Free Toddler Lesson - Week 7 - Psalm 23 Series

MY SHEPHERD GIVES ME EVERYTHING I NEED, JUST LIKE ALWAYS

Concepts Children Learn:
My shepherd is so glad to give me good things.
My shepherd loves me so much and gives me everything I need.
My shepherd is the best friend anyone could ever have! Jesus is my best friend!

Prep: Mark your bible with these verses: Psalm 23:1. Print either color story pages or black & white story pages to use with the story: Color Story Pages, 1, 2, 3, 4. Black & White Story Pages 1, 2, 3, 4. Cover with clear shelf paper. Cut a 2" x 2" piece of polar fleece or some other soft fabric. Place a piece of rolled up tape on the back. Cover Marshmallow with it when it says to at the end of the story.

Only read words that are not in parentheses for the lesson. The words in parentheses tell you what actions you do. The numbers in parentheses tell you what Story Page to hold up while you are telling the story.

LESSON: MY SHEPHERD GIVES ME EVERYTHING I NEED, JUST LIKE ALWAYS!

Bible Verse: Psalm 23:1.

INTRO: Remember our story about Marshmallow the lamb who tends to get into a lot of trouble? Today we are going to hear another story about Marshmallow and his shepherd.

(1) This is a little lamb, named Marshmallow. He was out in the pasture playing one day. After playing hard for a while, he started to get hungry, so he nibbled on some grass. While he was eating, he noticed there was not very much grass left. Most of the grass had been eaten already. He started to worry about what he would eat. He felt like he just wanted to be near his shepherd, but he didn't see his shepherd anywhere. So then he started to get scared. So, he looked around some more. Where is my shepherd, he thought. Ah! There he was!! Just like always! He didn't have to be scared after all. His shepherd was there right behind him the whole time he was playing. It made Marshmallow feel warm and fuzzy inside, to see his shepherd and hear his voice. He knew how much his shepherd loved him.

(2) He gave his shepherd a big hug. Little Marshmallow loved his shepherd so much! He depended on his good shepherd for everything. His shepherd squeezed him tight. Then Marshmallow told his shepherd how he had eaten almost all of the grass in the pasture, and that he was worried that there would soon be no more grass. But, that was no problem for his shepherd! (shake your head no). His shepherd said, "I have something I want to show you. Come with me!"

(3) Marshmallow took his shepherd's hand. His shepherd guided him up a steep hill. When they got there, Marshmallow brightened up, "Oh, wow! This is the greenest pasture I've ever seen!", Marshmallow said excitedly. His shepherd explained, "I knew all the grass from the pasture would all be gone soon. So I spent many, many days looking for the greenest pasture I could find for you!", said his shepherd. Marshmallow giggled with joy, "Hee, heee, thank you, thank you so much!" "Marshmallow shook his head, "Yes, now I see! I guess I didn't have to worry about what I would eat! I should've known you would take really good care of me... just like always!" His shepherd agreed: "Yes, you know how very much I love you... just like always".Suddenly, Marshmallow had an idea, "Hey! Let's go play in the new pasture!" Marshmallow said. "That's a great idea!", answered his shepherd. So, Marshmallow and his shepherd went off to play in the new pasture: They played hide 'n seek together. They chased each other and laughed. They did cartwheels and tumbles. What fun they were having together! Marshmallow thought of his shepherd as his best friend. He was the best friend anyone could ever have! After they played awhile together, Marshmallow got thirsty. Marshmallow started to worry again because he didn't see any water. He asked his shepherd, "Where can I get a drink of water?" But that was no problem for his shepherd! (shake head no). His shepherd had spent a long time clearing out the nearby stream so Marshmallow would have clean, fresh water to drink. "Not to worry, little sheep, Its right over here!, said his shepherd.

