Adult Sunday School Lesson Plan

MORNINGSIDE BAPTIST CHURCH

http://www.morningside.ws/

Lesson Date: April 6, 2014

Focal Scripture Passage: Psalm 119:97-168

AIM: To lead students to discover the depth of the psalmist’s love for God’s Word, and to encourage them to ask God to give them greater and deeper love for the Bible.

 

Before class: Read the notes on Psalm 119:88-176 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book.  Write the word “Love” on the marker board or chalkboard.

 

INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Direct the class’ attention to the word “Love” written on the board.  Tell them we use that one word to express different degrees of affection (“I love football, I love ice cream, and I love my spouse, child, or parents”).  Ask: “Which is the deeper love – your love for a hobby, a favorite food, or a person?” (your love for a person).

Ask the class to think of a person they love very much, and then ask them to silently answer the following questions concerning their love for that person.

·       “Do you spend time with that person?”  Comment that it’s hard to believe you really love someone if you never spend time with them.

·       “Do you enjoy being with that person and look forward to time together?”  Comment that it’s hard to believe you really love someone if you have no desire to be with them.

·       “Do you value that person?”  Comment that it’s hard to believe you really love someone if you don’t think they are valuable – deserving of your time, care, and attention.

·       “Do you care about what that person thinks?”  Comment that it’s hard to believe you really love someone if you don’t value their opinion.

·       “Would you try to defend that person from harm or verbal attacks?”  Comment that it’s hard to believe you really love someone if you won’t stand up for them.

·       “Would you feel hurt or anger toward those who mistreat, slander, or overlook that person?”  Comment that it’s hard to believe you really love someone if you don’t care about their feelings.

Tell the class today’s lesson is about the psalmist’s love for God’s Word.  We will learn about the depth of his love for God’s Word, and at the same time evaluate our love for the Bible.

 

HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):

1.     Review.

a.     Remind the class that they have studied Psalm 119 for the last two weeks.  The first lesson was about longing for God’s Word and the second was about leaning on God’s Word.

b.     Ask: “Have any of you found yourself leaning on God’s Word this week?”  If you think time will permit, ask for a brief testimony or two.

c.     Ask if anyone would like to quote last week’s memory verse, Psalm 119:89.

d.     Tell the class this is our third and final study from Psalm 119, the longest psalm and the longest chapter in the Bible.

e.     Explain that our lesson covers Psalm 119:97-168, but we will not cover all those verses.  Instead, we will focus on several verses that speak of the psalmist’s love for God’s Word.

2.     The Psalmist Valued God’s Word.

a.     Ask a volunteer to read Psalm 119:97-101.

b.     Ask: “What does verse 97 reveal about how much he valued God’s Word?” (just like a person in love, he thought about it all day long).

c.     Ask: “According to verses 98-100, why did he consider God’s Word valuable?” (it gave him wisdom and understanding).

d.     Ask: “Looking at verse 101, what change had the Bible made in the psalmist’s life?” (it kept him from sin).

e.     Remind the class that either God’s Word will keep you from sin or sin will keep you from God’s Word.

f.      Read Psalm 119:103.

g.     Ask: “How much value did he place in the Word of God?” (it was sweeter to him than honey).

h.     Ask the class to listen for the value of God’s Word as you read Psalm 119:105.  Ask them what they heard (God’s Word gives direction and illuminates our path).

i.      Ask: “How valuable is a flashlight in a very dark room?” (it is essential).

j.      Ask a volunteer to read Psalm 119:111 and 113.

k.     Ask: “What value did the psalmist express in verse 111?” (the Bible brought him joy).

l.      Verse 113 reveals that he hated vain (useless, empty) thoughts but he loved God’s Word.

m.   Summarize: The psalmist loved God’s Word because it had great value to him.

3.     The Psalmist Prized and Desired God’s Word.

a.     Ask a volunteer to read Psalm 119:127-131.

b.     Tell the class the psalmist loved the Bible more than money (verse 127).

c.     Ask for volunteers to restate verse 128 in their own words (everything God says is right).  Note that if you omit the italicized words (which are not in the original Hebrew) the verse reads “Therefore I esteem all precepts all right.”

d.     Ask: “Do you have that kind of trust in the Bible?” 

e.     Ask: “What’s the thirstiest you have ever been?  How much did you long for a drink of water?”  Tell the class verse 131 reveals that’s the kind of desire the psalmist had for God’s Word.

f.      Read Psalm 119:133.

g.     Stress that if we obey the Bible we will not come under the domination of sin.

h.     Read Psalm 119:140.

i.      Ask: “Why did the psalmist love God’s Word?” (because it is very pure).

j.      Comment that everything the Bible says is true and beneficial to us.

k.     Summarize: The psalmist understood that the Bible is true, accurate, and beneficial, so he desired it more than wealth or physical sustenance). 

