Monday, August 5, 2013

The Believer’s Armor: Shoes and Shield - 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: Shoes and Shield
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: 
Even though you might like to go without shoes occasionally, what do you think it would be like if you had no shoes to wear? What might be some of the dangers? (frostbite, burns, foreign objects that cut, scrapes, stumped toes)

Why can’t you wear the same pair of shoes your entire life? (Our feet grow, and shoes wear out.)

Suppose you had no coat to wear during the cold winter months. How would you feel, and what might be some dangers you would face? (frostbite, death, have to remain indoors, misery)

Say: 
Today we’re going to continue our 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:
Bring in a few adult sized shoes, and let each child try them and attempt to walk in them. (Explain how God’s command to spread his love all across the world is too big of a task for us to do alone or without his power. We must work together and depend on his strength to accomplish the job.)

What is one way you can help spread the message of God’s love? 

Give children a piece of construction paper, and let them cut out and then color a shield. Let each child take a turn standing in front of the other children who will throw pieces of crumpled up paper at them while they try to deflect them so as not to get hit. (We need the large shield that covers our entire body, not just the small one we can hold in our hand. Satan will attack us everywhere he can—mind, body, and emotions.) What are some ways Satan attacks your mind? What about your emotions?

Bible Story Time: 
Today we will study the third and fourth pieces of armor along with their purposes.

What are some pieces of clothing a fireman might wear? What other implements might he carry? (Waterproof boots keep his feet dry. Fireproof suits stop him from getting burned. Oxygen masks prevent them from inhaling smoke and possibly dying. Helmets protect their heads from falling debris. Gloves protect their hands. Axes help him cut his way out of places if he gets trapped. Water hoses or fire extinguishers help him put out the fire.)

Reflection: Do you think fireman enjoy having to wear their armor? Why or why not? We should enjoy wearing God’s armor because we know he has given it to us for our own good. 

The third piece of armor is the shoes. These shoes are the good news that God loved the world so much that he sent his only Son to die for everyone’s sins. When people believe this and choose to follow Jesus, it brings peace in their life and helps spread peace across our world. Instead of hating each other, people begin to love each other. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16 NKJV

Reflection: How do we put on these shoes and what should we do once we put them on? (We put the shoes on when we accept Jesus as our Savior, ask him to forgive us of our sins, and commit ourselves to serve him faithfully. Once we do this, we should tell others so that hopefully they will do the same.) 

How do you think you might react if others don’t want to hear about God’s love?

Paul, the writer of these verses, was describing the armor a Roman soldier wore. Why do you think a soldier needed to wear shoes or boots? What happens when we try to wear shoes that are too large or small for our feet? 

The fourth piece of armor is the shield. A Roman soldier had two types of shields. One was a small shield that fit over his hand. This protected him when he was engaging in hand to hand combat with an enemy. He would be able to deflect the blows of his enemy’s sword or other implements he might use to harm him. But the Romans also used a much larger shield, and this is probably the one Paul was talking about. This shield was almost as tall as the soldier. When an entire company of soldiers advanced against their enemy, they would stand side by side with their shields in front of them. They would look like one long row of shields. By doing this, none of the things their enemies shot or threw at them could get through. 

The Christian’s shield is faith. The Bible says, For we walk by faith, not by sight. II Corinthians 5:7 NKJV It takes faith to trust Jesus as our Savior, and it takes faith to believe he can help us be successful against Satan’s attacks. Faith is also necessary when we work to tell others about his love and when we try to obey his commands. 

Reflection: Define what you think faith is. Name some ways you use faith every day. Do you think Satan wants Christians to have strong or weak faith? Why?

We use faith every day. When you sat in your chair, you used faith. When you turn a light switch on, you use faith. When you parents crank the car up, they use faith. When you get on the school bus, faith is necessary. You have faith in your parents, teachers, pastor, and friends. We use faith in many ways every single day. 

Activity Time: 
Have children complete the Armor of God Anagram sheet.

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!

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

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