MONTHLY ARCHIVES: July 2015

Conversation Starters: The Holy Spirit

Posted on July 29, 2015 by Karah

IMG_9093THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: We come to faith in Jesus when we realize we cannot come to God on our own. We are powerless to save ourselves. Yet, after coming to Christ, we often try to live for Jesus in our own power. Jesus has physically left the earth, but He has not left us alone. We can live for Him, we can do what’s right, and we can face whatever life throws at us because He has sent His Holy Spirit to us.

Concept: The Holy Spirit

Preschool

Matthew 28:16-20; Acts 2:1-2,6-11,14,22,37-41

LIFE POINT: Peter and the other helpers (disciples) of Jesus were staying together in a house. They heard a sound like a strong wind. People gathered outside the house after hearing the sound. Then the helpers went out to tell the people about Jesus. Each person heard the men speak in his own language. Then Peter stood up and talked to all the people. “Listen to me,” Peter said. “I have an important message to tell you about Jesus.” Many people listened to the message that Peter spoke that day. “What should we do?” the people asked. “Start making right choices,” Peter said. Many people believed in Peter’s words and believed in Jesus.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child say today’s Bible verse. Play a game by alternately saying each word of the verse with your child. Remind her that Jesus loves her and He wants her to love Him.

Kids

Acts 1:4-11

LIFE POINT: After Jesus’ resurrection, He spent time with His disciples. It was soon going to be time for Jesus to leave this earth and go up to be with His Father in heaven. But He was not going to leave the disciples alone. He would send the Holy Spirit to be with them. The disciples asked Jesus if He was going to restore the Kingdom of Israel now. Jesus replied that it was not the disciples job to know the days or the times God the Father has set. But they could rest assured by the fact that they would receive power from the Holy Spirit. The disciples would be witnesses for Jesus all over the world! After Jesus said this, He was taken up into heaven. They watched Him disappear into the clouds. Then suddenly, two men dressed in white appeared beside them. These men asked the disciples, “Why are you standing here looking into the sky? Jesus will come again.”

LIVE IT OUT: Challenge your child to memorize John 3:16 and say it in sign language. (See videos of signs on the Internet.) Comment that God’s love involved sacrificing His own Son for us.

Students

Acts 1:3-11

THE POINT: Jesus ascended to heaven but did not leave us alone. How does the Holy Spirit guide you in your daily life? In what ways does the Holy Spirit teach, encourage, correct, and convict you? Discuss the following quote:

The Holy Spirit illuminates the minds of people, makes us yearn for God, and takes spiritual truth and makes it understandable to us.” 1 —Billy Graham

LIVE IT OUT: Your student has been encouraged to do one or both Live It Out activities. Here are some suggested ways to help your student:

If he or she plans to complete Plugged In:
•Read through the book of Acts with your student.
•Discuss ways the Holy Spirit works in the lives
of believers .

If he or she plans to complete He’s Coming Back:
•Talk with your student about how your family can live expectantly for the return of Christ.
•Pray for your student to sense the urgency of sharing the gospel with others.

 

1. Billy Graham, “The Holy Spirit,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, [cited 14 September 2014]. Available from the Internet: http://billygraham.org.


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Conversation Starters: Christ’s Teaching

Posted on July 22, 2015 by Karah

11049620_10155872748635188_6252518132389654265_nTHE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: When a person wants to learn a certain skill or profession, there are certain schools or universities that come to mind. They have the best teachers in that area of study. But where do we go when we want to learn about life? Although many people see Jesus as a religious figure, He didn’t come to earth to teach us religious things; He came to show us and teach us about how to live life.

