MONTHLY ARCHIVES: September 2016

Conversation Starters: Redeemed from an Unbelieving Past

Posted on September 28, 2016 by Karah

img_2205THE 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: Redeemed from an Unbelieving Past


Acts 8:1-3; 9:1-31

LIFE POINT: Saul hurt people who loved Jesus. As he walked on the road to the town of Damascus, a light flashed around him. He heard a voice call his name. That voice was Jesus, who spoke and told Saul
to go into Damascus. Jesus told Ananias to go to Saul and help him. Even though Ananias was afraid, he found Saul and helped him. Ananias told Saul that Jesus had sent him to give Saul his sight. Saul was able to see again. He ate, and his strength returned. Saul began to tell people about Jesus. Many people were scared of Saul. Barnabas began to tell people how Jesus spoke to Saul on the Damascus road and now Saul spoke in love and peace for Jesus.

LIVE IT OUT: Ask your child how he would respond to certain situations, such as if a friend hits him, someone takes his toy, or someone cuts in line. Comment that God helps people know what to do.


Acts 8-9

LIFE POINT: One day a man named Saul was on his way to Damascus to have followers of Jesus arrested. A bright light shone down on him, and Saul fell to the ground. He heard a voice ask him, “Saul,
Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” Saul asked who the voice was coming from. The voice replied, “I am Jesus, the One you are persecuting.” Jesus told Saul to get up and go into the city. When Saul got up, he could not see. He was blind for three days. A man named Ananias went to the house where Saul was staying. Ananias placed his hands on Saul and told him to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes and he could see again. Saul began preaching the good news about Jesus to

LIVE IT OUT: Does your child regularly ask forgiveness? Ask your child to name some things for which she might need to be forgiven. Help your child understand that God loves her and will forgive her whenever she asks for forgiveness.


Acts 26:9-20

THE POINT: Christ can transform even hostile enemies into faithful believers. Why are some teams so fun to “hate”? What makes the gospel offensive to some people? Discuss the following quote:

“If you are renewed by grace, and were to meet your old self, I am sure you would be very anxious to get out of his company.”1 —Charles H. Spurgeon

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 Open Source:
• Talk to your student about the heart of gospel. When we treasure the gospel of Christ, sharing it is a natural reaction. Develop a prayer list with your student of people they know who need to hear the truth of the gospel.

If he or she plans to complete Daily Reading:
• Give your student daily Scripture readings about the life of Paul this week.

1. “Quotes About Repentance,” Goodreads [online], [accessed 17 July 2015]. Available from the

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Conversation Starters: Redeemed from Crippling Doubt

Posted on September 21, 2016 by Karah

img_1662THE 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 on our own is not always best—He has given us His Word and has 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 the Holy Spirit to convict and teach us to respond in a manner that honors Him.

Concept: Redeemed from Crippling Doubt


Luke 1

LIFE POINT: A priest named Zechariah had a wife named Elizabeth. Both of them loved God very much and obeyed His commands. Zechariah was working in the temple. An angel appeared to Zechariah. The angel told Zechariah that his wife would give birth to a son whom they would name John. Zechariah could not believe this would happen because he and his wife were older. The angel, named Gabriel, then said that Zechariah would not be able to speak until after the baby was born because Zechariah did not believe the angel’s words. Zechariah left the temple and could not talk to the people. Even though Zechariah could not speak, Elizabeth was very happy and knew God was giving her a child to be born.

LIVE IT OUT: Wrap a baby doll in a blanket and ask your child to rock the doll. Comment that an angel
told Zechariah his wife would have a baby and the name of the baby would be John.


Luke 1

LIFE POINT: Zechariah was a priest. He and his wife followed all the commandments. While Zechariah was in the temple, an angel of the Lord appeared to him. The angel said, “Your wife will have a son. You are to name him John. He will prepare for the Messiah.” Zechariah did not know how he could have a son because his wife was very old. The angel told Zechariah that he would not be able to speak until the baby was born since he did not believe what the angel said. Elizabeth became pregnant and when the time came, she had a boy. They named him John just as the angel had told Zechariah to name him.
Zechariah could speak once again and praised God for what happened. The child grew up and lived in the wilderness until it was time to begin his ministry.

LIVE IT OUT: Has your child ever gone with his own plans instead of yours? How often do you go with
your own plans instead of God’s? Help your child understand that God wants us to follow His plans for
our lives.


