10 - Tenth

10 FAITH EXEMPLIFIED IN ACTION - LESSON 8

UNIT #: 
II
Aim: 

UNWAVERING FAITH

Bible Passage: 

James 2:14-26

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Faith without Works Is Dead

14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,” and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? 17 So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder. 20 Do you want to be shown, you senseless person, that faith apart from works is barren? 21 Was not our ancestor Abraham justified by works when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was brought to completion by the works. 23 Thus the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” and he was called the friend of God. 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 Likewise, was not Rahab the prostitute also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by another road? 26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is also dead.

Matthew 25:31-46

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Judgment of the Nations

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33 and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. 34 Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38 And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39 And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ 40 And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ 41 Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Hebrews 11:7-12

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

By faith Noah, warned by God about events as yet unseen, respected the warning and built an ark to save his household; by this he condemned the world and became an heir to the righteousness that is in accordance with faith.

The Faith of Abraham

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he stayed for a time in the land he had been promised, as in a foreign land, living in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11 By faith he received power of procreation, even though he was too old—and Sarah herself was barren—because he considered him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore from one person, and this one as good as dead, descendants were born, “as many as the stars of heaven and as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.”

Teacher’s Preparation: 

Main Ideas: 

Activities: 

Lesson Review: 

Values for Life: 

Life Response/My Decision: 

Memory Verse: 

Matthew 25:35-36

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’

Closing Prayer: 

status: 
scope and sequence

09 God's presence in the hot furnace

UNIT #: 
II
Aim: 

God's response to human faith

Bible Passage: 

Daniel 3

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Golden Image

King Nebuchadnezzar made a golden statue whose height was sixty cubits and whose width was six cubits; he set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. Then King Nebuchadnezzar sent for the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces, to assemble and come to the dedication of the statue that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. So the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces, assembled for the dedication of the statue that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. When they were standing before the statue that Nebuchadnezzar had set up, the herald proclaimed aloud, “You are commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, that when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, drum, and entire musical ensemble, you are to fall down and worship the golden statue that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. Whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire.” Therefore, as soon as all the peoples heard the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, drum, and entire musical ensemble, all the peoples, nations, and languages fell down and worshiped the golden statue that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

Accordingly, at this time certain Chaldeans came forward and denounced the Jews. They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “O king, live forever! 10 You, O king, have made a decree, that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, drum, and entire musical ensemble, shall fall down and worship the golden statue, 11 and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire. 12 There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These pay no heed to you, O king. They do not serve your gods and they do not worship the golden statue that you have set up.”

13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in furious rage commanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought in; so they brought those men before the king. 14 Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods and you do not worship the golden statue that I have set up? 15 Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, drum, and entire musical ensemble to fall down and worship the statue that I have made, well and good. But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire, and who is the god that will deliver you out of my hands?”

16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to present a defense to you in this matter. 17 If our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire and out of your hand, O king, let him deliver us. 18 But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods and we will not worship the golden statue that you have set up.”

The Fiery Furnace

19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was so filled with rage against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego that his face was distorted. He ordered the furnace heated up seven times more than was customary, 20 and ordered some of the strongest guards in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and to throw them into the furnace of blazing fire. 21 So the men were bound, still wearing their tunics, their trousers, their hats, and their other garments, and they were thrown into the furnace of blazing fire. 22 Because the king’s command was urgent and the furnace was so overheated, the raging flames killed the men who lifted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. 23 But the three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down, bound, into the furnace of blazing fire.

24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up quickly. He said to his counselors, “Was it not three men that we threw bound into the fire?” They answered the king, “True, O king.” 25 He replied, “But I see four men unbound, walking in the middle of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the fourth has the appearance of a god.” 26 Nebuchadnezzar then approached the door of the furnace of blazing fire and said, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out from the fire. 27 And the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together and saw that the fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men; the hair of their heads was not singed, their tunics were not harmed, and not even the smell of fire came from them. 28 Nebuchadnezzar said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants who trusted in him. They disobeyed the king’s command and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore I make a decree: Any people, nation, or language that utters blasphemy against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shall be torn limb from limb, and their houses laid in ruins; for there is no other god who is able to deliver in this way.” 30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the province of Babylon.

