LESSON 4 -The Gardener Has To Wait For The Fruit!

Concepts Children Learn:

God is patient with me. God wants me to be patient with others. God's Spirit helps me to be patient.

Prep:Have your Bible Marked with the following verses: Galatians 6:9-10, Hebrews 6:10, Philippians 1:6. Print off the story pages either in b&w or color. You will already have #1 if you have been doing the lessons in order. B&W pages: 1, 1 color, 2, 3, 4, 4 color, 5 color.

If you don't have it yet, make up a sample of the Fruity Bear craft. See Craft page for patterns and directions, You will be using him for the Circle Talk Time. Print off the story pages wither in color or black & white. Story pictures in color:

Circle Talk Time Skit: Have an assistant read the part of Fruity Bear or use a little-kid voice. See craft page for supplies and directions. Each can highlight their words with a highlighter marker.

The numbers in parentheses tell you what Story Page to hold up while you are telling the story. (You don't need to read the words on the actual story pages. They are for use as posters or coloring pages). Only read words that are not in parentheses for the lesson. The words in parentheses tell you what actions you do.

LESSON: The Gardener Has To Wait For The Fruit! - (Time: about 4 minutes)
Today's Bible Verses: Galatians 6:9; Hebrews 6:10. Other verses used as reference: Galatians 5:22-23, Philippians 1:6,

(1) Today we will be talking again about the fruits of the Spirit - the things that God's Spirit produces in us - things like love, joy and peace. Another thing that God's Spirit produces in us is patience. Patience? Some of you might be thinking, I don't like patience. (Shake head no). I want what I want when I want it. But, sometimes we have to have patience. Listen to this Bible verse: (Read Galatians 6:9).Think about a gardener: After he plants his fruit trees, does he go out the next day and see fruit on his trees? No...(shake head no). Its not the right time yet. (2) First he has to plant the tree. Then he just has to wait. (Point to sun). He has to give the tree lots of time to get the sunshine that it needs. (point to rain). And he needs to let the rain fall on it and give it time to grow, so it can produce fruit. (3) Then maybe after a few months he is tired of waiting, so he goes out in the middle of the winter to pick his fruit when there is snow on the tree. Do you think there will be fruit on it then? No...(shake head no). its still not the right time yet. By now the gardener is getting mad because he's tired of waiting. And, he is tired of working so hard to help his tree produce fruit. By this time, he feels like giving up. He even thinks about chopping the tree down! (4) But, if the gardener waits a little longer, he will start to see little plums forming on the branches. But, look! The plums are still green. Its still not time yet. (Shake head no). He needs to give the tree more time to let the sun make the fruit ripe.

(5) But, now look what happens! Now the fruit is ripe! Now he can enjoy the yummy fruit! Even though it was hard to wait that long, now the gardener is so-o-o happy! He is so happy that he did not give up. And, he is happy that he did not get mad and chop the tree down. And, he is glad that he kept doing the right thing.

Sometimes we have to be patient like the gardener too. Sometimes we get tired of doing good things. Its hard to keep being patient, especially when someone is trying to upset us on purpose. We start to lose our patience when people keep doing mean things to us over and over. We feel like hitting them back if they hit us. We feel like calling them names if they call us names. We just want them to change. We don't feel like being patient with them or forgiving them. (Shake head no). Sometimes we just feel like complaining and giving up.

But what does God want us to do when we get tired of waiting for things to change? God doesn't want us to give up (Shake head no): Let's listen to our verse again: (Read Galatians 6:9 again). Sometimes we get discouraged. We feel like things are not going to change. But,God is doing a lot of things that we don't even know about! Every minute, God is changing people's hearts. His Spirit is helping them produce more fruit if they are connected to Jesus. And, God sees all the good things we do. He sees the love we show to others. He sees when we are being kind and sharing what he has given to us. He will not forget. Listen to this verse: (Read Hebrews 6:10).

Even for grown-ups, it is really hard to be patient sometimes. But, the really great thing is: We can ask God to help us be patient, and he will. We're not good at being very patient on our own. But when we rely on God, his Spirit helps us go through bad times without being grumpy and without complaining. He helps us be patient with others when they are not acting right. After all, if we think about it, God is patient with us too. He waits for us to say we are sorry when we do wrong things. He doesn't just chop us down. He gives us time to come to him and pray, and ask for forgiveness. Then he forgives us when we ask him to! (Shake head yes). When he is patient with us, he is showing us how to be kind and patient with others. He doesn't change us all in one day either, so we have to give others time for God to work in them too.

God remembers the good things you do. He won't forget. So, keep on being patient. ( 5 again). God will produce good things in others, and he will produce good things in you when you trust in God. Hey! Look who's here! Its our friend Fruity Bear!

CIRCLE TIME SKIT: (What does this mean for me?)

Fruity Bear: (sad) Hi everybody (he says in a discouraged way). Here, you can have these. (He hands you some plums). I don't want them.
Teacher: Fruity Bear! You don't look very happy today. What's wrong?
Fruity Bear: I just feel like giving up! Its too hard to keep being good! So I don't want the plums because they mean that I am patient. And, I don't want to be patient.
Teacher: (Look at kids) Uh-oh. It looks like Fruity bear is discouraged.
Fruity Bear: But why should I keep on doing what is right anyway?
Teacher: Because Jesus wants us to?
Fruity Bear: Yeah...but, I keep messing up. And, what is the point, when everybody is just being mean to me?
Teacher: Well, the point is...if they see that you are not being mean back to them, maybe they will see the good that you are doing. Then maybe they will go to God and pray because they will want to be like Jesus too. But, I think you are forgetting something.
Fruity Bear: What's that?
Teacher: Well, listen to this verse: (Read Hebrews 6:10).
Fruity Bear: God remembers all the good things I do? Like when I don't hit back, and when I don't push somebody who cut in front of me?
Teacher: Yes! He remembers all the good things...even the things you do without thinking. Like when you gave me a big smile this morning. It brightened up my whole day when you were so friendly!
Fruity Bear: It did? Oh...well, that makes me happy that I smiled at you then.
Teacher: I know its hard to keep going when all we see is people being mean and doing wrong things. But, God is patient with them, and he wants us to be patient with them too. After all, we all do a lot of wrong things too, and God is patient with us.
Fruity Bear: (silence)....Yeah. I guess you are right.
Teacher: God doesn't expect you to be patient all by yourself, ya know. He is there to help you.
Fruity Bear: Yeah, I know you are right. And...well...I sure do need his help.
Teacher: Yeah, I need his help too. We all do. Do you want some of these plums back?
Fruity Bear: Yeah, o.k. But give me lots! I think God will help me be really patient! (Stick a bunch of plums on his fur). So, can I stay and pray with you?
Teacher: You sure can. Whoever wants to, can pray with us too. (Say prayer below).
Transition: Let's bow our heads, close our eyes and fold our hands. You can say a prayer after me if you'd like to.
Dear God, Thank you for being patient with me. Thank you for loving me always and not giving up on me. Please help me to be patient with others. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Transition: Now we have some fun crafts and activities that go with this lesson. Go To Activities Page for activities. Go to Crafts Page for Week 4 crafts.

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