Procrastination can be a major temptation for us today. Maybe you have a kiddo who is a master at procrastination. Instead of cleaning their room when you ask, they wait until the very last minute before they’ll get caught. Or maybe you’ve pulled your fair share of all-nighters helping with a science project that was assigned months ago. This week, we’re reminded that our failure to obey leads to consequences, often ones that impact others, and that obeying right away is a way to worship and show God that we love Him.
Obedience: Following God's commands His way, right away, all the way.
MEMORY VERSE: “If you love me, obey my commandments." John 14:15 (NLT)
This Week’s Finish Line: Don't Wait to Obey, Obey Right Away.
The story of Jonah is a great example of a time when someone didn’t obey right away. Jonah was a prophet, someone who God spoke through in the Old Testament to get His messages across to different people. God told Jonah to go preach to the city of Ninevah, but instead of obeying God, Jonah got on a boat headed in the opposite direction. He didn’t just not obey right away. He didn’t obey at all! As they were sailing along, the Lord caused a violent storm that threatened to sink the ship. Fearing for their lives, the sailors shouted to their gods for help and threw their cargo overboard. Nothing helped. Eventually, Jonah confessed that he was the reason their lives were in danger because he was trying to run away from the Lord. He told the sailors that if they threw him overboard, the storm would stop. And that’s exactly what happened. God sent a fish to swallow Jonah, and he was in the fish for three days. While in the fish, Jonah prayed to the Lord, admitting that what he’d done was wrong. The Lord ordered the fish to spit up Jonah on the beach. The Lord spoke to Jonah again and gave him the same command – to go and preach in Ninevah. This time Jonah obeyed the Lord’s command.
READ JONAH 1:1-6, 15-17
- Where did God tell Jonah to go? (Ninevah) What did Jonah do instead? (got on a boat in the opposite direction) Did he obey right away? (No)
- What happened while Jonah was on the boat? (God sent a huge storm as a consequence for Jonah’s disobedience. The sailors threw Jonah into the sea because he’d confessed the storm was his fault and the storm stopped. God sent a fish to swallow Jonah and he was in there for three days and nights)
READ JONAH 2:1-3, 9-10, 3:1-3
- Was Jonah sorry that he hadn’t obeyed right away? (Yes – he cried out to the Lord admitting that he deserved the trouble he’d brought on himself)
- What happened after God prayed? (God commanded the fish to spit Jonah out on dry land and Jonah obeyed God the second time he was asked)
* Check out our vision for parents and how to use these activities each week.
Bring it Home Conversations & Activities:
Teacher: Meal Time
READ JOHN 14:21. Why do we obey according to this verse? (Because we love God, not because we are afraid of being punished. God cares more about our heart, than our actions.) What are some ways you can obey right away this week even when it’s hard? How can that honor God and bless others?
Friend: Drive Time
Talk about a time when you didn’t obey right away (or at all) and you regretted it. What did you do to make it right? What can you do if this ever happens again in the future? (remember that God is forgiving, confess to him and to anyone else who was hurt and ask for their forgiveness) Parents, this is a great opportunity to share an example from your own life with your kiddos!
Thank God for grace when you don’t obey right away. Spend time praying for God to help you obey right away out of a trust that He is good and His way is best.
Play Simon Says as a family. Take turns leading! Remember, this is a game where you have to obey right away. If you take too long to follow the instructions, you’re out. Spend time afterwards talking about the following questions. Was it ever hard to obey “Simon’s” instructions? When? (when it was going fast, when they were asking for crazy tasks, etc.) What was the consequence of not obeying right away? (getting out) What was the benefit of obeying right away? (got to keep playing) Are there consequences or benefits to whether you obey right away or not every day? What are some?
Thank God for grace when you don’t obey right away. Ask Him to help you find the reasons you choose to delay (fear, rebellion, doubt) & replace them with faith & trust in Him.
Next week, we will continue in learning about obedience!
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