Play an old-fashioned game of Hide and Seek. Designate a spot as the safe place or home base. Remind the kids that if they can get to that spot, they are safe from the finder. Choose one person to be the finder who will count to 50 while the rest are hiding. (Play this in the dark if you are really adventurous and have older kids.)
After several rounds of hiding and seeking, talk about it.
What did you like about playing this game?
How did you feel when the finder was chasing you?
How did it feel to make it to the safe place, home base?
God told the Israelites to make six cities of refuge—six "safe" places where people could run to when they had accidentally committed murder. They could go to these cities and no one would hurt them; they could receive mercy.
What is mercy? (Mercy is when someone shows compassion or kindness toward someone who needs help or has done wrong.)
We all need mercy!
Act out some of the following situations where a person might need mercy. Write each of the situations on an index card or slip of paper. Pair kids up to act out their situation where mercy is needed.
little sister accidentally broke older sister's toy
forgot to bring lunch money
need help completing a big assignment
accidentally spilled milk on the carpet
lost temper and yelled at friend
How do you feel when someone gives you mercy? (Happy, relieved, etc.)
We have been given mercy, so we should give mercy to others.
When your child does something wrong and breaks a rule, show him/her mercy. Instead of punishment, sit down together and talk about God's mercy.
He forgives us even when we don't deserve it.
Rich in Mercy
Item needed: Band-aids (the colorful ones would be great)
Give each kid a band-aid.
When do we need band-aids? (When we have been hurt)
When you are hurt, would you like for someone to give you a lecture or hurt you more?(No, of course, not. You would like them to give you mercy, not their judgment or harshness.)
What are some other words for mercy? (Kindness, helpfulness, goodness, sympathy, and gentleness)
When others are hurting what do they need? (Kindness, help, mercy)
Ephesians 2:4 says that God is RICH in mercy. We can be full of mercy toward others.
The five kings came to battle against Israel (God's people) and the Gibeonites.
The Israelites were fighting hard but it was getting late in the day, so what was the special favor Joshua asked God? (To let the sun keep shining so they could see to win the battle)
What did God do? (He did a miracle; he allowed them to have more sunlight so they could keep fighting and win the battle)
Israel won the battle, with God's help. God judged Israel's enemies.Only God is perfect and He sees peoples' hearts so He can judge them with fairness (Deuteronomy 32:4). God's judgment is for those who reject His way and His
If you could ask me for a favor, what would it be? (If it is something that you could do, do it.)
As a parent, I want to help you. I can't do a miracle, but I will try to do what I can. God wants to help you. You can ask Him anything. He may say yes, no, or wait, but He will help you.
Running Away...From Sin
Do a simple experiment to show that living with integrity means doing what we can to run away from sin.
Items needed: bowl (cereal bowl is fine) with water covering the bottom, pepper, liquid dishwashing detergent, and a Toothpick
Sprinkle some pepper over the water.
Dip the toothpick into the detergent and place a drop of detergent in the middle of the water.
Watch the pepper run away.
Why does the pepper move away?
FYI: Water molecules are strongly attracted to each other and this creates surface tension. (This is what allowed the pepper to float on top of the water.) When you put the detergent in the water, it makes the surface tension weak. The water’s surface tension force is stronger than the detergent’s surface tension force, so the pepper pulls away from the soap and carries the water with it.
God is holy and wants us to be holy; we are to run away from sin.
Read Proverbs 6:16-19.
What are some sins God hates? (Proud look, lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers)
What are some ways you can avoid (stay away from) sin?(Make friends who also want to do what is right, pray and ask God to help you be strong, listen to your parents, love God more than any sin)
If someone asks you to do something you know is not right, what can you do? (Walk away, tell them you need to leave now, say "no, thanks")
No one can completely be free of sin, but God gives us His Holy Spirit to help us keep away from sin. What should we do when we sin? (Be sorry for our sin and ask God to forgive us; He is merciful and always ready to forgive us.)
God's Gift of Forgiveness
Review the Bible verse kids are learning—Romans 6:23.
Announce that you have a list of extra jobs to be done and that you are paying money. (Make a list of extra jobs and attach a money amount to each one—clean out the hall closet - $1; organize the bookshelf - $.50. The amounts will depend on the ages of your kids and the difficulty of the job.)
Post the list on the fridge and set a deadline for when the jobs need to be completed. At the designated time, call them together and hand out their their wages.
Read Romans 6:23 (or ask one of them to quote it).
What are wages? (Payment for doing work)
What are the wages for sin? (Death, separation from God)
We've all sinned and our payment for it is to be separated from God forever. God doesn't want us to be separated from Him so what does He give us? (The gift of eternal life in Heaven)
Give each of them an extra amount of money as a gift. Say something like this as you hold up each one's money: This is a gift for you. You don't have to earn it.
What did you need to do to get the gift of money?(Reach out and take it, receive it, etc.)
God wants to give each one the gift of forgiveness. It is up to us to receive it.
Post the verse on the fridge and say it at least once a day.
When the kids aren't looking, hide the commandments around the room.
Gather everyone together and ask them to find the 10 slips of paper on which the Ten Commandments are written.
After they've been found, let the kids read theirs aloud. Then try to put them in the correct order.
What are the Ten Commandments? (God's rules)
What is sin? (Breaking God's rules, going our own way, doing wrong things, etc.)
What was Achan's sin? (He coveted; he wanted something that wasn't his and he took it; he stole)
God made us and He made the rules where we will be the happiest. Breaking God's rules brings bad results. Obeying God's rules is the best way to live.
Items needed: warning label (on cleaning products, garden poison, some electrical appliances, etc)
Show label and ask:
What does this say?
Why do the makers of this product put this label on it? (They want to keep you safe; they don't want you to be hurt, etc.)
SIN should have a label on it! There should be a WARNING—KEEP AWAY sign because sin hurts us. We may think it is not so bad, but there are always bad results to sin. When you are tempted to do something wrong, remember that sin always brings bad results, maybe not right that minute, but it will eventually hurt you.
God Makes Us Clean
Items needed: bowl of mud (mix some water and dirt together to make it), soap, and water
What did Achan do when he sinned? (He hid the stolen items under his tent)
What are some things people do when they sin? (Hide it, blame others, make excuses for why they did it, keep doing it, etc.)
God gave us the Bible and the Holy Spirit to help us know what is right and wrong, but there are times when we still sin.
Is it ever right to sin?(No)BUT when we do sin, what should we do?
Read 1 John 1:9 (If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to clean us from all unrighteousness [un-right-ness].)
Dip hands in the mud. Oh, no! How can I get rid of the mud? (If I hide my hands behind my back, it will be gone; try to blame one of the kids for your messy hands; act like it's not such a bad thing to live with mud all over your hands, etc.)
I need to wash my hands. (Go the sink and do just that!)
Hiding or blaming or pretending will not take away our sin. Only God can make us clean on the inside!