Teaching Goal: Fear of God is key to happiness and blessing.
Scripture: Psalm 128:1 How happy are those who fear the Lord. (NLT)
Proverbs 19:23 Fear of the Lord gives life, security, and protection from harm. (NLT)
Proverbs 22:4 Fear of the Lord leads to riches, honor, and long life. (NLT)
Matthew 5:3-12 Poor/kingdom…mourn/comfort… meek/inherit earth…hungry & thirsty/filled… persecuted/kingdom…blessed/insulted
I. Play theme song
III. Review last lesson
IV. Lesson and Discussion
Words written in bold are when the leader is speaking. Feel free to use your own words.
A. ACTIVITY: Do you know what an “oxymoron” is? Can you give an example? Listen. An oxymoron is a figure of speech usually composed of two contradictory words. I’m going to give you one word and see if you can come up with the second word that makes a popular oxymoron (Give the word in bold. You can choose other examples at www.oxymoronlist.com):
Working Vacation Dodge Ram
Peace Force Tight Slacks
Jumbo Shrimp Adult Children
Big Baby Civil War
Old News Original Copy
One of Jesus’ most famous sermons is called the Beatitudes. Let’s see if we can find oxymoron’s in the Beatitudes. Invite a volunteer to read Matthew 5:3-12.
Here is another oxymoron from the Bible. Invite a volunteer to read Psalm 128:1 (New Living Translation listed above.). Happy fear. People who fear the Lord will be happy.
B. I’m going to give you a couple examples of “happy fear,” then see if you can come up with your own example.
1. Cars speed past the front of our house every few minutes. You like to play in the front yard because you can see when neighborhood kids come out to play. Parents are afraid of the fast moving cars! So parents teach their kids to fear and respect cars. A parent may raise their voice to get their child’s attention. They may even ground them from playing in the front yard until they learn to stay out of the street. When children learn to fear fast moving cars, parents are happy and children are safer.
2. Next week you are going to have a very hard test at school. You are afraid of failing the test so you take some time each day to study and learn the material. Next week when the test comes you know the answers and get a great grade. Because you were afraid of the difficulty and failure you studied and ended up extremely happy.
3. Give each person a turn to think of a happy fear.
C. What do you think the Bible means when it says, happy are those who fear the Lord? Listen to answers. To fear God is to believe what He says is true. God tells us that stealing and lying are wrong (10 Commandments, Proverbs) and will destroy trust and even friendships. Because we know God is telling us the truth, we fear stealing and lying, avoid heartache and experience happiness.
How does obeying God’s rules compare to the story about children playing near a busy street? Listen to answers. In both cases, the rules are designed to keep us happy and safe.
Reading and learning about God’s rules and purpose for our lives will teach us what to fear and guide us toward happiness! How is reading the Bible like the story about the student taking a hard test? Listen to answers. In both cases, studying led to knowledge, which in turn led to making the right choices.
Every Christian will experience sad and difficult times. However, we will experience more happy times and the hard times will be less overwhelming if we fear God, which means to trust that what he says is true and then follow his teaching.
V. Close in Prayer
VI. Pass It On: Make an extra copy of this lesson and pass it on to another family.