Category Archives: Repentance

Lemme See (QUICK DRAMA)


DESCRIPTION

This short drama reenacts the story of Zacchaeus the Tax Collector from Luke 19:1-10.  It is intended to make the story a little easier for young minds to understand or to give new perspective for older minds.

 

PREPARATION

  • Have a ladder ready and off to the side for “Zach” to use.
  • Assemble a costume for the person playing Jesus (white robe, sash or shawl, beard, etc.)

 

 

SCENE:         A crowd of three or four people is standing around waiting for something special to happen and straining to see who is coming in the distance.  Zach enters from behind the crowd but can’t see what all the excitement is about. The actor should come in on his knees to simulate being much shorter than all the others.

 

Zach –              “Hey, what’s going on?”

 

Person 1 –        (Not even looking at Zach but still watching for something special to happen) “Quiet down, little man!  We’re waiting for the miracle worker.”

 

Zach –              (Trying to pry a space between people so that he can see) “Miracle worker?  I want to see!  Can you let me through?”

 

Person 2 –        (Intentionally blocking his way) “Oh, no you don’t!  The miracle worker isn’t interested in someone like you.  You’re a bad person!”

 

Zach –              (Trying to pry a space between people in another part of the crowd) “Come on, guys! I just want to see him!  I heard he has someone like me on his team.”

 

Person 3 –        (Blocking the way) “You mean a tax collector?  (Looking puzzled and asking a question of the person next to him/her) Yeah, why DID he pick that Matthew guy to be on his team?  All those tax collectors are criminals.  He must have chosen Matthew because he is rich from stealing our money!”

 

Zach –              (Still trying to break through) “I don’t think that’s why…I heard Matthew left all his money behind when he followed the miracle worker.  Please let me through!  I should be allowed to see him, too!”

 

Person 1 –        (Blocking the way) “Not if I can help it!  Any miracles he does today will be for me!”

 

                        (Zach realizes he can’t get through the crowd and comes up with a better idea.  He grabs a ladder and climbs up on top (on his knees if possible and safe).  Just then, Jesus arrives and calls out to him.)

 

Jesus –             “Hi, Zach!  What are you doing up there?  Come down so that I can spend some time with you!”

 

                        (The crowd gasps!  Zach climbs down and forces his way through the crowd to Jesus.)

 

Person 2 –        “Doesn’t he know what a bad person that guy is?”

 

Person 3 –        “That’s TWO tax collectors he has talked to!  What kind of miracle worker is this?”

 

Person 1 –        “Hey, what about me?  I want a miracle!”

 

Zach –              (Looking up at Jesus) “Jesus, they are right.  I’ve been a bad person…but I’m willing to fix it right here and right now!  I will give half of what I own to the poor, and I’ll pay back anyone I’ve cheated four times as much as I took!”

 

Jesus –             (Smiling) “Okay, Zach, it’s a start…and a good one.  I don’t care as much about what you’ve done in the past as I do about what you choose to do today, and you are choosing well.”

 

Zach –              (Taking Jesus by the hand and walking toward the door) “I want you to meet my friends.  (Pausing)  Uh….they are a lot like me…you don’t mind, do you?”

 

Jesus –             “Of COURSE I don’t mind, Zach…those are exactly the people I came to find.  I want to meet all your friends!”

 

Zach –              “Awesome!  They are going to love you! (Pausing before opening the door) Hey, can you do one of those miracles and make me taller?”

 

Jesus –             (Opening the door for Zach, and walking through) “Zach, you stood taller today than you have in your entire life!”

 

EXIT

 

END SCENE

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Filed under drama, forgiveness, God's Plan, Obedience, Quick Drama, Repentance, salvation, Transformation, unconditional love

Garbage Collector (QUICK DRAMA)


DESCRIPTION

This short drama highlights our tendency to not trust God with the garbage in our lives.  Often, prayer is a last resort after we have tried in every way to fix the problem ourselves.  God is waiting for us to bring all our garbage to Him.  He’s not shocked by the stuff we’ve been carrying around, and it doesn’t make Him love us any less.

 

PREPARATION

  • Use a thick marker to write the following words (each word in large, bold letters and each word on a separate sheet of paper): SIN, SHAME, HURT, PAIN, ANGER, BITTERNESS, UNFORGIVENESS, DISAPPOINTMENT, FEAR, REGRET, BETRAYAL, DISHONESTY, ADDICTION, LUST, ENVY, PRIDE, JEALOUSY, HATRED, GREED, SELFISHNESS, PREJUDICE, RACISM, THEFT, UNFAITHFULNESS, MEANNESS (Feel free to use other words that better suit your audience.)
  • Crumple up all the sheets of paper.
  • Assemble a costume for the person playing Jesus (white robe, sash or shawl, beard, etc.)

  

SCENE:  Jo/e enters from the side or back of the room, harried and unsuccessfully trying to hold onto armfuls of crumpled sheets of paper.  Each time she/he drops one, she/he stoops to pick it up before continuing toward the stage.  Dressed recognizably in a white robe and having a beard – Enters casually following Jo/e, watching her/him curiously as they both move to the stage.

 

Jesus –      “Hey, Jo/e, watcha got there?”

 

Jo/e –        (Clearly uncomfortable and trying to hide the crumpled paper from Jesus) “Oh, hi, Jesus.  I’m not sure what you are referring to. I don’t have anything.”

 

(As she/he is talking, several of the crumpled papers fall to the ground.  Jo/e hurriedly tries to pick them up, but Jesus stoops and picks one up before Jo/e can get to it.)

 

Jesus –      (Uncrumpling the paper and holding it inconspicuously in a way so that the audience can see what is written on it or reading it aloud) “Jo/e, this is garbage.  Why are you carrying this around?”

 

Jo/e –        (Trying to take the paper back from Jesus) “Oh, Jesus, don’t worry about that.  I’ve got that taken care of.” (Drops more papers in attempt to get the one Jesus is holding.)

 

Jesus –      (Keeping the first paper out of Jo/e’s reach and picking up another one from the ground, opens it and reads it aloud.) “Jo/e, this one, too?  Don’t you know that you can give this stuff to me? “

 

Jo/e –        (Trying unsuccessfully to get papers back from Jesus but dropping more each time.) “Jesus, please let me have those back!  They’re mine, and I’m handling them.”

 

Jesus –      (Picking up another paper and reading it aloud.) “Oh, Jo/e!  This is too much for you to carry!  All this garbage is making your life a mess!”

 

Jo/e –        “Jesus, I really don’t want you to see those. And I’m doing fine with them, really!  I’ve had them for a long time.”

 

Jesus –      “I know you have, Jo/e.  I’ve been waiting for you to bring them to me, but you’re stubborn, and you’ve been holding on to them for far too long. Your garbage is starting to stink, Jo/e, and you can’t hide it any longer.  Let me take it away for you.”

 

Jo/e –        (Clutching the papers) “But I don’t know how!  It’s part of me, and I’m afraid of letting it go.”

 

Jesus –      “I’m not asking you to let go of all of it at once. We can start small. How about we start with this one? (Gestures with one of the papers He has collected.) Can I keep it?”

 

Jo/e –        (Looking pained and indecisive for a moment before relenting) “Oh, okay! Keep it!  But just that one!” (Reaches over, grabs the other two pieces of paper from Jesus, crumples them back up and replaces them in the pile in her/his arms.)

