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Think Eternal!

Aim: To motivate the children to shrewdly use the possessions God allows them to manage for their eternal gain

Core Competency: Give Away My Money

Objectives: The children will

  • recognize that everything we "own" belongs to God
  • give priority to spreading the gospel
  • think eternal

Key Verse: "Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share." ( 1 Timothy 6:18 )

Story: "Parable of the Shrewd Manager " ( Luke 16:1-9 )

Materials Required:

  • Rope, 1 meter (1 yard)
  • Paper
  • Marker

Eye on Science:

Advance Preparation: Create a folded "Think Eternal" sign, and a similar sign that says "Thope", as shown in the picture. The two signs may be printed using this Portable Document Format (PDF) file ( Get Acrobat Reader).

During Class:International Business Machines (IBM) has been famous for many things. For example, for many years IBM salespeople always wore blue suits (thus IBM's nickname, "Big Blue"). IBM supports products long after they have stopped being manufacturered. But perhaps most famous of all was the number of signs displayed at their design facilities labeled "Think" (show sign with only the word "Think" showing).

Signs on the wall said, "Think!" Signs in the hallways said, "Think!" Even in the bathrooms, above the sinks and below the mirrors, would be small signs that said, "Think!" This led one wag to post a sign above the soap dispenser that said, "Thope!" (show sign).

Today, I want to encourage you to "Think" - not about what you will do this week, or this month, or this year, but what you will do for eternity. I want to encourage you to "Think Eternal" (open flap to show remainder of sign).

Let me read to you one of the "hard" parables of Jesus, and we'll discuss what it means. Read Luke 16:1-9 . The rich man represents God, who owns everything on earth. We are the managers of these earthly possessions - poor managers, too, as judged by His perfect standards ( Romans 3:23 ). Our job as managers will soon end, when we die or when Jesus returns, at which point we will be judged ( Hebrews 9:27 ). We act shrewdly when we use the Lord's possessions to "make friends" (that is, introduce non-Christians to Christ) who will welcome us into "eternal dwellings" in heaven. Wouldn't it be great to be greeted in heaven by a crowd of saints to whom you had introduced Jesus Christ?

It is best to give cheerfully ( 2 Corinthians 9:7 ), but if you are unable, at least be shrewd in how you handle God's possessions. To do this, you must "think eternal" by preparing now for eternity.

Show the students the rope, and demonstrate how to tie a simple overhand knot. Now ask for volunteers to tie an overhand knot without letting go of either end of the rope. This cannot be done if you start by holding the rope in a conventional fashion.

After each child who wants to try has finished, lay the rope on a table or chair. Emphasize how important it is to prepare in advance, then cross you arms and pick up the rope. When you uncross your arms, the rope will be tied in a perfect overhand knot!

Take suggestions from the children for ways that a shrewd child might use God's possessions to spread the gospel. Some examples include giving to foreign missions or local outreaches, buying Bibles through Gideons International, inviting classmates to church or Vacation Bible School, and personally telling others about Jesus.

In closing, read 1 Timothy 6:17-18 .

Application Questions: Are you a "shrewd manager" of the possessions God has provided to you? What opportunities did you miss to "do good" last week? Are you "rich" in good deeds? What of your possessions will you share this coming week with someone in need?

Used: KIDZ 8/97 , BSF 11/99 , BSF 2/01 , KIDZ 10/01

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