Conversation Starters: God is Faithful

Posted on September 11, 2019 by Karah

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: People break promises. Even when they have the best intentions, people aren’t always able to do what they said they’d do. If we experience that enough, the unfaithfulness of others can cause us to lose hope. The early disciples experienced a loss of hope when Jesus was crucified. God remained faithful to what He said He’d do, and He proved His faithfulness when He raised Jesus from the dead. We have a sure hope because God is faithful.

Concept: God is Faithful

Preschool

Matthew 28:1-10

LIFE POINT: On Sunday morning, Mary and Mary Magdalene walked to the tomb. Jesus died on a cross and was buried there. Suddenly, an earthquake shook the ground. An angel rolled back the stone that was in front of the tomb. The angel said, “Do not be afraid. I know you are looking for Jesus. He is not here. He is alive!” The angel told the women to look in the tomb and see that it was empty. Then the angel told the women to go and tell the disciples that Jesus is alive! The women left to find the disciples and tell them. Then they saw Jesus! The two women ran to Jesus and worshiped Him. Jesus said, “Go and tell My disciples to go to Galilee. They will see Me there.”

LIVE IT OUT: Print in the center of a sheet of paper: JESUS IS ALIVE! Give your child crayons or markers to trace around the letters and decorate the paper. Talk about the Bible story as your child is drawing.

Kids

Matthew 26:36-28:10

LIFE POINT: Soldiers arrested Jesus. They took Jesus to be crucified. They nailed Jesus on a cross. After a time, Jesus died on the cross. Joseph, a rich man from Arimathea, wrapped Jesus in white cloths and put the body in his own tomb. He rolled a big stone over the opening. After three days, as some women went to the tomb, there was an earthquake. An angel rolled back the stone. The angel said, “You are looking for Jesus who was crucified, but He is not here! He has risen from the dead, just like He told you.” The angel invited the women to see the tomb. He told them to tell the disciples the good news. As the women left, Jesus met them! They fell down and worshiped Jesus. “Do not be afraid,” Jesus said. “Tell My followers to meet Me in Galilee.”

LIVE IT OUT: As you celebrate Easter with your family, help your child understand that Jesus is alive, though He died on the cross and was buried. Help your child memorize Matthew 28:6. The women came to anoint Jesus’ body for death, but He was not there!

Students

Luke 24:1-12

THE POINT: The empty tomb points to the faithfulness of God.
• What surprise ending in any movie or book has left you wondering, “How did that happen?”
• What did the women expect to find at the tomb?
• Why do we sometimes doubt or forget what God has promised?
• Why is the resurrection so important for Christianity?
Discuss the following quote:

“If Jesus rose from the dead, then you have to accept all that he said; if he didn’t rise from the dead, then why worry about any of what he said? The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like his teaching but whether or not he rose from the dead.”(1)—Tim Keller

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 how he or she can create a deeper relationship with Christ.
• COMMUNITY: The news of Jesus’ life and resurrection is the most encouraging thing we can hear and share. Ask your student how this affects the way he or she is living, and how it can be an encouragement.
• CULTURE: Read the story of Christ’s resurrection with your student. Create a list of friends you can share the story of Christ with this week.

(1)“16 Glorious Quotes About the Resurrection,” Christian Quotes [online], [accessed 27 August 2017]. Available from the Internet: https://www.christianquotes.info/top-quotes/16-gloriousquotesresurrection/#axzz4r4oBjR4N.


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Conversation Starters: Our Righteousness

Posted on May 15, 2019 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: People should follow the commands of Jesus because God is righteous.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Life is just not fair. People with poor character, questionable ethics, and skewed morals seem to get ahead in life, while those who seek to do right seem to be passed by. In fact, people are often treated badly because of their right actions and character. We might be tempted to think God is also unfair since He allows this to happen. But God is a righteous God. He is the Lord our Righteousness, and He will ultimately bring justice to bear on all things.

Conversation Starters: Our Righteousness

Preschool

John 21:1-19

LIFE POINT: Peter, John, and some of their friends fished all night. They did not catch any fish. When the sun rose, they saw a man standing on the shore. He said, “Did you catch any fish?” They told him no. He told them to put their net down on the right side of the boat. The fishermen threw the net into the water on the right side. When they tried to lift the net, it was full of fish! There were 153 fish in the net. John said, “That man is Jesus!” Peter jumped into the water and swam to shore. The other men brought the boat to shore. When the men reached land, Jesus said, “Come and have breakfast with Me.” He gave the men bread and fish. The men were happy to see Jesus. Jesus told them to love and care for other people.

LIVE IT OUT: Teach your child to show love to others. Say the verse: “Jesus said, ‘Love other people.’ ” Think of a neighbor and plan a kindness for that person. You could gift some food or give a card drawn by your child. Be sure to share with the person that Jesus loves him.

Kids

John 21:1-19

LIFE POINT: Peter and other disciples fished all night. They didn’t catch a thing! As the sun began to come up, the men could see someone standing on the shore. The man called out, “Did you catch any fish?” “No,” the men answered. “Throw your net on the other side,” called the man. The fishermen threw the net and caught so many fish they couldn’t lift the net into the boat! Peter jumped into the water and came to shore. The other men brought the boat, pulling the net behind them. Jesus gave the men bread and fish to eat. Jesus spoke with Peter. He asked three times if Peter loved Him. Three times Peter said, “Yes.” Jesus told Peter to serve others as a way to follow Him.

LIVE IT OUT: Guide your child to read this week’s Bible verse, 2 John 1:6. Talk about what commands of Jesus we should follow. Help your child understand that showing the love of Jesus to the world is one of His commands. Discuss ways your child can do that task.

Students

Jeremiah 33:3-8, 14-16

THE POINT: Because God is righteous, He will ultimately make all things right.
• When can you remember saying, “That’s not fair!”?
• When have you seen a negative turn into a positive over time?
• How have you experienced God’s restoration?
• How do the promises in these verses point forward to Jesus? Discuss the following quote:

“No one will ever go to Hell who has put his trust in Jesus Christ, but many will end up in torment who have trusted their own righteousness and reformation.(1) —Curtis Hutson

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: Ensure that your student is cultivating a close relationship with God by continually confessing, repenting, and pursuing Christ.
• COMMUNITY: Ask your student who God has used to help him or her grow in their faith and pursuit of Christ. Pray for those who are committed to helping your student grow.
• CULTURE: We present a picture of the gospel to a worldly culture. Talk with your student about being prepared for the criticism that may come from a culture with worldly values.

(1)“15 Curtis Hutson Quotes,” Christian Quotes [online], [accessed 27 August 2017]. Available from the Internet: https://www.christianquotes.info/quotes-by-author/curtis-hutson-quotes/#axzz4r4oBjR4N..


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Conversation Starters: Our Shepherd

Posted on May 8, 2019 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: Because Jesus saved us, we can walk with God.
THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: The Bible often depicts us as sheep. Left to ourselves, we wander off and place ourselves in harm’s way. We can’t find our way back. The Bible also depicts God as the Shepherd over us. He is the One who gently guides us, protects us, and comforts us. Psalm 23 is one of the most beloved psalms in Scripture, and it succinctly captures this picture of God as our loving Shepherd.

Concept: Our Shepherd

Preschool

Matthew 19:13-15; Psalm 23

LIFE POINT: One day Jesus was teaching the people. Parents brought their children to see Jesus. They wanted Jesus to put His hands on the children and pray for them. Jesus’ disciples told the people to go away. They didn’t want the parents and children to bother Jesus. Jesus told His helpers, “Let the children come to Me.” Jesus touched the children; He held them and prayed for them. He told the people that everyone should love God just like the children love God. The disciples and other people saw that Jesus loves all people, including children.

LIVE IT OUT: Print the verse words of Psalm 23:1 on individual cards with matching symbols one each edge. Help your child put the verse in order, either using the words or matching the symbols. Say the verse together. Thank God that Jesus, our Shepherd, loves children.

Kids

John 20:19-31; Psalm 23

LIFE POINT: The disciples were afraid that the men who killed Jesus would find them. They locked the door where they met. Jesus appeared with the disciples! The disciples knew the man was Jesus. They were so happy! Thomas was not there when Jesus appeared, but the other disciples told him all about it. Thomas said, “I must see the scars from the nails.” Later, Thomas was with the other disciples in a room. Jesus appeared beside them again! Jesus spoke to Thomas. “Look at My hands. Touch My side. Don’t be someone who does not believe. Be someone who believes.” Thomas said, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said that Thomas believed because He could see. He said that people who believe without seeing are blessed.

LIVE IT OUT: Review the Bible story with your child. Emphasize that Thomas acknowledged Jesus as Savior when Jesus appeared before him. Read together Romans 10:9. If your child is not a Christian, share the plan of salvation with him or her.

