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Obedience & Authority

This topic is so crucial!  When we decided we wanted to talk with our daughter about obedience and authority we had no idea just now much we were all going to gain from it.  We could not find what we were looking for as a family to teach her so we decided to go ahead and write out some family worship lessons of our own to use.   Spending 7 days letting God work on our hearts and getting deeper into the meaning of His Word was amazing.  I hope these lessons will be a blessing to you and your family as well.

Here is a little overview of each daily lesson idea.

  1. Day 1 – God created everything and has authority over it all.
  2. Day 2 – When you obey your parents you are obeying God.  We show love to God by obeying Him.
  3. Day 3 – It is important that we obey God because:  He tells us too and He can be trusted,  it’s how we show our love for Him, it brings us joy and peace, we grow in faith, and because Jesus himself obeyed.
  4. Day 4 – We will be tempted to disobey.  There are things we can do to help us fight sin.   God uses our sin to help us see our need for Jesus.
  5. Day 5 – We sin when we disobey and we even sin when we obey.  You cannot earn God’s love with obedience.  God uses it all for our good.
  6. Day 6 – Trusting in God means trusting in His Word, which has His authority.
  7. Day 7 – In order to honor God’s authority, obey Him, and keep His commandments you must first learn to trust Him with your entire heart and not trust in your own feelings.

Day 1

Activity:  Play hang man to introduce the lesson.  (authority or obedience could be your word)

Key verse:  Read as a family.

Genesis1.1

Lesson idea :  God created everything and has authority over it all.

Discuss:  This week we are going to talk about authority and obedience.  Who knows what “authority” is?  A good definition is: “the power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience.”  We just read the very first book of the Bible which was “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”  God created everything, even you!  It’s amazing!  God therefore has the authority over his creation.

Craft time:   Let’s create something of our own right now.  (Have each family member draw their own picture, build something with blocks, etc.)

Discuss: We each made our own creation. Do I have the right to come in and change your creation?  No. Why?  It’s your creation, right?  You  should have the authority over it; the right to make decisions about it.   You can, however, give me permission, can’t you?  You can give me the authority to make a change or help in some way.  If you have not given me the authority or permission to do that, however, it is wrong for me to assume I can do something to your creation. Just like I don’t have authority over your creation unless you give it, we do not have authority over God’s creation unless he gives it.  He does give many people a place of authority.   Can you think of people who have authority around you?  (police men have authority to enforce laws, managers and bosses at work have an authority over employees,  teachers have authority to enforce rules, parents have authority over their children, etc.)  These people have been given authority on earth in different ways.

Bible application:  Let’s see what the Bible says about authority for a minute.  (Turn to these together if you are able)

Romans 13:1 
“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.”
This verse tells us that God is the one who has put the people who are in authority in that position and we are to be subject to or obey those authorities.
Matthew 28:18
“And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”
This verse tells us that God has given Jesus authority.
John 12:49
“For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak.”
This verse tells us again that Jesus has authority, but that He recognized God as having authority over even Himself and the words that He spoke here on Earth.   If Jesus willfully and gladly submitted to God’s authority, do you think that you should as well?  Or course, right!?

Drive it home:  As children, it sometimes feels like everyone is always telling you want to do, and that can be hard.  (Feel free to discuss)  Adults usually have the authority.  Knowing what we just read and learned about though you also see that who has ALL the authority?  GOD. YES!  This means that God has the authority even over adults, even over your parent or parents.  Doesn’t that make you feel better?  Your parents aren’t just making the rules up.  They are under God’s authority just as you are, and they are using God’s Word as their guide.  They have been told by God through His word that their children are to obey them because they have authority over them.  Ephesians 6 says “Children, obey your parents in the Lord for this is right.”  That is God’s Word, not your parents.  They act under God’s authority.  We will talk even more about this during our next lesson, but for now let’s pray that God will give us wisdom as we learn.

Pray:  Father, it’s amazing and awesome how you created all things in the beginning.  You’re creation is beautiful and we thank you for creating us as a part of it.  You hold all authority and we admit that we wrongfully try to do so many things on our own outside of what your Word says. Forgive us and help us to love you more and to see the joy in honoring the authority of those you have put in charge.  Grant us wisdom to have understanding of your ways Father.  In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Sing:
I love both of these music choices so maybe do them both this week at different times.

