Category Archives: Devotions for Children

Teaching children about God, Bible studies for children.

0. Lessons from Elijah – Contents

Read Scriptures from a Bible translation children can understand. Guide the boys and girls in answering questions, then explain and share your response.

Treasures from God’s Word are your children’s most valuable heritage.

Preparing to Teach

Always pray before each session. Ask God to show you how he wants you to guide your children in the lesson for today. Ask him to help your children understand and receive his teachings.

I often told my children, as I taught them from God’s Word, something similar to this: “Sometimes you’re disappointed because your friends have things I can’t provide for you. But what I give you here is worth more than any of that. These are my treasures.” I didn’t want to just teach them principles and stories. I wanted them to teach them to treasure the the Bible, and show them how to dig into its riches.

Table of Contents

Introduction Lessons from Elijah Devotions for teaching children
Lesson 1: How big is God?
Lesson 2: What will we do?
Lesson 3: Will we be cowardly or courageous?
Lesson 4: Who is to blame?
Lesson 5: How can we know what is right?
Lesson 6: Are we willing to stand alone?
Lesson 7: Will God keep His Word?
Lesson 8: Will God really take care of us?
Lesson 9: Is God angry when we mess up?
Lesson 10: How do we prove who we really love?
Lesson 11: What if we haven’t obeyed God as we should?
Lesson 12: How does God talk to us today?

A Bible for children

I chose the Contemporary English Version as the default translation for the Lessons from Elijah links to BibleGateway.com Scriptures.

The Holy Bible Contemporary English Version Children’s Bible is recommended as a reading level for ages 9-12. I have The Learning Bible: Contemporary English Version, and its notes to explain meaning on every page, as well as colorful, informative illustrations, tables, charts and maps make it an excellent home study Bible for teenagers and adults. The “Learning Bible” edition is large and heavy, so it’s probably not the best choice to carry to church. Here is the version information published at BibleGateway.com for the CEV:

Uncompromising simplicity marked the American Bible Society’s translation of the Contemporary English Version Bible that was first published in 1995. The text is easily read by grade schoolers, second language readers, and those who prefer the more contemporized form. The CEV is not a paraphrase. It is an accurate and faithful translation of the original manuscripts.

It’s easy reading and accurate translation make the CEV an ideal version for children.

Next – Introduction: Lessons from Elijah Devotions for teaching children

12. How does God talk to us today?

Leading children in family devotions to understand the Holy Spirit’s ministries of comfort, counsel, guidance, and help to obey God’s commandments.

“The Holy Spirit will come and help you” (John 14:26).

God sent his Spirit to help and remind us

Read John 14:16-26

  1. How did Jesus say He would come to us after he went back into heaven? (In the form of the Holy Spirit.)
  2. What is another name for the Holy Spirit? (Comforter or Counselor.)
  3. What does this name mean that he will do for us?
  4. How did Jesus say we will know right from wrong? (His commandments and words — the Bible — will teach us.)
  5. Who did Jesus say will help us understand the Bible? (Verse 26.)
  6. Can we live the way the Bible teaches by ourselves?
  7. Who did Jesus send to help us live the way the Bible teaches? (Verse 16.)
  8. Challenge Question: What are the three things we’ve just talked about that the Holy Spirit will do for us?
    1. Comfort us.
    2. Help us understand the Bible.
    3. 3. Help us live the way the Bible teaches.
  9. Thank God for sending the Holy Spirit to help us and remind us about the things we have learned.

Back to Lessons From Elijah – Contents


I chose the Contemporary English Version as the default translation for Lessons from Elijah. Its easy reading and accurate translation make the CEV an ideal version for children. For more information, see A Bible for children.

11. What if we haven’t obeyed God as we should?

Instructing children at mother’s knee or in a Sunday School class. Learning about sin, choosing repentance and forgiveness. We love God, and will obey him.

God is ready to give us another chance.

God will forgive us if we admit we’ve done wrong.

Yesterday we talked about choosing. See if you can remember these things:

  1. When we choose to do wrong, what is that called? (Sin.)
  2. Who are we choosing then? (The devil)
  3. When we choose to live the way the Bible teaches us to live, what is that called? (Obedience or obeying God and Jesus.)
  4. Who are we choosing then? (God and Jesus.)

