BIG IDEA: I CAN READ GOD’S WORD.
AIM: The ‘Chew’ Childrens Lesson on Psalm 1 is the second session in the ‘Sweet!’ Teaching Series. In this session children will learn how to ‘chew’ on the Word of God so that they will grow to love it and be inspired to keep reading it by themselves.
Perhaps you can learn this cute song to teach your children or play it in the background during your craft time. It’s great when children can get an opportunity to see other kids worshipping Jesus – especially children from another country!
- Candy Tumble Tower. (regular/widescreen) Just like a game of Jenga. Use your twizzlers/pencils or any other long candy to cut up and place in a tower. Three candies on one line then turn them ninety degrees before putting on the next three candies for the second layer. Keep turning the next candies ninety degrees before you place them on the tower. Then encourage the children to take turns grabbing one piece of the candy. If the tower falls then they have lost the game!
- Candy Tower. (regular/widescreen) A child lies on the floor whilst another child places candy on top of their forehead to make a tower. If the candy falls then that player must start rebuilding. When the leader counts down, the child with the most candies on their forehead is the winning team. Play this as a relay by having all the children line up to take turns to place a candy on their teammate’s forehead.
- Candy Dip. (regular/widescreen) A candy is put in a bowl for each child that is playing – and then squirty cream is sprayed on top! The children must keep their hands behind their backs and must try and retrieve the candy using only their mouths. To make it extra difficult you can have the children wear blindfolds! The child that finds the candy first and shows it in their mouth (yuck!) is the winner.
BIG VERSE: O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the one who trusts in him. Psalm 34:8.
SET the Scene:
Read Psalm 1 with your group. Explain to the group that this Psalm was written by David. David knew what it meant to spend time in God’s Word – praying it, singing it and thinking about it. David loved God’s word and in Psalm 119:1 he wrote “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 1 reminds us how important it is to think about God’s Word through the day and through the night.
SPOT the Simple Meaning:
1) CHEWING ON GOD’S WORD
Hand out to the children a chewy candy each. Give them the option to eat it or leave it. Show a number of images of foods. Burgers v Hotdogs, Fries v Pizza, Candy v Chocolate etc. Ask them the question: ‘What would you rather chew on?’
Say: David says in Psalm 1:
Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
David says that when we delight in God’s Word, meditating on it day and night we are blessed! When we meditate on the Bible it means that we spend time in it. We want to be able to chew on it…. not actually chew [start pretending to eat your Bible]. No, I don’t mean that… but I do mean that I need to think about it and let it become part of me. When we chew a candy or on any other food we will chew it so that we can digest it and it will become part of us – going down into our bellies! [Show some of the pictures and ask which the children would prefer to chew on or hand out the chewing candy].
To chew on God’s Word we need to do a few things. If we just read it we might not really let it become part of us, so to really help God’s Word change us we need to read it, but also do these things whilst we read:
[Encourage the children to do a ‘reading action’ by cupping their hands open but together to create the look of a book. Then to put their hands together in a ‘prayer action’.]
We pray before, during and after reading the Bible because we want God to show us what He wants to say. We want to meet with Him. We don’t want to simply come up with our own ideas about what the Bible means. Instead, we want to know what God thinks so that when we have our own thoughts we will know if they are right. When we pray we are asking God to show us what He thinks.
[Encourage the children to put their hands out in front of them in a questioning pose as an ‘ask action’.]
God gave us a brain so that we can use it to think. When we read the Bible we can think about what it means to us. To help us to think we need to ask questions. We can ask ourselves questions like:
- What do you notice?
- What stands out to you?
- What do you understand?
- What do you not understand?
Questions are good when we are reading the Bible. We might not find all the answers we are looking for, but questions help us to explore the Bible. Some of the things we read we might only need to ‘chew on’ for a short time. Other things we read in the Bible might be more difficult to understand and we might need to ‘chew on it’ and think about it for a lot longer!
Sometimes when we don’t have an answer we might want to ask God, or ask someone that we trust, that knows Jesus, to give us some help and advice. No matter what we discover, we can always remember that God is good and He loves us very much!
[Encourage the children to cup their hands over their ears as a ‘listening action’ to help them remember to listen every time you say the word ‘listen’.]
When we read the Bible we can listen for what God might want to say to us. We can ask Him questions and listen for what He wants to say:
- God, what are you saying to me through this verse?
- Lord, is there something you want me to do now?
- Holy Spirit, can you help me to live this out?
[Encourage the children to stand up and walk on the spot as a ‘doing action’ to help them remember to do all God calls them to do.]
Psalm 1:3 says that the person that chews on God’s Word day and night is transformed:
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
Once we have spoken to God and listened, we have chewed over His word and we know what He wants us to do, we can go and do what God has spoken through His word to us. It may be saying sorry to someone, going and helping someone or being a friend to someone. God’s promise to us is that when we obey Him, reading and living out His Word; we will prosper.
[Repeat the different actions over and over in the correct order until the children are familiar with what to do. You could even create a game by shouting out the different actions: Read, Pray, Ask, Listen, Do and see who can do the actions first. If you wanted you could eliminate the slowest player until the person that is the fastest becomes the winner.]
SEARCH the Scriptures:
BIBLE SWORD DRILL. Children hold their Bibles up high in one hand. You shout out a Bible verse reference and they must find it in their Bibles. The first person to find the Bible verse gets a candy.
SENSE How You Feel:
How do you feel when you read the Bible?
- Create a ‘God’s Word is Sweet’ cupcake card and give it to someone you love.
- Decorate a bookmark to go in your bible.
- Make the Bible Sun Catcher by Crafting the Word of God.
- Have the children split off in to different areas of the room with the bible reading (Psalm 1). Encourage them to think and pray and ask God what He wants to say to them through the words. Ask the children to ask themselves a few questions as they read: Where is God in the passage? Does God want me to do anything? Give them the kids Bible reading sheet for 5-7s and for 8-11s to help them along as they read.