Sing “Trust and Obey” by Hillsong – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wAXImeSn-A

Sing the traditional “Trust and Obey” too this week (This one has a nice updated twist to it) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWZup0cfI-Y


Day 2

Activity:  Play hang man to introduce the lesson.  (obedience, authority, or trust could be your word)  Review Matthew 28:18 using whatever visual aide you have chosen.  “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Introduce Ephesians 6:1

Key verse:  (It’s important to note that “parents” in the verse also can be another person who is raising a child)

childrenObeycopy

Lesson idea:  When you obey your parents you are obeying God.  We show love to God by obeying Him.

Discuss:  In our last lesson we talked about what authority was and who has all authority and who gives all authority.  Who?  Yes, God!  We finished our talk with Ephesians 6:1 in the Bible. Let’s say it together.  “Children, obey your parents in the Lord for this is right.”  There is that word, “obey”.  What does it mean to obey?  What exactly is obedience?  A good definition of obedience is: “submission to another’s authority.” There is the word “authority” again. Obedience is submitting to other people’s authority.  You give up your way and submit to their way.

Game time:  We’re going to play a game about obeying now.  It’s a game that many people love to play, “Simon Says”.  We will take turns being the person who has the authority.  (Give everyone a chance to lead)

Discuss:  Simon says is a super fun game isn’t it?  We don’t seem to have a problem obeying the person who is telling us what to do.  We obey them and submit to their authority during the game.  Why is that?  (It’s fun; it’s a game; it’s just how you play).   Why do you think we have such a hard time obeying God in real life?  Why is it hard to obey your parents at times?  (It’s not always what we feel like doing.) When you think about how God commands you to obey your parents and how God has all authority, does that make you want to obey?  God has given your parents the authority over you.  When you obey your parents you are also obeying God.  When you disobey your parents you are disobeying God.  When you disobey your parents you are telling God that you do not need to be under His authority.  That seems crazy right?!  We have already learned that God has all authority.  It is sinful of us when we disobey.    Our sin is what gets in the way of our obedience.  The truth is that it is easy to obey when it is what we want to be doing.  If a parent asks you to go get a bowl of ice cream off a table so you can eat it, you are going to want to obey for sure!  Not only that, I am pretty sure you will not grumble or complain either. You would want the ice cream and get it happily.  If a parent asks you to go pick all your toys up off the table so dinner can be eaten there, it may feel harder to want to obey.  You might have been having fun with your toys and you may feel selfish and whine about it.  Have you ever whined about having to obey?  Everyone has.

Bible application:  When we are tempted to disobey we must call Ephesians 6:1 to mind and ask God to help us trust Him and His authority in our lives.  “Children, obey your parents in the Lord for this is right.”  Let’s look at two other Bible verses tonight that can help us also.

“Do all things without grumbling or disputing,” Philippians 2:14
and
“For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments.” 1 John 5:3

The first verse teaches us that we are to do all things without grumbling which is like whining or disputing or arguing.  It doesn’t say do just what you want without grumbling or disputing, it says, “Do all things” without grumbling or disputing. We need to obey without grumbling or disputing.

The next verse teaches us that the way we show love to God is to keep His commandments and He commands children to obey their parents.

Drive it home:  Remember, you are not just obeying for your parents, it is for God, the God who created everything, the God who created you, the God who has all authority to whom we should show our love!  Let’s say 1 John 5:3 one more time.

ForThisIsLove

Pray:  God, as we discuss what it means to obey, we see our sin and how we can be so selfish.  Forgive us when we disobey and forgive us when we have obeyed yet whined and complained.  Father, we can’t keep your commandments without our hearts being moved by you.  Fill us with your Spirit Lord and grant us the power to keep your commandments.  May we hide your Word in our hearts so that we might not sin against you.  In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Sing:

Sing Trust and Obey by Hillsong – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wAXImeSn-A

Sing the traditional Trust and Obey too this week (This one has a nice updated twist to it)-  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWZup0cfI-Y


Day 3

Activity:  Review scripture using a visual aide.

Key verses:

Matthew,Eph,1 John

Lesson idea:  It is important that we obey God because:  He tells us too and He can be trusted,  it’s how we show our love for Him, it brings us joy and peace, we grow in faith, and because Jesus himself obeyed.

