Monday, September 2, 2013

The Believer's Armor: Helmet and Sword - 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: Helmet and Sword
Scripture Reference: Ephesians 6:17
Memory Verse: Ephesians 6:11
(Compiled and written by Martin W. Wiles)

Objective: 
When we choose to follow Christ, we enter a war. Unfortunately, children are not exempt from fighting this battle just as David wasn’t when he fought the giant Goliath. The battle is between good and evil and between whether we will stand for God or keep quiet about our 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: 
Why do you think many states have a law requiring motorcycle riders to wear helmets? (Head injuries can be deadly. Head injuries can also change a person’s life forever.)

Why do you think football players are required to wear helmets? What are some things that might happen if they didn’t? (The teacher might describe how the football helmet has changed over the years from what was almost nothing but a leather hat to the highly technical piece of equipment it is now.)

What part of the modern soldier’s equipment might compare to the sword soldiers once carried? (pistol, rifles, hand grenades) 

What are some of the battles (temptations) you face? What about your friends?

Say: 
Today we’re going to complete our study about the armor God gives his children. When we wear it properly, we can overcome the temptations Satan uses to test us. 

Activity Time:

Dressing in the Armor of God

Color the pieces of armor (as appropriate) and cut them out.  
Assemble the paper craft -- if you use the order below, things will overlap properly.

o Breastplate of righteousness

o Belt of Truth

o Sword of the Spirit

o Shield of Faith

o Shoes of the Gospel (readiness)

o Helmet of Salvation

Bible Story Time: 
Today we will study the final two pieces of spiritual armor along with their purposes.

Our next piece of spiritual armor is the helmet. The Bible tells us to put on the helmet of salvation. 

Reflection: Who can tell me what it means to be saved? (Teacher should be ready to explain the plan of salvation to the children. The ABC acronym is an appropriate and simple method. A stands for admitting we are sinners. B stands for believing that Jesus is God’s Son and died to pay for our sins. C is for confessing we are sinners and asking Jesus to save us and to live in our hearts.) Be prepared to talk to any children who express a desire to be saved or to send them to a church leader who can talk to them. 

Helmets protect a very important part of our body. What is it? What can happen if our brains are injured? Our minds are Satan’s playground. What do you do on a playground? Satan plays on the playground of our minds. He knows if he can get us thinking about something long enough, we’ll more than likely do it. What he wants us to think about are those things that would displease God or that would violate one of God’s laws. 

Reflection: Imagine Satan wanted to trick you into cheating on a test at school. What are some thoughts he might put into your mind? What are some thoughts you see him putting in your friends’ minds? 

Our thoughts produce emotions (how we feel about something), and then we do what we’re thinking about. That’s why the Bible tells us to Fix your thoughts (Think) on what is true and good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about. Philippians 4:8 TLB

Thinking good thoughts produces actions that please God while thinking bad thoughts produce actions that displease him. Actions follow thoughts, and consequences follow actions. Depending on what we do, the consequences can be good or bad. 

Reflection: What is one good thing you could think about? What action might thinking about this produce? What is one bad thing you could think about? What actions and consequences might thinking about this produce? 

So far, all the weapons we have studied have been defensive. 

Reflection: What is the difference between the offensive and defensive squads on a football team? (Teacher needs to be prepared to explain this if the children can’t answer.)

Just as the defensive squad of a football team tries to keep the other team from scoring, so our defensive armor keeps us from falling into Satan’s temptations. The sword is the only offensive weapon of our entire suit of armor. Just as the offensive team has the ball and tries to score, so sometimes we have to take the offensive against Satan. Thinking about those things in the above verse is one way we can do that.

Reflection: What are some ways we can go on the offensive against Satan? (Answers might include: caring for the hungry, loving all people, being kind, telling others about God’s love, obeying our parents, coming to church and learning about God.)

Our sword is the Bible. Just as a soldier always carried their sword, so we need to carry our Bibles with us all the time. One way we do this is by memorizing Bible verses. We can’t always take our literal Bibles with us, but we can continuously carry God’s Word in our hearts and minds when we have verses memorized. When Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, Jesus answered every temptation by reminding Satan what the Bible said. Satan can never be victorious over what the Bible says, and when we obey what the Bible says he won’t be victorious over us either. One biblical writer said this about the Bible: For whatever God says to us is full of living power: it is sharper than the sharpest dagger, cutting swift and deep into our innermost thoughts and desires with all their parts, exposing us for what we really are. Hebrews 4:12 TLB

Reflection: If the sword represents God’s Word, what are some things you can do to become more familiar with the Bible’s teachings? 

Now that we’ve studied about each piece of armor, what must we do? Armor is of no use unless we put it on. 

Activity Time: 
Have children complete the Armor of God crossword puzzle.

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 final two pieces of armor God gives us to wear.  
_________________________
   

Enter to win a free copy of my newest book, Grits & Grace & God. Visit the following link and sign up: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/99040-grace-grits-god-manna-from-heaven-served-up-southern-style