AUTHOR ARCHIVES: Karah

Conversation Starters: A Channel of Comfort

Posted on February 20, 2019 by Karah

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: No one is immune from trouble. No one wants to go through hardships, but sometimes life rains on us. Thankfully, God never abandons His children, and we can know the power of His presence in the challenges we face. When we’ve walked through a hard season of life with God’s comforting grace, we can walk with others undergoing the same difficulties. We can encourage them with the love, grace, and comfort of Christ, who they see in us.

Conversation Starters: A Channel of Comfort

Preschool

Acts 18:1-3, 24-28

LIFE POINT: Paul went to the city of Corinth to tell the people about Jesus. There he met a man named Aquila and his wife, Priscilla. They were tent makers. Paul taught Priscilla and Aquila about Jesus while they worked together making tents. Later, Aquila and Priscilla sailed with Paul to a city named Ephesus. In this city, Aquila and Priscilla met a man named Apollos. Apollos loved God and had learned many things from the Bible scroll. He was a good teacher, and many people listened to him. Aquila and Priscilla invited Apollos to their house. They talked with Apollos and told him things about Jesus that he did not know. Aquila and Priscilla helped Apollos understand more about Jesus. Apollos traveled to tell other people what he had learned about God and Jesus.

LIVE IT OUT: Sit and clap with your child while saying, “T – E – L – L, I can tell about Jesus.” Name one person you could tell about Jesus. Repeat the chant, encouraging your child to name someone she could tell about Jesus. Continue to play, adding other family members to the game.

Kids

Acts 21:27-22:29

LIFE POINT: Some men saw Paul in the temple. They said that Paul was saying things against the law. They stirred up the whole crowd. The men grabbed Paul and dragged him out of the temple. They beat Paul and tried to kill him! Soldiers rushed to the temple to find out what was happening. As the crowd followed, the soldiers took Paul away. When they reached the steps where the soldiers stayed, Paul asked to speak. Paul said, “Listen to me. I learned the Jewish law when I was young. I tried to do all it said. I even tried to put Christians in jail.” Then Paul told everything that had happened to him. The crowd yelled for Paul to be punished. The soldier was about to beat Paul with a whip. Then he learned that Paul was a Roman citizen. The soldier knew he could not harm a Roman citizen. He stopped at once.

LIVE IT OUT: Has your child ever heard a message from you he does not like? Just as a parent disciplines his child, so God disciplines His children. Help your child understand that the Bible is God’s guide for living and following Jesus, even when we hear something we do not like.

Students

2 Corinthians 1:2-7

THE POINT: I can be a channel of God’s comfort to others.
• What’s your favorite comfort food?
• When have you been comforted by God?
• What ways do you appreciate being comforted by others?
• When has God used you to comfort someone?
Discuss the following quote:

“The task of the preacher is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” 1 —Vance Havner

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 he or she would respond to hardships in a Christ-honoring way.
• COMMUNITY: Our friends are continually facing challenges that need our prayers and community support. Help your student identify friends that may need our prayer and support.
• CULTURE: Discuss ways that people in your church and community may be suffering. Consider ways that you can help and be a comfort to those people.

1 Vance Havner, Grace Quotes [online], [accessed 23 November 2016]. Available from the Internet: http://gracequotes.org/quote/the-task-of-the-preacher-is-to-comfort-the-afflict/


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Conversation Starters: The Gift of Grace

Posted on February 6, 2019 by Karah

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Our lives are filled with both joys and sorrows, opportunities we embrace and difficulties we’d rather avoid. We don’t question God’s presence in the good times, although we might when life gets hard. God is with us through it all: good and bad. We are no less in God’s hands or useful as His instruments when we face challenges. God’s grace is always with us.

Conversation Starters: The Gift of Grace

Preschool

Acts 17:16-34

LIFE POINT: Paul traveled to the city of Athens. While there, Paul went to the synagogue and talked to the people about Jesus. Paul went to the marketplace every day and told about Jesus to anyone he met. Some men heard Paul teaching about Jesus. The men asked Paul to go with them to a special meeting place on a hill. People came from all over Athens to the hill. Paul stood up in the meeting and said, “I want to tell you what I know about God. God created the world and everything in it. He made all people, and He loves all people. He wants people to love Him.” Paul told the people about Jesus, God’s Son. Some of the people did not believe what Paul was saying. Some people wanted Paul to come back and talk again. And some people believed what Paul said about God and Jesus. Paul helped people in Athens learn about Jesus.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child make a gift for a favorite teacher at church. He can decorate a foam or wooden picture frame with stickers. Print, “Thank you for teaching me” on a paper that will fit into the frame. Let your child print his name and decorate the paper. Encourage him to give it to his teacher at church.

