Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Lesson - How Do Christians Worship God?

VERSES:  1 Corinthians 16:1, 2;  1 Corinthians 11:20-29;   1 Thessalonians 5:17;    2 Timothy 4:2-4;  Ephesians 5:19; Acts 20:7

MEMORY VERSE:   John 4:24  "God is a Spirit; and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:   Review all 27 books of the New Testament. Keep them fresh in the students' minds.

PRAYER:   Pray that we will always worship the Lord His way and not our way. Pray that we will always study the Bible, so we will know what the Lord wants us to do.

SPECIAL SONG:   How Do Christians Worship God? (See May 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #5 on this blog. Click on orange circle to hear tune.)

VISUAL AID:   Large Activity (see below under Activity) 

BULLETIN BOARD:  As a reinforcement to this lesson, here is an easy bulletin board for your consideration:

  • We have studied in the past how God wanted to be worshiped in the Old Testament. He was very specific in his commands to Aaron and the priests.  If anyone did not follow God's plan in worshiping Him, there were grave consequences (see Lesson - Nadab And Abihu - May 2014 on this blog). Nadab and his brother, Abihu, who were Aaron's sons and also priests, did not follow God's instructions and were killed for doing what they thought God wanted. They should have known better and were not excused with a simple scolding for doing the wrong thing. They died for their presumptuous attitude or thinking they knew better than God or perhaps thinking that it did not matter to God. Worship mattered and still matters to God. 
  • Not one time, not two times, but three times in Leviticus chapter 1 (verses 9, 13, and 17), we can read that a burnt offering made by fire was a sweet smelling offering to God. That meant that God was pleased. We have recently studied in the book of Romans and found that, under the New Testament Law, God is now pleased when His children (Christians) are living sacrifices. The lives that Christians live here on earth are living sacrifices to God (see Lesson - A Different Life - October 2015 on this blog). God has always known how He wanted to be worshiped and He knows today as well. God has always had a plan for creation, for the family, and also for worshiping Him. We need to read His Word to find out how to please Him.
  • WHEN TO WORSHIP: In times past, we have read in Acts 20:7 what day the Lord wants to be worshiped and that is on the first day of the week. Do we know when the first day of week is? On Sunday! How many "first" days are there in a week? Only one. We know the first day of the week is Sunday. Do we know what the Christians did on that first day of the week in Acts 20:7? (Read verse.) In this verse we have book, chapter, and verse for how the church met on the first day of the week, for breaking bread or partaking in the Lord's Supper, and for preaching God's Word since that was what Paul was doing; in fact, Paul continued to preach until midnight! All acts of worship are equally important. One act of worship is not any less or more important than the other.
  • GIVE TO THE LORD: We find in 1 Corinthians 16:1, 2 that Paul addresses the collection of the saints or the Christians. He specifically identifies the day when Christians are to "lay by in store" or put money aside for the purpose of giving it to the Lord. When we look at 1 Corinthians 16:2, can we find what day? The first day of the week. Sunday. As God prospers Christians, they are to give back a portion of what the Lord gave them back to the Lord. They give in a proportionate manner. Christians are not to give because they must give out of duty or grudgingly; they are to give with a cheerful heart! God loves a cheerful giver!
  • PRAY TO THE LORD: Christians are a prayerful people. They have prayerful attitudes (1 Thessalonians 5:17). They thank God for the good things that He gives them (James 1:17) and  for His blessings (Philippians 4:6). They pray when they are happy (James 5:13). They pray for one another, especially when they are sick, knowing that God listens to a fervent prayer of a righteous Christian (James 5:16).
  • SING TO THE LORD: We are told what kind of music that God wants to hear and in Ephesians 5:19 it tells Christians to sing! They are to sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. They sing with the spirit and with the understanding (1 Corinthians 14:15), knowing it is important  to understand what they are singing (Colossians 3:16).  Colossians 3:16 also tells Christians to make melody in their hearts to the Lord. Nowhere in the New Testament are there instructions for the Christian to play an instrument to praise God. This is not what the world believes, but it is what the Truth-seeking Christian finds in these verses. What were Paul and Silas doing while the were in prison in Philippi in Acts 16:25? They were praying and singing. There are many 'singing' verses in the New Testament.
  • PARTAKE OF THE LORD'S SUPPER:   Christians follow Christ's instructions concerning the Lord's Supper (Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:19, 20). The unleavened bread represents Christ's body as He died on the cross and the fruit of the vine symbolizes the blood He shed. As Christians partake in this supper or communion, they think back and remember Jesus death (1 Corinthians 11:24-26). They realize that partaking of the Lord's Supper is a very serious matter; each Christian examining his or her own self (1 Corinthians 11:27, 28), so they will not eat and drink in an unworthy manner. The instructions for partaking of the Lord's Supper is very clear. It is not a great meal where any food can be eaten. No, Paul says twice that Christians have homes in which to eat their meals (1 Corinthians 11:21, 22), saying if Christians are hungry, they should eat at home (1 Corinthians 11:34). Unleavened bread (bread that has no leavening like eggs, baking soda, baking powder, or yeast) and the fruit of the vine (grape juice) are what Christians partake of when eating and drinking of the Lord's Supper.
  • PREACH THE TRUTH:  We have already mentioned that Paul preached on the first day of the week in Acts 20:7. Christians should always hunger and thirst after righteousness and want to hear God's Word spoken (Matthew 5:6). Turning to 2 Timothy 4:1-4, we can read what Paul told Timothy to preach to the people. He was to preach the Word when the people wanted to hear it and when they did not want to hear His Word. He said Timothy should reprove (scold), rebuke (warn), and to exhort (build up) the people with patience and doctrine. Paul said that there would be a time coming when the people would not endure sound doctrine or they would not treasure God's Word. They would would look for people who only wanted to preach something nice and pleasant to them. He said they would in time turn their ears away from God's Word and listen to fairy tales or fables. Preachers preach God's Word to the people in order to please God.
ACTIVITY:  Acts Of Worship
Materials needed:  12" x 12" yellow construction paper, crayons, Bible sticker.
  1. Hand out yellow paper.
  2. Place yellow paper in a diamond shape (with a corner at the top) on the table.
  3. Fold two corners together.
  4. Fold other two corners together.
  5. Keeping paper folded, write 1, 2, 3, and 4 on the corners.
  6. Open all folds.
  7. Trace lines with a black crayon.
  8. Write "PREACH" on one open corner.
  9. Write "2 Timothy 4:1-4" on the "PREACH" corner.
  10. Draw a Bible on the "PREACH" corner.
  11. On another open corner, write "SING".
  12. Write "Ephesians 5:19" on the "SING" corner.
  13. Draw a musical note on the "SING" corner.
  14. On another open corner, write "PRAY."
  15. Write "1 Thessalonians 5:17" on the "PRAY" corner.
  16. Draw praying hands on the "PRAY" corner.
  17. On another open corner, write "GIVE."
  18. Write "1 Corinthians 16:1, 2" on the "GIVE" corner.
  19. In the middle of the blank square, write a "5".
  20. Write "THE LORD'S SUPPER" in the middle of the square.
  21. Write "1 Corinthians 11:20-29" in "THE LORD'S SUPPER" square.
  22. Draw a cup of grape juice and unleavened bread in the middle of the square.
  23. Turn paper over and write, "HOW DO CHRISTIANS WORSHIP GOD?" in the middle of the square.
  24. Turn paper over one more time, fold all corners together.
  25. Where the four corner meet, place a Bible sticker.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Lesson - The First Letter To The Corinthians - Love

