BIG IDEA: GOD GIVES REST
AIM: The ‘Elijah’s Pit Stop’ Childrens Lesson is aimed at showing children that resting is a chance to meet with God.
1. ‘Good, Good Father’ by Bethel
3. ‘Deep Cries Out’ by Bethel Kids
4. ‘Wake’ by Y&F
SET the Scene:
Read 1 Kings 19:1-18. Elijah has gone from having an incredible experience – seeing God light the sacrifice against the Prophets of Baal – to suddenly having his life threatened. We don’t know why, but after killing all the prophets of Baal, Elijah is suddenly fearful of Jezebel. She sends him a letter threatening to end his life. Perhaps she was famous for the way she killed people?! We don’t know, we just know that Elijah was so scared and exhausted that he ran away.
SPOT the Simple Meaning:
1) SOMETIMES WE NEED TO PAUSE
Get the children up and moving: jumping jacks, knee ups, lunges, planks, wall sits. (Remember to do a cool down afterwards). See how many they can do before they need to rest.
Say: Can you imagine if we kept going and going and going and never took a break? It could get pretty dangerous! We all need to rest – even God rested on the seventh day of creation to set an example for us. This day is called the Sabbath day. It is a time to spend with God and not to work. (Exodus 20:8-10) Rest is so important! Yet listening and hearing from God is the most important thing we can do all week!
Our bodies, minds and souls need a rest from time to time. Elijah needed to rest after the ‘high’ of seeing the Prophets of Baal destroyed. He was scared, but he was also tired. Yet Elijah knew who to turn to when he was tired. He turned to God. It took him 40 days and nights to get to the mount of Horeb. Once he got there he admitted that he was ‘jealous for the Lord’. He desperately wanted to spend time with his God. Elijah knew that he needed to hear from God. He needed to hear God’s voice. Sometimes we all need to pause. And in those moments we need to hear from God.
2) WE NEED TO BE REFUELED
Find the tastiest snacks you can find and have a picnic- healthy snacks are the best for this demonstration. Fresh fruit, brown bread, nuts etc. You could also play a fun food game such as blindfold food tasting games or games where something is hidden in food that must be retrieved. (i.e. candy in custard) You could also use pictures of a car refueling or a pit stop video from a racing competition.
Say: When Elijah ran away he was traveling for a whole day before he took a rest. As soon as he rested God didn’t say “Get up and keep moving!” but he sent an angel to bring Elijah food. God provided for Elijah. He gave him food to provide him with energy to keep moving.
Just as a car needs more fuel to keep going (or it will break down), we also need food to keep going. Yet we don’t only need physical food that we can see. The bible tells us that we need spiritual food too. For that reason Jesus tells us that he is the ‘Bread of Life’ (John 6:35). He is our spiritual food. We need the words of God in our heart and mind to keep our spirit healthy. God’s Word helps us to keep moving forward. It gives us the strength for each day.
HOW TO REFUEL:
[Hold up a Bible as you talk]
Are you keeping yourself in God’s Word? Do you know how? Do you have your own bible? The Holy Spirit will help you to understand the words if you ask Him. All you have to do is pause, spend some time with Jesus and let Him refuel you.
Jesus came so that we might have peace in this world and so that we can know that He is with us and in control. His yoke is easy – that means He can easily take our problems – we don’t need to hold onto them, but we can tell them to Him and He will help us. God was not in the big wind or the huge fire. He was in the whisper. We can find God when we rest in Him also.
SEARCH the Scriptures:
Tape the bible verses or bible verse references to different items that you would use at bedtime (alarm clock, book, PJs, eye mask, journal, bible). Blindfold some of your kids and see if they can pick an item and then guess what it is. Then find the bible verse and explain or discuss what it means.
BIBLE VERSES ON REST:
By the seventh day God finished the work he had been doing. So on the seventh day he rested from all his work. God blessed the seventh day and made it a holy day. He made it holy because on that day he rested. He rested from all the work he had done in creating the world. Genesis 2:2-3.
“Remember to keep the Sabbath as a holy day. You may work and get everything done during six days each week. But the seventh day is a day of rest to honor the Lord your God. On that day no one may do any work: not you, your son or daughter, or your men or women slaves. Neither your animals nor the foreigners living in your cities may work. Exodus 20:8-10.
The Lord answered, “I myself will go with you. And I will give you victory.” Exodus 33:14.
I can lie down and go to sleep. And I will wake up again because the Lord protects me. Psalm 3:5.
My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. Psalm 62:1-2.
“Come to me, all of you who are tired and have heavy loads. I will give you rest. Accept my work and learn from me. I am gentle and humble in spirit. And you will find rest for your souls. The work that I ask you to accept is easy. The load I give you to carry is not heavy.” Matthew 11:28-30.
Crowds of people were coming and going. Jesus and his followers did not even have time to eat. He said to them, “Come with me. We will go to a quiet place to be alone. There we will get some rest.” Mark 6:31
1. How often do you refuel physically (with food and sleep)?
2. How often do you refuel spiritually (by reading the bible, praying, going to church etc)?
3. Is there something you need to start doing as a result of what you have heard today?
4. Is there something you need to stop doing?
5. How do you think Jesus brings us rest?
SENSE How You Feel:
How would it feel to hear God in the whisper?
How do you find your rest in God?
Do one of the activities below as the children think:
1. Decorate plain eye masks, pillow or cushion cases with the phrase ‘God Gives Me Rest’
2. Create a calming bottle
3. Create an area that is peaceful with cushions, duvet or rug and bibles for children to go and spend time in and write or draw prayers.
4. Create rain sticks out of paper.
5. Create some listening ears by cutting out the ears and then adding the ‘I’m listening to a stip of card. Wrap the strip around your head and tape. Then tape the ears to each side.