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Luke 6:36; Matthew 5:7; 1 John 1:9; 1 Peter 1:3; Hebrews 4:16
- Bucket of water
In Lamentations 3:22-23 it says that God’s mercies are brand new every morning. Do you know what mercy is? Mercy is not getting a punishment that you deserve.
Imagine that you did something wrong and you are about to get in trouble from your parents, teacher, boss, or maybe even the police. How would you fee? Probably pretty scared. You know that what you did was wrong and you know that you deserve to be punished for it. Instead of punishing you though, they forgive you and don’t punish you at all. How would you feel about that? That is mercy.
We all love mercy, but sometimes we begin to wonder how much mercy God really has. Will he run out? One day will he stop giving us mercy? That’s why Lamentations 3:22-23 is such an encouraging verse because it tells us that God’s mercy is new each and every day.
(Show everyone the bucket of water.)
How much water do you think is in this bucket? (Allow for some answers.) Well, I don’t mean in gallons or cups. (Show the eyedropper.) I mean in drops! How many drops of water do you think are in this bucket? Let’s count them together.
(Start taking some water out and slowly letting it drip while you count them out loud. You can count up to 15 or 20 or whatever you want.)
We have barely even taken any water yet! There are thousands of drops of water in here. But do you think that God has more mercy than the drops of water in this bucket? YES!
In fact, we might be able to understand it a little better by taking this eyedropper to the ocean and then counting all the drops of water in there. How many drops of water do you think the ocean has? I don’t even think you could count them all. But guess what? God has more mercy than even that!
His mercy and forgiveness is brand new for us each and every day.
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Galatians 5:22-23; Psalm 106:1; Psalm 36:5; Psalm 107:15; Ezra 3:11; 1 Chronicles 16:34; Romans 8:38-39
In Galatians 5:22-23 we read that there are many qualities, or fruits, that God wants us to have in our life. One of those is the fruit of love.
(Hold up the ring.)
Does anyone know what this is? That’s right! It is a ring. (Tell about how you got the ring.)
Rings symbolize love and when two love each other and get married they will often give each other a ring. Why do they use rings? Rings are usually made of a very precious metal like gold or silver. This is because love is very precious, it is one of the most precious things we can ever have.
Rings are also round. They have no beginning or end. That is because our love is supposed to be like God’s love…eternal. The Bible says in Psalm 100:5 that God has loved us since before we were even born and will always love us. The Bible also says in Romans 8:38-39 that nothing can ever separate us from the love of God.
God wants us to love Him with a never-ending love also, and he wants us to love those around us that way. Some people are not that easy to love, but God still wants us to love them and treat them with honor and respect.
(Hold up the ring again.)
Let us have love that is like this ring, never-ending!
Romans 5:8; 1 John 4:9-10; Romans 8:32; Romans 5:10; John 3:36
- Small figure of baby Jesus, such as one from a nativity set (alternately you could use a cross)
- A gift bag and tissue paper or a gift box and wrapping paper
- Small treat or prize, such as a candy
Do you guys like to open presents? I want some of you to tell me about the best present that you ever got! (Allow for responses).
The best present I ever got was (use your own story here).
Do you guys like to give presents? Isn’t it exciting to buy your friend a present and watch them open it on their birthday? Presents seem to get everyone excited. Well, I brought a present with me today (bring out the beautifully wrapped present) and I am going to let one of you open it.
(Choose a volunteer to open the gift. Ask the volunteer to tell everyone what it is:Baby Jesus or cross).
You know, God is a very generous giver. The Bible tells us in John 3:16 that God loved the world so much that He gave his only Son so that is any of us will believe in Him we won’t perish but we will have everlasting life in Heaven!
God sent His only Son into the world as a human baby and we celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmas. When Jesus was an adult He began to teach people about God and soon after that He died on the cross and He rose from the dead and that is what we celebrate at Easter time.
Now, imagine how hard it must have been for God to give up His only Son and allow Him to die on the cross for you and me. That must have been a hard thing to do, but God did it because He loves us so much. He says that all we have to do is believe in Jesus and we will have eternal life with Him in heaven. Believing in Jesus is the way that we receive this wonderful gift from God. You could also give someone the top wii games for kids to bring the family together at the end of along day and after you are done playing have a talk about god and pray.
(Say to your volunteer) I am going to give you a gift for helping me today (hold out the candy) and all you have to do is take it out of my hand to receive it. (Have the volunteer take the candy and sit down). All they had to do was receive it! I want to give all of your here the opportunity to receive this amazing gift, the gift of God’s Son and eternal life. (Pray with them and give them the opportunity to receive Christ).
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- 100-piece puzzle
- sturdy cardboard
Assemble the 100-piece puzzle, leaving just one piece missing. Glue the puzzle to the cardboard. Alternately, you could have the children assemble the puzzle as they enter for class and you could hide the last piece in the room. When the children discover that the last piece is missing, you can ask them to look for it until they find it, then teach the object lesson.
(Show the kids the puzzle) Do you like my puzzle? This is a one hundred-piece puzzle. (Allow response) Oh it has a piece missing?! Then I guess my puzzle only has 99 pieces now! Did you guys ever make a puzzle and then realize that there is one very important piece missing? It sort of ruins the whole puzzle doesn’t it? What do you usually do when you discover that a puzzle piece is missing? (Allow response) Yes!You look for it. You look under the couch, and under the cushions or you check the closet or you check all the other puzzle boxes to see if it’s in there, right?
If you’re anything like me, you cannot rest until you find that last piece because it just bothers you that the puzzle is not complete. Well, Jesus told a story that reminds me of this puzzle. He said in Matthew 18:12 “If a shepherd has one hundred sheep, and one wanders away and is lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others and go out into the hills to search for the lost one? 13 And if he finds it, he will surely rejoice over it more than over the ninety-nine that didn’t wander away! 14 In the same way, it is not my heavenly Father’s will that even one of these little ones should perish.”
Now, Jesus told us this story to show us how much he wants each one of us to be saved. He loves us so much, that He is always searching for us and calling us to be saved. It is not God’s will that any one of us be lost, or separated from God. He rejoices, or is happy, thrilled, delighted when even one person comes to know Him and is saved. Sort of like how we feel when we search and search and search and finally find that last puzzle piece (Put in the last piece of the puzzle). God’s family is not complete without you being a part of it.
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