4.     The Psalmist Clung to God’s Word when He was Persecuted.

a.     Ask a volunteer to read Psalm 119:153-157.

b.     Tell the class when trouble comes many people stop reading the Bible and drop out of church.

c.     Ask: “How can you tell that trouble did not cause the psalmist to abandon or give up on God’s Word?” (he didn’t forget it – verse 153, and he didn’t turn away from it – verse 157).

d.     Ask: “Why do you think the psalmist felt free to ask God for help in his time of trouble?” (because he clung to God’s Word which had taught him about God’s tender mercies).

e.     Read Psalm 119:161.

f.      Tell the class that powerful people were persecuting the psalmist.

g.     Ask: “How did he feel about God’s Word?” (he was awestruck by it).

h.     Summarize: The psalmist loved God’s Word too much to abandon it when trouble came.  Because of his trust in the Bible he felt free to ask God for deliverance from his troubles.

5.     The Psalmist Expressed his Love for God’s Word.

a.     Ask a volunteer to read Psalm 119:162-167.

b.     Go verse-by-verse through the passage asking the class to identify phrases that show how much the psalmist loved God’s Word.  They should name the following:

·       Verse 162 – he rejoiced more about the Bible than about great riches.

·       Verse 163 – he hated lies but loved God’s Word.

·       Verse 164 – he praised God for the Bible.

·       Verse 165 – he drew great peace and confidence from God’s Word.

·       Verse 166 – he had hope and confidence in God’s promises of salvation.

·       Verse 167 – he loved God’s Word exceedingly (vehemently, wholly, diligently).

c.     Summarize: The psalmist rejoiced in the Bible, drew peace from it, loved it, trusted it, and praised God for it.

6.     The Psalmist was Grieved that Others did not Love God’s Word.

a.     Read Psalm 119:136 and 158.

b.     Ask: “How did he feel when people ignored and disobeyed God’s Word?” (he was grieved to the point of tears).

c.     Just as we would not want someone we love to be overlooked, ignored, or mistreated, the psalmist wanted everyone to hear and obey God’s Word.

d.     Ask: “Do we have that kind of sadness when people ignore and disobey the Bible?  Why or why not?” 

e.     Summarize: The psalmist loved God’s Word so much that he was moved to tears when others neglected or disobeyed it.  He loved the Bible and wanted everyone to love it, too.

 

PERSONAL APPLICATION: Tell the class the psalmist loved God’s Word.  He valued it, desired it, enjoyed it, believed it, trusted it, and grieved when others ignored or disobeyed it.  Ask: “Do you love the Bible that much?” 

Ask again the questions you asked at the beginning of class, substituting “the Bible” for “that person.”  Here are those reworded questions.

·       “Do you spend time with the Bible – reading it?”  Comment that it’s hard to believe you really love the Bible if you never spend time reading it.

·       “Do you enjoy reading the Bible and look forward to time you can spend in it?”  Comment that it’s hard to believe you really love the Bible if you have no desire to spend time in it.

·       “Do you value the Bible?”  Comment that it’s hard to believe you really love the Bible if you don’t think it is valuable – deserving of your time, care, and attention.

·       “Do you care about what the Bible says?”  Comment that it’s hard to believe you really love the Bible if you don’t value its teachings, warnings, and instructions.

·       “Would you try to defend the Bible from those who attack it?”  Comment that it’s hard to believe you really love the Bible if you won’t stand up for it.

·       “Do you feel hurt or grief about those who slander, ignore, or disobey the Bible?”  Comment that it’s hard to believe you really love the Bible if you don’t want others to love and obey it, too.

Tell the class that this is a very convicting Sunday School lesson: probably all of us fall short in the area of loving God’s Word, the Bible.  Suggest that everyone ask God to give them greater love for the Bible, as you lead a closing prayer.

 

CONCLUSION: Ask everyone to memorize Psalm 119:105 and 128.  Encourage them to read the Bible every day (the Daily Bible Reading Guide found on pages 4-5 of their Sunday School quarterly can be a good place to start).  Suggest that they ask God every day to help them love His Word more than they ever have.

 

 

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