Monday, February 20, 2017

Lesson - The Letter to the Colossians - The New Man and the Old Man


VERSES: Colossians 3:1-15

MEMORY VERSE:  Colossians 3:2  "Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth."

BOOK TO REMEMBER: 1 Corinthians. Write "1 Corinthians" on small slips of paper and give them out at the end of class for the students to take home and memorize. In time, they will know all of the New Testament books by heart.

PRAYER:  Pray that we might always show others that we live God's way by treating them as we would treat ourselves, being kind and loving toward others, and always being forgiving and patient to all.

SPECIAL SONG:  Be Patient And Kind (see April 2014 - Lesson - Joseph Meets His Brothers Who Hated Him. Click on the orange circle to hear the tune to the song.)

VISUAL AID:  Whiteboard or chalkboard. Write the words "anger," wrath," "hatred," "bad words," "lying" in one column on the board. In another column, write "holy," "loving," "merciful," "kind," "humble," meek," "patient," "forgiving," "self-controlled." As you teach this lesson, refer to these words. At the end of the lesson, circle all of things that we should "put off" with a red marker or pink chalk. Circle all of the characteristics that we should "put on" with a blue marker or blue chalk.

LESSON POINTS:
  • Have you ever been so dirty that you could not wait to get cleaned up and change your clothes? The Apostle Paul tells us in the book of Colossians that that is the way Christians should be when it comes to sin and wickedness. 
  • Christians are different than the world because they have their minds set upon spiritual things, not things on the earth. When one is baptized into Christ, they put worldliness to death. They want to please God instead of themselves, so that the anger of the Lord will not be directed towards them. They understand that sin will make them dirty. They may not see physical dirt with their eyes, but they can see the sin through their sinful actions.
  • When a Christian hears the gospel of Christ, they turn away from the ungodliness that will dirty their souls and will want to take off everything that is dirty or unclean in God's eyes.. 
    • We understand what anger or displeasure is and Colossians 3:8 tells us to "take off" our anger
    • When we are extremely angry, it is called wrath. Christians must "take off" their wrath, too.
    • Malice is another word for revenge or to want to do harm to someone. Paul tells us to "take off" our malice
    • Blasphemy is to say terrible things about God. Christians are not to say such things, but are to "take off" their blasphemy.
    • Christians are not to say bad words or have any filthy language come out of their mouths. This also includes telling bad jokes, or talking badly about others. Christians are to "take off" their filthy language.
    • Telling lies or saying things that are not true is not something a Christian does. They do not lie to others, not even tell what people call "little white lies". A lie is a lie to God and lying belongs to the things of this world. Christians are to "take off" telling lies.
  • Just like taking off dirty and torn clothing, Christians "take off" the way they may have lived before they were a Christian. Then, once a person is baptized, all of those old, earthly, worldly things are washed away and they become clean and new. Instead of living the way they used to live, Paul explains the new way that Christians should live:
    • Paul tells Christians to "put on" holiness. Christians are to be holy as God is holy (1 Peter 1:15. 16), and to be set apart from the world and to not be like the world Christians are different in the way they dress, speak, and behave. Christians are godlike.
    • Mercy is also something that Christians "put on" and 'wear' when other people offend them. They show compassion, not only to their friends, but also to others who do unkind things to them. Christians try to put themselves in the other person's shoes, meaning thinking how the other person would feel, and then they show mercy to that person, no matter who it is. 
    • Christians are to be kind. Not rude, abrupt, and harsh like the world around them, Christians think of others before they think of themselves and treat others the way they would want to be treated, the way Jesus would treat others. Christians "put on" kindness.
    • Christians are to be humble as Jesus was humble. They do not believe they are better than others. Christians humble themselves, knowing that it will be the Lord who will lift them up (James 4:10). Christians are modest and do not brag about themselves.Christians "put on" humility.
    • Being meek, and not weak, Christians are quiet and gentle, yet are strong in character. They know in what they believe and why they believe it, and defend it with all of their strength. Christians "put on" meekness.
    • Christians are patient in all things. Christians know that there will be delays in life, that all people suffer as they live here on earth, yet they are not annoyed or impatient. They take time with others and do not complain to them or complain behind their backs. Christians "put on" patience."
    • One word many people do not use any more is forbearance.  Forbearance means self-control. It is closely related to patience, but when one has control over themselves, they can more easily have patience with others. When Christians put on forbearance, they can control their emotions and feelings. They do not lose control. Christians "put on" forbearance.
    • Christians are forgiving people. They understand that everyone makes mistakes. There will always be problems. Since they know this in advance, they can be prepared and determined to be patient, kind and forgiving of the mistakes others make, as well as themselves. Christians "put on" forgiveness.
    • Paul tells Christians to "put on" love. When a Christian loves others, they can be kind, humble, meek, patient, and forgiving. Love is the bond or chain that connects all of God's children.  Christians show that they love Jesus by trying to be like Him and doing those things He wants them to do (John 14:15).
  • Christians wear these characteristics all of the time. It does not matter the day of the week, whether they are home or away, with friends or not, or if they are in a good mood or bad. They ask themselves, "What would Jesus do in this particular situation?" and they always choose to do what Jesus would do. They chose the better choice.
"Older Student" Tips:
  • We know that Paul wrote four of the New Testament letters from prison:  Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon.  The first three letters, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians, were written to the churches in those particular areas (Ephesus, Philippi, and Colosse) while the short letter to Philemon was written to a person who was a slaveowner. 
  • Colossians 2:1 informs the readers that the church at Colosse had not seen his face in the flesh. What does this mean? Paul had not been to Colosse before. He had only written this letter.
  • Do we want to know how husbands, wives, children, fathers, servants (or today's employees), and masters (or today's employers) should behave? Then we need to read Colossians 3:18-4:1 to see what Paul had to say about their duties.
  • Paul intended for his letters to be passed around to congregations and to be read to the members in each location. Read Colossians 4:16 to see where Paul wanted this Colossian letter to be sent next and what the church at Colosse should be reading next.
  • How do we know Paul wrote this letter from prison? Read Colossians 4:18.
ACTIVITY: Changing Coats

