The following lesson is from a series in Proverbs created for older students. The students will discover that when making decisions, choosing God’s way leads us on the path of wisdom. We need God for everything including His wisdom and power to make wise choices.
Bible Passage: Proverbs 16:25, Matthew 7:13-14,
Bible Story Title: Proverbs-Wisdom is choosing God’s way
Target Age Group: Ages 9-11(3rd-5th Grade U.S.A.)
Target Time Frame: 60 Minutes
Original Teaching Context: Sunday School
Supply List: Bibles, wide gate/narrow gate activity, journals, pens/pencils
Learning Goal: Students will learn that we need God to make wise choices.
Learning Activity #1: Wide gate/Narrow Gate marble activity
Learning Activity #2: Journals (At the close of the lesson students can write, draw etc. what they learned from the Bible Lesson)
Memory Verse: Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths.
Bible Lesson: Proverbs-Wisdom is choosing God’s way
(Begin with prayer)
Throughout the study of Proverbs we have discovered that there are two paths. The path of wisdom that leads to life and the path of foolishness that leads to death. The main theme of each lesson for all of us is that we need God for everything.
The lesson today is about choices. We all make choices everyday. When we desire to walk on the path of wisdom we need God to help us make choices that please Him. If we aren’t thinking about God and what pleases Him we will make choices that lead to death.
Let’s turn in our Bibles to Proverbs 16:25. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”
According to the Bible every person is a sinner. We have wicked hearts (Jer. 17:9), we have evil tongues (James 3:3-9) and left to our own decisions will make sinful choices.
Why do we need God? We need God to make wise choices.
Proverbs 12:15 “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.”
A wise man is a man, woman, boy or girl who knows God’s truth and puts it into practice in daily living. A wise person would listen to Godly advice and recognize advice that would lead him/her to sin.
1. We need God to choose Jesus
In the New Testament Jesus tells about two paths as well. Read Matthew 7:13-14: “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
Jesus is the narrow gate and the wide gate is choosing to reject Him and His gift of eternal life. What does the end of the path taken from the wide gate lead to? (Destruction) If we look back at Proverbs 16:25 we see that many people choose what they believe is right. What happens as a result of those choices? (Death) When people say it is ok for everyone to believe what they want about God and it will all work out; that is a choice that leads to death.
There is only one way to God and that is through Jesus (John 14:6).
All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). Just by being born all of us have walked through the wide gate. Staying on the path from the wide gate leads us to punishment for our sins-destruction (Eternal separation from God. 1 Thess. 1:8-9). Jesus tells us that no one chooses the narrow gate by themselves (Romans 3:10-12) “No one can come to Me (Jesus) unless the Father who sent Me draws Him. And I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:44) God reveals Himself to people through His creation (Romans 1:19-20) He also reveals Himself to people each time they hear truth about Him. When the Good News is shared that Jesus died for our sins, was buried and rose again, a person is being invited to choose to turn around and leave the wide gate and enter the narrow gate.
A person enters the narrow gate by repenting of sin and turning to Jesus by faith that He is the perfect sacrifice that forgives us and cleanses us from all sin through His death, burial and resurrection.
The moment we enter through the narrow gate we are now able to make wise choices because we have the power of the Holy Spirit enabling us to know God’s Word and put what we know into practice. (Eph. 1:13-14; 1 Cor. 6:19; 2 Tim. 1:14)
2. We need God to daily make wise choices
The first wise choice is to enter into a relationship with God through faith in Jesus. After we become followers of Christ we need to daily spend time in God’s Word so we know His truth and are equipped to recognize wise choices from foolish ones. “Do not be conformed to this world, and be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2) Hebrews 5:13-14 “for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.”
How can believers make wise choices daily? (Allow responses) By spending time each day with the Lord reading His Word and praying, we will love Him more and more. Because we love Him we will want to do what pleases Him. Our daily choices will be made based on what we know is true about God and out of love for Him.
If we never read His Word, study or meditate on it we can easily be tricked by our evil hearts to think we are making good choices. We would find ourselves traveling down the path of foolishness even though we are believers. The consequences of making foolish choices can bring pain and heartache to us and those around us. The Good News is that when we sin and make foolish choices, we can repent, turn around and get back on the path that leads to life.
It’s important to remember that when you make the wise choice to follow Jesus you will never make a choice that places you back on the path of eternal destruction. He saved you from all your sins when He died on the cross (Heb. 9:11-12).
As a believer we are in a process of being sanctified (being made into the image of Jesus (Rom. 8:29)). As we are in this process there will be times we sin and make foolish choices. Using the phrase ‘path of death’ for a believer means you will not experience the best God has for you. Foolish choices can never take away your eternal redemption through faith in Jesus. When you make sinful choices your conscience will trouble you and your decisions will hurt you and others around you. When you recognize that you are sinning against the Lord you can turn away from those sinful choices and be restored to a right relationship with Him. (1 John 1:9)
Why do we need God? We need God to make wise choices.
(Close in prayer)
After the lesson allow time for students to journal what they learned from the Bible Lesson. (They can write, draw a picture etc. to help them articulate what they learned.)
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