Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Reason why I believe in God | Lesson

This is a lesson that I have prepared for one of our youth fellowship. A lesson on why we believe in God with the text on Psalm 23, a psalm of David.
Why do we believe in God? Why do we believe what we believe?

Hand out a piece of paper to everyone and let them write their "Reason's why I believe in God."
Collect the papers. What I did was let them fold it and we have a box where they can drop it off.
Reminder: Encourage your youth group to write down their honest answer. Tell them not to write a "correct" answer, not one they just learned on past lessons but what they really have thought about. And tell them not to write down their names on it. To make them write honest answers, you as the lesson leader must not force them to write down something if they don't know what to write down. As I said, make it be an honest answer, one that they really have thought about. If they can't write anything, tell them to just leave it blank.

Lesson: What are the reasons that we believe in God?

Everyone, Christians and non-Christians, has their own set of beliefs. Some believe in "Do good and good things will come." Others promote "believe in yourself" or even "Hard work comes first before success." 
And then there are sets of beliefs on the religion level: "Do good and you will be saved," or "Be a member of our church and you will be saved" and "Salvation is only by Jesus." And the latter part is what we Christians believe in. It can be restated this way: "We are not saved by the quality of our faith, but by the object of our fatih - Jesus Christ."

Now, the question is WHY do we believe WHAT we believe?

(At this point, I started reading out some of the reasons that our youth has written on the piece of paper. It is random and anonymous.)
These are some of their answers: 

  • "Because He is God"
  • "Because He provides for my needs"
  • "Because my parents told me that He is true"
  • "Because God protects me from harm"
  • "Because they taught me that He is true when I was young"
  • and, the most amazing answer "Leave it blank if you have nothing to write" xD
So, why do you believe these reasons that you have written?
Now, let us see how the author of Psalm 23, King David, gave us his reasons on why he believed in God.

1. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
- David acknowledges his Lord (God) as his shepherd. Now, a shepherd is one who takes care of His sheep. Look at John 10:11 where Jesus talks about Himself as the good shepherd. Read on the the whole chapter and see how Jesus is being a good shepherd for his sheep.

2. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.

- He receives care and comfort from God. And also, God as the good shepherd, it is a given that a shepherd takes care of his sheep. Provides for waters, or good land where they can eat.

3. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
- He knows that God is there to protect him and guide him through his life. You know why as Christians we are being guided to be holy, or do right things? While it is true that it gives glory to God ("for His name's sake") it is also a given that when we do right things, right things will also happen to us. God will not lead us to do sin.

4. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
- He knows that God is there to protect him, even if evil is all around him. 

5. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.
- Remember the story of "David and Goliath?" Well, this might be a verse about it. That even if there are enemies if front of david, he can still say that God will even give him a table (to eat or feast). That s how david trusts God. Even if enemies are in front, he can still eat at peace!

6. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.
- He has a good life because he trusted and depended on God. He loved and obeyed God.

A psalm of David, New King James Version.

Now, why did david trust and depend on God?

If I was david, this might be my answer: 
"Because all my life, I was guided, blessed, protected and provided for by God."
He was even chosen by God to defeat Goliath and it was God who gave him strength to do it.
So, why did david believe in God? His reason for believing in God was based on how God worked in his life. We often say that Christianity is not about religion but it is about our personal relationship with God. And look at david, he had a personal relationship with God, he did not just say "I believe.. Just because!" But he gave reason why he believed in God.

Conclusion: WHY do we believe WHAT we believe? 

Our answer for that may differ with each other, but it can be said that we believe what we believe based on how it has affected and even changed our life. We believe in God because of how he has changed our life. Not because of what we did, but because of what He has done.

Activity (Part 2)

Same activity, but encourage them to write down their reasons on WHY they believe in God based on the lesson. Encourage them to recall what God has done in their life, or how  He has affected their life.
Same reminders apply.

After that, collect again (anonymously) and if your group wants it to be read, read it and see the difference with the first set of papers they have written.

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