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Devotions on Rally Code

Be Clean

GOD HELPS US – Rally Code

 
Be Clean – a clean mind in a clean body creates a balanced healthy life.
 
Memory Verse – 1 Corinthians 3:16 “Surely you know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?”
 
Do you know what happens when a germ enters our body? It gets in and starts moving through our body and we begin to get sick. Usually when this happens a protector in our body knows about it. The protector comes running, and sends out an alarm. Lots of other protectors also come running and they surround and destroy the germ. This happens in a healthy body.  But if we are not healthy, when the germ comes in there are not enough protectors, or they are very weak, and so they can’t destroy the germ. So the germ finds a place to rest inside our body and it grows or reproduces and we get even sicker.
This is the same thing that happens in other areas of our life too.
Whether it is our body, our mind or our heart – we have to be careful not to let the germs in - because they can destroy us.
 
Body – Here are some things we do that clean our body. (have a list on a whiteboard) What are the dangers if we don’t keep them clean.
- Clean our teeth (teeth decay, teeth may fall out, bad breath)
- Bath or shower regularly – (clean dirt off, carry germs or diseases, smell, get sores and rashes)
- Wash hair – (gets dirty and smelly, check regularly for lice,)
- Wash hands - (pass germs into food if not washed before preparing food or eating, after using the toilet, after handling animals – we can pass these germs onto other people) Hundreds of years ago, when hospitals were first built, many people died when they went there. Hospitals are supposed to be where we get healed, but it wasn’t always that way. Why not? Doctors never used to wash their hands! They would examine the patient, touching their sores, and then go on to the next person and do the same. They passed the germs and diseases from one person to another. Also, they never used to change the sheets if a patient had only been there 2 or 3 days. Even if there was blood all over the sheets from the last persons wound, the next person had to lie on the dirty sheets. This is what caused many people to die. When the Doctors finally realised that cleanliness was very important, there was a miraculous change in hospitals – people didn’t die any more!
 
So you see how important it is to Be Clean.
 
In what way could smoking be unclean?
(clothes smell, breath smells, fingers and teeth get discoloured, causes lung cancer and emphysema – breathing difficulties.)
In what way could drinking too much alcohol be unclean?
(harms your body – goes into the blood stream and can poison you, destroys brain cells, damages liver, some people die from too much alcohol, drunkenness causes many accidents)
In what way could drug taking be unclean?
(puts harmful poisons into our body, drugs affect the blood, nerves, brain, muscles and can change the balance of our body and mind. People die of overdoses, get sick, go mad, or hurt and kill people. Even marijuana – the mild drug – is known to kill of your brain cells, damage your body or send some people into a coma. Other drugs do much worse.)
 
So it is a good idea to be careful of these things if we want to keep the inside of our bodies clean.
 
Mind
Have you heard the saying “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil?”
Why not? God says in Proverbs 23:7 that ‘what a person thinks; he really is!’
That means, what we put into our minds is really important, as we become like the things we see and hear.
What are some things we might see and hear that stop us from being clean in our minds?
(Reading and looking at pornography, telling rude stories and jokes, watching violent, cruel, abusive or evil movies)
What’s wrong with reading or seeing things like this?
(Some folk have hurt or killed others after seeing something like this and they copy it, we can have nightmares, can cause hurt to our minds, we also start to think it is normal and so others get abused)
What should we do to keep our minds clean?
Philippians 4:8 in the Bible says “… fill your minds with things that are good, that deserve praise, that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honourable.” So if we read and watch things that are clean, helpful, happy and good, then we become like that in our minds. Remember – our thoughts turn into actions! So then our actions are good and helpful.
 
Heart
What is it that makes our heart unclean?   (Sin)
What is sin?  (anything that is not pleasing to God, not reaching God’s perfect standard, all those things like gossiping, lies, stealing, rudeness, disobedience, being proud, bad thoughts, hurting others)
How can we get our hearts clean?
(You can use the ‘wordless book’ here to explain…)
Black page – we must realise our hearts are not clean in God’s eyes. They are full of sin. We must want to change and ask God to come in and forgive our sin.
Red page – this reminds us of Jesus blood. He died and was punished for OUR sin (not his). But if we ask Jesus into our hearts, his blood washes our sin away.
White page – this is what God sees our heart is like when we ask Jesus to clean us of our sin. He now sees our heart as clean and white.
Gold page – this is the colour for heaven. According to the Bible, only those who have asked Jesus into their hearts to take their sin away, will go to heaven.
 
Remember the memory verse – if we are a Christian, then our body is God’s temple – He lives in it. So let’s keep it clean. 

Be Fair

GOD HELPS US      No 8 - Be Fair

 
Be Fair – Consider others and never let them down.
Memory verse – Matthew 7:12. Do for others what you would want them to do for you.
 
Being Fair to others…
- means - letting other people enjoy their activities without you annoying them
- means - giving others a fair hearing. Listening to their opinions as well as sharing yours
- means - respecting other people and their property (don’t hurt others, don’t take what belongs to others)
- means - keeping your promises.
- means – living by the ‘golden rule’. That’s what our memory verse is called  - treating others as you would like them to treat you.
 
Do role play No 1 with other leaders or older members…
Role Play 1  (change names as needed)
Megan: Let’s play marbles. We can all have a turn at starting. At the end we will see who is the winner. I’ll go first.
Sandy & Jo: Yes, Let’s Off you go Megan.
Jo: My turn now. Oh, I missed.
Megan: Your turn Sandy.
Jo: How many marbles did you win that time Megan?
Megan: Five. How about you guys?
Sandy: I won four.
Jo: I won only one.
Megan: Right, let’s have another game. Your turn first Jo.
Jo: Hey, that was better. I got three that time.
Megan: I’m tired of this. Come on, let’s go and play on the jungle gym.
Jo: Okay.
Sandy: But I haven’t had my turn to go first. I might have a better chance to win some marbles if I do.
Megan: But I don’t want to play another game now.
Sandy: But you said that we would all have a turn each.
Jo: Oh, don’t be silly. We’ll play again another day. Come on.
 
What was unfair in this situation? (not sticking with the rules made – all having a turn to start)
What should they have done? (played the three games - or not made those rules/promise at the start.)
 
Do role play No 2…
Role Play 2
John: I hope the weather stays fine for the rugby/netball. Our team is really on fire. I think we can win.
Paul: Yeah. What with being the big match and all. And they are in top form. Those clouds look pretty black on it tho’. Be sad if they cancelled. I’m looking forward to the afternoon off school work.
Steve: I heard this morning….
John: (Interrupting rudely): Not as black as they were yesterday afternoon. Boy did it rain! But who knows – it might hold off. And it’s sure far better watching our team play than doing maths.
Steve: Well, I heard…
Paul: Hope they don’t come to anything ‘cos if it pours like it did yesterday they’ll all get drowned. And so will we. You should’ve heard my Mum going on about me being drenched yesterday. Cor – mothers!
John: But if they start the game before the rain starts then they could just carry on through whatever the weather. You can’t stop it once it has started.
Steve: The weather forecast this morning…
Paul: Shut up will you. What do you know about it.
John: Yeah. Who asked you.
 
There were three ways John & Paul were rude to Steve. What were they?
1. Carried on as if he hadn’t spoken /ignored him.
2. Cut him off short when he began to contribute to the conversation.
3. Were rude to him – told him to ‘shut up’.
What should John & Paul have done to be fair?
 Let him share in the conversation, and listened to him with the same respect they gave to each other.
Do you think we should listen to others if we disagree with them?
Yes.
Why?
We should be fair. They are entitled to their opinion too. We should not show rude attitudes to others. We might learn something!!
Have you ever been unfair to someone? I have. And I don’t like to remember those times. I feel guilty about it and I know it makes God unhappy too.
The Bible tells us what we should do if we are ever unfair to someone.
- First think about it, and think how you would feel if it was you that others were unfair to.
- Then say sorry to God.
- Go and say sorry to that person.
The Bible tells us in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins to God, he will keep his promise and do what is right – he will forgive us our sins.”
That means, when we say sorry to God and really mean it, God will forgive us. So we should also say sorry to others if we have done wrong to them.
Now let’s turn it around - maybe someone has done something wrong to you – if they come and say sorry, you should forgive them. God has forgiven you and so we should do the same and be willing to forgive them.
 
Remember – Be Fair. Live by the ‘golden rule’ … Treat others as you would like to be treated. 

Be Generous

GOD HELPS US - Rally Code

 
4. Be Generous – There is more satisfaction in giving than in receiving.
 
Memory verse: Romans 12:8. Whoever shares with others should do it generously, whoever shows kindness to others should do it cheerfully.
 
Before Rally … find pictures and glue to cards. Look for pictures of people in need – lonely, sad, struggling with school work, carrying large bag of groceries, refugee family etc.
 
Ask questions:
1. What kinds of needs do these people have?
2. What could WE do to help them?
 
On a board write three headings – Time – Energy – Skills.
Ask what things we could do to show generosity to others.
(Examples :
TIME – help someone struggling with school work
            - help refugees to settle in by transport, language, visiting & making friends
            - someone who is sad
            - a friend who is injured
ENERGY – help carry groceries for someone
            - help weed a garden for neighbour
            - play games with a sick friend
SKILLS – help with homework
            - help refugees – language
            - make a cake for sick friend
            - send money to help sponsored child
 
Tell the story of the widow of Zarephath (1 Kings 17:8-16) , make it into a drama or get Leader to read it in the Good News or similar version.

He was a mighty King after all. All he had to do was give a command, and his servants scrambled to do it.
King Ahab didn't need God.
Or so he thought. 
And so God sent the prophet Elijah. 
“It will not rain, or will there be even any dew on the ground until the one true God says so!” Elijah said to the king.
Then God told Elijah to go and hide away. There would be no more rain and so no more food would grow. God was going to look after Elijah.
It did not rain for days...
then weeks...
then months.
Meanwhile, God was taking care of Elijah.
He showed him where there was a small stream so he would have water to drink, and he sent ravens that brought him meat every morning and meat every evening.
This was an amazing thing! 
But, after a while, the stream dried up because there hadn’t been any rain for so long.
Now what was Elijah going to do?
God said to Elijah, “Pack up your things and go to the land of Sidon. There is a widow there, and I have commanded that she will provide you with food.”
And so Elijah did exactly what God told him to do (that’s always a good idea!). He packed up his things and made the hot dusty walk to Sidon.
Under the blistering sun, Elijah walked into the town of Zarephath.
When Elijah came to the town gate, he found a widow there. That is lady without a husband to earn money. This lady was gathering up a few dry, dusty sticks.
Elijah said to her, “Please, would you bring me some water in a jar to drink?” As she was going to get some water for this complete stranger, Elijah called out to her, “And please, bring me some bread!”
Well, that did it! This guy must be crazy! Didn’t he know it hadn't rained for months?! There was barely any water, and hardly a scrap of food left. 
“Sir,” the woman said to Elijah, “As sure as the Lord your God lives, I don’t have any bread!”  
The widow said, “All I have left in this world is a handful of flour and a little jar of oil. I am gathering up these sticks so that I can make one last meal for my son and me. And then we will die.”
Things looked pretty bad.
But, no matter how bad things might have seemed, God was still there.
Elijah said to the widow, “Do not worry. Go home and do just what you planned to do. But before you do, make a small loaf of bread for me. And then, from what you have left, make a loaf of bread for you and your son. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel has promised, ‘The flour will not be used up and the jar of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD gives rain on the land.’ ”
And so, that is exactly what the widow did.
And day after day there was water to drink and food to eat. The flour was not used up, and the jar of oil did not run dry - just as God had promised!
One day at a time, God provided for Elijah and the widow.
 
 
Questions:
1. How might she have felt about the request for food? (Sad that she didn’t have any. Sad she was unable to help Elijah. Angry that he was trying to take the last food from her.)
2. Would you have been so generous? (Explain why or why not)
3. Did she know beforehand that God would perform a miracle? (No, but she knew God wanted her to feed the prophet – it was good to think of others)
4. What do you think made her so generous?  (What difference would one meal make! She would only live one day longer! Maybe she did recognise Elijah as a prophet from God. She might have been a very generous person).
 
Something God wants us to remember when we are being generous is to give CHEERFULLY. Don’t be angry about having to give. God loves a cheerful giver and he blesses us if and when we give. If we are happy to give in some way, to help others, then we will also feel good about it. That gives us ‘satisfaction’. Be Generous – there is more satisfaction in giving than in receiving.
 
God wants us to share with others, be more aware of what others people need and to be happy ourselves. So, if we give generously, ot help others, we please God, make them happier and gain satisfaction ourselves.
 
What is something we could do this week to show being generous? Ask them to share ideas. Some are listed to give you ideas.
- share a muffin I made
- bake for someone
- Help Mum with dishes, beds, vaccuming etc
- share a lolly with someone who is lonely or sad at school
 
Pray, asking God to help us to be generous when we see a need.

Be Honourable

GOD HELPS US – Rally Code

 
2. BE Honourable – behave in a reliable and trustworthy way.
 
Memory verse: Joshua 23:14b. Every promise he has made has been kept; not one has failed.
 
“I’ll be there……sure you know me……..you can trust me.”
When was the last time you said something like that? Did you keep that promise?             
 
Ecclesiastes 5:4-5 says “When you make a promise to God, keep it as quickly as possible. He has no use for a fool. Do what you promise to do. Better not to promise at all than to make a promise and not keep it.” This tells us of the importance of keeping promises. What kinds of promises might you make? (ask and share ideas – eg, I will always be your friend. I promise to invite you to my birthday. I promise never to tell what you shared. I promise to go to the park on Saturday.)
We sometimes make promises without thinking about them properly, and later we might wish we hadn’t made them. Like a man in the Bible. He was called Jepthah. (Judges 11:29-40).

Jepthah was a soldier and he was fighting to protect his country of Israel. At one stage Jepthah said to God, “If you will give me victory over the enemy, I will give to you the first person who comes out of my house to meet me when I get home victorious. I will give them to you so they can serve you in the temple all their life.”That was a solemn promise Jepthah made to God.
Well, when Jepthah was victorious and he came home, all the folk came running out of their houses to shout and wave at him. As he came near to his house, out came a lovely young girl, all dressed in her best finery, singing and playing music. She was so very happy he had won his battle and came out to congratulate him. But it was his only child – his daughter! Of dear!
Jepthah was devastated. “Why must it be you” he said. “I want you to be able to grow up and get married. I wanted you to have children so I could enjoy my grandchildren.”
But Jepthah had made a solemn promise and he couldn’t take it back. His daughter said, “If you have made a promise to God you must honour it. You must carry it out.” So she lived in the temple the rest of her life and didn’t marry or have children of her own.
 
This was a very foolish promise that Jepthah didn’t think carefully about. He caused sadness for his own daughter. That would have also made God sad. He doesn’t want us to make promises that cause others sadness or hurt.
 
What could we promise that would be silly or wrong? (ask - Dares. Things we can’t control like sitting next to your friend in class – that’s up to the teacher. )
To make these sorts of promises is not being honourable. God only ever makes promises about things he KNOWS he will be able to do, and that are RIGHT. We can rely on and trust him.
What kinds of things might make it difficult for us to keep a promise? (ask – if it involves others, circumstances or weather)
What should we do if we make a promise and then find we can’t keep it?  (tell them and apologise).
Would that ever happen with God? No! God ALWAYS keeps his promises. What did our memory verse say? (Every promise he has made has been kept; not one has failed.)
 
What are some things God has promised?
- to love us
- to always listen if we pray
- give us eternal life
- he will punish evil
- he won’t ever leave us if we belong to him
 
Teachers at school want to trust us. Parents like to trust us. Friends hope they can trust us. When we get older and go to work, we have to be trustworthy or we will lose our job. Being trustworthy is like being Honourable. How should we act if we are Honourable?
- never make silly promises
- try and keep the promise we do make
- be honest and helpful
- always work hard
 
If we are Honourable, we gain the respect of everyone because we can be trusted to keep our word, admit mistakes if we make them and say sorry, and to play and work honestly. God is always honourable, and if we love him and belong to him, we must strive to be honourable too.
 
We are going to do a crossword in our teams.
Answers: Across
1. Who made a foolish promise?                                             Jepthah
5. Does God ever break a promise?                                        No
7. What are some things God has promised?                          Love
8. What are some things God has promised?                          Listen
9. If we can’t keep a promise, what should we do?               Apologise
10. Who wants to be able to trust us?                                     Parents
11. Who wants to be able to trust us?                                     Teachers
 
Answers: Down
2. We must try to be ----------?                                                Honourable
3. If we are Honourable, we will gain peoples -------. Respect
4. What should we always try to keep?                                  Promises
6. Something else God has promised us? ------- ----.               Eternal Life
12. What do friends hope they can do?  ----- us.                    Trust

Be Joyful

GOD HELPS US – Rally Code

 
5. Be Joyful – A cheerful spirit encourages others.
 
What is JOY? I guess most of would say that happiness is the same as joy. But it isn’t really. Happiness relies on how I feel, and circumstances can change that. Joy is sense of inner well-being. I can still feel joy even if I am sad. In the Bible, joy is not based only on feelings. If I stub my toes, or get a growling from Mum or Dad, or feel lonely, I can still be joyful. Because JOY depends on our relationship with God. If I belong to God, He can give me joy that doesn’t just depend on my feelings.
 
Our Rally code says to ‘have a cheerful spirit’. Even in difficult times, you can be joyful.
* Show pictures of Jane Optimist and Jane Pessimist.  Have 2 leaders interacting the “How did you enjoy your holiday’ comments.
 
Jane Optimist – You “How did you enjoy your holiday?”
                        - ‘Jane’ – Great. It rained the whole time, so we watched our favourite DVD’s, played heaps of games, and Mum cooked sausages and marshmallows over the fire. It was a real special holiday.
Jane Pessimist – You How did you enjoy your holiday?
                        - ‘Jane’ – Wasn’t much of a holiday. It rained the whole time. How do you think it went! We couldn’t go to the beach. Boring. Stuck inside all day. Didn’t do anything.
 
* Who would you prefer as a friend?
* Why? (Cheers me up. Sounds happy. Be good to go for a holiday with her. Willing to think of things to do together….. work towards establishing that Jane Optimist encourages us. Jane Pessimist would probably make us feel grouchy too.
* Who do you think enjoyed their holiday the most? (optimist)
* Why did they enjoy it when the weather was so bad? (They found plenty to do. Positive about everything. Try to find the good in things. Had fun whatever the weather. Not bored.)
 
Story –
Moses and all the people of Israel had escaped from the Egyptians and were now camped beside the Red Sea. God was leading them and this is where they had stopped. Suddenly from across the desert, they saw dust rising. Then they realised the Egyptians were racing after them in their chariots. So now they had the Egyptian army on one side and the Red Sea on the other. They had nowhere to go.  How could they escape?
 
Have a leader read Exodus 14:10-11.
Then read Exodus 14: 13-14.
Can you see the different attitudes between all the people and Moses?
How did Moses encourage the people? (by saying God would fight for them, and not to be afraid).
Let’s see what happened next…
Read Exodus 14: 19-29.
Moses saw the positive – he believed God would help them. We should learn to trust God. He will help us too if we ask him.
 
