BIG IDEA: GOD LOVES ME
AIM: The ‘God Loves Me’ 4 Points Easter Gospel Childrens Lesson will help children to learn what Jesus did on the cross and through his resurrection and why. It is an important time for children to think through what this all means for them individually, as well as what it means for humankind.
1. ‘Great is Your Love’ by PlanetShakers Lyrics
2. ‘Endless Praise’ by PlanetShakers Motions Lyrics
3. ‘Real Love’ by Young and Free Motions Lyrics
1. Broken Heart Relay. Hand each team a heart in pieces. Challenge them to be the first to put the broken heart together. Make a more complicated heart for older children than younger ones.
2. Perfect Match. On different heart shaped papers or post it notes write things that go together – ‘salt’ and ‘pepper’ ‘Prince William’ ‘Princess Kate’ and so on. Hide them around the room and see who or which teams can match them up the quickest. Alternatively put them on every child’s foreheads and ask them to ask each other questions until they find their match.
3. Love Heart Stack. Using love heart candies have players compete to see who can stack them up the quickest or who can stack the most up in a minute. To add an extra level why not have them stack them on a friend’s forehead?!
4. Candy Pick Up. Children should try to pick up the heart shaped candy off a bowl or plate with tweezers or chopsticks before eating. The player to pick up the most is the winner.
5. Pass the Hearts. Have a number of heart candies in a cup and a spoon for each team. Children should run to the cup and get some candies on their spoon before running back to their team cup and placing them in. Then the next player runs. The team with the most candies at the end is the winning team.
6. Valentines Bingo. Using the attached printables children should listen for when their numbers are called and cross each number out once they hear it. The child that crosses all their numbers first should shout ‘Bingo’ and if they are correct, they win.
SET the Scene:
Read Matthew 26:17-30. The last supper took place in Jerusalem the week before Jesus died. Jesus took the bread and the wine and passed it around the table. The disciples all listened as Jesus told them that soon he would die. The disciples were to eat the bread and drink the wine to remember Jesus’ body would be broken for them and that his blood would be shed for each one of them also.
To set the scene you could encourage your children to re-enact the last supper as you recite the words from the passage. Children could get into groups and act as if they were one of those first disciples. Alternatively you could use one of the videos below:
SPOT the Simple Meaning:
INTRODUCE THE 4 POINTS:
1. THE HEART = GOD LOVES ME
You will need a Powerpoint or sheet with symbols the children can guess. [Point to your 4 Points t-shirt, the bracelets or the Powerpoint image you have with the 4 Point symbols on them.] You might have seen these symbols before or maybe today is the first time. The 4 Points are 4 symbols that help us remember the gospel – the good news of Jesus. Today we’ll be looking at the first symbol – the heart. When we see the symbol of the heart, what does it usually mean? That’s right it means love.
A symbol is a picture, letter or sign that makes us think of something else. It represents something else to us. Do you recognise and can you guess what these symbols are? [Show a powerpoint or do a symbols quiz]
So what might the symbol of a heart might mean for us as Christians? That’s right! God loves us! So the first point is ‘God Loves Me!’ [You can encourage younger kids to repeat it and shout it back in a number of different ways – high pitch, low pitch, whisper etc.] Today we’ll just be looking at this first point. But the next few are:
‘X’ – I Have sinned or done wrong
‘cross’ – Jesus died for me
‘?’ – I have to decide to live for God
So, what was our first symbol? [The Heart] and what does it mean? [God Loves Me] You got it!
2. GOD LOVES YOU
1. You could use some giant jigsaw pieces that create the words “God Loves You” or “Jesus Loves You”. You could place them around the room or under chairs for the children to find them as you speak.
2. Alternatively you could ask the children to think of the biggest things (apart from God) that they can think of [gather pictures of giant things yourself also] and then remind them about how great God’s love is for them.
3. You could share a testimony about a time when you felt God’s love for yourself.
Say: God loves you so much! It’s difficult to speak about God’s love without mentioning his Son Jesus! God sent Jesus His one and only Son to the earth because He loves each one of us and wants to be our Lord and friend. God’s love for each one of us is so great. God sent Jesus so that we might know that we are loved by the Father God. Jesus loved people and cared for them. He healed them when they were sick and he made friends with those that others would avoid.