Concept: Christ’s Teaching

Preschool

Mark 10:17-23, 27

LIFE POINT: One day as Jesus and His helpers (disciples) started on a journey, a man came up to ask Him a question. “How can I go to heaven?” the man asked Jesus. Jesus said, “You know all the commandments. Do not kill. Do not lie. Do not steal. Honor your father and mother.” The man said he knew and obeyed these commandments since he was a young boy. Jesus looked at the man and felt love for him. “There is one more thing you must do,” Jesus said. “Sell everything you own, give it to the poor, and follow Me.” When he heard this, the man was sad. He wanted to follow Jesus, but he did not want to give up all that he owned. Jesus told His helpers, “With men it is not possible to go to heaven. But with God, everything is possible.”

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child think of things he knows about God, such as He loves us, He knows everything, and He made the world. Read together stories in the Bible that tell about those traits.

Kids

Luke 19:28-40; Mark 11:1-10

LIFE POINT: After Jesus went to Jerusalem. As He came near a town called Bethany, He told two of His disciples to go into the city and bring a donkey to Him. If anyone asked what they were doing, the disciples were to say that the Lord needed it. They brought the donkey to Jesus. They put their own coats on the donkey, so Jesus could ride it. People began to lay their coats on the path for the donkey to walk on. When Jesus started to come down the Mount of Olives, the crowd began joyfully praising God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen! Some of the Pharisees in the crowd were upset by what was happening. They told Jesus to rebuke the disciples. Jesus responded to the Pharisees by saying if the disciples kept quiet, the stones would cry out!

LIVE IT OUT: Talk with your child about some of her favorite ways to praise Jesus, such as Bible reading, singing, praying, and so forth. Incorporate those ways into a family devotion.

Students

Mark 1:21-22, 10:17-22

THE POINT: Jesus teaches us how to live and calls us to follow Him. What’s one of the lessons Jesus has taught you about how to live? How has Jesus helped you live out the Christian life? Discuss the following quote:

“Radical obedience to Christ is not easy…It’s not comfort, not health, not wealth, and not prosperity in this world…But in the end, such risk finds its reward in Christ. And He is more than enough for us.”1 —David Platt

LIVE IT OUT: Your student has been encouraged to do one or both Live It Out activities. Here are some suggested ways to help your student:

If he or she plans to complete Let It Go:
•Evaluate your own life. Are you a model for your student of what following Jesus looks like?
•Discuss the motivation of the rich young man in this story.

If he or she plans to do Walking in Authority:
•Talk with your student about what it means for Jesus to be Lord of our lives.
•Encourage your student to evaluate whether he or she is truly surrendered to the Lordship of Christ.


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Conversation Starters: Christ’s Work Today

Posted on July 16, 2015 by Karah

IMG_8353THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Many of us live segmented lives. We try to keep our home lives separated from school. Recreation and hobbies go in another silo, and we often do the same with church. One area of life often does not impact the others. Life in Christ is not simply another segment of life—it is our life. Christ is exalted over all things; consequently, following Him means we honor Him as Lord of every aspect of our lives.

Concept: Christ’s Work Today

Preschool

Genesis 6:9- 8:19

LIFE POINT: Noah was a good man who obeyed God. God told Noah there would be a flood over the earth. God told Noah to build an ark to protect his family and many animals. God told Noah exactly how to build the ark. He built it from cypress wood and put sticky tar on the outside. He built rooms and stalls inside on three floors. He put a roof and a window on the top floor and a door on the side. Noah gathered and stored food in the ark. God sent every kind of animal. Finally, God shut the door. Rain fell for 40 days. Water covered the tops of the mountains. The ark floated on the water. The rain stopped. Noah and his family waited. God sent a wind, and the water went down. The ground appeared again. When it was dry, Noah, his family, and all of the animals left the ark.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child build an ark of blocks. Add some animal figures to the ark. Talk about the Bible story. Comment that when God told Noah to build the ark, He showed Noah exactly what to do.

