Posts Tagged ‘generations’

Josiah, the Eight-Year-Old King

Our hope is for our kids to know that: God’s Word Will Never Pass Away  

How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to Your word.
Psalm 119:9

(Open the bible and read to your child 2 Chronicles 34:1—35:19) Josiah was only eight years old when he became king of Judah, and at that time (when they had about 39 kings among the divided kingdom of Israel and Judah) he was arguably the best. He followed God because he wanted to follow in the ways of his father David. At the age of sixteen he began to destroy all the idols in Judah, and then ten years later he began to restore the temple. It was then that they found the book of the law. When Josiah read it, he was aware on how bad God’s people have become. Josiah spent his life bringing the people of Judah back to God. The word of God will last forever, and no matter what our actions are of how bad we become, God will always pursue us and His word will always be with us.

The Jesus Connection:
Read Matthew 5:17–20. Though Amon forgot the Word of the Lord and it was lost for a season, God ensured that it would not be lost for good. It was God’s mercy to allow Amon to be killed and young Josiah to be made king. It was God who gave Josiah a heart for righteousness, and it was God who led him to preserve the Word of God and the promise of a coming deliverer, Jesus. Jesus is called “the Word” in the Gospel of John. God in his faithfulness would not let his Word pass away because his Word is all about his Son, Jesus. The Word of God describes the sinfulness of man and the promise of redemption by God through Jesus. Not the smallest portion of God’s Word will pass away until it is accomplished.


Jonah and Nineveh

Our hope is for our kids to know that: God’s Grace Extends Beyond Israel’s Borders

 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
Romans 1:16

(Open the bible and read to your child the book of Jonah) Jonah was a prophet, who God wanted to use to save the city of Nineveh. This city was so wicked that Jonah didn’t want to go there, so he fled from God on a ship headed the opposite direction. As we know, God will pursue us, and the same was true for Jonah. God made a storm so severe that the people on the ship grew fearful. This caused them to throw Jonah overboard, which immediately calmed the sea. Jonah was swallowed by a fish, and stayed in the belly for three days. Afterwards, Jonah warned the city of Nineveh and they repented. However, Jonah was angry because he felt they should perish. God reminded Jonah that he loves all of us, and will pursue all of us in order for us to spend eternity with him.

The Jesus Connection:
Read Matthew 12:39–40. Jesus tells us that the three days Jonah spent in the belly of a fish was a picture foretelling the time that Jesus’ crucified body would be in the grave before the resurrection. God had a plan to rescue Jonah from his sin of disobedience. God’s plan for Jonah involved three days swallowed up in a fish. Jonah found his salvation in God. In the end Jonah was released and went on to preach repentance to Nineveh. God has a plan to rescue us from our sin through Jesus. Jesus died on the cross for our sins and spent three days in the grave swallowed up by death. But death could not hold him, and on the third day he rose again. Now the message of repentance and faith in Christ is proclaimed all over the world. The question for us is, will we trust in him?

Jacobs Dream

Our hope is for our kids to know that: Jacob’s true birthright is given by God who draws near

 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go.
Genesis 28:15a

(Open the bible and read to your child Genesis 28:10-22) Rebekah overhears Esau planning to kill Jacob after their father Isaac dies. So she tells Jacob to flee and not to return until Esau’s anger subsides. As Jacob leaves, Isaac blesses him a second time. On his journey Jacob has a dream. The dream was God reaching out to Jacob, repeating the promise He made to Abraham. Jacob realizes God is with Him and when he awakens he sets the stone he has been sleeping on and sets it up as a memorial. God has used dreams as a way to communicate with individuals he is calling on a mission. Although God uses dreams, we don’t have to wait for dreams to discover the will of God.   

The Jesus Connection:
Read John 1:43–51.
God came to Jacob in a dream of a ladder between earth and heaven. In the dream, God promised Jacob the same thing he had promised Jacob’s grandfather Abraham— to bless all families of the earth through his offspring. This blessing refers to salvation through Jesus Christ. In John 1, Jesus lets us in on a little secret: He is the ladder of Jacob’s dream! Jesus is the only way to cross from earth to heaven. Jesus made it possible for man to be forgiven and go to heaven to live with God. He is the one who made the way for us

Jacob and Esau  

Our hope is for our kids to know that: God directs all things from babies to birthrights

19 honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.”
Matthew 19:19

(Open the bible and read to your child Genesis 25:19-34) When Rebekah was pregnant with twins she could feel the children wrestling inside of her. God revealed to her that she would have twins, where the older would serve the younger. It was unusual that the older would serve the younger, but we see it come true when the boys are older. Jacob who was the younger had made a bowl of stew. When Esau returned from hunting and was hungry, Jacob took advantage of him and offered the stew for Esau’s birthright. That meant when the father dies, the inheritance goes to the one with the birthright. God had a purpose and a plan for Jacob. We can see that God directs all things.

