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Proverbs 16:25; John 14:6; John 10:9
Two volunteers (student or another teacher) Lay the rope or beam on the floor. It may be placed in a straight line or it may be zigzagged. Along the rope, place the props that will serve as distractions from God. At the end of the rope, place the figure of Jesus. Alternatively, you could use a treasure chest or crown or something to signify the prize (eternal life) that we receive for following Jesus.
The Bible tells us in Matthew 7:13-14 “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway (or path) to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. 14 But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road (path) is difficult, and only a few ever find it.”
Following Jesus is the best way to live, but it is not always easy. Did you know that we have an enemy called the devil and he wants to try to get us off of the narrow path by distracting us.
He does not want us to follow Jesus, so he will do anything he can to stop us. My friend, (fill in volunteer’s name here), believes in Jesus and he is on that narrow path that leads to Heaven. (Have the volunteer begin walking the rope).
He is doing really great following Jesus and he’s trying to honor God. Uh oh, our friend is supposed to be getting ready to go to church but he saw his video games sitting there. (Volunteer picks up the controller and starts pretending to play). Oh no, his mom is calling him to get ready for church and he won’t stop playing his video games. He’s gotten really distracted.
Let’s help him get back on the path. (Coach the class to tell him “Get back on the path”).
Ok, our friend realized that he was getting to distracted by his video games. He’s back on the path again and he’s doing good. (The volunteer now picks up a book or magazine). Our friend was doing great, but now he’s reading something and it’s a book that his parents told him not to read because he was too young for it. He’s probably going to have scary dreams now and he’s disobeying his parents.
Let’s help him get back on the path (Coach the class to tell him “Get back on the path”).
Alright he’s on that narrow path and he’s following Jesus but now he’s going for his cell phone. (Volunteer begins texting). Now he is spending so much time texting and playing games that he doesn’t have time to read his Bible or do his chores.
Get him back on track! (Coach the class to tell him “Get back on the path”).
Ok he’s gotten back on the path. But now, he starts hanging out with one of the big bullies at school. (Second volunteer is the bully and he invites him to try cigarettes after school). It sounds like our friend needs to get away from this bully. He’s spending too much time with him and he’s not a good influence on him.
Let’s help him get on the path (Coach the class to tell him “Get back on the path”). (Volunteer gets back on the path and makes it to Jesus at the end.)
Our friend made it Jesus! Let’s give him a round of applause. (Have the volunteers sit down). So our enemy the devil uses lots of things to distract us from God. He tries to get us off of the narrow path. Now, it’s ok to play video games sometimes and to use our cell phones, but when we do something that makes us disobey God or we do something so much that we don’t have time for him any more, then it’s a distraction and we need to refocus our attention on God.
Proverbs 16:25; John 14:6; John 10:9
What are some important things to take with you on a hike? (allow for answers).
Yes, those are all important things! But I think the most important thing to take is a map. Why is a map important (allow for answers)?
A map helps you to know where you are going and more importantly how you will get back to your bus or car, right? Have you ever been in the woods and then suddenly it seems like the trail disappears? Maybe the woods get really thick and the grass and bushes are really tall and the path in front of you isn’t as clean anymore. What then?
Well, there is another thing that is very useful to help you stay on the trail. Does anyone know what it is? (allow answers).
It’s called a trail blaze and it looks like this (show photo).
Trail blazes are painted marks on trees or rocks that lead you down the correct trail. If you follow the blazes you will always be on the trail and not in the middle of the woods somewhere. The blazes will often show you if the trail turns right or left. And if you were lost in the woods, you could follow the blazes until you came to a road and could get help.
The Bible tells us about a very important path that we should stay on. It’s the path that leads to Heaven. Let’s read Matthew 7:13-14 “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway (or path) to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. 14 But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road (path) is difficult, and only a few ever find it. This verse tells us that we should choose the path that leads to Heaven.
