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# 35th week of our Journey - Nurturing the Jesus seed
This week’s destination: NURTURING THE JESUS SEED
In order to grow, plants sometimes need to be pruned. In order for Christians to grow sometimes God has to prune our lives. God shapes us and creates us to be what He wants us to be. Sometimes that is a bit uncomfortable, but He does it for our good in the end.
• Pruning
• Trials
• Hardships
• Persecution.

MATERIALS:
Photocopy leaf shapes. Photocopy Bible Verse Card, crayons. 2 pruned branches about 8” long to use in the relay race. Farmers hat, shears, cutlass, or knife. A branch with faded flowers. A branch with dead leaves. A vine plant, either real or artificial.

AS KIDS ARRIVE PRIOR TO THE LESSON:
Get 1 child to colour the Bible Card prior to the lesson.

How is your Moringa? Have you been remembering to water it. Did you put a fence around it? When the Moringa reach a height of 60cm, pinch the tip 10cm from the top. This can be done using fingers since the tip is tender.

1. OPENING GAMES: (10 minutes)
Hide 15 leaf shapes before class begins, as the children come in get them hunting for the leaves. Once all 15 are found get them to write one word of the memory verse on each leaf then recite the verse. Romans 8:28..

2. TEAM GAMES: (10 minutes)
Divide the team into equal teams, get the children to line up behind each other in two rows. Give the first in each team a pruned branch about 8” long, they must run to the end of the room, turn around and run back and hand the relay stick to next child continue until all the children have run the race.

3. ACTIVE PRAISE CHORUS: (10 minutes)
His banner over me is love (Use music lyrics and music video)

4. INTIMATE WORSHIP: (5 minutes)
Abide in Me (Use Music lyrics and music video)

Prayer: Heavenly Father we know that you are the great Gardener and in order to grow just like plants we sometimes need to be pruned. So Father God shapes us and creates us to be what You wants us to be. Sometimes that is a bit uncomfortable, but You does it for our good in the end. Thank you for loving us enough to want to prune us.

5. TEACHING:
a. “Back Track”

Remember last week we learnt God is like a gardener and we are like His garden. He wants us to grow Spiritually. For plants to grow we need to weed them just like you have been weeding your Moringa plant. So in order to grow spiritually we need to weed the sin out of our lives.

Discussion Questions:
1. What are weeds like? (Sin)
2. What is sin? (Sin is anything we think, say, do or don’t do that displeases God.)
3. What tool will remove sin? (Jesus.)

b. Sword Play
Ready…Swords up… Romans 8:28.… CHARGE!
All things work together for the good of those who love Him. (Romans 8:28a)
Jumble the 15 leaf shapes about and get the children to put them in the correct order. Reciting the verse until the children have learnt it (Use visual aids from Manual)

c. Teach the Lesson (15 minutes)
Optional:
I am the vine video (John 15:1-8)

God shapes us and mould us into what he wants us to be. Like a potter forms a pot, a gardener shapes a plant, God is the gardener shaping our lives. Sometimes it might mean that God allows bad things to happen to us to teach us a lesson, or so that we can help others who go through the same thing. Sometimes He punishes us for disobedience to Him.

Sometimes it doesn't feel good when God is shaping our lives but He does it for our good. Parents sometimes have to punish their children for disobedience, sometimes they have to prevent us from doing something we want to do to protect us, etc. They do all these things because they love us. God prunes us because He loves us!

Options: The Vine and the Branches Video (Read John 15:1-15)

Object Lessons:
A. (The farmer wearing his hat come out with his pruning shears and tools and explain exactly what a gardener does when they prune their plants.) Pruning removes faded flowers. (Show a branch with faded flowers. Take the shares and cut them off) This allows the plant to use it's energy to produce more flowers. Pinching allows you to direct the growth of the plant either up or sideways. Sometimes a plant has dead leaves or branches. (Show a branch with dead leaves. Take the shares and cut them off) By cutting these off you help the plant to grow stronger and healthier.

This is what pruning is all about. That is why God sometimes has to prune things out of our lives.
It's a little scary to prune a plant, because there is always the fear that it will not grow back.
Here is the Good News. As Jesus says, God is the master Gardener. He is constantly pruning us, taking way what is not good for us, and putting us in places where we can thrive. Just as with a plant, sometimes God's pruning of us can look wrong to us or make us feel hurt or challenged. We may ask, God, why are you allowing this to happen to me?

Remember: All things work together for the good of those who love Him.

B. The first feeling of the vine after pruning is a sense of relief, (hold up your vine plant) ahhhh “All my dry leaves have been removed, all that dead wood that was breeding disease and became a home for insects and bugs has gone!”

God does this for us after we give our lives to Him, He removes our guilt of all the bad things we have done. He cuts away the habits that bind us.

Pruning does not simply mean Spiritual surgery It is not just the removal of what is dead. It can also mean cutting away the good and the better so that we might enjoy the best. Jesus knew that God often uses tragedy to cause people to look to God for solutions to their problems. Jesus said, "Every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful." (John 15:2)

Jesus knew that persecution and difficulties are a part of God’s plan to help us mature in all areas of life. Jesus knew that hardship and difficult times often happens so that we can see how the Lord turns our grief to joy. Pruning hurts but it also helps. Remember All things work together for the good of those who love Him. (Romans 8:28)

Optional: God is the Gardener video (Teaching about pruning)

Discussion Questions:
1. Who is the gardener? (God)
2. How does God shape our lives? (He prunes . away things that are not good for us)
3. How does God uses tragedy? (To look to Him)
4. How do difficulties help us? (They mature us)
5. How do difficult times often help us? (We can see how the Lord turns our grief to joy)

6. APPLICATION / ENCOUNTERING GOD: Refer to our Encountering God Handbook for ideas for this important section of the session. Experience the Holy Spirit Learning Centers creating a Spiritual atmosphere.

Close with a time of worship. Let the children come forward. Ask the Lord for greater endurance to withstand the tests, trials and hardships that are a part of God’s plan for our lives. Ask the Lord to help you see the silver lining behind every dark cloud of adversity, to give you greater faith enabling you to see how God can turn any grief into greater lasting joy. Ask the Lord to give you greater insight into how the Lord uses everyone and everything for His sovereign purposes.

CLOSING PRAYER
Dear Heavenly Father, we thank you for pruning us so that we may bear fruit. Thank you Lord for pruning away certain habits and thoughts enabling us to be more fruitful. Amen.

TAKE HOME PAGE
Give one copy of the ‘Take Home Truth’ to each child at the end of the class.
Optional: ‘Take Home Quiz Books’ are available for the children found in your Visual Aid Manual

NEXT WEEK
We will learn how Christians need to "grow" the fruit of the spirit in their lives.

CLICK to view Session #36.

 

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