CATEGORY ARCHIVES: Just For Parents

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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Conversation Starters: Hannah- Trust-filled Prayer

Posted on November 15, 2018 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: Prayer helps people know Jesus.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: During the Thanksgiving season, our thoughts rightfully turn to the things for which we can thank God. But what about those areas of life where thanksgiving is hard? Hannah was a woman who did not resign herself to the hardship she faced. She was despondent, but she sought God’s help and trusted Him with the answer. Thanksgiving and praise can flow from our trust that, regardless of what we face, God is with us and is working on our behalf.

Bible Character: Hannah

Preschool

2 Kings 4:1-7

LIFE POINT: Elisha traveled and told people messages from God. One day a woman called to Elisha, “My husband has died. I owe money to others. I have no money.” Elisha asked her what she had. She only had a jar of oil. Elisha told the woman to borrow empty containers from her neighbors. She should go in her house, close the door, and start pouring oil into the empty containers. The woman and her sons got many containers. She began to pour the oil from her jar. Her sons kept bringing her containers, and she kept pouring oil into them. When all the containers were full, the jar the woman had been pouring from was finally empty. Elisha told the woman to sell the oil and pay what she owed. She would have enough money left to live on. God helped the woman have what she needed.

LIVE IT OUT: Draw a large O in the center of a sheet of paper. Give your child crayons, markers, or stickers to decorate the paper. Say: “Obey starts with o. You can obey God.”

Kids

2 Kings 4:1-7

LIFE POINT: A widow came to Elisha. “My husband is dead. I cannot pay my bills. So, people are coming to take my children. They will make my sons their slaves.” “What do you have in the house?” Elisha asked. “Only a little oil,” said the widow. Elisha said, “Go home. Get as many jars as you can. Ask your neighbors. Get lots of jars! Go into your house with your sons. Close the door. Pour oil into the containers.” The widow did as Elisha said. She closed the door. Her sons kept bringing jars to her. She kept pouring the oil from the little oil she started with! She filled many jars. When there were no more jars, the oil stopped. Elisha told the widow, “Sell the oil. Pay what you owe. You and your sons will have enough money to live on.”

LIVE IT OUT: Why should we obey God? Talk with your child about how he would answer this question. Help your child compose a prayer, asking God to help him be obedient.

Students

1 Samuel 1:9-28; 2:1-3

THE POINT: Christ-centered living chooses prayer, not hopelessness.
• When have you been persistent in asking for something you really wanted?
• What are some ways people deal with deep disappointment or unresolved pain?
• How have God’s responses to your prayers shaped your understanding of Him?
• What are some practical ways to cultivate a lifestyle of gratitude?

Discuss the following quote:

“When we make self the end of prayer, it is not worship but self-seeking.” ¹ —Thomas Manton

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 together with your student every night this week and determine ways you can each improve your prayer life.
• COMMUNITY: Share prayer requests and concerns with your student. Create a combined list and commit to praying for those names throughout the week.
• CULTURE: When life becomes tough, even non-believing friends may reach to God in pray. Discuss with your student how we can use these opportunities to share the truth about prayer and the gospel with our friends.

 

¹. Thomas Manton, The Complete Works of Thomas Manton, Vol. 4 (London: James Nisbet & Co, 1871) 339.


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Conversation Starters: John the Baptist- Single-Minded Focus

Posted on October 31, 2018 by Karah

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Self-centered living defines this world. The rationale for many is that, if this life is all there is, you should do all you can to enjoy it for yourself. Exalt yourself and try to give yourself significance. But this life is not all there is, and we are not the centers of our own little universe. It’s all about Jesus Christ. When we encounter Christ and choose Him over ourselves, we truly find significance.

Bible Character: John the Baptist

Preschool

1 Kings 18:1-2, 41-46

LIFE POINT: No rain had fallen for a long time. Plants would not grow. People and animals needed food to eat and water to drink. God told Elijah, “I will send rain. Go and tell the king.” After Elijah told the king, Elijah and his helper went up to the top of a mountain. Elijah talked to God. Elijah asked God to send rain. Elijah told his helper to go and look toward the sea. The helper
looked but saw no clouds.“Go back,” Elijah said. One, two, three, four, five, six times, Elijah told his helper to look. On the seventh time, Elijah’s helper saw a very small cloud out over the sea. It was about the size of a man’s hand. Elijah knew God had heard his prayer. Soon there were more dark clouds in the sky. The wind began to blow. Rain began to fall. The rain fell just as God had promised.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child learn to pray. Let her hear you pray. Offer opportunities for her to pray. Instead of memorized prayers, encourage your child to use her own words to talk to God.