Here are some problems that we often have:
           Lots of homework
           Lonely at school
          Have to work hard at home
         Mum criticising all I do
 
If we were a pessimist (someone who looks on the bad side) how would we react to them?          
- I’ve never got time to have any fun, or go and play with my friends.
- I’ve got a horrible tough teacher.
-I hate school – something must be wrong with me ‘cause no-one wants to play with me. I’ll go to the library where I won’t be seen.
- I bet other kids don’t have to do this work. I never have any fun.
- Mum’s mean – I can’t do anything right.
 
If I were an optimist (look on the good side – full of joy) this is how we might react to the problems..
- I have a good teacher. He wants me to learn heaps. Gee, it’s interesting all the things I’m learning.
- I enjoy school – it’s good to learn. I think I will say hello to that girls sitting all by herself. Then I’ll go to the library and find myself a good book.
- Thanks Mum for teaching me how to do things. I bet lots of my friends don’t know how to look after a house.
- Glad Mum loves me and doesn’t want me to be untidy. I’m glad she shows me when I’m wrong now so I don’t make a fool of myself when I’m older.
 
The best way to be joyful, and be an optimist – is with God’s help. We need God to be with us, and that happen only when we become a Christian. Then the Bible says, God comes and lives inside us. So He will always be there to help us then.
Can someone explain how we can get God to come and live inside us?
(let some of the girls explain how to become a Christian)

Be Relevant

GOD HELPS US – Rally Code

 
1. BE REVERENT – God our maker is holy
 
(Use the pictures from A New Belonging, Term 3, Unit 1.)
Memory verse: Hebrews 12:28. Let us be grateful and worship God in a way that will please him – with reverence and awe.
 
* Show picture of a car. This car is made so that it runs on petrol and oil. It was designed that way. The people who made it know that it will work best if it’s owner uses petrol and oil in it. But the new owner decides that petrol is too expensive, and oil is too dirty. He decides to use water!
Will it work? No way!
No matter how cheap and clean water is, it will not work. It won’t make the car go. The car will only go when given petrol and oil because that’s the way it is made.
 
We have been designed by God. God made us and he made us to take him seriously. Another way of saying “Be Reverent” is “taking God seriously” or “showing him respect, love and awe”.
I’m going to tell you a story from the Bible.
1. Zechariah lived when Herod was king of Judaea. Zechariah was a priest. He was married to Elizabeth, who was a cousin of Mary, Jesus mother. Zechariah and Elizabeth both lived good lives and tried to obey God’s laws. They had no children because Elizabeth couldn’t have any, and at the time of this story, they were both very old.
 
2. One day, Zechariah was doing his work as a priest in the temple, burning incense to God while the people outside prayed.
 
3. An angel suddenly appeared beside him. Zechariah got a big fright, but the angel said, “It’s okay Zechariah, God has heard your prayer for a child and Elizabeth is going to have a baby. It will be a boy and you are to call him John. He will do special things for God.”
 
4. But Zechariah didn’t take this message from God seriously. He thought it couldn’t be true because both he and Elizabeth were so old. Then the angel said to him, “Zechariah, I am Gabriel and I stand in God’s presence. You have not believed the message from God , therefore you will not be able to speak until the day this promise of a baby comes true.”
 
5. Meanwhile the people outside were wondering why Zechariah was taking so long to burn the incense. When he came out he couldn’t talk. He had to make signs with his hands and they knew he had seen a vision or an angel while he was inside. Soon after this, Elizabeth got pregnant.
 
6. The day came when Elizabeth gave birth to a healthy baby boy. All the friends and relatives were around and they expected the baby to be named Zechariah after his father. But Elizabeth said “No. He is to be called John.” The relatives said, “But there’s no-one in your family with that name. He should be called Zechariah.” They turned to Zechariah and asked what he thought.
 
7. Zechariah, who still couldn’t speak, signed for a writing tablet and wrote on it…HIS NAME IS JOHN! Zechariah had realised he must treat God seriously and reverently. Suddenly, as soon as he had written the name John, Zechariah’s voice came back and he started praising God.
 
When we realise how wonderful and powerful God is, we can learn to show him reverence. Reverence means a deep respect, love ad awe. If the Queen walked in here now we would all be amazed, excited and in great wonder at being able to see her and talk with her. Well, God is so very much more wonderful than the Queen. He made us. He made the world around us. And like the maker of the car we talked about, God knows us the best.
Being reverent is not just praying or going to church. It’s the whole way we live. We should try to please God in everything we say and do because He is so very awesome. And because that’s the way he has made us, and we will be happiest if we live as he says.
That is being Reverent.

Be Steadfast

GOD HELPS US

 
No 9 – Be Steadfast – Carry on in spite of difficulties.
 
Memory verse: 1 Corinthians 15:58. Stand firm and steady. Keep busy always in your work for the Lord, because nothing you do in the Lord’s service is ever useless.
 
Write on a sheet of paper “when the going gets tough, the tough get going!”
Ask: what do you think this is really saying? (when things get hard, we can often find the strength to cope and grow stronger.)
Ask: do you think this is really true? (yes, it is.)
When people are steadfast – or stand firm in their beliefs – they usually grow stronger in their character and abilities.
* If I don’t like maths, I can either fool around in class, (the easy option) or I can try harder, get help in understanding it, and learn more. (the hard option – but I will now understand maths better)
* If I start knitting a scarf and drop a stitch, I can chuck it away, (the easy option) or I can ask for help, see where I went wrong and try again and eventually finish it. (the hard option, but I now can knit better)
Often when things go wrong we just give up. You have to be TOUGH to stick at it! And God wants us to be tough in this way – in being steadfast. He also promises to be with us.
 
