Use this Bible lesson to help children explore a fruit of the Spirit and remember God’s goodness.
Scripture: Daniel 1
- dry-erase marker
- index cards
Say: Today let’s explore one of the fruit of the Spirit—goodness! No matter what, God is good. God is the source of all goodness. And when we’re friends with God, he helps us choose what is good and right.
In the Bible book of Daniel, we read about God’s friend named Daniel. Daniel and his friends could make a good decision because they remembered what God is like and that what God says is good. Let’s play a game to see how good our memories are.
Write the following words on the whiteboard—“house,” “blender,” “bagel,” “avalanche,” “piano,” “football,” “spaghetti,” “monkey,” “asteroid,” “teacher,” “pencil,” “gravy,” “bologna,” and “not.”
Say: In a minute, I’m going to ask you to remember everything I’ve written on the board. Take a minute to study the words.
Let the kids look at the list for one minute. Thoroughly erase the whiteboard so it’s impossible to make out what was written.
Say: Now I’d like you all to sing a song. After we sing, we’ll see how well we recall our list.
Lead kids in singing a song of your choice. Choose a simple song everyone knows. After they’ve finished, ask kids to tell you what the words were that had been on the whiteboard. Write their answers. After children have finished, write the words that they had forgotten.
- Was it easy or hard to remember the words? Why?
- Did singing the song make it easy or hard to remember the words?
- Are you surprised at how much everyone did at remembering the list of words? Why?
- Have you ever forgotten to do something important? How did you feel when you realized your mistake?
Remembering God’s Goodness
Say: You forgot some of the words because the song distracted you. In Daniel 1, the armies of Babylon had conquered Jerusalem and taken the brightest young men of Israel to Babylon. Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were some of the captives. King Nebuchadnezzar wanted these men to serve him.
King Nebuchadnezzar worshipped different gods and had different ideas about what it meant to be good. So he placed these young men in a special school for three years. He wanted God’s people to forget about God so they would do what he thought was good.
Say: The first thing King Nebuchadnezzar did to try to make the young men forget about God and his ways was to give them all different, Babylonian names.
Hand out index cards and pencils. Have children form pairs, and have each person think of a new name for his or her partner. Have each partner write the name on the index card and tape the name to the other person. Instruct kids to refer to one another for the rest of the lesson by their new names.
- How could having different names help God’s people forget about their lives in Jerusalem?
- If someone changed your name without asking, how would you feel?
- How could forgetting about their pasts distract them from remembering God and his goodness?
Loyalty to God’s Goodness
Say: They never stopped remembering God and his goodness. But the king had one more requirement. He wanted all God’s people to eat his special food. But there were two problems: God had given his people strict rules about what they could and could not eat. Many of the king’s foods were things that God’s people were not allowed to eat.
The second problem was that in those days, if you ate the king’s food, it was a sign that you were giving your loyalty to the king. You were promising to give the king your loyalty and do what he thought was good.
- Why would promising to give the king their loyalty make it hard for Daniel and his friends to do what they knew God thinks is good?
- How did remembering God’s goodness impact Daniel and his friends’ good choices?
- What things can distract us from remembering God’s goodness?
- What things can help us remember God’s goodness?
Say: Daniel convinced the king’s servant to let them eat vegetables instead of the king’s food. God honored Daniel and his friends.
When it comes to remembering God’s goodness, let’s follow Daniel’s example. The closer we stay to God, the more the Holy Spirit will grow goodness in our lives.
Close in prayer, thanking God for ways he has been good to your group, and asking God to keep growing goodness in your lives.
This lesson excerpt comes from the Kids’ Travel Guide to the Fruit of the Spirit. This children’s ministry resource from Group is packed with great lessons and experiences to help kids recognize and remember the fruit of the Spirit.
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