Click below to download the Cornerstone Connections leader’s guide and student lesson. This week’s resources also include two lesson plans and a discussion starter video which offer different ways of looking at the topic. Each lesson plan includes opening activities, scripture passages, discussion questions, and real-life applications.
Love Under Fire - Ch. 9
Light Kindled in Switzerland
Love Under Fire - Ch. 10
Progress in Germany
God often chooses the humblest people to accomplish the most extraordinary things. This was true for the Reformers, and it’s still true for us today.
1 Samuel 16:7 tells us that God does not look at the outward appearance but looks at the heart. In our society, how important are outward appearances? Very important or the make-up and plastic surgery industries wouldn’t be billion-dollar businesses. Which way is better—God’s or the world’s? Our lesson today will focus on what God’s way looks like.
OPENING ACTIVITY: FEELINGS
Fill a paper bag with the following (or make up your own list):
Give each of your students paper and a writing implement.
Without looking, have each of your students reach into the bag and feel around. After they have felt around for 30 seconds, have them make a list of the items they recognized in the bag.
God created a perfect home for Adam and Eve. However, sin changed that. God wanted Adam and Eve to never know what it was like to feel death or fear, but that didn’t happen. Since then, people have had to choose whom they serve and how they live. Some live big extravagant lifestyles without caring who they hurt or trample. Others follow a different path and choose to live a life after God’s plan. So what is God’s plan? How should the Biblical principle of humility affect how one lives?
BIBLE STUDY GUIDE
Read Proverbs 22:4.
4 Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are riches and honor and life.
Read 1 Kings 21:27-29.
27 When Ahab heard these words, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and fasted. He lay in sackcloth and went around meekly.
28 Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite: 29 “Have you noticed how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself, I will not bring this disaster in his day, but I will bring it on his house in the days of his son.”
Read Genesis 5:21-24.
21 When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. 22 After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23 Altogether, Enoch lived a total of 365 years. 24 Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.
Read Luke 2:25-32.
25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. 30 For my eyes have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”
Read Isaiah 57:15.
15 For this is what the high and exalted One says— he who lives forever, whose name is holy:
“I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.
Read James 4:6.
6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
Read Isaiah 41:10.
10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
In Ephesians 4:1-3 (1As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.) Paul describes what being humble looks like. Humbleness doesn’t mean that one is powerless, but it does mean that one views others with dignity, kindness, and love. It means being more concerned about others than oneself.
During the coming week, using a concordance or an online concordance look up the words humble, humility, and meek. At the end of the week write a sentence or two describing how you would like to change your life to be more like the people or concepts you’ve discovered in scripture.
For a Relational Bible Study (RBS) you’ll want to get into the Scripture passage and encourage the youth to imagine participating in the story while it’s happening. Then you will be able to better apply it to your own situation today.
You will need to ask God for the Holy Spirit to be present as your small group discusses the questions (no more than 3-6 people in a group is recommended). Start with the opening question. It is a personal question and the answer is unique for each individual. There is no right answer and nobody is an expert here, so don’t be surprised when you hear different responses. You are depending on the Holy Spirit to be present and to speak through your group. Say what God prompts you to say, and listen to what others share.
Take turns reading the chapter out loud. Follow that with giving the students some time to individually mark their responses to the questions (a PDF version of the handout is available as a download). This gives each person a starting point for responding when you start to share as a group. Next, begin the discussion by asking the students to share what they marked and why on each question as you work your way through. Feel free to take more time on some questions than others as discussion warrants.
Encourage each person in the group to apply what is discussed to their personal lives and to share with the group what they believe God wants them to do. Then ask them to pray that God will help each of them to follow through in doing so. Remind them to expect that God will show them ways to live out the message of this passage in the coming week, and that they are free to ask others in the group to help hold them accountable.
The Youth Sabbath School lesson for this week focuses on the religious reformers in Europe during the Christian Reformation, especially in the 16th century. It’s an amazing history of humility, courage, and faith. In fact, those three words come to the forefront of this week’s lesson.
Looking for an RBS (Relational Bible Study) about someone with humility, courage, and faith in Bible times, several examples come to mind. What comes to your mind?
