Psalm 23: 1-3
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul
He guides me in the paths of righteousnes
For His name’s sake.
(NOTE: The next lesson on “Furry Lisa” covers the rest of this famous psalm.)
Theme: God Cares for His Children
LESSON FOR CHILDREN
King David wrote this beautiful psalm. Before he was a king, David was a shepherd. He took good care of his sheep. He made sure that they had what they needed to be strong and healthy. So David led them to places where there was plenty of green grass to eat and plenty of water to drink.
God is Our Good Shepherd. He makes sure that we have what we need to be strong and healthy. So God provides us with food and drink, too.
But we are more than animals and Our Creator God knows that we need more than just food for our bodies.
Jesus said, “Is life not more than food?”
Jesus said not to worry about the things we need for our body because God the Father knows that we need those things. Jesus said that if we seek or look for God’s Kingdom first, we will have all the other things we need as well.
Do you think that there is anyone in heaven who is starving, without enough to eat? No way! Everyone in heaven has all that they need and more! God wants us to work to make this earth like heaven! He wants us to feed those around us who don’t have enough to eat. That is why many churches have “food banks” where the poor can come and get food. That is why many Christian organizations bring food to poor people in far away countries.
But the Scripture teaches that life is more than food. We people are beings with physical bodies, but we also have minds and spirits. Our minds need to be fed. We read books and study and go to school to feed our minds. We “eat” knowledge for our mind’s food. One might call it “brain food”. And even though our brain is a physical part of our body, we can’t see the “mind” but you know you have one because you’re using it right now to think! The mind is more than the brain!
We people also have a spirit, a part of us we can’t see, like the air we breathe. [Blow a pinwheel.] This is our essence, our life force. This spirit in us has power to do things. It will live on even when our body gets weak and too broken to live. So it is VERY IMPORTANT to feed our spirits, too. That is why Jesus said that life was more than physical food.
So if our bodies eat vegetables, fruit, and meat; and our mind is fed with reading books, what do you think is “food” for our spirits? [Wait for response.]
The Good Book! The Scriptures! God’s Word!
Jesus said, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
Oh, many people did not understand what Jesus was saying! That’s because they were thinking only about food for their bodies. Jesus was saying that He is “food” for our spirits! When we read the Word of God, it makes our spirits strong and healthy! When we sit in the Presence of the Lord, we are fed spiritually. When we believe, take into our being, His Word that He died for us on the cross, this is new life to us! WE are born again!
Jesus also said, “I AM the Good Shepherd: the Good Shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” (John10:11)
David, the shepherd boy fought off lions and wolves who wanted to eat his sheep. He fought with stones and slingshots. That was a dangerous thing to do. But David wanted to protect his sheep.
Jesus, by saying He is the Good Shepherd, is saying that He will feed us and protect us. Jesus fought our biggest enemy the devil who goes around like “a roaring lion” to eat us up! Jesus fought the devil and beat Him when He died on the cross. But death couldn’t hold Him because He was LIFE! Jesus came back to life! He was resurrected! Jesus said “I am the resurrection and the life;He that believes in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live!”
Jesus is the Good Shepherd because He defeated the devil for us.
Jesus is the Good Shepherd because He protects us.
Jesus is the Good Shepherd because He feeds us.
Jesus is the Good Shepherd because He cares for us.
What else did we learn about Jesus in this lesson?
Jesus is the Bread of Heaven.
Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life!
Have you seen a painting of Jesus holding a lamb? Next time you are afraid or have a need, remember He is the Good Shepherd! Think on this word picture of Our heavenly Father:
“Like a shepherd He will tend His flock,
In His arm He will gather the lambs
And carry them in His bosom;
He will gently lead the nursing ewes.” (Isaiah 40:11)
Anyone know what a “ewe” is? Not you! A ewe is a female sheep. This says the Good Shepherd will gently lead the mommies with their babies. He will lead the daddies, too, though! God takes care of all His people!
“He is the Good Shepherd!”
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you that you care for me everyday! Thank you that you protect me from dangers and that I am safe. Please help me stay close to You and follow You.
Suggested Props: Painting of the Good Shepherd embracing a lamb; pinwheel
Suggested Activities: Make some sheep pictures with cotton balls.
Scriptural References For Teachers and Parents
“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?” (Matthew 6:25)
“(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:32-3)
“I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” (John 6:51)
“I am the Good Shepherd: the Good Shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” (John10:11)
“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?’” (John 11:25-26)