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Be Reliable



Scripture: Exodus 2:1–9; Proverbs 22:1, 25:13, 19; 1 Timothy 3:7; 3 John 12

Memory verse: Proverbs 28:20
"A faithful person will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished."


Begin this week’s study by distributing sheets of paper and pencils to the students. Then hold up a calculator and ask the following question: “If I punched in the math problem, 18 x 3, could I rely on the calculator to give me the correct answer!” Allow students to respond. Then have them figure the problem on their sheets of paper. When they are finished, work the problem on the calculator and then call out the correct answer. Ask the students how many got the problem right.

Continue working different math equations. Have the students figure out the math problems first before you compute them on the calculator. Explain to the students that no matter what kind of math problems we feed into the calculator, it gives us the correct answer. We can depend on it. Stress to the students that it is God’s desire for each of us to be just as reliable or dependable as a calculator. In this week’s study they will learn how they can be known for their dependability.

Hearing God’s Word

Ask: “What does it mean to be reliable?” (Allow responses.)

When a person is reliable, it means he is dependable and faithful. He has proven himself to be a person in whom other people have confidence. They know a reliable person will do what he says he will do.

Ask: “Who are some people you rely on? How do you rely on them??”

Dependability is Important. Being reliable should be an important part of a Christian’s life. A person may be exceptionally smart and talented; these are fine qualities to have. However, if that person cannot be depended on to do what he promises, these qualities are wasted. No amount of talent or intelligence can equal being faithful to do what is expected of you.

We depend on people every day. We rely on our parents to provide for us. We look to our friends to give us support and to be there when we need fellowship. We depend on our pastor and Bible teachers to give us guidance and to help us learn about God’s Word. We depend on others too. Some of these people we do not even know. We depend on people to produce and package the food we buy in markets. We rely on news reporters to help us find out what is happening in all parts of the world. We depend on our elected officials to make laws to protect us.

Ask: “How do we feel when someone we depend on lets us down?” (Allow responses.)

It makes us disappointed. We lose a little of our confidence in that person because he did not do what he had promised to do.

Others Depend on Us

What about us? Can others depend on us?

Ask: “What are some things people depend on you to do? What are some chores assigned to you?” (Allow responses.)

If we say we will do something, or if we have chores assigned to us, we need to make every effort to do what is expected of us. Otherwise, a lot of confusion can result. Listen to the following examples to see how this is true.

Elizabeth was a popular person. She was outgoing and made friends easily. The Bible teacher asked Elizabeth to help her by passing out programs the night of a children’s musical at church. The afternoon of the program, Elizabeth got involved visiting with some friends. She was late getting to the church. In fact, by the time she arrived, most of the parents were already seated. Elizabeth’s teacher was disappointed. She had counted on Elisabeth’s help.

Nathaniel was friendly and kind. He was also a good musician. Nathaniel’s pastor asked him to play the keyboard for a service in which the youth Bible study students were participating. Nathaniel agreed to play, and then he travelled out of town with some friends for the weekend. This meant Nathaniel was not at church the evening he was supposed to play the offertory.

Neither Elizabeth nor Nathaniel purposely tried to disappoint others. They simply forgot about the commitments they had made. They got busy doing other things and did not do what they were expected to do. Still, because Elizabeth and Nathaniel did not do what was expected of them, they caused problems for others.

We need to be careful that we do not become like Elizabeth or Nathaniel. When we have the opportunity to use our talents and abilities for God and His work, we should be faithful to do our best. The task may not be exciting or a lot of fun, but God sees how reliable we are, not how much fun we had in the process. The Bible gives many examples of dependable people. They worked for God without fail even though they faced times of danger and persecution. God used their faithfulness to continue His work.

Miriam—a Dependable Sister

Ask: “Who was Miriam?” (Allow responses.)

Miriam was Moses’ older sister. Most of us have heard of Moses. He was the great leader God used to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Did you know that Miriam played an important role in God’s plan for Moses’ life?

When Moses was born, the Israelites were slaves in Egypt. The Egyptians had become afraid of the Israelites because their population was rapidly growing. The Egyptians thought the Israelites might rebel against them someday and take power in the land. Pharaoh decided to issue an order that all Israelite baby boys were to be thrown into the river and drowned. He thought this would control the Israelite population and solve the problem.