I am going to tell you a story of someone who was very steadfast….
STORY OF NOAH
God looked down.
He saw what a terrible place the world had become.
He saw that everyone was lying, and cheating, and killing. He saw that no one cared about doing what was good and right anymore. And God knew that in their hearts all they wanted to do was evil and bad.
But... God saw one good man. His name was Noah.
Noah still cared about God. He listened to God, and he always tried to do what God said. And God was pleased with Noah.
So, God said to Noah, "Noah, I have decided to put an end to this mess people have made of my world, and start all over. I want you to build an ark."
"What's an ark?" Noah asked.
"It's a box to keep special things safe in," God said. "But your ark is going to be a boat too!
“What's a boat?" asked Noah.
"You'll see!" God said. And he told him how to build this boat. It was going to be a very BIG boat. It was going to be longer than a football field, and higher than a three story house. It was going to have one door, and a window all around beneath the roof.
God called the boat an "ark."
Wow! This was going to be a big job for a 500 year old man!
That's how old Noah was when God gave him this project to do. Now, Noah might have thought, "This job is too big, and I am too old!" And he didn't even have any power tools out back in his shed. But he did have God, and with God on your side, anything is possible.
So Noah went right to work, along with his three sons and their wives helping too.  Noah did everything just as God had told him to.
His neighbours must have thought he was crazy. While they were spending all their time pleasing themselves, Noah was hard at work, pleasing God. Noah kept on working, day after day, year after year. And day after day, year after year, people laughed at him. That must have been very hard to take. But, Noah was steadfast in his purpose – to obey God and build this ark. 
And then one day Noah put down his hammer.
The ark was finished. 
There it was, this giant boat, resting on dry land - and no lake or sea in sight!
What was God thinking?
And now God had another job for Noah and his family.
A really BIG job.
God said to Noah, "I am going to send you two of every unclean animal and seven of every clean animal , and birds and insects. You are to take them onto the ark and keep them to re-populate the earth. But meanwhile I want you to find enough food for them all and for yourselves."
So Noah and his family stocked the ark with all the food they could gather.
Then God sent the animals…. what a noise that must have been. Cows mooing. Lions roaring. Dogs barking. Elephants trumpeting - all at once.
And what a mess! (It must have smelled pretty bad too...)
And how do you keep the tigers from eating the little lambs?
Still, with God's help, Noah did it all, just as God told him to.
Noah was 600 years old when he did all that God asked him to. 
Seven days went by, one for each day it took to make the world God was about wash clean.
“Now it’s time for you and your family to get into the ark!” The Lord said to Noah. So Noah and his wife, and his three sons; Shem, Ham, and Japheth and their wives; all got into the ark. Then the Lord himself reached down from heaven and shut the door.
And then the Flood came!
Water poured from the sky and gushed up from the ground. 
It rained. And rained. And rained.
Noah looked out the window. Lightning flashed. Thunder crashed. The winds blew huge waves across the water. 
The water lifted the giant wooden boat from the ground. It lifted it above Noah’s house. It lifted it above the trees. The ark tossed in the storm above the whole town, and everyone who lived there.
It rained for forty days and forty nights. 
It rained so hard that Noah’s ark floated above even the highest mountains. There was no dry ground left at all.
And everything that breathed on the earth died. 
Noah and his family waited in the ark.
Up and down, and up and down, they tossed on the waves.
Everywhere they looked, they saw nothing but water. 
For 150 days the ark tossed on those waves. That’s five months. Nearly half a year!
But God hadn’t forgotten about them.
One day God caused a warm wind to blow. The rain stopped, and the water began to go down.
It was another 150 days before the ark came to rest on the very top of a mountain called Ararat. 
Noah and his family and all those animals had all been together in that ark for almost a year!
After 40 more days, Noah opened the window of the ark and let a raven fly out. He wanted to see whether it could find some dry ground. Noah waited and waited, but the raven never came back.
So Noah tried again. This time he sent out a dove. The dove flew around and around. But it couldn't find any dry ground, and it had to come back.
Noah waited seven more days, and then he let the dove fly out again. 
That evening the dove came back with a fresh olive leaf in its beak. That was a sign for Noah. Now he knew the water had gone down, because the dove had found an olive bush growing on dry land.
Noah waited another seven days, and then he sent the dove out again. This time it didn’t come back. It had found a new place to live. 
Finally, God told Noah it was all right to leave the ark. Noah opened the door, and all those animals rushed out! 
They found new homes in the world God had washed clean. God had saved them! God provided the ark, and it had brought them all safely through the water. It carried them to a new life.
Noah was 601 years old when he left the ark. And was he ever glad to be walking on dry ground again!
What were some of the difficulties Noah faced?
- building a huge ark
- the long time sticking at building
- people making fun of you while you were building
- collecting all the food for the animals
- believing in God about a flood when he had no idea what it was all about.
There had never been rain before – a mist covered the ground each night to water it. So this was something very new.
 
What are some difficulties we might face?
- temptation to be honest
- doing our best at school
- Mum and Dad fighting
- only one parent at home
- Not many friends
- being bullied
 
Listen to what God says in Matthew 7:7-12…
 “Ask, and you will receive; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks will receive, and anyone who seeks will find, and the door will be opened to those who knock.  Would any of you who are fathers give your son a stone when he asks for bread?  Or would you give him a snake when he asks for a fish? As bad as you are, you know how to give good things to your children. How much more, then, will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him! Do for others what you want them to do for you.”
 
God wants us to be steadfast. And he has promised to help us. He won’t solve all our problems, but he will give us strength to cope, and wisdom and understanding if we ask him. Then we can hang in there, do our best, and we will grow stronger in our character and abilities. God will bless us in many ways when we stand firm. 

Be Strong

GOD HELPS US – Rally Code

 
Be Strong – Keep mind and body under control.
 
Memory verse: Philippians 4:13. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.
 
* Have a single piece of string (or even wool); and another piece of three strands plaited together. See if anyone can break the single piece of string.
Then, see if anyone can break the plaited piece of string.
 
What makes it stronger?  (three together)
We are like the single piece of string. But when we ask Jesus into our hearts, then we become like the plaited piece – we are stronger because we have him to help us.
What is the big deal about being strong anyway? We are not talking about physical strength here. We are talking about being strong in our character – controlling our bodies and our minds. If we don’t control ourselves we get hurt – and we hurt others too.
 
What happens when a car goes out of control? (accident, people are hurt or killed. There is damage to the car and people).
So how can we be weak and out of control? (List ways how we can be out of control and ask them to give examples…)
- write on the board – Bad Temper (we hurt others physically and verbally)
                                - Greed  (steal, refuse to help others, shoplifting, not sharing)
                                - Gossiping (talk about others, share others secrets, )
                                - Revenge (hurt or scare others )
                                - Taking drugs (ruin our mind and body, )       
None of these things are good, and they show we are weak if we do them. Instead we should become strong in our character and God will help us if we ask.
 
We are going to do a drama of the story of a man who didn’t start out strong – but he did end up strong. His name was Gideon.
 
(You need Narrator, Gideon, God, Angel.      Have a headband with names so the kids can follow who is talking.)                         
 
