October 23, 2016
Theme: Keeping the Faith
Bible Reference: 2 Timothy: 4: 6-8, 16-18
Introduction: Good Morning girls and boys! I am so happy to see you all this morning! Do we have any new friends with us? (Welcome new friends.) Last Sunday we talked about prayer and how Jesus told us to keep praying always even when we have to wait to hear an answer from God. We learned that God is always working in our lives because he loves us so much. Even when we don’t immediately have an answer to our prayers God is listening and always wants to hear from us. Today I want to ask you all to raise your hand if you have ever run in a race or played any kind of game. I think all of us at some point have either ran in some sort of a race or played a game be it a sports game or a board game or any other type of game. Let me ask you another question. How many of you have ever won a race or a game? (Allow answers.) Wow! Lots of you have won a game! Winning a game or race feels really awesome doesn’t it? But what happens when you lose a game? It may feel a little bad. You may be disappointed or you may feel like quitting the race or game all together. If you really enjoy playing that game or running in a race, though, it doesn’t matter whether you win or lose. It only matters that you participated in the race or game, right?
Today in our Bible reading we are going to listen to another letter from Jesus’ follower, Paul. When Paul wrote this letter to Timothy he had been but in prison by the Roman government for spreading the good news of Jesus. Can you imagine how Paul may have felt? He may have felt sad and discouraged and maybe he felt like he wanted to give up. Let’s listen to Paul’s letter to Timothy and see what he says.
Bible Story: 2 Timothy 4:6-8
6As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. 7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
16At my first defense no one came to my support, but all deserted me. May it not be counted against them! 17But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. 18The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and save me for his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
Response: In Paul’s letter to Timothy, Paul says “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” Even though Paul has been abandoned by many of his friends and has been placed in prison for following Jesus, Paul does not give up because he believes in the good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection. He says, “The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and save me for his heavenly kingdom.” Paul did not lose his faith in God because he had very difficult times and went to prison for following Jesus. Paul continued to pray to God and continued to trust in God to answer his prayers. Just as Paul experienced the good news and promise of new life in Jesus, we too are also given new life through Jesus. There may be times in our lives where we face things that are very hard or sad, but just as we continue to run a race or play a game no matter if we win or lose, we too can have faith that God is always with us, loving us, listening to our prayers, and preparing the way for our lives to be in his heavenly kingdom.
Pray: Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of your son Jesus who died on the cross and rose again to new life so that we too may have life with you through him. Strengthen us through your Holy Spirit as we continue to trust and follow you in everything that we do in our lives. Amen
Say the Lord’s Prayer together.
Response Activity (Crafts, Singing, or another activity will be provided.)