Students

Psalm 23:1-6

THE POINT: God guides us as He walks with us.
• When has a guide made an experience more memorable?
• Who or what do you look to for guidance on a regular basis?
• When has an awareness of God’s presence made you brave?
• How can our actions and attitudes demonstrate that we follow God as our shepherd? Discuss the following quote:

“A true shepherd leads the way. He does not merely point the way.”(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 that he or she is allowing sin to block his or her walk with God. Pray with your student confessing all of your sins and commit to turning away from them in a real way.
• COMMUNITY: Talk honestly with your student about any friends he or she has that are not Christians. Pray for your student and his or her friends.
• CULTURE: Determine some ways to gently approach the gospel in conversations with friends and how to communicate the value of following Jesus.

(1)“Leonard Ravenhill Quote-Leadership,” Christian Quotes [online], [accessed 27 August 2017]. Available from the Internet: https://www.christianquotes.info/images/leonard-ravenhill-quoteleadrship/#axzz4r4oBjR4N.


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Conversation Starters: Our Peace

Posted on April 24, 2019 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: Because of Jesus’ death and sacrifice we can have peace with God.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Who doesn’t long for peace? We’d love an absence of conflict in our lives, a time with no squabbling or obstacles. Even when we have those moments of “peace and quiet,” they are often short-lived. But God offers us a far greater and lasting peace, even while facing conflict with others or battling our circumstances. In Gideon’s encounter with God, he discovered he could trust God to give the Israelites peace because of who God is.

Concept: Our Peace

Preschool

Luke 19:28-40; John 12:12-19

LIFE POINT: Jesus and His disciples were walking to Jerusalem. Jesus told two disciples, “Go to the next town, and there you will find a young donkey. Bring it to me.” The disciples obeyed Jesus. They found the donkey like Jesus said they would. They brought the donkey to Jesus. The disciples spread their coats on the donkey. Jesus sat on the donkey’s back and rode into Jerusalem. Along the way, many people were waiting to see Jesus. When they saw Him coming, some people spread their coats on the road. Other people laid down palm branches. As Jesus passed by, the people shouted, “Hosanna.” The people shouted happy words to God. They were happy to see Jesus. They knew He was special and had done many miracles. They wanted to show their love for Him!

LIVE IT OUT: Review the Bible story with your child about the way people welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem. Give your child a simple instrument, such as two craft sticks or a coffee can drum. Lead a praise parade as you play the instruments to worship music.

Kids

Luke 19:28-40; John 12:12-19

LIFE POINT: Jesus sent two disciples into a town to find a donkey. The disciples found the donkey and started untying it. “Why are you untying the donkey?” the owners asked. The disciples said, “The Lord needs it.” The disciples took the donkey to Jesus. They put their robes on the donkey. They helped Jesus get on the donkey. Jesus rode into town. The people were excited to see Jesus. People put their robes and branches on the road in front of Him. The crowd shouted joyfully in loud voices, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! ” Some temple leaders said, “Stop these people. They should not praise you!” Jesus answered, “If the people stop, the stones will cry out!”

LIVE IT OUT: Review today’s Bible story with your child. If you or your child have ever seen a celebrity in a parade, talk about how that felt. Compare with how your child thinks the people felt when seeing Jesus ride into Jerusalem.

Students

Judges 6:11-24

THE POINT: God’s peace helps us rise above our circumstances.
• Where do you go when you need some peace and quiet?
• What causes us to sometimes doubt God’s presence in our lives?
• How do we recognize when God is calling us to a task?
• Where do you need peace in your life right now? Discuss the following quote:

“Because of the empty tomb, we have peace. Because of His resurrection, we can have peace during even the most troubling of times because we know He is in control of all that happens in the world.”(1) —Paul Chappell

LIVE IT OUT: Encourage your students to take practical steps to take his or her faith and Live It Out in the Personal Study Guide. Here are some ways you can encourage your students to live out their faith with Christ personally, in community, and in their culture:
• CHRIST: By trying to please the sinful world, we separate ourselves from wholeness and peace with God. Discuss with your student ways that he or she is trying to please the world instead of God.
• COMMUNITY: Create a list of people you know who need God’s peace in their lives. Make a plan to serve and help them to experience the peace of Christ.
• CULTURE: Help your student to discover ways he or she can share the gospel with lost friends at school.


