Lesson 4 – Pass the Faith Along
Series: The Faith Hall of Fame
Key Point:God wants us to pass our faith along in our families and to others as well.
Bible Story: Jacob wrestles with God and is changed forever.
Challenge Verse: 2 Corinthians 5:17—“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.” (NIV)
Each class needs the following:
Signs for the following: Jacob, Isaac, Esau
Give back the “Jesus” pictures from last week.
A Family Discipleship Survey for each 3rd-5th grader.
A pencil for every 3-5th grade student.
1 bean bag for each class.
Memory Verse Card for 2 Corinthians 5:17—size 3 3/4″ x 2 5/8″
– Write today’s Challenge Verse on a marker or chalk board.
– Pray for each student by name.
AS STUDENTS ARRIVE
– Greet each student by name as they enter.
– Give each student an attendance sticker for the attendance chart, and feel free to add guest names to the chart. This will give them a sense of belonging.
– Get to know any guests and help them fill out a guest form.
– Be sure to smile—Your smile and attitude sets the atmosphere as students enter.
SAY: Today we are going to learn about someone who wrestled with the Lord, so to get things started and throughout our lesson today, we’re going to have some “wrestling” fun…
(NOTE: Play each wrestling activity several times or have a mini-tournament.)
Let each of your students pair off with someone else to thumb wrestle. The pairs will hook the fingers of their right hands together with their thumbs pointing up. Together they will say, “1-2-3. You can’t pin me.” As soon as they finish saying this, the match is in play. The first person to pin the other person’s thumbs, wins the match.
FAITH HALL OF FAME
SAY: Before we learn what wrestling has to do with our Bible story today, I want us to read from Hebrews 11.
Ask your kids—What is this chapter sometimes called? (The Faith Hall of Fame because it lists 20 different Bible characters, all of whom are examples of living by faith.)
Tell your kids to get ready for a Bible drill.
Get ready… Hebrews 11:20-22-…Go!
Read Hebrews 11:20-22 from your Bible
SAY: We learned about Abraham last week and how he trusted God. Isaac was his son and by faith he promised blessings for the future to his sons, Jacob and Esau. Then by faith Jacob pass the blessing on to those who came after him.
KEY: God wants us to pass our faith along to others.
Ask your kids—What do you think the number one way is that God wants you to learn about Him? (a) By going to church? (b) By going to school? (c) From your parents? (d) From your pastor? (e) In another way?
SAY: God wants you to learn about him in and from your family—For your parents to pass what they believe along to you. And then someday when you grow up, you’ll have children that you can share Jesus’s love with them and tell them all the great things about God and His Word.
Family Discipleship Survey
SAY: Now before we go any further, I want us to take a quick survey.
Your survey is verbal. Ask the following four questions and have the children raise their hands to answer the questions. VERY IMPORTANT—Please count the answers on each and turn these in to your children’s leader. Also, please write down any specific or interesting comments that any of your children might make. (For example, once during this same survey a child said, “My family prays at mealtime once a year on Christmas—Does that count?”)
Verbal Questions to Ask:
(1) Does your family have a regular devotion time where your family sits down to pray and read the Bible together?
(2) Does your family discuss the Bible at home during casual conversation?
(3) Does your family pray before you eat?
(4) Do you love Jesus? (This question is asked to give all the kids an opportunity to raise their hands.)
Your survey is written but it shouldn’t take your students very long. Please read through the survey with them as they answer the questions, then collect the surveys and return them to your children’s leader. You can preview this survey at the end of this lesson.
SAY: No family is perfect. Even when you look at these people of faith in Hebrews 11. A lot of them had some terrible family situations, but God always wants us to do our best to honor him in our families.
Ask your kids—If God could do anything in your family, what do you think it would be?
Ask your kids—What is your favorite thing about your family?
BIBLE LESSON-part 1
SAY: All through Hebrews 11 we find everyday, ordinary people that God used because they were willing to trust and follow Him. But these were not perfect people. The family you’re going to see today was not a perfect family at all.
Choose 3 volunteers—Give one the Jacob sign, another the Esau sign, and the other the Isaac sign.
SAY: Jacob and Esau were twin brothers (have them stand next to each other—Don’t they look alike!) but since Esau was born first, he had the rights of an older brother which meant that some day he would lead the family—that included both property rights as well as the spiritual leadership. But Esau didn’t care much for spiritual things. He traded away his “birthright” to Jacob for a bowl of stew. When he did this, Jacob gained these “rights,” but there was still one important matter—the father’s blessing. Isaac, who was now old and blind (have the Isaac volunteer put his hand over his eyes), was their father, and one day he decided that the time had come to bless Esau, who was his favorite son. So he told Esau to go hunting and to get him some food and to make a meal from it. Then to come to him to get the blessing.
Send the Esau volunteer to the side of the room.
SAY: When Jacob’s mother heard of Isaac’s plan to bless Esau, she told Jacob to get two goats from the flock, that she would cook them, and that he could pretend to be Esau and get the blessing instead. Jacob also put goat skin on the backs of his hands and neck because Esau was a hairy man and he feared that Isaac, even though he couldn’t see, might touch him.
Have the Isaac volunteer sit down.