VERSES:   1 Corinthians 13:1-13

MEMORY VERSE:   1 Corinthians 13:13  "And now abideth faith, hope and charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:   Review all 27 books of the New Testament.

PRAYER:   Pray for all those whom we love and love them God's way.

SPECIAL SONG:  Love Songs on this blog: Jesus Loves Me (see February 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #2); Jesus Loves The Little Children (see February 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #2); The Family In God's Plan (see March 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #4); Children, Obey Your Parents (see March 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #4); Be Patient And Kind (see April 2014 - Lesson - Joseph Meets His Brothers Who Hated Him). Click on orange circles on each lesson to hear each tune.

VISUAL AID:  White board or chalkboard, writing characteristics of love on board while teaching. Large Activity (see below under Activity).

Note: This lesson is designed for older students. There are many points in this lesson which could be divided into separate lessons, resulting in a theme for an entire quarter. Or, perhaps, the Bible teacher would prefer to address a smaller amount of characteristics for a set number of weeks as opposed to teaching all fifteen attributes in one week. This study on love could be a wonderful review of a number of Character studies as well. Also, this study could prove beneficial in selecting a theme for a Vacation Bible SchoolThere are many possibilities with such a wonderful lesson as Love.

Listed below are the characteristics of love and I have attempted to match a character in the Bible with that attribute of love. You could do the same! Choose characters with those whom you are familiar or select different characters than I have chosen to teach your students how to love God's way. Remember negative examples also teach. All references to lessons are found on this blog; using the "search box" may  also be helpful in selecting lessons to demonstrate love's attributes.
  • It is always good to see who wrote the particular letter in which you are studying and to know to whom it was written. The Apostle Paul wrote two letters (First and Second Corinthians) to the Christians who lived and worshiped in the city of Corinth. We know that both letters were written by Paul because Paul had a style of writing his name at the beginning of the letters just like he did in the letter to the Romans (1 Corinthians 1:1 and 2 Corinthians 1:1).  Paul's first letter to the Corinthians was filled with instructions to those Christians who lived in that extremely wicked city. The Christians were definitely not behaving as God wanted them to behave, so Paul reprimanded or scolded them on many issues. Finally, Paul told them what true love should be and how it should behave itself.
  • First, Paul explained to the Christians through his inspired letter that even if he 
    • could speak in many different languages, 
    • had many gifts of prophecy, 
    • had great understanding and knowledge, 
    • had so much faith that he could move mountains, 
    • gave all of his material goods to feed the poor, 
    • and even if he gave his body to be burned
            that he would be nothing if he did not have one thing--love.
  • Then, in this first letter to the Christians at Corinth, Paul continued telling them that there were fifteen different attributes or characteristics of love. By looking to Bible examples of these characteristics, we can learn much.
    • Love is patient. Besides our loving Father, perhaps Job is the best example of patience. Job's patience endured, even after losing all ten of his children, his riches, and his good health all in a short amount of time. (See October 2014 - Lesson - The Patience Of Job) Like Job, who never wavered in his love and trust in God, we should feel that same amount of patience towards those whom we love, thinking first before we speak or act.
    • Love is kind. Kindness is an action that is shown from the heart. We can look in the Old Testament and find one of the kindest women in the Bible. We do not know her name, but her kindness towards Elijah lives on through the pages of the Bible. When the woman from the city of Zarepheth was asked for a small piece of bread, we remember that she said that she was gathering sticks so she could build a fire to cook the last of her oil and meal for her and her son to eat, then they were going to die. It was all the food she had. Yet, when Elijah asked her to make a cake or bread for him first, she did not hesitate in kindly doing as he asked. By doing so, she not only saved herself, but her child, too. (See September 2014 - Lesson -  Elijah Raises A Boy To Life) Like the widow of Zarepheth, we must show the ultimate kindness to the ones whom we love even in times of great sacrifice to ourselves. What kindness and good things have we recently done for our loved ones?
