God Values The Family. AG Adult Sunday School Manual

God Values The Family. AG Adult Sunday School Manual

 

Memory Verse: Joshua 24:16 – As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord (KJV).

Central Truth:

God blesses the family that lives by His Word.

Bible Text:
Joshua 24:14-24; Psalm 127:1-7; 128:5-6.

 

 

INTRODUCING THE LESSON

What evidence do we have that God values the family? His Word offers so many examples of His care and concern – from Genesis account of creation, in which God gave life to a husband and wife and commanded them to have children, to Revelation’s description of the return of Christ for His Church in language reminiscent of a wedding celebration.

 

The narratives spanning these books include a wealth of stories about people’s everyday lives and the way in which they relate to one another. Father, mothers, husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, and a host of cousins, in-laws, and other relatives all interact in the pages of Scripture. Their lives are recorded to provide guidance for our own.

 

God does not just offer His Word as a guidebook for family living, however, and expect us to do all the reading and application for ourselves. He desires to be our partner in building our marriages and raising our children. When His participation is sought, healthy families are built. God not only values the family; He invests Himself in it.

 

LESSON OUTLINE
1. CHOOSE TO SERVE GOD

A. Example Of Righteousness – Joshua 24:14-15
B. Response Of Commitment – Joshua 24:16-18,24

 

 

2. GOD BUILDS THE HOME

A. Don’t Try It Alone – Psalm 127:1-2
B. Trust In God – Psalm 127:3-5.

 

3. GOD BLESSES THE HOME

A. Rewards of Faithfulness – Psalm 128:1-4
B. Impacting Our World – Psalm 128:5-6.

*Learning Objectives*
At the end of this lesson.
students will be able to:

1. Make early and timely
decision to lead and inspire their family to live for God and serve the interest of His Kingdom.

2. Show and Maintain
consistency in following God’s footsteps in building the home: Without Him, every home is destined for disaster.

3. Understand that God rewards and blesses our faithful work with Him.

THE HOLY SCRIPTURES
Joshua 24:14-18
[14]Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD.
[15]And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
[16]And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods;
[17]For the LORD our God, he it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed:
[18]And the LORD drave out from before us all the people, even the Amorites which dwelt in the land: therefore will we also serve the LORD; for he is our God.

Psalms 127:1-5
[1](A Song of degrees for Solomon.) Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
[2]It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.
[3]Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
[4]As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
[5]Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

Psalms 128:1
[1](A Song of degrees.) Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways.

Commentary And Application

1. Choose to Serve God
A. Example of Righteousness–Joshua 24:14, 15

When Joshua called the Israelites together near the end of his life, the gathering should have been a great celebration. In the years Joshua had led the armies of Israel through Canaan, God had granted them repeated victories. More and more of the Promised Land came under Israel’s control.

 

God had promised that victory in Canaan would be a gradual process so His people could take over farms, vineyards, and homes that were maintained rather than inherit a wasteland (See Deuteronomy 7:22).

 

With much of Canaan under Israel’s control and with a lifetime battle record that included only one defeat, Joshua could have been expected to offer a glowing speech of lsrael’s gratitude for God’s blessings. Sadly, Joshua could only half meet such an expectation.

 

In Joshua 24:1-13, Joshua reviewed God’s protection and provision for His people, God had remained faithful. But Israel’s victories in battle had not led to day-to-day spiritual victories.

 

When God outlined lsrael’s battle campaign in Deuteronomy 7, He called for the complete removal of Canaan’s inhabitants and their false gods. But in recounting lsrael’s victoríes over their enemies, the Book of Joshua also records their disobedience (17:12,13).

 

Joshua was well aware of Israel’s compromise, and his speech reveals that the problem stretched back to the days of the Israelites’ slavery in Egypt. Not only was Israel influenced by the idolatry that remained in Canaan, they had never totally removed the idols of Egypt (Joshua 24:14). Joshua’s statement in verse 15 is tinged with bitter irony.

Question for Application

Was Joshua really inviting the Israelites to live in idolatry?

Joshua was pointing Israel to the only correct choice they could make. They had to give up their false gods and serve the true God who had proven His faithfulness to them.
Joshua’s own commitment to God is clear in his statement of determination to serve the Lord regardless of the path lsrael might choose (verse 15).

