THEME:  Fruits of the Spirit

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WEEK 1 – Love

Memory Verse – Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

MUSIC to Help Memorize

Fruit of the Spirit Worship Song

REQUIRED ACTIVITY - PRINT

  1. 1-2 years, Pre-K – Kindergarten, Grade 1-2

LOVE Coloring Sheet

  1. Grade 3-5, Grade 6-8

LOVE Worksheet page 1/2

LOVE Worksheet page 2/2

 

Kindle Curiosity OPTIONAL ACTIVITY LESSON: (5 minutes)

Items Needed

  1. Bible
  2. Any Fruit, such as an apple; napkins/wipes for sticky fingers
  3. Notecard for your child
  4. Piece of paper with Galatians 5:22-23 printed/written on it

 

Activity

  1. Slice the apple and give one slice to your child to eat
  2. Ask your child “what if I told you this apple came from an orange tree? What would you say?” (Allow time for their responses.)

 

Lesson

It would be impossible for an orange tree to produce an apple! Only apple trees can produce apples and only orange trees can produce oranges. God made different kinds of plants and trees to produce certain fruits and only those fruits.

In the Bible, God teaches us that people produce fruit as well. Before we know God, what kind of fruit do you think we produce? We are only able to produce bad fruit. We constantly produce fruit like anger, hatred, jealousy, and greediness. After we become followers of God, He gives us His Spirit. Because we have His Spirit living inside of us, we are able to produce good fruit, fruit that comes directly from Him. Sometimes we will still continue to produce bad fruit because it is impossible for us not to sin, but just as sunshine, rain, and good soil cause an apple tree to produce apples, as we seek to know God, learn from Him, and listen to Him, the fruit of the Spirit is produced in us.

Closing Activities (5-10 minutes)

  1. Spend time in prayer together, asking God to help each of you produce the fruit of love each day, particularly this week.
  2. Work with them on memorizing Galatians 5:22-23.
  3. Help your children review their verses all throughout the week.

FOR PARENTS

Learning Objectives: After this lesson, the children will demonstrate:

  1. An understanding that love is a fruit of the Spirit and a command from God.
  2. An understanding that they have the ability to love as God loves, when His Spirit lives within them and as they abide in Him.
  3. An understanding of God’s great love for them in dying for their sins.
  4. Ways they can show love to particular people throughout the week (and hopefully do it!).

RESOURCES:

WEEK 2 – Joy

Memory Verse – Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

MUSIC to Help Memorize

Fruit of the Spirit Worship Song

REQUIRED ACTIVITY - PRINT

  1. 1-2 years, Pre-K – Kindergarten, Grade 1-2

JOY Coloring Sheet

  1. Grade 3-5, Grade 6-8

JOY Worksheet page 1/2

JOY Worksheet page 2/2

 

Kindle Curiosity OPTIONAL ACTIVITY LESSON: (10-15 minutes)

Items Needed

  1. Bible
  2. Blank paper, crayons/markers
  3. Piece of paper with Galatians 5:22-23 printed written on it

 

Activity

  1. For the fruit of the Spirit lessons, make a tree for the wall labeled “Believer” or “Christian.” (On a poster board or large piece of paper, draw or use construction paper.)
  2. Make paper “fruits,” each labeled with an attribute of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
  3. Each week add the particular attribute you are teaching about.
  4. This week, you would add “joy,” allowing a child to place it on the branch of the tree. Use only one type of fruit, for though there are several virtues produced by the Spirit, they are all one type of fruit: the fruit of the Spirit.

 

Lesson

Because we have the Holy Spirit, we can have joy. Let’s read together Galatians 5:22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (ESV) What do we already know about joy? (If we have the Spirit, we can have joy, no matter what.) Remember that after we believe and trust in Jesus Christ, He gives us the Holy Spirit, who lives within us. It is the Spirit who produces this fruit in us as we abide in Him.

Where can we look to discover what joy truly is? (God’s Word!) There are many verses that talk about joy in the Bible. Since His Word is our truth, it is the first place we should turn to learn more about this fruit of the Spirit.

Let’s turn together to Psalm 43:4. “Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.” (ESV) What can we discover about joy from this verse? (God is our joy!) Not only did the psalmist say that God is his joy, but his exceeding joy, joy that goes above and beyond even regular joy!

Now let’s turn to Psalm 119:111. “Your testimonies are my heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart.” (ESV) The psalmist is talking about God’s Word. He is saying that God’s Word is his forever, and it is the joy of his heart, or his deepest joy. Why do you think God’s Word is the joy of his heart? (Discuss.)

As we read God’s Word, we discover more and more of who He is. We learn about His promises to us and all that He has done. We can experience joy when we read and know God’s Word, just like the writer of this psalm!

Closing Activities (5-10 minutes)

  1. Spend time in prayer together. Remember the specific situations your children are going through. Invite them to share if they haven’t already. Praise God for the fruit of the Holy Spirit, the joy we are able to have because He lives within us.
  2. Work with them on memorizing Galatians 5:22-23.
  3. Help your children review their verses all throughout the week.

FOR PARENTS

 

Learning Objectives: After this lesson, the children will demonstrate:

  1. An understanding that joy is a fruit of the Spirit.
  2. An understanding that God is our joy, from His Word comes joy, and our hope for eternity gives us joy.

RESOURCES:

WEEK 3 – Peace

Memory Verse – Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

MUSIC to Help Memorize

Fruit of the Spirit Worship Song

REQUIRED ACTIVITY - PRINT

  1. 1-2 years, Pre-K – Kindergarten, Grade 1-2

PEACE Coloring Sheet

  1. Grade 3-5, Grade 6-8

PEACE Worksheet

Kindle Curiosity OPTIONAL ACTIVITY LESSON: (10-15 minutes)

Items Needed

  1. Bible
  2. Pictures of peace signs, a spa or beach, a person meditating – basically anything that the world offers to grant us “peace”

 

Activity

  1. Begin by reading together Galatians 5:22-23
  2. Hold up a picture of the peace sign. Ask the children, what does this mean? (Allow time for responses and discussion.) Continue holding up the pictures and lead it into a discussion about the world’s view of peace.

 

Lesson

The world’s view of peace includes an end to war or conflict, inner peace with yourself, and/or a state of complete relaxation (being at a beach or spa). All people want peace in one way or another, whether it is just to experience a break from the worry of life or to end all wars. But the peace the world offers only lasts for a short while. War will never end on earth (until the peaceful reign of Christ) no matter how hard people try. A spa will never take all of the stress away forever. Meditation does not grant real peace.

But Christians have God’s peace available to them, a peace that is greater than anything the world offers. Peace is a fruit of the Spirit, and as we abide in Christ, we can experience the perfect peace that comes only from God.

Closing Activities (5-10 minutes)

  1. Spend time in prayer together and praise God for the fruit of the Holy Spirit, the peace we are able to have because He lives within us.
  2. Help your children review their verses all throughout the week.
  3. Bless your children with the words of 2 Thessalonians 3:16, “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way.”

FOR PARENTS

 

Learning Objectives: After this lesson, the children will demonstrate:

  1. An understanding that peace is a fruit of the Spirit.
  2. An understanding that peace is made possible through God.
  3. An understanding that we are to pursue peace with everyone.

RESOURCES:

WEEK 4 – Patience

Memory Verse – Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

MUSIC to Help Memorize

Fruit of the Spirit Worship Song

REQUIRED ACTIVITY - PRINT

  1. 1-2 years, Pre-K – Kindergarten, Grade 1-2

WEEK 4 Patience- 1-2 years, Pre-K – Kindergarten, Grade 1-2

  1. Grade 3-5, Grade 6-8

WEEK 4 Patience – Grade 3-5, Grade 6-8

Kindle Curiosity OPTIONAL ACTIVITY LESSON: (10-15 minutes)

Items Needed

  1. Bible
  2. Oranges or other type of snack
  3. Write on a piece of paper –
    • Through God’s power, we can be patient.
    • A wise person is patient.

