Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Right perspective

The focal verse for Step 3 of LifeWay’s Explore the Bible lesson “Respond with Faith” is Job 1:8. The main point to me is that Job has a right perspective of good and evil, or God and Satan. No matter what happens in his life, He fears God and hates evil (Prov 8:13a).

Yesterday, I noted how people are quick to say, “he/she was a good person” when someone dies unexpectedly. Why? A belief exists that they didn’t deserve it (whereas if they were not a ‘good person’, the untimely death could be explain as ‘deserved’).

In this step, focus on contrasting Job’s right perspective about God and Satan verses that of people today when something bad happens. For example, people from Indonesia attribute their trouble to God. How do they know it didn’t come from Satan? On the other hand, Wendy Rietvelt “thought God’s hand protected (her son)” during an attack. Does this imply that God chose not to protect the other people who died in the attack? Did Satan guide the attackers? What would Job have said in these examples?

Which image has the right perspective?

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Good person killed

Step 2 of LifeWay’s Explore the Bible lesson “Respond with Faith” focuses on verses Job 1:1-3. What is the writer’s purpose in selecting Job with his piety and prosperity? We can infer from a Jewish perspective on Job that he was a righteous man.

Since Job was viewed as a righteous person, what explanation can we give for his life going wrong? If he was a ‘sinner’, for example, and something went wrong in his life, we might easily explain it. Right? Let something bad happen to a ‘righteous’ person, however, and explanations are not so easy to come by. In that case, more often than not, we tend to question God. We should question, however, human explanations for suffering.

How can we challenge members to see that their causal explanations might be in error? For example, collect several stories of people who have been killed recently and almost invariably, the story will quote someone saying, “he/she was a good person”. Ask, members why people feel compelled to mention, “he/she was a good person”?

Here are some example articles (look for the phrase “good person”).

Tampabay rapper
Good Samaritan
Kansas sheriff
Pittsburg pursuit

Try taking the good person test?

Monday, May 29, 2006

Acknowledge God as Lord

Step 1 introduces “Respond with Faith”, the start of a seven lesson series from Job. Interestingly, Wiley Richards, Mark Dunn and Jim Perdue comment on a similar lesson (from the Family Bible Series) back in October 2005. Richards says, “The unstated problem relates to why good people suffer.” Troy Bush, commenting on the current lesson (from the Explore the Bible Series) says, “Injustice and evil challenge our understanding of God more than anything else.”

Pope Benedict prayed at the Auschwitz concentration camp on Sunday about the Holocaust saying, “Why, Lord did you remain silent?” The article asserts, “It is of course an unanswerable question.” What do you think? Could this article, or others like it be used to introduce this first lesson from Job?

Saturday, May 27, 2006

What have you learned?

To conclude this last lesson "Praise Our Incomparable God" from our study of Isaiah and Micah, either summarize the overall lesson series using the unit titles: Trust in the Lord’s faithfulness and Find hope in God’s greatness, or allow class members to tell you what they learned over the past several months after studying Isaiah and Micah. Encourage members to leaf thru the two books for notes or underlined verses as a reminder of key lessons. What did God teach you as a result of studying the writings of these two prophets?

Friday, May 26, 2006

No one is like Him

Step 5 of “Praise Our Incomparable God” focuses on the characteristics of God described in Micah 7:18-20. No one is like Him. He described Himself to Moses in Exodus 34:6-7.

Make a list of God’s characteristics from these two passages, or select the list given here. Call on individuals to choose one of characteristics of God and praise Him for it. Mark off the entries as they are selected. The idea is to spend time praising God as a group.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

God's incomparable deeds

Step 4 of “Praise Our Incomparable God” focuses on God’s deeds promised in Micah 7:14-17. The LORD will work wondrous deeds as He shepherds Judah. The Babylonians will watch this in awe, speechless, powerless and afraid.

Hampton Road Baptist Church posted its lesson plan for “Praise Our Incomparable God”. I've reproduce it below since their link content changes each week. After riding out the backside of hurricane Rita lst year, I can somewhat relate to the plan's suggested introduction.

