In this last lesson of the series, children will discover how Paul served God according to his belief that God’s promises would come true. Paul was alive during the time of the early church and was used greatly by God to teach others about faithfulness, obedience, and suffering for Christ. This lesson contains a fun craft and word scramble as supplements for reviewing the lesson and series.
TARGET AGES: 9 – 13 Older Elementary. You may need to simplify this lesson when working with younger children.
CURRICULUM UNIT: This lesson is part of the Who was …. ? series on major Bible characters.
OBJECTIVE: To teach the children that God’s promises can be trusted.
MAIN IDEA: Paul had a hard past, but when he became a believer he wholeheartedly trusted God’s promises. We learn from Paul’s life that earthly circumstances can’t stop God’s promises from coming true.
SCRIPTURE PASSAGES: 2 Corinthians 11:23-30, 2 Corinthians 12:6-10, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 1 Corinthians 15:51-52
SUGGESTED MATERIAL(S): God’s Promises Magnets (from Oriental Trading), “Promises Word Scramble” attachment, pencils
Introduction (15 minutes)
OPENING PRAYER: “Lord, you give us true promises that can be trusted. Thank you for loving us and giving us time together today to learn more about your word. Amen.”
ICEBREAKER ACTIVITY: “God’s Promises Never End” magnet craft
Purchase the craft from Oriental Trading. Then help the children assemble their crafts to remind them of the entire lesson series about God’s promises. Say, “We’ve learned about people in the bible who God used to fulfill his promises. And today, as we finish the series by learning about Paul, we will take home these magnets to remember that God’s good promises can be trusted.”
Lesson (15 minutes)
- Briefly explain to the class that Paul wasn’t always a devout follower of Christ: He had an amazing conversion (Acts 9) even though he had persecuted other believers. Say, “The Lord chose Paul to be a powerful preacher and missionary even though he had a horrible past. This should remind us that God desires for everyone to receive his promise of salvation through Jesus Christ.” Then discuss the various trials Paul faced by reading 2 Corinthians 11:23-30. Ask, “What were some of the ways Paul was persecuted (beatings, floggings, imprisonments, etc)? What promises do you think motivated him to be faithful even when faced with hardships (That God would avenge him, help him, give him strength, etc)?” Next, read 2 Corinthians 12:6-10 to guide the children’s understanding toward Paul’s acceptance of God’s will and his trust in God’s promises as evidenced through his service.
- Go on to discuss Paul’s fervent preaching about the one day return of Christ. Read 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. Ask, “How will Jesus return (from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel, with the trumpet call of God)? Who will return with him (believers who have already died and gone to Heaven)? What will happen on earth when Jesus returns (the dead in Christ will rise and believers still alive on earth will meet him in the air)?” Next, read 1 Corinthians 15:51-52. Comment, “How should we live if we believe the promise of Christ’s return (daily obedience, continual trust in the Lord, intentional service so others can trust in him, etc)? How do we know Paul understood what it meant to really serve the Lord (he made sacrifices and worked hard to obey God)?” Further explain that Paul was killed because of his belief in Jesus, so he paid the ultimate sacrifice for his faith. Encourage the children to consider whether or not they have truly believed in God’s promise of salvation. Allow time for the children to ask questions about salvation, Paul, or Jesus’ second coming.
“Promises Word Scramble” (15 minutes) *Attachment*
Print a word scramble for each child and help the class review key words about Paul’s life and God’s promises (scripture references are provided to help the children unscramble each word). After completion, use the answer key to briefly summarize the importance of each word. Comment, “Aren’t God’s promises wonderful?! We should tell everyone we meet about God’s love.”
Conclusion (5 minutes)
RECAP: Paul believed God’s promises were true and lived as a servant. Even though life on earth can be hard, we can follow Paul’s example and continue serving God no matter what we face.
CLOSING PRAYER: “God, we know that you keep your promises. Help us serve you even when it is hard. Thank you for sending Jesus to die for our sins. Amen.”
Who was …. A Study on Bible Characters
This lesson is part of a 14 unit curriculum for older children (age 9 – 13) that introduces major characters in the Bible.[catlist id=2365 orderby=date order=asc]