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BEGIN AT HOME 

Scripture: Acts 1:8, 2:5–12

Memory verse: Acts 1:8
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in al Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

Lead-In

Receiving power to witness is a wonderful blessing. Yet, it places responsibility on us as to how that power is administered and activated.

Power must be controlled, guided and focused. Otherwise, out of control power can do a lot of damage. Holy Spirit power is given to believers to glorify God through their witness, both in the way they live and in what they say.

The right perspective is important in maximizing the flow of the Holy Spirit in a believer's life. I was 13 years old when I accepted Jesus as my personal Saviour. Two weeks later, I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. A life transformed and empowered for service was a great blessing, a new beginning for a young man.

In the early years of my walk with the Lord, I was very conscious of the Holy Spirit's power at work in my life. However, when it came to exercising and accessing the Spirit's power, I had the wrong perspective. I thought the Holy Spirit was a power to get my hands on and use to bring people to Christ. I was treating the Holy Spirit like He was an AK-47 that I could use in convincing unbelievers to confess their sins and trust in Jesus.

As years slipped by I began to realize that the Holy Spirit was not a power to get my hands on and use to advance the Kingdom of God. Rather, He was a person who wanted to take hold of my life and use me as a witness for Christ. The Holy Spirit wanted to fill me with His presence and empower my words and actions to influence those around me. The Holy Spirit wanted to use my life as a channel through which His power could flow to touch a world that needed Jesus as their Saviour.

Ask: What is your perspective? Do you consider the Holy Spirit to be a power or a person? (Allow responses.)

Hearing God's Word

(Ask the students to say the memory verse with you—Acts 1:8. They have learned parts of the verse in previous studies. Now, it is the complete verse. Select different ones to quote the verse from memory.)

Jesus commanded the apostles to wait in Jerusalem until they were baptized in the Holy Spirit. At that time they would receive Holy Spirit power that would enable them to be a witness to the ends of the earth. The apostles, along with over 100 other believers, waited ten days while praying "Come Holy Spirit." The Holy Spirit came and filled all of them with His presence and power (Acts 2:4).

The believers began praising God in languages they had never learned—speaking in other tongues. Many Jews, including converts to Judaism, had come from various parts of the world to celebrate the day of Pentecost. Consequently, they spoke many different languages. They heard the believers speaking in each of their languages. This surprised them because the believers were all Galileans.

What Does This Mean?

The Jerusalem visitors could not figure out how it was that the these Galileans could speak their language so well. They asked one another, "What does this mean" (Acts 2:12)? Peter explain to them that what they were seeing and hearing was a fulfilment of Joel's prophesy. (Ask a student to read Acts 2:17–18.)

A close examination of Acts 2 reveals that:

1. Everyone needs to repent and be saved,
2. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is for all believers,
3. Every language group (tribe) under heaven needs an adequate witness of the gospel in their own language.

What happened in Acts 2, and continued throughout the book of Acts, was in accordance with the guidance Jesus outlined in Acts 1:8 to be a witness "In Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." This verse teaches us to be a witness in our cities, state, country and the world.

Ask: Why does Jesus baptize believers with the Holy Spirit? (Allow responses.)

Why Begin at Home?

Jesus wanted believers to be concerned about everyone everywhere in the world. The salvation of all individuals is important whatever language they speak and wherever they live. Every child, every young person and every adult needs to be introduced to Jesus.

The home for the apostles and other newly baptized believers was Jerusalem and Judea. They were surrounded by their own tribe, people who spoke the same language and shared a common culture. Within this group, they had close friends and were known by many others. A bridge of communication already existed. Immediate proclamation of the gospel could begin.

Jerusalem was headquarters for the Jews, but also there were many living among them who spoke different languages. Some were from Samaria and others from different countries. Many of those from "the ends of earth" were living across the street or in the same neighbourhood as the believers.

Ask: How many different tribes are represented in this class? How many other languages are being spoken in your neighbourhoods? (Allow responses.)

