Conversation Starters: Distinct in My Love

Posted on August 24, 2016 by Karah

IMG_1769THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: We love … everything. Think about all the things we use this four-letter word about during a given week. We love burgers, puppies, ice cream, fall days, vacations, action movies, and lots of other things. But Jesus is calling us to something more. As Jesus’ followers, we are called to love in the way He does—unconditionally.

Concept: Distinct in My Love


John 6:1-15

LIFE POINT: Jesus traveled across the lake. A crowd followed Jesus. The crowd saw Jesus heal many sick people. Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with His disciples. He saw the crowd coming. Jesus knew the people were hungry. Jesus asked Philip where they could buy bread for everyone. Philip said it would take a lot of money. Andrew, another disciple, said that a boy had a lunch of five small loaves of bread and two small fish. Jesus told the people to sit down. About five thousand men were in the crowd. Jesus took the bread and fish, prayed, and thanked God for the food. Jesus had the helpers give people food. Jesus fed all of the people with the boy’s small lunch. When all the people had eaten all they wanted, the helpers gathered twelve baskets of leftover food.

LIVE IT OUT: Print the words “Thank You, Jesus” at the top of a sheet of paper. Tell your child that
Jesus loves her and helps her have what she needs. Provide markers or crayons for her to draw pictures of things she needs.


John 6:1-15

LIFE POINT: Many people followed Jesus wherever He went. They wanted to see the miracles He did healing the sick people. Jesus sat on a mountainside with His disciples. Jesus saw the crowd coming. He asked Philip, “Where will we get food for these people?” Philip knew they would not have enough money.
Andrew said, “Here is a boy who has five small loaves of bread and two small fish, but that couldn’t feed this many people.” Jesus said, “Tell the people to sit down.” There were 5,000 men! Then Jesus took the loaves of bread and gave thanks to God. He gave pieces of bread to the people. Then Jesus did the same thing with the fish. Everyone had plenty to eat. After everyone had eaten, Jesus said, “Gather up the leftover pieces.” The disciples did just as Jesus told them. They filled twelve baskets with the leftover fish and bread!

LIVE IT OUT: Has your family ever been the recipient of a miracle? The Bible records many miracles
performed by Jesus. Find some of these miracles in the Bible and read about them. Guide your child to
illustrate her favorite.


Matthew 5:43-48

THE POINT: Love everyone without limits. What is something you love to do? If you loved and prayed for someone who hated you, how do you think it would it change you both? Discuss the following quote:

“Love is counting someone else’s needs and interests as more important than your own needs or interests or comfort.”1 — Timothy Keller

LIVE IT OUT: Encourage your student 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 Priority Prayer:
• Help your student understand the importance of offering and accepting forgiveness.
• Pray for your student, that they would forgive as God has forgiven them.

If he or she plans to do Kindness:
• Help your student come up with ways to love and serve his or her peer group this week.

1. “Quotes › Authors › T › Timothy Keller › Love is counting someone else’s needs and…,” AZ Quotes
[online], [accessed 11 June 2015]. Available from the Internet:

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Conversation Starters: Distinct in My Reactions

Posted on August 17, 2016 by Karah

10f55b0b-d8c9-425d-83ef-9abb3334313aTHE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: We can’t stop the interruptions or demands other people make, but how we react to them is totally in our hands. Jesus is concerned about our reactions. The ways we react in these situations will—or won’t—show us to be distinctly Christian. Jesus calls us to a standard that is consistent, honest, and grace-filled.

Concept: Distinct in My Reactions


Mark 4:35-41; Luke 8:22-25

LIFE POINT: Jesus and His helpers sailed in the boat to the other side of the lake. Jesus laid down in the boat to rest. He fell asleep. A storm began. Wind and waves rocked the boat back and forth. Water came over the sides and into the boat. Jesus’ helpers were afraid. They woke up Jesus. Jesus stood in the boat and told the wind to stop blowing and the waves to be still. Then the wind stopped and the water became calm again. Jesus asked His helpers why they were afraid. Jesus wanted them to know that He would take care of them. Jesus’ helpers were surprised by what they saw. Jesus stopped the storm! Now they knew that Jesus was special.