(1)“16 Amazing Quotes About Peace,” Christian Quotes [online], [accessed 27 August 2017]. Available from the Internet: https://www.christianquotes.info/top-quotes/16-amazing-quotes-aboutpeace/#axzz4r4oBjR4N.


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Conversation Starters: Our Banner

Posted on April 17, 2019 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: Through Jesus’ death and sacrifice we are covered by God’s protection.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: “We stand better when we stand together.” “There’s strength in numbers.” We generally agree with those statements, but sometimes life can feel so insurmountable that no amount of help and support makes a difference. Thankfully, God stands over the world, and He stands over every single issue we face. As the Israelites discovered, God is a banner over us, covering us with His protecting presence.

Concept: Our Banner

Preschool

Exodus 17:8-16

LIFE POINT: The disciples knew it was time for a special celebration called Passover. They asked Jesus, “Where do You want us to prepare the supper?” Jesus sent them into the city. He said, “Tell the man you will meet that I want to celebrate at his house.” Jesus’ disciples prepared for the special supper. During the supper, Jesus took some bread. He thanked God for it. Jesus tore the bread into pieces. He gave bread to each disciple. Jesus took a cup and thanked God for it. Jesus shared the cup with each disciple. Jesus told His disciples to remember the things He did and to remember this special supper. Jesus and the disciples sang a song before they left the special supper.

LIVE IT OUT: Use the tune “London Bridge” to sing the following words with your preschooler: Jesus said, “Remember Me, Remember Me, Remember Me.” Jesus said, “Remember Me.” I love Jesus.

Kids

Matthew 26:17-30; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

LIFE POINT: Paul wrote a letter to the believers in Corinth. He told the people in Corinth about Jesus’ last supper with the disciples. The disciples were together for the Passover feast. At this feast, the people ate lamb. They ate flat pieces of bread. This was the last time the disciples would eat together. The disciples had questions about what was to happen. During the feast, Jesus took some bread. He thanked God for the bread. He shared the bread with His disciples. Jesus said, “This is My body which is for you. Remember Me when you eat this.” Then Jesus picked up a cup. He said, “This cup is the new promise in My blood. When you drink this, do it to remember Me.” Jesus and the disciples sang. Later Jesus was arrested.

LIVE IT OUT: Explain to your child how the Lord’s Supper helps us remember that Jesus died for our sins. Ask your child to tell things she remembers from Bible stories about Jesus.

Students

THE POINT: We are always covered by God’s protection.
• What are some things we rely on for protection?
• When have you felt like you were under attack?
• How do you make sure you’re relying on God when the battle is long?
• What does God’s banner of protection look like in your life? Discuss the following quote:

“It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor.”(1) —George Washington

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: How does your student see you living by faith and trusting in Jesus? Talk with your student about ways you can each grow in trusting Jesus more.
• COMMUNITY: Reach out to friends and neighbors that are experiencing difficult times and minister to them. Make sure they know God is their protector.
• CULTURE: Consider ways you and your student can share God’s goodness with those that do not know His love.

“Thanksgiving Proclamation, 3 October 1789,” National Archives [online], [accessed 27 August 2017]. Available from the Internet: https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/05-04-02-0091.


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Conversation Starters: Our Healer

Posted on April 10, 2019 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: Jesus performed miracles through the power of God.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: We are broken people. We may be broken by our circumstances or surroundings, or we may be broken by our sin and failures. Regardless of our best efforts, we remain broken people. But God steps in. He heals our brokenness and restores us when we trust in Him. The Israelites were continually called to trust and obey God. In so doing, they would experience His healing and wholeness.

Concept: God is our healer

Preschool

John 9:1-34

LIFE POINT: Jesus saw a man who had been blind since the day he was born. The blind man begged for money as people walked by. Jesus made mud and put it on the blind man’s eyes. Jesus told the man to go and wash his eyes in the pool of Siloam. The man obeyed Jesus. He went to the pool and washed the mud off his eyes. He could see! Jesus had healed him. People were surprised that the man could see. They asked, “Are you the man who used to sit in the street and beg? What happened?” The man said, “I was blind, and Jesus healed me.” He told the people what Jesus had done.
Some men were angry. They did not believe that Jesus could heal a man who was blind. The man insisted that it was Jesus who had healed him.

LIVE IT OUT: Play doctor and patient with your child. Encourage her to doctor a doll or stuffed animal. Comment that doctors help people get well but Jesus did special things that even doctors cannot do.

