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Attitude Toward God

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OUR ATTITUDE TOWARD GOD 

Scripture: Exodus 20:1–11; Matthew 22:37

Memory verse: Matthew 22:37
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”

Lead—In

For this object lesson you will need a map or draw one on the chalkboard, and instructions for a game. Ask a student to come to the chalkboard and show how to get to a city. Let another student tell about a game. Do not give any specific directions. Explain that we may have a goal of going somewhere or doing something, but that is not enough. Having directions on how to get to where we want to go or instructions on how to do what we want to do is very important.

Ask the first student the location of the city he indicated and how to get to it. Ask the second student how they would play the game they mentioned. Let the first one use the map to show you a city and a route to take to get there. The other student could read or tell some of the instructions for playing the game.

Emphasize the importance of direction for reaching a goal. Tell them God provided instructions for reaching our final goal, heaven. If people do not know and obey those instructions they will wander aimlessly. Tell the students to listen for instructions in this week’s study.

Hearing God’s Word

Everyone has rules to live by. Perhaps you think when you are grown you can do just as you please. But that is not the way it is. Most adults work at jobs with bosses to obey and company rules to follow. Anyone who drives a car must obey the traffic laws. Anyone who plays in sports must obey the rules of the game. No one can do only as they please without facing some unpleasant consequences.

Rules for Serving God

God’s Word lists some rules that are for everyone everywhere—parents, teachers, children, even kings and presidents. These rules are called the Ten Commandments.

The first four commandments deal with man’s relationship to God. These are the ones we will talk about this week. (Instruct the students to find Exodus 20 in their Bibles. Ask a volunteer to read verses 1 through 3.)

No Other Gods

God said, “You shall have no other gods before me.” It is no coincidence that this is the First Commandment. God wants us to put Him first in our lives. We cannot allow anything to compete with our love for God

Ask: “How can we keep God first in our lives?” (List the student responses on the chalkboard.)

Perhaps the most important thing we can do to keep God first is to obey what He tells us to do. This is what Jesus meant when He said, “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). Reading God’s Word and praying each day will help us know what He wants us to do so we can obey Him.

Sometimes it is easy for people to let things crowd into their lives and take the place that belongs to God. These may not be bad things, but people can become so busy they do not take time to pray or read God’s Word as they should. Many times going to Sunday school and church become less important than visiting friends or doing other things.

When something becomes more important to us than serving God, it becomes an idol in our lives.

Ask: “What things could become idols in our lives?” (List the following things as possibilities if they are not mentioned by the students: friends, a new bicycle, sports, clothes.)

Sometimes people serve material things, such as houses, cars, clothes, and money. They may not actually bow down and worship these things, but making them the most important things in their lives puts God in second place. Before we can really serve God as we should, we must give Him first place in our hearts.

No Graven Images

The Second Commandment is somewhat like the first. (Ask a student to read Exodus 20:4–6.) In Old Testament times many people worshiped images made from wood or stone instead of the one true God. They called these images their gods. They prayed to them, made sacrifices to them, and did their best to please them. Some even sacrificed their children to try to make their gods happy. It is sad to think that people would be foolish enough to worship man-made objects. This was the kind of world in which God’s people, the Israelites, lived.

Today idol worship is still carried on in many places of the world. People believe their idols and statues can help them. But God says this is wrong. God is the one who created us. We should worship and honour Him and Him only. Sometimes people worship statues because they want to be able to see the god they are worshipping.

Ask: “Can we see God?” (Ask a student to read John 4:24.)

Our Bible says God is a Spirit. He cannot be seen. We worship Him by faith, not by sight. Yet we can know God is real.

Honouring God through our Speech

The Third Commandment tells us to honour God’s name. (Ask a volunteer to read Exodus 20:7.)

Ask: “Have you ever heard someone use the names of God or Jesus as swear words?” (Allow response.) Most of us have.

Ask: “Did you know that person is breaking one of God’s rules?”

The kinds of words we use show other people what we are like on the inside. Jesus knew this. He said, “The things that come out of the mouth come from the heart” (Matthew 15:18).

In Old Testament times, a person who used God’s name irreverently was put to death. (Ask a student to read Leviticus 24:16.) Modern laws are not that severe, but God holds the person accountable who uses His name as a swear word.

Most Christians are careful not to curse or use profanity of any kind, but sometimes people unknowingly use slang words that are forms of God’s name. Certain slang expressions are really substitutions for God and Jesus. (You might mention some of these.) What seems like harmless expressions may be unbecoming to a Christian who really loves God. Also, if we are not careful to watch what we say, we could become influenced by slang terms we hear on TV or with non-Christian friends. This is not pleasing to God. God wants us to be careful about the things we way.

The name of Jesus is very special and should be respected highly. A day is coming when every person will bow down at the name of Jesus. (Instruct a student to read Philippians 2:9–11.) It is good to remember that God’s name and the name of Jesus should always be used reverently—in prayer, worship, and speech.

Keeping the Sabbath

The Fourth Commandment tells us about a special way to honour God. (Instruct a volunteer to read Exodus 20:8-11.) When we love God and have a right relationship with Him, we will have no problem keeping this commandment. Sunday is a day we set aside for God. It is to be a time of worship and thanksgiving to God at His house. (Discuss ways in which we can keep Sunday a holy day—finishing chores on Saturday so we can rest on Sunday, choosing to go to church instead of working like it was just another day.

God gave us this rule for our benefit. He knows we need rest from the work we do all week. It has been proven that people cannot work continuously 7 days a week and be at their best. Their body and mind need rest.

Many years ago, the country of France adopted a 10–day week–9 days of work and 1 day of rest. But the people did not turn out good work under this schedule. France had to go back to the 7–day week. God knew man’s needs long before France’s experiment.

Sunday is a day of worship and rest to refresh ourselves physically and spiritually. If we keep this commandment, we honour God and show that we sincerely love Him.

The Great Commandment

(Instruct students to read Matthew 22:37 in unison. Repeat it together several times.) This verse sums up what our attitude toward God should be. Jesus called this verse the “greatest commandment” because it shows the perfect way to honour and please God. If we love God with all our hearts, souls, and minds, we will naturally keep His commandments. They are rules God gave us for a reason—ways we can show God the love we have for Him. These rules are for our own good and protection too. Obeying our memory verse is the perfect way to show God how important He is to us.

Accepting God’s Word

Emphasize that God wants first place in our lives. Explain when clothes, friends, or money take more of our time and energy than God, we are giving God less than what He deserves. Challenge the students to begin this week to give their full attention to God and obey His Word. Encourage them to love God with all their heart, soul, and mind.

Reaching Asia

REMEMBER TO PRAY! 
Pray for Unreached Tribes of Asia

1. Messengers sent to the 4,991 unreached tribes in Asia,
2. Message of salvation presented clearly,
3. Thousands to believe and to be set free from condemnation of sin.

Prayer Promise

"Whoever believes in him (Jesus) is not condemned" (John 3:18).

Remember: OUR ATTITUDE TOWARD GOD

Memory verse: Matthew 22:37
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”

1. Jesus is God and the most important person in my life.
2. The Bible gives me a standard to follow.
3. I will live according to the teaching of the Bible with Jesus leading the way.

Pray for Unreached Tribes of Asia.

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Study 2 | All the World/Great Teachings | africaatts.org/go-teach

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