Concepts Children Learn:

Even children are known by their actions. God's Spirt helps me have self-control. When we have self-control, we learn listen well, and think before we talk.

Prep: The follow-up section of the Intro Lesson is now available for you to use to help you talk to the children who come up to you after the lesson to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior. *Make sure you have an extra assitant in the class to help out when you are with the children who respond to the invitation. Allow them enough time to come up and ask them again if there is anyone who is ready to follow Jesus. Have your Bible Marked with the following verses: Luke 6:43-45, Proverbs 20:11, James 1:19-20, Phillippians 1:6, Hebrews 13:21. Print off the story pages either in b&w or color. You will already have most of them if you have been doing the lessons in order. The new pages are: 3, 4, and 7 all of which come in color also. B&W pages: 1 bw or 1 color, 2 and 2a, 3bw or 3 color, 4bw or 4 color, 5, 6 bw or 6color, 7 bw or 7 color, 8, 9, 10. You can use the story pages by themselves for 2, 3, and 4, or make the lift-the-flap page using this this bw front page, or this color front page. See craft page for directions.

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. Circle Talk Time Skit: Have an assistant read the part of Fruity Bear or use a little-kid voice. See craft page for directions. 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.

Today's Bible Verses: Luke 6:43-45, Proverbs 20:11, James 1:19-20. Circle Time Verses: Phillippians 1:6, Hebrews 13:21. Verses used as reference for lesson: Galatians 5:22-23, Galatians 6:7.

(1) We have been learning about all the good fruit that God's Spirit produces in us when we are connected to Jesus! I have a question for you: How can we tell what kind of fruit will grow on a tree? (Give the children a chance to answer, then continue). Well, we can look at what kind of tree it is. That will tell us what kind of fruit it will produce. (2) Let's look at this picture. What kind of fruit do you think it will havet? Well, it looks like a thorn tree to me. So, do you think it will have fruit? Let's see. (lift the flap) only has thorns because its a thorn tree. How about this tree? (3) This tree is a crabby crab apple tree. What kind of fruit do you think it will produce? (lift the flap) That's right. Crabby crab apples. These apples are no good to eat. The crab apples are too small, and they don't taste good. Those are bad trees, so they will only produce bad fruit. (4) But, how about this tree? Its an orange tree. Can you tell me what kind of fruit will it have? (lift the flap) Yes, Oranges! Big, bright juicy oranges! Since is a good tree, it will produce only good fruit!

Did you know that its the same with people? Let's listen to this verse: (Read Luke 6:43-45) People produce either good fruit or bad fruit. Our actions and words tell everyone whether there is good or bad in our hearts. Every word you speak matters. Your words can hurt or help. Your words can lift somebody up, or put them down. They can make friends or make enemies. God wants us to use kind and loving words. You might think, well, I'm young, nobody really pays attention to me. But, listen to this verse: (Read Proverbs 20:11) Your words and actions do matter - even when you are young! So how can we have good actions and words? Its too hard to be good on our own. Nobody can do that! (Shake head no). (5) But, when we stay connected to Jesus, God's Spirit changes our heart. (Point to the hearts) He produces all the good fruit in us that we have been learning about!. (6) Let's all say the fruits of the Spirit together. (Point to each one as you say the words together).

Self-control is the only fruit that we have not talked about. What is self-control? It means God's Spirit has control over what you do and say. When you are connected to Jesus, God's Spirit helps you do what is right, even though you don't feel like doing it. You let his Spirit control you instead of bad things. We all have trouble with self-control sometimes. Sometimes we do things too quickly, without thinking. We might yell and scream to get our own way. Or we might blurt out what we are thinking - then it hurts somebody's feelings. Or maybe we hit or push when we are mad, or say things that are not true. Sometimes we talk without thinking, or don't listen enough. God does not want us to act in any of these ways. (Shake head no). (7) Listen to this verse: (Read James 1:19-20). God's Spirit helps us listen more (point to the boy) and think before we talk (point to the girl). (5 again) But, if we hang onto Jesus, his Spirit will help us with all of those things. He will produce the fruit of self-control in us, and all of the other good fruits too!. (8) If we let go, and think we don't need Jesus, we will produce the bad fruit. (9) So, what if you are known to be unkind or a troublemake? What if you don't have good self-control, and feel like you can never change? Well, there is good news! God can change your heart. (5 again, Point to the hearts) He won't give up on you. When you are connected to Jesus, He will produce all the good fruit in you. Then everyone will know that you follow Jesus.(9) Stay connected to him. He will keep working in you little by litte, producing all the good fruit he wants you to have - more than you can imagine! THE END.

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

Fruity Bear: Hi. (sadly).
Teacher: Fruity Bear! You look sad today. What is wrong?
Fruity Bear: I am sad. I'm not very good at this self-control thing. Mom says I have A.D.D. Sometimes I talk when its not my turn. And, sometimes I do things before I think about it, 'specially when I get mad. But I can't help it.
Teacher: Well, we all have trouble with those things sometimes. I have another verse for you that might encourage you: (Read Hebrews 13:21). Even if you have an extra challenge, God can still help you.
Fruity Bear: Do you really think I can change?
Teacher: Well, not on your own, but God can change your heart. His Spirit is the only one who can put good things in your heart, so that good things will come out.
Fruity Bear: How do I know if I have the Holy Spirit?
Teacher: Do you believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins? And do you trust him to save you?
Fruity Bear: Yes.
Teacher: Have you admitted that you are a sinner, turned from your sin and asked God to forgive you?
Fruity Bear: Yes.
Teacher: Have you asked him to change your heart and told him you want to follow him for the rest of your life?
Fruity Bear: Yep, I've done that too!
Teacher: Then you can know for sure that God has given you his Spirit to come and live in your heart! And God's Spirit will keep changing your heart. They you will produce more and more good fruit!. Here is another verse: (Read Phillippians 1:6)
Fruity Bear: Then that means there is nothing for me to worry about. God will keep changing my heart, and help me produce more fruit!
Teacher: That's right! God doesn't expect us to be perfect right now. (Shake head no). He changes us little by little. He just wants us to admit when we sin. And, he will always forgive us when we do.
Fruity Bear: Well, what about all of the children. Do they all follow Jesus too?
Teacher: Well, some of them might still be too young to understand all this. So, God is keeping them in his care. But, for the ones who do understand, here's what you can do: If you want to learn how to follow Jesus, you can come up to me after the lesson. I will talk to you and help you say a special prayer, so that you will know that you are following Jesus for sure.
Fruity Bear: Then God's Spirit will produce all the good fruit in them too!
Teacher: Yes, he will!. And he helps us do all the good things that we can't do on our own. And, do you know what? Now I can see that you do have self-control. You didn't speak out of turn today. So, you get to wear some oranges! (Stick some oranges on Fruity Bear).
Fruity Bear: Oh, wow! Thanks for the fruit! (giggles) Well, I gotta go now home now. But, can I stay in the room next week so the kids can play with me?
Teacher: We would love to have you stay! Everybody say, "Bye-bye" to Fruity Bear. (Wave and say bye-bye, thanks for coming!).
Transition: Let's bow our heads, close our eyes and fold our hands. I'll say the words first and give you time to say them after me if you'd like to.
Dear God, Thank you for loving me so much and helping me produce fruit when I stay connected to you! Please help me have self-control. Help me to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry. 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 9.

© copyright Virginia Sigle /