I’m going to read what Jesus said about obeying, when Jesus was teaching His disciples. (Read John 14:16-26).

  1. What did Jesus say we will do if we love Him? (Obey Him.)
  2. What did Jesus say about anyone who doesn’t obey Him? (They don’t love Him.)
  3. If we say we love Jesus, but do wrong much of the time, do we love Jesus? (No.)
  4. Do we love Jesus if we are trying very hard to please God and Jesus but mess up and do something wrong? (Yes.) Explain your answer.
  5. If we choose to live the way we want to live, is that obeying Jesus? (No.)
  6. What is obeying Jesus? (Choosing to live the way the Bible teaches.)
  7. If we realize that we have not been living the way the Bible teaches because we have been choosing our own way or choosing to do wrong much of the time, what should we do? (Ask Jesus to forgive us.)
  8. How long will we have to wait before Jesus will forgive us? (He forgives the moment we ask.)

Next – Lesson 12: How does God talk to us today?


I chose the Contemporary English Version as the default translation for Lessons from Elijah. Its easy reading and accurate translation make the CEV an ideal version for children. For more information, see A Bible for children.

10. How do we prove who we really love?

Teach more than religion. Encourage lifestyle devotion to Christ in action and moral behavior motivated by love and freedom of grace.

“We are ruled by God’s wonderful kindness” (Romans 6:15, CEV).

Choosing to please God because he loves us

Read 1 Kings 21:1-25.

  1. The Bible says King Ahab was more wicked than any of the kings before him. What wicked thing did he and his wife Jezebel threaten to do to Elijah in yesterday’s story? (Kill him.)
  2. Who do you think was the most wicked, King Ahab or Jezebel? (Jezebel thought of the idea, but Ahab agreed to it. It is just as bad to agree to join in a wicked thing as it is to suggest it.)
  3. What did King Ahab call Elijah in verse 20? (His enemy.)
  4. Elijah was sent by God to warn King Ahab. When Ahab called Elijah his enemy, who was he really calling his enemy? (God.)
  5. Who put King Ahab up to much of his wickedness? (Jezebel.)
  6. Since Jezebel put him up to it, why did God accuse King Ahab? (God held King Ahab responsible for his own actions and also for being the leader in his home.)
  7. Why did God tell Ahab He would punish him? (Verse 20b.)
  8. There is another place in the Bible where God talks about choosing between God and the devil or between pleasing God and sin. Listen and be ready to tell what this Scripture means to you. (Read Romans 6:15-18.) What does this Scripture mean to you?
  9. The Bible says when we do wrong we are choosing sin and the devil. If we really choose God, we will show it by trying to please him. Which way will you act?

Next – Lesson 11: What if we haven’t obeyed God as we should?


I chose the Contemporary English Version as the default translation for Lessons from Elijah. Its easy reading and accurate translation make the CEV an ideal version for children. For more information, see A Bible for children.

09. Is God angry with us when we mess up?

Elijah feels alone and discouraged. God provides special care from a wind storm, an earthquake, a fire, and a still small voice or gentle whisper.

God is always ready to help us do better.

Deeper understanding for mom

Read 1 Kings 19:7-21.
Read verse 13 again in the Contemporary English version, then choose “Amplified Bible” from the drop-down menu, then the drop-down “King James Version” and “New International Verson” as well.

  • The Contemporary English Version version translates the original language as “a gentle breeze,” but adds a footnote that it can also mean “a soft whisper,” or “hardly a sound.”
  • The Amplified Bible (which gives various possible meanings of the original language the Bible was written in) translates this as “a still, small voice,” but indicates it can also mean “a sound of gentle stillness.”
  • The King James Version translates this noise “a still small voice.”
  • The New International Version translates it “a gentle whisper.”

I chose the NIV’s “a gentle whisper” to describe this for children, because it explains the way God dealt gently with Elijah.

God speaks to Elijah and comforts him

Read 1 Kings 19:7-21 with your children.