Discuss:  We’ve talked about authority and obedience this week.  Can anyone tell me what authority is?  (“The power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience.”)  Who has ALL authority? (God)  Can you tell me what obedience is?  Remember playing Simon says.  (Submission to another’s authority. You give up your way and submit to the person of authority’s way.)  Who has God put in authority over you?  Yes, your parents (or other person raising you).

Now I want us to think and talk about why it is important that we do what God tells us in the Bible.  We know we are supposed to obey but why?
Activity:  Write the 5 underlined reasons on strips of paper and let your family take turns picking the reasons why they are to obey. Discuss in any order as the draw each one.  

Discuss:

1. God tells us to in the Bible.  Remember Genesis 1: 1, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”   He made everything including you, me, mommy, animals, stars, planets, etc.  He has all authority and power over the heavens and the earth.   No one else can know better than God what is best for us right?  Right!  He did make us.  God loves us and wants what is best for us and we can trust what he says, we can trust His Word, it has HIs authority.
2. It is important that we obey because  it shows our love for God.  Remember  1 John 5:3, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments.”  Jesus himself says in John 14:15,  “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”  Sometimes we think of love as how we feel but love is an action here and that action is keeping the commandments of God.  God does things and commands us to obey Him out of love for us. Your parents ask you to do things or not do things out of love for you as well.  They know things you don’t and you are free to trust and obey them. In doing that you trust and obey God and show Him love.
3. We should obey because  it will bring us peace and joy if we trust and obey, just like the words in our song this week.   Have you ever been asked to do something but you really didn’t understand what you were supposed to do?   It’s kind of stressful.  We’re not joyful or at peace when we don’t know what we are supposed to do.  Guess what?  God loves us and He tells us what we should do so that we don’t have to worry!  God has given us commandments and He knows that we will find joy and peace in trusting in Him and keeping those commandments.   Thank you God!  (Psalm 119:1–8  Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the LORD. Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts.” )  Who doesn’t want that?!
4. Obedience causes us to grow in our faith and knowledge of God.  Do you know about Abraham?  (If time allows or children are not familiar with Abraham turn to Genesis 12:1-4) Abraham was asked by God to do things and go places he had never done or gone before.  Did Abraham obey?  Yes he did.  Abraham trusted and he obeyed and he grew in his faith in God as he trusted in God’s ways.  You will also grow in faith and get to know God even more when you choose to obey!
5.  We should obey because Jesus himself obeyed God.  Jesus was perfect and without sin unlike you and me.  No one else who has ever lived, lives now, or will ever live can be perfect like that.  We often find ourselves copying and trusting what other people say and do.  It is easier to do what a friend tells you to do than what your parents tell you to do sometimes isn’t it?  Yet God calls you to obey your parents and God, who is without sin.  Friends are not without sin.  We even trust in ourselves and what we think but we have sin in our hearts as well.  Jesus was without sin and we can and should follow His example of obedience to God.  If Jesus trusted God, that’s good enough for me!

Drive it home:  So, Why should we obey God again?  1. Because He tells us to in the Bible and no one knows better then God.  2. We show our love for God by keeping His commandments.  3.  We have joy when we obey God!  4.  We grow and learn more about God when we obey.  5. Jesus was perfect and without sin and He obeyed God.

Activity:  Let’s finish with a little experiment tonight to remind us of the power and the authority of God.  Pull out a bowl of water.  Ask each person in the room to command the water to do something and see if it will obey them.

Bible application:

Read Luke 8:22-25
Jesus Calms a Storm
22 One day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” So they set out, 23 and as they sailed he fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water and were in danger. 24 And they went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they ceased, and there was a calm. 25 He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey him?”

Even the winds and the water obey God.  Let’s pray that we can do the same.

Pray:  Heavenly father, we have no power to command anything to obey us.  We are your creation and you hold all authority and power.  We forget who we are and who you are too often.  Even the winds and water obey at your command.  Cause us to desire to obey, Lord, gladly, out of love for you.  Grant us faith to trust in your Word and the commandments given there.  Please fill our hearts with your Holy Spirit so we might follow Jesus’s example of obedience to you.  We do want to trust and obey.  In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Sing:

Sing “Trust and Obey” by Hillsong – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wAXImeSn-A
or
Sing the traditional “Trust and Obey” (This one has a nice updated twist to it)-  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWZup0cfI-Y


Day 4

Activity: Review Scripture  (Do a fill in the blank review if you would like)

Key Verses:

“And Jesus came and said to them,  “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord for this is right.”  Ephesians 6:1   

“For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments.” 1 John 5:3         

Matthew,Eph,1 Johnblanks1

Lesson Idea:  We will be tempted to disobey.  There are things we can do to help us fight sin.   God uses our sin to help us see our need for Jesus.

