Conversation Starters: Battle Plan

Posted on October 10, 2019 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: Trusting Jesus as Lord and Savior is God’s plan for people.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Everybody encounters temptation, but what may be a strong temptation for one person may not tempt another person. Satan knows us well enough to know what he can use in his attempts to get us to sin. We might assume that, because a certain temptation feels unique to us, no one knows what we’re going through. However, Jesus knows. He faced the same types of temptation we face. We can stand against temptation in the same way He did.

Concept: Battle Plan

Preschool

1 Samuel 16

LIFE POINT: Jesse had eight sons. His youngest son, David, was a shepherd. David helped his father by taking care of the sheep. Sometimes, while watching the sheep, David would play music on his harp. Saul was the king of the country where Jesse and his sons lived. King Saul was not happy. His helpers said, “Let’s look for someone to play the harp. The music will help you feel better.” King Saul thought this was a good idea. One servant told King Saul about the shepherd who played the harp. King Saul sent his helpers to Jesse. The king’s helpers said to Jesse, “King Saul needs your son David. David can help the king.” Jesse packed bread and other food on a donkey for David to take to the king. David began to help King Saul. When the king felt upset, David played his harp. The music helped King Saul feel better.

LIVE IT OUT: Tell your child that God made him special and he can help others. Help him think of a neighbor or friend who needs help. Decide on a way to help that person; then follow through.

Kids

1 Samuel 16

LIFE POINT: God spoke to Samuel. “Get the oil. I have chosen a king from Jesse’s sons. I am sending you to Bethlehem. ” Samuel went to Jesse in Bethlehem. He saw Jesse’s oldest son. “This must be the one God has chosen,” Samuel said. “No,” God said. “Do not think about how he looks. You cannot see what I see. I can see what he thinks and feels.” After Samuel had seen seven sons, he still had not found the new king. Jesse sent for David, youngest, a shepherd. Samuel poured oil on his head. From that day on, God’s spirit was with David. Soon after, David came to play the harp for King Saul when he did not feel well. The music made the king feel better. The king liked David. Saul kept David stay with him to play the harp.

LIVE IT OUT: Encourage your child by telling her that God has a plan for each person’s life. God’s plan for every person is to trust Jesus as Savior.

Students

THE POINT: We can follow Jesus’ example in defeating spiritual attacks.
• Where do you turn when you need a foolproof plan?
• What have you found helpful in preparing to face physical temptations?
• Why is it dangerous to test God?
• What can we learn from Jesus’ example about overcoming temptation Discuss the following quote:

“Many deceptions only appeal to us because there is something inside us that ‘wants’ to believe them. They are seductive because of darkness and wrong motives in our own lives. We must search our hearts and root these out.”(1) —Andrew Strom

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 over any difficult trials he or she is facing. Pray for the strength to live in obedience to God.
• COMMUNITY: Jesus faced the cross alone, but we have the church and other Christ-followers as support during trials. Discuss with your student any friends that he or she has that may be in need of support and encouragement.
• CULTURE: The desire to have things now often clashes with God’s standards. How can you and your family live this week in a way that demonstrates that your satisfaction comes not through worldly things, but through God’s plan for your life?

(1)“28 Quotes About Deception,” Christian Quotes, [accessed 22 February 2017]. Available from the Internet: https://www.christianquotes.info/quotes-by-topic/quotes-about-deception/#axzz4ZRhmyfA5.


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Conversation Starters: Jesus Cares

Posted on October 2, 2019 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: The worship of God brings healing to the wounded.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: When we experience pain or hurt, we turn to doctors and pharmacists. After all, they have remedies for much of what ails us. But we all experience pain and hurt—physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual—that are beyond the scope of science. We need Jesus. In all things, we are to come to Jesus, because He brings healing we can’t imagine. We can trust Jesus to take care of us.