Activity

  1. Begin by reading together Galatians 5:22-23.
  2. Have an orange or any fruit or snack. Take out a knife and slowly, slowly begin to slice up the oranges. Take your time! Lots of time! When you notice your child becoming impatient, ask:
    1. Can you tell me what patience is? (Allow time for response and different ideas.) The dictionary tells us patience is the bearing of pain, misfortune, or annoyance without anger, irritation, or complaint. Bearing is like holding something very heavy. When you are going through something difficult, it can feel like you are carrying something very heavy everywhere you go. So patience is going through something very hard, or just something very annoying, without getting angry or complaining.

Lesson

We learn from the Bible that patience is a fruit of the Spirit. If we are saved, the Holy Spirit is living inside of us, and we can be patient people. This does not mean that we will be patient all the time! But as we come to know God more and more, we change! Patience becomes part of the kind of person we are. With the Spirit living inside of us, He gives the power to be patient!

In order to know all about patience, what do we need to do? (Look in the Bible!) God’s Word is our ultimate source of truth!

Proverbs 19:11 reminds us that a wise person is patient. When someone wrongs them, they patiently forgive that person. Also, is really tough to be patient sometimes, but Colossians 1:11 tells us that God’s glorious power gives us strength to be patient. Not only does God give us strength to be patient, but He also shows us how to be patient.

2 Peter 3:15 explains that Jesus is patiently waiting to come back to earth so that all people will have a chance to know Him and be saved. So, God is patient in a general way with all people, but also in a very specific way with each of us.

1 Timothy 1:16, Paul says that he was shown mercy so that God’s perfect patience would be put on display. Paul, like all of us, did not deserve to be saved. He had offended God badly over and over again, but God was patient with him and still saved him.

Each day we will face situations that test our patience. These can be small things, like someone taking their time when you are in a hurry or very big things, like waiting on God to heal a family member. As we learn to be patient in the small things, God will prepare us to go through the bigger things.

Say: When we are struggling to be patient with another person, we should remember God’s patience toward us. As sinners, we have offended God. The Bible says that we have even hated Him. So, God had every right to be angry with us, but instead He showed just how awesome His patience is by saving us! If someone hurts you and you really just want to explode back at them, think of all the things you have done against God. Think of how He could have punished you, but instead in His patience poured out His mercy and love. This is not just when we are saved either. Every day we still wrong God and He still is patient with us. So, may that truth sink deep into our hearts and motivate us to be patient with others!

Closing Activities (5-10 minutes)

  1. Spend time in prayer together. Remember the specific situations your children are going through. Invite them to share their needs and praises. Praise God for the fruit of the Holy Spirit, the patience we are able to have because He lives within us.
  2. Help your children review their verses all throughout the week.

FOR PARENTS

 

Learning Objectives: After this lesson, the children will demonstrate:

  1. An understanding that patience is a fruit of the Spirit.
  2. An understanding that patience is modeled most greatly by our God and is made possible through Christ

RESOURCES:

WEEK 5 – Kindness

Memory Verse – John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

MUSIC

Song of the Month: “My Help” 

LESSON: (10-15 minutes)

 

Lesson

Kindness can be shown with our thoughts, our actions, and our words. How many of you are kind all of the time? (Allow time for response.) None of us are kind all of the time! It is very easy to be unkind to our family and our friends because we are sinners. How can we discover more about kindness? (By reading God’s Word!) Let’s go to His Word now!

  • Begin by reading together Galatians 5:22-23.

The Bible tells us in this passage that kindness is a fruit of the Spirit. If we are saved, the Holy Spirit is living inside of us, and we can be people who overflow with kindness! This does not mean that we will be kind all the time. But as we come to know God more and more, we change. Kindness becomes part of who we are. With the Spirit living inside of us, He gives us the power to be kind! This is only possible if you have believed and trusted in Christ for your salvation.

  • Read Titus 3:3-5a.

This verse helps us to discover one of the most important things about kindness – God is our example! He is a God of great kindness, and one of the main ways we see His kindness is through His forgiveness. What picture can we draw to help us remember where kindness comes from? (The cross.)

  • Read Ephesians 4:32.

This verse commands us to be kind! It tells us to be kind as God is kind to us through His forgiveness! What could we draw a picture of to help remind us to be kind to one another? (Hands for doing kind works.)

  • Read Proverbs 3:3.

We are supposed to bind kindness around our necks and write it on our hearts! This means kindness is supposed to be part of who we are! It is with us wherever we go. What can we draw to help us remember this verse? (A heart.)

  • Read Micah 6:8.

We are not supposed to be kind just because we are commanded to, but we are to love kindness, to think of it with joy! We are to want to be kind! What could we draw to help us remember this verse? (A brain for knowing that we should want to be kind.)

What do we learn about kindness based on these verses? (Allow them to give their thoughts.) Kindness is what we do, what we say, and what we think. We are to be kind, to love kindness, and to learn kindness from our only perfect example, our God!

Closing Activities (5-10 minutes)

  1. Spend time in prayer together. Remember the specific situations your children are going through. Invite them to share their needs and praises. Praise God for the fruit of the Holy Spirit, the kindness we are able to have because He lives within us.
  2. Help your children review their verses all throughout the week.

FOR PARENTS

 

Learning Objectives: After this lesson, the children will demonstrate:

  1. An understanding that kindness is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.
  2. An understanding that kindness is modeled most greatly by our God and is made possible through Christ.

RESOURCES:

WEEK 6 – Goodness

Memory Verse – John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

MUSIC

Song of the Month: “My Help” 

REQUIRED ACTIVITY - PRINT

  1. 1-2 years, Pre-K – Kindergarten, Grade 1-2

WEEK 6 Goodness- 1-2 years, Pre-K – Kindergarten, Grade 1-2

  1. Grade 3-5, Grade 6-8

WEEK 6 Goodness- Grade 3-5, Grade 6-8

LESSON: (10-15 minutes)

 

Lesson

What is goodness? Is it different from kindness? (Allow time for the children to give their thoughts). Read Galatians 6:9: “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”

In this verse, goodness does not just mean being good, but doing good works and pushing others to do good. What kinds of things do we do that are good?

  • Begin by reading together Galatians 5:22-23.

The Bible tells us in this passage that goodness is a Fruit of the Spirit. If we are saved, the Holy Spirit is living inside of us, and we can be people who overflow with goodness! This does not mean that we will be good and do good works all the time. But as we come to know God more and more, we change! Goodness becomes part of who we are. With the Spirit living inside of us, He gives the power to do good!

  • Read Psalm 25:7, “Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O Lord!” (ESV)

God is good. It is a key part of who He is that we have to believe and cling to. We see His goodness displayed to us in many ways. What aspect of God’s goodness does this verse tell us about? (Forgiveness, forgetting our sins). God does not have to forgive us of the many sins we commit, but in His great love and goodness, He does.

  • Read Psalm 31:19: “Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind!” (ESV) Also read Zechariah 9:16-17a: “On that day the Lord their God will save them, as the flock of his people; for like the jewels of a crown they shall shine on his land. For how great is his goodness, and how great his beauty!” (ESV)

What do we learn about God’s goodness from these two verses? (God’s goodness is great for those who follow Him.) If we are believers, God has promised His goodness to us. This means that whatever happens in our lives, however horrible or bad it may seem, God ultimately intends it for our good. And because He is completely good, it is impossible for Him to do anything not good. When you see and go through terrible times, you have to learn to cling to this truth. Our God is good, all of the time, and the things we think are intended for our harm, He intends for our good.

  • Read Philemon 1:13-14, “I would have been glad to keep him with me, in order that he might serve me on your behalf during my imprisonment for the gospel, but I preferred to do nothing without your consent in order that your goodness might not be by compulsion but of your own accord.” (ESV)

I wanted us to read this verse because it reveals to us an important thing about the Fruit of the Spirit. This is a letter from Paul to a church. He wants them to free a slave from punishment, but he says he does not want them to do this out of “compulsion.” This means he does not want them to do it because he is making them do it. He wants them to do it because they want to do it. When we abide in Jesus Christ, and come to know Him more and more, the Fruit of the Spirit become part of who we are. We begin to want show the fruit in our lives, like goodness and kindness. Your parents will not have to tell you to be good or to be kind, but you will do it on your own. This is what happens when we allow Jesus Christ to completely change us from the inside out!

