Conversation Starters: Jesus Teaches

Posted on March 20, 2019 by Karah

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: The Bible gets a lot of respect in America—at least superficial respect. Eighty percent of adults consider the Bible a holy book, but few read it. Even among Christians, only 11 percent read the Bible daily, and 34 percent rarely read it. Many of us pay lip service to the Bible but miss out on the joy and abundant life that comes from applying its truth to our lives.

Concept: Jesus Teaches

Preschool

Luke 1:26-38; Matthew 1:18-24

LIFE POINT: Mary was a young woman who obeyed God. She was going to be married to Joseph. God sent an angel to talk to Mary. The angel said, “Do not be afraid. God has chosen you to be the mother of a special baby, God’s Son.” He told her that this was part of God’s plan. Mary did not understand. The angel said, “God can do things that people think are impossible.” Mary said, “I will do what God wants.” One night when Joseph was sleeping, God sent an angel to him in a dream. The angel said, “Do not be afraid to marry Mary. Her baby is God’s Son. You will name Him Jesus. He will love people and teach them about God.” Joseph remembered the dream when he woke up. He did as the angel said. Joseph married Mary. Joseph and Mary waited for the special baby, Jesus, to be born.

LIVE IT OUT: Remind your child that God chose Mary and Joseph to be Jesus’ family. Talk about your family and how members cares for others. Help your child make a book of family members by drawing on individual sheets of paper and stapling the pages together.

Kids

Luke 1:26-38; Matthew 1:18-24

LIFE POINT: Mary, who lived in the town of Nazareth, was visited by an angel. “Be happy,” the angel said. “God is with you.” Mary wondered what kind of greeting this was. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. You will have a son and you will call Him Jesus. He will be God’s Son.” Mary wondered how this could happen. The angel said, “God’s Spirit will come to you. The one born to you will be the Son of God.” Mary answered that she would obey God. Joseph wondered what to do. He knew he was not the father of Mary’s baby. As he slept, an angel came to him. “Joseph, don’t be afraid to marry Mary. Her baby is God’s own Son. You are to name Him Jesus. He will save His people from their sins.” Joseph took Mary for his wife. When the baby was born, Joseph and Mary named Him Jesus.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child memorize the Bible verse, Matthew 1:21. This verse contains the angel’s words to Joseph. God committed Jesus to the family of Joseph. Help your child understand that God chose a family for Jesus because that is His plan for all children.

Students

Mark 4:1-9

THE POINT: Obeying Jesus’ teachings leads to productive living.
• What’s the best way for you to learn something new?
• What are the benefits and challenges of using stories to reveal truth?
• Where do you see each of these soils represented in our culture?
• What kinds of “fruit” should be evident in our lives when we obey Jesus’ teaching? Discuss the following quote:

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” (1) —Robert Louis Stephenson

LIVE IT OUT: Encourage your student to take practical steps to take his or her faith and Live It Out. Here are some ways you can encourage your students to live out their faith with Christ personally, in community, and in their culture:
• CHRIST: Take the time this week to ask your student how he or she is rooting out bad habits, while strengthening good habits to grow better in his or her relationship with Christ.
• COMMUNITY: Discuss ways you and your student can purposefully plant seeds of discipleship in your community this week.
• CULTURE: When spreading seeds of discipleship, we have to reach out to people around us and connect in ways that make sense to them. Discuss how you and your student can better relate to the culture around you and spread the gospel.

(1)Robert Louis Stephenson, “Robert Louis Stephenson Quotes,” Brainy Quote [online], [accessed 23 May 2017]. Available from the Internet: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/r/robertloui101230.html.


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Conversation Starters: Jesus Calls

Posted on March 13, 2019 by Karah

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Social media gives us the opportunity to follow individuals and groups. By following them, we can see into their lives or know what they’re promoting—but we can do so only from a distance. Jesus invites us to follow Him in a far more intimate way. Following Jesus will require us to change directions, but the journey we take with Him leads us to abundant and eternal life.

Concept: Jesus Calls

Preschool

Isaiah 6-7; Micah 5:2-4

LIFE POINT: Long before Jesus was born, God had a plan. God planned to send His Son to be born. God told prophets to tell the people about His plan to send a special baby. Prophets were men who told others what God wanted them to know. Isaiah was a prophet. God chose Isaiah to tell people the wonderful news. Isaiah wrote that God promised to send a very special child to be born. The special baby would be God’s Son. Another prophet who lived a long time ago was named Micah. Micah also wrote about Jesus. He wrote that God’s Son would be born in Bethlehem. People heard or read the words that the prophets wrote. They knew that God was planning to send His Son. They waited for the day that God would keep His promise.

