Free Psalm 23 Toddler Lesson - Week 12

I'm Precious To My Shepherd!

Concepts Children Learn:

I am precious to my shepherd!
My shepherd pours out blessings on me!
My shepherd is with me even when I don't feel like he is.

Prep: Mark your bible with the memory verse: Psalm 23:5. (You should already have all of the Story Pages except for Story Page 8 if you printed them for the other Psalm 23 lessons.) Print either color story pages or black & white story pages to use with the story: COLOR STORY PAGES: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (b&w only), 6, 7, 8 (b&w only), 9 (b&w only). BLACK & WHITE STORY PAGES: 1, 2, 3, 4 (color only), 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. Cover the story pages that you are using with clear shelf paper (optional, to make sturdier).

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.

Bible Memory Verse: Psalm 23:5

INTRO: Today we have another story about the kind shepherd and his little sheep named Marshmallow. As you know from the last few weeks, Marshmallow is really starting to depend on his shepherd and trust him. They have a great friendship because they spend lots of time together. But Marshmallow still has some things to learn. Let's listen to the story to see what happens.

(1) This is Marshmallow the lamb. Marshmallow was having lunch with his friends. His friends were the sheep from the other pasture. They had a different shepherd. While they were eating, Marshmallow started telling the other sheep all about his shepherd. (2) He told them how kind his shepherd was. He also told them what a special friendship he and his shepherd had. He told them about the time his shepherd helped him when he fell. He even told them about the time his shepherd saved him from the bear! Well, the other sheep were getting mad at him. They didn't like what he was saying because they didn't have a kind shepherd. Their shepherd was, well, kind of mean. Their shepherd didn't really care about them at all. (3) But Marshmallow just kept talking about his shepherd because he was so thankful for him. He told them stories of how much fun he and his shepherd had talking and playing together every day. By now the other sheep were really jealous. They finally had enough of his talk! They covered their ears and wouldn't listen to him anymore. Then they told him to leave the table!

(4) Well, Marshmallow didn't want to stay where he was not wanted. So he got up from the table and walked away. Marshmallow felt really sad. He wondered where his shepherd was. He began to think, "Why didn't my shepherd protect me from those mean sheep? Then Marshmallow started to cry. ....Just a moment later, the shepherd came by. He noticed that Marshmallow did not look very happy. He asked Marshmallow why he was crying. It made the shepherd very sad to see his precious little lamb so upset.

Marshmallow told his shepherd the whole story, "Well, I was eating happily with my friends, and I was telling them all about how kind you are, and what a great friendship we have and how much fun we have together. Then they got mad at me and made me leave the table! (5) A tear rolled down the shepherd's cheek. He felt really bad for Marshmallow. He hated to see his little lamb upset. Marshmallow reached up and wiped his shepherd's tear away. After all, he had seen his shepherd do that for him lots of times before when he was crying. (6) His shepherd put his arms around Marshmallow and whispered in his ear. "I'm so sorry they were mean to you. I know it hurts a lot. It makes me sad to know that you are sad. But, sometimes others won't like it that we are good friends. They will be jealous. And, they will not like you since you love me. But, you know what? I have a secret! I have been making something special for you! Come and see! (7) So, Marshmallow took his shepherd's hand and followed him to the meadow. Marshmallow was excited. He couldn't wait to see what the special surprise was!

(8) Once they got to the meadow, his shepherd picked him up and sat him in the very best highchair. He tied a bib around his neck. The bib had some words on it. It said, " My Special Little Sheep". That made Marshmallow feel really special. Then Marshmallow saw his shepherd bringing a big silver plate. Something sure did smell good! What was it? Well, his shepherd took off the lid to the plate. It was tender juicy meat with yummy barbecue sauce! His shepherd also brought delicious home-made bread, colorful vegetables, scrumptious strawberry pie and a chocolate almond smoothie for dessert! Marshmallow couldn't believe it! He never had food that tasted this good before! He was enjoying his dinner so much that all he could do was sit there and giggle while he looked at his shepherd. This was better than any lunch with his friends! Marshmallow was enjoying himself so much that he forgot all about the how mean his friends had been. He laughed and giggled as he slurped up his last drop of chocolate almond smoothie. (Make a slur-r-r-p sound). By now he was so full of joy that he couldn't hold still. So his shepherd took him out of his highchair and took off his bib. Now he put on a special tee shirt on him. His tee shirt also said, "My Special Little Sheep". Now Marshmallow knew deep down that his shepherd loved him very, very much. He realized that he didn't have to feel so bad when he his friends were mean to him. His shepherd still cared even though he had a bad day. Now he understood better. His shepherd was there for him all along; He was just waiting for the right time to lift him up. And now his shepherd was pouring out so many blessings on him. How Marshmallow loved his shepherd! "I love you so much! I want to stay with you forever!", said Marshmallow. "And, you can stay with me forever!", said his shepherd. Then Marshmallow gave his shepherd a big hug and they spent the rest of the day talking and laughing and playing together. THE END.

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

Just like Marshmallow and his shepherd had a special friendship, we can share a special friendship with Jesus, our shepherd, too. We can stay close to our shepherd by spending time with him. How do we spend time with him? By praying or learning about him. Did you know that you are so precious to Jesus that he loves to be with you all of the time...during good times, and even when bad things happen. When something bad does happen to you, he loves to comfort you and remind you of God's promises, just like the shepherd was whispering in Marshmallow's ear. Even though it hurts when other people are mean to you, Jesus will give you joy at the right time. That means he makes you happy on the inside.

Jesus is the friend we can really depend on. He is always your friend even if all of your other friends leave you. So, even if you feel all alone and like you shepherd is not there, just call out to him. You will find that he was really there all along. And, he will lift you up at the right time. He will give you more joy than you can handle. And, he has so many other blessings to pour out on you too! --Things like love and forgiveness. And, you will find that when you share some love away to somebody else, he will give you even more! Isn't that wonderful? That means that our shepherd's love never runs out! There's always more than enough for everybody! THE END.

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