  1. Was God angry at Elijah for being discouraged?
  2. What did god say to Elijah? (Why are you here Elijah?)
  3. After the first time Elijah told God that he felt all alone, what happened (4 things)?
    1. A wind storm that shook the mountan and tore the rocks loose.
    2. An earthquake.
    3. A fire.
    4. A gentle whisper.
  4. What do the wind storm, earthquake, and fire tell you about God? (That He has great power.)
  5. What does the gentle whisper tell you about God? (That he is very gentle with those who love and serve Him.)
  6. What two things did God tell Elijah when Elijah told God again that he felt all alone?
    1. There were 7000 others who loved God.
    2. That God would give Elisha to Elijah for a special helper.
  7. Can you think of a time when you needed some special care and God gave it to you as he did for Elijah?

Next – Lesson 10: How do we prove who we really love?


I chose the Contemporary English Version as the default translation for Lessons from Elijah. Its easy reading and accurate translation make the CEV an ideal version for children. For more information, see A Bible for children.

08. Will god really take care of us?

King Ahab and Jezebel’s plot to murder Elijah. An angel from God brings food and shade, and God talks with Elijah and provides him a helper named Elisha.

God provides everything we need when we go with him.

God comforted Elijah when he was discoraged

  1. Read 1 Kings 19:1-14 — King Ahab and his wife Queen Jezebel were very wicked. They wanted to kill Elijah because he served God.
  2. Why was Elijah discouraged?

Tell 1 Kings 19:15-21 like this:

The Lord sent Elijah to talk to Elisha. The names Elijah and Elisha sound a lot alike. Remember, Elijah is the one that we’ve been talking about and Elisha is the one that God sent Elijah to. God told Elijah: Tell Elisha that I have chosen him to be prophet in your place some day. But for now I’ve chosen him for you as a special helper. I also want you to know that there are 7000 people in Israel who love God. You are not alone! So Elijah went and told Elisha what God said, and Elisha was glad to be Elijah’s special helper.

  1. When the bush was just a tiny seed as God was making it grow, do you think that God was thinking of Elijah and how he would someday need the bush for shade?
  2. God must have taken special care to grow that bush big and full of twigs so it would give good shade to Elijah!
  3. When Elijah went to sleep under the bush, what happened? (An angel touched him.)
  4. Who sent the angel? (God.)
  5. What did the angel bring to Elijah? (Hot bread and water.)
  6. When Elijah lay down again, what did the angel do? (Gave him more to eat so he could travel to Mt. Horeb.)
  7. What would happen when he got to Mt. Horeb? (God would meet him.)
  8. Who provided the cave for Elijah to live at Mt. Horeb? (God.)

Next – Lesson 9: Is God angry when we mess up?


I chose the Contemporary English Version as the default translation for Lessons from Elijah. Its easy reading and accurate translation make the CEV an ideal version for children. For more information, see A Bible for children.

07. Will God keep his word?

God fed Elijah through a widow and ravens for 3 years. Elijah proves his faith, and God keeps his promises when Elijah prays, sending fire and rain from heaven.

Hearing before it happens, believing before we see

God sent the answer when Elijah prayed

Review

  1. Remember God had told Elijah there would be a famine of three years without rain. How did he take care of Elijah during these three years (1 Kings 17:6, 13-15)? (He sent the ravens and the widow woman to feed him.)
  2. Remember that after three years God sent Elijah to Ahab. What did God promise to send (1 Kings 18:1)? (rain)
  3. When Elijah came to Ahab, how did Elijah prove his God was real (1 Kings 18:17-40)? (By calling fire down from heaven)

Today’s Lesson

Read 1 Kings 18:41-46

  1. Why did Elijah say, “I hear a mighty rainstorm coming!” before there were any clouds in the sky? (See 1 Kings 17:1, and 1 Kings 18:1)
  2. Since God had already promised rain, why did Elijah pray for it? (Read John 16:24 — God can do all things, but he only works on earth in response to our prayers.)

Go back to 1 Kings 18:41-46.

  1. How many times did Elijah send his servant to look for a cloud?
  2. What did Elijah do while the servant looked?
  3. What does this teach you about prayer?
  4. How big was the cloud the servant saw the 7th time he looked?
  5. Elijah had already proved his faith by “hearing” rain before it happened. How did he prove his faith again after the servant reported the little cloud?
  6. What did God do in answer to Elijah’s faith?

