MONTHLY ARCHIVES: January 2018

Conversation Starters: Live Your Life with Joy

Posted on January 31, 2018 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: God wants people to experience the joy of Christ.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: We’ve all experienced the negative impact of a bad attitude on our work, productivity, and relationships. Conversely, a good attitude makes us better workers and better people to be around. Something is missing, though, if we just try to convince ourselves to “think happy thoughts.” Christians are called to center their lives in Christ, fill their minds with the things of God, and continually go to Him in prayer. The result is far different: a cause to rejoice.

Concept: Live Your Life with Joy

Preschool

Jeremiah 36

LIFE POINT: God told Jeremiah, “Take a scroll and write the words I tell you.” Jeremiah and his helper, Baruch, wrote the words. Baruch went to the temple (church) and read the scroll to help the people know how to live. A king’s helper heard the words on the scroll and told the king about them. The king wanted to hear the words himself. The king’s helper read the scroll to the king. The king did not like what he heard, so he cut the scroll into pieces and burned it. God told Jeremiah to get another scroll and write the words about how to live again. Baruch helped Jeremiah write the words from the first scroll again and write many more words. These words from God could not be destroyed.

LIVE IT OUT: Find the Book of Jeremiah in the Bible and point to Jeremiah’s name. Turn to other books named for the people who wrote them such as Daniel, Matthew, Luke, and John. Explain
that these people wrote God’s words in the Bible.

Kids

Jeremiah 36

LIFE POINT: God said to Jeremiah, “Write on a scroll what I tell you to write.” Jeremiah told Baruch God’s words. Baruch wrote them on the scroll. Baruch read the scroll at the temple. The king’s helper hurried to tell the king’s advisers. They listened to the message from the scroll. “The king must hear this,” they said. The men warned Baruch and Jeremiah to hide. They told the king about the scroll. The king listened to his helper read the scroll. After a few minutes, the king reached over and cut off part of the scroll! He threw it into the fire! The king kept cutting off pieces of the scroll and throwing them into the fire. He burned whole scroll. God told Jeremiah, “Write another scroll. Put the same words on this scroll. Add more words to it. Tell him I will punish him.”
Jeremiah told Baruch God’s words again. The king could not destroy God’s message.

LIVE IT OUT: Do you turn to the Bible to help answer important life questions? Read together 2 Timothy 3:16. Discuss with your child how the Bible fits each of the purposes listed. Find other verses that help with each of those categories.

Students

Philippians 4:4-9

THE POINT: Focusing on Christ brings joy and peace into our lives. When has focusing on the wrong things affected a situation in your life? How does prayer help us move from worry to trust What tends to cause anxiety in our lives? Why is our life so important to Christ? How can we help one another practice the things Paul taught in this passage? Discuss the following quote:

“When our lives are filled with peace, faith and joy, people will want to know what we have.”1 —David Jeremiah

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 for peace and discernment as he or she faces challenges. Remind your student to go to God first with problems, before trying to solve everything alone.
• COMMUNITY: Each night help your student to find the moments of joy in his or her day especially during difficult situations.
• CULTURE: Our minds are our most dangerous battlefields. Help your student to fight a strategic battle through prayer and time spent in God’s Word.

1. “18 Wonderful Quotes About Joy,” Christian Quotes [online], [accessed 1 May 2016]. Available from the Internet: http://www.christianquotes.info/top-quotes/18-wonderful-quotes-about-joy/#ixzz47uWqPEHa

 


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Conversation Starters: Grow with Joy

Posted on January 24, 2018 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: People can take a stand for Jesus daily.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: We like quick results. We can convert a cold meal into a hot dinner in a minute or less. Movies can be streamed quickly without the previously required trips to the video store. Infomercials invite us to try their quick-and-easy weight loss or muscle-building program. One area that offers no such claim to being quick and easy is spiritual growth. We can be saved in a moment, but growth in Christ is a life-long journey.

Concept: Grow with Joy

Preschool

Esther 2:2-18; 4:5-17; 5:1-18; 7:10; 8:8-17

LIFE POINT: The king chose Esther, a Jewish girl who lived with her cousin, Mordecai, to be his new queen. Esther did not tell the king that she was a Jew. Haman, a king’s helper, hated Jews and wanted to hurt the Jewish people. Mordecai told Esther to ask the king to help their people. He said, “Tell him you are a Jew and that Haman wants to hurt us.” Esther was afraid to go to the king. She told Mordecai and the people to pray for three days. Esther and her servants prayed, too. After three days, God helped Esther to be brave and go to the king. Esther was brave and went to see the king. The king was happy to see her and listened to what she wanted. He protected the Jewish people and kept Haman from hurting Mordecai and the Jews. God helped Esther and the Jewish people to be safe.

