Water Balloon Toss

Monday: Water Balloon Toss
Bible Lesson: Rahab was saved because she believed in God, and we are saved the same way.
Memory Verse: Ephesians 2:8-9
Age Groups:
  • elementary
  • teens
Equipment Needed:
  • balloons
  • water
Pair off the children and provide each pair with a water balloon. (If there's an odd number, grab an adult to fill out the pairs.) Have them stand opposite their teammates in two parallel lines, very close to one another. Each time you blow the whistle, they must throw the balloon to their partner, and then take a step backward. When a pair's balloon pops, they're done and must sit where they are and wait for the others. Go until there's only one balloon left (or none). If there's time, play again.

Prayer Warrior discussion questions

Friday:Prayer Warrior
Story Passage: Acts 12:1-19
Other Passages: Ephesians 6:17-18, James 5:13-19
Memory Verse: 1st Thessalonians 5:16-18, Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
  1. Why did Herod have Simon Peter arrested and put in prison?
  2. Why didn't Rhoda let Peter in right away?
  3. Why did the people gather at Mary's house?
  4. Why would having James killed make the Jewish leaders happy? What kind of impact might that have had on the church?
  5. If the people in the church were praying for God to save Peter, why were they surprised when it happened?
  6. What are some pressing issues in our church that we should be praying about?
  7. Are there any concerns that might have an impact for people your age in the church? Do you ever meet together as a group to pray about these issues?
If you need hints to answer some of the questions, look up the listed scripture passages.

Prayer Warrior (Teen Version)

Friday:Prayer Warrior
Story Passage: Acts 12
Other Passages: Ephesians 6:17-18, James 5:13-19
Objective: Teens should learn that they should be praying, and that prayer is effective.
Memory Verse: 1st Thessalonians 5:16-18, Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
Introduction: Prayer
[Read Ephesians 6:17-18]
So what's the last thing that goes with the armor? Once we put on our armor, we should pray. In a way, prayer is the last piece of the armor.
What kinds of things do you say when you talk to God? Do you ever tell God that you love him? Do you thank God for the things he has done for you? Do you ever ask God for anything? Today's lesson is about a church that asked God for something – and God answered their prayer.
Story: Peter in Prison
King Herod wanted the Jewish leaders to like him. It would make him a stronger king. Now, the Jewish leaders didn't accept Jesus, so they were upset with the Christians, who were following Jesus. So Herod decided he could make them happy if he wasn't very nice to some Christians. In fact he was outright mean. He had the apostle James killed, and that made the Jewish leaders happy, so then he had Simon Peter arrested and put in prison. What do you suppose he was going to do to Peter? Maybe he was going to kill him too. Or maybe he'd have him beaten with whips. Whatever he had planned, it wasn't going to be very fun for Peter.
Herod assigned four squads of four soldiers each to guard Peter. Do you think Peter could get away from sixteen soldiers? Herod was serious about keeping Peter from getting away. The night before Peter was to stand trial, he was sleeping between two soldiers, and he was chained to them, and there were sentries guarding the door. Peter was stuck! But the church was praying earnestly to God for Peter. They were gathered at the house of a woman named Mary, the mother of John-Mark. Many people were there, and they were praying.
While Peter was sleeping, suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in his prison cell. The angel woke Peter up, and his chains fell off. The angel lead Peter out of the prison. Peter followed him out past the guards, and the guards didn't try to stop him — they didn't even notice. They walked right past them, and the iron gate opened by itself, and they went out. Peter didn't know it was really happening. He thought he was having a dream or a vision. But when Peter and the angel had walked a block away from the prison, the angel disappeared, and Peter realized that it was really happening, that God had actually sent an angel and rescued him.
So he went to Mary's house, and knocked on the outer door. A girl named Rhoda came to answer the door, but when she recognized Peter's voice, she was so excited that she forgot to even open the door, she ran to tell the others that Peter was at the door, but they didn't believe her. You're crazy. Peter's in jail. But Peter kept on knocking, and finally they let him in. Boy, were they surprised to see him! God had answered their prayers before they even expected it, and in a way they did not anticipate.
Application: Prayer
Why were the people in the Jerusalem church gathered at Mary's house to pray for Peter? They were worried about Peter, afraid of what Herod might do to him. So what did they do? They prayed. They asked God to do something about their problem. They asked God to help Peter. Do you suppose they thought praying would really help? They were surprised when Peter actually showed up at the door, weren't they? When we pray, even if we know prayer is effective, we don't always expect results right away. But sometimes God gives us faster results that we expect. Sometimes it takes longer. But God wants us put on our spiritual armor, to be alert, and to pray to him. We can be prayer warriors for God.
Invitation: Prayer Warrior
Give an invitation for teens who want to commit to pray more.

