Valentines Day is the day Saint Valentine was executed in 278 AD. One way you can celebrate Valentine’s Day with your students is to tell the story of Saint Valentine.
Saint Valentine was a priest and a bishop, and was martyred in Rome under Claudius II and buried on February 14th. The story of his life has some great applications you can use with your students.
Valentine was born in Rome during the third century. He was a priest and then a bishop. During that time, the emperor of Rome, Claudius II, wanted to end Christianity, so he outlawed Christianity and killed Christians.
Claudius waged war on many nations to make the kingdom of Rome larger, but he had a hard time recruiting soldiers. He believed this was because men didn’t want to leave their wives, so he outlawed marriage.
Valentine continued to preach about God, and whenever a Christian couple wanted to be married, he would perform the marriage ceremony. Because of this, he was arrested and jailed.
Emperor Claudius liked Saint Valentine and invited him to the palace many times to talk to him. Valentine knew Claudius needed to ask Jesus into his heart and be saved, so Valentine talked to Claudius about Jesus often.
This made the emperor furious, and he order Valentine to not mention Jesus again. Valentine knew Claudius would have him killed if he didn’t stop talking about Jesus, but he also knew Claudius needed to hear about Jesus. He made the decision to share the Gospel with the emperor.
The emperor became so furious that he order Valentine to renounce his faith. Valentine wouldn’t do that, and Claudius order him to be beaten with clubs. When he still wouldn’t renounce Jesus, Claudius ordered him stoned to death and beheaded. Valentine was buried on February 14th.
The life of Saint Valentine offers us these lessons:
- It is important to share the Gospel.
- Marriage is important to God.
- Don’t let anything, even death, stop you from declaring Jesus is Lord.
There are some years God gives me a word for Revival Fire for Kids. In 2017, He’s given me several words. It has become like an explosion in my spirit. I believe 2017 will be a year like none other. Here are some of the things God is showing me.
John 15:4-5 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
God has been speaking this to me for a while now, and it has revolutionized my understanding of how to “do” ministry. For too long, we have operated our ministries in a man-centered way. Yes, we’ve admitted God is sovereign and in the center of everything, but do we act like this is true?
Do we seek God’s guidance on what to do next and what plans to make and events to have, or do we do what we’ve always done in the past? Do we get our marching instructions by spending time in the presence of God, or do we follow the advice of a “successful” children minister who wrote a new book?
What do we consider successful? To God, success is not measured by the results. It is measured by faithfulness and obedience. Do we strive to accomplish what God has promised, or do we yield and allow God to do it through us. When upsets happen, and they will, do we trust that God has things under control, or do we wring our hands, worry, and try to fix things?
This year, I am determined to abide and yield to God and trust Him every step of the way.
John 15:11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
“God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” — John Piper
Another word that God has exploded in my spirit is the word Joy. God is showing me He wants me to be joyful and happy in Him. I’ve heard the catch phrase at times in Christian circles, “God doesn’t care if we’re happy as much as He wants us to be holy.” I didn’t realize how false this statement is.
The truth is He want us to find our happiness and holiness in Him. Isaiah 35:8-10 calls it the Highway of Holiness and says gladness and joy will overtake those on this highway. Only those in the narrow way will be found there. Not only that, there is safety on this highway. No ravenous beasts can be found there.
Isaiah 35:8-10 And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness; it will be for those who walk on that Way. The unclean will not journey on it; wicked fools will not go about on it. No lion will be there, nor any ravenous beast; they will not be found there. But only the redeemed will walk there, and those the Lord has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.
The more time I spend enjoying God, the easier it is to handle the stress within my life. I am learning that finding joy in Him really does give me strength. John Piper calls this Christian Hedonism. You can read more about Christian Hedonism at this link.
Matthew 16:16-17 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.
1 Peter 1:7-9 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
The final word I want to share with you is Christ revealed. Many times, we children’s pastors lament because more children aren’t being saved or baptized in the Holy Spirit. Many live in secular homes. How can we possibly make a difference in their lives in one hour a week? The truth is we can’t, but Christ can. None of us have any chance of knowing Christ, no matter what our background was, unless the Holy Spirit reveals Christ to us. The same is true with our students. Don’t strive to be your students’ Holy Spirit. Instead teach the truth of God’s Word and pray for Christ to be revealed in their hearts.
I know this to be true. I grew up in a home that was far away from God. I went to church when I was 13 on a church bus because I heard there were cute guys. One night in a youth service, the Holy Spirit revealed Christ to me, I yielded, and my life was never the same.
Don’t only pray for Christ to be revealed in the hearts of your students; pray for Christ to be revealed in a greater way in your own heart, and watch what happens. That’s my prayer for 2017.
