Archive for September, 2014

Cain kills Abel

Our hope is for our kids to know that: God wants us to love our families

Key Verse:
“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves” 
Romans 12:10

(Open the bible and read to your child Genesis 4:1-16) Cain and Abel both presented their offerings to God. Abel gave a gift from his heart, showing appreciation for all that God had done for him. Cain however, seemed to give a gift out of obligation. When Cain saw that God looked more favorably towards Abel’s offering, he grew jealous. Cain’s jealousy was so great that he got his brother alone somewhere and killed him. God warned Cain about sin and where it leads you. God did forgive Cain, but there were still consequences. Cain faced the consequences, but the grace of God was evident. God protected Cain from those who may wish to do him harm.

Develop the kind of love described in Romans 12:10 by practicing “words of appreciation” with your family. Expressing gratitude is a great way to love one another. Choose one family member at a time. Then have all family members tell what they appreciate about that person. Continue until everyone has had a turn. End with a big family hug!

Activity/Challenge for Families:
Play the No Jealousy Zone Game! Any time someone in your family achieves some success, everyone else will race to heap praise on that person. Think of simple ways to honor that person, such as offering to do chores for a day, an extra treat, or letting him or her pick out a movie or choose a fun activity to do. Everyone’s a winner!


Adam and Eve Sin

Our hope is for our kids to know that: God doesn’t want us to sin

Key Verse:
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23

(Open the bible and read to your child Genesis 3) God made us in his image. And he also made us to have a free will. God didn’t want us to be forced to love him or obey Him, he wanted us to have a choice. This choice is what also got Adam and Eve into trouble. They listened to the serpent who deceived them into eating form the forbidden tree.  The serpent made them question God, and made it seem like God didn’t have their best interest in mind. This is far from the truth. In fact, even after they sinned God made an immediate plan for us to be reconciled to him. Once we receive Christ as our savior, we end the separation that sin has caused, and we begin our eternal lives with God.

Tell your family about a time you experienced unexpected or undeserved forgiveness. Maybe a friend forgave you after you said something insulting or your supervisor showed grace after a significant mistake at work. What about your experience of forgiveness impacted you? Allow your kids to share their experiences with forgiveness. God’s forgiveness of our sin is much like when we’re forgiven by another person without earning it. It’s a wonderful gift! God loves us so much he sent Jesus to take the punishment of our sins, and God forgives us in return.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
Peppered With Sin
Fill a bowl with water for each family member, and gather everyone around a table. Place a bowl in front of each person, and sprinkle a layer of black pepper on top of everyone’s water. Have a bar of soap nearby. Say: This black pepper represents the sin in our lives.

Ask: What can we do to remove all the pepper from our water? What’ll make it
difficult to get every piece of pepper out?
Say: It’s impossible to remove sin from our lives on our own. God knows that, and
that’s why God sent his Son, Jesus, to help us clean up the messy sin in our lives.

Have everyone wet one of their fingers with water and coat that finger by rubbing it
across a bar of soap.

Say: The soap represents Jesus. Now dip your soapy finger into the center of your
bowl and watch what happens.
The soap will drive the pepper to the edges of the bowl.

Say: Jesus helps us clean up and get away from sin so we can be close to God.

• What can we do as a family to follow Jesus to get close to God?
• What are sins you want to get away from?
• What can you do to get away from those sins?

God Creates Adam and Eve

Our hope is for our kids to know that: God made us

Key Verse

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well”
Psalms 139:14

(Open the bible and read to your child Genesis 2:4-22) It’s amazing when we look at what God created. He made the heavens and the earth just by speaking it into existence. However, when it came to creating humans he used the earth. And then to give us life he breathed it into is. This is why it is in Psalms 139:14, that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made”. God said that his creation was not only good, but it was very good. Take pleasure in knowing that you were hand crafted by God.

Identify unique qualities or talents in each child, and then tell your children about what makes each of them a one-of-a-kind creation of God. Your kids will be captivated and blessed by your praise! Invite your kids to tell you what’s unique and wonderful about you, too. Then discuss how you can use the talents and qualities God gave each of you to love God.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
Put several handfuls of animal crackers in a brown paper bag. Read Genesis 2:19-20, and then play this version of Go Fish. Sit in a circle, and have each person draw five animal crackers. Each person will need to hide the crackers behind books or another barrier so others can’t see them. Each family member will try to make pairs of animal crackers by asking others if they have the same animal. If someone does, he or she must give up the cracker. If someone doesn’t, he or she will say, “Your partner isn’t here.” Then the person who asked must draw another cracker from the bag. The winner is the one who pairs up all of his or her crackers first. When you’re done, enjoy your snack!

God Creates the World

Our hope is for our kids to know that: God made the world

Key Verse:
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”
Genesis 1:1

(Open the bible and read to your child Genesis 1:1 – 2:3) The Genesis story is not about the beginning of God, its about the beginning of the creation of the earth and all the things in it. It also speaks about how great and powerful God is. Nine times we see that it says, “God said” followed by, “it was good”. God spoke our universe into existence and it was good. When God finished his creation it says that he rested. Was it because he was tired? No, God’s creation was complete, and that seventh day was a holy day. A day to reflect on what God has done.

Tell about your favorite things in God’s creation—and why they’re your favorite. Perhaps you love the ocean and its fascinating creatures. Or maybe you adore the sight of snowcapped mountains. Ask your children about their favorites of God’s creations—and why they chose what they did. Then discuss ways you can appreciate God’s creation around you every day.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
Go for a nature hike! Plan some time to get away from your home. Take your camera or camera phone to record some of your observations. Look closely at the things around you – look for patterns, designs, and qualities you’ve never noticed before, such as the design and symmetry of flower petals, leaves, and the wings of birds or insects. Talk about God’s creativity as you observe his awesome world.