Conversation Starters: Jesus Cares

Preschool

Matthew 2:1-12

LIFE POINT: Wise men watched the stars. They saw a new star shining brightly. This new star meant that God’s Son had been born. They wanted to see the special child and give Him gifts. The wise men followed the star to Jerusalem. They asked about the special baby. King Herod was not happy to hear about Jesus. The prophets wrote a long time ago that a special baby would be born in Bethlehem. King Herod told the wise men to go to Bethlehem. He told them to tell him where they found the baby, because he wanted to see Jesus, too. The wise men followed the star to the house where Jesus and His family lived. They bowed down and thanked God for sending Jesus. The wise men gave Jesus gifts—gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The wise men returned home a different way.

LIVE IT OUT: Remind your preschooler that the wise men knew that Jesus was a special child. With your child, talk about what makes Jesus special. Say the Bible Verse: “Thank You, God, for Jesus. Luke 2:38.”

Kids

Matthew 2:1-12

LIFE POINT: After Jesus was born, wise men came to Jerusalem. They asked,
“Where is the new King of the Jews? We saw His star. We want to worship Him.” King Herod called the priests and asked them where the Messiah would be born. The priests reported that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. King Herod sent the wise men to Bethlehem. He said, “When you find the child, tell me. I want to worship Him.” The wise men followed the star until it stopped over the house where the child was. They were filled with joy! The wise men went in the house. They saw Mary and Jesus. They dropped to their knees in worship. Then the wise men gave Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Later, the wise men took a different way back to their country.

LIVE IT OUT: Does your family worship Jesus at home? The wise men worshiped Jesus by bowing down to Him and presenting Him gifts. Discuss with your child what gifts they could give to Jesus.

Students

Mark 5:22-24, 35-43

THE POINT: Jesus brings healing to our lives.
• What are some home remedies you rely on when you’re sick?
• What are some alternatives we typically pursue before turning to Jesus with our needs?
• How can we express trust in God even when problems get worse instead of better?
• What situation in your life is requiring you to trust in God and wait on His timing? Discuss the following quote:

“Health is a good thing; but sickness is far better, if it leads us to God.”(1)
—J. C. Ryle

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 can cultivate a closer relationship with Jesus. How is he or she demonstrating trust in Him?
• COMMUNITY: Meet with a student leader in your church to discover how your student can become more involved and ways he or she can meet the needs of others.
• CULTURE: Following Jesus takes courage and for our students standing against a worldly culture may come with costs. Pray with your student for the strength to stand in the face of criticism and doubts.

(1)“20 Quotes About Illness,” Christian Quotes [online], [accessed 23 May 2017]. Available from the Internet: https://www.christianquotes.info/quotes-by-topic/quotes-about-illness/#axzz4iaLtd8kc.


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Conversation Starters: Fear Not

Posted on September 25, 2019 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: Jesus loves and helps people.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: When we read the headlines, we can easily get the impression that evil is winning. Evil is rampant, and unfortunately, evil will even present itself as good. We can still recognize evil for what it is because the truth will always line up with Jesus Christ. Evil can be deceptive, but we can avoid deception by knowing the truth—and we know the truth when we know Jesus.

Conversation Starters: Fear Not

Preschool

Genesis 13

LIFE POINT: Abram had a large family and many animals. He had helpers to take care of his animals. Lot, Abram’s nephew, had many animals, too. One day Lot’s helpers began arguing with Abram’s helpers. There was not enough grass and water for all the animals. Abram heard the helpers fighting. He knew it was wrong for his helpers and Lot’s helpers to be arguing. Abram knew that God wants families to get along and work together. Abram told Lot to choose the land where he wanted to live. Abram said that he would take the other land. This way they would both have plenty of grass for their animals. Lot chose the grassy land by the river. He moved his family, helpers, and animals to the land next to the river. Abram took his family, helpers, and animals and moved to another part of the land. God promised the land to Abram’s family forever.

LIVE IT OUT: Look at a family photo album with your child. Take time to help your child remember family members they do not see often. Remind your child that God loves families. Thank God for your family and for God’s love.

