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The Cards You Were Dealt

cards you were dealt

Key Verse

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Additional Verses

Ephesians 5:20; Philippians 4:6; Colossians 3:17

Materials Needed

  • Deck of cards

Object Lesson

Have you ever played a card came before? Maybe Old Maid, or Uno, or Go Fish? The way that many card games work is that they start out by dealing you a certain number of cards. (Deal out several cards for yourself.) They you have to look at your cards and play the game. Sometimes you get a really good hand of cards and you can play really well. Other times, your cards aren’t so good, but you still have to play the best that you can. Sometimes you can still win even if you were dealt a bad hand of cards.

In our life we were all dealt a hand of cards. Some of us have really good cards, and some of us have cards that are not so good. You might look at my cards and think that they are a piece of cake, and I may look at yours and think that they are easy, but that really doesn’t matter. We just have to play the cards that were given to us.

It’s easy for us to be thankful for the good cards that we have, but often times we aren’t thankful for the bad ones. God wants us to play both the good and bad as best as we can and be thankful and glorify him and praise him regardless of what we were dealt.

In my life I was dealt a set of cards, some are good and some are bad. (Set down some of the cards one-by-one while you say some good things and bad things that have happened in your life.) Some of these things are good and some are bad, but these are the cards that I was dealt. My job is to use them and play them the best way that I possibly can.

Many people just want to complain about their cards. Instead let’s be thankful for them and use them for the glory of God!

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Thankful for Trash

Thankful for Trash object lesson

Key Verse

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Additional Verses

Ephesians 5:20; Philippians 4:6; Colossians 3:17

Materials Needed

  • Bag of garbage

Object Lesson

What things are you thankful for? (Allow for a few responses.) Many of us are thankful for the same kinds of things: home, transportation, job, school, family, friends, church, and the list goes on.

In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 it tells us to give thanks in EVERYTHING! Not just the good things! A home is good, right? Food is good! Families are good. But this verse tells us to give thanks in everything! Does that mean we can be thankful for things that aren’t so good?

(Take out the bag of garbage and show everyone.)

Are you thankful for trash? This is pretty gross and disgusting isn’t it? How in the world can you be thankful for trash? Well, I am thankful for trash because this shows that I had enough to eat and the things that I need in my life. If I didn’t have anything then I wouldn’t have trash either.

But there are some people in this world that are even more thankful for trash than I am. Did you know that in many countries, like Ethiopia, people’s lives depend on the trash! They will sort through the fresh trash and get plastic bags to recycle for money. They will also find used clothing, shoes and sometimes even food. If it wasn’t for the trash those people wouldn’t be able to survive!

Now, I believe that we should help people who have great needs like that, but I also think that hearing their story can help us to be even more thankful to God for the things that we have. It helps us to not take for granted the food and clothing that we have and use everyday.

Let us always remember to be thankful, not just for the good things, but also for the bad things! Let us also remember to be willing to help those people who are in need and have much less than we do.

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Horn of Plenty

Horn of Plenty

Key Verse

Philippians 4:19

Additional Verses

Psalm 36:8; Matthew 10:29-31; Psalm 37:25

Materials Needed

  • Cornucopia
  • Fruits and vegetables to fill up the cornucopia

Object Lesson

Often at Thanksgiving people will decorate their homes with a cornucopia. They will fill it with fruits and vegetables and call it a Horn of Plenty. This cornucopia is a symbol of having more than enough food to provide for your family, and that is one of the things that we are very thankful to God for.

In Philippians 4:19 the Bible says that God will provide all that we need according to His riches. It is like God has a giant cornucopia with everything that we could ever need. He provides for us from His own riches. Sometimes we can try to take credit for the things that we have. We think that because we work hard and make money to buy things that we have provided for ourselves. In reality God is the one that provides for us. If we have a job or get an allowance it is only because God has provided for us and has given us health and the opportunity to work.

It is important to be thankful for the things that God has provided for us. We should realize that He is the one that provides for us and takes care of us. Even if your parents take care of you, it is the Lord that gives them the ability to do it.

During Thanksgiving let us be grateful to God for the great things that He has done for us!

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Five Senses Gratitude

five senses gratitude

Key Verse

Ephesians 5:20

Additional Verses

1 Thessalonians 5:18; 1 Chronicles 16:34; Psalm 107:1; Philippians 4:6; 2 Corinthians 2:14; Psalm 103:2

Materials Needed

Object Lesson

The Bible tells us in Ephesians 5:10 that we are supposed to give thanks to God all the time. Sometimes if is hard for us to think about things to be thankful for.

We all have 5 senses. These are sensation that God has given us to experience the world. So let us think of ways that we can be thankful and show gratitude with each of our senses.

Sight

What can we be thankful for that we can see? Maybe the sky. The stars. We can be thankful for the colors in Creation. A sunset. A beautiful flower. (Allow for other responses.)

Feel

What can you be thankful for that you are able to feel? A cool breeze. The warmth of the sun. A rain on a summer evening. A salty wave splashing on you at the beach. The soft sand beneath your bare feet. (Allow for other ideas.)

Taste

Are there things that you can taste that you are thankful for? A tall glass of lemonade. A bowl of your favorite ice cream. Fresh berries picked from a bush. Warm apple pie.

Smell

Smells can trigger all kinds of thoughts, what smells are you thankful for? The smell of freshly baked cookies. The smell of a rose. The smell of a campfire in the fall. The smell of pine needles in the woods.

Hear

What sounds are you thankful for? The sound of a river bubbling by. The sound of your favorite music. The sounds of birds chirping in the morning. The sound of crickets lulling you to sleep at night.

If you ever have a hard time coming up with something to be thankful for, just remember your 5 senses and think about the things you have to be thankful for!

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Sacrifice of Praise

Sacrifice of Praise

Key Verse

Psalm 100:1-5

Additional Verses

Joshua 6:16; Psalm 150:1-6; Hebrews 13:15

Materials Needed

  • Trumpet or Ram’s horn

Object Lesson

I brought a trumpet with me today. Would you like to hear me play it? (Try to play it.) It didn’t sound that good did it? Well did you know that in the Bible wars were won by using trumpets? I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true!

Several times God send the Israelites into battle and guess what He said to do? He said to put the praisers on the front line! If you were going into battle who would you want to put on the front line? (Wait for responses.) Probably your strongest and most skilled warriors. But God told Joshua to march around the walls of Jericho and put the trumpet players on the front line! God also told Jehoshaphat to send the praisers out in front. Would you want to be on the front lines of a battle singing and playing music? Probably not!

Do you know what praising is? In Psalm 100:1-5 it says that praise is giving thanks to God. We often will do this by singing and playing instruments. Basically it is thanking God for the Good things He has done.

Wouldn’t that be wild going into battle and the very first thing you do if sing and give thanks to God? I think I would be pretty nervous!

Do you know what happened next??

When the trumpets blew and the people started to sing and shout giving praise to God and thanking Him for the things that He has done, God fought the battle for them! God tore the walls of Jericho down! God defeated the enemy!

Sometimes it isn’t easy to give thanks to God in the middle of a battle. In Hebrews 13:15 it says that we bring a “sacrifice of praise.” Why is it a sacrifice? Because it isn’t easy! It is hard to do! But when we begin to give thanks to God and praise Him then amazing things begin to happen. When we give thanks to God then He will fight out battles for us!

You may be facing a difficult situation in your life, but don’t be sad and discouraged! Start to sing! Start to praise God. Give thanks to our Lord! And let Him fight and win the battle for you!

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