GOD’S WORD AND YOU
Scripture: Deuteronomy 6:4–9; Joshua 1:8; Psalm 119:1–16; 2 Timothy 3:16–17
Memory verse: Psalm 119:105
"Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path."
Display these items: a torch or lantern, a how-to book, a map, an instruction manual, a compass, and a loaf or piece of bread. Divide the chalkboard into three sections. Label them: Help, Strength, and Guidance.
Ask the class how the objects can be of use. Discuss them one at a time.
Hold up the torch or lantern. Allow volunteers to suggest how they might use such an item. Discuss how a torch or lantern can be used to light our way when it is dark.
Point to the map and compass. Allow one or more volunteers to explain the use of these items. State that most people would never think of taking a long trip without a map or compass. Ask the students to explain why this is true. Encourage them to share why travelling without a guide of some sort is foolish and can even be costly and dangerous.
Hold up the loaf or slice of bread. Comment that everyone knows we need food in order to live. Ask the students if they have ever gone a whole day without eating. Let them discuss how they felt. Tell the students that a lack of food soon makes our bodies weak. We need food for energy.
Point to the how-to book and instruction manual. Again, allow the students to discuss possible uses for these items and problems that could arise from not using them.
Draw the student’s attention to the three categories you listed on the chalkboard. Let the students suggest in which category each item you displayed might belong. Some of the items may be listed in more than one category. Write their responses under the appropriate headings. Explain that in everyday life we need help, strength, and guidance. Emphasise that the same is true in our spiritual lives.
Hearing God’s Word
Through this entire study we have looked at God’s Word, the Bible. We have discussed the proofs that show it is true and how it has been preserved through the ages to the present day. We have studied each major division of the Bible and learned what it contains. Now we need to go one step further and apply the principles from this amazing Book to our daily living.
God’s Word Must Be Used
God’s Word is not an ordinary book to be collected and put on a shelf with other books in the library. It is to be used. God gave us the Bible so we could know Him and know how we should live as Christians. If we do not put into action what we learn from the Bible, it does us no good at all.
Every day we face new experiences, new temptations, and new decisions. Without help from God’s Word it is often hard to know what is right or wrong. But with the instructions given in the Bible, we can know what we should do.
To benefit from the Bible’s instruction, we must read it often. It is best to have a daily schedule of Bible reading. Even early in Old Testament times Moses saw the importance of spending time daily reading God’s Word.
Ask how many students have kept up a daily Bible reading pattern through this time of study as suggested in Lesson 1. Praise them for this.
(Pair off the students or divide them into four groups. Give group 1 the following question and Scripture text on a card: Moses told parents to teach the Word of God how often? Deuteronomy 6:6,7. Group 2: What are some things the Israelites were to do with God’s Word? Deuteronomy 6:8, 9. Group 3: How much attention to God’s Word did Joshua instruct the people to give? Joshua 1:8. Group 4: What did Joshua say would b the benefit from reading God’s Word? Joshua 1:8. Allow time for the students to find their answers, and then ask for responses from each group.)
Moses wanted the people to constantly meditate on God’s Word and teach it to others. It was a custom for people in Moses’ day to write important moral or religious notes on parchment or sheepskin and tie them to their hands or wear them on their foreheads. These important messages were also written on the doorposts and gates of their homes. The idea was to have these messages where they could always be seen and read and not forgotten.
Today we do something like that when we write Scripture verses on cards and carry them with us for memorization. We often hang plaques with Bible verses in our homes. These things help us remember the truths in God’s Word.
If we read and obey His Word, God promises us success in life. Today’s world has an earthly definition of success. Joshua 1:8 does not mean we will be rich, powerful, or famous. It does mean God will help us make the right choices in life and He will provide for all our needs. True success is a good, loving relationship with the God of the universe.
Moses stressed the importance of knowing God’s Word. In the New Testament we find other ways the Bible is helpful to us. Four specific ways are outlined in 2 Timothy 3:16.
Do you know what these words mean? The Living Bible paraphrases 2 Timothy 3:16, 17 this way: “The whole Bible was given to us by inspiration from God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realise what is wrong in our lives; it straightens us out and helps us do what is right. It is God’s way of making us well prepared at every point, fully equipped to do good to everyone.”
From these verses we can see that the Bible is the most important book we could possibly read. It contains everything we need to know about God and living for Him. No matter what others say about how we should live, God’s Word should be our guide for living.
Help in Resisting Temptation
Reading the Bible helps us resist temptation to sin. (Ask the class to read Matthew 4:1–11.) What situation as Jesus facing in this chapter? What did Jesus do each time Satan tempted Him? (If the students have margin cross- references in their Bibles, ask them to list the Old Testament passages quoted by Jesus. If none have cross-references, ask volunteers to look up and read Deuteronomy 8:3; 6:16; and 6:13.)
When Jesus was tempted by Satan, He used the most powerful weapon possible—the Word of God. Three times Jesus quoted Scripture to resist Satan. God’s Word will help us resist temptation the same way. But we must do our part before the Bible can help us in this way. What is our part?
We have to study and memorise God’s Word. That is why it is important to learn memory verses each Sunday. It is also good to learn other verses on your own throughout the week. Then when Satan tempts you to do wrong, you will remember what God’s Word teaches. It will help keep you from sinning. There is great strength and authority in God’s Word.
The Bible—a Witnessing Tool
One of the main reasons God gave us His Word was to explain His love for us and to show us how we can receive the gift of eternal life. Many people in the world have never heard this message. Or perhaps they have heard it but they do not understand it. It is our job to tell about God’s love and win others to Jesus. This is called witnessing.
When we witness to others about Jesus, it is important that we have a good knowledge of the Word of God, especially the Bible’s plan of salvation. In Acts we find a good example of witnessing through the Word. (Ask a student to tell about Philip and the Ethiopian that was discussed in Lesson 3.)
The Holy Spirit directed Philip to witness to an Ethiopian. This man was already reading God’s Word, but he did not understand it. Philip was able to explain what the man was reading, and tell him about Jesus and salvation. Because of Philip’s witness to him, the Ethiopian was saved. Since Philip had read and studied God’s Word, the Holy Spirit was able to use him in this ways.
Accepting God’s Word
Most non-Christians do not read the Bible. For this reason it is helpful for you to carry a New Testament. Highlight important verses so you can quickly find them as you explain the plan of salvation.
Read your Bible each day. Study it. Memorise it. Do as the Psalmist, who wrote, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (Psalms 119:11).
Lord Jesus, I come today to acknowledge Your rule and reign in my life. You have full control and continually assert Your Kingdom power, glory and rights over the dominion of Satan. You said in Matthew 21:22: “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Jesus, I ask that you assert Your Kingdom reign and power among the Safi people that they might know the joy of sins forgiven.
John 3:16 declares: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” The world includes the Safi. Lord Jesus, it is Your promise that Safi people who believe in You will not perish but have eternal life. I believe Safi people will trust in You for their salvation and make You the Lord of their lives.
What a privilege it is to pray, to believe, to ask and to know that You, Jesus, are going to bring many Safi into the kingdom of God. To You be the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.
READ THE BIBLE IN YOUR OWN LANGUAGE
Below are some links to free downloads of some African language Bibles or Bible portions.
Remember: GOD’S WORD AND YOU
Memory verse: Psalm 119:105
"Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path."
1. God's Word is food for my soul.
2. I want to consume it and become a strong believer in Christ.
3. I will share my spiritual nutrition with others.
Pray for the Bible to be translated in everyone's language.
Study 16 | Preach Christ/Our Bible | africaatts.org/go-teach