Teacher’s Preparation: 

Main Ideas: 

Activities: 

Lesson Review: 

Values for Life: 

Life Response/My Decision: 

Memory Verse: 

Daniel 3:17-18

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

17 If our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire and out of your hand, O king, let him deliver us. 18 But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods and we will not worship the golden statue that you have set up.”

Closing Prayer: 

status: 
scope and sequence

08 Jacob's "Bethel experience" - "God with me"

UNIT #: 
II
Aim: 

Nature of God

Bible Passage: 

Genesis 28:10-16

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Jacob’s Dream at Bethel

10 Jacob left Beer-sheba and went toward Haran. 11 He came to a certain place and stayed there for the night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place. 12 And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, the top of it reaching to heaven; and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 And the Lord stood beside him and said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring; 14 and your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you and in your offspring. 15 Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” 16 Then Jacob woke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place—and I did not know it!”

Teacher’s Preparation: 

Main Ideas: 

Activities: 

Lesson Review: 

Values for Life: 

Life Response/My Decision: 

Memory Verse: 

Genesis 28:15

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

15 Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”

Closing Prayer: 

status: 
scope and sequence

07 God uses Individuals to Guide Nations

UNIT #: 
II
Aim: 

Humanity - one in Unity

Bible Passage: 

Micah 4

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Peace and Security through Obedience

In days to come
    the mountain of the Lord’s house
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
    and shall be raised up above the hills.
Peoples shall stream to it,
    and many nations shall come and say:
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
    to the house of the God of Jacob;
that he may teach us his ways
    and that we may walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth instruction,
    and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between many peoples,
    and shall arbitrate between strong nations far away;
they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
    and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
    neither shall they learn war any more;
but they shall all sit under their own vines and under their own fig trees,
    and no one shall make them afraid;
    for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.

For all the peoples walk,
    each in the name of its god,
but we will walk in the name of the Lord our God
    forever and ever.

Restoration Promised after Exile

In that day, says the Lord,
    I will assemble the lame
and gather those who have been driven away,
    and those whom I have afflicted.
The lame I will make the remnant,
    and those who were cast off, a strong nation;
and the Lord will reign over them in Mount Zion
    now and forevermore.

And you, O tower of the flock,
    hill of daughter Zion,
to you it shall come,
    the former dominion shall come,
    the sovereignty of daughter Jerusalem.

Now why do you cry aloud?
    Is there no king in you?
Has your counselor perished,
    that pangs have seized you like a woman in labor?
10 Writhe and groan, O daughter Zion,
    like a woman in labor;
for now you shall go forth from the city
    and camp in the open country;
    you shall go to Babylon.
There you shall be rescued,
    there the Lord will redeem you
    from the hands of your enemies.

11 Now many nations
    are assembled against you,
saying, “Let her be profaned,
    and let our eyes gaze upon Zion.”
12 But they do not know
    the thoughts of the Lord;
they do not understand his plan,
    that he has gathered them as sheaves to the threshing floor.
13 Arise and thresh,
    O daughter Zion,
for I will make your horn iron
    and your hoofs bronze;
you shall beat in pieces many peoples,
    and shall devote their gain to the Lord,
    their wealth to the Lord of the whole earth.

Micah 2:1-5

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Social Evils Denounced

Alas for those who devise wickedness
    and evil deeds on their beds!
When the morning dawns, they perform it,
    because it is in their power.
They covet fields, and seize them;
    houses, and take them away;
they oppress householder and house,
    people and their inheritance.
Therefore thus says the Lord:
Now, I am devising against this family an evil
    from which you cannot remove your necks;
and you shall not walk haughtily,
    for it will be an evil time.
On that day they shall take up a taunt song against you,
    and wail with bitter lamentation,
and say, “We are utterly ruined;
    the Lord alters the inheritance of my people;
how he removes it from me!
    Among our captors he parcels out our fields.”
Therefore you will have no one to cast the line by lot
    in the assembly of the Lord.