 

Jesus –      (Smiling) “Okay, Jo/e, it’s a start…and a good one.  Let’s talk about where this came from and how to keep it from controlling your life.” (Turns and begins walking toward the exit.)

 

Jo/e –        (Stooping to pick up any dropped pieces of paper before following Jesus out of the room.) “Hey, you know, Jesus…I feel a little better already.  I may have another one in here somewhere that I’m ready to give you.”

 

Jesus –      (Before exiting with Jo/e following) “Excellent, Jo/e!  From now on, I want you to consider me your personal garbage collector.  I do pickups anytime, day or night.”

 

EXIT


END SCENE

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Filed under acceptance, Confession, drama, forgiveness, prayer, Problem solving, Quick Drama, Repentance, Sin, skit

Filled with the Spirit (OBJ LESSON)


Time

10-15 minutes
Description

This object lesson teaches that you need the Holy Spirit to minister effectively to others. If you don’t spend time with God each day to get filled with His Spirit, you will eventually run dry and have nothing left to offer anyone else.

 

Audience

  • Anyone in Christian ministry

 

Scriptures

You can choose from the following Scriptures depending on the teaching points that you would like to make about the lesson.

  • Judges 16 (Samson’s repeated sins and loss of the Spirit)
  • John 7:37-39 (let anyone thirsty come to me…rivers of living water will flow from him)
  • Rom 8:5-11 (life through the Spirit)
  • Ephesians 5:18-20 (be filled with the Spirit)

 

Materials

  • Four large styrofoam cups
  • Gallon of water
  • Pencil
  • Basin to catch the water
  • Tape
  • Dry cloth
  • Bible

 

Preparation

  • Set the basin on a table or other raised service where everyone can see it.
  • Gather the other materials on the table to have them ready.
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

Use the following script and instructions (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “This cup represents you.” (Show one of the cups.)
  • “This water represents Living Water which represents the Holy Spirit.” (Show container of water.)
  • “To do effective ministry for God, you need to be filled with His Spirit.”  (Fill cup with water.)
  • It would be nice if we could just get filled with His Spirit once and stay full all our lives. “
  • “Then we would go through life producing the fruit of the Spirit (Galations 5:22) every day.”
  • “But it doesn’t work that way, because God’s Spirit leaks in our lives.”
  • “When we sin, His Spirit leaks.” (Poke a hole in the side of the cup with the pencil, and let the water drain into the basin.)
  • The more we sin, the more His Spirit leaks.” (Poke more holes in the side of the cup.)
  • “So we need to go back to the Lord every day to patch up our holes through confession, repentance and obedience.” (Use the cloth to dry the outside of the cup and the tape to cover over the holes.)
  • “…and to get a fresh filling of His Spirit.” (Pour more water into the cup.)
  • But of course, our flesh battles against His Spirit in us (poke new holes in the cup), so when we sin, we need to return to God, confess, repent and obey so that He can fill us again.” (Repeat the process. This time, let the water overflow the cup, call up a few volunteers and have them use the extra cups to catch as much of the overflow as possible.)
  • “As long as we keep coming to the Lord to be filled each day, He will bless us with more of His Spirit than we need, and the overflow will bless those around us.” (Ask your volunteers if they feel blessed.  After a moment, stop pouring and poke a new hole in the bottom of the cup.)
  • But if we stop coming to Him daily, our cup will eventually run dry, and we will have nothing worthy to share with others.”
  • “We’ll be just like this cup – useless for our purpose.”
  • “Because it’s never the container that blesses people; it’s the Living Water inside!” (Thank and dismiss your volunteers.)

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Filed under Burnout, Confession, Holy Spirit, Ministry, Obedience, Repentance

God’s Permissive Will (OBJ LESSON)


Time

45 minutes
Audience

Children, Teens, Adults

 

Description

This object lesson teaches about how God’s permissive will works with God’s unchangeable will.  It uses the stories of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and his brothers to illustrate how God allows us to make choices but brings even our bad choices and sin into alignment with his perfect will in the end.

 

Scriptures

  • Genesis 2:16-17; 37-50
  • Numbers 23:19
  • Deuteronomy 30:15-20
  • Joshua 24:14-15
  • 1 Samuel 15:29
  • Malachi 3:6
  • Romans 8:28
  • Hebrews 6:17
  • James 1:17

 

Materials

  • One red rope – about 15-20 ft long
  • Five ropes (any color other than red) – about 15-20 ft long each
  • Printout of the file, “JJ  – God’s Permissive Will – Choices Cards (OBJ LESSON).” It can be found on the Lesson and Material Downloads page at www.teachingthem.com.  This can be printed in black and white on regular paper.
  • 70 clothespins
  • Large paper clip or rubber band
  • Bag to hold clothespins, Choice Cards and ropes

 

