CATEGORY ARCHIVES: Just For Parents

Conversation Starters: Jesus Transforms

Posted by Karah

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Our world is full of many “brands” of Christianity, because individuals and groups pick and choose the parts of the Bible they want to follow or interpret in their own way. Biblical Christianity, though, is just that—biblical—and calls us to obey the whole of Scripture. Jesus calls us to a higher standard, a standard not grounded in ourselves, but grounded in His loving commands meant to transform us from the inside out.

Concept: Jesus Transforms

Preschool

Matthew 2:1-12

LIFE POINT: Wise men watched the stars. They saw a new star shining brightly. This new star meant that God’s Son had been born. They wanted to see the special child and give Him gifts. The wise men followed the star to Jerusalem. They asked about the special baby. King Herod was not happy to hear about Jesus. The prophets wrote a long time ago that a special baby would be born in Bethlehem. King Herod told the wise men to go to Bethlehem. He told them to tell him where they found the baby, because he wanted to see Jesus, too. The wise men followed the star to the house where Jesus and His family lived. They bowed down and thanked God for sending Jesus. The wise men gave Jesus gifts—gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The wise men returned home a different way.

LIVE IT OUT: Remind your preschooler that the wise men knew that Jesus was a special child. With your child, talk about what makes Jesus special. Say the Bible Verse: “Thank You, God, for Jesus. Luke 2:38.”

Kids

Matthew 2:1-12

LIFE POINT: After Jesus was born, wise men came to Jerusalem. They asked, “Where is the new King of the Jews? We saw His star. We want to worship Him.” King Herod called the priests and asked them where the Messiah would be born. The priests reported that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. King Herod sent the wise men to Bethlehem. He said, “When you find the child, tell me. I want to worship Him.” The wise men followed the star until it stopped over the house where the child was. They were filled with joy! The wise men went in the house. They saw Mary and Jesus. They dropped to their knees in worship. Then the wise men gave Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Later, the wise men took a different way back to their country.

LIVE IT OUT: Does your family worship Jesus at home? The wise men worshiped Jesus by bowing down to Him and presenting Him gifts. Discuss with your child what gifts she could give to Jesus.

Students

Mark 7:5-15

THE POINT: Jesus calls us to a higher standard.
• What are a couple of your favorite family Christmas traditions?
• What are some factors that cause Christians today to neglect God’s commands?
• What might tempt people to twist God’s commands?
• How can we make sure our hearts are truly pure as opposed to only appearing to be pure? Discuss the following quote:

“You cannot make men good by law.”(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: Discuss with your student ways that you can each grow by showing a greater love for others this Christmas. Think beyond just actions and consider your heart, mind, and soul too.
• COMMUNITY: Loving God also means loving other people. Pray with your student for sincere hearts that love Jesus by serving others. Consider ways you can express his love to those in need this winter.
• CULTURE: God looks at our hearts. Discuss with your student ways that you can show lost people that pleasing God is a matter of the heart.

(1) C. S. Lewis, “C.S. Lewis Quote-Make Men Good,” Christian Quotes [online], [accessed 23 May 2017]. Available from the Internet: https://www.christianquotes.info/images/c-s-lewis-quote-makemengood/#axzz4iaobHv5i.


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Conversation Starters: Jesus Saves

Posted by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: Jesus was born to help people know God.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: The story of Christmas—the birth of Jesus—is a familiar one to so many. Familiarity may cause many people to lose sight of what God accomplished with that event and the reason Jesus came. Unfortunately many people leave Jesus in the manger, and fail to look beyond His birth to discover that God came to earth to bring us to Himself.

