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Sunday School is a vital part of any ministry. In it one is able to experience a deeper knowledge of God’s Word. We here at “Word For Life Says” want to help you help others. Below you will find resources to help you prepare for your upcoming lessons. May God bless you!
September 14, 2014
(Click here for PDF: Restoration Sunday School Lesson, or simply click the print button below. Enjoy!)
(Please Note: All lesson verses and titles are based on International Sunday School Lesson/Uniform Series ©2010 by the Lesson Committee, but all content/commentary written within is original to wordforlifesays.com unless properly quoted/cited)
Restoration is the final destination and the new covenant, through Jesus Christ is the avenue by which one travels to arrive there. Jeremiah foretold of a promise when God would bring back His relationship with mankind whom He created to the fullness of all that He originally intended it to be.
Jeremiah 31:31-32 “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD.”
Last week’s lesson was a “hope” focused lesson. This week’s lesson is a “promise” focused lesson; and the one whom is promising is the one who can never fail or renege on a promise: GOD!
After last week’s lesson of telling the people that there was a greater future up ahead for them, in this week’s lesson God inspires Jeremiah to pass on more encouragement to the captive people. The encouragement was that things were no longer going to be as before. There was something new coming on the horizon: a new covenant.
We can identify the word covenant as being synonymous with promises or oaths; words that dictate the character of a binding agreement not soon to be broken. This is the kind of God we serve. Once He puts a plan or a word in action, He follows through. He’s a follow-through God.
Here, in this lesson the old covenant that He established with his people was not working. The people were rightly accused as breaking it. Though God was in a committed relationship with them, holding true to His side of the covenant, described as being a devoted husband; the people broke away from His covering by seeking after others.
The “new” that God was going to do would not resemble the same as He established with their forefathers. “New” did not mean recycle or upcycle to God. New meant new. A new way of doing things. A new story to tell. A new deliverance to grant to a lost and dying world. New.
In Matthew 26:28 Jesus declares, “For this is the blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” This was the “new.” Previously one’s atonement depended on the blood of animals. Every year, over and over again the ritual had to be repeated. Hebrews 10:3 shows us this process: “But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.” And, Hebrews 10:4 then goes on to tell us, “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.”
God had a plan for something new. God needed a permanent solution to man’s sin problem. Speaking of Christ whom we are sanctified through (Heb. 10:10), that perfect solution to man’s sin problem, the writer of Hebrews pens these words from Psalm 40, “Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God,” (Hebrews 10:7), showing His fulfilling God’s plan of restoration for His people.
Here, God describes His loving, nurturing nature as a Father guiding His children. Previously, He took “them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt.” It renders the idea of a one teaching a child to cross the street. Lovingly, with hand in hand, you guide them to look this way and that to make sure they can proceed safely.
They were in God’s hands and out of the hands of the enemy. Exodus 3:8 declares, “I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians;” and yet, for all that, the people quickly went astray.
Now, it was time for the new.
Jeremiah 31:33 “But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
God was still, despite the mess-ups of the people, seeking a deeply devoted relationship with them. The new covenant would operate much differently than the old. The old was written and inscribed on tablets of stone, but the new will affect the inner man. It will transform him from the inside out because it is not contingent on being written anywhere other than one’s own heart.
That’s deep; and deep is what God was going for. The passion for Him has to be a deep devotion of the inner man. That’s why Ezekiel also prophesied something similar when he said, “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh,” (Ezekiel 36:26).
God was going for a heart transformation. David knew the importance of this when he cried out in desperation from his sin, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” A heart that is devoted to God; a heart that is renewed in Him; a heart that cradles and nurtures His Word in it is the heart of those who “shall be my people,” (see also Psalms 37:31; 119:11).
Jeremiah 31:34 “And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
This is a picture of God’s new covenant in full effect. First, of all those who are partakers of this covenant they have entered into a personal relationship with God to know Him for themselves (compare Hebrews 8:11). Hosea 6:6 tells us that this is what God seeks after: “For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.” God wants people to “know” Him. Jesus reiterated this by saying, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent,” (John 17:3).
In knowing God one has to possess a heart that is intimately concerned about Him and His will.
Secondly, under God’s new covenant, the partakers’ sins would be remembered no more. Oh, where to begin with the magnitude of grace these few words cover? There really is no other way than through the word itself; one of the Old Testament and one of the New Testament (though there be many, many more):
- Isaiah 43:25, “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.”
- Romans 11:27, “For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.”
