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Hard Worker

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BE A HARD WORKER 

Scripture: Proverbs 6:6-11, 10:4-5, 12:11, 13:4, 14:23, 18:9, 20:13; Acts 9:36–43

Memory verse: Proverbs 13:4
"A sluggard's appetite is never filled, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied."

Lead—In

Ask the students if they know what the word “industrious” means. Allow responses. Explain that when a person is industrious, he keeps busy an appropriate amount of the time.

Ask the students how many feel that work is important. Ask questions that will encourage the group to discuss this question. Then ask them what they think of a person who does not want to work. Allow responses until someone says the word “lazy”. Explain that when a person does not work, he becomes lazy and his life becomes unbalanced.

Ask the students if they consider football as being industrious and why. Allow responses. Tell the class that God has given us talents and interests so we can enjoy ourselves through them. Ask the students to list some of their favourite hobbies. Spending some time doing things we enjoy will help us relax, develop our creativity, and give us energy to get the work done that we need to do.

God does not expect us to work all the time. He does not want us to play all the time either. He wants us to make wise use of our time by keeping active in either work or play. Failing to be active makes it easier for us to become lazy or to become involved in wrong activities.

Challenge the students to be industrious, making wise use of their time, whether at work or play. Point out that when we try to live a balanced life—a healthy amount of work and play, our lives will be happier.

Ask: “Are you an industrious person? What do you think industrious means?” (Allow responses.)

The dictionary defines industrious as “persistently active; constantly occupied, busy.” If a person is industrious, he always has something to do—whether it is work or play.

Think about what you did yesterday. Did you keep busy, or did you visit all day with your friends because there was nothing else to do? The Bible says a lot about the way we occupy our time. Solomon must have thought this topic was important because he mentioned it many times.

Hearing God's Word

Solomon knew everyone must work for what he wants in life. If he wants to have a place to live, clothes to wear, and food to eat, he must work in order to have those things. The people in Solomon’s day were much the same as they are today. Some people worked hard while others were lazy and expected things to be handed to them. Solomon reminded the people that those who worked hard would be able to have the things they need, but those who were lazy would one day find themselves in a situation of not having what they need.

You may not currently have a job and earn money, but one day you will. You can begin now to prepare for that time by learning to work around your house or in your yard. You may not choose to do that as an occupation, but it will give you a chance to learn responsibility. You will also have the satisfaction of accomplishing something when you do the job well, and you will also be helping others in your family.

Our memory verse this week reminds us of an important truth. (Review the verse with the students.) Some try to get by without doing anything. This verse declares a principle: Diligent work brings satisfaction and often supplies our physical needs. Working and doing chores are not always fun. Sometimes we would rather do something more exciting. Sometimes we would rather do nothing at all! Giving in to that attitude can lead to the habit of being lazy.

The Danger of Laziness

An old children’s story tells of a grasshopper and an ant. The ant spent the warm spring and summer days carrying bits of grain and other food to his home. The grasshopper spent his time hopping around in the fields. He sang and chirped all day long, eating grain when he was hungry, but saving none for later.

When the grasshopper saw the ant busily working, he laughed to himself, “That foolish ant! He is spending all his time slaving away, trying to find food. He is missing all the fun. He should enjoy these warm days as I am, and gather food another day.”

When winter came, the grasshopper found out that the ant was not so foolish after all. When the days started getting cold, the ant went down into its house where it was warm and there was plenty of food. The grasshopper had no warm, cosy place to go. He had not stored up any food. The winter looked bleak for him because he had been lazy during the summer.

This is just a children’s story. But the Bible tells us to learn from his creation, including the ant and the grasshopper.

(Instruct the students to read Proverbs 6:6–8.) Solomon had observed ants busily working. He knew that was the way people should be if they want to be successful in life.

Being active should be a quality in every Christian’s life. No one in the Bible whom God used was noted for sitting around and doing nothing. They did the work assigned to them. They proved they were dependable and faithful servants of God.

Using Talents and Hobbies

Is a Christian supposed to work all the time and never do anything fun? No. God gave Adam and Eve work to do—tending the Garden. He also gives us work to do. But God never intended for people to work all the time. He knows we need time for rest and relaxation. He gave us talents and interests so we could enjoy a variety of hobbies.

Do you know you can “labour” for God while you are having fun? God can use your talents and what you do for fun to glorify Him. A good example of this is found in Acts 9:36–42. (Instruct the students to locate this Scripture passage and read it together.)

All we know about Dorcas is what is written here. We know she was a Christian because she is called a “disciple.” She also had a talent for sewing. She spent time making coats and garments for the needy. She used her talents for God and for others.

Did Dorcas get rich by sewing for others? No, because she gave the garments to the poor. She simply let God use her talent to bless others. (You may wish to briefly tell how Dorcas was raised from the dead.)

You may not think your hobbies are very important.

Ask: “Can riding your bike, reading a book, or playing football be used for God?” (Allow responses.)

Physical activities help keep our bodies healthy. We are temples of the Holy Spirit. We need to do our best to make our temples the best they can be. Reading good books helps us think and learn more about God, ourselves, and our world. Practicing skills such as sewing or playing musical instruments develops the abilities and interests God has given us. Even playing on a team helps us witness for God by showing good sportsmanship. It is not important if you win or lose—it is how you play the game.

God Can Use All of Us

God can use our lives whether we are working or playing. The important thing is that we occupy our time wisely. Watching several hours of TV every day does nothing to stimulate our minds or our bodies. Lying around being bored leads to laziness, but keeping our minds and bodies healthy leads to opportunities for God to use us. Diligent or lazy—which will you be? Make the best use of each day and let God prepare you for the future. He will guide those who use their time and talents wisely.

Accepting God’s Word

God is not a hard taskmaster who wants us to overwork. He is a loving God who knows what is best for us and that being lazy will cause unhappiness. He cares deeply about our lives—and where we spend eternity. Explain that a wise way to spend time is to pray and read the Bible, to attend church each week, and always to ready to tell others about Jesus’ love.

Remind the students that they can be good workers. Discuss ways they can be industrious in their play, their schoolwork, by studying their Bible lesson or by helping around the house. Also, encourage them to spend time wisely, reading the Bible and Christian books. Remind them that they are developing skills and attitudes that can help them in the future.

Pray with the class that God will help them keep busy in things that are pleasing to Him and have healthy, balanced lives.

Good Question

Our research team met two Fula Jalon businessmen in the market. One of them informed me that he had three wives and 11 children. I told him I had one wife and two children. He said, "One wife is not good." He was then asked if God created Adam and Eve, and if that was good. “Yes,” he answered. Then the question was raised: Why did God create only one Eve rather than several ‘Eves’? Realizing he was trapped, the man burst out laughing. A bond of fellowship was established through this exchange. The Fula Jalon are approachable and reachable.

REMEMBER TO PRAY!
God's Message Clearly Presented

1. Jesus recognized by the Fula Jalon as the Messiah,
2. Understand the purpose of Jesus' death on the Cross,
3. Becoming a new person in Christ Jesus is one's passport to heaven.

Prayer Promise

"They will proclaim my glory among the nations" (Isaiah 66:19).

Remember: BE A HARD WORKER 

Memory verse: Proverbs 13:4
"A sluggard's appetite is never filled, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied."

1. I want to be known as a good worker.
2. Quality work for God and others will be my testimony.
3. My motto: Giving my best at all times to please God and others.

Pray for Fula Jalon to get their passport to heaven.

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Study 14 | Migrants—Proverbs | africaatts.org/go-teach

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