Conversation Starters: One Great Task

Posted on August 16, 2017 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: Tell family members about Jesus.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: The struggle to find hope and purpose is universal. Earlier on the blog, we saw that we were created to be with God and live for His glory, and we will find that purpose through our trust in the work of Christ. Many people have yet to learn that truth, and they continue to struggle with the quest for hope and purpose. As believers, we have a responsibility to lead them to find that hope and purpose in Christ.

Conversation Starters: One Great Task

Preschool

Genesis 13

LIFE POINT: Abram and his nephew Lot lived on the land together. Abram had his family, tents, cattle, and sheep. Lot also had his family, animals, and tents. Abram and Lot had too many people and animals living in the same area. Abram and Lot’s helpers started arguing with each other over the land. Abram told Lot, “Please do not argue. We are family. We have lots of land.” Abram told Lot to choose an area to live, then he would choose a different area to live. Abram let Lot choose the land first. Lot chose his land and took his family and animals with him. Abram kept his promise and chose land away from Lot. Abram moved his family, animals, and tents to the new area. Now Abram and Lot had plenty of land and did not need to argue anymore.

LIVE IT OUT: Use a large sheet of paper to make a kindness chart for your child. Think together about ways your child can show kindness to other members of your family and print them on a chart. Let your child put a sticker on the chart any time she performs a kindness.

Kids

Genesis 13

LIFE POINT: Abram and his nephew Lot owned many animals. Because they had so many animals, there was not enough food for all of them. The herdsmen and servants began to argue with each other. Each wanted more land and food for his herds. Abram said to Lot, “We do not want to have our servants
quarreling. We are family! Look at the land around us. Choose the land you want. You go one way and I’ll go the other way.” Lot looked at the land. One direction was well-watered. Many plants grew there. Lot chose the beautiful, green Jordan Valley for himself. He took his flocks and moved. God spoke to Abram. “Look all around you. I will give you and everyone after you all that you see. I will make your family so large no one can count it all.” Abram built an altar where he worshiped and thanked God.

LIVE IT OUT: Ask your child the following questions: “What are the benefits of getting along in our family? What could happen if you always get your way? How can you help people get along?” Help your child think about the answers to these questions.

Students

2 Timothy 2:1-10

THE POINT: Everyone is meant to share the gospel. Who has been faithful in teaching you the truth about God and the gospel? What excuses do we make for not sharing Christ? What are your hopes and dreams for sharing the gospel? Discuss the following quote:

“Christian disciples are sent men and women—sent out in the same work of world evangelism to which the Lord was sent, and for which he gave his life.”1 —Robert E. Coleman

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: Help your student to be bold in his or her faith by praying with him or her for courage to share the gospel. Find additional courage and strength in 2 Timothy 2:8-10.
• COMMUNITY: Encourage your student to find a younger friend that he or she may begin to mentor in their walk with Christ.
• CULTURE: Your student may be looked down upon because of his or her age. Instead, encourage your student to be bold in speech, actions, faith, love, and purity—just as Paul encouraged Timothy—and allow God to use him or her in a big way.

 

1. Robert E. Coleman, The Master Plan of Evangelism, Second Edition (Grand Rapids: Revell, 2010), 69.


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Conversation Starters: One Great Commitment

Posted on July 26, 2017 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: Families learn about Jesus.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: What must I do to be saved? We make decisions constantly. Many decisions require little thought, and most decisions require little long-term commitment. But the greatest decision centers on what we will do with Jesus Christ. Knowledge about Jesus is not enough. Our need for salvation is answered in Jesus, but we must each decide whether we will commit to that truth and trust Jesus.

