God wants all our hearts. His expectations regarding our actions and responses toward Him could be summed up in one Word: OBEDIENCE

To Obey Is Better Than Sacrifice. AG Teen Sunday School Manual.

 

Text: 1 Sam 15:1-3, 7-9, 12, 14-15, 20-28

 

Key Verse: 1 Samuel 15:22

Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams._ (NIV)

 

Focus
God wants all our hearts. His expectations regarding our actions and responses toward Him could be summed up in one Word: OBEDIENCE. In fact, He values obedience more than anything we could ever give up for Him.

 

We demonstrate devotion to Him through trust, and trust is demonstrated by obedience. Doubtless, your ministry as a Sunday School teacher or teens’ facilitator is extremely important; but make no mistakes: God doesn’t want your sacrifices for Him to serve as a substitute for obedience. He is deeply concerned with what He’s doing in you, not just what He’s doing through you.

 

Take a few moments this week to examine your priorities: Are you trying to impress God, or others, by what you are doing for Him when He would prefer your willing obedience? Make out time also to pray for your students. Obedience isn’t necessarily a welcome topic among teens, but obedience to God is a necessity, whether it’s popular or not. Encourage your students to learn from Saul’s mistake.

 

The Basic Message:* Explain to students…

• WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA?
God values complete obedience above any sacrifice we could make for Him.
• WHY DOES IT MATTER?
Obedience has a price, but the price of disobedience is higher.
• HOW DO I LIVE IT?
Follow God’s instructions – willingly and completely.

Activity Option:
RULES ARE GOOD THING

Ask students to name sports, activities, and hobbies they are involved in that have specific rules or standards governing the play. List the activities on the board. Then ask the following questions regarding each activity:
• What are some of the primary rules of this activity?
• What would the activity be like if those standards didn’t exist a what if participants simply chose to ignore them?

Guide: Explain that God’s Word contains instructions for living. When we become selective about which parts of God’s Word we’ll abide by and ignore other parts, we can expect trouble. Partial obedience will not be acceptable to God, but total obedience will leave you with no regrets.

 

Study Overview: Explain that today’s study considers..

• The personal “costs” of living an obedient Christian life.
• The value of obedience compared with the value of sacrifice.
• The need to act in a godly way to avoid regrets.

inform and Discuss
a. Total Annihilation -Partial Obedience

 

Teacher Hint:

Read or have a volunteer read 1 Sam 15:1-3. Some may see God’s directive as cruel and harsh, but it’s important to understand the purpose behind His judgment. He knew that pagan cultures would corrupt His people and lead them away from Him; and when they weren’t doing that, they were physically attacking God’s people. As a surgeon wants to remove a cancerous tumour completely, so God wanted to completely remove sinful influence of these evil groups. But He didn’t take this action action arbitrarily or in a haste -He waited until their sin did reach its full measure (Gen 15:12-16).

 

1. Why do you think God communicated to King Saul in such a manner that was unmistakably clear?

 

Guide: Explain that God doesn’t want His people confused about His expectations for them. He gives us His Word, direct access to Him through prayer, the Holy Spirit’s guidance, and He still speaks through other people.

2. Read or have a volunteer read 1 Sam 15:7-9. Ask students to give everyday examples of partial obedience.

 

Hint: These include doing a portion of what was asked by a parent, teacher, or other authority figure, but disregarding the full instructions – e.g., curfew, an assignment, a- responsibility.

 

Guide: Point out that there’s no such thing as “partial obedience.” When a parent tells a teen a two-step command, the parent won’t be pleased unless both steps are followed.

 

3. Why might “partial obedience” be serious?

Guide: Explain that obeying the Lord isn’t optional. God sees our hearts and knows our motivations. Excuses won’t fool Him.

b. Direct Confrontation-Indirect Excuses
1. Read or have volunteers read 1 Sam 15:12, 14-15, 24. Why is Saul’s explanation clearly an excuse? (Guide: Explain that the idea of offering the best sheep and cattle sounds good on the surface, but it’s the direct result of disobedience.

 

Besides, Saul should have learned his lesson when Samuel rebuked Saul’s earlier disobedience (1 Sam 13:11-14). It is also possible Saul was interested in his honour, not God’s honour.

 

2. Read or have a volunteer read 1 Sam 15:20-23. Why do you think God values obedience more than sacrifice? What’s the difference between the two?

Hint: Sacrifice and obedience aren’t the same. Sacrifice may simply mean giving God what we want Him to have; obedience is giving Him what He wants. Disobedience is what made sacrifice necessary. Saul wanted something that was not rightfully his in the first place.

 

Note: What truly pleases God is not our sacrifice, but a heart ready to completely obey Him, no matter the cost.

3. How is disobedience a type of rebelliousness and arrogance? [Hint: When we don’t fully obey, iť’s often because we think we know better, or because we simply don’t want to do what was asked.

 

Disobedience is defiance of God.

Note: Obedience can be costly- it can cost you things like your friendship, popularity, or your pride. But the cost of disobedience is much higher.

c. Heartfelt Confession- Heartbreaking Consequences
1. Read or have volunteer read 1 Sam 15:24-28. Does asking God for forgiveness eliminate the consequences of disobedience?

 

Guide: Explain that God forgives us when we genuinely repent of our disobedience, but that doesn’t mean we’ll escape the consequences that lead to regret. The only way to live a life free from regret is to choose the path of obedience.

 

Note: Although Saul clung to power until his death, David was anointed king while Saul still lived.

c. Heartfelt Confession-Heartbreaking Consequences
1. Read or have volunteer read 1 Sam 15:24-28. Does asking God for
forgiveness eliminate the consequences of disobedience?
>>Guide: Explain that God forgives us when we genuinely repent of our
disobedience, but that doesn’t mean we’ll escape the consequences that
lead to regret. The only way to live a life free from regret is to choose the path
of obedience.

 

Note: Although Saul clung to power until his death, David was anointed king while Saul still lived.

 

Involve Them: WORTH THE RISK

Divide students into small groups. Give each group a piece of paper and a pen or pencil. Challenge each group to come up with three risks that God might ask young believers in their generation to take in the next three years for the benefit of His kingdom (e.g., write a paper with a Christian theme as a school assignment, start a prayer or Bible club at school, tell an unbelieving friend about Jesus). Remind them that obedience to God often seems like.

 

Involve Them: WORTH THE RISK

Divide students into small groups. Give each group a piece of paper and a
pen or pencil. Challenge each group to come up with three risks that God
might ask young believers in their generation to take in the next three years
for the benefit of His kingdom (e.g., write a paper with a Christian theme as a
school assignment, start a prayer or Bible club at school, tell an unbelieving
friend about Jesus). Remind them that obedience to God often seems like
risk behaviour, but whatever the cost, obedience to God is worth it.

 

Inspire Them: Remind students “The Basic Message” of this study (pg 119), explain WHAT the Big ldea behind the study is; WHY it matters; and

HOW we can live the lesson captured in the study.

Ministry Activity: ACT ON IT

Give students few minutes to spend in quiet reflection about how they intend to live this week in the light of all you discussed in class. (You may want to quietly display worship music, even as they reflect.).

 

Perhaps some know what God has been telling them, but they haven’t yet acted on it. Or perhaps others need to repent for choosing to do their own thing in a particular aspect of their lives. Pray with students and give them time to make these commitments.

Teacher Hint: Ask Yourself…

1. Do students understand that disobedience to God can lead to serious issues?

2. Can they explain the difference between obeying God and sacrificing for Him?

3. Do students realize that asking forgiveness doesn’t erase the consequences of their actions?

 

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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