Kids

Genesis 13

LIFE POINT: Abram, his wife Sarai, and his relative Lot left Egypt. Abram took his family to a place where he had worshiped God. The land did not have enough food and water for all the people and all the animals. Lot’s servants and Abram’s servants argued with each other. Abram said to Lot, “Our servants should not argue. We are a family! We have the whole land before us. If you go to the right, I will go to the left. If you go to the left, I will go to the right.” Lot saw the Jordan Valley. It was green and beautiful. Lot chose the valley and moved there. God spoke to Abram. “Look around you. Look in every direction. I will give you a big family. I will give the land to your family. Walk from one end of your land to the other!” So Abram moved and built an altar to worship God.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child deal with problems with other family members. Discuss the problem and help your child think of solutions. Encourage your child by reminding her that God made her able to think and solve problems.

Students

1 John 4:1-6

THE POINT: We don’t need to fear evil forces when we’re in Christ.
• What are some of the most unusual phobias or fears you’ve heard about?
• Why is simply being aware of existing dangers so important?
• What practical steps can you take to discern between false teaching and God’s truth?
• How would you describe the two opposing spirits in the world today Discuss the following quote:

“Fear not that thy life shall come to an end, but rather fear that it shall never have a beginning.” (1)—John Henry Newman

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 time to study some verses this week with your student in which we see God as a powerful, conquering King. (See Psalm 95:3, Psalm 147:5, Joshua 22:22, and Nehemiah 9:32 to start)
• COMMUNITY: Your student is facing many fears and challenges that are different from the ones you faced in school. Pray with him or her for the power to overcome these fears and experience the power of the gospel.
• CULTURE: There are two sides fighting for power in our world. Jesus has already overcome the world, so how can He use you and your student to gain victory?

(1)“John Henry Newman > Quotes > Quotable Quote,” Goodreads, [accessed 22 February 2017]. Available from the Internet: http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/562528-fear-not-that-thy-life-shallcometo-an-end


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Conversation Starters: The Great Dragon

Posted on September 18, 2019 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: Jesus was present at creation.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Satan is real. We cannot blame our sin and problems on him, but he is ever at work to keep evil strong in the world and to encourage our involvement with sin. Christians are wise to stay alert to the devil’s work, since he is ever scheming to pull us down. The Bible presents a clear picture that Satan will not prevail in his evil. He is defeated by Christ, and he is defeated in our lives as we walk with Christ.

Preschool

Genesis 1:1 – 2:3

LIFE POINT: In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. He named the light day and the darkness night. That was the first day. On the second day, God separated the water and the sky. Then God gathered the water into one place so that land would appear. He called the land earth and the water seas. God made plants and trees to grow on land. That was the third day. On the fourth day, God made the sun, moon, and stars. Then God filled the water with many kinds of living things, and He filled the air with birds. That was the fifth day. On the sixth day, God said, “Let the earth have all kinds of animals,” and it was done. Finally, God made a man and a woman. God looked at everything He made and saw that it was good. On the seventh day, God rested.

LIVE IT OUT: Young children have a hard time distinguishing the things God made from things that are man-made. Take time to point out plants, animals, rocks, and other things God made. Thank God for His beautiful world.

Kids

Genesis 1:1 – 2:3

LIFE POINT: In the beginning, God made the heavens and the earth. At first, the earth had no shape. God said, “Let there be light.” God called the light day. He called the dark night. God said, “Let there be sky between the waters.” And it was so. God said, “Let the water under the sky gather. Let dry land appear.” God called the water seas. He called the land earth. God said, “Let there be plants with seed.” And plants appeared! Then God spoke and the sun, moon, and stars appeared! God spoke and there were living animals in the water and sky.” God said, “Let living animals of all kinds be on the earth.” And it happened! God saw that all He had made was good. Then God made people. God made men. God made women. God saw all He had made. It was very good! God rested on the seventh day.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child praise God for His creation. Read together Psalm 104, David’s psalm of praise to God for His creation. Help your child write his own praise for God’s creation.

