Loving God First

Scripture: Matthew 19:16-30, Mark 10:17-31, Luke 18:18-30

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will learn God wants us to put Him first in our lives.
  • Students will learn money can distract you from worshipping and obeying God.
  • Students will learn God expects us to be willing to sacrifice the things that are most important to us if He asks.
  • Students will learn the importance of not loving material possessions more than God.

Guiding Question: How can students learn to put God first?

Materials: Paper, drawing/writing utensils

Procedure: Teach the story of the Rich Young Ruler. Remind students that the main distraction in the story was money. Distractions that are put before God are considered idols. Idols are anything that are given priority over God. Explain that when we put money (making money, spending money, etc) as a priority in our life, it can keep us from worshipping God and obeying His will for you. Making and spending money is not a bad thing if done wisely and the way God wants you to spend it, but it can become a problem when it is the most important thing in our lives. It hurts our relationship with God and with others. Remind students that God always wants us to put Him first so He can give us the best guidance for our lives.

Introduce the activity. Remind students that the rich young ruler’s heart loved money and the things he could buy with it more than he loved God and the poor people he could help with his money. Have the students draw a heart and write or draw their favorite things “My heart loves…”. Have them share their finished drawings. Discuss how hard it would be for them to give up some of the things on their list if God asked them to do so to serve Him and help other people. Encourage them to make sure they never love anything more than God.

Additional Questions: How can students minimize distractions in their life?

Supplemental Activity: Have the students create a plan for minimizing things in their life that are typically distractions such as video games, TV, etc. Have them follow their plan for minimizing distraction and putting that time toward God for a week and report back on how it went in the following class.

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