This is lesson 30 of 32 in a series of lessons called “Praise God Through the Psalms.” These lessons are designed to point children to the fullness of God’s character and lead them to see Him as the One who deserves all praise and worship. These lessons work well in Sunday School or mid-week Bible study groups or even family devotion times.
“Praise God Through the Psalms” – Psalm 103
Lesson focus: Through the book of Psalms and the worship of the people of Israel, we get a glimpse into the character of God and how we should rightly respond to Him in worship. In Psalm 103, we get a huge picture of the character of God. Use this Psalm and this lesson to encourage kids to worship God in His fullness and to really get to know Him through His Word.
Passage: Psalm 103
Target Audience: Kindergarten-4th Grade (can be adapted for older or younger children)
Teaching Time: 45 minutes – 1 hour
Materials Needed: Bibles, blank paper, markers
Optional Materials: if you want to be able to send the kids home with something each week, you can print the text of the Psalm on one side of a piece of paper and on the back print “I should praise God because He is ____________” (leave the rest of the page blank for drawing.
Early Arriver/ Opening 10 minutes– have a few board games out and play with kids as they arrive. Don’t underestimate the conversations that happen while playing “Jenga” or “Uno” with a group of kids.
Intro– – Scrambled Words
Before class, choose 8-10 key words from the Psalm (holy, forgives, merciful, steadfast, etc.) On a board in the room, or just a piece of paper, write the list of words with each word scrambled (holy = loyh). Give kids blank pieces of paper and have them try to unscramble all the words and write them on their page. After a few minutes, go through the words and define a few of them. Have them keep their pages out and encourage them to raise their hand for each word in the psalm that they unscrambled as you are reading through the text
Read the Text. . .Psalm 103
- Have each kid in the group read one verse, or have 3 volunteers do the reading (divided amongst them). As you go through the Psalm continually ask kids (1) what is this Psalm telling us about who God is?, (2) what is this Psalm telling us about what God does and (3) what is this Psalm telling us about what God expects of His people and how His people should respond to Him.
- Take a few minutes to talk about what truths this Psalm teaches us about God. ….. Before looking at the psalm as a whole and what it teaches us about salvation, go through the psalm verse by verse pulling out the attributes of God. Some of the truths that we see in this text are… holy, forgives sin, heals, redeems, satisfies his people, righteous, just, speaks to His people, compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, loving, he made us, etc.
- Cross- Connection– – This psalm focusses mainly on salvation and the way God showed His love and faithfulness to His people by sending Jesus to die in our place. Go through the psalm a 2nd time, looking at the gospel message in this psalm….
- God made us– – Psalm 103:14
- We have all sinned– – the concept of us being sinners is in the text, just not specifically. You might instead want to go back to Genesis 3 and ask the kids what happened after God made us.
- Our sin deserves punishment, but God is loving– – Psalm 103:9-12 (& Romans 5:8)
- God forgives the sins of His people– -Psalm 103:3-4
- God calls His people to keep His covenant– – Psalm 103:18
- God is sovereign and He reigns forever– – Psalm 103:19
Worship Time– After discussing the passage, distribute the paper and markers or pages printed with the text for the week. Explain that each week you want them to do three things in response to the Psalm…
- write a verse from the passage that they want to remember
- write a reason to praise God that they see in the Psalm
- draw of something from the passage that they think is important.
Give kids time to work on their pages and then have them share what they have drawn or written with the rest of the group.
Prayer– – Close in prayer by praying for the kids in the group that they would understand that the only way to be saved is through Jesus’s death in our place. Pray that they would see their own sinfulness and their need of a Savior.
Extra Time – – Play a Bible Book game called “Roll the Dice.” For this game you’ll take turns rolling the large dice and naming as many books of the Bible as the number that comes up on the dice. Ways to make the game more challenging… (1) have kids name books in order, (2) write down the books that are named and don’t let those books be named a 2nd time until all other books have been named, or (3) if they roll and odd number they have to name OT books and if they roll an even number they have to name NT books.
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