Good Soldier discussion questions

Thursday:Good Soldier
Story Passage: Jeremiah 1:7-10, Jeremiah 38
Other Passages: 2nd Timothy 2:3-4, 2nd Chronicles 36:11-20, 2nd Kings 24:18 – 25:26, Matthew 28:18-20, 1st Corinthians 15:1-4, Romans 10:5-13, 2nd Corinthians 5:1
Memory Verse: Romans 1:16, I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
  1. What kind of information did Jeremiah have to give the people?
  2. Who rescued Jeremiah from the cistern?
  3. Why had God chosen to allow Jerusalem to fall to the king of Babylon?
  4. Why didn't the people want to hear what Jeremiah had to tell them? Are people today ever like that? Are people in the church ever like that?
  5. If God was protecting Jeremiah, why did he allow him to be put into the cistern?
  6. Have you ever needed to tell someone something that you knew they didn't really want to hear? Something about their relationship with God? Did you tell them? Were there any consequences?
If you need hints to answer some of the questions, look up the listed scripture passages.

Good Soldier (Teen Version)

Thursday:Good Soldier
Story Passage: Jeremiah 1:7-10, Jeremiah 38
Other Passages: 2nd Timothy 2:3-4, 2nd Chronicles 36:11-20, 2nd Kings 24:18 – 25:26, Matthew 28:18-20, 1st Corinthians 15:1-4, Romans 10:5-13, 2nd Corinthians 5:1
Objective: Teens should learn that they should endure the world's contempt when living their faith and when sharing their faith.
Memory Verse: Romans 1:16, I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
Introduction: Good News
How many of you know where you're going when you die? Where are you going? (Accept answers.) Okay, if you're going to heaven, how many of you know how to know for sure that you will go to heaven? Good, that's good news. How many know someone who might not be able to go to heaven when they die? Think of someone you know, who really needs this information. A relative perhaps, or a friend... Why don't we tell them sometimes? (Accept answers.) There's a man in the Bible named Jeremiah, and there were some reasons why he might not want to tell people what God said he should tell them — but he did anyway.
Story: Jeremiah
God called Jeremiah to be a prophet. A prophet was a man who delivered a message to people from God. Sometimes God told a prophet what was going to happen, and he would tell the people, and then later it would happen. Other times, God told a prophet what he wanted people to do, and the prophet had to tell the people. They didn't always want to hear it. God told Jeremiah that he had been set apart, from before he was born, to tell the people what God wanted them to hear. Jeremiah didn't know what to say, but God told him, I will put my words in your mouth. God told Jeremiah not to be afraid of the people, and tell them everything God said, and God would protect him. One time, when the people had been worshipping idols (false gods), Jeremiah had to tell them that they'd been faithless to God, and should return to worshiping him only. Do you think they liked hearing that? Would you like being called faithless? Another time, he had to tell the people of Judah and Jerusalem that because they had disobeyed God, God was going to bring disaster on them, and they couldn't stop it. Do you think they were happy to hear this message? No, and they blamed Jeremiah and plotted against him, but God kept his word to Jeremiah and always protected him.
God's protection didn't always mean that nothing would ever happen to Jeremiah. Sometimes things weren't so pleasant. One time, when the city of Jerusalem was about to be taken by the cruel king of Babylon, Jeremiah had to tell the people that they could not save the city. He told them that God said they should go surrender to the king of Babylon, so they could live, because if they stayed to defend the city they would die. But the people didn't want to hear it, and some of them blamed Jeremiah. They put him in a dark room that was dug out of the ground to hold water — a cistern — and the only way out was through a hole in the ceiling. This pit didn't have water in it at the time, but it was still muddy, and Jeremiah sank into the mud when they put him down there. He didn't have any food or water, and it was dark.
God sent someone to rescue him, but it took a while. Ebed-Melech, an official in the royal palace of Judea, felt bad for Jeremiah. He was worried that Jeremiah would starve to death. Ebed-Melech put his own neck on the line and got permission from the king of Judea, and he took thirty men and they lowered ropes down to Jeremiah, and some rags to put under his arms to pad the ropes, and they pulled him out. We don't know how long he was down there, but God protected him. Jeremiah went on telling people what God had him say. Even though it wasn't fun to be in the pit, Jeremiah knew he had to obey God, and the people needed to hear the message, even if it wasn't a happy message.
Application: Telling Others
We need to obey God too, and God tells us to tell others about Jesus. Now I know that you know people who need to know that Jesus died for their sins, and that he was buried and raised to life three days later, and that he will forgive their sins if they believe, so that they can live forever in heaven with him. Do you tell them? What if they might not want to hear? What if other people don't want you to tell them? What if people make it hard for us? What if someone teases you? Shouldn't you still tell people about Jesus then? What if you are in danger of losing a friend? You don't need to be obnoxious about it, but don't stop telling people what they need to hear. It doesn't magically get easier when you become an adult. If you're not going to tell people now, you probably never will.
Invitation: Committment
Give an invitation for teens who want to do a better job of sharing their faith, or who need to accept the Lord themselves.

