This fun, Bible alliteration lesson can be used as a stand alone lesson or with "Lesson 8, "Don't Steal" from God’s Top Ten Curriculum.
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(Before reading the story, teacher determines the action children will take when hearing an “R” word (bolded and capitalized). For example, children might stand up when hearing the first R word, and sit down for the next R word, and so on, standing and sitting until the story is finished, or you might have children make hand gestures for money when hearing an "R" word by having thumbs rub back and forth over fingers. Make sure to emphasize the R words as you read them.)
This is the story of the RICH young RULER, from
the Gospel of Mark*.
As Jesus walked along the ROAD, a RICH young man RAN up to him, and kneeling down said, “Good RABBI, which means teacher, what must I do to RECEIVE eternal life?”
“Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked him. “No one is good except God alone. Do you REMEMBER the commandments? ‘Don’t murder; do not commit adultery; don’t steal; don’t lie; honor your father and your mother.’”
“RABBI,” the man said, “ever since I was REALLY young, I RESOLVED to obey all these RIGHTEOUS commandments.”
Jesus looked straight at him, and REGARDING him with love said, “You need only to do one more thing. Go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have RICHES in heaven; then RETURN and come follow me.”
When the man heard this and REALIZED what the RABBI knew about him, REMORSE spread across his face, and he went away REALLY sad, because he was very RICH.
Jesus looked around at his disciples and said to them, “How hard it will be for RICH people to enter the Kingdom of God, because God's REDEMPTION is RECEIVED as a gift!”
The disciples were REALLY shocked at these words, but Jesus said to them, “My children, how hard it is to enter the Kingdom of God! It can be even more difficult for a RICH person. It’s like a camel trying to get through the eye of a needle, because often they will RELY on their RICHES, RATHER than trusting in God to provide for them!
At this the disciples were completely amazed and asked one another, “Who, then, can be saved, who can be REDEEMED?”
Jesus looked straight at them and READILY gave them an answer, “REMEMBER, this is impossible for human beings, but not for God; everything is possible for God.”
Read Matthew 6:19-21 from a child-friendly Bible, or tell it in your own words.
These verses remind us that the things we treasure in life reveal our hearts’ desires.
1) How does the eighth commandment, Don’t Steal, teach us about God’s love? (We don’t need to steal, because God has promised to supply all our needs.)
2) Do you think it’s wrong to want a lot of money? Why or why not? (Jesus never said being rich is a bad thing. In fact, it can be a blessing from God [Ecclesiastes 5:19]. However, he did say that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil and has caused some people to wander from the faith [1 Timothy 6:10]. Jesus wants us to understand that the way we think about our possessions is what’s important; we must put spiritual things first.)
3) Why do you suppose Jesus told the man to sell all his possessions? What does selling stuff have to do with keeping the commandments? (The man thought he was obeying all the commands, and outwardly speaking, it may have looked that way. But Jesus knew his heart. He knew that the man’s wealth was an idol in his life. By asking him to give it all away, Jesus pointed out that he was breaking the second commandment, don’t worship idols. Jesus understood the things the man treasured most were earthly treasures. In his heart he was stealing from God the honor that was due to him!)
4) Jesus said, “It’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.” What do you suppose he meant by that? (Having lots of money can get in the way of trusting God, because we might trust our wealth and our own efforts to take care of our needs. We must understand that no matter how great our achievements, or how successful we are--they’re actually gifts from God--getting to heaven by our own efforts is impossible. But with God, it is possible. We must have the right perspective.)
5) Why do you suppose people steal? (They think they need the things they’ve taken; they do it for fun; they think having more things will make them happy, etc. The rich man treasured his things more than he treasured God. His possessions became an idol in his life. But, on the other hand, not having lots of things, or being poor, can lead us to think, “If we only had those things, we’d be happy.” And this may tempt people to steal them. But either way, being rich or poor, putting anything ahead of God is idol worship. We don’t need to steal, because God promises to care for all of our needs.)
"Thank you Jesus that we do not need to steal, because you have promised to take care of all of our needs. We can trust you, because you are good! Amen."