Posts Tagged ‘hope’

God makes a Covenant with Abram

Our hope is for our kids to know that: God has good plans for us

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

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child Gen 15:1-18) Abram and Lot were now separated, and after some time Abram received a vision from the Lord. God told Abram once again that he would have a son, and his descendants would be numerous. Although Abram was growing restless, he believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness. The Lord made a covenant with Abram according to tradition. However one thing was changed, God put Abram in a deep sleep so the covenant (contract) was unilateral. All the work was up to God, and Abram didn’t have to do a thing! This surely is God showing his grace and mercy to Abram.

Share:
Tell about a plan you made that didn’t go the way you thought it would but turned out for the best. Maybe your occupation isn’t what you thought it would be as you were growing up but you’re happy in what you’re doing. Or you’d made plans to travel the world and have adventures and then your kids became a greater adventure than you could’ve planned. Why are you satisfied with the way things turned out despite not being exactly what you planned? Invite your kids to tell about plans they’ve made for their future. You can invite God into all of your plans and trust that if plans change along the way, God always has the best for you in mind. Even when life is difficult, God has a plan for good things to come through hardship.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
Have a family planning hour. Quiet the noise in your house, and have family members list the things they want to do in the next week. Discuss how God can help family members to accomplish their plans. Make a family commitment to follow God’s leading as these plans unfold. Have each family member pray for another family member this week so everyone has a prayer partner.

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God Promises to Restore Israel After the Exile

Our hope is for our kids to know that: We seek God no matter what happens

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

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child Jeremiah 29:4-14) The people of Israel were in exile in the land of Babylon, and Jeremiah was a prophet who had the tough task of telling Israel that if they didn’t follow God the immediate future wouldn’t be so bright. This was a message that the Israelites didn’t want to hear. In this passage we see Jeremiah telling the exiles to settle in and get comfortable, because they were going to be there for awhile, 70 years in fact. This taught the Israelites to trust God and realize he has a plan for them. This plan was in the future and not necessarily and immediate plan. In spite of that fact, we all can rest in the fact that God has our futures planned for us.

Share:
Talk about a time you asked God for answers (for example, by providing wisdom for an important decision, or direction for the future). Then help your kids invite God into any decisions they’ll make this week. Encourage your children to keep asking for God’s guidance in prayer and through reading the Bible, no matter what happens.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
As a family, play a game of “Hot and Cold.” One family member closes his or her eyes while the others hide an object in the living room. The seeker then moves around the room while the other family members indicate whether he or she is getting closer (warmer) or getting farther away (colder). Take turns being the seeker. After  everyone’s had an opportunity to be the seeker, talk about how this experience is like or unlike seeking God no matter what happens.

Risen

Key Verse: “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies’”
(John 11:25)

Our hope is for our kids to: Have faith in Jesus

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child 1 Peter 1:3-9) Jesus had already ascended into heaven and the believers were left with spreading the gospel. Peter was a bright spot, someone who completely changed from the follower who denied Christ three times. In this passage we see Peter giving gold nuggets of hope. This was very important at the time because the early Christians were facing persecution under the Romans. Peter reminds us that our faith in Christ gives us hope, and our hard times help our faith grow stronger for the next difficult time. Our weakness is his strength.

Share:
(This is an opportunity for you to ask some questions and to share your thoughts) Parents: Talk about what it means to you to put your hope in Jesus, or encourage a close family friend to share with your children about when he or she first put hope in Jesus. Then talk with your children about what it means for them to hope in Jesus. Encourage your children to share personal examples of when they’ve hoped in Jesus. As a family, talk about things that keep you from having hope in Jesus, and discuss ways you can encourage each other to keep hoping, even in the midst of these things.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
Plan a time of faith filled storytelling. Encourage each family member to come up with at least one story in advance. It can be a personal story or a story you’ve heard that really expresses the value or meaning of keeping that faith. Pop some popcorn or prepare another fun snack together; then sit around and have each person tell stories of faith. Afterward, encourage family members to share what their faith in Jesus means to them.

Celebrate New Beginnings

Key Verse: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”
(John 1:1)

Our hope is for our kids to know that: God blesses us when we choose his ways

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child Matthew 5:1-12) This passage is the beginning of a message Jesus preached called the Sermon in the Mount. Jesus is preaching to those who seem to have no hope, that may feel the kingdom is out of reach for them, but Jesus gives them hope. He tells them that there is a joy that He gives, and nothing in this world can take that away. He ends with the message of perseverance. There will be times when you are insulted or when you’re going through a hard time, but that’s when we can have confidence knowing God is with us and will love us through all our trials.

Share:
(This is an opportunity for you to ask some questions and to share your thoughts) Parents: Share with your kids a unique characteristic you’ve seen in them that you know pleases God. Make sure to include specific examples of those characteristics. For example, you might share how you’ve seen your child be generous with time or money. Or you might talk about how you’ve seen your child be forgiving and gracious to another family member. Ask your kids to come up with other positive attitudes and characteristics they’ve noticed in each other. Then encourage your kids to think about attitudes and characteristics in their lives that aren’t pleasing to God. Ask your children to commit to asking God to help them overcome those attitudes and behaviors to live in a way that pleases him.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
Help your child turn a rainy day into a great day by making a special umbrella together! Use a white or light-colored nylon umbrella and some permanent fabric paints or permanent markers. Encourage your child to think of activities that your family likes to do on sunny days, such as tossing a Frisbee or playing catch with a ball. Then help your child draw and color pictures of those activities onto your special umbrella. The next time a rainy day threatens to ruin a day of fun, test out your new umbrella together and play in the puddles instead! Ask: What were some of the favorite activities you drew? How can you still have fun, even when it’s raining outside?  When bad things happen on earth, what does Jesus tell us to look forward to?