In a Nutshell: It has been said, “Fear is toxic, while respect is nurturing. Fear destroys self-confidence, while respect builds it. Fear is life-threatening, while respect is life-enhancing. Fear is forced, while respect is longed for. Fear is learned, while respect is earned. To confuse the two creates serious problems for society.” Whichever view dominates a person’s perspective of God will make all the difference in how they live out and love their lives.
Ice Breaker: Are you more likely to be afraid of a man with a gun or respect him? What if he has a badge? What’s the difference?
CONNECTING WITH THE TEXTS:
1. Which of these texts describe the inhabitants of the land “fearing” the Israelite soldiers? What caused that fear? What was to be the result?
2. Which of these texts describe the Israelites “fearing” God? What caused that fear? What was to be the result?
3. How are the above two “fears” different? How are they related?
4. Read John 15:9-17. Jesus said he no longer called his disciples “servants” but rather what? What is the difference between being a servant and being a friend? How would a healthy fear play into that relationship?
REFLECTING ON YOUR LIFE:
1. Can you describe a time in your life you felt you were in a spiritual desert when you learned some key lessons about “fearing God”?
2. How can reflecting on your relationship with your children affect your understanding of God’s relationship with you?
3. Can you think of any individuals in your circle of influence that might be viewing God with an unhealthy fear rather than a healthy fear?
CONNECTING WITH YOUR CHURCH:
- Who do you see as various types of “spiritual authority” in your life?
- Define the difference between an unhealthy way and a healthy way of relating to those authorities?
Title: “Lessons- Love the Lord”
Text: Deuteronomy Ch. 10:12; 11:1,13,22; 13:3,6; 19:9; 21:15-16; 30:6,16 (especially 29-30)
Parents with your children: Read the above texts, the verses in each chapter for five days. Discuss what would cause the Israelites to love God. What would their love for God cause them to do? How would their love for God cause different reactions than their fear of God? Check this out for a Craft on Obeying God