Preparation

  • Print out “JJ – God’s Permissive Will – Choice Cards.”  (There are 35 pages.)
  • Cut each of the pages in half down the line in the middle to make 70 separate Choice Cards.
  • Put ropes in your bag
  • Put the clothespins in your bag so that you can carry them during your lesson.
  • Put the Choice Cards in numerical order (the numbers are on each card) with #1 on top and all the rest following.
  • Clip or rubber band these cards together, and put them in your bag.
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “God’s will is difficult to understand.”
  • “In some parts of the Bible, it says that God’s will never changes.”  (Have volunteer(s) read one or more of the following Scriptures out loud: Numbers 23:19, 1 Samuel 15:29, Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 6:17, James 1:17.)
  • “But we know from other parts of the Bible that God allows us to have free will – meaning, He lets us make choices.”  (Have a volunteer(s) read one or more of the following Scriptures out loud: Genesis 2:16-17, Deuteronomy 30:15-20, Joshua 24:14-15.)
  • “This is sometimes called ‘God’s permissive will,’ which means that God gives us permission to choose to do something different than His will.”
  • “These Scriptures make me wonder how God’s will can always stay the same even though we do things that are not in His will.”
  • “Why don’t our bad decisions mess up God’s perfect and unchanging will?”
  • “I’m going to show you how this all works.”  (Ask for two volunteers.  Give them each one end of the red rope, and have them stretch it out as far as it will go across the room.)
  • “Let’s say that this is God’s unchanging will.”
  • “It stays the same no matter what.”
  • “On this end, we have ‘Before time began,’ and on the other side, we have ‘Eternity.’”
  • “God’s will is outside of time.  It was here before time began and will continue on after time ends.”
  • “This rope represents our free will.”
  • “There was a time in the Garden of Eden when God’s will and man’s free will were tied together.”  (Tie the two ropes together near the ‘Before time began” end.)
  • “But that didn’t last long, because Adam and Eve chose to do something against God’s will when they ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.”
  • “Whenever people step away from God’s will by using their free will to do something wrong, it looks like this.”  (Ask for another volunteer to come up and hold the “free will” rope away from the “God’s Will” rope.  Leave the two ropes tied together, but have the volunteer just hold the rope a few steps away from the “God’s Will” rope.)
  • “That first sin was followed by many more, and I don’t have time to tell you about all of them.”
  • “Instead, I’ll focus just on one family – the family of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph.”
  • “I’m picking this family, because they are God’s chosen people, the ones He made a promise to bless.”
  • “The story started with God making a promise to Abraham.  Abraham was old and didn’t have any children, but God promised to make him the father of many nations.  His son Isaac was the child of that promise.”
  • “At this point, Abraham’s free will was lined up with God’s will, so the two ropes are together.”  (Have volunteer who has the “free will” rope come back to the red “God’s will” rope and hold both ropes together.  Pull out Choice Card #1 from your bag.  Show it to the audience. Clip the two ropes together using a clothespin.  Anytime a Choice Card says, ‘GOD’S WILL – BOTH ROPES’ at the bottom, clip the two ropes together.)
  • “Isaac grew up and got married.  His wife Rebekah couldn’t have children, so he prayed for her.  God answered his prayer and gave them two children, Esau and Jacob.”
  • “What do you think?  Was Isaac’s free will still lined up with God’s will at this point?”  (Listen to responses.)
  • “Sure it was!  Isaac wanted what God wanted, and God blessed him with two children.”  (Show Choice Card #2, and use the clothespin to clip the two ropes together.)
  • “Esau and Jacob fought with each other in their mother’s womb, and God told Rebekah that Jacob would one day rule over his brother Esau.”
  • “Do you think it God’s will that the babies fought in the womb?”  (Listen to responses.)
  • “I don’t know for sure if babies know enough to use their free will, but let’s say that it could be possible.”
  • “That means that their free will separated from God’s will.”  (Have ‘free will’ rope volunteer take a step away from the ‘God’s will’ rope so that the two ropes separate.  Make sure he/she doesn’t pull hard on the rope and rip the Choice Cards that are already on it.  Use a clothespin to clip Choice Card #3 to just the ‘free will’ rope. Draw out Choice Card #4, and show audience.)
  • “Jacob’s name in Hebrew means, ‘He deceives,’ and it’s a great name for Jacob.  He was one of the trickiest people in the whole Bible.  The first trick we know about is when he convinced his brother, Esau, to sell him the birthright of the firstborn son in exchange for a bowl of stew!”
  • “The birthright of the firstborn son was a special privilege given to the boy who was born first, and it made him the leader of the family when the father died.  It also gave him twice the inheritance of the other children, so it was pretty important.”
  • “Now we know that God said Jacob would one day rule over Esau, but I’m pretty sure this is not how God planned for it to happen.”
  • “God didn’t need Jacob to trick Esau.  God would have made His will come true without tricks.”
  • “So, this choice that Jacob made was definitely away from God’s will!”  (Clip Choice Card #4 with a clothespin to just the ‘free will’ rope.  If you have lots of participants, you could give the choice card to a volunteer and have him/her clip it and then stand by it to represent that choice.  There will be 70 choices total, so you might have each volunteer represent several choices.  Draw out the remaining Choice Cards in numerical order while telling the story of God’s chosen people.  The cards are listed below for your reference along with important story elements.)
  1. REBEKAH AND JACOB – Tricked Isaac into giving Esau’s blessing to Jacob (It wasn’t enough that Jacob stole the birthright from Esau; he felt he had to steal his blessing, too.  (The blessing was a special gift from the father that helped a child to know what his or her future would be like.)) FREE WILL ROPE
  2. ESAU – Threatened to kill his brother, Jacob (Esau was so mad when he found out, that he promised to kill Jacob as soon as their father died.) FREE WILL ROPE
  3. REBEKAH – Tricked her husband, Isaac, into sending Jacob away to find a wife among her brother’s people (Now we know where Jacob learned to be so tricky.  His mom was a trickster, too!  She saved Jacob’s life by sending him where Esau couldn’t get him.  It’s good that she saved Jacob’s life, but she didn’t trust God to help.  Instead, she told a lie.  That’s away from God’s will.)  FREE WILL ROPE
  4. GOD – Promised land to Jacob in a dream and told him that he would have many descendants (God met Jacob while he was running away and renewed the promise that He had made to Abraham and Isaac.)  BOTH ROPES
  5. JACOB – Fell in love with Rachel as soon as he saw her (When Jacob arrived at the land of his relatives, he saw a girl named Rachel and fell in love with her.  God wants us to fall in love.  This was lined up with God’s will.)  BOTH ROPES
  6. JACOB – Worked for Laban for seven years in order to marry his daughter, Rachel. (It was the custom for these people at this time that a man would pay a woman’s father for the privilege of marrying her.  Jacob didn’t have any money or property, so he worked for seven years as payment.  This was honorable behavior.)  BOTH ROPES
  7. LABAN – Tricked Jacob into marrying Rachel’s older sister, Leah (Jacob wasn’t the only tricky person.  His uncle Laban wanted to marry his oldest daughter off before Rachel got married, so he tricked Jacob into marrying her. That’s definitely away from God’s will.)  FREE WILL ROPE (have volunteer step away from ‘God’s Will’ rope to hold ‘free will rope’ and show the distance between the two.  You might want to have them step in the other direction from the first time in order to make the best use of space.)
