TEXT: Genesis 6:5-7; Psalm 119:113; Philippians 4:8; Isaiah 26:3
The students will understand that God made our minds, and will be able to list specific ways they can use their minds to honor God.
BIBLE LESSON OUTLINE
Introduction: For your opener, use the In-Class activity focusing on skills your students have learned.
- Thinking is one of the functions of our mind. In Noah's day, men's thoughts were so evil that God was sorry He had ever created them.
- In his letter to the Philippians, Paul gives a list of things that would be well for us to think about.
- We must guard what things we allow to stay in our mind, being sure they are things which would please God.
Climax: Climax: If we keep our mind fixed on good things, God promises us that we will have "perfect peace."
Conclusion: Our mind (brain) controls our body, and is the entrance to our soul. We should be thankful for all the things our mind helps us do, and be sure that we keep it attuned to the leading of God's Spirit.
Response: Your students will be able to give a number of specific ways we use our mind, and will explain why it is important to keep our thoughts in conformity with God's instructions regarding profitable things to think about.
Mind is a word denoting the faculty of memory or recollection, moral thinking, the seat of knowledge. Like soul and spirit, this is a part of man that is invisible, but also an essential part of man. It is with the mind that we think and reason, have understanding and intelligence. The source of all these functions is the brain.
God gave man a brain—a mind and a will of his own—that God and man might enjoy fellowship. There can be no knowledge, understanding, or comprehension without a mind, so friendship without a mind is impossible.
The brain is the master organ of the body, more complicated and wonderful than any machine ever built by man. It stores information from past experiences which is why we can think, learn, and remember. Man can speak, solve difficult problems, and produce creative ideas because God gave him a mind.
Sometimes, through impaired development or some accident or injury, the brain doesn't function up to its fullest capacity. That person's mind may be unable to comprehend many things, or maybe the powers of memory are gone. We are sorry when someone has a handicap such as this and can be especially thankful to God that our mind can still learn and understand, especially those things that help us to know Jesus and to be ready for Heaven.
- Focus on skills your students have learned, such as tying a shoe, putting together a puzzle, using a calculator, telling time. Bring some props to class so the children can demonstrate these abilities. Bring out the thought that God gave them a mind which makes them able to perform these skills.
- Play a game of concentration, using the pictures given (see Patterns). Make two copies of each picture. Mix them and lay them face down on your table or floor. Let each child take a turn trying to find matching pictures by remembering where they were in each of the previous turns. If the pictures match correctly he may choose again; if not, it is the next child's turn to try. This game will emphasize the use of the mind.
- Help your class to talk about things their minds think of to do for the Lord. Have each student draw something he can do.
- As a class project, give each of your students a cutout of one of the silhouettes (see Patterns). Give a boy silhouette to each boy, a girl silhouette to each girl, and choose one student to fill in the Jesus silhouette. Have the children draw or write in some things that their minds have thought of during the past week. Let the child with the Jesus silhouette fill in something that shows how Jesus loves us. The silhouettes can then be made into a mobile, with Jesus at the top, or they can be mounted on a contrasting colored paper and placed on a bulletin board for display.
- The following activity, Using the Mind for Jesus, is a little paper game that most children already know (see Patterns). Every part of the activity involves using the mind: reading the instructions, putting the puzzle together, working the game, and involving others as you tell them about Jesus. Make one of the puzzles ahead of time so you will be able to help the children in constructing their own. When the puzzles are together, explain to the children how the game works and let them practice on each other. Tell them to take their puzzle home and use it as a tool in telling others about Jesus. Be sure to stress the fact that they were able to put together and play the game only because Jesus gave them a mind. Every time they play this game they should remember to give thanks to God.
- Scramble the words of the memory verse. Ask the students to unscramble them. Point out how thankful we should be for our mind.
- When we get saved, how does Jesus change our thoughts? What happens to all the bad, evil thoughts?
- What advantage does the devil have if we are willing to listen to negative thoughts?
- Bad thoughts lead to bad actions. Explain.
- Good thoughts lead to good actions. Explain.
- What kinds of things does God want us to think about? Why? (See Philippians 4:8)
- How can we keep the bad things out of our mind?
- How can we keep our thoughts on good things?
- What are some of the advantages of keeping our thoughts on good things?
- Who are some of the people who teach us how to think right? (moms, dads, teachers, etc.)
- For each child make a copy of the "Windows to a Mind" (see Patterns). Cut around the three sides of each of the "windows" on the top section of the pattern. Attach the top section of the pattern (the child thinking) over the bottom section (four small illustrations of action figures). Let the children lift the hinged windows to show the pictures of things our minds may think of and cause other parts of our bodies to do—talking, walking, praying, singing.
- Have the children repeat after you; A, B, C, etc. Tell them they could not do this if they did not have a mind. Wiggle your fingers at the children and tell them that your mind helps you to move every part of your body. Your mind helps you to know what you see, to understand what you hear, etc. We should be very thankful for our minds.
- Focus on the things your little ones have learned to do, such as dressing themselves, drawing with a crayon, saying their name, singing a song. Do some of these things together or show pictures of children doing them. With each item, emphasize, "God gave you a mind so you could . . . . "
- Bring a doll and show how it cannot run, jump, pray, or sing, but we can do these things.
Describe some everyday situations. Compare the reactions of different people in each case. Example: It is raining outside — One child says, "Oh, yuck, it's raining." Another says, "Oh, the flowers are getting a drink from God." Talk about how our thoughts can make us feel good or bad. We can control our thoughts if we want to. Zero in on the Scripture: "Whatsoever things are true . . . honest . . . ." Enlarge the Think on These Things fill-in (see Patterns) and copy it onto brightly colored posterboard. As you fill in each of the blank spaces, have the children say each line aloud with you. This pattern can also be copied onto a transparency and used as an overhead review.
Bring a computer, and display on the screen a simple math program. (Mathblaster is the name of a good one which has a large display.) Demonstrate that the computer can give the answer to the problems. Ask your group what kind of person must have invented a computer. They should conclude that he was very smart! Then bring out that God gave that man his mind and the ability to think and invent. Our mind is the greatest computer of all.
Use puppets or have a skit where a child is studying the Bible or Sunday school lesson. Also show his being attentive to teachers, preachers, etc. We can use our mind to make these choices.
- God Made Me Special — Happy Day Book, Standard Publishing
- God's Plan for Me — by Judy Hull Moore, Gospel Publishing House
- Using Your Head — by Joy Wilt Berry, "Ready-Set-Grow!" Series, Gospel Publishing House