MONTHLY ARCHIVES: September 2014

Conversation Starters: God’s Forgiveness

Posted on September 24, 2014 by Karah

IMG_5649-001THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: We have all been affected by unforgiveness. Many of us have wronged someone else—intentionally or unintentionally—and though we may have sought forgiveness, it was not offered. Others have been so hurt by someone else that the idea of forgiving seems impossible. Fortunately, God is not like us. The Bible reveals to us a loving God whom we have wronged with our rebellion and sin, yet He offers us total forgiveness and empowers us to forgive others.

Concept: God’s Forgiveness 

Preschool

Book of Jonah

LIFE POINT: God told Jonah, “Go to Nineveh. Tell the people I know about their sins.” Jonah did not want to go. He went on a ship that was sailing far away. God sent a storm that almost broke the ship. Jonah told the sailors that he had run away from God. He told them to throw him into the sea because the storm was his fault. The sailors threw Jonah overboard, and a big fish swallowed him. While in the fish, Jonah asked God to forgive him. After three days and nights, the fish spit Jonah onto the shore. Jonah went to Nineveh. The people listened to Jonah, and God forgave them.

LIVE IT OUT: Model forgiveness for your child. Let her hear you and other family members pray for forgiveness from God. Let her see you forgiving someone for some wrong. Slowly she will begin to put that behavior into practice.

Kids

Book of Jonah

LIFE POINT: God told Jonah, “Go to Nineveh. Tell the people I know about their sins.” Jonah did not want to go. He went on a ship that was sailing far away. God sent a storm that almost broke the ship. Jonah told the sailors that he had run away from God. He told them to throw him into the sea because the storm was his fault. The sailors threw Jonah overboard, and a big fish swallowed him. While in the fish, Jonah asked God to forgive him. After three days and nights, the fish spit Jonah onto the shore. Jonah obeyed God and went to Nineveh. The people listened to Jonah, and God forgave them. He did not punish them.

LIVE IT OUT: Forgiveness can be a hard lesson. Challenge your child to keep a list of the times he sins during one day. Pray with him, asking God to forgive his sins.

Students

1 John 1:5- 2:2

THE POINT: God always forgives when I truly repent. How can we learn to be more forgiving as a family? What is the hardest part of forgiving someone? Have a conversation around this quote:

“I think that if God forgives us we must forgive ourselves. Otherwise it is almost like setting up ourselves as a higher tribunal than Him.”1 —C.S. Lewis

LIVE IT OUT: Your student has been encouraged to do one or both Live It Out activities.

If your student chooses to do Confession:
•Encourage your student in the practice of confessing sin to God.
•Pray for your student as he or she examines his or her life for unconfessed sin.

If your student chooses to do Forgive Them:
•Encourage your student as he or she seeks to forgive someone this week.
•Determine to forgive someone in your life and share that experience with your student if possible.

1. C.S. Lewis, Letters of C.S. Lewis, ed. W.H. Lewis (Orlando: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing, 1966), 408.

 


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Conversation Starters: God’s Faithfulness

Posted on September 17, 2014 by Karah

DSC_5828THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: No one gets married with the intention of getting a divorce, although the divorce rate hovers around 50 percent of all marriages. All of us, however, have been guilty of failing to keep a vow, pledge, or commitment. We live with people who say one thing but do another. We become cynical when someone makes a promise to us. To know what faithfulness looks like, we need to look to God. The Bible shows us that God never fails to do what He says or promises.

Concept: God’s Faithfulness

Preschool

2 Kings 4:1-7

LIFE POINT: The prophet Elisha traveled and told people messages from God. One day a widow said, “Since my husband died, I have no money to pay bills.” She had only a jar of oil in her house. Elisha told her to borrow as many empty containers as she could and then go in her house, shut the door, and pour oil into the jars. The woman and her sons gathered many containers. When all of the containers were full, the jar the woman had been pouring from was finally empty. Elisha told the woman, “Sell the oil and pay what you owe. Now you will have enough money for you and your sons. God has provided for you.”

LIVE IT OUT: As a family, make a blessings poster. Every time someone thinks of a way God has blessed him, write it on the poster. Thank God for blessings.

