September 20, 2020: God is Near

This week’s lesson is based on:  Matthew 14:22–36John 6:16–21

Let’s Start!

Let’s Watch!

Let’s Talk!

  • Have YOU ever ridden in a boat or on a raft? What was it like?
  • Imagine that you were in your boat, and it started to storm. Imagine that the wind was blowing like crazy and your boat was bouncing up and down in huge waves. How do you think you would feel?
  • Do you think the disciples wished Jesus was there when the storm first started? Why or why not? They had seen Him do lots of other miracles, so they probably would have thought that He could save them if he was there!
  • What they didn’t know was that He WAS there! They had left him back on the shore, but He was closer than they thought! In fact, He was walking right toward them, on TOP of the water!!
  • What happened when Jesus told Peter to come out on the water with him? At first, Peter walked on the water too! But then he took his eyes off of Jesus and focused on the wind and the waves around him and was afraid and started to sink.
  • What did Jesus do next? He reached out and helped Peter back up. Then they both got back in the boat and the wind and waves died down.
  • Sometimes, the way we talk about God makes Him seem far away. Like He’s “up in Heaven,” somewhere far off where we can’t see Him or go to Him. But, let’s look up this week’s memory verse together. What does Psalm 145:18 tell us about God? He is near to those who call on Him.
  • What does it mean that God is near to you? He’s not far away, we can always talk to Him, He hears us when we pray. . .
  • Peter learned that it was better to keep his eyes on Jesus than to focus on the storm. There are lots of things that can feel like a storm in our lives; things that make us feel sad or worried or scared.
  • Is there anything you are worried about today?
  • Take a minute and pray together about those things! Remember, God is near to you too. He loves you and He wants to help you and fill you with His peace instead of fear.

Let’s Do!

  • First: grab a large blanket or tarp. If you’re inside, you can throw on some small, soft stuffed animals, small balls, or crumpled papers. (If you’re outside, you could use a tarp and some leaves! – just make sure you don’t have any sticks on your tarp!)
  • Have everyone in your family grab a corner or an edge of the blanket or tarp and, keeping it close to the ground, shake it quickly up and down to create ripples/waves across the blanket.
  • Then, take turns having one person at a time try to walk across the blanket while the “storm” is raging.

Let’s Memorize!

The Lord is near to all who call on him.

Psalm 45:18a

To help you memorize your verse this week, make some toilet paper roll binoculars!

What you need:

  • Two toilet paper rolls or one paper towel roll cut in half (or cardstock rolled into two tubes),
  • Tape or glue,
  • A marker or the printout of this week’s verse
  • Decorations of your choice (stickers, markers, colored pencils, glitter, etc).
  • String and a hole punch (optional!)

What you do:

  1. Take your two toilet paper rolls or rolled cardstock tubes and glue or tape them together.
  2. Take a piece of paper a little shorter than the length of the toilet paper rolls and wrap it around them, gluing or taping it in place.
  3. On one side of your binoculars, write this week’s memory verse. (Parents or guardians can help do this for younger children, or you can print out and glue on the verse from this week’s printable, below).
  4. Decorate the other side of the binoculars however you’d like!
  5. Optional: punch holes in the sides of your binoculars and tie on a string, so that you can put them around your neck!
  6. Every time you use your binoculars, read your verse out loud!

EGC Kids tip: There is a helpful tutorial on making binoculars here:

Let’s Pray!

If you had been in Peter’s shoes, would YOU have gotten out of the boat and tried to walk on the water to Jesus? Why or why not?

Sometimes, I (Bethany) think I would have jumped out of that boat to walk to Jesus in a hurry! Sometimes, though, I wonder if I would have taken a look at the wind and the waves and thought: “no way!”

Following Jesus sometimes takes some big, bold faith. Let’s pray together that God will help us to trust Him, and to give us that big, bold faith: to jump out and follow Jesus even if what He tells us to do seems totally crazy!

Let’s Bless!

Parents/Guardians, close out your prayer time by speaking this blessing over your child(ren):

May you know that God is always near you. May you trust God’s goodness and boldly follow His voice. And, may you be filled with His peace as you keep your eyes fixed on Jesus.