GOD IS AWESOME!
Scripture: John 3:16-18, Ephesians 3:20, Psalm 103:12
Memory verse: John 3:16
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
Every person has a reputation. Their reputation is determined by their actions. Their actions are controlled by their character, by an inner quality based on what they consider to be important.
Our pastor is a good example. Ask: How would you describe him? What kind of a person is he? What do other people say about him? Point out some of the inner qualities that control his actions.
Ask: How would our pastor conduct himself when buying something in the market or when visiting your home after hearing that your mother was sick?
What a person does and how one responds in various circumstances is determined by his character. An individual's reputation is established by his values and moral qualities that shape his life.
Hearing God's Word
What causes God to act the way He does? Ask: How would you describe God? God's actions are a revelation of His character.
Our God is an awesome God!
Our God is the true God, the One and only God, the Creator of heaven and earth, and the Creator of every human being - every baby, every child, every youth, every man and every woman.
God is awesome. His power is amazing! Ephesians 3:20 declares, "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine...." He reigns in heaven and on earth. Jesus taught us to pray in Matthew 6:10, "Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."
An atheist once asked a child, "How big is God?" The child thought for a moment and then responded, "God is big enough to create the universe, but small enough to live within my heart." A simple, yet profound truth from the heart and mind of a child.
Our God is a loving God!
"For God so loved the world" (John 3: 16) is an amazing statement of truth. (Ask the class to say the memory verse.) The verse reveals God as One who has feelings, a tender heart reaching out to every person living on planet earth. Why does He love the human race? King David explained it well in Psalm 139:13, "For you created my inmost being (soul); you knit me together in my mother's womb." He made us; we belong to Him!
Our God is a giving God!
"He gave his one and only Son" (John 3:16). Jesus is God's Son. They loved one another very much. Jesus said in John 17:21-24, "Father, just as you are in me and I am in you...that they may be one as we are one...because you loved me before the creation of the world."
Our God is a gracious, merciful God!
“God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world" (John 3:17). Jesus did not come to live on this earth to pronounce us guilty of evil deeds and call down the wrath of God upon us. God sent His Son to turn away His wrath and His righteous judgment. Grace is God giving us what we do not deserve. Mercy is God withholding from us what we do deserve.
Our God is a saving God!
"Save the world through him (Jesus)" (John 3:17) is God's plan for all mankind. There is nothing that brings greater pleasure to God than when a sinner accepts the gift of His Son. "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world" (John 3:17). Jesus came to offer sinful people the gift of salvation, not to pronounce them guilty of displeasing God and sentence them to an eternity in hell.
Our God is a forgiving God!
"Whoever believes in him is not condemned" (John 3:18), is forgiven and is no longer sentenced to an eternity in hell. When a person puts their trust in Jesus, their sins are forgiven and forgotten. The Psalmist declared, "As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us" (Psalm 103:12).
Accepting God's Word
Review with the class God's six character qualities discussed in today's lesson.
When we understand the character of God, how He acts and what He wants to do for us, it makes us want to praise Him. Knowing what God has provided causes us to open our hearts and receive His gift of salvation.
Understanding the character and nature of God is a first step in grasping the meaning of the command of Jesus in Matthew 28:19 to "Go and make disciples of all nations."
We have an awesome God! Let's tell everyone about Him! Everyone needs to hear!
Remember To Pray
This study introduces us to the Afar tribe. The pictures and information given with the next four studies will introduce Afar children, youth and adults who need to know Jesus as their personal Saviour. Time will be given at the close of each class to pray for them.
Present the information about the Afar tribe given below. Show the video, if possible.
MEET THE AFAR
Djibouti 404,000 - Eritrea 413,000
Ethiopia 1,759,000 - Somalia 158,000
Born-again Believers: less than 200
SEE THE VIDEO:
The Afar people are an indigenous tribe found in the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia, and Djibouti. They have a very strong relation to the environment, sharing land and resources with animals and doing them no harm. They are referred to by some sources as the Danakil. The name, however, is the name of the desert, not an ethnic name. They call themselves Afar, which means in their language "The Best" or "First."
The Afar claim to be descendants of Ham (Noah's son). They are distantly related, culturally and linguistically, to the ancient Beja group of peoples, who are Southern Cushites, and related in turn to the ancient Egyptian race.
The Afar principally reside in the Danakil Desert. It is called the Danakil Depression, consisting of a vast plain of salt pans and active volcanoes. Much of it lies 300 feet below sea level and has daily temperatures as high as 125 degrees. The average yearly rainfall is less than seven inches.
Most of the Afar are nomads who herd sheep, goats, cattle, and camels. A man's wealth is measured by the size of his herds. They raise mostly goats, but some sheep, which they need for the required Muslim celebration feasts. They use camels for pack animals, but do not ride them.
Early in their history, the Afar were heavily influenced by Islam. Today, Islam totally dominates their society. Those who can afford it will make a pilgrimage to Mecca. Years ago, a Christian mission began a work in Eritrea. Twenty years later, having sent many messengers and investing over $1,000,000, they left due to military conflict without one Afar coming to faith in Christ.
Most of the known Afar believers are in Ethiopia, a few in D'jibouti and perhaps some in Eritrea and Somalia. They are difficult to access geographically, but also culturally. In recent years, Christian agencies have been active in various economic, medical, educational or cultural assistance programs among the Afar.
The seed of God's Word and the witness of messengers have been sown, and hundreds of hours of intercessory prayer have arisen to the throne of God. The Afar soil is ready to produce grain - a harvest of transformed lives that will become God's instrument of blessing to their people.
Pray for Afar Tribe
1. The Holy Spirit to move in a powerful way among the Afar.
2. Believers in Christ to become aware of the spiritual needs of the Afar.
3. The class to recognize the need to pray earnestly for the Afar.
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you" (Matthew 7:7-8).
MORE INFORMATION: linkupafrica.com
Study 1 | God's Character/O.T. Kings | africaatts.org/go-teach