There was a time in my life when I felt I had lost my joy. I felt miserable. I didn't want to do anything or be around anybody. But slowly and surely, my joy returned as I began to rest more on the Lord. My strength returned too. Nehemiah 8:10 says this: "for the joy of the LORD is your/(my) strength." This is such a great verse for any Christian to know whether young or old. Try this fun Sunday School lesson from the Bible to help your kids learn this great Scripture by heart. It's called "Popping for Joy!"
Here's what you do:
This game will take some preparation, but your kids will appreciate your efforts. First, you will want to make an index card for each word in Nehemiah 8:10. You should have a total of 11 cards. Place these cards in correct Bible verse order on a pocket chart or on a table for all your kids to easily see. Now prepare 11 balloons. Inside each balloon you will insert a small paper with the following amount of points and list of words:
1. 10 points: for, joy, Lord, strength
2. 10 points: the, of, is, Nehemiah
3. 20 points: joy, the, my, 8:10
4. 20 points: of, Lord, strength, for
5. 30 points: the, is, Nehemiah, joy
6. 30 points: joy, my, 8:10, of
7. 40 points: of, strength, for, the
8. 40 points: the, Nehemiah, is, 8:10
9. 50 points: joy, 8:10, my, Lord
10. 50 points: of, for strength, is
11. 50 points: the, the, is, my
Blow the balloons up and place them in a trash bag. You are now ready to play this Sunday school lesson from the Bible.
How to play:
Divide your class into 2 teams. Have a child from the first team pick a balloon. Let him pop it by sitting on it. He will get the paper inside and discover how many points he can earn for his team. He will also turn over the 4 words, listed on his paper, on the display of Nehemiah 8:10. He must now say the verse including the words that are missing. If he is successful, his team will earn the points found in his balloon. If he is not successful, the other team earns the points. Play then goes to the next team.
Before playing this activity you may want to introduce it in the following way:
Everybody stand up and show me your best "muscle man" or "muscle woman" pose. (Wait for kids to respond.) Awesome! Look at all those great muscles. You know, there are lots of things in this world that can make you feel really strong like watching your muscles get bigger as you get older. Or having a lot of money in your piggy bank or wallet can make you feel kind of strong. But do you know what the Bible says is our strength? It says that the "joy of the Lord is our strength." Today we are going to memorize this verse by playing "Popping for Joy!" But before we play, let's say Nehemiah 8:10 several times together to get it into our hearts and minds.
At this point, you will recite the verse with the children until you feel they are ready to play the game. Have fun!
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