Jeremiah 31:28-34

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

28 And just as I have watched over them to pluck up and break down, to overthrow, destroy, and bring evil, so I will watch over them to build and to plant, says the Lord. 29 In those days they shall no longer say:

“The parents have eaten sour grapes,
    and the children’s teeth are set on edge.”

30 But all shall die for their own sins; the teeth of everyone who eats sour grapes shall be set on edge.

A New Covenant

31 The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. 33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the Lord,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.

Teacher’s Preparation: 

Main Ideas: 

Activities: 

Lesson Review: 

Values for Life: 

Life Response/My Decision: 

Memory Verse: 

Jeremiah 31:33

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Closing Prayer: 

status: 
scope and sequence

06 RESPONSES TO HINDRANCES

UNIT #: 
II
Aim: 

JOBS FAITH - A STUDY

Bible Passage: 

Job 1:1-22

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Job and His Family

There was once a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job. That man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil. There were born to him seven sons and three daughters. He had seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred donkeys, and very many servants; so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the east. His sons used to go and hold feasts in one another’s houses in turn; and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. And when the feast days had run their course, Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all; for Job said, “It may be that my children have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts.” This is what Job always did.

Attack on Job’s Character

One day the heavenly beings came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the Lord, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” The Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man who fears God and turns away from evil.” Then Satan answered the Lord, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 Have you not put a fence around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But stretch out your hand now, and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” 12 The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, all that he has is in your power; only do not stretch out your hand against him!” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.

Job Loses Property and Children

13 One day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in the eldest brother’s house, 14 a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were feeding beside them, 15 and the Sabeans fell on them and carried them off, and killed the servants with the edge of the sword; I alone have escaped to tell you.” 16 While he was still speaking, another came and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants, and consumed them; I alone have escaped to tell you.” 17 While he was still speaking, another came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three columns, made a raid on the camels and carried them off, and killed the servants with the edge of the sword; I alone have escaped to tell you.” 18 While he was still speaking, another came and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house, 19 and suddenly a great wind came across the desert, struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people, and they are dead; I alone have escaped to tell you.”

20 Then Job arose, tore his robe, shaved his head, and fell on the ground and worshiped. 21 He said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there; the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”

22 In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrongdoing.

Job 2:1-13

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Attack on Job’s Health

One day the heavenly beings came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the Lord. The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the Lord, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” The Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man who fears God and turns away from evil. He still persists in his integrity, although you incited me against him, to destroy him for no reason.” Then Satan answered the Lord, “Skin for skin! All that people have they will give to save their lives. But stretch out your hand now and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face.” The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, he is in your power; only spare his life.”

So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord, and inflicted loathsome sores on Job from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. Job took a potsherd with which to scrape himself, and sat among the ashes.

Then his wife said to him, “Do you still persist in your integrity? Curse God, and die.” 10 But he said to her, “You speak as any foolish woman would speak. Shall we receive the good at the hand of God, and not receive the bad?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

Job’s Three Friends

11 Now when Job’s three friends heard of all these troubles that had come upon him, each of them set out from his home—Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. They met together to go and console and comfort him. 12 When they saw him from a distance, they did not recognize him, and they raised their voices and wept aloud; they tore their robes and threw dust in the air upon their heads. 13 They sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great.

