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God lives in ... the Tabernacle, the Temple, in Jesus, and in me!

The overall concept for this unit was for the kids to recognize that God first dwelled on earth in the tabernacle, then the temple, then Jesus, and now us.

Below is our Art Workshop lesson plan.

We also did a Bible Games Workshop using the children's book "My Heart - Christ's Home, Retold for Children", discussed it using the parents guide in the back of book, then played the game "Guard My Heart" which can be purchased at

In the next post, we've added a video from the Bible Project which shows how the Temple evolved into the people of the Church (a living Temple).

God Lives In ... Jesus

Art Workshop

Summary of lesson:

  • Children will hear the story of the Wordless Book.
  • Then they will make a Wordless Bracelets (sometimes called a Witness Bracelet) for themselves to be able to tell the story to others.
  • They will also make additional bracelets, which will be sent to Teen Missions International. Through TMI thousands of teens each summer travel to do mission work throughout the world including bringing the Gospel to children.

Lesson Objectives:

  • To know that God loves us so much that He sent Jesus to us in order to save us.
  • To know that Jesus IS God.
  • To know that God has a plan for us to live with Him forever.

Bible Memory Verse for all ages:

"For God’s Temple is holy, and you are God’s Temple." 1 Cor. 3:17

Additional verses:
There are many verses throughout the telling of the story of the Wordless Book. It will not be necessary for the younger children to find the references, however, the 5th and 6th graders, and possibly 3rd and 4th graders, should look them up … you say the verse and they should find and read.


  • bible
  • Wordless Book (see link in resources for how to make one).
  • supplies to make Wordless Bracelets you will need per child
    - 13-15" black or brown suede leather lace
    - pony beads in the following colours (1 each) black, red, white, yellow, green, (2 each) clear or blue.
  • world map

Background for Workshop Leader:

This lesson is based on the Wordless Book. The book has been around a long time -- well over a hundred years. The Wordless Book tells the story of God and his love for us through Jesus without any words. It speaks through the universal language of color.

It began with three pages---black**, red and white. In 1866, at the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London, Charles Spurgeon preached a sermon entitled "The Wordless Book." In it he told of an old unnamed minister who had put three pages together and often looked at them to remind himself of his sinfulness, of Christ's blood poured out for him, and the cleansing provided. The gold page was added at some time, bringing another dimension to the book, depicting the glories of Heaven. When Child Evangelism Fellowship began to print the Wordless Book in 1939, they added the final color, green, to represent Christian growth. They also published a leaflet telling how to use the book and giving Scripture verses for each page. In the ensuing years the message has been taken to over 80 countries by missionaries to boys and girls.

**NOTE: Please notice that the black page is called the “dark” page and the white page is called the “clean” page. It is very important to make this distinction as today’s world is filled with joyful children of all skin tones.

What kids can know of God and their spiritual life:

It is important to nurture the spiritual house (space) within each of us. God no longer lives in a tabernacle or temple, but inside of us. And that is because of Jesus. When Jesus comes into our lives, he chases out that which distracts us from God. It is not enough to be a child of God, each of us is given a choice: To know God as Jesus did, or to ignore God and be like every one else. Children can know that Jesus is their friend, truly God, and loves them very much.



Begin the lesson by following the “script” below for the Wordless Book.

NOTE: The 5th/6th graders (and possibly the 3rd/4th graders) can look up the Bible verse references rather than having you just read it to them. Pause along the story for them to find it in the Bibles. You may also want to give some history/background to the older kids of how the book came to be.


The Wordless Book

Have you ever seen a book without words or pictures? (Fan the pages showing colors.)

This book of colored pages tells a wonderful story from the Bible about the true and living God who made the world. I call my book a Wordless Book. Each color reminds me of part of the story.

Have you ever peeked at the back page of a book to see if the ending is happy or sad? I have! Let's look at the last page first. It tells us about a very exciting place.

Show the Gold Page:
The gold (or yellow) page reminds me of Heaven. Do you know what Heaven is?

Heaven is God's home. The Bible tells us that in Heaven, the streets are paved with gold! (Rev. 21:21). God tells us many other things about His home. No one is ever sick there. No one ever dies. There is no night there. Every person in Heaven will be perfectly happy--always (Rev. 21:4-23). The most wonderful thing about Heaven is that God the Father and His Son, the Lord Jesus, are there.

God made heaven and earth. Can you name some other things He made? (sun, moon, stars, trees and flowers, etc.)

He made you, too, and He loves you very much. The Bible says, "For God so loved the world . . . (Jn. 3:16). This means He loves each person--including you and me. Because God made you and loves you, He wants you to be part of His family and be with Him in Heaven someday. What a special place Heaven is! It is perfect because God is perfect.

But there is one thing that can never be in Heaven.

Show the Dark Page:
That one thing is sin. This dark page reminds me of sin. Because you and I are sinners we want to have our own way instead of God's way. Wanting our own way is sin. Doing, or saying, or thinking bad things is sin. Sin is disobeying the rules God has given in His book, the Bible. Sin causes sadness in our world.

Can you think of some things that might be considered sin?

God's Word says. "For all have sinned" (Rom. 3:23). All means every one of us, including you and me. Sin separates you and me from God because He is perfectly right--without any sin at all. God cannot allow sin where He is.

