A full understanding of God’s greatness cannot be attained on earth, but his great joy, love, and salvation should engulf our actions as believers. Children will learn how God has granted these wonderful attributes to us and explore ways to use them as his representatives to the lost.
From Pastor Ken Gray’s sermon entitled, “Great!” (December 13, 2015)
Transcribed for Sunday school with permission.
TARGET AGES: 10-14
OBJECTIVE: To help the students understand that great joy, love, and salvation come from knowing God through Jesus Christ.
MAIN IDEA: Our actions as believers should show the great joy, love, and salvation we have received from God.
SCRIPTURE PASSAGES: Luke 2:9-11, Ephesians 2:4-5, Hebrews 2:1-3
MATERIAL(S): dry erase board or display board, white poster boards (cut into halves), markers
Introduction (5 minutes)
OPENING PRAYER: “Lord, thank you for giving us great joy, love, and salvation. Amen.”
ICEBREAKER DISCUSSION: Ask, “Have you ever received great news?” Share with the class a personal experience of great news, such as the healing of a loved one, the salvation of a friend, or receiving an award. Then allow time for volunteers to share their experiences. Say, “Great news is always welcome, so today we are going to discuss how the news of Jesus should motivate our joy, love, and willingness to share the message of salvation with others.”
Lesson (15 minutes)
- Ask the class to turn to Luke 2:9-11 and explain that an angel once appeared to share great news with some shepherds. After reading the passage ask, “What was the great news (that Jesus was born)? What names did the angel use to describe Jesus (Savior, Messiah, Lord)? If you had been one of the shepherds, how would you have felt upon receiving this good news?” Emphasize that the angel’s news would “cause great joy for all the people,” and we know the shepherds had joy because they visited Jesus. Comment, “Joy isn’t necessarily a huge display of our happiness. Having calm delight in the Lord, like the shepherds, is something that should move us to action. Others should see joy in our lives because we have a relationship with Jesus.”
- Next, turn to Ephesians 2:4-5. Ask, “How are we ‘made alive’ with Christ (through belief in him)? Why did God give us this opportunity (because of his great love)?” Discuss the word “great” as a class by coming up with definitions and examples of the word and listing them on the board. Then comment, “We have come up with our best definitions for the word ‘great,’ but the simple truth is none of them are even close to describing the fullness of God’s love. His love is bigger, better, and greater than anything we could ever imagine!” Brainstorm as a class how our actions can show the great love of God to others.
- Lastly, discuss how the message of salvation is the greatest thing we have received and also the greatest thing we can offer a lost world. Read Hebrews 2:1-3. Say, “Salvation through Jesus Christ is great because it is freely offered to everyone. And because of salvation’s greatness, unbelievers will face eternal punishment for ignoring the message of Jesus.” Explain that we need to pay attention as believers and act on God’s word so we can have a lasting impact on those who need to know Christ. Briefly share how to receive salvation and make yourself available for any questions the children may have regarding belief in Jesus Christ.
Poster Craft (20 minutes)
Say, “Today we are going to make posters about our great joy, love, and salvation. Then we will display them as reminders to act on God’s greatness.” Prepare a poster ahead of time as an example for the class. Ask the students to include the main words of the lesson (great, joy, love, salvation) and then add pictures such as crosses and hearts. Comment, “When you see these posters, think about whether or not God’s greatness is shown through your actions.”
Conclusion and Presents (5 minutes)
RECAP: Our lives should show the great joy, love, and salvation we have received so others may know Christ.
CLOSING PRAYER: “God, we want to be your representatives of joy, love, and salvation to the world. Please strengthen us as we share you message. Amen.”