Items Needed: Blocks, Legos, or building materials
Invite each family member to make his or her own creation out of blocks and other building materials. Allow time for each person to tell about his or her creation.
How wouldyou feel if I walked up to your "creation" and smashed it?
What would you say?(Hey, that's mine; you have no right to do that, keep your hands off, etc.)
When you create something, you are in charge of it. No one has the right to ruin what you've made. God created a perfect world, yet man ruined it through sin.
Write the word sovereign on a white board or piece of paper.
What does the word sovereign mean? (In charge, ruler, reigning over, etc.)
What smaller word do you see inside this bigger word, sovereign? (Reign)
God reigns (or rules) over the whole world. God made the world and has the right to rule over it. God is a wise and powerful ruler. It is good to have someone so wise and powerful in control.
Why is it good that God is in control? (He knows what is best; He will punish those who do wrong; He will guide us in the right way, He will help us live in peace, etc.)
Read Psalm 100:3 and say the verse together several times.
Safety in Rules
Items Needed: Hair dryer (or other electric appliance) with a warning label
Ask one of the kids to read the label on the hair dryer.
Why do you think they put this label on the hair dryer? (The manufacturer wanted us to be safe; they didn't want us to get hurt, etc.)
Do you think they were trying to spoil our fun by saying we couldn't use it in the bathtub? (No)
God made us and knows what is best for us. That's why He has given us rules. He is a loving and wise sovereign who wants to protect us from bad consequences. He wants us to obey His rules and be happier.
Yielding to God
Items Needed: Small cars and a sign that says, "YIELD"
Give each family member a car and ask him or her to act out a situation with you. Assign each one a starting point and ask them to "drive" in a certain direction (where you will all meet in the middle). When you are about to crash into each other, ask:
What do we need to keep us from crashing into each other? (We need a STOP or YIELD sign; we need a traffic light; we need to look out for each other, etc.)
Make a YIELD sign. What does it mean to YIELD? (One person lets the other one go first and then follows behind)
We need someone to make rules for us to live by. We all want to go our own way; we all want to be first; we all want what is best for ME. God is a loving ruler who has made good rules (Ten Commandments) for us to follow. But we must obey or yield to His rules.
Items Needed: Index card or small pieces of paper for each person, a piece of string or yarn long enough to stretch across the room, tape
Stretch the string across the room and tape it to opposite walls. Invite each family member to write his or her birth date on an index card. Fold each in half and lay them on the string from oldest to youngest—parents included.
Each of us has a beginning. Dad was born on _______; Mom was born on _____; etc. God is eternal. (Deuteronomy 33:27)
What does eternal mean? (He has no beginning or no end; He has always been; no one created Him; He existed before everything)
God is the Eternal King! He rules the universe with wisdom and love. When we focus on His greatness, we want to worship Him.
Worship the Eternal King
What would you do if Jesus were to come to our house?
Hopefully, we would treat Him with the greatest respect! We would listen carefully to His words; we would treat Him with great honor. Someone who could speak the stars into existence would be someone who deserves to be worshiped.
Read Revelation 4:1-11 aloud to see how the people in Heaven are worshiping Him. (This was John's attempt at describing what he saw.)
Worship can be words or actions—worship is our response when we focus on God.
What are some things we can say or do when we worship Him? (Listen to or sing a praise song; think about and say words of praise (God, You are wise, You are loving, etc); thank Him for the good things He gives us or does for us; admire His creation; write a note or poem to Him; read and think about His words in the Bible; say I love you to Him; etc.)
Choose one of the ways listed and worship God together.
Sing to the King!
As you drive in the car, put in a praise CD, crank it up and sing along.
This week's psalm is Psalm 69. If you had to describe the type of song David wrote, it would definitely be a song of blues. David wrote and sang all about the sadness and trouble he was in. But why? Life can be like a puzzle. It seems hard to figure out all the pieces and why certain things happen.
How might we feel if we focus on our trouble? (Discouraged, sad, unhappy, etc.)
Life can be puzzling and we may not understand why certain things happen, but we can cry out to God for help. Shifting our focus to God as our Deliverer can help us. God has power and strength to help us and can even comfort us. David cried out to God for help and shifted his focus to God. By the end of Psalm 69, David turned his sadness into praise.
*Psalm 69 is really long for kids, but you could read parts of it aloud. Verses 1-16 give you a good idea of David's feelings. Verse 30 shows a shift from his troubles to focusing on God.
