Resources of Apostolic Kingdom Youth Forum have been designed around the first 42 lessons of ABC Ministries.
These have been arranged in modules to facilitate the spiritual teaching environment. They attempt to answer many of the questions that are being asked of the present day church.
God’s expectation of parents & spiritual leaders:
BIBLE READING: Deuteronomy 6:1-25
KEY BIBLE VERSE: ‘And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. (Deuteronomy 6:6-7)
This passage provides the central theme of Deuteronomy. It sets a pattern that helps us relate the Word of God to our daily life.
We are to love God, think constantly about his commandments, teach his commandments to our children, and live each day by the guidelines in his Word. God emphasized the importance of parents teaching the Bible to their children. The church and Christian schools cannot be used to escape from this responsibility. The Bible provides so many opportunities for object lessons and practical teaching that it would be a shame to study it only one day a week.
Eternal truths are most effectively learned in the loving environment of a God-fearing home. Spiritual education must become life-oriented, not information-oriented.
The key to teaching your children to love God is stated simply and clearly in these verses.
If you want your children to follow God, you must make God a part of your everyday experiences. You must teach your children diligently to see God in all aspects of life, not just those that are church related.
BIBLE READING: Ephesians 6:1-4 KEY BIBLE VERSE: And now a word to you fathers. Don’t make your children angry by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction approved by the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4)
God’s Expectations of children:
BIBLE READING: 1 Timothy 4:1-16
KEY BIBLE VERSE: ‘Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you teach, in the way you live, in your love, your
faith, and your purity. (1 Timothy 4:12)
Timothy was a young pastor. It would be easy for older Christians to look down on him because of his youth. He had to earn the respect of his elders by setting an example in his speech, life, love, faith, and purity
Regardless of your age, God can use you. Whether you are young or old, don’t think of your age as a handicap. Live so others can see Christ in you.
Who are God’s children?
BIBLE READING: John 1:1-13
KEY BIBLE VERSE: vs 12-13
12: ‘But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name
13: ‘who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God’
They are reborn!
This is not a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan - this rebirth comes from God.
All who welcome Jesus Christ as Lord of their lives are reborn spiritually, receiving new life from God.
Through faith in Christ, this new birth changes us from the inside out - rearranging our attitudes, desires, and motives.
Being born makes you physically alive and places you in your parents’ family and in God’s family.
Have you asked Christ to make you a new person?
This fresh start in life is available to all who believe in Christ.
BIBLE READING: 1 John 3:1-10
KEY BIBLE VERSE: vs 1
‘Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!
Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him’.
See how very much our Heavenly Father loves us, for He allows us to be called His children, and we really are!
But the people who belong to this world don’t know God, so they don’t understand that we are His children.
Who is God’s family?
Paul uses adoption or ‘sonship’ to illustrate the believer’s new relationship with God.
In Roman culture, the adopted person lost all rights in his old family and gained all the rights of a legitimate child in his new family.
He became a full heir to his new father’s estate. Likewise, when a person becomes a Christian, he or she gains all the privileges and responsibilities of a child in God’s family.
One of these outstanding privileges is being led by the Spirit: (see Galatians 4:5-6).
We may not always feel as though we belong to God, but the Holy Spirit is our witness.
His inward presence reminds us of who we are and encourages us with his love We are no longer cringing and fearful slaves; instead, we are the Master’s children.
What a privilege! Because we are God’s children, we share in great treasures as coheirs.
God has already given us his best gifts: His Son, forgiveness, and eternal life; and he encourages us to ask Him for whatever we need.
BIBLE READING: Luke 18:15-17
KEY BIBLE VERSE: vs 16 and 17
16: ‘Jesus called them to Him and said, ‘let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the Kingdom of God’
17: ’Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it’.
It was customary for a mother to bring her children to a rabbi for a blessing, and that is why these mothers gathered around Jesus.
The disciples, however, thought the children were unworthy of the Master’s time - they were less important than whatever else he was doing.
But Jesus welcomed them because little children have the kind of faith and trust needed to enter God’s kingdom.
It is important that we introduce our children to Jesus and that we ourselves approach Him with childlike attitudes of acceptance, faith, and trust.
What did Jesus think of children?
BIBLE READING: Matthew 18:2-6
KEY BIBLE VERSE: vs 2-3
2: ‘. . . Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them,
3: and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the Kingdom of Heaven’.
Entering heaven and greatness in heaven are keyed to childlikeness. Jesus thought childhood extremely important to attach such significance to it.
16: ‘And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them’.
Jesus wanted to make it clear that children are special in His eyes. He blessed them as a father would bless his sons. If Jesus had such a high regard for all children, shouldn’t we also have a high regard for them?
What kind of relationship does God want parents and children to have?
BIBLE VERSE: Ephesians 6:1-4
1: ‘Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right’.
Don’t make your children angry by the way you scold them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction approved by the Lord.
BIBLE VERSE: Proverbs 22:6
6: ‘Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it’.
Parents are God’s shepherds for their children, commissioned to guide them, nurture them, care for them, clothe them, feed them, and help them come to know the Lord.
How can I most effectively teach my child about God and his ways?
BIBLE VERSE: Deuteronomy 11:18-19
18: ‘Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.
19: ‘You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up’.
BIBLE VERSE: Proverbs 22:6
6: ‘Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it’.
BIBLE VERSE: Exodus 10:2
2: ‘……that you may tell in the hearing of your son and your son’s son the mighty things I have done in Egypt, and My signs which I have done among them, that you may know that I am the Lord’
As parents, we have the remarkable privilege of living what we want our children to learn (role modelling), sharing God’s truth we want them to hear (precepts), guide them in which way to go (choices), and then watch with joy as our work continues to future generations.
Why are stories used so much with children?