LIVE IT OUT: Talk with your child about what she would like to do when she grows up. Explain that God has a plan for her life. At this time in her life, God’s plan is for her to grow, obey her parents, and learn about God. Thank God for the plans He has for people.

Kids

Esther 2:2-18; 4:5-17; 5:1-18; 7:10; 8:8-17

LIFE POINT: Esther went from her home with Mordecai to the palace. Mordecai warned Esther, “Don’t tell anyone you are a Jew.” The king chose Esther as his queen. Mordecai sent Esther a message. Haman tricked the king into signing a law that all Jews would be killed. Mordecai asked Esther to beg the king for help. Esther knew she would be in danger if she went to the king without being called. Esther prayed for three days. Then she put on her royal robe. She went to the king on his throne. When the king saw Esther, he held out his scepter. Esther was safe! Esther told the king she was a Jew. She also told the king that Haman wanted to kill all her people. The king was quite angry! He ordered the soldiers to take Haman away. The king told the Jews to defend themselves. The people were happy!

LIVE IT OUT: Christian beliefs are under attack in our world today. Is your child able to defend her beliefs in difficult situations? Talk about and help develop some strategies for overcoming such difficulties.

Students

Philippians 3:12-21

THE POINT: Each day is an opportunity to become more like Christ. What experiences has God used to help you grow spiritually? How can we intentionally position ourselves to benefit from the example of others? What are some of the effects of being a citizen of God’s kingdom in the world? Discuss the following quote:

“If I have observed anything by experience, it is this: a man may take the measure of his growth and decay in grace according to his thoughts and meditations upon the person of Christ, and the glory of Christ’s Kingdom, and of His love.”1—John Owen

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: Encourage your student to be a God-pleaser, not a people-pleaser. Spend time in prayer together seeking God first.

• COMMUNITY: Encourage your student throughout the week to courageously share the gospel. Pray together for the courage to share without fear.

• CULTURE: We communicate in many ways. Look at the ways your student communicates and help him or her to develop a plan to communicate the gospel.

1. “Entire Quotes Database,” Christian Quotes [online], [accessed 1 May 2016]. Available from the Internet: http://www.christianquotes.info/search-for-a-quote/ listpage=2&instance=2#participants-list-2.


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Conversation Starters: Follow with Joy

Posted on January 10, 2018 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: People can serve God together.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: The world equates joy and happiness with having our needs and desires met. Reality shows us, though, that having all our desires met does not necessarily bring us joy or make us any happier. Joy comes when we turn from pleasing ourselves and turn to living humbly before God, placing the needs of others before our own. When we follow the example of
Jesus in humility, we experience joy.

Concept: Follow with Joy

 

Preschool

2 Chronicles 23:11, 13; 24:1-14

LIFE POINT: Joash became king when he was only seven years old. He was king for 40 years. Joash did what God told him to do. While he was king, Joash decided to repair the temple (church). He led the people to bring their money, gold, and silver to help repair the temple. The men made a chest and placed it outside the gate of the temple. The leaders and the people brought offerings and put them in the chest until it was full. The money was used to pay the stonecutters who repaired stone walls. The money paid the carpenters who sawed, hammered, and nailed. It was used to pay metal workers called blacksmiths and coppersmiths to repair the metal in the temple and to make new gold and silver items for the temple. The workmen worked hard. They rebuilt God’s temple.

LIVE IT OUT: Briefly review the story of Joash and the people giving offerings. If you have one, show your child an offering envelope for your church. Explain how the offerings are used at church to help people learn about God and Jesus. If your child attends worship, allow him to place money in the offering bin.

Kids

2 Chronicles 23:11, 13; 24:1-14

LIFE POINT: Joash became the king when he was seven years old. When Joash was older, he wanted to repair the temple. “Ask the people for money to fix the temple. They can give their
money just as Moses told them,” King Joash said. But the priests did not hurry to do what the king said. King Joash commanded a chest be placed beside the gate into the temple. He told people to bring money that belonged to God. The people happily brought their money and put it in the chest. The king’s helpers emptied the chest every day when it was full. They put it back beside the temple gate. The men in charge used the money to hire men to do the work. Finally, their work was done. Extra money was used to make things for the inside of the temple. The people worshiped God in the temple.

