Lesson 8: Put God First
Today’s child has a very busy schedule. There are so many things to occupy their time—from sports to video games, homework to hanging out with friends. So many things are competing for their time, energy, and focus. Too often, God is last on the list of priorities for a child. They would never admit it or say it out loud. But, by the fact that they spend all of their time, energy, and focus on all these other things and leave God to “if they have time”, says it all. Today, the children will learn that if the will put God FIRST, then He will take care of all the other details in their life.
- Play: Countdown Video
Message Prep: You will need a paper plate; a butter knife; two pieces of bread; jar of peanut butter; a jar of jelly; a large clock; a wallet (or purse); a mediumsized glass jar; unpopped popcorn kernels (enough to fill the glass jar); three golf balls.
Prior to your teaching time, prepare your illustration by placing the three golf balls into the jar FIRST, then pouring enough popcorn kernels into the jar to fill it up. The kernels will fill in around the spaces surrounding the golf balls. This will be essential to your illustration later. Top off the jar with kernels. Then, pour the kernels into a separate container. It is important that you use EXACTLY this amount of kernels when you do your illustration later.
Leader: Today our verse in “Ten For Life” is Matthew 6:33. (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 and getting all excited!)
Ricky: What a day! What a day! So much to do! Woo Hoo!
Leader: Hey there, Ricky! Looks like you are pretty amped up today.
Ricky: I sure am! I have a HUGE day ahead of me—LOTS of stuff to do!
Leader: Oh really? Like what?
Ricky: Well, I have a football game to referee at Noon. Then, I have been invited to go to my friend Doug’s house for a Bar-B-Q. Then, we are going to be driving over to the next town for a HUGE concert. One of my favorite bands, Pigskin Poets, are going to be playing. That should get over around midnight. So, I have a BIG day planned.
Leader: Wow! Sounds like you are going to need lots of strength today. Of course, you have done like we talked about before and spent some time “waiting on God” today already, right?
Ricky: Oh, come on! Are you kidding? I haven't had any time so far. I have been getting ready for the football game. But, I am sure I will fit it in later.
Leader: When? In between the football game and the Bar-B-Q? During the concert? When?
Ricky: I don’t know, but I am sure I will figure it out.
Leader: Ricky! It doesn’t sound like you have learned your lesson at all. We are supposed to put God FIRST in our lives.
Ricky: Wait a second! What do you mean FIRST? As long as I squeeze Him in somewhere, then that is all that matters, right?
Leader: No, that’s not all that matters. God is supposed to be the most important person in our lives. If we just try to “squeeze Him in,” does that show that He is the most important?
Ricky: Well, No. But, listen—I have a TON of things I have to get accomplished in my life today. If I take time to spend with God FIRST, then I probably won’t have time to do everything else I have to do.
Leader: Actually, that’s not true.
Ricky: How do you figure that’s not true?
Leader: Tell you what. Let’s have you watch today’s Power Verse video. I think that it most definitely will help you!
Leader: So, you see? If God is the most important thing in your life, then you must put Him FIRST. If you put Him FIRST, then He will take care of all the rest of the details. He will make sure you are able to get the things taken care of that you need.
Ricky: I see what you mean. And, I guess I haven’t been sending God the right message. By putting all these other things ahead of Him, I haven’t been showing Him that He is the most important part of my life.
Leader: Exactly! So, what are you going to do?
Ricky: I am going to go right now and spend some time with God. I am going to make sure that every day, I spend time with Him FIRST! I will seek His Kingdom FIRST, then all these other things will be given to me as well.
Leader: Ricky! You got it!
Ricky: Yeah, I did, didn't I? Well, that is something to celebrate! (blows whistle in the Leader’s ear)
Leader: Perhaps we could figure out a different way to celebrate. That whistle KILLS me!
Ricky: Well, I LOVE it! I’ll see you later, everybody! (runs out blowing whistle as his theme music plays)
Choose one boy and one girl to participate. Have them place the swim fins on their feet. Tell them that when the timer starts they have one minute to do as many full revolutions with the jump rope as possible. Have one leader for each team count the total amount of jumps they complete. Whichever team completes the most jumps in one minute is the winner.
- Play: 60 Sec Countdown
Prep Illustration as above.
Man, I am so hungry! I think I will have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Will you kids help me make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? (allow response) Awesome! (pull out the butter knife, paper plate, bread, peanut butter, and jelly) OK let’s get started. My favorite part about the peanut butter and jelly sandwich is the peanut butter. (Dip the knife into the peanut butter and spread it all over the paper plate) And, of course we have to have some jelly. (Dip the knife into the jelly and spread it all over the top of the peanut butter. This will make a big mess, but that makes it even better.) Now, we should probably include some bread with this. (stick the two pieces of bread on top of the peanut butter and jelly mess.)