Concept: One Great Commitment

Preschool

Genesis 6:9- 8:19

LIFE POINT: Noah was a good man who obeyed God. God told Noah to build a big boat (ark) because God was going to flood the whole earth. Noah built the boat. He made it exactly as God said. The boat
had three floors and one door. God told Noah to store food for his family and all the animals. Noah did everything God had told him to do. Finally, it was time to gather his family and the animals on the boat. Then God shut the door. For 40 days and 40 nights, it rained. Noah, his family, and all the animals were safe in the boat. After the rain stopped and the water went away, God put a rainbow in the sky to remind Noah and his family He would never flood the earth again.

LIVE IT OUT: Provide some blocks and animal figures for your child. Sit with her and help her build the ark, a zoo, or pens for the animal. Talk about the story of Noah as your play. Remind your child that God loved Noah’s family and God loves all families.

Kids

Genesis 6:9- 8:22

LIFE POINT: Noah was a man who loved and obeyed God. God spoke to Noah. “Build an ark,” God said. God told Noah exactly how to make the ark. God was going to send a flood that would destroy everything not on the ark. Noah obeyed God. God told Noah to take animals with him on the ark. He needed two of every kind of animal and seven pairs of some animals. God told Noah and his family to go into the ark. When they were inside, God shut the door and the rain began. It rained for 40 days and 40 nights. Even the mountains were covered with water. But the ark floated on top of the water. God caused a wind to blow over the earth to begin to dry the water. Finally, Noah knew the land was dry. Noah, his family, and the animals out of the ark. Noah and his family had done everything that God told them to do.

LIVE IT OUT: As a family, discuss ways your family obeys God. Talk about ways your family could improve. Let your child help think of different ways your family could improve in their obedience to God.

Students 

Romans 10:1-3, 8b-13

THE POINT: I must trust in Christ alone for salvation. Where do you usually see people that are passionate but without knowledge? What is one problem with trying to earn your salvation? Why is salvation both easy and difficult for those who give their lives to Christ? Discuss the following quote:

Without a heart transformed by the grace of Christ, we just continue to manage external and internal darkness.”1— Matt Chandler

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: Talk with your student about salvation through the confession of sins and surrendering of your life to Christ. If your student has not done this, talk with him or her about making a decision to do so.
• COMMUNITY: Invite friends of your student over who do not know Christ. Use the opportunity to reflect Christ’s love in your home and invite them to know Christ better.
• CULTURE: Discuss opportunities with your student to take the gospel to those who need it. Don’t let fear discourage him or her from big ideas and taking large leaps to further the kingdom.

1. Matt Chandler, The Explicit Gospel (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2014), 199.


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Conversation Starters: One Great Savior!

Posted on July 12, 2017 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: Families love because of Jesus.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Why would Jesus save me? When we come face-to-face with our sin and failures, we can become despondent. A feeling of doom can settle in. After all, we have earned the wrath of God. But the story doesn’t end there. It is amazing that God—the holy, righteous God who has condemned our sin—also loves us and stepped in to save us. We deserve judgment and hell, but God offers the only way out through Christ.

Concept: One Great Savior

Preschool 

Genesis 4:1-7

LIFE POINT: Adam and Eve were the first people God made. They had two boys named Cain and Abel. As the boys grew older, Cain worked in the fields and grew plants for food. Cain saved some of his plants and food to give to God. Abel was a shepherd. His job was to take care of the sheep. He fed the sheep and kept them safe. Abel gave some of his firstborn sheep to God. God was pleased with Abel. Cain became mad when he saw that God was pleased with Abel’s offering. God told Cain to do what was right and love his brother, Abel. Adam, Eve, Cain, and Abel were the first family.

LIVE IT OUT: Take time to look at family pictures in an album, especially members your child may not see often. Help your child become more familiar with those members by telling him things you know about them. Remind your child that God made his family.

