Bible Verse: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness. Galatians 5:22 (NKJV)
Bible Scripture: Galatians 5:19-26Visual: I use a basket, with fabric lining, and let them eat fruit, grapes, bananas, strawberries, etc. (also I use a rotten/old banana) and packs of fruit snacks
Lesson: If I offered you this piece of fruit (holding up a rotten banana), would you like to eat it? Let the children answer. Of course you wouldn't. This banana is yucky and rotten. We want to throw that banana away. (This is another idea I have used for years and do not remember where I found it.)
What if I offered you this banana (holding up the ripe banana)? Would you like to eat this one? Let the children answer. I bet you would like to eat this banana. It is yellow and ripe, and probably tastes really yummy. Our life is like these two fruits.
On one hand, we have people who do bad things and make us feel sad. While on the other hand, we have people who like to do good things, like help others and be nice to others. Which fruit do you think God wants us to be, the rotten banana or the ripe banana? Let the children answer. God wants us to be good fruit. Paul writes to us in the Bible about the Fruit of the Spirit. He talks about the way Christians should treat others and how we should do things that make God happy with us!
BUT, Paul tells us the good Christian qualities God expects us to be. This is what our Bible lesson is about today. Here are the good qualities that God wants us to have:
1. Love is unselfish and loyal. Christians show love by doing things for others and being nice to family, friends and pets. Remember, God says to love your enemies. That’s hard to do sometimes, but it’s what God expects!
2. Joy means being happy and not grouchy. It means don’t be grouchy when your parents tell you to something you don’t like to do. The Bible says to obey your parents!
3. Peace is being content with what God has given us. Be happy with what you have.
4. Longsuffering is patient, not whining or complaining. Remember, patience with your brothers or sisters, no matter how hard that is.
5. Kindness is giving and helpful. How about saying something nice to someone that you see is feeling down?
6. Goodness means caring and understanding. Do a little something extra to help out at home.
7. Faithfulness means to be true to God. You all know right from wrong. You all know what God expects. You all know what He says not to do. So, try real hard not to!
8. Gentleness is being tender and calm. Again, being kind to your family, friends and your pets.
And 9. Self-control is managing your wants and emotions. Oh, this is a hard one! Don’t do things that you know you shouldn’t be doing. If you have to hide it or lie about it, don’t do it. Be careful how you act. Be careful what you say. Be careful of the friends you pick.
I finished the lesson with these thoughts. I passed around the above basket with the packages of fruit snacks. I said that we have talked about fruit and how God wants us to be as Christians. Here is a package of fruit snacks. It says fruit on the package. Does God want us to be fake, like this is? And, just because it looks like fruit on the outside, does that mean it is good fruit on the inside? Does He want us to worship on Sunday morning, then leave the building and then do whatever we want and not what He wants? Then, kids being kids, one said... Well, it says made from real fruit... I replied that it is made by a little bit of real fruit, that is not all fruit. Does God want us to be a little bit Christian, or partially a Christian? Or, does He want us to be 100% pure as a Christian? They all knew that answer! And, as was mentioned by Renee Hunter, fake fruit does not reproduce!
If you think about fruit: It’s good for you, it keeps you healthy, and it reproduces more fruit. If you do things that are good for you, do things to be healthy and bring people to Bible study with you, then you are being what God expects.
This is the students basket and fruit. The kids cut out the fruit and added it as we discussed the different fruits. You can print it here.
I added an updated version of the above. The basket is the same, but the fruit is smaller and on one page only, instead of 3! Click here to download the new version.
The above download has a basket for you to print and put together. I have baskets that I use, so I will not need to print them. Also, you can use a paper/plastic bowl if you would rather save the time and printing. If I were using it for one or two students, then I would print it (it's really cute), but for a class, I would rather purchase the baskets, since I can get them at a very good price. For directions on putting the basket together, please look here.
Here is a worksheet if you would like to purchase the Fruit of the Spirit stickers. They can usually be found at your local Bible book stores and teacher stores, or you can purchase them here.
I usually have the kids write in the words to help with memory, but a lot of first graders have a hard time with the bigger words, so you can print the sticker worksheet with the words already there, or with a blank line for them to write it in. You can print them here:
(See matching visuals below)
And, there is also a picture to color and you can print it here.
find it here.
This is the bulletin board I use with this Bible lesson.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.
Used by permission.