NOTE: The activity below is designed for older elementary students. If teaching younger students, the Bible teacher may want to prepare the 'person' and the 'coat' in advance. The young student with limited writing skills, may want to simply write "OLD MAN" and "NEW MAN' on the yellow coat. There is probably a simpler way to create a coat, but I have found that older elementary students want to duplicate it for themselves or draw their own creation. It also teaches sequencing and following directions. As long as the words and verses are written on the coat, that is all that matters. The lesson will be reinforced if the students know the lesson well.

Materials:  9" x 12" light brown paper, 9" x 12" yellow paper, markers, pencils, small (4 inches or so) round container, scissors, crayons.
  1. Hand out light brown paper .
  2. At the top of the paper, place a small, round container to trace. 
  3. Trace with a pencil or marker. This is the person's head.
  4. Fold light brown paper down the middle of the head. This makes it easier to draw the rest of the person.
  5. With a pencil or marker, draw a neck, one arm, and one leg on the sides away from the fold.

  6. Keeping the paper folded, cut out the head, arm, and leg.
  7. Open the light brown paper. This should look like the outline of a person.
  8. Set person aside.
  9. Hand out yellow paper.
  10. Fold yellow paper in half. This is the coat.
  11. With the fold at the top of the yellow paper, place unfolded person on top of the yellow paper.
  12. Make a small mark on the yellow paper about a half-inch from each side of the person's neck. This the coat's neckline. (see picture below)
  13. Make two more marks about one-half inch farther out on either side of the marks in step #13. These are the 'neckline seams.'
  14. With a pencil, draw a line on the yellow paper about an half-inch away from the person's both sides, making sure the fold stays at the top. 
  15. Set person aside.
  16. Beginning on the outside 'neck' mark on the yellow paper, draw a curved line connecting to the mark under the person's arm on the same-side. (see picture below)
  17. Do the same on the other side of the person. This should make 'armholes.' (see picture below)
  18. On the inside marks made in step #13, draw a curved line, connecting to the two inside marks. This is the neckline of the coat.
  19. With yellow paper still folded, cut on pencil lines. This should result in a 'coat.' NOTE: These side 'seams' should not be taped, glued, or stapled, otherwise, the coat will not be able to be reversed.
  20. On only ONE side of the yellow paper, cut up the middle of the coat. This will be easier for the student to put the coat on the person.
  21. On the side of the coat that is cut up the middle, write "OLD MAN" at the top by the neckline and "Colossians 3:8, 9" at the bottom of the coat.
  22. On the same side, write "anger," "malice," "wrath," "blasphemy," "filthy communication"(or filthy language), and "lies."

