OBJECTIVE: To help the children understand that Jesus was God’s promised Savior.
MAIN IDEA: God doesn’t break his promises, and he sent someone very special to earth to prove his love for us. The entire bible teaches us to trust God and his promises.
TARGET AGES: 9 – 13 Older Elementary. You may need to simplify this lesson when working with younger children. CURRICULUM UNIT: This lesson is part of the Who was …. ? series on major Bible characters.
SCRIPTURE PASSAGES: Acts 2:22-36, 2 Peter 3:13, Isaiah 25:8-9, Hebrews 8:10-12
MATERIAL(S): word search copies (attachment), colored pencils
This is lesson 12 of the “Who was” series.
Introduction (20 minutes)
OPENING PRAYER: “God, speak to our hearts and remind us that you keep your promises. Thank you for the bible which teaches us to trust your plan. Amen.”
ICEBREAKER DISCUSSION: Because promises are often broken on earth, it can be hard for children to fully trust that God won’t break his promises. Have an open discussion with the children about promises, and consider asking the following questions to prepare them for today’s lesson:
- How do I feel when someone breaks a promise (sad, angry, upset, disappointed, etc)?
- How do I feel when someone keeps a promise (happy, loved, joyful, etc)?
- Why are human promises sometimes broken (sin, circumstances, etc)?
- What promises has God given us (salvation through Jesus, his presence, his guidance, a one-day reunion with him, etc)?
- Can God break his promises (no, because he is holy and perfect)?
- Why can it be hard to trust God even though we know he loves us (because we have been hurt by others, doubt God’s power, forget to pray and read scripture, etc)?
Lesson (15 minutes)
- Remind the class that God promised to send a Promised One, or Savior, to his people. Say, “God told Abraham, ‘all peoples on earth will be blessed through you’ in Genesis 12:3. God also made similar promises to Abraham’s son, Isaac (Genesis 17:19), and grandson, Jacob (Genesis 28:13-15).” Discuss that God’s plan throughout the Old Testament for a Savior was fulfilled in the New Testament. Help the class understand that the entire bible is about God’s plan of redemption through the fulfillment of his promises.
- Read Acts 2:22-24. Ask, “Who did God send to fulfill his promise of a Savior (Jesus)? How did God prove his plan (by raising Jesus from the dead)?” Explain to the children that God sent Jesus to earth, allowed him to die, and then brought Jesus back to life all as a part of his plan to save mankind. Ask, “So what do God’s actions prove about his promises (that he can be trusted)?” Assure the class that God’s promises can always be trusted even when we don’t understand what he is doing.
- Next, read Acts 2:25-36. Ask, “What did David say about Jesus (that Jesus wouldn’t abandon him and instead defend and fill him with joy)? Why is it special that David was assured of God’s promises (because Jesus’ birth and death were in the future yet David still believed)?” Point out that Jesus’ resurrection and the gift of the Holy Spirit affirm God’s promises that we are his children when we believe in Jesus. Tell the children how to believe in Jesus through the confession of sins and acceptance of forgiveness (Romans 10:9 & 1 John 1:9). Say, “Becoming a Christian means we have a heart change to no longer sin because the Holy Spirit guides us. No Christian is perfect, but becoming a ‘new creation’ (2 Corinthians 5:17) means we strive to do God’s will instead of always choosing sin.”
- Lastly, talk about additional promises that God has for the future. Ask for volunteers to read the following passages: 2 Peter 3:13, Isaiah 25:8-9, Hebrews 8:10-12. Discuss the promises in depth, being sure to emphasize that God’s plan from the beginning has been to reunite us to perfect fellowship to him. Say, “Isn’t it great that we can trust God’s promises?! Share this good news with someone today – that God can be trusted and his promises will always come true.”
“Promises, Promises, Promises!” Word Search (10 minutes) *Attachment*
Remind the class that God has given us many promises. Then give each child a word search and 4-5 colored pencils. Point out that there is only one word to find: promises! Challenge the children to find the word as many times as possible while using various colors of pencils (to hopefully make it easier to distinguish between the words). You may consider having a race to see who can find the most “promises” or allowing the children to work with a partner. Lastly, use the answer key to help the children find the remaining words.
Conclusion (5 minutes)
RECAP: God fulfilled his promise in the Old Testament of a Savior by sending Jesus to die for our sins. We can trust God’s promises will come true because he has never broken a promise! To accept his promise of salvation we must each believe in Jesus and allow the Holy Spirit to change our hearts.
CLOSING PRAYER: “Lord, thank you for always keeping your promises. Help us trust you even when we don’t understand our circumstances. We know that you always have a special plan. Thank you for loving us and for sending Jesus to die for our sins. Amen.”
Who was …. A Study on Bible Characters
This lesson is part of a 14 unit curriculum for older children (age 9 – 13) that introduces major characters in the Bible.