Kids

John 9:1-34

THE POINT: Jesus saw a man who had been born blind. He told His disciples, “This man’s blindness will show God’s works.” Jesus spit on the ground and made mud. He spread the mud on the man’s eyes. “Go wash in the pool,” Jesus said. The man washed his eyes. He could see! The man’s neighbors were surprised the man could now see. “Jesus made me well. Now I can see!” the man said. The temple leaders did not believe what happened. They kept asking the man what happened. “We don’t know about this Jesus,” they said. The healed man said, “We know God listens to people who love Him and obey Him. No one has ever heard of a person who was born blind being healed. If Jesus were not from God, He wouldn’t be able to do anything!”

LIVE IT OUT: Does your family know someone suffering with an illness? Remind your child about Jesus’ healing miracles. Help your child understand that Jesus can still heal people today, but He often works through doctors to help sick people. Thank Jesus for His gifts of healing.

Students

Exodus 14:29-31; 15:22-27

THE POINT: God is the only one who can restore us and make us whole.
• When have you admired a renovation project?
• What prevents us from turning to God during impossible situations?
• How does complaining impact our connection with God?
• What are some different ways God heals and restores His people? Discuss the following quote:

“The more desperate thy disease, the greater is the glory of thy physician, who hath perfectly cured thee.”(1) —Abraham Wright

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 this week and thank God for the healing in your lives. Take time to look up special verses of healing that you can read together.
• COMMUNITY: Create a list of people in your church or neighborhood that are in need of help and healing. Discuss ways you can help them and follow through.
• CULTURE: The world is full of suffering people. Consider ways that your family can use its specific blessings to minister to those in need. Make a plan that you can continue to follow in the weeks and months ahead.

(1)“16 Amazing Quotes About Healing,” Christian Quotes [online], [accessed 27 August 2017]. Available from the Internet: https://www.christianquotes.info/top-quotes/16-amazing-quotes-abouthealing/# axzz4r4oBjR4N.


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Conversation Starters: Our Provider

Posted on March 27, 2019 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: We can trust Jesus to meet the needs of people.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Our tendency is to live by what we can see. We believe what we can touch. We’re confident when what we need is right in front us. But life does not always hand us easy answers and solutions. A life in Christ is a life of trust—trusting Him to provide what we need, even when we don’t readily see the answer. Abraham showed us that God truly is our Provider.

Concept: Our Provider

Preschool

John 6:1-13

LIFE POINT: Jesus was on a mountainside. He looked at the large crowd of people following Him. Jesus asked His disciple Philip, “Where can we buy bread for all these people?” Philip answered, “It would take lots of money to buy so much bread.” But Andrew brought a boy with a small lunch of 5 loaves and 2 fish. Jesus said, “Tell the people to sit down.” The people sat in the grass. Jesus broke apart the bread and thanked God for the food. He gave bread and fish to the people. Each person ate all he wanted. There were 5000 men plus women and children in the crowd. Jesus told His disciples to gather the leftovers so the food would not be wasted. They gathered twelve baskets of leftover bread.

LIVE IT OUT: Review the Bible story with your child and tell her that God helps people have food. Provide a pan of water and a few sturdy vegetables for your child to wash. Say the Bible Verse: “Jesus gave food to people.”

Kids

John 6:1-13

LIFE POINT: A large crowd followed Jesus. So Jesus went up on the mountain. He sat down to teach the people. Jesus spoke to Philip. “Where can we buy bread so the people can eat?” Philip said, “Two hundred coins would not be enough money to buy just a tiny bit of food for each person!” Andrew, another disciple, brought a little boy to Jesus. “This boy has five loaves of bread. He has two fish. But how could that feed so many people?” The people sat down on the grass. There were 5,000 men! Jesus took the bread. He gave thanks to God for it. Then Jesus started giving food to the crowd. Everyone had as much to eat as he wanted! The disciples filled 12 baskets with left-over bread!

LIVE IT OUT: Talk with your child about the ways that Jesus helps meet the needs of your family. Include spiritual needs as well as physical needs. Make a list together. Pray together thanking God and Jesus for meeting the needs of your family.