  23. Taking off the coat, fold the seams of the coat to the other unwritten side of the yellow paper, turning coat inside-out. 
  24. On the unmarked side of the coat that is cut up the middle, write "NEW MAN" at the top by the neckline and "Colossians 3:12-14" at the bottom of the coat.
  25. On this same side of the coat, write "holiness," "mercy," "kindness," "humbleness," "meekness," "patience," "forgiveness," "self-control," "and love."
  26. Color face. Add buttons, etc.
  27. Re-tell the story of the worldly person who does worldly deeds (person wearing the OLD MAN side of the coat), but when the worldly person is baptized and becomes a Christian, he joyfully casts off that old coat and puts on a new coat of godly deeds (turn to NEW MAN side of the coat and place on person). 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Lesson - Philippians - A Letter From Prison


VERSES:  Philippians 1-4

MEMORY VERSE:  Philippians 4:4  "Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:  Romans.  Write "Romans" on small slips of paper and hand out to the students to take home and memorize one more New Testament book. By adding one more book to their Bible book list, the students will ultimately memorize all the Bible books.

PRAYER:  Pray that we will all be content with what we have in this world and share  with others, including the Gospel.

SPECIAL SONG:  Be Patient And Kind (see April 2014 - Lesson - Joseph Meets His Brothers Who Hated Him)

VISUAL AID:  Using the whiteboard or chalkboard, write "Philippians" on the board. Draw a large square and draw four or five line vertically in the square. This is a prison window. While we do not know what Paul's prison looked like, we know that he was required to stay under Rome's constant eye. We know that he had certain privileges by reading Acts 28:30, 31. As the Bible teacher tells this lesson that they have studied so much that they know it by heart, write words like "Grace and peace," "prayed for the Philippian Christians," "Jesus was preached," "be like-minded," "press on the  toward the mark," "rejoice in the Lord," "true, honest, just, pure, lovely, good report," etc. all around the prison window.

LESSON POINTS:
  • When we think of someone in prison, we usually think of that person being very sad and gloomy. This was not the case with Paul when he was imprisoned in Rome. Paul could have been sad and gloomy, but he knew that God knew that he had done nothing worthy of prison. The only reason Paul was in prison in the first place was because he had been preaching about Jesus. Paul's accusers, the Jews, did not want Paul preaching and teaching about Jesus and persuaded the Roman government to put him in prison. Paul had appealed to Caesar, the head of the Roman government, and waited for an answer in prison.
  • As we look at the book of Philippians, one of Paul's letters that he wrote while he was in prison, we can see that Paul was definitely NOT sad and gloomy. In his letter, he addressed the elders and deacons in the city of Philippi. Just as we might say, "Dear Someone...", Paul greeted the elders and deacons with, "Grace be unto you, and peace from God, our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ." (Philippians 1:1, 2). Paul always remembered the Philippian Christians in his prayers. He was thankful for their fellowship and friendship from the time he first met them until the time he wrote his letter. Paul loved the Christians in Philippi and said many good things about them in his letter. He encouraged them to do good deeds. He wanted the Christians in Philippi to not be sad because he was in prison, but, just like when Joseph was in prison in Old Testament times, there were good results that came from his imprisonment: Jesus was being preached. Some people were preaching out of envy and strife and were not sincere, but some were preaching of good will and love. He said that either way, Jesus' message was being preached to the people. Paul said he was not ashamed to speak about Jesus, but he was proud and bold in preaching the gospel of Jesus. He said that while he was alive, it would be helpful to the Gospel because he would be preaching, but if Paul died, it would be gain for him, personally, because of the hope he had in a heavenly home.
  • Paul also gave instructions to the Christians in Philippi. He said that they should all be like-minded or be preaching and teaching the same things in love, not in strife or fussing. He told them not to complain and disagree with each other, but to shine as lights in a wicked world (Philippians 2:15).Paul said he continued to press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of Jesus. Paul knew he was in a race while he lived on this earth and he wanted to race hard, keeping his eyes of Jesus, and win the prize which was a home in heaven. He told the Philippians to live as he did (Philippians 3:25, 27). 
  • Finally, Paul said to his friends who were Christians in Philippi to be happy or rejoice in the Lord. In fact, he said it two times! (Philippians 4:4). He reminded them to pray to God and let their requests be known to Him. By praying and telling God everything on their hearts, then they would have peace--the kind of peace that people of the world do not understand (Philippians 4:5, 6). 
  • Paul left these lasting words with the church:  Control your thinking. Think about things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely and of good report. He said that if there was any virtue or praise about anything to think about those good things. Christians not only act differently than the world, they THINK differently than the world. They think about good, wholesome things and not bad. They dwell on true and honest thoughts. Christians, like those in Philippi, know that they can do anything because Christ is the One who gives them strength (Philippians 4:13). Today, Christians can gain comfort and encouragement through this short four-chapter letter just as the Philippians did! 
"Older Student" Tips:
  • Philippians is not the only letter that Paul wrote from prison. He wrote three other letters in prison which are Galatians, Ephesians, and Colossians.
  • A theme of the book of Philippians is "Joy and Rejoice." There is much good encouragement for the Christian in this book. Interesting to note again that Paul is in prison when he writes this upbeat letter.
  • We remember Lydia, the woman who sold purple fabric and was converted to Christ. She lived in Philippi (see June 2015 - Lesson - The Macedonian Call).  Also, the jailer who was watching and listening to Paul and Silas while they were in chains during an earthquake lived in Philippi. Like Lydia, he and his family were also baptized into Christ (see June 2015 - Lesson - Paul and Silas in Prison). These, and others, were part of the church in this city.
  • Read Philippians 4:22. From this verse, we know that there were some of Caesar's household or family that were Christians as well.
ACTIVITY:   "What Should I Think About?"
Materials:  9" x 18" black construction paper, one 2" x 9" strip of colorful scrapbooking paper, one 2" x 5" strip of colorful scrapbooking paper, six 2" x 7" strips of colorful scrapbooking paper, 18" of thin ribbon or yarn, holepunch, glue stick, scissors, marker. (Construction paper works just as well as scrapbooking paper in case you do not have scrapbooking paper.