  • Read Galatians 6:9, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” (ESV) And read Ephesians 2:10, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (ESV)

What do we learn about goodness based on these two verses? (Allow them to give their thoughts.) God has created us to do good. Doing good may be difficult and challenging, but it is also rewarding. We grow more like Christ, we learn how to be compassionate and loving to the poor and needy. We experience the love of people we may have never talked to before.

Closing Activities (5-10 minutes)

  1. Spend time in prayer together. Remember the specific situations your children are going through. Invite them to share their needs and praises. Praise God for the fruit of the Holy Spirit, the goodness we are able to do because He lives within us.
  2. Help your children review their verses all throughout the week.

FOR PARENTS

 

Learning Objectives: After this lesson, the children will demonstrate:

  1. An understanding that goodness is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.
  2. An understanding that goodness is modeled most greatly by our God, and is made possible through Christ.
  3. An understanding that God is good all of the time.

RESOURCES:

WEEK 7 – Faithfulness

Memory Verse – John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

MUSIC

Song of the Month: “My Help” 

REQUIRED ACTIVITY - PRINT

LESSON: (10-15 minutes)

 

Lesson

  • Begin by reading together Galatians 5:22-23.

The Bible tells us in this passage that faithfulness is a Fruit of the Spirit. If we are saved, the Holy Spirit is living inside of us, and we can be people who overflow with faithfulness! This does not mean that we will be faithful all the time. But as we come to know God more and more, we change! Faithfulness becomes part of who we are. With the Spirit living inside of us, He gives us the power to be faithful!

  • Read Psalm 86:15, “But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” (ESV)

This verse is said over and over again in the Bible! What does it tell us about God? (He is merciful, gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in love and faithfulness.) God abounds with faithfulness! This means it overflows from Him. (Possible demonstration here of pouring water into a glass and allowing it to overflow.) This is who our God is and why this verse is repeated so many times in the Bible. God is showing us how important it is that we believe in who He is. Our God is a faithful God! It is only from Him that we learn how to be faithful people.

  • Read Psalm 100:5, “For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” (ESV)

God’s faithfulness endures to all generations. This means it is not just for grandparents or your parents. God was faithful to your great, great grandparents, your great grandparents, and is faithful to you, your children, your grandchildren, your great, great grandchildren, and even your great, great, great, great, great grandchildren! God’s faithfulness is for all generations, past, present, and future!

  • Read Psalm 89:1, “I will sing of the steadfast love of the LORD, forever; with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations.” (ESV)

We know that God’s faithfulness is to all generations, but what does this verse tell us to do? (Tell all generations about His faithfulness!) As God’s people, we should be using our mouths to tell everyone about who God is, about His faithfulness!

  • Read 1 Samuel 12:24, “Only fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you.” (ESV)

The Bible tells us in many, many verses to be faithful to our God. One of the main ways the fruit of faithfulness is displayed in our lives as believers is by our faithfulness to Him. So how do we show faithfulness to God? (Worshiping Him, obeying His Word, knowing His Word, praying to Him, etc.)

  • Read Psalm 37:3, “Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.” (ESV)

The Bible tells us that faithfulness is part of who we are as we abide in Christ. What does this verse tell us about faithfulness? What do you think it means to “befriend” faithfulness? (Allow time for their thoughts.) When you make a new friend, you have to spend time and energy making the friendship grow. You have to cultivate a friendship, like you would grow a plant. We are to cultivate faithfulness within ourselves. This means intentionally being faithful to your family, your friends, and to our God. This also means praying for faithfulness to overflow in your heart, studying faithfulness in Scripture, and getting to know our faithful God who is our only perfect example of faithfulness!

Closing Activities (5-10 minutes)

  1. Spend time in prayer together. Remember the specific situations your children are going through. Invite them to share their needs and praises. Praise God for the fruit of the Holy Spirit, the faithfulness we are able to have because He lives within us and for His great faithfulness to us.
  2. Help your children review their verses all throughout the week.

FOR PARENTS

 

Learning Objectives: After this lesson, the children will demonstrate:

  1. An understanding that faithfulness is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.
  2. An understanding that faithfulness is modeled most greatly by our God, and is made possible through Christ.
  3. An understanding that God is faithful to them, even when they are faithless.

RESOURCES:

WEEK 8 – Gentleness

Memory Verse – John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

MUSIC

Song of the Month: “My Help” 

REQUIRED ACTIVITY - PRINT

LESSON: (10-15 minutes)

 

Lesson

Do any of you have a baby brother or sister? (Allow time for them to respond.) How do we handle babies? (Allow time for response.) Babies are fragile. We have to be careful with them. We are never rough with babies because it will hurt them. We treat them with gentleness.

Can you guess what fruit of the Spirit we are talking about today from look at our verses on the board? (Allow them to guess.) Gentleness! Today we will discover that gentleness is not just about how we care for a baby. God desires for us to be gentle in our actions, our words, and our attitudes! Where do we go to discover God’s truth about gentleness? (His Word! The Bible!)

  • Read Deuteronomy 32:2 to your students as a prayer over your teaching time: “May my teaching drop as the rain, my speech distill as the dew, like gentle rain upon the tender grass, and like showers upon the herb.” (ESV)

This is my prayer as I teach you this morning. Now let’s read some verses together and discover God’s truth about gentleness!

  • Make a column on the board entitled Gentleness. Explain that together you will make a list of words that describe gentleness as you read different verses from the Bible. Begin by reading together Galatians 5:22-23.

The Bible tells us in this passage that gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit. If we are saved, the Holy Spirit is living inside of us, and we can be people who overflow with gentleness! This does not mean that we will be gentle all the time. But as we come to know God more and more, we change! Gentleness becomes part of who we are. With the Spirit living inside of us, He gives us the power to be gentle! So what would be the first thing we write on the board to describe gentleness? (fruit of the Spirit).

  • Read Matthew 11:28-29: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (ESV)

Jesus models gentleness to us by calling all of those who are tired and suffering to find rest in Himself. He gently leads us, like a shepherd with His sheep. What can we write on the board about gentleness from this verse? (Jesus is our example of gentleness.)

  • Read 2 Samuel 22:36: “You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your gentleness made me great.” (ESV)

This verse is from a song David sang after God delivered Him from his enemies. Earlier in the verse we see how powerful our God is in defeating David’s enemies. Describing God as gentle does not mean He is not powerful. David faced a lot of dangers in his life, but God was always there, caring, protecting, and guiding him. When David says God’s gentleness made him great, he is referring to His constant care over his life. What can we write on the board for this verse? (God is our example of gentleness. Words to describe it for us: listener, protector, safe place.)

  • Read 1 Peter 3:15: “…[B]ut in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect….”

This teaches us that gentleness is not about keeping your faith to yourself, but proclaiming the Gospel with gentle words, in a respectful way. If someone asks you why you believe or even attacks your reasons for believing, you have to be ready to defend your faith in a gentle and respectful way. What do we learn about gentleness from this verse? (Share truth with gentleness.)

  • Read Galatians 6:1: “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.” (ESV)

As brothers and sisters in Christ, we are to correct and confront each other when we see sin. This verse shows us that we are to do it with a spirit of gentleness. Instead of saying, “You are such a sinner! You are horrible,” we should say, “I have seen this sin in your life. It hurts me to see you in this sin because I care about you. God loves you and desires for you to repent.” What do we learn about gentleness from this verse? (Correct sin with gentle spirit, gentle words.)

Closing Activities (5-10 minutes)

  1. Spend time in prayer together. Remember the specific situations your children are going through. Invite them to share their needs and praises. Praise God for the fruit of the Holy Spirit, the gentleness we are able to have because He lives within us, and for His great gentleness to us.
  2. Help your children review their verses all throughout the week.

FOR PARENTS

 

Learning Objectives: After this lesson, the children will demonstrate:

  1. An understanding that gentleness is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.
  2. An understanding that gentleness is modeled most greatly by our God, and is made possible through Christ.
  3. An understanding that our God has a gentle nature.

