Youth Bible Study Lessons

Youth Bible Study Lessons  

Youth Lessons by David Cassady and online youth teaching resources (at nurturingfaith.net) by Jeremy Colliver build off of the Bible lessons by Tony Cartledge.

Youth lessons are made possible through the generous support of the Eula Mae and John Baugh Foundation.

November 2 — November 30, 2014

Look Up!

Joshua 3:7-17

Former NBA star and current basketball analyst Charles Barkley once said “I am not a role model” as part of a Nike Air commercial. Talk shows and newspapers were abuzz with comments after the commercial aired. Some of the commentators bashed Barkley for his statement, and others criticized Nike for creating the commercial because he was in the public eye and their kids looked up to him. Other commentators praised Barkley and Nike for the second half of the commercial: “Parents should be role models… Just because I dunk a basketball doesn’t mean I should raise your kids.”

Whichever side you favor in this discussion, a worthwhile topic was being discussed: Who should be our role models?

After the death of Moses the people needed a leader. Joshua had been chosen but didn’t have the full faith of the people. In Joshua 3:7 we learn that Joshua would get the ultimate endorsement, however: God would exalt Joshua as the new leader of the Israelites. Joshua wanted the people to know that he was endorsed by God, so he gathered everyone together and told them to listen to what God had instructed them to do.

The people of Israel were to cross the Jordan River with the help of God. Twelve men, one from each tribe, would carry the Ark of the Covenant to the Jordan. When their feet touched the water, the waters would part and the people could walk across. This act would not only promote Joshua as the new leader, but it would also prove that God was a “living God.” The people of Israel would again have a leader in whom they believed.
Choices

Joshua 24:1-25

The act of flipping a coin, shaking a Magic 8-Ball, drawing a slip of paper out of a hat, playing “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe” … These are all things we might do to avoid making a decision. We don’t always use these devices to choose. Sometimes we use them just for fun, but at other times we use them because we don’t want to make the decision for ourselves. We have to make choices every day, and, not only what we choose, but why we choose, says a lot about who we are.

Joshua had to make a lot of decisions, and the decisions he made would impact not only him, but also the people of Israel.

Joshua had made a lot of decisions in his time as the leader of the people of Israel. He had crossed the Jordan River, there had been numerous takeovers of cities and their peoples, and he had distributed the lands among the tribes. Joshua knew he was about to die, so he brought the people together to help them realize that they now had to continue on in faith to keep their covenant with God without his leadership. The covenant wasn’t between the people and Joshua, but between God and the people.

Joshua recounted all that God had done for the people and what God would do if they did not keep their part of the covenant. The people heard all of this and proclaimed their service to God. Joshua reminded them that they had not always been faithful, calling them to “Choose this day whom you will serve.”

NOVEMBER 2
 
Think About It:  

The people of Israel had a huge obstacle in their way (the Jordan River), and it was God who helped them overcome it. What obstacles do you have in your life that God can help you overcome?

Make a Choice:

We all have role models, and we are each a role model for someone else. What do your actions reveal about yourself? How might you choose to live differently knowing you are someone’s role model?

Pray:

Dear God, we give thanks for the people you place in our lives who show us your love.

NOVEMBER 9

Think About It:  

Why you choose to do something means as much as what you choose. Take time this week to be intentional in thinking about why you do what you do.

Make a Choice:

We make hundreds of choices every day. Some of them are out of habit; others we have to think about. How does God want you to make choices?

Pray:

May our actions show whom we have chosen to follow and serve.

Women Rise Up

Judges 4:1-23

The people of Israel were again “doing what was evil in the sight of the LORD.” This time it was because they were leaderless after the death of Ehud, their third judge.

Because of their evil, God allowed Jabin, the Canaanite king, to conquer them. Judges 4 picks up here to tell the rest of the story.

Jabin had ruled the people of Israel for 20 years when we are introduced to Deborah. She was a prophetess and “judged Israel” and was respected by the people.

Deborah was in such a place of leadership that she called on Barak to gather an army of 10,000 to fight against Sisera and his Canaanite army. Barak agreed but only if Deborah would go with him. The victory was a success — killing all of the Canaanite army. Their leader Sisera was killed by a woman named Jael.

The Shepherd

Ezekiel 34:1-31

Jesus is called “the good shepherd” in the New Testament. After reading Ezekiel 34, you will have a better understanding why this phrase was used.

If you only read the first 10 verses of the chapter, however, you won’t quite get the meaning of the name for Jesus: Ezekiel spends the first 10 verses calling out the “bad shepherds” — those who had not been protecting the sheep, but rather using them for their own gain.

In the next six verses, Ezekiel contrasts the “bad shepherds” of Israel with the ultimate shepherd in Yahweh. As you can imagine, Yahweh does the opposite of what the “bad shepherds” are accused of.

Ezekiel doesn’t put all the blame on the bad shepherds and turns his attention to the sheep themselves. The “rams and goats” who were selfish would also be punished, and Ezekiel promised that a single shepherd would rescue and care for the good sheep. Ezekiel named this shepherd “David,” but we know him as Jesus.

Where are you?

Isaiah 64:1-9

When the people of Israel finally returned to Jerusalem after being exiled, it was not what they expected.

There were many different opinions as to why, but the majority of people thought it was because God no longer loved them. The people wanted to know where God was, so Isaiah asked for them.

He pled that God would again claim them as God’s chosen people. Referencing the past, present and future, Isaiah asked for what God had done before, acknowledged that the people had sinned because God did not seem to be with them, and then asked God to be merciful and to return to the people.

Isaiah cried out to God that the people were ready for God. To prove his point, he used the metaphor of the potter and clay. The people of Israel wanted to be molded again by God. They were ready to see God. Maybe that is what they needed all along.

Think About It:

What does Deborah leading in a traditionally male-led society say about the role of female leadership?

Make a Choice:

We often fail in our commitments to God. Will you choose to renew your commitment to God, or choose to follow your own path?

Pray:

God, may we follow leaders who follow your will.

Think About It:

Ezekiel names several different groups of shepherds and sheep in this passage. Which one best describes you?

Make a Choice:

How will you choose to stand up to the “rams and goats” and protect the weaker “sheep”?

Pray:

Good Shepherd, may we continue to be good shepherds to all of your flock.

Think About It:

Could it be that God is present and we only need to open our eyes to find God?

Make a Choice:

God is always present among us. Will you choose to look for God, or will you wait for God to be revealed to you?

Pray:

May we seek to find you in all that we do and whereever we are.

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