Jesus instructed the Spirit-filled believers to begin at Jerusalem (home) reaching Jews and non-Jews, evangelizing their own tribe and other language groups at the same time.

Accepting God's Word

Jesus' promise to give the gift of Holy Spirit power is for every believing youth. He wants to empower you to be a witness to your tribe and every other tribe. Begin now at your home.

Action plan: Make a list of fellow students you want to see saved. Identify the languages being spoken in your community. Make friends among them. Be bold. Ask the Holy Spirit to anoint your witness. Ask God to confirm your witness with supernatural answers to prayer.

Luke wrote in Acts 1:1 about all that Jesus "began to do." Then, Jesus stated in Acts 1:8 that Spirit-filled believers were to go "to the ends of the earth." What Jesus accomplished in three years is amazing, but it was only the beginning. The Kingdom of God is growing—ever extending. The opportunity to complete what Jesus began rests with each of us. Let us decide today to move forward in the power of the Holy Spirit and see the task accomplished! 

Present the information about the Somali tribe given below. Show the video if possible.

Meet the Somali

LOCATION

Djibouti         358,000
Eritrea              5,900
Ethiopia     6,501,000
Kenya        2,680,000
Somalia     8,349,000
Tanzania         54,000

RELIGION

Islam: 99.07%   
Born-Again Believers: Fewer than 200

SHOW THE VIDEO
http://linkupafrica.com/media-gallery/detail/70/1447

The Somali live scattered across Somalia and portions of Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania. Many more are dispersed across the Middle East and several Western nations. 

The Somali share a common language, adhere to a single faith, and share a cultural heritage that is an integral part of their nomadic lifestyle. Although all Somalis profess strong allegiance to Islam, they hold stronger primary loyalties to self, family and clan, in that order.

Their name is derived from the words "so maal," meaning "Go milk a beast for yourself!" To Somalis, this is actually a rough expression of hospitality. 

Life in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, has been ravaged by clan rivalry.  It seems no one cares if a member of another clan starves.  Thousands of automatic weapons are held by men and boys who steal food meant for the relief of those who are starving. Some sell the food to support their drug habit of chewing khat leaves. Chewing khat, a mild stimulant promoting sleeplessness and talkativeness, is a social pastime.

ASSESSMENT

Somalia is considered one of the most lawless nations in the world. Efforts at Christian missions have met with little success. A common saying is "A Christian Somali is a dead Somali." Any attempt at open Christian witness is either ignored or met with violence. Christian ministries among Somalis must concentrate on service as a means of building good will so Christian dialogue may take place. 

APPEAL

The complete Scriptures is available in standard Somali. Messengers have learned that Somalis respond to the gospel when it is presented in biblical poetic stories. Currently a team of 10 committed believers is preparing for ministry among Somalis in East Africa. Thousands of believers in Kenya and other parts of the world are praying for their salvation and for peace to come to their troubled homeland of Somalia.

An angel appeared to the father of John the Baptist to clarify that his son’s ministry was "to make ready a people prepared for the Lord" (Luke 1:17). You are invited to join others in praying for an anointing of the Holy Spirit upon the Somali team that they, too, will be effective in leading people to Jesus, the Saviour and prepare them to spend eternity with the Lord.

REMEMBER TO PRAY!
Pray for Somali Tribe 11

1. Believers in Christ Jesus to stand firm in their faith,
2. Somali to recognize that true peace will only be found in Jesus,
3. Receptive youth to be led to saving faith in Jesus Christ.

Prayer Promise

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith" (Ephesians 2:8).

MORE INFORMATION: www.linkupafrica.com

Remember: BEGIN AT HOME

Memory verse: Acts 1:8
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in al Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

1. I will be a witness to my family, friends and people speaking my own language.
2. I will preach the gospel to those in my community whose culture and language is a little different than mine.
3. Those who are very different frome me, I will not neglect. I will witness to them too.

Pray for the Somali tribe.

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Study 11 | Come Holy Spirit/Born Again | africaatts.org/go-teach

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