“Teach Them Diligently”

From the July 2010 Trumpet Print Edition

God wants us to instruct our children from Scripture—but where do we start? Here are some ideas. Tailor your instruction to your own children: Some of these paragraphs may have material enough for two or three family studies. We hope these spark many of your own ideas for family Bible studies. Enjoy! Joel Hilliker

Learn About God

Why is God called “the Eternal”? Exodus 3:13-15. When God introduced Himself to Moses, He revealed His name to be “I Am That I Am.” That means God has always existed and always will! Psalm 90:1-2. God was here for an eternity before anything else existed. Verse 4. Can you imagine a thousand years going by like one day? God definitely sees time differently than we do. Isaiah 57:15. God “inhabits eternity”—He isn’t bound by time. It’s hard to even imagine that, because we are physical and live only a short time. We are all like little children compared to the Eternal, and need to be humble before Him! Revelation 1:8.

How God made the Earth. Job 38:1, 4. God put our planet in the perfect place in the universe so we’re comfortable and safe. Verse 5. He made Earth the perfect size, and measured out just the right amount of things like water, rocks, air and so on—so we could live here. Verse 6. He anchored us perfectly so we know the sun will rise every morning and set each night, and we have four beautiful seasons each year! Psalm 104:5-9. God commands the huge oceans—and He makes sure they don’t drown all the land. Psalm 33:7-9.

Something God will never do. Numbers 23:19. God does not lie! When He says something, it is true. When He makes a promise, He always keeps it! Titus 1:1-2. That is why we can trust everything that is written in the Bible. Hebrews 6:17-19. What God says is so sure, it can be like an anchor in our lives, keeping us steady and giving us hope. That’s why we can base our whole lives on what God says in the Bible. Luke 21:33. God’s words are more dependable than the whole physical creation. Nothing God has said will ever fail! Isaiah 55:10-11.

Proverbs

What you should never say about yourself. Proverbs 27:2. It is rude to boast about your own achievements or abilities. What do you think when you hear others praising themselves? If anyone talks about you that way, let it be other people. What should you do if you find yourself praising yourself? Proverbs 30:32.

How to look wise. Proverbs 17:28. Many people think that in order to look smart, they have to talk a lot. The opposite is true. Keeping quiet helps you listen and learn. When you talk, be someone whose word can be trusted. Know what you’re talking about. Proverbs 10:19.

Take care of your things. Proverbs 24:30-34. Look at the areas you have to take care of: your bedroom, your closet, your locker or workspace—perhaps other areas of the house or yard. Are they messy, uncared-for, broken down? Or do you keep them clean, orderly and maintained? The answer reveals a lot about your character—to other people and to God. Ecclesiastes 10:18. Build a habit of being a good steward, or caretaker, of your property. Proverbs 27:23-24.

Sound Advice

How to make the most of your youth. Ecclesiastes 12:1. The best time to establish a relationship with God is now. Good habits of prayer and study will last your whole life! Never think you are “too young” to build that friendship with your heavenly Father. Proverbs 8:17.

If you hear yourself whining … Philippians 2:14. “Murmurings” means grumbling or complaining. God doesn’t want us whining and moaning. He got angry with the Israelites for doing so! Numbers 14:27-29; 1 Corinthians 10:10. Be content with what you have. And if you have a request, make it politely.

What comes out of your mouth? James 3:8-12. Do you say nice things to some people—and mean things to others? That’s not right! Matthew 12:34-35. What you say reveals what is in your heart. If evil things come out, it shows that there is evil in your heart that you need to get rid of. James 3:13-16. Do you fight and argue? That doesn’t come from God! Learn to recognize whether what you’re saying is wrong and evil, or right and good. Verses 17-18.

The Law

How to treat older people. Leviticus 19:32. Hoary head means gray-haired people, or old people. God wants older people to receive honor from younger people. One way to do that is to stand when they enter the room. They have lived long and learned much. Proverbs 20:29. God considers their white hair beautiful! Treating older people with respect teaches us to treat God with respect. Proverbs 16:31.

Why hatred is so dangerous. Exodus 20:13. Obviously, we are not to murder—but this law even forbids hating someone. Matthew 5:21-22. Jesus taught that hatred is the spirit of murder; it breaks God’s law! Leviticus 19:17. God doesn’t care only about what we do, but also about what we think, and the attitudes in our heart. He wants us to learn to love people. 1 John 3:15-16. That means going out of our way to help others, giving of our time, our things, and ourselves.

Always be thankful. Deuteronomy 6:10-12. The Promised Land was a wonderful, prosperous place. God warned the Israelites not to let nice physical things pull their hearts away from Him. Deuteronomy 8:10. We too have so many blessings! It’s important to always remember where they come from, and to thank God. Verses 11-16. Never take blessings for granted, and don’t take credit for them ourselves. Verses 17-18.