I'm Thankful for My Body
TEXT: Genesis 1:26-31
- supplemental scriptures
The students will be able to relate how God made our bodies, and will recognize that we should be thankful that He breathed into us the breath of life.
- memory verse
Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us. — Colossians 1:12
- bible lesson outline
Introduction: Bring a sack in which you have placed a number of articles which your students should try to identify through their various senses: for example, a jar of spice (smell), a comb (touch—be sure to have them close their eyes), an alarm clock (hearing), a chocolate candy (taste), and a rose (sight). Bring out what a complex and marvelous creation the human body is.
- God created man in His own image.
- He gave man dominion over all animals and living creatures on the earth.
- God ordained that the plant life upon the earth would be food for mankind and the animals.
Climax: God's greatest creation occurred when He made man in His own image.
Conclusion: Our bodies are marvelous and complex instruments, with senses and abilities beyond the understanding of man. We should remember to thank God for them.
Response: Your students should be able to tell how God created our bodies, and to detail some of the amazing things our bodies are capable of doing. They should recognize that we were created in the image of God, and see the importance of giving Him thanks for this.
- background information
Man is truly unique in God's creation. The Hebrew word bara, which means "to create out of nothing," is used in Genesis 1 only three times: once in reference to the elements (Genesis 1:1), once in reference to life in general (Genesis 1:21), and finally, in reference to the image of God in man (Genesis 1:27). God spoke into existence all creation except man. He carefully formed man's body out of the dust of the earth and breathed into him the breath of life (Genesis 2:7). Man's ability to think and communicate is infinitely above any of the animals'. It is abundantly clear that we are a special creation of God, created tor a unique purpose. God created the earth for a habitation for man but God created man for a habitation for Himself. See 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 2 Corinthians 4:6-7; Ephesians 2:22; 1 John 3:24; and Revelation 3:20.
We see in our text that man was the crowning achievement of God's creation. It has been said that all other parts of creation are the effect of God's Word. But man is the work of God, created in His image and likeness, by God's hand. Man was not spoken into existence; he was not born but was made from the dust of the earth. Biologists today confirm this: the basic elements from which man's body is composed are all found in the dust. One making the most cursory study of the human body, its systems, and the intricacies of each, can only exclaim with the Psalmist: "I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made."
- in-class activities
- Bring to class several small objects (orange, spoon, fluffy toy, rattle, etc.). Put all of them into a brown paper bag. Blindfold one of your students and let him reach into the bag and try to identify one of the objects. He may first try to guess by the feel, then the sound (if any), then the smell (if any), and finally by sight (take off the blindfold). Let each child have a turn. Then talk about each of the senses and why we should be thankful for the body God gave to each of us. Example: There are some people who do not have the sense of smell but the other senses take over and help them to identify what something is. Not included here was the sense of taste so you might like to include a treat for each student.
- On a large posterboard, sheet of butcher paper, or a chalkboard, draw the form of a child without completed hands, feet, eyes, nose, etc. (see Patterns). Let your students finish the missing items one at a time, by connecting the dots. Each should tell how the part he is completing can be used and why he should be thankful for it.
- Give each child a copy of the ME! poem and picture frame (see Patterns). Have them draw a self-portrait in their picture frames and then sign their names on the line below the picture. Then help them to recite the poem. This would be fun with actions. Have students draw themselves—head to toe, about 10" to 12" tall, color, cut out and put on bulletin board. Put each student's name underneath his picture.
- Why were people God's last creation?
- What if everyone looked exactly alike? Why are you glad you look different from everyone else?
- What if God had designed you to look like a potato? How would you feel about that?
- Does each part of the body have a purpose? Explain your answer by giving some examples.
- Talk about touching, smelling, seeing, hearing, tasting. Why do we need to be thankful for each of these senses?
- What are some things people do to hurt their body? Does this please God?
- How can we take care of the body God gave us?
- How can we show God that we are really thankful that He created us?
- pre-school suggestions
- Using white paper, trace around the hands of each of your children. Let them color and put in details as you talk about all the different things that our hands can do. Encourage the children to suggest things they like to do with their hands.
- Bring modeling clay and make the form of a person. Let the children try to make the "person" live. Help them to realize that only God can create a living being.
- Give each child a copy of the picture of a girl (see Patterns). Have them point to each detail as you name each one listed. Talk about why we should be thankful for how wonderfully God created us.
- Prepare a boy and a girl stick puppet for each child (see Patterns). Attach a popsicle stick to the back of each puppet. Help the students talk about things that children can do for Jesus as a way of showing how thankful they are for the way He created all of them. They can sing with their mouths; they can look with their eyes and see things to do for Him; they can obey when they hear Mommy or Daddy telling them something; they can clap their hands for joy, etc.
- Using different colors of construction paper, trace around both hands of each child (a different color for each child if possible). Cut these out and form a wreath with them, gluing them in place so they can be mounted on a wall in your classroom. Tell the children you are going to display this wreath for a period of time. Each time they look at the wreath it should remind them of how wonderfully God made each of them. Talk about how each child can be Helping-Hands for Jesus to show Him how thankful they are.
- review ideas
If you have the time and resources, it would be fun to put together a slide-show of all the children in your Sunday school department. You can bring out how special each of these children are to God and how thankful each of them should be for all they are able to do.
A simple overhead review can be done by using the God's Creation fill-in sheet (see Patterns). Copy the pattern onto an overhead transparency. Display it on a screen for all the children to see. Ask the students to help you with ideas for filling in the details concerning each part of the boy shown on the transparency. Example: Eyes—What color do you think they are? What can he do with them? (See to read, tell colors, tell which way the ball was thrown, etc.) Do this with each of the six parts listed.
Bring a mechanical toy robot. Demonstrate the different things the robot can do: walk around, pick up objects, etc. Talk about what a fantastic little invention this is. Then call a student volunteer forward. Have him follow some simple commands: do a math problem in his head, tie a shoe, etc. How much more unique is the human than a robot! He moves and thinks and functions without any programming, cables or batteries—the human is God's creation.