Monday, September 2, 2013

Things to Thank God For - 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.)
Things to Thank God For
Scripture Reference: I Kings 8:22-61
Memory Verse: I Thessalonians 5:18
(Compiled and written by Martin W. Wiles)

Objective: 
Being a follower of Christ entails celebration. Fall is a season of celebration. In years past, farmers, their families, and entire communities celebrated the ingathering of the crops and thanked God for the bountiful harvest. During the month of November, we will focus on thanksgiving and celebration.

Say:
(Display the following verse where the children can easily see it.) Let’s say our memory verse together. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. I Thessalonians 5:18 NLT

Icebreaker Questions: 
What are some things you hear people complain or fuss about? (After receiving the list, proceed to the next question.)

How could you change those complaints into words of thanks?

Should we only thank God when things are going our way, or should we thank him even when things are going badly? Why or why not?

Activity Time:

Thanksgiving Riddles

What kind of key has legs, but can't open doors? (turkey)
Why didn't the turkey finish his dessert? (Because he was stuffed.)     
Why did the turkey cross the road?  (It was the chicken’s day off.)     
Why did the pilgrim cross the road? (He was chasing the turkey.)     
If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring? (Pilgrims)    
What happened to the turkey that got into a fight? (He got the stuffing knocked out of him.)
Why was the turkey the drummer in the band? (He had the drumsticks.)
When the pilgrims landed, where did they stand? (On their feet)
Where do turkeys go to dance? (the Butter Ball)
What kind of music do pilgrims like? (Plymouth Rock)

Say: 
Thanking God and celebrating his goodness will be our theme during the month of November. Today we will talk about a king who thanked God. 
    
Bible Story Time: 
In the Old Testament period, the nation of Israel only had three kings who ruled over the entire nation: Saul, David, and Solomon. Today we will study about Solomon. 

Reflection: What do you think it would be like to be the king of a country? What’s one of the first things you might do?

Many years ago, God chose the Jewish people to be his special people. Jesus was a Jew, and thousands of years in the future, God would send him to die for the sins of all people. The Jewish people, however, would be his instruments until that time and would tell people in the world about the one true God. 

Reflection: How would you feel if you were the only person in the entire world who was a Christian? What do you think you would do?

Many of the other nations that lived around God’s people had kings. God was Israel’s king, but one day they decided they wanted an earthly king like everyone else. God wasn’t pleased with their request, but he let them choose one anyway. They chose Saul. They thought his appearance would make him a good king, but they soon found out he was a disappointment. 

David, the shepherd boy, was chosen as the next king. He loved God and tried to follow him with all his heart. Though he made his share of mistakes and committed his share of sins, he truly loved God and wanted to serve him faithfully. God said he was a man after his heart. 

Reflection: When we sin or fail God, does that mean we don’t love God? Does God stop loving us? What should we do when we sin?

David was a good king, and God blessed the nation of Israel during his reign. David had a number of sons. As he got older and knew he would soon die, he had to choose which of his sons would be king after him. He chose Solomon. Solomon became the richest and wisest king Israel ever had to reign over them. 

For many years, God had made his presence known among the Israelites through the tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant. The tabernacle resembled a large tent that the people of Israel carried with them everywhere they went after leaving Egyptian slavery and making their way toward the Promised Land. The Ark of the Covenant was an elaborate box that contained the Ten Commandments. When the Israelites finally conquered the land, they set up the Tabernacle in the Promised Land. David wanted a sturdier structure, so he made plans to build a temple. He, however, was a fighter. God told David his son would build the temple instead of him. 

Reflection: Have you ever wanted to do something and you didn’t have the money to do it or perhaps your parents wouldn’t let you? How does it make you feel to want to do something and not be able to? How have you acted?

When Solomon finished building the temple, he said a prayer of dedication. In that prayer, he thanked God for a number of things. What he thanked God for are some of the same things we should thank him for. He thanked God for being the only God, for keeping his promises, for showing unconditional love, for hearing and answering his prayers, for forgiveness, for teaching people in his Word to do what is right, for providing for their needs, for protection, and for giving people the desire to obey him. 

Reflection: 
What is one promise God has kept to you?
How has God shown you his love?
Name one prayer you’ve made that God answered.
How many of your sins has God forgiven?
How does God protect you?
What’s one thing you do that shows your obedience to God?

Activity Time: 
Have children work the Happy Thanksgiving word mine

Transition:
Let’s sing about thanking God.

Song:  

Thank the Lord
(To the tune of "Row Row Row Your Boat.")

Thank thank thank the Lord 
For the things he gives
he takes sins away
pray to him everyday
live a life he wants you to live

Wrap Up:
Let each child tell one thing they learned about thanking God.  

______________________________

Martin N Michelle
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