BIG IDEA: GOD CAN. EVEN WHEN YOU CAN’T.
This childrens lesson on Exodus 4 teaches children that it doesn’t matter what they can or cannot do, all they need is faith that God can.
1. ‘I Can Do All Things’ by God’s Kids Worship
2. ‘I Can Do All Things’ by Jim Bailey
3. ‘I Can Do All Things’ by The DonutMan (King of Kings album)
1. Yes and No game. Children must answer a series of prepared questions without answering yes or no. Once they say one of these words they are out of the game. To make it more fun you can time each child that has a turn and see who lasts the longest, becoming the ultimate winner!
2. Talent Show. Children show their talent to the group and someone is voted the best. If preferred, you can have no winner and simply congratulate all the children on their efforts.
Create an ‘iCan’ can or box. Decorate a box or can with sequins, stickers, glitter and alike with the name ‘My iCan Can’ [or box]. Inside it put some different verses on little slips of paper or card that speak about what God can do through each one of us. Have the children take them home and use them as a helpful reminder whenever they feel they can’t do something, or that they need God’s help to do something. Useful bible verses include: Psalm 18:29, 2 Samuel 22:30, 2 Timothy 1:7, Philippians 4:19.
BIG VERSE: I CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13.
SET the Scene:
Read Exodus 4:10-31 together.
SPOT the Simple Meaning:
1) OBJECT LESSON: WHAT CAN YOU NOT DO?
Skit: I CAN’T!
Mom: Micky, can you tidy your room before football please?
Micky: I can’t do it mom, I don’t have time.
Mom: Micky, can you try your best in football today? You don’t seemed to be trying.
Micky: I can’t mom, the other boys are better than me. There’s just no point.
Mom: Micky, can you tell those boys at football to stop picking on you and your sister?
Micky: I can’t mom they won’t listen to me.
Mom: Micky, can you tell me something you can do today.
Micky: I can’t think of anything. I just can’t.
Say: Moses had lots of excuses for why he was not the right person for God to use. His greatest excuse was his fear that he could not speak. He had ‘faltering lips’ (). Moses feared what people might think of him. He feared that he would say the wrong thing or that what he would say would sound wrong or strange or silly. The thought of speaking to Pharoah was scary. Other officials would be there too. To speak to Pharoah was a great event, an honor.
Just like Moses, we use excuses too. We might think we can’t do something. We might even have a genuine reason for why we can’t. In our skit with mom and Micky, Micky didn’t feel he could do anything. His reply to his mom was always “I can’t”. He didn’t feel able. He didn’t think he could do certain things. The truth is, sometimes we can’t.
You see, perhaps Moses’ concerns were real. Maybe he had a problem with the way he spoke too, maybe he had a lisp or a stutter. We don’t really know. All we know was that he told God he couldn’t do what God wanted him to do. Yet why would God ask Moses to do something if He knew Moses couldn’t do it?! He wouldn’t. He knew that with His help Moses could do anything, just like our ‘big verse’ (Philippians 4:13 – see above) says.
Is there something that you can’t do? Is God asking you to do it or use it and you don’t think you can? Or have you been using an excuse so that you just don’t have to? Sometimes realizing we can’t do something isn’t a problem. It’s stopping there that is the problem. We need to move on to our next point before we stop too quickly…
2) OBJECT LESSON: I CAN BECAUSE GOD CAN. HE HAS AN ANSWER FOR EVERYTHING.
Create a powerpoint full of different job roles.
Say: Imagine a person that could do ANY AND ALL jobs. What would they be? [children call out what jobs they would be able to do]. The greatest doctor. The best lawyer. The most elegant dancer. The most amazing footballer. The best speaker. The list goes on and on. [put your powerpoint of job roles on the screen] Look at all these jobs and things that people can do! Some are creative, others are scientific, still others are mathematical or depend on us understanding the world. There are so many things that people around the world can do!
Did you know that God is the best at all these things? Why? Because He created them. He created the people that thought them up. God is the best at everything! We can tell that by looking at Jesus. Jesus was the greatest speaker there ever was, the greatest forgiver and Savior there has been and the most amazing person there has or ever will be! There is nobody like Jesus, our God! God knew that He could speak through Moses. He knows that He can do anything. It didn’t matter if Moses was afraid or had faltering lips. All that mattered was that God could do anything. The Lord would help Moses to do whatever he needed to do. If he wasn’t very good right then and there then God could have prepared him so that he would be ready when the right time came. God can do anything.
