Archive for August, 2012

The Exodus

Key Verse: “Love the Lord with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” – (Deuteronomy 6:5)

Our hope is for our kids to know that: God helps us when we’re afraid

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child Exodus 13:17 – 14:31) Approximately 200 million Israelites had just been freed from slavery, and God led them into the wilderness as they left the bondage of the Egyptians. God decided to take them the long way to the land He promised them, but that was so they could avoid the mighty Philistines. God knew that they were not ready to fight a massive army, so they were led by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. When Pharaoh heard they went the long route, he assumed they were simply wandering aimlessly and decided to pursue them to bring them back. God had something else planned and protected the Israelites by dividing the Red Sea so they could safely walk to safety. In each instance they were afraid, but God protected them in every way.

Share:
(This is an opportunity for you to ask some questions and to share your thoughts) Parents: Talk about a time your family faced a scary situation. Maybe you were trapped in a car during a violent storm or perhaps your house was broken into. Have each family member share what they remember about the situation and talk about how they felt before, during, and after. Then ask each person to share a time they’ve been afraid in the past week. Encourage everyone to think of ways God can help when we’re afraid.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
As a family take time to discuss the things that you are most afraid of and how to overcome those fears. For example, if one family member is afraid of the house catching on fire, point out the smoke detectors in the house and have a family fire drill. Write out emergency phone numbers and put them in a special place. Look up verses in the bible in which God promises to take care of us. Also make a promise to one another not to tease one another about his or her fears. That means if mom is afraid of mice, no toy mice are to be left under the kitchen cabinet!

August Free

Key Verse: “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36)

Our hope is for our kids to believe that: Jesus sets us free

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child Exodus 11:1 – 12:36) The final plague was a devastating one. This was also the only plague that required the Hebrews to do anything that required faith. The Hebrews had to sacrifice an innocent lamb and place the blood on the doorsteps, this symbol of an innocent life to save the life of another would be understood years later when Jesus died on the cross. The Hebrews were slaves for 400 years and knew about the Gods of Egypt, but through these plagues God showed the Hebrews what he could and would do for them. Pharaoh finally understood this and let the Hebrews go and freed them. God heard the prayers and cries of his people and used Moses to help set them free.

Share:
(This is an opportunity for you to ask some questions and to share your thoughts) Parents:Tell about a time you felt imprisoned. Maybe you felt imprisoned in a job you disliked, or maybe you felt trapped by a family obligation you couldn’t get away from. Then ask your kids what it means to them to be imprisoned or trapped by sin. Share what it means to each of you that Jesus has set you free from sin, and talk about how that impacts your daily life.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
Have a spontaneous hike with your child. Say, “Quick! Let’s pack for a long walk. We need to leave in five minutes.” Then set the kitchen timer. Help your child pack a backpack with items such as a jacket, water bottle, snack, and camera. As you walk (perhaps around your neighborhood), talk about the Hebrew’s escape from Egypt. Remind your child that God’s freedom lasts forever because Jesus sets us free from our sins!

August Free

Key Verse: “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36)

Our hope is for our kids to know that: God uses his power to help us

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child Exodus 7:8 – 10:29) Moses was instructed to use his staff to show the mighty power of God to Pharaoh and the Egyptians. Pharaoh’s magicians were able to use trickery to duplicate some of the plagues that Moses did but never on the scale that God was able to do. It may be strange to some of us how Pharaoh kept changing his mind after promising to let the Hebrews go, but we too sometimes make God promises when things are bad, (God if you get me out of this I’ll never lie again). The plagues were used to show all of Egypt God’s power. The Hebrew’s were treated poorly by the Egyptians, and when they cried out to God, he responded.

Share:
(This is an opportunity for you to ask some questions and to share your thoughts) Parents: Talk about a time you sensed the power of God at work.Maybe it was something as simple as seeing God’s power in a thunderstorm or something as big as God performing a medical miracle in the life of a family member. Encourage your kids to think of their own examples of the power of God at work in their lives. Then discuss ways your family can be more open to seeing God’s power at work in everyday life.

 

Activity/Challenge for Families:
Take your child bowling and experience power firsthand! As you and your child bowl together, encourage your child to notice the power of the ball when he or she holds it, when it rolls down the lane, and when it knocks over the pins! Tell your child that no matter how powerful the ball is when it knocks over the pins, nothing matches God’s power.

August Free

Key Verse: “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36)

Our hope is for our kids to know that: God wants us to hope in him  

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child Exodus 5:1 – 6:1) Moses followed the instructions of God and asked Pharaoh to let the Hebrews go to the wilderness to worship God. Pharaoh did not know about God and even worshiped his own Egyptian gods. Therefore Pharaoh ordered the Hebrews to produce more bricks. This would not have been too much of a problem but Pharaoh stopped providing straw for the Hebrews, which they needed to make bricks. When they failed to produce the required amount of bricks, they were beaten. If they complained, they would be called lazy and told it was Moses’ fault. The Hebrews were angry because they had not seen the power of God yet, however Moses had seen the power of God and continued to have hope.

Share:
(This is an opportunity for you to ask some questions and to share your thoughts) Parents: When have you hoped in God the most? Maybe you had to trust God to heal a sick family member, or maybe you had to hope that God would provide while you were out of work. Share what happened as a result of putting your hope in God. Then ask your kids to share ways they can put their hope in God in the coming week.

 

Activity/Challenge for Families:
This week think of someone your family knows that may need encouragement or lifting up. Maybe they are going through a tough time or facing an illness. Deliver to them a card and flowers or something similar so that they may be encouraged.

August Free

Key Verse: “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36)

Our hope is for our kids to know that: God can use anyone

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child Exodus 2:11 – 3:20) We know that Moses was a Hebrew that was raised by Pharaoh’s daughter. Although he could have been considered an Egyptian, he identified with the Hebrews and considered himself Hebrew. So when he saw the Hebrew slave being beaten, he reacted in a bad way. This caused him to flee to the desert where he lived for years, hiding in Midian with a priest and his family. One day Moses noticed a bush that was on fire but wasn’t burning up. It was God trying to get the attention of Moses. God wanted Moses to free the Hebrews from Egyptian slavery, but Moses felt unqualified. However, God wanted Moses to be the one to free his people, and God said “I will be with you” to show Moses that he will always be there.

Share:
(This is an opportunity for you to ask some questions and to share your thoughts) Parents: Tell about a time you felt weak and in need of God’s strength. How did God give you strength or use you despite your weakness? Encourage your kids to talk about how God has used them despite their feeling weak or unsure of themselves. Then discuss ways your family can become more trusting and reliant on God’s strength by remembering that God can use anyone no matter what.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
Wait until the sun goes down and have a late night talk with your child. Cover a flashlight with red tissue paper to resemble a burning bush in the bible story. You could eat some candy corn, red hots, or some spicy candy. Talk with your child about how God used Moses and how God uses us to do His will.