Archive for February, 2014

Jesus Saving Time

Key Verse: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”
(John 3:16)

Our hope is for our kids to know that: We pray to God

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child Matthew 6:5-13) This passage begins with Jesus instructing his followers how not to pray. Prayer is not a time for boasting, bragging, or showing others that you are religious. Prayer is a time to talk with God and be relational with him. We all know the Lord ’s Prayer which is the prayer in this passage. We must remember that this is just an example of how to pray, and that we can bring our own personal prayers to God.

Share:
(This is an opportunity for you to ask some questions and to share your thoughts) Parents: At the end of the day, talk with your children about the events that happened throughout the day. Encourage each person to share a “high” and a “low” from the day. For example, a high might be getting picked first for the soccer team, and a low might be a bad grade on a test. Then encourage your kids to talk about when to pray, what they think prayer is, and what it looks and sounds like. Remind your children that prayer is a conversation with God where we listen to God and talk to him. Explain that just as you talked to each of them about their day and listened to what they had to say, God wants to hear about every detail of our day and wants us to listen to him as well.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
Prayer Ups and Downs On small slips of paper that can be rolled up and put inside balloons have each family member write or draw a prayer request or note of rejoicing. Place one prayer slip inside each balloon. Inflate the balloons and tie them. Have fun bouncing the balloons in the air. Use the time to remind everyone that our prayers go “up” to God. God’s answers then come “down.” Ask family members to pop their own balloons and pray what they wrote or drew. God hears all of our prayers and answers them all!

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Jesus Loves

Key Verse: “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these”
(Mark 10:14)

Our hope is for our kids to know that: Everyone is important to Jesus

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child Mark 10:13-16) The disciples were beginning to understand how important Jesus was to everyone. Most likely they began to feel it was their job to maintain crowd control. So when people began to bring children to him, they felt that it was a waste of Jesus’ time. The disciples felt that Jesus needed to be around influential people, and children didn’t fit that profile. As he did many times in his ministry, Jesus challenged the status quo. He ignored what the disciples considered politically important—appeasing the religious leaders of the day—and spent his time blessing children. In this act of blessing the children, Jesus showed the common person—even the small child—how important we all are to him.

Share:
(This is an opportunity for you to ask some questions and to share your thoughts) Parents: Talk to your children about how much you love them and how important they are to you. You might even share with your children some details surrounding their births. For example, you might tell your children what you were thinking and feeling the first time you saw them. Or you might share about the moment you were proudest of each child. Then talk with your children about how important they are to God. Let them know that God loves them and cares for them a million times more than you ever can. Encourage your kids to talk about what it means to them to know they’re loved that much.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
Plan a neighborhood or church prayer walk with your child. One afternoon, walk with your child around your neighborhood or church, and take turns naming children you both know who are important to Jesus. See how many names you can come up with. Pray for each child you name. Explain to your child that Jesus loves everyone, even if we can’t name them all. Affirm your child by telling him or her that he or she is important to you and especially important to Jesus.

 

Jesus Loves

Key Verse: “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these”
(Mark 10:14)

Our hope is for our kids to know that: Jesus accepts everyone

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child Luke 19:1-10) Zaccheus was considered a very sinful man, because he was a chief tax collector. Jews at this time despised tax collectors because they often were dishonest and took a lot of money away from hard working people. This also made Zaccheus very rich. When Jesus came to town Zaccheus wanted to find out who he was, and since Zaccheus was very short, he climbed into a tree to see Him. At this point Jesus called Zaccheus down and went to his house. People were very upset and told Jesus that he is in the home of a sinner. After spending some time with Jesus, Zacchaeus was apparently convinced that Jesus was who he said he was. As a response Zaccheus began to trust in God’s grace. He gave back to the people he ripped off and changed his ways. Jesus’ declaration that Zacchaeus had received salvation confirmed what had happened in Zacchaeus’ heart and the fact that God would accept even a despised tax collector if he placed his faith in Jesus!

Share:
(This is an opportunity for you to ask some questions and to share your thoughts) Parents: Ask your kids the following questions to encourage a family discussion about unconditional love. What’s unconditional love? What does unconditional love look like? Who are people who give you unconditional love? How can I help someone know Jesus’ unconditional love? As a family, brainstorm ways you could reach out to people who don’t know the love of Jesus yet. Commit to following through on one of those ideas this week.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
Take a walk together through your neighborhood this week, and try to stop by at least a few houses you may never have stopped at before. Introduce yourself to your neighbors—ask about their families, their interests, and their concerns. Your act of love will be sure to show the light of Christ to those who may never have seen it before.

Jesus Loves

Key Verse: “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these”
(Mark 10:14)

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

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child Matthew 14:22-33) One day, after Jesus spent a full day healing, preaching, and feeding a crowd, he spent an entire night praying in solitude and getting rest. The disciples remained off at a distance in their own boat. The winds and waves started to batter the boat the disciples were in, when suddenly they saw a figure walking towards them on top of the water! They knew this couldn’t be a human, so at first they thought it was a ghost. At this point Jesus spoke to them telling them to not be afraid. Peter gathered the courage to walk towards Jesus, right on top of the water! Peter was doing great until he took his eyes and focus off Jesus and worried about the storm. At that point, Peter began to sink, so he cried out to Jesus. Jesus told him there was no need to doubt, and to trust in Him!

Share:
(This is an opportunity for you to ask some questions and to share your thoughts) Parents: Discuss a time you doubted God and his ability to keep a promise he made in the Bible. Remember, kids can learn from your weaknesses as well as your strengths. Perhaps you lost a job and doubted God’s ability to provide for your family. Or perhaps you made such a big mistake that you doubted God could ever forgive you or use you again. Then talk about how God overcame your doubts and helped you believe by providing for you or using you in a way you could never have expected. Encourage your kids to share any doubts they might be having. Then, as a family, talk to God and ask him to take away your doubts.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
One night this week during dinner, talk with your family about times it’s hard to have faith. Let each person tell about a time in the past when he or she has doubted. Then have each person tell how God was faithful in that situation. Next, let each person tell about a fear or hardship he or she is facing right now. As a family, vow to pray for each other to have faith in those situations. Then thank God in advance for his faithfulness!