Memory Verse. Lesson 1

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1 D O W N L O A D E D In Awe of His Holiness ADULT By Douglas Schmidt June December for use as STEP 1. Focus: We respond to God s holiness with awe and a contrite heart. Bible Basis: Isaiah 6:1-8 Students will talk about how to respond to their holy God with awe and repentance. OPENING ACTIVITY: I m in Awe Ask your students as they come in to finish this sentence: I was in awe when.... They might complete the sentence with such things as when my first child was born, or when I saw the Grand Canyon, or when my spouse agreed to marry me. This week s story is about the awe-inspiring encounters Muslims are reportedly having in the Middle East. OPENING STORY [read it aloud to your class, or make copies and pass it around]: MUSLIMS HAVE STARTLING VISIONS OF JESUS Apparently Muslims are seeing visions of Jesus all over the Middle East and responding to those theophanies (God appearances) with repentance and belief in the Lord. Evangelist Hazem Farraj s satellite television program Reflections is reaching a large Muslim audience. According to a CBN report, Farraj often hears from Muslims who report having dreams or visions of Jesus. Nik Ripken, a 28-year veteran of the mission field, believes God uses dreams and visions to reach Muslims because a person s willingness to believe in the validity of dreams directly impacts his or her response to them. After gathering research in nearly 60 countries, Ripken says Muslims dreams are, for the most part, like any others. But what is miraculous is that God breaks into them! he says. They hear a voice without a body telling them to find Jesus; they see a bright light; they dream of a Bible [and for some reason it s almost always blue].

2 June 2, 2013 / Step 1 D O W N L O A D E D 2 Memory Verse And they were calling to one another: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory. Isaiah 6:3 Another missionary in the area, Tom Doyle (of E3 Partners Ministry), has also seen this phenomenon. Great things are happening in the Muslim world, confirms Doyle. It s all very unexpected. We ve been seeing this for 15 years now, where Muslims are no longer Muslims but are Jesus followers. They are Christians, willing to die for Jesus. It all started with them with a dream, Doyle continued. They had a Jesus dream, and some of them had many Jesus dreams. They would seek out Christians after a while because the dreams would get so intense that they wanted an answer. Converting to Christianity in an Islamic culture is still extremely difficult, even if the Muslim s conversion is prompted by a clearly supernatural vision. Nobody goes to bed a Muslim and wakes up a Christian, Doyle said. Yet dreams become a starting point. They re motivated to find a Bible, find a Christian, and ask what this means. Ninety-five percent of the Muslims who are now Jesus followers say that they were led to Christ by someone explaining the dream to them. Doyle adds that the phenomenon is taking place in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, Syria, and on the West Bank. For example, Karima (not her real name) dreamed she was in a car when it crashed. She was knocked out, but when she opened her eyes (in her dream), she saw that Jesus was the driver. Come to me, He told her, I am with you. I love you. That experience led her to seek out a Christian church, where she responded to the Gospel. Omar had been locked up and tortured for years in a jail cell in a nation ruled by a dictator. One night a messenger visited him in a dream, telling him he would be set free. Within days he was released from prison and traveled to America where newfound friends reached out to him. When he was given a book with a picture of Jesus on the cover, his eyes lit up. I know him, he said. He came to me in a dream. Doyle knows of one Muslim who was on a hajj, the required Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, when he had a daytime vision of Jesus. I met a man who said he saw a Jesus dream and he didn t know what to do with it, so he got deeper into his Muslim faith, Doyle said. Then he went to Mecca on the hajj, and on the first time around the Kabah [the Muslim holy shrine], he saw a vision of Jesus standing in front of him. Jesus had a message: You re on the wrong path; you re on the wrong road. Leave this place and come follow me.

3 June 2, 2013 / Step 1 D O W N L O A D E D 3 Memory Verse And they were calling to one another: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory. Isaiah 6:3 This man is getting baptized in the next few weeks, Doyle added. [You may want to share with your class this CBN program on the visions of Jesus that Muslims are having: [Now have your students form small groups to discuss these questions.] What are the key elements in any encounter with God? When and how have you encountered God? What has been your response(s)? How does God want us to respond to Him? Now let s take a look at the vision of Isaiah, and how the Old Testament prophet responded with awe and contrition when he came into the heavenly presence of God. [Now go on to Step 2 in your Adult Teacher s Guide and study this week s Scripture.] News Sources: when-musiims-see-jesus

4 D O W N L O A D E D In Awe of His Holiness ADULT June for use as STEP 4. Focus: We respond to God s holiness with awe and a contrite heart. Bible Basis: Isaiah 6:1-8 ENCOUNTERING THE LORD When Peter first encountered Jesus, and saw the Lord s supernatural power over nature, the fisherman begged the Lord to go away, because he (Peter) was a sinful man (Luke 5:8). We see that Jesus, full of grace for the remorseful fisherman, gently refused Peter s request to leave and told him instead that he would become a fisher of men. As we see in Peter s example, there is no better way to begin and then keep a relationship with Jesus Christ than admitting that our sinfulness is a barrier between us and a holy God. When we acknowledge to God what He can plainly see is true the sinful condition of our hearts we will be able to stand in His presence, worship Him, and be used by Him to advance His Kingdom. ACTIVITY Ask your students to return to the groups they had in Step 1 and discuss these questions. Why do we have a better understanding of our sin when we realize the holiness of God? Individually or as a group, take time to repent in the presence of our holy God, name your sinful words and actions, and acknowledge how you walk in ways He does not want you to go. Ask Him to forgive you, cleanse you, and then use you for whatever purposes He has for you. Close the class in prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to give all of you a humble and contrite heart, as well as the courage to own up to our sins. Thank the Lord for His promise to receive all those who come to Him with a sense of awe and contrition and a willingness to serve. (David C Cook is not affiliated with and does not endorse any website listed on these pages. At the time of writing, David C Cook editors carefully review the referenced material and non-referenced web page

5 June 2, 2013 / Step 1 D O W N L O A D E D 2 Memory Verse And they were calling to one another: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory. Isaiah 6:3 content. However, due to the nature of the Internet, non-cited content on the website [including pop-ups, links, ads, and comments] changes frequently and is beyond our control. Please review carefully before showing links in the classroom.) THE BIBLE IN THE NEWS Wycliffe Bible translators are reviewing their translations in languages shaped by Islamic culture to avoid misunderstandings of Scripture:

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