MONTHLY ARCHIVES: January 2019

Conversation Starters: Simple Faith

Posted on January 30, 2019 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: God can help people be faithful to Him.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: We don’t have to look far to find someone who can do something better than we can. Because our culture puts a lot of value on talents and skills, we can be tempted to make comparisons and think we are not as important or significant. God doesn’t judge by such standards. He doesn’t need whatever we consider our assets nor is He concerned about whatever we consider our limitations; He just wants us. Our weaknesses do not override what God can—and will—do through us to accomplish His purposes.

Conversation Starters: Limitations

Preschool

Acts 16:16-34

LIFE POINT: Paul and Silas traveled and told people about Jesus. Some people did not like them telling about Jesus. They put Paul and Silas in jail. The jailer locked their feet in chains. Paul and Silas began to pray and sing songs to God. The other prisoners listened to them pray and sing. At midnight, while Paul and Silas were praying and singing, an earthquake shook the ground so hard that the prison doors opened and the prisoners’ chains came loose. The earthquake woke the jailer. When he saw the jail doors wide open, the jailer was afraid the prisoners were gone. The jailer heard Paul call out, “We are all still here! Do not be afraid!” The jailer took Paul and Silas to his house. They told him and his family about Jesus and how much Jesus loved them. The jailer and his family believed what they heard about Jesus.

LIVE IT OUT: Use time driving in the car, waiting in line, or playing with your preschooler to praise God. Sing simple praise songs such as “God Is So Good,” or play some preschool songs on a CD. Tell your child that she can sing to God anytime.

Kids

Acts 16:16-34

LIFE POINT: Paul and Silas were telling people about Jesus, which made some people angry. They dragged Paul and Silas to the officials. The people attacked Paul and Silas. The officials had Paul and Silas beaten with rods. Then they sent them to jail. They put their feet in chains. Paul and Silas were praying and singing songs to God. The prisoners listened to them. About midnight, as they were praying and singing, an earthquake shook the ground! The jail doors flew open! Everyone’s chains came off! When the jailer saw the open doors he thought the prisoners had all escaped. “Stop!” Paul called. “We are all here!” The jailer brought Paul and Silas out of the jail. “What must I do to be saved?” he asked. Paul and Silas told the jailer about Jesus. They told everyone in the jailer’s house about Jesus. They all believed and were baptized.

LIVE IT OUT: Has your child ever experienced difficulty because of her belief in Jesus? The times in which we live are becoming increasingly difficult for Christians. Help your child talk about ways to stand up for what he believes, even when he faces resistance.

Students

Exodus 3:11-12, 4:10-17

THE POINT: God will work through us despite our shortcomings.
• When have you accomplished something you didn’t think you could?
• How comfortable do you feel about doing what God is currently calling you to do?
• What do these verses teach us about our place in God’s plans?
• What steps can we take to support one another in obeying God?
Discuss the following quote:

“Real true faith is man’s weakness leaning on God’s strength.” —Dwight L. Moody

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: Discuss with your student ways that he or she can be bold in his or her faith this week.
• COMMUNITY: Pray with your student for the boldness and faith to follow God’s calling, whether it is alone or alongside friends.
• CULTURE: God has worked through others in powerful ways, and He can do the same through your student. Encourage your student to demonstrate the power of God in his or her life.

Dwight L. Moody, The Overcoming Life (Orlando: Bridge-Logos, 2007), 249.


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Conversation Starters: A Fresh Start

Posted on January 23, 2019 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: Christians should let others know about restoration found in Jesus.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: When we come to faith in Christ, we realize there is nothing we can do to earn a right relationship with God. We fail, but Jesus gives us hope. Now that we are Christians, we still fail, but we sometimes chastise ourselves for failing. The same grace we needed for salvation is the same grace we need to live it out. The hope we have in Christ is grounded in grace, and we need to experience that grace day by day.

Conversation Starters: A Fresh Start

Preschool

Acts 16:11-15

LIFE POINT: Paul and his friends traveled to many places, telling people about Jesus. They went to the city of Philippi to tell people about Jesus. On the day for church, Paul and his friends left the city and walked down to the river. They found a group of women praying beside the river. Paul and his friends began talking to the women about Jesus. One of the women was named Lydia. Lydia sold purple cloth. She loved God very much. She listened carefully as Paul told her and the other women about Jesus. Lydia believed what Paul was saying and became a follower of Jesus. She wanted everyone to know that she loved Jesus. Lydia invited Paul and his friends to come and stay at her house. And they did.