Concept: Jesus Saves

Preschool

Luke 2:1-20

LIFE POINT: The leader of their country decided to count all the people in the land. While waiting for Jesus to be born, Mary and Joseph went to Bethlehem, Joseph’s hometown, to be counted. Bethlehem was crowded with people. Mary and Joseph could not find a place to stay. They found a place where they could rest. That night Jesus was born. Mary wrapped Him in cloths and laid Him in a manger. Nearby, shepherds were watching their sheep. An angel appeared and said, “Do not be afraid. I have good news for you! A baby was born in Bethlehem. He is God’s Son. You will find Him lying in a manger.” The shepherds hurried to Bethlehem. They found Baby Jesus lying in the manger, just as the angel had said. The shepherds told everyone what they had seen and heard. They thanked God for Baby Jesus.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child focus on Jesus during the Christmas season. Read the Christmas story from Luke 2. Read from children’s books, like The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd Jones, about Jesus’ birth. God sent Jesus to earth, and Jesus was born.

Kids

Luke 2:1-20

LIFE POINT: Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem to be counted. In Bethlehem, Baby Jesus was born. Mary wrapped Him in soft cloths. She laid Him in a manger, a feeding trough, because there was no room for them in the inn. Nearby, shepherds watched their sheep. An angel of God appeared. They were afraid! The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I tell you good news for all people. Today a Savior has been born in Bethlehem. You will find the baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly, many angels appeared. They praised God, saying, “Glory to God in the highest. Peace on earth to those He favors!” The shepherds hurried to Bethlehem. They found Mary, Joseph, and the baby. The shepherds told others about the angel’s message. Everyone who heard it was amazed!

LIVE IT OUT: Jesus was born! Christmas is the day we celebrate that God sent Jesus. Because Jesus was born, died, and rose again, we can choose to believe in Jesus and have eternal life with God. Celebrate with your family by singing your favorite Christmas carols that are about the birth of the Savior.

Students

Luke 2:8-11, 15-18

THE POINT: Jesus was born to bring us into a relationship with God.
• What would you love to add to your celebration of Christmas?
• When have you experienced God’s perfect timing?
• What do these verses teach us about the purpose of Jesus’ birth?
• What steps can we take to glorify God during the Christmas season? Discuss the following quote:

“I want no Christmas without a burden for lost souls, a message for sinners, a heart to bring in the lost sheep so dear to the Shepherd.” (1) —John R. Rice

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: When the shepherds heard the news of Jesus, they went straight to see Him and shared the news with the world. How can your family share this same good news with the world today?
• COMMUNITY: During times of pursuing Jesus, how will you and your family share that passion with other believers?
• CULTURE: Challenge your student to consider how our Christmas celebrations should look different and how you can be lights in the darkness this season.

(1) John Rice, “36 John R. Rice Quotes,” Christian Quotes [online], [accessed 19 May 2017]. Available from the Internet: https://www.christianquotes.info/quotes-by-author/john-r-ricequotes/#axzz4hvckTNH7.


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Conversation Starters: Jesus Rules

Posted by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: Jesus gives people hope for the future.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: If you’ve ever been in an area hit by a flood, tornado, or hurricane, you know you can only do so much to protect yourself. The forces of nature are powerful, but Jesus is more so—and He is present with His followers in everything they face. Mary, the mother of Jesus, also had to trust the Lord when her world turned upside down. During any storm, the Lord is with us, and He invites us to trust Him.

Concept: Jesus Rules

Preschool

Luke 1:39-56

LIFE POINT: An angel had told Mary that she was chosen to be the mother of God’s Son. Mary went to visit an older relative named Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary speak, Elizabeth knew something special was going to happen to Mary. Elizabeth told Mary how special she was because of the baby she was going to have. Mary sang a praise song to God. She sang, “You do great things. You are kind to all people. You keep your promises.” Mary thanked God for the promises He had given. Mary knew God would keep the promises He told her. Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months, and then she returned to her home in the town of Nazareth.

LIVE IT OUT: Christmas is a happy time to celebrate with your preschooler. Locate some happy Christmas songs you can sing with your child. Enjoy singing them together in the car or at home. Tell your child that Mary was happy and sang a song to God.

