Conversation Starters: John the Baptist- Single-Minded Focus
Posted by Karah
THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Self-centered living defines this world. The rationale for many is that, if this life is all there is, you should do all you can to enjoy it for yourself. Exalt yourself and try to give yourself significance. But this life is not all there is, and we are not the centers of our own little universe. It’s all about Jesus Christ. When we encounter Christ and choose Him over ourselves, we truly find significance.
Bible Character: John the Baptist
1 Kings 18:1-2, 41-46
LIFE POINT: No rain had fallen for a long time. Plants would not grow. People and animals needed food to eat and water to drink. God told Elijah, “I will send rain. Go and tell the king.” After Elijah told the king, Elijah and his helper went up to the top of a mountain. Elijah talked to God. Elijah asked God to send rain. Elijah told his helper to go and look toward the sea. The helper
looked but saw no clouds.“Go back,” Elijah said. One, two, three, four, five, six times, Elijah told his helper to look. On the seventh time, Elijah’s helper saw a very small cloud out over the sea. It was about the size of a man’s hand. Elijah knew God had heard his prayer. Soon there were more dark clouds in the sky. The wind began to blow. Rain began to fall. The rain fell just as God had promised.
LIVE IT OUT: Help your child learn to pray. Let her hear you pray. Offer opportunities for her to pray. Instead of memorized prayers, encourage your child to use her own words to talk to God.
1 Kings 19:1-8
LIFE POINT: The king told the queen that Elijah had called on God and God sent fire down from heaven. The prophets of the idol Baal were dead. The queen was angry! She sent a message to Elijah. The message warned Elijah that she would find him and kill him. Elijah was afraid. He ran away and traveled for a day in the wilderness. He was tired. He sat under a tree and prayed to die.
Elijah went to sleep under the tree. An angel woke him. The angel said, “Get up and eat.” Elijah saw a loaf of bread and a jug of water. He ate and drank. Then he went back to sleep! The angel came back. He woke Elijah again. “Get up and eat. If you don’t, the trip may be too hard for you.” Elijah got up. He ate and drank. Elijah felt stronger. In fact, he was able to walk for 40 days and 40 nights! He walked to the mountain of God.
LIVE IT OUT: Help your child think of times she is afraid. Talk about what she can do when she is afraid—say a prayer or recite a Bible verse. Help her memorize Psalm 46:1. This verse will assure her that God has the power to protect her.
John 1:26-34; 3:26-30
THE POINT: Christ-centered living chooses to exalt Christ, not self.
• If you could be a spokesperson for any product, what would it be?
• How does our culture determine who is important or worthy of attention?
• What are some key moments that have shaped your understanding of Jesus?
• What are some symptoms of a life that is self-focused?
Discuss the following quote:
“John the Baptist never performed any miracles. Yet, he was greater than any of the Old Testament prophets.” ¹ —Leonard Ravenhill
LIVE IT OUT: Encourage your student to take practical steps to take his or her faith and Live It Out. Here are some ways you can encourage your students to live out their faith with Christ personally, in community, and in their culture:
• CHRIST: Discuss with your student ways in which he or she can decrease self in order to make more room for Christ. Pray daily that your student would allow Christ to increase in his or her life.
• COMMUNITY: Ensure that your student has an accountability partner. If not, help him or her find a friend to fill this role.
• CULTURE: God has called us to impact people for the kingdom. Create a list of ways you and your student can be an expression of who God has made you to be based on your personality, style, and gifts.
¹. Leonard Ravenhill, “Leonard Ravenhill Quotes,” AZ Quotes, [accessed 6 March 2017]. Available from the Internet: http://www.azquotes.com/quote/670194.