LIVE IT OUT: Play a game with your child to learn this week’s Bible Verse: “Tell about Jesus. Acts 16:10.” Practice saying the verse in different voices: high, low, loud, quiet, fast, slow. Remind your child that God wants people to tell about Jesus.

Kids

Acts 16:11-15

LIFE POINT: Paul and Timothy traveled to many different places, telling people about Jesus. They sailed in a boat to the country of Macedonia. They were going where God had told them to go. They arrived in Philippi. Many people lived there. Paul and Timothy went to tell the people about Jesus. On the Sabbath Day, the special day to worship God, the two men left the city and walked along the river. A group of women had gathered by the river outside the city. Paul and Timothy sat down and began to talk to the women
who had gathered together. They were happy to tell the women about Jesus. One of the women who listened to Paul was named Lydia. Lydia sold purple cloth. Lydia listened and believed what Paul was saying. She became a follower of Jesus. Lydia invited Paul and Timothy to stay at her house. And they did.

LIVE IT OUT: Does your child see in your life that you are a Christ follower The Bible clearly states that God wants people to follow His Son, Jesus. If your child has not become a Christian, there are resources to help you explain how to become a Christ follower.

Students

John 18:15-18, 25-27; 21:15-19

THE POINT: We fail, Jesus restores.
• When have you really enjoyed making a mess?
• What emotions would you have experienced in Peter’s situation?
• What factors may cause us to shrink back from identifying with Christ?
• When have you seen God bring restoration?
Discuss the following quote:

“I have now concentrated all my prayers into one, and that one prayer is this, that I may die to self, and live wholly to Him.”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: Discuss sin with your student and ensure that he or she is confessing that sin to God and turning away from it.
• COMMUNITY: Does your student have a friend that he or she can discuss sin and accountability with? If not, help your student to identify a friend that can pray with him or her and hold your student accountable when necessary.
• CULTURE: We all fail. Pray with your student for the strength to claim Jesus before a lost world.

Charles H. Spurgeon, Sermons of Rev. C. H. Spurgeon of London: 2nd Series (New York: Robert Carter & Brothers, 1883).


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Conversation Starters- First Things First

Posted on January 16, 2019 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: When people put God first, they live in ways that honor Him.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: A lot of things vie for our attention, and many of them offer a good “sales pitch” why they should take priority. We also encounter the “tyranny of the urgent,” which screams for attention—now! No doubt we have many things that are important—family, work, and so forth—but only one thing takes priority over all these things: loving obedience to God.

Conversation Starters: First Things First

Preschool

Acts 14

LIFE POINT: Paul and Barnabas traveled to many faraway towns. Sometimes they traveled on boats. Sometimes they walked. Everywhere Paul and Barnabas went, they taught people about Jesus. Paul and Barnabas went into the synagogue and told about Jesus. Many people listened to them and believed in Jesus. Some people did not like what Paul and Barnabas were teaching. They planned to hurt the men. Paul and Barnabas had to leave the city to be safe. But that did not stop them from telling about Jesus. Paul and Barnabas returned to the towns where they had been. They encouraged the people to continue to follow Jesus. After going to many different towns, Paul and Barnabas sailed back to Antioch on a boat. Everyone came to hear Paul and Barnabas tell about their trip. They told about all the people who believed that Jesus was God’s Son.

LIVE IT OUT: Print on a sheet of paper: Work together happily. Ephesians 6:7. Give your child markers, crayons, stickers, or watercolor paints to decorate the paper. Talk to her about Paul and Barnabas working together to tell people about Jesus.

Kids

Acts 14

LIFE POINT: Paul and Barnabas continued to travel to different cities, telling the people about Jesus. In each city they would go to the synagogue and talk about Jesus. Many of the Jews and many Greeks listened and believed that Jesus is the Son of God. But some Jews began to cause trouble for Paul and Barnabas. They wanted to hurt Paul and Barnabas, but the men learned about the plan and left to go to another city. When Paul and Barnabas were in Lystra, they healed a man who could not walk. The people thought Paul was God. Paul said, “I am a man. God gave me the power to heal this man.” Paul and Barnabas traveled to many towns, spreading the good news about Jesus. They returned to the church in Antioch that had sent them. They told about all the things God had done and all the people who had believed.