RESOURCES:

WEEK 9 – Self Control

Memory Verse – John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

MUSIC

Song of the Month: “My Help” 

REQUIRED ACTIVITY - PRINT

LESSON: (10-15 minutes)

 

Lesson

Begin by reading together Galatians 5:22-23.

The Bible tells us in this passage that self-control is a fruit of the Spirit. If we are saved, the Holy Spirit is living inside of us, and we can be people who are self-controlled in every area of life! This does not mean that we will have self-control all the time. But as we come to know God more and more, we change! Through Jesus and Him alone, we have the power to be self-controlled!

Before we get too far into our lesson though we need to talk about what self-control is exactly. Can anyone tell me what self-control is? (Allow time for response.) Self-control is being in charge of your feelings, actions, and thoughts. So, basically, having self-control is making yourself do something that is not easy or doing something you really do not want to do. It is showing kindness to someone who has just hurt your feelings. It is obeying your mom right away when she asks you to clean your room instead of arguing. It is waiting for something patiently even when you want it really bad because you know something greater will happen (here tie in with the marshmallows). Some of you decided to eat a marshmallow right away. The temptation of a yummy marshmallows was too great to wait until the end of the class! We have to realize that self-control is almost always very hard!

Who do you think would be our perfect example of self-control? (God, Jesus!) As a person who never sinned, Jesus practiced self-control perfectly! Just like with every other fruit of the Spirit, He is our model. A lot of times self-control goes beyond just making ourselves do what is right and good. It also involves fighting against a desire or temptation to sin. We can find an example of this in the Bible, our source of truth! Let’s read together Matthew 4:1-11.

In this passage, Satan himself comes to Jesus and tempts Him three different times. Each time, Jesus practices self-control and does not sin.

What is Jesus tempted with in verse 2? (Food.) Matthew tells us that Jesus had been fasting (not eating) for 40 days and 40 nights and was hungry.  Can you imagine how hungry Jesus would be after not eating for 40 days and nights?! I get hungry if I just skip breakfast! Satan knew this and so He tempts Jesus to use His power as God to make some food. However, even though Jesus must have been extremely hungry, through Scripture He used self-control to resist the temptation to do what was easy.

With the third temptation, Satan tells Jesus, “All you have to do is worship me and all the kingdoms of the world will be yours.” Well, Jesus is the king of all the kingdoms of the world, and one day all kingdoms will worship Him. But as a human, he was not recognized as king. He came to earth to die for our sins and gain victory over Satan once and for all. So Satan was offering Him a short cut if Jesus would only worship him. But this would be extreme disobedience to our God!

What did Jesus do? (Jesus was obedient and had self-control rather than disobeying God the Father.) Jesus never sinned, and not only during this time, but during His entire life. He is our perfect example! Because He lived a perfect life, we do not have to. Through His sacrifice, His death on the cross, we are forgiven and set free from our sin. As we come to know Him more and more, we can begin to be like Him! We can begin to show self-control through His power!

Closing Activities (5-10 minutes)

  1. Spend time in prayer together. Remember the specific situations your children are going through. Invite them to share their needs and praises. Praise God for the fruit of the Holy Spirit, the self-control we are able to have because He lives within us. It is only through Christ, who lived a perfect life, that we are able to have self-control and the other fruit of the Spirit. He has redeemed us, and though we will never be perfect, we can become more and more like Him as we follow Him during our lives on earth.
  2. Help your children review their verses all throughout the week.
  3. Daily remind your children about the fruit of the Spirit and demonstrate the fruit in your own daily lives.

FOR PARENTS

 

Learning Objectives: After this lesson, the children will demonstrate:

  1. An understanding that self-control is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.
  2. An understanding that now self-control is modeled perfectly in Christ and is made possible through Him.
  3. An understanding that Christ’s perfect, sinless life has made it possible for them to experience His forgiveness and redemption.

RESOURCES:

WEEK 10 – The Beatitudes

Memory Verse – Numbers 6:24-26 “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”

MUSIC

Song of the Month: “The Blessing” 

LESSON: (10-15 minutes)

 

Lesson

Today we are starting a whole new series of lessons about the Beatitudes. The word “Beatitude” may sound a bit difficult and intimidating, but I know you all can handle the big lessons Jesus has to teach us through this big word. We have lots to learn, so let’s get started!

Let’s read Matthew 5:1-12. There is a word that is going to come up a bunch of times in this passage. See if you can catch it!

Did anyone catch that important word?  Right, the most important word in this section is the word BLESSED. Did anyone catch how many times the word blessed appeared in this passage? (Let them refer to their Bibles and count.) The word blessed shows up nine times in these twelve verses. That means it is an important idea. Matthew 5:1-12 is known as the Beatitudes. (Write “Beatitudes” on the board.) Beatitudes is an old, fancy word that means blessed. (Write “blessed” under “Beatitudes” on the board.) The Beatitudes are a list of blessings from God.

The Beatitudes start off a section in Matthew called the Sermon on the Mount. Chapters 5-7 of Matthew record many teachings, or words of Jesus. Chapters 8 and 9 of Matthew record many of his miracles, or the works of Jesus. This whole section, Matthew 5-9 paint a pretty good picture of who Jesus is, what he did, and how we can be more like him. The Beatitudes, or Blessings, are like an introduction to these chapters.

So what is a blessing? (Allow children to answer. Don’t correct them, just get a feel for what they think blessings are.) We use the word blessing a lot. We ask God to bless our family, bless us, we even say “bless you” when someone sneezes! When you ask people what blessing means, you may get a lot of different answers. Some people say having a home is a blessing. Others say their pets are blessings. Most everyone would agree that family is a blessing. Lots of people say a blessing is God’s love and peace in their lives. Do you think these people, and your answers are right? Yes! It is a blessing to have a home, and a family, and pets, and friends, and food and toys, and getting to go to school, and having God’s love and peace in our lives. These things are all blessings. But being blessed means so much more than that. Here’s a simple way to define what a blessing is: a blessing is God’s gift favor in our lives, even when we don’t deserve it. Because God loves us, he wants to give us good things. Let’s look at Scripture to prove it. Turn a few pages in your Bible to Matthew 7:9-11. Who wants to read that for me? (Allow a student to read.) “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”

Do your parents love you? Of course! How do they show you that they love you? (Allow students to respond.) They feed you, teach you, take you to school, care for you when you are sick, play with you, hug you, and buy you things that you need and want. Your parents give you good things out of love. Now in Matthew 7, Jesus is saying that if your mom and dad on earth love you that much, and they are imperfect sinners just like everyone else, how much more does our perfect heavenly Father love and care for us? God blesses us and gives us good gifts because he loves us.

Now with your parents, do you always get your way? Of course not. You can’t stay up all night, you can’t have ice cream for dinner, and you can’t ride your bicycle on the highway. You have to go to bed and get a good night’s sleep. You have to do your homework before playing video games. You have to have vegetables with dinner. And sometimes you get a new coat for a present instead of that cool RC car. Why would your parents do these things? (Allow answers.) It’s because your parents know that you need these things to live a happy, healthy life. You have to eat well, sleep well, stay safe and work hard in school to feel your best and do your best.

Now let’s think about how that relates to our relationship with God. Do we always get what we pray for? Do we always get our way? No, we don’t. Matthew 7:11 says that our Father in heaven will give us good gifts when we ask him. There’s just one thing. God knows what a good gift is better than we do. Sometimes when we think of blessings, we think of stuff, like money or food or a house. These things can be blessings. We may think about health and family and friends when we think of blessings. These things can be blessings too. But what about people who don’t have homes? What about people who are sick and in the hospital? What about orphans who don’t have any family? Are these people not blessed? Has God forgotten about them?