Happy New Year from Revival Fire for Kids!
I won’t have any more posts until after Christmas. I wished you a blessed Christmas and pray God’s reveals His love for you in a new way this Christmas.
This Sunday is Christmas, and I’m sure you want to help children understand the real meaning of Christmas. I hope I can help you. The real meaning comes from John 3:16.
John 3:16 ( ICB ) For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son. God gave his Son so that whoever believes in him may not be lost, but have eternal life.
God loves us so much, He gave us His only son, born at Christmas, to save us and give us eternal life.
1. Tell the history of the Christmas Tree and how Christians used it to share the Gospel. You can find the story at this link.
2. Use the Christmas Tree for object lessons. Here are a few.
Apples: We hang apples from the Christmas tree because Adam and Eve sinned by eating the apple. Jesus came to Earth to save us from our sins.
Evergreen: Just as evergreen trees grow all year long and are always green, Jesus came to Earth to give us everlasting life.
Holly: The holly we hang on Christmas trees is red and reminds us of the blood Jesus shed to save us from our sins.
Tree Top: The tree top is usually an angel or a star. Both were in the sky the night Jesus was born. The angels proclaimed the good news to the shepherds. The star lighted the way of wise men traveling to Bethlehem.
Lights: Jesus is the light of the world.
Ornaments: Round bulbs represent Jesus coming to Earth. Other ornaments represent that God wants to give us good things.
Tree: The tree itself can represent the tree of life that Jesus came to Earth to restore to us. It can also represent the cross where Jesus died for our sins. We cut down a tree for Christmas just as Christ was cut down for our sins. But we resurrect the tree in our homes just as Christ was resurrected after 3 day.
Wreath: Wreaths are a great symbol to teach children about Christmas. Wreaths are circular. This symbolizes eternal life. It can also symbolize God’s unending love. We usually hang wreaths on the door to welcome guests just as Jesus welcomes us to have eternal life in Him. Wreaths are made out of evergreen symbolizing again everlasting life in Christ.
3. Tell the Tale of Three Trees. The Tale of Three Tress is a folk legend told for many centuries to teach the importance of Christ’s life. The author is unknown. Here’s the link to tell the story in Kidmin this Christmas.
Certain colors are associated with Christmas. You can use these colors to teach children about Christmas by showing different color ornaments or decorations.
Red symbolizes Christ was born on Christmas so He could shed His blood for the sins of the world.
Romans 5:9 Now that we have been justified by his blood, how much more will we be saved from wrath through him!
Green is the color of the evergreens that last all year long even through the winter snow. It symbolizes eternal life that Jesus came to give. If we believe in Him, we will have eternal life in Heaven with Jesus.
John 3:16 For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
White symbolizes the purity of Christ. He lived His life on Earth without ever sinning, He cleanses us from our sins when we become His children. Our sins become as white as snow.
Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
Gold symbolizes the three wise men. Some called them kings. They brought gifts Jesus when he was born: gold, frankincense, and myrrh to show Jesus was born a king. He came to this Earth as a baby, but He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Matthew 2:1-2 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.
Silver has two meanings. It symbolizes the star of Bethlehem that the wise men followed. But it also symbolizes shepherds who rang their silver bells in Bible times to help the sheep find their way. When Jesus was born, angels appeared to shepherds so they could worship Him. Jesus as our Great Shepherd. Jesus came to Earth to help us find our way back to God.
John 10:11, 14-15 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.
What a Hero Looks Like
On Veteran’s Day, we honor our military heroes who have fought for freedom. These men and women are warriors who fight against evil. Today, I’m going to tell you a story recorded in the Bible about another warrior who became a hero. His name was King David. King David shows us what a hero looks like and how we can become heroes of the faith.
Do what’s right. David was responsible for the sheep in his father’s field before he became a warrior or a king. Even though it was hard work, David took care of the sheep and did what was right when nobody else was looking. What right things can you do when nobody is looking?
Difficulties prepare us for greater challenges. Before David became famous for fighting Goliath, he had some difficult things happen in his life. Once while he was watching the sheep, a bear tried to attack. David killed the bear with his slingshot. Another time, he killed a lion with a slingshot. When David faced Goliath, he was prepared because of the times he had to fight the lion and the bear. When you go through hard times, ask God to help you through them in a way that will prepare you for the future.
Heroes have convictions and beliefs based on God’s Word. David was treated unfairly many times throughout his life. King Saul, the man who was king before David, was jealous of David and tried to kill him many times. David hadn’t done anything wrong, but he had to run for his life. King Saul was unfair to David, but David still treated Saul the way God’s Word said. David showed the king love and respect. When you’re treated unfairly, do you do what God’s Word says and treat people like you want to be treated?