Next – Lesson 8: Will God really take care of us?


I chose the Contemporary English Version as the default translation for Lessons from Elijah. Its easy reading and accurate translation make the CEV an ideal version for children. For more information, see A Bible for children.

06. Are we willing to stand alone?

Teach how Elijah and his God challenged 450 prophets of Baal at Mt. Carmel. Build excitement as Elijah proved God is real! Adapt the story to age of your group.

One person plus God is always enough.

One man plus God against 450.

Read: 1 Kings 18:17-40

  1. Do you remember how many prophets of Baal there were when Elijah called all the people to Mt. Carmel? (450)
  2. How many prophets of God were there? (one — Elijah)
  3. Why was Elijah not afraid to stand alone before 450 prophets of Baal? (Because he knew his God was real!)
  4. What did Elijah tell the people? (v. 21)
  5. What did the people answer? (v. 21)
  6. Who can tell the story of what happened when the one prophet of God and the 450 prophets of Baal called on their God/gods at Mt. Carmel?
  7. Why did Elijah ask God to send fire from heaven? (v. 37)
  8. What did the people do and say when they saw who is the real God? (v. 39)

Next – Lesson 7: Will God keep His Word?


I chose the Contemporary English Version as the default translation for Lessons from Elijah. Its easy reading and accurate translation make the CEV an ideal version for children. For more information, see A Bible for children.

05. How can we know what is right?

Warn youth about false religious leaders who teach that Jesus is not God but a good man, that heaven is earned by being good, or that the Bible isn’t all true.

If we don’t study the Bible, how will we know who to believe?

Measure everything by God’s ruler – the Bible.

Read: 1 Kings 18:17-40

  1. Who do you think the “prophets of Baal” and the “prophets of Asherah” mentioned in verse 19 might be? (They were false religious leaders who led the people to worship the wrong way. They taught that there were other gods besides the real God.
  2. Did they follow God’s rules or make their own?
  3. Are there any false religious teachers today?
  4. What kind of things do they teach? (That you must follow the teachings of a certain man in order to be accepted by God; that Jesus is not really God, but he was a good man; that you can go to heaven by being good; that you can’t be go to heaven unless you are good (Nobody can be good enough to deserve heaven.); that the Bible is not completely true.
  5. Just like the prophets of Baal, false religious leaders today want to make their own rules. Was God pleased with those who made their own rules in Elijah’s day?
  6. Is He pleased with those who make their own rules instead of following the Bible today?
  7. How can you know which church or religious group teaches God’s way? (Study the Bible for yourself. The Bible is God’s ruler. You can measure everything by it. If it doesn’t fit what the Bible teaches, it is wrong.)
  8. If we don’t study the Bible for ourselves, how will we know who to believe?

Next – Lesson 6: Are we willing to stand alone?


I chose the Contemporary English Version as the default translation for Lessons from Elijah. Its easy reading and accurate translation make the CEV an ideal version for children. For more information, see A Bible for children.

04. Who is to blame?

Ahab led people to sin and the Lord sent famine to warn him to repent. The king assigned blame and pointed fingers at Elijah – teaching children to be accountable.

We shouldn’t blame others when we are wrong.

God sends famine to warn Ahab that he needs God’s help

Read: 1 Kings 18:1-16

  1. Why was Elijah going to see King Ahab? (verse 1 — God told him to.)
  2. Why do you think King Ahab had been looking for Elijah? (verse 10 — He knew the God Elijah served had sent the famine.)
  3. The Bible tells us why God sent the famine in the verses right before God told Elijah that he would send it. Just before God sent Elijah to the brook where the ravens would feed him, the Bible says: (Read 1 Kings 16:30-33.) Why did God send the famine? (King Ahab was leading the people into wickedness and God was trying to get him to turn back to God.)

Read: 1 Kings 18:17-18

  1. Who did King Ahab blame for the famine?
  2. Who was really to blame? (Ahab)
  3. Do you think Ahab deep down knew he was responsible?
  4. How does this apply to us?

Next – Lesson 5: How can we know what is right?


I chose the Contemporary English Version as the default translation for Lessons from Elijah. Its easy reading and accurate translation make the CEV an ideal version for children. For more information, see A Bible for children.