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.)