Talk with your children about trouble they face. (If they can't think of anything, ask, "What has made you cry? How do you feel when others reject you? How have mean words hurt you? When have you felt pain?")
Encourage them to share how they feel—first with you and then with God. Reassure them God hears and will help them.
The Good Shepherd
Items Needed: Pieces of copy or construction paper, and pen or markers
Students started learning to read Psalm 100:3 aloud.
What does this verse tell us about God? (He made us)
What does it tell us about ourselves? (We belong to God; we are His sheep)
God made the world and the people in it. The Bible compares God to a shepherd and us to sheep. He loves us like a shepherd loves and cares for his sheep.
What does a shepherd do when anything tries to hurt his sheep? (The shepherd fights against the danger and delivers the sheep from harm)
God cares about everything that happens to us. We can ask Him to deliver us from whatever trouble comes to us.
Write the phrases of Psalm 100:3 on pieces of paper. (Use one large piece for each phrase.) Pass out the phrases to different members of the family and ask them to line up in the correct order. (One person may need to read the verse aloud as the others line up. Also, if you have a small family you may need to recruit stuffed animals or dolls to hold a phrase.)
After lining up, ask each person to say his or her phrase to complete the verse. Exchange phrases, count to three, and see how quickly you can line up in the correct order. Say the verse after each scramble.
Review the first two verses of Psalm 100 to keep them fresh in your mind.
Appreciate Your Pastor
Don't forget that October is Pastor Appreciation Month. Brainstorm ideas with your kids of what your family can do to let your pastor know how much you appreciate him and his family.
Make or buy his favorite dessert and take it to church. (Sneak around and ask his wife.)
Bring a basket of snacks or fruit to him.
Invite him and his family over for a cookout.
Draw pictures and write message of thanks—I think you are great at ____, You are very ________, Thank you for _________, etc.
Items Needed: Erasable writing board (Look for the cheap ones at the dollar store that have a stylus and are made of cardboard. Write a message, and then lift the clear page to erase what was written. Perhaps your kids have an erasable board on which they can write a message, and then erase it by sliding the button to the other side. Even a dry erase board and eraser will accomplish the same thing. *If you don't have what is needed, adapt it to fit your situation.)
Students studied Psalm 51 and learned about David's sadness for his sin and that he repented.
What is sin? (Any thought, attitude, or action against God)
A sin is more than a mistake.A mistake is a misspelled word or spilling your milk at dinner. A sin is against God. Sometimes they are actions (stealing, lying, murder, etc.), but sometimes they are thoughts or attitudes (pride, jealousy, selfishness, etc.)
Write a sin you have done on the writing tablet.
Who has sinned? (All have sinned—Romans 3:23)
We've all sinned and we can't get rid of our sins by ourselves; we need help.
We need a Savior—a Savior who can erase our sins.
Lift the page (or erase the sin) and you will see that the "sin" is gone.
When we ask Him, God will erase our sins and won't even remember them. (Hebrews 10:17)
Go the Other Way
Announce to your kids that you are going to a certain familiar destination (library, mall, etc), but drive the opposite way when you pull out of the driveway. Hopefully, they will notice and call it to your attention.
What should we do? (Turn around and go the other way)
What might happen if we kept going in the wrong direction, instead of turning around? (We would get farther away from where we want to be)
When we break God's laws and go the wrong way, what should we do? (Stop doing it, go the right way, repent)
What does it mean to repent? (It means to change your mind)
When we realize we have gone the wrong way and sinned, we should turn around (stop doing it and turn away from it) and go the right way—God's way. Repentance means that we are sorry about our sin and are turning and walking away from it. We need to repent every time we sin.
Don’t Hide Sin
Items Needed: Index card or pieces of paper, and pen or marker
Keep reviewing the Bible verses in Psalm 100.
Only when we are NOT hiding our sin from God can we come to Him with gladness. Hiding our sin makes us feel ashamed and not right with God. When we focus on God as our Savior (He is the only way to have our sins taken away), we respond by being sorry for our sin and turning away from it. Then we will have JOY! (Psalm 51:12)
Write each word of the verse on an index card or piece of paper. Hide these in or outside the house while your kids aren't looking. Invite them to find all the words and then put them in the correct order. Say the verse together.
If they enjoy the activity, let a couple of the kids hide the words and invite the others to look for them and put them in the correct order.
Don't forget to keep saying Psalm 100:1 so you don't forget it.