    • Love is not envious or jealous. We can learn how not to be envious in our love to others by looking at the bad example of the Jews and how they were so jealous of Jesus that they killed Him. Jealousy and envy led mature men to kill. (See April 2015 - Lesson - Jesus Before Pilate). We need to look to Jesus as our example of perfect love. He was never full of envy of jealousy. His love for us was and still is pure and sincere and serves as the greatest example of the way our love should be to those we love. We should never be jealous or envious of those we love because jealousy and envy lead to many other sins and heartache. We need to keep our love pure.
    • Love is humble and does not brag. Being humble does not mean that a person is weak. We remember how David was humble as a young boy. After killing Goliath, the Philistine giant, he did not brag or boast about what he had done. David gave all of the the glory to God. David's love for God was respectful, submissive and full of humility. (See July 2014 - Lesson - David And Goliath) As David showed his humility and love to God, so we should show our loved ones a humble kind of love. Many in the world do not know this kind of love, but we know that perfect love is not showy and boastful.
    • Love is not arrogant. To be arrogant means to be full of pride. God never tolerated a prideful people. We can look to Boaz, who was a man of honor and great wealth, yet definitely was not arrogant. He was kind, helpful, protective and loving to Ruth, and eventually married her. (See July 2014 - Lesson - Ruth Gleans In Boaz' Field.) We can imitate Boaz' loving characteristics towards Ruth, knowing that this is an excellent example of how we should love and treat our families.
    • Love does not act unbecomingly. There will be times in our lives when we are wronged and we are innocent. How will we handle those times? Do you remember how Jacob treated Leah when he was tricked into marrying her instead of his beloved Rachel? He was not dramatic or had bad behavior, he simply went back to his father-in-law and worked out a contract to marry Rachel. While having two wives in the Old Testament was sometimes overlooked by God (Acts 17:30), it was never recommended and always caused a lot of trouble. However, we can still see how Jacob loved, provided for, and considered Leah throughout their lives (See April 2014 - Lesson - Jacob And Rachel). In Genesis 31, Jacob had the perfect opportunity to leave Leah behind at Laban's house, but Jacob included everyone in his family, including Leah. We, too, should behave considerately towards our family members. Our behavior towards others makes memories that people remember always. As we can sing in the song, Be Patient And Kind, (see above),  "Words live on after we are gone." Let us not act out in an unloving, ungodly way towards our loved ones.
    • Love does not seek its own or is selfish. We have an example of a couple, Anaias and Sapphira, who were more interested in their own welfare than the Lord's. They were selfish and deceitful. They lied to Peter about selling a piece of their land and they died because of that lie. (See May 2015 - Lesson - Ananias And Sapphira Lied And Died). True love thinks of others and their needs before themselves. Do we think of our loved ones before we think of ourselves? Let's not be like Ananias and Sapphira, but let our love for our family and friends exceed our love for ourselves. We seek their happiness above our own, always being honest.
    • Love is not easily provoked. Through trickery and deceit, Jacob received the blessing and the birthright of his brother, Esau. There was much contention and Esau bore a grudge towards his brother, Jacob, for many years. However, in later years, Esau forgave Jacob for what had been done to him, and instead of killing Jacob as he once entertained the thought, Esau fell on Jacob's neck and kissed him when he saw him, forgiving him of all that had past.  Esau 's anger was not stirred up at that time. (See April 2014 - Lesson - Jacob Goes Home). True love is not looking for a fight and is not easily angered. When people truly love each other, they are looking for the best in each other.
    • Love thinks no evil or is not suspicious. Many in the world think on evil continually and are suspicious of those who speak truth. An example of a sincerely brotherly love is that of David and King Saul's son, Jonathan. (See July 2014 - Lesson - Jonathan Says Good-bye To His Friend, David). Even though King Saul was jealous of David and had thrown javelins at his one-time friend, speaking unkindly of him, Jonathan, loved David unconditionally. He helped David in times of trial and trouble. Jonathan completely trusted his friend, David, and David trusted his friend, Jonathan. That is how a sincere love is--trusting. We should always have a trusting heart to those we love.
    • Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth. It would seem that everyone would know this fact about love, but not everyone does. Love is never happy when evil things happen to anyone, especially to their loved ones. We remember the story about Paul and Silas being put in prison, not for doing criminal things, but simply because they were preaching about Jesus and doing miracles in His name. (See June 2015 - Lesson - Paul And Silas In Prison). Paul and Silas were not dwelling on the beatings they received and harboring evil thoughts against their captors. No, they were praying and singing praises to God at midnight in prison! By applying Paul and Silas' behavior in a bad situation to our own misfortunes or trials, we, too can rejoice in truth, not meditating on the evil.
    • Love bears all things. The best example of love bearing all things is looking to out Savior, Jesus. All of the heartache, pain, and suffering that Jesus endured on the cross is the ultimate example of forbearance. Jesus bore the burdens of our sins--sins that were not even His own, so that all mankind might have the hope of eternal life in heaven if they obeyed and loved the Lord. (See April 2015 - Lesson - Jesus Is Crucified.) Do we bear all things? Difficult situations will arise and we need to be prepared to persevere in our love for our loved ones. Love does not give up on the one they love as Christ did not give up on us while we were yet sinners. Love continues.
    • Love believes all things. True and sincere love believes what is told to them by the ones that they love. Having no reason to doubt, love believes all things. Looking to story of how King Ahazuerus believed Queen Esther over his supposedly-trusted right-hand man, Haman. The king believed and trusted all that the queen had to say about her people and those who were trying to kill them (see October 2015 - Lesson - Haman Reaped What He Sowed). We should believe our loved ones when they talk to us as they should, also, believe us.
    •  Love hopes all things.  Love is a very optimistic characteristic. Love is full of hope! We remember the lesson about the Prodigal son (see March 2015 -  Lesson - The Parable Of The Prodigal Son) and how his father was full of hope, eagerly awaiting his son who had taken his inheritance and went off into the world. The father continued to watch down the road every day anxious to see if his son was coming home that hope. When his father's hopes came true, he was overcome with joy! His love for his son hoped all things. We, too, should have a love that hopes all things. Truly, love is hopeful!
    • Love endures all things. A tremendous story about a man's love for God is that of the Apostle Paul. Many things he suffered for the cause of Christ. As we turn our Bibles to 2 Corinthians 11:23-33, let us read of what Paul endured. Can we say that we have endured what Paul had? Of course not! But Paul had the determination to prevail through his trials. That is exactly what we need to do with our loved ones. If we love, we will endure. 
    • Love never fails or never ends.  We can see through most any lesson that we have studied that our Heavenly Father has never failed or given up on any who have turned to Him with a sincere and repentant heart. The lesson about the twelve spies going into the land of Canaan and coming back with ten of the spies reporting that the people of that land were as large as giants and they as grasshoppers resulted in the people believing the ten spies instead of Joshua and Caleb who had said that with God's help they could take the land. (See May 2014 - Lesson - The Spies and May 2014 - Lesson - The Minority Was Right). Even though the children of Israel continued to turn away from God so many times, God's love for them continued as His love for us continues is we are obedient to Him. His love never fails if we serve Him with our whole heart. When we sin (1 John 1:7-10), God's love will always be there if we are repentant and ask for forgiveness. He waits for us to turn to Him again (1 Peter 3:12). Let us always have that pure love, always ready to forgive our loved ones, and to always be there to love them God's way. God's way is always the best way!
"Older Student" Tips:
  • Corinth was a very wicked city. See July 2015 - Lesson - Aquila, Priscilla, and Paul - Three Tentmakers on this blog for  more background information on the city of Corinth.
  • We hear a lot about love these days, but it is usually not the way that God was speaking about in First Corinthians 13. Let us always apply those things which we learn. What have we learned in this lesson? Are we loving? Do we think the best of others or the worst? Do we endure all things or are we ready to give up? We know that when God speaks of marriage, it is a love that endures and bears all things. Once Christians choose a mate, it is for a lifetime. Before we say, "I do," apply these characteristics to your loved one and yourself. Are they patient? Are you patient? Are they kind? Are you kind? Go down the list to see if it is true love, God's kind of love. Choose well. Love well...for a lifetime. Home should always be a refuge from the world, a place where we are loved and that we love.