Narr: Once again the people Of Israel sinned against the Lord, so he let the Midianites rule over them. Whenever the Israelites would plant their crops the Midiantites would come and raid them. They would destroy their crops and take their animals. They came as a huge army and the Israelites were helpless against them. But then, as often happened, the People of Israel cried out to God to help them. So God sent a prophet to tell them that they had to stop worshipping idols and turn again to worship him. Then God sent help.
Gideon: This is ridiculous. What a nightmare. Try and do anything and the Midianites are down on you like a swarm of locusts. Taking everything sheep, cattle, crops - all gone. Well they're not getting my corn - even if I have to thresh it inside a winepress to hide it. 
Angel: The Lord is with you mighty warrior! 
Gideon: AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH! Who are you?
Angel: The Lord is with you mighty warrior! 
Gideon: Huh? Don't do that! Sssssshh!!! Do you want the Midianites to hear you? 
Angel: The LORD is with you mighty warrior!! 
Gideon: Oh hah hah there's been a mistake. You've got the wrong bloke. 
Angel: No, I don’t think I have. I have been sent to you by God.
Gideon: Now look here. What would God want with me. You've got the wrong bloke I say. You're probably thinking of Big Benjamin - he's the closest thing we've got to a warrior.
Angel: YOU ARE Gideon son of Joash? 
Gideon: y-y-yes. That’s me. 
Angel: Then The LORD is with you.
Gideon: Yes, so you said. Okay, okay. If the Lord is with us why has he abandoned us to the Midianites. They are taking everything we have. They leave us without food and we are near starving. What about all the great deeds he did bringing us out of Egypt - where are the great deeds now.
Angel: That's where you come in. The LORD says: "Go with your great strength and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I myself am sending you." 
Gideon: Hah! But how can I rescue the people of Israel. My family is the weakest of the clan, which is the weakest of the tribe of Manasseh and I am the youngest member of my family. Why would God choose me.
Angel: The LORD says: "You can do it because I am with you. You will crush the Midianites as if they were only one man". 
Gideon: But how do I know that you're who you say you are? Give me some proof that you are from God.  If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised then I need proof — look, I will place some wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.
Narr: And that is what happened. Gideon woke up early the next day; he squeezed the wool and wrung out the dew — a whole bowlful of water. Then he said to God:
Gideon: O God, do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the wool. This time make the wool dry and the ground covered with dew. That night God did so. Only the wool was dry; but all the ground was covered with dew.
Narr: That convinced Gideon. So he gathered all the men who had come when he put the call out, and told them that God wanted them to fight the Midianites. There were 32,000 of them. Gideon felt quite brave with so many men ready to fight. So they headed off. The first night they camped by a stream. The Lord spoke to Gideon…
God: You have too many men Gideon.
Gideon: What! Too many! But we need them all. There are a lot of Midianites.
God: No, You have too many for me to work. I don’t want you to think you have won this battle yourself. You need to know that I have fought this battle for you. Otherwise Israel will start to boast again and forget me again. Now, assemble the soldiers. Tell the men that if any of them are fearful of the coming battle, they can go home.
Narr: So Gideon said to the men that they could go if they wanted to. And twenty-two thousand of them left! Gideon didn’t feel very brave now. 
Gideon: Hey Lord, I think that might have been a mistake. Look at them all going. I only have ten thousand men left now.
God: Yes, and that is still too many. I want you to take them down to the stream. Have them all take a drink. Those who get down and drink with their mouths, place on one side. Those who pick the water up in their hands and drink, place to the other side.
Narr: There were 300 who lapped water from their hands. These were the ones God kept.
Gideon: What! Only 300 men! I started with thirty-two thousand and I only have 300 left. Are you sure this is right God?
God: Yes, quite sure. With these 300 I will deliver the Midianites into your hands.
Narrator: That night God spoke to Gideon…
God: Get up. It’s time to attack the enemy camp. Here’s what you are to do. Divide your men into three groups and give them each a trumpet and a clay jar with a light inside it. 
Narrator: So that is what Gideon did.
Gideon: Now, men, set yourselves around three sides of the camp. When my group blows their trumpets, you must blow yours. Then I will smash my jar – that’s when you also smash yours. Then we will all give a huge shout. God has promised to give us victory if we are strong.
Narrator: By strong – Gideon meant that they would do what he had told them, and believed God would help them. So, Gideon and his men surrounded the enemy camp. When Gideon gave the signal and the trumpets were blown and the jars smashed, lots of lights shone brightly around the camp, and the enemy thought there were thousands of soldiers come to fight them. They woke from a deep sleep and were very confused. We must be being attacked they thought. In the dark they couldn’t see and so they began attacking each other.
Gideon and his men stood back and let God win the battle in this way.
 
* Was Gideon strong at the start? (No, he was scared and hiding from the Midianites))
* Did Gideon feel he could fight a battle and win? (No, )
* What did God say to him? (He would help Gideon)
* Do you think God still helps people do hard things? (Yes,)
* Think of our list on the board. What are some of the hard things we might need God’s help with?
            Keeping calm when someone makes us angry.
            Saying No when we are tempted, or others encourage us to do wrong.
            Doing homework first before playing
            Owning up to something I’ve done wrong
            Being honest, fair, kind, truthful etc.
            Not taking revenge
 
We need to grow strong in our character, and if we ask God to help us He will. 

Be Strong

GOD HELPS US – Rally Code

Be Strong – Keep mind and body under control.
 
Memory verse: Philippians 4:13. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.
 
* Have a single piece of string (or even wool); and another piece of three strands plaited together. See if anyone can break the single piece of string.
Then, see if anyone can break the plaited piece of string.
 
What makes it stronger?  (three together)
We are like the single piece of string. But when we ask Jesus into our hearts, then we become like the plaited piece – we are stronger because we have him to help us.
What is the big deal about being strong anyway? We are not talking about physical strength here. We are talking about being strong in our character – controlling our bodies and our minds. If we don’t control ourselves we get hurt – and we hurt others too.
 
What happens when a car goes out of control? (accident, people are hurt or killed. There is damage to the car and people).
So how can we be weak and out of control? (List ways how we can be out of control and ask them to give examples…)
- write on the board – Bad Temper (we hurt others physically and verbally)
                                - Greed  (steal, refuse to help others, shoplifting, not sharing)
                                - Gossiping (talk about others, share others secrets, )
                                - Revenge (hurt or scare others )
                                - Taking drugs (ruin our mind and body, )       
None of these things are good, and they show we are weak if we do them. Instead we should become strong in our character and God will help us if we ask.
 
We are going to do a drama of the story of a man who didn’t start out strong – but he did end up strong. His name was Gideon.
 
(You need Narrator, Gideon, God, Angel.      Have a headband with names so the kids can follow who is talking.)                         
 