LIVE IT OUT: Does your child see you give to God? If your child has an allowance or part-time job, help him become a cheerful giver to the church. Talk about how money given to church is used to help people learn about God.

Students

Philippians 2:1-11

THE POINT: We were made to live in love and humility like Christ.
• What annoys you the most?
• Why is unity so important for your group and the church?
• How would you describe the relationship between humility and unity?
• Who in your life best lives out this example of Jesus?
Discuss the following quote:

“Being a Christian is more than just an instantaneous conversion. It is a daily process whereby you grow to be more and more like Christ.”1—Billy Graham

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 this week and help him or her to intentionally serve others.
• COMMUNITY: Help your student work on memorizing this week’s passage: Philippians 2:5-11. Keep the Scripture where you can see it throughout the week and quiz your student to
help with memorization.
• CULTURE: Spend time with your student talking about humility this week and how our lives should reflect the humility we see in Christ.

 

1. Billy Graham, “A Daily Process,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association [online], 2 October 2015, [accessed 1 May 2016]. Available from the Internet: http://billygraham.org/devotion/a-daily-process/.


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Conversation Starters: Share with Joy

Posted on January 3, 2018 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: People can have joy because of what God has done.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: The greatest joy anyone can experience is through a relationship with Christ. The presence of hardship and critics does not alter our relationship with Christ. No matter what, the follower of Christ belongs to Him for eternity. Consequently, hardships and critics should not alter our joy in Christ. In fact, joy in the midst of problems is a great testimony to Christ, the One who gives us His unsurpassed joy.

Concept: Share with Joy

Preschool

1 Samuel 1

LIFE POINT: Hannah was very sad. She wanted a child very much. Hannah and her husband, Elkanah, had gone to the tabernacle at Shiloh. Hannah prayed and cried as she asked God for a son. She promised that if God gave her a son she would give him to God all his life. The priest, Eli, saw Hannah praying and asked why she was crying. She told Eli that she was praying to God for a child. Eli responded, “May God give you what you prayed for.” Hannah left, hoping and believing God had heard her. Later she gave birth to a son and named him Samuel. When Samuel was older, she took him to the tabernacle. She brought him to Eli and said, “Here is the son that I prayed for, and I am giving him to God.” Samuel lived at the tabernacle and helped Eli, the priest.

LIVE IT OUT: Involve your preschooler in a family prayer time. Ask him to contribute to prayer requests. Guide him to name people for whom he can pray. Lead your child to voice a prayer for those people.

Kids

1 Samuel 1:1 – 4:1

LIFE POINT: Hannah was very sad because she had no children. One day, she prayed in the tabernacle. Hannah asked God to give her a son. She promised she would give him to God for his whole life. Later, Hannah had a baby boy. She named him Samuel. When he was old enough, Hannah took him to Priest Eli. “This is what I prayed for,” she explained. Samuel served God at the tabernacle. One night he heard a voice calling him. He hurried to Eli. “Here I am,” he said. “I did not call you,” Eli said. Two more times Samuel heard his name called. Each time he hurried to Eli. Then Eli knew that God was the one calling Samuel. He told Samuel how to answer. When Samuel heard his name again, he said, “Speak. I am listening.” God gave Samuel a message for Eli. When Samuel was older, he became a prophet of God.

LIVE IT OUT:  Prayer is an important part of a Christian’s life. Be a model for praying for others to your child. Give her opportunities to pray for your family and for others. Be intentional in teaching your child to pray.

Students

Philippians 1:12-21

THE POINT:  I can share Christ with joy no matter my circumstances. What’s the toughest thing for you to share with others? When have you been encouraged by the faith and perseverance of someone in your life? What do these verses teach us about sharing Christ? What feelings normally arise when you think about sharing the gospel? How can we help one another be bold in sharing the gospel? Discuss the following quote:

“To be a soul winner is the happiest thing in this world.”1—Charles Spurgeon

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 that God would make clear his or her goals and ways to share the gospel.

• Take time to serve in the community with your student. Consider serving in a ministry area in your church or volunteering at a local food bank.

• CULTURE: God uses us as instruments to serve others and make a difference in their lives. Discuss with your student ways to make Christ the center of our lives and find our purpose in Him.

1. “15 Amazing Quotes About Evangelism,” Christian Quotes [online], [accessed 1 May 2016]. Available from the Internet: http://www.christianquotes.info/top-quotes/15-amazing-quotes-evangelism/#ixzz47uT8vEA1.


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