BE WISE ABOUT CHOICES
Scripture: Psalm 25: 4–5; Proverbs 3:6, 4:10–27, 13:20
Memory verse: Proverbs 3:6
“In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Do you ever feel life is filled with so many choices that it is difficult to decide what to do?
Ask: “What are some choices you have made today?” (Allow responses.)
Some choices are simple; others are complex. But making right choices in life is important. Our choices affect us and often affect many others as well.
As Christians, we cannot really talk about making right choices without going back to basics. There is one choice all of us must make in order to live a full and meaningful life.
Ask: “What is that choice?” (Allow responses.)
Hearing God's Word
Choosing to serve God is the most important choice we can ever make.
Ask: “What is the first step we must take when choosing to serve God?” (Allow responses.)
Without Jesus in our lives it is impossible to live in a way that is pleasing to both God and man. Choosing to serve God actually means accepting Jesus as our Saviour.
Not only is serving God our most important choice, it also has wonderful benefits. Let us think about our memory verse for a moment: “In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight: (Proverbs 3:6.) (Recite the verse with the students.) When we start living for God, the Holy Spirit will be with us to give us the help and guidance we need to make the right choices in life. That is a great benefit!
When Jesus is our Saviour and Lord and His Holy Spirit lives in us, we can then make other choices that affect our lives in a positive way. Do you remember a dream Solomon had soon after he became king of Israel? God spoke to Solomon in a dream and gave him an opportunity to choose anything he wanted.
Ask: “What did Solomon choose?” (Allow responses.)
Because Solomon chose wisdom, God was pleased to enable Solomon to become a great, powerful, and wealthy king. With God=given wisdom Solomon was able to make choices that affected his life and the lives of all those in his kingdom. Making the right choice made a great difference to everyone.
Follow God’s Instruction
(Ask a student to read Proverbs 4:10–12.) When we choose to serve God and accept His wisdom, He will lead us in the way we should go. We will not have to worry about making the right decision of going in the right direction. God will show us what to do.
Another important choice we must make is whether or not to accept instruction from others. This subject frequently appears in the Book of Proverbs.
Instruction and advice are very similar. In order to please God and get along with others, we need to accept both. Parents, teachers, pastors, and others in authority over us often give instruction that will help us. We should listen to it, and unless it is contrary to God's Word, obey it.
Beware of Satan’s Tricks
When we accept Jesus as Saviour, we have chosen the right path. But even though we have started in the right direction, that does not mean we will never be tempted to get off the path. Satan is an expert at trying to turn us away from the path of righteousness. He knows our weaknesses and purposely places temptations along the way to lure us from the direction we need to go.
Ask: “What are some things Satan can place along the road that might attract people from the right way?” (Allow discussion.)
(Encourage the students to think of things that might draw them away from serving God. List the students’ suggestions on the chalkboard.)
Popularity—A problem we have mentioned in an earlier lesson is popularity. Sometimes the desire to be accepted is stronger than our determination to do what we know is right. When the “in crowd” is doing something that seems like fun, it is sometimes tempting to go along, telling ourselves, “it is just once.”
To go along or not to go along with the crowd is a choice we have to make. It is not always easy. Sometimes the things others are doing may seem harmless, yet to go along with those actions makes it that much easier to do things that are harmful to our Christian life and witness.
Bad Habits—Consider the alcoholic. How does someone become an alcoholic? Is a person born that way? Did someone force the person to drink day after day?
Ask: “How did this habit get started?” (Allow discussion.)
Seldom, if ever, does a person become an alcoholic immediately. It is a process that develops over a period of time. Some alcoholics may have begun drinking at a very young age. You may know of some youth who are already alcoholics. Perhaps they took a drink just for fun to go along with their friends. That choice then led to future choices to drink. Maybe a drink or two was taken at special celebrations or parties. From that point on it may have become easy to drink to forget about problems or frustrations. Whatever the outcome, it all began with the choice to take that first drink.
This process is the same with taking drugs or smoking. Somewhere along the way a person is invited to try one or the other, or he may choose to do so simply out of curiosity. He wants to know how drugs or tobacco will make him feel. Unfortunately, both choices lead people away from the right path onto the path of wickedness.
Rely on God’s Direction
Solomon clearly warned us not to step onto the path of the wicked, but to avoid it and keep on the right path. (Ask a student to read Proverbs 4:26, 27.) Such a choice takes a lot of determination—more than we have on our own. We need God’s help.
God’s Word tells us that choosing the right friends is extremely important also. It is a choice that will have a powerful effect on many other choices during our lives. We must learn to be choosy when selecting our closest friends. Friends who share the same beliefs and values will help us stay on the right path. (Ask a student to read Proverbs 13:20.)
Choose to listen to and obey God’s Word. True wisdom comes only from God. When we follow His instructions, we will not have to worry about making right choices. Our decisions, both great and small, will be in line with His Word and will. When we obey God’s Word, the other areas noted on the word strips will be taken care of in the process.
Solomon was a wise man. Yet he knew the importance of relying on God’s Word and wise advice from others. He did not depend on his own wisdom alone. He wanted God’s direction.
God has provided help for us when we are faced with decisions. He has given us His Word and the Holy Spirit to give us direction. He has given us pastors, teachers, and Christian parents to give us advice. If we make use of God’s provision and commit ourselves to serve Him each day, we will go through life making wise choices.
Stress that the most important choice we can ever make is to accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. This choice affects our present life and eternity as well.
Explain that everyone has sinned and needs salvation. God has provided for our future with Him through the death of His only Son. Ask if anyone who has not already done so would like to make that choice today to accept Jesus as their personal Saviour.
Accepting God’s Word
Suggest that your students keep a “decision diary” this week. It can be kept in an exercise book. On the first page have them list ways to seek God’s help in making choices, such as reading and obeying His Word, listening closely in Bible Study and church, following the Holy Spirit’s guidance and accepting advice from pastors, Christian teachers and parents. Each day they should record decisions they faced and the choices they made. (If they have any questions about their choices, assure them they can discuss them with you next week.)
Remind the students that God is interested in every decision they make. Give them this formula to use when faced with a decision: Always stop, look at the possible answers, and listen for God’s leading based on what the Bible says.
Pray with the class, asking God to help them learn His instructions, obey them, and then trust Him for help in their decisions.
Chinese in Africa
For many years, the Chinese government has invested hugely in Africa.
Although there are no official figures, evidence suggests that at least a million private Chinese citizens have arrived on African soil since 2001, many entirely of their own initiative, rather than being sent by the Chinese government.
This “human factor” has done as much as any government action to shape China’s image in Africa. The Chinese immigrants have established themselves in almost every lucrative sector of the economy in every country of Africa. Most of them are from the Han tribe, but many are Hui.
The Chinese need to be introduced to Jesus. God has given African youth a wonderful opportunity to be His messenger to all the Chinese living among them. Seize the opportunity! Step across the cultural barriers and share the gospel!
REMEMBER TO PRAY!
Pray for Chinese Near You
1. Our class to find the Chinese in our community and country,
2. Each of us intentionally to become friends with them,
3. Boldly share the love of Jesus with them and lead them to faith in Christ.
"We have found the Messiah...And he brought him to Jesus" (John 1:41–42).
Remember: BE WISE ABOUT CHOICES
Memory verse: Proverbs 3:6
“In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight”
1. I choose to accept Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour.
2. I have decided to live a godly, Christ-honouring life.
3. I want to tell everyone about how Jesus came into my life.
Pray for Chinese to come to faith in Christ through the witness of our class.
Study 10 | Migrants—Proverbs | africaatts.org/go-teach