Discuss:  We have learned a lot so far about what the Bible says about obeying God and why we should keep his commandments.  Can you remember any? (1. Because He tells us to in the Bible and no one knows better then God.  2. We show our love for God by keeping His commandments.  3.  We have joy when we obey God!  4.  We grow and learn more about God when we obey  5. Jesus was perfect and without sin and He obeyed God .  Even the winds and water obeyed.)

Today let’s talk about disobeying.  We’re going to discuss what happens when we disobey and what we should do about it when we are tempted to disobey?   Do you ever find that you want to obey at times and it doesn’t bother you, but at other times it seems easier to disobey, and it’s as if you can’t help yourself?  That’s normal.  We live with sin and we are always battling with it.

Bible application:  Let’s look at a passage in the Bible that you are probably familiar with.  Let’s see what happened when the very first people disobeyed God.

Read Genesis 3:1-6
The Fall
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.  He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.  God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. “

Activity:  Give each person a piece of paper and something to draw with.  Let them draw out what is happening in the story as you discuss it further.  

Discuss:  There are some really important things for us to see about what happens in this passage. Let’s draw out some things while we discuss them.  I’ll let you know when to draw. First, who tempted Eve to eat the fruit of the tree of life?  Yes, it was the serpent, Satan. (Draw the serpent.) We can be tempted by Satan too, and he looks for ways to tempt us.  How did he tempt her?  He used the words, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” Satan wanted Eve to doubt what God said.  He wanted her to doubt God’s authority.  (Draw the tree with fruit.) He wants us to doubt God as well.  Did Eve know what God said?  Maybe she didn’t? No, Eve did know.  She says this, “And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’”  Eve knew what God said. We also know what God says in His Word.   Who can tell me what happens next? The serpent/Satan disagrees with what God said and lies to Eve and she eats the fruit. (draw Eve holding or eating the fruit.) He says,  “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”  Satan tested Eve and lied to her and he made her question God’s authority.  She did not obey, even though she new the command that God had given her.  Sin entered the world after this.  We also believe the lies that Satan places in our minds.  We believe how we feel and trust in ourselves and not what God’s Word says.  Then, we choose to disobey God.   People have had a difficult time not disobeying God from that time all the way up to this time that you live in.  Satan wants us to doubt God’s authority.

Drive it home:  We’ve spent a few days now talking about how God created everything and loves us. So it doesn’t make sense that we should doubt God, yet we do.  So what can we do when we struggle to obey?  We can pray.  Call on the God who has authority over all things, even over your heart, my heart, kings and president’s hearts, to help you.  Read and remember God’s Word. Hide it inside so that when you are tempted to sin you can call it to your mind and fight that sin.  God’s Word has power!  Ask for help and talk about it.  Go to your parents, teachers in your church, or Christian friends who also believe in God’s authority.  When we talk about it and confess our sin and pray for one another, God strengthens us as His people.  Remember Jesus has power over our sin and you can ask God and the person you have sinned against for forgiveness. Then, rejoice because you are forgiven and you can move on with a fresh start.

Drive it home even more:  Do you think now that you are learning all of this that you will be able to obey perfectly?  No, when Adam and Eve disobeyed God they brought sin into the world, and we also have that same sin in us.  That is a hard thing, but the wonderful, amazing, crazy good news is that God uses our sin for good!  What?  Really?  Yes!  Romans 8:28 says,  ”And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”  He has authority and He knows what he is doing. God uses our sin to help us see that we need Jesus!  We will always be fighting sin but Jesus was and is without sin.  When we need Jesus and believe in Him, God doesn’t see our sin, but He sees the perfection of His Son.  Because of what God has done in spite of our disobedience to Him we can look forward to a future in heaven where we won’t want to disobey anymore.  What a mighty God we serve!

Pray:  Heavenly Father, you are amazing how you can use even sin for good.  We know that we will disobey and we desire to do something about it.  Help us Lord to pray to you, hide your Word in our hearts, and ask for help when needed.  May our sin cause our minds to be set on you and the work that you have done in Jesus.   Grant us the ability to love you and strive to keep your commandments.  Keep us from believing lies and protect us from doubting your authority as in the Garden of Eden.   Father thank you that even when we fail that it is meant to point us to Christ where we can find true joy and salvation.  We pray all of these things in His name.  Amen.