Kids

Genesis 6:9- 8:19

LIFE POINT: God saw that the people had become wicked. He decided to destroy the people on the earth. But Noah found favor with God. God told Noah to build an ark that was 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high with three decks and rooms on the inside. God said He would cause a great flood and that everything on the earth would die; however, Noah, Noah’s family, and the animals that Noah would bring onto the ark would be safe. Building an ark was hard work, but Noah did it, just as God told him. He collected the materials and built the ark by hand. When Noah’s family and the animals were finally on the ark, God closed the door. Rain fell for 40 days and 40 nights. The earth was flooded, but the ark floated on the water. When the land was dry, God brought Noah, his family, and the animals out of the ark.

LIVE IT OUT: Ask your child to name the jobs he performs. Discuss what he thinks God’s purpose is for that job. Emphasize that God’s work always has a purpose.

Students

Ephesians 1:7-10, 18-23

THE POINT: Honor Jesus as Lord. How do you honor the Lord with how you live your life? How can you bring glory to God in your family, work, friendships, and church involvement? Discuss the following quote:

“The whole life of a Christian should be nothing but praises and thanks to God.”1 — Richard Sibbes

LIVE IT OUT: Your student has been encouraged to do one or both Live It Out activities. Here are some suggested ways to help your student:

If he or she plans to complete Remain:
•Create your own list of things that distract you from Jesus as your student completes his or her list.
•Pray your student would learn to abide in His presence.

If he or she plans to complete Alignment:
•Ask your student to evaluate where he or she needs to grow. Invite your student to share what he or she learned during this self-evaluation process.
•Pray over your student in the areas he or she wants and needs to grow.

1. Richard Sibbes, The Complete Works of Richard Sibbes, Volume 7, (Edinburgh: James Nichol, 1864), 185.


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Conversation Starters: Christ’s Resurrection

Posted on July 8, 2015 by Karah

10366130_10154361025720188_8554285414316561043_nTHE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 68 percent of people fear death. From a purely human viewpoint, why would anybody look forward to the end of life? Jesus gives us hope in the face of death. Jesus died, but He also rose again. His death and resurrection conquered death for those who place their faith in Him. We can be assured of eternal life—even beyond this physical life—because of Jesus!

Concept: Christ’s Resurrection 

Preschool

Matthew 27:1- 28:10

LIFE POINT: Mary and another Mary went to the tomb where Jesus was buried. An earthquake shook the ground as an angel from God came to the tomb. He rolled back the stone and sat on it. The angel spoke to the two women, “Don’t be afraid. I know you are looking for Jesus. He is not here! He is alive, just as He said. Come see where He was laying. Then go and tell His helpers (disciples), ‘He is alive!’ ” The women left quickly and ran to tell the helpers. Jesus met and greeted the women. The women went up to Jesus and touched His feet. Jesus told them to not be afraid and to tell the helpers to go to Galilee where they would see Him.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child remember Jesus’ resurrection. Part of the story involved a stone that was rolled away from the tomb. Provide a smooth rock for your child to paint or decorate with permanent markers. Tell him he can remember that Jesus is alive when he sees the rock.

Kids

Matthew 28:1-10

LIFE POINT: On the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to the tomb. Suddenly, there was a violent earthquake! An angel of the Lord descended from heaven and rolled back the stone. He was sitting on it. The guards were so shaken from fear of him that they became like dead men. The angel told the women, “Don’t be afraid, Jesus is not here! For He has been resurrected, just as He said. Come and see the place where He lay. Then go quickly and tell His disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead. In fact, He is going ahead of you to Galilee; you will see Him there.’ ” They ran to tell His disciples the news. Jesus met them and said, “Good morning!” They came up, took hold of His feet, and worshiped Him. Then Jesus told them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see Me there.”

LIVE IT OUT: Talk to your child about Jesus’ resurrection. Ask how he would feel if he had been one of the disciples or if she had been one of the women at the tomb. Say a prayer, thanking God that Jesus died for us.