  1. Hand out black construction paper.
  2. Fold paper in half, then in half again, then in half one more time. When the paper is opened, there should be eight rectangles.
  3. Set aside.
  4. Hand out the 2" x 9" paper.
  5. Write "What Should I Think About?" on the the 2" x 9" strip of paper.
  6. With black paper in a portrait position on the table, glue strip in top black rectangle.
  7. Hand out 2" x 5" strip of paper.
  8. Write "Philippians 4:8" on small strip.
  9. Glue in the bottom rectangle on black paper.
  10. Hand out six 2" x 7" strips of paper.
  11. On each strip of paper, write one word:  "whatever is true." "whatever is honest," "whatever is just," "whatever is pure," "whatever is lovely," "whatever is of good report." 
  12. In the order found in Philippians 4:8, glue the appropriate strip in each rectangle on the black construction paper.
  13. Hole punch one hole at the top of each side of the paper.
  14. Hand out ribbon or yarn. (Ribbon is pictured in top photo.)
  15. Thread each end through a hole and tie.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Lesson - The Armor Of God


VERSES:  Ephesians 6:10-18

MEMORY VERSE:  Ephesians 6:10  "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:  Acts.  Write the book, "Acts," on small slips of paper and hand out papers to the students at the end of the class to take home to memorize.

PRAYER:  Pray that all Christians will take up the armor of God and, not only protect themselves from the devil, but will be able to stand and fight against his wickedness.

SPECIAL SONG:  Read, Read Every Day (see February 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #1 on this blog.)  Matthew Four (see May 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #5 on this blog. Click orange circles to hear tunes.)

VISUAL AID:   Draw a simple picture of a soldier wearing the armor of God, holding a shield and a sword on a white board or blackboard. Label all parts of the armor.  (Older students: Present a good Bible concordance and a good dictionary. See notes under "Older Student" Tips.)

NOTE TO THE BIBLE TEACHER:  With this lesson, there is much to teach and much to do if the Bible teacher chooses to cover all of the material presented here in one class time. If this method is chosen for this lesson, the Bible teacher may want to pre-cut a few items and/or type labels for a quicker and stress-free class. No one learns when the Bible teacher is hurried. Rather, perhaps this might be a five-day series of Vacation Bible School lessons, lessening pressure of the teacher and encouraging memorization and comprehension on the students' part. An idea for attendance charts might be a soldier without his armor and, as each day passes, the student adds a portion of godly armor. A large bulletin board may be created centered around a soldier in God's army and the items of armor clearly labeled. Students learn much from attractive and Biblical walls. Each item of the armor of God might be supplemented with another lesson from the Bible each day, such as Joshua, Gideon, David and Jesus. These ideas are given for your consideration and the students' benefit.