Sing:

Sing “Trust and Obey” by Hillsong – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wAXImeSn-A
or
Sing the traditional “Trust and Obey” (This one has a nice updated twist to it)-  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWZup0cfI-Y


Day 5

Activity: Review Scripture  (Do fill in the blank review if you would like, adding one more blank tonight)

Key verses:

“And Jesus came and said to them,  “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”  

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord for this is right.”  Ephesians 6:1     

“For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments.” 1 John 5:3       

Matthew,Eph,1 Johnblanks2

Lesson idea:  We sin when we disobey and we even sin when we obey.  You cannot earn God’s love with obedience.  God uses it all for our good.

Discuss:  In our last lesson we talked about what happens when we disobey and what we can do about it. Can you remember what happens when we disobey?  (Remember drawing the picture?  In the garden of Eden Eve listened to the lies of Satan instead of obeying God and trusting in God’s authority.  We fall for the same lies today and believe how we feel and trust in ourselves and not what God’s Word says.  Then, we choose to disobey God.)  Do you remember what you can do about it when you disobey or are tempted to disobey?   We can pray, read and remember God’s Word (God’s Word has power!),  ask for help and talk about it, and remember what Jesus has done (the Gospel) and ask for forgiveness.  Today let’s talk about what happens when we choose to obey.

Game time:  We are going to play Simon says again tonight.

(Take turns playing so each person has a chance to have authority)

Discuss:  You chose to obey the person who had the authority in the game didn’t you?  You did what they said.   What happens when you obey?  When you choose to obey you are choosing to trust the person who is commanding you right?  When you choose to obey your parents, teacher, or whoever has the authority, you are choosing to trust and obey God and to trust in His Word.  It feels great to do the right thing, right?  We talked about that a couple of days ago (Day 3 lesson). It brings us peace and joy when we trust in God and obey.

I have a question I want you to think about for a minute.   Do you think that when you are obeying and keeping God’s commandments you are sinning less?  After all, you are obeying. ( No.)  We sin just as much when we are obeying as when we are disobeying.  Yes, it’s true.  Even when we obey we sin.  What?!  How do we sin when we are obeying?  Did you know that it is possible for people to obey on the outside but still sin on the inside?  It is tempting to be boastful and proud and give ourselves all the credit when we are keeping God’s commandments.  (pretend and say these phrases) “Look at how good I was today!  I was really great because I did everything I was supposed to!  Everyone should be like me.  Yay me!”  It’s funny to pretend to be that way, but it is sinful when we act that way in real life.  God deserves all the credit for any good that it in us. The power to be good comes from God, not us.

When we obey we are also tempted to believe that God loves us more and we deserve good things to happen to us because of how good we have been.  We try to earn God’s love by keeping His commandments and it becomes a checklist.  “I prayed today (check), I read my Bible (check), I even helped a friend when no one asked me (check, extra check).  God must be really happy with me!  I bet I will get something awesome!”  That is sinful.  The truth is that God doesn’t love us more when we obey and he does not love us less when we disobey.  Let me say that again.  It’s that important for you to remember.  God doesn’t love us more when we obey, and he does not love us less when we disobey.   It’s also important to know and remember that we don’t earn good things from God.  God blesses us when we are good and obey and also when we are sinful and disobey.  Whatever good things God gives or doesn’t give it is not dependent upon our behavior .  Remember Romans 8:28“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”  All God gives or doesn’t give is for our good.  God has authority, He knows what He is doing, and He has a purpose.

Drive it home:  Does that mean we should stop trying to obey?  I mean, we sin no matter what we do.  Remember drawing the strips of paper with the reasons we should obey God written on them?  We should obey…. (1. Because He tells us to in the Bible and no one knows better then God.  2. We show our love for God by keeping His commandments.  3.  We have joy when we obey God!  4.  We grow and learn more about God when we obey  5. Jesus was perfect and without sin and He obeyed God .  Even the winds and water obeyed.)  The best thing of all is that when we try our hardest to obey and fail, God uses that to show us that even at our best we need Him and He draws us even closer to our Savior Jesus Christ.

Before we sing, let’s read one of the verses in the hymn “Trust and Obey” together.

Lyrics

We WILL perfectly obey one day when we are with God in Heaven!  It’s going to be awesome!

