T H E B A S I C S PRIMARY TRUTH God is love.

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1 CORRESPONDING LEVEL WEB #s Defenders: Detectives: Developers: THE GOODNESS OF GOD MATERIALS NEEDED Bible; Teacher Preparation Guide (optional supplements: K4T songbook and PowerPoint files of lyrics) SUGGESTED ORIGINAL KIDS 4 TRUTH SONG Thy Goodness Shines SUGGESTED HYMNS The King of Love My Shepherd Is, Now Thank We All Our God OTHER SONG SUGGESTIONS Older kids: Surely Goodness and Mercy, Great Is Thy Faithfulness, I Sing the Mighty Power of God, The Love of God, To God Be the Glory Younger kids: God Is So Good, Count Your Blessings T H E B A S I C S PRIMARY TRUTH God is love. PRIMARY SCRIPTURE PASSAGE 1 John 4:8 WHAT THIS DOCTRINE REVEALS ABOUT GOD God is the Source (the beginning, the starting point) of all love. He loves the most, more than anyone else loves. He loves the best, better than anyone else loves. God is the ultimate Example of perfect love; He is love! He loves His own glory and He loves His people so much that He will never fail them. He has proven His love to us, and He is the One Who enables us to love Him back. Because God is love, we can trust that He will always do the most loving thing in any situation. KNOWLEDGE OBJECTIVES By God s grace... The child will understand that God is the Source of all love. The child will realize that God s foundational reason for loving us is Him, not us. (His love is unconditional.) The child will learn that the way to express love for God is to keep His commandments. The child will understand what is meant biblically by the term love, and to distinguish it from the world s sloppy, shallow understanding of the word. The child will understand that God s love is the greatest love ever. The child will learn that God loved us before we loved Him. The child will learn that God loves Himself perfectly (the Father loves the Son, the Son loves the Father, etc.). The child will learn that one of the proofs of a person s salvation is whether or not he/she truly loves. 1

2 ATTITUDE OBJECTIVES By God s grace... The child will evaluate his/her own love for God and others. The child s love for God and others will grow. The child will find comfort and motivation in the unconditional nature of God s love. P R A Y E R T E A C H I N G P H A S E I N T R O (about minutes) OPENER* What is love? If you get your understanding of love from what you may have seen about love on TV or movies, you ll get the wrong answer, almost every time! When we want to find out the truth about what love is, we should go to the Bible. But what should we look for when we go to the Bible? We should look at the truest example of love that ever was or ever will be God s love for us. God s love is the standard, the measuring stick, of perfect love. Without God, there could be no love. In fact, the Bible describes God this way: God IS love. (See 1 John 4:16.) *NOTE: In the intro, we want to recap the primary truth and set the stage to use the primary truth to point the learners back to God. I N S T R U C T I O N & R E I N F O R C E M E N T (about minutes) COMMENTARY Love gives. Love is more than just a feeling we might have for someone. True love gives. You could say that you love someone until you re blue in the face, but that wouldn t mean you really love them. True love involves sacrificial giving. God has eternally given of Himself. God will never cease to love Himself. And God will never cease to love His children! Does it sound strange to you to hear that God loves Himself? It might seem like a strange idea at first, but God has been characterized by love since before the beginning of time. Even when there was no human to love, God expressed love perfectly and joyfully within the Godhead (the Trinity). The Father loves the Son. The Son loves the Father. The Father and Son love the Spirit. The Spirit loves the Father and Son. Their unity and love are perfect. BIBLE DRILL (#1) How long has the Father loved the Son? John 17:24 BIBLE DRILL (#2) How has the Father proven His love for the Son? John 3:35 BIBLE DRILL (#3) How has the Son shown His love for the Father? John 14:31 God s love for His own glory and for people moved Him to show His love by offering His Son as a sacrifice. That is how God has shown us His amazing love. 2

