Objective: Teaching Obedience
Message: God knows what’s best for us but often times we try to take the easy way out. We look for opportunities in our life that don’t require any faith or extra energy to complete the task. However God tells us in His word that we must take up our cross and follow Him regardless of how difficult the trial may be. That means wherever God leads us we must follow because He knows what’s best for us and He will only take us where we need to go.
Sometimes God allows difficult things to happen in our lives to make us stronger in preparation for something else He has in store for us. If we can’t pass that test we will not be able to go to the next level which requires more discipline. Still other times God allows difficult things to happen so others can be encouraged as they see our positive response to that situation in our life. Whatever we go through God promises that He will never put on us more than we can bear and He will always give us a way out. Proverbs says Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Acknowledge Him in all your ways and He will make straight your path. Be encouraged and trust in God fully knowing that He is always in control and He cares about you.
2 large cans
1 pair of scissors
1 manual can opener
1 automatic can opener
1 small doggie bone
1 small bag of candy
2 letters (typed) to be placed inside each of the cans (one paper folded and placed in the can with the words typed: #1 Obedience =rewards and the other with the words typed: #2 Disobedience=Consequences)
make 2 outer covers for the cans, as follows:
1st can—-(type)#1 and the letters O.R.
2nd can—(type) #2 with the letter D. C.
Activity: Get 2 large cans and cut the bottom out before activity time. Remove the contents of both cans and clean thoroughly. Make sure to place a plastic cover that fits snuggly on the side of the can that was opened to remove contents.
Remove the outer label from the can and replace with a printed cover which includes the following details: print on a regular sheet of paper (page 1) #1 with the letters O.R. and (page 2)the #2 with the letters D. C on the same side as the number.
Tape the outer labels separately, #1 and #2 on the cans and remove extra paper with scissors from around the top and bottom of the can. Make sure to place a plastic cover that fits snuggly on the side of the can that was opened to remove contents.
Next, print the following words on 2 other separate sheets: #1 Obedience =rewards and the other sheet should have the words #2 Disobedience=Consequences. Fold each of those pages separately and place #1 in the can with label #1 and #2 in the can with label #2. Finally fill # 2 with a dog bone and #1 with candies or goodies. Place the cans on the table and beside can #1 place the manual can opener and beside can #2 the automatic can opener.
Discussion: When God tells us to do something even if it’s hard to do, by responding to His will we will receive the rewards and blessings He has for us. Then ask youth the following: “If you had a choice between using an electric can opener to open a large can or a manual can opener, which would you rather use?” Then go go to say, “What if God tells you to use the manual one and you happen to be rushing to go somewhere, which would you most likely use if you needed to get the contents out before you left?” Listen to the answers and then then divide the group into 2 smaller groups (one on either side of you) based on their response to the following question: “Who wants to use the manual can opener as they are rushing to get out of the house and who wants to use the automatic can opener, after God says use the manual one?”. Explain to both groups that whatever is in the can, they can have it once the cans are opened.
Start with the easy can opener first and automatically open the top of can #2. Take the folded consequence page out once the can is open. Have the children on that side read that sheet together out loud. Then show them the bone and tell them that this is the consequence for them being disobedience.
Next open can #1 and use the manual can opener. Explain while you are opening the can that this is a lot tougher than the automatic can opener but if God tells you to use the manual opener there is a good reason for that and He will reward your obedience. Take the folded obedience page out once the can is open. Have the children on this side read that sheet together out loud. Then show them the candy and tell them that this is the reward for their obedience.
Explain that God does not always reward us with a tangible gift when we respond to His will but gives us what we need when we need it. Those are called blessings. Go on to say that even if they don’t see an immediate reward they should always know that God is pleased when we respond to His perfect will for our lives because only He knows what’s best for us. This simple activity will help children understand the benefit that comes in responding to God’s will in our life.