Archive for January, 2013

Love

Key Verse:
“Love the Lord you God 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: Jesus deserves our love and gratitude.

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child Luke 4:22-30) This passage comes right after Jesus proclaimed himself as the Messiah. Of course some believed, but there were also those that doubted his claim and demanded that he perform miracles. When Jesus mentioned that Elijah and Elisha performed miracles for faithless Jews he was comparing them (the faithless Jews) to the people that were in his presence demanding miracles. In their anger they drove Jesus out of town, and even tried to throw him off the cliff. Jesus simply walked through the crowd and left.

Share:
(This is an opportunity for you to ask some questions and to share your thoughts) Parents: Discuss a difficult situation your family has faced. Ask family members to talk about it, and then discuss how God met your needs and how you responded to God in that situation. Then challenge family members to think about how they respond to Jesus throughout an average day.  At the end of each day this week, have family members share an honest assessment of how they responded to Jesus during the day. Responses might include “I was aware of Jesus’ presence all day” or “I totally ignored God today.” You might want to do this as a “response to Jesus” reminder several times a year.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
Encourage your child(ren) to point out things he or she doesn’t completely understand. Your child might ask, “What makes the sun so bright?” or “What makes the air move?” Tell your child, “God makes the sun shine brightly” or simply say, “I don’t know, but God knows.” Remind your child that we can believe in Jesus even though we can’t see him.

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ReNEWed YEAR!

Key Verse: “For the Son of Man came to seek, and to save what was lost”

(Luke 19:10)

Our hope is for our kids to know that: Jesus did miracles to show us He is God

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child Luke 4:14 – 21) Jesus taught in the synagogues regularly, but in this particular instance he happened to read out of Isaiah. The reading of Isaiah 61:1-2 was not unusual, but what Jesus said after reading the passage was. Jesus proclaimed that he was the one the scriptures were talking about, he was the anointed one. This did not set well with some, especially those he grew up with. The idea of this hometown boy who was the son of a carpenter being the promised king that would free them from oppression just didn’t make sense. Jesus was not born into royalty or some rich king. However we know now that Jesus was the promised messiah, who came humbly to free us from the oppression of sin.

Share:
(This is an opportunity for you to ask some questions and to share your thoughts) Parents: Talk about a time you felt lost or alone. Share how you felt when Jesus helped you or comforted you. What did Jesus do for you? How did you know that Jesus was helping you? Then talk about how Jesus came to earth and died for everyone’s sins. Encourage each family member to talk about what it means to him or her that Jesus came for all people.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
Write a note to Jesus, thanking him for coming to earth to save you from your sins.

 

ReNEWed YEAR!

Key Verse: “For the Son of Man came to seek, and to save what was lost”

(Luke 19:10)

Our hope is for our kids to know that: Jesus did miracles to show us He is God

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child John 2:1-11) Jesus and his disciples were invited to a wedding in Galilee. In those days weddings were really a huge occasion, larger than how we celebrate weddings today. One of the things that were expected at weddings was the supply of wine for the entire time of the celebration. When the wine ran out, Mary (who was likely serving at the wedding) asked Jesus to get more wine. She was obviously asking for a miracle, because she knew who he was. Jesus explained to her that it was not his time to reveal who he was, however he proceeded to tell the servants to fill large jugs with water and then draw some out to take to the master of the banquet. When he tasted the drink, it was no longer water, but some of the best wine he has ever tasted! Jesus had performed his first miracle!

Share:
(This is an opportunity for you to ask some questions and to share your thoughts) Parents: Tell about a time you needed a miracle. What was the situation? How did it work out? Did your faith grow or diminish as a result? Then as a family, ask Jesus to make you aware of his miraculous presence and work in your life and in the world around you each day this week. Praise him each time you recognize his hands at work.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
One night during supper, talk with your family about times God has helped you. Let each family member tell about a time God helped him or her, and have someone else write the story down in a family journal. Each week, repeat the process and add new stories to the journal. In a month or two, have a family party to read the journal and celebrate how God has helped your family.

 

ReNEWed YEAR!

Key Verse: “For the Son of Man came to seek, and to save what was lost”

(Luke 19:10)

Our hope is for our kids to know that: People who know Jesus are God’s children

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child Luke 4:1-13) Jesus began his ministry at the age of 30. At the start of his ministry he was tempted in the desert by Satan. One thing that is interesting is the use of scripture in this exchange between Satan and Jesus. Satan used scripture to tempt Jesus! This means he knew the scripture and twisted it to make it say what he wanted it to say. However, Jesus saw through Satan’s plan and countered with scripture. This lets us know the importance of knowing what is in the bible. It is also important to note Luke 4:13, that after this time of tempting Satan did not give up, he continued to tempt Jesus. The good news is Jesus never fell to temptation, but he understands what it feels like to be tempted. Jesus identifies with us in our temptation. We have an advocate, and a friend!

Share:
(This is an opportunity for you to ask some questions and to share your thoughts) Parents: Tell about a time you felt overpowering temptation. Share honestly about the struggles you had and how you overcame the temptation. (Choose something that is age-appropriate, so children will begin to understand that temptation is something everyone faces.) Then share things that help you defeat temptation, such as praying or spending time with people who help you stay strong against temptation. Encourage family members to discuss ways to help one another with the temptations they regularly face.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
As a family, talk about the things that tempt you. Write each temptation on a slip of paper, and put the paper slips in a box. Commit to praying for each other, asking for strength and wisdom in dealing with the temptations. At the end of the week, discuss how God helped your family resist the temptations, and then thank God for his help and care.

 

ReNEWed YEAR!

Key Verse: “For the Son of Man came to seek, and to save what was lost”

(Luke 19:10)

Our hope is for our kids to know that: People who know Jesus are God’s children

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child John 1:1-18) This passage was written by the Apostle John (not John the Baptist), who tells us that Jesus was “the Word”. In those times both the Hebrew and Greek cultures referred to God as the Word (or logos). Therefore, they understood that Jesus was God in man form, and he came to do the work of God here on Earth! It is also stated that Jesus did not simply begin to exist when he was born, he was here since creation! This passage establishes that Jesus was who he said he was!

Share:
(This is an opportunity for you to ask some questions and to share your thoughts) Parents: Tell your children about a favorite childhood memory. Then let each family member share a favorite memory, too. Explore the feelings behind those memories. For example, a family member might associate a favorite vacation with a sense of adventure, or a favorite book with a sense of love and comfort felt while he or she read it. Think of times God has provided those same feelings for you. Discuss ways your family can remember to think of God as a parent and rely on him.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
As a family make a list of all the people who you want to know about Jesus. Put it in a place where everyone can pray for them during the week. Pray that each person on the list will come to believe in Jesus.