Maybe, like Moses, you are feeling like you can’t do the things God is asking or calling you to do. Maybe you don’t feel you can live the way God wants you to live. Just remember: GOD CAN. God can do anything He wants to do, and that means using you! God has an answer for every question and every excuse we can offer Him. When He wants to do something through us, He will find a way. All we have to be is willing to let Him do what He wants to do in us and through us. Just like our big verse says ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!’ Philippians 4:13. We can do all things through God – Jesus – and by His Holy Spirit. He is with us every step of the way!
3) OBJECT LESSON: GOD’S ANSWER: YOU’RE ON MY TEAM.
Ask for a volunteer to make a sandwich. Then explain that they will be blindfolded and that they have to make the sandwich with one hand behind their back. Ask them if there is something that would make the situation easier. Hopefully they will suggest having a friend to help, or you could suggest it yourself.
Say: In the activity we realized that although we can do things alone, sometimes we need other people to help us. And when we can’t do something on our own we need others to help us! Moses kept telling God that he was not able to speak. Finally he said that God should just choose somebody else to do the job. To solve Moses’ problem God had an answer. God invited Aaron to be a part of His team. Moses didn’t have to go alone, Aaron would be his voice.
God was able to sort out Moses’ problem in an instant. He had the answer. When we don’t feel we can do something; it is good to ask for help! Aaron was to be Moses’ helper. Part of God’s team to tell Pharoah to let His people go. When we fear that we can’t do something there is usually someone that knows how to do it. We can ask them to help us. That’s why God gave us the church community, so that we have friends around us who can do things that we can’t and that can help us when we need it. We can all encourage and help each other to do what God is asking us to do!
What is it that God is asking you to do? Do you need to ask for someone’s help so that you can do what God is asking of you?
SEARCH the Scriptures:
SMALL GROUP ACTIVITY:
Choose two or three of these bible passages and discuss with the children the reasons why these people decided they could not do what God was asking them to do. Discuss the questions below.
PEOPLE THAT SAID “I CAN’T”:
Moses: tried to get out of his responsibility to lead the Israelites. (Exodus 4)
Gideon: tried to explain to God that he was not the right man to lead the Israelites against the Midianites. (Judges 6)
Saul: didn’t think he could lead Israel as their first king because he thought he was from the smallest and least important tribe. (1 Samuel 9)
The Rich Man and Jesus: The rich man walked away from Jesus, never saying that he could not do what Jesus asked, but very sad because he had decided that he would not do it. (Matthew 19:16-26)
Those that refused to follow Jesus: These people had different excuses for why they could not follow Jesus at that time. (Luke 9:57-62)
The Parable of the Talents: although the servant with one talent did not confess to being unable to use their talent and make more, they certainly made excuses as to why they had not made any more money. (Matthew 25:14-30)
The people that could not attend the banquet: Many in the parable made excuses that they could not attend the banquet and so others were invited instead. (Luke 14:15-24)
Joseph: He knew he could not interpret dreams, but that God could do it through him. (Genesis 41:16)
1. Why did the person/people decide they could not do what they were asked to do?
2. What did Jesus/God do when they refused to do what He asked?
3. What might God be saying to us in this passage?
SENSE How You Feel:
For older children:
Imagine you are Moses. Why did you say “I CAN’T?”
You will need to have pieces of paper on the floor dotted around the room with explanations of why Moses potentially couldn’t have done what he was being asked to do.
Ask the children to walk around the room and read all the reasons that are written on the pieces of paper. Ask the children to choose a reason that they think was Moses’ problem.
I was afraid of speaking to Pharoah.
I didn’t want to speak to Pharoah – it was an excuse!
I was telling the truth, I’m really not good at speaking!
I thought everyone would laugh at me if I spoke.
I didn’t think anyone would listen to me when I spoke.
I didn’t understand why God would want to use me to speak.
Once the children have stood on the piece of paper that they think is the reason, ask them why they chose to stand in that position. Ask the children:
1. Is there something you don’t feel you can do?
2. Is the reason why you don’t think you can do it the same reason that you didn’t think Moses could do it? Why/why not?
3. What can we learn from Moses and God’s answer to him?
For younger children:
Ask the children to draw a picture showing why they could not do what God had asked them to do.
A tick is something that children see a lot of in school to tell them when they have answered a questions correctly. Create and cut out big ‘ticks’ and ask the children to write one of the following prayers:
1. Thank you God… that I can do what you are asking me to do…please help me to…
2. Sorry God for… thinking I can’t do the things you are asking me to do… please help me to…