Supplemental Teaching Plan
May 28, Praise Our Incomparable God

Background Passage: Micah 1:1-7:20

Lesson Focal Passage: Micah 7:8-20


The study today encompasses the entire book of Micah. Although at first glance it may not look as if it is a single unit of prophecy, upon closer study it may be seen in this way. Micah prophesied during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. Micah’s prophecy revolves around Israel’s wickedness and subsequent exile in Babylon. The last thirteen verses of chapter 7, while still acknowledging Judah’s sin and impending punishment, promises a restoration of Israel’s fortunes. This is not the result of anything the people could do to earn God’s forgiveness, but because of His incomparable love and grace.

Ask, “Have any of you ever waited out a hurricane?” Hurricanes are among the most frightening events you can endure. Not only do the winds seem capable of destroying your home at any time, but you often lose power, running water, and even contact with the outside world. If that is not enough, they spawn many tornadoes. If you are fortunate enough to have a weather radio, you hear reports almost moment by moment of the destruction going on all around you. Yet when the hurricane passes completely by, it is followed by some of the calmest and most beautiful weather you can imagine. Say, “That is, on a small scale, what this passage of Scripture promises.” God assures the faithful remnant that, while they cannot earn reconciliation with Him—it is possible only through His grace. Their suffering and punishment will be only for a finite period. God will restore them because of His undying love for them. When the hurricane passes, calm sets in!

Open the class in prayer.

Micah 7:8-9:

Sin results in punishment. Why? Because God wants to show us who is boss? No! God is boss and He already knows that. He is comfortable with who He is and does not need to prove it to anyone, least of all us. God’s punishment is designed to teach us, to redeem us, and to enable us to see the course of action we need to take. This, in turn, frees Him from having to prove Himself. He can dispense grace—unmerited favor—without having to worry if we will respect Him or not. Because of that, we may, as Micah says of the people living in Jerusalem in the sixth century B. C., have to endure Hs rage when we sin against Him. However, we also have the assurance that He will establish justice for us, bring us into the light, and show us His salvation (verse 9). Even in the midst of the darkness of despair (verse 8), that light is shining just beyond the horizon. Let not those who see us encountering God’s chastisement misunderstand. God still loves us and will lift us up! We call these valley and mountaintop experiences. We love the mountaintop experiences, but were it not for the valleys; we might not appreciate those mountaintops.
Micah 7:10

This verse speaks to the sufficiency of God. It is God’s actions, not ours, that prove His power and glory. It is the love He has for us—our restoration after a failure—that heaps shame on our adversaries. It is not up to me to say, “I told you so.” God will triumph over those who mistreat us; it is not for us to retaliate. This is not an easy lesson to learn or to hold on to. When someone does me wrong, I want them to pay when I am exonerated. In fact, I want to be the vehicle of justice in that case. Unfortunately, God does not see it that way. He is our protector and the one who establishes justice for us (verse 9).

There is another point here, too. We are not the only ones who see God working in our lives. Those around us, many times who do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ, see how we react to those who would do us wrong, and they see if we really believe God can take care of us. What kind of message do our responses send?

Micah 7:11-13

The promise of these verses is the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem and the return of exiles from throughout the world, walls that had not yet fallen. The inclusion of Assyria and Egypt among the nations from which exiles will return is a reference to the northern tribes. In other words, Jerusalem will become a refuge not only to returning exiles from Judah, but from Ephraim as well. This return would mark the end of the power of the nations that had taken Israelites and Jews into captivity. The size and the prestige of Jerusalem would be enlarged as God began to use His chosen people and their capital city to reach out to all the nations of the earth. As a point of fact, this prophecy was fulfilled in the Maccabeean revolt which threw off the influence of the Greek and Persian rulers.

God promises us the same things in our Christian walk. Although there may be times of chastisement when we, as God’s people, sin; if we are faithful to repent of our sins and turn to Him, we will be restored. True repentance—and true restoration—results in the glorification of God’s name and an extension of His kingdom. God, in turn, deals with those who oppose us and will, if we trust Him, extend our ministry.

