Don’t Be Afraid to Test Your Knowledge

1.) Henry prays before every track meet. Well, almost every meet. Last week he forgot to pray because he was running late. During the track meet, he tripped and broke his leg. He told God he would pray three times a day for the rest of his life if God would heal him in time for the state finals. Henry’s prayer was heard. He never misses his three daily prayer times. Henry is an example of:
a. fear of the Lord
b. fear of what people will think
c. fear of consequences

2.) A bunch of youth group kids are at a Christian concert together. During the intermission, a speaker gets up to talk about the need to feed the hungry and support children internationally. The speaker cites Malachi 3:10: “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows,” to encourage people to sponsor a child. A few of the kids think it would be a great idea to sponsor a child together. They are excited to see how God will bless them for their thoughtfulness. This is an example of:
a. fear of the Lord
b. fear of what people will think
c. fear of consequences

3.) Jesse really wants to go to a party she has been invited to on Friday night, but none of her close friends from youth group were invited. Her youth group friends tell her she shouldn’t go because the host is known to be a huge partier. They tell Jesse that if she goes to the party they will be really disappointed in her. She knows they probably will tell the youth leader, too. Jesse decides not to go the party. Jesse is an example of:
a. fear of the Lord
b. fear of what people will think
c. fear of the consequences

4.) Jack also was invited to the party. Jack decides not to go because if his football coach finds out he was at the party, he’ll get kicked off of the team. Jack is an example of:
a. fear of the Lord
b. fear of what people will think
c. fear of the consequences

5.) Kelly was invited to the same party. When Kelly was praying, she felt God was telling her to go the party so she could spend some time with Simone. Simone’s father passed away last week. Kelly felt that God wanted her to be there to encourage Simone to make good choices and help her through a rough time. Kelly knows her friends from youth group might not understand why she is going. Kelly also knows she could get kicked off the volleyball team for being there, but decides to go to the party anyway. Kelly is an example of:
a. fear of the Lord
b. fear of what people will think
c. fear of consequences

6.) Connor knows his sister’s science report from her sophomore year is saved on their computer. Connor is a sophomore now and has to do the same report. Just as Connor is about to copy all of the answers, he remembers hearing a teaching at a youth group meeting. The youth leader shared that each time we sin it is as if we pound a nail into the hands and feet of Jesus on the cross. Connor remembered that even what may seem to us as the smallest sin causes great pain to Jesus and leads to separation from God. Connor decided not to copy the science report. Connor is an example of:
a. fear of the Lord
b. fear of what people will think
c. fear of the consequences

7.) Usually during worship, Courtney is afraid to raise her hands or sing loud because she is so self-conscious. Tonight’s worship is different, though. Courtney feels the presence of the Holy Spirit surrounding her. She is able to feel the depth of God’s love for her. Her first response is to kneel down in reverence. Tears pour down her face as she realizes how small she is and how great God is. She praises Him loudly. It’s as if she has forgotten anyone else is in the room. Courtney is an example of:
a. fear of the Lord
b. fear of what people will think
c. fear of the consequences

8.) Kevin has been blessed with the opportunity to go on a Mission trip to Mexico. When the team arrives, he can’t believe the poverty he sees. It is overwhelming to him. Throughout the week, Kevin has the opportunity to get to know many of the children in the village they are serving. He sees children starving and malnourished. During reflection time, Kevin shares with the group that he has realized what it means when Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for Me,” (Matthew 25:40). On the last day of the trip, a little boy asks Kevin for one of his T-shirts. Kevin gives the boy all of the clothes he has with him. Kevin is an example of:
a. fear of the Lord
b. fear of what people will think
c. fear of the consequences

9.) Maggie always dresses very modestly. She has a style that is uniquely hers. Maggie knows that if she were to wear something too short or too tight that all of her friends would talk about her behind her back. She works really hard to find cute outfits that don’t reveal too much. Maggie is an example of:
a. fear of the Lord
b. fear of what people will think
c. fear of the consequences

