- Religion and Philosophy
Preparing To Be God's Choice
TITLE : Preparing to be God’s Choice
TOPIC/LESSON : Relationship / Love
TEXT : Selected Scriptures
THRUST : The purpose of this lesson is to teach the students the principles that will prepare them to be the right person for God and other people
· React the statement: “Before you look for the right person, first be the right person.”
· Before we discover God’s will in the future for us in the area of relationship, we must need to be following God’s choice for a partner for us, we first need to cultivate the qualities that will make us more attractive and prepare us to be God’s choice for another person.
· The ff. are some of the principles to prepare us to be God’s choice:
1. Define your worth in God’s eyes.
· Illus.: Teenagers
o A psychologist was counseling the mother of a sixteen-year-old teenager. “How would your son fill in the blank at the end of this sentence?” he said.
o “I only count when _______________”
o How would you respond to the above statement” (allow the students to answer)
o The implication was that the answer would reveal the driving force behind the teenager’s decisions, actions, and behaviors.
· We’re all searching for what makes our lives count – for someone or something that will keep us from feeling worthless.
· Why are we inherently important?
o We are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27).
o God loves us.. (Jeremiah 31:3).
o God has a wonderful plan for us (Jeremiah 29:11)
· However, we must view ourselves as whole and complete people based on our relationship with Christ, not our value to someone else or even our marital status.
· Psalm 32:8.
· A more literal translation uses the word “eye” which is rendered in many version.
· “I will counsel you with My eye upon you.” (Psalm 32:8bm NAS, ESV, RSV)
· “I will guide you with My eye, if the eye is silent and does not make any sound?
· How can God guide us with His eye, if the eye is silent and does not make any sound.
· The only way we could get guidance from God’s eye is to look directly at Him.
· The longer it takes to get to that point, the more opportunity we have for making damaging decisions that can affect our lives forever.
· Illus: Deb.
o Deb thought that she didn’t count without her boyfriend. She gave in to his demands for sex (“say yes or I’m gone”) because in her mind she felt as though she was nothing without him. She feared being rejected and abandoned. One demand led to another, and she gave in again when she felt forced by her boyfriend to have an abortion.
o Years later, Deb went through a radical transformation after a faith conversion. When her view of God changed, so did her view of herself. Self-esteem can’t come from anywhere but Jesus, Deb now says. “He will love you in spite of your failings. If your self-worth is based on your looks, your parents’ love, or the sense that you’re great, it will fail. All that will pass.”
2. Discover the fulfillment in doing God’s work.
· Ephesians 2:10
· The Greek word for “workmanship” sometimes has the connotation of a “work of art,” and the words “prepared in advance” indicate God’s sovereign purpose and planning.
· Illus.: Frank Laubach
o Frank Laubach once called himself “the happiest man in the world,”which is strange for a missionary who lost three children to malaria and dysentery. Laubach spent his life in remote parts of the world among the desperately poor. He organized a literacy program in the Philippines that became a global movement and literally changed millions of lives (around 60 million). He had the pleasure of watching men and women jump for joy when they realized they could read.
o He died in June 1970. People regard Frank Laubach as the “Apostle to the illiterate.” His movement still continues today through the organization : ProLiteracy Worldwide.
§ Laubach is the only American missionary to be honored on a US postage stamp, a 30-cent stamp in 1984.
§ Noteworthy was Laubach’s interest in the Philippines, which was deepseated. He wrote a biography of the Filipino national hero, Jose Rizal: Man and Martyr, published in Manila in 1936. He also translated the hero’s valedictory poem, “Mi Ultimo Adios” (My Last Farewell). His version is ranked second in ideas, content, rhyme and style among the 35 English translations in a collection.
§ He was also considered a pioneer mover of Maranao literature.
· There is a strange thing about happiness. The people who are so pre-occupied in getting a partner and who look for happiness are the ones who most rarely find it. Why? Because happiness is the by-product of something else, and only a sovereign God who has planned a good work for us can guide us with.
· James 1:2
· Why can we still be joyful when we face difficulties?
· What is the difference between happiness and joy?
· Happiness is elusive and dependent on circumstances – on what is happening to us (that’s why it is called happiness). Joy, on the other hand, is dependent on our relationship with God.
· Ex: Paul and Silas worshipped and sang praises to God even though they were cruelly beaten and put in jail. (cf. Acts 16:19-40).
· God can also use our times of difficulty and loneliness to build character, in us. Instead of trying to change our circumstances to be happy, we should concentrate on letting God work through our circumstances to change us and build godly character in our lives.
3. Develop godly qualities through your relationship with God.
· Most marriages fall apart because the partners have not developed godly qualities that actually serve as foundational pillars in a marriage.
