Free Psalm 23 Lesson - Week 13

My Shepherd's Love and Goodness Will Always Be With Me!

Concepts Children Learn:

My shepherd is always good to me.

My shepherd loves me always - that's forever!

My shepherd made a special place just for me!

Prep: Mark your bible with these verses: Psalm 23:6; John 14:2-3. (You may 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 (b&w only), 2 (b&w only), 3, 4 (b&w only), 5, 6, 7 (b&w only). BLACK & WHITE STORY PAGES: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. Cover the story pages that you are using with clear shelf paper (optional), to make them longer-lasting.

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 23:6; John 14.2-3. Other verse referenced in Circle Talk Time: II Sam 12:1-3.

INTRO: Today we will hear our last story about Marshmallow the lamb. Marshmallow is upset. Let's listen to the story to see what he is upset about.

My Shepherd's Love and Goodness Will Always Be With Me!

(1) This is Marshmallow. Today Marshmallow was mad at his shepherd. He was mad because his shepherd told him that he could not play with one of the other little sheep. You see, this other little sheep was not friendly. He always seemed to get Marshmallow in trouble. Since Marshmallow was mad, he went to sit on his bed and pout. (Make a pouty face). Can you all show me a pouty face? Then he had an idea: Since he was mad, he would run away from home! So he made himself a sandwich, grabbed a couple apples and some ice cream and put it all in his backpack. (2) Then he set out to be on his own. Well, Marshmallow hadn't gotten very far when he felt something sticky dripping down the back of his leg. He sat down to see what it was. Oh no! It was the ice cream! He forgot that ice cream melts when its not in the freezer. Now it was just an awful, mess...an awful, sticky mess! He was also very thirsty because he forgot to bring some water. So Marshmallow sat down thinking about where he could get some water. And, guess what happened? Just at the right time, his shepherd came up to him! (3) Look, Marshmallow, I have some yummy, cold water! Do you want some? " his shepherd asked. "Yeah, thanks", Marshmallow said, as his shepherd handed him a big glass of water. Marshmallow gulped it right down, then his shepherd gave him some more. "Would you like me to wash you off, too?" asked his shepherd, "You look ...well...you look sticky", Marshmallow looked down at the sticky mess, "Yeah...o.k.", Marshmallow said. So his kind shepherd gently washed the melted ice cream off his wool and his backpack. Now the big sticky ice cream mess was all gone! He thanked his shepherd, but Marshmallow was still upset. He was still mad. He had tried to get away from his shepherd, but it wasn't working: There was his shepherd, tagging along behind him, being so loving and kind, just like always! It was hard to stay mad at him when he was being so kind.

But Marshmallow still wanted to be mad, so he said "Bye-bye" to his shepherd (wave bye-bye) and started walking again. He just wanted to be by himself. But soon Marshmallow heard footsteps behind him, so he knew his shepherd was following him again. So Marshmallow started running. He thought if he could run just a little faster, then he could get away from his shepherd for sure. Up ahead was a big mud puddle, and when Marshmallow tried to jump over it, instead, he landed right in the middle of it! "Ah-h-h-h!", Marshmallow cried. Mud splashed everywhere! Now he was really upset! Now he was all covered with mud! But when he turned around, guess who was there? Yes, you guessed right. There was his kind shepherd. He had a bucket of water and a rag and some soap...just what he needed. "Hey...do you want me to wash you up and make you clean?", his shepherd asked. "Uh....yeah....sure...I guess so", Marshmallow said a little embarrassed. (4) So his kind shepherd picked him up out of the mud puddle and set him on the dry grass. Marshmallow let his shepherd wash him up. There! Now he was all clean again. And, he smelled much better too.