LIVE IT OUT: Celebrate waiting for Easter with your family. Find a Lent devotional book to use each day or week of the Lenten season. Kids Read Truth is a great resource. Involve your child in reading some of the Scripture passages for the week.

Kids

Isaiah 7:14; 9:6; 11:1-5; Micah 5:2

LIFE POINT: When Isaiah was in the temple worshiping, he saw God on a throne. His robe filled the temple! Angels stood around God. They worshiped Him. Isaiah heard God ask, “Whom shall I send? Who will go for Me.” Isaiah answered, “Here I am. Send me!” Then God gave Isaiah a message for the people. Isaiah was to tell the message to everyone. Isaiah went to the king with God’s message. The king and the people were very afraid. An enemy army was coming. They did not believe they could win the battle. Isaiah said, “The enemy will not win. God is with you. God will give you a sign. A virgin will have a son. He will be Immanuel.” Another time, God gave a different message to the prophet Micah. Micah told the message to others. He said that the Savior would be born in Bethlehem.

LIVE IT OUT: Celebrate waiting for Easter with your family. Find a Lent devotional book to use each day or week of the Lenten season. Kids Read Truth is a great resource. Involve your child in reading some of the Scripture passages for the week.

Students

Mark 1:14-20

THE POINT: Following Jesus is a life-changing adventure and you are invited.
• What great adventure is on your bucket list?
• Why is it essential to believe and also repent to enter the kingdom of God?
• What are some of the ways Jesus calls people today?
• What does Jesus’ phrase “Follow Me’’ suggest about the way we’re to relate to Him?
Discuss the following quote:

“Sin gets its power by persuading me to believe that I will be happier if I follow it. The power of all temptation is the prospect that it will make me happier.”(1) —John Piper

LIVE IT OUT: Encourage your student to take practical steps to take his or her faith and Live It Out. Here are some ways you can encourage your students to live out their faith with Christ personally, in community, and in their culture:
• CHRIST: Discuss with your student ways that he or she has been an example of following Jesus. Then determine how you can each grow in following Jesus this week
• COMMUNITY: Encourage your student to develop relationships with friends that will help them to become better followers of Jesus.
• CULTURE: Pray with your student this week for the strength and courage to be an example of devotion to Christ in a worldly culture.

(1)John Piper, “50 John Piper Quotes,” Christian Quotes, [accessed 15 May 2017]. Available from the Internet: https://www.christianquotes.info/quotes- by-author/john-piper-quotes/#axzz4hYC7eseG.


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Conversation Starters: Right Here, Right Now

Posted on March 6, 2019 by Karah

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Some Christians can be enthralled with the idea of doing great things for God in exotic locales. While that type of mission is needed, the first place God calls us is often not across the world but across the street. Christ calls us to represent Him right where we are. The hardest ministry may be among those who know us best, but those same people are the ones most impacted by the way Christ has transformed us.

Concept: Right Here, Right Now

Preschool

1 and 2 Peter

LIFE POINT: Peter was one of Jesus’ disciples. He knew that Jesus was God’s Son. Peter learned many things about God. He learned how God wants us to live and make right choices. Peter taught people about Jesus. He wrote some letters to the people he had taught. Peter wrote, “I am writing to you who love Jesus. I want to remind you about the things that Jesus did and said so that you will remember them. Remember that the words in the Bible are not people’s words; they are God’s words. You should love one another and follow what Jesus taught. Keep learning about Jesus. He is our example of how we should live. This will help us make right choices.” The people read the letters from Peter. The letters Peter wrote are part of our Bible.

LIVE IT OUT: Talk about right and wrong choices with your child. Name some things your child may do or be tempted to do. Help him identify which are right choices and which are wrong. Comment that God wants people to make right choices.

Kids

1 and 2 Peter

LIFE POINT: Peter was a friend and disciple of Jesus. He learned many things about God and how God wants people to live. After Jesus went back to heaven, Peter taught many people about Jesus. He wrote letters to the people he had taught. He wanted to remind them of the things he had taught them. Peter wrote: “I am a disciple of Jesus. I am writing to you who love Jesus. I know you have heard many stories about Jesus. I want to teach you the things Jesus taught me so you will always remember them. Husbands and wives should love each other. We should obey the laws of the government. Let others see you doing good things. You should love one another and obey the truth that Jesus taught. Keep learning about Jesus. He is our example of how we should live.” These letters are part of our Bible today.