His shepherd led him to the beautiful stream of refreshing water, and gave him a cup of cold water to taste. "Um...that' really yummy water!" said Marshmallow. His shepherd made sure his little sheep had plenty of water to drink... just like always. Now Marshmallow felt refreshed and happy. And it made the shepherd happy to care for his little lamb. Just then Marshmallow heard a sound. Pit-Pat, Pitter-patter. Uh-oh! What's that sound? It had started to rain. Uh-oh! Now what would they do? Marshmallow started to worry again. But, it was no problem for the shepherd. (shake head no). The shepherd had worked hard all summer to build a shelter for the little sheep. So, marshmallow took the shepherd's hand, and the shepherd guided him quickly to the shelter. "Hurry, little Marshmallow, hurry, it is starting to rain harder!" said the shepherd.

(4) Now at last, under the shepherd's shelter, Marshmallow would be safe from the storm. Whenever Marshmallow would start to feel scared or unsure, he would just look up at his shepherd. His shepherd was always right there. When Marshmallow called on him, his kind Shepherd helped him with whatever he needed... just like always! Listening to the pitter-patter, pitter-patter of the rain, Marshmallow got sleepy. He curled up on his shepherd's lap. His shepherd put the soft blanket over him. (Place blanket over lamb) Soon Marshmallow was fast asleep. But, his shepherd slept with both ears open and one eye open, because he wanted to keep watch over little Marshmallow to make sure he was safe. He wanted to be ready. If there was ever any trouble, he would jump up and protect his little sheep. Little Marshmallow was sleeping peacefully now because he knew he could trust his shepherd. He also knows he is helpless without his shepherd. But next to his shepherd, he is safe and warm and protected. He knows he can depend on his shepherd for everything...just like always! THE END

CIRCLE TIME: (What does this mean for me?)

Does everyone remember our Bible Verse? (Read Psalm 23:1). Let's say it together. (repeat it with children.) Did you know that he man who wrote this Psalm thought of himself as the little sheep. He thought of Jesus as his shepherd. He knew Jesus was his best friend; and he knew that Jesus was taking very good care of him. He knew deep down inside that Jesus would give him everything he needed. He knew that he could depend on Jesus. He was very thankful to God for his love and care. If we let Jesus guide us and lead us, he will be our shepherd too. We all know we are not really sheep. But we are helpless like little sheep, aren't we? We need someone to care for us and help us. Our parents help us too, but they can't be with us all the time. But Jesus loves to care for us and he is glad to give us good things.

Did you know that Jesus is the best friend anybody could ever have?Think about when Marshmallow had so much fun playing and laughing and talking with his shepherd. We have a special friend who is there with us all the time. Jesus is our special friend who always is there with us. Whenever we want to talk to him, he is there. All we have to do is pray, and he listens to everything we have to say. And, when we spend time with our shepherd he gives us even more joy. Do you know what joy is? Joy is like being happy on the inside. In the story, Marshmallow was so happy being with his shepherd. You can have joy knowing that you are loved by your shepherd Jesus, too. He cares so very much about you.

Think back to the story when the little sheep got scared when he couldn't see his shepherd. The shepherd was there all along, watching over his little sheep even though the little sheep couldn't see him. And, when we feel afraid, we can just remember that Jesus, our shepherd, is with us, too. Even though we can't see Jesus, he watches over us all the time too. At night the shepherd even slept with one eye open so he could watch over his little sheep. Jesus watches over us when we sleep too. Little Marshmallow wasn't afraid anymore when he knew his shepherd was watching over him all the time, and we don't have to be afraid either.

Our shepherd, Jesus, keeps us safe too. Remember how Marshmallow was so worried about what he would eat and drink, and he worried about the rain? But, he didn't need to worry, did he? His shepherd was there to protect him too. Sometimes we worry when we don't really need to, also. Even though bad things happen sometimes, Jesus always takes care of us. And, like the little sheep knew his shepherd worked so hard during the day, caring for him, now you know that Jesus does whatever it takes to make sure you have everything you need. Each and every one of you can trust him completely for everything you need. And, knowing that makes us feel really loved and special, doesn't it?

PRAYER: Allow children to take turns praying after you or a helper prays.
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