Monday, August 5, 2013

The Believer’s Armor: Belt and Breastplate - Martin Wiles

(All material is original to the author with the exception of songs and activities which have been borrowed from various sources. All studies are free for public use.)


The Believer’s Armor: Belt and Breastplate
Scripture Reference: Ephesians 6:13-14
Memory Verse: Ephesians 6:11
(Compiled and written by Martin W. Wiles)

Objective: 
Children need to understand that when they choose to follow Christ that they will enter a battle just as David did with Goliath. The battle is between good and evil and between whether they will stand for God or keep quiet about their faith. God, however, gives Christians armor to wear so we can be successful in our fight against evil—our primary enemy being Satan. 

Say:
(Display the following verse where the children can easily see it.) Let’s say our memory verse together. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. (Ephesians 6:11 NLT)

Icebreaker Questions: 
Name some things men and women in the military wear to protect themselves against their enemies. (bullet proof vest, pistols, knives, hand grenades, rifles, helmets, boots)

What are some items police put on to protect themselves against violent criminals? (bullet proof vests, handcuffs, pistols, stun guns, pepper spray)

What can happen if a policeman or military person is not wearing armor and gets attacked by an enemy? (They can be seriously injured or even killed.)

Say: 
Today we’re going to continue our month long study about the armor God gives his children. When we wear it properly, we can win the battle against Satan and his temptations. 

Activity Time:
Have children color the Breastplate and Belt coloring sheets. 

Bible Story Time: 
Today we will introduce the first two pieces of armor and study their purpose.

Just as each piece of a policeman or military personnel’s armor is important, so each piece believers wear is as well. Criminals need to be handcuffed so they can’t punch the policeman or steal his gun. Sometimes a policeman has to use his stun gun because a law breaker will not surrender to arrest. And in some very dangerous situations, policemen even have to use their guns to stop someone trying to harm them or someone else. The same is true for those who serve in the military as they face enemies of our country. 

Reflection: Do you think policemen and military people enjoy having to wear their armor? Why or why not?

The first piece of armor is the belt of truth. Jesus tells us Satan is the father of lies. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44 NLT) 

Reflection: Who remembers the lie that Satan told Eve? (That the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil wouldn’t really be bad for her as God had said it would.) Can he use other people to spread his lies? How should you respond to people who are trying to make you believe Satan’s lies?

Jesus, on the other hand, is the truth. He said, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. (John 14:6 NLT) The only way we can fight the lies of Satan is to know the truth of God. 

Reflection: Where are some places we can find God’s truth? (Bible, Christian songs, Pastor’s sermons, Teacher’s lessons, religious internet sites) How would you respond to a friend who didn’t think God’s Word was truth?

The second piece of armor is the breastplate of righteousness. This piece of armor covered from the soldier’s neck down to his waist. 

Reflection: Why do you think this piece of armor was important? What important parts of our body does it cover? (heart, lungs, stomach, liver, pancreas, kidneys) Why is it important to protect these parts of our body?

The most important organ the breastplate protects is the heart. We can live without some of our other organs, but we can’t live without a heart. In Bible language, the heart is similar to our emotions or feelings. When we believe something with all of our heart, it means we really think it’s true. Our body armor as believers is God’s righteousness. This means if we have received Jesus as our Savior that we have been forgiven of all our sins. Nothing can change that or steal us away from God, but Satan our enemy tries to convince us otherwise. He wants us to doubt God has forgiven us or that Jesus was really God’s Son. He would like for us to question God’s love and protection. He wants us to think we or others know what’s best for us rather than God. 

Reflection: Can you think of some lies Satan might want you to believe? What might happen if you believed these lies?

Activity Time: 

Stack large Styrofoam or plastic cups as high as the children in your class are tall. The cups will represent a warrior. Choose two children to be the armor-bearers for your warrior. Attach a paper sign to each of the children identifying what piece of armor they are wearing. Today will be the breastplate and belt. 
The remaining children will each take turns throwing waffle or nerf balls at the cups. The armor bearer’s duty is to deflect the balls so they don’t knock over the warrior (cups). 

Transition:
Let’s sing our song about our fight against evil.

Song:  
I'm in the Lord's Army
(To the tune of The Old Gray Mare.) 

I may never march in the infantry
Ride in the cavalry
Shoot the artillery
I may never fly o'er the enemy
But I'm in the Lord's army!
Yes Sir!

I'm in the Lord's army!
Yes sir!
I'm in the Lord's army!
Yes sir!

I may never march in the infantry
Ride in the cavalry
Shoot the artillery
I may never fly o'er the enemy
But I'm in the Lord's army!
Yes sir!

Activity:
Let children complete the Armor of God word search. 

Take Away:
Let each child tell one thing they learned about the first two pieces of armor God gives us to wear.   
   

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