Seek first His Kingdom

Categories: Children's Church

1.ICEBREAKERS

  • Play a simple age-appropriate icebreaker. Some examples:
    • Freeze!
      Play praise music and lead the children in movements (stepping side to side, clapping their hands, stomping their feet, tiptoeing, following the teacher in a circle, slapping their legs, doing jump and jacks, reaching up high and down low, etc). Have an assistant shut the worship music off and have the students freeze, standing completely still.  Play the music again and repeat multiple times.  For an added challenge, while students are freezing, recite a memory verse and begin again.
    • Simon says
      One teacher is Simon.  Simon yells out a command such as, “Simon says, march in place!”  The students would then follow the command because “Simon says” to do it.  If Simon does not use the phrase “Simon says” before stating the command and a child still follows, then that child will be seated and is out of the game until the end of the round.  Play continues with eliminations until one child remains who will become the next Simon.
    • I spy with a little eye
      Get kids to take turns spying out objects or people in the room. You may want to put some props around (e.g. stuffed animals, pictures from Bible lessons from last year etc) or get kids to sit in a circle and spy out each other. E.g. “I spy with my little eye someone wearing a red dress.”
    • Blanket game
      Get all the kids to introduce themselves. Divide class into 2 teams. Hold a large blanket in between. Each team sends a representative to sit in front of the blanket. When blanket is dropped, first side to shout out name of the other wins a point for their team.

2. LESSON

  • At Christmas time, some of you had a list of presents that you wanted. Maybe it’s a new Transformers. Or a Barbie doll. Or a truck. Or a book.
  • As we enter this new year, what is it that we want? Is it good results? Favour with your parents? Good health? Nice new clothes? A holiday? PSP?
  • We all want and need good things in our lives. And God our Father wants to give us good things. He wants to bless us tremendously every day. We just need to look to Him. He is the source of everything.
  • Jesus tells His disciples (Matt 6:25-33): DON’T WORRY! 
  • Don’t worry about: 
    • What you will eat 
    • What you will drink
    • Your body
    • What you will wear

 


  • Jesus gave us 2 examples:
    • Birds of the air: They don’t sow or reap or store, but the Heavenly Father feeds them.
    • The flowers of the field: They don’t labour or spin. They are here today and gone tomorrow. Yet God dresses them in more splendour than King Solomon.
    • You and I are worth much more to God than the birds and the flowers. 
    • God who provides for the birds and the flowers will provide for you and for me. We don’t have to run after all these things like people who don’t know Jesus. 
    • Jesus says, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)
    • It’s not because of our own goodness that we deserve all these, but because of Jesus’ goodness, Jesus’ righteousness.


  • We are blessed because Jesus was so good. 
  • So let’s chase after Jesus instead. Go after His kingdom of righteousness, peace and joy. Recognise and remember that it’s His goodness in us that qualifies for any and every of God’s blessings. Chase Him, worship Him, spend time with Him … because He loves you and wants to spend time with you.
  • This year, 2013, let’s not chase after all these things — good results, favour with your parents, teachers and friends, good health, nice new clothes, holidays, PSP etc.
  • Let’s look to Jesus and His righteousness in us, and we KNOW that ALL these things will be given to us as well! 
  • As we learned in Psalm 23, as the sheep follow the Shepherd, goodness and mercy will follow us all the days of our lives. 
  • Chase Jesus, and all these blessings will chase after us!
  • Lesson: God takes care of the flowers. God takes care of me!
    Luke 12:27-31. Matt 6:28-34
    1. Intro: Show pictures of King Solomon and/or models in beautiful dresses

