David C Cook COVID-19 Response

Upper Elementary

Whole Heart

Lesson 2 

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Fall 2020

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By: RLD Editorial Team 

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September 13, 2020

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Lesson Focus:

Obey God with all your heart.

Bible Basis:

1 Samuel 14:47—16:13

Materials Needed:

Step 1:

  • Internet access

Summary & Links:

Students will consider the difference between half-hearted and whole-hearted and will be challenged to choose to obey God with all their heart.

Memory Verse:

So be careful to do what the LORD your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left.
—Deuteronomy 5:32

Step 1:

Students will consider the difference between half-hearted and whole-hearted and will be challenged to choose to obey God with all their heart.

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access

Share the following video [2:15; stop at 1:50]:
Postal worker loses her job after throwing mail in dumpster.

 In this video, we learn about the postal carrier’s “half-hearted attempt,” meaning that she didn’t put her whole heart or effort into her work. She delivered mail to other neighborhoods, but she didn’t give the job her all. Rather than finish the job well, she gave up at the end—which cost the worker her job!

Most postal carriers are dedicated to the postal service and to the community. They take their job seriously and complete the tasks they are given even in poor weather conditions.

  • Why do you think this postal worker threw mail in the dumpster? (Answers will vary; allow students to speculate.)
  • What might have motivated her to choose to do the job well instead, and to do it whole-heartedly? (Answers will vary.)
  • What task(s) have you done half-heartedly? (Answers will vary: homework, cleaning bedroom, practicing an instrument, etc. Be prepared to share your own half-hearted task completions.)
  • Why did you do the task(s) half-heartedly? (Some possible answers: in a hurry to play; did not like the task; felt tired; would rather do it my way; etc. Share your personal reasons for half-heartedness in your own life.) 
  • What motivates you to put your whole heart into what you do? (Answers will vary; tasks that are fun or enjoyable; rewards for completing the tasks, etc.)

There are times when we’ll be tempted to slack off and do things our way, not do them at all, or only do them half-heartedly. If our heart isn’t grounded in love for the One we’re serving, we may do things grudgingly. Let’s see what Saul’s life can tell us about the importance of obeying God with our whole heart.

Looking for Steps 2, 3 & 4?

You can find Steps 2 and 3 in your teacher’s guide. To purchase a teacher’s guide, please visit: Bible-in-Life or Echoes.

Step 4:

Materials Needed:

  • Bibles
  • Pieces of paper (1 for each student)
  • Writing utensils (preferably markers or colored pencils)

Students are going to make “whole heart” sheets to remind them to obey God with their whole heart. If you are meeting in person, gather pieces of paper (1 per student) and writing utensils before class. If you are meeting online, invite students to gather a piece of paper and a writing utensil before class. If possible, use markers or colored pencils to add color.

In the video we saw earlier, for some reason the postal carrier was half-hearted in her work. She may have done some of her duties, but she didn’t do all that she was supposed to do the way that she was supposed to do it. If she hadn’t been caught, it could’ve looked to most people like she was doing what was expected of her. After all, she had delivered most of the day’s mail already. And, she probably wore the right postal worker uniform.

However, the outward appearance didn’t match what was going on in her heart. From what we learned about Saul, obedience that is pleasing to God is obedience that comes from loving God with our whole heart, obeying God fully.

  • In what circumstances do you anticipate needing a whole heart reminder during the week ahead? (Allow students to share openly or consider this quietly.)

Because we may be tempted to go in our own direction instead of God’s way, we are going to make “whole heart” sheets for when we need a little reminder.

Distribute pieces of paper and colored pencils or markers. If you are meeting online, invite students to get their papers and writing utensils ready.

Encourage your students to draw multiple hearts on their pieces of paper and design them in some way that will remind them of whole-hearted obedience (an example might be a flaming heart or a heart with a graffiti style cross on it.) Students may choose to write “Whole Heart,” “Obey God with all your heart,” or the entire memory verse: “So be careful to do what the Lord your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left.”
—Deuteronomy 5:32).

Place your sheet where you will see it often and be reminded on-the-spot to obey God with your whole heart.

  • What can you do this week to choose to put your whole heart into obeying God? (Answers will vary.)

Close in prayer asking God to help all of you obey with your whole heart.

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