  8. JACOB – Was angry with Laban but agreed to work for Laban for seven more years so that he could marry Rachel, too.  (Jacob loved Rachel very much and still wanted to marry her, so even though he had been tricked, he agreed to work seven more years to pay for her hand in marriage.  That’s pretty romantic, but the problem with it is that God doesn’t want us to marry more than one person.  This is away from God’s will.)  FREE WILL ROPE
  9. LABAN - Tricked Jacob many times in order to make him keep working for him. (Laban wasn’t satisfied with having Jacob work for him for 14 years. Jacob was a talented shepherd, and Laban got rich while Jacob was taking care of his sheep.) FREE WILL ROPE
  10. 14.  GOD - Blessed Jacob by giving him many herds and many children (12 sons and 1 daughter).  (This is the beginning of God fulfilling His promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.) BOTH ROPES
  11. 15.  RACHEL and LEAH - Competed with each other to see who could have the most sons for Jacob.  (In their culture, they believed that you were more important if you had more sons.  Leah was able to have six boys, but Jacob didn’t love her.  He loved Rachel, but she couldn’t have children for many years until God finally let her have Joseph and Benjamin towards the end of her life.)  FREE WILL ROPE
  12. JACOB - Ran away from Laban.  Laban chased him, but God warned Laban in a dream not to hurt Jacob.  (I’m not sure if it was God’s will for Jacob to run away or not, but God protected Jacob, so we will say that this was lined up with God’s will.) BOTH ROPES
  13. JACOB – Wrestled with God until God gave Jacob a blessing. (While Jacob was traveling back to the land his family lived in, and angel of the Lord (probably Jesus) came to earth and wrestled Jacob.  Jacob wouldn’t let go until God blessed him.)  BOTH ROPES
  14. 18.  ESAU - Forgave his brother Jacob, because he had been very blessed by God over the years they were apart.  (Jacob was worried about his brother still being mad at him, but he was surprised to find that Esau had totally forgiven him.)  BOTH ROPES
  15. SIMEON AND LEVI – Took revenge on people who hurt their sister, Dinah, by killing all the men in the town.  (When Jacob settled his family in Shechem, a man hurt his daughter, Dinah.  Her brothers took revenge by killing every single man in the town.  Jacob never forgave his sons for what they did.)  FREE WILL ROPE
  16. GOD - Allowed Rachel to die giving birth to Benjamin, Jacob’s youngest child.  (Sometimes God allows bad things to happen, and we don’t understand why.  There are times when we find out later what God was doing, but we won’t know all God’s reasons for what He allows to happen.  We just have to trust Him.)  BOTH ROPES
  17. JACOB - Loved Joseph more than any of his other children.  (Because Joseph was the firstborn child of Rachel, the wife Jacob loved and because some of his other sons had disappointed him, Jacob showed favoritism to Joseph.)  FREE WILL ROPE
  18. 22.  JOSEPH - Told his father about the bad things his brothers had been doing. (Joseph saw his brothers do some pretty bad stuff, and he told his dad about it.  I think it was the right thing to do, but it made his brothers really mad at him.)  BOTH ROPES
  19. 23.  JOSEPH’S BROTHERS - Hated Joseph because their father loved him more.  (It was obvious to his brothers that Joseph was their dad’s favorite, so they hated him.)  FREE WILL ROPE
  20. 24.  JOSEPH - Had two prophetic dreams that showed he would one day rule over his family.  (These dreams were from God, because they eventually came true.)  BOTH ROPES
  21. JOSEPH – Told his brothers about his dreams. (I think this was a mistake.  Joseph might have been showing off to his family, and all it did was make them all angry with him and hate him more.)  FREE WILL ROPE
  22. JOSEPH’S BROTHER – Hated Joseph because of his dreams.  FREE WILL ROPE
  23. 27.  JACOB - Made a special coat of many colors for Joseph, because Joseph was his favorite.  (This was another mistake.  The coat was a special coat like the one rulers would wear.  It was a coat for people who didn’t have to work, and it made Joseph’s brothers hate him even more.)  FREE WILL ROPE
  24. 28.  JACOB - Sent Joseph to check on his brothers and bring him back a report. (And another mistake!  Didn’t he realize how much his sons hated Joseph?  The brothers were working, and Joseph was wearing his fancy, no-working coat.  And Jacob sent Joseph to tattle on his brothers – not good!)  FREE WILL ROPE
  25. 29.  JOSEPH’S BROTHERS – Threw Joseph in a well and then sold him to some slave traders. (Joseph’s brothers were sick and tired of their little brother, and they decided to get rid of him.)  FREE WILL ROPE
  26. 30.  JOSEPH’S BROTHERS - Tore his robe and dipped it in blood.  Then they let their father believe Joseph was killed. (They hid what they did by making Jacob think that Joseph had been eaten by a wild animal.)  FREE WILL ROPE
  27. 31.  MIDIANITES - Sold Joseph as a slave to Potiphar, the Egyptian and captain of the guard for Pharoah. (God is never happy when people are treated as slaves.)  FREE WILL ROPE
  28. 32.  JOSEPH - Served Potiphar faithfully and honored God.  (Suffering can often change your heart, and I think Joseph grew up a lot when he was sold as a slave.  During this time, he learned to trust God and do his best even in a bad situation.)  BOTH ROPES
  29. 33.  GOD - Was with Joseph and gave him success in everything that he did.  (When we are lined up with God’s will, He blesses us and blesses us!)  BOTH ROPES
  30. 34.  POTIPHAR - Put Joseph in charge of everything in his household and trusted him with everything he owned.  (Even people who don’t believe in God can be in line with God’s will sometimes.  Potiphar was so impressed with Joseph that he gave him responsibility for everything.) BOTH ROPES
  31. 35.  POTIPHAR’S WIFE – Tried to get Joseph to kiss her.  (What?!  She was married!  Definitely not in God’s will!)  FREE WILL ROPE
  32. 36.  JOSEPH - Refused to sin against Potiphar and God and avoided Potiphar’s wife whenever possible.  (Good for him!)  BOTH ROPES
  33. 37.  POTIPHAR’S WIFE - Lied about Joseph to her husband and said that Joseph tried to kiss her.  (Oooh….she’s not a good person!) FREE WILL ROPE
  34. 38.  POTIPHAR - Put Joseph in the prison where the king’s prisoners were kept. (It’s interesting that he put Joseph in this special prison for Pharaoh’s prisoners.  That gave Joseph opportunities to meet important people.  Still, Potiphar shouldn’t have put him in prison for something he didn’t do.) FREE WILL ROPE
  35. 39.  JOSEPH - Served the prison warden faithfully and honored God while he was in prison.  (Joseph was put into prison unfairly, but he still chose to trust in God and honor God by working hard.)  BOTH ROPES
  36. 40.  GOD - Was with Joseph and gave him success in everything that he did. (Again, when we line up with God’s will, He blesses us.)  BOTH ROPES
  37. 41.  THE PRISON WARDEN - Put Joseph in charge of everything and everyone in the prison.  (Because Joseph was so trustworthy, the warden trusted him with everything.  God was definitely at work.)  BOTH ROPES
  38. 42.  THE CUPBEARER and THE BAKER – Offended Pharaoh.  (We don’t know what happened, but Pharaoh was mad at two of his top servants.)  FREE WILL ROPE
  39. 43.  PHARAOH - Put the cupbearer and the baker into prison. (It’s hard to know if Pharaoh was being fair or not, but God was going to use it.)  BOTH ROPES
  40. 44.  POTIPHAR - Assigned the cupbearer and the baker to Joseph. (Potiphar was in charge of the prison, and he apparently still had some trust in Joseph.) BOTH ROPES
  41. 45.  THE CUPBEARER and THE BAKER - Both had dreams on the same night, but they were sad because they didn’t know what the dreams meant.  (Sometimes God is the One who gives people dreams.) BOTH ROPES
  42. 46.  JOSEPH - Noticed their sadness, asked to hear their dreams and then interpreted them.  He asked the cupbearer to remember him when he returned to Pharaoh. (Joseph had interpreted his own dreams in the past and knew that God could interpret these dreams through him.  In this case, Joseph told them that the cupbearer’s dream meant that Pharaoh would restore him again in three days and that the baker’s dream meant that Pharaoh would kill him in three days. Joseph asked the cupbearer to remember him and get him out of prison.)  BOTH ROPES
