Bible Story: Hebrews 12-13
Text Truth: We should focus on following Jesus.
Memory Verse: Hebrews 13:20-21
Today is our last lesson in the book of Hebrews. We have learned that the book of Hebrews is all about Jesus. We also learned that we can have faith in Jesus just like many of the believers mentioned in Hebrews chapter 11—the Hall of Faith. Today, we will explore the encouragement the writer of Hebrews gave to all believers.
Question: Why do you think the writer of Hebrews spent the last 2 chapters (12 &13) giving encouragement to believers?
The writer of Hebrews wanted to let believers know that they can follow Jesus when life is good and bad. The book of Hebrews was most likely written during the time in history when Nero was in power. Nero was a very cruel Emperor who was not kind to Christians.
Read: Hebrews 12:1-2
Verse 1 tells us we should be encouraged to live for Jesus because of all the people we learned about in the Hall of Faith chapter. These verses also compare following Jesus to a race.
Question: What is the best way for us to continue to follow Jesus (run our race)? (read Hebrews 12:2 again for the answer)
The best way for us to continue to follow Jesus is to keep our eyes on Him! When the writer of Hebrews talks about us running a race, he does not mean a 5k or a fun run. He means that life as a follower of Jesus is like a race that we have to keep running. When we keep our eyes, our focus, and our thoughts on Jesus, we won’t become so tired in the race.
Question: What is another way for us to continue to follow Jesus and not become tired in our race? (Read Hebrews 12:3 to find the Answer)
Another way that we can keep running the race is to remember all Jesus did and went through to save us. We don’t only need to remember what He has done in the past but also what He is doing today. The writer of Hebrews tells us in chapter 13 that God will always be with us. He will never leave us in both good times and bad times. He is also someone who never changes. We don’t have to worry that one day Jesus will decide not to keep His promises. He is faithful, amazing, indescribable, and always the same—-yesterday, today, and forever.
After going through the book of Hebrews, we should be encouraged to follow Jesus because of many reasons. He is our High Priest—only He can take away our sins forever. He is someone we can trust. We know this because of the many believers given as an example of what it looks like to have faith in God. He also went through so much to give us eternal life. Because of all of this and MORE, as we focus on Jesus, we can more easily follow Him.
1)Playdough Challenge (courtesy of Lifeway’s Explore the Bible)
Do & Say: “Your challenge today is to create the best playdough “statue” in only 2 minuets. Your first statue to create is a person running. Ready? One, two, three, go!” (Parents, have fun too! Take time to look at everyone’s creations.)
“Before our next challenge, let’s name items that help us see and focus more clearly.” (Allow time for answers. Examples: glasses, cameras, binoculars, microscopes, and telescopes.) “Your second playdough statue to create is one of the items that help you see and focus more clearly. This one might be a little bit harder! Are you ready? One, two, three, go!”
“Christians experienced a lot of horrible things while Nero was in power. The writer of Hebrews wanted to encourage them and remind them to keep their eyes on Jesus. Just like the Christians who originally read this letter, we should focus on Jesus, too.”
2) Alphabet Race
Do & Say: “We are going to run several timed ‘races.’ You will have no more than 10 seconds to find one item in your home that starts with a specific letter. You do not have a whole lot of time, but I want you to give it your best!”
Do as many races as you would like. Good example letters with items include: P-Pencil; B-Book; C-Crayon; and S-Shoes.
“Is it hard to give it your best in every race?” Give kids time to answer. “Jesus wants our best all the time. He wants us to give Him everything, not hold anything back, flee from sin, and run towards Him. We can truly give Him our best when we stay focused on Him. Let’s decide now to keep our eyes on Jesus so that we can run and not grow tired!”
ACTIVITY SHEET LINKS (Click the link to download a printable pdf)