Gifts From God

"Honor the Lord with your substance and with the first fruits of all your produce; then your barns" (Proverbs 13:9-10)

rainbow Challenge the children to make a list of all the blessings that they have received from God. Children can work as a group or independently to compile the list. Review the list together and add any additional thoughts.

Now ask the children to make a list of everything that they can give to others. (Note: the children's temptation will be to make a list of material things that they can give away as gifts. Encourage them to focus more on inward gifts that they possess, not material items.) Compare the two lists to see which one is longer. If the list of God's blessings is not the longest list, ask the children to review their giving list.

With their input, you may transfer the giving items that are really blessings that they have received from God to the blessings list. For instance, if they wrote "giving love to a parent" on their giving list, then you would transfer it to the blessings list. Why? God first loved us. God has given us the ability to love others. So, in fact, the ability to offer love is really a gift that we have received from God. Are there any items remaining on their giving list after you have transferred these instances? Can we ever give more than God has given to us?

Ask the children what they can do to thank God for the blessings that they have received. Ask what it means to honor God with "your substance." (It means everything they have; everything they are.) Discuss some ways that Christians can honor God with their substance. For example, what is a way children can honor God with their toys? (Share them with others; give them away to others; etc.) How can they honor God with their clothing? (Dress modestly; offer them to the needy; hold a garage sale and give the proceeds to the church; etc.) Encourage children to name individually some of the blessings that they have listed. Discuss how they can honor God with those blessings.

Point out that the Scriptures say the result of honoring God is receiving even more of what we need so that we may share more with others. God wants us to be good stewards of everything that we have received — our talents, our knowledge, and our possessions. We are called to help others. Close in prayer by thanking God for our many blessings.

Prayer

Thank you God for all of the blessings that you have given me. Help me not to take them for granted, but to use these blessings in ways that honor you. Amen.

Questions for Discussion

  • What does the word blessing mean?
  • What does it mean to honor God?
  • Why is it important for Christians to honor God?
  • Is there a blessing that you have received from God that you have not been using? How can you begin to use this blessing and bring God honor?
  • What actions can you take to help others understand that God blesses us so that we may use those blessings to help others?

Janet Zimmerman is an ordained United Methodist deacon, who serves as Christian Education Director at Church of the Lakes in Canton, Ohio.

Photo by Deb Smith ([email protected]), Project Director, High Potential Metro Churches Initiative, Discipleship Ministries. Copyright © 1994. Used with permission.

Originally posted in2004.

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