ATTENDANCE CHART: If using a soldier as an attendance chart, draw your own soldier and his armor or copy the soldier below. Add an article of the Christian armor to the soldier to log the attendance of each student. Each student should have their own copy of the soldier and armor. Displaying the soldiers on one wall with the student's name close by would be motivating and encourage attendance in Bible class. (The soldier below may also be used as an alternate activity than the one shown below under "Activity," coloring and cutting out each piece of armor and gluing it to soldier who has no armor. Two Activitiy choices for one lesson!)
This is what the soldier should look like (see below) if the student has had perfect attendance. The soldier and armor may be colored with crayons or colored pencils. 



LESSON POINTS:
  • We know by reading our Bibles that, especially in the Old Testament, God had soldiers who fought for Him and did whatever He told them to do. Men like Joshua, Gideon, and David fought many physical battles in their lives and were always on God's side, obeying His commands. As we read the pages of the New Testament, we find that there is still a battle going on, but it is a spiritual battle that must be fought with spiritual weapons because the enemy is the devil and his wicked ways.  Let's turn our Bibles to Ephesians 6:10-18 and read God's special instructions to His soldiers. (Read verses.)
  • God, through the apostle Paul, tells Christians to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Like obedient Old Testament soldiers, Christians must trust God, knowing that their strength does not lie within themselves, but in God's power and strength. By diligently studying the Bible and remembering Bible verses, a Christian can be of great value to the Lord, whether they are teaching others about Jesus, His only begotten Son, or if they are defending God's Word and standing up for what God says is right. 
  • Let's take a look at the armor or the coverings worn in battle for protection that God has given to Christians as a way to not only defend themselves, but to strike against the devil. God tells His soldiers to make certain that they put on the WHOLE armor of God, not forgetting any of the valuable pieces of armor, so they are able to stand against the devil and his tricks. In verse 12 of Ephesians 6, we can learn that this battle is definitely not a physical battle where Christians are throwing punches and blood is flowing, but God's battle is one that is a spiritual battle against the devil, spiritual darkness, and sin. When the battle is fought, Christians must make sure that, at the end of the spiritual fight, they have done everything they could do and are still standing.
  • First, the Lord says that Christians should have their loins girt about with truth. The loin area is around the hips where a belt might encircle a person. What should this area be strongly fastened with? Truth! What is truth? God's Word is truth. (John 17:17.) Christians should have God's Word encircling and fastened to them. This is the area that will make Christians stand firm--having God's Word protecting them. Christians should be able to prove every word they say and everything they do with God's Word. (Colossians 3:17).
  • Next comes the breastplate. This is the largest area that the enemy can see of a Christian and it can also be seen from a distance. This area is where the heart is found. What covers this area? Righteousness! Righteousness is another word for 'right doing.' This largest area of a Christian is covered with doing right or doing good deeds. This is the area that people see the most--the Christian's actions of good works.
  • Does it make a difference in what kind of footwear a Christian is wearing? Shoes are an important part of a person's attire, showing that they are prepared for the event. If a person is wearing the wrong type of shoes, much harm can come, such as wearing snowshoes on a slippery cliff or slippers in a heavy snow storm. Christians need to be wearing the right type of shoes, preparing themselves with the gospel of peace. Christians should be thinking of ways to talk about Jesus to their neighbors, how to explain spiritual things like salvation and the church to their friends, and preparing themselves with knowledge from God's Word by studying the Bible and sharing it with people they know. Questions will surely come and they will be prepared with answers that come from the Bible and not from people's traditions or ideas; their feet will be grounded and will not stray from God's Truth.
  • In the Old Testament, most soldiers had some type of shield which was usually large enough to protect them from darts or spears that were thrown by the enemy. The spiritual shield is like that, too. The Christian's shield is their faith. If they have a little bit of faith, then their shield that protects them is small, but a Christian who has a great faith in God has a great shield to protect them from any fiery darts that the devil may throw. How can a Christian's faith grow? Romans 10:17 tells us that faith comes by hearing God's Word. 
  • Just like those Old Testament soldiers, a Christian has a helmet. Instead of a physical helmet made out of strong metal that could actually be placed on a soldier's head and protect themselves, God has given instructions on what kind of helmet would work best in the spiritual battle that Christians must fight today. Let's read Ephesians 6:17. What is the Christian's helmet made of? Salvation! Salvation is extremely important to a Christian and should be in their thoughts at all times. Salvation is what a Christian strives for in this earthly life and fights for in the spiritual battle.
  • All of the pieces of armor that we have studied protect the Christian, but there is one weapon the Christian holds to strike out and cuts down the devil and his evil ways and that is the sword. Not just any sword, it is the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. With this sword, the Christian can attack the devil and those that fight for him. Having God's Word in hand, the Christian can defeat the wicked one.
  • Finally, the Christian prays always for himself and for others to win their spiritual battle. We may not see the devil with our eyes, but we know that he is walking around on this earth like a roaring lion, looking for and finding those who he might devour. (Read First Peter 5:8). Christians are to be serious and alert to all signs of danger and sin, staying close to God and His Word for their protection and safety.
"Older Student" Tips:
  • Many times in the New Testament, Christians are told to be strong. Read a few of these passages: First Corinthians 16:13; Ephesians 6:10; Second Timothy 2:1, adding a few that the students may find in their Bibles. This might be a good time to show the older students how to use a concordance and how to find Biblical words in the Bible easily. A good concordance will only help good Bible students become better Bible students, knowing that there is a way to find needed verses. Using a good dictionary is also a help defining Bible words like "armor." "girt," and "shod."
  • The Bible is a great part of the Christian's armor. Let us read a little of it every day to prepare ourselves against the trickery of the devil.
  • How did Jesus handle His temptations in the wilderness in Matthew 4? Jesus was prepared with scriptures to win His battle over Satan.  "It is written..."
ACTIVITY:   The Armor of God

