1st year member models a 20-minute time of personal worship using PRAISE. This is the last week that the Leader’s Guide will suggest modeling personal worship. However, anytime you feel it is needed, feel free to use this as a teaching tool to encourage your JG to develop this crucial spiritual discipline.
Review the “Learning the Books of the New Testament” illustration and the “foundation” (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts).
TRUTH – The Lord’s Day will be addressed in units 1 and 2 of this series. Unit 1 will deal with foundational principles, established in the Old Testament, concerning the Lord’s Day. Unit 2 will deal with practical applications based on several New Testament passages. Your JG will have lots of questions about the proper way for Christians to observe the Sabbath in our culture. But you might consider asking your JG to hold those questions until they have completed unit 2, since unit 2 will directly address these practical matters. Try to reinforce these main points from Unit 1:
God established a 6 day/1 day pattern of life at Creation by setting the seventh day apart as a holy day.
God reinforced this pattern of life by instituting the Sabbath command to keep the seventh day holy.
The meaning of the word Sabbath is to rest/to cease when applied to physical activity. When applied to spiritual and intellectual life, it means to reflect, evaluate, or interpret.
The purpose of the Sabbath command was and is to bring humanity into a weekly encounter with God so that people will see the purpose of their life and work in light of their Creator (Exodus 20) and Redeemer (Deuteronomy 5).
People can respond to the one day in seven by continuing to work, stopping for physical rest or recreation, or making worship and spiritual reflection a priority. The latter is God’s design for the Sabbath.
TRUTH – you can discuss any of these in Bible questions:
Genesis 2:2 – God finished His work (His work was perfect/complete). God rested from His work (He stopped. Creation was complete. Nothing was left lacking in Creation.)
Genesis 2:3 – When God blesses something, He is declaring His favor upon it. When He makes something holy, He is declaring that it uniquely belongs to Him. For example, in the Old Testament, although all the nations belong to God, He made Israel to belong to Him as a unique, holy people.
Exodus 20:8 – To keep the Sabbath day holy means that it must be treated differently, as a unique day unto itself. By setting it apart as a unique day, we are responding appropriately to God’s declaration that the Sabbath is holy.
EQUIPPING – The equipping questions are designed to get your JG to do some critical thinking and self-examination of their current lifestyles in relation to the Sabbath. They are not intended to elicit any right way/wrong way judgments about how to observe the Sabbath. Encourage your JG to share their thoughts by avoiding all criticism. Remember, next week you will be able to address the specifics of Sabbath observance more directly. The ultimate goal of the two units is to instill a grace-base motivation to keep the Lord’s Day, while avoiding drifting into legalism.
MISSION – Discuss prayer lists. Ask a few people to share why certain people are on their list.