ACTIVITY:  Puzzle Heart
Materials needed:  Red, yellow, and blue 12" x 18" construction paper, 2" x 6" blue construction paper, 1/2" x 5 1/2" yellow construction paper, marker, glue, ribbon or yarn (cut in 20"and 7"), hole punch.

  1. Hand out red and yellow construction paper.
  2. Fold both paper in half.
  3. Beginning on folded edge, draw a large heart on red paper.
  4. Place yellow paper inside red paper.
  5. Cut both hearts at the same time.
  6. Set yellow heart aside.
  7. Place red heart on folded edge of blue paper.
  8. Trace red heart on blue paper.
  9. Set red heart aside.
  10. Cut a blue heart one-half inch larger than the marked line. This will create a border when other hearts are glued inside.
  11. Glue yellow heart in the middle of the blue heart.
  12. Set yellow/blue heart aside.
  13. Cut red heart into 15 pieces.
  14. Place red cutouts on yellow heart, tracing each cutout.
  15. Write the fifteen characteristics of love (see above in lesson) onto red pieces.
  16. Do not glue red pieces, yet.
  17. Set red pieces aside.
  18. With hole punch, punch a hole at the bottom of the heart.
  19. At the top of the heart, punch one hole on each side of the heart.
  20. Set hearts aside.
  21. Hand out blue and yellow small pieces of construction paper.
  22. Glue yellow paper in the middle of the blue paper. This is the label.
  23. Write "1 Corinthians 13" on the yellow paper.
  24. Punch a hole in the top middle of the label.
  25. Hand out 7" ribbon or yarn.
  26. Tie ribbon in the hole on the label.
  27. Tie the other end of the ribbon to the bottom of the heart.
  28. Hand out 20" ribbon.
  29. Tie each end of ribbon to each hole at the top of the heart. 
  30. After the Bible teacher has decided how many lessons this will be, each week the student glues the studied characteristic in the proper place on their heart. For example, if this lesson will be one studied in only one week, then the student will glue all of the characteristics on the heart; however, if this class is only studying one characteristic a week for fifteen weeks, only one characteristic will be glued on the heart each week. Whatever is studied that week, will be glued on the heart.  Note:  Store the unused cutouts in a small plastic bag with that student's name written on the bag for easy access the next week.
  31. At the end of the lessons, the student takes home their completed heart.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Extra Helps #16 - Repetition Works!