All right! It’s time to eat my sandwich. (pick it up and look at the “sandwich”. Wonder out loud how you are going to eat this thing. Then, ask the kids what you did wrong. Lead them to tell you that you needed to put the bread on the plate FIRST in order for this sandwich to work.) Oh, that’s right! I needed to put the bread on the plate FIRST rather than last. It’s impossible to make a sandwich if bread is the LAST thing I include, right?
Boys and girls, it is the same way with God. Our lives are meant to have God as the most important part of our life. He is our foundation. You can’t build a house and then decided to put the foundation on it, right? That would never work. It’s the same with God. He must be FIRST in our lives in order for our lives to be what God created them to be.
Our Power Verse today says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” That teaches us one very important lesson...
We must make sure that God is the MOST IMPORTANT part of our lives. There are two places we can look at that are the easiest for us to tell if God really is #1 in our lives—our TIME and our MONEY. What do I mean? I’m glad you asked.
(hold up the clock) If you really do put God FIRST in your life, then that will show in how you spend your time. We have lots of things in life that take our time. School, sports, television, video games, hanging out with friends, movies, games, toys, talking on the phone—the list goes on. These things can easily come in and take over all of our time. Next thing you know, the entire day has gone by and you have not even spent any time with God. If God were truly FIRST in your life, then He would come FIRST when it comes to where you spend your time.
(hold up the wallet or purse) The other area of your life where it’s easy to test to see if God really is #1 is in your money. Life is expensive. There are lots of things that we spend our money on. But, God has told us that we are to put Him FIRST in our money. We are to tithe the FIRST 10% of our money to Him. Instead, sometimes we take on the attitude of “Well, I will buy this toy first and then what I have left over, then I will give THAT to God.” But, when you put that toy FIRST, then you are not doing what our Power Verse says today.
We must put God FIRST in every area of our lives—in our time, in our money, in EVERY area. But, I know what some of you are thinking. You are thinking, “But, if I give my money to God FIRST I probably won’t have the money I need to buy the things I need.” Or, “But, if I spend time with God FIRST I may run out of time to do all the other things I need to do.” Many people think this way. But, what does our Power Verse say? It says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” That teaches us one very important lesson...
Let me show you what I mean. (hold up the glass jar) This jar is going to represent your life. (hold up the golf balls) These golf balls are going to represent the things of God. (show the popcorn kernels) These popcorn kernels represent all of the “other stuff” that tends to fill up our lives and tries to push God out.
I want you to watch what happens. Most people live their lives this way. (begin pouring the popcorn kernels into the jar little by little as you speak) Most people get so busy with school work, watching TV, playing video games, hanging out with friends, going to parties, riding their bikes, listening to music, and all kinds of other “stuff.” They let all these other things take place in their lives (by this time all the kernels should be in the jar) and then they say, “Oh, well I guess I should probably pray, read my Bible, and go to church. (drop the golf balls one at a time into the jar, but you will notice that they will not all fit in the jar without spilling out) But, it doesn’t work. Why? Because we put all these other things FIRST. We made sure we had enough time to do all the other “stuff”, but then we just couldn’t find the time to fit God in.
How SHOULD we be doing it? (pour the golf balls and the popcorn kernels out of the jar and start over, this time putting the golf balls in first) What we should do if we are going to live the way God is telling us is we should be putting HIM first. Before any of the other “stuff” happens, we must put God in our life FIRST. So, the first thing we do in the day is pray. We make sure we read the Bible before we watch TV or play video games. Before we go to a friends house or play in a sports tournament we make sure we go to church. After we have done the most important things, THEN we can add all the other “stuff” and watch what happens. (pour the popcorn kernels in and watch as they fit in all around the golf balls, allowing everything to fit in the jar this time) When we put God FIRST, He takes care of the other “stuff”. We must seek God’s face, putting Him first in our lives. NOTHING can come before God.
(play soft music) Pray with the children that they would always put God first. Have them think about anything in their lives that might be coming BEFORE God. Encourage them to practice this week putting God FIRST before video games, TV, or whatever it is they are struggling with.
What was today’s Big Idea? Answer: “Put God First, And He’ll Take Care Of The Rest!”
What was the name of the guest on “The Ten Show” today? Answer: Ronald Chump
What was Ronald putting ahead of his relationship with God? Answer: money and possessions
Why did Referee Ricky say he didn’t have time to pray today? Answer: he was too busy
The first lesson we learned today is “I Must Put God First In _________ Area Of My Life. Answer: every
What are the two area where we can test whether or not God is #1? Answer: in our time and our money
What should come before God in our lives? Answer: nothing
If we put God FIRST, what will He do? Answer: take care of the rest
True or False: God should be the most important thing in our lives. Answer: True
Where was our Power Verse found? Answer: Matthew 6:33