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"Even the Sparrow Knows:
Trusting your Savior with a Troubled Heart"

Elf on the Shelf Jesus Style Biblical Virtues: Thanksgiving

Elf on the Shelf Jesus Style Biblical Virtues Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving isn’t the only time we are to remember what we are thankful for.  God always provides for us and because of this, we should always have grateful hearts.  We should always praise God for all He has given us and continues to provide for us.

Read Exodus 17: 1-7

The whole Israelite community set out from the Desert of Sin, traveling from place to place as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. So they quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.”

Moses replied, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you put the Lord to the test?”

But the people were thirsty for water there, and they grumbled against Moses. They said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?”

Then Moses cried out to the Lord, “What am I to do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me.”

The Lord answered Moses, “Go out in front of the people. Take with you some of the elders of Israel and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. I will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink.” So Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel. And he called the place Massah and Meribah because the Israelites quarreled and because they tested the Lord saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”

Discuss the following questions with your child:

  • What were the Israelites complaining about?
  • Who did they complain to? Could Moses do anything about it?  Who should the Israelites have been praying to for water?
  • What did Moses hit to make water? Why do you think God had him do this?
  • Do you think it pleases God when we complain?
  • Instead of complaining, what should we do?

Sometimes we whine and complain, especially when things aren’t going our way.  Other times we whine and complain when we want something.  That’s when we have to ask ourselves:  Do I want this or do I need this?  Talk to your child about the difference between a want and a need.

Despite all the miracles that the Israelites had seen, they continued to doubt God’s ability to provide for them. We should never doubt that God can provide for us.  He always has and always will.  Of course, it’s according to His timing and His will, but He ALWAYS provides for us!

When you begin to feel like whining and complaining, praise God instead!!  Praise Him for the many things that He has provided!  Praise Him for the many things He has yet to provide!!


Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for men, for He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.  Psalm 107: 8-9

I am the Lord, the God of all mankind.  Is anything too hard for Me?  Jeremiah 32:27

Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.  Mark 10:27

And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:19


For this activity, you will need:

Discuss the importance of a grateful heart.  Read the scriptures in today’s lesson and talk about each of them.  For this activity, print off the Praising the Lord and Giving Thanks Free Printable.

Praising the Lord and Giving Thanks Free Printable

On this printable, you will find the word “thank you” in many different languages.  Have your children cut out each word.  As they are cutting, explain to them that people all over the world speak different languages, but  even though we may say it differently, we can all praise God and thank Him for His many blessings.  Practice saying the words together.  You may even want to get out a map and as you read each word, point out where that translation comes from.

As your child glues each word down on the construction paper, ask them to name something they are grateful for.  Then together, praise God and thank Him for it!

Here are the translations for the printable.

  • Gracias- Spanish
  • Dankie (Dahn-kee)- South Africa
  • Shukran (shoe-krahn)- Arabic
  • Salamat (sa-la-mat)- Filipino
  • Merci- French
  • Danke (Dahn-kah)- German
  • Mahalo (mah-hah-loh)- Hawaiian
  • Toda (toh-dah)- Hebrew
  • Grazie (gra-see)- Italian
  • Domo- Japanese
  • Xie Xie (syeh- syeh)- Mandarin
  • Asante (ah-sahn-teh)- Africa (Swahili)


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