Kids

1 Kings 19:1-8

LIFE POINT: The king told the queen that Elijah had called on God and God sent fire down from heaven. The prophets of the idol Baal were dead. The queen was angry! She sent a message to Elijah. The message warned Elijah that she would find him and kill him. Elijah was afraid. He ran away and traveled for a day in the wilderness. He was tired. He sat under a tree and prayed to die.
Elijah went to sleep under the tree. An angel woke him. The angel said, “Get up and eat.” Elijah saw a loaf of bread and a jug of water. He ate and drank. Then he went back to sleep! The angel came back. He woke Elijah again. “Get up and eat. If you don’t, the trip may be too hard for you.” Elijah got up. He ate and drank. Elijah felt stronger. In fact, he was able to walk for 40 days and 40 nights! He walked to the mountain of God.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child think of times she is afraid. Talk about what she can do when she is afraid—say a prayer or recite a Bible verse. Help her memorize Psalm 46:1. This verse will assure her that God has the power to protect her.

Students

John 1:26-34; 3:26-30

THE POINT: Christ-centered living chooses to exalt Christ, not self.
• If you could be a spokesperson for any product, what would it be?
• How does our culture determine who is important or worthy of attention?
• What are some key moments that have shaped your understanding of Jesus?
• What are some symptoms of a life that is self-focused?

Discuss the following quote:

“John the Baptist never performed any miracles. Yet, he was greater than any of the Old Testament prophets.” ¹ —Leonard Ravenhill

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 in which he or she can decrease self in order to make more room for Christ. Pray daily that your student would allow Christ to increase in his or her life.
• COMMUNITY: Ensure that your student has an accountability partner. If not, help him or her find a friend to fill this role.
• CULTURE: God has called us to impact people for the kingdom. Create a list of ways you and your student can be an expression of who God has made you to be based on your personality, style, and gifts.

 

¹. Leonard Ravenhill, “Leonard Ravenhill Quotes,” AZ Quotes, [accessed 6 March 2017]. Available from the Internet: http://www.azquotes.com/quote/670194.


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Conversation Starters: Barnabas- Ongoing Encouragement

Posted on October 24, 2018 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: People can be encouraged by God’s love through Jesus.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: No one likes to go it alone. We want to know someone has our back or is standing with us. We carry out our responsibilities better when someone is encouraging us. In the Book of Acts, Barnabas was just such an encourager. He modeled for us how we can positively impact others through a Christ-centered lifestyle of encouragement.

Bible Character: Barnabas

Preschool

1 Kings 17:8-24

LIFE POINT: No rain had fallen in a long time. God told Elijah that it would not rain for a long time. God told Elijah to go to a town. There, a woman would give him food and water. When Elijah got to the town, a woman was gathering sticks to build a fire. “Would you bring me some water?” Elijah asked. “And please bring me a piece of bread, too.” The woman said, “I only have a little bit of flour and oil. I was going to make bread for my son and myself.” Elijah said, “Go home and make some bread for me. Then make some bread for you and your son. You will have enough flour and oil until God sends rain.” Every day the woman made bread for Elijah, herself, and her son. The flour and oil were not used up, just as Elijah had said. God took care of Elijah, the woman, and her son.

LIVE IT OUT: Review the Bible story with your child. Talk about ways God cares for your family. Help your child find magazine or catalog pictures of things God provides and glue them to a paper. Thank God for His care.

Kids

1 Kings 17:8-24

LIFE POINT: God told Elijah to go to the city. “I told a widow there to take care of you,” God said. Elijah stood by the city gate. He saw the widow. She was picking up sticks of wood. He called to her. “Please give me some water and bread.” The woman said, “I have nothing baked. I have only a little flour and oil. I am getting sticks to make a fire. Then I will bake our food. Then we will die.” Elijah said, “Don’t be afraid. Do what you planned, but first give me a little bread. God said that your flour jar will not get empty. Your oil jug will not run dry until God sends rain.” The widow did what Elijah told her to do. Then she and those in her house had food for many days. The flour jar did not get empty. The oil jar did not run dry. God kept His promise.

