Monday, June 2, 2014

Jesus Loves and So Should We by 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.)

Jesus Loves and So Should We

Scripture Reference: Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT)
Related Scripture References: Matthew 19:13-15; Luke 10:25-37; John 3:16
(Compiled and written by Martin W. Wiles)

Objective: To teach children that Jesus loves them, loves the entire world, and wants us to love others also. To have children think about ways they can show their love to others.

Sing “Jesus Loves the Little Children”

Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world
Red and yellow
Black and white
They are precious in His sight.
Jesus loves the little children
Of the world.

Jesus died for all the children
All the children of the world
Red and yellow
Black and white
They are precious in His sight.
Jesus died for all the children
Of the world.

Jesus rose for all the children
All the children of the world
Red and yellow
Black and white
They are precious in His sight.
Jesus rose for all the children
Of the world.

Icebreaker:

Say: Today we are going to study about fruit but not the kind of fruit that grows on trees. 

Ask: 
How do you know an apple tree is an apple tree? 
How do you know an orange tree is an orange tree? 
What other kind of fruit trees have you seen before?

Say: God wants fruit to hang from our lives (explain how trees are symbolic of our lives) just as real fruit hangs from real trees. Read Galatians 5:22-23 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! (NLT)

Transition into letting the children know how much God loves them and also how he demonstrated this love. Read John 3:16 For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. (NLT) Introduce the concept of sin as the reason why God needed to send his Son to die. Define sin as anything we do that God has told us not to do. Let the children give examples of what they think are sins.

Activity Break:
Give the children a blank sheet of paper. Tell them to draw and color a picture of people doing something nice. Have them explain how what they have drawn demonstrates love. 

Reinforcement Segment: 
Read Matthew 19:13-15 and be prepared to tell the children the following story of how Jesus demonstrated that he loved children.

One day as Jesus was walking along teaching, some mothers brought their children to him. Since Jesus was a popular teacher, they wanted him to put his hands on their head and pray for them. When some of Jesus’ followers saw them doing this, they told them not to bother Jesus. They thought he had more important things to do. But Jesus was disappointed that some of his friends would not want him to spend time with children, so he told them not to bother these mothers or the children. He wanted to talk to them, let them sit on his lap, and pray for them that they would grow up to love and serve God. Then he told the grownups that they needed to believe in him just like these children. 

Ask: What does this story teach us about how Jesus feels about children?

Take Away Story: Parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37. Teacher should read this story ahead of time to familiarize themselves with the elements. 

One day Jesus had a discussion with a lawyer who asked him what a person needed to do to go to heaven when they die. Before giving him an answer, Jesus asked him what he thought. The man said, You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind. And, Love your neighbor as yourself. (Luke 10:27 NLT) Jesus told him he was right and then told him a story to show how he was supposed to love other people. We call it the Parable of the Good Samaritan. A man was leaving Jerusalem and traveling to Jericho. He was on a dangerous stretch of road when some robbers attacked him, beat him up, and left him for dead. A preacher came by, saw the man, but was in too big of a hurry to stop and help him. He was trying to get to church. Then another person who worked in the church came by. He was in a hurry too and passed by the man. Then a man who neither of these men liked very much came by. He saw the man and stopped to help him. He put bandages on him where he was cut and bleeding. Then he took him to a hotel and told the owner to take care of him until he got back from his trip. He paid for his room, and told the owner he would pay whatever else he might owe when he got back. 

Wrap Up: It took love for this man to stop and help the hurt man. By doing so, he showed the man how much he loved him. God loved us enough to send Jesus to die for our sins. 
It’s easier to be selfish and not show love than it is to show love.
Our neighbor is anyone we can help no matter their race, religion, or social background.
We can’t love without acting. 

Take Away Questions:
How can you show someone this week that God loves them? (Let the children give examples.)
Who can you be nice to that others are being mean to? (Touch on the subject of bullying)