Football season is a great reminder of the armor of God and the protection God gives us in the game of life. No football player, in their right mind, would run on to the field for a game without his uniform including all the pads!
Theme: In life, just like in a football game, we have been given pieces of armor/equipment that help to protect us.
Bible Verses: Ephesians 6
Christian Object Lesson Idea: Dress in full football uniform and gear to use as a visual to teach the different pieces of the armor of God. Ask kids what each piece of the uniform does to help the football player in the game.
Explain that in the "game of life", we have God's armor available to help protect us.
Ephesians 6:11-13 "Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand."
Belt of Truth - Point to the football belt. Just like the football belt holds the pants up and gives security, so does this piece of the armor of God.
Eph. 6:14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist,"
The belt goes around the waist, our midsection. It secures the pads around that section. Truth brings assurance into our lives thereby also bringing security in who we belong to. I also think of it protecting us from always being led by our emotions. How many times do we refer to our midsection when we speak of our emotions - "I had a feeling in the pit of my stomach;" "I had butterflies in my stomach." We can't base decisions on our emotions, they can mislead. We must base them on the Truth of God's Word.
Breastplate of Righteousness - Point to the shoulder pads which also cover the chest.
Eph. 6:14 "with the breastplate of righteousness in place,"
This piece of God's armor protects our heart. Christ's righteousness, right relationship with God, is credited to us! Because of it our heart is protected from being led astray.
Shoes of Peace - Point to the football cleats.
Eph. 6:15 "and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace."
Football cleats dig into the ground and give you traction - help you stand in position. The gospel of peace - a peace with God, keeps us grounded. This peace keeps us calm and standing strong when storms come into our life. We are grounded because of the good news that we can have peace with God through Jesus Christ!
Shield of Faith Hold up your arm with arm pads.
Eph. 6:16 "In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one."
This piece of the armor of God goes out before - in front. It is the first point of contact with the opposing force. Faith is the first step in standing strong for God.
Hebrews 11:6 says "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him."
Trusting God is what moves us forward. Knowing and believing that He is real and active in our lives pushes the opposing team backwards!
Helmet of Salvation - Point to the football helmet.
Eph. 6:17 "Take the helmet of salvation"
A very important piece of the armor of God, the helmet of salvation protects our mind. It is there that as an act of the will we first choose Jesus. And it is there that we continue to consciously choose Him each and everyday. Our minds are attacked with ideas from the world, ideas that do not draw us closer to God. The helmet helps to guard our minds; it is His saving grace that purifies our thoughts.
Sword of the Spirit - Hold up a football playbook.
Eph. 6:17 "and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."
All other pieces of the armor of God are defensive. The sword of the Spirit or Word of God is offensive. Just like a football playbook, it give us direction. It gives us instruction about how to play this game of life so that we can win!
Prayer Pull on a football jersey over all.
Eph. 6:18 "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints."
Just like the football jersey covers the football pads so that they will function properly, prayer covers all the other armor and brings them together as one unit that functions together.
A football jersey also identifies which team one is playing for. Ask students to think about their life. Are they on God's team? Take this time to share the plan of salvation.
Finally hold up a football. Just like a football is to be thrown or carried down the field, so we are to carry the Gospel to share with others!