Kids

Luke 1:39-56

LIFE POINT: Mary traveled to see Elizabeth, part of her family. The angel Gabriel had told Mary that Elizabeth was going to have a baby, even though Elizabeth was old. Mary called out a greeting to Elizabeth. As soon as Elizabeth heard the sound, the baby inside her jumped! God’s Spirit filled Elizabeth. Elizabeth said to Mary, “You are the most blessed of all women. Your child will be blessed! How wonderful that the mother of my Lord has come to me! When I heard your voice, the baby inside me jumped for joy! You are blessed because God will do what He said!” Mary began to praise God. She told of the greatness of God. She told how God had been good to her. She thanked God for what He had already done and what He would do. Mary stayed for three months. Then Mary went home.

LIVE IT OUT: Does your family celebrate Jesus during Christmas? Discuss with your child ways to make Jesus the focus of all you do during the season. Read an Advent study together, like Kids Read Truth, or think of ways to show the love of Jesus to those less fortunate.

Students

Mark 4:35-41

THE POINT: You can trust Jesus in the storm.
• What’s the craziest weather you’ve ever experienced?
• Why are we often surprised when we encounter difficult circumstances?
• How do the trials of life compare and contrast with a physical storm?
• What lessons can we learn from Jesus’ calming of the storm? Discuss the following quote:

“God brings storms into your life to show His strength and to gain glory from His providence.” (1)—Paul Chappell

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: Challenge your student to name examples of how God has proven to be faithful to him or her in the past. Share some examples from your own life.
• COMMUNITY: Discuss with your student people who may be encouraging in his or her faith journey. If they do not have someone to fill this role, pray with your student for the right person to come along. Pray that your student would also fulfill this role for someone else and encourage others in their faith.
• CULTURE: How can you help your student clearly see the blessings of living by faith when surround by worldly concerns?

(1) Paul Chappell, “24 Paul Chappell Quotes,” Christian Quotes [online], [accessed 21 May 2017]. Available from the Internet: https://www.christianquotes.info/quotes-by-author/paul-chappellquotes/#axzz4hvckTNH7


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Conversation Starters: Jesus Teaches

Posted by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: Families are part of God’s plan for people.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: The Bible gets a lot of respect in America—at least superficial respect. Eighty percent of adults consider the Bible a holy book, but few read it. Even among Christians, only 11 percent read the Bible daily, and 34 percent rarely read it. Many of us pay lip service to the Bible but miss out on the joy and abundant life that comes from applying its truth to our lives.

Concept: Jesus Teaches

Preschool

Luke 1:26-38; Matthew 1:18-24

LIFE POINT: Mary was a young woman who obeyed God. She was going to be married to Joseph. God sent an angel to talk to Mary. The angel said, “Do not be afraid. God has chosen you to be the mother of a special baby, God’s Son.” He told her that this was part of God’s plan. Mary did not understand. The angel said, “God can do things that people think are impossible.” Mary said, “I will do what God wants.” One night when Joseph was sleeping, God sent an angel to him in a dream. The angel said, “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 said. Joseph married Mary. Joseph and Mary waited for the special baby, Jesus, to be born.

LIVE IT OUT: Remind your child that God chose Mary and Joseph to be Jesus’ family. Talk about your family and how members cares for others. Help your child make a book of family members by drawing on individual sheets of paper and stapling the pages together.

Kids

Luke 1:26-38; Matthew 1:18-24

LIFE POINT: Mary, who lived in the town of Nazareth, was visited by an angel. “Be happy,” the angel said. “God is with you.” Mary wondered what kind of greeting this was. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. You will have a son and you will call Him Jesus. He will be God’s Son.” Mary wondered how this could happen. The angel said, “God’s Spirit will come to you. The one born to you will be the Son of God.” Mary answered that she would obey God. Joseph wondered what to do. He knew he was not the father of Mary’s baby. As he slept, an angel came to him. “Joseph, don’t be afraid to marry Mary. Her baby is God’s own Son. You are to name Him Jesus. He will save His people from their sins.” Joseph took Mary for his wife. When the baby was born, Joseph and Mary named Him Jesus.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child memorize the Bible verse, Matthew 1:21. This verse contains the angel’s words to Joseph. God committed Jesus to the family of Joseph. Help your child understand that God chose a family for Jesus because that is His plan for all children.

