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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Conversation Starters: Solomon- Unfailing Wisdom

Posted on October 10, 2018 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: God helps people know the right things to do.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: We do not lack knowledge; in fact, we are overwhelmed with knowledge. We may not have it stored in our heads, but we have easy access with just a click of the mouse. What we lack is understanding of the best way to use that knowledge—and that calls for wisdom. Because God is the ultimate source of everything we can know, wisdom begins by looking to Him. As Solomon wrote, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Prov. 9:10).

Bible Character:  Solomon

Preschool

1 Samuel 18:1-4, 20

LIFE POINT: David went to live in King Saul’s palace. He became best friends with King Saul’s son, Jonathan. David and Jonathan promised always to be friends. Jonathan gave David gifts to show his friendship. He gave David a robe, a belt, a sword, and a bow for shooting arrows. King Saul became angry with David and wanted to hurt him. David told Jonathan, “King Saul wants to hurt me.” Jonathan promised to help David. “I will find out what my father is planning to do,” Jonathan said. “I will tell you if it is safe.” David hid in a field. Jonathan knew King Saul did want to hurt David. Jonathan knew that David would have to leave to be safe. The next day, Jonathan said goodbye to his friend. Both friends were sad. “We have promised to be friends,” Jonathan said. Then David left, and Jonathan went home.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child to foster friendships with other children. Invite a few children to your home for a play-date. Thank the children for playing together kindly and showing God’s love to one another.

Kids

1 Samuel 18:1-4, 20

LIFE POINT: King Saul’s son Jonathan and David were good friends. Jonathan gave his friend gifts. He gave David his robe, tunic, sword, bow, and belt to keep. King Saul was made at David and wanted to kill him. Jonathan told David he would find out what the king wanted to do. That night, when Jonathan told the king that David had gone to Bethlehem, the king was angry. He was so angry he threw a spear at Jonathan! The next day, Jonathan went to the field. David was hiding behind a rock. Jonathan shot three arrows. He yelled to the servant, “The arrows are past you!” David knew he had to leave. Before he left, David and Jonathan told each other how much they cared for each other. They cried together. Then David left and Jonathan went home.

LIVE IT OUT: Does your child understand the constancy of God’s love? Talk with your child about times your family has suffered a hardship. Help her think of ways you could sense God’s love throughout the ordeal.

Students

1 Kings 3:3-14; 4:29-34

THE POINT: Christ-centered living chooses wisdom from God, not simply knowledge.
• If you could be the leading expert in any field, what would it be?
• What’s the difference between wisdom and “book smarts”?
• How do we gain and apply wisdom in our daily lives?
• How can we effectively reflect God’s wisdom in our culture?
Discuss the following quote:

“A wise man may look ridiculous in the company of fools.” ¹ —Thomas Fuller

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 was intent on passing His wisdom down to His followers. Read Matthew 5:3-12 with your student and point out any personal changes you can make in light of what you read.
• COMMUNITY: Living in Christian community is essential to growing in wisdom, so we want to pursue community for the sake of giving and receiving wisdom. Sit down with your student and consider the company he or she keeps. If your student needs to engage in more Christian community, consider ways you can promote this such as hosting a Bible study.
• CULTURE: Make a list of ways you and your student can live according to God’s wisdom rather than listening to the false wisdom of the world.

 

¹. Thomas Fuller, “55 Quotes About Wisdom,” Christian Quotes, [accessed 27 February 2017]. Available from the Internet: https://www.christianquotes.info/quotes-by-topic/quotes-about wisdom/?listpage=2&instance=2#participants-list-2).


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Conversation Starters: Caleb- Unwavering Faith

Posted on October 3, 2018 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: People can trust God to help them in what they do.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: It’s easy to listen to our circumstances. After all, we are surrounded by them. God may use our circumstances as a part of His plan for our lives, but God may also call us in one direction when the road signs around us point in a different direction. That’s when faith steps in. We are to trust the One who is above our circumstances and calls us to trust Him.

Bible Characters: David and Caleb

Preschool

1 Samuel 17:1-50

LIFE POINT: David’s father told David to take food to his brothers who were in the army. David packed up the grain, bread, and cheese. He went to the camp where his brothers were. Then David found his brothers and talked to them. While there, David heard the Philistine giant, Goliath, talk mean to the Israelites. The men backed away from the giant. David told the king he would fight Goliath. David picked up five smooth stones. He walked to the giant. Goliath was mad that such a young man wanted to fight him. David told Goliath he came in the name of God. Both men moved toward each other. David put a stone in his sling and swung it. He let the stone go. The stone hit Goliath in the forehead. Goliath fell to the ground. David brought down Goliath and saved the Israelite people.

LIVE IT OUT: Give your child encouragement as she performs chores, does art, or plays a sport or game. Comment that God gives people the ability to do things. Thank God for making you able to
do different things.

