MONTHLY ARCHIVES: December 2018

Christmas Conversation Starters: The Promised Life

Posted on December 19, 2018 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: Jesus brought salvation and people worship Him.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: We can read books or follow news stories about an individual, but our understanding—and relationship—with that person changes dramatically when we meet him or her face to face. We can learn much about God as we read the Bible, but the best understanding of God comes through Jesus Christ. Jesus is God Himself, and He came to fully reveal God and bring us salvation that makes a relationship with God a possibility.

Concept: The Promised Life

Preschool

Matthew 2:1-12

LIFE POINT: Wise men from the east followed a star to Jerusalem looking for an important baby. In Jerusalem, King Herod heard the wise men asking about the special baby. The king gathered his advisers. They said prophets wrote that a special baby would be born in Bethlehem. Herod told the wise men. He asked them to report back and tell him where they found the baby. Herod wanted to see Jesus. The wise men continued to follow the star. The star stopped over a house where Jesus was living with Mary and Joseph. The wise men were very happy to see Jesus. They bowed down and worshiped Him. They gave Him expensive gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The wise men were warned in a dream not to tell King Herod where they found Jesus, so they went home another way.

LIVE IT OUT: Remind your preschooler that the wise men knew that Jesus was a special child. Help your child make a list of special things about Jesus. Sing together a song of praise to Jesus and God.

Kids

Matthew 2:1-12

LIFE POINT: The wise men had followed the star for a long time. When they got to Jerusalem, they asked, “Where is the One who was born to be King of the Jews? We saw His star. We come to worship Him!” The king was upset. He called his helpers and asked where the promised Messiah would be born. They said, “In Bethlehem.” King Herod told them to look for the new king in Bethlehem. He said: “When you find the child, tell me so I can worship Him.” The star guided the men to the place where the child was. The wise men found Mary and Jesus. They bowed down on their knees and worshiped Jesus. Then they gave Jesus gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The wise men did not go back to Herod. They were warned in a dream not to see Herod again. They went back to their own country by another way.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child find the following Scriptures in the Bible: Deuteronomy 10:12; Psalm 95:6; Romans 12:1; Revelation 14:7. As you read each verse, discuss how the verse addresses worship. Help your child understand why we should worship Jesus.

Students

Matthew 2:1-12; Psalm 119:41; Luke 1:30-35

THE POINT: Jesus is the ultimate Word from God who brings salvation.
• When were you excited to meet someone?
• What comes to mind when you hear the word “rescue?”
• Why is it important that Jesus is fully human and fully divine?
• How does understanding how God’s Word centers on Jesus, continually make a difference in your life?
Discuss the following quote:

“The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God.”¹—C. S. Lewis

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: Share your decision to trust in Christ with your student. Allow your student to share his or her salvation story. If your student has not yet been saved, talk with him or her about the decision to trust in Christ.
• COMMUNITY: Create a prayer list with your student and commit to praying for people in your community.
• CULTURE: Christmas is more than presents and cookies. Take time this season to share the importance of Jesus’ birth as the Son of God sent to save the world from sin.

 

¹. C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York: HarperCollins, 2001).


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Christmas Conversation Starters: The Worthwhile Focus

Posted on December 12, 2018 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: God sent Jesus to the world.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: The way of the world is not to follow God. So when followers of Christ align themselves under the lordship of Christ, the world sees them as aligning against it. Some people might be tempted to bend to the opposition and conform to the world’s standards, but following Jesus does not allow that option. We find strength in God’s Word to stand as we should.

Concept: The Worthwhile Focus

Preschool

Luke 2:1-20

LIFE POINT: The leader of their country decided to count the people in the land. Every person had to go to their hometown to be counted. Mary and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem, Joseph’s hometown. Bethlehem was crowded, and they could not find a place to stay. When they found a place to stay, Baby Jesus was born. Mary wrapped Him in soft cloths and laid Him in a manger. An angel appeared to shepherds and said, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news! A baby was born in Bethlehem. He is God’s Son. You will find Him lying in a manger.” Many angels appeared. They praised God and said, “Glory to God in heaven and peace on earth!” The angels left, and the shepherds decided to go to Bethlehem and see the baby. They found Mary and Joseph and the baby, too. They praised God for Baby Jesus.

LIVE IT OUT: Emphasize that God sent Jesus. Keep the focus of Christmas on Jesus. Read the account of Jesus’ birth from Luke 2. Provide other books that focus on the birth of Jesus for your child to read and enjoy.