Pray:  Heavenly Father, it’s so exciting that someday we get to be with you in Heaven one day.  There, we will always obey and have the peace and the joy that comes from perfect trust and love for you.  Until then Lord, would you help us to fight to obey you here on Earth.  Draw us closer to you and show us our need for Jesus.   Help us, Lord, to recognize our sin whether it is on the outside where others see it or on the inside where only you see it.   Grant us the power of the Holy Spirit  to help us know when we are being lied to so that we can remember your Word and not trust in our own thoughts and feelings.  You are good, God, and you have a purpose, and we thank you for loving us. In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen. 

Sing:

Sing the traditional “Trust and Obey” (This one has a nice updated twist to it) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWZup0cfI-Y


Day 6

Activity:  Review Scripture  (See if you your family can tell you the verses if you get them started)

Key Verses:

Matthew,Eph,1 John

Lesson Idea:  Trusting in God means trusting in His Word, which has His authority.

Discuss:  We’ve talked a lot this week about God’s authority, how He has authority over all of His creation.  We then talked about how God, who has all authority, has given people places of authority on the Earth and has given parents authority over their children.  Remember Ephesians 6:1?  “Children, obey your parents in the Lord for this is right.”  We’ve talked about why you should obey your parents and how obeying those God has put in authority over you is the same as obeying God.  We’ve even talked about disobeying, haven’t we?  Remember the Garden of Eden and how Eve was tempted to believe Satan’s lies and disobey God?  The last thing we discussed was how even when we are obeying we still sin, but that God is working all things for our good and His greater purpose.

Game time:  Tonight we are going to talk about something new.  I’m not going to tell you what it is yet.  Let’s play a little game of hangman first. (Make “Trust in the Lord” your words for the game)  “_ _ _ _ _     _ _     _ _ _     _ _ _ _”

Proverbs 3:5-6  says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

Bible application:  This verse is a great verse to hide in your heart.  Remember God’s Word has power.  Let’s say it again.

TrustInTheLord

Optional activity:  Sing the verse to “Mary Had A Little Lamb”, “Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush”, or make a tune of your own.  (It actually works to the tune of “Happy Birthday” pretty well too)  Seeds of Family Worship has a song for this scripture already and it’s so  lovely.  It’s on the Seeds of Purpose CD or you can purchase the single song on iTunes.  

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,  
all your heart,
all your heart,
and do not (2 counts) lean (2 counts) on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
acknowledge Him,
acknowledge Him,
and he will (2 counts) make (3 counts) straight your paths.

Discuss:  This is a wonderful verse to hide in your heart!  We know that we struggle to obey God sometimes and we trust in ourselves and what we think and what we feel too often instead of trusting in God’s Word and His commandments.  We even trust in what others say instead of what we know to be true.  This is the main reason we disobey.  We forget God’s authority over our life and we believe the lies of Satan just like Eve did.  Proverbs 3:5-6 wisely tells us not to do that.  When we do what we want and not what God wants we are trusting in ourselves and our own understanding of things.  We are sinful human beings who don’t know what is going to happen and we have a perfect sinless God who knows everything that is going to happen.  It doesn’t make sense to trust in ourselves instead of God does it?  It’s down right silly!   We can be very silly sometimes.

Drive it home:  We are to  “Trust in the Lord with all” our “heart,” and not “lean on” our “own understanding.”  If we don’t lean on our own understanding of things, whose understanding of things do we lean on?  The Lord’s, God’s!  Of course! In all our ways we are to “acknowledge Him, and He will make straight” our “paths.”   What does it mean to acknowledge Him?  It means that we accept or admit the existence or truth of God. If we acknowledge God’s understanding of things, because He does know everything about everything and we don’t, He will make our path straight.  What path exactly?  Is there an actual path somewhere you are supposed to be walking on? (Get up and demonstrate walking and finding your path if you need to engage your family a bit)    No.  Your path is your life.  You will have decisions and choices to make all of your life.  It can be hard to know what to do at times.  God promises us though that if we trust in Him and not ourselves, He will guide our life, our decisions and choices.   “Trust in Him” means trusting in God’s Word.  The Bible has God’s authority.   “All Scripture is breathed out (inspired) by God.”  2 Timothy 3:16.  When you don’t know what to do, look to God and His Word and trust in the Lord.   Let’s ask God to help us to do this now.

