Thankful Heart: Day One

I hope you enjoy this devotional designed for ages 4-8 to teach your children how to have a thankful heart. Read the italic section or paraphrase with your children to fit their age level.   -Taylor

For a pretty, printable version of this devotional, click here.

Introduction:  Of all the people in the world, who do you think has the most beautiful heart?  Of course, it’s Jesus!  He shows how beautiful His heart is by His character- the way He acts towards God and others.  Can you think of some character traits that Jesus shows?  [kind, responsible, prayerful, helpful] We want to be like Jesus and have a beautiful heart too, don’t we?

Define Thankful:  Today we are going to learn another one of Jesus’ character traits.  Jesus is Children's Devotional on Thankfulnessthankful!  Thankful means to be grateful for what we have and the help we are given. 

Give Examples: Can you think of a different times you can be thankful?  When can you thank your mom or dad?  When can you thank your brother or sister or friend?  When can you thank God? (wait for answers) There are many times that we can thank others, and when we appreciate what people and God has done, we are being like Jesus! 

Learn from Jesus:  Let’s hear a story about how Jesus was thankful. 

Read  Matthew 14:19 Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand (Matt. 14: 13-21 for whole story)

“Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves.”  Matt 14;19 (NIV)

Questions to Consider:

Why did Jesus give thanks?

What are you thankful for

How can we be like Jesus and remember to thank God?

Summary: Jesus loved to thank God.  He never forgot that everything good is a gift from God.  He also did not complain when things got hard but thanked God for helping Him. We, too, can thank God for all that He gives us and how he helps us.  

Prayer: Let’s pray together and thank Jesus for showing us how we can have a thankful heart.

Dear Jesus, thank you that you showed us how to have a thankful heart.  Help us have a thankful heart by thanking God and others for all the blessings we are given.  Amen

Thankful Heart: Day Two

Let’s Review: We are learning about Jesus’ beautiful heart and how He was always thankful to God.  What does it mean to be thankful?  Do you think God wants us to thank others too?

Learn from the Bible: Let’s read 1 Thessalonians 1:2 to see what the Bible says about thanking others. 

“We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers.” 1 Thess 1:2 (NIV)

According to the verse, who does God want us to thank?

Who do you know that you can thank?

Bringing It Home: I am going to give you some scenarios, and let’s decide how you can be thankful in each situation.

  1. Your friend shares his toys with you at his house.  What can you say to have a thankful heart?
  2. Your grandma gets you a sweater for Christmas that is not your favorite.  What is something you can say to show a thankful heart without being rude?
  3. It’s time to eat, but you don’t really care for your dinner. What can you say to your mom to have a thankful heart anyway?
  4. Your teacher tells you that you are doing a good job at school.  What can you do to be thankful?

Let’s Practice:

Click here for a video to help you practice being thankful.

Say thankful prayers as a family throughout the week, thanking God for all He has given you.

Draw a picture of what you are thankful for or write a thank you letter to God using these free printables: Thankful Picture Printable 
Thankful Prayer Printable

Remind your children to thank others in public.  Practice scenarios before you get into the situation.  Teach them to write thank you notes too!

Memorize Psalm 107:1.  Click here for a link with a tune. When we memorize God’s Word, it helps us remember to follow His ways!

Prayer: Let’s pray together and ask Jesus to help us have a thankful heart.

Dear Jesus, please remind us to thank others this week.  Help us always be thankful to you for the people in our lives!  Amen.

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