Be an Encouraging Person

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It wasn’t so much the cheers as it was the presence of the people. And as we all crossed the finish line, exhausted, I knew that even though I was almost last, I had won. Helping our children know how to encourage others is a step in the right direction on the narrow path of godliness. {Deuteronomy 5:32}

EncouragingScripture Focus: Joshua 1: 1-9, Isaiah 41:10

Materials: a Choose Your Own Adventure Book (If you have younger children, choose a title from this series. If you have older children, choose a book from this series. I chose one that didn’t have aliens, or something that could be scary like ghosts or kidnapping. I chose Grand Canyon Odyssey and read a few portions aloud.)

Free Poster:  Click on the image below and print.

Week 7 poster smallBackground: The end of Deuteronomy tells us about the death of Moses. His death was a HUGE deal. Think about it. All of these Isrealites only knew one leader. Those who had been in Egypt had died in the desert. This was a new generation of people who were ready to possess the Promised Land. But their Leader died. Now what?

Object Lesson on Encouragement:

{Hold up your chosen Adventure book.}

Choose Your Own Adventure books are neat to read. A story begins and then the characters end up having to make choices that change their circumstances. You, as the reader, get to make the choices for the characters and then read to see what the consequences are of the decisions.

{Read the Warning! page of the book. Then proceed to read a little bit of the story to get to a choice. Tell the kids the options and have them vote on a choice. Follow through with whichever choice they make. Allow this 2-3 times, but, if possible, do not finish the story. Make it a cliffhanger!}

Did you know that your life is a Choose Your Own Adventure Story?

Bible Lesson on Encouragement:

Every person has a story. It’s a great story.

Joshua from the Bible had a great story, too. Moses died and Joshua took over the leadership of Israel. Not only was he to lead the people, but he was to lead the people into the Promised Land and conquer the land. Joshua realized that God was asking him to do a hard thing. Moses had been an amazing leader. A courageous leader. He had been greatly used by God.

Joshua had to be intimidated by what God was asking him to do. The first chapter of Joshua tells us that God encouraged Joshua. God knew he was asking Joshua to do some hard tasks. But God wanted Joshua to know that he would be with him. Joshua would not be alone. Listen to God’s words:

Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” ~ Joshua 1:6-9 (ESV)

How encouraging!

God told Joshua these things:

  1. Be strong and courageous!
  2. You will get the land.
  3. Be strong and courageous!
  4. Be careful to follow the law. Don’t go to the right or the left!
  5. Meditate on the law day and night.
  6. Do these things and you will be successful!
  7. Be strong and courageous!
  8. Don’t be frightened!
  9. Your God is with you wherever you go.

Joshua’s life and the things God did with him are amazing! Joshua and the people DID conquer the land. Joshua WAS successful in all he did when he followed God’s law and walked in his ways. And God gives us the same encouragement.

Life Application for Encouragement:

{Hold up the book.}

Think about this book. How did it work? (As we read we choose what decisions are made, or what happens to the characters.)

As we live life, we make decisions. In fact, everyday we make decisions. Some are small and of no real consequence, such as choosing to eat cheerios instead of oatmeal. However some choices have great consequences, such as choosing to not keep up with your backpack and you lose your school stuff, or being disrespectful to your dad. Different situations have different consequences.

God is with you everywhere you go hoping you will choose the right choice so you will have successful consequences. Verse 7 says: Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. Turn from what? (God’s law) Where do we find God’s law? (The Bible) What should we do so we know what the law is? (Read the Bible) Will reading the Bible mean we will always be successful? (***Allow for answers, then explain that we will fail…in our eyes, and the world’s eyes, at times. But if we really are following God’s ways, then we will not fail at what GOD wants us to do.)

God is giving you the same encouragement that he gave Joshua —->

  1. Be strong and courageous!
  2. Don’t worry. I have an amazing plan for you!
  3. Be strong and courageous!
  4. Stay in my word and follow it! Meditate on it!
  5. Be strong and courageous!
  6. I will be with you wherever you go!!

If God gives us this kind of encouragement, and we desire to be godly people, then that means we must give this same encouragement to OTHER people.

runners-635906_1280{Give an example of people encouraging you in your own life. My example–>} When I was in college I had to run 1.5 miles within a certain time frame so I could keep my scholarship. I was on the last lap and I thought my legs would turn to jello. I had just over half a lap left when they came. They’d already finished their run. One was on my right. One ran on the grass at my left. And one ran directly behind me. They began to shout encouragement at me as all 4 of us ran and then sprinted toward the finish line. I made it! And it was with the encouragement of those who chose to run WITH me!

Did Joshua have an easy time clearing out all those people from the promised land? Absolutely not! He had to guide thousands of men into battle. Was it Joshua who made the walls of Jericho fall? Was it Joshua who made the sun stand still?


God asks us to do hard, impossible things so HE can glorify himself and make his name known.

Making decisions can be hard. Encouraging others in our lives can be hard. But God asks us to do the hard things. Trust him. Be strong and courageous!

What can we learn from Joshua and God’s message to him? If we want to be godly, then we must choose to be encouraged and encourage others.

{Display the poster in the room throughout this series and read it each week.}

Lesson Extension for Youth:

Discuss the definition of “spiritual discernment.” What is it and how do we get it? Have the students use commentaries and concordances to search for other verses that help build understanding in decision making skills. Then have students discuss how they can use spiritual discernment when encouraging others.

This lesson has been UPDATED and is a part of my book Walk This Way: Ethics and Sanctification Lessons for Kids. CLICK ———> HERE for more information.

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