Lesson 5: Strong And Courageous
Joshua had taken over for Moses as leader of God’s chosen people, Israel. Moses was an amazing leader, and Joshua wasn’t sure he had what it took to do Moses’ job. God reminds Joshua that the Lord himself has commanded him to be the leader. He also reminds Joshua that God is with him wherever he goes, so there is nothing to fear. In this lesson, the kids will learn that when God is on their side, they have nothing to fear. They can be strong and filled with courage, not because of who they are, but because of who God is. When He is with us, there is nothing to fear!
- Play: Countdown Video
Before service prep for Message, take the permanent marker and write the word “FEAR” on one silk, and the words “STRONG AND COURAGEOUS” on the other silk. Place the “STRONG AND COURAGEOUS” silk in the hidden pocket of the change bag.
Leader: Today our verse in “Ten For Life” is Joshua 1:9. (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 over and over)
Ricky: (looking over his shoulder like something is after him) Is he still there? Help me hide! I gotta hide! (tries to hide in and behind several places in the room; the more ridiculous, the better)
Leader: Hey there, Ricky! Why in the world are you trying to hide?
Ricky: He’s after me! I gotta hide!
Leader: What? Who? Who is after you?
Ricky: (blows his whistle) Quit asking me so many questions! I need to hide!
Leader: Well, hold on a second, would you? Tell me why you are trying to hide!
Ricky: The President of our Referees Association has asked me to speak at our Awards Dinner coming up this week. He wants me to get up in front of hundreds of people and talk for like 15 minutes.
Leader: That’s awesome! That seems like a great opportunity!
Ricky: A great opportunity? Are you kidding? It’s a ridiculously frightening opportunity is more like it! What if I get up there and freeze? What if I stumble and stutter? I will look like an idiot! I am scared to death! So, I’m just gonna hide and hope he doesn’t find me!
Leader: Now, hold on a second, Ricky! You can’t just hide!
Ricky: Watch me!
Leader: Well, OK. I guess you can hide, but that’s not at all what you should do. There’s no reason to be afraid.
Ricky: No reason to be afraid? No reason to be afraid? (blows whistle) FOUL on you! What do you mean there’s no reason to be afraid? Did you not hear me? There will be HUNDREDS of people there! I will mess up and look like a goober!
Leader: That’s probably exactly the way Joshua felt in our Bible story today. He was about to take over the leadership of the people of Israel. They were about to face a HUGE battle, and he wasn’t sure he had what it took to lead the people into battle.
Ricky: What did he do, then?
Leader: He ended up having a face to face encounter with God. God reminded Joshua that he did not have to fear as long as God was with him. I tell you what, why don’t you watch this Power Verse video? Dr. Boing and Dr. Von Hinklesnot will teach you exactly what God said to Joshua.
Ricky: Wow! That’s amazing! So, there’s really no reason for me to be afraid as long as God is with me. If Joshua can face an entire enemy army, I can surely face a few hundred referees.
Leader: You are exactly right! I’m glad you have learned this lesson today!
Ricky: Me, too! Now, I can quit hiding and go tell the President that I can take on that crowd of refs. I can be strong and courageous! I do not have to be terrified. The Lord is with me wherever I go!
Leader: Now, you’re talking!
Ricky: All right, then! I better get going! See you later, kids! (blows whistle as he exits while music plays)
- Play: Game: Name That Phobia
: Choose three boys and three girls to compete. Each slide has a goofy phobia listed along with several options of what that might be “the fear of.” The first one to “buzz in” and get the answer correct gets a point. If a contestant buzzes in first, but gets it wrong, the other team gets a point. The team to earn the most points during the game wins.
Before the service, take the permanent marker and write the word “FEAR” on one silk, and the words “STRONG AND COURAGEOUS” on the other silk. Place the “STRONG AND COURAGEOUS” silk in the hidden pocket of the change bag.
Today, we are going to be looking at a very important person in the Bible. His name is Joshua. Joshua was the person who God called to take over for Moses as the leader of God’s chosen people, Israel. Can you imagine having to take over for Moses? After all, Moses was a GREAT leader.
Moses was the leader who went before the Egyptian pharaoh and told him , “Let my people go!” When Pharoah didn’t do it, Moses sent ten plagues upon Egypt—plagues of millions of frogs, rivers turned to blood, terrible storms, and much more. Then, Pharoah agreed to let God’s people go. The Israelites were free—that is until Pharoah came charging after them. But, then Moses parted the Red Sea, and the nation of Israel walked across on dry land. Pharoah and his army were drowned in the sea.