  43. 47.  PHARAOH - Restored the cupbearer and killed the baker, just as Joseph had predicted.  (Exactly as Joseph had interpreted the dreams, the cupbearer went back to work, but the baker was killed.) BOTH ROPES
  44. 48.  THE CUPBEARER - Forgot about Joseph for two years.  (Not cool!  Joseph got him free, and he totally forgot about Joseph.)  FREE WILL ROPE
  45. 49.  PHARAOH - Had two dreams that worried him.  (These dreams were definitely from God.  One was about seven fat cows that got eaten by seven skinny cows, and the other was about seven healthy heads of grain that got eaten by seven sick heads of grain.)  BOTH ROPES
  46. 50.  PHARAOH - Called all his magicians and wise men, but no one could interpret the dreams. (God was saving the interpretation for Joseph.)  BOTH ROPES
  47. 51.  THE CUPBEARER - Remembered Joseph and told Pharaoh about his ability to interpret dreams.  (Finally!) BOTH ROPES
  48. 52.  PHAROAH - Called for Joseph to come to interpret his dreams. (It’s just about to get really good!) BOTH ROPES
  49. 53.  JOSEPH - Interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams and gave him advice about how to prepare for the coming famine.  (Joseph didn’t take any of the credit for his ability.  He gave it all to God, and he helped Pharaoh understand that the dreams meant there would be seven years of plenty of food followed by seven years of starvation.)  BOTH ROPES
  50. 54.  PHARAOH - Put Joseph in charge of all of Egypt, gave him his official ring, robes, chain and chariot and gave him a wife. (Pharaoh realized no one would do a better job than Joseph at saving the country, so he put him in charge of everything!) BOTH ROPES
  51. 55.  GOD - Allowed a famine throughout all of the world.  (A famine is a bad thing, but God allowed it to help many people stop believing in false gods and start believing in Him.)  BOTH ROPES
  52. 56.  JOSEPH - Managed the food in Egypt well so that no one had to starve during the famine. (God gave Joseph excellent management skills, and he saved so much food during the good years that there was plenty of food for everyone during the seven years of famine.) BOTH ROPES
  53. 57.  JACOB - Sent Joseph’s brothers to Egypt to get food for the family.  (It wasn’t just the people in Egypt who couldn’t grow food during the famine.  People all over the world started coming to Egypt, because they were the only ones with food.)  BOTH ROPES
  54. 58.  JOSEPH - Recognized his brothers when they came to buy grain but didn’t reveal his identity.  (Joseph knew that he had to test his brothers to make sure that they had changed.) BOTH ROPES
  55. 59.  JOSEPH - Tested his brothers to see if his younger brother, Benjamin, was still alive.  (First of all, Joseph was worried that his younger brother might have been killed or sold into slavery, so he made his brothers go and get him to bring him to Egypt.)  BOTH ROPES
  56. 60.  JOSEPH’S BROTHERS – Returned home to get Benjamin, but they had to leave Simeon, who was put into prison.  (To make sure that they would come back, Joseph made them leave Simeon behind.)  BOTH ROPES
  57. 61.  JACOB - Didn’t want to let his sons take Benjamin, but he finally gave in when they got too hungry.  (Jacob was afraid that the ruler (actually Joseph) in Egypt might keep Benjamin, so he didn’t want to let him go.  In the end, though, they needed the food for survival.) FREE WILL ROPE
  58. 62.  JOSEPH’S BROTHERS - Returned to Egypt with Benjamin and two times the money needed to pay for food.  (They returned with twice the money, because Joseph had their money put back in their grain sacks before they left the first time.  That shows that he had forgiven them.  He didn’t want their money, and he didn’t want to get even.)  BOTH ROPES
  59. 63.  JOSEPH - Tested his brothers one more time to see if their hearts had changed.  (Now that Joseph saw Benjamin, he was relieved, but he still wondered if his brothers were the same, evil people that they had once been, so he tested them one more time by sending them back with a silver cup hidden in Benjamin’s sack.  After they had left, he sent his official to find out who “stole” his cup.  He wanted to know if they would sacrifice Benjamin for their own safety.)  BOTH ROPES
  60. 64.  JUDAH - Offered to be Joseph’s slave if Joseph would just let Benjamin and the others go. (To Joseph’s surprise and joy, Judah offered to become a slave in order to free Benjamin.  Judah was the brother who led the others to sell Joseph into slavery, but his heart had changed over the years.)  BOTH ROPES
  61. 65.  JOSEPH - Revealed his identity to his brothers and sent them back to get their father and bring him to Egypt. (When he was sure that his brothers had changed, Joseph told them who he was.  They had dinner together, and he told them the whole story.  Then, he sent them back to get the whole family.)  BOTH ROPES
  62. 66.  PHARAOH - Approved for Joseph’s family to live in the best part of Egypt.  (Pharaoh trusted Joseph so much and was so grateful for his wise leadership that he gave Joseph’s family the best land in Egypt to live in.)  BOTH ROPES
  63. 67.  JACOB - Brought his whole family to Egypt.  (70 people in all!)  BOTH ROPES
  64. 68.  JOSEPH - Reunited with his father and family and received his father’s blessing.  (Jacob was so happy to see Joseph alive!  The two had a great reunion.)  BOTH ROPES
  65. 69.  JOSEPH - Forgave his brothers for the terrible things they had done to him. (Joseph really forgave his brothers.  In fact, he told them that he knew they meant to hurt him, but God allowed it to happen so that he could save many lives.) BOTH ROPES
  66. 70.  MOSES - Led the Hebrews out of Egypt and into the Promised Land. (And that wasn’t the end of the story, because Jacob’s family lived in Egypt for 400 years.  During that time, they were protected from the evil religions that were in the country of Canaan, where they had come from, and they were able to grow from 70 people to over 2 million.  When the time was right and the Hebrews were ready, God sent Moses to lead them out of Egypt and back into the Promised Land of Canaan.)  BOTH ROPES
  • CONCLUSION:
  • “Notice how often people in this story did their own free will apart from God’s will.”
  • “But also notice that God always brought events back in line with His will.”
  • “So here’s the answer to how God can allow us to have free will and sin but still accomplish His perfect will in the end…”
  • “No matter what these people did, God would take it and use it for His purposes.”
  • “Even when they sinned, He turned it around and made it work for good.”
  • “In the end, God brings everything in line with His will.”  (Grab the end of the Free Will rope.  Then go to the “eternity” end of the red rope, and pull on the Free Will rope until it straightens out right next to the red rope.  This shows how God brings everything into alignment with His purposes in the end.)
  • “You’ve probably noticed that the ‘God’s Will’ rope is red.  That’s to symbolize the blood of Jesus, that has the power to bring our Free Will into alignment with God’s Will.”
  • “Satan is a bigger trickster than Jacob, Rebekah and Laban put together, and he constantly tries to get us to pull away from God’s Will.”  (Gently pull several of your volunteers back away from the red rope as they hold onto the “Free Will” rope.)
  • “But no matter what he tricks us into doing, God offers to help us line up with His will if we will just trust in the blood of Jesus.”  (Pull the ropes together again.)
  • “When you accept Jesus’ sacrifice of His own life on the cross as payment for your sins, God brings everything in line with His will.”
  • “He will take all the bad and sinful choices you made and use them in a positive way.”
  • “He will take all the terrible things other people did to you and use them in a positive way.”
  • “And even though you can still make choices that take you away from God when you are a believer…”  (Pull one of your volunteers and the “Free Will” rope away from the red rope.)
  • “If you ask God for forgiveness, He will bring those bad choices back into line with His will.”  (Pull the ropes together again.)
  • “Romans 8:28 says that God will use ALL things for the good of those who love Him.”
  • “God is pretty amazing, don’t you think?”  (Acknowledge responses, thank your volunteers and allow them to be seated.)

