Week 26 – God Loves Everyone!
Good morning. I want to invite all the children to come up front and have a seat because I have a great story to share that happened a long time ago but it is also a story that is still happening today. I know because I’m a part of it and you maybe as well. So let’s have a seat and keep our hands to ourselves because we want everyone to be able to pay attention. Now before I tell you the name of the story I want to ask you 2 questions: Q1: Do you know that God loves you very much? (kids will say yes). My second question to you is: Q2:how do you see God showing His love to you? Kids share.
Thank you for sharing. May you never forget that God loves you a lot. God loves you more than your parents and grandparents do. You are God’s greatest creation. You matter. You are a gift from God and God will always remind you of how much He loves you. Now to today’s story. It is going to be great. Are you ready? (kids say yeah). Okay today’s story shows us another way that God loves you and me a lot. This true story is about a man named Jonah. Raise your hand if you have heard this story before. (some kids will) Well, Q3: When you think of Jonah what do you think of?Kids share (someone will say a whale) I heard a whale mentioned and I want to tell you that the story of Jonah is about much more than being swallowed by a whale or it could have been a really big sea creature. Now, does anyone want some treats? I have some crackers that look like whales but as we eat them I want us to say together: Jonah is more than a story about a whale. Okay? Let’s practice first saying: Jonah is more than a story about a whale. Good. Let’s try it again. So let me pass out your crackers and remember to hold on to them until I say let’s eat them. So I am going to count to 3 and we are going to say Jonah is more than a story about a whale and then eat our crackers. Ready? 1,2,3, Jonah is more than a story about a whale. Now let’s eat.
So up on the screen is a picture of Jonah (readslide 2) Nineveh was a city where the people did not believe in God but God believed in them and wanted them to know how much He loved them and wanted them to follow Him. Just like how He wants that for you and me. But Jonah said to God, “no, I don’t want to tell them.” Q4: Can you think of a time when someone asked you to do something but you said, no I don’t want to? Kids share. So Jonah disobeyed just like you and I do. Let’s continue to read (read slide 3) So Jonah got on the boat thinking He could run away from God but guess what? No matter how fast you can run - you can never outrun God because (read slide 4) The people on the boat were scared by this storm but not Jonah. He was sleeping. (read slide 5) (read slide 6) This is amazing. The people on the boat did not know God but they wanted to know why this storm was happening and God revealed that it was because of Jonah running from God. (read slide 7) (read slide 8) Jonah was scared. I think you and I would be too if we were in the belly of a large sea creature. But Jonah made a great decision which was to pray: (read slide 9) Q5: Who wants to share a time when you got scared so you prayed and God answered your prayer?
Thank you for sharing. I love hearing how God answers prayers. I hope you do to. Keep praying. Now How many of you think that Jonah would listen to God now? (read slide 10) Jonah’s message to them was 8 words, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be destroyed.” And the people said, “oh no we don’t want to die,” so they decided to believe in the true God and repent. Q6: Does anyone know what the word ‘repent’ means? Let me show you what the word means but I need a volunteer. Who would like to be my helper? Thank you ___. So I want you walk to that wall and when you hear me say repent I want you to stop, turn around, and walk back to me. Let’s do it. Thank you _____ for being a great volunteer. This is what repent means. To stop, turn around, and go a different direction. This is what the people in Nineveh did. They did what they wanted to do but after hearing Jonah they stop, turned around ,and went a different direction which was to follow God. Now this is exciting news that people believed and followed God. But guess what? Jonah was mad about this. Can you turn your face to the adults and show them a mad face. Jonah was mad because while he knew God loved him a lot but didn’t want God to love everyone.
But even though Jonah was mad at God – God still gave Jonah a good gift of a plant (show slide 11) that provided him shade on a very hot day. Why? God loved Jonah a lot even though it was sad that Jonah did not want God to love everyone. So Jonah became happy now. Q7: Tell me of a good gift God gave you that made you happy? Those are good gifts that God gave you. Let me ask you another question: Q8: Tell me of a good gift that made you happy and that you shared with another person? Wow, God loves when we share but Jonah’s problem was that he did not want to share God’s love with everyone. Another problem Jonah had was that he liked God’s gift, the plant, more than the people of Nineveh. So the next day God sent a worm to chew up the plant which caused the plant to die and Jonah got mad again and said to God, (read slide 12) And then the story ends by God asking Jonah(read slide 13) So raise your hand and Q9: Tell me one thing you learned about God today? Kids share
Remember how I gave you some whale crackers earlier. Well, I want to give you another treat to represent God’s heart is for everyone, even those who look and talk differently or who at times may be mean. So I am going to give you these candy hearts. People need to hear about God’s love and how He wants everyone to know and follow Him. One of the Bible verses many of you learned this past week was Romans 10:17
that says, ‘faith comes by what is heard and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.” So let’s say this together: the story of Jonah is about God’s love for everyone. Say it. That was okay. Let’s say it a bit louder. So don’t be like Jonah who said, “thank you God for how You love me but I will only share Your love with those I like.” Instead reflect God’s heart. So when I give each of you your own package of candy hearts take a few and eat them remembering God loves you. He loves you more than your parents, grandparents, more than anyone. But save some and share your candy hearts with others and tell them: God loves you a lot and has BIG plans for you. So my last question to you is: Q10: who will you share your candy hearts with?
May you and I reflect more of God’s heart of love for everyone. May God protect you and me from being selfish by not wanting to share God’s good gifts with others. Instead let’s be generous, very generous. May you and I ask God where He wants us to show God’s love to people. For many of us it will be right here in America but we need to ask God because it could be another country where people have never heard the name of Jesus before. For there are a lot of people in the world that need someone to tell and share God’s love with them. So let’s all stand up and go back to your seats as you grab a package of candy hearts to eat and to share. I invite ? to come up to pray for us.