I want you to listen closely here, because this is very, very important. We can be homeless, family-less, and in the hospital, and still be very, very blessed. Let’s have a sword drill to find out how we can always have God’s blessings, even when it seems like we have nothing in life. Take out all bookmarks and fingers from your Bibles and hold them over your heads. When I say go, look up Psalm 29:11. Go! (Read, or have a student read, Psalm 29:11.) “The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.” When we follow Jesus, God strengthens us and gives us peace. We don’t have to have nice things or even be healthy to be blessed. We are blessed when God is with us, and God is with us, in our hearts, when we choose to love him and follow his commandments. Jeremiah 17:7 says, “Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.”

Closing Activities (5-10 minutes)

  1. Spend time in prayer together. Take time to meditate on this week’s Scripture and think about your own life. Do you take the time to count your blessings?
  2. This week as you reflect on everything God has done for you, pay special attention to all the invisible blessings, or blessings in disguise, that you have received.
  3. Help your children review their verses all throughout the week.

FOR PARENTS

 

RESOURCES:

WEEK 11 – The Beatitudes: Blessed are the Poor in Spirit

Memory Verse – Numbers 6:24-26 “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”

MUSIC

Song of the Month: “The Blessing” 

LESSON: (10-15 minutes)

 

Lesson

Open in prayer, then say last week we started a whole new series all about the Beatitudes. Let’s do a quick review. What does Beatitude mean? (Allow a child to answer. Write the correct answer on the board.)

Beatitude means blessing. What does blessing mean? (Allow a child to respond and write “gifts/happiness/favor from God” on the board.) Blessing means the gift of God’s favor in our lives. God blesses us because he loves us. Sometimes blessings don’t look like what we think they will. We don’t always get the gifts we expect from God, but we always get what we need from him. This will become clearer as we study each of the eight Beatitudes one at a time over the next few weeks.

Who remembers in what book of the Bible we find the Beatitudes? (Allow a child to answer.) That’s right, the Beatitudes are found in the gospel of Matthew, chapter 5. They kick off a group of chapters that teach us about the words and the works of Jesus. The Beatitudes do a good job summing up what the ATTITUDES of the Christian should BE. The BE ATTITUDES. Get it? That’s why we our activities and crafts will often be about bees. They remind us to have BEE ATTITUDES instead of ME ATTITUDES. Not having a ME ATTITUDE is one of the key points in today’s lesson. Let’s read Matthew 5:1-12 to remind us what all the Beatitudes say, and then we will focus on the main points of the first Beatitude. Open your Bibles and follow along as I read Matthew 5:1-12.

The first Beatitude, or special blessing from God, is in verse 3. Who wants to go back and read it to refresh our memories? (Allow a student to read)

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”


Let’s work on translating this Beatitude. It can be a bit confusing at first glance. We know that blessed means gifted with God’s favor. When we are blessed, it means we are getting a special gift from God. So let’s look into what it means to be poor in spirit. What does it mean to be poor? (Allow students to answer.) To be poor means to not have enough, or not do well enough. Someone can be poor and not have enough money, or someone can do a poor job at cleaning their room. Poor means low quality or low standard. So to be poor in spirit means to not have enough or not be able to do enough to be in right standing with God.

What we will learn today is not a popular thing to teach. The world, and sometimes even Christian teachers, will try to teach you things that go against what I am about to tell you. It may not be an easy lesson to hear, but I love you and I always, always want to teach you the truth, no matter how hard it is. The truth is, you aren’t perfect. You mess up and you will never, ever be able to have enough or do enough to earn God’s love. You cannot live a good life all by yourself; you just don’t have what it takes. Sounds kind of depressing, doesn’t it? Stick with me for a little, because it’s about to get really, really good.

So many people want to believe that they are doing pretty good on their own. They have high self-esteems and don’t rely on anyone for anything. They may try to teach you that you can do anything all by yourself if you just try hard enough. You should believe in yourself, because you are awesome. Our culture is all about self-esteem, do-it-yourself, stand up for yourself, believe in yourself. But this isn’t the way God wants us to live. We’ll see why before the end of today’s lesson, but first let’s look at what the Bible has to say about who we are

Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
The verse say that we are sinners. We are mean, rotten, unkind people and we are not good enough to be in the presence of the perfectly perfect God of the universe. Believing that we will NEVER measure up to God’s standards on our own is depressing. No wonder the world tries to say that we are awesome, that we are okay on our own and all we have to do is work a little harder to have a good life.

But that is what it means to be poor in spirit. To be poor in spirit it to know that we have nothing to offer to God and we can never do enough to earn his grace. (On the board, write “poor in spirit=not good enough.”)
If this were the end of the lesson, it would be very, very sad. I would cry. But you clever children know that this is not the end. There is some Good News to lift our spirits and to make us presentable to God. Does anyone know what this Good News is? (Allow children to respond.) The Good News, the Gospel, is that God loves us. Period. He loves us NO MATTER WHAT. He loves us even though we are rotten people, even though we are sinners. Let’s have a sword drill. Take your fingers and bookmarks out of your Bibles and hold them above your heads. When I say go, look up Romans 5:8. Go! (Read, or have a student read Romans 5:8). “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. He died in our place. We should have to die for our sins, for the bad things we do. We don’t deserve a life with God because we have too much self-esteem, are too do-it-yourself, stand up for yourself, and believe in yourself. But “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Who knows where that is in the Bible? (Have a student answer, John 3:16.)

Isn’t the Good News so much better when you realize that you don’t deserve God’s goodness? When we think we are pretty okay on our own, we don’t care so much for the good things God gives us. When we keep in mind that we are sinners that EVERY DAY we do things that hurt God’s heart and our relationship with him, then it makes it even more amazing that he loves us. God loves us. God loves us and gives us grace and mercy and the kingdom of heaven. When we are poor in spirit, we get the kingdom of heaven. (On the board, draw an arrow pointing down under “poor in spirit,” and write “kingdom of heaven” under the arrow.) When we realize how poor we are and how much we need God, he comes and lives in our hearts and gives us the whole kingdom of heaven! This means that we will get to spend all of forever in heaven with Jesus! Can I get a quick WOO-HOO! (Allow the children to shout out a quick “woo-hoo” about getting to go to heaven when they believe in Jesus.)

God loves you so, so much. He loves you and makes you clean and makes you right with him. But before he can fix his relationship with you, you have to realize that you are not good enough on your own. The problem with self-esteem is that it makes us think we are good enough on our own, without God. When we realized that God made us special, we have every reason to feel good about ourselves! But not because we are awesome on our own, but because God makes us awesome and gives us the ability to do amazing things for him. God created you in his image. He made you to be like him, but we choose to sin and do wrong instead of being humble and following God. And still, God loves you. God loves you.

Being poor in spirit is the opposite of a ME ATTITUDE. It is definitely a BEE ATTITUDE. Starting today and through the rest of our lessons on the Beatitudes, we will be adding a bee to this beehive. (Display the beehive poster with the blessings on it, and the bees with the characteristics on them.) Today I will tape the bee that says “poor in spirit” to the part of the beehive that says “kingdom of heaven.” (Tape it to the top part of the hive.) We will use this poster to help us remember the Beatitudes.

Here’s a word picture that sums up today’s lesson pretty well. Imagine that you, your whole life, is a car. Me, I’m picturing that I’m a 67 Corvette Stingray, cherry red. So cars are a great way to get places. But they don’t go very far without the keys, do they? Sure, you can push the car and maybe make it a few feet, but if you have the keys, anything is possible! Without Jesus, the key to our lives, we can’t make it very far. But when we are poor in spirit, when we realize we need Jesus and when we let him drive our lives, we can go anywhere!

End in prayer.

Closing Activities (5-10 minutes)

  1. Spend time in prayer together. Take time to meditate on this week’s Scripture and think about your own life. Do you take the time to count your blessings?
  2. This week as you reflect on everything God has done for you, pay special attention to all the invisible blessings, or blessings in disguise, that you have received.
  3. Help your children review their verses all throughout the week.

FOR PARENTS

 

RESOURCES:

WEEK 12 – The Beatitudes: Blessed Are Those Who Mourn

Memory Verse – Numbers 6:24-26 “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”

MUSIC

Song of the Month: “The Blessing” 

REQUIRED ACTIVITY - PRINT

The Bee-Attitudes PosterColor each level and match color with the correct bees

 

LESSON: (10-15 minutes)

 

Lesson

Main idea: When we mourn over our sins, God gives us the comfort of salvation, the comfort of getting to spend all of forever with him.

