- Our world as a hopeless mess. Without the light of God shining on our world there would be no life worth living. We know God is not happy with the way His created world of human beings have turned against Him to transform this world into a state of spiritual darkness. You may wonder why He held out all these years while His created beings not only opposed Him but even killed Him in their rage against a perfect and loving Father. Caught as we are in this mess of brambles and briars, what hope have we been granted, and where is that hope today? What can we do to help bring people back to a saving relationship with God?
- Kingdom priorities. Do all of us reflect our priorities by the way we live? Are our eternal priorities obvious to all of the people who know us? What do you think of the way Jesus prioritized two essentials of life–food and clothing? How does your concern for others fit the instructions given by Jesus? Should we pay close attention to the way Ellen White counseled when the government required citizens to return any runaway slaves to their master? Can you see a way that this counsel applies to us today? How do you feel when government officials seem to rely on their power to enforce their pride? Why are people so intent on seeing things their way and thereby enforcing their own desire for power over others? What should be the Christian’s priorities?
- Compassion fatigue. Do you ever get tired of the steady appeal by leaders in the church or in the community for your help? What is a sensible response when we hear of injustice or pain inflicted on others? Is it possible to expect too much of others in helping ease the pain of life? How should we respond when people seem to be expecting too much of us in reaching out to others? We need to be practical in our work for others. Is that right? Is praying for someone practical or not? What if the people you pray for seem to pay little or no attention? Should you keep praying or think of something else to do for them? How should we relate to people around us in the church who are suffering from compassion fatigue? What do you plan to do about it?
- Generosity. You’re down to your last dollars in your monthly budget. Here comes a passionate appeal to help a local family whose house of three generations has a bad roofing problem that is starting to leak rainwater into the house. “If it is real,” our lesson states, “our faith will cause us to die to self and live more for others.” Are you ready for such a commitment? Is the roof worth your attention? What are some other ways besides giving money to a worthy cause that can support a generous spirit? Our lesson states that large donations do not necessarily indicate a generous spirit. Explain how that can be. How can you and I be generous other than by
- Peacemaking. How can we make peace in a world embroiled in conflict? In a war, does only one side suffer from the consequences of the battle? Imagine a situation where you could give help to a family caught in the ravages of war–on the “other” side. What would you do? Why? Are there pockets of controversy in the area where your church is located? A conflict, for example, about appropriate punishment to youngsters at a local public school about smoking, drinking, or carrying a gun to school when the students involved are in senior high school, perhaps seventeen or even eighteen years of age. Should you as a Christian be involved in any way by such conflicts? Or should you leave it up to the parents and not do anyth1111because it is none of your business? Or is it?