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Share the following jokes with your class. And invite them to tell any (appropriate) jokes they may know themselves.
Tell them that today you are going to be talking about someone who should NOT have laughed…so for the jokes….see how many of them can listen to all of them and not laugh.
Does anyone need an ark built? Because I Noah guy.
How does Moses make tea? Hebrews it.
What do you call cheese that’s not yours? Nacho Cheese.
What did Abraham say on the day before Christmas? It’s Christmas, Eve.
My friend thinks he is smart. He told me an onion is the only food that makes you cry, so I threw a coconut at his face.
Why was 6 scared of 7? Because seven “ate” nine.
Why aren’t koalas actual bears? They don’t meet the koala-fications.
What animal can Noah not trust? A cheetah.
What do elves learn in school? The elf-abet.
What’s brown and sticky? A stick.
What’s a pirate’s favorite letter? You think it’s R, but it be the C.
All of these jokes are good fun but today we will be hearing about the time when Sarah laughed at something that God promised her. As a result, she learned a valuable lesson: Whenever God makes a promise He keeps it.
Objects Needed: Index cards or sturdy paper, Markers, Timer, Envelopes or Bags to put the cards in
For larger groups, increase the number of words/phrases on each card to make the game more challenging.
For added difficulty, add some “distractor” cards with words or phrases not in the verse.
Let’s play a game to start off today. Unless you would rather just sit there quietly? I didn’t think so! 🙂
The game is called, How old is TOO old?
I’m going to describe something and then give you an age. If you think someone is too old to be doing that than say “too old!”, and if you think the age is about right, say, “just right!”
Sucking your thumb Age 25
Alright, here we go:
Going to 1st grade: Age 44 (too old)
Learning how to spell ‘dog’ Age 4 (just right)
Talking like a baby Age 23 (too old)
Living with your parents Age 6 (just right)
Living with your parents Age 66 (too old)
Going to Work Age 36 (just right)
Having a baby Age 24 (just right)
Having a baby Age 95 (too old)
Going to College Age 23 (just right)
Riding in a car seat Age 42 (too old)
Today we are going to talk about one of these…but before we do, we need to revisit a promise we started to talk about last week.
Remember God told Abram that he would have lots and lots of kids? God had promised Abram a big family…even though he had ZERO kids and wasn’t getting any younger!
After that promise, Abram, and his wife Sari, did not have kids. They continued to be kidless.
We read their life story in Genesis. In there it talks about God coming to visit…again.
And he makes the same promise. Only this time, He doubles down.
Do you know what it means to double down?
How many of you have ever been playing a game or having a competition and while you thought you were going to win you just can’t seem to. Maybe you are racing a friend to see who’s the fastest. You tell your friend that whoever wins gets to decide what video game you are going to play together. After the first 2 races you are shocked that your friend beat you, both times. But you don’t give up, instead, you say…”Ok, whoever wins THIS race gets to pick the video game AND what we have for dinner!!”
You just doubled down. You decided on a prize and now, you just made the prize (or you might say the stakes) even higher.
God comes to visit Abram in Genesis 17 and he retells him that Abram is going to have a big family, AND then adds another guarantee to the mix.
He changes Abram, and his wife Sari’s, names.
Why does this matter? Because he changes their names so their names mean they will have a big family!
Sari, becomes Sarah.
Abram becomes Abraham. And the name Abraham means “the father of many nations”.
This would be like changing the name of the slowest person you know to Speedy Gonzalez! That would be ridiculous, right? Nobody that’s slow has the word “speedy” in their name!
But God promises Abram, now Abraham, once again, that he WILL have a big family. And he reminds them of this promise by changing his name.
Abraham and Sarah go about their business and a little under 3 months later some visitors show up at their tent…aka: their house. These aren’t just any visitors…listen to how Abraham greets them:
Abraham is hosting God!
So he does what would have been expected of him, he runs and hurries to prepare them food. Remember, they didn’t have cars back then, so after all that walking they would be hungry!
Listen to Abraham’s hurried preparations:
As they sit down to talk, we are told that Sarah, who was inside the tent, not able to see them, could hear what they were saying.
God tells Abraham what he said only 3 months earlier… “Sarah your wife shall have a son.”
Sarah heard this…and laughed. But not out loud…just to herself. Remember at the beginning we thought it was funny to think about a 44-year-old going to 1st grade! Well, Sarah thought about her 95-year-old self and thought it was funny to think about having a baby.
Abraham and Sarah were the age of Grandparents. Their days of being a wild young crazy couple were LONG over. And Sarah knew this. So when she heard talk of her having a baby…it was ….funny to her.