Children learn so much through repetition! Perhaps you have children of your own and know firsthand how children love to watch the same TV program or read the same book over and over again! Do they learn? Yes, they do! The same is true with Bible lessons or Bible material. If the students are subjected to the same questions and answers, books of the Bible, a list of Egyptian plagues, the names of the apostles, the cities of refuge, the plan of salvation, or whatever is important at that moment over and over again, they will learn. 

Ideas for repetition in Bible lessons -  Here are a few simple ideas to incorporate repetition in your Bible lessons:
  • Question/Answer Boards. In any lesson that you choose, write down nine or ten main points that you want your students to learn well. Then, form the points into a "question/answer" format, meaning asking a question to receive the answer that you want. 
    • Example:  Adam and Eve is the lesson (Genesis 2:1-25; 3:20). Questions might be: Who was the first man? Adam.  Who was the first woman? Eve.  Where did Adam and Eve live in the beginning? The Garden of Eden. What was Adam's two jobs in the garden? Take care of the garden and name the animals. What was Eve's job? To be Adam's helper. 
    • Cut 22" x 28" poster board into 4" x 28" strips.  (No poster board? Cut 12" x 18" construction paper in half.)
    • On one side of the poster board, write a question.
    • Flip the board over, and write the answer.
    • For a few weeks, as a review, present these same questions to the students before your lesson begins. They will soon know these answers to these questions whenever you present them. 
    • Note of encouragement: By leaving the questions/answer boards out on the tables or desks before class begins, you will find that this type of review encourages the students to ask each other the questions. Praise them for their efforts to let them know how smart they are becoming!
    • If basic questions are used in this manner for a few lessons, the boards may be saved for a huge review. 
  • Another idea? Matching Phrases. On sentence strips, write matching words or phrases about the lesson. (To be different, use sentence strips which are found in school supply stores. If you don't have any sentence strips, simply use construction paper.)
    • Example:  The Whole Armor Of God (Ephesians 6:10-18). Matching words might be - "Whole Armor" and "Of God," "Loins Girt About" and "With Truth," "Breastplate" and "Of Righteousness," "Feet Shod With" and "The Preparation Of The Gospel Of Peace," "Shield" and "Of Faith," "Helmet" and "Of Salvation," Sword" and "Of The Spirit," "Praying" and "Always."
    • Write each phrase on a sentence strip.
    • Cut each phrase in half.
    • Staple the first part of the phrases in a column on a bulletin board.
    • Randomly staple the second part of the phrases in a column next to the first words.
    • Cut yarn and pin yarn or ribbon to the first words.
    • After the lesson, the student is assigned a phrase and attaches the end of the yarn to the correct second word or words.
    • Let other students take turns, pinning the yarn from one word or words to the matching word or words in the second column.
    • Do this a few times, then mix the second words up again and repeat. 
    • Definitely not difficult! Students will definitely remember and learn the phrases!

  • Another idea? Asking The Same Questions. Simply ask questions from the lesson and encourage the students to answer. Ask the same questions enough times, and the students will respond with the correct answers...over and over again! Simple, yet effective!

Be creative! Make up your own method of repetition! Students love a new idea. Good Bible teachers love new ideas that help students learn the Bible truths easily. With any of the above ideas, the students learn without even knowing they are learning! 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Lesson - A Different Life

VERSES:   Romans 12:1-21

MEMORY VERSE:   Romans 12:9  "...cleave to that which is good."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:   Review all 27 books of the New Testament. If your students are fairly comfortable with the New Testament books, try the 39 books of the Old Testament. There are two songs on this blog to help. Take a look at The Books Of The Old Testament and The Books Of The New Testament (see March 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #3). Click on the orange circles to hear the tunes.

