AGE APPROPRIATE: ELEMENTARY AGE (7-11years)
BIG IDEA: WE NEED GOD’S THOUGHTS
1. ‘Friend of God’ by Shout Kids Praises
2. ‘I Think I’m Gonna Throw Up’ by Crazy Praise
3. ‘Think About Such Things’ by Seeds Worship
1. Would You Rather? The leader asks the children ‘would you rather…?’ and provides alternatives. The children must choose what they would rather do.
2. Corners. Place four different colors, shapes, bible characters or alike in each corner of the room. The children dance when the music plays and then must go to a corner when the music stops. The leader shouts out one of the corners names and those in that corner are eliminated from the game. This continues until there is only one player left.
3. Higher or Lower. Using a set of (giant) playing cards the leader holds up the pack so the front one can be seen. Children must then decide if the next card will be higher or lower by putting their hands on their heads to suggest higher and on their knees to suggest lower. When a player guesses wrong they are eliminated from the game. The last player standing is the winner.
BIG VERSE: My thoughts are not your thoughts, your ways are not my ways, declares the Lord. Isaiah 55:8.
SET the Scene:
Ask the children this introductory question: ‘If you could ask for anything in the world, and you knew you would receive it, what would you ask for?’
Read the passage from 1 Kings 3:1-15. You might want to act it out or get a child up to the front to play King Solomon. You will want to have a king’s cloak and crown. You may also want to show this video by Kids Time 4 Jesus or this video by What’s in the Bible for 5-8 year olds. For 8-11 year olds you may want to use this video by Saddleback Kids – you may want to use it from 30 seconds in and end it after the animation.
SPOT the Simple Meaning:
1) OBJECT LESSON: GOD KNOWS EVERYTHING
You will need pictures of people that seem to know everything: your parents, your Headteacher or teachers (as a child), your grandparents, your Pastor, your hero… then use the pictures linked in below to communicate what God knows.
How many sand particles and shells there are on the seashore.
How many stars are in the sky.
How many insects there are on the earth.
How many hairs are on each person’s head.
How many days the earth has been around.
God knows everything there is to know about life! He knows more than anybody else in the whole entire Universe! God is the most intelligent person ever, not only that but He created everything! He isn’t just human but He is the creator of humans! That means that there is nothing that God does not know. It’s no wonder then that Solomon wanted to have wisdom like God. Solomon wanted to know things and he wanted to be able to use what he knew in the right way.
God knows everything, so if we ever need to know something then who can we go to fir help? [get feedback] That’s right, God! He wants us to come to Him and to hear what He has to say to us. He wants to share His thoughts with us. He knows everything and He wants us to share in the things that He knows.
So, if God knows everything then don’t you think it is worth getting to know Him and finding out what His thoughts are towards us?! We know from the bible that God’s thoughts towards us are great – so much so that He sent His only Son Jesus to live a perfect life and die a perfect death so that we might be God’s friend. That’s how much He loves and adores us. God knows everything and He knows us inside out. Do we want to get to know the One that gave everything for us?
2) OBJECT LESSON: GODS THOUGHTS ARE WORTH MORE THAN RICHES
You will need a treasure chest full of chocolate coins, real cash notes and pretend jewels.
Say: I wonder if I gave you the choice of having all the money and treasures in this chest, or having me tell you some of my thoughts about life, which would you choose?
I’m sure most of us would choose money, right? Well Solomon had the choice to ask God for anything he wanted. Absolutely anything. So, what did he REALLY want? Did he want riches, fame, or his enemies to be killed? NO. Solomon wanted wisdom. He wanted to know how to rule his kingdom, how to help the people. He wanted to know how to rule well – just like God rules well!
Wisdom is using our knowledge well. It is more than just knowing things, it is knowing what to do with what we know! What a tongue twister! Wisdom is making good decisions. We might know that helping people is a good thing to do. Yet having wisdom means knowing how we can help people and put that into action. We might know that there are dangers in using the internet. Wisdom helps us to think about how we can avoid those dangers; like telling our parents when we are going online, or only using apps like Youtube for Kids that are made for kids.
Wisdom helps us when we have to make difficult decisions. King Solomon wanted to be able to look after all the people in his kingdom well. He wanted to do a good job. He needed wisdom that only comes from God. He knew that he could have all the money in the world and all the most expensive toys and gadgets he could find… but all that was worth nothing without wisdom to lead his people the right way. He would swap all those things for wisdom because wisdom cannot be bought in a shop or online, it can only be downloaded from God!
3) OBJECT LESSON: GODS THOUGHTS HELPS US MAKE WISE CHOICES
You will need to make giant thought bubbles and question marks out of card for this object lesson.
Say: Knowing God’s thoughts helps us to make wise choices. How? Because when we know what God thinks about a situation we can know that what He thinks is best. We can follow His thoughts and know that we are going in the right direction.
For example… we might think… That person has said something nasty to me. Should I hit him back? [Hold up the question mark as you ask the question]
What does God think? We can ask God for His wisdom, and we even have the bible to go and find His wisdom for ourselves. In fact, there is a whole book on wisdom tips called Proverbs. [Hold up the thought bubble and have the bible verse written inside it]. Proverbs 20:3 (NLT) says “Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor; only fools insist on quarreling.”
[Prepare more examples of questions using the giant question mark and God’s thoughts using giant thought bubbles and bible verses. Try using examples of things that your children may be going through at the time.]
Sometimes we might not know what God thinks. For example, maybe we wonder what school we should go to when we finish elementary school. The bible won’t tell us which school to go to, so maybe we want to ask God what He thinks directly, by talking to Him in prayer. He might not tell what to do, but He may give us peace about a certain school or help us to feel excited about a certain one. The Holy Spirit will always guide us in what to do or say when we are unsure, all we have to do is ask.
SEARCH the Scriptures:
Write or print out the bible verses below on separate slips of paper. Roll them up and put them each into a balloon. Ask the children to go around popping the balloons and to take out the paper to read what it says. Discuss what each of the verses means.
Bible Verses about Thoughts:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9.
In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God. Psalm 10:4.
How great are your works, Lord, how profound your thoughts! Psalm 92:5.
You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. Psalm 139:2.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Psalm 139:17.
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Psalm 139:23.
Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? Matthew 9:4.
For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. Matthew 15:19.
For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 1 Corinthians 2:11.
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8.
SENSE How You Feel:
You will need the Treasure Chest craft printable.
This craft is a reminder that God’s thoughts are worth far more than money or things. As the children create their treasure chests you can ask them how it makes them feel to know that God’s thoughts are good and perfect towards them; that He loves, cares and thinks of them.
1. Print out the printable.
2. Color in the treasure chest.
3. Cut out the treasure chest.
4. Stick glue on each of the tabs.
What do I need to think about? What do I need to stop thinking about? What does God want me to think?
Encourage the children to all lie on the floor in a position that is comfortable for them. Ask them to think about what they think about most. Is it worries? Their dreams for their future? Their fears? Their friends and family? Ask them to think about what they believe Jesus wants them to think about. Is there someone that they need to think about more – and pray for? Is there something that He wants them to stop thinking and worrying about, and simply hand it over to Him?
Take the opportunity to give the children a few moments to think and pray for themselves, asking God to show them what he wants them to pray and think on. Then pray:
Thank You that You care about our thoughts. Thank You that Your thoughts towards us are so vast and great. Thank You that You think good thoughts towards us, and that You know so much more than we can ever imagine! Thank You that You can help us to think good thoughts, thoughts that will help and bless others and that will help us in our own lives. Help us to honor You with our thoughts.
In Jesus’ name,