It’s so exciting to watch kids grow in their faith and ability to handle God’s word. Especially as they enter the “preteen” years, they can learn to study the Bible on their own. This lesson will help them get started.
TARGET AGES: 10-14
OBJECTIVE: To give students practical ways to study the bible and grow in their spiritual maturity and relationship to Christ.
MAIN IDEA: There is more than one way to study the bible to learn about God. When our hearts are willing and committed to studying scripture, we will be equipped to fulfill God’s calling(s) in our lives.
SCRIPTURE PASSAGES: 2 Timothy 3:12-15, Psalm 119:105, Psalm 119:9-11, Psalm 119:97, Psalm 119:33-34
MATERIAL(S): lists of verses, index cards, devotion handouts, small journals, pencils/pens
Introduction (5 minutes)
OPENING PRAYER: “God, we ask you to give us a committed desire to study your word. Show us how to purpose our lives around our relationship to you. Amen.”
PREVIOUS LESSON REVIEW: Say, “Last week we discussed what the bible says about dating. How are we supposed to prioritize our affections for others (God first, others second, ourselves last)?” Remind students that God calls some people to be single and others to be married, and we should always seek his guidance when making dating decisions. Also, we need to respect our parents’ thoughts concerning the appropriate time to date and who to date.
Lesson (15 minutes)
- Ask, “What are some reasons to study in school (to pass tests, make good grades, graduate, etc)? Studying the bible is even more important because it helps us pass ‘tests’ of temptation we face in the world. Also, studying the bible helps us ‘graduate’ into mature Christians by learning and acting on God’s truth.” Read 2 Timothy 3:12-15. Emphasize that we cannot spiritually grow and be prepared for persecution and deception if we do not study God’s word.
- Say, “We are going to discuss several different ways to study, or learn, from God’s word. One of the easiest ways to learn is simply by reading the bible.” Explain that the bible can be hard to understand at times but that doesn’t mean we give up reading. Rather, we should pray, seek answers from God, and ask others for help. Read Psalm 119:105. Comment, “The bible tells us how to live as Christians. It is the ‘light’ on our path in a dark world, so we should strive to read it every day.” Encourage students to explore reading the book of Psalms, Proverbs, or Matthew if they are unsure where to start reading when they study God’s word.
- Emphasize that memorizing bible verses is another way to study. Say, “Memorizing scripture is especially helpful when you face trials, a lack of motivation, or temptation because God’s word will remind you of his presence and guidance.” Read Psalm 119:9-11. Explain that a way to “hide” God’s word in our heart is through memorization. Provide a list of short verses (such as the verses used in this lesson) to encourage students to start memorizing scripture. Also, provide several index cards for each student (to begin practicing memorization) by writing the scripture reference on one side and the verse message on the other side. Students may practice flipping the cards back and forth to remember the verse.
- Next, add that writing in a journal can be beneficial to our spiritual growth. Comment, “When we reflect and meditate on God’s word through writing, we make a personal connection with the Lord. Also, writing is a good outlet for expressing our feelings and coming up with ways to use what we have learned.” Read Psalm 119:97.
- Lastly, tell students that external sources – such as devotions and bible lessons – also help us study God’s word. Read Psalm 119:33-34. Say, “Any time you listen to a bible lesson or sermon, it is an opportunity to understand the bible under the guidance of another Christian. Make an effort to learn from the people God has put into your life as teachers because they have the distinct calling to help you grow closer in your relationship to Christ.” Go on to explain that a devotion is a short, biblical commentary with select verses that provide structure to studying God’s word. Provide several age-appropriate devotions for each student.
Conclusion (5 minutes)
RECAP: Studying God’s word takes commitment and obedience. Reading the bible, memorizing scripture, writing in a journal, and utilizing others through bible lessons and devotions are all useful ways to become more mature in our faith.
CLOSING PRAYER: “Lord, give us conviction when we forget to study your word. Equip us to grow stronger through you and use what we learn to reach others for Christ. Amen.”
Writing Activity – (20 minutes)
Pass out the journals to the class. Comment, “We talked about writing as a way to reflect on God’s word. Today we are going to write our first entry. Think about things such as your salvation, God’s provision and protection, and your thankfulness to the Lord. Then write your thoughts as a way to worship God.” Encourage students to turn to Psalms for writing inspiration.
Some resources that might help:
- Children’s Devotional Guide from Philippians (7 lessons)
- Various Bible reading charts on our website