"LOINS GIRT ABOUT WITH TRUTH":
Materials:  Two 2" x 18" light brown pieces of construction paper, a strip of bulletin board border, one large paper clip, stapler, staples, tape, scissors, marker.

  1. Hand out brown paper.
  2. Place construction paper on table.
  3. Match up two of the ends of the paper.
  4. Staple.
  5. Tape, covering the staples, so they do not harm the student.
  6. Write "Loins girt about with truth" and "Ephesians 6:14" towards the top edge of the brown paper.
  7. Place colorful border along the bottom edge of the brown paper.
  8. Staple in place.
  9. Tape over the edges of the staples.
  10. Encircle the paper belt around the student.
  11. Place paper clip to secure. (If paper clip is attached to the front of the belt, then the student can take it off when he or she wishes.)
"BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS":
Materials:  Two sheets of 12" x 18" light brown construction paper, stapler, staples, tape, scissors, marker.
  1. Hand out brown papers.
  2. Place both papers on top of one another.
  3. Draw a triangle in the middle of the brown papers (at the top) large enough for a child's head.
  4. Cut triangles out of brown papers.
  5. On the outside of each paper, draw many "V"s to resemble a breastplate.
  6. Write "Breastplate of Righteousness" and "Ephesians 6:14" in the middle of one of the papers.
  7. Tape the two papers together on either side of the triangle, forming shoulders.
  8. To wear, simply place the breastplate over child's head. (Sides of breastplate are not attached for easy-on and easy-off).
"FEET SHOD WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE":
Materials:  Two pieces of 2" x 9" light brown construction paper, two 4.5" x 6" light brown construction paper strips, two paper clips, stapler, staples, scissors, marker, tape (optional).

  1. Hand out both 4.5" x 6" brown papers.
  2. Cut all corners of papers. These are the shoes.
  3. Fold long edges of  brown papers.
  4. Write "Feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace" and "Ephesians 6:15" on the tops of the papers.
  5. Hand out both 2" x 9" brown paper strips.. These are the shoe straps.
  6. Staple one brown strip to outside fold of 4.5" x 6" brown paper.
  7. Place over student's shoe.
  8. Secure with paper clip. Use a little tape if needed.
  9. Repeat with other shoe.

"SHIELD OF FAITH":
Materials:  One piece of 9" x 10" orange construction paper, one 2" x 9 strip of orange construction paper, tape, scissors, marker..

  1. Hand out 9" x 10" orange paper. This is the shield.
  2. Write "Shield of Faith" and "Ephesians 6:16" in the middle of the orange paper.
  3. Tape one side of orange strip to the back of the shield.
  4. Gently bend the other end of the orange strip and tape to the other edge of the shield. This is the handle of the shield.

