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Upcoming Adult Sunday School Lessons

A Synopsis of the Spring Quarter (March - May 2017) Sunday School Lessons.

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Spring 2017

Quarter At A Glance

by Walter D. Zorn

 

Is it possible to spend too much time talking about the love of God? The inspired authors of both Old and New Testaments don’t think so! This quarter offers a kaleidoscopic sampling.

Scratching the Surface

No greater truth has ever been uttered: “God is love” (1 John 4:8; lesson 1). The fact that He first loved us is what draws our love in return (v. 19). We were “dead in sins” (Ephesians 2:5, lesson 2), and unless God in His love had taken the initiative to save us, we would be little more than walking dead people. Jesus, who embodied God’s love, commands us to love one another as He has loved us (John 15:12, lesson 3). As a community of love abiding in Christ, we bear the fruit of love.

An important characteristic of divine love is that it keeps promises. This is demonstrated in God’s promise to “pour out” His “spirit upon all flesh” (Joel 2:28, lesson 4). Promise became reality centuries later on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:17). Truly, we serve a God who is “gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness” (Joel 2:13)! As profound as all this is, we’re only beginning to scratch the surface on the nature of God’s love.

Digging Deeper

Many of us memorized John 3:16 (lesson 6) as youngsters. Years or decades later, we can still quote its 25 words easily from memory. Even so, it continues to be difficult to comprehend its depths as it speaks of God’s giving His utmost to redeem a world in rebellion against Him.

God’s love extends beyond our redemption. He does not redeem only to leave us to stand or fall by our own strength. We embrace this fact in the beloved Psalm 23 (lesson 5). The God who sent Jesus to purchase our salvation centuries ago is the God who comforts and provides for needs today. He is there in our fears and difficulties. We experience the protecting love of God when we allow Jesus to be our shepherd (lesson 9). He cares for and protects us as a shepherd cares for and protects his sheep.

The depth of God’s love is displayed magnificently in Christ’s resurrection (lesson 7). The facts of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection establish that death cannot separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ (lesson 8).

Getting Dirty

Perhaps the most difficult task for Christians is to love those we consider to be unlovable. Yet as God reached out to us through other people, we are to be His hands and feet in doing likewise. The book of Jonah offers us a fascinating contrast between the love God has for all people on the one hand and human bias on the other.

To ignore God’s call is bad enough; to resist that call actively beggars description. The experiences of the prophet Jonah stand as a warning of such rebellion. As the consequences of his decision to flee his call threatened the physical and spiritual lives of others (lessons 10 and 12), so may our similar decisions as well.

“God is love” (1 John 4:8).

Sometimes it is only when we hit bottom that we come to our senses. As with Jonah, God may leave us in that rock-bottom state so we will realize our helplessness (lesson 11).

God’s patience with Jonah resulted in citywide repentance in Nineveh, but that was not the end of the story. Jonah still had “anger management” problems regarding his own sense of justice and entitlement (lesson 13). There’s a little bit (or a lot) of Jonah in each of us. What are we going to do about it?

 

MARCH

Unit 1: God’s Eternal, Preserving, and Renewing Love

 

Lesson 1, March 5 - Perfect Love - 1 John 4:7-19

Lesson 2, March 12 - Great Love - Ephesians 2:1-10

Lesson 3, March 19 - Matchless Love - John 15:1-17

Lesson 4, March 26 - Restoring Love - Joel 2:12, 13, 18, 19, 28-32

 

APRIL

Unit 2: God’s Caring, Saving, and Upholding Love

 

Lesson 5, April 2 - Shepherding Love - Psalm 23

Lesson 6, April 9 - Saving Love - John 3:1-16

Lesson 7, April 16 - Victorious Love - John 20:1-10; 1 Peter 1:3-9

Lesson 8, April 23 - Reconciling Love - Romans 5:6-11; 8:31-39

 

MAY

Unit 3: God’s Pervasive and Sustaining Love

 

Lesson 9, April 30 - Protecting Love - John 10:1-15

Lesson 10, May 7 - Sustaining Love - Jonah 1:7-17

Lesson 11, May 14 - Preserving Love - Jonah 2

Lesson 12, May 21 - Forgiving Love - Jonah 3

Lesson 13, May 28 - Pervasive Love - Jonah 4

 

  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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