Teacher’s Preparation: 

Main Ideas: 

Activities: 

Lesson Review: 

Values for Life: 

Life Response/My Decision: 

Memory Verse: 

Job 1:21

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

21 He said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there; the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Closing Prayer: 

status: 
scope and sequence

05 Same

UNIT #: 
I
Aim: 

Rebuilding the world

Teacher’s Preparation: 

Main Ideas: 

Activities: 

Lesson Review: 

Values for Life: 

Life Response/My Decision: 

Closing Prayer: 

status: 
scope and sequence

04 worship

UNIT #: 
I
Aim: 

Man created to worship God

Bible Passage: 

Deuteronomy 6:4-14

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Caution against Disobedience

10 When the Lord your God has brought you into the land that he swore to your ancestors, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you—a land with fine, large cities that you did not build, 11 houses filled with all sorts of goods that you did not fill, hewn cisterns that you did not hew, vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant—and when you have eaten your fill, 12 take care that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 13 The Lord your God you shall fear; him you shall serve, and by his name alone you shall swear. 14 Do not follow other gods, any of the gods of the peoples who are all around you,

Matthew 22:38-40

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

38 This is the greatest and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

Isaiah 1:11-17

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

11 What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices?
    says the Lord;
I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams
    and the fat of fed beasts;
I do not delight in the blood of bulls,
    or of lambs, or of goats.

12 When you come to appear before me,
    who asked this from your hand?
    Trample my courts no more;
13 bringing offerings is futile;
    incense is an abomination to me.
New moon and sabbath and calling of convocation—
    I cannot endure solemn assemblies with iniquity.
14 Your new moons and your appointed festivals
    my soul hates;
they have become a burden to me,
    I am weary of bearing them.
15 When you stretch out your hands,
    I will hide my eyes from you;
even though you make many prayers,
    I will not listen;
    your hands are full of blood.
16 Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean;
    remove the evil of your doings
    from before my eyes;
cease to do evil,
17     learn to do good;
seek justice,
    rescue the oppressed,
defend the orphan,
    plead for the widow.

Revelation 4:8-11

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and inside. Day and night without ceasing they sing,

“Holy, holy, holy,
the Lord God the Almighty,
    who was and is and is to come.”

And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to the one who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall before the one who is seated on the throne and worship the one who lives forever and ever; they cast their crowns before the throne, singing,

11 “You are worthy, our Lord and God,
    to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
    and by your will they existed and were created.”

Teacher’s Preparation: 

Main Ideas: 

Activities: 

Lesson Review: 

Values for Life: 

Life Response/My Decision: 

Memory Verse: 

Hebrews 13:15

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

15 Through him, then, let us continually offer a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name.

Closing Prayer: 

status: 
scope and sequence

03 The Choice of Life and Death

UNIT #: 
I
Lesson Theme: 
Loving God and keeping His commandments
Aim: 

1) Covenants are made by God 2) Freedom of man to choose Life or Death 3) How to Love our Lord

Bible Passage: 

Please use Deuteronomy 29 for reference.

Deuteronomy 30:1-20

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

God’s Fidelity Assured

30 When all these things have happened to you, the blessings and the curses that I have set before you, if you call them to mind among all the nations where the Lord your God has driven you, and return to the Lord your God, and you and your children obey him with all your heart and with all your soul, just as I am commanding you today, then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you, gathering you again from all the peoples among whom the Lord your God has scattered you. Even if you are exiled to the ends of the world, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there he will bring you back. The Lord your God will bring you into the land that your ancestors possessed, and you will possess it; he will make you more prosperous and numerous than your ancestors.

Moreover, the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, so that you will love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, in order that you may live. The Lord your God will put all these curses on your enemies and on the adversaries who took advantage of you. Then you shall again obey the Lord, observing all his commandments that I am commanding you today, and the Lord your God will make you abundantly prosperous in all your undertakings, in the fruit of your body, in the fruit of your livestock, and in the fruit of your soil. For the Lord will again take delight in prospering you, just as he delighted in prospering your ancestors, 10 when you obey the Lord your God by observing his commandments and decrees that are written in this book of the law, because you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

Exhortation to Choose Life

11 Surely, this commandment that I am commanding you today is not too hard for you, nor is it too far away. 12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, “Who will go up to heaven for us, and get it for us so that we may hear it and observe it?” 13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, “Who will cross to the other side of the sea for us, and get it for us so that we may hear it and observe it?” 14 No, the word is very near to you; it is in your mouth and in your heart for you to observe.

