Written for Native People by Native People, these guides will take you on a journey through the Bible’s main themes. You’ll discover just how relevant this ancient book of wisdom is for people facing the 21st century’s challenges. Each lesson is beautifully illustrated, reflecting our rich Native heritage.

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NATIVE NEW DAY
Lesson 1

Our Father Who Is in Heaven

In the past many Native folk along the Northwest coast of Canada and Alaska have regarded the raven as sacred. However, other tribes view the raven as a negative influence. There were reasons for the Northwest Natives to view the raven positively, because in many ways the raven uniquely stands out. It is a smart, crafty scavenger, able to survive in the harshest climates. When food is scarce, it always seems to have enough to eat. The raven has an interesting way of communicating that sometimes sounds like a person talking.

The raven is tough. In severe weather a gull at times is seen standing frozen to the ground like a statue. The raven, however, survives and does well in spite of the cold and snow.

Key Thought. In some countries people look to snakes, monkeys, and other animals as sacred though these reptiles and animals have a limited life. But the great Creator God is eternal. He doesn't die or fade away. We can always look to God, the Creator, knowing He is always available to help us.

BIBLE ANSWERS
1. What capability sets the God of heaven apart from the gods of this world? Acts 14:15*.
"Men, why are you doing these things [worshiping idols]? . . . you should turn from these useless things to the living God, who ____________ the heaven, the earth, the sea."

*All quotations from the Bible in these lessons are from the New King James Version (NKJV) unless otherwise noted. You can also use the King James Version (KJV) or the New King James Version (NKJV) when you look up the Bible references (texts) in your Bible. The New International Version (NIV) or any other version may be used, but there may be a variation in some of the words and in the arrangement of the sentences; however, the meaning is the same.

NOTE: The living God has the power to create. But animals or wooden idols have no power to create. A man can take wood and create a piece of furniture. But he must have something to start with. God has power that no created man or animal has—He can make something out of nothing. This ability sets Him apart from other beings in the universe.

2. How many persons make up the Godhead? Matthew 28:19.
"Go therefore . . . in the name of the ________________ and of the __________ and of the ___________ ___________."

NOTE: The Bible brings out the very interesting fact that the Godhead is made up of three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. All three had a part in creation. God said, "Let us make man in our image" (Genesis 1:26, emphasis supplied). All through the Bible we find descriptions of each person in the Godhead working individually in our behalf, yet working together as One to accomplish their purpose for us.

3. How does Jesus describe His relationship with His Father? John 10:30.
"I and My Father are _________."

NOTE: When Jesus took the form of a man, He stayed within His Father's purpose. He knew the Father's purpose for Him before coming to this earth. And the Father was with Him here on earth in carrying out those purposes (see John 8:29 and 2 Corinthians 5:19). Thus we see the two together as one in goals, ideals, and thinking. As we work and live in agreement with His will, health and happiness are ours. Being aligned with God brings us strength and victories beyond our abilities.

4. How did Jesus begin His model prayer? Matthew 6:9.
"In this manner, therefore, pray: Our __________ in heaven."

NOTE: The Godhead's plan is to rescue mankind. Jesus and the Holy Spirit have the same powers and abilities as the Father, and they all work together for our salvation. For example, the first three astronauts who went to the moon each had their agreed-upon activities. One stayed in the mother ship and circled the moon while the other two went down and walked on the moon. Not one of these three men was more important than the other two; they all worked together as "one" to accomplish the same mission.

5. Who is Jesus? John 1:1-3, 14.
"In the beginning was the ______________, and the Word was with God, and the Word was ______________. . . . All things were _____________ through Him, . . . And the Word became ______________ and dwelt among us."

NOTE: Some think Jesus was just another person like you and me, but He wasn't. Jesus is also God, with the ability to create. But He refused to use His divine powers while He was on this earth in the "form" of a man (Philippians 2:6-8). However, He used His divine powers after His death when His mission was accomplished (John 10:18). While living here as a man, Jesus relied wholly on the power of His Father (John 14:10).

Only the Creator could die as our substitute because He, our Savior, created all of us. His life is worth all of our lives. If He were just a created man, His life would only be worth one of ours.

6. Who else besides God the Father and God the Son was active in the creation? Genesis 1:1-2.
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. . . . And the ___________ ____ ____________ was hovering over the face of the waters."

NOTE: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit were all active in the creation of our world. And all three are likewise active in God's plan to save sinners. Each member of the Godhead is all-powerful, all-wise, and all loving. The Bible explains that before Jesus left this earth, He said the Comforter—or Holy Spirit—would come to comfort and guide all of us, because the Holy Spirit is able to be present everywhere (John 16:7).

7. Of what three things does God the Holy Spirit convict us? John 16:8.
"And when He has come, He will convict the world of ______, and of ___________, and of ___________."

NOTE: God wants us to live a balanced life.

It is a daily, personal relationship with God that brings us balance. The Holy Spirit points out our imbalance. He convicts, teaches, and guides us to recognize our personal needs and the solution to our problems. Listening and responding to the Holy Spirit brings us true peace and happiness.

There are tremendous advantages in understanding that there are three members of the Godhead and also in realizing the power they have to offer us. They know the end from the beginning. They can guide us and prepare us for the things that will be coming our way. They know the answers to all our questions no matter how complicated. Jesus can be present with us through the Holy Spirit no matter how difficult life gets. Even if we are in the middle of the wilderness where no one is around to help us, God is there. He can speak to our minds. He can even impress our hearts to do good if we allow Him to. Consider these promises:

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you" (Isaiah 43:2). God is all-powerful and can protect us.

"Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, 'This is the way, walk in it,' Whenever you turn to the right hand, Or whenever you turn to the left" (Isaiah 30:21). The Holy Spirit is all-wise and all-present—able to be everywhere at once.

Closing Thought. Our great Creator God invites us to call on Him for help. He urges us not to wait until we are "good enough" before calling on Him for help. He hears us no matter where we are or what we are doing. No matter what you are struggling with, God wants to help you. People who have had problems with drinking or other addictions have sensed the voice of God speaking to them even in a tavern. God can and will help you and change you, if you only ask Him to.

Next Lesson. Who was Jesus, and why was His birth so important to us?

 

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