GOD IS GENEROUS!
Scripture: Mark 16:16; Romans 1:16, 6:23; Ephesians 3:8-9; 1 John 1:12; Revelation 5:9
Memory verse: Ephesians 3:20
"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine..."
Prepare a drama to demonstrate the meaning of "generous." Select five youth to participate. Three should be seated as though they were sitting under a large tree in their compound. The fourth one should approach them holding a small bread roll from which he will break a tiny little piece and give to each of them.
The fifth youth will now enter carrying a large loaf of bread from which he will break off large pieces and distribute to the three youth. The three young people receive the piece of bread with great joy and laughter.
Two youth shared bread with their friends.
Ask: Which one was generous? Why? (Allow discussion.)
Hearing God's Word
No one likes stingy people who are reluctant to share and if they do share, their gift is very small. We all enjoy generous people who cheerfully give large, meaningful gifts. Our God is a generous God who always gives more than enough to meet the needs of His children. His gifts are so large and bountiful that they go far beyond anything we can imagine! (Ask the class to say the memory verse together.)
God's Gift: Salvation
A gift is something given voluntarily and payment is not expected or required. God has given a gift to all those created in His image - the gift of salvation. Salvation is the cleansing and forgiveness of our sins which makes possible a right relationship with God and changes our destiny from hell to heaven. The apostle Paul expresses it this way, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23).
God's gift of salvation is a free gift: No payment is required; it cannot be purchased. "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast" (Ephesians 3:8-9). I would call that "genuine generosity."
The various unreached tribes we are praying for this month are all Islamic. Most of them are faithful Muslims who pray five times a day and fulfill many other ritual requirements. Their hope of going to heaven is based on their ability to fulfill the requirements of Islamic law. They fail to recognize the work of a generous God who has provided salvation for them through the sacrifice of His Son upon the Cross.
One does not have to fulfill rituals to receive salvation. Jesus paid for our salvation with His blood when He sacrificed His life on the Cross. God offers salvation as a free gift.
Recipients: The Whole World
God's gift of salvation is available to everyone living anywhere in the world. Jesus said in Mark 16:16, "Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned." The apostle Paul clarifies that truth in Romans 1:16, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile."
The apostle John writes concerning a scene he saw in heaven when the four living creatures and the 24 elders sang a new song, saying:
"You (Jesus) are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation" (Revelation 5:9).
Accepting God's Word
God's gift of salvation is available to all of us. He offers it to us, but we must take it. This fact is clearly stated in John 1:12,
"Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God."
I was 13-years old when I heard a sermon about hell and that by accepting Jesus as my Savior, I could escape an eternity in the lake of fire. I went forward to the altar, knelt down and began to weep, saying, "Jesus help me, Jesus help me!" When I arose 30 minutes later from that place of prayer, I knew Jesus had saved me from an eternity in hell.
Have you taken, received the gift of God's salvation through faith in Jesus Christ? If not, make that decision today and enjoy God's wonderful generosity!
Remember To Pray
Many tribes across Africa have very few, if any, born-again believers among them. Research has revealed 1,009 African tribes with less than 2 out of 100 who have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. The Mandinka tribe is one of those language groups. We will learn about them today.
Present the information about the Mandinka tribe given below. Show the video, if possible.
Meet the Mandinka
Born-Again Believers: 0.40%
The Mandinka are proud of their heritage, tracing their language and culture back to the once great Mali Empire, which rose to power in the 1200's under the rule of the "lion king," Sundiata. Nearly all the Mandinka are hard-working farmers living in villages. Their mud houses are round or rectangular with each house having its own back yard rather than the traditional common courtyard.
Most of the village children have an opportunity to attend an elementary school. Then, many families move to the city or place their children with a relative or village brother so they can enroll in a secondary school. Once they graduate, the children seldom return to their village to become farmers.
The Mandinka are primarily Muslims. Islam was first introduced to the Mali Empire by foreign merchants. However, today their faith is a mixture of Islam and animism. Quotes from the Quran are written on the wall of their homes, but they may pray on goatskin mats believing that even the hairs of the skin are praying for them. It is not unusual for someone to first pray in the mosque and then sacrifice a chicken to a village or ancestral spirit.
The Mandinka need an adequate witness of the gospel. This is possible because their homeland is governed by moderate Islamic governments. Proclamation of the gospel is permitted; churches can purchase property and freely conduct church services and home Bible studies.
The greatest response has come from young people who are away from their families attending secondary school. The families, upon hearing that their children have accepted Jesus as their Savior, often reject them. Currently in The Gambia, it is estimated that there are 150 believers. Planting churches in various parts of the country has played a key role by providing new converts a new family and a safe haven.
God wants to do a great thing among the Mandinka! We invite you to join us in believing prayer for the current Mandinka believers to be baptized in the Holy Spirit and empowered to introduce Jesus Christ to their own people, to see signs and wonders accompany their witness, and thousands of new converts to come into the Kingdom of God.
Ephesians 3:20 declares, "Now to him is able to do (bring Mandinkas to faith in Christ) immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine...." Thank you for praying. Also, please ask the Lord if He would like you to personally become involved in reaching the Mandinka?
God's gift of salvation is available for the Mandinka. Jesus shed His blood on the Cross and paid the price for every Mankinka's sin. All they have to do is receive God's gift of salvation. The Mandinka need a messenger to share this good news with them.
Ask: What can our class do in order to see Mankinka come to faith in Jesus Christ?
Pray for Mandinka Tribe
1. The Lord to give this class a burden for Mandinka youth.
2. Pray that Mandinka youth will receive a clear witness of the gospel.
3. Messengers of the gospel - students, businessmen, farmers, pastors - to recognize the spiritual needs of the Mandinka and find ways to introduce them to Jesus.
"Ask the Lord of the harvest...to send out workers into his harvest field" (Matthew 9:38).
MORE INFORMATION: linkupafrica.com
Study 11 | God's Character/O.T. Kings | africaatts.org/go-teach