Truthfulness

Our lesson topic for February 25 was truthfulness. To start off the lesson, we played a quick round of balderdash.

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The first spiritual battle on earth centered around truth and deception (Genesis 3:1-6).  Satan lied to Eve.  She believed the lie and suffered spiritual death—separation from God.  Life and death hinge on truth.  Satan is still trying to deceive the world today.  He is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44).  Satan’s primary attack against us is spiritual lies and deception.  The only way to escape the peril of his lies is to make sure that we know the truth.

It is important to know the truth so that we will not be deceived by the lies of the enemy.  Just like balderdash, sometimes his lies sound like truth or close to the truth when they really aren’t.  When we know the truth and apply it in our lives, we will be free from the trap of Satan’s lies and deceitfulness.  That is why it is so important to be reading, studying, and applying God’s Word in our lives–it is the source of truth (John 17:17).  The more we come to know the Lord and what He says, the more quickly we will be able to discern between truth and error.

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What does God think about lying?

“Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, But those who deal truthfully are His delight.”

Proverbs 12:22

Lies are like traps. One lie often leads to another and another until you can’t break free.  Only the truth can set us free (John 8:32). When we’ve lied to someone, we need to go back, tell them the truth, and ask for forgiveness.  (Proverbs 28:13).  Acknowledging the truth by confessing sin and replacing the enemy’s lies with God’s truth brings freedom.

While speaking the truth is important, there are other ways in which we can be dishonest and deceitful without actually telling a lie.  For example: telling only part of the truth, keeping secrets from our parents, doing something behind someone’s back, or being deceitful.  More subtle forms of deceitfulness include exaggerating, pretending that you know something that you don’t, manipulating others, or acting differently around different people.

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As we strive to be bright lights for the Lord, we need to avoid all forms of deceitfulness—if we have lies that we are covering up it will dim our light and hinder our testimony.  If truthfulness is a struggle in your life, find some verses to memorize about truth and lying. The Lord has a lot to say about this subject!

As bright lights for the Lord, we want to be valiant for the truth.  We want to be fighting against the lies of the enemy and explain God’s truth to those around us. We want to represent Jesus, the One who is the truth (John 14:6), everywhere we go.  So many people around us are believing the lies of the enemy and they are trapped.  We want to be able to proclaim the truth of Jesus Christ, because only He can set them free.

For our activity we had a debate between lies and truth.  The lies team was supposed to come up with as many excuses and lies as they could for making the wrong choice, while the truth team was supposed to make a case for making the right choice.

IMG_0758We ended our meeting with a great time of snacks and fellowship.

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Inner Beauty

Singing favorites from the BL songbook around the piano
Singing favorites from the BL songbook around the piano

May 7 was our last meeting for the school year and we had a special tea party while we studied the topic of “Inner Beauty”.  Throughout Set 8, we have been discussed different topics related to our outward appearance and behavior. These are all important, but we want to end by setting our focus on the most important thing of all—having a heart that is right before the Lord.  Yes, we must be wise, discerning, and obedient in regards to our clothing, appearance, countenance, and manners.  But all of these will naturally fall into place if we are loving the Lord with all of our heart.  This is where true beauty begins.

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Object lesson: beautiful package contains rocks; ugly package contains chocolate!

It is easy for us to overemphasize outward things.  We tend to get wrong impressions about people because of the way they look or dress.  We often notice styles, fads, and fashions. We spend lots of time and money on things that are merely external.  While we are using up our time and energy on the outward, God is looking at the inward—the thoughts and motives of our hearts (1 Sam. 16:6-7).  As we get consumed with having a beautiful package, He is focused on the true product inside all the wrapping.  Outward beauty is really just a picture of true inner beauty that God desires to develop in each one of us as He conforms us into the image of His Son.  Physical beauty fades as we get older, but inner beauty will increase with age if we continue to obey the Lord and walk in His ways.

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Object lesson: We had some balloons marked with Satan’s lies and once we read a Scripture to combat the lie we popped the balloon!

Have you ever found yourself wishing that you had someone else’s hair, your sister’s really cute outfits, your friend’s amazing smile, or that you could be just as pretty as so-and-so?  Satan has deceived many young ladies into believing that they need to gain a particular look or certain standard of outward beauty.  But keep in mind that there’s no such thing as an outward ideal—some perfect standard we are all trying to measure up.  The enemy tries to distract us with many lies about our appearance. Some of the lies we looked at were:

  • Lie: God is not enough to satisfy me. • Truth: Psalm 107:9
  • Lie: Being beautiful will make me happy. • Truth: Prov. 31:30
  • Lie: I’m ugly. • Truth: Psalm 139:14
  • Lie: If I don’t wear the latest fashions, people won’t like me. • Truth: Rom. 12:2
  • Lie: My body belongs to me.  I can do what I want to with it. • Truth: 1 Cor. 6:20

Don’t give in to the world’s lies!  They are empty and unable to satisfy.  They bring confusion and sorrow, rather than fulfillment and joy.