Narr: Once again the people Of Israel sinned against the Lord, so he let the Midianites rule over them. Whenever the Israelites would plant their crops the Midiantites would come and raid them. They would destroy their crops and take their animals. They came as a huge army and the Israelites were helpless against them. But then, as often happened, the People of Israel cried out to God to help them. So God sent a prophet to tell them that they had to stop worshipping idols and turn again to worship him. Then God sent help.
Gideon: This is ridiculous. What a nightmare. Try and do anything and the Midianites are down on you like a swarm of locusts. Taking everything sheep, cattle, crops - all gone. Well they're not getting my corn - even if I have to thresh it inside a winepress to hide it. 
Angel: The Lord is with you mighty warrior! 
Gideon: AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH! Who are you?
Angel: The Lord is with you mighty warrior! 
Gideon: Huh? Don't do that! Sssssshh!!! Do you want the Midianites to hear you? 
Angel: The LORD is with you mighty warrior!! 
Gideon: Oh hah hah there's been a mistake. You've got the wrong bloke. 
Angel: No, I don’t think I have. I have been sent to you by God.
Gideon: Now look here. What would God want with me. You've got the wrong bloke I say. You're probably thinking of Big Benjamin - he's the closest thing we've got to a warrior.
Angel: YOU ARE Gideon son of Joash? 
Gideon: y-y-yes. That’s me. 
Angel: Then The LORD is with you.
Gideon: Yes, so you said. Okay, okay. If the Lord is with us why has he abandoned us to the Midianites. They are taking everything we have. They leave us without food and we are near starving. What about all the great deeds he did bringing us out of Egypt - where are the great deeds now.
Angel: That's where you come in. The LORD says: "Go with your great strength and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I myself am sending you." 
Gideon: Hah! But how can I rescue the people of Israel. My family is the weakest of the clan, which is the weakest of the tribe of Manasseh and I am the youngest member of my family. Why would God choose me.
Angel: The LORD says: "You can do it because I am with you. You will crush the Midianites as if they were only one man". 
Gideon: But how do I know that you're who you say you are? Give me some proof that you are from God.  If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised then I need proof — look, I will place some wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.
Narr: And that is what happened. Gideon woke up early the next day; he squeezed the wool and wrung out the dew — a whole bowlful of water. Then he said to God:
Gideon: O God, do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the wool. This time make the wool dry and the ground covered with dew. That night God did so. Only the wool was dry; but all the ground was covered with dew.
Narr: That convinced Gideon. So he gathered all the men who had come when he put the call out, and told them that God wanted them to fight the Midianites. There were 32,000 of them. Gideon felt quite brave with so many men ready to fight. So they headed off. The first night they camped by a stream. The Lord spoke to Gideon…
God: You have too many men Gideon.
Gideon: What! Too many! But we need them all. There are a lot of Midianites.
God: No, You have too many for me to work. I don’t want you to think you have won this battle yourself. You need to know that I have fought this battle for you. Otherwise Israel will start to boast again and forget me again. Now, assemble the soldiers. Tell the men that if any of them are fearful of the coming battle, they can go home.
Narr: So Gideon said to the men that they could go if they wanted to. And twenty-two thousand of them left! Gideon didn’t feel very brave now. 
Gideon: Hey Lord, I think that might have been a mistake. Look at them all going. I only have ten thousand men left now.
God: Yes, and that is still too many. I want you to take them down to the stream. Have them all take a drink. Those who get down and drink with their mouths, place on one side. Those who pick the water up in their hands and drink, place to the other side.
Narr: There were 300 who lapped water from their hands. These were the ones God kept.
Gideon: What! Only 300 men! I started with thirty-two thousand and I only have 300 left. Are you sure this is right God?
God: Yes, quite sure. With these 300 I will deliver the Midianites into your hands.
Narrator: That night God spoke to Gideon…
God: Get up. It’s time to attack the enemy camp. Here’s what you are to do. Divide your men into three groups and give them each a trumpet and a clay jar with a light inside it. 
Narrator: So that is what Gideon did.
Gideon: Now, men, set yourselves around three sides of the camp. When my group blows their trumpets, you must blow yours. Then I will smash my jar – that’s when you also smash yours. Then we will all give a huge shout. God has promised to give us victory if we are strong.
Narrator: By strong – Gideon meant that they would do what he had told them, and believed God would help them. So, Gideon and his men surrounded the enemy camp. When Gideon gave the signal and the trumpets were blown and the jars smashed, lots of lights shone brightly around the camp, and the enemy thought there were thousands of soldiers come to fight them. They woke from a deep sleep and were very confused. We must be being attacked they thought. In the dark they couldn’t see and so they began attacking each other.
Gideon and his men stood back and let God win the battle in this way.
 
* Was Gideon strong at the start? (No, he was scared and hiding from the Midianites))
* Did Gideon feel he could fight a battle and win? (No, )
* What did God say to him? (He would help Gideon)
* Do you think God still helps people do hard things? (Yes,)
* Think of our list on the board. What are some of the hard things we might need God’s help with?
            Keeping calm when someone makes us angry.
            Saying No when we are tempted, or others encourage us to do wrong.
            Doing homework first before playing
            Owning up to something I’ve done wrong
            Being honest, fair, kind, truthful etc.
            Not taking revenge
 We need to grow strong in our character, and if we ask God to help us He will.

Be Truthful

GOD HELPS US – Rally Code

 
3 Be Truthful – Speak and act honestly.
 
Tonight’s story is about a man who did not ask God to help him be honest. He could have chosen to be truthful, but he was too greedy.
You are going to make some sounds effects for this story. When the leader holds up ‘clap’ you must clap. ‘Tramp’ means stamp your feet on the ground where you are sitting. “shhhh’ means all say shhh together. (Have a leader holding 3 cards, each with these words on. Get them to hold them up at the appropriate time.
The nation of Israel have come into the special land God promised to them, and one of the first things they do is conquer the city of Jericho.
The gates of Jericho were firmly shut because the people were afraid of the Israelites.
* Clap
But the Lord said to Joshua, “I have given you this city. The entire army is to walk around the city once a day for six days. On the seventh day you are to walk around it seven times, then blow your trumpets and shout. The city will fall down. Remember you are to kill everyone except Rahab and her family and you are not to take ANYTHING from the city.
So Joshua gave the everyone their instructions.
* Shhhhh
Not a single word from anyone,’ said Joshua. They marched around the city once that day.
* Tramp
After which everyone returned to camp and slept. Next day they went around the city again.
* Tramp
And returned to camp again.
* Tramp
This happened every day for six days.
* Tramp
On the seventh day they walked around seven times, then the trumpets blew and the people shouted.
* clap
And the city walls fell down. The Israelites rushed in and killed the people – all except Rahab whom God told them to save.
* Shhhhh
Rahab had helped them, so now they saved her and her family.
* Shhhhhh
God’s command was to destroy everything else.
Soon after this the Israelites went to another city called Ai.
* Tramp
This was just a small city so the Israelites thought they could win this battle easily. But some of their soldiers were killed and the men of Ai chased the Israelites away. This wasn’t what was meant to happen. They were supposed to win every battle. God was on their side wasn’t he?
* Shhhhh
Joshua cried out to God. “Why has this happened God? What went wrong?
* Clap
God said to Joshua, “Israel has sinned. Someone has taken loot when I said to destroy it all. And they have hidden it in their tent. They have been dishonest and that is why you have been defeated. I will point out to you who it is.
* Shhhhh
One by one Joshua asked the leader of each tribe to stand in front of him. The tribe of Judah was indicated. Then Joshua asked the clans of Judah to stand in front of him. The clan of Zerah was singled out. Then the families of that clan had to stand in front of Joshua. The family of Zabdi was pointed out by God. Zabdi’s grandson Achan was then indicated as the guilty one.
Wow! Fancy having that happen to you. Wouldn’t you feel terrible? And so did Achan. But his stealing had brought sadness on the whole of Israel. Joshua had to punish Achan.
And then God helped them win their battles again.
 
