Tag Archives: Old School

“Daniel” Bible Study

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Big Idea: Sometimes following God will get you some haters

Introduction

            Haters are people who try to step on others so they can either appear or make themselves feel better. They get an ego trip by making other people feel bad. They are addicted to the feeling that they get from the false sense of superiority that putting down others gives them. They look at others and see how well they do at something or how good their life is going and that makes them feel bad about themselves. So, to feel better, they hate on people.

When we follow God and live for Christ, it causes other people to examine their own life. When they examine their own life against the life of a Christ-follower, they realize that the sinful life that they live is ultimately without purpose. When they come to this conclusion, they get angry and take it out on those that do have purpose in their life. They try to be like Daniel Day Lewis in “There Will Be Blood,” when he repeatedly shouts, “I drink your milkshake!” But the only way that they can actually drink your milkshake is if you let them get to you.

It is difficult to deal with “haters,” especially if you have a people-pleasing personality. The other government officials in Daniel’s story were haters, but he focused on pleasing God more than what all those other people thought. Even though it can sometimes be hard to not care what other people think, it is important for us to only seek the approval of God and of other people who are also striving to live their life for Christ.

 

Reading Guide:

Day 1: Daniel 6: 1 – 9

Day 2: Daniel 6: 10 – 19

Day 3: Daniel 6: 20 – 28

 

Questions for Discussion

  • Why do you think that we seek the approval of others?
  • Why is it so hard when other people disapprove of us?
  • Why is it so hard to ignore haters?
  • What are some practical ways that we can avoid seeking the approval of others, especially non-Christians?
  • What are some things that we may need to change in our life to begin living for God’s approval?

 

Action Step

Partner up with someone else in your group to text throughout the week to encourage one another to seek God’s approval and not other people’s.

“Jonah” Bible Study

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Big Idea: God offers grace that we do not deserve and we should too.

Background Information

            The story of Jonah is a lot like the parables that Jesus told in the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). The parables were earthly stories with spiritual lessons behind them. The story of Jonah closely parallels the events that transpired throughout the ancient history of Israel. If you read have ever read through the Old Testament, you have probably gotten bogged down by archaic laws and weird stories about battles and wars and you may have wondered why anyone would have even taken the time to write it all down.

But throughout the Old Testament, there is an overarching storyline about the people of Israel. And here it is in a nutshell: God made a covenant with the people of Israel. This covenant basically stated that God would love them and bless them as long as they remained faithful to him. So, throughout the story, the people of Israel turn from God. When they do, the blessings that God promised them were taken away. When bad things started to happen to them, they turned to God for help. When they did, God gave them the blessings again. But once times were good again, the people turned their backs.

This cycle continues throughout the story until two major events happen. The first event occurred in 722 BC when the nation of Assyria conquered the northern half of Israel and took the people into slavery. The second event happened in 587 BC when the nation of Babylon conquered the southern half of Israel and took the rest of the people into slavery. These events are represented by the things that happen to Jonah in the fourth chapter.

Jonah sits down outside the city and a plant grows up to offer him shade from the sun. This represents the growth of the nation of Israel in power, wealth, and global prestige. The height of the nation’s power occurred under King Solomon. Next, a worm comes and eats through the roots of the plant and kills the plant. The worm represents foreign religions infiltrating Israel and causing the people of Israel to worship false gods instead of the one true God. This worm effectively ate the roots, which was the people’s faithfulness to God. This caused the plant to die, the culminating event being the conquering of the northern portion of Israel.

Last, God sends a scorching east wind to blow against Jonah. This represents the conquering of the southern portion of Israel. Jonah’s constant complaining mirrors the complaints of the people of Israel during their time in slavery and Jonah’s anger reminds us of the anger of the people of Israel as foreign nations seemingly receive God’s favor instead of the ones who believe they are God’s only favored people. The Israelites took pride in being the people of God and held a deep disdain for other nations because they thought they were better. When God showed favor to other nations, the people of Israel burned with anger toward God.

 

Reading Guide

Day 1: Jonah 1 – 2

Day 2: Jonah 3

Day 3: Jonah 4

 

Questions for Discussion

  • Have you ever wanted God to punish someone for something they did to you?
  • Have you ever wondered why good things happen to bad people?
  • Why is it so difficult to forgive other people?
  • Why do you think that God forgives those people?
  • How can we work toward forgiving the way God forgives?

 

Action Step

Write a poem or a song about how God has forgiven you similar to the one in Jonah chapter 2.

“David & Goliath” Bible Study

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Big Idea: Sometimes “giants” aren’t that scary

Introduction

Watch this 15-minute video to set up the lesson. This is Malcolm Gladwell’s TED Talk called “The Unheard Story of David and Goliath.”

http://www.ted.com/talks/malcolm_gladwell_the_unheard_story_of_david_and_goliath.html

 

Reading Guide

Day 1: 1 Samuel 17: 1 – 18

Day 2 : 1 Samuel 17: 19 – 36

Day 3: 1 Samuel 17: 37 – 53

 

Questions for Discussion

  • What are some things that might be considered “giants” in our lives?
  • Why are those things so scary?
  • Do you have an example of a time that a “giant” turned out to be not so intimidating?
  • How can we draw courage from the thought that the things that we see as “giants” may not be so scary?
  • How can use this lesson in our daily lives?

 

Action Step

Identify something in your life that you would consider a “giant.” Make a list of reasons why that “giant” is not scary or intimidating at all.

Old School Series Summary

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Sermon Series: Old School

March 1/2: David & Goliath

March 8/9: Jonah & the Big Fish

March 15/16: Daniel & the Lion’s Den

Series Introduction

Maybe some of you remember learning Old Testament Bible stories in Sunday School when your teacher stuck the characters up on the flannelgraph. Maybe some of you are completely oblivious to some of the stories in the Old Testament. Throughout this 3-week sermon series, we will be teaching your students some of the more familiar stories from the Old Testament.

The first week of the series, we will be talking about the story of David & Goliath. In the midst of an old fashion standoff with the Philistine army camped out on one mountainside and the Israelite army camped out on another and only a valley scattered with terebinth trees separating them, two men engaged in combat to decide the outcome of the entire war. One was a wiry shepherd boy and the other a feared giant. Who will emerge as victor?

The second week of the series, we will talk about the story of Jonah & the Big Fish. In a time when a powerful empire threatened to lay siege to the kingdom of Israel, God sent one man to change the hearts of a nation. God told Jonah to go into the heart of the empire to encourage the people to repent. Can one man change the course of human history?

The third week of the series, we will be talking about the story of Daniel & the Lion’s Den. In a foreign land, far from his home, one man takes a stand against a powerful king. The king of Persia sought to eradicate the worship of God, but in a blatant act of civil disobedience, Daniel defied this king. Would Daniel’s bold resistance prove to be futile or could it change history?

Weekly Reading Guide

Here is the weekly reading guide to follow along with throughout the series. This will be great to read through as a family!

Week 1: 

1 Samuel 17: 1 – 18

1 Samuel 17: 19 – 36

1 Samuel 17: 37 – 53

Week 2: 

Jonah 1 & 2

Jonah 3

Jonah 4

Week 3: 

Daniel 6: 1 – 9

Daniel 6: 10 – 18

Daniel 6: 19 – 28

Family Action Step

Throughout this series, find three other Old Testament stories to read together as a family.

Family Scripture Memory

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that all God’s people may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16 – 17