Sabbath: Experiencing and Living the Character of God

This is a tool for you to use if you lead a Sabbath School (SS) class or small group. It is keyed to the Bible texts used in the current week’s Adult SS lesson and includes a brief story from current news you can use to introduce the discussion and then a series of discussion questions in a relational pattern designed to build fellowship and spiritual reflection.

 

For use: December 13 – 19

Texts: Genesis 1, 2; Exodus 16:14-29; Isaiah 58:1-14; Matthew 12:1-13; Luke 13:10-17

 

The fastest man on Earth is dead. General Charles E. “Chuck” Yeager was set apart as a military test pilot who was the first person to fly faster than the speed of sound … and lived to tell about it. He died on December 7, 2020, at the age of 97.

“His greatest breakthrough occurred on Oct. 14, 1947, when a B-29 aircraft released then-Capt. Yeager and his squat, orange Bell X-1 experimental craft at nearly 20,000 feet over California’s Mojave Desert,” the Washington Post explains. “The Bell X-1 was propelled by a four-chamber rocket engine and a volatile mix of ethyl alcohol, water and liquid oxygen, and Gen. Yeager named it ‘Glamorous Glennis’ after his first wife. Gen. Yeager, traveling at nearly 700 mph, broke the sound barrier.”

In his book, The Right Stuff, Tom Wolfe describes Yeager as “the most righteous of all possessors of the right stuff.” Yeager himself was not impressed with the designation. Yet, he was definitely distinguished for his work, receiving the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, Army Distinguished Service Medal Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, and many more accolades.

Yeager was distinguished because he was the first person recorded as breaking the sound barrier. Those who keep the fourth commandment, honoring the Sabbath day, are distinguished as breaking away from false beliefs about God. They have faith in the Lord who made the heavens and the earth. In resting on the Sabbath, they acknowledge that their works can never bring them salvation. It is in relying on the power of Another that they become holy and are able to honor the Creator.

The powerful rocket engine that propelled Yeager through the sound barrier is no match for the power of Christ to make us pure. The distinguishing sign of this unfathomable power to change our very natures is the Sabbath. Anyone can receive this life-changing mark of honor—not a medal hanging on one’s chest, but a renewed life burning within one’s heart.

God has given a gift to distinguish heaven’s elect from all others. In this week’s Sabbath school lesson, “Sabbath: Experiencing and Living the Character of God,” we learn how the Sabbath day not only educates us on the nature of God, but gives us an opportunity to experience the loving personhood of the Lord. Sabbath-keepers are educated every seventh day by worshipping, studying, and honoring the Creator.

 


For Reflection

Connecting: Share a time when you won an award. What was your achievement? How did you feel when you received that honor?

SharingHow are we educated by the Sabbath? What examples in Scripture teach us, through the Sabbath, about the nature of God?

  1. The Sabbath establishes that God is our Creator (Genesis 1, 2).
  2. The manna experience in the wilderness taught the Israelites to trust in God as provider (Exodus 16).
  3. The Sabbath teaches us to honor God before our own pursuits and pleasures (Isaiah 58:1-14).
  4. Sabbath teaches us to consider the needs of others, especially those who are suffering (Matthew 12:1-13).
  5. The apostle Paul demonstrates that Sabbath is a day for gathering, for praying, and for sharing truth (Acts 16:13, 14).
  6. Other…

Applying: Using crayons or colored markers and paper, ask each person in your small group to draw a simple picture to illustrate how the Sabbath educates us to know God and be transformed by God’s power in our lives. Share your pictures over text, email, a shared drive, or Zoom when you are finished and explain what your drawing means.

Valuing: Do you find the Sabbath as a day for learning more about the divine Creator? Over the phone or an online medium, pray with one other person in your group, asking God for a greater revelation of heaven’s love for you on this Sabbath day.

~ Curtis Rittenour