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BLESSED TO OBEY

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BLESSED TO OBEY 

Scripture: Genesis 12:1–4, 17:7, Psalm 51:16–17, Acts 13:22

Memory verse: Genesis 12:1,4
"Go from your country, your people and your father's household.... So Abram went, as the Lord had told him…."

Lead—In

The Abrahamic Covenant is again our focus of attention for today's study. We want to examine the subject of obedience that is embedded in it.

Ask: How would you define the word "obey?" (Allow responses.)

The dictionary definition of "obey" is "to obey orders or commands, to submit or conform."

Ask: What are different ways in which a young person can obey? (Allow responses.)

A youth may obey willingly or grudgingly, joyfully or in anger, like an undisciplined child or as a mature youth. (Share examples with the students of good and bad obedience.)

Hearing God's Word

It is a wonderful event when God speaks to a human being. When He speaks, God always has a purpose—a plan to reveal. It is a great privilege for a believer in Christ Jesus to hear the voice of God. Usually the Holy Spirit draws our attention to a verse of Scripture or His still small voice speaks within our soul. In the Abrahamic Covenant, it appears God spoke to Abram in an audible voice.

Blessed to Obey

Parents are always pleased when their children obey the instructions that have been given to them. God, too, is always pleased when His children do what He asks them to do. God makes this clear in His testimony concerning King David in Acts 13:22, "I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do."

(Ask the class to say the memory verse.) The command was clear; the response was immediate, without any questions asked. Abraham could have asked some questions before saying, "Yes. I will go." Questions like, "My wife is barren. It seems that is a problem in accomplishing your plan. And, I am 75 years old. Will I have the strength for the journey and tasks ahead?" However Abraham asked no questions and stepped out in faith to fulfil God's plan for his life. He chose to trust God to lead him each step of the way.

Obedience is a result of honouring the person giving the command and having submitted to the authority of that person. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is our Saviour and Lord. We bow to His authority and willingly set Him on the throne of our heart. This is why the Scripture instructs us to "Submit yourselves, then, to God" (James 4:7).

Blessed with a Destiny

God creates each individual and gives them a specific task to accomplish while on earth. They are set apart for a particular purpose. They are men and women with a destiny! They have a work to carry out that they alone can complete.

Abraham's purpose in life was to be the means through which God would send His Son to provide salvation for everyone. This blessing was to be made available to all peoples. He was to be the father of many nations who would reveal the knowledge of God to all tribes. Abraham was a man with a destiny!

Ask: Why is it necessary to discover God's plan for one's life? (Allow responses.)

Blessed with Productivity

Did Abraham achieve God's tailor-made plan for his life? Yes. By faith he stood on the promise given in Genesis 12:1–3 and affirmed in Genesis 17:7, "I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and God of your descendants after you."

The writer of Hebrews testifies of a job well done by Abraham, "And so from this one man...came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore" (Hebrews 11:12).

We as believers in Jesus Christ are spiritual descendants of Abraham. The apostle Paul makes this clear in Galatians 3:29, "If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." This means that all believers are blessed to be a blessing, just as Abraham was favoured by God.

Blessed with Responsibility

Abraham's blessing carried with it a responsibility. He was to share his faith in God with all peoples. As spiritual children of Abraham, we believers carry that same responsibility. The apostle Paul writes in Galatians 3:14, "He (Christ) redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus...."

Accepting God's Word

God has always had a witness to the peoples/tribes of the world.

Witness              Peoples | Nations | Tribes | Languages
Abraham            Canaanites, Philistines, Hittites
Joseph               Egyptians
Naomi                Moabites
Moses                Midianites, Egyptians
King David          Philistines
Elijah                 Sidonian widow
Jonah                 Nineveh
Solomon            Sabaean Queen of the South
Daniel                Babylonians
Esther                Persian Empire
12 Disciples        All but one died in a foreign county
Paul                   Missionary to the Gentile tribes
D. Livingstone    East, Central and Southern Africa tribes
William Harris     West Africa Tribes      

Today you as a young person, having accepted Jesus as your personal Saviour, are God's "Abraham" to fulfil His purpose of blessing all tribes with the good news of salvation.

Ask: Do you see your place in God's sovereign plan to bless the nations? What can you do about it today? (Allow responses.)

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

Meet the Makonde

Population

Mozambique 455,000
Tanzania 1,268,000

Religion

Islam: 78%
Born-Again Believers: 0.50%

SEE THE VIDEO:
http://linkupafrica.com/media-gallery/detail/70/1107

The Makonde live on both sides of the Ruvuma River, which forms the border between Tanzania and Mozambique. They are one of the five largest ethnic groups in Tanzania. Their homeland touches the coast from Lindi to the Ruvuma River and stretches 180 kilometres to the west.

The Makonde live in an under-developed area and thus are isolated from much interaction or trade with their neighbours. They are known nationally for defending their culture, way of life and land. Internationally they are best known for woodcarvings of their family trees.

Most Makonde are slash and burn farmers growing maize, sorghum and cassava. Those who live along the coast or near the Ruvuma River also practice fishery. Their diet is unique in that it includes rats and snails.

On the surface, the Makonde primarily practice Islam but in reality, they are animistic – practicing their traditional religion. They have been in contact with Muslim traders for hundreds of years and have received limited Christian witness. Yet, their religion centres on the veneration of their ancestors. This fact is highlighted in the carvings of their family trees that depict the older generation on the bottom supporting later generations.

ASSESSMENT

It takes time and perseverance to reach the Makonde society with the gospel. One church has a Makonde pastor. He and his family have lived among them in a small town for twelve years. They have been faithful witnesses and God has blessed them. Church membership now consists of 24 believers, 22 of them are Makonde with four of them coming from a Muslim background.

Many Makonde in Tanzania are accepting Jesus as their Saviour. In 2011, 92% of the Makonde were Muslims. Now in 2015 only 73% are identified as Islamic. We thank God for anointing the witness of believers and advancing the Kingdom of God. Currently it is estimated that 0.50% of the Makonde are born-again believers.

APPEAL

What God has done among the Makonde in Tanzania, we ask Him to do among the 455,000 Makonde in Mozambique and the 3,070 in Kenya. May Makonde believers reach out to their own people and messengers come from other areas to help gather the harvest.

REMEMBER TO PRAY!
Pray for Our Class

1. Each believing youth to recognize that they are God's representative, God's Abraham, to their world today.
2. Every young person awaken to the fact that God has a plan for their life.
3. God to show the youth in our class where He wants them to represent Him—perhaps among the Makonde or another tribe. 

Prayer Promise

Galatians 2:20, "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me."

MORE INFORMATION: www.linkupafrica.com

Remember: BLESSED TO OBEY

Memory verse: Genesis 12:1,4
"Go from your country, your people and your father's household.... So Abram went, as the Lord had told him…."

1. God is always pleased when His children obey.
2. God's commands call for an immediate response of "Yes."
3. Obedience bears responsibility to bless all tribes with the gospel.

Pray for Messengers to be sent to the Makonde.

_______________________________________________________
Study 11 | All Peoples/The Prophets | africaatts.org/go-teach

 

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