Moses had led the nation of Israel for over forty years. Now, they had made it to the Promised Land, and it was time to go to battle against their enemies. But, Moses has died. It is now Joshua’s turn to take over. Can you imagine being Joshua? Can you imagine being asked to do such a huge task? He had to take over for one of the greatest leaders EVER and lead God’s people into battle against a nation of “giants!”
How would you feel? Most of us would have begun listing off excuses and reasons as to why there was NO WAY we could do what God was asking us to do. What are some of the reasons and excuses we give sometimes? (allow the children to respond; write some of their excuses on the white board)
I am sure that Joshua probably felt some of these same things in his heart. It is tough to think of ourselves as able to do BIG THINGS for God. We think we are too young, too weak, or too afraid to do what God is calling us to do. But, God speaks directly to Joshua and addresses all of those fears that he has very clearly. God says to Joshua in Joshua 1:9, I command you be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go!”
God tells Joshua the same thing He tells us when we don’t think there is any way we can do what He is calling us to do. He says, “I command you be strong and courageous…” So, the first thing we need to remember when we feel afraid to do what God calls us to do is…
God doesn’t say, “Well, if it’s ok with you, I would really really like you to be strong and courageous. Pretty please?” No, God tells us the same thing He told Joshua, “I COMMAND YOU be strong and courageous!” We have to remember that when we are afraid and we have all kinds of excuses why we can’t do big things for God, He has commanded us. So, if we don’t do it then we are disobeying God.
You say, “Well, I know that God commanded me. But, that doesn’t make it any easier to not be afraid.” I understand. Sometimes our fears can overwhelm us because they are so HUGE! But, God can take that fear and turn it into strength and courage!
(hold up the silk that has the word “FEAR” on it) Many times we are afraid that we will fail. We are afraid that others will make fun of us. We are afraid that we don’t have what it takes to do what God wants us to do. God understands those fears. He wants us to take those fears and give them to Him. (make sure the hidden compartment of the change bag is concealed with the “trigger” being turned the proper direction, then hold up the Change Bag and turn it inside out to show that it is “empty”)
(place the “FEAR” silk into the Change Bag as you talk) We must take our fear, go to God, and say, “Lord, I am afraid. I don’t think I can handle this on my own. I need your help.” (as you pray that prayer, discreetly turn the “trigger” on the handle of the Change Bag so that the hidden compartment now becomes “open”, making the “STRONG AND COURAGEOUS” silk available, and thus hiding the “FEAR” silk) When we take our fear to God in prayer, He can turn that fear into strength and courage. (reach into the Change Bag and pull out the “STRONG AND COURAGEOUS” silk; show the Change Bag is “empty” and that the “FEAR” is gone and has been replaced by “STRONG AND COURAGEOUS”) Isn’t that amazing?
God can take your fear and turn it into strength and courage just like He did Joshua. Then, you can move forward and do the BIG THINGS God has called you to do. Along the way, you may feel that fear try to creep back in. When you do, remind yourself of the same thing that God reminded Joshua. He could “be strong and courageous” because…
You don’t have to fear because God is with you wherever you go. The devil may try to come against you, but God is with you. He will use His power to defeat the devil. He will give you the strength and courage you need to accomplish His will. You don’t have to fear, God is here! So, you can be just like Joshua. You can “be strong and courageous...for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go!
(play soft music)
Pray with the children to give their fears to God. Let God take their fear and replace it with strength and courage. Tell them to remember that God is with them no matter where they go!
What was today’s Big Idea? Answer: “I’ll Be Courageous, I’ll Be Strong, ’Cause The Lord Is With Me All Day Long!”
What was the name of the guest on “The Ten Show” today? Answer: Pastor Rod
What was the bully’s name who was picking on Pastor Rod? Answer: Larry
What was Larry scared of? Answer: the tornado (storm)
Who did call to take Moses’ place as leader of Israel? Answer: Joshua
What was the first lesson we learned today? Answer: God has commanded you
What should we do with our fears? Answer: give them to God
When we give our fear to God, He replaces it with ______________. Answer: strength and courage
True or False: God is always with us no matter where we go. Answer: True
Where was our Power Verse found? Answer: Joshua 1:9