I’m happy to share the second lesson in the Armor of God series today. Like last week, you’ll find five parts to each lesson:
- Welcome question: This is a question asked before large group begins. It can be written and answered on butcher paper or a whiteboard.
- Large Group Lesson: A 15-20 minute lesson using visuals and situational examples.
- Small Group Discussion: A list of questions and conversation starters to recap and review the lesson.
- Bible Challenge Activity: A hands-on approach to learning the weekly memory verse.
- Memory Verse Cards: Printable cards to be passed out at the end of the hour.
I hope you enjoy and can use this lesson with your group. All printable files will be at the bottom of this post.
Armor of God: Breastplate of Righteousness
The welcome question can be written on butcher paper or a white board and children can answer prior to starting the Bible lesson.
“When is it the hardest to make the RIGHT choice?”
Recap from Last Week
This week we are still learning about the Armor of God! Can anyone remember what we talked about last week? It was the belt of truth. The belt of truth is where we store all our knowledge of God. It’s all about knowing who He is and all about His words, the Bible, so we can be prepared to fight against sin and the evil one. We also talked about how Jesus is the way, the TRUTH, and the life.
Large Group Lesson
This morning we are going to talk about the “breastplate of righteousness”.
Ephesians 6:13-14 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness…
Video Option: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwfEm8ea6k8
What does that mean? The word righteousness? It means making the right choice and following what God commands in the Bible. When we say someone is “righteous”, we are saying they are obedient to God, always making the right choice. Jesus was righteous, but a special righteous, because He NEVER sinned, he never made wrong choices even when he was tempted.
Welcome Question Review
In our welcome question today, we asked when is it the hardest to make the right choice? (Take a minute to go over their answers) Why is it so hard to make the right choice?
Situation Illustration Activity
(For the situation activity below, you can act it out with another child or have a child answer the question on their own)
What about this situation…the school bully, the meanest kid in school, has toilet paper trailing from his shoes and he doesn’t know it. You are with all your friends and you are the only one that notices. So you have three choices: 1) You point at him with all your friends and laugh at him–he probably deserves it anyway 2) You act like you don’t see it –someone will tell him later or maybe other kids will make fun of him 3) You bend down and grab it off his shoe really fast so no one sees. Which is the RIGHT choice? (kids should say 3) What about 2? You aren’t doing anything WRONG, you just might not be doing what’s right.
There is a story about a guy named David in the Bible, how many of you know David? He defeated Goliath and became this awesome warrior and eventually he was king. But back before he was king, Saul was king. Saul had major jealousy issues. He did not like David getting all the attention. He was so jealous and crazy, he went after David and tried to have him killed. But in 1 Samuel 24, David has the opportunity he and his men have been waiting for. Saul has three thousand men out looking for him and he winds up inside this cave for a little break. Let’s read to see what happens:
1 Samuel 24 3b-7, Now David and his men were sitting in the innermost parts of the cave. 4 And the men of David said to him, “Here is the day of which the Lord said to you, ‘Behold, I will give your enemy into your hand, and you shall do to him as it shall seem good to you.’” Then David arose and stealthily cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. 5 And afterward David’s heart struck him, because he had cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. 6 He said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my lord, the Lord’s anointed, to put out my hand against him, seeing he is the Lord’s anointed.” 7 So David persuaded his men with these words and did not permit them to attack Saul. And Saul rose up and left the cave and went on his way.
AHH! David is so close to Saul that he cuts off his robe. He could have easily killed him and been made king, just like that. But he doesn’t. In fact, David feels so guilty for even cutting his robe he runs out of the cave and calls to Saul.
1 Samuel 24:8-11 “My lord the king!” And when Saul looked behind him, David bowed with his face to the earth and paid homage. 9 And David said to Saul, “Why do you listen to the words of men who say, ‘Behold, David seeks your harm’? 10 Behold, this day your eyes have seen how the Lord gave you today into my hand in the cave. And some told me to kill you, but I spared you. I said, ‘I will not put out my hand against my lord,for he is the Lord’s anointed.’ 11 See, my father, see the corner of your robe in my hand. For by the fact that I cut off the corner of your robe and did not kill you, you may know and see that there is no wrong or treason in my hands. I have not sinned against you, though you hunt my life to take it.
He confesses to cutting his robe, but also says he could have taken his life. He knew Saul was also chosen by God at one point and he did not want to harm the person God chose. How do you think Saul’s going to react? Let’s see!
1 Samuel 24: 16-20, As soon as David had finished speaking these words to Saul, Saul said, “Is this your voice, my son David?” And Saul lifted up his voice and wept. 17 He said to David, “You are more righteous than I, for you have repaid me good, whereas I have repaid you evil. 18 And you have declared this day how you have dealt well with me, in that you did not kill me when the Lord put me into your hands. 19 For if a man finds his enemy, will he let him go away safe? So may the Lord reward you with good for what you have done to me this day. 20 And now, behold, I know that you shall surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in your hand.
Saul saw that David was righteous, even though he wanted to kill him AND Saul knew that David would be rewarded for making the right choices; something Saul had a very hard time doing.
So, do we have people sneaking around trying to kill us? I don’t think so! But just like our “situation” with the bully earlier, we get temptations to be mean to someone who has been mean to us. Does God want us paying back people with meanness? No! Jesus always chose right and he had people hate him and be mean to him so much that they punished him to death on a cross. After he rose again, did he come back and be mean to all those people? No, he kept loving them and tried to tell them to love and obey God.
It’s not our job to punish the mean people in our life, God is the only judge and Jesus is the only Rescuer. We have to put on our breastplate of righteousness and prepare each day to make the right choices and resist temptation, even if it means not getting back at the meanest school bully.
End in prayer and dismiss to small groups.
Small Group Questions
- What is our piece of armor today? Breastplate of righteousness
- What is righteousness? Making right choices, obeying God
- What was our story about today? David almost killing Saul in the cave
- What kinds of things have people done to you that make you want to get even or be mean to someone over?
- David could have killed Saul and left his body in the cave, claiming that “he didn’t do it.” Even if no one else saw the murder, who would have been watching? God would have seen and known he didn’t make the right choice
- What kinds of things are you tempted to do when you think no one will know?
- What did David do instead of killing Saul?
- Who can you always talk to when you are tempted to choose the wrong choice? God/Jesus, a leader, parents
It can be very easy to choose the wrong choice and pay back evil for evil or bad for bad, but when we wear the breastplate of righteousness we have to focus on pleasing God and making the right choice.
Today our verse is Galatians 6:9 “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”
Last week’s verse: “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
Supplies needed: decoder pages for K-1 & 2-4, markers, glue sticks, pens or pencils.
K-1 Ask if anyone remembers last week’s verse. Go over the new verse with the kids. Each pair of kids will have a “secret decoder page” that has pictures missing that help explain the verse for the week. The kids will have to pull a picture out of a bag to see if it matches their page. Once they complete all the pictures, they can review their verse and color their sheet. If time remains, make a chant with the verse.
2-4 Ask if anyone remembers last week’s verse. Before you introduce this week’s verse, hand each child a “secret decoder page”. Allow them to work in pairs to “decode” the verse for the week. Once every child has decoded the verse, practice the verse together. If time remains, have the kids practice the verse in pairs.
Please return to large group and choose one child for small group recap.
Dismissal & Verse Cards
Pass out verse cards as children are released.
Printable Resources for this Lesson
Thanks for letting me share,