Happy Wednesday! I’ve sharing a new two-part series with you today called “Kids in the Bible”. One of our leadership team members had the idea for this series and it is officially one of my favorites. I’m sharing part one this week, which is a lesson about Naaman and the Servant Girl from 2 Kings 5. Both these lessons talk a lot about our hearts, so this could also work for a great “Valentine’s” themed lesson in February. I hope your kiddos enjoy this lesson as much as ours did. (post contains affiliate links)
“How old do you have to be to have a relationship with God?”
We’re excited today to start a new series about kids in the Bible. We hear lots of stories about Biblical giants and heroes, but not about kids. We know from the Bible that Jesus thought kids were very. To kick off this series we’re going to talk about a kid who had a lot faith even when life was really hard.
Large Group Lesson
Before we jump into our lesson today, let’s take a minute and go over our welcome question, “How old do you have to be to have a relationship with God?” (go over answers) There isn’t a specific age to have relationship with God, but we start our walk with Him when we make Jesus the Lord & Savior of our life. I was 8 years old when Jesus changed my life, but some of you might have been younger when you chose to follow Him or maybe you haven’t made that decision yet.
Today we’re going to hear about a servant girl who loved God and did the right thing, even when it was really hard. I’m going to read “A Little Servant Girl and the Proud General” from the Jesus Storybook Bible. This Bible is a paraphrase, which means it takes the Bible’s words and stories and make it a little easier to read.
Read the Jesus Storybook Bible pages 136-143 (option: show pictures that go along with the story on a screen)
This story is all about a guy named Naaman and how it wasn’t just his body that was sick, his heart was sick too. Naaman had done some bad things, but God still loved him and wanted to have a relationship with him too. The Bible tells us we all are in need of forgiveness. Sometimes people need physical healing, but all of us need our hearts healed. We all need Jesus to forgive us of our sins so we can have a relationship with God. Long ago sin entered the world and our relationship with God broke (and our hearts with it). God sent Jesus to heal our hearts and restore our relationship with God by being the ultimate sacrifice for our sins.
We know that’s the end of the story, but let’s go back to the beginning. Let’s read 2 Kings 5:3-5, “Now the Syrians on one of their raids had carried off a little girl from the land of Israel, and she worked in the service of Naaman’s wife. 3 She said to her mistress, “Would that my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.” 4 So Naaman went in and told his lord, “Thus and so spoke the girl from the land of Israel.” 5 And the king of Syria said, “Go now, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel.”
The servant girl, was taken from her home and her family was gone. She now was a slave. This means she had to work for Naaman’s family forever and would never get paid or have her freedom. It would have been really easy for her to keep her mouth shut and never tell Naaman’s wife about the man who could heal Naaman. But she didn’t. She did the right thing. She forgave him and got him the help he needed. In fact, Naaman was healed and he started to worship God himself. Look at 2 Kings 5:7 when he tried to pay Elisha, but Elisha refused. Then Naaman said, “If not, please let there be given to your servant two mule loads of earth, for from now on your servant will not offer burnt offering or sacrifice to any god but the Lord.”
He tells Elisha, from now on he’s offering sacrifices only to God. The one true God, not all those pretend gods anymore. Because of the servant girl, Naaman’s life changed forever and probably many others lives in Naaman’s family and the army he led.
Was this girl a grown up? No. Did anyone force her to help Naaman? No. She did it because she loved God and loved others, she even loved someone who took her away from her family. You do not have to wait to grow up to have a relationship with God. You can have one right now, at your age. You can do the right thing right now too. AND you can forgive other people, just like Jesus forgives us. None of those things have an age limit or a height requirement. Remember, Jesus was a baby when He came to earth and changed the world forever.
Small Group Discussion
Say: Today we heard the story about Naaman and the servant girl. This story showed us a couple of things 1) That God doesn’t want to just heal our bodies, but sent His Son to heal our hearts and 2) It showed us that you can be any age to have a relationship with God and be obedient to Him. Let’s go over these questions and see what you remember from the story.
- What did Naaman do to the servant girl? He took her away from her home & her family, he made her a slave
- What was wrong with Naaman physically (on his body)? He was very sick and had leprosy
- What was wrong with Naaman’s heart? He had sinned a lot and didn’t follow God. His heart was sick as well.
- Who did the servant girl tell Naaman to see? Elisha the prophet
- What did Naaman think the first time Elisha’s servant said to wash in the river? That he was too important for that. Naaman thought he didn’t need God
- What did Naaman want to give Elisha after he was healed? Money, but Elisha wouldn’t take it.
- What did Naaman decide to do after he was healed? Worship God as the only, true God.
- Would anyone of this have happened if the servant girl didn’t choose to forgive? No, Naaman wouldn’t have been healed or worshipped God.
The servant girl chose to have a clean heart, and do the right thing and because of that Naaman’s sick and sinful heart became clean too. Let’s look at our Bible Challenge for this week.
This idea is based on Stuff We Do’s blog post.
This week’s Memory Verse: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10
Have one child look up Psalm 51:10 and read it for the group.
Say: God is the only one that can make our hearts clean and He did so by sending His son Jesus to die for our sins on the cross.
Give each child a foam heart and washable marker.
For 2nd-4th Graders Say: Take this heart and write some sins you struggle with on it. All over it. These are all the things that make our hearts sick and dirty. When we have Jesus in our life, He takes all those things away. He washes our hearts clean (have each child dip their heart in the water and wash it clean).
For K-1st Graders Say: Take this heart and color it the way you think our hearts look when we have sin in our life, when our hearts look sick. Lying, disobeying our parents, stealing, being mean…these are all the things that make our hearts sick and dirty. When we have Jesus in our life, He takes all those things away. He washes our hearts clean (have each child dip their heart in the water and wash it clean).
The girl in our story had a clean heart. She loved God and obeyed Him. It doesn’t matter how old you are, you can have a clean heart through Jesus Christ.
Prayer: Ask children if they have any prayer needs and then close in prayer.
Thanks for letting me share,