Ephesians 4:31-5:2, NIRV (New International Reader's Version)
31Get rid of all hard feelings, anger and rage. Stop all fighting and lying. Don’t have anything to do with any kind of hatred. 32Be kind and tender to one another. Forgive one another, just as God forgave you because of what Christ has done.
51You are the children that God dearly loves. So, follow his example. 2Lead a life of love, just as Christ did. He loved us. He gave himself up for us. He was a sweet-smelling offering and sacrifice to God.
Prop: Small bicycle that resembles a first bike a child would learn to ride. Water bottle that can be attached to the bike.
Theme: Be like God; love like Christ.
Bike theme: Most bikes have water bottle holders, and most people feel staying hydrated is essential in good bike-riding technique.
Today, I have something that we should have with us as we prepare for a bike ride. Does anyone recognize this? (Hold up the water bottle and ask children for responses.) Learning to ride a bike is hard work, especially during the hot summer months. We need water to keep us hydrated and healthy.
When I was a child, I remember that Gatorade was the drink that athletes used to stay hydrated. Now you can find Gatorade, Powerade, or a bottle of water to quench your thirst. Gatorade used to have commercials on television that sang the words, “Sometimes I dream that he is me, Like Mike. If I could be Like Mike, I wanna be like Mike.” Of course, Mike was Michael Jordan, the most famous basketball player of the time. Jordan is more famous than even Lebron James. People who saw that commercial felt that if they drank Gatorade, then they could play basketball just as well as Mike. Michael Jordan was the example of how we all wanted to play basketball.
People were seen drinking Gatorade everywhere you looked. Everybody wanted to be like Mike.
In today’s portion of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, Paul reminds us that we should really be like God. And if we live life every day like God wants us to live, then we will be like God, but even more important, we will love like Christ. What are some ways we’ve talked about the last few weeks that help others see God’s love in us? (Allow children to answer. Answers may include patience, speaking words in love, etc.).
So, as we are learning to ride our bike, we need to stay hydrated. We always need to follow the example of Jesus in all things, even riding a bike. Thanks to Paul, I have a changed the words of the Gatorade commercial. Let’s use this as our prayer this morning.
Prayer: Always I pray, because he loves me; love will be seen by those around me. Like Christ, I wanna love like Christ. Amen.