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Sabbath School Lessons on Discipleship
About the Author
Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 41 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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Lesson 4: Discipling Children *
Introduction: It was a tough time when we left the hospital with our
first born child. When we put the new-born baby in the car seat my
wife was convinced it would kill the baby. I was convinced that if
we did not put our baby boy in the car seat he could die. It was an
unpleasant conversation, and I'm sure the hospital people wanted us
to drive off - which we could not do until we had resolved this
issue. My wife won the debate. On the way home, we thought that the
hospital had given our son some special liquid that we needed to
purchase, but no drug store sold it. Again, we were worried that we
would make a mistake that would harm our baby. No one gave us an
instruction book to consult for these issues. Did you feel that way
with your first-born child? The Bible gives us instructions about
child handling. It does not include car seats, but it is lifesaving.
Let's plunge into our study of the Bible and learn more!
- Giving Children Life
- Read Jeremiah 7:30. Which house bears God's name? (God is
speaking of His temple. In our last series of lessons we
learned about the temple sanctuary and how it was central
for the removal of sin. We learned that the Most Holy
Place was where God was present.)
- What have God's people done? (They have put idols in
- Read Jeremiah 7:31. Instead of offering animal sacrifices
for sin removal, what are the people doing? (Offering
- What does God say about this? (It did not even enter
His mind that such evil should take place.)
- Why would such a horrific thing enter the minds of
God's people? (They thought that by offering their
children to be burned in the fire, the gods would
bless them and make their life better.)
- Why do people have abortions these days? (Same
reason, except the god is not an idol, but it
is the same god of selfishness.)
- Read Jeremiah 7:32-34. What will happen to a nation of
people who sacrifice their children for their own
prosperity, who serve gods other than the true God? (They
lose everything they hoped to gain - including their lives
and their dignity. Some of the dead are eaten by animals.
Not a glorious way to end.)
- Giving Children a Knowledge of God
- Read Deuteronomy 6:1-3. What is God offering here? (The
same thing the prior group of people sought - a better
- What route does God suggest to a better life?
(Following God's decrees and commands.)
- Read Deuteronomy 6:4-5. What is the first command that God
gives us? (Read Matthew 22:36-40. The consistent theme in
both the Old and New Testaments is that we need to love
God first, and we need to love our neighbors.)
- Read Deuteronomy 6:6 and Hebrews 8:10. We see this
reference to the law being "upon your hearts" or written
on "their hearts." What does it mean to have the law
written on our heart? (It becomes a part of us. It becomes
a part of our will and our nature.)
- Read Deuteronomy 6:7-9. It is common for conservative Jews
to have a mezuzah, a small container in which is found
this Bible text, affixed to the door of the house. As you
consider these verses, what do you think is the sense of
them? To actually fasten things to your head, hands and
door? (Perhaps. But, the deeper sense of this is to bathe
your children with God's word. The goal is to have God's
will in their hearts.)
- Is this possible? Will your children rebel and hate
God if you talk about God all the time?
- Let' change this to television. Bathe your children
with television. Talk about television in the car,
when you walk and when you eat. Tie symbols of
television on your hands and your head. Have a T.V.
t-shirt. Could you do this? Are you doing this?
- What if we changed it to the Internet? Have your
computer phone on your hands and your head. Wear
Google glasses. Could you do this?
- It may seem impossible or impractical to bathe our
children with God's law, but Satan has surely
accomplished this with his messages. When my children
were still living with us I recall thinking how I
needed to steer the conversation to God's will. That
was a challenge.
- Read Deuteronomy 6:20. Have you been asked this question
by your children? Have you been asked, why is that
important? Why should I worry about God's rules? What
difference does it make?
- Read Deuteronomy 6:21-24. What parallel response can you
give to your children? (Talk about your history with God.
Tell them how walking with God gives life and prosperity.
Do they want to succeed in life? Obey God!)
- Of all the missed opportunities I had to talk about
God with my children, one area in which I succeeded
was that we would read the Bible in the evening. We
started with the New Testament and then went to the
Old Testament. I would choose an easy to read version
of the Bible, the children would take turns reading,
and we would discuss what we read. It was enjoyable.
Are you willing to do this?
- Welcoming Children
- Read Matthew 18:1-4. If you have spent a lot of time with
children, do you think they are humble? (Hardly! Children
are selfish - just like the disciples who wanted to be
- Needless to say, this is the Bible and our Lord is
speaking, so we can hardly say, "That's wrong!" What
do you think Jesus means? (Children had no status in
life compared to the adults. The disciples were
looking for status over each other. Jesus tells us
that we should not be fighting for status.)
- Read Matthew 18:5. How is this logically connected to the
verses we just read? (You might prefer to spend your time
being with people who will give you more status. But,
Jesus says that spending time with children "in [Jesus]
name" is unequaled in importance.)
- What practical point can you draw from this? (We
certainly need to welcome children in church. We need
to be sure that programs for children are created and
- What will children think if they show up for Sabbath
School and the teacher is not there? Will they feel
- Read Matthew 18:6. How important is our influence upon
- Read Matthew 18:7. Have you ever heard someone say, "Well,
if I didn't sell [something harmful to children] someone
else would?" Does Jesus admit that someone will be there
to bring harm to children? (Yes. "Such things must come.")
- What does Jesus say about the excuse "if I don't do
it someone else will?" (He says that is no excuse.
"Woe to the man.")
- Read Mark 10:13. What do you think is the object of having
Jesus touch the little children? (Parents were looking for
a blessing on their children.)
- Why do you think the disciples rebuked the parents?
(They probably thought Jesus had more important
things to do.)
- Read Mark 10:14. How did Jesus react to the disciples'
rebuke? (He was indignant. The Greek reflects deep
emotion. Jesus was very unhappy.)
- Does that seem to be an over-reaction? (No! We need
to understand this: Jesus put a very high priority on
- Read Mark 10:14-16. Recall that in Matthew 18:4 Jesus said
that we need to become like little children to enter the
Kingdom of Heaven? Now Jesus says that we must "receive"
the Kingdom of Heaven "like a little child" or we cannot
receive it at all? What does this mean? How would a little
child receive the gospel? (Children may have many
character flaws, but one universal trait of children is
- How improved would your life be if you showed simple
trust in God?
- Friend, we need to make children a high priority in our
home and in our church. We need to do everything we can
to lead them in the right path, and not lead them astray.
Will you commit to make a special point of this? Perhaps
you will be rewarded with a more child-like attitude, one
of simple trust!
- Next week: Discipling the Sick.
* Copr. 2014, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.