Students

Mark 4:1-9

THE POINT: Obeying Jesus’ teachings leads to productive living.
• What’s the best way for you to learn something new?
• What are the benefits and challenges of using stories to reveal truth?
• Where do you see each of these soils represented in our culture?
• What kinds of “fruit” should be evident in our lives when we obey Jesus’ teaching? Discuss the following quote:

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.(1)—Robert Louis Stephenson

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: Take the time this week to ask your student how he or she is rooting out bad habits, while strengthening good habits to grow better in his or her relationship with Christ.
• COMMUNITY: Discuss ways you and your student can purposefully plant seeds of discipleship in your community this week.
• CULTURE: When spreading seeds of discipleship, we have to reach out to people around us and connect in ways that make sense to them. Discuss how you and your student can better relate to the culture around you and spread the gospel.

(1) Robert Louis Stephenson, “Robert Louis Stephenson Quotes,” Brainy Quote [online], [accessed 23 May 2017]. Available from the Internet: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/r/robertloui101230.html.


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Conversation Starters: Jesus Provides

Posted by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: The Bible tells about Jesus’s care for people.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Many people relegate Jesus to solely the spiritual realm—as though the spiritual life is separate from all other areas of life. Jesus saves the whole person. He seeks to help us and sustain us in every area of every life—and we can trust Him to do so. As Jesus meets our every need, we can be a conduit of His care in the lives of others.

Concept: Jesus Provides

Preschool

LIFE POINT: Josiah was 8 years old when he became king. He loved God and wanted to obey Him. Josiah became a man and wanted to obey God. The temple (church) needed to be cleaned and repaired. King Josiah told one of his helpers, “Give money to carpenters, builders, and stone masons to repair the temple.” The workers found a Bible scroll. The worker gave the scroll to the king’s helper. The helper read words from the Bible scroll. When Josiah heard the words, he was upset. “The words of this Bible scroll tell what God wants us to do,” Josiah said. “We have not been doing these things.” King Josiah called the people to the temple. The people listened to the words from the Bible scroll. Josiah promised he would do the things God said. The people promised God they would do what God said, too.

LIFE POINT: As Thanksgiving approaches, use this time to talk to your child about ways Jesus has provided for him or her. Use resources like the Jesus Storybook Bible to help guide your conversations while using Bible verses.

Kids

LIFE POINT: Josiah became king when he was eight years old. When Josiah was older, he told his helper, “Tell the priest give the money the people have given for the temple. Give money to the builders. Buy wood and stone for the repairs.” When the helper met the priest, the priest said, “I found the book of the law here in the temple!” He gave the it to the helper. King Josiah listened to what was written in the book. He was sad and tore his clothes! Josiah realized that he and the people had not obeyed God. King Josiah tore down the altars where people prayed to other gods. The law said the people must celebrate the Passover. This feast had not been done for many years! King Josiah led the Passover feast. He turned to God more than any other king before him.

LIVE IT OUT: Provide several different translations of the Bible and use them to read the verse, Psalm 136:1. Help your child memorize his favorite translation of the verse. Ask your child to list one thing each day this week that he or she is thankful for.

Students

Mark 6:34-44

THE POINT: Jesus cares and meets the needs in our lives.
• What was something provided for you as a child that you didn’t appreciate at the time?
• Where do you see evidence of God’s compassion in the world today?
• How do we balance the importance of meeting physical needs and spiritual needs?
• Where do we have opportunities to participate in God’s provision for others? Discuss the following quote:

“Hope is the poor man’s bread.”(1)—George Herbert

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 thanking God for the good things and the blessings He has provided.
• COMMUNITY: Begin by talking about ways God has used someone recently in your life to meet a need. Then consider ways you and your family can meet the needs of others in your community leading up to Thanksgiving.
• CULTURE: Discuss ways you may be trusting in others or even yourself above trusting in God to provide for your needs.

(1) George Herbert, “Entire Quotes Database,” Christian Quotes [online], [accessed 23 May 2017]. Available from the Internet: https://www.christianquotes.info/search-for-a-quote/?listpage=2&instance=2#participants-list-2.