Kids

Luke 2:1-20

LIFE POINT: The Roman king wanted to count all the people in his kingdom. Each person had to go to his family’s home town to be counted. So Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem. While Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem, Mary had the baby. She wrapped Him tightly in soft cloths. She laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. An angel appeared to shepherds. The shepherds were afraid! “Don’t be afraid,” said the angel. “I have great news that will bring joy to everyone. Today in Bethlehem a Savior was born for you. You will find the baby lying in a manger.” Then, many angels appeared. They praised God. The shepherds hurried to Bethlehem. They found the baby just as the angel said. The shepherds told everyone they met about what happened. Everyone was amazed.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child memorize Luke 2:11, the memory verse for this week. Discuss the meaning of verse, who spoke it, and to whom it was spoken. Pray with your child, thanking God for sending Jesus.

Students

Luke 2:1-20; Psalm 119:17-20

THE POINT: God’s Word allows me to stand in a world of opposition.
• Why do courageous people inspire us?
• What are some wonderful things you have seen in God’s Word?
• What are the positives and negatives of living as a “stranger on earth?”
• What opposition do Christ-followers face today?
Discuss the following quote:

“There is nothing wrong with dedication and goals, but if you focus on yourself, all the lights fade away and you become a fleeting moment in life.”¹—Pete Maravich

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: Help your student identify his or her influences and develop a plan to guard against negative, ungodly ones.
• COMMUNITY: Ask your student each morning which Scripture passage will help him or her to stand courageously.
• CULTURE: Help your student to see Christ’s love and strength throughout opposition.

 

¹. “Pete Maravich Quotes,” BrainyQuote [online], [accessed 1 May 2016]. Available from the Internet: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/p/pete_maravich.html.


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Christmas Conversation Starters: A Clean Heart

Posted on December 5, 2018 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: The Bible tells of God’s plan for salvation through Jesus.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Manuals, how-to books, and online videos abound to teach us any number of techniques and skills. When it comes to what really matters—living life—only one source will give us all we truly need: God’s Word. The Bible gives us the answers we need for the moment. As we read His instruction, God will also guide us to understand His Word.

Concept: A Clean Heart

Preschool

Luke 1:26-56; Matthew 1:18-24

LIFE POINT: Mary was a young woman who obeyed God and lived in Nazareth. God sent the angel Gabriel to talk to her. The angel said, “Do not be afraid. God chose you to have a special baby boy, God’s Son.” He told her people had waited for this baby since Isaiah wrote about God’s plan. Mary said, “I will obey God.” Mary was going to marry Joseph, who also obeyed God. As Joseph was sleeping, God sent an angel to him in a dream. The angel told Joseph, “Do not be afraid to marry Mary. Her baby is God’s Son. You will name Him Jesus. He will love people and teach them about God.” Joseph remembered the dream when he woke up. He did as the angel commanded. Joseph married Mary. They waited for the special baby, Jesus, to be born.

LIVE IT OUT: Talk with your child about ways her parents care for her. Remind her that Mary and Joseph were chosen to be Jesus’ earthly parents and care for Him. Pray, thanking God for His plan for parents.

Kids

Luke 1:26-56; Matthew 1:18-24

LIFE POINT: One day, the angel Gabriel came to Mary. Mary was frightened. Gabriel said, “Don’t be afraid. God is pleased with you. You will have a son. Name him Jesus.” Gabriel said, “Your baby will be God’s Son. Your relative Elizabeth is old, but she will also have a baby. Nothing is impossible for God.” Joseph was engaged to Mary. Joseph knew he was not the father of Mary’s baby. Joseph decided not to marry Mary. As Joseph slept, an angel came to him. The angel said, “Joseph, don’t be afraid to marry Mary. Her baby is from God. Name the baby Jesus because He will be the Savior.” Joseph got up. He obeyed the angel. He married Mary. When Mary had the special baby, Joseph and Mary named Him Jesus.

LIVE IT OUT: God knows families are important. God provided an earthly family for Jesus through Mary and Joseph. They were included in God’s plan for Jesus to be the Savior. Celebrate with your family this Christmas season.

Students

Psalm 119:9-16

THE POINT: God’s Word teaches us everything we need to live fully.
• What’s the difference between having something and treasuring it?
• When has an encounter with God’s Word impacted you?
• What would help you engage with Scripture in a more meaningful way?
• How can we position ourselves to be transformed, rather than just informed, by God’s Word?
Discuss the following quote:

“God’s Word must be so strongly fixed in our minds that it becomes the dominant influence in our thoughts, our attitudes, and our actions.”¹— Jerry Bridges

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: Spend time this week reading through Scripture with your student. Highlight passages that contain truths for your daily life.
• COMMUNITY: Join your student in Bible study this week and hold each other accountable for making time in God’s Word.
• CULTURE: Discuss the top three things you focus on each day with your student. Then help your student to determine his or her daily focuses. If God’s Word is not among the top, consider ways to make it a priority in your lives.

 

¹. “25 Jerry Bridges Quotes,” Christian Quotes [online], [accessed 1 May 2016]. Available from the
Internet: http://www.christianquotes.info/quotes-by-author/jerry-bridges-quotes/.


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