High School

Worshiping God Alone

Lesson 10 

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Fall 2019

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By: Caroline Ferdinandsen 

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November 03, 2019

Lesson Focus:

God alone is worthy of our devotion.

Bible Basis:

I Kings 11:3; 28-31, 38; 14:5-9

Materials Needed:

Step 1:

  • Internet access

Summary & Links:

Students will watch a video about the spending and interests of Generation Z as they explore how God alone is worthy of our devotion.

Memory Verse:

We also know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Dear children, keep yourself from idols.
—1 John 5: 20-21

Step 1:

Students will watch a video about the spending and interests of Generation Z as they explore how God alone is worthy of our devotion.

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access

American teenagers apparently have a lot of money to spend. And what people spend money on tells us a lot about their priorities. Your generation is the first to leave a clear digital footprint about the material items it values. Let’s take a look at some of the things teenagers find important.

Watch the following video with your class and then discuss the questions that follow [4:37]:
“Stupid Things Teenagers Spend Their Money On”

  • $40 billion dollars is a huge amount. Did any of the purchase data surprise you? (Answers will vary. An interest in home ownership and cooking at home might be somewhat surprising.)
  • Most of the purchases mentioned involve pleasure-seeking or temporary enjoyment. Can you name some of them? (Coffee drinks, movies, video games, entertainment are some of the categories.)
  • How would you define the word “idol”? Could any of these things be placed in the category of “idolatry”? (An idol is an “object of worship” or any person or thing that is greatly admired or revered. Given this definition, it seems clear that anything we obsess over or put higher than God can become an idol.)
  • Why is it so easy to place more emphasis on material possessions or celebrity endorsements than things with lasting value? (Material possessions feel concrete and provide immediate gratification; spiritual values are abstract and harder to quantify. Also, teen identity and acceptance is often wrapped in activities, clothing, and appearance.)

It’s not a sin to own an electronic gadget or buy a frappuccino. But God does want us to focus our spiritual worship on Him alone. We’ll discover today that idolatry transcends time and place. It seems to be built into the human condition.

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:

  • A large container made of plastic, cardboard, or other material
  • Balloons (1 per student plus 1)
  • Slips of paper (2 per student)
  • Pens/pencils

A common approach to teaching about idolatry is to include “lists” of negative influences, time- wasters, or possessions that could be considered modern idols. However, it is often more productive to teach young people how to elevate the role of Jesus Christ in their lives rather than root out specific items that may or may not be at the heart of the matter in the first place. It can be helpful to use an object lesson to show how we fill the limited space in our lives with either God-honoring content or God-diminishing content.

By using a container and an inflated balloon, we can show students how filling our lives with more of Jesus will result in less space for superficial pursuits.

Imagine that this container represents your life as a teenager. Each day we have the opportunity to fill it with all kinds of priorities. Now imagine that this balloon is our devotion to Jesus. If I blow it up just a little bit and place it in the box, I still have a lot of room leftover. (Blow up the balloon part way and place it into the container to illustrate.) But if I blow this up even more, the room for other things begins to shrink. It starts to become the most significant item in this container. (Repeat by inflating the balloon to its full size).

Instruct your students to partner up and think of a specific thing they can do to elevate the significance of Jesus Christ in their lives (these could be things like attending a small group Bible study, adding a Bible app to their smartphone, starting the day with private prayer, or finding a prayer partner at school). They should write this down on both slips of paper they received and place ONE in the container.

When all the partners have added a piece of paper, take them out one-by-one and read them to the group. Choose another leader or a student to blow up another balloon using one breath every time an example is read to the class.

When you finish, discuss these questions together.

  • Why is it better to think in terms of filling our life with Jesus rather than getting rid of “bad” influences? (Nurturing a relationship with God will always result in a more obedient life. Simply getting rid of the “don’ts” doesn’t necessarily result in a closer walk with Him; it just means we’re good at following the rules.)
  • Does this mean we don’t need to think about sin? (Of course not! We still must be vigilant against behaviors that dishonor God.)
  • Can you tell when your life gets too cluttered with idols? What are some of the signs? (lack of interest in God’s people, laziness, an undisciplined life, negativity, bitterness toward others, obsession with superficial things, etc.)  

When finished with the dialogue, hand out another balloon to each student. Have them roll up their extra printed slip of paper and put it inside of their uninflated balloon. Don’t blow this up until you get home. When you do, put it in a place that will remind you what you wrote on the slip inside—then commit to elevating the significance of Jesus Christ in your life in that way this week.

When you are finished, pray together for the wisdom and diligence to avoid idols and keep God at the center of your lives.

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