P1110324God created everything.  The entire universe already belongs to Him.  Isn’t it incredible to think that something could be “of great price” in God’s sight?  Scripture tells us that a meek and quiet spirit is of great price in the sight of God.   Ornaments of gold and silver and outward beauty may be of great price in the eyes of this world, but not to God.  It is our inner character that is so valuable to Him.  It is beautiful to Him.  It is precious in His sight.  Why is this?  It demonstrates humility.  Pride is something God hates.  Humility is something God loves. Meekness and quietness require humility and lowliness.  This is something that the Lord notices and values (Ps. 10:17).

P1110342So how do we put it into practice? With these thoughts in mind, here are some things we can do to cultivate inner beauty:

  1. Spend time seeking heavenly things instead of earthly things.
  2. Lean as much about Jesus as you can and imitate Him.
  3. Humble yourself daily by putting other people first, serving them, and giving up your own expectations.
  4. Submit joyfully to authorities.
  5. Do not defend yourself—let God defend you.
  6. Respond as Jesus would to those who irritate or offend you.  Speak gently and kindly, forgive them, pray for them, and trust the Lord to take care of the situation.
  7. Rejoice in the suffering God allows, which is strengthening your character and conforming you into the image of His Son.

This is difficult to do.  We cannot do it in our own strength.  We must cry out to the Lord for help.

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Object lesson: every time “Joanna” responded to an irritation in a godly way, she got a piece of clothing or jewelry to wear to illustrate inner beauty

We ended our lesson with a story about a girl named Joanna.  One of the girls volunteered to act out the story.  As Joanna was faced with irritations and everyday problems, she chose to clothe herself with humility and in doing so, was cultivating inner beauty in her life.

For our activity time, we enjoyed making mini paper roses and enjoyed our adorable little tea snacks.

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Everyone dressed up for the tea party, so that called for a group picture!

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It was such a blessing to have all of you girls a part of Bright Lights this year. Let’s ask the Lord to give us wisdom each day as we seek to represent Him well.  Remember, one of the best ways to be representatives of Christ is by cultivating inner beauty.  As we focus on the inward—loving the Lord with all of our heart, soul, strength, and mind—it will overflow to the outward!  Others will see and the Lord will be glorified as we shine brightly for Him.  He is worthy!

Truthfulness

April 26 was our first lesson from Set 2 of the Bright Lights curriculum.  As usual, we started our meeting out with a time of singing… how sweet to hear voices raised in song to praise our Savior!

Learning a new song

Our lesson topic was “Truthfulness.”  As we study God’s Word we see that lying is a sin that is very serious in the sight of God.  We see this throughout Scripture, but there is one Bible story in particular that shows us the seriousness of lying.  This is the story of Ananias and Sapphira, the husband and wife whom God struck dead because of willfully lying (Acts 5:1-11).

Lies are like traps.  One lie often leads to another, and another until we are trapped in deceitfulness.  Lies and deceit in our lives give Satan a stronghold in our life that keep us from being a pure and bright light.  Only the truth can set us free (John 8:32).

As we shine as lights for Jesus, it is important that we not only speak the truth, but to avoid all forms of deceitfulness in our lives.  We need to be mindful that it is possible to be deceitful without actually telling a lie.

Our lesson time

Not only is it important to tell the truth, but also to know the truth.  The first spiritual battle on earth centered around truth and deception (Genesis 3).  Satan’s lie tempted Eve to sin and caused spiritual death for all mankind.  From this we see that life and death hinge on the truth, therefore it is very important that we know the truth.

In the Bible, we are told that Jesus is the truth (John 14:6).  God’s Word is the source of truth.  In contrast, Satan is a liar and the father of all lies (John 8:44).  Satan is still trying to deceive the world today.  It is important to know the truth so that we will not be deceived by the lies of the enemy.

As bright lights for the Lord, we want to be valiant for the truth.  We want to be fighting against the lies of the enemy and explaining God’s truth to those around us.  We want to represent Jesus, the One who is the truth, everywhere we go.   It is exciting to be able to share with those who are trapped by the lies and deceit of the enemy and tell them the of God’s truth that will set them free.

Following the lesson, we split into small groups to complete an assignment.  Each group was given a list of lies and had to find a verse from the Bible, the source of truth, that reveled the error of the lie.  It was a good exercise that showed us the importance of knowing the truth so that we are able to discern between what is true and what are lies.

Small group smiles

Our activity for the evening was a debate between the truth and lies.

Making up excuses and convincing reasons to lie
Listing important reasons to tell the truth

Our yummy snacks were provided by Amelia and Whitney.

Waiting in line for snacks
Snacks and fellowship