Archive for May, 2013

Joyful June

Key Verse: “For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’”
(Jeremiah 29:11)

Our hope is for our kids to know that: We can trust God with the future.

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child Judges 6:1-16; 7:1-24) After Joshua died Israel was left without a clear leader to lead them. Because of this God had raised Judges, who were more or less military leaders rather than the kind of judge we think of today. Gideon was one such Judge who God appointed at a time the Midianites were fighting with Israel. God instructed Gideon to go from an army of many thousands to just three hundred! God wanted the people to see that they were saved by God’s power rather than their own military might.

Share:
(This is an opportunity for you to ask some questions and to share your thoughts) Parents: Share with your children about a time you were afraid of the future and trusting—or not trusting—God was a big issue. If you did trust God, what happened? If you didn’t, what happened? Encourage your family members to come up with day-to-day situations in which you might need to trust God. For example, you might have to trust God when dealing with someone mean at school, facing the loss of a job, or making a major decision about college. Then discuss ways you can encourage each other to trust God during each of these situations this week.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
Create your own family timeline, and include what each family member would like to see happen in the future. On a sheet of newsprint or butcher paper, first write Mom and Dad’s wedding date. Then on the timeline, place the day each child in the family was born, and other important events. When you’ve completed the current and future timeline, pray together as a family, committing to trust God with the future events.

For the Love of May

Key Verse: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved”
(Acts 16:31)

Our hope is for our kids to believe that: God teaches us how to love

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child 1 Corinthians 13:1-13) This passage today is commonly referred to as the love chapter. Here we see Paul explaining that love is not seeking pleasure for ourselves, but for others, just like Jesus did! The more loving we become, the more like Jesus we become. All others things will pass away, but love is eternal. Paul uses an analogy of becoming an adult and leaving childhood. As a child we thought certain things were important and had significance, but as we got older we saw that some of those things weren’t important anymore. As we mature we discover that our knowledge of God becomes more complete, until that day when we meet Jesus and everything becomes perfectly clear!

Share:
(This is an opportunity for you to ask some questions and to share your thoughts) Parents: Talk about a time someone treated you with love. What did that person do and how did you feel? Encourage your kids to talk about things people do for them that make them feel loved. Perhaps receiving a gift makes them feel loved. Or perhaps they feel loved when they hear someone say something encouraging. Discuss ways you and your family can practice showing love in similar ways.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
This week discuss as a family someone who could use some encouragement. Review 1 Corinthians 13 and discuss what love is. After the discussion pray and ask God to reveal one or more people your family could bless this week. After deciding who to bless and how, meet as a family again and discuss how everyone felt after this act of kindness.

For the Love of May

Key Verse: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved”
(Acts 16:31)

Our hope is for our kids to know that: Jesus saves us

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child Romans 8:9-17) Paul in this passage is explaining a new concept to many who heard it in his day. He is making it clear that as Christians, we have the Holy Spirit within us, and this is what gives us life. Even though we still have our bodies that will die, our spirit is alive for eternity because the Holy Spirit dwells in us. When we live in the spirit we will begin to change naturally. Not by force or our own actions, but by the Spirit which forms us and makes us who we really are, which are Gods children and heirs with Christ, who suffered for us so that we could have eternal life!

Share:
(This is an opportunity for you to ask some questions and to share your thoughts) Parents: Talk with your kids about what it means to live by God’s Spirit. Not sure yourself? Check out what the Key Verse says the fruit of the Spirit is. Then come up with examples from your own life to share how God has changed your attitude or actions as you’ve been guided by the Holy Spirit. Encourage your kids to think of ways God might change them as they continue to live for God.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
Work together as a family to make fruit salad for dessert one night this week. As you prepare the fruit, tell each other what positive ways you see each person living out the fruit of the Spirit. For example, you might say to your mom, “I love the way you take the time to be patient with me when I’m having trouble with my math homework.” Make sure each family members hears a positive comment.  

 

For the Love of May

Key Verse: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved”
(Acts 16:31)

Our hope is for our kids to know that: Jesus saves us

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child Acts 16:16-34) As Paul continued to preach the gospel he ran across a slave girl who told fortunes. This girl was demon possessed and followed Paul and his team for a few days, until finally Paul got annoyed. Paul didn’t want people to think this girl was associated with him, so he commanded the spirit to leave the slave girl. This left her owners angry, because they made a lot of money from her fortune telling. They dragged Paul and Silas to the authorities who put them in jail. Being in jail did not stop Paul and Silas from praising God, and soon an earthquake came and unshackled not only them, but all the prisoners! The guard knew he would surely be punished, so he took his sword and started to end his own life. However, Paul stopped him and told him about the love of Jesus, and as a response the guard accepted Christ and was baptized!

Share:
(This is an opportunity for you to ask some questions and to share your thoughts) Parents: Play this Yes game with your children. The object of the game is to practice saying yes by trying not to say no. Try to have a regular conversation about everyone’s day, the weather, or what you learned in church this last week. Award a point each time someone says yes until someone says no. At that point, the game is over. At the end of the game, explain to your kids that we want to say yes to Jesus just as the jailer did in this week’s Bible lesson.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
One night this week, make milkshakes for everyone. After you’ve made the milkshakes use a package of sugar wafers to build a small prison by stacking them on a plate. Then have everyone grab hold of the plate and shake it gently, causing the “prison walls” to fall down. Then enjoy your milkshakes and eat some cookies as you review the bible story of how God used an earthquake to shake the prison and knock down the walls. Then talk about how Paul and Silas remained in jail and how as a result, the jailer believed in Jesus.

For the Love of May

Key Verse: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved”
(Acts 16:31)

Our hope is for our kids to know that: We should keep following God

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child Acts 16:9-15) Here we see Paul receiving a vision from God to go to Macedonia. Paul was never afraid to listen to God and go where he was directed to go, because he loved to preach the gospel to all people. On the Sabbath they looked for a place to pray and found a small group of women who were talking and meeting together. One of these women was named Lydia, who was wealthy because she was a seller of purple cloth. Purple cloth was expensive, so anyone who was able to sell it was wealthy. For a woman to be successful and wealthy on her own in that culture was unusual. She was the first person in Europe Paul was able to lead to Christ!

Share:
(This is an opportunity for you to ask some questions and to share your thoughts) Parents: Share about your own experience of telling someone about Jesus. What happened? How have others in your family tried to tell people about Jesus? If no one in your family has tried, discuss what kinds of things you might share with someone about Jesus. Then think about someone you know who needs to hear about who Jesus is and what Jesus has done. Talk with your kids about what you could say that would be important to that person. As a family, commit to telling that person what you know about Jesus.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
This week when you are out as a family, pray that God will introduce another family or person to you that needs to know Christ. They could be attracted to your family by your actions or simply by watching you. Be sure to let the Spirit move and not try to force the topic on anyone.