The Jesus Connection:
Read Romans 9:8–15. Have you been wondering why God told Rebekah that her older son would serve the younger? Here, in the book of Romans, God gives us the answer. God wanted to show that he controls everything. By choosing the meeker, younger son over the firstborn, stronger son, God was showing us that he didn’t need man’s strength to accomplish his plans. In the end, God wanted everyone to see that his people are saved by our faith in God alone, not because of when we were born or because of anything we do. God does not save us because we are strong or because we were born first. We are saved by faith (trusting in God’s plan), and even our faith is a gift God gives to us. The most important part of God’s plan to save us was the death of his Son Jesus upon the cross, who died to take our sins away.

Saul is knocked to the ground

Our hope is for our kids to know that: No one can resist the calling of God

“No one can come to me, unless drawn by the Father who sent me; and I will raise that person on the last day”
John 6:44

(Open the bible and read to your child Acts 9:1-19) Saul was a Pharisee who was persecuting followers of Jesus. He did not believe that Jesus was the son of God. One day, on his way to Damascus, Jesus appeared to him and blinded him. For three days he was blind until God sent Ananias to pray for him and to let him know that he was chosen by God to spread the Word to the Gentiles. It took Ananias awhile to be convinced because he was afraid of Saul, but once he went to Saul and prayed for him Saul’s sight was restored. Saul then became Paul and began preaching in the name of Jesus. God has called all of us to spread his Word and make disciples.

The Jesus Connection:
Saul heard a voice asking, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” (Acts 9:4). He did not know who was speaking, so he asked, “Who are you, Lord?” To his amazement the response was, “I am Jesus.” Saul knew that Jesus had been a teacher, and that he had died on the cross. But Saul did not yet know and believe that Jesus was Lord, the Son of God, raised in power! We, like Saul, are sinners who do not know Jesus. Our experience in coming to know Jesus is similar to Paul’s. While we are sinners God takes the initiative to move us toward himself. Saul was on his way to kill more Christians when Jesus revealed himself to him. Saul immediately realized that the stories of Jesus’ resurrection were true. Jesus was, and is, alive!

The Lame Beggar Walks

Our hope is for our kids to know that: There is power in the name of Jesus

Salvation and glory and power belong to our God,”
(Revelation 19:1B)

(Open the bible and read to your child Acts 3:1 – 4:31) One day as Peter and John were on their way to the temple they saw a crippled man begging for money. This man was in an opportune spot because many of those on the way to the temple would give. Peter however told the man to walk. Peter remembered the words that Jesus spoke to him, saying, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (John 14:12–13). The man stood up and began to walk. The name of Jesus has power, even after His death, burial, and resurrection. The Holy Spirit was working in the believers, which they received at Pentecost.

The Jesus Connection:
It was in the name of Jesus that the beggar was healed, and it was the name and gospel of Christ that Peter brought to the crowd and the religious rulers. After healing the crippled beggar, Peter was not going to miss an opportunity to share the gospel. Peter explained that if they repented and believed in Jesus, their sins would be forgiven. He appealed to them from the words of the prophets, and he quoted Moses (Acts 3:22–23). Peter ended his appeal by reminding them of Jesus’ call for them to abandon their wicked ways. This story is the gospel from start to finish.

New Believers

Our hope is for our kids to know that: The message of the gospel is effective to save and change sinful hearts  

17 So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!
(2 Corinthians 5:17)

(Open the bible and read to your child Acts 2:42 – 47) The disciples were now filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. Christ had told them to make disciples of all nations after they received the gift of the Holy Spirit, so now that time has come. Jesus told the disciples that they would do greater things than Him, and we witness this at the day of Pentecost. We see that 3000 people responded to Peter’s message and were saved. Peter was filled with the spirit and we see the awesome results. This response to the gospel message began the local church. We see that they all began to fellowship together and share everything they had with each other so that no one was in need. People began to see this and join them daily.

The Jesus Connection:
The behavior of the very first converts in the book of Acts shows us the fruit of the gospel through the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives. These people were transformed from being mockers of Christ. In fact, some of them were probably in the crowd who had demanded that Jesus be crucified. Yet now, we see them selling their possessions to share with other Christians who had need. Peter, affected by this first dramatic gospel transformation, went on to exhort all new believers to reject their sinful past and live holy, upright lives (see 1 Peter 1:14–15).
The gospel takes someone’s worldly self-focus and turns their heart heavenward. The first converts went from hating Jesus to loving him. They served others and worshiped God through Christ. Only the Spirit of God can change hearts this way. The gospel continued to transform lives as more new converts were added each day.