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A Synopsis of the Winter Quarter (December 2019 - February 2020) Sunday School Lessons.

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Winter 2019

 

Quarter At A Glance
by Jim Eichenberger


In a courtroom, the judge is referred to as “Your Honor.” Chivalrous men vow to protect their ladies’ honor. High-achieving students work to make the honor roll. At a small bed-and-breakfast, guests might find a basket of snacks and be trusted with paying on the honor system.

This English word is very old, with its first usage being traced to the thirteenth century. Honor means “fame earned,” recognition based on merit. An appointed or elected jurist, a chaste person, an exceptional student, and trusted clientele gain a reputation by past behavior.

More than any human being, God has earned His fame. This quarter is designed to explore how the Bible teaches us to express honor to God. To do so, these lessons will focus on three studies from Scripture.


David and Mary Express Honor

In Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Brutus defends the assassination of Caesar as a noble deed. Antony undercuts Brutus’s credibility, sarcastically repeating, “For Brutus is an honorable man.” Antony insists that the claim that Brutus was acting honorably when killing the ruler of Rome must be measured by Brutus’s inner character.

People often honor God with their lips without their hearts being in it (Isaiah 29:13). Four lessons from 1 Chronicles 15–17 reveal that David’s praise of God was not superficial or self-serving, but truly came from his heart. King Saul was not an honorable man and placed his own ambition before honoring God. One way this was shown was in how he all but ignored the ark of the covenant. In contrast, David made arrangements for moving the ark to Jerusalem and even expressed a desire to build it a permanent home.

In a song that rivals David’s own for beauty, Mary celebrated being given the honor of becoming the Messiah’s mother (Luke 1:47–55). True honor will always be an expression of inner character.


Solomon Creates a Place of Honor

Sometimes a specific place helps focus our expressions of honor. People of faith know that the essence of a departed loved one does not lie in a grave, yet we lay flowers at the grave site to honor that person’s memory. Believers agree with Paul that our God “dwelleth not in temples made with hands” (Acts 17:24), yet we find a physical meeting place to be very helpful for corporate worship.

The second unit in this quarter moves from inner attitude to a physical structure. David was bothered that the symbolic presence of God was housed in a tent while David lived in luxury (1 Chronicles 17:1). Solomon fulfilled David’s dream of building a temple. Solomon’s words and actions at its dedication are explored in four lessons from 1 Kings 8. For years, the temple served as a focal point where God’s people honored Him.


Jesus Teaches Practices of Honor

On Flag Day, June 14, 1923, representatives of over 60 organizations met to write the United States’ National Flag Code. The code standardized practices for treating the flag to honor the nation it represents. Honor can be expressed personally, in an arranged location, but also by specific observances that can be held anytime and anywhere.

The third unit in this quarter examines patterns Jesus established for honoring God. He showed us how to resist the temptation to give to others the honor that belongs to God alone, to reject superficial piety, and to pray with purpose and persistence.

This quarter’s lessons encourage us to think more deeply about our relationship to God. We are honor-bound to do the honor of inviting Him to be the guest of honor in our lives.

 

Unit 1: David Honors God

Lesson 1, December 1 - David’s Worship - 1 Chronicles 15:1–3, 14–16, 25–29a)

Lesson 2, December 8 - David’s Gratitude - 1 Chronicles 16:8–12, 28–36

Lesson 3, December 15 - David’s House - 1 Chronicles 17:1, 3, 4, 11–14; 21:18, 21–27

Lesson 4, December 22 - Mary’s Praise - Luke 1:39–56

Lesson 5, December 29 - David’s Prayer - 1 Chronicles 17:16–27

 

Unit 2: Dedicating the Temple of God

Lesson 6, January 5 - Solomon Summons the Ark - 1 Kings 8:1–13

Lesson 7, January 12 - Solomon Speaks to the People - 1 Kings 8:14–21

Lesson 8, January 19 - Solomon Seeks God’s Blessing - 1 Kings 8:22–30, 52, 53

Lesson 9, January 26 - Solomon Anticipates Praise - 1 Kings 8:54–61

 

Unit 3: Jesus Teaches About True Worship

Lesson 10, February 2 - Single-Minded Obedience - Matthew 4:1–11

Lesson 11, February 9 - God-Honoring Piety - Matthew 6:1–8

Lesson 12, February 16 - Kingdom-Seeking Prayer - Matthew 6:9–15

Lesson 13, February 23 - Ever-Persevering Petitions - Luke 11:5–13

 

  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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