Adult & Teen Discussion Guide
1. Primary Statement
God owns it all – the earth, and everything in it. He blesses us with many good things, and as His managers, He expects us to handle His resources His way. The first and the best of what we receive belongs to God; when we fail to do that, we open ourselves to unnecessary hardships and temptations.
2. Bible Verse
Genesis 4:3-5 [NIV] “In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor.”
Q. Why did God receive Abel’s sacrifice with favor, but not Cain’s?
Q. Abel gave the first and the best of what he had to God. What would the first and the best look like in your life?
Genesis 4:6-7 [NIV] “Then the Lord said to Cain… ‘If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.’”
Cain’s refusal to give God his first and best lessened his view of God as leader and Lord, and that weakened state left him vulnerable to temptation. Instead, he should have refocused on giving God what was right. When we learn to put God first in any area of life, it helps us to put Him first in all other areas.
Q. How are you honoring God with your possessions?
Q. Do your giving habits make it easier or harder to fully put God first in other areas of your life?
4. Prayer Focus
Take a few minutes as a family: thank God for blessing you with life, and for meeting your needs. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you put Him first in your finances.
Family with Small Children Discussion Guide
1. Power Verse
Matthew 5:16 “Let your shine before men…”
LIGHTNING BUGS: “I’ll Shine My Light In This Dark World!”
This week, we continue the series called, “Bugs”. In this lesson, we learn how to work together as partners who belong to God!
2. Bible Reading
Read: Exodus 34
The New Stone Tablets
34 The Lord said to Moses, “Cut out two stone tablets that are just like the first ones. I will write on them the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. 2 Be ready in the morning. Then come up on Mount Sinai. Meet with me there on top of the mountain. 3 No one must come with you. No one must be seen anywhere on the mountain. Not even the flocks and herds must be allowed to eat grass in front of the mountain.”
4 So Moses carved out two stone tablets just like the first ones. Early in the morning he went up Mount Sinai. He carried the two stone tablets in his hands. He did as the Lord had commanded him to do. 5 Then the Lord came down in the cloud. He stood there with Moses and announced his name, the Lord. 6 As he passed in front of Moses, he called out. He said, “I am the Lord, the Lord. I am the God who is tender and kind. I am gracious. I am slow to get angry. I am faithful and full of love. 7 I continue to show my love to thousands of people. I forgive those who do evil. I forgive those who refuse to obey me. And I forgive those who sin. But I do not let guilty people go without punishing them. I cause the sins of the parents to affect their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”
8 Moses bowed down to the ground at once and worshiped. 9 “Lord,” he said, “if you are pleased with me, then go with us. Even though these people are stubborn, forgive the evil things we have done. Forgive our sin. And accept us as your people.”
10 Then the Lord said, “I am making a covenant with you. I will do wonderful things in front of all your people. I will do amazing things that have never been done before in any nation in the whole world. The people you live among will see the things that I, the Lord, will do for you. And they will see how wonderful those things really are. 11 Obey what I command you today. I will drive out the Amorites, Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites to make room for you. 12 Be careful. Do not make a peace treaty with those who live in the land where you are going. They will be a trap to you. 13 Break down their altars. Smash their sacred stones. Cut down the poles they use to worship the female god named Asherah. 14 Do not worship any other god. The Lord is a jealous God. In fact, his name is Jealous.
15 “Be careful not to make a peace treaty with the people living in the land. They commit sin by offering sacrifices to their gods. They will invite you to eat their sacrifices, and you will do it. 16 You will choose some of their daughters as wives for your sons. And those daughters will commit sin by worshiping their gods. Then they will lead your sons to do the same thing.
17 “Do not make any statues of gods.
18 “Celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread. For seven days eat bread made without yeast, just as I commanded you. Do it at the appointed time in the month of Aviv. You came out of Egypt in that month.
19 “Every male animal born first to its mother belongs to me. That includes your livestock. It includes herds and flocks alike. 20 Sacrifice a lamb to buy back every male donkey born first to its mother. But if you do not buy the donkey back, break its neck. Buy back all your oldest sons.
“You must not come to worship me with your hands empty.
21 “Do your work in six days. But you must rest on the seventh day. Even when you are plowing your land or gathering your crops, you must rest on the seventh day.
22 “Celebrate the Feast of Weeks. Bring the first share of your wheat crop. Celebrate the Feast of Booths. Hold it in the fall. 23 Three times a year all your men must come to worship me. I am your Lord and King, the God of Israel. 24 I will drive out nations ahead of you. I will increase your territory. Go up three times a year to worship me. While you are doing that, I will keep others from wanting to take any of your land for themselves. I am the Lord your God.
25 “Do not include anything made with yeast when you offer me the blood of a sacrifice. You must not keep any of the meat from the sacrifice of the Passover Feast until morning.
26 “Bring the best of the first share of your crops to the house of the Lord your God.
“Do not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk.”
27 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write down the words I have spoken. I have made a covenant with you and with Israel in keeping with those words.” 28 Moses was there with the Lord for 40 days and 40 nights. He didn’t eat any food or drink any water. The Lord wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant law. Those words are the Ten Commandments.
The Face of Moses Shines
29 Moses came down from Mount Sinai. He had the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands. His face was shining because he had spoken with the Lord. But he didn’t realize it. 30 Aaron and all the people of Israel saw Moses. His face was shining. So they were afraid to come near him. 31 But Moses called out to them. So Aaron and all the leaders of the community came to him. And Moses spoke to them. 32 After that, all the Israelites came near him. And he gave them all the commands the Lord had given him on Mount Sinai.
33 Moses finished speaking to them. Then he covered his face with a veil. 34 But when he would go to speak with the Lord, he would remove the veil. He would keep it off until he came out. Then he would tell the people what the Lord had commanded. 35 They would see that his face was shining. So Moses would cover his face with the veil again. He would keep it on until he went in again to speak with the Lord.
Jesus told us that we should be like a city on a hill with a light that can’t be hidden. We are to SHINE the light of Jesus all over the darkness. Even the smallest light can cut through the thick layers of darkness that sin brings into the world.
Q. What does it mean to shine your light?
Q. How can you shine your light?
Q. Do you think it is easy to shine your light?
4. Prayer Focus
Pray with your children that they will shine their light in their school and in their neighborhood so that all people will see Jesus in us.