GOD IS LOVE!
Scripture: Genesis 3, John 3:16, Romans 3:25, 1 John 2:2, 1 John 4:10, Revelation 21:8
Memory Verse: 1 John 4:10
"This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins."
I would like to share a story with you about a Hausa boy named Musa. With his own hands, Musa made a little boat and tied a string to it. He carried his new boat to the edge of the river. He carefully placed it in the water and slowly let out the string. Suddenly a strong current caught the boat, broke the string and carried it away. Musa was very sad.
A few days later, Musa saw his boat for sale in the market. Someone had found it and sold it to the shop owner. Musa had just enough money to buy it. As he left the market, Musa hugged his boat and said, "Now you are twice mine. First I made you, and now I bought you."
Ask: How is the story of Musa similar to God's love for you?
Hearing God's Word
People are identified by their actions. We look into their hearts by observing the life they live. People’s actions speak louder than words and reflect who they really are. This too is the way we understand God, who by His actions reveals Himself to us.
God is love. Ask: How has God revealed His love to us? John 3:16 gives us the answer: He gave His Son in order that each of us might “have eternal life.” This gift from God is an amazing expression of God's love. Why? Because Jesus was His Son. God gave His very best so sinners could escape an eternity in hell by believing in Jesus.
Let us look closer at this act of God giving His Son for the salvation of those who by faith place their trust in Jesus. People are born with the nature of and the appetite for sin. This is the result of Adam and Eve's sin in the Garden of Eden. God was angry with them and drove them from the Garden. His anger resulted in condemning every sinner to an eternity in hell. (Ask a student to read Revelation 21:8.) Yet, a loving God wanted to reconcile sinners and restore them to a right relationship with their Creator so He could enjoy their fellowship now and forever.
God decided to give His own sacrifice to turn away His own wrath. He sent Jesus to live and to die for the transgressions of every person born into this world. This is truly amazing love and reveals the very nature, the true heart of God. Watch this truth unfold in the following verses:
Romans 3:25, "God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement through the shedding of his blood..." God sent Jesus to receive the punishment for our sins and turn away God's anger - His wrath - against us.
1 John 2:2, "He (Jesus Christ) is the atoning sacrifice for our sins..." Jesus took God's wrath against our sins by His death on the Cross, making a way for each of us to be reconciled to God.
1 John 4:10, "This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins."
Jesus shed His blood on the Cross and by this sacrifice satisfied, turned away, God's anger against our sin.
No Greater Love
God judges all people. His justice demands that sin be punished. He chose to pay the ransom price for our sins by sacrificing His Son. This is the highest demonstration of love: God giving Jesus to die on the Cross in order to turn away His wrath against our sins.
God is love. Jesus died on the Cross to save us from our sins, "not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world" (1 John 2:2). This means that salvation is available for the 1,009 unreached tribes of Africa who are without an adequate witness of the gospel.
Accepting God's Word
God made you, but sin took you away from Him. Now He has bought you with the price of His Son's death on the Cross. Step into His arms and let Him hold you tight as one of His children. Just ask him to forgive you of your sins and once again you will belong to Him.
Ask: Who would like to accept Jesus as your Saviour and be saved? Take time to pray with those who respond.
Remember To Pray
This study introduces us to the Hausa tribe. We will talk about where they live, the population of their tribe and how many of them are believers in Christ Jesus. At the close of each study, we will pray for the Hausa to be saved and receive God's wonderful gift of salvation.
Present the information about the Hausa tribe given below.
Meet the Hausa
West Africa 35,396,000
Born-Again Believers: 0.04%
The Hausa tribe is the largest ethnic group in all of West Africa, numbering 26,641,000 in Nigeria, 7,704,000 in Niger, 294,000 in Cameroon, 205,000 in Chad, and a scattering in 12 other African countries. Hausas have been heavily involved in long-distance trading for many centuries. Traders exchanged gold from the Middle East for leather, crafts and food. As a result, the Hausa language is one of the major trade languages.
By 1500, traders had introduced Islam to the Hausa. Many urban Hausas embraced Islam right away, hoping to enhance their businesses. However, villagers were not as receptive to this new religion.
In the "holy wars" of 1804 and 1808, the Hausa were conquered by the Fulani, their strongly Islamic neighbors. They were made slaves until the early 1900s. At that time, many villagers were either forced or bribed into becoming Muslims. They adopted some of Islam's basic outward behaviors and rituals, but they did not "sell out" as urban Hausas often did. For that reason, many rural Hausas today are only superficially Muslim.
The Hausa culture is strongly linked to Islam, which makes it difficult to reach this people group with the gospel. Historically there has been conflict between Muslim and Christian Hausas, resulting in severe persecution of born-again believers.
Boko Haram, a terrorist group, has declared its intent to drive out all Christians from the area. Churches have been destroyed and many believers persecuted. Hundreds have been killed. Hausa believers take a great risk to openly proclaim the gospel.
Currently several African national churches are working among the Hausa. Overt witness is becoming increasingly difficult. In one year, a national fellowship had 30 churches in Hausa areas burned and one health clinic destroyed. Many believers have fled to safer areas, but others remain in an attempt to keep their land and be a witness of Christian grace.
These are troubled days for the Hausa churches. It is time for the greater Christian community to express their concern. Please join believers from throughout Hausa areas in prayer for their safety and wisdom in how to live out their Christian faith during these difficult days. Isaiah's declaration gives us hope: "Strong peoples will honor you; cities of ruthless nations will revere you" (Isaiah 25:3). Pray for peace, for Christ-like responses from persecuted believers and through their testimony many to accept Jesus as their Savior.
Pray for the Hausa Tribe
1. First, let us praise God for many born-again believers among the Hausa.
2. Hausa believers in Christ to be empowered by the Holy Spirit to witness to their own people.
3. The Lord to give Hausa believers sufficient courage to preach the gospel without fear.
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (includes the Hausa)" (Acts 1:8).
MORE INFORMATION: linkupafrica.com
Study 6 | God's Character/O.T. Kings | africaatts.org/go-teach