Can you imagine trying to go on a road trip to somewhere you’ve never visited with no map? You may be headed in the right direction initially, but it wouldn’t be long before you ended up lost. Luckily, in this day and age, we are rarely left to navigate a road trip on our own. Similarly, the same is true for our everyday lives! God never intended for us to walk through life on our own. He is always available to help and provide direction along the way.
DISCERNMENT: Seeking God's direction before acting
MEMORY VERSE: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take." Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT)
This Week’s Finish Line: Seek God's direction and He will guide you
Israel’s first king was a man named Saul, and while he totally looked like a king on the outside, on the inside, his heart was selfish and not pleasing to God. God sent His prophet, Samuel, to anoint a new king, and while God didn’t tell Samuel who the new king would be, He did tell him the king would come from Jesse’s family. When Samuel arrived in Bethlehem, he found Jesse and his sons. The bible says when Samuel took one look at Eliab, he thought “Surely this is the LORD’s anointed!” (1 Samuel 16:6 NLT) But when Samuel sought God’s direction, God guided him away from that son. In fact, God guided him away from all seven sons that Jesse had go before him. If Samuel had depended on his own understanding, he would have chosen the wrong guy! Good thing he listened to God and followed where God was guiding him…to David, who would end up being the best and most famous king Israel would ever have. And even though the Bible says David was handsome, God chose him because of his heart.
READ 1 SAMUEL 16:1-3
- What mission did God give Samuel? (He told Samuel to stop being sad about Saul and go to Bethlehem to anoint one of Jesse’s sons as the next king.) How did Samuel seek God’s direction before acting? (He asked God what to do.) What direction did God give Samuel? (He told Samuel to go offer a sacrifice and invite Jesse and his sons.)
- What did Samuel think when he saw Jesse’s oldest son? (He thought that this man looked like a good choice for king.) Was he looking at the same things God looks at? (Nope) Reread verse 7. How does God look at people differently than we do? (God looks past what we look like on the outside because He cares more about our hearts. He can see our character, who we are on the inside.)
- How was God’s path different than what most people would have chosen? (Others would have chosen a king based on what he looked like on the outside. God wanted David, the youngest, least important brother. God guided Samuel to choose David.)
- Do you believe that God’s direction is good? Why or why not? Talk about some reasons why you can trust God and know that the path He will lead you on is good.
Bring it Home Conversations & Activities:
* Check out our vision for parents and how to use these activities each week.
Teacher: Meal Time
Read Proverbs 12:15 and Proverbs 19:21 and talk through these questions with your family.
- Do you like to think your way will always be right? Is it? Have everyone talk about a time when they thought their way was best BUT things didn’t turn out like they thought it would.
- When are you more likely to trust your own plan: in the really big decisions OR in the little choices you make every day? Why? When does God want you to use discernment? (God wants to be a part of ALL your decisions!)
Friend: Drive Time
Books of the Bible Challenge!!!
For the next several weeks (September 9 – October 8), elementary kids are being challenged to memorize all 66 books of the Bible in order. A great way to learn as you drive is to listen to books of the Bible songs on YouTube (be sure to pull the song up BEFORE you start driving!). Here are some fun videos to get you started, or feel free to make up your own!
Think about your week and choices you may be faced with. When will you need discernment? Thank God for always being willing to give you direction when you seek it, even if it doesn’t look like you think it will. Ask Him to be a part of every choice you make this week so you walk on His path, not your own.
Learn the memory verse as a family. Write it with wipe off markers on your bathroom mirror. Practice “popcorn style,” where each family member says one word until the entire verse is completed. Write it on an index card and keep it in the car or make up your own hand motions.
Thank God for teaching us to use discernment and for guiding us. Ask him to help you seek his direction first and not do it on your own. Thank God that His path is good and that we can trust Him!
Next week we will continue the October godly character trait, DISCERNMENT. We will learn to stop and pray before we act!
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