Lesson 9: God’s Will For My Life
What am I supposed to be when I grow up? What am I supposed to do with my life? What is God’s will for me? These are questions that kids ask all the time. They are continually wondering what God has for THEM to do. In this lesson, we will answer the question of “What is God’s will for my life?” But, the answer will surprise you. We base the answer on our “Ten For Life” verse this week, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. “Be joyful always; pray continu- ally; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.” God’s will for ALL of us is that we represent Him to the world. In doing so, we must make sure that we are always filled with joy, praying in all situations, and giving thanks no matter what we face. This is God’s will for our lives.
Leader: Today our verse in “Ten For Life” is 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. (All of a sudden the music theme from “NFL On Fox” or “Monday Night Football” begins playing. Referee Ricky comes running in blowing his whistle! But, he has an especially angry look on his face. He is blowing his whistle in more of a stress reliever way than a happy, make-some-noise way)
Ricky: (blows whistle) All right! Calm down, people! Calm down!
Leader: Hey there, Ricky! Why do we need to calm down?
Ricky: Because you are all just being so loud and annoying. It’s ridiculous.
Leader: Well, that’s a bit rude, don’t you think?
Ricky: Well, you’re a bit obnoxious, don’t you think?
Leader: Ricky! There’s no reason for you to talk to me like that.
Ricky: Well, there’s no reason for your mom to have dropped you on your head as a baby, either. But, apparently she did since you are too DENSE to understand that I want you to CALM DOWN!
Leader: (bothered, but remains composed) OK, now Ricky. You have been very mean to all of us since you came in here. Is something bothering you? If so, then you can share it with us.
Ricky: Well, OK. I guess I have been a little testy lately. You see, I have been assigned to go referee this game down in Podunk, Arkansas—it’s a hole in the wall place, boring, and the worst place in the world to visit. I just don’t want to go down there. All the people there smell like a barnyard, have teeth missing, and they are constantly saying stuff like “Y’all” and “Yee Haw!”
Leader: Doesn’t sound like you have a very good attitude about it.
Ricky: Would you? I mean it's a terrible place. Do you know they don't even have a Starbucks!! Where am I supposed to get my Vinti, half-caf, oat-milk, caramel mocha frappuccino, with extra caramel swirl and whip on top? The Git 'N Go doesn't have it. I asked the last time I was there. The lady at the counter just looked at me like I was crazy! Can you believe that?? I mean, SHE didn't even have all her teeth! Trust me, You do not want to see me when I haven't had my extra caramel swirl. This trip is going to ruin my life!
Leader: Now, Ricky! That’s enough! You need to fix your attitude about all of this.
Ricky: Why should I? None of the other referees like going there either. It’s ok to have a bad attitude sometimes. Some things are worth complaining about, you know what I mean?
Leader: I disagree. God does not want us to have that kind of attitude. That’s not His will for our lives.
Ricky: Well, how do you know that God doesn’t think it’s OK for me to have this attitude?
Leader: Well, I’m glad you asked me that question. I am going to let you watch today’s Power Verse video. I think it will make things quite clear for you.
Ricky: Man, that’s tough stuff. So, God’s will is not for me to complain, fuss, and have a bad attitude?
Leader: It sure isn’t. You see, others are watching you. Many people are seeing your attitude, and they think that what you are saying is what Jesus would say. After all, we are supposed to represent Jesus in everything we do. Would you ever imagine Jesus saying the things you were saying about those people?
Ricky: Well, no. I don’t suppose He would.
Leader: Of course not. God’s will for our lives is that we would always be joyful (NOT grumpy), pray continually (NOT fuss continually), and give thanks in every circumstance (NOT complain in every circumstance). Make sense?
Ricky: It sure does. Man, do I feel ridiculous. I am going change my attitude in a hurry. I am going to be EXCITED about going to Podunk. (blows whistle) WOO HOO! Podunk here I come! Hey! This joy thing is really AWESOME! (blows his whistle) See you later kids! (music plays as he runs out of the room blowing his whistle)
Choose one boy and one girl to compete in this game. Choose one of your leaders to be the “Funny Person.”
Before the game say: “Kids, today we are talking about JOY. So, we are going to let you practice your JOY today by getting our resident FUNNY PERSON to try to make you laugh.”
Choose which contestant will go first. Have them sit in the chair. When you say, “GO!”, start the stopwatch. The goal is to keep from laughing as long as possible. The FUNNY PERSON’s job is to try to make the child laugh without touching them at all. They can make faces, tell jokes, do whatever they wish. See which contestant can go the longest without laughing. The one with the longest time wins!
“What is God’s will for my life?” Have you ever wondered that? Lots of kids spend a good amount of time wondering what God’s will is for them when they grow up. Have you ever thought about what God might want you to be when you grow up? (allow kids to respond)
(pull out the firefighter’s helmet and put it on) Maybe you have thought about being a firefighter! You dream of the adventure of diving into a raging fire to save someone from burning. You imagine how exciting it would be to climb those tall ladders and shoot the water on the fire.
