The BIG IDEA
When we begin a relationship with Christ we are adopted into God’s family.
When we don’t recognize that we are adopted into God’s family we can feel anxious, not knowing where we belong.
When we recognize that God chose us to be a part of his family, we can let go of our fear. We have a heavenly Father that loves us and a family that helps us thrive in life.
I WANT MY STUDENTS TO:
- KNOW: When we have a relationship with Christ we are adopted into God’s family.
- EXPERIENCE: The joy of belonging to the family of God. Wonder that the Father loves them and has chosen them to belong in his family.
- DO: Trust God that he accepts them as his children and learn to love God’s people as their own family.
The idea box is a place where you can find some creative ideas for leading this study. You might find videos, activities, or great illustrations that really bring the main point home. The ideas come from small group leaders like you, so if you have an idea that isn’t in there, click below to share it with the community!
*WHAT DO YOU THINK?
- Are you or anyone you know adopted?
Leaders, be sensitive to anyone in the group that might be adopted.
- What would it be like to be adopted by parents who were extremely rich and powerful?
- How would your life be different?
Let the students dream and imagine what life could be like.
*Many people don’t realize this, but if you’re a Christian, that means you’ve been adopted by the most rich and powerful person ever – God! Not only is he rich and powerful, but he is also generous, wise and good! God owns the whole world and he has chosen to adopt you!
WHAT DOES GOD SAY ABOUT THIS?
Leaders: Read the paragraphs below aloud or have a student read them.
*Let’s take a look at another adoption in the Bible. In the Old Testament book of Exodus we are introduced to Moses, an important person in the Bible who was adopted as a baby.
During the time of his birth in Egypt, Jewish people were kept as slaves by the Egyptians. The ruler of Egypt was fearful that there were too many Jews in his country and worried they might try to overthrow him and his armies.
In order to solve this problem, all the Jewish boys were to be killed at birth to cut down on the population. At that time Moses was born to a Jewish mother who hid him for as long as she could. One day when she could no longer hide him, she put him in a basket and had his sister float him in a river near where the Pharaoh’s daughter would see him. The daughter saw him, realized he was probably one of the Jewish babies and adopted him as her own. He became a member of the royal household and later went on to be an influential leader. (Read more in Exodus 2:1-10)
*1. How did Moses’ life change when he became adopted?
His life was saved, he was rescued from death.
2. What were some of the benefits Moses might have enjoyed in his new family?
These verses don’t specifically tell you what his life was like in his new family but your students can assume that his life in the royal household was a life full of good things. He was given good food, good education, and leadership skills that prepared him for the future role God had for him.
*Moses had a unique adoption story. Let’s take a look at our own adoption stories. If you are a Christian, God has adopted you into his family so you have your own adoption story to tell! Let’s see what the Bible has to say about this.
3. Read Ephesians 1:4-5. When did God choose to adopt you?
Before he made the world.
*4. Why did God adopt you?
He loved us and he chose us. It gave him great pleasure to adopt us.
*5. How did God adopt you?
By bringing us into his family through Jesus Christ.
6. Read through the Ephesians passage again. What stands out to you as you read it?
The students might mention that they were loved, that God chose to adopt them before he made the world, etc.
HOW DO WE APPLY THIS TO OUR LIVES?
7. Below on the left are things we often think about ourselves when we don’t recognize that we have been adopted by God. Read the verses next to each phrase and write out or talk about what God says about you.
|Lies I might believe about myself||Verses||What God says about me|
|God is against me and no one loves me.||1 John 3:1|
|I have to take care of myself.||Matthew 6:31-33|
|No one ever gives me anything.||Matthew 7:11|
|I don’t need anyone and I can figure out life by myself.||Romans 8:14|
|The world is hard and everyone hates me.||Hebrews 12:5-6|
|I’m all alone and no one cares about me.||Matthew 12:50|
List of the rights and privileges of being adopted by God.
- We can relate to God as a good and loving father. (1 John 3:1)
- God takes care of our needs. (Matthew 6:31-33)
- God gives us many good gifts. (Matthew 7:11)
- God gives us the Holy Spirit to lead us. (Romans 8:14)
- God disciplines us as His children. (Hebrews 12:5-6)
- We are members of one family with other Christians. (Matthew 12:50)
*8. Many of us feel the “Things I say about myself” in the chart above. Are there any that you’ve experienced personally?
Invite the students to identify these feelings they have believed. If some go “unclaimed”, consider giving a personal example of how you have felt that way yourself.
9. Pick one line from the chart. How would your life be different if you really believed what God says about you?
Have the students look more closely at the verses beside the “Things I say about myself” that stood out to them. Help them apply the verse to their situation.
*10. Using an index card or note on your phone, write down a lie from the chart and below it, write the verse from that line. Look at it each day this week and ask God to help you remember that you are adopted and loved by God.
Our review cards are an excellent way to review your past lessons with your students before each study. Not every lesson has one yet but if we have them, you can find them on the PRINT page. Check them out and use them each week to help your students grab hold of the truths in these studies.
What ideas do you have that could improve this study? Are there creative things you do to bring this topic home to your students? Please share with the community clicking the FEEDBACK button or leaving a comment below.