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Children's Lesson 4:
The Main Thi= ng: *I will be happy if I keep my promises to God.
Bible Background:&= nbsp; 1 Chronicles 29:9, 20-22; Mark 10:17-22
the nation of
story of the rich young ruler is just the opposite. He came to Jesus asking what he c=
to be a better person. When =
told him to obey all of the commandments, he said, "I already do all =
that." Then Jesus said,
"It's time for you to take the next step in your spiritual growth.
&nb= sp; This week your church members will be called to make a commitment to your stewardship project. It is n= ot just a commitment to give up your possessions, but a commitment of your heart to God. If you make that commit= ment with a whole heart and keep it, you will celebrate. But if you fail to make a commitm= ent or keep it, you will walk away sad. Tell your students that they will either be happy or sad on Promise Sunday depending on whether or not they are willing to keep their promise = to fill their promise banks. Us= e these two passages to teach your students that *they will be happy if they keep = their promises to God. <= /p>
Lesson Goals: Yo= ur students will be able to…
Key Verse: "Don't put off giving to the Lor= d your God everything you promise him." Deuteronomy 23:21a
Section: &n= bsp; Minutes: Description: = &n= bsp; Materials Needed:
See It &nb= sp; up to 15 = Celebration: Have  = ; Food, party hats, balloons,
= ; &= nbsp; &nb= sp; a party to illustrate what = stream= ers, party favors
&nb= sp;  = ; &= nbsp; the Israelites did after they  = ; (optional), party games,
&= nbsp; gave wholeheartedly. &nb= sp;  = ; noisemakers
Explain It  = ; up to 10 = Explain the difference
&nb= sp;  = ; &= nbsp; and the response of the rich
&nb= sp;  = ; &= nbsp; young ruler.
Discuss & &n=
to 10 =
Apply It &= nbsp; &nb= sp; the story of the rich young ruler
&nb= sp;  = ; &= nbsp; to your stewardship campaign and
&nb= sp;  = ; &= nbsp; the students' promise banks.
Review It = 5 = Review The Main Thing & Key Verse
&nb= sp;  = ; &= nbsp; from Lesson 3. Remind the student= s
&nb= sp;  = ; &= nbsp; about Promise Sunday.
Do It up to 15 = Have the students sign the &n= bsp; &nbs= p; Camera (preferably a
= ; &= nbsp; &nb= sp; promise certificates and take &n= bsp; Polaroid if possible), film,
= ; &= nbsp; &nb= sp; their celebration pictures to = &n= bsp; promise certificates for
&nb= sp;  = ; &= nbsp; put on the wall with their &n= bsp; &nbs= p; each student, pens
&nb= sp;  = ; &= nbsp; certificate. = &n= bsp;
Pray About  = ; 5 = Make this a memorable time
It &= nbsp; &nb= sp;  = ; making promises to God.
= Have your room set up and decorated for your Celebration before the students co= me in. Use streamers and balloo= ns to create the party atmosphere. Give each student a party hat to wear during the entire class to remind them th= at today is a celebration of making and keeping our promises to give to the stewardship project. You may= also want to have food and party games for the students to eat and play as they arrive.
&nb= sp; Do not tell them why you are celebrating until everyone is there and you are = ready to settle down the party and continue with the lesson. Ask: Does anyone know why we are celebrating today?= Why do we usually celebrate? We celebrate because we are happy about something (someone's birthd= ay, winning a championship game, a new baby coming into the world, etc.). What reason do we have to be happy today?
&nb= sp; Read or have a student read 1 Chroni= cles 29:9 and 22: "The people were happy when they saw that their leaders had been willing to give…With their whole heart they had given everything to the Lord…They ate and drank with great joy that day. They did it in the sight of the Lord."
Explain: After the Israelites =
their promises to give to the temple project, they were happy. They were so happy they had a big
party! They celebrated for t=
whole days! Today we are
celebrating our promises to our stewardship project. Today our whole church will be ma=
promises to give to (explain your project). As a class, we will be making promises to fill our promise banks.
Explain It: = 1 Chronicles 29:9, 20-22; Mark 10:17-22
= The reason the Israelites were so happy was because they grew closer to God wh= en they gave wholeheartedly to Him. = span>We know they grew closer to God after they gave their gifts because the Bible tells us that they spent time with God, praising and worshipping Him.
