Veggies & Leftovers

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Lesson 56

“Hey, Jeremy! Thanks for coming over to play soccer,” Justin said as he let Jeremy in the front door.

“No problem. I brought my ball,” Jeremy replied as he followed Justin through the house to the backyard. The boys set up Justin’s small net and took turns kicking and playing goalie. When another one of Jeremy’s shots whizzed into the net, Justin gave up and flopped onto the grass.

“Let’s take a break and get a snack,” Justin suggested. The boys went into the kitchen, and Justin began pulling things out of the cupboard: raisins, bread, crackers, soup.

“Justin, what are you doing?” asked his mom as she entered the kitchen with Ellie.

“I’m looking for something good for me and Jeremy to eat.”

“I’ll fix you a snack,” Mom said as she put the items back into the cupboard. The boys sat down at the table with Ellie, listening to her chatter. Justin’s mom poured them some water with ice.

“Can’t we have juice or lemonade?” Justin asked as he eyed his water glass.

“I don’t have any right now. I need to get groceries. Plus, water is the best thing to drink after you’ve been playing soccer.”

“Juice! Juice!” Ellie cried.

Justin’s mom frowned at him for giving Ellie the idea of juice. “No, Ellie. Mommy doesn’t have any juice. Drink your water.”

A few minutes later, Justin’s mom set small plates with veggies and dip in front of the boys.

“Mom! Vegetables? We wanted cookies!” Justin exclaimed as he made a face at his plate of veggies.

“Justin! Where are your manners?”

“Oh yeah, thanks,” Justin mumbled.

“Cookie! Cookie!” Ellie pushed her plate away and made a face just like her big brother.

Justin’s mom took Ellie down from her chair. “If you’re not hungry, you can go play. Justin, you’re being ungrateful and—” She was about to say more, but her phone rang in another room, and she left to answer it.

“You should try the dip, Justin. It’s good,” Jeremy suggested as he dipped another carrot.

Justin wrinkled his nose. “I really wanted something else for a snack. How come moms always have to give us healthy stuff?” He ate a few carrots but left some on his plate. “Let’s go back outside,” he huffed.

Justin was tired of soccer, so the boys switched to playing in his fort. It wasn’t long before Justin’s dad came into the backyard. “Hey boys! It’s time for dinner. Jeremy, do you want to stay and eat with us?”

“Thanks, but I told my mom I’d be home before dinner. I’d better go.” Jeremy scooped up his soccer ball and headed home.

When Justin’s family sat down at the table, his mom set out several dishes and bowls. “It’s leftover night! We need to eat up the food we didn’t finish this week.”

“Mmm. I’m hungry. Let’s pray and dig in!” Dad said. After thanking God for the food, Dad offered several dishes to Justin as he heaped food onto his own plate. “You want some chicken?”

“No, thank you.”

“How about some rice?”

“No.”

“Beef stew?”

“No.”

“You need to pick something—here, have some chicken.” Dad put a piece of chicken on Justin’s plate.

“I don’t like leftovers. Why can’t we have something good, like pizza or hot dogs?”

“Justin! That is very ungrateful and rude,” Dad said sternly.

Ellie looked up from her plate. “Pizza?” she asked hopefully.

Mom frowned. “He complained about his snack this afternoon in front of Ellie and Jeremy, too,” she added as she cut up some chicken on Ellie’s plate.

“Justin, do you know why we thank God for our food?” asked Dad.

Justin shrugged. “Because the Bible says to?”

“Not exactly,” Dad replied. “The Bible teaches that God is our provider. He provided me with a job to earn money. He gave you a mom who works hard to shop for good things to eat and to prepare our food. When we complain, it’s like we’re telling God he isn’t a good provider. Is that what you think?”

“Uh, no.”

“Not everything we eat may be your favorite, but you should still be thankful. Hasn’t God been good to us, giving us food for three meals a day and snacks?”

“Yes.” Justin hung his head.

“It’s also unkind to your mom when you complain, and it’s a bad example for Ellie; she copies what you say and do. It’s a sin to grumble and complain, and that makes God sad.”

“I’m sorry, Dad. And Mom, I shouldn’t have complained so much today. Will you forgive me?”

“We forgive you,” she said with a smile. “Dad and I want you to grow to be strong and healthy. Letting you eat cookies and hot dogs every day isn’t good for you. We love you very much and want what’s best for you,” she explained.

“God loves you even more than we do! He wants you to learn to trust and obey him and do what’s right,” Dad added.

“Maybe we could pray again, and I’ll tell God I’m sorry and thank him for our food,” Justin suggested. They bowed their heads again, and Justin prayed.

When Justin said, “Amen,” Ellie clapped her hands and chanted, “Tank ooh, God!” Then she ate up all her chicken.

Justin laughed—and ate up all of his chicken, too.

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A Fun Part of Answers Bible Curriculum

Justin & Jessie show kids how the Bible applies to real life! These weekly stories are part of Answers Bible Curriculum, our full-Bible, chronological Sunday school program for all ages.