We want our children to know and experience the unwavering love of God! One of the greatest gifts that we receive when we put our faith in Jesus is the Holy Spirit. Being connected to God through the Spirit gives us new life and produces in us the same kind of love that God has for us! As believers we get to show others the love of Jesus.
“ 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”
1 Jn 4:15–16 (ESV)
- A bowl of strawberries
- A strawberry plant
Hi Kids! Over the summer we’re learning about the FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT. What are the Fruit of the Spirit!? When we put our faith in Jesus, we receive an amazing gift from Jesus in the form of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit leads us and we grow and start to bear fruit! It’s a way of saying that we become more like Jesus. Galatians 5:22-23 says: “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” The first fruit of the Spirit is love, so today we’re going to speak about God’s love in us! We’re going to use a strawberry to represent love because the strawberry is shaped sort of like a heart — and it’s red!
Now, who loves strawberries? (most of the children do!) What does it mean when we say that we love something or someone? (let the children respond) When we think of love, we normally think of it as a feeling. You might describe it as really liking something a lot. Well, that’s kind of right because God really does like each one of you a lot! He made you!!!
While that is true, it’s important to remember that God’s love is more than just a feeling of liking something or someone a lot. A good way to describe God’s love comes from 1 Corinthians 13.4–7: “4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
Whoa, that’s a really amazing way to describe love but here’s a simpler way to describe love that’s found in 1 John 4.16: “So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”
This says that God is love! That means that when we have Jesus in us, we have love in us. As we grow in Jesus, we grow in the love of God.
The Strawberry Plant
Take a look at this strawberry plant. Let me tell you how the strawberry grows on the strawberry plant. The plant makes a little stem that flowers and then the strawberry starts to grow on the stem. The strawberry plant sends nutrients and water to the strawberry through the stem. Would the strawberry be able to grow if you cut that stem? It would not. It would stay small. One day Jesus was teaching his disciples and he spoke about something like this. He told them: “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”
Remember that the strawberry represents love. If we want to love people with the love of Jesus, we need to stay connected to him through the Holy Spirit in us. That way we can continue to grow in the love of Jesus.
Prayer: Lord, thank you that we have the Holy Spirit to point us to you and help us bear good fruit. May the fruit of your Spirit grow in each one of us as we walk with you. Please help us to love others with your love.
- What are the fruit of the Spirit?
- Why do we call them fruit?
- How does this fruit grow in our lives?
- Can you think of ways that you can show God’s love to others?
Image Credit: Wild Strawberries and a Carnation in a Wan-Li Bowl, by Jacob van Hulsdonck, c. 1620