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SEEK® is a magazine created to encourage adults in their walk with Jesus Christ. SEEK® corresponds to the topics of Standard Publishing’s adult curriculum line and is designed to further apply these topics to everyday life.
How to write to this theme list: Please read the Scriptures listed so that you know what will be studied in class. Listed are the aims of the lesson
the points of the lesson that students will apply to life. Your story or article will be an example of how someone did or can apply these points to real life. REMEMBER TO MARK ON THE MANUSCRIPT THE ISSUE NUMBER AND DATE FOR WHICH IT IS BEING WRITTEN. Word count: 850 minimum, 1000 maximum. (Manuscripts without this information will be rejected as not written to theme.) Use the King James Version when quoting Scripture.
decision will be made on any manuscript prior to the submission due cutoff
date. Please e-mail your submissions to email@example.com.
Quarter titles for Summer 2014: Unit 1, Jesus and the Davidic Covenant (Issues 14); Unit 2, What the Prophets Foretold (Issues 59); Unit 3, Jesus’ Use of Scripture (Issues 1013).
Issue 1: Obey the Lordom (Do What Is Required)
June 1, 2014
Scripture: Haggai 1:1-11
Lesson Aim: In today’s text, the people had not put God’s work first, and their own lives had suffered. That brings to mind Matthew 6:33. Explore how the church community as a whole can put God’s work first. The Jews had neglected “God’s house”describe what that would look like today, and give steps that will help readers avoid the problem. If your church has a good system of getting members involved, share that plan. Imagine some excuses the Jews might have given for postponing the building of the templeand compare those to modern-day excuses for not being involved in the Lord’s work. What would it be like if “the church doors are always open”? What does a “buzz” around a church building say to the
Issue 2: Trust God’s Promises (Build for the Future)
June 8, 2014
Scripture: Haggai 1:122:9
Lesson Aim: Research some Scriptures that show what God promises when we obey. God conveyed this encouragement to the people: “Be strong . . . and work: for I am with you. . . . Fear ye not” (2:4, 5). When we are afraid we can’t measure up to the task, how do we press on anyway? Show how a leader can inspire perseverance. God’s people are expected to undertake difficult projects for God’s glory with the confidence that God is with them. Share other Bible accounts that illustrate that idea, and discuss how to know God is with us. Explore the idea of cause and effect as relates to
obedience and blessing/prosperity.
Issue 3: Live Pure Lives (Live Honorable Lives)
Jume 15, 2014 (Father's Day)
Scripture: Haggai 2:10-19
Lesson Aim: Tell a true story of a time when “big” roles and “little” roles combined to make a big difference. There’s a subplot in this passage: you can’t ride on someone else’s holiness (you must have your own), but sin does contaminate othersdig into that idea. According to this account, the people’s unproductive lives were directly related to their disobedience. Does God still work that way today? Caution readers about just going through the motions for God; it’s about motive/attitude of the heart. Illustrate how to be patient (and continue to do the right thing) even when we don’t see immediate results. How could getting things in order for the church family spill over into putting your own house in order? Share stories of how the church can nurture specific groups of people (international students, single-parent families, people with handicaps, the elderly, etc.).
Issue 4: Hope for a New Day (Expect Success)
June 22,, 2014
Scripture: Haggai 2:23; Zechariah 4:1-3, 6-14
Lesson Aim: Expound on the key verse: “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6). Use true stories to illustrate impacthow something seemingly local had far-reaching (worldwide?) effect. Things are not always as they seemprove from Scripture that our work for God has eternal implications, no matter what. If you know a story of a church starting over, rededicating their building, detail the whys and wherefores.
Issue 5: Pursue Unity in Christ (Let’s All Get Along)
June 29,, 2014
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 1:10-17; 3:4-9
Lesson Aim: Do you know of a church that successfully avoided a church split? Tell that story. Write something like “The Top 10 Ways to Promote
Unity in Your Church,” using Scripture for each point. Starting from the verse “The Lord has assigned to each his task” (v. 5, NIV), suggest ways
readers can be content with their roles and not jealous of those in more prominent/“important” roles. Remind readers that matters of doctrine are
crucial but matters of opinion should not be cause for disunity. Use Scripture to teach how we all are working for God and should be careful of too
much devotion to human leaders.
Issue 6: Glorify God with Your Body (Do No Harm)
July 6, 2014
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 6:12-20
Lesson Aim: With the Lord’s own blood, He bought each of us individually (v. 20) and the church as a whole (Acts 20:28)explore that connection
(note that in 1 Corinthians 3 the “temple” is the church as a whole; in today’s text, the individual’s body). Using statistics (please note your sources)
and examples from TV and movies and closer-to-home stories, document the increased sexual laxness in our culture, even among Christians; also use
statistics and Scripture to prove how that harms the witness of the church.