Micah 7:14-17

This is an answer to Micah’s prayer. God merely tells him to continue to shepherd God’s sheep. At the time, the people were dwelling in a wasteland, but that would not continue to be the case indefinitely. They WILL be restored. The land will again be fertile and the people will dwell in a close relationship with God as they had in Gilead and Bashan when they first approached the Promised Land after the Egyptian Exodus. Those nations that had troubled Israel would be brought low. Being forced out of hiding, they would grovel as snakes and tremble before the Lord. The imagery of this passage is indicative of things that would be familiar to the agrarian society to which Micah prophesied. Ask, “What kind of imagery might we use today? How might we restate this to speak to the city dwellers of 21st century America?” Allow some time for discussion. We might use terms like “you can run but you can’t hide” or “those people who treat Christians with contempt will be exposed for the cowards they really are.” The concepts are the same. Micah is not prophesying these things as literal events in the future of Israel as much as painting a mental or word picture to which the people would relate. When God is on our side, we don’t need to worry about the opposition—we outnumber them!

Micah 7:18-20:

The last three verses of this chapter place the entirety of Micah’s prophecy in perspective. God is awesome, glorious, and incomparable. Who else but God Himself can do what He does? Who else is willing to pay for our sinfulness Himself and overlook our rebelliousness? Who else, for the sake of saving a remnant for Himself is willing to let go of His anger and not hold a grudge? Who else, because of His own faithful love will have compassion on us, vanquish our trespasses and cast out our sins? God shows He is faithful even when we do not deserve it! All of these statements show that God loves us even when we are unlovable. While we often consider these things as part of the salvation process—God loved us while we were yet sinners, while we were in open rebellion against Him—they are also true of our ongoing walk with Him. I don’t know about you, but I’m not always lovable as a Christian. I know this is hard for most of you to imagine, but I can still be a stinker at times—ask Patsy! God continues to love us, forgive us, and restore us day after day and sin after sin. We stretch God’s love and compassion on a daily basis, but He continues to love us anyway. No one can compare to Him. I know I can’t! When someone treats me with far less contempt than I often show to my Lord, I have a hard time letting it go. Yet God continues to bear with me despite my many and varied shortcomings. Let us praise our incomparable God!


Give participants each a sheet of paper. Have them draw a line down the center of the page. On the left side, ask them to write: “Ways People Have Offended Me”. On the left hand side, ask them to write: “Ways I Offend God”. Have them each write three or four things on each side of the paper. Make sure they write the same number of items in each column (even if they can think of a lot more things to write in one column than the other). They should not share these items with those around them, not even with their spouses. Once they have written an equal number of items in each column, have them fold the paper where it cannot be seen and lay it aside. Voice a short prayer asking God to give participants the wisdom to see how they have failed God in the same ways others fail them. After closing the prayer have participants open their papers again. Say, “Look at your list again; but this time, reverse the headings. The ways others have offended you are, in most cases, exactly the ways you have sinned against God and, sadly, are the very things you are unwilling to forgive in others. Armed with this new perspective, let us pray as we leave today and in our quiet time this week that God will reveal those things for which we need to confess our sins against Him and for which we need to forgive others. Pick one pair (one on each side of the line) each day in your quiet time and ask God’s forgiveness and the ability to forgive the one against whom you hold this offense.

Close in prayer.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

God’s Incomparable Plan

Step 3 of “Praise Our Incomparable God” is based on Micah 7:11-13. In his lesson commentary, Pastor Jim McCullen mentions our incomparable God’s “control in rebuilding”.

Troy Bush’s lesson commentary uses the example of Charles Spurgeon’s focus on God to write prayers that praised God. Read one of the examples he cites.

Draw a clock with the numbers on the face, but draw no hands. Ask, “What time is Micah 7:11-13 in God’s plan?” Draw the appropriate hands showing that time (any future time). Have class members write a two-sentence prayer praising God for what He will do in the meantime and at that time. Ask selected members to read their prayer. You could skip the clock idea, and just ask members to write a prayer praising God based on Micah 7:11-13.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Matchless God of Wonder

Step 2 of “Praise Our Incomparable God” is based on Micah 7:8-10. Notice the following progressions in these verses:

(1) Judahite: fallen > sits > stands

(2) Babylonian: gloats > covered > trampled

(3) The Lord: lights > rages > brings

Match the following selected words from the same passage to their associated places in the correct progressions above.