(pull out the football and toss it around) Maybe you have thought about being a football player. You want to make millions of dollars, win the Super Bowl, and become really famous. Wouldn’t that be amazing? I wonder if God has that planned for any of you in this room?
(pull out the doctor’s stethoscope and put it around your neck) Perhaps you have dreamed of one day being a doctor or a nurse. You dream of performing surgery and saving lives, curing diseases, and helping others. Wouldn’t that be neat if God’s will was for several of you boys and girls to be medical professionals?
(pull out the ruler) I am sure that more than one of you have thought about being a teacher. You imagine that it would be amazing to be able to help young kids learn all kinds of things that will help them be smart and successful.
Whatever it is that you have dreamed of becoming, I am sure that most of you have asked the question, “What is God’s will for my life?” How many of you have ever wondered this? (allow the children to raise their hands) Well, today, I am going to tell each of you what God’s will is for your life. It’s true! You ready to find out? I thought so! Our Power Verse teaches three things that are God’s will for ALL of our lives. It says, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.”
I know, you are probably saying, “But, that’s not what I meant by learning what is God’s will for my life. I want to know what I am going to be in the future!” Well, boys and girls, believe it or not who you are TODAY makes a big difference on what you will be in the future. It’s true. Today, we are going to look at the three things in this verse to see that IF we will do these three things we will definitely be accomplishing God’s will for our lives.
This doesn’t mean that you will never have a bad day. We all go through difficulties in life. But, this means that when you face those difficulties, you don’t get a bad attitude, complain, and gripe. It means that no matter what you are facing, you remember that God is with you. You can have JOY because you know that God is with you through it all. (hold up the smiley face) It’s not so much that you have a smile on your face, it’s that you have a smile on the INSIDE! That will help you face all kinds of trouble with the right kind of attitude.
Remember the story of Paul and Silas? They were preaching the good news of Jesus, but then got arrested and thrown into prison for doing so. In the middle of the night, instead of complaining and fussing and having a bad attitude, Paul and Silas began to sing worship songs to God. How could they do that? They were in prison! Didn’t they know that prison is bad place? Of course they did. Paul and Silas remembered that no matter what they were facing, God is a good God and is with them no matter what. That’s how they could be joyful. Not only when things were going well, but even more important they were joyful when things weren’t going so great!
Paul and Silas knew that they were going through a terrible day, but they knew who to turn to. They began to worship and pray to God because they knew who was the source of their strength. When you and I go through tough times, we must pray to God for strength. And, not only when things are going bad, but when things are going well. We must pray COTINUALLY— in good times and bad times.
You are probably wondering, “How am I supposed to give thanks for a bad day?” Well, the Bible doesn't mean that you are supposed to literally say, “Thanks, God, that I am having a terrible day. This is awesome! Thanks for making my mom sick. Thanks for making that bully pick on me at school. Thanks, God! That was really cool.” That’s not what the verse is saying at all.
But, what we can and should do is be thankful to God for His love and grace even when we go through bad times. We may not be thankful FOR the hard times, but we can be thankful THROUGH the hard times. Paul and Silas sang praise to God. They didn’t thank God FOR the chains, they thanked God for His grace and love EVEN THOUGH they were in chains.
Do you know what happened after Paul and Silas rejoiced, prayed, and thanked God even in the middle of their prison cell? God sent an earthquake to shake the prison, and all of their chains fell off. The jailer came in, gave his heart to Jesus, and Paul and Silas were set free. WOW! Now, THAT is a miracle!
So, boys and girls, when you face problems and troubles—don't complain, gripe, and get down in the dumps. Instead, be JOYFUL always, PRAY continually, and GIVE THANKS in every circumstance, for this is GOD’S WILL FOR YOU in Christ Jesus!
(play soft music) Pray with the children who have been struggling with their attitude. Pray that God will help them have joy always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances.
What was today’s Big Idea? Answer: “Be Joyful and Pray! Give Thanks Every Day!”
What was the name of the guest on “The Ten Show” today? Answer: there wasn’t one
What town was Referee Ricky supposed to travel to? Answer: Podunk, Arkansas
When we face problems, should we complain and have a bad attitude? Answer: No
The first lesson we learned today is “Be _____________ Always.” Answer: Joyful
The second lesson we learned is that we must “___________ Continually”? Answer: Pray
The third lesson we learned is that we must “Give _________ In All Circumstances”? Answer: Thanks
What were the names of the two men who were in prison? Answer: Paul and Silas
What happened to Paul and Silas after they worshipped? Answer: God sent an earthquake and set them free
Where was our Power Verse found? Answer: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18