Armor of God discussion questions

Wednesday:Armor of God
Story Passage: Matthew 4:1-11, Luke 4:1-13
Other Passages: Ephesians 6:10-18, Deuteronomy 8:3, Deuteronomy 6:16, Deuteronomy 6:13, Psalm 91
Memory Verse: Ephesians 6:11, Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.
  1. What does the belt symbolize? Why is that important?
  2. Which piece of armor did Jesus use when Satan tempted him?
  3. Why do we have to put on the armor of God? When we're saved, don't we just get those things?
  4. The second time Satan tempted Jesus, he quoted scripture himself. The words he gave are in fact straight out of Psalm 91, but Jesus rejected him again. What was wrong with Satan's reasoning?
  5. How can you evaluate your own armor, and determine whether you have it all in place, and whether there are any pieces you need to work on?
If you need hints to answer some of the questions, look up the listed scripture passages.

Armor of God

Wednesday:Armor of God
Story Passage: Matthew 4:1-11, Luke 4:1-13
Other Passages: Ephesians 6:10-18, Deuteronomy 8:3, Deuteronomy 6:16, Deuteronomy 6:13
Objective: Teens should learn that temptations should be resisted using God's word and the armor of God, not human reasoning.
Memory Verse: Ephesians 6:11, Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.
Introduction: Pieces of Armor
Soldiers need armor to protect them in combat.
[Refer to diagram.] Our spiritual breastplate is righteousness. If we are righteous, that protects us from spiritual harm. To hold things together, a soldier wears a heavy belt. Our spiritual belt is truth. We can learn truth from the Bible, and it holds our spiritual life together. Soldiers do a lot of walking, so they need good boots. This prepares them to get to the battle without tripping or being hurt. Our preparation comes from studying the gospel. In ancient times, every good soldier carried a shield. He could hold the shield in whichever direction the danger was coming from, and protect himself from arrows. When Satan throws trouble our way, our faith protects us. The Bible says with our shield of faith we can extinguish all his flaming arrows. The most important thing for a soldier to protect is his head. If a soldier doesn't have a helmet, and his head is injured, he cannot continue fighting. He could even die. Our spiritual helmet is our salvation, which we talked about on Monday. The rest of the armor cannot protect us if we do not believe in God. Soldiers also carry weapons. Today they may carry firearms, but in ancient times soldiers carried swords. This is the weapon they would use to push back the enemy. Our sword is the word of God. When you learn the Bible, you have the information you need to push Satan back. The Bible says that God's soldiers should also pray, not just once in a while, but all the time. In our story today, someone was being tempted by Satan, and he used his sword to push Satan away.
Story: Temptation of Jesus
Jesus hadn't eaten for forty days, because he had been fasting. The devil saw this as an opportunity, and came to tempt him. He said, If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread. How do you think Jesus responded? Did he say, No, I don't like bread? Did he say, I am the Son of God, but making bread out of a stone wouldn't prove it? No. He quoted from the Bible. He used his sword: It is written, Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. Jesus was quoting from a passage in Deuteronomy that was talking about the people of Israel, being tested in the desert (just like Jesus was being tested in the desert), and how they were hungry, and God fed them manna, to show them that following God is more important than food. Jesus applied this idea to what was happening in his own life: it was more important to Jesus to follow God (not Satan) than to eat bread.
Satan didn't give up. He tempted Jesus again: two more times. Both times, Jesus answered by quoting more passages from Deuteronomy. He didn't answer with human reasoning, but with the Word of God — and it kept him from sinning. After the third time, Satan left. Jesus had pushed him away with his sword.
Application: Using Your Sword
Let's see if you can use your sword. I'll tell you something that's wrong, and you give me a Bible verse that says it's wrong. Don't tell me what you think: tell me what the Bible says.
  1. Billions of years ago, everything in the universe was a dot the size of a period, and it exploded, and the gasses that came from it collected into what became planets and stars and eventually people.
    (Accept Bible verses. Genesis 1:1 would be a good answer.)
  2. I know I'm going to heaven, because I am a good person. I go to church, and I help the needy, and I don't swear, and I don't kick dogs.
    (Accept Bible verses. Good answers include Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 10:9-10, Romans 3:22-24, ...)
  3. I can have an abortion. It's not really wrong to get rid of a fetus, because it's my body, and I don't want to bring a child into the world that nobody would love.
    (Accept Bible verses. Good answers would include Psalm 139:13, 1st Corinthians 6:19-20, Luke 1:41-44, Matthew 10:28-31, Jeremiah 1:5, or Exodus 20:13.)
Invitation: Growth
Give an invitation for teens who want to get really serious about studying their Bible and learning to use their armor better. Have them give you some specific ways that they're going to do this.

