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Article on Preschoolers And Salvation

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Children have many great characteristics that enable them to readily gravitate towards God. Most important is their inclination to readily believe. This makes preschoolers the ideal believers. When it comes to salvation, a preschooler’s heart is a fertile field to believe in Jesus and receive Him as their Savior. When we simplify the theology of salvation, even the youngest preschooler will accept it. No wonder, Jesus said, “The truth is, you must change your thinking and become like little children. If you don’t do this, you will never enter God’s kingdom.” More >>>

Article on Children And Salvation

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When we think of it, belief is the only prerequisite to salvation. Simply stated, believe in Jesus to be saved. The children may not fully grasp the concept of sin or the theology behind the sacrifice of Jesus to be saved, and they do not have to. There is nowhere it says in the Bible that we need to understand the gospel to be saved. Most adult who are new believers cannot articulate the gospel of Jesus because they do not fully comprehend it; so why do we expect that of children? More >>>

Article on Teaching Children Word Seed

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The Psalmist said, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You”- Psalm 119:11 (NKJV). Hiding God’s Word in your heart is what memorization is all about. As the teacher/parent, you need to understand the importance of memorizing God’s Word in both yours and the children’s daily lives. Therefore, you must commit to learning the Scriptures along with the children. To effectively teach children memory verse, you need to let them know why such an exercise is important. What you consider important, you take seriously. More >>>

Article on Child Dedication

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Though dedicating a child to God leads to having God’s blessings on the child, yet child dedication must be based on the foundation that you are in Christ.  As a righteous person (you are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus - 1Corinthians 5:21), you can expect God to make your children God-fearing. Note, this does not mean your children are born saved or have automatic salvation as a result: everyone must make a personal decision to be saved. When God enters into a covenant with an individual, it extends to his family. More >>>

 

Article on Preschoolers And Salvation

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Children have many great characteristics that enable them to readily gravitate towards God. Most important is their inclination to readily believe. This makes preschoolers the ideal believers. When it comes to salvation, a preschooler’s heart is a fertile field to believe in Jesus and receive Him as their Savior. 

This article is based on the Preschoolers Believe In Jesus tract.

 When we simplify the theology of salvation, even the youngest preschooler will accept it. No wonder, Jesus said, “The truth is, you must change your thinking and become like little children. If you don’t do this, you will never enter God’s kingdom.”1 


When we think of it, belief is the only prerequisite to salvation. Simply stated, believe in Jesus and you will be saved.2 The preschoolers may not fully grasp the concept of sin or the theology behind the sacrifice of Jesus to be saved. They do not have to. There is nowhere it says in the Bible that we need to understand the gospel to be saved. Most adult who are new believers cannot articulate the gospel of Jesus because they do not fully comprehend it; so why do we expect that of children especially preschoolers?


Because of erroneous assumption that one must understand the gospel to believe it, many children especially preschoolers are ignored in, and even discouraged from, taking the step of faith to be saved. And when we see the same children say the prayer of salvation repeatedly, we then conclude that children do not understand enough to be saved.


However, our duty is to share the gospel with everyone—adult and children including preschoolers. Age should not be a barrier. In sharing the gospel with preschoolers, we need to simplify it as how to believe in Jesus. The younger the children, the simpler it must be. It is important that you pray and trust the Holy Spirit to guide you in sharing the good news about Jesus with the preschoolers. The truth of the matter is, regardless of one’s age, it is the Holy Spirit who grants conviction to the heart.3  

Using the Preschoolers Believe In Jesus Tract
For older children, the good news about Jesus is articulated simply as: You must believe in Jesus to be saved from your sin to live for God. However, being saved from your sins and living for God for a preschooler are difficult concepts to grasp. As a result, in the Preschoolers Believe In Jesus tract, these concepts are further simplified to share the good news about Jesus with the preschoolers. 


Being saved from your sins is termed as God changing your sin-heart to your Jesus-heart. And living for God is broken down as becoming part of God family and doing things His way. Therefore, for the preschooler, the gospel is summed up as: You must believe in Jesus for God to change your sin-heart to your Jesus-heart to become part of God’s family and do things God’s way. 


In sharing the Preschoolers Believe In Jesus tract with the preschoolers, it is important to emphasis that believing in Jesus is not the end, but the beginning of living for God as being part of God’s family to do things God’s way. 


The text in the tract is in bold, and the explanations are provided. The Preschoolers Believe In Jesus tract is based on God’s Word,4 so Bible references are given. When you are sharing the tract with the preschoolers, make sure to personalize it to them.

You must believe in Jesus for God to change your sin-heart to your Jesus-heart to become part of God’s family and do things God’s way. 


This sentence is an age-appropriate definition of the gospel of Jesus in a nutshell. It summarizes for them the why and how to believe in Jesus.

#1 - Know that God made you part of His family to do things His way.
The presentation of the gospel to the preschooler uses a circular approach, rather than linear approach. Being part of God’s family to do things His way is the beginning and end of salvation for the preschoolers. In creation God made man in His likeness and image5 so that He could have a relationship and fellowship with him.6 And God put man in charge of all He made.7 This was God’s purpose for man. Sin has not changed that purpose. Hence, the reason for salvation through Jesus. As such, the preschooler needs to know that God’s purpose for them is to be part of His family to do things His way. This is the reason for and the result of their salvation.
 