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Conversation Starters: Jesus Calls

Posted by Karah

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Social media gives us the opportunity to follow individuals and groups. By following them, we can see into their lives or know what they’re promoting—but we can do so only from a distance. Jesus invites us to follow Him in a far more intimate way. Following Jesus will require us to change directions, but the journey we take with Him leads us to abundant and eternal life.

Concept: Jesus Calls

Preschool

Isaiah 6-7; Micah 5:2-4

LIFE POINT: Long before Jesus was born, God had a plan. God planned to send His Son to be born. God told prophets to tell the people about His plan to send a special baby. Prophets were men who told others what God wanted them to know. Isaiah was a prophet. God chose Isaiah to tell people the wonderful news. Isaiah wrote that God promised to send a very special child to be born. The special baby would be God’s Son. Another prophet who lived a long time ago was named Micah. Micah also wrote about Jesus. He wrote that God’s Son would be born in Bethlehem. People heard or read the words that the prophets wrote. They knew that God was planning to send His Son. They waited for the day that God would keep His promise.

LIVE IT OUT: The Christmas season is coming up, so research ways you can celebrate waiting for Christmas with your family. Find an Advent devotional book to use each day or week of the Advent season, which begins December 1st. Kids Read Truth is a great resource.

Kids

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

LIFE POINT: When Isaiah was in the temple worshiping, he saw God on a throne. His robe filled the temple! Angels stood around God. They worshiped Him. Isaiah heard God ask, “Whom shall I send? Who will go for Me.” Isaiah answered, “Here I am. Send me!” Then God gave Isaiah a message for the people. Isaiah was to tell the message to everyone. Isaiah went to the king with God’s message. The king and the people were very afraid. An enemy army was coming. They did not believe they could win the battle. Isaiah said, “The enemy will not win. God is with you. God will give you a sign. A virgin will have a son. He will be Immanuel.” Another time, God gave a different message to the prophet Micah. Micah told the message to others. He said that the Savior would be born in Bethlehem.

LIVE IT OUT: The Christmas season is coming up, so research ways you can celebrate waiting for Christmas with your family. Find an Advent devotional book to use each day or week of the Advent season, which begins December 1st. Kids Read Truth is a great resource.

Students

Mark 1:14-20

THE POINT: Following Jesus is a life-changing adventure and you are invited.
• What great adventure is on your bucket list?
• Why is it essential to believe and also repent to enter the kingdom of God?
• What are some of the ways Jesus calls people today?
• What does Jesus’ phrase “Follow Me’’ suggest about the way we’re to relate to Him?
Discuss the following quote:

“Sin gets its power by persuading me to believe that I will be happier if I follow it. The power of all temptation is the prospect that it will make me happier.”(1) —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 with your student ways that he or she has been an example of following Jesus. Then determine how you can each grow in following Jesus this week
• COMMUNITY: Encourage your student to develop relationships with friends that will help them to become better followers of Jesus.
• CULTURE: Pray with your student this week for the strength and courage to be an example of devotion to Christ in a worldly culture.

(1)John Piper, “50 John Piper Quotes,” Christian Quotes, [accessed 15 May 2017]. Available from the Internet: https://www.christianquotes.info/quotes- by-author/john-piper-quotes/#axzz4hYC7eseG.


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Conversation Starters: Battle Plan

Posted by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: Trusting Jesus as Lord and Savior is God’s plan for people.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Everybody encounters temptation, but what may be a strong temptation for one person may not tempt another person. Satan knows us well enough to know what he can use in his attempts to get us to sin. We might assume that, because a certain temptation feels unique to us, no one knows what we’re going through. However, Jesus knows. He faced the same types of temptation we face. We can stand against temptation in the same way He did.