But the Lord, sitting where He couldn’t see her, or hear her, noticed that she laughed. And he asked Abraham, “Why is Sarah laughing, Is anything too hard for the Lord?”
Sarah, in that moment, forgot that God’s promises, however crazy they may seem, are guaranteed to come true. Even a woman, the age of your grandparents, having a baby.
We will see in 2 weeks (see the entire lesson series here) how this promise from God absolutely came true. Just like God had said it would.
God is the great promise keeper. What he promises comes to pass. Sarah, when she had Isaac probably held the Guinness Book of World Records for the oldest woman to ever have a baby! Was it because of some scientific miracle? Absolutely not! It was because God had promised that it would happen.
God keeps His promises…always!
Includes 5 full weeks of games, object lesson, fun lesson script, small group materials, take home sheet and more!
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Objects Needed: None
This game is played like Hide and Seek but with a twist.
One kids who will be “it: is blindfolded and placed in the middle of an open area.
All of the other kids stand around the room. They may not move and they must stay in one place.
IT counts to 10 and then everyone must laugh.
IT then takes 10 steps in whatever direction they choose. After 10 steps they count to 10 again and everyone laughs again and It gets to take 10 more steps. If IT tags someone they are out of the game and must go sit down.
Keep repeating the counting to 10 and 10 step pattern until only one person is left. That person is the winner. Make sure an adult is nearby so that It doesn’t get hurt while blindfolded.
Sarah tried to hide her laughter from the Lord but we cannot hide anything from Him. Even though we may not be able to see Him, He always knows what we are doing and thinking.
There are people who let us down all the time with the promises they make to us. They promise to say and do things that never happen. Eventually we don’t even believe them when they promise us something.
But God is different. Everything that God has ever promised has either already come true or is going to come true.
God is the great promise keeper. When he makes a promise, it is 100% guaranteed to come true!
What did God promise Abram (Abraham) and his wife Sari (Sarah)?
God promised them that they would have a big family, even though they had no children and were getting older.
Why did God change their names?
He changed their names to remind them of the promise. Sari became Sarah, and Abram became Abraham, which means “the father of many nations.”
How did Abraham react when he realized he was hosting God and His visitors?
Abraham hurried to prepare food for them and showed great hospitality.
What did God tell Abraham when they sat down to talk?
God repeated His promise that Sarah would have a son.
How did Sarah react when she heard God’s promise?
Sarah laughed to herself because she thought it was impossible for her to have a baby at her age.
What did God ask Abraham about Sarah’s laughter?
God asked Abraham why Sarah laughed and whether anything was too hard for the Lord.
What important lesson can we learn from this story?
We can learn that God keeps His promises, no matter how impossible they may seem. God’s promises always come true, and we should trust in Him.
What will you do this week as a result of today’s lesson?
Answers will vary
Objects Needed: None
Play a game called ‘Unbelievable’ to help the kids get to know each other and to remind them that God makes the impossible, possible. The kids will take turns saying 3 things about themselves. 2 of these things will be true and one will not be true. The rest of the group will then try to figure out which one is not true and say, ‘That’s Unbelievable!’
For example: a child could say, ‘I play the piano, I have a cat named Oreo, and my mom is a nurse.’ The class would then decided which one isn’t true and say, ‘Number 1 is unbelievable.’ There isn’t really a winner to this game. Keep playing until everyone has had a turn to share.
In our story today, Sarah heard the Lord say something that was unbelievable and without the help of God she would have been right. However, God promised that she would have a child and He always keeps His promises. Even if it means making the unbelievable come true.
Today’s Scripture: Genesis 18
Memory Verse: Keep in mind that the Lord your God is the only God. He is the only God who keeps His promise. -Deuteronomy 7:9
Today we talked about 2 remarkable events in Abram’s life. 2 events that reinforced God’s promises to Abram to make him a great nation.
It would have been easy for Abram to not take God’s promises very seriously. After all, he and his wife, Sari, were in their old age and long past any child-bearing years.
But God reminded Abram that He is in the promise-keeping business. First, he changes Abram’s name to Abraham, so that by his very name, he will be reminded of the promise. Abraham means, “father of many nations”.
Second of all, the Lord, along with 2 strangers (probably angels) came to visit Abraham one day at his tent and the Lord plainly told Abraham that he and Sarah would be having a son. Sarah’s quiet laughter to herself exposed her disbelief that this was even possible, but the Lord reminded Sarah and reminded us all of the question we must all answer, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”
Today we answered that question with an emphatic “No!”. Nothing is too hard for the Lord. He always keeps His promises!
God always keeps his promises...always!