Storytelling is an age-old method instituted by God, proven by people of all generations, and always accepted by children.
Promise from God
BIBLE VERSE: Isaiah 59:21
21: ‘ . . . My Spirit will not leave them, and neither will these words I have given you. They will be on your lips and on the lips of your children and your children’s children forever’.
What biblical principles apply specifically to youth?
BIBLE READING: 1 Samuel 2:18-26
KEY BIBLE VERSE: 1 Samuel 2:18
18: ‘….Samuel ministered before the Lord, even as a child, wearing a linen ephod’.
In choosing his servants, God is more interested in willingness than in age. Samuel was a young child, and yet he was called ‘the Lord’s helper’.
Children can often serve God quite effectively. God will use anyone who is willing to learn from Him and serve Him. He has no age limits. Don’t discount the faith of a child or let your age keep you from serving God.
BIBLE READING: Ecclesiastes 12:1-8
KEY BIBLE VERSE: Ecclesiastes 12:1
1: ‘Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come, and the years draw near when you say I have no pleasure in them’.
Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator. Honour Him in your youth before you grow old and no longer enjoy living.
Youth is a good time to begin and develop a relationship with God
A life cantered around God is fulfilling; because of the hope of eternal life. Being young is exciting. But the excitement of youth can become a barrier to closeness with God if it makes young people focus on passing pleasures instead of eternal values. Make your strength available to God when it is still yours - during your youthful years. Don’t waste it on evil or meaningless activities that become bad habits and make you callous. Seek God now.
BIBLE READING: Luke 2:41-52
KEY BIBLE VERSE: Luke 2:51-52
51: ‘Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart.
52: ‘And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and in favour with God and men’.
Jesus returned to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them; and his mother stored all these things in her heart. So Jesus grew both in height and in wisdom, and he was loved by God and by all who knew him.
Jesus is the perfect model of surviving the youthful years
The four items used to identify his teen years are general enough to use in any young person’s life. What a great achievement to arrive at about twenty years of age and have your life summarized as growing ‘in height and in wisdom’, and being ‘loved by God and by all who knew him’!
Who is a disciple of Jesus?
A disciple is someone who follows another person or way of life. A disciple submits himself to the discipline or teaching of that leader or way.
In the Bible the term ‘disciple’ is almost always found in the Gospels and the Book of Acts.
A few times in the Old Testament the word is translated ‘learned’ and ‘taught’. Wherever there is a teacher and those taught, the idea of discipleship is present. In the Gospels the immediate followers of Jesus are called ‘disciples’. The twelve were called by Jesus’ authority from a wide variety of circumstances, but all those who approved of His teachings and were committed to Him are called ‘disciples’.
The calling of these disciples took place at a time when other teachers had their disciples. The disciples of Jesus had a unique experience. They benefited from the immediate teaching of Jesus, His looks and tones of voice (Mark 10:21) as well as His words.
But they also witnessed the unfolding drama of redemption that had Christ as its centre. They followed a teacher who was the substance of that teaching. The first disciples could be taught by Christ only little by little.
(Luke 22:24-30) This group of disciples came to be known as the apostles. This term was later given a wider meaning, for example, Saul of Tarsus was added. He was converted on the road to Damascus. He saw the risen Lord and was immediately commissioned by Christ (Galatians 1:12, 16); as the apostle to the Gentiles (Acts 9:15).
At the time of His ascension Christ commissioned the first disciples to ‘make disciples of all nations’ (Matthew 28:19). Hence, the term ‘disciple’ is also used in the book of Acts to describe believers - all those who confess Christ. Naturally, they have not been directly called by Christ Himself.
But such disciples are called by Christ’s Spirit through the message delivered by the first disciples. Disciples called later are not in any sense inferior to the first disciples.
It was proper for early Christians to be called disciples of Jesus of Nazareth or simply ‘the disciples’ (Acts 6:1-2, 7; 9:36;11:26).
This is because they were carrying on the teaching of Jesus and following His example. They were thus recognized as a ‘school’ or living community that reflected the teaching of their ‘master’ in practice. The book of 1 John shows that only those who keep Christ’s commandments show real love for God (1 John 2:3-6; 3:10-11).
Who is an Apostle of Jesus?
An apostle is a person sent with a special message. Apostleship refers to the duties of those who served as an apostle.
The Greek word for apostle is not used outside the New Testament in the same sense it is in the New Testament. It is derived from a sailing term, the verb ‘to send’. It means a particular ship or group of ships, a marine expedition or the leader of such. It doesn’t speak of authority, just an understanding of something being sent.
In the New Testament, the word was used to point out those who had been sent by Jesus with the message of the gospel. From among the wider group of those who followed Him, Jesus selected twelve men (Matthew 10:1-4; Mark 3:13-19; Luke 6:12-16).
These men maintained a particularly close relationship with Him. They received private instruction and witnessed His miracles and controversy with the Jewish authorities.
On one occasion, Jesus sent these men out to preach the message of repentance. They were also told to cast out demons and to heal the sick as Jesus himself was doing (Matthew 10:1-15; Mark 6:7-13, 30; Luke 9:1-6).
This relationship is expressed in the saying:
‘He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me” (Luke 10:16, compare with Matthew 10:40).
The Twelve were not merely to pass Jesus’ teachings on but to represent his very person.
Although the Gospels call the same people ‘disciples’ and ‘apostles’ (Mark 3:7, 14, 20), the terms are not synonyms. Disciple means ‘pupil, learner’; apostle means ‘representative,’ in the sense of one who is sent with the full authority of the sender.
The apostles were agents of God’s revelation of the truths that would become the Christian rule of faith and life.
As such, and through Christ’s appointment of them as His authorized representatives (2 Cor. 10:8; 13:10), the apostles exercised a unique and functional authority in the infant church.