LIVE IT OUT: What do you teach your child about making choices? Start giving your child freedom to decide certain things on her own. Learning to make right choices is integral to learning and growing into adulthood. Practicing these choices will help your child make the ultimate choice to follow Jesus.

Students

Mark 5:1-2, 8-15, 18-20

THE POINT: You don’t have to go far to share your transformed life in Christ.
• Who is a classmate you’re glad you’ve gotten to know?
• How would you describe the man in the tombs?
• When have you observed a dramatic transformation in someone’s life?
• How can you use your own story of transformation to share the gospel?
Discuss the following quote:

“The fear of man strangles us, because we can never please everybody; but the fear of the Lord frees us, because it challenges us to live and serve for an audience of One.” (1)
— Paul Chappell

LIVE IT OUT: Encourage your student to take practical steps to take his or her faith and Live It Out. Here are some ways you can encourage your students to live out their faith with Christ personally, in community, and in their culture:
• CHRIST: Pray with your student this week specifically thanking God for your freedom from sin.
• COMMUNITY: Discuss sin with your student and acknowledge that it can be hard to overcome on our own. Talk about the sin in his or her life and develop a plan to overcome it.
• CULTURE: Share with your student how you have faced past sins and now live freely without the bondage of sin.

(1)Paul Chappell, “24 Paul Chappell Quotes,” Christian Quotes [online],[accessed 23 November 2016]. Available from the Internet: http://www.christianquotes.info/quotes-by-author/paul-chappell-quotes/.


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Conversation Starters: A Passion to Share the Gospel

Posted on February 27, 2019 by Karah

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: One of the beauties of life is the uniqueness each one of us brings to it. We are created by God with particular interests, abilities, and personalities. Our individuality is compounded by our history—including our sins, failures, and victories. We are all unique, but God calls us to the same task: to share His gospel. Our individual histories and experiences provide opportunities for us to bring the gospel into the lives of others.

Concept: A Passion to Share the Gospel

Preschool

2 Timothy 1:1-5; 3:14-17

LIFE POINT: On one of his trips, Paul met a young man named Timothy. Paul heard people say that Timothy loved God and Jesus. Timothy had been taught about God by his mother, Eunice, and his grandmother, Lois. Paul asked Timothy to help him tell others about Jesus. They traveled together and talked to many people. They told them about Jesus and God. Later, Paul wrote a letter to Timothy. Paul wrote that he was praying for Timothy. Paul said, “I thank God for your mother and your grandmother who taught you about God and Jesus. Since you were a child, you have learned from the Bible. Remember, all that the Bible says is from God. The Bible tells us what God wants us to do. It teaches us how to live and helps us make right choices. Keep doing what the Bible says to do.”

LIVE IT OUT: Assist your child in learning 2 Peter 3:18. Say the verse together. Stretch up tall as you say “grow”; point to your temples as you say “know”; make the sign for Jesus (touch each middle finger to opposite palm) as you say “Jesus.” Remind your child she is growing and learning.

Kids

2 Timothy 1:1-5; 3:14-17

LIFE POINT: Paul wrote letters to Timothy. One letter said this: “From Paul to Timothy, I thank God for you, Timothy, every day. I know you were sad to see me leave. I remember that your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice taught you about God. My advice is to keep on in what you learned and what you believe. You have known the Scriptures since you were a child. They teach you about God’s plan to save people. All Scripture comes from God. Scripture can teach what is right. It can show you what is bad. Scripture can correct bad actions. It can show how to do right. These things will help you be ready for good works.” Paul helped Timothy—and people today— know how to live as God wants.

LIVE IT OUT: God desires for people to keep learning about Him. Share with your child how he began learning about God and Jesus at home, at church and at camp. Help your child think of Bible stories he learned when he was younger and still hears now. Suggest that he make a list of favorite Bible stories about Jesus.

