BIG IDEA: WE ALL HAVE SOMETHING THAT CAN BE USED FOR GOD’S GLORY
AIM: The childrens lesson on Exodus 4 aims to teach the children that God can do the miraculous with ordinary people and objects. All we need is to be willing to be used by Him.
1. ‘Help Me Be Your Hands’ by Doug Horley
2. ‘Hands in the Air’ by Amber Sky Records
3. ‘Glory to God’ by Amber Sky Records
1. Hand Tap Tap. Children sit in a circle and cross their hands over one another’s. Their left hands must be under the next person’s right hand, whilst their right hand must be over the top of the person’s hand on their right. Someone starts the game by tapping their hand on the floor. The tap is passed around the circle in a clockwise direction. If a person fails to tap their hand on the ground when it is their turn then they have lost and must put that hand behind their back. If possible the remaining hands are put in an over-under position. The game continues with the person with the hand behind their back playing with their one remaining hand.
When someone wants to make the game more complicated and wants to change the direction of the tapping they must tap their hand twice in a quick succession, when it is their turn. This is the signal to change the direction of the tap to an anti-clockwise direction. Again, if someone misses their turn then their hand is out of the game and they must put it behind their back. When a player fails to tap at the right time twice, losing both their hands from the game, they are out. The game continues until there is one remaining player (or two if they cannot get each other out) View the game here.
2. Hand Signatures Challenge. Two contestants race around the room to gather as many signatures on their hand as they can in one minute. The contestant with the most signatures at the end of the minute is the winner.
3. Rhythm in the Room. This fun game starts with everyone sitting on chairs in a circle and one player leaving the room. A leader chooses a child to begin a rhythm; tapping or clapping, clicking or flicking hair. Everyone else follows the child’s rhythm; doing exactly the same movement and rhythm so that everyone is keeping in time. It is up to the child to lead everyone as they switch rhythms every few seconds. The player that left the room returns and stands in the middle of the circle. They have a few minutes to watch the rhythm in the room and try to guess who is the leader of the rhythm. If they guess correctly then they have won and the process starts again.
BIG VERSE: His (God’s) divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 2 Peter 1:3.
SET the Scene:
Read Exodus 4 together.
SPOT the Simple Meaning:
1) WE ALL HAVE SOMETHING IN OUR HAND
Note: depending on the number/age of children you can choose one or two of these to focus on if the list is too overwhelming!
God asked Moses what was in his hand. Why? Because he wanted Moses to see that God could use whatever Moses had; he could do much with very little. We all have something that God can and wants to use for His glory. In Moses’ case God wanted to show Moses just what He could do with ordinary objects. Once He had shown Moses He would then show Pharoah and the whole of Egypt. Everyone would see just how mighty and glorious God is.
Personality: (picture of someone wearing their own style) You might not realize that your personality can help bring others towards God. Your sense of humor, the things that make you tick, the way you do and say things, your likes, dislikes and tastes and how fun you make them are all ways that attract others to you – but also to Jesus when you are willing to use it for God’s glory!
Words: (picture of a mouth) Each of us chooses our words. We all have words to say and share with others. Our words can help to bring life to others or death – to encourage them or to put them down. Choosing the right words is something we have that can bring people closer to God.
Character: (a picture of a heart) Our character is different to our personality. Our character is the things that we are known for; how loving we are, how friendly, do we have integrity (do what we say we will do), are we encouraging of others?
Attitude: (a picture/image of someone frowning and someone that is happy) our attitude shows others a lot about God. When we have a good attitude and try and think positively about different situations then this gives God glory. People will see our attitude and want to have it too – they will want to know what helps us have a positive attitude in life… when they hear it comes from Jesus then they will want him too!
Desires and Passions: (a picture of a flame) are you passionate about helping others? about feeding the poor? or stopping bullying? Or football? dance? or art? When we ask God to use our desires and passions for His glory then He really will. He can open up opportunities for us to use our passions and desires to point people towards Jesus.
Looks: (a picture of a mirror) Maybe we don’t think we are the best looking or maybe you do, but whatever you look like, wearing a smile means that the way we look can help bring glory to God. If we always wear a frown or a sad or miserable face then this will turn people away from us – but it will also turn them away from God. Everyone wants to be happy and experience joy. We want to be real – not fake – but we also want to remember that how we look can attract people to Jesus. So let’s remember to wear a friendly face when we meet people today!
Intellect: (a picture of a brain or a maths sum) God has given us all an intellect. We can use our ability to add and subtract, to read or recognize different countries on a map for His glory. If we develop our intellect we can become doctors, teachers or run businesses that can help people all around the world. When we do our best at school or work this brings glory to God because it shows others that God cares about the world, He cares about us doing our best!
Talents and gifts: (a picture of a present) Maybe we are naturally talented in a sport or art or subject at school. Whatever it is, if we develop it and put lots of effort into becoming better at it we can use it to bring God glory when we win competitions or simply enjoy doing it and tell others about it. God loves it when we use our talents to show others that God is a creative God!
Experiences: (a picture of people or a timeline) Maybe the things that you have in your hands are the things that you have faced or been through. Maybe you have struggled with your family or friends, or you have learned by going through positive experiences at school. Whatever your experiences; good or bad, God can use them to help point others to Him. Perhaps you can teach others something that you have learned from your past, or help someone through a difficult experience that you have already had.
Money and/or possessions: (a picture of some money) God used Moses’ staff to perform many miracles. What are the things that you own that God could do the miraculous with? Do you have an allowance that you could give some to the offering or to a charity and see God do the miraculous in another child’s life? Maybe you could use your possessions to teach someone something new or to bless someone that doesn’t have enough money to buy new clothes or toys.
