Key Scriptures: Psalms 1:1-6, Genesis 13:1-13, 19:1-2, 19:24-26, Ephesians 4:11-24
Guiding Question: What are the characteristics of a man or woman of God?
Optional Introductory Activity: Without giving the names, read short bios of various people in the Bible. Be sure to include some who were definitely considered godly and some who weren’t. Also include at least one, like King David, who was godly, but did some very ungodly things at times. Have students determine from the bio whether they think the person described was godly or ungodly. Ask students what criteria they used to determine if someone were godly or ungodly.
Lesson: (Questions to students are in bold italics.) If you were to make a list of all of the characteristics of a godly person, what would you include? (Record students’ answers, so they can be seen as the lesson continues.) Read Psalm 1:1-6. What does this passage tell us about how God views godly and ungodly people? What is a mocker? A mocker is not only one who rejects God and his commands, but actively scorns those who accept them. Why would God not want godly people to be friends with mockers? God wants us to share the Good News of God with mockers, sinners and the wicked, but He does not want us to be their friends. Friendship implies you often think the same way about many things and you spend a great deal of time together doing various things. Friendship with mockers and the wicked puts us in situations that may tempt us to join them in their sin. Read Genesis 13:1-14, 19:1-2 and 19:24-26. At the beginning of the story, Lot sounds as if he were primarily considering the amount of water and grasslands for his flocks. Remember though, he also noticed Sodom and Gomorrah. He would have known their reputation for unparalleled evil. What happens to Lot’s location as the story progresses? Notice Lot lives near Sodom for a time, but as he grows used to the are and the people, he eventually moves his family into town where they are living with wicked people all of the time. Look back at Psalm 1:1. What do you notice about the verbs as the verse continues? The verbs move from walking to standing to sitting. It also moves from being with people who sin to being with people who not only sin, but actively mock those who believe in and/or try to obey God. Can you think of an example in your world where people can move from godly to walking then standing then sitting with evil? You might want to think of it this way. What if you walked down the hall at school and overheard some guys planning to do something sinful? What about if you then stood with them as they discussed doing something sinful? What if you began having lunch with them everyday as they made their plans to do sinful things? What are the possibilities in each scenario that you are tempted to join them? In which case are you most likely to actually join them? Why? Let’s look back at Psalms 1:3. Avoiding evil is important, but you must replace it with something else. Read Matthew 12:43-45. How can we apply these verses to our discussion? The person in this example did not replace the demons or evil with God and godly things. It left a void in his life that the evil was more than willing to come back and fill up with even more evil than before he/she decided to change their life. What are some godly things we can put in our lives that will keep the evil from becoming the way we choose to live our lives? Look back at Psalm 1:3. We must have our roots so to speak close to and regularly drawing from our living water – God. How can we do this? Regularly reading and studying God’s Word and prayer are two very important ways to stay close to God. Fellowship with Christians is also important for encouraging us to make godly choices. We can’t shield ourselves entirely from the world – we couldn’t serve and share our faith if we did, but our main relationships need to be ones that encourage us to stay godly. Read Ephesians 4:11-24. What specific characteristics does Paul list as behaviors of a godly person? With which of these do you struggle? What other things would you add to the list? Can you find a verse to support your idea? Do you struggle with any of those? Our roots need to be deep – we need to be mature Christians in order to flourish. The best way to have deep roots is to read the Bible every day and pray multiple times each day. If you do not read the Bible independently, you will not be able to have deep roots. What are ways you have found to help you remember to read your Bible and pray regularly?
Application Challenge: Try to read your Bible every day this week. If you aren’t a regular Bible reader, start with Proverbs, James or Mark. Those books are easy to understand and very practical. Make sure you have a version you can understand. An NIrV version is a great one for understanding the Bible without losing meaning. Try to find a time and place that will help you be more consistent in your Bible study.
Authors: Scott Gage and Bobby McVey