    • Take a look at these pictures of these beautiful clothes.
    • Do you know that all these splendid clothes needed a lot of money and effort to be made? All the silk and sequins and satin and sashes.
    • But do you know that they cannot compare with the flowers of the field, with the beauty of God’s creation?
    2. Facts aboutMalaysian flowers
    <use pictures or real flowers etc to illustrate. Key idea is to bring the lesson down to everyday things that they see in their gardens/parks, so that every time they see a flower, they are reminded of what Jesus says — that their Father takes care of them too>
    • Aren’t we blessed with so many different wonderful flowers every day? Each one is so beautifully coloured, with unique shapes, sizes, textures.
    • God designed them so intricately, and they don’t have to do anything. All they do is just grow naturally and let their beauty shine forth.
    • Do you know that each flower doesn’t live forever?
      • The hibiscus, eg, blooms in the morning and wilts in the evening.
      • The rafflesia takes 6-9 months to bud but then decomposes after 2-3 days of blooming.
    • Yet God didn’t take short cuts with them. He didn’t say, “Because they only last a short while, I’ll not spend so much time on them.” Instead, He makes each of them special in their own way.
    3. We are more important than these flowers
      • Jesus tells us to think about these wild flowers —they do not sew their clothes or worry about what to wear today. Yet God takes care of them and dresses them beautifully.
      • In the same way God takes care of the flowers and the grass, He takes care of you and me, and He knows what we need.
      • That’s why we don’t have to worry about:
      • What we eat
      • What we drink
      • What we wear
      • Tomorrow
    • Jesus tells us to “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you.” Matt 6:33 (Memory Verse)
    • When we accept Jesus, He covers us with His righteousness —like wearing a splendid robe, better than any other fashion out there. Because of this righteousness, we qualify for all of God’s blessings and provisions.
    • So we just need to focus on Jesus and trust in Him, and all the things we need — food, drink, clothes, money — will be taken care of by Him.
    • We don’t have to chase after all these things that the world chases after. We just “chase” after Jesus, and all these things will follow.
    4. Activity Ideas
    • Craft: Anything flower-themed with the words “God takes care of the flowers. God takes care of me” or memory verse on petals or around. E.g. Prepare some cut flowers and green paper cut in shapes of leaves. Get kids to stick the flowers on the green paper and write the words/memory verse on the green paper.

    Lesson: God feeds the birds. And I am more valuable than birds.


     

    1.  Intro: Fun facts about birds or Fun facts about ravens <use pictures, soft toys etc to illustrate; or as pop quiz>

         e.g.
    • The raven is the largest bird of the crow family: it is 2x heavier than a common crow at 1.3kg
    •  Ravens can live 40 years in the wild and 70 in captivity
    •  Ravens can soar high above the trees and are capable of aerial stunts 
    •  Ravens can live from deserts to forests and cliffs, nesting in either stick-made nests or rock cavities
    • Ravens feed on almost anything — fruits, seeds, nuts, fish, carrion, small animals, food remains and garbage. They even dig on snow to inspect plastic bags with waste. They also follow fishers and hunters for days to “glean” from their hunts
    • Ravens are considered one of the most intelligent birds in puzzle solving or performing series of complex actions, such as counting or opening a zipped bag
    •  They often get other animals to do their work for them — e.g. making calls to attract wolves and foxes to break the carcass of a dead animal so that they can access the meat inside
    •  Ravens have different dialects according to the area they are in
    • In the Bible, the raven was the first animal to fly or leave Noah’s Ark, to see if the flood had died down.
    •  Ravens are mentioned in 7 verses of the Bible




    2. Story: (Luke 12:22-26; Matt 6:25-27)

    • Do you know that the ravens/birds do not sow or plant crops? They don’t reap the harvest? They don’t have storerooms where they keep their seeds?
    • How then do they survive? God take care of them. He makes sure that they can find food when they need to.
    • Just as God takes care of the raven/birds, He takes care of you and me.
    • After all we are worth so much more than ravens. We are more important than all the birds in the air. Just as God provides for the ravens, He provides for you and me.
    • That’s why Jesus tells us not to worry:
      • about our life
      • about what we will eat
      • about our body
      • about what we will wear
    • Many things in life are out of our control. Worrying about them will not change anything. Jesus tells us that no matter how much we worry, we can’t add an hour to our life. Our lives are in God’s hands, and He alone is in charge.
    • We don’t worry about whether our mummy knows when to go to the market to buy food. We don’t worry about when our daddy gets his pay cheque and whether he has paid the bills. We trust them to take care of us. In the same way, we can trust God to take care of us all the time!
    • Memory Verse: Luke 12:24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!