1. What prevented Achan from ACTING honestly? (Greed – a desire for the nice things he saw)
2.  What prevented Achan from SPEAKING honestly? (Fear – he didn’t think he would be found out – and now that he was, he feared what would happen to him)
3. How do you think the other soldiers managed to act honestly and resist taking loot?  (a reverence for God. Wanting to be obedient to God and their leader Joshua. They were honest men and able to be trusted.)
4. One of the things God hates is lies. Why? ( they hurt people. If we tell lies we often end up in trouble and hurt other people too)
 
Here are some examples of honest and dishonest actions and speech.  Discuss briefly what we should do to be truthful.
 
A. The teacher leaves the room. The class riots. The kids are tricky, and have ‘spies’ out to tell them when the teacher is coming. The teacher comes back and everyone pretends they have been working hard the whole time.
Honest or dishonest? (Dishonest)
What should we do? … Don’t be a ‘spy’. Don’t join in the riot, instead keep working. Don’t pimp to the teacher, but if you are ASKED then you need to tell the truth, but try not to mention names.
                                         
B. You find a skateboard AND go hunting for the owner.
Honest or dishonest? (honest).
What should we do? … Go out of our way to help others. If it was YOUR skateboard lost, then you would hope someone found it and handed it in. Treat others as you would like to be treated. What can you do if you find lost things? (Take to police, parents, teachers etc. )
 
C. You are a ‘small’ 14 yr old and are able to fool bus drivers, the picture theatre etc that you are still half price. Honest or dishonest. (dishonest0
 What should you do? … It seems innocent fun, but it is really stealing and lying. When you are found out, it stops people trusting you again. God is not pleased either. Remember, little things often lead to big things. Little lies lead to big lies. But they are ALL lies. If we love God we won’t want to lie.
 
Many of us have told lies. We sometimes forget how important it is to be truthful. So what should we do when we lie? (Say sorry to God.) He will always forgive us. But remember, if we are truly sorry, it means we will try not to do it again. If we have hurt someone, we need to say sorry to them too. Try not to allow fear, selfishness, greed or anything else to prevent us from telling the truth. Truthfulness encourages trust.
 
Give a certificate to each person and get them to write their name on it, sign and date it. They can take it home.

Be Useful

GOD HELPS US

 
No 10. Be Useful – Live for others.
 
Memory verse: Matthew 19:19. Respect your father and mother; and love your neighbour as you love yourself.
 
What do you think it means to ‘be useful – live for others.’
(not to be selfish, help people, think of others, be kind and considerate, don’t hurt others, treat others as you would like to be treated, be of use in the community, do something to make my community a better place to live.)
 
In the Bible there are lots of stories of people who were useful. (Have cards with names on them – display each name as you talk about them)
Dorcas:
She was a wonderful seamstress. She sewed clothes and gave them away to poor people who couldn’t afford to buy any. One day Dorcas died. Everyone was so sad because Dorcas was such a kind lady and she helped so many people. One of Jesus disciples was nearby, so a lady called out, “Peter, we need you to come here urgently.” Peter came over and when he was told about Dorcas, he prayed to God for her and Dorcas came back to life. It was a wonderful miracle, and now Dorcas was able to be useful again helping more poor people with clothes.

Queen of Sheba:
Could a queen be useful to others? I think she certainly could. She can help make good laws, find good and wise ideas for her country to use. The Queen of Sheba travelled hundreds of miles to visit King Solomon. He was the wisest man who ever lived, apart from Jesus, and the Queen wanted to be useful to her country so she went to learn from King Solomon.
 

Lydia:
She was a rich lady who sold purple materials. She loved God. One day she met the apostle Paul who was preaching   to people and telling them of our wonderful God. Lydia loved God too, so she listened to Paul, and then invited him and his friends to stay at her house. Lydia then invited all her friends as well as others who she knew loved God, to come and hear Paul speak about him. Lydia was very useful in helping other people to learn more about God.
 

Priscilla:
She helped her husband Aquilla make tents. When the apostle Paul came to their town, they invited Paul to live with them. Paul also knew how to make tents, so they worked together in tent-making during the day, and then helped Paul as he preached about God at night.

 
Who has heard of Mother Teresa?
Who was she useful to? (India’s poorest people)
How did she help them? ( by giving them a bed, food and caring for them until they died.)
 
We also have many people in our town who are useful. Can you tell me some of them?
Police – protect us. Take criminals away.
Teachers – help us learn.
Firemen – put out fires.
St John Ambulance – fix us after accidents.
Doctors – help us to keep well or help us get better when we are sick.
Mayor & Councillors – make sure our roads are safe, we have good drinking water, collect our rubbish, provide the library etc.
 
Being useful doesn’t only have to be in BIG things. Let’s see how WE can be useful.
We can be useful to…
Mum & Dad – do dishes, obey them, make them a cuppa if they are tired, hold Mum’s hand and tell her you love her, give Mum/Dad a hug, keep your room tidy
Old lady next door – carry her rubbish out for her, go and talk to her, stack her wood, tell her you have ½ an hour and is there anything you can do to help her
Friends – help them if in difficulties, keep their secrets, play together, share your coloured pencils with them when doing a project, encourage them
Sick friend – take them some baking, loan them a book to read, keep them company, help them keep up with school work
Teachers – obey them, do your homework, be polite, 
do what they ask willingly, offer to clean the whiteboard
 
Read Matthew 19:19. Respect your father and your mother; and love your neighbour as you love yourself.
Being useful means doing helpful things for others. It also means treating others as you would like to be treated, respecting other people and their property and helping make your community a better place to live.



 

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