David C Cook COVID-19 Response

Middle School

Walk This Way

Lesson 5 

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Winter 2021-22

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By: RLD Editorial Team 

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January 02, 2022

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Lesson Focus:

Repentance requires a change of action.

Bible Basis:

Luke 3:7-14

Materials Needed:

Step 1:

  • Internet access

Summary & Links:

Your students will discuss an entertaining illusion that features a lightning-fast costume change as they explore what it means to have a change of action.

Memory Verse:

Whoever claims to live in him
must live as Jesus did.
—I John 2:6

Step 1:

Your students will discuss an entertaining illusion that features a lightning-fast costume change as they explore what it means to have a change of action.

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access

At some point in life, we all have to apologize for things we’ve said or done to hurt people. Sometimes, our apologies come from a place of being sorry for what we’ve done. Other times, we may apologize simply because we think we have to.

  • Have you ever apologized when you didn’t really feel sorry? (Allow students to share examples without sharing names.)
  • How can you tell when someone else’s apology is genuine? (Allow students to share examples without sharing names.) 

Even when we do apologize for something, we can make sure our apology is coming from the heart. Let’s take a look at some signs that apologies may not be genuine.

Share the following link with your students. (You can project the article to read aloud or have students follow along. You can also have them read the link with their smartphones.)
The Top 12 Fake Apologies — And What Makes For An Authentic Apology

  • After reading this article, how can you choose to apologize genuinely in the future? (Accept all reasonable responses.)
  • What did you find more interesting about genuine verse fake apologies? (Accept all reasonable responses.)

True apologies require a change of heart and a change of behavior. This is often called “repentance.”

The Bible teaches that following Jesus requires our repentance to follow Him. But we don’t have to do it on our own! Let’s learn a little more about how we can live in a way that brings honor to Jesus Christ.

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:

  • Cardstock or heavy paper
  • Paper cutter or scissors
  • Pens/pencils
  • Tape
  • Gingerbread men printed on cardstock (1 per student; template here), assorted markers, scissors

Before class, print out copies of the gingerbread man on cardstock (one per student; template here). If class time is an issue, you can cut out the gingerbread men ahead of time rather than having students do it. (If your class is meeting online, send the template for families to print at home on cardstock. Invite students to bring scissors, tape, and pens/pencils with them to class.)

Prepare the template by cutting out the gingerbread man. On the front, use the label “Before” and on the back, the label “After.” On the front list things that once characterized you like SELFISH, SHORT-TEMPERED, BREAKING RULES, LAZY, etc. The “After” side might include words like COMPASSIONATE, OBEDIENT, CONTENT, etc. Write the Before and After words directly on the gingerbread man—no need for a sign). Preparing this sample will give you a reference object as you explain the activity.

Before we come to know Jesus, our lives are often ruled more by selfish desires and disobedience than goodness. When we invite Him into our hearts and lives, we can expect real change to happen.

Show students the front side of your gingerbread man. Using the words you have written there, say something like:

The front side of this person represents me before I became a Christian. These words show that I was often selfish, and my behavior and thoughts didn’t reflect a God-honoring lifestyle. But when I turn it over, you will see some of the changes that happened when I trusted in Jesus.

Lead your students through the steps of preparing a cookie or template explaining that one side will include some of the struggles that represent our old lives. The flip side will show the difference that God makes in our lives.

Allow volunteers to share what they’ve written on their gingerbread men.

  • Are we going to live perfect lives once we become Christians? (Of course not! But the Holy Spirit will help us become more like Him as we repent and ask Him to help us submit to the Bible’s instructions.)
  • Choose one or two of the words you included on your gingerbread man. How will you demonstrate God’s faithfulness this week? (Encourage your students to make a specific action plan that aligns with their declaration.)

It’s one thing to think about what we want to do and quite another thing to actually do it. Even though the Holy Spirit assists us, we are also called to live out our faith boldly and with purpose. Think about your plan for the coming week. How will you actually demonstrate the change that God has made in your heart? We can do it!

It might be helpful to share an idea or two that aligns with your own obedience. Don’t be afraid to tell the students how you plan to live out your faith this week—in your family, job, or ministry.

Close in group prayer asking your students to pray for each other. Prompt them to pray for a soft and submissive heart as they also follow God’s commands.

Spread the word

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