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Growing Rewards

Aim: To build the children's desire to use all of their talents and assets to do good works in Jesus' name.

Core Competency: Church

Objectives: The children will

  • recognize that Jesusí return is unexpected
  • plan to be found doing good works
  • strive to use every asset in God's service

Key Verse: "You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him." ( Luke 13:40 )

Story: "Waiting for the Master's Return " ( Luke 13:35-48 )

Materials Required:

  • Rose
  • Money, Paper
  • Tape
  • Scissors

Eye on Science:

Advance Preparation:Select a small and large bill of money (say, $1 and $20 in U.S.A.). Or, print a "pretend" $1 and $100 bill by loading this PDF file ( Get Acrobat Reader), print the first two pages, then reverse the printed sheets and print the last two pages. Cut out one $1 and one $100.

"Accordian fold" the large bill as shown, and place some double-sided tape or glue on the spot indicated. Pre-fold the small bill (in preparation for tearing during the presentation), then attach the large bill in the spot indicated.

Practice picking up the bill with one hand, such that the "large" bill is hidden by the four fingers. For a more convincing demonstration, also practice showing both sides of the "small" bill, by artfully keeping the "large" bill covered while flipping over the "small" bill.

During Class: Show the students the rose (or other blooming plant), and explain scientifically how a plant "works". Put simply, the plant draws its "food" up through the stem, where it mixes with carbon dioxide in the leaf. Sunlight on the chlorophyll in the leaf enables the plant to convert the "food" and carbon dioxide into sugar and oxygen. This is the "work" accomplished by the plant. We can draw a number of analogies between the plant and a young Christian:

  • The plant cannot do its work without sunlight. A Christian cannot do works acceptable to God without the light of God's Son in his heart. ( Isaiah 64:6 )
  • The plant must convert its "food" into sugar and oxygen in order to draw more "food" up the stem. If the plant stops doing its work, it will not grow. A Christian who does no good works for Christ will not grow. ( James 2:26 )
  • More work by the plant results in more sugar in the leaves. If the plant is "sweet" enough, it will even create fragrant blossoms. A Christian who aggressively pursues good works sends up a sweet fragrance to heaven and wins God's favor. ( Philippians 4:18 )

Read Luke 12:42-43 . Emphasize that good works cannot save a person who does not know Christ ( Ephesians 2:8-9 ), but that a disciple of Christ does earn rewards in heaven for good works. Ask the children for suggestions on what the reward for good works might be. Then read Luke 12:44 . The reward for consistent good works is greater responsibility and opportunity to serve God more fully.

To demonstrate, pick up the prepared bill ($1, with the folded $100 bill secretly attached) and if desired, show both sides. Explain that many people have few possessions or talents, and may consider it best to keep what they have for themselves. A wise person, however, will use all that they have to serve Christ - even if it means "using up" all of their time, money, and talents.

While you discuss this, tear the bill along the three pre-folded lines, moving the portions not attached to the "large" bill well apart (to emphasize they have really been torn) and then adding to the front. Finally, with the four torn pieces of the "small" bill stacked in your hand and the folded "large" bill in back (toward you), fold the portion of the "small" bill above the "large" bill down toward the audience, then fold the portion above the "large" bill up toward the audience to make a tightly folded wad of paper.

The wise person may have less in the short run, but he has invested in the future wisely. As you talk, casually transfer the wad of paper to your other hand, surrepticiously turning it over so that the folded "large" bill is now toward the audience. Now slowly unfold the "large" bill, keeping the torn and folded "small" bill under four fingers of one hand. The audience will believe the torn $1 has been restored as a $100 bill. Explain that he who is faithful with small things will be given charge of greater things, as you casually pocket (both) bills.

Finally, ask how the master would react if he returned to find a new manager, one who he did not know, managing his affairs. Even if the unexpected manager was doing a good job, would the master reward him? No! The master would say "I don't know you", contact the police, and have the strange manager cast into prison. Similarly, a person who does not know Christ should expect no reward for good works (again, emphasizing that salvation is not a reward but a gift, which can only be accepted, not earned).

First, a person must join God's family and receive his commission to serve Christ. (Offer an opportunity to discuss this after class with a counselor, if possible.) Only after receiving the free gift of salvation from Christ can one begin to build treasure in heaven by doing good works in His name.

Application Questions: Have you joined God's family? If so, you are now commissioned to do good works in His name! If Jesus returned last night, would He have found you watching and faithfully serving Him? What will you do different this week? Are you using all that you have to serve Him every day? What changes will you make this week?

Used: KIDZ 10/97 , KIDZ 10/01

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