Who can tell me what today’s Beatitude is? (Allow a student to answer.) That’s right, today we will learn what Jesus meant when he said “blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” What does it mean to mourn? Does anyone have any ideas? (Allow students to answer. Write “MOURN” on the board.) Mourn means to be really, really sad. I mean, REALLY sad. The original Greek word translated as mourn here is the word used for grieving for the dead. There is no sadness as deep as the sadness felt when someone you love dies. That is the kind of sadness Jesus means when he says “blessed are those who mourn.” He means the kind of grieving that makes your heart and your stomach hurt.

What are we grieving over, though? The kind of grief Jesus is referring to in this passage is not the kind of mourning felt when someone dies, necessarily. Jesus means we are blessed when we mourn over our sins. And the Bible says that when we live in sin, when we choose to do what we want all the time instead of what God wants, we are dead in our sins. Let’s have a sword drill to find that verse. Take all fingers and book marks out of your Bibles and hold them above your heads. When I say go, look up Ephesians 2:1. Go! (Read, or have a student read Ephesians 2:1. “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins.” So in a way, we are mourning the dead. We are mourning US and everyone who sins. Which is every person on the planet, as you know. So when we sin, even though we are physically alive, we are spiritually dead. Sin makes us spiritually dead because it separates us from God. God is the one who gives us life, and when we choose to sin and follow our own way, we are choosing to be away from God.

This doesn’t sound like a blessing, like a special favor from God, does it? I mean, who is going to look at someone who is so sad that they are sick to their stomachs and sick to their hearts and think, man, I want to be like that person! Their life seems pretty great!
You know, I can’t explain it any better than the Bible can. Turn to 2 Corinthians 7:9-11 and follow along as I read what Paul, the apostle, had to say to the people in Corinth about Godly sorrow. Paul says, “Yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter.” Paul is saying that when we are really, truly, deeply, painfully sorry for our sins, it will lead to repentance. Mourning over our sins will make us turn away from them and instead turn to God. When we repent and turn away from our sins and toward God, he saves us! God forgives us of all our sins and makes us right with him. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

See? Mourning is a good thing! When we mourn over our sins, we repent, and when we repent, we get salvation. That is why mourning is a blessing. When we mourn over our sins, God gives us the comfort of salvation, the comfort of getting to spend all of forever with him. (On the board, draw an arrow from the word MOURN, pointing to the word COMFORT.)

Along with giving us comfort when we mourn, God gives us a job to do. Let’s see what that job is in 2 Corinthians 1:3-5. Follow along as I read. (Read, or have a student read, 2 Corinthians 1:3-5.) “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.” There is a lot to learn from these few verses! The main point I want you to take from them now is that God comforts us so we can comfort others. Think of it this way. When you have a birthday party, what do you do with the cake? Do you take it into a corner and eat it all by yourself? Of course not! Birthday cake is so good, that you just have to share it with all your friends, so they can enjoy it too! That is kind of what God is telling us to do with his comfort. When you mourn and turn to God, he gives you comfort. God makes you feel better. When we see others mourning, it is our job as people who love God to share his wonderful comfort with others. Can you think of any ways to do that? How can we share God’s comfort with others? (On the board, draw lines coming off of the word COMFORT, like sun rays. At the end of each line, write a way to share God’s comfort, as suggested by the students. Ideas include having lunch with them, sending a note or encouraging card, playing with them, praying with them, bringing them to church, sharing the gospel and Bible verses with them.)

Before we close, let’s add our “blessed are those who mourn” bee to our beehive poster. (Add the bee that says “mourn” to the part of the hive that says “comforted.”)

There sure are a lot of ways we can comfort others when they mourn! We can comfort others because we know what it is like to mourn, because we mourn our sin. But God is so gracious, that he comforts us when we mourn, and gives us salvation when we repent of our sins! This is the greatest comfort of all, and the one we need to share with everyone! Jesus died for our sins, so we can live forever with him. As we close in prayer, and as you go about your week, be on the lookout for people who are sick to their hearts over their sin, and use the ways we wrote on the board to comfort them. For our craft, we will make something to help bring us comfort when we are hurting. First, let’s pray.

End in prayer.

 

Closing Activities (5-10 minutes)

  1. Take time to meditate on this week’s Scripture and think about your own life. I don’t know about you, but I am too often desensitized to the horror of my own sin. I don’t grieve over it the way God does. This week, take time to really think about the sins in your life and view them the way God does. Ask for forgiveness, and find comfort in his salvation.
  2. Help your children review their verses all throughout the week.

FOR PARENTS

 

RESOURCES:

WEEK 13 – The Beatitudes: Blessed are the Meek

Memory Verse – Numbers 6:24-26 “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”

MUSIC

Song of the Month: “The Blessing” 

REQUIRED ACTIVITY - PRINT

Beattitudes – Meek – WorldPrint and Color 

 

LESSON: (10-15 minutes)

 

Lesson

Main idea: Meekness is trusting that God will take care of you, no matter what. So you stand up for what is right, and you don’t seek revenge. You are humble, gentle, and kind.

Meek is a little word with a big meaning! Most people today don’t really understand what Jesus meant by “meek.” The word meek means something different today than it did when Jesus used it. The world tells us that it isn’t a good thing to be meek. They think meek means weak, when it doesn’t at all! The word meek is pretty cool. Once we understand what Jesus means by meek, we will have a better chance at being meek.

Your dictionary at home might say meek means “having or showing a quiet and gentle nature: not wanting to fight or argue with other people.” (From www.merriam-webster.com). That is what meek has come to mean over the years. But when Jesus said, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” in Matthew 5:5, he wasn’t thinking about just a quiet, submissive nature. He wasn’t thinking about not wanting to fight or argue. You know the New Testament of the Bible was originally written in Greek, right? Well, the Greek word for meek was used in a couple of different ways. Sailors would use the word meek to describe a gentle breeze. Farmers would use the word meek to describe a wild animal, like a horse, that had been trained to submit to and follow the farmer’s lead. Both these definitions describe strength under control. The sailor harnesses the power of the wind using his sails, so his boat can move. The farmer trains wild horses so they can be used for farm work, like plowing fields and riding. The wind doesn’t become weak when the sailor uses it to sail, and neither does the horse become weak when he does farm work or when people ride him. The power of the wind and the power of the horse are used, not lost. So when Jesus says Christians are meek, he is not saying they are weak. He is saying they submit to God’s will and they let God lead their lives. Meek people trust in the Lord because they know that God’s ways are best.

Sometimes it can be easy to think that we know best and that we can manage things all by ourselves. But that’s a ME attitude, not a BEE attitude! Meek people trust that God knows best, and they follow him.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I can get really annoyed when I see people who do bad things getting their way. Sometimes people get rich by stealing or they seem to have a good life even though they don’t follow God. I want to ask God to punish them! I want these people to get what they deserve! But that is NOT being meek. That’s having a ME attitude, not a BEE attitude. Sometimes wicked and evil people win or get good things. Sometimes people can even say mean things to you because you are a Christian, and they get away with it! God does not want us to lash out angrily at people. We aren’t supposed to be like Batman, who takes justice into his own hands. When we are meek, we trust that God will do justice. Now this does NOT mean that you should ignore it if someone is hurting you. If someone is bullying or hurting you in any way, tell someone you trust. Being meek does NOT mean you let yourself get beat up. It means you let God take care of that person’s punishment instead of getting angry and fighting back. If someone is hurting you, tell someone you trust and let them help you. (On the board, right NO REVENGE.) When you are meek, you do not seek revenge on someone who did something wrong.

So being meek is submitting to God and trusting him. It is staying calm when people do wrong things. But that does not mean you never get angry, or that you don’t stand up for what’s right. There are two people in the Bible who are called meek. Does anyone want to guess who? (Allow children to guess.) Moses and Jesus are the only two people in the whole Bible to be called meek. Now sometimes meek shows up in the Bible as “humble,” or “gentle,” but they mean the same things.

