Upper Elementary

Grand Gifts

Lesson 9 

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Spring 2020

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By: Jenn Joshua 

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May 10, 2020

Lesson Focus:

Give with all your heart.

Bible Basis:

Acts 4:32—5:11

Materials Needed:

Step 1:

  • Internet access

Summary & Links:

In order to introduce the lesson topic of giving with all your heart, students will watch and discuss a video about an unexpected gift.

Memory Verse:

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
— 2 Corinthians 9:7

Step 1:

In order to introduce the lesson topic of giving with all your heart, students will watch and discuss a video about an unexpected gift.

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access

If you are utilizing a social conferencing platform to connect with your students, welcome them as they join the group, and get them thinking about gift giving.

  • Name some different times when you’re likely to receive gifts. (Possible answers may include: birthdays, Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day, etc.)
  • Would you rather receive gifts at the same time as other people, or by yourself? Why? (Answers will vary but may include: Being the only one receiving gifts [like on a birthday] means you get more things but having everyone else receive gifts as well [like at Christmas] allows you to share in everyone’s excitement.)

As exciting as it can be to receive gifts, it can be even more rewarding to give things away. Think about a time when you gave a gift to someone.

  • What did you give to someone and when? (Accept all reasonable answers.)
  • What kind of emotions went into giving that gift? (Students may talk about possible anxiety as they tried to find or make the perfect gift and waited for the person to receive it. Their emotions probably included excitement, hope that it would be well received, self-satisfaction, joy, etc.)

Seeing someone’s smile when they receive your gift is exciting! Knowing that you have been able to share your joy with someone else is often the most fun of all. The students in this video learned how rewarding it can be to give gifts to a classmate in need.

Share this video [3:15]:
Struggling teen surprised with unexpected gift from caring classmates | Humankind

  • What are some of the ways you could tell these students were excited to give these gifts to Dylan? (Possible answers might include: They paid attention to what his needs were and were anxious to do something about that, they presented it to him in an excited way, they cheered as he pulled out each gift, they took pictures, and encouraged him with their words.)
  • Dylan’s classmates were cheerful, generous givers in other ways, too. Can you name some? (Answers might include their friendship, they give him a ride home and buy him lunch as often as they can, they make him feel part of their group.)
  • Do you think any of these students felt like they had to give Dylan gifts? What makes you think that? (Although most will think that all gave gladly, some may say there may have some unspoken peer pressure that made a few feel as if they had to participate to be an accepted part of the group.)

Giving should be a joyful experience! But it’s only rewarding when it is something that really comes from our hearts. Today’s lesson gives us a better idea of what kind of giving God really wants.

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
  • Pens/pencils

Today’s lesson had a shocking conclusion! The story of Ananias and Sapphira makes it clear that God wants cheerful, heartfelt giving, not some kind of show because we are trying to impress other people. If we are giving only to be seen and applauded by others, then we aren’t really caring for the person who is receiving the gift, are we? We care more about our own reputation.

  • What are some gifts you give on a regular basis? (Allow students to brainstorm all of the opportunities they have to give of themselves even though the gifts don’t cost money. Answers might include cooperation, only having to be asked to do something once, chores, playing with siblings, etc.)
  • Do you give those gifts cheerfully or reluctantly? Why? (Help students see that any of these nice gestures can be done with a bad attitude—they are essentially withholding something [their joy] just like Ananias and Sapphira did.)

Have your students grab a pencil or pen and paper and write down their own list of gifts they give on a daily blessing. They can write down some of the things just mentioned or add to that list. Once they have had a chance to think and write, challenge them to find a way to give those gifts cheerfully rather than reluctantly this week. Give them a few examples. For instance, if they usually whine about having to set the table, urge them to do it without being asked and add something special to the table (a jar of spring flowers for the center, handmade placemats or a place card with each family member’s name on it, etc.). Emphasize that they should not look for recognition or praise (although they may receive some anyway). The point is to give their gifts with cheerful hearts to the Lord.

As you go through your week, you can look for other opportunities to give to your family or anyone else you might be near to. The more you help out cheerfully, without boasting about what you’re doing, the more of a help you will be to everyone around you and the more you will please God.

 Close in prayer by praying for each of your students by name.

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