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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Amos -- True Worship

Our topic for the week is the Minor Prophets. That's a lot of ground to cover in 2 class sessions. There is so much to talk about. So, we will just center on one thing that Amos prophesied about. Hopefully this lesson will plant the seed of how we should apply the lessons God was teaching the Israelites to us today.

Amos 5:21-23 says: I hate, I despise your feast days, and I do not savor your sacred assemblies. Though you offer Me burnt offrerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them, nor will I regard your fattened peace offerings. Take away from Me the noise of your songs, or I will not hear the melody of your stringed instruments.

The people still worshiped God. They offered sacrifices to Him. He had told them to do that years ago. Now, He's saying He won't accept them. Why? It was just noise to Him. They didn't love Him or consider Him the One True God. They also worshiped false gods that they had built with their own hands. Because of this God was going to bring destruction to them, take them away from the land He had given them.

How do we apply this to ourselves today? We look at what God expects from us in our worship? Are we free to do what we please? God has given us instructions through commands and examples of how we would worship Him. Today in class we will talk about the different aspects of our worship and how we are to worship in God spirit and in truth. Not just make lip service so we can say it is done.

Lesson Plan:


Kings of Judah: Review the Kings from Timeline then sing The 20 Kings of Judah (another of Glenda's songs).

Proverbs 6:6-11: We did our 2nd copy work on Wednesday evening. The kids are really enjoying this one. I have trouble getting them to say the Proverbs and not sing Glenda's "Go To The Ant" song.

Discuss Prophets: Discuss what a prophet is -- messenger of God, who they were, who they prophesied to and what Jesus said about them in Matthew 5.

Amos: Read Amos 5. Go back and talk about verses 21-25

Worship: Talk about the things God wants us to do to worship Him. I have a folder activity and a memory game from a previous class that we will use to help them remember this part of the lesson.

Sing: We Worship God

Review previous lessons by singing songs we've learned

Worship Notes: Pass out worship notes.

Prayer

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Ezekiel

We are studying about Ezekiel this morning. I find it a little difficult to teach about the prophets because we get so little time to spend on each one. It is also difficult for me because it is the part of the Bible I am the least familiar with. I hope to convey to my students and my own children the importance of knowing all of the Bible. I want them to be confident that the Bible was written for their understanding and because of that it is possible to understand it. This morning we will talk about who Ezekiel was, when he prophesied and who he prophesied to. We'll talk about some of the visions of the opening chapters. I want to teach them that, while these visions are unusual to us, they were given to Ezekiel to make things easier for him and the people to understand God's message.

I hope to read at least 3 chapters in class -- 1-3. Chapter 1 talks about the 4 cheribum and the wheels that accompanied/carried them. Chapter 2 talks about God telling Ezekiel to eat the scroll. Chapter 3 tells Ezekiel not to be afraid of the people he is to talk to (Israelites) but to tell them what God wants them to hear regardless of their reaction.

We'll then jump to chapter 12 and read about how Ezekiel was supposed to demonstrate to the people about the captivity they would endure. As I try to visualize this, I can't help but smile. I picture this old man that I'm sure everyone considers pretty odd by this time acting out the steps involved in being a captive -- packing up his stuff, putting it out in the front yard, then at night taking it all to the wall and digging a hole in the wall.

I plan on introducing one of Glenda Schales songs -- Ezekiel. It talks about the dry bones vision that Ezekiel saw. We won't cover that until Wednesday night but I want to start singing the song to them this morning anyway.

Wednesday night we started new memory work. We have memorized Psalm 23, 100, 127 and 1 this year. I was going to go ahead and work on another Psalm when one of the students said, "Let's memorize something in Proverbs." I couldn't resist his request so we are working on Proverbs 6:6-11. This is the Proverbs about the ant and the sluggard. The kids were thrilled to get to do this. They have been singing Glenda's song -- Go To The Ant O Sluggard -- for years. This will be a welcome relief to the difficult Psalms we have been working on.

Lesson Plan:

Kings of Judah: Review the Kings from Timeline then sing The 20 Kings of Judah (another of Glenda's songs).

Proverbs 6:6-11: We did our first copy work on Wednesday evening. We'll read it aloud today and recite in unison from memory the part we copied Wednesday evening.

Discuss Prophets: Discuss what a prophet is -- messenger of God, who they were, who they prophesied to and what Jesus said about them in Matthew 5.

Ezekiel: Read Ezekiel 1-3 and then chapter 12. Discuss as we go along.

Sing: Ezekiel by Glenda Schales

Worship Notes: Pass out worship notes.

Prayer

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Jeremiah

This is a sad day. We have to read in Jeremiah how disappointed, or should I say disgusted, God is with Judah. He even tells them that they are have done worse than Israel. I plan on starting class with a review of Genesis 12 1-3 where God first gives His 3 promises to Abraham -- Nation, Land, Spiritual Blessing. We'll then review how God went about fulfilling these promises.

God made Abraham's descendants a great nation when he gave them a law at Mt Sinai. He gave them the land when Joshua leads them into the promised land and they take possession. The promise of a spiritual blessing (Christ coming) had yet to be fulfilled when the descendants of Abraham behaved so badly that God took the land away . First, the Assyrians came and bit by bit took away the Northern Kingdom (Israel) into captivity. Most of the land God had given them, He took away. Then, Jeremiah is told by God to tell the Southern Kingdom (Judah) about their fate -- they will be taken away from the land as well. This comes about during King Zedekiah's reign.

Why does God do this? What have they done that was so wrong? God simply says in Jeremiah 1:16 "because they have forsaken Me." He then elaborates quite a bit on that but basically that is what happened. What about the spiritual blessing? Will God keep His promise? He does -- in His time.

Lesson Plan:

Psalm 1: On Wednesday night we officially completed Psalm 1. Only one student was able to "sign the wall" because he had completed it to my satisfaction. Hopefully a couple of more can do it this morning.

Review Promises to Abraham: Genesis 12

Review when promises were fulfilled: Nation -- Exodus 20, Land -- Joshua, Spiritual blessing -- still waiting at this point.

Jeremiah's prophecy: Read Jeremiah 1. Keep reading if there is time and the kids are listening well.

Worship Notes: Pass out worship notes.

Prayer

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Isaiah

This morning our class will study Isaiah. The students have been fascinated with the fact that God told prophets what would happen years before it ever happened. I hope to build on that enthusiasm this morning by reading Isaiah 53 and Matthew 27. Depending on the mood of the class, I hope to read from Isaiah and then read from Matthew then go back and read from Isaiah again. Sometimes they have a longer attention span than at other times. Hopefully, this morning is one of those times. I think once they've heard both passages that Isaiah 53 will mean more to them.

Lesson Plan:


Psalm 1: We finished copying this last week. A couple of the kids have it memorized. A couple more are almost there.

Introduce Isaiah: Read the first several verses of Isaiah 1 to give the kids an idea of who Isaiah was and who he prophesied to. Help them locate Isaiah on the timeline.

Isaiah 6:1-8: This was part of the assigned reading for the week. I want them to see how many of our hymns come straight from scripture. Verse 8 is where the hymn Here Am I Send Me comes from (I think that's the title of the hymn).

Sing: Here Am I

Isaiah 53/Matthew 27: Read and compare the two passages concentrating on the verses that are prophesied in Isaiah.


Map work: The map work is going well. If we have time, we'll take turns taking all the labels off and putting them all back on. I hope to have blank maps Wednesday evening for them to label and color.

Worship Notes: Pass out worship notes.

Prayer