15 See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, death and adversity. 16 If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I am commanding you today, by loving the Lord your God, walking in his ways, and observing his commandments, decrees, and ordinances, then you shall live and become numerous, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to possess. 17 But if your heart turns away and you do not hear, but are led astray to bow down to other gods and serve them, 18 I declare to you today that you shall perish; you shall not live long in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. 19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, 20 loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and holding fast to him; for that means life to you and length of days, so that you may live in the land that the Lord swore to give to your ancestors, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.

Teacher’s Preparation: 
  • Covenants: Depending on one’s perspective many biblical verses can be classified as covenants. Palestinian covenant is chosen to illustrate the objectives of this lesson. Encourage students to read the Bible references of other covenants in their daily devotion, over a week.
  • Encourage students to reflect on loving their Lord
  • Prepare for activities using practical situations of students
Main Ideas: 

St. Augustine (Aurelius Augustine) was born in Northern Africa (Present day Algeria) in 354 AD to a pagan father (Patricius) and a devout Christian mother (later. St. Monica). Augustine went to study in the city of Carthage at the age of sixteen. In Carthage he was drawn to pagan ideas, theatre, and various sins of impurity. From the age of seventeen Augustine maintained a relationship with a woman whom he never married. He had a son from this relationship. During these times he learnt about Greek philosophies such as Platonism. Subsequently, he was attracted to a heretical philosophy called Manichean theology. None of these ideas gave him peace of mind. By the age thirty, Augustine left Carthage for Rome and then to Milan in Italy. All these years his mother Monica was praying for his conversion to Christianity. He gave up his mistress on Monica’s insistence. But, began a relationship with another woman.  At Milan, Augustine got attracted to Bishop Ambrose for his oratorical skills.  Gradually, Augustine became interested in the Christian messages itself and began reading the epistles of St. Paul. Augustine became a believer and was baptized at the age of 32. Ten years later he became Bishop of Hippo. Augustine became a prolific writer and his treatises on subjects such as Grace, the Trinity, the Soul, Sacraments and other became authoritative works on Christian theology. “The confessions”, is his autobiography and is the first known autobiography in history.  
Augustine realized that he was following the path of sin or death and chose life by becoming a follower of Christ. God blessed him abundantly by magnifying his talents of oration and writing. His autobiography and other works led people to truth and God. He was declared a saint of the Church in the 14th century.

Bible Exposition

Covenants
The word covenant is repeatedly used in the Bible, especially in the Old Testament. It is an agreement, between two or more persons to do or not do something specified. Biblical covenants are always initiated by God. God in his mercy and love instructed or decreed His people or creation to honor these covenants in order to have life. God has warned that the rewards of disobedience of the covenants are curses or death.  
 
Some of the biblical covenants
At various times in the biblical history of man, God assures his blessings of protection, mercy, kindness and warns of punishments. You have learnt about Noahic covenant (Genesis 9: 12-16) and Abrahamic covenant:  Genesis chapters 12-16 in junior classes. Some of the other covenants are Mosaic Covenants (Genesis, chapters 17, Exodus chapters 19-24, 34:28 and Deut.5:6-22), Palestinian covenant (Deut: chapter 29 and 30: 1-20), Davidic covenant (2 Samuel 7: 12-13) and New Covenant (Jeremiah 31: 1-34)

Palestinian covenant
Palestinian covenant is part of Mosaic covenants and it is also called the land covenant because Moses gave these commandments just before the Israelites were to get possession of the Promised Land Canaan. These covenants are described in Deuteronomy chapters 28, 29 and 30. God made this covenant with Israel while they were in Moab waiting to go into the Promised Land, and the covenant would serve this new generation of Israelites as a reminder of their special covenant relationship with God.

