'He has said, “I will never leave you; I will always be by your side.' Hebrews 13:5b


Week 2 objective: to discover that this verse is about a promise; it is one of God’s promises to us.

Game - 7 mins
Aims: to think about promises.
You will need: ‘Twelve promises’ (see Printables), masking tape, chairs, lively music and the means to play it.

Before the session set out a row of chairs; you will need the same number of chairs as you have children. Turn every second chair around by 180 degrees so that each chair is facing the opposite direction to its neighbour. Use the masking tape to stick the twelve promises to the backs of the chairs – one promise per chair. If you have fewer than 12 chairs, put the remaining promises to one side. If you have more than 12 chairs, you will need to include some chairs without a promise attached. Play a game of musical chairs. The first time the children sit down there will be sufficient chairs for one per child - ask each child to read the promise attached to their chair. Now remove one of the chairs and play the game again. This time one of the children will be ‘out’. Ask each of the children remaining in the game to read the promise attached to their chair. Remove a second chair and play the game again. Ask the seated children to read the promises aloud again. Keep playing the game until only one chair remains. If you have time and didn’t use all the ‘promises’ the first time, use the ‘spare’ promises and play another round of musical chairs.

Talk about - 6 mins
You will need: a large sheet of paper or a whiteboard, marker pens and a Bible.

Before the session write the verse on the sheet of paper or whiteboard.

Read the verse aloud and explain that this verse will help us learn more about God’s love and protection.

Recap briefly what the children talked about in ‘Week 1’. Underline the word ‘Hebrews’. Encourage one of the children to find ‘Hebrews’ in the Bible. Remind the children that ‘Hebrews’ is a letter. People who study the Bible aren’t sure who wrote the letter but they think it was written to a group of Jewish Christians. The letter encourages the reader to keep going in the middle of troubles and difficulties. The first readers of ‘Hebrews’ were having a difficult time because they were Christians. Many of the people around them didn’t believe that Jesus was God’s Son. They tried to stop the Christians believing; they tried to stop them telling other people about Jesus too. Amongst all the unkindness this letter arrived – ‘Don’t give up’ it said, ‘keep going’.

Underline the word ‘He’. Point to the rest of the verse and ask who the writer was talking about when he wrote the word ‘He’. Listen to the children’s answers and respond positively. Explain that the writer was talking about God. Write the word ‘God’ next to the verse. Read the verse again this time substituting the word ‘God’ for ‘He’.

Talk about the game the children have played. Show the children some of the twelve promises.

Talk about the promises that God has given to us. Explain that there are hundreds of promises in the Bible. Point to the verse and explain that this is one of God’s promises. Explain that the Bible teaches that God always keeps his promise; he always does what he says he is going to do. God only makes promises that he can and will keep.

Talk about the different promises we make. Talk about how sometimes we find it hard to keep a promise. Talk about what it feels like if somebody doesn’t keep a promise. Explain that Christians believe that if we make a promise that is good and right God will help us to keep it.

Point to the verse again and explain that God first made this promise to the Israelites (Deuteronomy 31:6), but now the writer to the Hebrews says God has made this promise to all Christians everywhere.

If you have time, talk about trusting God. Write the word ‘trust’ next to the verse. Ask the children if they know what the word ‘trust’ means. Explain that the Bible teaches that trusting God means believing that what he says is true. Trusting God means believing he will always keep his promises.

If you have time, talk about why Christians believe trusting God is a great thing to do. With older children explain that a Christian who trusts in God, lives each day with God as their close friend. Talk about the Bible teaching that God is pleased when people trust in him. Explain that when Christians trust that God loves them they feel his peace on the inside; when they trust he is powerful they pray believing their prayers will be answered; when they trust he is wise they ask for his help and guidance. If you have time, explain that sometimes it’s hard to keep trusting God, but Christians believe that the Holy Spirit helps them. As the Holy Spirit works in peoples lives he helps them to believe that what God says is true.

With younger children, you may prefer to simply talk about people trusting God and feeling peaceful on the inside.

Point to the verse again and explain that next week we will take a closer look at this promise.

Song - 2 mins
To the tune ‘Is this the way to Amarillo?’ (chorus only, including the ‘Sha la la lala lalala’)

God has said, ‘I’ll never leave you;
I will always be by your side.’
God has said, ‘I’ll never leave you’;
Hebrews chapter 13, 5

(‘Sha la la lala lalala’ bit)
God has said, ‘I’ll never leave you’ (clap, clap)
God has said, ‘I’ll never leave you’ (clap, clap)
God has said, ‘I’ll never leave you’ (clap, clap)
Hebrews chapter 13, 5

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