#2 – But your sin-heart separates you from God’s family and doing things God’s way.
The first part of salvation is being saved from our sins. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned”8 and “no one is righteous.”9 Sin usually is associated with doing bad things and this must be avoid when sharing the gospel with the preschooler. God’s Word says that sin is breaking God’s law.10 In other words, sin is not doing things God’s way.
And we are sinners because we inherited the Adamic, sinful nature;11 and not because we do bad things. A simple way to present being a sinner and having the sinful nature for the preschoolers is to use the term: Their sin-hearts. 
You cannot talk about sin or sin nature without the penalty for it. God’s Word says that the “wages of sin is death.”12 This punishment of death is spiritual separation from God.13 For the preschoolers, the result of their sin or their sin-hearts can be explained as being separated from God’s family and being unable to do things in God’s way. Hence, in a simple language, their sin-hearts have separated them from God’s family and doing things God’s way.

#3 – You need your Jesus-heart to become part of God’s family and do things God’s way.
In the last point, the salvation problem was their sin-hearts separating the preschoolers from God’s family and way. It is necessary that the solution to the problem be presented next. Even though associating sin with doing bad things have been avoided, yet given an average child’s upbringing to do good or be a good child, doing good things or being good need to be addressed. So, it is imperative to differentiate good works from salvation. 
Jesus is the solution14 to joining God’s family and doing things God’s way.15 Since the adamic, sinful nature was presented as their sin-heart, it is only fitting that the regenerate nature or new creation in Christ be termed their Jesus-heart. Therefore, the salvation solution in preschooler language is: You need your Jesus-heart to become part of God’s family and do things God’s way. 

#4 – God loves you and He sent Jesus for you so that you can become part of His family and do things His way.
Romans 4:2 states that it is God’s goodness (or love) that leads people to repentance. The love of God is the foundation of the salvation in Jesus.16 And this love is expressed by God sending Jesus for us to bring us into God’s family and way. Everyone desires love. Preschoolers’ understanding of love is usually equated to what they are given. To the preschooler: “My mummy loves me because she bought me a toy.” In telling preschoolers that God loves them, it must be tied to the fact that God sent Jesus for them—to bring them into God’s family and way. 

#5 – Know that Jesus died to take away your sin-heart and Jesus became alive to give you your Jesus-heart.
This highlights the sacrifice of Jesus and its relevance to the preschooler. The knowledge of and belief in the death and resurrection of Jesus are the very essence of salvation through Jesus. And both must be presented jointly in sharing the gospel with the preschoolers. Jesus had to die to take away their sin-hearts.17 Taking away their sin-hearts is not the complete salvation. That is why God raised Jesus from the dead so that they can have their Jesus-heart.18 The preschooler must know that Jesus died to take away their sin-heart and Jesus became alive to give them their Jesus-heart.


#6 - You must believe in Jesus for God to change your sin-heart to your Jesus-heart to become part of God’s family and do things God’s way.
While it is good for the preschoolers to know the above 5 points, they need to apply the knowledge. This #6 point tells them about their own part in receiving their salvation. says: Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved.19 Believing in Jesus is what the preschooler needs to do for God to change their sin-heart to their Jesus-heart. It is what they need to do to become part of God’s family and start doing things God’s way.
 
This is how to believe in Jesus: With your heart and mouth.
God’s Word says: We believe in Jesus deep in our hearts… And we openly say that we believe in Him, and so we [become part of God’s family to do things God’s way].20

This Scripture tells them how to believe in Jesus – with their hearts and mouths. The Believe in Jesus prayer that they will be saying with their mouths must be based on what they believe in their hearts about Jesus to become part of God’s family to do things God’s way. 
If possible, “read” this Scripture from a Bible to give a visual.
The sixth point and this Scripture verse serve four purposes:

  1. As a bridge: sin-heart (separates from God’s family and way)-> believe in Jesus -> Jesus-heart (to become part of God’s family and way).

  2. Demand a positive response.

  3. Ground the response in God’s Word.

  4. Tell how to believe in Jesus.


Invitation
If you would like to believe in Jesus for God to change your sin-heart to your Jesus-heart to become part of God’s family and do things God’s way, then say with your mouth this Believe In Jesus prayer and mean it with all your heart:
Soliciting an immediate response from the preschoolers is necessary. Unlike adults, preschoolers are not thinkers, they are doers. Their attention span is limited. Most preschoolers will respond positively to the invitation. This should not be belittled or discouraged because it is the work of the Holy Spirit. However, there may be preschoolers who are hesitant or will not respond. That is okay as well, you should not force any child. 
 
Believe in Jesus prayer
Dear God, I want to become part of Your family and do things Your way. Thank You for loving me and sending Jesus for me. 
I know that Jesus died to take away my sin-heart. And I know that Jesus became alive to give me my Jesus-heart.
According to Your Word, I say with my mouth that I believe in Jesus with all my heart. God, change my sin-heart to my Jesus-heart. Thank You, God, for making me part of Your family so that I will start to do things Your way. Amen.


This Believe in Jesus prayer is the personalization of the Preschoolers Believe in Jesus tract points. You should get the preschoolers to repeat the prayer after you. If possible, lead them to Christ one-to-one.
 
