Posts Tagged ‘trust’


Jesus Walks on Water

Our hope is for our kids to know that: Jesus is the Son of God who saves

 “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
John 3:17

When Jesus finished teaching he went off to pray by himself. To do this he told the disciples to get in the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side of the lake they were at. Later that night, Jesus had to make his way to them, and in order to do that he began to walk on water. Upon seeing this, Peter asked if he could come out to Jesus. Jesus told him “come” and Peter began to step out onto the water and walk towards Jesus. This took faith, as Peter had to trust he wouldn’t fall to the bottom of the lake, but once Peter began to take his eyes off of Jesus, he began to sink. We are to fix our eyes on Jesus and trust that he is God, to get us through whatever trial may come.

The Jesus Connection:
Jesus was no ordinary man. He was more than a great teacher: Jesus was, and is, God. When the disciples in the boat saw Jesus walk on the stormy waves, they worshiped him as God. Little did they know that this same Jesus, who had power over the wind and the waves, who could walk on water and heal all the sicknesses of those who came to him, would soon die on the cross for their sins.
If Jesus had not been God, he should have rebuked the disciples for worshiping him. But Jesus did not correct them. There, in the middle of the sea, Jesus received the worship of the disciples.
In this story, Peter cried out, “Lord, save me.” His words were more profound than he could realize. Our own sin separates us from God. We need to cry out with those same words: “Lord, save me.” As he did with Peter, the Lord extends his hand to save and deliver us safely to the shore of heaven.


Saul Disobeys the Lord

Our hope is for our kids to know that: Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart

“5Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Proverbs 3:5-6

(Open the bible and read to your child 1 Samuel 16:1-13) King Saul didn’t follow God which caused God to reject him as king. It wasn’t until then that Saul felt remorse for his actions. So God told Samuel that he will anoint a new king. He is instructed to go to the house of Jesse, and it is there that Samuel will find the one that God wanted to appoint as king. Samuel looks at Jesse’s sons one by one, looking for the one that is to be anointed. At first Samuel looks at the outward appearance, much like the Israelite’s did when choosing Saul. However, God tells Samuel that he looks at the heart, not the outward appearance. Eventually Samuel looks at the youngest son David, who was out tending the sheep. He was short, and he was young, but he was the one God had chosen to be king.

The Jesus Connection:
Read Isaiah 53:2b.
God did not choose David because of his outward appearance, but because he had a heart for God. David was a handsome young boy but not tall in stature. Isaiah tells us of another king who “had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him” (Isaiah 53:2). God’s choice of David to replace Saul as king over Israel should make us think of another king, King Jesus. Jesus would have a perfect heart for God and die on the cross so that he could extend to us his righteousness. Through Christ, God takes our heart of stone and gives us a heart of flesh. Then God does something truly remarkable, he moves us to obey him by his Spirit (Ezekiel 36:27).

Saul Disobeys the Lord

Our hope is for our kids to know that: God’s will is what’s best for us

“…do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity.
Proverbs 3:1-2

(Open the bible and read to your child 1 Samuel 13:2-14) Saul is now king of Israel and was given instructions from Samuel. He is to wait at Gilgal seven days for Samuel to arrive because Samuel is God’s prophet, and he is to present the burnt and fellowship offerings to the Lord. While Saul is waiting for Samuel his soldiers begin to fear the Philistines and hide. This is because the Philistines are building their army which consisted of three thousand chariots and soldiers as numerous as the sand on the seashore. Because of this, Saul becomes impatient and offered up the burnt and fellowship offerings himself. Right after Saul finished, Samuel shows up. Samuel tells Saul that he did not follow God’s will and instructions, which is best for us. Saul wanted to do things his way and did not trust God.

The Jesus Connection:
Read Luke 22:42.
As a king, Saul failed. One day God would anoint another Man to be king who would not fail. Even when it was difficult, Jesus (the greatest king) obeyed God. The difficult task in front of Jesus was to die on the cross (see Acts 13:22–23). When faced with the cross, Jesus prayed to his Father in heaven saying, “not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42). Saul placed his own will above God’s; Jesus did not. As a result of Jesus’ obedience, we have salvation through his sacrificial death.

The Pharisee and the Tax Collector

Our hope is for our kids to know that: Our confidence is in the Lord alone.

Key Verse:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding”
Proverbs 3:5

(Open the bible and read to your child Luke 18:9-17) The Pharisee thought he was righteous by his own doing. So when he prayed he was full of pride, and thought he was better off than others. On the other hand, the tax collector knew he was a sinner, and knew he needed a savior. Our sins cannot be forgiven if we don’t accept Christ and the sacrifice he did for us. When we try to become righteous by ourselves, we fall short, because none of us is perfect. This is why Jesus said the sins of the tax collector are forgiven. What a mighty God we serve, who gives us grace and forgives us of our sins, when we accept Him

The Jesus Connection:
How does today’s Bible story fit into God’s greater plan of redemption?

We will never be justified by the good works we do. If our body is dirty, no amount of clean clothes can make us clean. We might look clean on the outside and fool our friends, but we would still be dirty. The Pharisee was a sinner just like the tax collector. He was trusting that his good works would get him into heaven. The Bible tells us that our good works can never get us into heaven (Ephesians 2:8–9). If one trusts in good works, he will be humbled in the day of judgment. However, if we humble ourselves, confess our sin, and trust in Jesus, then through the gospel of grace, God will raise us up.

There is only one way the tax collector could walk away justified (Luke 18:14). It was because of his faith in God as his only hope for salvation. Although the parable doesn’t mention how we are saved, when the tax collector placed his hope in God’s mercy, he placed his hope in God’s Savior, Jesus, who took away his punishment when we died upon the cross.

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

(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.

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.