Scripture: Matthew 13:24-43
- Students will learn Jesus told parables to help people understand godly principles.
- Students will learn parables have important lessons God wants us to learn and follow.
- Students will learn those who follow God will spend eternity in Heaven.
- Students will learn it’s important for them to know the difference between what God wants them to do and what He doesn’t want them to do.
Guiding Questions: Does God care what we do in our lives? How can we know what God wants us to do and what He doesn’t want us to do?
Materials: pick up sticks of various colors, “deeds” cards
Procedure: Tell students the parable of the weeds. Explain to students that if they have never gardened before, this may be a hard parable to understand. When weeds and plants start growing at the same time very close to each other, pulling up the weed can destroy the plant. The roots are very deep or strong yet, so pulling the weed up by the roots can also pull up the good plant by the roots.
Explain that it is almost like this game. Throw the pick up sticks on the table or floor so they are touching in various ways. Tell them to pretend one color is the good plant and the other color is the weed. Let them try and pick up the weed sticks without moving the sticks of the good plant.
Even though God forgives us of our sins if we ask Him, the Apostle Paul wrote that God’s forgiveness is not an excuse to go around doing bad things all of the time. (Romans 6:1)
Explain that it’s very important for them to read their Bibles for themselves so they will know what makes God happy and what makes God sad. We need to try and obey God, even though He will forgive us when we sin.
Tell students you are going to place cards on the table. Each card will have something someone can do in life. It’s their job to sort the cards and decide which are deeds (things) that make God happy and which will make God sad. (Note: Younger students may need a lot of help with this. For older students who finish the activity quickly, add a few “twists” to each card like instead of telling a direct lie, they tell a “half-truth” or just leave out things they don’t want the other person to know.)
If time allows, you can teach students the steps to making good choices and give them some choices to practice going through the steps.
- When you have a choice, practice the steps for making good choices.
- State the question or problem that is creating the choice.
- List all of the possible choices.
- Cross out any choice that would not make God happy.
- Ask your parents to cross out any ungodly choices you missed and explain why that choice would also make God unhappy.
- Although all of the choices that are left may be fine with God, there still may be a choice that is better than the others.
- Pray about the choices that are still on the list. Ask God to help you make the best choice.
- For each choice left on the list, think of all of the good things and all of the bad things that could happen from making that choice.
- Make the best choice.
- If needed, talk about what happened after the choice was put into action with your parents.
- Continue practicing these steps until you are able to go through the steps quickly if necessary and without any help.