First Published April 4, 2020

Love Transforms…

By leaning on His love, we become the people God intends us to be…

Icebreaker

What songs have you had stuck in your head thsi week?  Do you like getting a song stuck in your head or does it annoy you?

Praise and Worship

Sermon

Digging Deeper

Read Ephesians 5:8-20

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live
as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness,
righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.

The video pointed out the conclusion to this passage – that we
should always give thanks for everything.

How do we give thanks for bad things in our lives? Do you think
that’s what the passage means?

Read 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in
Christ Jesus.

Can you give thanks for Coronavirus?

Do you think we are supposed to be grateful for it?

It’s not just Paul that talks about rejoicing always, it is a theme in
the Old Testament as well.

Check out Habakkuk 3:17-18

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive
crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle
in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.

To make this more relevant to a 21st century reader, the text might read:

“Though there is no food in the fridge, and the shelves in the supermarket are
bare; though the online shopping order that I placed yesterday didn’t come as
expected, and the pantry running low; though I’ve lost my job and my bank
balance is almost gone, yet will I rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my
saviour.”

How is it even possible to say that?

THIS WEEKS CHALLENGE

This week, write down 3 things each day that you’re grateful for.

Try not to have the same things multiple days in a row ie force
yourself to come up with new things each day.

It makes the bad things fade away as we focus on the good in our
lives.

Children’s Resources

What are some things that take our focus away from God?
How do those things change our friendship with God?

THANKFULNESS & PRAISE

How do we show God that we are thankful for the things He’s done for us?
How is being thankful different from praising God?
What are some ways you can praise God?
What are some things you can do to praise God with other people?
What are some things you can do to praise God by yourself?

YOUR VIEW OF GOD

Where have you seen God this week? Can you share your experience with your family and Friends?

COMMUNITY

What is community?  Why is it important for us?

ACTIVITIES

Choose one of the following activities and write a thankfulness list:
Make a Gratitude Tree
Make a Thankfulness Jar

GRATITUDE TREE

A gratitude tree is a simple way for your children to show what they are grateful for in a gorgeous,
visual way.

Grab a few fallen twigs and arrange them in a jar. You can use some sand or rocks to help stabilize
them. Have your children cut out some leaf-shaped pieces of paper, punch a hole in one end, and
attach a small loop of string. Keep the leaves in a jar beside the tree along with a pen or crayon.

Have your children write something they are grateful for on a leaf and hang it on a branch. You can
write on multiple leaves at once, or slowly build your tree,
writing on one gratitude leaf each day or week.

Thankfulness Jar

Find an empty jar and decorate it. Cut out some shapes from different coloured paper and then write
things that you are thankful for on them. Fill the jar with as many things that you can think of!

Keep adding to it through the year (you could even make it a weekly family ritual!). At the end of the
year you can read through and remember all the things that you have been thankful for.

Question: How does thinking about what we are thankful for help us (especially in relation to our
focus on God?