Determination is a response of the character of God.
Throughout Scripture, we can discover that God has been faithful to His people. He rescued them from slavery in Egypt. He sent Jesus to rescue us from our sin. He remained faithful to the early church as they spread the message of Jesus throughout the world. When we see how God gave His people what they needed to continue following Him, we can respond with determination believing that God will give us what we need to finish what we start.
Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to help us have determination.
When Jesus gave His disciples the incredible mission of spreading the message of the Gospel throughout the world, He didn’t make them do it alone. Instead, He sent the Holy Spirit to empower them to show faith and determination in the face of whatever might happen along the way. When we put our faith in Jesus, the Holy Spirit empowers us to finish what we start.
We think it’s important for us to help our kids and families discover more about determination—deciding it’s worth it to finish what you started.
Our Memory Verse for May comes from Galatians 6:9.
In Galatians 6:9, we read, “Let us not become tired of doing good. At the right time we will gather a crop if we don’t give up” (NIrV). When Paul wrote this verse to the church at Philippi, he encouraged the followers of Jesus to show determination and keep doing good. We may not see results right away, but in time, God will help us see that finishing what we started was worth all of the effort.
Let’s see how determination shows up in the early church and the first followers of Jesus as they worked to accomplish the mission He had for them.
We start our discussion about determination in Acts 3 and 4. Peter and John are arrested for healing a man and teaching about Jesus. They are brought before the Sanhedrin where they tell them to stop talking about Jesus or face severe consequences. Peter and John show determination as they proclaim that nothing can keep them from talking about Jesus.
Bottom Line: Keep going even when it gets hard. Life will be difficult. As much as we might try, we can’t escape hardships. But in those times, we can trust God to give us what we need to show determination and keep going.
In Acts 10, Peter was a Jewish follower of Jesus. Cornelius was a Roman commander. These two were unlikely friends even in the best of circumstances. But through a couple of visions, these two men were about to cross paths. And through this meeting, Peter discovered the mission Jesus gave the disciples was way bigger than he originally thought.
Bottom Line: Keep going even when the job is bigger than you think. There are times we start a job and soon realize that it will be a much larger endeavor. Our first instinct might be to give up all together, but we need to keep going. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can push through and show determination right up until the end.
In Ephesians 6:10-18, we read a portion of a letter Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus. The early church is feeling attacked from all sides, and Paul encourages them by reminding them how the Holy Spirit can help them. We have armor that stand against anything that we might face in this world.
Bottom Line: God gives you what you need to keep going. We pray that through this lesson, kids will realize all they have available to them right now to help them show determination when they feel like giving up.
Finally, we head to Revelation 21:1-8, 22-27 and 22:1-5. John’s vision of the New Heaven and New Earth is an encouragement to anyone facing trials in their life. Through Jesus, we have the opportunity to spend forever with God in a world where there is no sorrow or pain or suffering and where our hope in Jesus is fully realized.
Bottom Line: Keep going because God knows the end of the story. Showing determination in the face of difficult situations is never easy. However, because of Jesus we have a hope that God will make all things new and someday everything will make sense once and for all. God does know the end of the story, and we can trust Him no matter what.
*Taken from 252 Basic Orange Curriculum May 2017 overview