Be a Good Student

"Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved by him, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining the word of truth."

(2 Timothy 2:15)

Bible studyAsk the children what a school teacher would say if he or she were asked to describe a good student. What phrases would the teacher use? Why do teachers and parents say that it is important to be a good student?

Read the Bible verse to the children. Ask if they have ever thought of themselves as students of God's word. Explain that God desires for us to spend time studying the Bible so that we will be able to understand and to apply its message to our lives. As Christians, we are also called to explain the Bible to others so that they will grow in their relationship with God.

Invite the children to ponder the outcome of someone not studying math or not learning to read. List the consequences of not studying these subjects on newsprint or a chalkboard. Be sensitive to children who may have a math or reading learning difficulty. The primary point to this portion of the activity is for the children to realize that consequences exist for not applying themselves in school and for not learning the fundamentals. For example, if someone cannot count money, then he or she cannot calculate whether or not he or she has received the correct amount of change when making a purchase. If someone cannot read, then he or she will not be able to search the Internet.

In the same way, there are consequences when we do not study the Bible. Ask the children to consider what might happen if someone has not studied the Bible and has a very hard decision to make. The result may be that the person does not know to pray for wisdom or to read an applicable Scripture passage. Thus, the consequence may be that the person makes an improper decision. What might happen if a person has not read the Bible and is tempted to take something that does not belong to him or her? The person may take it, disobey God, and perhaps disobey the law.

How many years of school does it take for a person to know everything? Of course, a person never knows everything. We learn throughout our lives. Just as the possibility for our academic learning is unlimited, so too we will never know everything about the Bible. It is important to study the Bible throughout life. You may share examples of classes within your church where adults are continuing to learn more about the Bible and God. When we study the Bible, we are more confident in making daily decisions and in teaching others about the love of Jesus Christ. In fact, we become good stewards of God's word.

Prayer

Dear God, help me to spend time regularly studying your word. Help me to more fully understand the Bible and to know how to make decisions based on its teaching. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Questions for Discussion

  • Is there a time of day that is best for you to study your Bible?
  • What changes might you need to make in your daily schedule to include Bible study?
  • What are some benefits to studying the Bible?
  • Why does our study of the Bible please God?

Janet Zimmerman is an ordained United Methodist deacon, who serves as Christian Education Director at Church of the Lakes in Canton, Ohio.

Originally posted in 2004.

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