(1) Sinned, Endures, Looks, (2) Says, Shamed, Sees, (3) Argues, Establishes, Saves

After doing so, point out the incomparability of the Lord's actions relative to the Judahites and Babylonians. Ask members to select one of the actions of the Lord that has personal meaning in their life. Lead the class in a brief time of prayer praising God for taking action member's lives.

P.S. Considering sending an ecard to your class members today praising God.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Incomparable God

In a 2002 survey of Protestant church congregants, George Barna found that only 2% thought that “praising God” was the most important worship outcome. This coupled with 1 Peter 2:9 indicates that we need to learn to “Praise Our Incomparable God”, which is the LifeWay lesson this week based on Micah 7:8-20. SonShine at provided study questions for the lesson that you can distribute to members in advance.

About halfway down in this article there are some helpful tips on learning to praise God, but I laughed at this Rat’s Tale of learning to praise God.

Consider having members read the focal passage and select what verse they consider to be the key verse (I like verse 18) that best encourages praise to God—the lesson aim. Jot down their answers and tally the one with the largest number of votes. Discuss how this particular verse encourages praise to God. Consider leading the class to memorize it.

An alternative is to put up a collage of pictures of items, places, or people that are supposedly incomparable (Google incomparable images). Ask “Are they truly incomparable in the sense that they cannot be compared with anything else in all creation?” The answer is no, and the claim of incomparability is more hype than reality. State that this lesson will help us learn to praise God because He truly is incomparable.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Grand Canyon

This week I returned from a 13-day rafting, camping and hiking trip in the Grand Canyon led by Drs. Steve Austin and Andrew Snelling from the Institute for Creation Research. The trip was organized Tom and Paula Vail of, and they contracted with Arizona River Runners to pull off a great experience.

After a couple of days of orientation sessions, about 30 new found friends put in at Lee’s Ferry (mile 0), and over the next nine days and nights we had loads of fun, great adventure and motivating Bible study before reaching our helicopter take point at mile 187. Here are a few of the hundreds of photos I took on the trip.

You might think it was all about running the river, shooting the rapids and enjoying the spectacle of the Grand Canyon, but the trip also included strong research and educational components. Great hikes bouldering in the side canyons ended in finding nautiloids, examining Day 3 rock, seeing the Great Unconformity up close, and observing an Indian archeological site.

In camp, the music was wonderful (check out Take Me to The River), the food was excellent, and sleeping out under the stars was unbeatable. The Bible studies were very inspiring and the friends I made were very encouraging.

Have you ever thought about the Grand Canyon’s creation from a Biblical perspective, or have you bought into the uniformitarian view of process formation over billions of years?

In 2 Peter 3:3-7, Peter wrote about a time when people would deliberately forget the Creator. Don’t make that mistake. Jesus turned water to wine instantly, healed the sick at a spoken word, and cast out demons by fiat. Accept Jesus as Creator as well as Lord and Savior.

If you’d like more discussion, send me email at ronnieward AT

Friday, May 19, 2006

Summary exercise

Check out “Get Real” lesson commentary by Lori Clendinning from First Church, Brandon, MS. Good overall summary.

To conclude the lesson, let the Holy Spirit work to change lives by having members first re-read the focal passages (Isaiah 58:3-14; Micah 6:6-8), and then have them select the best summary teaching from the following list (or make up your own list).

1. Showing devotion to God in religious services is not as important as serving others outside the church.

2. It is foolish to do evil and also think that religious acts are acceptable to the Lord. Joy in the Lord and prayers are answered following righteous living.

3. True fasting is to abstain from evil and meet the needs of others. The Lord blesses true fasting with answered prayers, healing and renown witness.

4. Blessing and joy in the Lord, His guidance and healing and renown witness accompany righteous living and humble service to others.

5. God blesses when evil deeds are forsaken and replaced with service to others.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The way to go

Step 4 of “Get Real” is founded on Isaiah 58:13-14. Reading the verses makes me think the Israelites might have had wrong intentions, but nevertheless, they were going about worshipping God the wrong way. Their agenda and focus got between them and God, so their worship was ineffectual. It’s like a football receiver who decided on his own to run a pass route different from what the coach called and then wondered why the quarterback didn’t throw him the ball. Disobedience does not lead to a happy life.

