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A Synopsis of the Summer Quarter (June - August 2017) Sunday School Lessons.

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Summer 2017

Quarter At A Glance

 by Dougals Redford

 

ONE EVENING some years ago, I helped serve what was called a midnight breakfast at the college where I teach. It was scheduled during final exam week in order to provide a break for the students, and faculty and staff were asked to help fill the students’ plates. Before we did so, we were told to put on a pair of plastic gloves in preparation for handling the food. "Do these come in different sizes?” asked one faculty member. "No,” was the reply. "One size fits all.” Our clumsy attempts to don the gloves revealed that that was not the case.

Neither does “one size fits all” apply to how God calls people to serve him—or for that matter, to how people respond to his call. Both are illustrated time and again in this series on "God’s Urgent Call.”

A Specific Call

Consider our first unit of lessons below, drawn from the chaotic time of the judges in the Old Testament. God used the prophetess Deborah to call Barak to provide deliverance for God’s people from their oppressors (lesson 1). An angel of the Lord challenged Gideon to face the Midianites in battle (lesson 2). Jephthah was called by elders of Gilead to save Israel from the Ammonites (lesson 3). Samson’s "call” actually began with an announcement to a childless woman that she would give birth to a very special son who would deliver God’s people from the Philistines (lesson 4).

The prophets of the Lord (whose calls are the focus of Unit 2) also demonstrate a variety of "sizes” when it comes to being called to convey the Word of the Lord. Moses’ experience at the burning bush is well-known (lesson 5). Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel each received a vision of the Lord, but each setting was unique (lessons 6, lesson 7, lesson 8). Ezekiel’s call included a command to eat "a scroll” that was written on both sides (Ezekiel 2:9-3:3). This represented how thoroughly he was to be filled with the Lord’s message so he could convey it to God’s people in exile. Amos (lesson 9) referred to his being called by the Lord (Amos 7:14, 15), but no specific details of that call are provided in Scripture. It is clear, however, from the courage and passion Amos exhibited that he was a called man indeed!

As the calls were not uniform, neither were the responses to them. Usually the called person was quite hesitant about saying yes to what God had in mind. Barak, Gideon, Moses, and Jeremiah each offered an explanation of why he could not do what God commanded. The only eager respondent was Isaiah: "Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8).

A General Call

Our third unit draws from the book of Acts and illustrates the more general nature of God’s call. These four lessons focus attention on what Christians are called to do in presenting Jesus to a broken world. At times we may wish for a call that is just as direct or intense as those in the Bible. However, Christians from all centuries have all been called to make a difference in whatever sphere of influence they live or work. Every follower of Jesus can, by his or her lifestyle, witness, break down barriers, preach, and demonstrate the inclusive nature of the gospel (the themes for lessons 10, 11, 12, 13). The means of delivering the gospel is not "one size fits all,” since we are gifted differently.

At times we may wish for a call that is just as direct or intense as those in the Bible.

Even so, we must remember that we speak for a Savior whose message does indeed "fit all,” for he died for the sins of everyone. May our lives be a faithful testimony through which the call of that Savior to a lost world is clearly and lovingly heard.

 

JUNE

Unit 1: Called to Be Strong

 

Lesson 1, June 4—Deborah and Barak—Judges 4:1-10

Lesson 2, June 11—Gideon—Judges 6:11-18

Lesson 3, June 18—Jephthah—Judges 11:4-11, 29-31  

Lesson 4, June 25—Samson—Judges 13:1-7, 24, 25 

 

JULY

Unit 2: Calling of Prophets

 

Lesson 5, July 2—Moses—Exodus 3:1-12

Lesson 6, July 9—Isaiah—Isaiah 6:1-8  

Lesson 7, July 16—Jeremiah—Jeremiah 1:4-10

Lesson 8, July 23-—Ezekiel-—Ezekiel 3:1-11

Lesson 9, July 30-—Amos-—Amos 7:10-17

 

AUGUST

Unit 3: Calls in the New Testament

 

Lesson 10, August 6-—Called to Witness-—Acts 6:1-8

Lesson 11, August 13-—Called to Break Down Barriers-—Acts 8:26-39

Lesson 12, August 20-—Called to Preach-—Acts 9:10-20

Lesson 13, August 27-—Called to Be Inclusive-—Acts 10:19-33

 

  Diligent study of these lessons will not only bless you spiritually, but also aid you in discovering God's plan for your own life.

-John Alva Owston

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