"SWORD OF THE SPIRIT":
Materials: empty toilet paper or paper towel roll, 12" x 12" piece of aluminum foil, marker, tape (optional).

  1. Hand out empty toilet paper roll.
  2. Write "Sword of the Spirit" and "Ephesians 6:17" on the roll.
  3. Hand out foil.
  4. Loosely and gently, roll foil into a long tube.
  5. Insert foil into the toilet paper roll.
  6. Gently form into a sword's blade.
  7. As students wear all the articles of armor, the students bow their heads as the Bible teacher says a prayer of thankfulness and God's protection for the students, and then the students are sent out into the world to stand firm and fight against the devil..

Friday, February 19, 2016

Lesson - The Family In God's Plan


VERSES:  Ephesians 5:21-33

MEMORY VERSE:  "Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right."  Ephesians 6:1

BOOK TO REMEMBER:   Review the first four books of the New Testament -Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

PRAYER:   Pray that families will love each other more and will be kind to each other.

SPECIAL SONG:  The Family In God's Plan (see March 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #4 on this blog.) Children, Obey Your Parents (see March 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #4 on this blog.)  Be Patient And Kind (see April 2014 - Lesson - Joseph Meets His Brothers Who Hated Him on this blog.) (Click on orange circles to hear tunes.)

VISUAL AID:  Whiteboard or chalkboard. Draw an man, a woman, and a child on the board. As the lesson is taught, write responsibilities around each member of the family.