Pray:  Lord, you have given us the amazing gift of your Word.  We can be so silly sometimes and we confess that we trust in ourselves and others more than your Word too often.  We don’t keep your commandments as we should and in doing this we neglect to love you.  We do want to trust you, God, with all of our hearts.  You have all authority and understanding and we do not.  Help us not to be blind, Father, and keep us from leaning on our own understanding.  Grant us wisdom to Trust in your Word all of our life.  Help us to obey and make straight our path as we acknowledge who you are, God, and strive to trust and obey.  In Jesus name we pray. Amen.    

Sing:

Sing “Trust and Obey” by Hillsong – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wAXImeSn-A
or
Sing the traditional “Trust and Obey” (This one has a nice updated twist to it)-  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWZup0cfI-Y


Day 7

Activity:  This is our last lesson on Authority and Obedience.  Let’s review or Bible verses and then I’m going to read you a story.
(See if you your family can tell you the verses if you get them started)

Key Verses:

“And Jesus came and said to them,  “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”  Matthew 28:18

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord for this is right.”  Ephesians 6:1    

“For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments.” 1 John 5:3    

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”  Proverbs 3:5-6  (Sing it again if you like)

Lesson idea:   In order to honor God’s authority, obey Him, and keep His commandments you must first learn to trust Him with your entire heart and not trust in your own feelings.

Story time:  A Brimming and A Hollow Pond   – by Heather Carter

In my backyard there are two lovely little ponds.  One pond, Brimming Pond, is home to a frog named Byron.  In Byron’s pond there are several goldfish and it is filled to the brim with lots of lilies and tall grasses!  A bluejay named Alice lives in a tree next to the pond and is a good friend of Byrons.  You should know that Byron is the greatest hopper I have ever seen!  He hops all day on top of the lilies there and I think it looks like such fun.

BrimmingPond_Phil4web

One day I saw Byron sitting still on a lily pad looking rather down.  I asked what could make him so sad on such a beautiful day in such a lovely pond.  He said, “My pond isn’t deep enough or long enough and all the lilies and grasses are in the way of my swimming!  It’s only good for hopping, not swimming.  If only I could have a better pond  then I would be happy.”

I walked away and thought about how to help my friend.  While I was walking I passed by the other pond in my backyard, Hollow Pond.  It is long and full of water with rocks all along the edge.  There are a few goldfish and there is a plastic alligator along one side where a little fly named Shew likes to nap every day. Herbert is the frog that lives in Hollow pond.  I should mention that Herbert is a champion swimmer!  I have never seen a frog move so smoothly and swiftly through the water!

HollowPondw-Herbertweb
As I passed by I noticed Herbert was looking really unhappy and frustrated.  I asked  him what was making him so sad on such a beautiful day in such a lovely pond.  He said, “I want to practice hopping and jumping up high toward the sky but I don’t have enough lilies or grasses in my pond to practice on!  It’s mostly water good for swimming, not hopping.   If I could only have a better pond then I would be happy.”

I walked away and thought about both of my froggy friends and how sad and frustrated they were.  I could understand how they were feeling.  My home is just a normal home with a few normal rooms and I spend most of my time in my backyard.  Where I really want to live is in a HUGE castle with lots of secret rooms to explore and stairs to climb up and down!  I bet I would be even happier living in a castle instead of a normal home.  Maybe I could at least help them to be happy.

I sat on my swing and I thought a bit and came up with the perfect idea!  While Byron and Herbert were sleeping I could pick them up and place Byron in Hollow Pond where he can swim as much as he likes and place Herbert in Brimming pond where he can hop till his heart is content!  So, after everyone in my home had gone to bed I went down and made the switch.   How happy they would be when they got up the next morning!

Byron woke that morning and saw water as far as the froggy eye could see.  He was in Hollow Pond!  Without hesitation he dove in and began to swim back and forth with a happy grin on his face.  Shew was there on the plastic alligator for his daily nap.  After a little while Byron grew very tired.  His short, thick legs were weary from all of the swimming.  He hopped out of the pond next to the alligator and it woke Shew from his nap.  Shew noticed the concerned look Byron had so he asked him what was wrong.  “Well, I always wanted a long, deep pond with no lilies and grasses to keep me from swimming.  Now that I have that, I realize that my short, thick legs are much, much better for hopping.  How will I ever get back to hopping in Brimming Pond?  I miss my home.”