Kids

2 Kings 4:1-7

LIFE POINT: The prophet Elisha traveled and told people messages from God. One day a widow said, “Since my husband died, I have no money to pay bills.” She had only a jar of oil in her house. Elisha told her to borrow as many empty containers as she could and then go in her house, shut the door, and pour oil into the jars. The woman and her sons gathered many containers. When all of the containers were full, the jar the woman had been pouring from was finally empty. Elisha told the woman, “Sell the oil and pay what you owe. Now you will have enough money for you and your sons. God has provided for you.”

LIVE IT OUT: Explain to your child that God’s faithfulness means that He is always with us and always helps us. During a family devotion time, encourage family members to share a time when they felt God helped them.

Students

Hebrews 6:17-20; 10:19-23

THE POINT: God’s faithfulness ensures us our future is secure. Discuss faithfulness and how it is viewed in our society. Have a conversation around this quote:

 “We are not equally blessed with great intellect or physical beauty or emotional strength. But we have all been given the same ability to be faithful.”1 —Gigi Graham Tchividjian

LIVE IT OUT: Your student has been encouraged to do one or both Live It Out
activities. If your student chooses to do Trust God:

• Pray for your student to trust God in every area of his or her life.

• Ask your student if he or she wants help determining areas of faith in which he or she could trust God more.

If your student chooses to do Step Out:
• Challenge your student to step out in faith in some way.

• Encourage your student as he or she steps out in faith

1. Ruth Bell Graham and Gigi Graham Tchividjian, Coffee and Conversation with Ruth Bell Graham and Gigi Graham Tchividjian, (Ann Arbor, MI: Servant Publications, 1997), 106.


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Conversation Starters: Joy

Posted on September 10, 2014 by Karah

IMG_0141-001THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: We respond to difficulties and suffering in a variety of ways. Some of us respond in anger, determination to fight it, or passive resignation. Others respond with introspection or by asking “Why me?” But who responds with joy? Yet joy is the very attitude God calls us to embrace. As a result of God’s grace, even in the face of unjust suffering, we can rejoice in Christ.

Concept: Joy

Preschool

Acts 16:16-34

LIFE POINT: Paul and Silas traveled and told about Jesus. One day Paul healed a young girl, which made some men angry. The men brought Paul and Silas to the judges for disturbing the city. The judges put Paul and Silas in prison and had them put in chains. In the middle of the night, Paul and Silas were praying and singing to God as the other prisoners listened. Suddenly an earthquake shook the jail, and all the prisoners’ chains fell off. The jailer came to look for them; they had not escaped. Paul said, “We are still
here.” The jailer took Paul and Silas to his home. He and his family believed in Jesus and were baptized.

LIVE IT OUT: Teach your child to sing praises to God. Play praise music as you drive in the car. Sing a simple praise song as you go about your daily tasks. Encourage your child to sing along.

Kids

Acts 16: 16-34

LIFE POINT: Paul and Silas traveled and told about Jesus. One day Paul healed a young girl, which made some men angry. The men brought Paul and Silas to the judges for disturbing the city. The judges put Paul and Silas in prison and had them put in chains. In the middle of the night, Paul and Silas were praying and singing to God as the other prisoners listened. Suddenly an earthquake shook the jail, and all the prisoners’ chains fell off. The jailer came to look for them; they had not escaped. Paul said, “We are still
here.” The jailer took Paul and Silas to his home. He and his family believed in Jesus and were baptized.

LIVE IT OUT: Encourage your child to find a way to praise God that is special to her. Maybe it is by writing a poem, singing a praise song, playing a musical instrument, or another artistic way. Invite her to share her praise with the family.

Students

1 Peter 4: 12-19

THE POINT: Choose joy even in life’s difficulties. How is joy different from happiness?How can you help each other in times of struggle? Have a conversation around this quote:

“Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”1
—Martin Luther King Jr.

LIVE IT OUT: Your student has been encouraged to do one or both Live It Out activities.

If your student chooses to do Attitude Problems:

• Encourage your student as he or she determines the cause of his or her circumstances.

• Pray for your student to be honest as he or she identifies attitudes that can
lead to suffering.

If your student chooses to do Refocus:

• Help your student identify someone who is struggling.
• Help your student with encouraging the person he or she has identified.

1. “MLK Quote of the Week,” The King Center, 21 February 2013, [cited 8 November 2013]. Available from the Internet: www.thekingcenter.org.


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