LIVE IT OUT: Read today’s Bible story to your child. Ask who needed help and who helped them? Remind your child that he can ask Jesus for help. Discuss some times when your child might need help.


Mark 4:35-41; Luke 8:22-25

LIFE POINT: One evening, Jesus said to the disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” They got into the boat and set sail. Jesus went to sleep in the back of the boat. During the trip, a terrible storm came up. The wind blew hard. Waves broke over the boat and filled it with water. The men were
afraid that the boat would soon sink. The disciples woke Jesus. Jesus got up. He spoke to the wind and the waves. “Silence! Be still!” Jesus said. And immediately, the wind stopped. The sea was calm. Everything was quiet. Jesus turned to His disciples. “Why were you afraid? Where is your faith?” The disciples were frightened by Jesus’ power. The asked each other, “Who is this man? Even the wind and water obey Him!”

LIVE IT OUT: Sometimes trusting God is hard. Explain to your child that God wants us to grow
throughout hardships. Talk about a time your child may have had a difficult time trusting God. Talk
about ways God could use that time to help her grow.


Matthew 5:33-42

THE POINT: Choose grace and integrity when others are demanding. What was the last thing you felt
totally prepared for? Why are we often quick to make promises we’re not certain we can keep?
Discuss the following quote:

“I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent of how I react to it…”1 —Charles R. Swindoll

LIVE IT OUT: Encourage your student 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 Check the Tape:
• Discuss the importance of keeping Christ the priority of your life.
• Ask the following question: how can we make sure that our family keeps our focus on Christ, not on our
schedules or activities?

If he or she plans to do It’s Time:
• Participate with your student in a challenge to share the gospel in three ways this week.
• Pray for each other that you would have the opportunity and boldness to share.

1. “Charles R. Swindoll > Quotes,” Goodreads [online], [accessed 11 June 2015]. Available from the

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Conversation Starters: Distinct in My Relationships

Posted on August 10, 2016 by Karah

6e4c84ec-bf05-42fe-9b18-d97ca8d9e0d4THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Busy, noisy lives keep us from hearing the truth of what’s inside us. Greed, selfishness, lust, and a host of other things are hiding in our hearts. But God calls us to live pure lives. It’s not just a call to purity in terms of our actions, but in our very being. It’s a call for absolute agreement in our thoughts, feelings, and subsequent actions. As Jesus lived a 100% pure life, we too
are called to absolute purity in our thoughts, feelings, and subsequent actions.

Concept: Distinct in My Relationships


Mark 2:1-12

LIFE POINT: Many people gathered in the house where Jesus was teaching about God. Soon people crowded outside the door. Everyone wanted to hear Jesus. Four friends brought a man who could not walk. The men wanted to get their friend inside to see Jesus. The crowd was so large they could not get to the door. The four men carried him up the steps to the roof of the house. They dug a large hole in the
roof. Carefully, they lowered their friend down through the hole until his mat touched the floor and he was right in front of Jesus. Jesus said, “Get up. Take your mat and go home.” The man got up, took his mat, and walked. Jesus made the man well! The people who saw the man walk could hardly believe it. They said, “We have never seen anything like this!” The people thanked God for what they had seen.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child choose a favorite friend and plan a special surprise for that friend.
Comment that Jesus wants people to love their friends.


Matthew 4:18-22; 9:9-13; Mark 1:16-20; 2:13-14; 3:13-19

LIFE POINT: Jesus saw two brothers, Simon Peter and Andrew, fishing in the Sea of Galilee. He called out to them. “Follow Me! You will fish for people!” Immediately, Peter and Andrew followed Jesus.
A little further on, Jesus saw James and his brother John on the shore, repairing their fishing nets. Jesus called to them, too. They left their boat and followed Jesus. Another time, Jesus saw Matthew sitting at the tax office. He said, “Follow Me!” Matthew got up and followed Jesus. One day Jesus went up on a mountain. He called His followers to Him. Jesus appointed twelve of the men to be His disciples,
men He would send out to preach. Jesus called Simon Peter, Andrew, James, John, Matthew, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot.