Heroes help others. When David was king, he did what he could to help others. Once he had his men search for his friend’s crippled son so that he could invite him to the palace and treat him like royalty.
Heroes have the courage to repent and fix what they’ve done wrong. David wasn’t perfect. He did some very bad things. He even stole the wife of another man. But when he was confronted, David had the courage to confess his sin and take the consequences.
Heroes are honest even when under pressure. When David was running from King Saul, he found Saul alone in a dark cave. David cut a piece of Saul’s robe. The next morning, David told Saul what he’d done. The king could have killed him, but he was still honest. Saul felt bad and stopped pursuing him because he told the truth. Do you tell the truth even when it is hard.
Heroes resist temptation. David helped a man named Nabal by keeping robbers away from his sheep, but Nabal wouldn’t even give his men food and lodging. David could have attacked Nabal, but he resisted the temptation and left Nabal alone. What temptations do you need to resist?
We can all become heroes of the faith, but like David, we need God to help us. The most important thing David did to become a hero was to spend time with God and to rely on God.
The United States of America is once again in an election year. Children are not immune to this even though they don’t vote. They hear the political commercials, the news, and people’s opinions. This gives children’s pastors an opportunity to teach children the responsibility we have as Christians to our nation’s government.
Here is a list of 5 things you can teach your students about elections:
God created government. Children need to understand that God created government for a purpose, and whoever wins the election, God places leaders in power. The Bible story of Saul being made king is a good example. Saul was a wicked king, but he still did a lot of good, and he was still placed in power by God.
Romans 13:1 (ICB) All of you must obey the government rulers. No one rules unless God has given him the power to rule. And no one rules now without that power from God.
The Purpose of Government is to Punish the Guilty & Protect the Innocent. God put government in place for a reason. It is there to mete out justice and protect its citizens from injustice. You could talk to the children about times they have been treated unfairly or hurt by others and what rules were in place to help them. A good Bible story about going to the government leaders for justice would be when two women brought their baby to King Solomon to have him rule who the mother was. God gave Solomon wisdom to make the right decision.
Romans 13:3-4 (ICB) Those who do right do not have to fear the rulers. But people who do wrong must fear them. Do you want to be unafraid of the rulers? Then do what is right, and the ruler will praise you. He is God’s servant to help you. But if you do wrong, then be afraid. The ruler has the power to punish; he is God’s servant to punish those who do wrong.
Christians should Obey Laws. You may want to explain that God expects Christians to obey laws even when they don’t agree with those laws. The only laws we are to disobey are the ones that we would have to disobey God to obey. The story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego would be a good example of that.
Romans 13:4-5 (ICB) He is God’s servant to help you. But if you do wrong, then be afraid. The ruler has the power to punish; he is God’s servant to punish those who do wrong. So you must obey the government. You must obey not only because you might be punished, but because you know it is the right thing to do.
God Requires Christians to Pay Taxes. Nobody wants to pay taxes, but everybody should. A great way to teach this is to show in the Bible where even Jesus paid taxes.
Romans 13:6-7 (ICB) And this is also why you pay taxes. Rulers are working for God and give their time to their work. Pay everyone, then, what you owe
him. If you owe any kind of tax, pay it. Show respect and honor to them all.
Pray for Leaders in the Government. The Bible is very clear that we should pray for our leaders. Friday I’ll post more about how children can pray for their government and leaders and for the upcoming elections.
1 Timothy 2:2 (ICB) You should pray for kings and for all who have authority. Pray for the leaders so that we can have quiet and peaceful lives—lives full of worship and respect for God.
by Tamera Kraft
This skit needs a devil puppet and a super hero puppet.
SIN: (Comes dancing in happy and excited.) Oh how I love this time of year. Everybody is worshipping me. Children are holding seines to conjure up my demons. Scary movies are putting my spirit of fear into people. My witches are sacrificing animals and children to me. Evil men are poisoning candy. I just love Halloween. As for those Christians, they hide out on Halloween. I’ve got them running scared and now I’m coming after you….ha…ha…ha. (Music begins playing.) What’s that. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Oh no! It’s Scripture Man.
SCRIPTURE MAN: Yes, Mr. Sin. I’m Scripture Man, strange visitor from heaven who came to Earth to give the Sword of the Word of God to anyone who will use it.
SIN: Well your sniveling little Christian won’t use the Word of God tonight. They’re trembling in their homes. They’re scared of me on Halloween.
SCRIPTURE MAN: Not this Halloween, Mr. Sin. This Halloween, God’s calling an army to make demons tremble tonight and every night.