Students

2 Corinthians 5:11, 14-21

THE POINT: God calls us to share the gospel.
• What advertising ploys are least likely to persuade you?
• What motivates you to follow Christ?
• What are the basic truths of the gospel every person needs to hear?
• What are some effective ways to share the gospel?
Discuss the following quote:

“God has made relationships His chosen
delivery system for the gospel of hope.” 1
— Ed Stetzer

LIVE IT OUT: Encourage your student to take practical steps to take his or her faith and Live It Out. Here are some ways you can encourage your students to live out their faith with Christ personally, in community, and in their culture:
• CHRIST: In order to be reconciled with God, we must repent of all sin and align ourselves with His perfect standard. Help your student determine if there is any unconfessed sin in his or her life.
• COMMUNITY: Take time to pray with your student over the sin in his or her life and discuss any changes you may need to make as individuals and as a family to be reconciled with God.
• CULTURE: It can be hard for nonbelievers to hear the truth of the gospel. Consider ways you can share in a loving way.

Ed Stetzer, Subversive Kingdom: Living as Agents of Gospel Transformation (Nashville: B&H Publishing, 2012), 115.


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Conversation Starters: A Channel of Comfort

Posted on February 20, 2019 by Karah

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: No one is immune from trouble. No one wants to go through hardships, but sometimes life rains on us. Thankfully, God never abandons His children, and we can know the power of His presence in the challenges we face. When we’ve walked through a hard season of life with God’s comforting grace, we can walk with others undergoing the same difficulties. We can encourage them with the love, grace, and comfort of Christ, who they see in us.

Conversation Starters: A Channel of Comfort

Preschool

Acts 18:1-3, 24-28

LIFE POINT: Paul went to the city of Corinth to tell the people about Jesus. There he met a man named Aquila and his wife, Priscilla. They were tent makers. Paul taught Priscilla and Aquila about Jesus while they worked together making tents. Later, Aquila and Priscilla sailed with Paul to a city named Ephesus. In this city, Aquila and Priscilla met a man named Apollos. Apollos loved God and had learned many things from the Bible scroll. He was a good teacher, and many people listened to him. Aquila and Priscilla invited Apollos to their house. They talked with Apollos and told him things about Jesus that he did not know. Aquila and Priscilla helped Apollos understand more about Jesus. Apollos traveled to tell other people what he had learned about God and Jesus.

LIVE IT OUT: Sit and clap with your child while saying, “T – E – L – L, I can tell about Jesus.” Name one person you could tell about Jesus. Repeat the chant, encouraging your child to name someone she could tell about Jesus. Continue to play, adding other family members to the game.

Kids

Acts 21:27-22:29

LIFE POINT: Some men saw Paul in the temple. They said that Paul was saying things against the law. They stirred up the whole crowd. The men grabbed Paul and dragged him out of the temple. They beat Paul and tried to kill him! Soldiers rushed to the temple to find out what was happening. As the crowd followed, the soldiers took Paul away. When they reached the steps where the soldiers stayed, Paul asked to speak. Paul said, “Listen to me. I learned the Jewish law when I was young. I tried to do all it said. I even tried to put Christians in jail.” Then Paul told everything that had happened to him. The crowd yelled for Paul to be punished. The soldier was about to beat Paul with a whip. Then he learned that Paul was a Roman citizen. The soldier knew he could not harm a Roman citizen. He stopped at once.

LIVE IT OUT: Has your child ever heard a message from you he does not like? Just as a parent disciplines his child, so God disciplines His children. Help your child understand that the Bible is God’s guide for living and following Jesus, even when we hear something we do not like.

Students

2 Corinthians 1:2-7

THE POINT: I can be a channel of God’s comfort to others.
• What’s your favorite comfort food?
• When have you been comforted by God?
• What ways do you appreciate being comforted by others?
• When has God used you to comfort someone?
Discuss the following quote:

“The task of the preacher is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” 1 —Vance Havner

LIVE IT OUT: Encourage your student to take practical steps to take his or her faith and Live It Out. Here are some ways you can encourage your students to live out their faith with Christ personally, in community, and in their culture:
• CHRIST: Pray with your student that he or she would respond to hardships in a Christ-honoring way.
• COMMUNITY: Our friends are continually facing challenges that need our prayers and community support. Help your student identify friends that may need our prayer and support.
• CULTURE: Discuss ways that people in your church and community may be suffering. Consider ways that you can help and be a comfort to those people.

1 Vance Havner, Grace Quotes [online], [accessed 23 November 2016]. Available from the Internet: http://gracequotes.org/quote/the-task-of-the-preacher-is-to-comfort-the-afflict/


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