Concept: Battle Plan

Preschool

1 Samuel 16

LIFE POINT: Jesse had eight sons. His youngest son, David, was a shepherd. David helped his father by taking care of the sheep. Sometimes, while watching the sheep, David would play music on his harp. Saul was the king of the country where Jesse and his sons lived. King Saul was not happy. His helpers said, “Let’s look for someone to play the harp. The music will help you feel better.” King Saul thought this was a good idea. One servant told King Saul about the shepherd who played the harp. King Saul sent his helpers to Jesse. The king’s helpers said to Jesse, “King Saul needs your son David. David can help the king.” Jesse packed bread and other food on a donkey for David to take to the king. David began to help King Saul. When the king felt upset, David played his harp. The music helped King Saul feel better.

LIVE IT OUT: Tell your child that God made him special and he can help others. Help him think of a neighbor or friend who needs help. Decide on a way to help that person; then follow through.

Kids

1 Samuel 16

LIFE POINT: God spoke to Samuel. “Get the oil. I have chosen a king from Jesse’s sons. I am sending you to Bethlehem. ” Samuel went to Jesse in Bethlehem. He saw Jesse’s oldest son. “This must be the one God has chosen,” Samuel said. “No,” God said. “Do not think about how he looks. You cannot see what I see. I can see what he thinks and feels.” After Samuel had seen seven sons, he still had not found the new king. Jesse sent for David, youngest, a shepherd. Samuel poured oil on his head. From that day on, God’s spirit was with David. Soon after, David came to play the harp for King Saul when he did not feel well. The music made the king feel better. The king liked David. Saul kept David stay with him to play the harp.

LIVE IT OUT: Encourage your child by telling her that God has a plan for each person’s life. God’s plan for every person is to trust Jesus as Savior.

Students

THE POINT: We can follow Jesus’ example in defeating spiritual attacks.
• Where do you turn when you need a foolproof plan?
• What have you found helpful in preparing to face physical temptations?
• Why is it dangerous to test God?
• What can we learn from Jesus’ example about overcoming temptation Discuss the following quote:

“Many deceptions only appeal to us because there is something inside us that ‘wants’ to believe them. They are seductive because of darkness and wrong motives in our own lives. We must search our hearts and root these out.”(1) —Andrew Strom

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 over any difficult trials he or she is facing. Pray for the strength to live in obedience to God.
• COMMUNITY: Jesus faced the cross alone, but we have the church and other Christ-followers as support during trials. Discuss with your student any friends that he or she has that may be in need of support and encouragement.
• CULTURE: The desire to have things now often clashes with God’s standards. How can you and your family live this week in a way that demonstrates that your satisfaction comes not through worldly things, but through God’s plan for your life?

(1)“28 Quotes About Deception,” Christian Quotes, [accessed 22 February 2017]. Available from the Internet: https://www.christianquotes.info/quotes-by-topic/quotes-about-deception/#axzz4ZRhmyfA5.


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Conversation Starters: Jesus Cares

Posted by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: The worship of God brings healing to the wounded.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: When we experience pain or hurt, we turn to doctors and pharmacists. After all, they have remedies for much of what ails us. But we all experience pain and hurt—physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual—that are beyond the scope of science. We need Jesus. In all things, we are to come to Jesus, because He brings healing we can’t imagine. We can trust Jesus to take care of us.

Conversation Starters: Jesus Cares

Preschool

Matthew 2:1-12

LIFE POINT: Wise men watched the stars. They saw a new star shining brightly. This new star meant that God’s Son had been born. They wanted to see the special child and give Him gifts. The wise men followed the star to Jerusalem. They asked about the special baby. King Herod was not happy to hear about Jesus. The prophets wrote a long time ago that a special baby would be born in Bethlehem. King Herod told the wise men to go to Bethlehem. He told them to tell him where they found the baby, because he wanted to see Jesus, too. The wise men followed the star to the house where Jesus and His family lived. They bowed down and thanked God for sending Jesus. The wise men gave Jesus gifts—gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The wise men returned home a different way.

LIVE IT OUT: Remind your preschooler that the wise men knew that Jesus was a special child. With your child, talk about what makes Jesus special. Say the Bible Verse: “Thank You, God, for Jesus. Luke 2:38.”

