Reviewing and renewing Biblical faith through story and study

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Discernment - August 24



Sabbath School - August 24 - Discernment: Safeguard of Revival
A Sabbath School resource from the Victorian Conference of the Adventist Church in Australia



Preparation
This week, the lesson reflects on the role discernment plays in the process of revival. Discernment can be a difficult idea to comprehend. My current “chapel talk” for schools (I develop a new one every couple months) is entitled “Interuptability” and endeavours to each discernment in a way that will help children become wise decision makers in their interactions with others. 

Read through my talk on Interuptability. Then consider how you would describe discernment to a child. Use stories, they stick! This will help you prepare for your lesson. Feel free to use any of the material from my chapel talk for your Sabbath School discussion.

Icebreaker
What is discernment? Tell a story from your life when you exercised poor discernment and one when you exercised wise discernment.

Discussion
We all have developed discernment skills. This is a big part of leaving childhood and becoming an adult. Sometimes we do what we know we should even though we may feel like doing something else. 

What role does obedience play in Christian discernment?
Too often formalism and fanaticism have gone hand in hand with Adventism. Why? What does this reveal about us as a people?

What role does respect play in Christian discernment?
What role does love play in Christian discernment?

The Greatest Discernment
As a group, Read John 6:25-71
As you are reading, take note of every time discernment is required.
How many “moments of Discernment” are recounted?
Imagine you were among the listeners on that day. 
How would you have responded? 
Which statement would have been the hardest to take on board? 
How would obedience, respect and love played a part in believing or disbelieving what Jesus was saying?
How important is discernment in the life of a Disciple of Jesus?

As a group, memorise 1 John 4:7-8
You can use the memorisation strategy I teach in the “interuptability” talk, if that helps.
How seriously should we take this verse? Why?
How important is love in the eyes of God? Why?
How does discernment help us love like this verse requires?

Is it easier to look back over your day and answer:
Did I keep the commandments today?
or
Did I love today?

How do these two things (commandment keeping and Love) go together? (Read 1 John 2:3-6)
Which is more important? Why? 

An online video of an Adventist preacher is going around of late. The preacher is very judgmental in his treatment of Adventists who do not think exactly the way he does. Do you live and preach like this?
What has our church done to create ministers and lay people with such judgmental views and abrasive communication skills?

The lesson encourages us to spend one day in studying discernment in the light of being loving lovable Christians and three days on the discernment of fanaticism, formalism, false miracles, false gifts and fruitless living. What does this tell us about our church? What does it tell us about what we think is most important? Does this make you more uncomfortable with this discussion guide or the lesson? Why?

How can we ensure that we are loving to others while also being obedient to Jesus?