That means following Jesus at all times. It also says that the path to Hell is a wide path because there are a lot of people going down that path. They are choosing not to follow Jesus. They might be choosing to follow other gods or maybe they’ve just decided not to believe. But they are going the wrong way.
When you think about all of the people around you, are they mostly following Jesus or not following Jesus? (allow for answers).
Following Jesus is not always the easy way and that’s why this verse says the narrow road is “difficult.” Sometimes it’s hard to follow Jesus when all of our friends don’t want to. But by loving them and telling them about Jesus we can lead them down the right path too.
1 Samuel 16:7; Luke 16:15; Proverbs 31:30
(Hold up a geode) Do you guys like my rock? Isn’t it so beautiful? I would like to take this big gray rock and maybe make a chain for it and hang it around my neck. Oh, you don’t think that would look good? You’re right, it would probably be too heavy.
I think instead I’ll take this beautiful gray rock and make a big ring out of it. You guys don’t think this is a very pretty rock do you? Well, I do think it’s a really pretty rock and I am going to show you why. (Take the geode, place it in the sock and whack it with the hammer until it cracks open. Hold up the geode piece so that the kids can see the pretty crystals that are inside).
You see, I thought this was a pretty rock all along because I knew what was inside of it. You didn’t like this rock very much a minute ago because you could only see the outside. This rock reminds me a lot of you and me. We might not look like much on the outside and maybe some of us aren’t even so great on the inside either – yet. But God sees us for the person that he created us to be.
You know, Jesus spent a lot of his time hanging around with sinners and with very unlovable people. He also spent his time with regular people like fisherman who didn’t seem to be very special at all. He touched the people who looked terrible because they were covered with leprosy. Jesus came to seek and save the ones who were lost so that he could give them eternal life. Jesus sees us for who we are and for who we can be and He can make us into something beautiful when we start to follow Him and spend time with Him.
Acts 4:12; Ephesians 2:8-9; Acts 22:16
Have you ever been driving down the road with your mom or dad and you see a sign that looks like this (hold the sign up). What does this sign say? One Way!
What does that mean? It means that you can only drive in one direction on that road, right? You cannot have cars driving one way and cars driving the other way, right? If you happen to be going the wrong way on that road, then you are in big trouble because you might crash or it might be a one lane road and your car might not fit next to another car that’s going the other way.
It might be a big mess and a dangerous situation too. Well, the Bible tells us that Jesus is the only way to God.
In John 14:6, Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” Some people believe that there are many ways to God. Some think that if they do a lot of good things in their life and if they are mostly a nice person, then they will get to go to Heaven. But they are wrong and they are going the wrong way!
Some people believe that if they trust in Buddha or Muhammad or another god that they will get into Heaven, but they are wrong. Jesus is the Son of God and he proved that in many ways which we talked about today. Jesus is the one that we can trust to tell the truth and he said that He is the One Way to the Father God.
John 3:16; 2 Timothy 1:9; Romans 6:23
(Hold up the dollar bill)
Have you ever seen one of these before? Of course you have! It is a dollar bill. Tell me some ways that you can get one of these dollar bills?
(Let the kids respond. If they don’t know you can coach them with earn it, steal it, borrow it, have one given to you, and etc.)
There are many ways that you can get this dollar bill. But let me ask you, who does this dollar bill belong to? That’s right it belongs to me. And what can I do with this dollar bill? Anything I want to! I need a helped to assist me. (Choose a kid to help you.)
Does this dollar bill belong to you? (No) Who does it belong to? (You) Would you like to have it? (Yes) Here! It is yours, you don’t even have to do anything for it! It is a gift!
God’s grace is a lot like that dollar bill. It is something that has great value. But there is nothing that you can do to earn God’s grace, favor and forgiveness. In fact, Ephesians 2:8-9 says that it is a gift from God. If we were able to work for it we could brag about it, but God just wants to give it to us for free!