PRAYER:  Pray that we will always obey God. May we read the Bible not seldom, but often.

SPECIAL SONG:   Be Patient And Kind (see April 2014 - Lesson - Joseph Meets His Brothers Who Hated Him on this blog. If you click on the orange circle by the song, you will hear the tune.)  

VISUAL AID:   White board or chalk board, writing the characteristics of a Christian (see below under Lesson Points) on the board.  Large Activity (see below).

  • In the past, we have studied about how animals were sacrificed to God in the Old Testament. It may sound cruel or unjust to us, but it was pleasing to God (Genesis 8:20, 21). God is the One who decides how He wants to be worshiped. Under today's Christian Age, God wants to be worshiped differently than under the Old Law. He wants those who obey and serve Him to be a living sacrifice, one who dedicates their life living differently than the world (Romans 12:1, 2) and obedient to Him.  Christians talk differently, dress differently, behave differently, and live differently than the world because they are separated or set apart from the world. They must live in the world, but they do not live like the world.
  • In Romans chapter 12, the inspired writer, Paul, tells us how Christians should live their lives as living sacrifices. If there is one chapter in the New Testament that condenses the Christian life, it is this chapter.
  •  We learn that Christians should:
    • Love sincerely, without being a hypocrite or pretending to be a friend, yet not really being a friend. A hypocrite is one who says one thing, and does another. God does not appreciate or tolerate hypocrites.
    • Hate those things that are evil, and cleave or cling to everything that is good. There is much evil in the world, so when we find something good, we should stay close to it.
    • Be kind to everyone, especially those who are in the church.
    • Not be lazy, but should be the example of a hard worker. When we think back, we remember what hard workers Abraham, Moses, Elijah, Daniel, Paul and Jesus were. They should be our examples and not others at school or at work. We have a higher standard of "hard work."
    • Be enthusiastic about spiritual things, always putting God first in their lives and serving Him with their whole heart.
    • Rejoice in hope, knowing that there is a reward waiting all those who love and serve Him. Christians have hope of better things in the life to come. We should always be thankful and obedient.
    • Be patient during hard times and difficult trials. Christians know that difficult times will come in their lives and they need to prepare for those trials with prayer, thanksgiving for what they do have, and have the knowledge that God will always be with them as long as they are serving the Lord.
    • Constantly pray which does not necessarily mean praying every second of the day, but praying should be a way of life for Christians. Prayer should come naturally and sincerely from their hearts whenever they are thankful or in need. We need to tell the Lord our needs and how thankful we are.
    • Take care of those in need. Christians do more than simply wish someone well. Christians make certain that those who are in need have those things that are necessary.
    • Show hospitality. Christians show people that they are friendly and sincerely want to know them. They invite them into their homes, share a meal, talk, welcoming their friends, neighbors, and strangers.
    • Give good for evil. When others are unkind to us, we are still kind to them. We should do what Jesus would do in that same situation. Just because others show their unpleasant side towards us, we remember that Our Example, Christ, would never return evil with evil.
    • Be happy when others are happy and sad when they are sad. We all like our friends and neighbors to sincerely share our joy and comfort us when we are sad. That is exactly what Christians do to their family, friends, and neighbors. When someone is happy, be happy, too! When someone is sad, sit with them. Sometimes words are not necessary, but being there is important.
    • Treat everyone the same way. We should never think that we are better than others. God created us just the same. We should treat those who are important exactly the same way as we treat other unfortunate ones.
    • Never seek revenge or to "get even" with someone who has done us harm. We should be good, kind, and forgiving to all. 
    • Always be honest. There is much dishonesty in the world. Christians answer to a God who sees what we are doing at all times, so if our teacher, our employer, our parents, or anyone trusts us, we should return their trust by always being honest. Always.
    • Live peaceably with everyone. As much as we can, we should live a peaceful life with our family, friends, neighbors, and strangers. Living in peace is a blessing from God. We should strive to live a quiet, tranquil life that is free from strife.
    • Know that God repays those who do evil. A Christian's job is to do good to their enemies. If those who try to hurt us are hungry, we give them food. If they are thirsty, Christians give them something to drink. By treating our enemies better than they treat us, the Bible says we "heap coals upon their heads," meaning we make our enemies ashamed by showing kindness to him.
    • Overcome evil with good. Anyone can respond in an evil way to someone who is treating them badly, but Christians treat that type of person with kindness and goodness. That is more difficult sometimes, but it is the way God wants His children to behave. Christians live differently than the world.
"Older Student" Tips:
  • While this is a lesson directed at older students, younger students can still learn from the main topics. The object in the lesson is to teach the students that Christians lead a different life than those people in the world. 
  • Stress that Jesus is our example, not other people. People make mistakes; Jesus never did. He is our perfect example (Read Matthew 11:29;  John 13:15;  Hebrews 12:2; and 1 Peter 2:21). When people look to men as their examples, whether it be preachers, teachers, or elders, there is reason for concern because people are not perfect and can lead others astray.
  • The Lord's ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8). His ways are higher than man's ways. We must let Him lead us, then we follow. How do we know what He wants us to do and how to do it? We must not only read the Bible, but diligently study the Bible! (2 Timothy 2:15).
ACTIVITY:   Romans 12 -  A Ribbon Of Pennants
Materials needed:  Seventeen 5" x 6" blue construction paper rectangles, sixteen 4" x 5" yellow construction paper rectangles, one 4" x 5" white construction paper rectangle, 8 feet of blue ribbon or yarn (I used ribbon: beautiful, but expensive if there are many students), marker, crayons, scissors, glue, hole puncher, pencil.  *Optional:  Extra ribbon or yarn to tie in between rectangles. I allowed 7" of yarn multiplied by 19 pieces of ribbon which is an extra 11 feet of ribbon. That's a lot of ribbon! Yarn is less expensive. Both may be purchased at any arts and crafts store.  Prepare in advance--buy on sale! Also, to save time, cut all rectangles and ribbon in advance. *Note: Using 17 cards makes the pennant ribbon very long. By reducing the e entire project by a couple of inches, the project may be more manageable for the students. However, it is memorable to pin the pennant ribbon from wall to wall as a visual aid for this lesson.