 

Godly parents today can find themselves in Joshua’s position. After years of living a Christian testimony before their children and encouraging them to make a commitment to Christ, the final decision remains with those children. When grown sons and daughters decide to pursue their own paths and exclude God, grieved parents must still proclaim their own undying devotion to the Lord. Their faith may be the means of drawing a child back to God, or salvaging the lives of grandchildren being raised in a home where Christ is not welcomed.

*B. Response Of Commitment–Joshua 24:16-18, 24

The people’s response to
Joshua’s plea was what he had hoped for. They identified themselves as faithful servants committed to living for God. To forsake God in order to serve idols Would be the farthest thing from their minds (Joshua 24: 16). They acknowledged that God had delivered them from slavery and protected them during their journey.

 

to Canaan (verse 17). He was the One who was responsible for their victories over their enemies, and they committed themselves to serve Him (verse 18). “He is our God,” they proclaimed.

 

History proves the fleeting worth of Israel’s promises. It wasn’t too many years after Joshua died, that the Book of Judges recorded one act of rebellion after another. But where a human reading of Joshua 24:16-18 in light of Judges would dismiss the value of the Israelites’ promises, God’s view of the human heart takes into account human failure. His grace seeks to work in sinful lives at whatever point they are opened to Him.

 

Parents must never forget this in their struggle to bring up their children to live for the Lord. The parent who gives up on a child in that child’s times of rebellion may be cutting off the child’s greatest reason to ever come back to God the parent’s own unwavering encouragement to live a holy life.

 

Joshua knew the Israelites’ longstanding tendencies when it came to their obedience to God. That obedience came and went (verses 19, 20). But he continued to goad the lsraelites into making a firmer commitment to God, a commitment they voiced again in verse 24. Had Joshua given up and let the lsraelites go their way, idolatry would have overrun the land. As it was, his encouragement and example led to a revival that lasted for some years after his death (see verses 25-31).

Parents who commit to raising the children to serve Christ are headed for years of hard work,
fervent prayer, and maybe some challenging confrontations. That is reality. But they are not called to undertake this task alone. God is the divine Builder of every home.

2. God Builds the Home

A. Don’t Try It Alone–Psalm 127:1, 2
Every picture-perfect family we may encounter has gone through a lot of challenges to achieve whatever measure of order we observe. Young married couples move into their years of establishing a household with the uncertainty of fledgling independence.

 

The challenge in the formative years of a marriage is to remain independent enough to develop personal life skills without overlooking the wisdom offered by people with many years of experience. In pursuing healthy adult independence, we must be especially careful to maintain our dependence on God. Without Him, any home is destined for disaster.

 

Psalm 127:1 , 2 identifies God as the indispensable member of any team, whether the project is home construction or community oversight. At every level of organisation, God is the One who gives the needed strength and wisdom.

 

The context of this psalm shows that the references to building
include the establishment of the family. Building a family is a task spanning many years and includes countless difficulties as well as vast rewards. When parents attempt to look too far ahead, they can become discouraged at the scope of their responsibilities. yet the primary mistake is relying exclusively on human effort to meet needs. Just as verse 1 proclaimed about the

 

 

builders and the watchmen, verse 2 shows that no amount of human effort will prove fruitful without God’s
assistance.

*Question for Application*
ls Psalm 127 calling for inactivity on our part?

By no means are these verses ridiculing human industry. Rather, they are stressing that all such effort will help them reach worthy goals only when carried out in cooperation with God.

 

Couples receive so many conflicting messages from the world when establishing their homes and raising their children. If one were to believe every ad, no family could be happy without living in a mansion, driving a fleet of new cars, or owning closets full of the latest fashions.

 

When materialistic messages are allowed to take root, parents find themselves working extra hours or taking on extra jobs in order to “adequately provide” for their children. This comes at the sacrifice of the most crucial provision of all -a loving relationship built through quantity as well as quality time together. No amount of possessions can substitute for a healthy parent/child relationship. It is Just such a relationship that will most strongly Influence children to put their trust in their loving Heavenly Father.

B. Trust God-Psalm 127:3-5

Just as parents can fall for the myth of “more is better” in terms of materialism, they can also fall for the myth of “less is better’ when it comes to building their families. Contrary to popular belief, large families are not a threat to our planet but are an avenue for God’s blessing (verse 3). However full your quiver may be (verse 5), the key to this blessing is the kind of trust in God that is the basis for this entire psalm. Whether you have numerous sons (and certainly daughters) or few, if they are raised to fear God, they will grow up to be a support to you and a blessing to the community (verses 4,5).