Luke 1:11-20, 63-65

THE POINT: God’s Word can be fully trusted. Whose word do you always trust? When has your obedience to God led to joy? Discuss the following quote:

“Faith is born and sustained by the Word of God, and out of faith grows the flower of joy.”1 —John Piper

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 Throwback:
• One of the most powerful things a student can hear is truth spoken into their doubt. Encourage your student to share their biggest doubts, no matter how big or small. Remind them of God’s faithfulness in their lives.

If he or she plans to complete Daily Reading:
• Help your student look up Scriptures about doubt in a concordance. Encourage them to read one verse each day this week.

1. “John Piper > Quotes > Quotable Quote,” Goodreads [online], [accessed 17 July 2015]. Available from
the Internet:

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Conversation Starters: Redeemed from a Critical Spirit

Posted on September 14, 2016 by Karah

dsc_5677THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE:Christians aren’t meant to simply be in the mix of the world, or even to stand out in the mix; they’re meant to influence the world around them. That’s what Christians do. We mix with the world, retain our distinction, and we end up influencing every situation we’re in. With God, we can have the courage to stand apart from the world and influence others for Christ.

Concept: Redeemed from a Critical Spirit


John 4

LIFE POINT: Jesus and His disciples traveled through the land of Samaria. Jesus was tired and sat by a well. His disciples went into town to buy food. A woman came to get water from the well. Jesus asked her for a drink. The Samaritan woman was surprised that a Jewish man would ask her for a drink. Jesus told the woman about God. The woman was interested in what Jesus said but did not understand it all. She said, “I know that God will send someone who will explain everything about God to us.” Jesus told the woman, “I am He.” The disciples were surprised to find Jesus talking to the woman. The woman left and went into town to tell everyone that she had spoken with Jesus. The people came to see the man the
woman talked about—Jesus, God’s Son.

LIVE IT OUT: Sit on the floor with your preschooler. Clap and chant the following: “K-I-N-D, I can be kind.” Then ask your child how she can be kind using her hands. Clap and chant again, asking how she can be kind with her voice and then her feet.


John 4

LIFE POINT: As Jesus traveled through Samaria, He sat down beside a well to rest. The disciples went to town to buy food. One woman came to get water. Jesus asked her for a drink. The woman asked, “Why are you asking me for a drink?” The woman knew that Jesus was a Jew and that Jews usually would not talk to Samaritans. Jesus told her that if she knew who was speaking to her, she would ask Him for a drink. He told her that He had living water! Jesus told her that He was the Messiah. The woman left her
water jar and ran to the town. She told the townsmen, “Come. See the man. Is He the Messiah?” So they went to see Jesus. Jesus stayed two days and later the people said now they believed Jesus was the Savior because they heard Him for themselves.

LIVE IT OUT: Does your child know someone who needs kindness? Talk about an act of kindness your child can do for this person. Help her follow through on this kindness.


Numbers 12:1-11, 13-15

THE POINT: A critical spirit damages our lives. When have you been thankful for criticism? How can we help one other avoid a critical spirit? Discuss the following quote:

“When you’re in a situation, you can complain about it, you can feel sorry for yourself, you can do a lot of things. But how are you gonna make the situation better?”1 —Tony Dungy

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 Garbage in, Garbage Out:
• Ask God to reveal times that you have spoken to your student with a critical or unloving spirit. Use this as a way to engage your student on the power of speaking loving truth, instead of tearing one another down.
• Work with your student to find ways to communicate hard truth in love.

1.”Tony Dungy,” Brainy Quote [online], [accessed 17 July 2015]. Available from the Internet:

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Conversation Starters: Redeemed from Broken Relationships

Posted on September 7, 2016 by Karah

IMG_3601THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Advertisers are always trying to sell us “happiness.” It makes sense— who doesn’t want to be happy? So we chase after this elusive happiness. But what if being “happy” isn’t the ultimate goal? Jesus told His followers what life in His kingdom would be like. Would we be “happy” in Jesus’ kingdom? Not exactly. We would be something better—“blessed.”

Concept: Redeemed from Broken Relationships


Exodus 2:1-10

LIFE POINT: The king wanted to hurt the baby boys. So Miriam’s family hid their new baby for three months. As the baby grew, Miriam’s family had to think of a way to keep the baby safe. Miriam’s mother made a basket and covered it with sticky tar. She laid the baby in the basket, and placed the basket in the tall grass at the edge of the river. Miriam watched her baby brother. As the king’s daughter neared the river, she saw the basket. She and her helpers opened the basket and saw the baby. He was crying. She felt sorry for him. Miriam asked her, “Do you want me to get someone to take care of the baby for you?” “Yes, go,” she answered. Miriam ran and got her mother. Miriam’s mother was happy to take care of her own baby. When the boy was older, the king’s daughter named him Moses.

