Running the Race: God's Word

Wednesday:Running the Race: God's Word
Story Passages: 2nd Kings 22-23, 2nd Chronicles 34
Other Passages: 1st Corinthians 9:23-27, 1st Timothy 4:7-10, 2nd Timothy 3:16-4:8
Objective: The Bible is God's word; we should study it and apply it to our lives.
Memory Verse: 1st Thessalonians 2:13, When you received the word of God... you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.
Introduction: The Bible
How many of you have a Bible? [Show of hands.] How many of you at least know where you can find a Bible? [Show of hands.] How many of you know someone who has a Bible? [Show of hands.] Would you believe, that there was a time in Israel when nobody could find a Bible?
Story: Josiah and the Book
There was a King in Israel named Josiah. Josiah's father, the king before him, was a bad man, and the people had not been worshipping God. They were worshipping pretend gods, idols. When Josiah was king, he changed that. Josiah wanted to bring the people back to God. He spent a lot of money – his own money, and money that he collected from the people – getting the temple fixed up, so that they could worship God.
While the temple was being fixed up, a man named Hilkiah found a book in the temple. It was probably pretty dirty. It had been lost for a long time. He sent it to King Josiah. Do you know what book it was? It was the book of the law, the first five books of the Bible. Who can name the first five books of the Bible? [Let the children answer.] Those are the books written down by Moses, and those are the books that had been lost, and they found them when they cleaned up the temple.
Josiah was excited, but when they read the books, Josiah was upset. Why do you suppose Josiah was upset? He was upset, because the people had not been following what was written in the Bible books that they found. While the books were lost, the people had forgotten what they said. Josiah wanted to get the people to follow God, but he had a big job, because they'd forgotten everything, because they weren't reading God's word.
One of the things Josiah had to do was to get rid of all the idols and pretend gods. They were everywhere in Israel, and the Bible said that the people must only worship God, so Josiah had to get rid of all the evil idols. He did a good job, and God said that Josiah was a good king.
Transition: Training
Josiah had to do hard work, to retrain the people to follow God. They had to read the book of God's word that they found and study it, so that they would know what to do. We are supposed to study God's word too, to know what we are supposed to do. 1st Corinthians 9:25 says that everyone who runs in a race goes into strict training. Racers can't eat just any food they want to eat. They have to eat healthy food, so that their bodies can run fast. They can't sit around and watch television all day, because they have to keep their body exercised. We have training too, for the race of life.
Application: God's Word
Studying the word of God is like eating healthy food: it prepares you to run a good race. Just like runners wouldn't eat cookies all the time, we can't waste all of our time on whatever we want – playing video games, going to the mall, ... those things are okay, but we have to keep some time set aside to study the Bible, to train, so that we can run a good race. You can't win the prize if you're not in good shape.
Invitation: Winning the Prize
[Invite the children to stay after the lesson to learn how to win the prize.]

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