Kids

Acts 17:16-34

LIFE POINT: Paul waited in the city for his friends. He saw idols everywhere! Paul even found an idol with a sign “To the Unknown God.” Some of the men liked to hear new ideas. They invited Paul to talk to them. Paul told the men that the God who made everything does not live in a shrine. He told how God did not need anything because He Himself gives what people have. Paul said, “Don’t think that God is like gold or silver or stone that men make into idols.” He told the men how God knew when each person would live and where he would live. Paul urged the men to stop sinning and to turn to the one and only real God. The men listened until Paul told them that God had raised Jesus from the dead. Some people laughed. Others wanted to hear more. Some people believed Paul, and followed Jesus.

LIVE IT OUT: Talk with your child about her teachers at church. Remind her that they are following God’s command to teach about Jesus. Encourage your child to write a thank-you note to one or more of her teachers. Tell her to mention something specific she learned from that teacher.

Students

2 Corinthians 12:2-10

THE POINT: God’s grace allows me to face anything life throws at me.
• If you could have a lifetime supply of any product, what would you choose?
• What are the risks and rewards of sharing our spiritual experiences with others?
• What are some reasons God allows us to go through hardships?
• What are some appropriate ways to respond when God says “no” to our prayers?
Discuss the following quote:

“Grace must find expression in life, otherwise it is not grace.” —Karl Barth

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 this week the grace that we receive as followers of Christ. Take time to give thanks for His continued grace.
• COMMUNITY: Grace is necessary for our salvation, and it also empowers us to serve others. Consider ways you and your student may use that grace to serve others.
• CULTURE: God wants to make His grace evident through us. Pray that God would use you and your student as an example to lost friends.

Helmut Gollwitzer, An Introduction to Protestant Theology (Louisville: Westminster Press, 1982), 174.


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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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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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Christmas Conversation Starters: The Blameless Way

Posted on November 28, 2018 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: God’s Word tells about Jesus.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Psalm 119 is dedicated to explaining how the richness and depth of God’s Word impacts our daily lives. Every stanza expresses excitement praising the value of God’s Word. Psalm 119 praises the total sufficiency of God’s Word to meet every need in your life. Nothing else can claim that promise and make good on it. When we live by God’s Word we can have true and lasting Joy. The goal of this Psalm is for God’s people to admire and hunger after His Word, so that their character and lives will be transformed by it.

Concept: The Blameless Way

Preschool

Isaiah 9

LIFE POINT: Isaiah was a prophet who lived a long time ago. A prophet tells people messages from God. Isaiah wrote the messages God told him on a scroll. These messages became part of the Bible. God chose Isaiah to tell people some wonderful news. Isaiah wrote that a special child would be born. He would be God’s Son and would be born to a young woman. His name would be Jesus. Jesus would become a man and would always do what was right. Jesus would love and care for people. He would teach people about God. He would help people understand God’s rules and that God loved them. People heard or read the words Isaiah wrote on the Bible scroll. They believed the words were true. They knew Jesus would be born like God said. They waited for the birth of the special baby for many years.

LIVE IT OUT: Waiting can be hard for preschoolers. Explain that people waited many years after Isaiah told them that Jesus would be born. Plan for an Advent activity to help your child wait for Christmas.

Kids

Isaiah 7:14, 9:6, 11:1-5; Micah 5:2

LIFE POINT: Isaiah and Micah were prophets. Prophets were men who told people God’s messages. Isaiah and Micah told God’s messages and wrote them down. God told Isaiah that a special child would be born one day. God told Isaiah special names for the child. Those names would help people know what He would be like. The child would be wise. He would be strong. He would live forever. He would bring peace with God. Another time, Isaiah told this message: The Savior will be from King David’s family. He will be wise and strong. He will love God. Micah also had a message from God. He told that the special child would be born in Bethlehem.

LIVE IT OUT: Read together Isaiah 9:6. Focus on the names of Jesus. Help your child understand how each of those names apply to Jesus. Pray together, thanking God for always keeping His promises.

Students

Psalm 119:1-8, Isaiah 9

THE POINT: Following God’s Word brings true joy.
• When has good advice saved you from bad consequences?
• What does it mean to seek something with your whole heart?
• How does knowing we can be completely honest with God affect how we view His Word?
• How can we increase the influence of God’s Word in our lives?

Discuss the following quote:

“Obedience is the key to real faith.”¹—Chuck Colson

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 engage with God’s Word by rewriting passages in his or her own words.
• COMMUNITY: Encourage your student to grow this week and spend time in biblical community.
• CULTURE: A child of God finds joy in following God’s commands and living a life for Him. Discuss with your student the need to follow God’s commands in our lives.

 

¹. “211 Quotes About Obedience,” Christian Quotes [online], [accessed 1 June 2016]. Available from the Internet: http://www.christianquotes.info/quotes-by-topic/quotes-aboutobedience/#
ixzz47nHuGUMn.


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