Kids

Genesis 4:1-16

LIFE POINT: Adam and Eve had two sons named Cain and Abel. The two boys were different, but each grew to be a man. Cain grew up and farmed the land while Abel became a shepherd. One day, Cain and Abel each gave an offering to God. God liked Abel’s offering. He did not like Cain’s offering. Cain was angry. He asked his brother to go into the field with him. While they were there, Cain attacked and killed Abel. Soon God asked Cain, “Where is your brother?” Cain lied to God. “I don’t know,” Cain said. “Is it my job to take care of my brother?” God said that Cain would never be able to grow anything again. He sent Cain away and to wander for the rest of his life. God put a mark on Cain to keep him safe from people who might hurt him. Then Cain left God’s presence.

Students

Romans 5:6-11

THE POINT: God offers us hope and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. When was a time that you got lost and needed someone’s help? Why is it hard for us to recognize that we are helpless? What are we offered in a relationship with Christ? Discuss the following quote:

“In reality, salvation was bought not by Jesus’ fist, but by His nail-pierced hands; not by muscle but by love; not by vengeance but by forgiveness; not by force but by sacrifice. Jesus Christ our Lord surrendered in order that He might win; He destroyed His enemies by dying for them and conquered death by allowing death to conquer Him.”1—A. W. Tozer

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: Create a list with your student of people you personally know need to be saved. Post your list on the fridge, and each night as a family, pray for every name on the list.
• COMMUNITY: Share your personal testimony with your student and encourage him or her to also share.
• CULTURE: Pray with your student for the opportunity and courage to share his or her testimony. Sharing our stories of Christ can be powerful ways of bringing the gospel to those who do not yet know the truth.

1. A. W. Tozer, Preparing for Jesus’ Return: Daily Live the Blessed Hope (Bloomington, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2012), 111.


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Conversation Starters: One Great Problem

Posted on July 5, 2017 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: God knew to send the Savior.
THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: What went wrong? We want trouble-free lives and we might wonder: “If God created all this, why is the world in such a mess?” Life is full of problems—from the minor irritants like slow traffic to life-altering catastrophes. But what’s wrong with our lives does not arise from one of these external issues. Our greatest problem is internal; it’s a sin issue. God created us for something incredible, but we lost it because of our sin.

Concept: One Great Problem

 

Preschool

Genesis 1:26-31; 2:7, 15-24

LIFE POINT: On the sixth day when God was making the world, He made a man and a woman. He made the first man from the dust of the ground. He called the man Adam. He gave life to Adam by breathing into him. He placed Adam in the garden to work in it and take care of it. God decided Adam should not be alone, so He made a woman. Adam named the woman Eve, and she became Adam’s helper. God made Adam and Eve to take care of the fish in the water, birds in the air, and animals that walk or crawl on land. He gave them the fruit trees and plants to eat. They lived together in the garden. He looked at them and saw that it was very good. Evening came, and the sixth day was done. On the seventh day, God rested. He created everything in six days!

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child make a list of all the things she can do. Comment that God made her special and able to do many things. If you have a younger preschooler, comment as he is learning new things that God made him able to learn.

Kids

Genesis 3

LIFE POINT: God created people and placed them in a garden. They could to eat from any tree except the one in the middle of the garden. The serpent tricked the woman. She chose to disobey God and eat the fruit. Then she gave some to her husband who ate. Immediately they were ashamed. They heard God coming and tried to hide from God. God searched for the man and woman. He asked if they had eaten the fruit He told them not to eat. The man blamed the woman and the woman blamed the serpent. Neither accepted responsibility for his own choice. God loved the man and the woman. But The man and the woman left the garden. He made clothes for them from animal skins. He told them their lives would now be hard. Their names were Adam and Eve.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child memorize Deuteronomy 5:32, the verse for this session. Discuss the meaning of turning to the right or to the left. Guide your child to write down some choices that reflect that turn away from God.

Students

Romans 3:9-12, 19-20, 23

THE POINT: Without Christ, we are condemned forever.

-What do you see that points to sin as a worldwide problem? What are some ways that we try to explain away God’s judgments?

-When have you felt the weight or consequence of sin in your own life? How will sin keep us from living a life that brings praise to God?

