It’s the season of gifts, gifts, and more gifts! What does God say about giving and receiving? Let’s find out!
Ask, Name a gift that you have given to someone you love.
How did you feel about giving it?
Have you ever given a really big gift to someone? Why did you do it?
Jesus tells of a woman who gave all of her money to God. Read Mark 12:41–44 together. Ask, Why do you think she gave everything she had to God? Why would she want to?
Let’s look up some verses that might give us some clues for answering that question. Assign students to small groups and have them look up each Bible verse listed below. Allow the students to discuss in their groups, and then talk about the verses as a class. List the many ways that God gives to us.
What God gives:
Isaiah 41:10—God will strengthen you and help you.
John 3:16—God gave us his Son and gives eternal life to those who believe in Jesus.
John 1:16—He gives us “grace upon grace” (ESV) or, put another way, “one gracious blessing after another” (NLT).
Romans 6:23—God gives us eternal life in Jesus.
1 Corinthians 2:9—No one can imagine what God has prepared for those who love him.
2 Corinthians 9:8—God provides everything you need.
Philippians 4:19—God meets all your needs.
James 1:17—Every gift is from God.
After reading those verses, why do you think the widow wanted to give everything she had to God? After discussion say, Even though she was very poor, this woman knew God loved her and was able to take care of her. She was thankful and wanted to show her thankfulness and love to him, so she gave everything she had.
How do you feel about what God has given you?
Would you be able to give everything back to him?
God doesn’t ask you to give everything back, but he does want you to understand that everything you have comes from him. Without the gift of his Son, Jesus, we would be stuck in our sins, wallowing forever. Without Jesus’ redeeming sacrifice on the cross, we’d have nothing but an empty heart and a meaningless existence. God gave us a Savior—the ultimate gift, the ultimate act of love, the one true source of forgiveness and life. God doesn’t want you to give because you have to, he wants you to give out of love and thankfulness for all that he has done for you.
Let’s read some verses that tell what God says about giving. Have students read and discuss the verses in their groups. Then, challenge them to make a list of the main points in each verse.
What God says about giving:
Proverbs 11:25—Giving refreshes our spirit.
Malachi 3:6–12—See what happens when you give to God. He will pour out blessings.
Luke 6:38—Give and it will be given to you.
Acts 20:35—“It is more blessed to give than to receive” (NLT).
2 Corinthians 9:7—Be a cheerful giver.
Matthew 25:31–40—When you give to others, you give to God.
Take another look at that passage in Matthew. Giving doesn’t always have to involve giving money to church or another ministry. You can give to God by comforting, loving, and helping others. What are some things you can give if you don’t have much money?
You give to the people you love because you want them to feel your love. God has given you a Savior, a heart of faith, and everything you have because he loves you! You can give to God and give to his people to show that you love him, too. The amazing thing is that you can’t out give God. When you give to him, he gives even more back to you!
Let’s pray: Heavenly Father, you have given me so much. You sent your only Son, Jesus, to die in my place and take away my sins. That is the biggest gift ever and yet, you still keep giving me more and more! Thank you! Please help me to see all the blessings that you have put into my life. Help me to want to give back to you by helping others and showing them your love. Amen.
Ways to practice giving as a class:
Food, clothing, or toy drive for the holidays—Get your church involved by having a collection for needy families or a rescue mission in your area.
Adopt a family—As a Sunday school class, collect needed items for a specific family in your church or community.
Random acts of kindness—Make a list of things that the children in your class could do to help others in small and big ways.
Secret friend—Draw names within your class. Do nice things for your secret friend and try not to get caught.
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