LIVE IT OUT: Talk about ways God cares for your family and write them down on paper. After each statement write the words of Psalm 86:15 to create a litany. Read the litany during a family worship time.

Students

Acts 4:36-37; 9:26-27; 11:19-26

THE POINT: Christ-centered living chooses encouragement, not criticism.

• What nicknames have you been called over the years?
• How did Barnabas’s actions in this passage encourage others?
• Who has encouraged your spiritual growth over the years?
• Why is encouragement a necessary element in the church?

Discuss the following quote:

“I would go into the deeps a hundred times to cheer a downcast spirit: it is good for me to have been afflicted that I might know how to speak a word in season to one that is weary.” 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: Ask your student if there are any areas in which he or she needs encouragement. Then determine if there is a specific prayer that your student can pray each day to gather encouragement by forming a deeper relationship with Christ.
• COMMUNITY: Discuss with your student ways that your family can use your talents, skills, and resources to encourage others.
• CULTURE: Our world is not known as being a place that encourages others. How can your family stand against the stream by acting as encouragers?

 

¹. Charles Spurgeon, The Soul Winner: How to Lead Sinners to the Saviour (New York: Scripture Press, 2015).


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Conversation Starters: Ruth- All in Commitment

Posted on October 17, 2018 by Karah

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Culture often presents a skewed idea of commitment. People have no problem expressing their loyalty—or even love—to others, but if those relationships encounter
difficulty or something more appealing comes along, they quickly transfer their loyalty. In other words, their faithfulness and commitment are anything but faithful and committed!. The Bible describes the love of God, though, as a faithful, committed love. As His children, then, we were to relate to others with commitment and loyalty.

Bible Character: Ruth

Preschool

2 Samuel 5-8

LIFE POINT: David became king over all of Israel. When some people (the Philistines) heard that David was king of Israel, they decided to fight against him. David talked to God. He asked God, “Should I fight against the Philistines? Will you help me?” God told David to fight the Philistines. God helped the Israelites to win the fight. David led the people to worship God. David and all of the Israelite people were happy when the box with God’s rules (ark Of the covenant) was carried into Jerusalem. They set the box of God’s rules in the tent David had set up for it. The people played musical instruments while David danced. David gave things to God in love and thankfulness. He gave food to the people and said good words about the people to God. God promised David that members from his family would rule forever.

LIVE IT OUT: Draw an outline of a simple crown shape on a sheet of paper. Give your child jewel stickers and markers. As he decorates the crown, talk about King David. Remind him that David was a good king because he listened to God.

Kids

2 Samuel 5-8

LIFE POINT: God’s people came to David. “God said you will be king over Israel.” They anointed David to be king. Enemies came to fight David and God’s people. God helped David defeat the enemies. David brought the ark of the covenant back to Jerusalem. The people were happy and David danced for God. King David wanted to build a temple for God. God told David that his son would build the temple. David spent many years getting supplies for the temple. King David won many victories. He always thanked God for taking care of him. King David ruled all Israel with justice. He was a good king who tried to do what was right.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child think of things he could do to live in a way that honors God every day. Help him understand that being obedient to God, doing what is right, and rejecting what is wrong is how we honor God.

Students

Ruth 1:8-17

THE POINT: Christ-centered living chooses commitment, not convenience.
• Where do you see examples of extreme loyalty in today’s world?
• Why is mutual loyalty so important in relationships?
• What characteristics separate “fair weather” friends from relationships that endure?
• What are specific circumstances in which we can honor Christ by choosing commitment over convenience?

Discuss the following quote:

“Love is commitment; love is a relationship that never gives up.” ¹ —Jerry Falwell

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: Jesus is fully committed to us, but are we always as committed to serving Him? List some practical steps you and your student can take to demonstrate an all-in commitment.
• COMMUNITY: Discuss with your student the importance of keeping commitments. By not keeping our commitments, we are damaging the unity and trust within our community of believers and friends.
• CULTURE: This week, spend time with your student praying for ways you can be a picture of God’s all-in commitment.

¹ Jerry Falwell, “24 Quotes About Commitment,” Christian Quotes, [accessed 6 March 2017]. Available from the Internet: https://ww.christianquotes.info/quotes-by-topic/quotes aboutcommitment/#axzz4aZHW0an8


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