Meek people don’t get back at others for doing wrong things to them, but they do what is right and say what is right. Sometimes people say things that go against what the Bible says. The easy thing would be to pretend that we agree with them, but the right thing is to tell the truth about God’s love, and to do so kindly. Colossians 4:6 says, “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” So meek people speak kindly.

Let’s not forget about the blessing God gives us when we follow the example of Moses and Jesus by being meek. Matthew 5:5 says that when we are meek, we will inherit the earth! So what does that mean? Romans 8:17 helps clear it up. It says, “Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” This is saying that when we are children of the Lord, when we are meek, we get the same things as Jesus. We get to be princes and princesses! All of our needs will be filled and then some, when we stand for what is right without getting even or taking revenge. When we trust in God and submit to him, he gives us all the riches a king gives to a prince or princess! When we are meek, we become spiritually rich and get to spend all of forever in heaven with Jesus!

End in prayer.

 

Closing Activities (5-10 minutes)

  1. Take time to meditate on this week’s Scripture and think about your own life. Have you ever thought about meekness as strength, as a desirable characteristic? This week, practice being gentle, humble, kind, submitted to God’s will, and standing up for right without taking revenge or using harsh words.
  2. Help your children review their verses all throughout the week.

FOR PARENTS

 

RESOURCES:

WEEK 14 – The Beatitudes: Blessed are those who Hunger and Thirst

Memory Verse – Numbers 6:24-26 “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”

MUSIC

Song of the Month: “The Blessing” 

REQUIRED ACTIVITY - PRINT

The Bee-Attitudes PosterMatch color with the correct bees

 

LESSON: (10-15 minutes)

 

Lesson

The first Beatitude taught us that being poor in spirit means that our worth comes from God, not our own abilities. In the second Beatitude we discovered that the kind of mourning Jesus meant was a deep, heart-sick sort of sadness over our sins. We discovered that being meek means being kind and gentle, standing up for what’s right without taking revenge or fighting back when people are mean to us. Those first three Beatitudes don’t really seem like blessings, do they? When we think of blessings, we think of having lots of things and being filled to overflowing with good stuff. We said last week that the Beatitudes seem to build up on each other. Today we will see what being poor in spirit, mourning our sins, and being meek build up to. Let’s read the whole Beatitudes passage is Matthew 5:1-12 before we learn about the fourth Beatitude. (Read, or have a student read, Matthew 5:1-12.)

Let’s play a quick game. Everybody stand up right where you are. Now if you did NOT eat breakfast this morning, sit down. If you had cereal for breakfast, sit down. If you had eggs for breakfast, sit down. (Keep naming breakfast foods until only a couple of kids are left standing. When you get to that point, say,) Now if you had cardboard for breakfast, sit down. (No one will sit.) If you had water from your dog’s water bowl, sit down. Why aren’t you all sitting down? What did you have for breakfast? (Allow the standing students to answer, and then have them sit down.)

So did anyone have cardboard or dog water for breakfast? No one? Why not? (Allow students to answer.) I’ve never been hungry for cardboard or dog’s water! When we eat breakfast, we want to eat good things that fill us up. Today’s beatitude promises to fill us up with good things. Who wants to read today’s beatitude for me? (Allow a student to read Matthew 5:6.) “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”

We know what it means to be hungry and to be thirsty when it comes to our bodies. Our tummies start to growl, our mouths get dry; we may get a little grumpy. Those are signs that we need to eat and drink something to take care of our bodies. But Jesus isn’t talking about being physically hungry and thirsty. He’s talking about being spiritually hungry and thirsty. When our hearts are hungry and thirsty, we need to fill them with the righteousness of God. We have spent the past few weeks coming to the realization that we are spiritually empty. We don’t have what it takes to please God on our own. We are sinners who need to learn to be humble and gentle. Our spirits are hungry. When my body is hungry, I crave chicken pot pie. When my heart is hungry, I crave righteousness. The problem is, I, just like everyone else on the planet, I try to fill myself up with other things than righteousness. Let’s have a sword drill to find a Bible verse to explain this further. Take all fingers and bookmarks out of your Bibles and hold them above your heads. When I say go, look up Jeremiah 2:13. Go! (Read, or have a student read, Jeremiah 2:13.) “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.” In this verse, God is using a metaphor. This word picture helps to understand more about ourselves and more about God. In this word picture, God is fresh, pure, cool water that flows nonstop and quenches our thirst. God is like that first drink of water you take after playing a long, hard football game. It tastes so good, doesn’t it? That’s what we have turned our backs on. Instead, we make cisterns, water wells for ourselves. And these wells leak! Sometimes we would rather do things our own way and get it wrong than to do things God’s way. All of us have turned away from God to do things our own way instead of our way. Isaiah 53:6 says, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” We have all have sinned, have turned to our own way, but the good news is, Jesus has taken on the punishment for our sin so we can follow God!

Let me demonstrate what it looks like when we try to dig our own cisterns and live life apart from God. (Place a baking dish or bowl on the table, along with a pitcher of water. Before class, color the water with food coloring to make it easier to see. Hold up a clear plastic cup that has several holes cut out of the bottom.) This cup represents what our lives look like when we try to live our lives without submitting to God. This water in the pitcher represents the blessings and good things God wants to give us. (Hold the cup over the bowl or baking dish and slowly pour the water into the cup. It should very quickly drain out of the bottom, like a colander.) You see, this is what Jeremiah 2:13 means by broken cisterns. Like this cup can’t do its job with holes in it, we can’t do our job without God in us. We may try, but we will soon find that we are empty, hungry, and thirsty.

But thank God for the promise we find in today’s beatitude! “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” When our hearts are hungry and thirsty, God fills us up! This beatitude in Matthew 5:6 says that we are filled when we hunger and thirst for righteousness. So what is righteousness, anyway? (Write “RIGHTEOUSNESS” on the board.) Righteousness is being right with God. (Underline “RIGHT” in “RIGHTEOUSNESS.”) Being right with God means to live the way he wants us to. Let’s have a sword drill to find a verse that will help us to see how God wants us to live. Take all fingers and bookmarks out of your Bibles and hold them over your heads. When I say go, turn to Micah 6:8. Go! (Read, or have a student read, Micah 6:8.) “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

Obviously, we can’t do these things on our own. But something amazing happens when we start to hunger and thirst, to crave in our hearts, being right with God, when we start to crave righteousness. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” When we belong to Jesus and choose to follow him, he gets rid of the old, sinful, broken things in our lives, (hold up the cup with holes in the bottom and make a show of throwing it over your shoulder or into the trash,) and he makes us brand new! (Hold up a new clear cup.) When we hunger and thirst for righteousness, God fills us up. (Fill this cup up until it overflows into the baking dish or bowl beneath it.) God fills us up so much that all the blessings and good things he gives us overflow!

Have you ever heard the saying “the grass is always greener on the other side?” It means that no matter what we have, what other people have will always seem better. That is because we hunger and thirst for something this world can never fill. We hunger and thirst for God’s righteousness, for heaven, which we get when we follow Jesus, who takes away our sins!

Next week we will see what our being filled with righteousness overflows into as we start in on the last half of the beatitudes.
(End by adding the “hunger and thirst” bee to the “filled” part of the hive on the BEEATTITUDES poster.)

End in prayer.

 

Closing Activities (5-10 minutes)

  1. Take time to meditate on this week’s Scripture and think about your own life. What is holding you back from being filled with God’s righteousness? Are you discontented because you are going through the motions without really hungering for righteousness and a deeper relationship with the Lord, or are you focused on the things of the world and “keeping up with the Joneses?” Take time to review any places in your life where you are building your own cistern instead of drinking from the spring of living water.
  2. Help your children review their verses all throughout the week.

FOR PARENTS

 

RESOURCES:

WEEK 15 – The Beatitudes: Blessed are those who are Merciful

Memory Verse – Numbers 6:24-26 “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”

MUSIC

Song of the Month: “The Blessing” 

REQUIRED ACTIVITY - PRINT

The Bee-Attitudes PosterMatch color with the correct bees

 

LESSON: (10-15 minutes)

 

Lesson

Main idea: We become merciful by being broken people and letting God’s mercy into our lives.