SAY: Jacob went to his father with the food and listen to their conversation.
Read Genesis 27:18-24 from your Bible and help your volunteers to act it out. Also, tell your students to raise their hands every time they hear Jacob tell a lie.
SAY: Soon Esau returned. (Bring back the Esau volunteer.)
Ask your kids—How would you feel if you were Esau?
SAY: When he found out that Jacob had stolen his blessing, he was furious—He was so mad that Jacob and his mother feared for Jacob’s life. Not long later Jacob left to go away and live with his uncle. Twenty years would pass before he returned.
SAY: We haven’t had any wrestling in our story yet, but it’s coming soon. Right now let’s have another “wrestling” activity.
Let each of your kids pair off with someone else to arm wrestle. Be sure to tell them that arm wrestling, like all “sports,” has rules:
Rule #1: You cannot lift your elbow off the table/floor.
Rule #2: You cannot use your fingernails.
Rule #3: You have to keep your wrist straight.
Rule #4: Who ever pins the other person’s hand or whoever holds it closer to winning the longest, wins the round.
Once you are finished, call all your students back to the circle to be a part of the rest of today’s story.
BIBLE LESSON-part 2
SAY: Twenty years had passed. Jacob was now married with children. He had lived with his uncle who was a deceitful man who had wronged Jacob in many ways—similar to the ways that Jacob had wronged others. He finally fled from his uncle and is now getting ready to meet Esau for the first time since he stole the blessing.
Ask your kids—How would you feel if you had severely wronged your brother and had gone away because you feared he might hurt you and was getting ready to face him for the first time in 20 years?
Ask your kids—How would you feel if you heard that your brother was coming to meet you with 400 men? (The Bible says that Jacob felt great fear and distress—Genesis 32:7.)
SAY: Jacob sent ahead gifts of animals for his brother and he sent his family and possessions ahead and then he was left alone. That night the Bible says that “a man wrestled with him till daybreak.” Finally, this “man,” who was no ordinary man, touches his hip so that it goes out of socket but still Jacob won’t let go. “I will not let go of you unless you bless me,” Jacob says. So the “man” changes his name. No longer will he be called Jacob but Israel. Then he blesses him. After the “man” departs, Jacob gives the place a name and says, “I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”
SAY: This is an incredible story. Jacob encountered God and was forever changed by it. Not only did he walk with a limp for the rest of his life but he had a new name. His old name “Jacob” had meant “deceiver.” But he was now a “new” person with a new name. He still wasn’t perfect, but at the end of his life, we see a different Jacob. Instead of stealing blessings he is giving them. He blesses the pharaoh, the leader of Egypt, as he stands before him with his son Joseph and then blesses Joseph’s sons as he comes to the end of his life.
SAY: God changed Jacob’s life. He was never the same after his encounter with the Lord. Listen to what the Bible says about how God can give anyone a brand new life.
Show your students today’s Challenge Verse as you have it written on a marker or chalkboard.
Have them REPEAT the verse after you. Then remove a couple of words and draw a blank line where the words should have been. Have your students REPEAT the verse with you again. Then remove a couple more words. Have them REPEAT it again. Keep removing and repeating until every word has been taken out and your students are still saying the verse while looking at a bunch of blanks.
Ask your kids—What do you think this verse means? (It means that anyone who comes to Jesus and gives his life to Him is made new again. The old way of life in sin is all taken away and he has a brand new beginning—a brand new life.)
SAY: God can forgive anyone. God can change anyone’s life.
For older students only:
Let each of your students pair off with partner. To leg wrestle, two people need to lie down besides each other with their heads at opposite end and their hips next to each other. They will count to three together, each time lifting their inside leg. On three, they hook their legs at the knee and try to pull their opponent’s leg down.
For younger students
(This can also be an option for the older grades):
Tic Tac Toe Review
Using blue painter’s tape, put tic tac toe # game lines on the floor. Put another line about 6 to 8 feet away. Divide your class into two teams. Assign one to be the “O” team and one to be the “X” team. Ask one team a review question from the past few weeks—Ask them about the Bible stories, to fill in words on the Challenge verses, and even to finish the control tools. If they answer correctly, one of their team members gets to stand behind the line and throw a bean bag. Whichever square it lands in, that’s where their letter (O or X) goes. Draw the tic tac toe # game lines on the marker or chalkboard to keep track of which spaced are used. The first team to get three in a row wins.
PRAYER TIME & WRAP-UP
KEY: God changed Jacob’s life and if you have met Jesus, then you have a story worth sharing too. God wants us to pass our faith along in our families but also to our friends and to anyone else that we meet. By us sharing what God has done in our lives, others may come to Christ and be made new as well.
Ask your students if they have anything they would like to pray for and list their requests below:
List Prayer Requests Here
Be sure to pray specifically for each request above.
– Next week will be another great Sunday. Don’t miss out on itl.
– Be sure to turn in the answers from your Family Discipleship Survey earlier in the lesson. This survey will help us in a very general way to understand what is going on or what our kids perceive is going on concerning discipleship inside the home.
Use any extra time to help your students memorize the verse for today or to review the stories and verses from previous weeks. If time allows, play the tic tac toe review game again but use questions from today’s lesson.
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