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# 38th week of our Journey –LOVE

This week’s destination: FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT - LOVE

This is the first and greatest commandment but to keep it we must first appreciate the immeasurable love God has for us.
• God’s immeasurable love
• Love in action
• Words without love
• Looking on the inside
• Super Fruit for this week is the Haitian “Francique” Mango

MATERIAL:
Photocopy the ‘Jesus Loves Me’ hearts enough for every child, cut them out. Photocopy the Bible Verse Card and ‘Jesus Loves Me’ flier, photocopy picture of African family, crayons. 2 posters or black board, 2 marking pens or chalk. A tape measure, a watch a measuring cup. Large metal pot lids. Print Music Song Sheets. A Mango fruit.

AS KIDS ARRIVE PRIOR TO THE LESSON:
Get 3 children to colour the Bible Card, Afro Caribbean picture and ‘Jesus Loves Me’ flier prior to the lesson.

Remind the children to continue to occasionally water your Moringa. in the dry season. It will not be long before you can start to harvest the green leaves to dry in preparation for making healthy, healing tea. This week we will teach about the Haitian “Francique” and other types of Mangoes. (Hold up the Mango if in season and have some for the children to eat)

1. OPENING GAMES: (10 minutes)
LOVE HUNT:
Prior to the lesson cut out the ‘Jesus Loves Me’ hearts and hide them around the area. Tell the children the boundaries of the scavenger hunt area and give them a time limit once they have found a heart they must return to their seat.

2. TEAM GAMES: (10 minutes)
LOVE RACE:
Divide the children into teams and each team will have a poster to run to, one team player at a time. When it is their turn, they will run to the poster and write the word LOVE with a marker. Continue running back and forth until time is up. The team that writes the word LOVE on their poster the most times will be the winner!

3. ACTIVE PRAISE CHORUS: (10 minutes)

(See Music song sheet in Visual Aid Manual)

Jesus loves the little children

Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world.
Red, brown, yellow, black & white
they are precious in His sight.
Jesus loves the little children

Jesus died for all the children
All the children of the world.
Red, brown, yellow, black & white
they are precious in His sight.
Jesus died for all the children

Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world.
Red, brown, yellow, black & white
they are precious in His sight.
Jesus loves the little children of the world.

Red, brown, yellow, black & white
they are precious in His sight.
Jesus loves the little children of the world.

4. INTIMATE WORSHIP: (5 minutes)
Love Each Other (See Music video and lyrics)
Love the Lord with all your heart (See Music video and lyrics)

Prayer: Lord help us to love the Lord our God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and help us to love our neighbours like ourselves. In Jesus name. Amen

5. TEACHING:
a. “Back Track” (5 minutes)

Last week we learnt a tree is recognized by its fruit. Who remembers the Sword Play verse?

(But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Galatians 5: 22 – 23)

Optional: Sing Fruit of the Spirit review song (Use lyrics and music video)

You cannot live life without God and produce good fruit. You cannot be the “good” person that God desires on your own. You need the power of the Holy Spirit to work in you and through you. If we connect to Jesus, we will produce beautiful leaves and delicious fruit. But if we are separated from Jesus, our leaves will wither and die.

b. Sword Play (5minutes)
Ready…Swords up… Matthew 22:37… CHARGE!
'Love (hug yourself) the Lord your God (raise hand and praise God) with all your heart (make a big heart shape on your chest) and with all your soul and with all your mind.' (hold or tap your head) (Matthew 22:37)

(Raise 2 fingers twice, then 3 fingers, and 6 fingers)

(Use the Bible Verse Cards as visual aids.)

c. Teach the Lesson (15 minutes)

God’s love is immeasurable:

Object Lessons: Bring out some instruments that are used for measuring different things in life: a tape measure for length, width, and height, a watch to measure time, and a measuring cup for baking and cooking.
Ultimately, in numerous parts of the Bible it teaches that God’s love is higher than the heavens (a tape measure), that God’s love overflows for you (this is where you can use the measuring cup), and that God’s love will last eternally.