Assurance of Salvation
God’s Word promises that when you believe in Jesus, God changes your sin-heart to your Jesus-heart, and you will become part of God’s family to do things God’s way. And this was what happened when you said the Believe in Jesus prayer. Now that you believe in Jesus, you have your Jesus-heart to become part of God’s family and start doing things God’s way because God says so in His Word.
After the prayer, it is our responsibility to use God’s Word to ground the preschoolers in their faith. You should ask them to tell you what just happened to them. This is particularly important as the conclusion to sharing the Preschoolers Believe In Jesus tract with them. The preschooler may not be able to articulate properly what just happened. Whatever answer a preschooler gives you, make sure you repeat it before summarizing what just happened to them by saying, “You, (their name) now believe in Jesus to have your Jesus-heart and you have become part of God’s family to do things God’s way because God says so in His Word.” 
 
Record
I _________________ (name) believe in Jesus to have my Jesus-heart and I have become part of God’s family and will start doing things God’s way from today __________ (date).
It is a great affirmation for the preschooler to record the date of their salvation. Having it in writing will help remind and assure them of their salvation.
 

Live For God
Now that you believe in Jesus and have your Jesus-heart to become part of God’s family, here is how to live for God by doing things God’s way:
As stated earlier, living for God by being part of God’s family and doing things God’s way is the result of believing in Jesus. Let the preschoolers know that they will live for God by doing things God’s way every day when they know and do these things: 

  • Know that you are a child of God and live as such.

  • Rely on the Holy Spirit to help you.

  • Read God’s Word daily and do what it says.

  • Talk to God often. Thank Him and ask for His help.

  • Show Jesus to others by what you say and do.

  • Tell God you are sorry anytime you do wrong.

  • Help others who need help.

  • Have friends who believe in Jesus like you do.

  • Meet with others at church regularly.

 
Encourage the preschoolers to tell their family and friends that they believe in Jesus to have their Jesus-hearts and have become part of God’s family to do things God’s way. Keep praying for them.

References

  1. Matthew 18:3 (ERV)

  2. Acts 16:31

  3. And when [the Holy Spirit] has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment - John 16:8 (NKJV).

  4. God’s Word is alive and working. It is sharper than the sharpest sword and cuts all the way into us. It cuts deep to the place where the soul and the spirit are joined. God’s word cuts to the center of our joints and our bones. It judges the thoughts and feelings in our hearts - Hebrews 4:12 (ERV).

  5. Genesis 1:26

  6. Genesis 3:8

  7. Genesis 2:8, 1:28

  8. Romans 3:23

  9. Romans 3:10

  10. 1John 3:4

  11. When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned - Romans 5:12 (NLT).

  12. Romans 6:23a

  13. It is your sins that separate you from your God. He turns away from you when he sees them - Isaiah 59:2 (ERV).

  14. Jesus answered, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. The only way to the Father is through me - John 14:6 (ERV).

  15. John 1:12

  16. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life - John 3:16 (NIV).

  17. God sent him to die in our place to take away our sins... - Romans 3:25 (NCV).

  18. So, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the wonderful power of the Father, we also can live a new life - Romans 6:4 (NCV).

  19. Acts 16:32  (ERV)

  20. Romans 10:10 (ERV)

 

Article on Children And Salvation

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Children have many great characteristics that enable them to readily gravitate towards God. Most important is their inclination to readily believe. When it comes to salvation, a child’s heart is a fertile field to believe in and receive Jesus as their Savior. When we simplify the theology of salvation, even the littlest child will accept it. No wonder, Jesus said, “The truth is, you must change your thinking and become like little children. If you don’t do this, you will never enter God’s kingdom1.” 
When we think of it, belief is the only prerequisite to salvation. Simply stated, believe in Jesus to be saved2

This article is based on the Good News About Jesus Tract.

 The children may not fully grasp the concept of sin or the theology behind the sacrifice of Jesus to be saved, and they do not have to. There is nowhere it says in the Bible that we need to understand the gospel to be saved. Most adult who are new believers cannot articulate the gospel of Jesus because they do not fully comprehend it; so why do we expect that of children?


Because of erroneous assumption that one must understand the gospel to believe it, many children are ignored in, and even discouraged from, taking the step of faith to be saved. And when we see the same children say the prayer of salvation repeatedly, we then conclude that children do not understand enough to be saved.


However, our duty is to share the gospel with everyone—adult and children. Age should not be a barrier. In sharing the gospel with children, we need to simplify it as the good news about Jesus. The younger the children, the simpler it must be. It is important that you pray and trust the Holy Spirit to guide you in sharing the good news about Jesus with the children. The truth of the matter is, regardless of one’s age, it is the Holy Spirit who grants conviction to the heart3.  

The Good News About Jesus Tract4
The Good News About Jesus Tract articulates the gospel in a simple way to be shared with children. The text in the tract are in bold, and the explanation are provided. The good news about Jesus is based on God’s Word5, so Bible references are given. When you are sharing the good news about Jesus with the children, make sure to personalize it to them. In sharing the good news about Jesus with children, it is important to emphasis that salvation is not the end, but the beginning of bringing them into a living relationship with God. Hence the phrase: to be saved from your sins to live for God.

The good news about Jesus is for you to believe in Jesus to be saved from your sins to live for God. 
This sentence is an age-appropriate definition of the gospel of Jesus in a nutshell. It summarizes the 4Rs of the good news about Jesus.
The good news of Jesus
Response: Is for you to. 
Reason: To be saved from your sins. 
Requirement: Believe in Jesus. 
Result: To live for God. 

To believe in Jesus, you need to believe these 4 things:
The central theme of salvation is faith in Jesus. Each point expands on what faith in Jesus means.