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Joseph’s Journey


For summer camp this year, I’ve written ten Challenges (Bible activities for small groups and a leader to do together – sometimes in competition with other groups) and some large group lessons on the story of Joseph. They are all located on the Lesson and Material Downloads page (see the link at the top of the screen), and you can find them alphabetically in the list. They all start with the letters “JJ” for “Joseph’s Journey.”

Hope you can find some lessons that will be useful for you!

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Why Jesus Came to Earth (BIBLE LESSON)


Time

25-30 minutes
Description

This lesson teaches about why Jesus came to earth.  It’s a good lesson to do around Christmas time, and it includes a game to keep things light.

 

Scriptures

  • Matthew 5:17, 20:28
  • Luke 4:18, 5:32, 19:10
  • John 3:17, 6:38-40, 6:51, 10:10, 12:46, 18:37
  • 1 John 3:8, 4:9-10

Materials

  • Cups (14 per team – teams will be about 6-10 people each)
  • Future board or cardboard (2 ft x 2 ft per team)
  • Plastic balls (14 per team – a kind that fits into the opening of the cups and that you can write on with a permanent marker)
  • Permanent marker
  • Tape
  • Small candies (at least one per cup)
  • Bible

Preparation

  • Make tape loops with the tape, and use them to stick the cups to the future board or cardboard in a rounded pattern to resemble the world.  (You can stick them in rows using the following pattern: 2, 3, 4, 3, 2.)
  • Use the permanent marker to write the following Scripture summaries on the balls (one per ball):

§  “To destroy the works of the devil – 1 John 3:8”

§  “To give His life as a ransom for many – Matt 20:28”

§  “As a light so that no one who believes in Him should stay in darkness – John 12:46”

§  “To fulfill the Law and the Prophets – Matt 5:17”

§  “So that we might live through Him – 1 John 4:9”

§  “So that we can have abundant life – John 10:10”

§  “As a sacrifice to pay for our sins – 1 John 4:10”

§  “To proclaim good news to the poor, to proclaim freedom for prisoners, recovery of sight for the blind and to set the oppressed free – Luke 4:18”

§  “To seek and to save the lost – Luke 19:10”

§  “To do His Father’s will and raise up those the Father gave Him at the last day – John 6:38-40”

§  “To call sinners to repentance – Luke 5:32”

§  “To testify to the truth – John 18:37”

§  “To save the world through Himself – John 3:17”

§  “To give eternal life – John 6:51”

  • Put a candy or multiple candies into each cup.
  • Put the balls into the cups (one per cup).
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

Use the following script and instructions (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “Have any of you ever wondered why Jesus came to the earth?”  (Acknowledge responses.)
  • “Why do you think He came?”  (Allow volunteers to share reasons, and expand on each one if needed.  For any reasons that aren’t mentioned, use the notes below to add to what the participants say.  You can use the notes on the balls to help you remember the reasons.

§  To destroy the works of the devil – 1 John 3:8 – The devil had authority over the world until Jesus came, so Jesus came to take that authority away.

§  To give His life as a ransom for many – Matt 20:28 – We were held captive by Satan because of our sin, so Jesus came to earth, lived a perfect life, and exchanged His life for ours.

§  As a light so that no one who believes in Him should stay in darkness – John 12:46 – Before Jesus came, the world was a dark place, but Jesus came as the Light of the world and pushed back the darkness.

§  To fulfill the Law and the Prophets – Matt 5:17 – The Law and the Prophets were what we call the Old Testament.  The Old Testament promised the Jews that Jesus was coming, and Jesus was the fulfillment of those promises.

§  So that we might live through Him – 1 John 4:9 – We were dead in our sin, so Jesus came to give us life.

§  So that we can have abundant life – John 10:10 – And Jesus didn’t just come to give us life, He came to give us ABUNDANT life – meaning a life full of joy and love and peace.

§  As a sacrifice to pay for our sins – 1 John 4:10 – The Bible says that the wages of sin is death, which means that death is what we earn as a result of our sin.  We have to pay for our sin with our deaths, but God allowed another way.  Something or someone innocent could take our place.  In the Old Testament times, they used to sacrifice innocent animals for pay for their sins, because no human was innocent.  Everyone deserved death because of their sin.  But Jesus came and lived a perfect and innocent life that allowed Him to die for us and pay our debt.

§  To proclaim good news to the poor, to proclaim freedom for prisoners, recovery of sight for the blind and to set the oppressed free – Luke 4:18 – Jesus came to preach the Gospel (the good news), to heal and restore people who were sick, blind, lame or deaf and to set those who were slaves to Satan free.

§  To seek and to save the lost – Luke 19:10 – Jesus came to look for those who were lost in their sin and to save them by inviting them to believe in Him and join Him in heaven.

§  To do His Father’s will and raise up those the Father gave Him at the last day – John 6:38-40 – Jesus said He never did anything that God, the Father, didn’t want Him to do, and He said that His Father’s will was that He save the lost so that He could present them to God the Father as His own on the last day, which is the day of judgment.

§  To call sinners to repentance – Luke 5:32 – Jesus came to invite those who were sinning to turn away from their sin and follow Him.

§  To testify to the truth – John 18:37 – Jesus came to be a witness to what is true and to show the difference between truth and the devil’s lies.

§  To save the world through Himself – John 3:17 – Jesus came to save the world by trading His life for everyone else’s.

§  To give eternal life – John 6:51 – Jesus came to die on the cross and pay for our sins so that we can live with him forever in heaven.

  • “Let’s play a game to help us remember all these reasons.” 
  • “This board and these cups represent the world, and each of these balls has a reason written on it for why Jesus came to the earth.”
  • “I’m going to divide you into teams, and you will try to toss the balls into the cups from a few feet away.”
  • “The first team to fill each cup with a ball wins (if you are doing a competition – or you could just say that they are done when each cup has a ball in it.)”  (Divide the participants into groups of about 6-10, and give each team a board with cups and balls on it.  Place the boards on the floor or on a table.  Have the participants grab 2-3 balls each and step about 2-4 feet away (depending upon the age of your group and how difficult you want this to be).  Then, have them line up and take turns tossing one ball at a time and seeing if they can make it into a cup (only one ball per cup).  If they miss, they can grab their ball and return to the end of the line.  When all the cups have a ball in them, they can divide the candy inside among themselves.  You might want to let them keep the balls as a reminder of why Jesus came to the earth.  When everyone is done, have them take a seat.)
  • “I’ve heard a story that gives another reason why Jesus came to the earth.”
  • “A pastor once shared about how he went to visit the pre-school children in his church’s children’s ministry.”
  • “He said that he walked into the room with his biggest smile and greeted all the children.”
  • “But to his surprise, all the children hid from him.
  • “After thinking about why they were afraid of him, he realized that he must look like a giant to them.”
  • “So, he got down on the floor and greeted the children again.”
  • “This time, the children all ran to him and begin jumping on him and climbing all over him.”
  • “He said that the Holy Spirit spoke quietly to his heart in that moment, and he realized that this was precisely one of the reasons why Jesus came to earth.”
  • “It’s hard to have a relationship with someone who’s ‘up there,’ whom you’ve never met before, who seems so unlike you.”
  • “But when Jesus came to earth as a powerless, little baby, He became someone we could relate to.”
  • “By coming to the earth, Jesus got down on our level so that God was no longer an intimidating person we had never met.”
  • “So, there are many reasons why Jesus came to the earth, but the most important reason and the reason that motivated all the others is LOVE.”
  • “God loves us so much that He didn’t want us to die in our sins.”
  • “He sent Jesus so that we could be together in heaven forever.”

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Repentance (DEVOTION)


The Bible has a lot to say about repentance.  In your groups, read through the following Scriptures, and then discuss the questions below.

o  Psalm 51:1-17 (Create in me a pure heart)

o  Proverbs 1:23 (Wisdom’s rebuke)

o  Jeremiah 15:19 (If you repent, I will restore you)

o  Jeremiah 17:7-8 (If that nation repents, I will relent)

o  Ezekiel 18:30-32 (Repent and live!)

o  2 Corinthians 7:8-11 (Godly sorry brings repentance)

o  Revelation 2:4-5 (You have forsaken your first love)

1.    How would you define repentance?

2.    In what ways do you think repentance before you know Christ compares to repentance after you know Christ?  (How are they the same; how are they different?)

3.    What are the benefits of repentance?

4.    What are the consequences of not repenting?  (Read Psalm 32 if you need some help.)

5.    How often should we repent?

 

After your discussion, take a few moments individually to sit quietly and ask the Holy Spirit to show you any areas in which you need to repent.  Take this opportunity to confess and repent in those areas as you pray.