LESSON POINTS:
  • From the beginning, God has always had a plan and a design for everything! When we look up at the stars and moon at night, we know that God is the One who designed the heavens. When we inspect a drop of water under a microscope, we can see that God has a plan for even the tiniest creatures. Everywhere we look, there is design, detail, and organization. We have studied in times past about God's plan for creation (See March 2014 - Lesson - God Created Everything on this blog), for the church (See October 2015 - Lesson - How Do Christians Worship God? on this blog), and now we turn to the family. Is there a design for the family in God's plan? When we remember how God created one man and one woman and how they became a family, we can definitely say, "Yes! God has a plan for the family." 
  • MAN:  As Jesus is the head of the church, God created man to be head of the family (Ephesians 5:23). To be the head of the family means to be responsible for the family and to lead the family in all aspects of life, making certain that all members of the family are working towards a home in heaven. In God's plan, the man is the one whom God has chosen to have these responsibilities. The man is commanded to love his wife just like he loves himself. No one hates himself. He loves himself and takes care of himself just like he should love and take care of his wife. The man who loves his wife loves himself. In Ephesians 5:25, men are told to love their wives just as Christ loved the church and sacrificed himself for it. Did Jesus love the church? Yes! He purchased the church with His own blood. That is how much a husband should love his wife. The husband should love and cherish his wife and treat her like a precious treasure, knowing that she is the weaker vessel (1 Peter 3:7). Finding a wife is a good thing! (Proverbs 18:22). 
    • When a husband becomes a father, he should delight or be joyful that he has children (Psalm 137:3-5). In these verses, Solomon compares children to arrows. Just like arrows that must be guided by mighty men, children are to be guided by godly fathers (Proverbs 19:18).The father should rule his own home well (1 Timothy 3:4). What responsibilities fathers have in this life (Proverbs 22:6; Ephesians 6:4)!
  • WOMAN:  The wife has a command, too. She is commanded to submit to her own husband just like she would submit to Christ. Just as she submits to Christ and lets Him lead her through life, this is the same way that she submits to her husband. She should not be bossy or try to rule over her husband. Her job is not to be the head of the family, but to love and support her husband. 
    • In Titus 2:4, 5, Paul tells the young women to not only love their husbands, but to love their children, teaching them about God and His love for them (Deuteronomy 6:6-9; 2 Timothy 1:5). The mother takes care of things at home, so that her home is organized and everything runs smoothly. Some women work outside of the home for different reasons, but their main purpose is to love God, love their husband, love their children, and to take care of their home. 
    • It is not God's way that children should be raising or training themselves. One of the parents' responsibilities is to keep their children safe, teaching them right from wrong and the rewards or consequences that follow. Discipline is a form of love and mothers know that training their children to do right will only help their children in their lives while they are growing up and after they are grown (Proverbs 22:15).
  • CHILDREN:  Children also have responsibilities. They are to love, honor, and respect their parents, so that everything might go well for them in this life and that they might live a long time on this earth (Ephesians 6:1-3). Children should follow the advice of their parents because they know their parents love them, care for them, and always have their best interests at heart (Proverbs 1:8). There is much good advice in the book of Proverbs for children and what they should do to be pleasing in God's eyes.
    • A few things that children should do: 
      • Remember their father's commands and seek knowledge (Proverbs 2:1-5; 4:1-4).
      • Be obedient (Proverbs 3:1-4).
      • Be thankful for discipline (Proverbs 3:11-12; 13:24).
  • A HOME:  God has always had and still has a plan for the family! Doing everything God's way is always the best way. A refuge from this wicked world, all should find love, forgiveness, and tenderness in their home, always serving the Lord (Joshua 24:15). It was God's idea from the very beginning and it is still God's plan today (Isaiah 55:8, 9). What a blessing a loving, God-centered home is!
"Older Student" Tips:
  • Marriage is the oldest institution that God created. Before the nation of Israel and even before the church, marriage was the first institution created by God.  
  • There is a description of what makes a marriage and it is found in Genesis 2:24.
  • Marriage is for life. God has always hated "putting away" or divorce (Malachi 2:16). Divorce comes from man's way of thinking, not God's. When a man and a woman marry, it is for their entire lives! Marriage is a covenant or a sacred promise, never to be broken, until either the husband or wife dies. Great care needs to be taken when selecting a husband or wife because divorce should never be an option. Marriage is for a lifetime. Also, we need to be careful who we date because those whom we date, we end up marrying.
  • Discuss the definition of submit:  To yield or surrender (oneself) to the will or authority of another.
  • In today's world, people are not fond of words like 'submit,' 'rule,' or 'responsibilities,' but God does not change (Malachi 3:6). God has always said what He meant and meant what He said. Christians need to change their thoughts to God's way of thinking (John 12:48).
ACTIVITY:  The Family In God's Plan
Materials:  12" x 18" tan construction paper, pink or red construction paper, scissors, crayons, stapler, staples.
  1. Hand out tan paper.
  2. Placing the paper landscape-style, fold up bottom edge up 4 inches.
  3. Staple paper on outside edges. 
  4. Fold paper into thirds.
  5. Open folded paper.
  6. Staple once on each of the fold lines at the bottom of the paper. This should form three 'pockets.'
  7. On both sides of the paper, trace all fold lines with black crayon, even the edge of pocket
  8. Open paper, so that the 'pockets' are on the backside or bottom and cannot be seen.
  9. In first box, the student draws a picture of the student's father.
  10. In second box, the student draws a picture of the student's mother.
  11. In third box, the student draws a picture of himself/herself and their bothers and sisters.
  12. Color.
  13. In first box, write 'Husband' at the top of the box and 'my father' with an arrow pointing to the father.
  14. In second box, write 'Wife' at the top of the box and 'my mother' with an arrow pointing to the mother.
  15. In third box, write 'Children' at the top of the box and an arrow pointing to the siblings, writing either 'my sister' or 'my brother' and an arrow pointing to their sibling. Also, write 'me' and an arrow pointing to the student.
  16. Turn the paper over to the 'pocket' side.
  17. In the first box, write "Husband/Father' at the top.
  18. In the first box, write 'Ephesians 5:21-23,' 'Titus 2:4, 5,' Deuteronomy 6:6-9,' and 'Joshua 24:15' on the pocket.
  19. In the second box, write 'Wife/Mother' at the top.
  20. In the second box, write 'THE FAMILY IN GOD'S PLAN' on the pocket.
  21. In the third box, write 'Children' at the top.
  22. In the third box, write 'Ephesians 6:1-3,' 'Ephesians 6:4,' 'Proverbs 22:6,' and '1 Peter 3:7' on the pocket.
  23. Cut out a few hearts out of the pink or red paper. These are Responsibility Hearts.
  24. On the hearts, write responsibilities like 'Loves his wife as himself,' 'Loves and submits to her husband,' 'Loves their parents,' 'Respects their parents,' 'Remembers their father's commands,' ' Is thankful for discipline,' 'Teaches God's ways,' etc. Some hearts may be suited for more than one person or 'pocket.' Student chooses where hearts are pocketed.
  25. Place the appropriate heart in the matching pocket.
  26. Fold tan paper with hearts inside pockets and take home.