SIN: (looks a little scared.) You can’t make me tremble tonight. Halloween’s my property.
SCRIPTURE MAN: God can make you tremble every night. James 2:19 says that you know there is a God and it makes you tremble.
SIN: (looking very scared. Pleading.) But this is Halloween. Please just let me have this one night. I promise I won’t bother any Christians. Please, just one night.
SCRIPTURE MAN: You have made Halloween a night of darkness. But John 1:5 says that the light shines in the darkness. We Christians are taking Halloween back. We are going to shine in the darkness you’ve created.
SIN: I won’t go. You can’t make me.
SCRIPTURE MAN: James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil and he must flee from you.
SIN: (whining) Please don’t.
SCRIPTURE MAN: Mark 16:17 says that if we believe in Jesus, then in his name we can drive out demons. Children, on the count of three, I want you to drive Mr. Sin out of here by shouting the name of Jesus. Ready…1…2…3 IN THE NAME OF JESUS.
(Mr. Sin shrieks in terror and disappears.)
SCRIPTURE MAN: Remember, Children, be strong in the Lord and the power of his might. Good-bye. (Flies away.)
© 2001, Revival Fire 4 Kids, Tamera Kraft
Children today are bombarded with the occult through TV shows, cartoons, movies, and books targeted toward children. Today, it is more important than ever before to teach kids the Biblical view of the occult. If we shirk this duty, the secular world will teach them that the occult is harmless fun.
Unfortunately, many children’s pastors and church leaders either participate in occult entertainment or would rather allow children to be involved so they won’t scare them unduly. God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear. We need to teach the whole truth of Scripture before Satan gains a stronghold with our children.
Here are 5 keys to teaching your students and children about the occult.
The Bible forbids it. There are many verses that directly forbid the occult. All verses are in New International Readers Version. These are just a few of the verses that forbid it.
Leviticus 19:31 Do not look for advice from people who get messages from those who have died. Do not go to people who talk to the spirits of the dead. If you do, they will make you “unclean.” I am the Lord your God.
Revelation 21:8 But others will have their place in the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. Those who are afraid and those who do not believe will be there. Murderers and those who pollute themselves will join them. Those who commit sexual sins and those who practice witchcraft will go there. Those who worship statues of gods and all who tell lies will be there too. It is the second death.
Deuteronomy 18:10-11 Here are things you must not do. Don’t sacrifice your children in the fire to other gods. Don’t practice any kind of evil magic at all. Don’t use magic to try to explain the meaning of warnings in the sky or of any other signs. Don’t take part in worshiping evil powers. 11 Don’t put a spell on anyone. Don’t get messages from those who have died. Don’t talk to the spirits of the dead. Don’t get advice from the dead.
Renouncing the Occult was a sign of repentance in the Bible: There was a group of people who got saved while Paul was preaching. The first thing they did after getting saved was to burn all of their occult materials even though they cost a lot of money. We should also get rid of anything we have that is occult.
Acts 19:17-20 The Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus heard about this. They were all overcome with fear. They held the name of the Lord Jesus in high honor. Many who believed now came and openly admitted the evil they had done. A number of those who had practiced evil magic brought their scrolls together. They set them on fire out in the open. They added up the value of the scrolls. They found that it would take more than two lifetimes to earn what the scrolls were worth. The word of the Lord spread everywhere. It became more and more powerful.
Teach children what the occult is. Because the occult is so pervasive in our culture, many adults and children don’t understand what the occult is and what things we should avoid. They need practical teaching and examples of occult practices they need to avoid. Here’s a list of a few occult practices, although not exhaustive.
- Witchcraft and sorcery
- Séances and talking to the dead (ghosts)
- Psychic powers
- Telling fortunes (astrology, tarot cards, Ouija board, 8 ball)
- Spirit or animal guides
- Anything demonic
Give children an opportunity to repent of Occult practices. Children need to know that if they’ve been involved in the occult, all they need to do is ask God to forgive them and turn away from their sin. This would be a good time to encourage your students to bring any occult paraphernalia to the church. You can have a bonfire to get rid of it just like the Christians did in Acts 19.
Teach children to Fear Not. Children have nothing to fear from demons, the occult, or Satan because God is all powerful. Remind them often while you are teaching against the occult that God has overcome the world. You might also want to pray with your students and ask God to take away their fears and nightmares.
2 Timothy 1:7 God didn’t give us a spirit that makes us weak and fearful. He gave us a spirit that gives us power and love. It helps us control ourselves.
Psalm 27:1 (NIV) The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid.
James 2:19 You believe there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that. And they tremble!