Our Commanding Officer Discussion Questions

Tuesday:Our Commanding Officer
Story Passage: Matthew 8:5-13, Luke 7:1-10
Other Passages: Ephesians 1:19-23, Joshua 6-7
Memory Verse: 1st John 5:3-4, This is love for God: to obey his commands; and his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world.
  1. Why did the Centurion want Jesus to heal his servant?
  2. How did the Centurion know that the sick servant would be healed if Jesus just said so?
  3. Name some other people in the Bible who obeyed God.
  4. How could Jesus be amazed (at the man's faith)? Doesn't he know everything?
  5. What are some ways that you demonstrate your faith?
  6. What happened when Achan disobeyed God's command after the battle of Jericho? Were the consequences limited to only Achan? Why would God treat one man's disobedience so harshly?
  7. What are some ways that you obey Christ?
If you need hints to answer some of the questions, look up the listed scripture passages.

Red Cord of Salvation Discussion Questions

Story Passage: Joshua 2, Joshua 6
Other Passages: Ephesians 2:8-10, Numbers 21, John 3:13-16
Memory Verse: Ephesians 2:8-9, For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves; it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.
  1. Why were the Israelites going to attack Jericho?
  2. Where did Rahab hide the two spies? Why?
  3. Why did God want the Canaanites destroyed?
  4. Rahab told the men of Jericho, whom the king of Jericho sent, that the spies had left already, when in fact she had hidden them on her roof. Was that right? What should she have done?
  5. What does hanging a red cord out a window have in common with marching around a city seven times, or looking at a bronze snake on a pole?
If you need hints to answer some of the questions, look up the listed scripture passages.

Our Commanding Officer (Teen Version)

Tuesday:Our Commanding Officer
Story Passage: Matthew 8:5-13, Luke 7:1-10
Other Passages: Ephesians 1:19-23
Objective: Teens should learn that they should obey Christ
Memory Verse: 1st John 5:3-4, This is love for God: to obey his commands; and his commands are not burdensome.
Introduction: Cents
Who knows what the Latin word root cent means? (Accept answers.) There are 100 cents in a dollar, 100 years in a century, and 100 degrees between freezing and boiling on the centigrade temperature scale. Cent really just means 100. In the Roman army, there were officers called centurions. Each centurion had command of about a hundred soldiers. An army has a lot more than a hundred men in it, thousands, possibly tens of thousands, so an army would have lots of centurions in it. They're sort of like lieutenants. The generals and colonels would have a lot of centurions under them. The centurions had to answer to these superiors, but they also had to command the soldiers under them.
In an army, everyone has to do what they're told all the time. If you're at war, and someone doesn't do something, people die. Entire battles can be lost, if orders are not followed. The commanding officer doesn't always have time to explain his reasons, and he can't do everything himself, so the men under him have to trust him and obey their orders. When the army trains new soldiers at boot camp, they are trained to do whatever they are told all the time. When the general gives an order, he doesn't have time to watch that it gets done. The orders get passed down the chain of command, and it gets done.
Story: The Centurion's Servant
In Capernaum, there was a centurion, who loved the Jews and had helped them to build their synagogue there. One of this man's servants was very sick, and in terrible suffering. The centurion heard that Jesus was in town, so he sent some men from the synagogue to ask Jesus to heal his servant, because this servant was important to him. The Jews told Jesus that this centurion was a good man, and they told Jesus what the centurion had done for them, so Jesus went with them, but while he was on the way, the centurion sent some of his friends to tell Jesus that he didn't need to come to the house.
He said, Lord, don't trouble yourself. I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. Just say the word, and my servant will be healed, for I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one Go, and he goes, and that one Come, and he comes. I say to my servant do this, and he does it.
Jesus was surprised when he heard this. He said, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. The centurion believed that just by speaking, Jesus could heal his servant. It would happen at his order. The centurion understood authority, because of the way the army works. Jesus did heal the man's servant. He said, Go, and it will be done, just as you have believed it would, and when the men who had been sent got back to the house, the servant was already well.
Application: Commanding Officers
When an army general gives an order, how can he know that it will happen? He has to be able to trust the soldiers to follow it. The soldiers have to obey their commanding officers. If we are soldiers in God's army, we should obey our orders too. Our commanding officer is Christ, because he has been put in charge of the church. The Bible says that Christ is over everything for the church, and he is the one we have to follow and obey.
Invitation: Obedience
Give an invitation for any teens who want to commit or recommit themselves to obey Christ.