Discuss the following quote:

“As the salt flavors every drop in the Atlantic, so does sin affect every atom of our nature. It is so sadly there, so abundantly there, that if you cannot detect it, you are deceived.”1
Charles H. Spurgeon

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 the consequences of unconfessed sin and help him or her to confess any sins that still need to be confessed and then forgiven.
• COMMUNITY: Help your student create a list of people that need to hear the truth of the gospel. Pray with your student for the people on his or her list.
• CULTURE: Discuss ways you and your student can respond to the sin in the world around you. Some starting questions include: Where do you see the brokenness of sin in your life? What ways do we try to
deal with sin apart from Christ?

 

1. “25 Christian Quotes About Sin,” What Christians Want to Know [online], [accessed 1 February 2016]. Available from the Internet: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/25-christian-quotes aboutsin/# ixzz3z1SHd8zO


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Conversation Starters: One Great Purpose

Posted on May 24, 2017 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: Praise God for His creation!

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Where do I fit in? It’s easy to fill our lives with things and activities. Busyness can drown out the quiet, nagging question that asks: What’s the purpose of all I’m doing? What have I really accomplished? God created us for so much more than what we often settle for. He created us with purpose and for a purpose. Life becomes rich and full as we discover and live out God’s purpose for our lives.

Concept: One Great Purpose

Preschool

Genesis 1:20-25, 30

LIFE POINT: On the fifth day, God said, “Let the waters be filled with living animals and let birds fly in the sky.” God made the very largest of sea animals and every other living animal that moves in the water. He filled the waters of the seas, oceans, and rivers with fish and creatures of all kinds. He made birds with wings to fly in the sky.
On the sixth day, God made all the wild animals, farm animals, and animals that crawl on the ground. He made everything that has life in it. He gave the animals food to eat from the plants He made. God had made all the different kinds of animals in two days. God looked at all the animals He had made and saw it was good.

LIVE IT OUT: Children love animals. If you have a pet, give your child some responsibility for helping care for that pet. Depending on your child’s age, he can give food and water, bathe, walk, and clean up after the pet. Remind your child that the pet is a creation of God.

Kids

Genesis 2:4-24

LIFE POINT: In just six days, God had created an amazing world from nothing. God spoke, and everything was created: light; the sky; the sun, moon, and stars; seas; dry land; every kind of animal; people. God had spoken everything into creation. But God formed man out of dust of the earth and breathed life into him. God planted a beautiful garden in Eden and placed the man in the garden. God provided every kind of tree that grew food. The garden had everything the man needed.
God knew that it was not good for the man to be alone. The man needed a helper. So God brought all the birds and animals to the man. The man gave a name to each one, but none of them was like the man. None could be the man’s helper. So God caused the man to sleep. God took one of the man’s ribs and used it to make a woman. They were the first family.

LIVE IT OUT: Discuss with your child what the term “in God’s image” means. What about the creation of people was different from all other things? List some special characteristics your child has that are special to her.

Students

Isaiah 43:1-7

LIFE POINT: We were created to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.
• How has God used specific moments in your life to teach you more about Himself?
• What distracts us most from enjoying God’s love?
• What does it look like to glorify God in our everyday lives?

Discuss the following quote:

“God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.”1—John Piper

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 time this week to sit down with your student and enjoy who God is by slowing down and intentionally spending time with Him.
• COMMUNITY: Identify places in your community with volunteer needs that you and your student can fulfill. Use the opportunity to serve with your student and display the character of God toward others.
• CULTURE: Encourage your student to reread the Scripture from this week looking specifically for how it describes our relationship with Christ, and then use the message to encourage others.

1. John Piper, “Christian Hedonism: Forgive the Label, But Don’t Miss the Truth,” desiringGod [online], 1 January 1995, [accessed 4 March 2016]. Available from the Internet: http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/christianhedonism


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