 

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Out of Orbit (Obj Lesson)


Time

10-15 minutes
Description

This object lesson teaches about how difficult it can be for us to stay focused on following Jesus.

 

Scriptures

  • Philippians 3:12-14

Materials

  • A toy rocket or spaceship (or if you don’t have anything like that, improvise with a cardboard tube or just about anything else – the kids won’t mind)
  • One large ball (preferably yellow or orange)
  • Several smaller balls of varying sizes
  • Permanent marker
  • Index cards (one for each ball)
  • Tape
  • Bible

Preparation

  • Write the following words on different index cards, “SON,” “WORLD,” “Jealousy,” “Bitterness,” “Selfishness,” “Unkindness,” “Worry,” “Doubt,” “Foolishness,” “Pride,” “Fear,” “Greed,” “Ignorance,” or any others that you want to use.  The only ones that are required are the “SON” card and the “WORLD” card.
  • Tape these cards onto different balls.  The “SON” card should be taped to the largest ball.
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

Use the following script and instructions (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “Do any of you ever have trouble staying focused on following God?”  (Acknowledge responses.)
  • “Me, too!  It’s so hard to always do what is right and stay on the path toward Him.”
  • “We are kind of like a rocket ship heading toward the sun (but actually, we are headed to the S-O-N, because we won’t burn up when we reach Him!)”  (Ask for enough volunteers to hold all the props you’ve brought – one for the rocket ship and one for each ball.  Put the person holding the “SON” ball at one end of the room, and place the person with the “WORLD” ball and the person with the rocket ship at the other end of the room.  Space those with the balls along either side of the path between the large ball and the rocket ship.)
  • “Before we know Jesus, we are stuck in the WORLD’s orbit.”  (Guide the person with the rocket ship by the shoulders to make several orbits around the person with the “WORLD” ball.”
  • “But then, we catch a glimpse of the SON and decide we want to follow Him.”
  • “We break free from the WORLD’s orbit and start heading toward the SON.”  (Guide the person with the rocket ship slowly toward the SON, but as soon as you get to the first person with a ball on the path, break off and orbit around that person.”
  • “Unfortunately, on the way to the SON, we get distracted by ________ (name whatever is printed on the card on the ball), and we go into orbit around it for a while.” (Keep going around this person.)
  • “The more times we go around _____________ (say what is on the ball again), the more we hate it, but it is soooooooo hard to break free from its gravitational pull!”  (Keep going around this person.)
  • “We keep seeing the SON every time we pass around __________________ (say the name of the ball), and eventually, His power pulls us free of the orbit of the dead planet we have been circling.”  (Break free and start back toward the SON.)
  • “Not everything is a temptation for us, so we will be able to pass some of these dead planets without any problem, but our Enemy, Satan, is not going to give us up without a fight.
  • “He will put a very tempting planet in our path, and sure enough, we will get distracted looking at it and get sucked into its gravitational pull!” (Guide the person with rocket to begin orbiting this new dead planet.)
  • “Even though the planet looked tempting from a distance, when we get close to it, we find that it is empty and lifeless.  It doesn’t satisfy.”
  • “The SON won’t let us forget Him.  We will see Him on every orbit, and eventually, He will pull us free from that dead planet and set us back on the path toward Him.”  (Guide the person with the rocket to break away and head toward the Son.)
  • “This keeps happening over and over and over again.  It’s very frustrating!”  (Guide the person with the rocket to get sucked into one orbit and then break away and then get sucked into another orbit and so on….)
  • “But there is good news!  The closer we get to the SON, the easier it gets to break free from these temptations.”
  • “We get stronger and stronger in our faith and our ability to resist temptation, and we stay longer and longer on the path toward the SON.”
  • “We just need to keep striving to reach the SON.  Paul says in his letter to the Philippians, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12-14)
  • “Paul was saying that he doesn’t look back at what’s behind him; he just keeps straining toward what is ahead of him.”
  • “He keeps his ship pointed toward the SON, and when he gets off-course, he gets back on-course as soon as possible to follow the SON.”
  • “One day, it will be time, and the SON will bring us the rest of the way to Him when we join Him in heaven (or when He comes back to join us on earth).  (Guide the person with the rocket ship to the SON and have him orbit the SON several times before ending the lesson.)

 

 

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God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense (GAME)


Time
30 minutes

Description
This game teaches that we have God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense (G.R.A.C.E.), but we have to keep returning to God every time we sin in order to keep the relationship strong.  If we don’t, we wander further and further from God.

Audience
Children, youth

Materials
•    Copies of the Grace or Guilt Gameboard (See the file, “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense – Gameboard.ppt” on the “Lesson and Material Downloads” page.)
•    Copies of “Grace Cards” (included at the end of this lesson text) – You will need a set for every group of six.
•    A copy of the “Debrief Questions” at the end of this lesson.  You will need one printout per group.
•    Something to act as game pieces.  You can use coins, torn pieces of paper, poker chips…  You will need enough for all the children to have one.
•    Dice (one per group)
•    Optional – Prizes for the winners.

Preparation
•    Print the “Grace or Guilt – Gameboard,” and tape the two pages end-to-end.  You will need one gameboard for each group of up to six children.
•    Print out a copy of the “Grace Cards” at the end of the lesson, and cut them out. Place them face down beside the gameboard.
•    Print out a copy of the Debrief Question (one per group).
•    Practice the script

Procedure
Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):
•    “We’re going to play a game to help us understand how sin takes us away from God and the many blessings He wants us to have.”
•    “It’s called, ‘God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.”
•    “First, I’ll need to divide you into small groups.”  (Divide children into small groups of no more than six each.  Then, hand out the gameboards and game pieces.)
•    “Here’s the way this game is played.
o    First, you will all roll the die (singular for dice) to see who goes first.  The highest role wins and goes first.  The next-highest roll goes second and so on.  If you get a tie, those people should re-roll until someone rolls a higher number.
o    Players should put their game pieces on the paths that match their playing order.  For example, Path 1 for the first player, Path 2 for the second, and so on.
o    Next, you will roll the die to see how many spaces to move your game piece.
o    Each player starts in the “God’s Riches” space.
o    At the end of every turn, you will draw a card.
o    The card has a letter (or letters) on it.
o    You want to collect all the letters in the word, “GRACE.”
o    It’s okay if you have extra letters, but you need to have at least one of each of the letters on your cards.
o    If you get the right letters to spell, “GRACE,” you can return to the “God’s Riches” space.
o    You should put any cards you used to spell “GRACE” in a discard pile.  If the group draws all the card in the draw pile, the discard pile will be shuffled and used as the new draw pile.
o    The game ends when someone rolls a number that forces them to move more spaces than are left on the path.
o    The winner of the game is the person who is closest to “God’s Riches.”
o    In the event of a tie, you can let the tied players roll again to see who is the closest to “God’s Riches” after the roll.”
•    “Does anyone have questions about how you will play?”  (Answer questions.  Then, let them get started.  When they are done, award a prize for the winners if you like, and hand out a copy of the Debrief Questions on the next page.  Give groups ten minutes to discuss the debrief questions, and then talk with the entire group about their answers.)

