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Be Berean!

Aim: For each child to accept the Bible as the sole definer of right and wrong

Core Competency: Authority of the Bible

Objectives: The children will

  • Eagerly search the Scriptures to determine truth
  • Respond positively and with encouragement to those who teach the truth
  • Explain the gospel truth to those who will listen in a way tailored to each listener

Key Verse: Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. ( Acts 17:11 )

Story: "A Tale of Three Cities " ( Acts 17:37 )

Materials Required:

  • "Strange" Tape Measure (supplied)
  • Standard Tape Measure (English or Metric)
  • Tape, Transparent
  • Scissors
  • Jar, Wide-Mouth
  • Raquetball

Eye on Science:

Advance Preparation: Print the "Strange" tape measure (2 pages) (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader (it's free!)), cut out using scissors, and assemble with tape into a long tape measure. Note that the "inches" marked on this tape measure as subtly shorter than a standard inch.

In Class: Ask the children how tall they are. Express surprise - "You look much taller than that!" Offer to measure several children, and use the "strange" tape measure; after each measurement, comment on how "tall" that child is ("My, you could play professional basketball!").

Normally, the children will eventually object ("Your tape measure is wrong!"); if not, ask them if they think the tape measure is accurate. Repeat the measurements with the standard tape measure, and ask the children which one is right. Express indignation at any hint that the standard tape measure is better - "It seems very intolerant of you to claim one tape measure is better than another. All tape measures are the same!" Lead the children to the true difference - the standard tape measure is certified by an authority, but the "strange" tape measure is just something I dreamed up. Ask the children what would happen if everyone just made up their own tape measures - chaos!

Ask the children to list different ways they can tell right from wrong. What if one way differs from the Bible? The Bible is correct because it is certified by God's Authority ( 2 Timothy 3:16 ). It is the only reliable source for determining right from wrong. If everyone decides for himself what is right or wrong, we have the same result as with the strange tape measure - chaos!

Read relevant portions of the story and discuss the response of the people in the three cities to the gospel. (These are deliberately out of order to emphasize the Bereans.)

  • Thessalonica - People rioted and falsely accused Christians - and even followed Paul to Berea to cause trouble there!
  • Athens - People ridiculed Paul and considered the gospel just another "latest idea"
  • Berea - Although is each city some of the Jews and God-fearing Greek men and women accepted the gospel, Acts 17:37 tells us that the Bereans were more noble because they not only accepted the gospel, but they searched the Scriptures to be sure that what Paul said was really true!

Application: How noble are you? Do you search the scriptures with enthusiam to see if what is taught you in this class, in church, or other Bible clubs true? Will you commit today to "Be Berean"?

In all 3 cities, those who accepted Paul's message greatly encouraged him, protecting him from the mobs and helping him to spread the gospel to other cities.

Application: How do you encourage your Bible leaders to spread the gospel to other children at your school or in your neighborhood?

It's not just adults who share the gospel, though. If you have made a decision to become a disciple of Jesus, you should be spreading the gospel, too. Perhaps that seems like an impossible task right now.

Let's look at another impossible task. (Indicate raquetball sitting on table, with the jar sitting upright beside it.) All you have to do is to put the ball into the jar - but without touching the ball! Allow the children to suggest ways this might be accomplished. Finally, invert the jar over the ball and begin whirling the jar, so that the ball spins against the inside of the jar. With enough speed, the ball should rise on the jar's lip and be suspended over the table. Then simply turn the jar over, and the ball is securely in the jar.

Having the courage to share the gospel may look impossible to you now, but please be assured that Jesus will provide the opportunity, and the Spirit will give you power to speak boldly.

Application: With whom will you share the gospel today?

Used: KIDZ 02/01 , BSFALL 02/01 , KFC 4/03

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