3 If a someone were to give you a million dollars, how would you feel about him? More importantly, what would you think about what he thought about you? What if your friend were to give you your own island, complete with boats, fancy cars, and your own helicopter? You did nothing to earn these things; but he gave them to you, anyway. What would you think about a friend who could and would do something like that for you? You would think he must care a great deal for you, wouldn t you? Those great gifts would communicate his love to you. But are those things truly sacrificial gifts? They could be. Let s pretend that same gift-giving friend is walking with you one day downtown. Suddenly, a man pulls out a gun and points it at you. *BANG!* But let s imagine that your friend jumps in front of you and takes the bullet that was intended for you right in the heart. Your friend is dead before he hits the ground, but the gunman runs away, leaving you alive. Your friend saved your life by giving his own! Would there be any question in your mind then about your friend s love for you? What truth would keep you from ever doubting the commitment and love your friend had toward you? BIBLE DRILL (#4) What does God say is the ultimate expression of love? John 15:13 Who is someone you are convinced loves you? Why are you convinced? Probably because this person gave you something to prove his or her love to you! That person has probably given you time, energy, money, gifts. What about hugs, even? We have many ways of showing we love people, but most of those ways have to do with giving! If you know someone who has never truly given anything of himself to another person, then you have met someone who does not truly love. BIBLE DRILL (#5) How did God show His love toward us? 1 John 4:10 BIBLE DRILL (#6) What should our love for God move us to do? 1 John 5:3 COMMENTARY The foundation for God loving us is not us, but it is His own character / nature. Why does God love you? Is it because you are just so lovable? Incredibly...NO! The Bible says that God loved His children even while they were unlovely sinners (totally unbelieving enemies). If we are God s children, He loves us unconditionally; that is, there is nothing we could ever do to make God love us any more or any less. If we are God s children, He loves us completely and constantly. God loves the lost, too, but not in the same way He loves those who have repented and believed in His Son Jesus Christ. God s children are loved with an everlasting love, and will be granted His rich favor forever. The unsaved will enjoy the goodness of God for a time (see Psalm 145), but when they meet Christ face-to-face, they will be ultimately rejected because they rejected Christ. God will say to them, I never knew you (Matthew 7:23). These people will be unknown to God because they never trusted Christ to reconcile them (to make them right) with God. In rejecting the offer of salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone, they have, in a sense, slapped God in the face. They rejected God s perfect, sacrificial love; and ultimately, He will reject them. This is a sad truth, and it should motivate us to share and live out the love of God. We must love people sacrificially and try to help them understand and respond rightly to the Gospel. 3

4 Christians should also be humbled that God does know us, and that we can know Him (Galatians 4:9; 1 John 3:1). This is all made possible through Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 2:5). What are some ways that God continually shows His love to everybody, even those who are not His children? ( ) (Here would be a great place to insert what you learned from your Teacher Truth Study.) GETTING BACK TO GOD* {Recap WHAT THIS DOCTRINE REVEALS ABOUT GOD: God is the Source of all love. He loves the most, more than anyone else loves. He loves the best, better than anyone else loves. God is the ultimate Example of perfect love; He is love! He loves His own glory and He loves His people so much that He will never fail them. He has proven His love to us, and He is the One Who enables us to love Him back. Because God is love, we can trust that He will always do the most loving thing in any situation.} God loves us. If you are His child, He is for you. He is not against His children. God wants the best for His children. We may not always understand how some things God does could be called loving, but we can still choose to believe that God is always perfectly loving even when it doesn t seem like it. We can believe He acts consistently with His unchanging character. He will never act against or outside of His great love toward His glory and His people. Because God is love, He is totally worth our complete trust. Because God is love, we can imitate Him, trying to copy how He loves and trying to pass His love on to others. We should look for ways to show God s love to others. God is glorified by His great love because there is no love as deep, and there will never be an act of love so incredible as that of God s sending His Son as a sacrifice for sinners. *NOTE: Teachers, please remember that this section should include the fruit of your Teacher Truth Study and one or two personal illustrations or anecdotes from the Personalize It! activity in the Teacher Preparation Phase. A P P L I C A T I O N & A S S E S S M E N T INTERNALIZE IT! from Teacher Preparation Phase (about 5-10 minutes) You might begin this section with: Boys and girls, as I ve been preparing for this TruthTime Lesson, here s what God has been showing me... You might continue by saying: Because of what God is teaching me, here s what is going to be different in my life during this next week... You might conclude with something like this: Finally, here s what God has taught me about Himself through these truths... TIME QUESTIONS How can we really know that God is a God of love? What are some differences between God s love and the world s love? What are some things we can try to make God love us more? [We hope it s obvious this is meant rhetorically. We can t!] How should believing that God loves us completely cause us to respond? How can you show the love of God to people who don t know Him yet? 4

5 A P P E N D I C E S O R I F T I M E (optional) NONE SUGGESTED AT THIS TIME 5

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