LIVE IT OUT: Has your child learned cooperation? Paul and Barnabas had to work together to accomplish the goal of spreading the gospel. Help your child learn the Weekly Verse, Ephesians 2:10. Pray with your child that he will continue to walk with God and do those good works created for him.

Students

Haggai 1:2-13

THE POINT: Always put God first.
• What’s the longest you’ve waited in line?
• What excuses do we make to delay our obedience?
• What do we lose by not putting God first?
• What benefits can we anticipate when we put God first in our lives?
Discuss the following quote:

“God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” —John Piper

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: Discuss some ways your student could develop a better relationship with Jesus. Help him or her to outline some steps to take.
• COMMUNITY: Help your student to identify any needs in the church or community that he or she could fill.
• CULTURE: Spend time with your student counting the many blessings that you have received and how those can be used to share Jesus with the world.

John Piper, “God Is Most Glorified in Us When We Are Most Satisfied in Him,” Desiring God [online], 13 October 2012, [accessed 23 November 2016]. Available from the Internet: http://www.desiringgod.org/messages/god-is-most-glorified-in-us-when-we-are-most-satisfied-in-him.


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Conversation Starters: Andrew-Active Witness

Posted on January 10, 2019 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: Jesus came to show God’s love for people.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: For many believers, evangelism is something we know we should do, but we’re uncomfortable with it. The reason is because we think we’re supposed to be salespersons, and if we don’t “close the deal” which leads to a conversion, we have not succeeded. The correct model is seen in Andrew. Andrew simply introduced people to Jesus and invited them to make the same discovery about Him that he had made.

Bible Character: Andrew

Preschool

2 Kings 4:8-17

LIFE POINT: Elisha was one of God’s special helpers. He walked from town to town, telling people about God. Elisha often went to a town called Shunem. There he met a rich woman. The woman knew that Elisha told people about God. She invited Elisha to eat with her and her husband. Every time Elisha went to Shunem, he ate at the woman’s house. One day the woman said to her husband, “Let’s build a room for Elisha.” The woman and her husband built the room on the roof of their house. Inside the room they placed a bed, table, lamp, and chair. When Elisha returned to Shunem, he went to the woman’s house. The woman and her husband showed Elisha the new room they had built for him. Now Elisha had a special place to rest when he came to town.

LIVE IT OUT: Provide a simple dollhouse or dollhouse furniture and blocks for your child. Help him build a room and add furniture. Comment that a family showed love for Elisha by building him a room.

Kids

2 Kings 4:8-37

LIFE POINT: A woman often invited Elisha to eat at her house. One day, she said to her husband, “Elisha is a man of God. Let’s make a room upstairs. We can put a bed, table, chair, and lamp in it. He can stay when he comes here.” After the room was built, Elisha asked the woman how he could thank her. Elisha’s servant knew the woman had no son. He told Elisha. Elisha told the woman that she would have a baby son in about a year. And she did! When the boy was old enough, his father took him out to the fields. The boy felt sick. He died that morning. The mother went to Elisha. She asked him to help her. Elisha came. He went in the room with the boy. He prayed. He lay on the boy. Elisha walked up and down. Then he bent over the boy. Suddenly the boy sneezed 7 times and woke up!

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child know that God loves all people. Remind her that Jesus died for everyone. Encourage your child to pray for people in other countries to know Jesus.

Students

THE POINT:

Christ-centered living chooses invitation, not indifference.
• When have you been convinced by a great sales pitch to buy something you didn’t necessarily need?
• What can we learn from the examples of Elisha and Andrew?
• How much do we have to know about Jesus before we can talk about Him with someone else?
• What would you tell someone about the challenges and benefits of following Jesus?
Discuss the following quote:

“God forbid that I should travel with anybody a quarter of an hour without speaking of Christ to them.”1. —George Whitefield

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: Is your desire to share the gospel a result of the overflow of your love for Jesus? Discuss with your student ways that you can share your experiences with Christ.
• COMMUNITY: Ask your student if he or she thinks God is calling them to share the gospel with someone specific this week. Encourage and help your student to reach others with the story of Christ.
• CULTURE: What trend or piece of gossip are you most excited about? How can you ensure that Jesus is the thing you and your student are most excited to share?

 

George Whitefield, “52 George Whitefield Quotes,” Christian Quotes [accessed 6 March 2017]. Available from the Internet: https://www.christianquotes.info/quotes-by-author/george-whitefieldquotes/#axzz4aawva9Sn.


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