Deuteronomy chapter 30:1-20 can be taken as a summary of the Palestinian covenant. Moses reminds the Israelites as follows:
1.    you can choose Life or Death (blessings or curse - Deut: 30:15 &1)
2.    these commandments are not too hard for you, neither is it far off....but the word is near you; it is in your heart, so that you can do it (Deut: 30: 11-14)
3.    you can obey His commandments by loving the Lord your God (Deut: 30:2&16)
4.    you will perish and will not live long if your heart turns away from the Lord and his commandments (Deut: 30:17&18)

The Palestinian Covenant presupposes that Israel will fail to keep the Mosaic Covenant. In the event of such failure, God promises the following, if they sincerely turn to God:
•    Have compassion on Israel
•    Free Israel from enslavement
•    Re-gather Israel, from all parts of the earth, into their own land
•    Circumcise Israel's Heart such that their love and obedience of God will be perfect

Blessings and curses
The history of the people of Israel is replete with cycles of blessings and punishments. We see that the nation of Israel prospered during the times of Kings like David and Solomon. Whereas, during the time of King Jehoiakim, Nebuchadnezzar invaded Jerusalem and exiled most of the people to Babylon.  When they turned their heart to God, Israel was returned from captivity during the times of Ezra and Nehemiah. Many a times, God judged Israel’s enemies and destroyed them. Thus, we see a God who delights in blessing the people. We know that Israel as a nation rejected Jesus Christ as their Messiah and was once again cursed and cut off from the land when the Romans conquered Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

Freedom of choice
In the Palestinian covenant, Moses reminds the people that they are free to choose life or death. This is similar to the freedom of choice Adam and Eve had and they chose curse or death. They lost their dominion and fellowship with God.

All of us have the freedom to do good or bad in our daily life. Every day we are encountering choices in our life situations. Some examples of these choices are:  watch good movies or bad ones; browse good or bad internet sites; whether to be kind to a fellow student/neighbor; whether to ignore a person or listen; whether to attend a church service and so forth. Every day we make our choices without much consultation with our Lord and continue to live our lives. We are not thinking about the consequences of our choices. God’s covenants teach us that we are choosing a blessing or curse whenever a choice is made between good and bad. Perhaps, these consequences are not visible immediately, as in the case of King Uzziah. However, it will affect our inner state of mind and our well being. It is true that we get an inner satisfaction and sense of joy when we sincerely love or help another person. Whereas, we feel disgraced after a sinful thought or deed; Not only we indulge in sinful deeds but also we pretend that nothing out of ordinary has happened! When we do something good, the Holy Spirit will strengthen us to do greater things that are pleasing to our Lord.

Loving the Lord
The Palestinian covenant demands devotion to our Lord God with all heart and soul. God demands whole hearted love. That is a love with all heart and soul (Deut: 30: 2 & 16). Half hearted love is not love. The supreme example of love with full heart and soul is found in Jesus Christ when he obeys the Father on the cross.

Have you ever thought or asked the question: Do I love my Lord? Most of us think the opposite.  God is love and He is my Father and therefore it is His responsibility to keep me safe and sound and grand my needs and even luxuries. If we do not get our needs or luxuries in time we turn away from the Lord and keep unhappy and start seeking other Gods. In Mark 12: 28 -31 we read a conversation between a Scribe and Jesus. Jesus is teaching him that the most important of the commandments is that “you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your mind and with all your strength”.

Loving the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength is very burdensome. It involves great sacrifice. All dimensions of life have to bear this concept of sacrificial love as Jesus’. In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus is requesting the Father to remove the agony of the cross; Immediately, Jesus submits in prayer and says ‘not my will but yours’ and got empowered to say “it’s finished” on the cross. This is the love and obedience model we should emulate.  When we seek our Lord, we should seek Him with a pure mind, concentrating on him, praising him with all our heart and soul. We have to devote our best for the Lord and do the things that please Him with all our strength. Then, we realize that the job or business we do in this world is for the glory of His name. And, we will begin to love others as ourselves. We will keep more and more of His commandments with full heart and soul and thus become friends of our Lord (If you love me, you will keep my commandments John 14:15).