Kids

Matthew 2:1-12

LIFE POINT: After Jesus was born, wise men came to Jerusalem. They asked,
“Where is the new King of the Jews? We saw His star. We want to worship Him.” King Herod called the priests and asked them where the Messiah would be born. The priests reported that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. King Herod sent the wise men to Bethlehem. He said, “When you find the child, tell me. I want to worship Him.” The wise men followed the star until it stopped over the house where the child was. They were filled with joy! The wise men went in the house. They saw Mary and Jesus. They dropped to their knees in worship. Then the wise men gave Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Later, the wise men took a different way back to their country.

LIVE IT OUT: Does your family worship Jesus at home? The wise men worshiped Jesus by bowing down to Him and presenting Him gifts. Discuss with your child what gifts they could give to Jesus.

Students

Mark 5:22-24, 35-43

THE POINT: Jesus brings healing to our lives.
• What are some home remedies you rely on when you’re sick?
• What are some alternatives we typically pursue before turning to Jesus with our needs?
• How can we express trust in God even when problems get worse instead of better?
• What situation in your life is requiring you to trust in God and wait on His timing? Discuss the following quote:

“Health is a good thing; but sickness is far better, if it leads us to God.”(1)
—J. C. Ryle

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 cultivate a closer relationship with Jesus. How is he or she demonstrating trust in Him?
• COMMUNITY: Meet with a student leader in your church to discover how your student can become more involved and ways he or she can meet the needs of others.
• CULTURE: Following Jesus takes courage and for our students standing against a worldly culture may come with costs. Pray with your student for the strength to stand in the face of criticism and doubts.

(1)“20 Quotes About Illness,” Christian Quotes [online], [accessed 23 May 2017]. Available from the Internet: https://www.christianquotes.info/quotes-by-topic/quotes-about-illness/#axzz4iaLtd8kc.


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Conversation Starters: Fear Not

Posted by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: Jesus loves and helps people.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: When we read the headlines, we can easily get the impression that evil is winning. Evil is rampant, and unfortunately, evil will even present itself as good. We can still recognize evil for what it is because the truth will always line up with Jesus Christ. Evil can be deceptive, but we can avoid deception by knowing the truth—and we know the truth when we know Jesus.

Conversation Starters: Fear Not

Preschool

Genesis 13

LIFE POINT: Abram had a large family and many animals. He had helpers to take care of his animals. Lot, Abram’s nephew, had many animals, too. One day Lot’s helpers began arguing with Abram’s helpers. There was not enough grass and water for all the animals. Abram heard the helpers fighting. He knew it was wrong for his helpers and Lot’s helpers to be arguing. Abram knew that God wants families to get along and work together. Abram told Lot to choose the land where he wanted to live. Abram said that he would take the other land. This way they would both have plenty of grass for their animals. Lot chose the grassy land by the river. He moved his family, helpers, and animals to the land next to the river. Abram took his family, helpers, and animals and moved to another part of the land. God promised the land to Abram’s family forever.

LIVE IT OUT: Look at a family photo album with your child. Take time to help your child remember family members they do not see often. Remind your child that God loves families. Thank God for your family and for God’s love.

Kids

Genesis 13

LIFE POINT: Abram, his wife Sarai, and his relative Lot left Egypt. Abram took his family to a place where he had worshiped God. The land did not have enough food and water for all the people and all the animals. Lot’s servants and Abram’s servants argued with each other. Abram said to Lot, “Our servants should not argue. We are a family! We have the whole land before us. If you go to the right, I will go to the left. If you go to the left, I will go to the right.” Lot saw the Jordan Valley. It was green and beautiful. Lot chose the valley and moved there. God spoke to Abram. “Look around you. Look in every direction. I will give you a big family. I will give the land to your family. Walk from one end of your land to the other!” So Abram moved and built an altar to worship God.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child deal with problems with other family members. Discuss the problem and help your child think of solutions. Encourage your child by reminding her that God made her able to think and solve problems.