Students

Genesis 22:1-14

THE POINT: We can trust God to meet our needs.
• What’s one of the toughest things you’ve been asked to do?
• What are the purposes of tests in our lives?
• When have you been tested to trust God when His provision wasn’t apparent?
• How can our actions and attitudes show others that we serve the God who provides? Discuss the following quote:

“It is not hard to obey when we love the one whom we obey.”(1)—Saint Ignatius

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 this week for the desire and strength to live with a dependence on God to provide for his or her needs.
• COMMUNITY: Sometimes we all need to depend on fellow believers for help. Be sure your student knows specific people he or she can reach out to for help.
• CULTURE: Tell your student ways in which you have seen and trusted God during big leaps of faith. Encourage him or her to be ready to jump in faith and obedience to God when the opportunity comes.

(1)“Saint Ignatius Quote,” Brainy Quote [online], [accessed 27 August 2017]. Available from the Internet: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/s/saintignat204692.html.


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Conversation Starters: Jesus Teaches

Posted on March 20, 2019 by Karah

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 Calls

Posted on March 13, 2019 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: Celebrate waiting for Easter with your family. Find a Lent devotional book to use each day or week of the Lenten season. Kids Read Truth is a great resource. Involve your child in reading some of the Scripture passages for the week.

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: Celebrate waiting for Easter with your family. Find a Lent devotional book to use each day or week of the Lenten season. Kids Read Truth is a great resource. Involve your child in reading some of the Scripture passages for the week.

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: Right Here, Right Now

Posted on March 6, 2019 by Karah

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Some Christians can be enthralled with the idea of doing great things for God in exotic locales. While that type of mission is needed, the first place God calls us is often not across the world but across the street. Christ calls us to represent Him right where we are. The hardest ministry may be among those who know us best, but those same people are the ones most impacted by the way Christ has transformed us.

Concept: Right Here, Right Now

Preschool

1 and 2 Peter

LIFE POINT: Peter was one of Jesus’ disciples. He knew that Jesus was God’s Son. Peter learned many things about God. He learned how God wants us to live and make right choices. Peter taught people about Jesus. He wrote some letters to the people he had taught. Peter wrote, “I am writing to you who love Jesus. I want to remind you about the things that Jesus did and said so that you will remember them. Remember that the words in the Bible are not people’s words; they are God’s words. You should love one another and follow what Jesus taught. Keep learning about Jesus. He is our example of how we should live. This will help us make right choices.” The people read the letters from Peter. The letters Peter wrote are part of our Bible.

LIVE IT OUT: Talk about right and wrong choices with your child. Name some things your child may do or be tempted to do. Help him identify which are right choices and which are wrong. Comment that God wants people to make right choices.

Kids

1 and 2 Peter

LIFE POINT: Peter was a friend and disciple of Jesus. He learned many things about God and how God wants people to live. After Jesus went back to heaven, Peter taught many people about Jesus. He wrote letters to the people he had taught. He wanted to remind them of the things he had taught them. Peter wrote: “I am a disciple of Jesus. I am writing to you who love Jesus. I know you have heard many stories about Jesus. I want to teach you the things Jesus taught me so you will always remember them. Husbands and wives should love each other. We should obey the laws of the government. Let others see you doing good things. You should love one another and obey the truth that Jesus taught. Keep learning about Jesus. He is our example of how we should live.” These letters are part of our Bible today.

LIVE IT OUT: What do you teach your child about making choices? Start giving your child freedom to decide certain things on her own. Learning to make right choices is integral to learning and growing into adulthood. Practicing these choices will help your child make the ultimate choice to follow Jesus.

Students

Mark 5:1-2, 8-15, 18-20

THE POINT: You don’t have to go far to share your transformed life in Christ.
• Who is a classmate you’re glad you’ve gotten to know?
• How would you describe the man in the tombs?
• When have you observed a dramatic transformation in someone’s life?
• How can you use your own story of transformation to share the gospel?
Discuss the following quote:

“The fear of man strangles us, because we can never please everybody; but the fear of the Lord frees us, because it challenges us to live and serve for an audience of One.” (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: Pray with your student this week specifically thanking God for your freedom from sin.
• COMMUNITY: Discuss sin with your student and acknowledge that it can be hard to overcome on our own. Talk about the sin in his or her life and develop a plan to overcome it.
• CULTURE: Share with your student how you have faced past sins and now live freely without the bondage of sin.

(1)Paul Chappell, “24 Paul Chappell Quotes,” Christian Quotes [online],[accessed 23 November 2016]. Available from the Internet: http://www.christianquotes.info/quotes-by-author/paul-chappell-quotes/.


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