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Date: September 6, 2020
Place God First
The Point: God is to have first place in every aspect of life.
Get Into the Study
Use the following teaching idea to introduce today’s session.
In advance, gather a small plant, a ruler, scissors, and tape. Invite a volunteer to replace the trunk of the plant with the ruler, but to preserve all the branches and leaves. Have them tape all the branches onto the ruler and put the ruler back in the pot in place of the original trunk. Encourage them to actually do this. It may seem laughable—it is—but encourage them to do this anyway.
Ask, “Will this plant continue to grow and thrive? Why or why not?” Allow time for discussion. Ask, “What will happen to the branches and leaves?” Allow time to discuss. Highlight the fact that the trunk of the plant is essential for nutrients to get to the branches and leaves. Without this vital foundation, the plant cannot flourish.
Other than God, what kinds of things might become our foundation? Does the ruler illustration give an accurate reflection of humanity’s relationship to God? In today’s session, we will take a deeper look at this truth: God is to have first place in every aspect of life.
Get Into the Study [Additional Option for Adult Leader Guide]
In advance, play a video clip of one of the testimonies from “I Am Second” to help group members see what it means to put God first. Then read “The Point.”
Study the Bible
Use the following story in your study of Exodus 20:1-6 before asking Question #2.
A January 2020 Vox article on screen time reported that “American adults spent about 3 hours and 30 minutes a day using the mobile internet in 2019.” Interestingly, it’s not that we’re checking our phones in long sessions. The article states that instead, “[w]e tend to check them throughout the day. On average, people open their phones 58 times a day…Most of those phone sessions are under two minutes.”
In March, the Washington Post reported that during quarantine, smartphone usage increased even more, with some people reporting up to 8-9 hours of phone usage a day.
If you want to know what you’re idolizing, take stock of how you’re spending your time—especially during these odd pandemic days. Like money, time is an indicator of idols that have snuck into our hearts. It’s easy to glance at your phone out of anxiety or boredom throughout the day without even realizing what you’re doing, but how much of that precious time is being wasted by looking at a screen? Do you ever find actual comfort from your smartphone? And what blessings and times of closeness with the Lord are we missing out on in the meantime?
Take some time this week to keep track of your phone usage. Challenge yourself to turn to prayer, instead of your phone, throughout the day.
Ask Question #2.
Ashley Emmert is a freelance writer and full-time mama from Chicago, where she lives with her husband and two busy little boys.
In advance, play a video clip of a song that teaches the Ten Commandments. Consider playing the clip each week or having a different group member lead the song each week to help group members remember the teaching from this unit and be able to share it
- What do you love most about fall?
- What is one thing you make sure you do every day without fail?
- What are some things people often place first in their lives?
- Which of God’s attributes most inspire you to worship Him?
- Why might we be tempted to give something or someone priority over God?
- How can we recognize where our priorities are?
- In what ways does God’s goodness provide a place of refuge for believers?
- How can we distinguish between something that does not seem good and something that is not good?
- What lessons have you learned from misplaced trust?
- What has God done for you recently that has made you glad and led you to rejoice?
- In what way do David’s words in this psalm apply to you?
- How did you reach the conclusion that Jesus is the only means of salvation?
For Those in Your Group
Send the following link to your group members as either a teaser before the group meets or as a follow-up thought:
Click here for a 20-minute podcast for both the group member and the leader.
This article complements the study. Share this link with your group members.
- Mature Living – Don’t Trust the High Places