Reviewing and renewing Biblical faith through story and study

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Aug 3 - Obedience: The Fruit of Revival



Sabbath School - Aug 5 - Obedience: The Fruit of Revival
A Sabbath School resource from the Victorian Conference of the Adventist Church in Australia


What is the difference between obedience to tradition and obedience that leads revival?  

Icebreaker
Stand in a circle facing each other, holding hands. Describe what you see. 
Now spin around, face the other direction, and rejoin hands. It’s the same circle of people, but what do you see now? 
Sit in a circle and discuss: Imagine you did this exercise in a public place full of people. The first time (facing inward) you would see and focus on each other. What would be different about the second circle? What might a circle facing outward see? What effects would the things your group members saw have on your group? 

Discussion
When someone says their church needs to experience a revival, what do they mean? Describe what revival in your church would look like. What would it feel like? What kinds of things would people be saying and doing?

Read Isaiah 58. Pick a favorite verse. Go around the circle, allowing each person to share their favorite verse and why it stands out for them.
What are the key attributes of the people in Isaiah 58 before and after they experience revival? Compare the revival you described in question 1 to the revival in Isaiah 58. What are the similarities? What are the differences?

Read: The prophet Amos described the people of his day as those who “trample the needy and do away with the poor of the land” (Amos 8:4). He imagined their anxiousness to be done with worship in the form of Sabbath and the New Moon festival so they could reopen the market and get back to their dishonest trade, “buying the poor with silver and the needy for a pair of sandals” (Amos 8:6). 

Why bother with this form of religion, Amos said to these merchants, if it only gets in the way of the exploitation and profit that is your real focus in life?
While we might not run a business, deny paying wages to our employees, or seem to actively oppress others, do we take the opportunities we do have to care for, help, and encourage those who are hurting, disadvantaged, lonely, unwell, or forgotten? 
What would be noticeable about people from a church like this? (Consider Micah 6:8). 

Reflect on a church experiencing a revival like the one described in Isaiah 58.What would worship be like? What would Sabbath be like? Ellen White commented, “upon those who keep the Sabbath of the Lord is laid the responsibility of doing a work of mercy and benevolence” (Welfare Ministry, page 121). What do you think Sister White meant? What would this kind of Sabbath-keeping look like?Have you ever thought about doing justice and loving mercy as acts of worship?

What does the typical Sabbath look like in your church? How could you and your church family be using Sabbath to face outward rather than inward? What positive changes could an outward focus cause in the mission and purpose of your church?
A final note: If we are serious about following Jesus, we will also focus on others. If we are serious about Sabbath keeping, we will allow its grace to benefit everyone through us. If we are serious about revival, we will be serious about service.

If you’d like to read an in-depth article on the topic addressed in this study click here to read ‘Revival that Counts’.