Red Cord of Salvation (Teen Version)

Monday:Red Cord of Salvation
Story Passage: Joshua 2, Joshua 6
Other Passages: Ephesians 2:8-9, Genesis 15
Objective: Teens should learn that Rahab was saved because she believed in God, and we are saved the same way.
Memory Verse: Ephesians 2:8-9, For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves; it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.
Introduction: Soldiers for God
The soldiers that we're studying today are found in the book of Joshua. We'll be looking at chapters 2 and 6. This wasn't exactly a traditional group of soldiers. They didn't use swords or battering rams, but an entire city was knocked down. Actually, the soldiers didn't do it at all: God knocked the city down, but the people of Israel were following God and trusting in him to win the battle. God had promised the people of Israel a land where they could live, that would be their own home. But they had to eliminate the wicked Canaanites who lived there, before they could really take possession of the land.
Story: Rahab and Jericho
Jericho was one of the big fortified cities of the Canaanites. It had thick walls all the way around, so the people of Israel sent two spies to look over the city, before they went to take it over. They went in and went about their business, but while the spies were looking at the city, their cover was blown — they got found out. But a woman named Rahab hid them and helped them escape. Rahab told the spies that she had heard about their God, and how he saved the people of Israel when they crossed the Red Sea. She knew that God was real, and very powerful, and she wanted to be on his side. So she hid the spies on her roof, under the flax that she kept laid out there, and she sent away the men who came looking for them.
Because Rahab helped the two spies, they promised her that she and her family would be saved when the Israelites came to conquer the city. They told her to hang a red rope from her window, and gather all of her family in her house, and anyone in her house would be saved. She hung up the red rope right away, because she wanted to show that she trusted in God.
After the spies came back from Jericho to the camp, God told the people of Israel how they were supposed to take the city: they should march around the city once a day for six days, and then on the seventh day they should march around the city seven times, with seven priests blowing trumpets, and then the last time the priests would sound a loud blast on the trumpets, and the people would all shout, and the city walls would just fall down. Then they could take the city with the sword and destroy everything.
So that's just what they did. They followed God's instructions, and all the walls fell down except at Rahab's house. Then the Israelites took over the city and destroyed the wicked Canaanites, but the two spies went in and brought out Rahab and her family and took them to safety, and Rahab lived with the Israelites from then on.
Application: Salvation by Faith
Rahab didn't tie the red cord on her window because she believed it was strong enough to keep her house from falling down when the rest of the city fell. It wasn't the cord that did that — it was God. The cord wasn't magic, but the cord was a symbol, which showed that Rahab was willing to follow the instructions. It showed that she believed in the God of Israel and trusted that she would be saved when her city was destroyed.
We can be saved on the day of destruction too, and we are saved the same way as Rahab: there is nothing we can do to save ourselves, but if we believe in God and trust in him, the blood of Jesus will wash away our sins and we will be saved.
Invitation: Salvation
Give an invitation for any teens who want to trust in the Lord for their salvation as Rahab did.

