After completing this Sunday school lesson, the children will learn that God gives them the courage and encouragement they need to remain obedient to Him, even during tough times, worldly pressures, and persecution.
Courage, Daniel, Fearing God, Protection, Stand Firm, Shadrach Meshach & Abednego
AS KIDS ARRIVE (7 minutes)
Fire Escape (Maze) Click here
OPENING PRAYER AND PRAISE (5 minutes)
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MEMORY WORK (12 minutes)
"Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love."
1 Corinthians 16:13-14 NIV
Write the memory verse on the board and have the kids say it a few times. Then erase one of the words, such as "guard" and have them say it again. Then erase another word, then another, each time having the kids say the verse correctly from memory. Continue until all the words are erased.
SCRIPTURE READING AND DISCUSSION (15 minutes)
Now that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were acting as administrators over the province of Babylon, you would think their troubles would be over. Well think again. What happened next was totally unexpected. King Nebuchadnezzar decided to make an image of gold. A huge golden statue, nearly nine stories tall. When it was finished, all of the court officials were invited to the dedication ceremony. During the ceremony, a special announcement was made to all the people. Everyone must fall down and worship the statue whenever they heard certain music playing, or else be killed. But Shadrach, Meshach and Adednego belonged to God. Would they worship this golden image to stay alive, or remain faithful to God even if it meant death? Let's find out what happened.
Read Daniel 3:10-30
Have the children follow along in their Bibles as you read this passage. Except each time you come to the names of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, have the kids say these names with you out loud. (Each name is said 12 times in this short passage.)
1. When were the people supposed to worship the golden image? (Whenever they heard the music played.)
2. What would happen to someone who was caught not worshiping the image? (Killed in a furnace.)
3. Why did Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego have the courage to refuse to bow down to the statue? (They had faith that God would save them.)
4. What did Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego do in verse 28 that impressed the king so much? (They trusted in God and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any other god.)
5. Who did the king praise after the three came out completely unharmed? (God.)
6. How can we find the courage we need to remain faithful to God during times of trouble, pressure or persecution? (Answers will vary.)
CLASS EXERCISE (15 minutes)
Fiery Furnance (Skit) Click here
ALTERNATE CLASS EXERCISE (8 minutes)
Being Close to God (Activity) Click here
If using this activity, explain to the kids that the closer our relationship is to God, the more courage we will have to do what is right when faced with difficult situations.
APPLICATION (15 minutes)
Give each child a sheet a paper and a pencil, and ask them to write down at least three situations in which they might find themselves where they would have to be courageous in order to remain obedient to God. Some examples include when other kids are making fun of a students Christianity, or when someone refuses to listen to a Christian's views on creation. If time permits, have the children share one of their situations and ask them how they would react in that situation. What can we do as Christians to build up courage to stay obedient to God during these times?
Last week, we discovered that a reputation is built by doing something over and over. To have a reputation for being courageous and obedient during times of difficulty and worldly pressure, we must seek God's help over and over through prayer and reading God's Word. Hopefully we will never be faced with a life or death situation like that of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. However, during our life we will find ourselves in many situations that if we give in to the pressure or turn our backs on doing what it right, it could be very damaging to us or to others. It takes courage to tell others what the Bible says, what the truth is, and how Jesus is the Lord. But we can do it because God will always be there to help.
Come back next week to see how some fingers frightened a ruthless king.
CLOSING PRAYER (2 minutes)
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