Use an illustration Jesus gave (Matt 5:14-16) and take a flashlight and a bowl to class. Turn the flashlight on and then cover it with the bowl. Make the point that the light from the flashlight affects only what’s inside the bowl--much like we do when we don’t venture outside the church in service to others.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Action illusion

Westside Baptist of Jacksonville posted their lesson plan for “Get Real”. I like its “walk the talk” angle. Step 3 of the LifeWay plan emphasizes actions to achieve “other focused service”. The key Bible verses are Isaiah 58:6-12; Micah 6:8. All of these urge Christians to avoid an illusion of action and really help others.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Showing up is only the first step

A demonstration of selfishness as an expression of devotion to God is illustrated in Step 2 of “Get Real” from Isaiah 58:3-5. It comes from a complaining, prideful people who EXPECT blessings from God on the basis of performing religious acts. Like a stage actor, they expect to be rewarded for performing, or like an employee who expects a raise just because he/she simply shows up. Showing up is only a first step.

Monday, May 15, 2006

La la land

To introduce this week’s lesson, “Get Real” based on Isaiah 58:3-14; Micah 6:6-8, read quotes from this article regarding “unrealistic expectations”. After some discussion, ask for examples of how we also have unrealistic expectations in the ways we demonstrate our devotion to God.

The challenge this week is to demonstrate our devotion to God by getting out of the pew and meeting the needs of someone else. This will take us out of our comfort zone and test our faith, prove our character and equip us with an experience to use in comforting others.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Encourage members by reminding them

Conclude “Accept God’s Free Offer” by challenging members not to fall victim to human reasoning that limit’s God offer of abundant life. To do this, I recommend reminding members of Peter’s last words in 2 Peter 1:15-2:3.

On another note, I thank God for how He continues to bless usage of this site. The StatCounter results for April again show a good increase over what happened in March.

Friday, May 12, 2006

The joy of the Lord

Step 5 of “Accept God’s Free Offer”, based on Isaiah 55:12-13, has mountains singing, trees clapping, and pine trees and myrtle growing in place of thorn bushes and briers. All illustrate the incredible joy creation will display when Israel returns to the Lord. The master of banquet fell victim to uniformitarian reasoning when he didn’t seek the Creator. As unbelievable as it might be according to human reasoning, the everlasting Lord will cause the mountains to sing, and the trees to clap when He expresses His joy at Israel’s return to Him.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

The one way, or the other

For Step 4, refer to last week’s lesson “Recognize God’s Ways” for more material to use in discussing the difference in God’s ways verses man’s ways (Isaiah 55:8-11).

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Come on back

For lack of time this week I’m reluctantly sticking with the LifeWay teaching plan for “Accept God’s Free Offer.” Step 3 is based on Isaiah 55:6-7. When the text says, “return” in verse 7, does that imply the wicked and sinful once worshipped the Lord and now only need to get back to where they belong? Does this text apply to a Christian going backwards, or to a lost person who has never confessed faith in the Lord?

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Glorified? Can that be true?

I use Step 2 suggested in the LifeWay Leader guide (p.114) to focus on verses Isaiah 55:1-5, although you may want to have your mock salesman read from the Message paraphrase instead.

Are you skeptical of a “free offer”? Why? You might want to discuss opportunities that sound too good to be true.

Monday, May 08, 2006

A special for sure

I don’t particularly like LifeWay’s suggestion to use a “sales” situation to characterize the choice to accept the Lord as God. Do you? Nevertheless, for lack of time this week, I plan to use Step 1 in the Leader Guide (p. 113) to introduce this week’s Explore the Bible lesson, “Accept God’s Free Offer,” from Isaiah 55:1-13. To get men more involved, discuss why “Favre's sales pitch not good enough” failed.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

My sheep hear my voice

Step 6 concludes “Recognize God’s Ways” by considering God’s present work in the lives of class members. Is someone in the class currently mistreated, or suffering? Is God’s hand discernable in the situation? Based on this lesson, how do you recognize God’s ways in the situation? Can you recognize the voice of Jesus?

Friday, May 05, 2006

Godly rewards

Step 5 of “Recognizing God’s Ways” calls for us to understand that God rewards faithful service. Based on Isaiah 53:10-12, this last point underscores the major blessings the Servant receives from God. Do you believe God will reward a Christian’s faithfulness? How so?