#1—God loves you and sent Jesus for you to save you from your sins to live for Him6.
The love of God is the foundation of the good news about Jesus. And this love is expressed by God sending Jesus for us to save us from our sins to live for Him. Everyone desires love. Children’s understanding of love is usually equated to what they are given. To the child: “My mummy loves me because she bought me a toy.” In telling children that God loves them, it must be tied to the fact that God sent Jesus for them—to save them from their sins to live for Him. As Romans 4:2 states, it is God’s goodness that leads people to repentance.

#2—You are a sinner7, separated by your sins from God and unable to live for Him8. 
Many times, we throw around the words “be saved” without letting the child know from what. We are saved from our sins. We should not be afraid to state the truth of God’s Word no matter how unpleasant it sounds. The truth is that everyone is a sinner because God’s Word says that “all have sinned9” and “no one is righteous.10” We are sinners because we inherited the Adamic, sinful nature; and not because we do bad things.  The right order is that we sin because we are sinner; not that we are sinners because we sin. God’s Word says that the wages of sin is death11, (or spiritual separation from God). The result of sin is separation from God and being unable to live for Him. 

#3—Jesus died to save you from your sins12 and God raised Jesus from the dead for you to live for Him13. 
The death and resurrection of Jesus are the very essence of the gospel. And both must be presented jointly in sharing the good news about Jesus with the children. Jesus had to die to take away their sins. Being saved from sin is not the complete result of salvation. That is why God raised Jesus from the dead so that they can live for God. 

#4—You must believe in Him to be saved from your sins to live for God2.
While it is good for the children to know the above three points, they need to apply the knowledge. This tells them their own part in receiving their salvation. 

God’s Word says: We believe in Jesus deep in our hearts… And we openly say that we believe in him, and so we are saved Romans 10:10 (ERV).
This Scripture tells them how to believe in Jesus – with their hearts and mouths. The Believe in Jesus prayer that they will be saying with their mouths must be based on what they believe in their hearts about Jesus to be saved. If possible, “read” this Scripture from a Bible to give a visual.
The fourth point and Scripture verse serve four purposes:

  1. As a bridge: sin separates from God and unable to live for Him -> believe in Jesus -> saved from sin to live for God.

  2. Demand a positive response.

  3. Ground the response in God’s Word.

  4. Tell how to believe in Jesus.

Invitation
If you want to believe in Jesus to be saved from your sins to live for God, then say openly with your mouth the Believe in Jesus prayer to God and truly believe it in your heart.
Soliciting an immediate response from the children is necessary. Unlike adults, most children are not thinkers, they are doers. Their attention span is limited. Most children will respond positively to the invitation. This should not be belittled or discouraged because it is the work of the Holy Spirit. However, there will be children who are hesitant or will not respond. That is okay as well, you should not force any child. 

Believe in Jesus prayer
Dear God, I believe that You love me and sent Jesus for me to save me from my sins to live for You. I believe that I am a sinner, separated by my sins from You and unable to live for You. I believe that Jesus died to save me from my sins, and You raised Him from the dead for me to live for You. According to Your Word, with all my heart, I say openly that I believe in Jesus to be saved from my sins to live for You. Thank you, God, for saving me from my sins to live for You because I now believe in Jesus. Amen.


This Believe in Jesus prayer is the personalization of the good news points. You may ask the children to repeat the prayer after you. If possible, lead the children to Christ one-to-one.

Assurance of Salvation
"Anyone who calls on the Lord will be saved" – Romans 10:13 (NCV). 
God’s Word promises that any person, which is you, who believes in Jesus will be saved from their sins to live for Him. And this was what you just did when you said the Believe in Jesus prayer. Now that you believe in Jesus, you are saved from your sins to live for God because God says so in His Word.
After the prayer, it is our responsibility to use God’s Word to ground them in their faith. You can ask the children to tell you what just happened to them. This is particularly important as the conclusion to sharing the good news about Jesus with children. Not every child will be able to articulate properly what just happened. Whatever answer a child gives you, make sure you repeat it before summarizing what just happened to them by saying, “You, (their name) now believe in Jesus to be saved from your sins to live for God. And because you believe in Jesus, you are saved from your sins to live for God because God says so in His Word.” 


Below are Scriptures to share with them to assure them of their salvation:

  • And the Spirit Himself speaks to our spirits and makes us sure that we are God’s children—Romans 8:16 (ERV).

  • My Father is the One who gave them to Me, and He is greater than all. No one can steal My sheep out of His hand—John 10:29 (ERV).

  • Whoever has the Son has life, but whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write this letter to you who believe in the Son of God. I write so that you will know that you have eternal life now—1John 5:12-13 (ERV).

  • I assure you, anyone who hears what I say and believes in the one who sent me has eternal life. They will not be judged guilty. They have already left death and have entered into life—John 5:24 (ERV).

  • I can assure you that anyone who believes has eternal life—John 6:47 (ERV).

  • Yes, I am sure that nothing can separate us from God’s love—not death, life, angels, or ruling spirits. I am sure that nothing now, nothing in the future, no powers, nothing above us or nothing below us—nothing in the whole created world—will ever be able to separate us from the love God has shown us in Christ Jesus our Lord—Romans 8:38-39 (ERV). 

Note: Going over these Scriptures to instil assurance of salvation in the children should not be a one-time thing. After all, faith comes by hearing (continuous tense), and hearing by the Word of God—Romans 10:17 (NKJV).

Record
I _________________ (name) believe in Jesus to be saved from my sins to live for God from today __________ (date).
It is a great affirmation for the children to record the date of their salvation. Having it in writing will help remind and assure them of their salvation.

