Middle School

From Rags to Riches

Lesson 3 

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Winter 2019-20

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By: Levi Schofield 

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December 15, 2019

Lesson Focus:

Jesus became poor so we could become rich.

Bible Basis:

Micah 5:2-5a; 2 Samuel 7:16; Luke 2:1-7

Materials Needed:

Step 1:

  • Internet access
  • Pens/pencils
  • Paper

Summary & Links:

Students will learn about the differences between material and spiritual richness, while discovering the sacrifice Jesus made to bring us the gift of eternal, heavenly wealth.

Memory Verse:

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.
—2 Corinthians 8:9

Step 1:

Students will learn about the differences between material and spiritual richness, while discovering the sacrifice Jesus made to bring us the gift of eternal, heavenly wealth.

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access
  • Pens/pencils
  • Paper

Using the questions below as a starting point, launch today’s lesson with a discussion concerning the role money has in our happiness.

  • What would you do if you won the lottery? (Give your class some time to quickly share some of the things they would do with their newfound wealth.)
  • Do you think that the most affluent members of society derive happiness from their material possessions? Why or why not?
  • It’s been said that money can’t buy happiness; do you think this statement holds truth? (Allow your students to reflect and reply to this idiom. Responses to this question will certainly vary, as the answer changes depending upon an individual person’s situation and background.)

In order to analyze this idea a little more closely, let’s perform a short exercise that looks into the influence of money on our emotions.

Using the materials provided, instruct your students to construct a list of moments that they remember feeling the happiest and most fulfilled. Examples to prompt their thinking are reuniting with close friends, receiving recognition for accomplishments, etc. Once created, give a few students the opportunity to share some of their happiest moments. As a class, attempt to identify some of the common threads among the experiences (these could include: meaningful relationships, personal achievements, or exciting experiences).

Oftentimes, when we analyze our most fulfilling and happiest moments, it becomes clear that money really isn’t everything. Let’s take a look at someone who abandoned his material wealth in exchange for happiness of a different kind.

Share the following video [1:50]:
This Billionaire GAVE ALL HIS MONEY AWAY

So far, we’ve looked at the different interpretations of being rich and poor; the rest of today’s lesson is going to explore what the Bible defines as truly being rich. Let’s take a look at the sacrifice that Jesus made so that we might obtain eternal wealth.

Looking for Steps 2, 3 & 4?

You can find Steps 2 and 3 in your teacher’s guide. To purchase a teacher’s guide, please visit: Bible-in-Life or Echoes.

Step 4:

Materials Needed:

  • Paper currency of any denomination
  • Keys to your car
  • A candy bar or other small prize (be aware of food allergies and provide accordingly)

Today, we discovered the sacrifice Jesus made by becoming poor so that we could become rich. But following His example and abandoning our quest for material wealth in exchange for heavenly rewards is a difficult lifestyle choice.

For experienced and new Christians alike, rejecting the allure of worldly pleasures is an incredibly difficult feat; because of this, it is helpful to gain perspective on the brevity of our current status.

Ask for a volunteer to join you in front of the class to conduct a visual example. Give them the opportunity to choose between two alternatives, each carrying their own time frame. The first option: they may select the currency you offer that they will receive right away. Alternately, they can wait two minutes and instead receive the keys to your car (you will not actually be giving them either of these prizes). When the student undoubtedly decides to wait the two minutes and chooses the much more valuable car keys, ask them the following question:

  • Why did you pick the car keys despite having to wait the extra two minutes? (Two minutes is insignificant in exchange for a much better prize.) 

Give the student a candy bar or other small prize for their participation and allow them to sit down. Solidify the message behind this example by asking your students the question below.

  • How does this example relate to the decision we all face when choosing between eternal treasures or momentary pleasures? (In comparison to eternity, our lives on earth are even less than the two minutes waited in the demonstration; likewise, the treasures we will receive in heaven are beyond any amount of earthly possessions that we could possibly imagine.)

Although it may seem like our current lives and circumstances are all there is, in comparison to eternity this period of time is just a blink of an eye. With that in mind, it’s up to us to make the most of what little time we do have on earth and live every day in the image of Christ.

One way that we can do this going forward is to develop an understanding of how much we have been given compared to the rest of the world and seek to help the many who are in need.

It is well known that more than a third of the world’s population lives on less than $2 each day. Using this number as comparison, challenge your students to analyze their daily spending throughout the coming week, keeping track of costs ranging from necessities (food, shelter, and utilities) to luxuries (new clothes, going to the movies, or picking up the latest video game). They may need their parents’ help with this activity in order to be able to estimate some costs, but once they have developed a rough estimate of these components, encourage them to look at their spending and find at least one thing they could cut out this week and instead donate that money anonymously to a person or organization that the Lord brings to mind.

Close this lesson in prayer, thanking Jesus for becoming poor so that we could be rich.

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