Christians identify with Christ through baptism, which symbolizes His death, burial and resurrection. Will they be rewarded in some way other than knowing God and experiencing eternal life with Him?

According to Bobby Welch, North American Mission Board, the New Testament indicates five things that seem to be grounds for heavenly rewards:

1) Soul winning (see 1 Thess. 2:19)
2) The love of Jesus’ second coming (see 1 Tim. 4:8)
3) Enduring trials (see Jas. 1:12)
4) Victory over the old nature (see 1 Cor. 9:25)
5) Feeding the flock (see 1 Pet. 5:4)

Also, James McCullen, pastor Liberty Baptist Church, discusses the five crowns promised in the Bible. Take time to send an email to Jim thanking him for posting his sermon text on-line.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Unjust suffering

Step 4 of “Recognize God’s Ways” is based on Isaiah 53:7-9 and emphasizes that “God may use undeserved suffering” as a means to reach people. Jesus also suffered unjustly as an example for us according to 1 Peter 2:21-24. Read Genesis 39-40 to see how Joseph suffered unjustly as an illustration of God’s ways.

When we suffer unjustly (say from false accusation), we can better identify with Christ by growing more like Him. John Piper explains How to Suffer for Doing What is Right. Take note of his discussion of 1 Peter 2:19 to explain why one is able to bear unjust suffering.

Cover the following simple True/False quiz taken from here.

T F You should never try to escape from unjust suffering (Luke 4:28-30; Acts9:23-25, 28-30. Also Matthew 2:13-15; Acts 12:6-11, 23:1-10)

T F God intends any suffering you experience and does not want to pray for or seek escape from it. (Psalm 109:21-31; 116:1-11; Matthew 26:39, 41.)

T F You may always seek to know what purpose God might have for your suffering. (Proverbs 16:4; John 15:15.)

T F There is no such thing as unjust suffering; you are a sinner, so you deserve your suffering. (Matthew 2:16, Luke 13:1-5, John 15:18-19, 2Timothy 3:13.)

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Surprising means

Step 3 of “Recognize God’s Ways” asserts that “God may use unexpected means” to reach us. Incredibly, according to Isaiah 53:4-6, the “arm of the LORD” was purposely sacrificed. Man’s ways intended harm, but God used the result to bring salvation to many (Genesis 50:20).

Write the word altruism in large letters and ask members what the word means. What is the give and what’s the gain in this “give to gain” situation, or this one? Can you identify sacrifices made by others (they willing give up something they value) for your benefit? A parent? A friend? A co-worker? A doctor? A nurse? A peace officer? Make a list of the sacrifices (objects of value) as members call them out.

Idle question: would you give up a kidney to save the life of someone you love?

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Surprising people

Step 2 asserts that “God may use the unlikely” in teaching us to learn to “Recognize God’s Ways”. Based on Isaiah 53:1-3, Jesus was incorrectly judged as an unlikely Servant because of wrong expectations. Consider illustrating this using the wrong expectations people had of Jesus as presented in Luke 4:21-32.

Think about how an encounter with an unexpected person can surprise us? Do you think it was a coincidence? Did God, a family member, a co-worker, or a complete stranger last surprise you? What do you think of this Mother Theresa Story?

Think of someone has inspired you with qualities you admire and wish you had. Is God working in your life thru that person? Considering creating a class appreciation tree identifying such people for members of your class.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Distinctive ways

The LifeWay Explore the Bible lesson for May 7 is "Recognize God's Ways". Covering Isaiah 43:1-53:12, the lesson passage comes from Isaiah 53:1-12. While there are many life applications in the background passage, LifeWay chose the lesson title and aim to fit in the broader unit theme of Finding Hope in God’s Greatness.

This week’s lesson is about recognizing God’s distinctive ways, His ways of acting to accomplish His purposes. To introduce the lesson show this video of a comic imitating President Bush (avoid political discussion). Ask members to identify the subtle signature moves the comic makes to help the audience recognize that he is imitating the President.

As you read Isaiah 53 in its entirety ask members to contemplate the subtle, distinctive ways of God revealed in the passage. Have members call these out examples and make a list on a marker board. Afterwards, read Isaiah 55:8.