Grace is simply getting something nice that we don’t deserve. My helped didn’t deserve that dollar bill, but I gave it to him/her anyway. Even though we don’t deserve God’s grace he offers it to use freely.
Romans 6:23, 1 John 1:9
Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:8-10; Galatians 5:16
How many of you have ever made a mistake before? Many times in life we do things that are very wrong and we say that we made a mistake. The problem is that we often call our sins “mistakes” when really they are much more than just a mistake. A mistake is something that you make on a test because you don’t have the right information.
When we sin we are often doing it on purpose, it’s not a mistake. We often do those bad things over and over again. Do you know what happens when you sin? It destroys relationships. (Take the newspaper and tear it in half.)
This paper is now destroyed and that’s what happens when we sin. How would you feel if one of your friends told you a lie or stole something important to you? You’d probably be really upset and hurt. It would hurt your relationship. How would you feel if they came to you and said “sorry” but in a way that shows they aren’t truly sorry for what they have done? You would probably realize that they aren’t truly sorry.
In Romans 6:23 it says that the wages of our sin is death. That means that our sin have destroyed our relationship with God. It was more than just a mistake, it was sin. But in 1 John 1:9 it says that if we confess that sin to God, He will forgive us.
The first step in restoring our relationship with God is simply admitting to him that we realize we have done something wrong.
John 3:16-17; Romans 5:6-11
1 Corinthians 13:4-8; Mark 12:29-31; 1 John 4:7-8
How many of you guys got some Valentines this past week? Maybe you got some at school or at sports or scouts. When I was a kid, I loved to make one of those Valentine mailbox thingies to collect all of my Valentines in. After a Valentine party at school, I always counted how many Valentines I got and had fun reading all of the silly messages and I especially loved looking at all of the good candy that I got. I especially loved those little Candy Conversation Hearts with love messages written on them (take some out and eat one). It made me feel good too, to know that my classmates liked me enough to give me a little card and let me know that I had a friend. Did you guys know that there is someone that loves you even more than your friends love you? And there is someone that loves you even more than your parents and grandparents love you. This Guy sent you a Valentine and it isn’t one of those little cards with a lollipop attached. It’s not a dozen roses that cost $100 or a 5lb box of chocolates. God loves you so much that he sent the most expensive Valentine in the world to you. We are going to read about the Valentine that God sent you.
John 3:16 says “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
So, who sent you a Valentine? (God)
What was the Valentine? (Jesus)
Let’s read some more about this wonderful Valentine: Romans 5:6 says When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. 7 Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. 8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. 9 And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. 10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. 11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.
What was God trying to tell us with his Valentine? (He loves us so much that he was wiling to send his only Son to die for us).
So God’s Valentine to us is Jesus and the forgiveness that he bought for us. God really loves us more than anyone else could.
Do you love him back? God has shown us how much he loves us and he loves to hear from us that we love Him too. (Ask the kids to give a reason why they love God. He provides, forgives, cares for us, gives us joy, etc.). Work together as a class to write some “Conversation Hearts” to God on colored paper hearts. Attach them to a display Board with thumbtacks. Here are some ideas:
Call On Me
UR My God
3 Turkeys, 1 Farmer
3 Turkey disguises (we used turkey hats), a bucket, A hat and plaid shirt for Farmer Perdue.
(The Turkeys are grazing on “grass”)
Tom: This is the worst grass I have ever eaten. It is green and I hate the color green.
Frankie: Mmm, mmm, mmm, this is the best grass I have ever eaten.
Tom: That’s because it’s the only grass you’ve ever eaten. See I was born at Farmer Jim Bob’s farm before I came here and he had the most delicious grass over there.
Hector: I think this grass is just delightful. When I was at Farmer Butterball’s farm I had nothing but a dirt patch to graze on. Thank you, God for letting me come here!
Tom: Farmer Jim Bob’s field was full of buttercups and clovers, so it was!