Students

1 John 4:1-6

THE POINT: We don’t need to fear evil forces when we’re in Christ.
• What are some of the most unusual phobias or fears you’ve heard about?
• Why is simply being aware of existing dangers so important?
• What practical steps can you take to discern between false teaching and God’s truth?
• How would you describe the two opposing spirits in the world today Discuss the following quote:

“Fear not that thy life shall come to an end, but rather fear that it shall never have a beginning.” (1)—John Henry Newman

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: Take time to study some verses this week with your student in which we see God as a powerful, conquering King. (See Psalm 95:3, Psalm 147:5, Joshua 22:22, and Nehemiah 9:32 to start)
• COMMUNITY: Your student is facing many fears and challenges that are different from the ones you faced in school. Pray with him or her for the power to overcome these fears and experience the power of the gospel.
• CULTURE: There are two sides fighting for power in our world. Jesus has already overcome the world, so how can He use you and your student to gain victory?

(1)“John Henry Newman > Quotes > Quotable Quote,” Goodreads, [accessed 22 February 2017]. Available from the Internet: http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/562528-fear-not-that-thy-life-shallcometo-an-end


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Conversation Starters: The Great Dragon

Posted by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: Jesus was present at creation.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Satan is real. We cannot blame our sin and problems on him, but he is ever at work to keep evil strong in the world and to encourage our involvement with sin. Christians are wise to stay alert to the devil’s work, since he is ever scheming to pull us down. The Bible presents a clear picture that Satan will not prevail in his evil. He is defeated by Christ, and he is defeated in our lives as we walk with Christ.

Preschool

Genesis 1:1 – 2:3

LIFE POINT: In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. He named the light day and the darkness night. That was the first day. On the second day, God separated the water and the sky. Then God gathered the water into one place so that land would appear. He called the land earth and the water seas. God made plants and trees to grow on land. That was the third day. On the fourth day, God made the sun, moon, and stars. Then God filled the water with many kinds of living things, and He filled the air with birds. That was the fifth day. On the sixth day, God said, “Let the earth have all kinds of animals,” and it was done. Finally, God made a man and a woman. God looked at everything He made and saw that it was good. On the seventh day, God rested.

LIVE IT OUT: Young children have a hard time distinguishing the things God made from things that are man-made. Take time to point out plants, animals, rocks, and other things God made. Thank God for His beautiful world.

Kids

Genesis 1:1 – 2:3

LIFE POINT: In the beginning, God made the heavens and the earth. At first, the earth had no shape. God said, “Let there be light.” God called the light day. He called the dark night. God said, “Let there be sky between the waters.” And it was so. God said, “Let the water under the sky gather. Let dry land appear.” God called the water seas. He called the land earth. God said, “Let there be plants with seed.” And plants appeared! Then God spoke and the sun, moon, and stars appeared! God spoke and there were living animals in the water and sky.” God said, “Let living animals of all kinds be on the earth.” And it happened! God saw that all He had made was good. Then God made people. God made men. God made women. God saw all He had made. It was very good! God rested on the seventh day.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child praise God for His creation. Read together Psalm 104, David’s psalm of praise to God for His creation. Help your child write his own praise for God’s creation.

Students

THE POINT: Satan fights against us, but we can stand in Christ.
• What monster or fictional villain best represents evil to you?
• Where do you see evidence of Satan’s deceptive work in the world today?
• What accusations does Satan bring against us?
• What does the gospel have to say about Satan’s accusations? Discuss the following quote:

“The more useful we are to God, the more we will be attacked by the enemy.”(1) —Zac Poonen

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: Create a list with your student of things he or she can do to pursue Christ and grow closer to Jesus by overcoming sin in his or her life.
• COMMUNITY: Darkness isn’t overcome alone. Help your student to overcome any battles he or she is currently facing with encouragement and prayer.
• CULTURE: Discuss with your student ways you see darkness affecting the world and even their friends. How can you help your student to see the light of Christ and share it with the world?

(1) Zac Poonen, “33 Zac Poonen Quotes,” Christian Quotes, [accessed 21 February 2017]. Available from the Internet: https://www.christianquotes.info/quotes-by-author/zac-poonenquotes/#axzz4ZMLHuaWC.


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