Week #1: Honesty: The Ten Commandments
I break this Legacy Lesson into three parts: (I wouldn’t spend more than 30 minutes with your kids on this!)
A. Icebreaker: eases kids/people into the conversation
B. Legacy Lesson: 10 commandments
C. Wrap Up: Apply the message/lesson to our own lives
A. Icebreaker: Let’s talk rules!
Several discussion questions to get your kids talking:
*What is a rule
*What are some rules at school?
*What are some rules you have at home?
*Do you like these rules?
*What would happen if we had no rules? Would that be a good thing?
A few points to make about having rules:
*rules keep us safe
*rules test our obedience
*rules help shape our character
Questions to think about concerning rules:
What if you didn’t have to look before crossing the street?
What if cars could drive as fast as they could anywhere?
What if you never had to clean your bedroom?
What if no one in the family ever took out the trash?
Things would be pretty dangerous (and gross), wouldn’t they?
I think we need rules, don’t you?
People need rules to follow to help them stay out of harm’s way or to help them develop good habits, like cleaning your room!
B. Transition over to Legacy Lesson:
I encourage you to put your own twist on this lesson. However, here is an example for busy women who don’t have time to plan out their talk. Also, I would have a Bible out for our reading for today.
Well, God has rules, too. In fact, we don’t really call them rules, we call them “commandments”.
How many commandments do we have? (I know, super easy, but try to keep them engaged)
God has 10 specific commandments for us to follow. These 10 are meant to keep us on the right path and out of trouble.
Before we go over them, let’s learn why God had to give them.
It all goes back to a group of people called the Israelites. These were God’s people, and God had sent a man named Moses to help rescue his people from slavery in Egypt from that mean hard-hearted Pharaoh. Once God rescued them, Moses led them through the desert to go to their “promised land”–land God said he would give to them to live in.
Well, while they traveled in the desert, they started behaving badly and disobeying. They complained about everything – even God! They even said things would be better if they were slaves back in Egypt!
They had made a statue out of gold and bowed down to worship that statue, instead of the living and true God.
You could probably imagine why God got upset with them, right?
While God’s people were throwing their idolotrous shindig, God had Moses go to the top of a mountain, called Mt. Sinai, and God wrote the 10 commandments with his own finger on stone tablets and gave them to Moses to take back to those disobedient Israelites.
God knew we all needed rules to keep us focused on him.
Let’s go over those 10 commandments God not only gave to the Israelites, but for all of us to live by today.
Get out a Bible and read Exodus 20: 1-17 (whatever translation you like best…my favorite for kids is the ICB, International Children’s Bible)
*You could get a dry marker board and write the commandments out as you talk about them. Write down as many as your child can think of (I would use shortened phrases) and then you can verbally fill in the gaps with the rest.
If you are short on time, list the 10 commandments. If you have a few extra minutes, take a little extra time to discuss what each one means. For example, committing murder is an easy one to follow… but it could also go to hating someone in your heart. And hating, according to Jesus, is on the same level as murder.
Another example is not having other gods may be a simple one for us to follow….however, if we put TONS of time into something other than God (like video games), then we are committing idolatry.
#1: Don’t worship any other gods but ME.
People in those times, and even today, thought there were all sorts of gods in control over all sorts of things. They prayed to these gods and believed they were real.
But God clearly teaches us, He is the only one, true, living God.
God wants us to put more attention into Him than anything else in our lives, so if we put more time and thought into other things like video games, phones, TVs, toys, etc. (plug in your own), then we break this commandment. These items become little gods to us because they steal time away from our God!
#2: Don’t make statues of gods and bow down to worship them.
Remember, the Israelites made a gold statue in the shape of a calf and worshiped it. These statues are called idols and worshiping statues is called idolatry. God forbids it in his commandments.
#3: Don’t misuse the Lord’s name. (Another way to say it: don’t take the Lord’s name in vain)
This is a big one I enforce in my family. Don’t say “Oh my ______.”
Because it’s turning the Lord’s name into a curse word. We aren’t praying to him, worshiping him, or crying out to him when we say this thoughtless phrase.
We are using his name in a careless, joking manner, and God clearly says in his commandments: DO NOT DO THIS!
#4: Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.
The Sabbath is a special day of rest that we set aside to learn more about God, Jesus, and the Bible.
For Christians, the Sabbath day is on Sunday, and God says to remember all of the blessings He has given us and to be thankful for Him.
“Keep it holy” means to think about or focus on him all throughout that day and make this day very special… So special, it would feel weird to miss church on Sundays.
#5: Honor your mother and father.
Honor means to respect your parents.
How do you respect them? By obeying them.
Why is that important to God? Because the way you treat your parents shows him how you are going to treat Him. If you are disobedient to your parents a lot, God knows you will disobey his rules a lot. That’s why showing your parents respect and honor means so much to God. Once you start doing that, God knows you’ll do the same for Him.
#6: Do not murder anyone.
It’s probably safe to say this is an easy one for us, right? But it’s not just about killing a person on the outside, it’s also about killing someone on the inside.
How do you do that? By hating someone in your heart.
Why? Because that is considered murder to God. So, this would be a good place to reinforce why we must never say “hate”–it is equal to murder in God’s eyes.
#7: Do not commit adultery.
This means when you get married one day (eew!), God wants you to be faithful to your husband (or wife) and not date anyone else because it is hurtful. Getting married is making a promise to God and your husband or wife that you will be loyal and faithful to him or her alone for the rest of your life.
#8: Do not steal.
Stealing is taking anything that isn’t yours without permission—candy, toys, food, etc. If your child is honest, I am willing to bet he or she has done this before. Whether it’s taking candy without asking or taking another child’s toy. God says this is dishonesty, and we must stay away from it.
#9: Do not tell lies about your neighbor.
This commandment really goes back to what we’re studying this week: honesty. Even though it says “don’t lie about your neighbor,” God wants us to not lie at all, to anyone or about anyone.
Our neighbor is really anyone we see throughout the day.
#10: Don’t be jealous about what your neighbor has.
Jealousy only makes us want what others have. It makes us think God isn’t being fair to us by giving us the best. It makes me feel unthankful and crabby.
Jealousy is always a bad feeling to have because we act very spoiled and aren’t happy with what we have.
C. Wrap-Up: Apply to our lives
Out of all the other rules the Bible teaches (being kind, helping the poor, treating others with love, etc.), these are God’s most important rules.
Which one are we focusing on this week to make God’s Top 10 List? Honesty!
If honesty made God’s Top 10 List, I would say it’s pretty important, don’t you think?
I have a verse that goes along with this idea. It’s something that we will practice on memorizing this week. (Insert fun activity or incentive or your expectations here. Whatever method you choose, try to make this more fun than a chore. I know, that can be hard, but just remind them that God’s Word is like a vitamin – it keeps us healthy inside and out!)
Lips that lie are disgusting to the Lord, but honest people are his delight. Proverbs 12:22
If you have younger kids, I would make motions to go with each part.
If you have older kids, I would have them write this verse out in creative ways.
If you have adolescents, I would have them text you this verse each day.
Picture everything you do or say every day being displayed on a big screen TV (called a Jumbotron) for the whole world to see. Can you imagine that?
What things would you be proud of?
What things would you NOT be proud of?
I want you to keep this in mind this week as you go to school and interact with your friends and teachers.
Remember, rules are not fun when we break them, but it’s us taking ownership over our actions that can help us grow.
Telling the truth is hard, but the more we get into the habit, the more we will be able to continue doing it.
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