Remember, the Beatitudes tell us what our attitudes should be. The first three Beatitudes didn’t really seem like blessings when we first started studying them. They were all about being empty and humble and broken before the Lord. Today, and for the next few weeks, we will study the last three Beatitudes that fill up the emptiness, the hunger, which we have been studying for so long now. Let’s read the whole Beatitudes passage is Matthew 5:1-12 before we learn about the fifth Beatitude. (Read, or have a student read, Matthew 5:1-12.)

What is our Beatitude today? It’s the fifth one, found in verse seven of this passage. (Have a student answer.) Yes, today’s Beatitude is “blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” Mercy is a very important topic, and a word you hear a whole lot around the church. So today we are going to ask, where does mercy come from? How can I become merciful? What is mercy?

Before we start to answer these questions, I want to pick up where we left off last week. One of the last verses we looked at was Micah 6:8. Look it up now and we’ll read it together. (Read, or have a student read, Micah 6:8). “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” This is the way God wants us to live. This verse sums up what it means to live righteously before God. Mercy is one of three things listed, so it means being merciful is very important! What comes to mind when you hear the word mercy?

When I hear the word mercy, I picture a criminal on his knees, begging a judge to “please have mercy on my soul!” Can you guys picture what I’m talking about? The criminal, who has done wrong, is asking for mercy from the judge, who has the power to send the criminal to jail or set them free.

Based off of that picture, where does mercy come from? (Allow students to answer.) Mercy comes from someone who is in charge, or someone who has some sort of influence in your life. In this case, mercy could come from the judge if he chooses to let the criminal off easy. In our case, where does the greatest mercy come from? Of course, the greatest mercy we could ever get comes from God. Let’s have a sword drill to show us that. Take all fingers and bookmarks out of your Bible and hold them over your head. When I say go, turn to Titus 3:5. Go! (Read, or have a student read Titus 3:5.) “He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.” Mercy comes from God. It is because God first showed us mercy that we can show mercy to others. Any mercy we have to give, we get from the Lord. This verse in Titus shows us that there is nothing we can do to earn mercy. God gives it to us freely.

The Beatitudes we have already studied show us how we accept this mercy. God is willing to give it to us, but not everyone gets his mercy because not everyone is willing to receive this free gift. As we have studied the Beatitudes, we have discovered that they build on each other. The first three Beatitudes are about being broken and empty, and then when we become broken and empty and mourn over our sins, we start to hunger for God and a righteous life with him. The first thing God gives us when we start to desire being right with him is mercy. We get mercy when we are humble before God and when we want to be forgiven of our sins. Please understand that we can’t earn God’s mercy, though. It isn’t something we can buy by being good or going to church or saying the right things. Mercy is a gift from God.

Let’s look at it this way. If you are outside playing on a hot summer day, you will probably get pretty thirsty. Your mom will know that you are thirsty, but she isn’t going to chase you down, sit on you and force you to drink water. She will offer you a drink, but she will not MAKE you drink the water, even though she knows it’s what you really need. She also isn’t going to make you beg for water or do one hundred jumping jacks before giving you a drink. All you have to do is ask, and your mom will give you the water you need. Only what you need though, if you ask for remote control cars when you need food, you won’t get anything. God’s mercy is like that. He knows we really need his mercy to live healthy, happy and full lives, but he will never FORCE his mercy on us. He also does not make us beg or work for mercy. All we have to do is ask for it. So now we have answered our first question, “where does mercy come from?” Mercy comes from God. (Write “free gift from God” on the board next to the question “Where does mercy come from?”)

We get God’s mercy when we ask for it. We ask for mercy after we realize we need it, when we realize we are sinners who deserve to be punished for all the wrong we do. We become humble, broken over our sins, and we don’t fight back when people wrong us, and we starve for a right life with God. Basically, we see all the Beatitudes we have studied so far fall into place in our lives. That’s when we become merciful. People who show mercy are the ones who are broken before the Lord. There’s a whole Psalm in the Bible about this; Psalm 51. We’re only going to read a few verses from it today. I suggest you read the whole Psalm on your own to help you learn even more about mercy. For now, let’s all turn to Psalm 51. Follow along as I read from Psalm 51:1-3. “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.” King David, who wrote this Psalm, knew he was a sinner, and he knew he needed mercy from God to save him. King David knew that all he had to do was ask for mercy and he would get it.

When we get God’s mercy, we are able to be merciful ourselves, because we understand that we are sinners in need of a savior, just like everyone else. We become merciful when we have a heart that is broken of all pride and is humble before Jesus. Psalm 51 shows us this, too, in verse 17: “My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.” So now we have answered our second question: “How can I become merciful?” We become merciful when we stay humble before the Lord and ask him to be merciful to us. (Write “humble and ask for mercy” on the board next to “How can I become merciful?”)

Our last question is a very important one. What is mercy, anyway? (Allow a few student responses.) Mercy is best explained through a story. Let’s talk about a story most of you are familiar with: The Good Samaritan. We can find this story that Jesus told in Luke 10:25-37. Instead of just reading through it, let’s see if we can remember the story on our own. (If your class is not as familiar with the story of the Good Samaritan, it would be best to read it rather than have them try to recall the details. You could read it aloud and have a few students pantomime the story as you read to help hold their attention.) Someone who knew the law of God really well once asked Jesus what he had to do to inherit eternal life. Jesus asked him what the law had to say. The lawyer correctly answered with the greatest commandment. Who remembers what that is? (Allow students to answer.) “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” The lawyer wanted to make excuses for not following this commandment perfectly, so he asked Jesus who his neighbor was. Jesus answered with the story of the Good Samaritan. How does it start? With a guy walking along the road getting robbed and beat half to death. Who walked by first? Right, a priest, who was like the pastor of the time. He ignored the poor guy. Who walked by next? Right, a Levite, who was like a worship leader of the time. He totally ignored the injured man too. Who came by next? A Samaritan. Samaritans were the worst enemies to the Jews back then. The got along about as well as cats and water, fire and gasoline, peanut butter and pickles. A Samaritan was the last person you would expect to help a Jew. But this guy went above and beyond to do everything he could to help take care of the hurt Jew. After telling this story, Jesus asked the lawyer who he thought was neighbor to the man who was robbed. The law expert said, “The one who had mercy on him.”

The Samaritan showed mercy. He could have kicked the injured man, spat on him, pointed and laughed, but instead he gave up his own time and resources to take care of the Jewish man, who everyone would have called his enemy. Being merciful means doing the kind thing, even when we could be mean instead. Even when everyone would expect us to be mean or unforgiving, we show mercy. We are kind when we could be mean. (Write “kind, not mean” on the board next to “what is mercy?”) That is what mercy is. God is kind to us, sending his son to die for our sins when he could just leave us in our sins, destined to spend all of forever in hell. Instead, he showed mercy. Jesus died for us, even though we weren’t humble or mournful over our sins or wanting a life with God or at all concerned with being kind to mean people when we could just be mean in return. God shows us mercy, so let’s go into the world and show mercy, too.

End in prayer.

 

Closing Activities (5-10 minutes)

  1. Take time to meditate on this week’s Scripture and think about your own life. Mercy is kindness in the face of unkindness. Mercy is letting go of being “right” for the sake of a relationship. Mercy is remembering that the driver who just cut you off while they were texting is deeply loved by God. Mercy is keeping your eye on the bigger picture of salvation, and not getting caught up in the minutiae of religious duty. The bake sale to raise money for the youth’s mission trip to Honduras is important, but not as important as laughing with (instead of snapping at) the woman who forgot she was supposed to donate two dozen cupcakes. Make a mental list of the ways in which God has been merciful to you, forgiving your sins and showing you kindness. Think of at least one practical way you can be more merciful this week.
  2. Help your children review their verses all throughout the week.

FOR PARENTS

 

RESOURCES:

Coming up soon…