeth with gravel; he has trampled me in the dust” to further validate his allegation against God. He lamented and expressed his displeasure saying:
● I have been deprived of peace and have forgotten what prosperity is.
● My splendour is gone and all that I hope in the Lord.
● I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall (Lamentations 3:19).
● My soul is downcast within me.

It is not surprising that people easily shift blame on others, even when it is glaring that they are responsible for their misfortunes. Such was the case of the author of the book of Lamentations. He accused God, in the worst terms possible, of being the enemy of the people of Israel. The city of Jerusalem was destroyed, the beautiful temple and the valuable items in it were carted away while the survivors were taken captive to Babylon because of their disobedience. The nations of Jerusalem and Judah were not consistent in their relationship with God; they were disobedient and unfaithful to God, thus they were taken into captivity by the Babylonians. They were taken from their homeland, and were denied freedom, as well as the culture they were used to. While in captivity, the author remembered the freedom and abundant resources they enjoyed in Jerusalem, and he lamented. In verse 17, he said: “I have been deprived of peace; I have forgotten what prosperity is.” Even today, some people, nations and individuals are suffering as a result of their sins. Rather than blaming God for their suffering, they should confess their sins, repent and ask for forgiveness so that they will enjoy restoration again as God’s chosen people.

DISCUSSION TIME:
1. Discuss the consequences of the sins of the people of Jerusalem and Judah, according to the passage.
2. What lessons do you think Christians can learn from the story of the people of Jerusalem and Judah who were captured and taken into captivity in Babylon as a result of their sins?

B. RENEWED HOPE
[Lamentations 3:21-24]

Having mourned greatly and accused God of being responsible for the calamities of the people of Jerusalem, the author of the book of Lamentations shifted his attention; he acknowledged the fact that hope will return for two reasons: God’s great love for His people and His compassion that endures forever (vv. 22-23a). Thereafter, he encouraged himself because of God’s great love and compassion in verse 24 thus, “I say to myself, ‘The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” By implication, even though it seemed the people have been rejected by God while they were in exile, he is confident of God’s faithfulness, goodness, and mercy (vv. 22-23) that endures and is sufficient for their deliverance. The Scripture says that God’s love triumphs over His anger (Psalm 103:8-14; James 2:13b). In fact, it was a turning point for Prophet Jeremiah and the entire nation of Israel. Therefore, he concluded in verse 24 that he will put his hope in God and wait for Him.

Though God punishes sinners because of their sinful lifestyles, He is merciful and will not be angry forever. He will not reject His people forever, no matter the enormity of their sins, if they confess and repent genuinely. The aftermath of repentance is deliverance from their enemies, restoration, peace and the love of God shared abroad in their hearts. Therefore, as believers, we should endeavour to renew our hope in God, despite the trials and anguish we may be experiencing as individuals, families or as a nation. Our focus should be on God, for He is our hope and, according to the author of Lamentations, His love and compassion endure forever (they are ceaseless). His mercy is limitless. Therefore, the unchanging nature and constancy of the love and mercy of God should stimulate a kind of hope in us for a better future, no matter how bleak it may seem.

DISCUSSION TIME:
1. What did the author of the book of Lamentations call to mind in chapter 3 verse 21?
2. According to the passage, what is the remedy for God’s anger?

Fellowship and Ministry Building Activity
Let a class member share a true-life story of how hope was restored to him/her at the point of discouragement.

Take Home:
Write down three lessons you are taking home from today’s lesson?
● __________
● __________
● __________

Commitment:
● Based on today’s lesson, make a personal commitment to remain hopeful in the Lord.

Happy Sunday in Advance.

Remain Inspired & Be Lifted!

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