Truth is not defined by personal preference or conviction: it is defined by the holy word of God. This lesson,”Walk in Truth” (part 2 of the “Walk” series), will teach children that ultimate truth is not determined through erroneous human intelligence. Rather, it is created by our righteous, omniscient God. We can trust that aligning our lives to the incredible truth of the bible will increase our faith and help us identify cultural and sinful lies.
TARGET AGES: 10-14
OBJECTIVE: To gain assurance from God’s word that we can live according to truth and defend ourselves from sinful lies.
MAIN IDEA: The bible helps us recognize the truth from lies. When we accept what God says about Jesus (that he is the only way to God) and about us (that we are loved, forgiven, and worthy of his affection) then we will be able to walk in truth instead of doubt or shame.
SCRIPTURE PASSAGES: James 1:5 (review), John 14:6, John 8:31-32, Psalm 28:7, Deuteronomy 31:8
MATERIAL(S): paper, writing utensils
Introduction (10 minutes)
OPENING PRAYER: “God, we want to live according to your truth. Help us take to heart what you have to say about believing and acting on your word. Amen.”
ICEBREAKER: “Choose the Truth” exercise
Say, “Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish the truth from a lie. For example, I’m going to tell you three things about myself, but only one of them is true. See if you can choose the right one!” Proceed with your examples and have the children vote on which example they think is the truth. After revealing the correct example, ask for additional volunteers to participate. Ask, “How did it feel to choose the wrong example (silly, ashamed, outsmarted, etc)? How did we know the truth (each person identified the truth)?” Tell the children that God tells us what is true through his word, so knowing what the bible says helps us recognize truth from lies.
Lesson (20 minutes)
PREVIOUS LESSON REVIEW: Remind the children of last week’s lesson on wisdom. Ask, “What does it mean to be wise (to have good judgment and know when a decision or activity isn’t beneficial)? Knowing the truth will help us make wise decisions.” Read James 1:5 and ask if anyone would like to say the verse from memory. Reiterate that wisdom and truth work together to make us more mature as believers.
- State the definition for “truth”: that which is factual for all people, at all places, at all times. Say, “The most important truth of the bible is found in John 14:6.” Read the scripture and emphasize that any religion, idea, or person who says we don’t need Jesus to have a relationship with God is wrong. Further acknowledge that we can have assurance in Jesus’ sacrifice when we become believers. Then outline how to receive salvation and allow time for the children to ask any questions they may have about believing in Jesus. Comment, “Wholeheartedly believing that Jesus is the only way to God and the only way to heaven is the first step in recognizing sinful lies.”
- Next, read John 8:31-32. Ask, “What must we do if we want to know truth (be obedient to God/hold to his teachings)? What is the result of knowing truth (it will set us free)?” Explain that knowing the truth “frees” us because we won’t be tricked by sinful lies that push us away from God. Say, “Obedience is the key – we must actively be doing what God’s word says to walk in truth.”
- Go on to discuss additional biblical truths by reading Psalm 28:7 and Deuteronomy 32:8. Ask, “What does God promise us in these verses (that he will protect, help, and never leave us)?” Clarify that doubting God’s presence is one way Satan likes to try to discourage believers. Also, tell the class that dwelling on past mistakes or failures instead of accepting God’s forgiveness and guidance will keep us from walking in truth. Say, “When we know God’s word and boldly live according to its truth, Satan’s lies don’t stand a chance!”
Game: “Bible True or False” (10 minutes)
Tell the children they are going to play a simple game that shows the importance of knowing what the bible says. Pass out the paper and the writing utensils and ask them to write the numbers one through ten. Then have them write “true” or “false” as you say each statement:
- Martha was Jesus’ mother. (F)
- Moses built the ark. (F)
- David was a biblical king. (T)
- Jacob killed Goliath. (F)
- Jonah was swallowed by a whale. (T)
- Cain killed his brother Abel. (T)
- Paul was a missionary. (T)
- Jacob had no children. (F)
- Jesus died on the cross. (T)
- John betrayed Jesus. (F)
After the game, go over the answers with the class. Ask, “Was it easy to pick out the false statements? If not, what can we do to improve recognizing the truth (read the bible more often)?” Challenge the children to read the bible every day so they can increase their knowledge of truth.
Conclusion (5 minutes)
RECAP: God’s word is our source of truth. When we read our bibles and obey God then we will be ready to walk in truth.
CLOSING PRAYER: “Lord, you are the only reliable source of truth. Thank you for your love and guidance. Amen.”