10.) Lou is really involved at school and youth group. He’s on the student government, sings in the choir, plays on the basketball team and is captain of the quiz bowl team, as well as a teen leaders for his youth group. Lou has been asked to help serve meals every week at a homeless shelter as part of a project his school is doing. It will be hard to fit it in, but Lou doesn’t want to let anyone down. Lou signs up to serve the meals twice a week. Lou is an example of:
a. fear of the Lord
b. fear of what people will think
c. fear of the consequences

Answers and Discussion Points
After you have given time to answer these questions, use the scenarios for discussion. Begin by asking the youth if anyone can share what it means to fear the Lord. It’s a hard concept to grasp, but many teens will provide great insight into what this means. Be sure the answers you get include a few key points. Fear of the Lord is not the same as being afraid of God. To fear God, we must know who God is and who we are in relation to Him. We realize God’s greatness and power while at the same time acknowledging our humanity. We respect Him, we are in awe of Him, and we love Him. Fear of the Lord means basing our actions on our love of God, our admiration of God and our desire to be unified with God. We love God so intensely that we can’t bear the thought of life without Him, of hurting Him by sinning or offending Him. After you have talked about what it means to fear the Lord, go through each of the scenarios. Allow the youth to voice their thoughts and opinions on each scenario. Be open to the wrong answer if the youth have different ways of seeing the situation.

1.) Fear of Consequence: Henry is more afraid of what will happen to him if he doesn’t pray than anything else. His deal with God is similar to a superstition or good luck charm. He feels that if he prays three times a day, God will give him what he wants and protect him. This thought is not based on a love for God or a relationship with God, but rather what Henry gets from God. We must be guarded that our prayer time, Bible reading and any other spiritual disciplines don’t become rituals done out of fear of what could happen if we don’t. These things always must come from our love for God.

2.) Fear of Consequences: After hearing the verse, the teens were more excited about the blessings they might receive when they give their money to the poor than actually caring about the poor. The consequences of not giving would result in no blessings.
     Fear of what people will think: Depending on how your students read this scenario, they could also say some of the youth made their decision to give based on positive peer pressure, not a desire to serve God.

3.) Fear of what people will think: Jesse’s decision not to go was based on what her youth group friends and youth leader would think of her if she went to the party. Her decision was not based on her love for God or a desire to serve Him.

4.) Fear of consequences: Jack’s decision was made because he was afraid of getting kicked of the football team.

5.) Fear of the Lord: Kelly knew that although her friends might be mad at her and she might be in danger of getting kicked of the volleyball team, these things did not matter because God called her to be at the party to serve her friend. She put her reputation and interests at risk in order to obey God.

6.) Fear of the Lord: Connor based his decision of his desire to remain close to God, not out of fear of getting caught cheating.

7.) Fear of the Lord: Courtney is an example of how we might react in the presence of the Lord. She has become so completely absorbed in the love of God that she has forgotten her insecurities. Courtney also shows how we might respond when in the presence of God. A person who fears the Lord most likely would bow or kneel in His presence as he or she realized the greatness and holiness of God.

8.) Fear of the Lord: Kevin is also an example of the fear of the Lord. He gave his belongings away not because he loved and cared about a person, but because he loved and served others as if he was serving Jesus.

9.) Fear of what people will think: Although it’s a good thing that Maggie dresses modestly, her only reason for doing it is based on her friends’ views. Maggie is not dressing modestly because of her love or fear of the Lord.

10.) Fear of the consequences/fear of what people will think: Lou is afraid of disappointing people. Although he is involved in way too many good things, he decides to serve the homeless because he doesn’t want to let people down, not because he wants to serve God out of love.

Some questions to provoke more thought:
– What do you think eventually will happen to the teens in these scenarios who make their decisions in life based on what other people will think?
– What will happen to those who make their decisions based on the fear of consequences?
– Being a part of a youth group is wonderful, but sometimes we give in to positive peer pressure rather than knowing why we are choosing to act the way we do. Take a minute to reflect silently and listen for God’s voice to show you areas where you may be doing this. Pray to would make choices out of fear of the Lord above all other reasons.
– Fear of the Lord is a gift of the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 11:2) and it also can be taught (Psalms 34:11). How can we receive this gift? What must we do to learn to fear the Lord?

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