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# 39th week of our Journey – JOY

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

Joy/Happy 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. You will be happy watching your Benzoliv and fruit trees grow? But joyful when you harvest them!
• Fleeting happiness
• Lasting joy
• Super Fruit for this week is the Pomegranate

MATERIALS:
A tape measure, a clock, picture of African family, Bottle of bubbles: Fill a bottle with 1/3 cup of water, 1/3 cup of washing up liquid and 1 tablespoon glycerine. Happy/ sad faces stuck together. Photocopy the Bible Verse Card, crayons. Print Smiley faces cut out with parts of the Bible verse written on the back. Print Music Song Sheets.

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

1. WELCOME GAMES: (10 minutes)
HAPPY FACE HUNT:
Place the HAPPY faces around the room and children can HUNT for those faces. Write a part of today's Bible verse on the back of each face. Then the children can enjoy putting the HAPPY faces in order.

Optional: Sing I’ve got the joy joy joy joy (See Music song sheet and lyrics in Visual Aid Manual)


2. TEAM GAMES: (10 minutes)
HAPPY PLACES
: Have the children sit on the floor in a circle, put on some music or get someone to sing a happy song. Have the children pass around a large cardboard picture of a HAPPY FACE! When the song stops, the child holding the HAPPY FACE will be the child to sit out of the next time around, etc. Tell the children that are out and sitting on the side lines to put on a sad face until the game is over. Ask children if they enjoyed being HAPPY or SAD later today they will learn about Jesus’ LOVE

3. ACTIVE PRAISE CHORUS: (10 minutes) (See Music song sheet and lyrics in Visual Aid Manual)

Optional: The more we get together Music Video.

If you're happy and you know it

1.If you're happy and you know it,
clap your hands. (Clap clap)
If you're happy and you know it,
clap your hands. (Clap clap)
If your happy and you know and you really want to show it
If you're happy and you know it,
clap your hands. (Clap clap)

2. If you're happy and you know it,
stomp your feet. (Tap, Tap)

3. If you're happy and you know it,
smile. (Smile)

4. If you're happy and you know it,
shout HOORAH (HOORAH)

5. If you're happy and you know it,
say HA HA (Ha Ha )

4. INTIMATE WORSHIP: (5 minutes)
The Joy of the Lord is my strength (See Music video and lyrics in Visual Aid Manual)

Prayer: Help us Father to learn the difference between joy and happiness. We know happiness is based upon “happenings,” if good things happen, you’re happy, but if bad things happen we are unhappy. Not so with joy, give us Your joy a deep inner experience not determined by circumstance. The joy of the Lord is our strength.

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

Who can remember last weeks memory verse? '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 your head) (Matthew 22:37) (Raise 2 fingers twice, then 3 fingers, and 6 fingers)

Last week we learnt:
• God’s immeasurable love. (What do we used to measure length, and height? (Hold up tape measure) What measures time? ( Hold up the Clock)
• Love in action. What have you done this week to demonstrate God’s love?
• Words without love. Remember the ‘music!’
• Looking on the inside.(Remember the framed picture of an African family.)

Optional: Sing It’s about LOVE review song

b. Sword Play (5minutes)
Ready…Swords up… Romans 14:17… CHARGE!
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Romans 14:17)

(Mix up the HAPPY faces Bible verse and get the children to recite the verse and place in correct order again. Use the Bible Verse Card to help teach the memory verse.)

c. Teach the Lesson (15 minutes)

Object lesson: Start the lesson by blowing bubbles, get the children to try and catch them. As their laughter rises explain to them that they are experiencing happiness.

There is just one problem with the happiness that comes from blowing bubbles -- it doesn't last! The minute you reach out and touch one of the bubbles, it will burst. Many times we chase the bubble, but it is always just out of reach and as soon as it touches the ground, the bubble bursts.

I think this is the way it is in the lives of many people today. A lot of people are chasing after happiness, but like the bubbles, happiness is always just out of reach. Or, just when we think we have it, our bubble may burst. What are some of the things that people are chasing in their search for happiness?

Money -- Many people think that money will bring them happiness, but it doesn't. Once you spend it, it is gone, and you still don't have happiness.

Entertainment -- Many people think that laughing and having a good time is the same thing as having joy but it isn't. Many people who are laughing on the outside are crying on the inside.

Popularity -- Some people think that being popular will bring them happiness. They will do anything or say anything to make other people like them, but popularity doesn't last. It is here today and gone tomorrow. There is no lasting joy in popularity.

Jesus knew that people often look for happiness in the wrong places. He even suggested that we might be happier if we were poor, hungry, crying, and disliked by others.

Why would Jesus suggest such a thing?
• When we are poor, it may be easier for us to trust in God to supply everything we need instead of depending on our own wealth.
• When we are hungry for God and his righteousness, we realize that only He can satisfy our hunger.
• When we are crying, we can trust in God to comfort us and ease our pain.
• When we think we have no friends, we have a friend in Jesus. Jesus is a friend who will never leave us.

If the Holy Spirit is within us, we can experience joy even in times of sorrow as we abide in Christ.

Do you want to find joy? Don't spend your time chasing bubbles. Look to your Heavenly Father. He is the source of true joy and happiness. The Bible tells us to be joyful in the God of our salvation!

In our lives here on earth, we will always have hardships, sorrow and tears. Because of sin, we will never be able to experience a life without some sadness. But when we repent from our sin and turn to Christ for our salvation, we receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit allows us to produce the fruit of joy. We know that God is our joy and that we experience joy through His Word. James tells believers to consider it joy when they go through difficult times in their lives. How is it possible to have joy, to praise God, in difficult times? (Allow them time to think and offer explanations.)

Joy is very different from happiness. Happiness cannot be present when someone is sad. But joy can always be present, even in time as sadness, loss, persecution and difficulties we can praise God

In Proverbs 10:28a we read “The hope of the righteous brings joy.”

As Christians, we have something the rest of the world does not: the hope of eternal life with God. After we die, we know we will live forever with God. He will wipe away every tear from our eyes and there will be no more sorrow. This gives us joy! We know that the hard times we experience on earth will not last forever because of Christ. He is never far when we suffer, but right by our sides. Knowing this truth allows us to have joy even in the midst of sadness.

SUPER FRUIT: GRENAD (POMEGRANATE)
Teach, using the ‘Grenad (Pomegranate) Handout’ photocopy a copy for each family. A 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.

Get the children to write down ways they can show love to particular people throughout the week. Spend time in prayer together, asking God to help each of you produce the fruit of love each day, particularly this week In the Gospel of John Jesus promised that His joy would remain in us, and our joy would be full. Let us pray and ask Him to give us His joy.

CLOSING PRAYER:
Dear Heavenly Father, help us to realize that we can never find happiness in the things that this world has to offer. You alone are the source of true joy and lasting happiness. 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 PEACE. True peace comes when we remember that God is on our team. The Super Fruit for next week is an Avocado, try and bring one for the next session.

CLICK to view Session #40.

 

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