Students

THE POINT: Satan fights against us, but we can stand in Christ.
• What monster or fictional villain best represents evil to you?
• Where do you see evidence of Satan’s deceptive work in the world today?
• What accusations does Satan bring against us?
• What does the gospel have to say about Satan’s accusations? Discuss the following quote:

“The more useful we are to God, the more we will be attacked by the enemy.”(1) —Zac Poonen

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 things he or she can do to pursue Christ and grow closer to Jesus by overcoming sin in his or her life.
• COMMUNITY: Darkness isn’t overcome alone. Help your student to overcome any battles he or she is currently facing with encouragement and prayer.
• CULTURE: Discuss with your student ways you see darkness affecting the world and even their friends. How can you help your student to see the light of Christ and share it with the world?

(1) Zac Poonen, “33 Zac Poonen Quotes,” Christian Quotes, [accessed 21 February 2017]. Available from the Internet: https://www.christianquotes.info/quotes-by-author/zac-poonenquotes/#axzz4ZMLHuaWC.


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Conversation Starters: God is Faithful

Posted on September 11, 2019 by Karah

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: People break promises. Even when they have the best intentions, people aren’t always able to do what they said they’d do. If we experience that enough, the unfaithfulness of others can cause us to lose hope. The early disciples experienced a loss of hope when Jesus was crucified. God remained faithful to what He said He’d do, and He proved His faithfulness when He raised Jesus from the dead. We have a sure hope because God is faithful.

Concept: God is Faithful

Preschool

Matthew 28:1-10

LIFE POINT: On Sunday morning, Mary and Mary Magdalene walked to the tomb. Jesus died on a cross and was buried there. Suddenly, an earthquake shook the ground. An angel rolled back the stone that was in front of the tomb. The angel said, “Do not be afraid. I know you are looking for Jesus. He is not here. He is alive!” The angel told the women to look in the tomb and see that it was empty. Then the angel told the women to go and tell the disciples that Jesus is alive! The women left to find the disciples and tell them. Then they saw Jesus! The two women ran to Jesus and worshiped Him. Jesus said, “Go and tell My disciples to go to Galilee. They will see Me there.”

LIVE IT OUT: Print in the center of a sheet of paper: JESUS IS ALIVE! Give your child crayons or markers to trace around the letters and decorate the paper. Talk about the Bible story as your child is drawing.

Kids

Matthew 26:36-28:10

LIFE POINT: Soldiers arrested Jesus. They took Jesus to be crucified. They nailed Jesus on a cross. After a time, Jesus died on the cross. Joseph, a rich man from Arimathea, wrapped Jesus in white cloths and put the body in his own tomb. He rolled a big stone over the opening. After three days, as some women went to the tomb, there was an earthquake. An angel rolled back the stone. The angel said, “You are looking for Jesus who was crucified, but He is not here! He has risen from the dead, just like He told you.” The angel invited the women to see the tomb. He told them to tell the disciples the good news. As the women left, Jesus met them! They fell down and worshiped Jesus. “Do not be afraid,” Jesus said. “Tell My followers to meet Me in Galilee.”

LIVE IT OUT: As you celebrate Easter with your family, help your child understand that Jesus is alive, though He died on the cross and was buried. Help your child memorize Matthew 28:6. The women came to anoint Jesus’ body for death, but He was not there!

Students

Luke 24:1-12

THE POINT: The empty tomb points to the faithfulness of God.
• What surprise ending in any movie or book has left you wondering, “How did that happen?”
• What did the women expect to find at the tomb?
• Why do we sometimes doubt or forget what God has promised?
• Why is the resurrection so important for Christianity?
Discuss the following quote:

“If Jesus rose from the dead, then you have to accept all that he said; if he didn’t rise from the dead, then why worry about any of what he said? The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like his teaching but whether or not he rose from the dead.”(1)—Tim Keller

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 how he or she can create a deeper relationship with Christ.
• COMMUNITY: The news of Jesus’ life and resurrection is the most encouraging thing we can hear and share. Ask your student how this affects the way he or she is living, and how it can be an encouragement.
• CULTURE: Read the story of Christ’s resurrection with your student. Create a list of friends you can share the story of Christ with this week.

(1)“16 Glorious Quotes About the Resurrection,” Christian Quotes [online], [accessed 27 August 2017]. Available from the Internet: https://www.christianquotes.info/top-quotes/16-gloriousquotesresurrection/#axzz4r4oBjR4N.


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