Peter in Prison

Friday:Peter in Prison
Story Passage: Acts 12
Other Passages: Ephesians 6:18
Objective: Children should learn that God answers prayer.
Introduction: [needed]
Story: Peter in Prison
Peter was a disciple of Jesus. After Jesus went back to heaven, Peter was busy telling people about Jesus. He told them they should believe in Jesus. But bad King Herod [show picture] did not believe that Jesus was God's son, so he had Peter put in prison (jail) [show visual]. Peter hadn't done anything wrong. He was just telling people about Jesus.
The King did not want Peter to get away, so he had soldiers guarding him. There were 16 of them! Do you think Peter could get away from 16 soldiers? Things did not look good for Peter. A lot of his Christian friends got together and prayed [show visual]. One night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers [re-show visual]. He was chained to them. And the other soldiers were guarding the doors. While Peter was sleeping, suddenly an angel of the Lord came. A bright light shone from the angel. The angel tapped Peter on the side and told him to wake up. Peter woke up. The chains fell off his wrists [show visual]. Put on your shoes and your coat and follow me, the angel told Peter. So Peter did. But Peter didn't know it was really happening. He thought he was dreaming! They walked right past the guards and when they came to a big gate, it opened all by itself. When they had walked about a block down the street, the angel suddenly disappeared. That is when Peter realized that it wasn't a dream. It was really happening! He hurried to the house of Mary, the mother of John-Mark [re-show visual]. The Christians were there praying for Peter. When Peter [show visual] knocked on the door, a girl named Rhoda came to answer it. When she heard Peter's voice, she knew who it was. She got so excited she didn't even open the door. She ran back to the others [show visual] and said, Peter's at the door! But they didn't believe her. You must be crazy, they said. But Peter kept knocking and they went to see and it was him. They were so surprised that he had escaped from the prison. They got very excited. Peter motioned with his hand for them to be quiet. He told them how God had sent an angel to get him out. He told them to tell all their Christian friends. Then he left for a safer place. God had answered their prayers.
Application: Prayer
When we pray, God answers us. He doesn't always say Yes. He doesn't always give us what we want. But when he does, we shouldn't be surprised. God loves us and is very powerful, and he can give us what we need.

The Blind Army

Thursday:The Blind Army
Story Passage: 2nd Kings 6
Other Passages:
Objective: Children should learn that God is very powerful, that there is none like him.
Introduction: [needed]
Story: The Blind Army
The King of Aram [show visual] was at war with God's people, Israel. He kept trying to secretly get his army close to the King of Israel who was in Samaria. But no matter where he took his army, the King of Israel found out. This made the King of Aram mad. Which one of you is telling on us? he asked his soldiers [show visual]. It's not us, they answered, it's God's prophet, Elisha. He tells the King of Israel what you say in secret, in your bedroom. How did Elisha know where the enemy army was? Did he go listen? No, God told him where they were.
The King of Aram told his soldiers, Go find out where Elisha is so I can send men to capture him. His soldiers came back and said, He's in a place called Dotham. So the king sent horses and chariots and a strong army there [show visual]. They went at night when it was dark and surrounded the city where Elisha was.
The next morning, when Elisha's servant got up [show visual], he went out and saw an army with horses and chariots all around the city. Oh, what are we going to do? he asked Elisha [show visual]. Don't be afraid, Elisha answered. Those who are with us are more than those who are with them. Then Elisha prayed, O Lord, open his eyes so he may see. And God made it possible for the servant to see what Elisha knew was there [show visual]. He saw many angels all around them. He looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
As the enemy army came towards him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, Make these people (in the enemy army) blind. And God did.
Then Elisha said to all the blind enemy soldiers, This is not the road and this is not the city (that you are looking for). Follow me, and I will lead you to the man you are looking for. And he lead them to the King of Israel in Samaria. When they got there, Elisha prayed again and asked God to let them see again. When they looked up I bet they were scared! The King of Israel asked Elisha, Shall I kill them? No, said Elisha, don't kill them. Feed them and give them something to drink and send them home.
So the king had a big meal (feast) fixed for them. After they ate, he let them go home and they stopped bothering Israel.
Application: God's Omnipotence
Our God is very strong. Stronger than people, stronger than anything. He helped Elisha know where the enemy army was, he sent his angels to help, and he made the enemy army blind for while. No one but God could do those things.
[Pray and thank God for his strength and care.]