Live for God
Now that you believe in Jesus to be saved from your sins, here is how to live for God:
As stated earlier, living for God is the result of believing in Jesus. Let the children know that they live for God every day when they know and do these things: 
Know that you are a child of God and live as such.
Rely on the Holy Spirit to help you.
Read God’s Word daily and do what it says.
Talk to God often. Thank Him and ask for His help.
Show Jesus to others by what you say and do.
Tell God you are sorry anytime you do wrong.
Help others who need help.
Have friends who believe in Jesus like you do.
Meet with others at church regularly.

Encourage the children to tell their family and friends that they believe in Jesus and are saved from their sins to live for God. Keep praying for them.


 

References

  1. Matthew 18:3 (ERV)

  2. Acts 16:31

  3. And when [the Holy Spirit] has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment—John 16:8 (NKJV).

  4. See page 92

  5. God’s Word is alive and working. It is sharper than the sharpest sword and cuts all the way into us. It cuts deep to the place where the soul and the spirit are joined. God’s word cuts to the center of our joints and our bones. It judges the thoughts and feelings in our hearts—Hebrews 4:12 (ERV).

  6. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life—John 3:16 (NIV).

  7. When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned—Romans 5:12 (NLT).

  8. It is your sins that separate you from your God. He turns away from you when he sees them—Isaiah 59:2 (ERV).

  9. Romans 3:23

  10. Romans 3:10

  11. Romans 6:23a

  12. God sent him to die in our place to take away our sins... - Romans 3:25 (NCV).

  13. So, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the wonderful power of the Father, we also can live a new life—Romans 6:4 (NCV)

 

Article on Teaching Children Word Seed

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The Psalmist said, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You”- Psalm 119:11 (NKJV). Hiding God’s Word in your heart is what memorization is all about. As the teacher/parent, you need to understand the importance of memorizing God’s Word in both yours and the children’s daily lives.  Therefore, you must commit to learning the Scriptures along with the children.

To effectively teach children Word seed, you need to let them know why such an exercise is important. What you consider important, you take seriously. Below are some of the reasons to present to them.

Memorizing God’s Word:

  • Helps you to be like Jesus—Mathew 4:1-10.

  • Puts God’s Word in your heart—Colossians 3:16.

  • Gives you a new way of thinking, helps you to know God’s will and changes your life for good—Romans 12:2.

  • Helps you not to sin—Psalm 119:11.

  • Helps you to encourage other believers—1Thessalonians 4:18.

  • Helps you to share the Good News about Jesus—1Peter 3:15.

If possible, get the children to discuss what has worked or not worked for them in the past concerning scripture memorization. This will help you to know what to avoid and what to incorporate. With the help of the Holy Spirit, address these issues in your preparation.

Most curriculums’ lessons come with Word seed which you are expected to teach the children. However, you may choose to teach them other Bible verses. If so, before the class, decide which version of the Bible to use and how many Bible verses to select for the children’s memorization. Feel free to use the version that best articulate the truth of the Bible verses in the language that the children will easily comprehend.

Prior to starting the Word seed recitation, remind them the importance of scripture memorization. Regardless of the Word seed (the curriculum’s or yours), explain to them how the Bible verses apply to them. Their understanding will aid their motivation. Be sure to teach the Word seed word-perfect to the children. Repetition is key to helping them retain the Word seed.

Teach the children to memorize the Bible verses using the method below:

  • Break down the Bible verses into the reference and several phrases (the number of phrases depends on the length of the verses).

  • Recite the reference a few times.

  • Then recite the first phrase a few times.

  • Now join both the reference and first phrase together and recite a few times until the children can recite them top of their heads.

  • Move on to recite the second phrase a few times, then join the reference and the first two phrases together and recite a few times until the children can recite them top of their heads.

  • Recite the next phrase and repeat the above procedure.

  • Keep adding the phrases one at a time until the children can recite the entire verses top of their heads.

 

Here are a few helpful suggestions to aid the children in memorizing the Bible verses faster and retaining them longer:

  • As much as possible, associate the key words or phrases with hand movements or actions to help the memorization. And ensure that the same hand movements/actions are incorporated with each recitation.

  • If possible, turn the Bible verses into a song.

  • Get them to write the Bible verses on a small card for easy reference.

See the Word Seed Recitation Activities below

Encourage the children to keep reciting the Word seed at home (at least 3 times a day). Suggest that they use their quiet times during the day to recite the Bible verses, for example, when they are lying in bed waiting to fall asleep, etc.

Know that Scripture memorization is not a one-time thing. In subsequent classes, provide opportunities for the children to recite their Word seed and praise them accordingly. Keep reciting the same Bible verses together with the children until they can recite them without your help. Before moving on, you should have the children recite the Word seed word-perfect individually to you. You may want to invest in token prizes to encourage and reward them.

 

Word Seed Recitation Activities

Song
This is one of those Word seed that every child should know and remember for life. The easiest and most effective way to achieve this is through turning the Word seed into a song. Fortunately, there are YouTube video of Bible verses, so there is no need to reinvent the wheel in formulating it into a song (unless you are very talented).