  1. Hand out white rectangle.
  2. Write, "How To Live A Godly Life" and "Romans 12" on white rectangle.
  3. Hand out yellow rectangles.
  4. On the back of yellow rectangles, write a small consecutive number in a corner, example-1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16. 
  5. On different rectangles, write: "Love sincerely," "Hate those things that are evil," "Be kind," "Don't be lazy," Rejoice in hope," "Be patient during hard times," "Constantly pray," "Take care of those in need," Show hospitality," "Give good for evil," "Be happy when others are happy; be sad when others are sad," "Treat everyone the same way," "Never seek revenge," "Always be honest," "Live peaceably with everyone," "Overcome evil with good."
  6. Hand out blue rectangles.
  7. Number the back of the blue rectangles in pencil like the yellow rectangles.
  8. Match yellow and blue numbered rectangles.
  9. Glue yellow rectangle towards the bottom of the blue, leaving about an inch at the top.
  10. With the hole puncher, punch two holes at the top of the blue rectangle. This is where the ribbon is threaded.
  11. Beginning with last rectangle (number 16), thread the very long piece of ribbon through  the back of the blue paper and threading down through the other hole on the card. It helps to keep the ribbon straight as you go along.
  12. Continue to thread papers on to ribbon until ending with the white card, leaving about 10" or so of ribbon on each end. This takes a little patience and time.
  13. If desired, tie a small piece of ribbon in between the blue papers to secure and for decoration. These can be tied in a knot (which is easier) or a small bow (which take coordination.)
  14. This is a project that students usually keep for a long while at home after the lesson. The ribbon of pennants can be hung up on any wall to remind us all how Christians should behave.
  15. At the end of class, simply fold the rectangles in and out, in and out, with yellow cards facing each other, then wrap the end of the ribbons around the cards and tie in a bow in the middle. Beautiful--and the student learns at the same time!
  16. If you believe that this project is too difficult for your students, simply stop before you hole punch, wrap a rubber band around all of the cards, and use as a sequencing game! The correct numbers are already written on the cards in order.)