          3.  Activity Ideas

     

     
     
    Youth Bible Study

          
         Leader’s Guide
     
         Lesson: We are more important to God than birds
     
         A.      Intro: Fun facts about birds pop quiz: Who am I?
    • I am the most common bird on the planet. Chicken
    • I am a bird that doesn’t fly. Penguin, ostrich, dodo
    • I am the only bird without wings. Kiwi
    • I lay the world’s smallest egg. Hummingbird
    • I lay the world’s largest egg. Ostrich
    • When I get excited, my head changes colour. Turkey
    • I can fly backwards. Hummingbird
    • I don’t build my own nests. I use other birds’. Cuckoo
    • I am considered the most intelligent bird in puzzle solving and performing a series of complex actions. Raven
     
    Let’s read Luke 12:22-26 and Matt 6:25-27.
     
    1. What are some of the common worries Jesus mentioned?
    Our life, what we will eat, our body, what we will wear
     
    2. What are some of your worries? Why do you worry about these things?
    <Open for discussion>
     
    3. What can we accomplish by worrying? What does Jesus say we cannot accomplish by worrying?
    Nothing. Jesus said we cannot add a single hour to our life by worrying. Thus we shouldn’t waste time worrying.
     
    4.  What lesson can we learn from the birds?
    The birds do not sow or reap, have no storeroom or barn (preparation or hoarding for fear of lack in the future) yet God feeds them, takes care of them.
     
    5. What assurance do we have?
    We are worth so much more than ravens, than all the birds in the air. Just as God provides for the ravens, He provides for you and me.
    Many things in life are out of our control. Worrying about them will not change anything. Our lives are in God’s hands, and He alone is in charge.
    We don’t worry about whether our mummy knows when to go to the market to buy food. We don’t worry about when our daddy gets his pay cheque and whether he has paid the bills. We trust them to take care of us. In the same way, we can trust God to take care of us all the time!
     
    Memory Verse: Luke 12:24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!
    1.       Lesson: Daddy God Gives Good Gifts

     

    Label on the bag/box
    Inside (either put object or a picture of it)
    Bread
    Stone
    Fish
    Snake
    Egg
    Scorpion
      • Tell the kids that it’s “Snack time”. Three kids get to choose which “snack” they want.
      • As each kid choose, give them the unopened bag/box and have them stand in front.
      • Then have each kid open the bag/box one by one and show the class what’s inside.
      • Ask them how they feel when they ask for something good and get something bad.
    • If you are hungry and ask your daddy for some bread, will he give you a stone?
    • If at dinner time, you ask your mummy for some fish, will she give you a snake?
    • If in the morning, you want to eat some scrambled eggs, will your daddy give you a scorpion instead?
    • Definitely not!
    • Our mummies and daddies only give us good things. Not things that will harm us.
    • Do you know that as much as our mummies and daddies love us, that there’s Someone else who loves us even more? Yes, God loves us soooo much more than our mummies and daddies!
    • If our mummies and daddies can give us good things, God gives us the very best! He gave us His beloved Son — Jesus.
    • Because Jesus died for us and rose again, today, God can send His Holy Spirit to live with us forever and ever.
    • And when God gave us Jesus, He has already given us everything good, so we can just ask Him for all that we need. (Rom 8:32)
    • Memory Verse:
      • (Blue/Yellow) Matthew 7:11 “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”
    • Let’s Pray: Dear Daddy in heaven, thank you for loving me so much. Thank you for giving Jesus to die for my sins. Thank you for giving your Holy Spirit to live in me forever. Thank you for blessing me with good gifts always. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
     
    2. Activity Ideas:
    • Gift box: Make a gift box card with the memory verse or “Daddy God gives GOOD gifts to me” inside

    The Magi’s Gifts

    Categories: Children's Church

    Lesson: Jesus’ Divinity, Holiness and Death

    This is a good lesson to use for Christmas or to start off a series on Jesus’ life and ministry.
    1. Story: 
    Tell the story of the 3 Magi (wise men) based on Matthew 2:1-12.
    You can use simple props like crowns or boxes in Christmas wrappers.
    You can have a picture card of each box to depict the Magi’s gifts or something to symbolise the gift (e.g. a gold ring/coin, incense sticks, and a small perfume bottle)

