Monday, June 2, 2014

Obedience is Important by Martin Wiles

(All material is original to the author with the exception of songs and activities which have been borrowed from various sources. All studies are free for public use.)

Obedience is Important
Scripture Reference: Genesis 2:16-18; 3:1-13, 21-24 (NLT)
Related Scripture References: Genesis 1:26; Proverbs 3:12
(Compiled and written by Martin W. Wiles)

Objectives: To teach children that obeying God in all things is important. 

Say: Today we begin a new theme. For the next three months, we will study great stories from the Bible. Some of these you may have heard before in Sunday School or at home when your parents read you Bible stories. We will study stories like Noah and the flood, Joshua and the walls of Jericho, David and Goliath, and Daniel in the lion’s den. 

Say: (Teacher needs to have this verse written on paper and displayed where children can easily see it.) Let’s say our memory verse together. (The first sentence of the verse will be enough for them to memorize) Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.” (Genesis 1:26 NLT)

Ask: (Spend at least 10 minutes on this section. Children need to think about how important it is to be obedient to God, their parents, and their teachers at school and church.) 

Have you ever done something your parents told you not to do? Give time for the children to share ways they have disobeyed their parents. Ask them what their parents did when they disobeyed. Did they discipline them? Then ask them why they think their parents responded that way? (Some children find themselves in home situations where parents instruct them to do things that cause them to disobey God’s standards. Maybe Mom tells them to lie to the person on the phone and tell them she’s not home. Let children talk about whether it is ever acceptable to disobey parents or teachers. Suppose a teacher at school tells them they can’t talk about Jesus.)

Have you ever done anything your teachers at school or church told you not to do? Give time for children to share incidents. Ask them how their teachers responded when they disobeyed? Did they talk to their parents, put them in time out, send them to the principal’s office? Let the children tell how the discipline made them feel. How did they react?

Have you ever done something that God’s Word says we shouldn’t do, say, or think? Give time for children to share. This is a good opportunity to explain that sin is doing or thinking things God tells us not to. God doesn’t like for us to sin because he knows it harms us. Ask the children how they felt when they disobeyed God. Explain to them that God can use their parents and teachers to help discipline them when they do something wrong. Also remind them that God sees everything we do, and he also knows what we think. Remind them that according to Jesus thinking something wrong is just as bad as doing something wrong. Example: calling their teacher at school bad names in their mind but not saying them aloud. 


Transition
Remind the children that even though God loves us he doesn’t love it when we disobey. When we do, he calls it sin. Sin separates us from God and makes him sad. That’s why God disciplines us like our parents and teachers when we sin. He wants us to know and do what’s right. One sin can lead to another sin and another sin and another sin. All sins are bad, but some sins have serious consequences. People who commit crimes (give some examples) are sinning. If they get caught, they may have to pay fines or even go to jail. Sometimes they have to stay in jail until they die. God wants us to love him so much that we will always obey him. 

Song:

O Be Careful, Little Eyes
O be careful little eyes what you see
O be careful little eyes what you see
There's a Father up above
And He's looking down in love
So, be careful little eyes what you see

O be careful little ears what you hear
O be careful little ears what you hear
There's a Father up above
And He's looking down in love
So, be careful little ears what you hear

O be careful little hands what you do
O be careful little hands what you do
There's a Father up above
And He's looking down in love
So, be careful little hands what you do

O be careful little feet where you go
O be careful little feet where you go
There's a Father up above
And He's looking down in love
So, be careful little feet where you go


O be careful little mouth what you say
O be careful little mouth what you say
There's a Father up above
And He's looking down in love
So, be careful little mouth what you say

Bible Story Time: 
Be prepared to tell the children the story of Adam and Eve.
At the beginning of time, God created the heavens and the earth. He made all the plants and animals and everything we can and can’t see. But the animals and plants couldn’t talk with him, and he wanted someone he could talk to and love. So he decided to create humans. 

The first two humans God created were named Adam and Eve. God married them and told them to have children so the earth could be filled with people. He also made a garden for them to live in called the Garden of Eden. It was filled with animals and all types of plants and trees. God told them they could eat from any tree in the garden except one: the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God knew that if they ate from that tree sin would enter their lives. But he also knew that he had to give them a chance to obey or disobey him. He didn’t want robots that had to obey him. He wanted people to have a choice. 

One day as Eve was walking around the garden, she heard a hissing sound. It came from a tree, the tree God told them not to eat from. The hissing noise was made by a snake. Then she heard the snake talk. But it wasn’t really the snake talking; it was the devil talking through him. He asked Eve if God had told them they couldn’t eat from any of the trees in the garden. Eve said, “No, just the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” The devil told Eve what God said wasn’t true about the tree hurting them. She and Adam would know everything if they ate from it. They would be like God. 

Eve looked at the fruit hanging from the tree, and it looked so tasty. Maybe God was holding back something good from them like the devil said. She reached out her hand and plucked a piece of fruit and ate it. It was so juicy and tasty. Adam came walking up, and she offered him a piece. He ate to and enjoyed every bite. But then they immediately knew they had disobeyed God. They felt terrible and tried to hide from God when he came for his evening talk with them. But they discovered they couldn’t hide. He knew exactly where they were. 

Though God forgave Adam and Eve for sinning, he did discipline them like parents do when their children disobey. He made them leave the beautiful garden. From now on Adam would have to work hard for the ground to produce crops, and Eve would experience terrible pain when she had children. God forgave their disobedience, but they had to pay a price for disobeying.  

Ask: What does this story teach about obedience?  

Activity Break: (15 minutes)
Game: “Battling Sin”  

Wrap Up: 
Give children a blank piece of paper and let them color a picture demonstrating disobedience or obedience. Then let them explain what their picture is demonstrating. 

Take Away:
Go around the room and let each child tell one thing they learned from the story of Adam and Eve.
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