Sound Motion 
Teach the Word seed by using sound motion. Divide the Word seed into 4 parts and sound motions for the recital. Have the children make the sound motion for each part throughout the recital. 
Hands tapping on thighs: 
Feet stumping: 
Finger snapping: 
Hand clapping:

Numbers Counting 
Teach the Word seed by counting from One to Ten. Divide the Word seed into 5 parts for the recital. Have the children clap as they count the numbers.
One, Two: 
Three, Four: 
Five, Six: 
Seven, Eight: 
Nine, Ten:

The Wave
Teach the Word seed by mimicking the wave at a sports game. A wave starts with a group in one section standing up lifting their hands in the air and sitting down putting their hands down. Then immediately, the group in the next section does the same motions, then the next section group takes up the same motion and does it, and so forth.
Divide the class into # groups. If possible, rearrange the seating formation into a circle. Then divide the Word seed into # parts. To make the wave more effective and to save time, teach the entire class the complete Word seed before using it for the wave.
Group # does the wave as it recites: 

Stand, Sit
Teach the Word seed by having the children alternate between standing up and sitting down while reciting it.
To make it more engaging, divide the Word seed into # parts so that the children can stand and sit many times during the recitation.
Stand: 
Sit: 

Volume Wave
Teach the Word seed by having the children change their voice volume as they recite the Word seed. Let them start in a whisper, speak normally, yell on top of their voices, speak normally, and end in a whisper. Or you may have them alternate between whispering and yelling.
Divide the Word seed into 5 parts.
Whisper: 
Normal (or yell): 
Yell (or whisper): 
Normal (or yell): 
Whisper:

Hands to Head
Teach the Word seed to the children by having them touch their right and left hands alternatively to their head and then using both hands to touch their head at the same time as they recite it.
Divide the Word seed into 3 or 6 parts.
Right hand touch head:
Left hand touch head:
Both hands touch head:

Hands to Knees
Teach the Word seed to the children by having them touch their hands to their knees in alternative movements as they recite it. The first movement is to touch their knees with their hand as they bend at the knees, then bring their hands into a clap as they straighten up. The alternative movement is to cross their hands to touch their knees (that is, right hand on left knee and left hand on right knee) as they bend at the knees, then bring their hands into a clap as they straighten up. 
Divide the Word seed into # parts.
Hands to knees:
Crisscross hands to knees:


Push and Pull
Teach the Word seed to the children by having them mimic the push and pull motions while accenting the movement with their whole body.
Divide the Word seed into # parts.
Push:
Pull:

Crisscross Arms
Teach the Word seed to the children by having them crisscross their arms right and left. For the right crisscross, have them cross their right hands inn from of their left hands while twisting their bodies to the right. For the left crisscross, have them cross their left hands inn from of their right hands while twisting their bodies to the left.
Divide the Word seed into # parts.
Right arms crisscross:
Left arms crisscross:


Prayer claps
Teach the Word seed by having the children do prayer claps in increasing number before the start of each part recital. A prayer clap is bringing both hands together in clap in a prayer motion. Then increasing the prayer claps for each recitation part.
Divide the Word seed into # parts.
1 prayer clap: 
2 prayer claps: 

Double claps
Teach the Word seed by having the children do double claps before the start of each part recital.
Divide the Word seed into # parts.
Double claps: 

Double claps after
Teach the Word seed by having the children do double claps after the end of each part recital.
Divide the Word seed into # parts.
… :Double claps.

Triple Claps vowels
Teach the Word seed by having the children do triple claps with each vowel sound after the end of each part recital.
Divide the Word seed into 5 parts.
… :Tripe claps a-a-a.
… :Tripe claps e-e-e.
… :Tripe claps i-i-i.
… :Tripe claps o-o-o. 
… :Tripe claps u-u-u.

Speed Talking/Jogging
Teach the Word seed by getting the children to recite and jogging on the spot in sync. Start at a normal speed of talking/jogging and gradually increase the speed.
Divide the Word seed into # parts to teach them.
Speed Talking/Jogging:

Turning Right
Teach the Word seed to the children by having them turn to their right as the recite it.
Divide the Word seed into # parts.
Turn right:

Jumping Right
Teach the Word seed to the children by having them jump to their right as the recite it.
Divide the Word seed into # parts.
Jump right:

Jump Front and Back
Teach the Word seed to the children by having them jump front and back as the recite it.
Divide the Word seed into # parts.
Jump front:
Jump back:

Jump and Swat
Teach the Word seed to the children by having them jump up and swat down as the recite it.
Divide the Word seed into # parts.
Jump up:
Swat down:

Stomping
Teach the Word seed to the children by having them stomp their right and left feet alternatively throughout the recital.
Divide the Word seed into # parts.
Right foot stomp:
Left foot stomp:

Foot Hop
Teach the Word seed to the children by having them hop on their right and left feet alternatively throughout the recital.
Divide the Word seed into # parts.
Right foot hop:
Left foot hop:

Butterfly Cycle
Teach the children the Word seed by imitating the changes in the butterfly. Divide the Word seed into 4 parts and use the following motions to represent the life cycle stages in the butterfly:
Egg—Fold arms around the chest: 
Caterpillar—move hands up and down in crawling motion: 
Cocoon—keep still with hands by the side: 
Butterfly—flap hands up and down in a flying motion:

Body Touching
Teach the Word seed by having the children touch with both hands to different parts of their bodies in downwards to upwards motion.
Divide the Word seed into 7 parts. And as they recite each part, let them touch the corresponding body parts. To make it more fun, you can alternate the recitation speed—fast or slow. 
Touch head: 
Touch shoulders: 
Touch knees: 
Touch toes: 
Touch knees: 
Touch shoulders: 
Touch head:

March And Salute
Teach the children the Word seed by having them march a few paces forward and backward and end with a salute. Have the children line up in rows with enough spaces between each row for the march and each other for arm swings.
Divide the Word seed into 4 parts.
March forward: 
March backward: That he will not leave us. 
March forward: 
Salute:

Sign language
Teach the children the Word seed by having them use sign language to depict main words in the Word seed. 
Word: 
 

 

Air to toes
Teach the children the Word seed by having them start with their hands in air and bend down to bring hands to touch toes, then straighten their bodies up to lift hands back in air. This is great for very short Word seed that can be divided into only 2 parts.
Divide the Word seed into 2 parts.
Hands in air and bend down to bring hands to touch toes: 
Straighten up to lift hands in air:

Slide Right & Left
Teach the children the Word seed by having them slide to their right and left. To slide right, have them step to the right side with their right feet and slide their left feet into the left side of their right feet. To slide left, have them step to the left side with their left feet and slide their right feet into the right side of their left feet.
Divide the Word seed into # parts.
Slide right: 
Slide left: 

Dance Moves
Teach the children the Word seed by having them recite it to simple dance moves sideways, forward and backward. For right side dance move, have them move their right feet to the right and then bring their left feet to join the right feet while accenting the right movement with their whole body and snapping their finger. The left side dance move goes in the opposite direction. For the forward dance move, have them move their right feet to the front and then bring their left feet to join the right feet while accenting the front movement with their whole body and snapping their finger. The backward dance move goes opposite direction.
Divide the Word seed into 4 parts.
Right:
Left: 
Front:
Back:

Shake and Freeze
Teach the children the Word seed by having them shake their bodies as they recite each part and freeze their bodies at the end of the recitation part.
Divide the Word seed into # parts.
Shake: …: Freeze.


Musical Instruments Motion
Teach the children the Word seed by having them mimic playing musical instruments.
Divide the Word seed into 6 parts.
Guitar:
Trumpet:
Drums:
Flute:
Piano:
Violin: 

Animal Sounds
Teach the Word seed by having the children make different animal sounds after the end of each part recital.
Divide the Word seed into 6 parts.
… :Woof-woof (dog).
… : Quack-quack (duck).
… :Meow-meow (cat).
… :Moo-moo (cow).
… :Oink-oink (pig).
… :Baa-baa (sheep).

 

Article on Child Dedication

child dedication.png

About a year ago when I escorted Bimisola, my twelve year old daughter, to her new school, her teacher made very complementary statements about her performance. On my way back home, thinking about how well she and her fourteen year old brother, Bimisayo, were doing academically (both are honor students),  I said aloud, “God’s grace definitely has something to do with it.” Immediately, I was corrected in my heart, ‘It is ALL the grace of God!’

I reflect over their lives, and I see God’s hand on them at every point and in every aspect. Sometimes they do or say things that are not right or are about to form a bad habit; one way or the other, Dele, my husband and I get to know about it. As a result, we correct the wrong or nip the negative habit in the bud. Often, I joke with the children that we find them out because we know all things. On a serious note, I know that it is God who exposes their ways to us. That day as I reminisced, I glorified God that both children were healthy, well mannered and intelligent. Then I remembered this scripture about Jesus growing up strong, being filled with wisdom and having the grace of God upon him - Luke 2:40. It was a perfect fit for Bimisayo and Bimisola! I knew we had great kids and it was not because Dele and I were perfect parents. In my heart, I heard the Spirit of God saying to me, “This is what happens when you dedicate your child to God and have unfaltering trust in God to take care of the child.”


Though dedicating a child to God leads to having God’s blessings on the child, yet child dedication must be based on the foundation that you are in Christ. As a child of God who is committed to walking in the ways of God, you should expect to have children who will follow in your footsteps. When Dele and I were about to start a family, we yearned for children who will glorify God with their lives and accomplish mighty things for the kingdom of God because we were believers. In creation, God created vegetation and animals which produced offspring according to their kind - Genesis 1:11-12; 20-25. In creating Man, God did not deviate from this principle. When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth - Genesis 5:1-3. God’s word further assures that a parent by the virtue of being a believer has holy children - 1Corinthians 7:14.  As a righteous person (you are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus - 1Corinthians 5:21), you can expect God to make your children God-fearing. Note, this does not mean your children are born saved or have automatic salvation as a result: everyone must make a personal decision to be saved. When God enters into a covenant with an individual, it extends to his family. (Study Genesis 13:14-15 about Abraham; Genesis 26:1-6 about Isaac; and Genesis 28:10-15 about Jacob, etc.) As long as your children are under your authority, your covenant of righteousness with God is broadened as a hedge over them. Dele and I dedicated our children to God because we knew that was the starting point in having God’s will for their lives becoming fulfilled.


The steps in child dedication can be compared to the process of salvation. To get saved, you should understand that God’s Word says that you are a sinner and you need to ask Jesus into your heart. Similarly, you should recognize that every child born into the world is born as a sinner. David said, ‘In sin did my mother conceive me’ - Psalm 51:5. Just knowing that you are a sinner and you need Jesus does not make you saved. You need to believe with your heart and confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus - Romans 10:9-10. Like salvation, comprehending all the things outlined above does not ensure automatic dedication of your child to God. Dele and I learnt that godly children will not just materialize simply because we craved for them. We realized that God was the one who could mold their character and charter a righteous future for them; and we needed to make a conscious request to God about it. So, together in the privacy of the hospital room at the birth of each child, we laid our hands on the child and said a prayer that went like this, “Dear Father God, we dedicate this child unto you, in Jesus Name. We ask and receive the grace to bring up this child in your ways and for your glory, in Jesus Name, Amen.” The act of dedicating your child to God involves you believing in your heart that God is able to keep that which is entrusted to him and saying with your mouth (in your own words) a prayer of dedication of your child to God. The prayer may be as simple or as elaborate as you please; the important thing is that you say it in faith.


You ask, what about the dedication service in church? I would liken that to the act of water baptism after salvation. With or without it, your faith in Christ is what brings about your salvation. Water baptism is commanded by God - Matthew 28:19. Jesus told John to baptize him to fulfill all righteousness - Matthew 3:15. A child dedication ceremony is a forum to publicly present your child to God and have other believers join their faith with yours for your child’s godly future. It is also an acknowledgement that the church represents the larger family within which the child will be raised up. Approximately six weeks after birth, we carried Bimisayo to church for a child dedication service. When it came to that portion of the service, our pastor gave a short exaltation on the importance of child dedication to God. He asked Dele and me if we were ready to raise up our son in the ways of God. Of course, we said yes. He proceeded to invoke God’s blessing over the life of our child in dedicating him to God. Our pastor also petitioned God’s grace for us to bring up Bimisayo in the ways of God. Nearly two years later, we went through a similar ceremony for Bimisola. 


The timing of child dedication differs from family to family for many reasons. It is, however, best to dedicate your child right at birth. For some, it does not occur to them to do so until the child dedication service. Yet still, for others it has not even occurred to them to do so until reading this. Correspondingly, the time allotment for a child dedication ceremony varies. In the bible, Jesus was presented in the temple when the time of Joseph and Mary’s purification according the Law of Moses had been completed - Luke 2:22. Church traditions may prevail. For us, the church we attended encouraged child dedication on the first Sunday the child was brought to church. In some churches, there may be set times in the month or year assigned for child dedication. Also, the date as to when all family members can attend may be taken into consideration. As long as your child is still under your parental authority, it is never too late. In our first church, a newly saved mother brought her three teenage children and had them dedicated to God before the congregation. God honored her faith. Months later, she testified about the positive changes she had begun to observe in all her children. Whatever the time, the crucial aspect is that you understood the reasons for dedicating your child to God and then proceeding in faith.


After dedicating your child to God, with or without a child dedication service, you can expect the Lord’s blessings upon the child. In asking the Lord for a child, Hannah vowed to give the child back to the Lord. Six years later, after she had weaned Samuel, the child God gave her, she fulfilled her vow by entrusting Samuel under the care of Eli the priest. The result of dedicating her child to the Lord was that the boy Samuel continued to grow in stature and in favor with the LORD and with men - 1Samuel 2:26. In the New Testament, Joseph and Mary took him [Jesus] to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord… the child [Jesus] grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him - Luke 2:22-23, 39-40. I remember an occasion where Bimisayo, almost two years old, went missing after church. He apparently walked out of the church premises unnoticed with the departing crowd after the first service. As soon as we realized he was missing, a search party was convened. As I combed the area for him with the sister I was paired with, I kept re-assuring myself that we had dedicated him to God and wherever he was, God’s protection was over him. Armed with this fact, I was convinced that we would find him sooner or later and my heart was at peace. About two hours later, the sister and I came across him in a neighboring catholic children’s church. He had been fed and was fast asleep. Each time I think about the incidence, I am further convinced that one of the benefits of dedicating your child to God is the promise of God’s protection. 


You may question, I dedicated my child to the Lord but why don’t I see any of these blessings in his/her life? Dedicating your child as I mentioned earlier should be established on God’s Word and done in faith. Also, what you are committing to, by dedicating your child, is the continuous surrender of the child to God with steady trust in God for the life of the child. The act of dedicating your child to God does not stand alone; it is synonymous with an unceasing trust in God over the child’s life. God has a plan for your child which He is able to carry out and you need to trust Him to do so. Hannah said, ‘I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him over to the LORD…’ - 1Samuel 1:27-28. It was well known that Eli’s sons were wicked men and this was the household Hannah chose to leave her son to grow up in. Despite the corruption in Eli’s house, she was able to declare, ‘…For his whole life he will be given to the LORD’ - 1 Samuel 1:28. Her dedication of her son to the LORD was complete. Samuel turned out to be a great prophet, the LORD was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of his words fall to the ground - 1Samuel 3:19.

 

With our children, Dele and I regularly yield them over to the Lord to have his way in their lives and pronounce God’s blessings over their lives. Last year, our son went through a stage in his life where he had questions about his faith. Though he participated in our daily family devotion, went to church and even took active part in the youth ministry when available, yet he did not seem to have a personal fellowship with God. I must confess that sometimes it bothered me. At such times, I learned to pray for him and re-affirmed my faith in God for his life. God was faithful. I am certain that because we dedicated him to God, he was God’s and God was in control of his life. Sooner or later, I believed, the work of the Holy Spirit in his life would produce great spiritual results. To the glory of God, towards the end of last year, our son re-dedicated his life to Christ and was water baptized. God is working out His plan in his life. Indeed, our God is faithful.  


Dedicating your child to God has many advantages connected to it with the assurance of a godly future for the child. In the bible, Samuel and Jesus are examples for us to hold on to. Dele and I bear witness to the power and grace of God on Bimisayo and Bimisola as a result of dedicating them to the Lord. I have met several Christians who have testified to the same about their children. It is my hope that you will realize the blessings attached to child dedication and appropriate such over your children.