God has said sin must be punished. The punishment for sin is death--to be separated from God forever (Rom. 6:23). God knew there was nothing you could do to get rid of your sin. He knew you could not be good enough to please Him. But He loves you and wants you to be His child. So He made a way for you to be forgiven.

The RED page shows the way:

God loves you so much. He sent His own Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to earth from Heaven. He was born as a tiny baby. We just celebrated his birth …. Do you know what day that’s called? (Christmas)

Jesus grew up and became a man. Jesus was different than any other person who lived on the earth. He never did even one wrong thing. He is perfect.

But one day wicked men put a crown of thorns on His head and nailed the Lord Jesus to a cross. The Bible says while He hung there, God put all your sins on Him (Isa. 53:6). All your anger, all your lies and your meanness--all your sin was put on the Son of God. And not just yours – everyone in the whole world’s sin – those who have already lived and died, those of us living now, and all those yet to be born!

When Jesus was nailed to the cross, what came from His hands and His feet? (blood) The Bible says that without giving of blood, there is no forgiveness (Heb 9:22). Jesus took your punishment of death for sin. He suffered so much. Then He cried with a loud voice, "It is finished."

When you finish a job, how much is left to do? (Nothing.) The Lord Jesus came to earth to take our punishment for sin. And He finished the work when He died on that cross. The Bible says, "Christ died for our sins ... and was buried" (1 Cor. 15:3).

But after three days the most wonderful thing happened. God gave Him life again. He raised Jesus from the dead. We celebrate that on what day? (Easter) Jesus is a living Savior (1 Cor. 15:4). He wants to be your Savior--to save you from your sin.

Show the Clean Page:

This page reminds us that we can be made clean from sin (Ps. 51:7). God tells us about it in the Bible in John 3:16 …

(Let children read the whole verse with you – hold up card with words.)

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life."

Are you part of the world? (response) Yes, God loves you. God says if you believe in Jesus you will not perish--you will not be separated from God forever. He will forgive your sins. God says, "whoever believes." We could put your name in the place "whoever."

If you believe in Jesus as Savior, what will He give you? (everlasting life) That's the kind of life you need to live in Heaven with God. If you believe on the Lord Jesus as your Savior, He will forgive your sin. And He will be with you always and give you power to obey God. You can tell Jesus today or anytime that you have sinned and that you believe He died for you.

The Green Page:

The color green reminds me of things that are growing, like leaves, grass, flowers and trees. This page reminds me of the new life, the everlasting life, you receive from God. When you believe on the Lord Jesus as your Savior from sin, you are like a newborn baby in God's family. God wants you to grow in a special way. The Bible tells you to "grow in .. .the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Pet. 3:18).

As you learn more about Jesus from the Bible you will learn how to keep from sinning (Ps. 119:11). You can ask Him each day to help you obey Him. When you do sin, tell God you have sinned. He will forgive you right away.

The Bible says, "If we confess our sin, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 Jn. 1:9).

Ask Him to help you not to do that wrong thing again.

What are some things that will help you grow as a member of God’s family? Not growing taller, but learning to love and please Jesus more!

1. Talking to God—praying (l Thess. 5:17).
2. Listening to God--learn God's Word by reading and memorizing it (Ps. 119:11)
3. Talking for God--witnessing or telling others about Him (Mk. 16:15).
4.Worshipping God--going to Sunday school and church (Heb. 10:25).

CLOSE in some silent prayer time for them to thank God for all He’s done for them.

After reading the story tell them:

Sharing the story of the Wordless Book or any other information about God and Jesus is sometimes called “witnessing”. The Bible says we should be witnesses for Jesus. What is the definition of a “witness”?

Make the craft – witness bracelets:

Explain that they will be making a “witness bracelet” for themselves so they can tell the story to others in their family or friends.

Using the 5 colors found in the Wordless Book, string 1 color of each bead in order (gold, dark, red, clean, green).

After they finish, tell them:

There are people all over the world that need to hear about the good news of God’s love for them found in Jesus. How can we here in Napa help witness to them?

One way is to make witness bracelets for them. Explain that there is an organization called Teen Missions International that every summer teenagers from all over the U.S. help with. They travel together to countries all over the world and share the Gospel and God’s love by doing projects (like building churches and schools and helping grow gardens, etc.).

Show them a map and point out some of the countries Teen Missions travel to: Australia, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Ecuador, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Madagascar, Malawi, New Zealand, Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Tell them that another thing the teenagers do is put on Vacation Bible Schools and puppet shows and plays and fun and games for the kids who live in the area they are helping. They asked if anyone would like to make some bracelets to send to Teen Missions International for them to give to the kids they visit in other countries.

Let’s do it!

Have each child make 1 – 3 more bracelets that we’ll keep in the Art Shack and ship at the end of the month after a "blessing" over the bracelets in worship. (NOTE: During the children's message that Sunday the kids retold the story of the Wordless Book to the congregation, we told them about the bracelets we made to send, then we prayed that God would bless the messengers and the children who would receive the bracelets.)

If there is extra time at the end of the class time, have them get with a partner and tell the story of God’s love using their bracelet as if their partner has never heard it before.


NOTE: I learned about Teen Missions International through my niece who spent the summer of 2001 in Vanuatu with TMI. You can request information via their website:

Lesson plans used at First Presbyterian Church, Napa, CA.

A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.

Last edited by Neil MacQueen
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