Activities: 

Lesson Review: 

A. True or False:
1) Covenant is an agreement between two or more persons (True/False)
2) Palestinian covenant is also called land covenant (True/False)
3) Biblical covenants are made by man (True/False)
4)  If you love God, you will not obey His commandments (True/False)

B. Short Answers:
1)    Give the names of 5 Old Testament covenants?
2)    Summarize Palestinian covenant. Write a short answer giving 5 points
3)    Give two examples of punishments the people of Israel suffered due to their disobedience of the covenants

C. Essay Question: 500 words
Write an essay on the choices of Life and Death in Palestinian covenant
a) Introduction, the time and setting
b) Discuss the covenant, expectations of the Lord
c) Loving the Lord with all heart, soul and might
d) God has given freedom of choice
e) Conclusion

D. Group discussion or role playing

1)   Discuss the freedom of choice – its meaning and implication in your life
Examples: Telling the truth or a lie; opportunity to steal or restore a found item; opportunity to  give comfort to a sick person in public transit by offering your seat; praise somebody on  his/her achievement or keeping silence.
2)   You are going through a suffering like a fractured leg or waiting for a risky surgery. Can you choose to be happy or keep a complaining face and heart?
3)    What does loving your Lord mean in your life? When you are giving a birthday gift to your friend, are you giving the best gift possible? Are you thinking of that friend’s likes or dislikes before choosing a gift? Do you consider Jesus as your friend? Are you considering the likes and dislikes of Jesus before you do something for Him?

Values for Life: 

The Lord has sent us to this world. He is asking us, what will we choose today? Life or Death.

Life Response/My Decision: 

Let us love God fully, obey His commandments and choose life

Memory Verse: 

“If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I am commanding you today, by loving the Lord your God, walking in his ways, and observing his commandments, decrees, and ordinances, then you shall live and become numerous, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to possess.” Deut. 30:16 (NRSV)

Closing Prayer: 
  1. Lord, I love you (Please remember to say this to your Lord in all your prayers).
  2. I love you with all my heart, soul, mind and strength.
  3. You are my best friend. Please help me to continue this friendship forever. I will try my best to keep your covenants with all my heart, soul, mind and strength.
  4. Please give me the grace to consult you before I make choices.
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02 Man the supreme of gods creation

UNIT #: 
I
Aim: 

"God's earth Aim: man created equally and superior to other creations"

Bible Passage: 

Psalm 104

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Psalm 104

God the Creator and Provider

Bless the Lord, O my soul.
    O Lord my God, you are very great.
You are clothed with honor and majesty,
    wrapped in light as with a garment.
You stretch out the heavens like a tent,
    you set the beams of your chambers on the waters,
you make the clouds your chariot,
    you ride on the wings of the wind,
you make the winds your messengers,
    fire and flame your ministers.

You set the earth on its foundations,
    so that it shall never be shaken.
You cover it with the deep as with a garment;
    the waters stood above the mountains.
At your rebuke they flee;
    at the sound of your thunder they take to flight.
They rose up to the mountains, ran down to the valleys
    to the place that you appointed for them.
You set a boundary that they may not pass,
    so that they might not again cover the earth.

10 You make springs gush forth in the valleys;
    they flow between the hills,
11 giving drink to every wild animal;
    the wild asses quench their thirst.
12 By the streams the birds of the air have their habitation;
    they sing among the branches.
13 From your lofty abode you water the mountains;
    the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work.

14 You cause the grass to grow for the cattle,
    and plants for people to use,
to bring forth food from the earth,
15     and wine to gladden the human heart,
oil to make the face shine,
    and bread to strengthen the human heart.
16 The trees of the Lord are watered abundantly,
    the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
17 In them the birds build their nests;
    the stork has its home in the fir trees.
18 The high mountains are for the wild goats;
    the rocks are a refuge for the coneys.
19 You have made the moon to mark the seasons;
    the sun knows its time for setting.
20 You make darkness, and it is night,
    when all the animals of the forest come creeping out.
21 The young lions roar for their prey,
    seeking their food from God.
22 When the sun rises, they withdraw
    and lie down in their dens.
23 People go out to their work
    and to their labor until the evening.