Frankie: I’m so thankful to be at Farmer Perdue’s with you two great friends. Good food, good friends, good times. That’s what I always say.
Hector: Here comes Farmer Perdue now and it looks like he’s got something else for us.
Tom: Well, whatever it is, it’s got to be better than this here turf.
Farmer Perdue: (Enters with a bucket and offers a handful of “grain” to each turkey)
Here you go, boys. Eat up!
Frankie: Thank you, Farmer Perdue!
Hector: Thank you kindly, Farmer Perdue!
Tom: Thanks for nothing, Farmer Perdue! (He spits the grain out) I can’t eat this stuff. I’d rather be cooked in my own juices.
(Farmer Perdue leaves).
Frankie: What a great farm! That guy gave us grain too. Yummy corn grain! Thank you God!
Hector: It doesn’t get any better than this does it! Hallelujah! Thank you, Jesus!
Tom: It could be a whole lot better than this. I’m going on strike! Im not gonna eat anything else until we can get some better grub around here. Where’s the buttercups, where’s the filet mignon, where’s the shrimp cocktail?
(Farmer Perdue comes back, the Hector and Frankie continue to peck at the grass, while Tom won’t eat.)
Farmer Perdue: Now I need to choose a couple of you to enter into the county fair. I am fixing to win the blue ribbon this year. It will be all the candy apples and corndogs you can eat, too. (The turkeys start to get excited, raising their hands and hopping).Hmmm, let me look you guys over. Frankie, you look nice and plump and so do you Hector. Tom, you are starting to look like a thin, scraggly old thing. I don’t think I could win a prize with you. C’mon, Frankie, c’mon Hector, we are off to the fair.
Frankie: Bye Tom!
Hector: See ya later Tom, enjoy your grass!
Frankie & Hector: Praise the Lord, we are going to the fair. This is going to be great!
Tom: Hey, guys, don’t leave me! Please! Bring me a candy apple at least…
Make two teams of 3 boys and three girls. Give each child 1 straw and each team a pile of candy corn and a cup. Teams have one minute to pick up as much candy corn as they can by sucking through the straw and placing the candy into a cup. Kids may not touch the candy corn with their hands. The team with the most candy corn in the cup at the end of the game, wins.
John 6:38; John 17:4; John 5:30
Begin this lesson with the dead batteries inside the car, but keep the new batteries out of sight.
Do you guys like remote control cars? (Allow for response).
Me too! It is so much fun to ride them around the yard, through mud puddles and over anthills. Or in the house you can, chase your mom around with them. Who wants to come up here and demonstrate how to drive this car? Now, I need someone who really knows what they are doing. (Choose a student and give them the controller and tell them to drive it. Since the car has dead batteries it obviously won’t work).
What’s the matter? I thought you said you knew how to drive one of these things! Try it again. Does anyone know why this car won’t work? (Allow suggestions).
Ok, some of you think that it might be the batteries, well let’s take a look. (Open the battery cover and show the class that it has batteries).
This car has batteries! But come to think of it, these batteries have been in this car for a long time. Let me see if I have some new ones. (Get the new batteries and put them in the car).
Ok, now why don’t you try to drive this thing? (Allow the student to drive it).
Wow, it’s working! (Have the student take a seat). In John 4:34 (NIV) Jesus tells us “My food, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” In this verse, Jesus is not talking about pizza or ice cream or even vegetables. He is talking about spiritual food. He is telling us here, that we need to give nourishment to our souls.
How do you feed your soul? (Allow for answers: reading God’s Word, spending time with God, doing God’s work).
Yeah, our souls are fed when we read the Bible and spend time with God and by telling other people about God and sharing our faith. It’s like our remote control car here. It couldn’t work because it had dead batteries, but when it received the fresh batteries it was able to do anything. Our souls are like that too. We need to keep our souls charged up. We can also keep our souls charged up by doing God’s work which is to point others to Him and to serve others.