For this week, we’ll look at God’s call to the young boy Samuel, someone with humility, courage, and faith. This familiar story about a child protégé stands as a rebuke to the religious powers in control during a time when personal interests took precedence over God’s interests. This happens repeatedly in human history. What do you expect?
As you go back farther in history than the 16th century Christian reformers to an Old Testament example of a reformer, emphasize that young people today are still called to exemplify humility, courage, and faith even when they might be in short supply around them. What do you expect? What do they expect? What does God expect?!
What Do You Expect?
Describe a time when things didn’t happen the way you expected.
Read 1 Samuel 2:12-3:21.
12 Eli’s sons were scoundrels; they had no regard for the Lord. 13 Now it was the practice of the priests that, whenever any of the people offered a sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come with a three-pronged fork in his hand while the meat was being boiled 14 and would plunge the fork into the pan or kettle or caldron or pot. Whatever the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. This is how they treated all the Israelites who came to Shiloh. 15 But even before the fat was burned, the priest’s servant would come and say to the person who was sacrificing, “Give the priest some meat to roast; he won’t accept boiled meat from you, but only raw.”
16 If the person said to him, “Let the fat be burned first, and then take whatever you want,” the servant would answer, “No, hand it over now; if you don’t, I’ll take it by force.”
17 This sin of the young men was very great in the Lord’s sight, for they were treating the Lord’s offering with contempt.
18 But Samuel was ministering before the Lord—a boy wearing a linen ephod. 19 Each year his mother made him a little robe and took it to him when she went up with her husband to offer the annual sacrifice. 20 Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, saying, “May the Lord give you children by this woman to take the place of the one she prayed for and gave to the Lord.” Then they would go home. 21 And the Lord was gracious to Hannah; she gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord.
22 Now Eli, who was very old, heard about everything his sons were doing to all Israel and how they slept with the women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 23 So he said to them, “Why do you do such things? I hear from all the people about these wicked deeds of yours. 24 No, my sons; the report I hear spreading among the Lord’s people is not good. 25 If one person sins against another, God may mediate for the offender; but if anyone sins against the Lord, who will intercede for them?” His sons, however, did not listen to their father’s rebuke, for it was the Lord’s will to put them to death.
26 And the boy Samuel continued to grow in stature and in favor with the Lord and with people.
27 Now a man of God came to Eli and said to him, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Did I not clearly reveal myself to your ancestor’s family when they were in Egypt under Pharaoh? 28 I chose your ancestor out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to go up to my altar, to burn incense, and to wear an ephod in my presence. I also gave your ancestor’s family all the food offerings presented by the Israelites. 29 Why do you scorn my sacrifice and offering that I prescribed for my dwelling? Why do you honor your sons more than me by fattening yourselves on the choice parts of every offering made by my people Israel?’
30 “Therefore the Lord, the God of Israel, declares: ‘I promised that members of your family would minister before me forever.’ But now the Lord declares: ‘Far be it from me! Those who honor me I will honor, but those who despise me will be disdained. 31 The time is coming when I will cut short your strength and the strength of your priestly house, so that no one in it will reach old age, 32 and you will see distress in my dwelling. Although good will be done to Israel, no one in your family line will ever reach old age. 33 Every one of you that I do not cut off from serving at my altar I will spare only to destroy your sight and sap your strength, and all your descendants will die in the prime of life.
34 “ ‘And what happens to your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, will be a sign to you—they will both die on the same day. 35 I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who will do according to what is in my heart and mind. I will firmly establish his priestly house, and they will minister before my anointed one always. 36 Then everyone left in your family line will come and bow down before him for a piece of silver and a loaf of bread and plead, “Appoint me to some priestly office so I can have food to eat.” ’ ”
The Lord Calls Samuel
3 The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions.
2 One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. 3 The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the house of the Lord, where the ark of God was. 4 Then the Lord called Samuel.
Samuel answered, “Here I am.” 5 And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down.
6 Again the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
"My son,” Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.”
7 Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.
8 A third time the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. 9 So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’ ” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
10 The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”
Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
11 And the Lord said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle. 12 At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family—from beginning to end. 13 For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons blasphemed God, and he failed to restrain them. 14 Therefore I swore to the house of Eli, ‘The guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.’ ”
15 Samuel lay down until morning and then opened the doors of the house of the Lord. He was afraid to tell Eli the vision, 16 but Eli called him and said, “Samuel, my son.”