24 O Lord, how manifold are your works!
    In wisdom you have made them all;
    the earth is full of your creatures.
25 Yonder is the sea, great and wide,
    creeping things innumerable are there,
    living things both small and great.
26 There go the ships,
    and Leviathan that you formed to sport in it.

27 These all look to you
    to give them their food in due season;
28 when you give to them, they gather it up;
    when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
29 When you hide your face, they are dismayed;
    when you take away their breath, they die
    and return to their dust.
30 When you send forth your spirit, they are created;
    and you renew the face of the ground.

31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
    may the Lord rejoice in his works—
32 who looks on the earth and it trembles,
    who touches the mountains and they smoke.
33 I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
    I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
34 May my meditation be pleasing to him,
    for I rejoice in the Lord.
35 Let sinners be consumed from the earth,
    and let the wicked be no more.
Bless the Lord, O my soul.
Praise the Lord!

Genesis 1:26-31

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

26 Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”

27 So God created humankind in his image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

28 God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” 29 God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

Teacher’s Preparation: 

Main Ideas: 

Activities: 

Lesson Review: 

Values for Life: 

Life Response/My Decision: 

Memory Verse: 

Psalm 24:1-2

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Psalm 24

Entrance into the Temple

Of David. A Psalm.

The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it,
    the world, and those who live in it;
for he has founded it on the seas,
    and established it on the rivers.

Closing Prayer: 

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scope and sequence

01 God's Skill in Creation

UNIT #: 
I
Aim: 

God's Glory manifested through his Creation

Bible Passage: 

Genesis 1:1-25

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Six Days of Creation and the Sabbath

In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

And God said, “Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” So God made the dome and separated the waters that were under the dome from the waters that were above the dome. And it was so. God called the dome Sky. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.

And God said, “Let the waters under the sky be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. 11 Then God said, “Let the earth put forth vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it.” And it was so. 12 The earth brought forth vegetation: plants yielding seed of every kind, and trees of every kind bearing fruit with the seed in it. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.

14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17 God set them in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth, 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.

20 And God said, “Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the dome of the sky.” 21 So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, of every kind, with which the waters swarm, and every winged bird of every kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.

24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind: cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind.” And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals of the earth of every kind, and the cattle of every kind, and everything that creeps upon the ground of every kind. And God saw that it was good.

Psalm 19

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Psalm 19

God’s Glory in Creation and the Law

To the leader. A Psalm of David.

The heavens are telling the glory of God;
    and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours forth speech,
    and night to night declares knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words;
    their voice is not heard;
yet their voice goes out through all the earth,
    and their words to the end of the world.

In the heavens he has set a tent for the sun,
which comes out like a bridegroom from his wedding canopy,
    and like a strong man runs its course with joy.
Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
    and its circuit to the end of them;
    and nothing is hid from its heat.

The law of the Lord is perfect,
    reviving the soul;
the decrees of the Lord are sure,
    making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right,
    rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is clear,
    enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is pure,
    enduring forever;
the ordinances of the Lord are true
    and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold,
    even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey,
    and drippings of the honeycomb.

11 Moreover by them is your servant warned;
    in keeping them there is great reward.
12 But who can detect their errors?
    Clear me from hidden faults.
13 Keep back your servant also from the insolent;
    do not let them have dominion over me.
Then I shall be blameless,
    and innocent of great transgression.

14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
    be acceptable to you,
    O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Teacher’s Preparation: 

Main Ideas: 

Activities: 

Lesson Review: 

Values for Life: 

Life Response/My Decision: 

Memory Verse: 

Psalm 19:1

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Psalm 19

God’s Glory in Creation and the Law

To the leader. A Psalm of David.

The heavens are telling the glory of God;
    and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.

Closing Prayer: 

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