Lessons We Learn From Their Lives

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The purpose of this section is to:

  • Provide Bible studies you can easily access and use with your children.
  • Encourage and assist you as you teach your children how to use and study their Bibles.
  • Provide a variety of opportunities for children to practice what they are learning.
  • Reacquaint or introduce children to people God has used to accomplish His purpose.
  • Demonstrate through these studies that an individual’s actions, words and reactions reveal his or her heart.

KEY VERSES

As in water, face reflects face, so a man’s heart reveals the man. —Proverbs 27:19

For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. —1 Samuel 16:7

It’s not who you are that matters to God but what you will allow Him to do through you that matters.

INTRODUCTION

This section of the Manual is made up of thought-provoking, enjoyable Bible studies designed to be used by parents to teach children about interesting people in God’s Word.

The Bible is full of true stories of ordinary people who were called on to show “extra-ordinary” courage, faith, obedience, commitment and reliance on God. They were not measured by outward appearance or personal accomplishments. Instead, they were measured by their obedience to God and by their faithfulness to rely on Him and give Him all the glory. It’s not who you are that matters to God but what you will allow Him to do through you that matters.

Based solely on the outward appearance, many of those whom God selected to work with seem like unlikely candidates for the job. However, God didn’t choose them because of physical characteristics or abilities. He looked at their hearts and He found:

  • Faith—and the willingness to act on it.
  • Trust—an absolute confidence in God and His Word.
  • Courage—the determination to stand for God, even unto death.
  • Longsuffering—a willingness to wait for God to do what He said He would do, without imposing self-will over God’s will.

These people stayed the course, living their lives day-by-day with hearts bent on pleasing God.

These people stayed the course, living their lives day-by-day with hearts bent on pleasing God. God also observed them making wrong decisions like all human beings do, but when they repented and turned back to Him, He forgave them and continued achieving His purpose through them.

In contrast, there are some in the Bible who refused to honor and trust God, choosing instead to practice disobedience and to do things their own way. They thought they knew better than God. Proud people provide powerful examples of what not to do, and the lessons they teach can also be vitally instructive for children.

Outline for Bible studies

Each study is divided into seven sections:

  • Title and descriptive bullet points
  • Key Verses
  • Prologue
  • Story and Study
  • Questions
  • Discussions
  • Activity (or Activities)

The content changes with each study, but the divisions remain the same throughout.

Key verses and memory scriptures

As you begin to examine a study, you will see key verses. These are great memory scriptures. Children may find them easy to remember after having listened to a related story, answering questions, having a discussion and taking part in a fun activity. You can also turn to the “Methods” portion of the “Memorizing Scripture” section of the Manual. Method #2 of that section provides a comprehensive “7-Step Plan” for introducing, reviewing and retaining almost any scripture.

Story or study?

As you read through the Bible studies, you will notice that each contains a story that provides a focus for the study—content around which the Bible study is built. The “Pause for thought” and “Factoid” inserts in the studies are there to spark an interest in knowing more and to lead you to scriptures which will clarify or add a bit of historical information. The inserts add a miniature study component to the story and are intended to slow us down long enough to stop and think about what we are reading. You might even take time to ask or answer a question. The study aspect is continued in a variety of ways through the Questions, Discussions and Activities.

Place studying God’s Word with your children as a top priority.

Getting started

  • Place studying God’s Word with your children as a top priority.
  • Make a commitment to do it.
  • Set aside a specific time for Bible study with your children and stick with it.
  • After scanning the material in this section and considering the ages and attention spans of your children, determine your course of action and develop a plan.

We understand that schedules and time restraints vary. The Bible studies are arranged in a manner that makes it easy to choose how much of the material you will cover in one sitting: a complete Bible study on the Sabbath, for example, or maybe only a reading of the story. You may decide to divide the study into sections and cover one section a day, several sections at a time during the week, or spread out over a month. You might shorten the Bible study by selecting only certain sections of it for now. It’s not how much you cover; it’s how much is learned from what you cover.

As you prepare to lead Bible studies

Remember that children will enjoy the Bible study more when you are prepared. They will respond more eagerly when you are enthusiastic about and demonstrate a real interest in the study. They will internalize what is covered to the degree you actively involve them in the preparation and implementation of the study and to the degree you carry the lessons over into their daily lives.

As you prepare to lead, you will find it helpful to read the entire Bible study first yourself. If you do an activity, be prepared ahead of time. Look closely to see if you need any supplies. You may want to consider adding your own visual aids and activities to the Bible study. Things like maps, pictures, crafts, puzzles, and music can make the study more interesting, meaningful and enjoyable for children.

If possible, make sure each person participating has a Bible. Have your children practice locating where the story is found and turning to key verses and reading them. “Sword Drills,” for example, are an active, fun way of familiarizing children with their Bibles—a great way for them to learn to find books, chapters and verses. To learn about this technique, turn to the “Methods” portion of “Memorizing Scripture.”

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

As you lead a Bible study, it will be important to encourage your children to:

  • Look for valuable lessons they can learn from the people of the Bible.
  • Plan ways they can apply these lessons in their day-to-day living.
  • Pay special attention to how the people in this story acted and reacted.
  • Consider the Key Verse in Proverbs 27:19 and look for evidence of the attributes or qualities of their hearts which caused them to act or react in this manner.

We need to encourage, equip and inspire our children to obey God and place their confidence in Him.

We need to encourage, equip and inspire our children to obey God and place their confidence in Him. To have that kind of relationship with Him, they need to know Him. To develop the character of God, they have to know Him. This material can be used as a tool to serve you as you aid them in their journey of learning about who God is and who they are capable of becoming.

Look for and acknowledge actions that show evidence of godly attributes. The characters in the Bible were children once, too, with great potential in them. Your children also have great potential in them, and so do you! Know that no matter what challenges life presents, nothing is too hard for God. Yes, with men there are many impossibilities, but with God all things are possible.

Further Your Study

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