= Giving helps us grow spiritually. It brings us to a closer relationship with God because we show God that we lo= ve Him with our whole heart when we give to Him. When we're close to God, we are happy. But when we aren't cl= ose to God, we are sad.
what happened to the rich young ruler.&nb=
He lived at the same time that Jesus lived on the earth. He wanted to do what was right.
= That's when Jesus replied, "You need to learn to give. Giving will make you closer to Go= d. Give everything you have to the poor." But the rich you= ng ruler didn't want to give everything to God. He was not willing to give his wh= ole heart to God, and listen to what happened…Read or have a student read Mark 19:22: The Bible says, "The man's face fell. He went away sad, because he was = very rich." He ended up = walking away from Jesus instead of growing closer to Him.
= The rich young ruler left sad because he could not keep a promise to give what= he had to God. The Israelites, = on the other hand, went away rejoicing because they kept their promise to give wh= at they had to God. *We will be= happy if we keep our promises to God.
Discuss & Apply It:
= Let your students share their responses to the following questions. Guide them as you emphasize The M= ain Thing: *I will be happy if I= keep my promises to God. = b>
· Ho= w many of you have ever worked really hard to give a special gift or surprise to someone in your family? = Have your students tell about their special gifts or surprises.
· Ho= w did you feel after you gave them the gift or surprise? Happy, excited.
· Ho= w many of you have ever promised your mom or dad to clean your room or to help in= the yard and forgot to keep your promise?= Be honest.
· Ho= w did you feel when you didn't keep your promise? Ashamed, sad. You probably didn't want to see y= our mom or dad because you knew you didn't keep your promise. If you had kept your promise, you= would want to show off the work you did for them.
= The same thing happens in our relationship with God. When we don't keep our promises t= o Him, we don't feel like talking to Him or praising Him. We end up growing away from Him.<= span style=3D'mso-spacerun:yes'> But when we keep our promises to = God, we are happy because we make Him proud. We want to talk to Him and praise Him. And we end up growing closer to H= im.
= The whole purpose of our stewardship project is to help people get closer to God. Even though you are hel= ping other people get close to God when you give to the project, you will also = help yourself grow closer to God. *When you make a promise to God and keep it, you will be happy because you will = grow closer to God.
= On Promise Sunday, (your date), you will eithe= r be happy or sad. *You will be h= appy if you keep your promise to fill your promise bank. But you will be sad if you forget= your promise. Today, we are celeb= rating in advance to remind us to keep our promises, but also because I believe w= e can keep them.
= Review The Main Thing and the Key Verse from Lesson 3. You may want to offer a piece of = candy or an incentive prize to the students who remember them.
· Th= e Main Thing: God wants me to give = Him my whole heart.
· Key Verse: "Whatever you do, do it with all your heart." Colossians 3:23
Why is it important to give to the stewardship project with your whole heart? So you do not leave any room for = sin in your heart, and so you show God that you are willing to give Him your whole heart.
= Our Key Verse today is Deuteronomy 2= 3:21a:&nbs= p; "Don't put off giving = to the Lord your God everything you promise him." What do you think this verse mean= s? What does it tell us to do about = our promise banks? Don't forget them. Keep your promise to t= he Lord. This verse tells us to= keep our promises to God because *we will be happy if we keep our promises to G= od.
= Today everyone in our church will be making promises to give to the stewardship project. We are going to mak= e our promise together right here. Even though you have already made your promise banks to take home, we are going= to make our promises official by signing a promise certificate. (Remember, we call it a promise b= ank because we said we would make a promise to fill it.) We are also going to take your pi= cture with your party hat since we plan on celebrating when everyone returns the= ir promise banks.
= We will hang your promise certificate on the wall in our class with your celebration picture so each week you will be reminded of your promise. On Promise Sunday you should look= just as happy as you do in your picture today *because you will be happy if you= keep your promises to God.
&nbs= p; Pass out the promise certificates and pens.&nb= sp; Read the certificates together.&nb= sp; Make this a serious time of commitment for your students. Have each student sign them. Then continue with your party as = you take each student's celebration picture.&= nbsp; Encourage them to act crazy and excited in their photo since this i= s a big celebration. Go ahead an= d hang the certificates on the wall with the pictures (if you have access to a Polaroid camera). Encourage = each student to show their certificate and picture to their parents when they a= re picked up from class.
Pray About It:
&nbs= p; You will probably want to pray together as the students sign their promise certificates before you continue with your celebration party. Pray that God will help your stud= ents keep their promises to fill their promise banks for Him.