Debrief Questions

o    Why is the game called, “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense?
o    What are “God’s Riches?”
o    What does “Christ’s Expense” mean?
o    How is this game like our Christian walk?
o    Read Proverbs 4:14-15.  What do you think the spaces represented?
o    Read Proverbs 4:26-27.  What do you think it means?
o    Grace allows us to return to God after we have sinned, but what do we actually need to do to return to Him?

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Filed under Christianity, Confession, Daily walk, forgiveness, Game, Games that Teach, Obedience, Repentance, Spiritual Health

ACTS Prayers for Kids


Time

15-20 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches the ACTS model for praying (Adoration – Confession – Thanksgiving – Supplication), but since kids won’t likely recognize these terms, this lesson uses more familiar language.

Materials

  • Printed PowerPoint slides (in download file, “ACTS Prayers for Kids – PowerPoint” on the Lesson and Material Downloads page) or your own signs that say, “I Love You!” “I’m Sorry!” “Thank You!” “Please!”

Preparation

· Print or make signs (the bigger you can get them, the better)

· Practice the script.

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “You may know this already, but there are many, many ways to pray. There are long prayers and short prayers, prayers for things and prayers for people, prayers of praise and prayers of thanks.”
  • “If you’ve got a way of praying that works well for you, keeping using it. God just wants you to talk to Him, and prayer of any kind is the way we do it.”
  • “For those of you who might be struggling to know how to talk to God, I want to share four simple things that you can say to Him every day.”
  • “I’m going to need four volunteers to help me.” (Select four volunteers, and give each one of them a different sign.)
  • “These four signs represent four things that it’s good to say to God every time you pray.” (As you introduce each type of prayer, put your hand over the head of the child with the appropriate sign. Ask that child to hold up the sign.)
  • “I love you!”
  • “I’m sorry!”
  • “Thank you!”
  • “Please!”
  • “Everyone, say these with me.” (Go through them several times.)
  • “First, let’s talk about ‘I Love You!’” (Point to child holding this sign.)
  • “God loves for us to tell Him that we love Him. That’s why He created us.”
  • “I understand how He feels, because I love to hear my kids tell me that they love me.”
  • “Sometimes, if they haven’t said it in awhile, I’ll say it just to see if they will respond.”
  • “They could say, ‘Dad, I told you last week that I loved you. If anything changes, I’ll let you know,” but that wouldn’t make me feel very good.”
  • “Of course I know they love me, but I want to hear it!…..a lot! They can’t say it too many times for me!”
  • “That’s how God feels. He knows what’s in your heart, but He wants to hear it, and He wants to hear it a lot!”
  • “There are lots of ways to tell God you love Him. Can anyone help me with a few?” (Listen for “sing worship songs,” “tell God how great He is,” “just say ‘I love you, Lord.’ and other ideas.)
  • “Those are all terrific, and if you want to REALLY let God know how much you love Him, you should tell Him WHY you love Him.”
  • “For example, I tell God sometimes, ‘I love you, God, because You gave me my wonderful wife and because You helped me get out of a tough situation last week and because You helped me get well when I was sick.’” (Supply your own examples.)
  • “But don’t just tell Him you love Him because of what He DOES…tell Him you love Him because of WHO He is!”
  • “Can anyone give me an example of WHO God is?” (Listen for the use of the names of God, ex. Creator, the Great Physician, Jehovah, Jehovah-Jireh, Jesus, Lamb of God…)
  • “Great! That’s exactly what I mean! Telling God who He is to you is a great way to tell Him that you love Him.”
  • “I always try to say, ‘I love you!’ to God in my prayers. Sometimes I do it with His names. Sometimes I do it with the things He does for me, and sometimes I do it by singing a song to Him. But I always try to tell Him I love Him, because I know He wants to hear it from me.”
  • “Another part of my prayers is, ‘I’m Sorry!’” (Point to child holding this sign.)
  • “All of us mess up at some time. I mess up almost every day in some way.”
  • “When I do, it’s important for me to tell God that I’m sorry.”
  • “Now, I want to be clear about something.”
  • “When Jesus died on the cross, He forgave us for all the sins that we will ever do.”
  • “That’s a crazy thought, but He knew way back then that I was going to be irritable with my kids next week. He knew that I was going to forget to spend time with Him for several days next month. (Supply your own examples.) He knew about all our sins, and He forgave us forever.”
  • “But, if we sin, and we don’t tell God we are sorry, it starts to make our spirit sick.”
  • “We start to grow farther and farther away from God.”
  • “It’s like if you got into a fight with your best friend, and you knew you were wrong. If you didn’t tell your friend that you were sorry, what you did would start to hurt your friendship with him or her.”
  • “So, tell God you’re sorry every time you do something you know you’re not supposed to do.”
  • “He loves to hear it, and He will fix your relationship with Him right away.”
  • “The third part of my prayers is, ‘Thank You!’” (Point to child holding this sign.)
  • “Have you ever done something nice for someone, and they didn’t even say thank you?”
  • “How did that make you feel?” (Take responses.)
  • “Right, it’s frustrating, isn’t it?”
  • “Well, God does great things for us all the time, and many times, we forget to even tell Him thank you.”
  • “If you’re praying, and you can’t think of anything to be thankful for, remember that He allowed you to take that breath that you just took. He gave you an incredible brain to think with. He gave you friends to hang out with and clothes to wear. There is always something to be thankful for.”
  • “The last part of my prayers is, ‘Please!’” (Point to child holding this sign.)
  • “Sometimes, I ask God ‘please’ for me, and sometimes I ask God ‘please’ for someone else.”
  • “He says to us in the Bible, pray for whatever your heart wants. If it will be good for you, I’ll give it to you.”
  • “How many of you know that God doesn’t give us everything we ask for?”
  • “Can anyone think of why God might sometimes say, ‘no,’ to us?” (Take responses.)
  • “God wants the best for us, so He always gives us what we need and He often even gives us what we want, but sometimes He says, ‘no,’ to protect us from some of the silly things we ask for.”
  • “So, there you have it! Four little prayers that you can pray every day!”
  • “Let’s do something!”
  • “When I put my hand over the head of one of these volunteers, I want you to say the prayer that he/she is holding out loud.”
  • “Ready?” (Hold you hand above the volunteers’ heads in succession. Go down the line several times. The kids enjoy participating in this type of activity.)
  • “Some days, my prayers are a little different.” (Hold you hand above the volunteers’ heads again in succession, but when you get to ‘Please!’ keep putting your hand over that volunteer’s head. It should sound like this: “I love you! I’m sorry! Thank you! Please! Please! Please! Please!….)
  • “And some days, my prayers are like this: (Go down the line again, but linger on ‘Thank You!’ this time.)
  • “And some days, they are like this: (Go down the line and linger on ‘I’m Sorry!’)
  • “We all have days like that, right?” (Go through a few more time, playing with the sequence and the repetition. This is an excellent reinforcer for your lesson content, and it’s high energy for the kids, too.)
  • “Excellent! You guys are terrific!” (Thank and dismiss your volunteers.)
  • “I’m wondering if there is anyone who would like to practice one of these prayers by praying for us as a group.” (Encourage someone to volunteer. They can pray any one of the four prayers out loud. Then encourage someone else to do one. They can choose the same type of prayer or a different one. It’s possible that the children may not want to do an ‘I’m Sorry!’ prayer in a public setting.)

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Filed under Adoration, Christianity, Confession, Intercession, Object Lesson, Praise, prayer, Repentance, spiritual disciplines, Supplication, Thanksgiving