April 22, 2018 – 1 Peter 4:7-19
Lesson Date: April 22, 2018
Focal Scripture Passage: 1 Peter 4:7-19
AIM: To lead students to discover the components of serious service and sanctified suffering, and to evaluate their service and suffering so they can seek to add whatever components are missing.
Before class: Read the notes on 1 Peter 4:7-19 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book. Get enough copies of the “Serious Service and Sanctified Suffering” worksheet for your anticipated attendance. Have pens or pencils on hand. Bring a component part of something to class (examples: a car headlight, a stereo speaker, a cell phone charger, or a computer mouse). Write “Serious Service and Sanctified Suffering” on the marker board or chalkboard.
INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Show the component part to the class. Tell them the part you have brought IS the item from which it is a component. For example, if you brought a car headlight, tell the class it is a car; if you brought a stereo speaker, tell them it is a stereo system; if you brought a cell phone charger, tell them it is a cell phone; if you brought a computer mouse, tell them it is a computer.
Await (or ask for) reactions from the class. When they respond that the headlight is not a car, ask them what relationship the headlight has to the car (it is a component part of the car, not the entire car). Comment that it takes many different component parts to make up the entire car.
Direct the students’ attention to the lesson title written on the board. Tell them today’s lesson is about serious service and sanctified suffering. In this lesson we will discover the component parts that make up serious service and sanctified suffering.
HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):
- Remind the class that we are studying the New Testament book of 1 Peter, and that the Apostle Peter wrote this letter to Christians who were suffering under Roman persecution.
- Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (suffering and sacrifice).
- Ask if any volunteer would be willing to recite last week’s memory verse (1 Pet. 3:18).
- Read the first half of 1 Peter 4:7 (“But the end of all things is at hand).
- Comment that we use the phrase “the end” in many ways.
- For example, “The End” might appear at the end of a movie or book, simply meaning that the movie or book is finished.
- Sometimes we might say, “I’m at the end of it,” simply meaning we are exhausted or overwhelmed.
- Ask: “What do you think the Apostle Peter had in mind when the Holy Spirit inspired him to write that the end of all things is at hand?” (he probably thought Christ would return soon, bringing an end to life as we now know it).
- Tell the class that Jesus may indeed be coming soon, but even if the Rapture is 1,000 years away, each of us only has a limited number of days left on this earth. The end for all of us truly is at hand.
- Ask: “Why do you think Peter told his readers that? In other words, what difference does it make that the end is near?” (there was urgency to his instructions; time is running out so we must not delay).
- Summarize: Since time is running out, we should listen to and obey the Bible’s instructions.
- Serious Service.
- Ask a volunteer to read 1 Peter 4:7-11.
- Tell the students that these verses deal with our service for the Lord.
- Since the end is at hand we must approach our service seriously.
- Ask: “Have you ever known an employee who did not take his or her work seriously enough – someone who was careless and unconcerned?” (they probably have).
- Tell the class the Lord’s work is too important for us to approach our service that way.
- Give everyone a copy of the “Serious Service and Sanctified Suffering” worksheet, and a pen or pencil if needed.
- Remind the students of the component part you brought to class. Tell them we are going to discover components of serious service.
- Read through verses 7-11 again, one verse at a time.
- After each verse, ask the class to name the component of serious service found in that verse and write it on the blank on their worksheet.
- Be prepared to discuss the meaning of each component.
- The completed worksheet should look something like the example below.
Verse 7 – Level-headed
Verse 7 – Prayerful
Verse 8 – Loving toward other believers
Verse 9 – Be hospitable
Verse 10 – Use your spiritual gifts to minister to one another
Verse 11 – Serve God out of the power and ability He gives
Summarize: We should take our service for the Lord seriously, not wasting our time or opportunities. We should be prayerful and loving, using our spiritual gifts to serve the Lord in the power He gives us.
- Sanctified Suffering.
- Remind the students of the component part you brought to class.
- Tell them the remaining verses we will study today describe components of sanctified suffering; in other words, the things we should do and realize when we suffer.
- Ask them to listen for those components as you read 1 Peter 4:12-19.
- Read through each verse (or pair of verses) again.
- After each one, ask the class to name the component of sanctified suffering found in that verse (or pair) and write it on the blank on their worksheet.
- Be prepared to discuss the meaning of each one.
- The completed worksheet should look something like the example below.
Verse 12 – Don’t be surprised
Verse 13 – Rejoice, knowing that your future will be joyous
Verse 14 – Realize God’s Spirit and glory rest upon you
Verses 15-16 – Glorify God when you suffer for being a Christian
Verses 17-18 – Remember that God knows who is godly and who is ungodly
Verse 19 – Commit your soul to your faithful Creator
Summarize: Christians should not be surprised by suffering, but should respond with joy and faithful commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ.
PERSONAL APPLICATION: Ask everyone to silently read the first phrase of verse 7. Ask: “Why are the instructions we have found today important?” (because “the end of all things is at hand” – we don’t know how much longer we have to serve the Lord). In other words, time is running out, so we should get serious about our service and be ready to glorify God in our suffering.
Direct everyone’s attention back to the “Serious Service and Sanctified Suffering” worksheet. Remind the students that we have discovered components of serious service and sanctified suffering. Since time is running out, we should take these instructions seriously and get to work. Tell them we need to ask ourselves two very important questions as we look at each component:
- “Is this component present in my life right now?”
- “Am I willing to ask God to help me add that component to my life?”
Remind the class that the component does not equal the whole, just as the car headlight is not the same as the car. Having one or two of the components of serious service does not mean we are serving seriously – we need them all. Take a moment to tell the students about needs the class has for Care Group Leaders and members to be involved in CONNECT. Encourage class members to get serious about their service by volunteering to serve in those ways.
Ask everyone to honestly evaluate their seriousness of their service and their attitude when they face suffering. Tell them to ask the Lord to help them add whatever components are missing. Lead a closing prayer of commitment.
CONCLUSION: Tell the students to place their completed worksheet in their Bible for daily evaluation this week. Ask them to memorize 1 Peter 5:7. Encourage them to serve the Lord, be loving and hospitable, and to support someone who’s suffering for the Lord.
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