LIVE IT OUT: Jesus’ disciples chose a life of service to others. How does your child serve Jesus? What acts of service does your family participate in? During a family time, talk about ways your family could be better servants of Jesus.


Matthew 5:27-32

THE POINT: Hold on to purity at all costs. When was the last time you felt like you couldn’t hear yourself think? How do you draw the line between pure and impure in your daily life? Discuss the following quote:

“You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in You.”1 — Augustine of Hippo

LIVE IT OUT: Encourage your student 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 Tempted:
• Help your student understand that purity is an issue of the heart.
• Lead your student in coming up with a plan of action to help them fight against temptation.

If he or she plans to do Marriage Inspection:
• Discuss with your student God’s view of marriage versus our culture’s view of marriage.

1.William Angerman, “Blessed by God,” C.S. Lewis Institute [online], [accessed 11 June 2015].
Available from the Internet:

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Conversation Starters: Distinct in My Approach to Conflict

Posted on August 3, 2016 by Karah

8948961c-b2eb-4f73-b177-8ff754ac918cTHE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: As Jesus continued to teach through His Sermon on the Mount, He came to
the subject of anger. But anger isn’t just a surface issue. Like everything else in Jesus’ sermon, anger is a
matter of the heart. When we fail to look at the heart behind the anger, we are treating deep, internal
issues with surface-level band-aids. The way we handle anger and respond to conflict set Jesus’
followers apart from the rest of the world. And God has not left us to figure this out on our own—He
has given us His Word and His Spirit to convict and teach us to respond in a manner that honors Him.

Concept: Distinct in My Approach to Conflict


Luke 4:14-22

LIFE POINT: Jesus went many places telling people about God. One day Jesus went to Nazareth. Nazareth was the town where Jesus’ family lived when He was a boy. While Jesus was there, He went to church (the synagogue). He stood where everyone could see Him. A church helper handed Jesus the scroll of Scriptures. Jesus carefully unrolled the scroll and began to read. Jesus read, “God sent Me to teach people about Him. God sent Me to help people.” Then Jesus rolled up the scroll. He gave it to the
church helper and sat down. Everyone was watching Jesus. Jesus looked at the people and said, “These words in the Scriptures are about Me.” The people were surprised at what Jesus said.

LIVE IT OUT: Does your child see you read the Bible? If your child is young, help him turn the pages in
the Bible. Talk about favorite Bible stories as he turns pages.


Matthew 4:1-11

LIFE POINT: After Jesus was baptized, God’s Spirit led Jesus into the desert. For forty days and forty nights, Jesus ate no food. Satan said to Jesus, “If You really are God’s Son, make these rocks into bread.”
Jesus might have wanted that bread, but He said, “It is written. People must not live on just bread. They need every word that comes from God.” Satan took Jesus to the top of the temple in Jerusalem. He
said, “If You really are God’s Son, jump off because God has said that His angels will care for You.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: People must not test God.” Then Satan took Jesus to a high mountain. He showed Jesus the kingdoms of the world. He said to Jesus, “If You will just bow down and worship me, I will give You all these kingdoms.” Jesus said, “It is written: ‘Worship only God and serve only Him.’”

LIVE IT OUT: Learning to be responsible for choices is a stepping stone to asking forgiveness for sins.
Do you hold your child responsible for his choices? Wrong choices should always have consequences.
Keep your child responsible for his choices.


Matthew 5:21-26

THE POINT: Be the first to resolve conflict. When have you regretted choosing the “quick fix” instead
of working through an issue? What are happens when we let conflict go untreated? Discuss the following quote:

“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in
you.”1 —C.S. Lewis

LIVE IT OUT: Encourage your student 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 Calm Down:
• Hold your student accountable to memorizing Proverbs 15:1-2 this week. Help him or her in the memorization process by making flash cards.

If he or she plans to do Listen Up!:
• Discuss the importance of listening with your student.

1. “C.S. Lewis > Quotes > Quotable Quote,” Goodreads [online], [accessed 11 June 2015]. Available
from the Internet:

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