Running the Race: Faithfulness

Tuesday:Running the Race: Faithfulness
Story Passage: Daniel 6
Other Passages: Philippians 3:12-16
Objective: God expects faithfulness.
Memory Verse: 1st Corinthians 15:58, Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
Introduction: Pressing on Toward the Goal
Who remembers our theme for the week? [Running the Race] In Philippians 3, the Apostle Paul writes that he is not perfect but says, One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. How did Paul expect to win that prize? By sitting around? (No, by running the race.)
Story: Daniel and the Satraps
In the Bible there was a man named Daniel. Daniel was so reliable, and King Darius trusted him so much, that he made him an administrator. It was Daniel's job to watch over the satraps who ruled the people and make sure the satraps were doing their job right and not cheating the King. What do you suppose the satraps thought of that? (They didn't like it.) Do you think they liked Daniel? (No.) The satraps wanted to get rid of Daniel. So they started looking for excuses to have the King get rid of him. They figured, if they could catch Daniel cheating the King, then the King would get rid of Daniel. Do you think they caught Daniel cheating the King? (No.) Daniel was too honest for that. Daniel wasn't getting into any trouble, so the satraps decided to make their own trouble for him. How do you suppose they did that?
The satraps knew that Daniel prayed to God three times every day. So, the satraps went to the King and said, “We think you should make a law that anyone who prays to any god or man except to you, King, will be thrown to the lions.” What do you suppose Daniel did when the King made that law? He prayed to God three times a day, just like before.
Transition: Hard Choices
Has anyone ever threatened to throw you to the lions if you follow God? Can they do that in this country? (No.) So, it ought to be easy to follow God here, right? (Not always.) What are some things people do sometimes, that make it hard for you to follow God? [Accept some answers from the children, or give some examples.] It isn't always easy to follow God, even if there are no lions.
Application: Faithfulness
Paul said, I press on toward the goal to win the prize. What was he talking about? (Following God.) Was it always easy? (No.) Sometimes Paul had to preach about Jesus to people who didn't want to hear it. Sometimes they threw him in jail. Did that stop him? (No.) Paul kept on doing what he knew God wanted him to do, even when it was hard and he was tired. What are some things God wants you to do, that aren't always easy? [Accept some answers from the children.]
Postscript: The Lions' Den
What happened to Daniel, when he kept praying to God? (They threw him to the lions.) God protected Daniel. He shut the lions' mouths, and in the morning the King let Daniel out of the lions' den, safe and sound. But Daniel was so faithful, he would have kept praying to God even if it meant the lions would tear him to pieces. Serving God was more important to Daniel than anything.
Invitation: Living Faithfully
[Invite the children to stay after the lesson if they want to learn how to be faithful to God.]

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