Kids Matter to God

Have children ready to sing the chorus of, Dare to Be a Daniel, by Philip Bliss*.

"And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men" Luke 2:52.
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end" Jeremiah 29:11.

Do you ever feel like it's taking forever to grow up? What are some things you want to do when you are an adult? (Let the kids interact.)

I remember when I was a kid, I thought I couldn't really do anything important until I was all grown up. But my Mom kept telling me to just do the best I could in school and at church and I would grow up to do anything GOD wanted me to do. 

I was 11 years old when my Dad died from being very sick. I thought, "How can I ever even grow up? Who is going to take care of me and the rest of my family?"

When I would be discouraged, my Mom would tell me that God was going to take care of us - and that was why it was important to pay attention in Sunday School and Church and learn what the Bible says. The Bible is how God talks to us. She continued to encourage me to do the best I could in school, too. As you can see, her advice was good! I really did make it to be a grown up! And, I have been so blessed to do many fun things in my life, even though my Daddy was not with me. God takes care of me. 

Sometimes, though, I felt like I was alone. There was a song I learned that helped me be strong. I think you know it to. Can you sing Dare To Be A Daniel with me? (Lead the kids in singing through the chorus 2 or 3 times.)

Thank you for singing it! You did a great job! Just hearing the words made me feel strong. How about you? Whenever we focus on doing things God's way, like Daniel did, and we stand strong and brave, God not only helps us through the situation, but HE teaches us while we are going through a rough time. When we defeat our fear and win our battle, we deepen our faith and become a better Christian--a better follower of Christ.

Let me tell you about the man that wrote that song. His name was Philip Bliss. He was born a LONG time ago. His birthday was July 9, 1838. (Here we are today sharing about this little baby boy over 175 years after he was born!) Philip was born in a cabin to a very poor mom and dad. Even when he was very little, he began to understand that he was going to have to work very hard to survive. He learned to work hard by watching and listening to his parents.

When it was time for him to go to school, the first teaching he had was from studying the Bible. I'm sure his parents told him that God would take care of him, just like my Mom told me. I'm sure she shared the scripture with Philip that showed that even JESUS had to study and learn to grow in wisdom and knowledge and Jesus did that from studying the scriptures. In fact, the Bible tells us in Luke 2: 52, "Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men."

Philip did grow very wise in things of the Bible. His father loved music and encouraged Philip to sing and write music too. I'm sure the music and singing helped the Bliss family through some very dark days. He heard a piano play music for the very first time when he was 10 years old.

Times became very difficult for Philip Bliss and his family; so bad that Philip had to leave home at age 11 to make a living for himself. (Can you imagine that?)

At age 12, Philip came to understand the gospel message that Jesus came to earth to save sinners. Philip understood his need to be forgiven and to receive Jesus as Savior and Lord of his life. God had HIS hand on Philip Bliss. God was watching over and taking care of him. God had a special plan for this boy's life and God was going to see that plan through.

In 1869, Dwight L. Moody, a famous preacher, came to the town where Philip lived. Philip went to hear him preach. It turned out that Moody needed a music director for the service and Philip offered his help. That night, was the beginning of one of the greatest evangelistic teams ever. Philip gave up his business and became a singing evangelist! He traveled all over the country, leading music for Moody when he preached!

Philip wrote many hymns that we still sing today. He wrote, Dare to Be a Daniel! And he wrote, Hallelujah, What A Savior, Jesus Loves Even Me, and Wonderful Words of Life. We sing those songs in worship service. These wonderful songs and his story came from a little boy that had to work from the time he was 11 to survive. His family had equipped him with love for God, and helped him acquire wisdom and knowledge from the Bible when he was your age. You are so blessed to be in a church that teaches the wisdom of the Bible!

God created you. HE knows who you are and HE has plans for you too. The Bible says, "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end" Jeremiah 29:11. 

No matter how hard things seem to be sometimes, dare to be like Philip Bliss, dare to be like Daniel; dare to trust God even when life gets difficult. When you do, you can find out (and live out) the great plans that God has for you!

Suggested Prayer
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for creating each one of the boys and girls here. Thank you for the plan you have for them and for providing a wonderful church with a preacher and teachers who will help them learn about Your ways. We pray that each of these children learn to stand strong, trust in You as their Savior, and follow Your plans for them all the days of their lives. In Jesus Name we pray. AMEN!

*Information gathered on Philip Bliss, via the internet

Copyright 2011 Emmalea Butler

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