New Year’s Youth Group Lesson
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Bible: Deuteronomy 6:1–12; 8:11; Gen. 12:7–8; 13:3–4; Psalm 105:1–5
Bottom Line: Reflect on what God has done last year in your life.
I hope you’re excited about the new year!
Today we’re going to start off the new year by reflecting on what God has done in your life over the last year.
Let’s read a story about the Israelites in the Old Testament and what God told them about how to live.
Read Deuteronomy 6:1–12
“Now this is the commandment—the statutes and the rules—that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it, that you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son’s son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long. Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
“And when the Lord your God brings you into the land that he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you—with great and good cities that you did not build, and houses full of all good things that you did not fill, and cisterns that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive trees that you did not plant—and when you eat and are full, then take care lest you forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
What was the main commandment that God told the Israelites to follow in this passage?
Near the end of this decree, the Israelites are told to make sure they don’t forget the Lord.
Why do you think that the Israelites would forget the Lord?
They just were taken out of Egypt and crossed the Red Sea and it collapsed onto their enemies. Why would the Israelites ever forget God?
When things are good, we tend to do what is natural to us. The danger for them isn’t a problem of forgetfulness, it’s more about disobeying the law that God gave to them.
It’s like when I was young and my mom told me to stop playing Mario Brothers and clean my room. I continued to play and didn’t clean my room.
Was my problem that I forgot to clean my room or that I disobeyed my parents.
In fact later on—just two chapters later—we read this verse:
Read Deuteronomy 8:11:
“Take care lest you forget the Lord your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today.”
This verse tells us that the way that we forget is by disobeying God’s commandments.
So today we want to remember and reflect on what God has done.
Have you been thinking about this last year? What is it that you truly are thankful for?
In order to remember specific events that happened, the people of God built these things called altars.
Abraham, Isaac, Noah, Moses, and Jacob all built altars after a significant event happened in their lives.
Read Genesis 12:7–8:
“Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him.”
“From there he moved to the hill country on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. And there he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord.”
Abraham built an altar after God told him that this was the land that was Abraham’s. Later on Abraham goes back to that altar and calls on God.
Read Genesis 13:3-4:
“And he journeyed on from the Negev as far as Bethel to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai, to the place where he had made an altar at the first. And there Abram called upon the name of the Lord.”
Abraham not only built something to signify an important event in his life, but also traveled back to connect with God at that place again.
Today for discussion, we are going to take a moment to reflect on what’s happened in our lives in the past year and thank God for all the blessings that he’s given us.
In my life this year: (be sure to make these personal for you)
- I had a son named Cannon
- We lost our dog Rico and he came back!
- Best Camp Ever with Switch in Awanita,
- We launched C-Groups in Switch. It’s changed our ministry so much for the good.
As you break up into small groups for discussion, be thinking of what God has done in your life over the last year.
Have students break up into small groups. If your group is already small, then use this time to allow students to discuss the following questions.
- Name the top 3 best things that happened in your life in the past year?
- Do you think God had something to do with your “best things”? Why or why not?
- What was your biggest problem or difficulty over the past year?
- Why do you think God allowed that problem or difficulty in your life?
- What’s one thing you look forward to in the upcoming year?
Today you had the opportunity to remember the things that God has done in your life in the past year. You’ve got some cards with you that you’ve completed and we want you to look them over right now.
Now after you’ve looked them over listen to the words from Psalm 105:1–5 and reflect on what God has done in your life.
“Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the peoples!
Sing to him, sing praises to him;
tell of all his wondrous works!
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!
Seek the Lord and his strength;
seek his presence continually!
Remember the wondrous works that he has done,
his miracles, and the judgments he uttered.”
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