· How is love described in the Bible? How are these qualities beneficial in a relationship?
· 1 Corinthians 13:4-6
· How can we develop these godly qualities?
· Galatians 5:22-23
· The ability to love your mate, serve, and sacrifice is not a character quality you got the moment you say “I do”, by taking a course, or reading a book. The only way you can develop those qualities is by being in such close fellowship with God and His love flows through you.
· “When one has once fully entered the realm of love, the word – no matter how imperfect – becomes rich and beautiful, it consists solely of opportunities for love. “(Soren Kierkegaard, Danish theologian and philosopher)
· By focusing on your fellowship with God, you’ll not only be fulfilling the word God has for you but you’ll also be preparing yourself to be God’s choice for someone else. You’ll become the right person for another person. Your relationship with your future spouse will be only as strong as your fellowship with God.
4. Devote yourself in serving God and people.
· Many times God uses ministry as a practical means to bring two singles together. After He has placed a future mate in your heart during prayer, ministry can be an excellent way to confirm god’s direction in choosing a mate.
· If you want to know whether a man will be a good father, watch him minister to children. If you want a wife who will be flexible and adaptable, join her on a mission trip or in serving the poor families in your community. Watching how other singles minister is one of the best ways to evaluate their character before engaging in courtship.
· Galatians 5:13-14
5. Decide to love God regardless of His answer.
· As you involve yourself in ministry and service, God may bring you a partner with whom you can share your ministry and your life. But what if God says, no? Would you still claim that His plan for your life is wonderful?
· Illus: Max Lucado
· Max Lucado’s daughter fell once into a swimming pool and almost drowned. Fortunately, a friend saw her and pulled her to safety. “The next morning in his prayer time,” he says, “I made a special effort to record my gratitude in his journal. He told God how wonderful He was for saving her. As clearly as if God Himself were speaking, this question came to his mind: “Would I be less wonderful had I let her drown? I be any less a good God for calling her home? Would I still be receiving your praise this morning had I not saved her?” How about you?
· Would you still consider God to be good if He says no to your partner? If your request is delayed or even denied, will you still serve Him and praise Him?
· The greatest test some of us face is trusting God’s goodness in every area of our lives. Insisting that we have to be married before we can be happy demonstrates that we don’t trust God. It shows we don’t understand that He is a God of love, planning and desires only what is good for us, with or without spouse.
· Habakkuk 3:17-18
· If you’re constantly looking at every member of the opposite sex as a potential mate and letting the “hunt” occupy all your thinking, it’s a sign your not really trusting God. If you make marriage the focus of your life, you will waste your time waiting for an imaginary companion. Even worse, your constant desire to be in a dating relationship will hinder your spiritual growth.
· To focus your mind on the “highest point,” pray that God will work His good will in you as he conforms you to the image of Christ. If marriage is in His plan for you, pray that God will give you the wisdom and discernment to make the right decision and that He will begin now preparing both of you for each other. Then put aside the looking, hoping, and hunting and concentrate on serving .
· Illus: Billy and Ruth Graham
o Billy Graham is probably the best-known preacher and minister in the world today. Can you imagine him married to anyone but Ruth Bell Graham, the daughter of Presbyterian missionaries to China? What she learned growing up in missionary home prepared her to be the wife of one of the world’s most famous men. Self-sacrifice. Dependence on God. Love for God’s Word. Concern for others. “The Lord certainly knew what He was doing when He chose her for my wife and number-one adviser, ”Graham says.
o In spite of these good words., Graham wasn’t always so sure about God’s plan. In college, he had a disappointing romance with a girl who chose someone else. Struggling to get over the pain of a broken relationship, he wrote to his roommate and confidant: ”I have settled it once and for all with the Lord. No girl or friend or anything shall ever come first in my life. I have resolved that the Lord Jesus Christ shall have all of me. I care not what the future holds. I have determined to follow Him at any cost.
o Ruth, on the other hand, was rising early morning and praying for her husband’s future ministry – the husband she still hadn’t met. At that point, she didn’t even know Billy Graham.
· May this be the prayer of our hearts: “My heavenly Father, teach me to be a sacrificial servant to glorify You and spread the love of Christ. Please direct me into the areas of ministry where You desire me to serve You and Your kingdom. Help me not focus on my happiness, but to gain an eternal perspective on my life. Jesus, I thank You for my significance lies alone in You.”
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I
will guide you with My eye.” Psalm 32:8, NKJV)
Choosing God’s Best by Dr. Don Raunikar
Wikipedia (English) en,wikipedi.com
This Bible study material was prepared by Ramil Dizon the cellgroup leader of the Professional Ministry of Grace Bible Church.