The whole idea behind the new covenant is to restore. Restoration will wholly take place when people are made new. People are made new when they enter into a new relationship with God. When they do that, God forgives their sins. It’s the message behind the Bible; it the message centered in the Gospels; it’s the message carried through to Jesus Christ on the cross, the testator of the New Testament; the new covenant (see Hebrews 9:14-22).
Jeremiah 31:35-37 “Thus saith the LORD, which giveth sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a lighty by night, which devideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name: If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever. Thus saith the LORD, If heaven above can be measured; and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also case off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD.”
The same, one and only true God, who ordered all aspects of creation is the same One who can be relied on to follow through with His promise of restoration.
Here, the word “ordinances” represent, very simply, the way God ordered things. He is the one responsible for providing light by day and by night. At the very beginning of Creation we see that God said, “Let there be light: and there was light,” (Genesis 1:3, see also Genesis 1:14 and Psalm 136:7-9). God did that. No one else did. And, those same lights He created He gave them a God-ordained order to follow, a cycle, if you will. It was what they were designed for. It was and is their purpose.
He is also the one responsible for making the wind and the seas behave. In Job 38:8 God asks, “Who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb?” He is the one who commanded it and it was so. It’s all God’s doing. “The LORD of hosts is his name!” The one in charge of all of heaven’s armies commands it as so and the winds and the seas obey Him (as did they with His Son, Jesus in Mark 4:39-41). The general of heaven’s armies’ commands and it obeys (speaking of creation) its orders. “He hath also established them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass,” (Psalm 148:6).
With that being said, the same God who ordered all these things so, if one of those “ordinances” shall break forth from their God-ordained assignments, “then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever.” In other words, it will never happen! God has a promise for His people that will stand forever. The culmination of that promise is to be restored back to Him through Jesus Christ our Savior.
Another example given to solidify the point is when He states, “If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD.” Point being again, it will NEVER happen!
No man, in his finite ability to know creation, could possible measure or count the very stars of heaven. Consider this, it is said that every galaxy holds within it billions of stars. Billions of stars for just one galaxy! Wow! Now consider this, it is also said that in the “observable universe” there are more than 170 billion galaxies, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galaxy). Is your mind blown? Yeah, mine too!
While man can nowhere near begin to name and claim each and every star, God can. Psalm 147:4 states, “He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.” He not only knows how many there are but He knows their name, in the observable universe or not. And, the very one that holds the name of all those stars is the very one that holds the promise of restoration also and will not suffer it to fail no more than He will “cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done.” It won’t be done. His promise for His people’s restoration is secured.
God’s promise for restoration will not fail.
Below are activities to support this week’s lesson. Enjoy!
Draw the Scene: Restoration Draw the Scene
Restoration Star Sheet: Using the PDF verse cut out: Restoration Heaven Verse Cut Out, construction paper and star stickers, this activity can be put together quickly by students to help them remember God’s promises are sure. Enjoy!
“Trust God’s Promises Puzzle” PDF: Trust God’s Promises Puzzle Jeremiah 31 (Students can draw a picture that will remind them of today’s lesson on the puzzle and then cut it out. Don’t forget to use cardstock. Enjoy!)
Below I used templates to create this “Promise Tree.” God’s Word is like the seed which sprouts up into a promised fulfilled. Students can then write on the leaves some of the promises of God. My 10 year old helped me make this one:
Tree and leaves template from DLTK. Add any seed or nut to the bottom and write your promises from God. Enjoy!
Use these “I TRUST IN GOD’S PROMISES!” Circles to make a necklace or a button. For the necklace, punch a hole and string it through. You can decorate it with other adornments if you wish. For the button, decorate and tape a safety pin to the back. Enjoy! I Trust in God’s Promises PDF: I TRUST IN GOD’S PROMISES (Don’t forget to use cardstock!)
“God’s Promises Fulfilled” activities from Sermon4kids
“God’s Promises Come True” stories from Childrens Bible Stories
“God Keeps Promises” coloring page from Sermon4kids.com
“God Keeps His Promise” rainbow coloring sheet from Makinglearningfun.com
“A Promise” song to teach children from Dltk.com
“Hangman”: This old game is excellent for lesson reinforcement. Simply print the worksheet from Printactivities.com, get your verses or phrases from the lesson you want to use or the students want to use with each other, play and enjoy! (A single hangman page can be found at Thetripclip.com. Enjoy!) (Great for memory verses!)
“Promise Suitcase Paper Craft” from DLTK
“Promise Pocket Craft” from DLTK
“Etched Picture Craft” from Kid’s Bibleland
“God Keeps His Promises Banner” from Joyful Socks Mom
“Star Baking Sugar Cookies or Use Playdough” from Livestrong.com
“God’s Big Promise” from Ministry to Children