Kids

1 Samuel 17:1-50

LIFE POINT: Goliath was a huge member of the enemy army. Every day he taunted King Saul’s soldiers. When Saul and his army heard Goliath, they were afraid. David’s father sent him with food for his brothers in the army. When David heard the man, he told King Saul he would fight. David told the king how he had learned to kill lions and bears who tried to kill his sheep. “God will help me,” David said. David chose five stones. He put them in a bag. He carried his sling. When Goliath saw David, he said, “You are coming at me with sticks?” David answered, “You have a dagger, a spear, and a sword. I have the name of the Lord. Today He will help me win.” David took out a stone and slung it at Goliath. The stone hit Goliath in the head. He fell to the ground. David had won!

LIVE IT OUT: Remind your child that he can honor God by doing his best. Talk about this week’s Bible verse, Psalm 100:2, which was written by King David. Explain that God wants our joyful service.

Students

Numbers 13:26-30; 14:6-10, 21-24

THE POINT: Christ-centered living chooses trust in God, not in circumstances.
• When have you felt like you couldn’t believe your eyes?
• Who or what are you tempted to trust instead of God?
• What are some fears that might keep you from trusting God’s promises?
• How does God reward those who are faithful to Him?

Discuss the following quote:

“A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.” ¹ —G.K. Chesterton

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 with your student some of the verses that have shaped your relationship with Jesus and how they have impacted your life.
• COMMUNITY: Help your student to find promises in Scripture that are meaningful and encouraging. Then find others that can be encouraged using God’s promises.
• CULTURE: Remind your student that as Christians, we will stand out from non-believers and this will not always be easy. Discuss ways that God may be calling your student to stand out from the “normal.” For encouragement, read Luke 12:11-12.

 

¹. G.K. Chesterton, The Everlasting Man [online], 1925, [accessed 22 February 2017], 172. Available from the Internet: http://www.cse.dmu.ac.uk/~mward/gkc/books/everlasting_man.pdf.


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Conversation Starters: Encourage One Another

Posted on September 26, 2018 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: People should help others know about Jesus.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: New parents certainly love their infant children, but they want to see them grow and mature. That child cannot grow without the assistant of the parents and other caring adults. It’s the same regarding our growth as Christians. We need each other. We have the opportunity to challenge and encourage others to grow spiritually and be all they can be in Christ.

Concept: Encourage One Another

Preschool

Acts 13

LIFE POINT: God told Paul and Barnabas to go and tell people about Jesus in other places. The Antioch church sent them out as missionaries. Paul and Barnabas got into a boat and sailed to an island called Cyprus. They taught the people there about Jesus. Next, Paul and Barnabas went to a different part of Antioch. They went to the synagogue. The synagogue was a place where people went to worship God. The people in the synagogue asked Paul and Barnabas to speak, so Paul began to teach about Jesus. The people asked Paul and Barnabas to come back the next week. Paul and Barnabas went back to the synagogue the next week. Almost the whole city had gathered to hear what Paul was teaching about Jesus. Paul and Barnabas continued to be missionaries and tell
people about Jesus in many different places.

LIVE IT OUT: Find some information on missionaries to share with your child. You might have a missionary from your church. Help your child write a thank-you note to the missionary. Be sure to
pray for the missionary before you send the note.

Kids

Acts 13

LIFE POINT: God’s Spirit said to the church people in Antioch, “Set apart Barnabas and Paul for My work.” The church men obeyed. They prayed for Barnabas and Paul and sent them off. The men traveled to Cyprus. The men went to the synagogue to tell the people about Jesus. One official wanted to hear Paul’s message. Another man tried to keep the man from listening. He told them that Jesus had risen from the dead. The people begged Paul and Barnabas to come back the next week. When Paul and Barnabas came back, the whole town was there! Some people were jealous. They did not want anyone to believe Paul’s message. Paul said he would preach to people who were not Jews. The people of the city made them leave their town, and God led Paul and Barnabas to the next city.

LIVE IT OUT: Research, or help your child research, well-known missionaries (ex. David Livingstone, Jim and Elizabeth Elliot, or Amy Carmichael). Talk about their lives and what they had to sacrifice to tell others about Jesus. Start with Paul and his missionary journeys in the Book of Acts. Paul literally carried the story of Jesus throughout the known world.

Students

Acts 11:19-26

THE POINT: Encourage people in their relationships with Christ and other believers.
• When have you seen something go viral?
• Why do we sometimes avoid certain groups of people when sharing the gospel?
• What are some advantages in doing God’s work together?

Discuss the following quote:

“If you are a leader, you should never forget that everyone needs encouragement. And everyone who receives it…is changed by it.” ¹ —John C. Maxwell

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: Talk honestly with your student about the ways that you have been encouraged by the Holy Spirit. Consider how the Spirit may be encouraging your student this week.
• COMMUNITY: Ask your student if he or one of his friends is facing difficulties at home or at school. Pray with your student this week over those difficulties.
• CULTURE: Be intentional this week about encouraging your student with words, notes, and actions. Go beyond the home and encourage others you meet to develop a culture of encouragement.

 

¹. John C. Maxwell, “John C. Maxwell Quotes,” BrainyQuote [online], [16 November 2016]. Available from the Internet: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johncmaxw600868.html.


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