LIVE IT OUT: In large letters on a sheet of white paper, print OBEY. Give your child watercolor markers
to trace the word. Comment that obey means “doing what God says.”


Numbers 12

LIFE POINT: Miriam and Aaron began to say bad things about Moses even though Moses was a good man. The Lord heard what they said and called for Moses, Miriam, and Aaron to come to the tabernacle. God appeared to them in a pillar of cloud. The Lord was angry with Miriam and Aaron. “Why have you spoken of him in this way?” God asked. “He is my faithful servant.” The Lord struck Miriam with a skin disease called leprosy. Aaron asked Moses not to hold the sin against them. Moses prayed that the Lord would heal Miriam. The Lord told Moses to confine Miriam outside the camp for seven days and then she would be healed. After the seven days the Israelites moved on to another place.

LIVE IT OUT: Does your child have a good attitude? Discuss how he feels about certain things or people.
Remind him that God wants our attitudes and thoughts to honor Him. Help your child pray to keep
his thoughts pure.


Genesis 27:41; 33:1-11

THE POINT: Showing humility is critical to restoring relationships. What’s a silly argument you had
when you were a kid? What obstacles hinder you from demonstrating humility? Discuss the following quote:

“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”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 Check Yourself:
• Explain to your student that forgiveness does not mean acknowledging someone’s actions as being right when they are wrong; it means understanding the depth of His love and forgiveness when we wrong Him in the same way.

If he or she plans to complete Daily Reading:
• Encourage your student to read part of the story of Jacob and Esau every day this week. Take time to discuss the daily Scripture readings together.

1. “Quotes About Humility,” Goodreads [online], [accessed 17 July 2015]. Available from the Internet:

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Conversation Starters: Redeemed from Poor Choices

Posted on September 1, 2016 by Karah

5dd8efc6-9dcf-4e0d-adc1-e891b9560d0cTHE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Children, the elderly, the weak, and the helpless often become victims in a society that places far too little value on human life. Psalm 8 shows us that God’s perspective is completely different. His perspective is wrapped up in His glory. God can do great things through those people the world calls weak, helpless, or unnecessary. He has chosen the weak things of the
world to defeat the mighty and glorify His name.

Concept: Redeemed from Poor Choices


Genesis 13

LIFE POINT: God led Abram and his family to a new home. His nephew, Lot, went with him. Abram and Lot lived in tents so they could move from place to place. Abram’s and Lot’s animals needed grass to eat and water to drink. Their workers began to quarrel with each other about the grass and the water. Abram said to Lot, “Let’s not quarrel or fight with one another. We are part of the same family.” They decide to divide the land. Lot looked and chose the land near the Jordan River. Abram took his family and animals toward Canaan. God told Abram to look in every direction. God said, “I will give this land to you and your children forever. Your family will be so big that you cannot count them.” Abram thanked God. Abram was glad that he and Lot had worked together as a family.

LIVE IT OUT: Let your child begin to make his own choices. He could choose what clothes to wear or
snack to eat and other appropriate choices for his age. This will lead to making right choices when he is


Genesis 15-16

LIFE POINT: God spoke to Abram in a vision and told him that he would have a son. Abram didn’t know how this would happen because he was getting very old. God promised Abram that the number of
people in his family would be as many as the stars in the sky. Abram’s wife, Sarai, became tired of waiting on God for a child. She told Abram to have a child with Hagar, her maid. When Hagar became pregnant, Sarai was mean to her maid. Hagar ran away to the desert. An angel told Hagar to go back
home and to name her son Ishmael. The angel also told Hagar her son’s descendants would be too numerous to count. Hagar returned home. When her baby was born, Abram named him Ishmael.

LIVE IT OUT: Down the left side of a sheet of paper print UNCONDITIONAL. Talk about the
meaning of the word, that God loves us no matter what happens. Help your child think of words about God’s love that begin with each letter.


Genesis 15:1-6; 16:1-5; 17:18-19

THE POINT: God’s plans are always better than our own. Share a funny time when things didn’t turn out like you planned. What expectations do we typically have when we take steps to follow God’s leading?
Discuss the following quote:

“God’s plan and His ways of working out His plan are frequently beyond our ability to fathom and understand. We must learn to trust when we don’t understand.”1 —Jerry Bridges

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 My Story:
• Share how God has redeemed poor choices in your past. Explain to your student that God’s way is always best and that those poor choices can bring glory to the truth of God’s Word.
• Remind your student that God wants His best for them and that no choice is beyond His redemption.

1. “Trusting God Quotes,” Goodreads [online], [accessed 17 July 2015]. Available from the Internet: www.

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