Samuel answered, “Here I am.”
17 “What was it he said to you?” Eli asked. “Do not hide it from me. May God deal with you, be it ever so severely, if you hide from me anything he told you.” 18 So Samuel told him everything, hiding nothing from him. Then Eli said, “He is the Lord; let him do what is good in his eyes.”
19 The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground. 20 And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the Lord. 21 The Lord continued to appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word.
1. What made Eli’s sons evil?
2. What made Samuel good?
3. What message did God send Eli through a prophet?
4. Why did Samuel sleep near the ark of God (1 Samuel 3:3)?
5. Why did Eli direct Samuel to converse directly with God?
6. Put a ✔️ by messages you’d “Expect” or “Not Expect” from God.
Expect Not Expect
____ A. God loves you. ____
____ B. Jesus will return soon. ____
____ C. Judgment has started. ____
____ D. God’s people need to change. ____
____ E. Sexual promiscuity is a problem. ____
____ F. You have humility, courage, and faith. ____
____ G. You need humility, courage, and faith. ____
____ H. Other
7. Have you ever sensed that God has sent you a special message? If so, what was it?
8. What do you do when you get a message from God and:
You don’t like it.
You do like it.
It doesn’t matter much to you.
From his earliest memory, Samuel knew he was a miracle baby. Would he also be a miracle boy, youth, and adult? While God’s supernatural power would make the difference, Samuel needed to engage in God’s plan. This required humility, courage, and faith, which were qualities and practices in short supply at the time. Samuel followed the same development as Jesus when he was a young person—growing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and others (compare Luke 2:52 with 1 Samuel 2:26). Jesus calls young people today to do the same.
Samuel heard God calling him, but he didn’t recognize it as coming from God. Does God have messages for you? How would you know it if God were talking to you? For the application ideas this week, try one of these, or let it spark other ways for you to apply this week’s Scripture to your life.
God has already spoken—multiple times. We have hundreds of years of God’s messages, written for our benefit. According to 1 Corinthians 10:11, Paul’s reminder of God’s people through the wilderness serves as an example for us about what to do and what not to do. We can learn from both. According to Hebrews 1:1-2, God has spoken in many ways throughout history, and His clearest message came through the example of Jesus.
The same Holy Spirit who inspired the Bible writers with God’s messages continues to be active today. One way is through communicating to us as we read or hear God’s messages from the past. Another way is a direct message for us right now. To “hear” God’s voice now could easily require some practice, just like it took Samuel a while to catch on when God initiated communication directly with him.
The long development physically, mentally, spiritually, and socially happens with regular habits and practices, sustained over time. Just as people work out physically, they need the same thing to develop spiritually. Social interaction can be very, very difficult. Practice, adjust, apologize, listen, understand, affirm, challenge, support, take risks. Those who plateau in their teen years miss the tremendous opportunity for wholistic development during a key phase of life. Samuel and Jesus both took advantage of this fertile time, even though we have only a few examples of what was happening at this stage of their lives.
The Beliefs and Practices of Adventist Adolescents
Created by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
Do you want to know more about Adventist adolescents? So do we! It is so exciting to share the recent data from the 2017-18 Global Church Member Survey (GCMS) with you. This study encompassed 63,756 participants from 13 divisions; 7,490 of them (12% of the sample) were young people up to 20 years of age. Who are these Adventist adolescents? This book will tell us more about them. The data will shed light on key areas of their lives including where some improvements can help them continue to grow and thrive.
1. Food Care Kits For Homeless Shelters / Street Ministry
Help eliminate hunger. Purchase ready to eat and easy to open food items and assemble them in resealable plastic bags. Donate to shelters or use for street ministry.
Cost: Less than $10.00
2. Sleeping Mats For The Homeless
Re-use plastic bags for a great cause. Save plastic bags and convert them into a sleeping mat for the homeless.
Cost: Less than $5.00
3. Early Learning Bean Bags
Help small children learn at home. This easy sew bean bag craft can help children learn alphabets, numbers, or shapes.
Cost: Less than $5.00