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God is a God of love

    • God loves me and cares for me, and I should care for others just like God

      Rationale

      At this stage of development children’s concept of love is tied to family connections and self identity. Children understand love through their experiences of bonding with family and friends. To understand that God is a God of love they need to be able to identify love (1 Corinthians 13:4-8) and develop a vocabulary that explains and expresses love. They need to understand that love demonstrates the ‘Fruit of the Spirit’ (Galatians 5:22). God demonstrates all these things to us.

      Key Concepts

      • God created the universe so everyone and everything would have a perfect home (Creation)
      • God created us to be like him and experience his love (Relationship)
      • God created us to be loved and to love others in return. (Families)
      • God’s love is for everyone all the time. (Unconditional)
      • God’s love is endless. (Eternal)
      • God’s love is powerful. (Salvation)
      • God loves us even when we don’t love Him. (Sacrificial)
      • God’s love brings security and comfort. (Free from all fear)
      • God’s love is Holy. (Set apart from everything bad)
      • God’s love will in the end conquer all bad things (hope)
      Scripture References
      Genesis 1 - God created all things good, a perfect place for us and all his creations to live in
      Genesis 1:26,27 - we were created like God so that we might be like God in the way we live. As God is love, so this is our highest calling
      John 3:16 - real love is shown by what you do, and God shows his love by giving his all
      The Gospels have many incidents where the love of Jesus was shown in the way he cared for others. Some examples are:
      Matthew 4:23-25 - Jesus healed people
      Matthew 8 - heals a leper and ‘touches’ him; cares about the Roman centurion
      Matthew 9 - more healing
      Luke 19:2 - Zaccheus, the man up a tree
      1 Corinthians 13:4-8 - the love chapter
      Galatians 5 - what God requires from us is fulfilled by loving God and each other, v14. The Spirit helps us to do this, v16-23. Love comes from God, v22.
      1 John 4:8 - God is love
      Revelation 21,22 - no more tears and pain

      Resources

      Bible App resource with animated Bible stories fro iPad and Android - many to choose from, Bible for Kids from Bible.com is a good one
      http://www.5lovelanguages.com/resources/books/ - commercial site but has some free study guides; good book to own
      https://bible.org/seriespage/god-love - section from series, the Joy of Knowing God
      http://www.theopresents.com/collections/curriculum - commercial site but has series of animated videos which explain theology for young students
      http://veggietales.com/vtmain/ - commercial site for popular videos
      http://whatsinthebible.com/ - commercial site for ‘Buck Denver’, wide range of resources
      http://colinbuchanan.com.au/ - commercial site for popular songs for young people
      http://www.vineyardresources.com/equip/children - commercial site for Vineyard resources
      http://www.matthiasmedia.com.au/2wtl/resources.html - commercial site, wide range of quality resources
      http://www.reformed.org/documents/index.html?mainframe=http://www.reformed.org/documents/cat_for_young_children.html - Westminster Catechsim for Children. Historically a commons ay of teaching young people was by them learning the answers to a set of questions, the whole be called a Catechism. This is not in fashion now, but the questions and answers themselves are useful as a way of focusing precisely on what young people need to learn, though other methods might be used the the question and answer model.
      God loved us so much that He sent the Holy Spirit to be with us:

       

      Ideas/Strategies for Lessons

      • Brainstorm, draw pictures, discuss - How do you show your parents/family that you love them?
      • Draw a picture of the people you love.
      • Draw a picture of the people who love you.
      • Bring something to school and tell the class why you love it.
      • Make a Y chart of Love: Love looks like, feels like, and sounds like.
      • Learn a song about God’s love using actions, movement and beat.
      • Learn a poem/scripture about love using actions, movement and beat.
      • Dramatise an appropriate Bible story on love. E.g. The Good Samaritan.
      • Make something for someone you love: cooking, craft, technology, writing, display.
      • Do something to show love to others: acts of service.
      • Possible Creative Activity: Heart Hands - 
        • Materials: Photocopied heart on coloured paper
        • 2 different coloured paints
        • 4 x Paint brushes to paint hands
        • Bucket of soap water
        • Towel to dry hands
        • Scissors
        • Whole punch
        • Thread or thin ribbon
        • Markers and crayon
        • Activity: Children cut out photocopied heart. Children punch hole in top of heart (assistance may be needed). Thread ribbon and tie loop. Paint children’s hands two different colours. Children press hands in the middle of heart – overlapping to show caring. (Holly Johnson - SCC)
      • Make a “Count Your Blessings” presentation to show how much you are loved. This can be in presented in any form such as a poster, book, digitally or electronically, as a performance, art.
      • God loved us so much that He sent Jesus to show us His love: