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The Prize

Children's sermon
The Big Influence of Small Things
Exegetical Aim: Faithfulness to the end.

Props:
A Bible and a trophy or reward of some sort. Adapt the lesson to the type of trophy used.

Lesson: I want to show you something that is very important to me. Hold up the trophy. What is this? (response) Yes, it's a trophy. Can you tell from the little person on top of the trophy what I did do to receive the trophy? (response) Yes, that's right. It's from playing basketball. What did I have to do to earn this trophy? (practice or be real good) What skills do you need to develop in order to be a good basketball player? (response) You need to learn to dribble the ball, and what else? (response) Shooting the ball is very important. What else? (response) I can't shoot all the shots, so I also need to learn how to ... (pass the ball)

You also have to study those things that tell you what you can and can't do. What are those called? (rules) And there are a whole lot of them. I got this trophy because I could play the game well, I had the skills, and I knew the rules. Let me ask you something. Do you get the trophy if you quit after the first game? Why? (response) That's right, you have to make it all the way through. That's the purpose of the trophy. That's why trophies are special. They remind us that we have played by the rules and worked hard all the way to the finish. This trophy reminds me that I had a goal and I stuck to it.

Application:
In the Bible Saint Paul said he was pressing on toward the goal for his prize. What do you think Paul's goal was? He also wanted a trophy but not a basketball trophy. What was he trying to win? (response) Various answers will no doubt be given here. You're close. He wanted to win a life in heaven with Jesus. All of us should try to win this trophy. It is the greatest of all trophies. Here is how you do it: This Bible hold out the Bible has all kinds of rules that we have to learn, like "Love one another," and it tells us how to dribble, how to shoot, and how to pass. We have to work hard and practice every day being a Christian. But most importantly, we cannot quit. We can't be a Christian for just one day and expect God to give us a trophy. We have to be a Christian our entire life.

Let's Pray:
Gracious God, keep us faithful so that we might receive the trophy of heaven when all is through. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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