Sometimes after Pharaoh gave this order, Moses was born. Moses’ mother did not want her baby to be thrown into the river. She came up with a plan. She made a basket for the baby and waterproofed it. Then she put the baby inside the basket and placed it at the edge of the river.

This was only part of the plan. (Ask a student to read Exodus 2:4.) Miriam was at the river, watching the basket to see what would happen to her baby brother. She kept herself hidden from view, yet close enough to see the basket bobbing in the water.

Ask: “Do you think it would be fun to hide and watch a basket?” (Allow responses.)

We do not know how long Miriam waited there. It probably got warm out in the sun, and the grass she was hiding in may have become scratchy. But Miriam was faithful. She kept watch over her baby brother even though it may not have been fun or exciting.

Then Pharaoh’s daughter came to the river to bathe. The princess found the basket with the baby inside. Immediately Miriam came out of hiding. (Ask a student to read Exodus 2:7-9.) Miriam’s faithfulness helped make it possible for Moses’ own mother to care for Moses the first years of his life.

Ask: “What might have happened if Miriam had decided it would be more fun to take a walk or go find her friends than to watch a floating basket?” (Allow responses.)

Miriam did not do those things. She was reliable. She did what she knew she should do. Her dependability may not have seemed too important at the time. Later, however, Moses grew up to be greatly used of God.

Becoming Dependable

You may never have to watch over a basket floating on a river, but there will be times when people will depend on you. How can you become dependable—someone others can count on to do what is needed? One way is by reading God’s Word. The Bible will give you guidance and encouragement. It will show you examples of others who were dependable. This will build your faith.

You can also pray and attend church. When you pray, ask God to help you do what you have been assigned to do. He will help you be faithful. Attending church is a way to have fellowship with others. You will find many examples of reliable people in church.

Witnessing to others is a way to put your faithfulness or dependability into practice. Others need to know about Jesus. Who will tell them if we do not? The Holy Spirit was sent to earth to give us power to witness. Are you being a reliable witness for Jesus?

It may not always be easy to be reliable, but we know God will help us. He has promised abundant blessings to those who are faithful and dependable. This promise is our memory verse. (Repeat Proverbs 28:20 with the students.)

Accepting God’s Word

God is the perfect example of dependability. What can we depend on Him to do? We depend on God to cause the sun to come up every morning and make it set at night. Even our lives are gifts from God.

Any blessing we have comes from Him. What if all these blessings were suddenly taken away? Many people have experienced great loss because of an accident, a flood, or some other tragedy. How can we rely on God then? We can rely on Him because He said He will never leave us and He will always love and comfort us. Best of all, we can rely on God’s promise of eternal life. No one else can make us that offer, and no one can take it away from us.

We have such a dependable God? It makes us want to be like Him! He will help us be dependable so we can receive His blessings and win others to Him.

Reach of Faith

 One morning our research team went down to the local bus station in Bamako, Mali. It was an effort to make contact with Fula Jalon people arriving from their homeland in Guinea. A pastor offered to go with us. He had a good Fula Jalon friend who worked near the bus station. His friend came from a Roman Catholic background but was currently attending the pastor's church.

Arriving at the Fula Jalon brother's office, we explained our desire to present the gospel to his people. Directing our attention to a large map hanging on the office wall, he explained that the Fula Jalon make up about half of Guinea's 12,947,000 population.

Before parting, the pastor led us in prayer, asking for the Lord's will to be done. I took a picture of the two them and a team member pointing to the location on the map and called it "The Reach of Faith." It was evident that God had arranged our visit. I have never found a more obvious "Cornelius" whom the Lord had prepared to be His hand extended to a people group.

God's Grace to Cover the Fula Jalon

1. Thank God He does not treat the Fula Jalon as their sins deserve,
2. Fula Jalon tribe to recognize that the Lord is compassionate and gracious,
3. Thought undeserving, the Fula Jalon to experience a mighty move of the Spirit of God across their homeland.

Prayer Promise

"Over everything the glory will be a canopy" (Isaiah 4:5).


Memory verse: Proverbs 28:20
"A faithful person will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished."

1. You can count on me.
2. Give me a task and I will accomplish it.
3. I totally depend on God to help me be dependable and trustworthy.

Pray for God's glory to be revealed to the Fula Jalon.

Study 13 | Migrants—Proverbs | africaatts.org/go-teach

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