AGE GROUP: elementary (ages 6-11)
TIME REQUIRED: 45 minutes
This is lesson 21 of 42 in our study on the Attributes of God called “Can you tell me what God is like?” Visit the series index to view all the lessons and get more ideas for using this curriculum in your children’s ministry.
LESSON 21: GOD IS LOVE
- Key Verse: “This is how God showed His love among us; He sent His One and Only Son into the world that we might live through Him.” 1 John 4:9
- Teaching Passage: Love – 1 Corinthians 13
- Supporting Texts: 1 John 4:9, John 3:16, Psalm 36:5, Romans 5:8
Bibles, previous attribute of God posters, a large piece of paper with the words GOD IS LOVE written on it, key verse (1 John 4:9) printed on a piece of paper, blank paper and markers or colored pencils for each child in the group.
REVIEW PREVIOUS LESSONS:
Ask one of the kids in the group to remind you what you’re learning this year. Remind them that each week we’ll be looking into the Bible to answer the question… “Can you tell me what God is like?” and will be learning one of the many truths about God that we see in His Word.
Ask if anyone can remember the truths we’ve learned so far. Read a few of the definitions and see if kids in the group can tell you what attribute of God you’re talking about.
- God is Almighty= He has absolute power or is all powerful
- God is the Alpha and Omega= He is the beginning and the end, the first and the last
- God is Awesome = He inspires awe and amazement
- God is Compassionate = He shows a deep concern for His people & a desire to meet their needs
- God is the Deliverer = He is the rescuer or savior
- God is Exalted = He is noble, elevated and lifted up
- God is Faithful = He is reliable, trustworthy, true to His Word & keeps His promises
- God Forgives = He grants pardon and cancels the debt of sin
- God is Glorious = He is full of glory (praise, honor & distinction)
- God is Good = morally excellent, virtuous or righteous
- God is Gracious = merciful, benevolent, kind & compassionate
- God Guides His People= He leads, accompanies, assists and gives direction/ guidance
- God Heals = make healthy & whole & free from ailments
- God is Holy = He is sinless, perfect and set apart
- God is our Hope = He is the One in whom our expectations are centered
- Jesus is Immanuel = God with Us
- God is Judge = He is the One who rules over and passes judgement on others
- God if Just = He is the One who is fair and does what is right
- God is King of kings & Lord of lords = He is The One who rules the rulers
- Jesus is the Lamb without blemish = He is the perfect sacrifice for sin
TEACH- GOD IS LOVE:
Start out by asking the kids to define the word love for you. Talk about all of the things that they would say that they love…. who loves pizza, who loves football, etc. Then, say, “This morning we’re talking about the truth that God is love. The word love is very confusing in today’s world. People think they know what love is, but sadly many are very mistaken. Later we’ll take some time to look at the Biblical definition of love. But first, your job is to act out how love is shown in some random situations.”
Call kids up one at a time and ask them to show you (act out) how they would show love in this scenario.
- how you show love to your pet dog
- how you show love to a baby
- how a baby shows love to its mom or dad
- how you might show love to someone you think is cute at school
- how you show love while watching a football game
Explain that everyone in the world thinks they know what love is. (In fact, according to one list, its the 387th most commonly used English word). We all use the word every day, but do we really know what it means. Tell the kids that you want to share with them a familiar passage from the Bible that talks about love to help us all understand what love is.
Talk through 1 Corinthians 13 in your own words. You might want to read the text and elaborate on it. Some points to include are:
- Paul wrote 1 Corinthians 13 to explain to the church in Corinth that love was the most important of the spiritual gifts that God had given His people.
- Paul wanted the people to know that God gave His people gifts in order for them to encourage other people and not to puff themselves up. Paul explained this by saying things like if I speak in the tongues of men and angels by have not love I am like a clanging cymbal. No matter what the people did, they needed to do it with love.
- Paul then gave them a list describing what love is like. As we read through this list, we should realize that no one can love like that. The only one who can love perfectly….patiently, selflessly, kindly, etc. is God Himself.
- Finally, love is the one thing that will last forever. One day everything else will fade away…there will be no more prophecy or teaching or anything else because God’s people will be in God’s presence forever…but there will always be love.
DEFINE AND REMEMBER:
To help the kids remember this truth about God, take a few minutes to define the attribute.
LOVE= TENDER AND CARING AFFECTION FOR AN OTHER
EXPLAIN: Look up and read the following verses and talk about how they help us understand this truth about Jesus:
~ John 3:16
~ Romans 5:8
~ Psalm 36:5
Since motions & actions help kids remember, choose an action for LOVE. A good motion might be to cross your arms across your chest like you’re giving yourself a hug.
SAY: “This morning we’re talking about the truth that God is love. To help us understand more of that truth we’re looking at the ultimate way that God showed love to His people by sending Jesus to die on the cross for our sins.”
Read the memory verse – 1 John 4:9 in context (1 John 4:7-21) and then have the kids read/ say the memory verse after you a couple of times.
Remind kids of the description of love that you just talked through and how that description describes God’s love and points to His greatest display of love ever. Ask one of the kids to tell you what they think that display of love was. Remind them that several of the verses you read earlier point to the truth that God sent Jesus in love or because of love. Jesus didn’t selfishly keep Himself away, but He sacrificed Himself and put our need for salvation above everything else. Jesus coming to earth and dying on the cross is the greatest example of love ever.
Give each child a blank piece of paper provide markers or colored pencils. Encourage them to write the word love somewhere on the paper and then write or draw something to help them remember this attribute of God. You may want to encourage them to illustrate the memory verse or draw a heart and then draw a picture illustrating how God showed love to His people inside the heart. After a few minutes, bring the group back together and give kids time to share what they have drawn or written.
Pray that the kids in the group would come to know the love of God more and more each week through this study and that they would remember that all of us are sinners who need to be saved and that they would turn to this good God for salvation. Pray that they would remember the greatest act of love ever and thank God that Jesus laid down His life for His people to save us from our sin.