Issue 7: Exercise Freedom with Caution (Love Builds Up)
July 13, 2014
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 8
Lesson Aim: Contrast the idea of “freedom in Christ” with obeying God’s rules. Americans’ tendency to think first of “our rights” doesn’t work well
with the idea of making sacrifices to do/not do what would be the most beneficial to other people involved; provide help for readers. This text lends
itself to a missionary story of new Christians coming out of pagan backgrounds having problems with certain behaviors/rituals/customs OR
missionaries themselves who must decide what message it sends if a Christian participates in local religious festivals, etc. Explore the question, “If
Christians keep lowering the bar of our standards . . . what’s next?” Give case studies of people who took seriously the responsibility of being a good
example. Write a he said/she said (in dialogue form), arguing whether certain controversial (but not specifically God-commanded) issues are right or
Issue 8: Overcome Temptation (Strength to Meet Temptation)
July 20, 2014
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 10:6-22
Lesson Aim: We’re being strongly warned with the “do nots” in the first few verses of today’s textyet they contain something as seemingly
harmless as grumbling (murmuring); discuss “big” and “little” temptations and illustrate with other Bible accounts or modern-day accounts. Verse 20
speaks of participating with demons. With that in mind, explore the seemingly harmless, tempting, exotic aspects of the world religions (for example
Kabbalah bracelets, statues of Hindu gods, Zen Buddhist gardens, Reiki . . .). Document your research, and use Scripture to show God’s view of false
religions. Write something like “The Top 10 Scripture Weapons to Defeat Temptation.”
Issue 9: Seek the Good of Others (Build Up Your Neighbor)
July 27, 2014
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 14:13-26
Lesson Aim: Isn’t Paul saying that teaching the Word is the most powerful witness to unbelievers (though we tend to want to produce signs and
wonders)? Share true stories of unbelievers who were convicted by the Scripture. Verse 26 seems to be saying that whatever we want to share in a
worship service should be about helping and not about showing off or bringing attention to ourselves; encourage readers to examine their motives for
service/participation. In verses 24, 25 Paul indicates that if a worship service is done right, unbelievers in the crowd will see God’s hand and come to
faithso offer suggestions to help all worshippers. Recently there has been an increased interest in spiritual “experiences” and with it, the sense that
people who have those experiences are spiritually superior; describe the dangers of relying on subjective experiences over the objective Word of
Issue 10: Comfort in Times of Trouble (Does Anyone Care?)
August 3, 2014
Scripture: 2 Corinthians 1:3-11
Lesson Aim: As relates to comfort, explore the idea of “paying it forward”God comforts us in trouble; we pass it on. Interview several people who
were able to help others with what they themselves had learned in tough times (be specific; use their words). Severe hardships like Paul mentions
(“so great a death”/ “deadly peril”) should make us rely on God; help readers examine their own reliance on God. Write something like “7 Ways to
Know That the Lord Cares.” (A subplot might be that within the church community there is always someone who can sympathize but the Lord is the
only one who can truly understand.) How does God comfort?list other Bible accounts that describe how God sent comfort/consolation. Dissect a
psalm or two in which the psalmist cried out for God’s comfort.
Issue 11: Forgiveness and Restoration (Restored Relationships)
August 10, 2014
Scripture:2 Corinthians 1:232:11
Lesson Aim: Verses 10, 11 seem to indicate that Satan takes advantage, has the upper hand, if we’re in the position of not forgiving; caution readers
about the seriousness of not forgiving. The word forgive is often applied to little human foibles that should merely be excused/overlooked. But since
the Lord’s forgiveness required shedding of blood, talk about forgiveness in terms of big things and help readers more easily overlook little irritations
(this could be done in the form of a self-evaluation quiz). Some R words might be useful subheads for an article on today’s themes: responsibility,
restoration, relationship, reconciliation. Explain your church’s approach to church discipline. Discuss how these procedures balance the seriousness
of an offense against biblical teachings about grace and forgiveness. People hesitant to forgive sometimes fear the offender is being let off the hook;
show from Scripture what forgiveness isand is not.
Issue 12: Treasure in Clay Jars (Down but Not Out)
Scripture: 2 Corinthians 4:1-15
Lesson Aim: Contrast the popular New Age idea that all people have “the power within” with the scriptural teaching that the Holy Spirit is the “power
within” believers (document your information). Illustrate the four “we are . . . but not” phrases in verses 8, 9 with a true success story of each. Why
did Paul think it was worth it to suffer/endure all he did?why didn’t he just quit and go work in the library or grow flowers? How do you know
when your “clay jar” is about to break and when to keep pressing on? In verse 6 Paul describes his ministry in terms of glorious light, but two verses
later begins to describe the extreme hardships involved. Can one’s work be both the best and the worst?“Extreme Ministry” would be a possible
title for that one.
Issue 13: An Appeal for Reconciliation (Addressing Tensions)
August 24, 2014
Scripture: 2 Corinthians 6:1-13; 7:1-4
Lesson Aim: You can do your bestcan even be rightand still be misunderstood/criticized/not credited. Pose that problem to several Christian
friends and report on how they’ve handled such situations. The layout of today’s text lends itself to all sorts of good/bad lists, like “Even though I do
____, _____ might still happen.” Write about that. A phrase from 2 Corinthians 2:1, “another painful visit” (NIV), indicates Paul’s heaviness in his
relationship with this church. That would make a good title for an article about trying to make amends. List ways to scripturally address problems
rather than ignoring them. When we think of wanting even the “worst” of people to be reconciled to God, it should help us make an effort to be
reconciled to each other over far less significant differences; pull out Paul’s implied strategies for reconciliation and give personal accounts of similar
events today that will illustrate actual how-to advice for readers.
Issue 14: Generosity in the Midst of Poverty (Giving to Others)
August 31, 2014
Scripture: 2 Corinthians 8:1-14
Lesson Aim: The great thing about the worldwide church is that it’s . . . uh, worldwide! Each local church is part of a larger entitya family without
boundariesthat can share with each other. Gather true stories of churches sharing worldwideand some of the results that have come from that.
The giving of the Macedonians had furthered the spread of the gospel; describe various ways that Christian generosity does that, perhaps as a ripple