 

In the final analysis, however, Psalm 127 calls for a reorientation of focus. The tasks needed to house and clothe and feed a family have to be carried out. But rather than focusing on these tasks first, godly parents must focus on God first (see MatthewW6:25-34). Daily communion with Him sets the stage for accomplishing those tasks at work and around the home to meet the needs of the family.

3. God Blesses the Home
A. Rewards of Faithfulness– Psalm 128:1-4

Psalm 128:1 issues a call for daily consecration. God’s blessings do not materialise in an instant like wishes from some genie in a bottle. He works with the believer day by day, blessing that person’s life in response to faithful obedience. Parents who want to experience God’s blessings In their home need to be consistently obedient. They cannot pick and choose from God’s Word what they find attractive. They cannot make excuses for or attempt to hide besetting sins. Their lives must be laid before God submission. This is what it means to “walk in his ways” (verse 1. NIV).

 

It is no accident that the perspective of psalm 128 is from that of a husband. As the leader of the home and family, the husband bears the particular responsIbility of modelling godly character before family members. Verse 1 refers to “all who fear the Lord,” so no one is exempt from the principle. But the husband sets an example that is vital to a family’s spiritual health.

 

The rewards for obedience are evident in verses 2 and 3. There are few better examples of peace and unity in the home than a shared meal. The food itself represents God’s provision. The wife and children around the table represent the web of positive family relationships that are built within the home.

 

Such relationships require special care, illustrated by the use of plant imagery, in an agricultural society, the value of the wife and children is wonderfully illustrated by the images of prized plants that need faithful care and attention if their growth is to be healthy and complete.

 

Verse 4 drives home the point again – all of the blessings listed come about as a result of “fearing.” or consistently serving God. While the God-fearing individual is the focus here, there is a definite cause- and-effect ripple throughout the believer’s community as well.

B. Impacting Our World–Psalm 128:5, 6

Families do not typically live in isolation. They develop reputations among their neighbours and mingle within broad social circles. The Christian family bears a heavy responsibility as a ministry team representing Christ to a lost world.

Question for Application
What contemporary application can we find in Psalm 128:5?

God’s blessings “from Zion” refer to His blessings from His presence. Zion – the holy hill on which the temple, which housed the ark, was built – symbolised God’s dwelling. Christians understand
even better than Old Testament believers that God’s presence abides within everyone who accepts Christ as Saviour.

For Jews to “see the prosperity of Jerusalem” meant that life in their homeland would be marked by peace and prosperity. Any believer would wish the same for his homeland. The person who has prayed for the blessing of a prosperous homeland is the same one who has guided his household according to God’s Word. Though not stated explicitly, the blessed homeland is an outgrowth of the blessed home.

Verse 6 bears this out. Parents who raise their children to live for God are very likely to see those children raise up other children to live righteously. A multiplication of godly citizens within any community serves to counter the decay of public morality and promote the well-being
of a nation.

Call to Discipleship
It is one thing to contemplate God’s presence and help when experiencing a relatively calm period in life. The test of faith is to remember His presernce and help are also realities in life’s dark places.

When children become rebellious, Christian parents need to rely on God’s WIsdomn in applying discipline. When finances dwindle, Christian families must trust God to supply every need. When marriage relationships become strained, husbands and wives must remember that God is the third Partner in their union.

With every challenge God allows to cross a family’s path, He supplies a means of gaining victory. His perspective is eternal, and He has in focus His eternal plan for every family member. Believers who structure their family life around God’s Word will find God’s help and encouragement at every challenge they encounter.

1. List the area ofyour family life that may need to be more focused on the Lord.
2. How can your family bea witness of God’s grace?
*Ministry in Action*
Encourage your students to be mindful of the attention their families receive in their neighbourhoods’, in their communities, and as they travel on vacations. They may never know when the most mundane activities they share with their children will prove to be an inspiration to someone who is lost.

 

Action Point
PS: If you would like to have an online course on any of the courses that you found on this blog, I will be glad to do that on individual and corporate level, I will be very glad to do that I have trained several individuals and groups and they are doing well in their various fields of endeavour. Some of those that I have trained includes staffs of Dangote Refinery, FCMB, Zenith Bank, New Horizons Nigeria among others. Please come on Whatsapp and let’s talk about your trainingYou can reach me on Whatsapp HERE. Please note that I will be using Microsoft Team to facilitate the training.

I know you might agree with some of the points that I have raised in this article. You might not agree with some of the issues raised. Let me know your views about the topic discussed. We will appreciate it if you can drop your comment. Thanks in anticipation.

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