Students

Matthew 28:1-10

THE POINT: Jesus is alive—and we can live forever. How is your life different because of the resurrection of Jesus? What are some ways the hope of eternity encourages you on earth? Discuss the following quote:

“The truth of the resurrection gives life to every other area of gospel truth. The resurrection is the pivot on which all of Christianity turns and without which none of the other truths would much matter.” 1 —John MacArthur

LIVE IT OUT: Your student has been encouraged to do one or both Live It Out activities. Here are some suggested ways to help your student:

If he or she plans to complete He Got Up, So Will We:
• Help your student write five statements that affirm the hope that the resurrection gives believers.
• Discuss with your student why eternity with Jesus is exciting and something to look forward to.

If he or she plans to complete True Worship:
•Take time to draw a picture of what comes to mind when you think about worshiping God in heaven one day.
•Encourage your student to hold onto the hope of eternity when days here on earth are difficult.

1. John F. MacArthur, First Corinthians MacArthur New Testament Commentary, (Chicago: The Moody Bible Institute, 1984), 398.


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Conversation Starters: Christ’s Death

Posted on July 1, 2015 by Karah

a04d715c-a762-482f-9bb7-ba40e82e8938THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: We hurt when we see or experience injustice. Many of us do what we can to rescue a victim of injustice. But what do we do when an innocent person willingly accepts injustice and undeserved punished…and does so for those who deserve it? This is a perfect description of Jesus, because this is the very reason for which He came to earth. We are still left with the question to answer: How will we respond?

Concept: Christ’s Death

Preschool

Mark 11:1-11

LIFE POINT: As Jesus and His helpers (disciples) traveled to Jerusalem, Jesus told two helpers, “Go ahead into the village and find a young donkey. Bring the donkey to me. If anyone asks, ‘Why are you untying the donkey?’ say, ‘Jesus needs it.’ ” The helpers did what Jesus said and brought the donkey to Jesus. The men put their coats on the donkey’s back. Jesus got on the donkey and rode it along the road to Jerusalem. People laid their coats and plant branches on the road as Jesus rode by. Some people shouted happy words to Jesus. The people remembered everything Jesus did to help people.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child learn to praise Jesus in different ways. Sing praise songs when you are in the car. Say a short prayer for protection as you leave on an errand. Thank God for a beautiful day.

Kids

Matthew 26:17-30; 27

LIFE POINT: The Jewish people gathered for the Passover. They wanted to remember how God had rescued them out of Egypt. Jesus told the disciples to go into the city and tell a man that Jesus wanted to celebrate Passover at his place with the disciples. When Jesus was sitting at the table with the disciples, He said that one disciple would betray Him. This was Judas Iscariot. Jesus took the bread, gave thanks, and broke it. He gave it to His disciples and said, “Take this and eat it; this is My body.” Jesus took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it to His disciples. Then He said, “Drink from it.” He told the disciples that His blood would be shed for many for the forgiveness of sins. Jesus would be arrested and sentenced to be crucified. Jesus had done nothing wrong, but He died so that the Old Testament Scripture might be fulfilled.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child research and make a timeline of Jesus’ last days. Include each of the Gospels in your research. Emphasize that Jesus died for our sins.

Students

Matthew 27:28-31, 45-50, 54

THE POINT: Jesus’ sacrifice is the heart of the gospel. How often do you think about all that Christ endured on the cross? This week, spend some time reflecting on the sacrifice of Jesus. Discuss the following quote:

“It was not nails that held Jesus to that wretched cross; it was his unqualified resolution, out of love for his Father, to do his Father’s will—and, within that framework, it was his love for sinners like me.”1 — D. A. Carson

LIVE IT OUT: Your student has been encouraged to do one or both Live It Out activities. Here are some suggested ways to help your student:

If he or she plans to complete Forsaken for Me:
•Spend some time this week reading the account of Jesus’ crucifixion with your student.
•Encourage your student to ask questions and really dig deep alongside you into the reality of what our sin cost.

If he or she plans to do Faith After a Quake:
•Tell your student about a moment in your life when God became very real and true to you.
•Pray for your student to see God and realize how great, awesome, and real He is.

1. D. A. Carson, Scandalous: The Cross and Resurrection of Jesus, (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2010), 30.


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