God is our Shield (Ephesians 6) Lesson #34 in What is God Like?
AGE GROUP: elementary (ages 6-11)
TIME REQUIRED: 45 minutes
This is lesson 34 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 34: GOD IS OUR SHIELD
- Key Verse: “My shield is God Most High, who saves the upright in heart.” Psalm 7:10
- Teaching Passage: Ephesians 6:10-20
- Supporting Texts: Psalm 7:10, Genesis 15:1, 2 Samuel 22:3 & 31, Psalm 3:3, Psalm 18:2
Bibles, previous attribute of God posters, a large piece of paper with the words GOD IS OUR SHIELD written on it, key verse (Psalm 7:10) printed on a piece of paper, paper plates, foil, paper & glue, 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.
Take a few minutes to review the attributes you’ve previously learned. Call out one of the attributes and have kids respond with either the motion or the definition.
- 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 is 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
- God is Love = God has tender and caring affection for His people
- God is Majestic = God is stately, kingly, grand & raised up
- God is Merciful = God is full of compassion, pity, and undeserved grace & love for another
- God is Omnipotent = He is almighty or infinite in power
- God is Omnipresent = He is everywhere all the time
- God is Omniscient = He knows everything
- God is One = the Only God
- God Protects His People = He defends, guards, covers & shields His people
- God is Righteous = He is always right & He always does what is right
- God is the Rock = solid, strong and offering protection
- God provides the PERFECT SACRIFICE for sin = Jesus is the gift or payment that paid for our sin
- God Saves = to rescue from danger
- God Shepherds His people = He tends, guards and watches over His people
Introduce this week’s attribute by asking the kids what they think of when they hear the word shield. The boys in the group should really enjoy talking about their favorite war movie and the various shields involved. Ask what the shield does for the person fighting. Focus in on the truth that the shield is a piece of armor that protects the soldier from attack. Ask kids to help you think of times in the Bible where God shielded His people, or protected them from outside harm. If no one is coming up with anything, some of the examples you might want to point them to are- Noah & the ark, crossing the Red Sea, the Passover Lamb, any of the battles where God fought for His people, etc.
Using whatever examples they come up with, talk briefly about how God shielded His people in that situation.
Then, ask the kids what the greatest danger we all face is. They’ll probably come up with lots of things, but point them to fact that the greatest danger we all face is the wrath of God. Read Romans 6:23 and talk about how because of sin we all deserve eternal death and punishment- we all deserve the wrath of God. Tell the kids that you’re going to see how God has shielded His people from His own wrath.
Introduce the text for the morning saying that this passage is in the book of Ephesians which is a letter that Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus and that in this letter Paul reminded them what it means to be a Christian, he talks about relationships within the church and he tells them about how as Christians they can stand up against attacks.
Explain that your going to read Ephesians 6:10-20. After you read the verses, they should use the provided aluminum foil & paper to make a suit of armor for one of the kids in the group.
Then, talk through the passage highlighting the following points:
- Paul told the people in Ephesus that as Christians they are in a battle against sin and against the schemes of Satan.
- The Belt of Truth- This represents God’s Word and like a belt it holds everything together in the soldier’s life.
- The Breastplate of Righteousness- this is a reminder that even though we are all sinners (and even as Christians we still continue to sin) that Jesus‘ blood covered up the sin of His people and now when God looks at His people He sees His Son’s righteousness and not our sinfulness.
- Feet fitted with the Gospel- this means that people who are following Jesus should always be ready to run out and tell other people the good news about Jesus. And that for people who have been saved, the good news of their salvation should give them courage to run out and tell more people.
- The shield of faith- for the Christian, whenever they are attacked by the world or tempted by the world, they can hold up their shield as a reminder that they belong to Jesus and that He bought them with His blood and they’ll be protected or shielded from attack.
- The helmet of salvation- Our salvation protects us from believing the lies that Satan uses to discourage us.
- The sword of the Spirit- the only weapon that the Christian needs is the Bible (God’s Word). Knowing God’s Word will help us to fight off attacks.
- All pieces of the armor point back to the good news that Jesus died in our place. The armor helps us remember that when we place our faith in Jesus that He shields us and protects us from the wrath of God.
DEFINE AND REMEMBER:
To help the kids remember this truth about God, take a few minutes to define the attribute.
Today we’re talking about the truth that God is a shield for His people. Throughout the Old Testament we see examples of God physically shielding His people and protecting them from their enemies.
The most amazing way that God has shielded His people is by sending Jesus to die in our place so that everyone who repents and believes in Him by faith will be shielded from from the wrath of God.
SHIELD = HIDES, CONCELS, PROTECTS
Since motions & actions help kids remember, choose an action for shield. A good motion might be to hold both arms in front of your face to hide.
SAY: “This morning we’re talking about the truth that God shields His people. Our key verse for the week is …
“My shield is God Most High, who saves the upright in heart.” Psalm 7:10
What we saw during the teaching time is that God shields His people by protecting them, and the best way He has shielded His people was by sending Jesus to die in our place so that everyone who repents and believes in Him by faith will be shielded from from the wrath of God.
Using the provided supplies (paper plates, foil, paper & glue), design a shield that shows the ultimate way that God has shielded His people. Be sure to write the verse on your shield.
Read the memory verse (Psalm 7:10) a few times together and do the motion for shield.
Remind the kids of the skit about the armor of God and ask if anyone remembers what the shield was called. Reread Ephesians 6:16 and talk about how the shield was called the shield of faith and that the verse says that it extinguishes the ‘flaming arrows of the evil one.‘ Ask someone to define the word faith. Talk about how we are called to believe by faith (without seeing proof) that Jesus died to pay the price for our sin and that Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us that salvation is by faith alone, not by anything that we can do. Then, ask someone to remind you what you said earlier about the greatest danger we all face. Remind the kids that because we are all sinners that we all deserve the wrath (punishment) of God, but (Romans 5:8), because of His great love for His people, Jesus came to earth and took that wrath for us – He died in our place. Because of this, anyone who believes by faith that Jesus paid this price for them and repents of their sin will be shielded from the wrath of God. Jesus stands as their shield, so that on the day of judgement when sin is being punished, God the Father will look at the righteousness of Jesus instead of the sin of His people and they will be saved.
Give each child a blank piece of paper provide markers or colored pencils. Encourage them to write the word shield somewhere on the paper and then write or draw something to help them remember this attribute of God. They could write the definition for shield or the memory verse or they could draw and label the armor of God. 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 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 children in the class would trust God as their shield and hide in Him alone.