2) GOD CAN USE WHAT YOU HAVE IN MIRACULOUS WAYS
You will need a picture or video of Lizzie Valesquez.
Maybe you don’t think the things that you have are very special. Sometimes we can all feel like the things that we have in our hands are pretty ordinary. Moses’ staff was very ordinary. His hands weren’t very special either, but God decided to use them for His glory. That meant that they would be used for miraculous things!
God can use anything that we have – the most ordinary things – as miraculous things for His glory! In fact, even things that we think would turn people away from God are sometimes the very things that God can use when we give them to Him. For one girl this was very true. She was born with a disease that makes it impossible for her to gain any weight. Growing up Lizzie was bullied very badly. When she got older she found a video of herself titled ‘The world’s ugliest woman’ on Youtube. Somebody had posted her online and wanted others to join in to discuss how ugly she was, to laugh and mock her. Lizzie was heartbroken. Yet instead of letting it destroy her Lizzie decided to give it all to God. She realised that this attention was something that God could turn around and use for His glory. He could use it to show people how great He really is!
Now Lizzie is raising money and talks to many different people about how they can help stop bullying. God has done a miracle in her life by using her looks and the attention from the TV to change many many lives. He is a miracle working God!
3) WE JUST HAVE TO BE WILLING TO DO WHAT GOD ASKS US TO DO.
You will need a blank page or a blank screen.
Say: I want to show you the most amazing thing in the world. This is what happens when someone is willing to use their gifts, talents, personality, looks, character… their everything for God! Are you ready to see it?! It is the most amazing thing you will see and definitely the best thing you will see all day. Are you sure you are ready? Ok…1-2-3.
(Nothing happens) Oh. Wait a minute, I must have done something wrong. Let me try and get it on the screen. Here we go….1-2.-3. (Nothing happens again). Hmm, ok, I’m sure I can show you on a piece of paper what they have done. Ready, 1-2-3. (Show them a blank piece of paper. Have a puzzled look on your face.) Oh…. you know, I can’t show you the most amazing thing. Do you know why? Because the person wasn’t willing to do it. They weren’t willing to use what they had for God. They weren’t willing to give God what they had or to start using what God had given them. They simply didn’t want to know. They weren’t willing.
To be used to bring God glory all we need to do is BE WILLING to do what God wants us to do. How? By asking Him what He wants of us and acting on what He says. It all starts with being willing – just as Moses was willing to let God use what was in his hand. Are you willing to let God use all that you have for His glory?
SEARCH the Scriptures:
You will need: the correct number of category words and bible characters names printed out onto paper.
Give each child 10 slips of paper with one of the different category words on each (i.e. talents/gifts, intellect, experience etc). Have the names of the different bible characters (or some of your own chosen characters) on pieces of paper. Children go around the room sticking their categories to the people that they think used those things for God’s glory. If they get stuck you can help them out.
Alternatively – for a large group – have the 10 categories printed and the 10 bible characters on large sheets on the walls or where the children can see them. Decide as a group which bible character to stick each of the category words to.
Of course, often the bible characters used many different aspects of their lives for God so there is some scope for disagreement. Below are some bible characters that we have identified (to cover each category). Discuss with the children why they put their category word on the bible character they chose.
1. Intellect – Luke. The writer of the gospel of Luke was a very intelligent man – a doctor and physician – he used his intellect to show others that believing in Jesus was something for everyone. It was real and not just something to be believed by people that were not very intelligent.
2. Talents/gifts (organization/management and interpreting dreams) – Daniel and Joseph both used these gifts to give God glory in different ways.
3. Experience – Paul studied Judaism under a teacher called Gamaliel (Acts 22:3)
4. Money – The Good Samaritan used his money to help the man on the road to get well by paying for someone to look after him.
5. Looks – Esther was chosen by King Xerxes because she was beautiful. This enabled her to be in a position to bring her people to justice and freedom.
6. Character – the advisors could not find anything to bring against Daniel because his character was so good. They had to create a trap for him by making prayer a problem instead.
7. Desires and Passions – Moses cared about his people. He killed an Egyptian defending a Hebrew man. God used Moses’ passion for his people to bring Him glory as he led the people out of Egypt.
8. Attitude – Job had a good attitude even in the middle of his pain.
9. Words – Jeremiah and the other prophets used their words to warn others about honoring God.
10. Personality – Simon Peter seemed to be someone that was quite spontaneous, some might say a little reckless. Yet perhaps because of this aspect of his personality he was willing to step out in faith onto the water towards Jesus.
SENSE How You Feel:
You will need a stick or staff and a coat or jacket with pockets.
If you were Moses what would you have been thinking when your staff turned into a snake? What about when your hand turned leperous and then back to normal again?
Have the children take turns picking up the stick then letting it go and imagining it turn into a snake. Ask them to act out how they would react and feel. Discuss each child’s actions and ask them why they would react that way and if they think Moses would have reacted the same way or not. Do the same with the coat and imagining their hand turning leperous.
Ask the children:
1) Would seeing the miraculous things that God has done make you want to show Pharoah what God can do?
2) If you saw these miracles what would it make you think or believe about God?
Take some time to ask God if you are using the things in your hand to the best of your ability. Have you given them to God and allowed Him to show you how to develop them?
Ideas to Help Children Seek God:
1. Make a list of some of the things that God show you that you can use.
2. Draw a picture of yourself with arrows to the things that God can use in you.
3. Have a mirror available for children to look into as they pray and seek God to show them what they can use for His glory.
4. Go around the room and ask children to either a) say things that are good about each other b) draw or write things that are good about each other. How has God used their friends to bring them closer to God?
5. Pray for each other. Ask the children to pray that God would show them the things that He wants to use.