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Obedience-Based Faith

Aim: To build each child's faith, resulting in a life of obedience to God

Core Competency: Trinity

Objectives: The children will

  • Recognize that faith encourages obedience
  • Listen to and obey God

Key Verse: The just shall live by faith. ( Habakkuk 2:4b )

Story: "Faith Out - Detour! " ( Genesis 12:10-20 )

Materials Required:

  • candle
  • grill top
  • stand, tabletop
  • cups, paper
  • water
  • matches

Eye on Science:

Advance Preparation: The tabletop stand may well be two upside-down cups with a small square of heavy screen or small grill top between them. Light the candle and place under the screen; ensure that the flame reaches to or through the screen. Practice the experiment several times to ensure you can safely handle the burning cup.

In Class: Tell the story of the farmer in the days of barnstormers (bi-plane pilots who toured the United States in the early 20th century, selling airplane rides). Although he didn't really trust "those newfangled aeroplanes", his friends pooled their money and dared him into a flight. Safely on the ground again, he was asked by his friends how he liked flying. "I'm still not sure it can really carry me," he replied. "The whole time in the air, I never put my full weight down on that seat!" (For young children, you may need to point out that the airplane carried all of his weight whether it was on the seat or the floor.)

Tell the story of Abraham's detour into Egypt in your own words. Point out that God didn't send Abraham to Egypt (as far as we can tell); he went because of a famine (fear of starvation). The trip represented a lack of faith in God to provide for him in the Promised Land.

Application: What did you do in the past two weeks without first seeking God's direction?

Abraham feared the Egyptians because they were a great nation (forgetting that God would make him a greater nation), and was afraid of what Pharoah might do to him to marry his beautiful wife Sarah (fear of man).

Application: In what challenge in your life are you more afraid of man than God?

Ask the children if Abraham lied about Sarah (pointing out that she was his half-sister). Answer: Since Abraham was trying to deceive Pharoah with his statement, it was "false witness" - a lie (fear of truth)!

Application: What lie have you told recently to "help" God protect you?

How can you obey when the going gets tough? Light the candle and place under the stand - the flame represents Abraham's fears - of starvation, of man, of the consequences of telling an uncomfortable truth - and the challenges you face every day, too. Place an empty paper cup (which represents you) over the flame, and watch it burst into flames. Facing a challenge without faith will result in being "shot down in flames" - making a mess of the situation, like Abraham's. (Has your lack of faith ever gotten you into a mess?)

Now fill a second paper cup with water (which represents faith) and place over the flame. Wait as long as you like; eventually the water will boil rapidly, but the cup won't burn - the water keeps the paper below its ignition point. Faith leads to obedience and fewer messes.

Point out that God would have protected Abraham without "help" - Abraham's efforts (driven by fear of God's omnipotence or lack thereof) just created a mess. God fixed Abraham's mess, but his sin still had consequences:

  • Gen 12:18-20 Instead of witnessing to pagan Pharoah, Abraham is justly rebuked by him for lying.
  • Gen 13:5-7 The riches Abraham obtained from Pharoah would later destroy his relationship to his nephew Log
  • Gen 16:1 Sarah obtained a maidservant in Egypt named Hagar. Later, Abraham would have a son through Hagar named Ishmael - the father of those who fight Israel to this day in the Middle East.

Application: In what situation this week do you need to rely on God and demonstrate your faith in Him through obedience?

Used: KIDZ 06/02

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