(1 again) Marshmallow turned around and stared at his shepherd with a pouty face (Make a pouty face). By now he realized he was wrong. "Why are you being so kind when I'm being a brat?" Marshmallow asked his shepherd. "Because I love you, said his shepherd. Marshmallow just sat there and thought about it for a moment. "Why are you being so good to me and helping me with everything even before I ask you to?" asked Marshmallow, "I was the one who ran away in the first place!" "Because I love you, and I love doing good things for you!", his shepherd answered again with a big smile on his face." "Oh"...said Marshmallow. "Well, I guess if you didn't leave me after I was such a brat, then I guess you will never leave me. "Yes, you are right, Marshmallow", said his shepherd. "My love and goodness will follow you everywhere you go. I love you so much that I won't give up on you even when you act bratty" explained his shepherd. Marshmallow felt really bad for running away and for staying mad. He looked up at his shepherd and said, "I'm sorry. Will you forgive me?" "Yes, of course!", said his shepherd. "All is forgiven. C'mon...Let's go make some pizza for dinner. I'm hungry!" "Me too!" said Marshmallow as he brightened up. (5) He gave his shepherd a big hug and said, "Thank you for forgiving me! I know I don't deserve it. And, thank you for not letting me run away. Thank you for following me and taking care of me." "I will never leave you or give up on you...you can count on that!" said his shepherd. Marshmallow felt so loved and happy that he skipped all the way home, holding his shepherd's hand the whole way! When they got home, they had so much fun making pizza together and having it for dinner! Yum! His shepherd always made such delicious pizza!

Then his kind shepherd explained to Marshmallow why he would not let him play with the other little lamb: "I only want what is good for you. I only want the best for you. You are my precious little lamb and I don't like to see you hurt. If you follow me, I will lead you to friends who don't get you into trouble." Marshmallow looked up at his shepherd and said, "Yeah, now I know you were right. You only wanted the best for me. Now I know that you are loving and good to me all the time. And, I know you will never leave me. Can I still live with you?", "Yes! You can live with me forever!" said his shepherd, "Actually, I have a secret, and I'll tell you what it is: I have been building a new house! And, I making a special room just for you! It has everything that you like, and its just your size. I painted it your favorite color, and put all your favorite toys in it. And, you can live there forever with me!" Marshmallow was so excited that he started jumping up and down! "Let's go see it now! I want to go now!" Marshmallow said excitedly. His shepherd was glad to see Marshmallow so excited, but he said, "We cannot see it yet. Its not ready yet. But I will show you at just the right time. Until then, remember that it is there for you. Just follow me in the meantime. I have so much love to give you. We can spend lots of time together, and then at the right time, it will be ready for you! So Marshmallow said, "Ok...now I have something really exciting to think about that will happen later!. And, right now we can still be best friends and spend lots of time together!" (6) "Yes, that's exactly right", said his shepherd, as he gave Marshmallow a big hug. THE END.

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

Let's all say our Bible verse together? I'll read it to you first: (Read Psalm 23:6. The second time, repeat the verse, saying just a few words at a time, allowing the children time to repeatthe words after you). David, who wrote this verse trusted Jesus. He thought of Jesus as his shepherd. He knew how much Jesus loved him. He was sure that he would always be loved and taken care of. He knew for sure that God would always be good to him. Just like Marshmallow found out in the story. His shepherd was always loving and good to him. No matter what he did wrong, his shepherd always forgave him and was so kind to him. Our shepherd, Jesus, is like that to us too. Whenever we call on him, he comes to help us. Whenever we ask him to forgive us and tell him we are sorry for the wrong things we do, he forgives us. His love never runs out. Its always there. Then he gives us joy after he forgives us! And he gives us even more joy when we stay close to him and follow him! Whenever we need to talk to him, he always listens. He reminds us of his promises and comforts us. (7) There are so many good things that our shepherd pours out on us...even more than I can tell you about! He is so full of love and goodness, and he shares it all with us!

Its kind of like this: In 2 Sam chapter 12 there is another story in our Bibles about a man who had a little lamb. He loved the little lamb like his own children. He shared his food with his little lamb. He let the little lamb drink from his own cup too! That little lamb was so special to him that he even let it fall asleep in his arms! That is how much our shepherd, Jesus, cares for you! He shares all of his goodness, joy and love with you because you are so precious to him!

In our Bibles we also read about what Jesus told his disciples before he left them. (Read John 14:2-3) That means that Jesus was making a very special place for each one who trusted in him. Remember in the story, when the shepherd was telling Marshmallow that he was building a house? And that he was making a special room just for him with all of his favorite things? Well, Jesus, our shepherd, is also making a very special place for all of you who trust in him too, just like the Bible tells us.

As you grow up with your shepherd caring for you, you can be sure that his love and goodness will always be with you. Then, someday, you can live with him forever in heaven! And, every day in heaven will be better than the best day that we have ever had here on earth! Doesn't that make you happy? It makes me very happy too! THE END.

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