Jesus was fully God and fully man. He was both God and man. Jesus lived a perfect life and his life showed everyone how much God loved them. During the Last Supper Jesus showed his disciples that he loved them so much that he would be willing to die for them. That’s how much God loves us!
As Jesus passed around the bread he broke it. He knew that his body was going to go through a terrible ordeal, yet he was willing to go through with it because he loved you and me. God loves you to pieces! He would do anything for you – as long as it does not break His holy laws.
These object lessons will also work well as you speak about the kind of love that God has for us – great and BIG!
3. GOD LOVES UNSELFISHLY
Show the video 24 Incredible Acts of Kindness
All of these acts were shared out of love for those that received something. These acts of kindness were done unselfishly to help somebody else.
Say: The bible says “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13. The greatest kind of love is the love that thinks of others before they think of themselves. The bible also says that “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, and it is not proud. Love is not rude, is not selfish, and does not become angry easily. Love does not remember wrongs done against it. Love takes no pleasure in evil, but rejoices over the truth.
Love patiently accepts all things. It always trusts, always hopes, and always continues strong.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). Jesus showed us that God’s love is not selfish because Jesus lived an unselfish life. Jesus sat the disciples down at the Last Supper and told them all what he was about to do. He was about to die for them – his friends – and the whole of mankind.
The disciples did not understand.
Jesus told the disciples to “eat from this bread” and “drink from this cup” as this would be the way that they were to remember Jesus. Jesus had decided that he was going to die so that his friends could live. Jesus loved his friends – and each one of us – so much that he was willing to die for them!
God’s love for us is unselfish. He wants the best for us.
SEARCH the Scriptures:
Print out two sets of heart cards with verses about God’s love and place them on the floor. Have players take turns to see if they can match the two hearts. Each heart has a bible verse about God’s love. When a child finds a match they should ask:
1. What does this tell me about God’s love?
2. What does this mean for me?
3. What does this mean for those that I know?
4. How can I show this kind of love to others?
You could also encourage the children to find the passages in the bible themselves.
Blue Spaghetti Find. Alternatively, if your kids love to get messy you could hide the hearts in a big bowl full of spaghetti that you have added blue food coloring to. Add a little virgin oil to the mix to make sure it doesn’t stick together and will run through their hands easily. Have the children search through the spaghetti as fast as they can to find the matching pair. Children can take turns like the game ‘snap’ or can try and find the match at the same time. However, in this version, if they both uncover half a match you may need to stop and hide the heart again.
SENSE How You Feel:
How does it feel to know that you are 100% loved by God?
1. God Loves You to Pieces Photo Frames. Simply stick jigsaw pieces to a photo frame and add the words ‘God Loves You to Pieces’
2. God Loves You to Pieces Wall Decorations. Create a wall decoration by sticking popsicle sticks together. Then add small jigsaw pieces on the top of popsicle sticks with the words ‘God Loves You to Pieces’ then add string to hang the decoration.
4. Make some tasty heart shaped cookies and decorate them with icing and sprinkles.
1. How do you know God loves you?
2. Finish the sentence. “Because God loves me I can….”
3. Finish the sentence “Knowing God loves me makes me want to….”
1. How does it feel to know that God loves you?
2. How have you experienced God’s love for yourself?
3. List 3 words to describe God’s love. Why did you choose those three?
4. Do you think it is easy to become too familiar with God’s love? Why?
5. How do you keep your love for God fresh?
Remember in this section to expect great things from children – they can hear God just as much (sometimes even more so) than you and I.
1. You will need heart shaped post it notes to stick on each child. Remind the children that they can know if something is from God if it is:
Always Builds Up, Cheers Up and Draws People Near.
[A,B,C,D’s of Prophecy – Bethel Kids]
Have children split into small groups (or if you are already a small group stick together).
- Encourage each child to listen to God and ask Him what he may want to say to each person in the group. Then write it on the post it note and stick it on the person it is meant for.
- Encourage the children to put their hand over their heart as you remind them that God loves them. Encourage them to say their own prayer of thanks for His love.
- Encourage the children to ask God for something that He might want to say to the group as a whole in response to the message that they have heard. Encourage them to write or draw the picture, image or thought and to share it with everyone. You could also do the same in small groups if your group is very large.