David and Goliath (Trust in God)

Wednesday:David and Goliath
Story Passage: 1st Samuel 17
Other Passages: John 14:1, Romans 15:13
Objective: Children should learn that they should trust in God.
Introduction: [Needed]
Story: David and Goliath
One day, David's father sent him on an errand [show visual]. David was the youngest of eight brothers. His three oldest brothers were away at war. David was home watching his father's sheep. But one day, his father said, Take this grain, and these 10 loaves of bread, and these ten big pieces of cheese to your brothers in the army. And come back and tell me how they are doing.
So in the morning, David left the sheep with another shepherd and loaded the food up on a donkey and left to go to his brothers.
When he got there [show visual], he found his brothers and the other soldiers were afraid. There was a giant, named Goliath [show visual], who was fighting for the enemy. Goliath was over 9 feet tall. [Explain or demonstrate that.]
Everyone was afraid of him. And he was shouting, Send out just one man to fight just me. If I win, you will all become our slaves. If you win, we will become your slaves. But nobody thought they could beat the giant. David [show visual] said, [This is an extreme paraphrase] Why should we be afraid of him. He doesn't worship God or believe in God. I will fight him. King Saul heard what David had said. King Saul said, David, you are still a boy. You are young. Goliath has been a soldier for a long time. You can't go fight him.
But David told King Saul, I have been taking care of my father's sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I grabbed it by its hair, struck it and killed it. I have killed both the lion and the bear. This man will be like them, because he does not believe in God. [i.e., because he has defied the armies of the living God.] The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this man.
So Saul said, Ok. Go fight him. King Saul dressed David with heavy armor and a helmet. But they were so heavy, David said, I can't go in these. I'm not used to them. So he took them off. He took [show visual] only his shepherd's crook and his sling, and five small stones that he got out of the stream. Goliath said, Am I a dog that you come after me with sticks? But David answered, You come against me with sword and spear, but I come against you in the name of the Lord God Almighty, the God of... Israel. Today the Lord (God) will hand you over to me. So David took one stone out and put it in his sling [show visual]. He turned his sling 'round and 'round and let the stone fly. It hit Goliath in the head, and he fell down (dead) [show visual]. David won! And the other enemy soldiers got scared and ran away. So God's army won.
Application: Trusting God
David won because he believed in God and trusted God to take care of him. And God helped him. When God wants us to do something hard, (like obeying our parents or telling the truth) we should trust Him. He will help us too.

Centurion's Servant (Jesus is God)

Tuesday:Centurion's Servant
Story Passages: Matthew 8:5-13, Luke 7:1-10
Other Passages: [none]
Objective: Children should learn that Jesus is God.
Introduction: Sickness
[Discuss with the children a time when they were sick. Ask them to tell you about it. Did they go to the doctor? Maybe the doctor or their mother gave them some medicine and they got better...]
Today we are going to learn about a man who was very sick, but got better without a doctor or medicine.
Story: The Centurion's Servant
In a town called Capernaum, there lived a soldier who was called a Centurion. That means he was in charge of about 100 other soldiers. One day, one of his servants got very sick [show visual]. He couldn't move. He was in a lot of pain, and it seemed like he was going to die. The Centurion cared about his servant. He was sorry to see him so sick. Then he heard some good news. Jesus was coming to town! [show visual] He had heard that Jesus could make sick people well. When Jesus heard about the sick servant, he said, I will go to him and heal him.
But the Centurion said, Lord, don't trouble yourself. I don't deserve to have you come to my house. But you can just say the word and he will be well.
Jesus was surprised, but happy, to see how much the Centurion trusted him and believed in his power. Jesus said to him, Go home. It will be done just as you believed it would. So the Centurion went home and his servant was well again [show visual]. Jesus had made him well!
Application: Jesus is God
Jesus was able to make him well because Jesus is God. Only God could make someone well just by saying so.