Shew felt sorry for Byron and flew off for help.

That same morning Herbert had opened his eyes to what he thought was the perfect dream.  There were lilies everywhere and grasses as far as the froggy eye could see.  He was in Brimming Pond!  He hopped up towards the sun over and over with a smile on his face.  Alice, the blue jay flew overhead and perched next to the pond for a mornings rest.  After a few minutes Herbert had grown quite tired from all of his hopping.  It was hard on his long skinny legs.  He decided to rest on a lily pad next to Alice.  She noticed the look on his face and said, “What is the matter Herbert? You were hopping so gleefully a moment ago.”  “Well,” Herbert said with a sigh, “ I love to hop, and it was great, but my skinny legs do not seem to be so good for hopping.  I think I realize now that they are much, much better for swimming instead.  How will I ever get back to swimming in Hollow Pond?  I miss my home.”

Alice felt sorry for Herbert and flew off for help.

Alice&Shewweb

Alice spotted Shew down bellow her and they perched together on a branch nearby to talk.  They both discussed what they had seen that morning and at the same moment they spotted me out on the patio having breakfast.

I was surprised when they told me what had happened with Byron and Herbert.  I thought for sure that I was helping them out and that their new homes would make them both so very happy.   I knew I had made a mess of things and that I needed to put things back to the way they were.

I went to get Byron and Herbert and I held them in my hand in front of me and told them how sorry I was.  They both looked at me with relief and smiled and thanked me.  “For what?”  I asked them.   “I didn’t fix a thing.”  They both told me how they had each come to realize that they had been placed in their ponds for a reason.  Byron had short, thick legs perfect for hopping in a pond full of lilies and grasses like Brimming Pond and Herbert’s long skinny legs were just right for swimming in a long, deep pond like Hollow Pond.

They told me how happy they were and how much they had learned from my mistake.

I placed them each back in their homes and sat back on my swing to think about what had happened that weekend.  Then, a wonderful feeling came over me and the wind blew across my whole body and I realized that if I had been inside a HUGE castle with lots of secret rooms to explore and stairs to climb like I wanted I may not have been outside in my own backyard having such a wonderful adventure.


Key verse:

TrustInTheLord

Discuss:  Let’s talk about the story for a minute.

What did Byron and Herbert the frogs learn from what happened to them?   That God made them the way they were for a reason. Byron had short think legs perfect for hopping in Brimming Pond where God had placed Him.  Herbert had long skinny legs perfect for swimming in Hollow Pond where God has placed Him.) God made you the way you are for a reason too.

The frogs began to trust in their own understanding and believed they knew best what would make them happy.

When they got what they wanted were they happier?  For a little bit they were happy, but then they began to feel very unhappy and out of place in their new ponds.

The little girl in the story was wishing for a castle to live in.  What did she learn?   She found the joy in the wonderful backyard adventures she was having.  She realized that a castle did not mean a happier life.

You can choose to be happy with the way God has made you and with the things he has given you too if you “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”

Drive it home:  It will be very hard  for you to honor God’s authority, obey your parents, and keep His commandments until you learn to Trust Him with your entire heart first.  If we say that we love God without wanting to obey Him there is a problem in our hearts.  We learned in 1 John 5:3.  that we love God by keeping His commandments.  In the story the frogs learned that trusting in themselves and their own feelings did not end up making them happy.  Remember the words in our song this week.

Lyrics2

Remember that God knows we need Him to be happy. He knows we will lean on our own understanding sometimes and that we can’t trust and obey perfectly.  This is why the only way is through Jesus, His Son, who did Trust and Obey perfectly for us.  We can be happy in Jesus and we can work hard to trust and obey our loving God!

Pray: Dear God,  Like in our story tonight about the frogs, you have your reasons for making us like we are and placing us where we are in life.  May we always trust in those reasons without question and may we always work our hardest to trust and obey you.  Father, teach us to acknowledge you in all of our ways and help us to trust in your Word and not in our own understanding.  We know that we live with the sin that was brought into the world in the Garden of Eden and it is not possible for us to keep your commandments all the time.  We thank you for Jesus who did keep your commandments perfectly and trusted and obeyed in our place.  In His name we pray.  Amen.

Sing:

Sing “Trust and Obey” by Hillsong – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wAXImeSn-A
or
Sing the traditional “Trust and Obey” (This one has a nice updated twist to it)-  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWZup0cfI-Y


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