Children’s Sermon James 4:7 – All To Jesus
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Materials: a bag of Hershey kisses or some other small candy/item; a larger bag in which to hide the candy; a small plastic snack baggie filled with 4-5 candies for each child
James 4:7 “Submit yourselves, then, to God.”
Focus: When we trust God and give Him our all He blesses and cares us.
Prepare Ahead: Be sure to have enough candies for your children. You will need one individual candy and then one small baggie filled with four or five candies for each child.
Good morning! I’m so glad to see you all today! We have a lot to talk about, but first I need to take care of something. (Hand each child one Hershey kiss.)
Now I know that this looks delicious and you want to eat it right away, but I need you to hang on to it. We’ll use it later, and you’ll only get one, so don’t lose it.
You’ve been sitting for a while, so why don’t you stand up. If I told you to surrender, what would you look like? (If the children don’t understand, consider asking the question in a different manner; allow time for the children to demonstrate the idea of “surrender.”)
If I were a police officer, and you were a robber, and I shouted, “Surrender!” What would you do? (Allow time for kids to respond.) That was great, have a seat.
So what does surrender actually mean? (Take a couple responses from the children.)
Surrender can mean to give in, give up, or admit defeat. Those meanings remind me of someone who is wimpy or being bullied. They sound pretty bad. But God also asks us to surrender, and it’s not quite the same thing. So what does surrender mean in church? I want to show you, instead of telling you.
Okay, everyone, we need our Hershey kisses. Get yours ready!
When we talk about surrendering at church, some people think of that word in the same way I’ve just described it. They think that surrendering to Jesus means giving up everything that is fun or important. But it’s not like that.
When you surrender something to God – when you willingly give Him something that means a lot to you – it honors Him. It will show God that He is the most important thing in your life. It tells God that you trust Him completely.
Surrendering something to God means that He has the #1 place in your heart.
It shows that you love God above all else. But that can be really hard to do.
It’s like this: Will you surrender your Hershey kiss to me right now? (Open up a brown bag and ask kids to drop their kisses into the bag.) It’s your choice, you don’t have to, but if you trust me, will you do it?
NOTE: There will most likely be some children who do not want to surrender their candy. Do not coax them. This is also a powerful illustration of how we cling to things and therefore forfeit a greater blessing. Once they see the bigger bag of candy, they will probably we willing to surrender their lone kiss. To save tears and hard feelings, allow them to do this, but consider highlighting their original unwillingness.
That’s surrendering. How did it feel?
(Ask a few kids to respond) What else might God want you to surrender? Grown-ups, you can answer too! (Allow time for adult responses). But here is the neat thing about surrendering to God.
When you honor God and trust Him with your most special things – your dreams, your hopes, your friends, your stuff – He honors that right back. Not because He has to, but because He loves us and wants to show us His love.
When God gives us things, they are always way better than what we would have planned for ourselves. Kind of like this! (Open up another paper bag and offer each child who surrendered his/her kiss another small bag with multiple candies.)
We can trust God with everything we have and everything we hope for. He is a good, faithful, and loving God who wants us to trust Him with all we have. When we do that, He will bless us in amazing ways.
God, thank you for your blessing! Thank you that we can trust you with everything –big things and little things. Thank you for the generous way you love and bless us when we choose to trust you. We love you, Lord! Amen.
Children’s Sermon James 4:7 – All To Jesus