Joshua and the Walls

Monday:Joshua and the Walls
Story Passage: Joshua 6
Other Passages: Genesis 15
Objective: Children should learn that they should obey God.
Introduction: The Promised Land
Joshua was the leader of God's people. He was taking them to the new place to live that God had promised to give them. There were people already living there, but they were bad. They did bad things, and God was going to take the land away from them to punish them. God's people were supposed to take the land away from them. One of the first places they went to take was a city called Jericho [show visual]. Jericho had a very big wall all around it. The wall was so big that some people even had their homes built in the wall. How were God's people, the children of Israel, going to take the city?
Story: Jericho
God had a plan. He told Joshua what to do. Then Joshua told the people what to do. The people did exactly what they were told. By obeying Joshua, they were obeying God. For six days the people lined up [show visual]. In the front of the line were soldiers (armed guards). Then 7 priests came next. They each had a trumpet. Behind them more priests carried the ark of the covenant. Behind the ark were more soldiers, then the rest of the people. Each day they marched all the way around the city of Jericho one time [show visual]. The priests played their trumpets, but everyone else was very quiet. They didn't say a word. After they marched around the city one time they went back to where they were camped and rested. What do you think the people inside the city thought? Do you think they were afraid?
On the seventh day everyone got up very early just as the sun was coming up. They lined up just like before and marched around the city. But this time they didn't just go around one time and stop. They marched around seven times. And the last time they went around, the priests blew their trumpets long and loud. That was the signal that Joshua had told all the people to wait for. Now, instead of being very quiet, they all shouted as loud as they could shout! And guess what God did. He had the wall of Jericho fall down. Boom! And God's people went in and took the city.
Application: Obedience
The people obeyed God and he took care of them. We should obey God too.

1st Thessalonians 5:16-18

Friday:Prayer Warrior
Bible Lesson: We should be praying; prayer is effective. (Peter in Prison)
Memory Verse: 1st Thessalonians 5:16-18, Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
Introduction: [needed]
Explanation: 1st Thessalonians 5:16-18
[Show the verse and read it aloud.]
When the verse says "pray continually", what does continually mean? Continually means all the time, right? Does that mean you never do anything else? That you never eat, or sleep, or do your homework, because you're too busy praying? (No.) When we say that we do something all the time, does that mean that we never take a break from doing it? If you tell your friend that your family had pizza for supper last night, and he says, "Oh, my family has pizza all the time", does he mean that they never stop eating pizza to do anything else? (No.) So what does it mean? He means that having pizza for supper isn't unusual. It's a normal thing that they do all the time.
What about if Joey says to his friend Noah, "Hey, my dad got tickets! We're going to see the Cleveland Indians on Friday night!" What if Noah says, "Yeah, we have season tickets, so we go to the games all the time". Does that mean that Noah has never missed a game? Does it mean that he's there every day, all day long? No. It means that going to the games isn't something unusual. He's done it before. It's a normal part of his life.
So in the verse, praying should be a normal everyday part of our life, not something unusual that we only do once in a while.
Game: Voice Contenst
Divide the children into two groups by their teams (red and blue). Have a competition to see which team can say the verse in the deepest, strongest, loudest, manliest voices. Go back and forth between the teams, having them work on the deepness of their voices, then the strength of their voices, then the loudness, and finally the manliness of the voices. Then put all four together. Award points to the team that tries hardest and does best.
Then have another contest to see which team can say the verse in the highest, softest, most quiet, most ladylike voices. Go back and forth between the two teams, having them concentrate on first the highest pitch of their voices, then on the softest quality, then on whispering most quietly, then on the ladylike quality of their voices. Then put all four together. Award points to the team that tries hardest and does best.

Ephesians 6:11

Wednesday:Armor of God
Bible Lesson: Temptations should be resisted using God's word and the armor of God, not human reasoning.
Memory Verse: Ephesians 6:11, Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.
Introduction: [Needed]
Explanation: Ephesians 6:11
[Show the verse and read it aloud.]
Does the verse mean that we should actually put on a metal helmet? (No.) What does it mean? When the devil is scheming, does it matter whether we're sitting down or standing up? (No.) What is the verse talking about then?
When a soldier has his armor on, he is ready for battle. He's prepared. We should be prepared too. Who remembers from the Bible lesson some of the ways we should be prepared? (Accept answers.) So those things, our salvation, righteousness, knowing your Bible, prayer, and so on, those things are our armor. They protect us. That's what the verse is talking about. When it says we should put on the full armor, do you suppose that means we should do just some of these things? If we just get saved, can we stop then? (No.) We need to do all of those things, so we can have on the full armor, so we can be totally ready to take our stand.
Game: Scrambled Verse
Read the verse together several times, then turn it around.
Divide the children into groups of three or four (all from the same team in each group), and give each group a baggie containing all the words in the verse on separate pieces of paper. Have the children arrange the words into the proper order, to make the verse. Some groups may need a little help. Have each group stand up and read their verse through together when they think they have it in order. If it's not right, tell them which words are in the wrong place, and let them keep trying. Award points for their team to the first groups that finish. When all the groups have finished, have all the children say the verse together without looking.