    2. Lesson:

    • The 3 Gifts: Gold, Incense, Myrrh
    • These are unusual gifts to give a baby. But these gifts foretold what the baby will do when He grows up.
    • What is gold?
      • Have you seen gold? E.g. mummy’s ring, daddy’s gold coin, king’s crown etc
      • Gold is something very very precious.
      • Gold is something we give to the king because it’s so valuable.
      • The wisemen gave Jesus gold because they recognised Him as the King of kings.
    • What is incense?
      • People burn incense when they pray/worship in the temple.
      • The wisemen gave Jesus incense because they recognised Jesus as holy and wanted  to worship Him.
    • What is myrrh?
      • When someone dies, they put myrrh to keep the body from rotting so fast. It talks about death.
      • The wisemen gave Jesus myrrh to symbolise His mission on earth — to give up His life and die for all of us.
      • “…just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Eph 5:2)
    • Ok … let’s revise:
      • Gold tells us that Jesus is the …? King!
      • Incense tells us that Jesus is …? Holy!
      • Myrrh tells us that Jesus …? Died for us!
    • Do you know … the wisemen gave special gifts to Jesus. Jesus also gave us special gifts!
    • When we receive Jesus
      • We become children of the King of kings
        • “…by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature…”  (2 Pet 1:4).
      • We become holy
        • …and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Eph 4:24).
      • We have His life
        •  He died to take the punishment for our sins so that we can be ALIVE in Him
        • “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions” (Eph 2:4)
     
    3. Prayer:
    Who wants to be children of the King? Who wants to be holy? Who wants to have eternal life?
    Thank you Jesus that though You were King, you came to be with us.
    Thank you Jesus that You lived a holy life so that I can have your righteousness.
    Thank you Jesus that You gave Your life for me so that I have eternal life.
    Thank you Jesus that I’m now a child of God forever.
    In Jesus’ name, Amen.
     
    Have kids to choose one of the 3 gifts and thank Jesus for what they mean to them. 
    e.g. “Thank you Jesus that I can be the child of a King,” “Thank you that because of You, I am holy and clean,” “Thank you that Myrrh reminds me that I have eternal life because Jesus died for me.”
    4. Activity Ideas:
    a. Song: Three Wisemen (sung to the tune of “Three Blind Mice”)
        Three wise men, three wise men.
        Followed the star, followed it far.
        They followed the star to Bethlehem
        Bowed down and worshiped the newborn king
        Gave gold, and myrrh, and frankincense,
        To Jesus the king. 
     
    b. Activity sheet: Wisemen Maze
     
    c. Colouring: 3 Wisemen
     
    d. Craft: The Magi’s Gifts
    Stick items that depict each gift (e.g. gold chocolate wrapper, frankincense and myrrh incense sticks) onto a card and write what they remind us about Jesus.




    *****


    Youth Bible Study

    Leader’s Guide
    The Magi’s Gifts
    1. Read Matthew 2:1-12
    1. Who were the main characters?
    Magi – Wise men, “Kings”; Learned astrologers / astronomers; advisors to kings; From the East; Followed star; How many??

    King Herod – Greatly troubled; Prophecy: ruler from Bethlehem; Tricked Magi: “So that I may worship him”

    Baby Jesus – Overjoyed; Bowed down and worshiped him; Opened their treasures: gold, incense and myrrh; Dream warning; returned to their country by another route.

    1. What were the gifts presented to baby Jesus?
    Gold, incense and myrrh
      1. These were rather unusual gifts. What were they normally used for and what did they symbolise?

    Gold: Most precious metal – Divinity: Symbol of Kingship; Recognised Jesus as GOD

    Incense/Frankincense: Used in temple incense as worship – Holiness & Righteousness: Jesus lived a HOLY and RIGHTEOUS life Myrrh: Used as embalming agent for dead bodies – Suffering & Death; Jesus was born to DIE for us “…just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Eph 5:2)

    1. These gifts were prophetic of Jesus’ ministry. What do they mean for us today?

    a. Gold = We share Jesus’ divine nature when we accept Him as our Saviour
    “…by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature…” (2 Pet 1:4).

    b. Frankincense = When we receive the gift of salvation (Gold), we will be holy
    ‘Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool’”
    (Isaiah 1:18)
    …and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
    (Eph 4:24).

    c. Myrrh: He died to take the punishment for our sins so that we can be ALIVE in Him
    “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions”
    (Eph 2:4)

    1. What is one thing that Jesus has done that you can thank God for?
    ______________________________________________________________