Love in action:

Many people believe that love is a feeling or emotion. Yes, feelings and emotions are involved in love but the greatest part of love is action oriented. Love is a verb (what you do) more than a noun (a feeling). Love must be action and not just words,

Imagine if Jesus, just before going to the cross, went to the garden and thought; I hate this feeling, I don’t feel like doing this, therefore I will base my decision upon what I feel. If that had happened, we’d all be hopelessly doomed to hell. The good news of course is that Jesus resisted and fought back His feelings and even though He prayed three times to have the cup removed, He was more interested in doing the will of the Father than what He felt like doing…thankfully. Jesus displayed His love by willingly going to the cross and dying for us. Love is not dependent upon feelings and emotions because feelings are one of the shallowest and most unreliable of all human emotions. Instead we must emphasize that love is a choice more than a feeling.

Love is a choice one has to make, not so much a feeling we choose to have. Is there any greater love than one that was displayed on the cross? Jesus said that “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:12-13). The opposite of love is not hatred because in hatred there are at least some emotions but the opposite of love is indifference, not caring. We can show love to one another by putting others first and thinking of them more than ourselves, loving them like Christ loves us. After we learn His love for us and our love for Him can overflow into the people around us.

Words without Love:

Object lesson: (Start crashing your pot lids together.) “Did you like this music I’m playing on the cymbals?” “No? Hmmm. I don’t blame you. It’s a terrible sound isn’t it? It makes you cringe.”
Paul explains that words without love are like a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal – just like these cymbals! He means that when we do a lot of talking without love we are really making just a terrible noise that no one wants to listen to.

For example, if I say “Get out of the way, you are annoying me.” It sounds like (Bash your cymbals.) No one wants to listen to that. However, when I’m acting in love my words will be a lot easier to listen. (Play or get someone to sing a nice song)

Optional: Read 1 Corinthians 13:1-8a. Have the children raise their hands every time they hear a description of love.

Looking on the inside:

Object Lessons:
Object: Framed picture of an African family.
What am I holding in my hand? (Allow time for response.) Yes, this is a picture of an African family. I do not even know their names. I purchased the frame with the picture inside. What can you tell me by looking at the picture? (Such as color of skin, hair, eyes, clothing). But do you know the child's name? Do you know where he lives? If he has a brother or sister? Do you think he goes to school? We can guess, but we know very little about this child. Really the picture tells us very little. But there is someone who knows all about you.. Can someone tell me who that is? (Pause) Yes, that person is Jesus. God knows all about us. We may only see what is on the outside what others see. But God sees what is on the inside. He knows what we are thinking. He knows the thoughts in our heart. And Jesus loves you -- and He loves me that is how we can love others. Love is a fruit of the Sprit.

SUPER FRUIT: MANGO
Teach, using the ‘Mango Handout’ photocopy a copy for each family. A Mango sapling, God willing will be supplied to each school, church or orphanage utilizing this curriculum.

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.

Invite the children to bring their little heart to the altar to lay them at the foot of Jesus and thank Him for His immeasurable love. Let them talk about a time when they really felt loved. Pray and ask Him to help us to love as he has commanded us, love in action, helping us to speak kind, loving words, always looking at the inside instead of on the outside judging people.

CLOSING PRAYER: Let children stand in a heart shape, holding hands and pray.
Heavenly Father, help us to love you with all of our heart and to love our neighbours as we love ourselves. Thank you for always loving us and allowing us to share that love with everyone we meet. Help us always to walk in your love so that our words will a beautiful sound and an encouragement to others. Amen.

TAKE HOME PAGE:
Give one copy of the ‘Take Home Truth’ to each child at the end of the class.
Optional: Give the children the Take Home Quiz activity booklet.

NEXT WEEK: We will learn in detail more of the ‘Fruit of the Spirit’ we will learn about JOY. There is a difference between joy and happiness. Happiness is based upon “happenings,” if good things happen, you’re happy, but if bad things happen we are unhappy. Not so with joy, joy is a deep inner experience not determined by circumstance. The joy of the Lord is our strength. The Super Fruit for next week is a Pomegranate, try and bring some for the next session.

CLICK to view Session #39.

 

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