Monthly Archives: March 2012

Family Devotions for Early Childhood, Sunday Mar 25: God’s Promise to Abram

Bible Text: Genesis 15:1-18

Read with Me Bible Reference: Pages  40-43

Key Point of Passage: God promised to give Abram many children, and Abram believed God.

Memory Verse: Abram believed the Lord (Genesis 15:6).

Questions for Discussion:

1)      At the beginning of this story, did Abram have any children?

2)      How many children did God promise Abram would eventually have?

3)      Do you think that would be easy to believe or hard to believe?

4)      Did Abram believe God?

5)      Did Abram’s belief in God make God happy?

6)      Do you think God is happy when we believe in Him too?

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Filed under Family Devotional/Sermon Questions, Parents' Tool Box, Preschool-Kindergarten, Sunday Sneak Preview, Toddlers 2's & 3's

Lower Elementary Sunday Mar 25: The Last Supper- The Washing of the Feet

Key Point: Jesus was humble and served others and He wants us to do the same.

Lesson Summary: 

Know What: Children will hear the story of the Last Supper. Jesus modeled humility and servanthood by washing the feet of the disciples.

So What:  Children will learn that Jesus came to be a Servant-King.

Now What: Children will have an opportunity to experience what it means to be humble and serve by participating in a service project.

Bible Text:

John 13:1-20

Verse to Memorize (optional)

“serve one another in love.” Gal 5:13

This verse tells usthat Jesus wants us to be humble and serve others just like He did. 

Discussion Questions: 

1. How did Jesus serve His friends? How did the disciples respond?

2. What are some ways you can serve the people in your life?

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Filed under Lower Elementary (1st-3rd), Sunday Sneak Preview

Upper Elementary Sunday Mar 25: Obedience (Armor of God)

Key Passage:  Ephesians 6:1-9

Key Themes: 

  • We need to obey those in authority with a sincere heart.
  • There are blessings to obedience.
  • We all, including those in authority over us, need to obey God because  He is everyone’s Master.

Discussion Questions: 

1. What does it mean to obey?

2. What kind of attitude do we need for true obedience?

Related Passages: 

Deut 6:3
John 14:21
Col 3:20
James 1:22-25
1 John 5:3
Application Points: 

1. What authority do you have the most trouble obeying?

2. What family rules do you have the most trouble obeying? Why do you think those rules are in place?

3. Review the family rules with your child or corporately write new ones. Let your child have input so he or she will feel ownership in the system.

4. Family Fun Night: Play a game your child is familiar with, but drop all the rules. Let the players do whatever they want, whenever they want, for any reason. Discuss how the lack of rules makes chaos and the rules are designed to make the game fun for everyone. Rules are very similar– God knows what is best for us and gives us a guidebook in His Word. Obedience brings blessings— see Eph 6:3

5. This week, encourage your child extra hard to obey authorities in his or her life (teachers, parents, coaches, pastors, etc.) Tell them not to complain or argue (Phil 2:14), but to obey. At the end of the week, talk about how the week went:

  • was it harder or easier?  [It’s okay if it is harder– this is why we need Jesus and is a perfect opportunity to explain the gospel to your child. We cannot do it on our own!]
  • was life more peaceful? Did your child notice any blessings that came from obedience?  [Make sure you have noticed, rewarded, encouraged obedience from your child this week so they have experienced the blessings of obedience!]

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Filed under Sunday Sneak Preview, Upper Elementary (4th-5th)

Upper Elementary Spring 2012: The Armor of God

Dear Parents,

This Spring we will be studying Ephesians 6 with your fourth and fifth graders. Most of the time will be spent learning about the Armor of God.

It is important that our students see that this armor is given to all believers. When we are “in Christ“, we have it. The closer we draw to Jesus through reading the Word and obeying the Word, the more fully we will walk in the armor of Christ. These verses help us to know that it is only “In Christ” that we have the authority, power, and victory over the enemy. A Christian who does not understand who he is in Christ can live a defeated, joyless, and fearful life. The truth is that Christ has given us the authority to defeat the enemy within and without. This truth can set us FREE! 

We want our children to know the truth of God’s Word instead of the lies of the world. We are powerless against sin without Christ. We cannot know the truth, have faith, save ourselves, save the world, or fight our enemies within and without apart from Christ. Christ is our all in all. We can know Christ and be saved, but it is only when we obey Christ that we can live in joy and victory.

We encourage you to study this passage and talk about it with your child. Dwell in it. Memorize it. Discuss it. As Christ changes you, He will give you wisdom, insight, and power to minister to the precious children He has given you.

In His Service,

Pastor Mike and

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Filed under Sunday Sneak Preview, Upper Elementary (4th-5th)

Family Devotions from Sermon for Elementary, Sunday Mar 18: Genesis 14

Bible Text: Genesis 14 click on link to see NIRV text).

Key Point(s) of Passage: God blessed Abram and helped him rescue Lot, who had been kidnapped by enemy kings. Then Abram met Melchizedek the priest and king.

Memory Verse: “Give praise to God Most High. He gave your enemies into your hand.” (Ge. 14.20).

Questions for Family Discussion:

You do not have to go through all the questions – pick and choose whatever you feel will work best for your particular family.

1. Preparation – Pray a quick prayer together as a family that God will help you to understand His word.

2. Find an easy to read version of the Bible to read together as a family. The NIRV (New International Reader’s Version) is a good choice for elementary kids. Then if your child is able, help them find the passage in their Bible and read it out loud, while helping with hard words. Or read it out loud for your child.

3. It is easy to get lost in the details of the first part of Ge. 14. If necessary, you can just summarize for your child what happened – there were four kings (and their armies) who got together to fight against five other kings (and their armies). The king of Sodom and the king of Gomorrah were part of the five kings group.  Lot was Abraham’s nephew. Lot lived in Sodom. The group of five lost the battle, and the people of Sodom (including Lot) got captured and taken away. Now read with your children starting in verse 12.

4. Read verse 12. What happened to Lot? What do you think it would be like to be captured and taken away from your home?

5. Read v. 13-14. Why do you think the man that escaped came to see Abram? What did he tell Abram? What did Abram do? How brave would Abram have to be to take only ~300 men and chase down four kings and their big armies?! Why would Abram do that? How is that like what Jesus did for us? (Jesus was just one man fighting against everyone’s sin and death. Yet Jesus conquered death and saved us! And he saved us not just from being captured or physcially killed like Lot, but rather Jesus saved us from a much more permanent spiritual death!)

6. Read v. 14-17. Did Abram win with his small group against four mighty armies? How do you think he was able to do that? (It could be superior military tactics—it doesn’t say exactly how they won, but in one way or another it was certainly God blessing and helping Abram! In v. 20 it says that “He [God] gave your enemies into your hand”).

7. Who came out to meet Abram in v. 18? Can you say his name 7 times fast? What was his job (he was a king, and also a priest of the one true God)? You can read more about Melchizedek in Hebrews , ch. 7. He is a prototype that points forward to Christ – Christ is the King of Kings, and the Priest that perfectly reconciles us to God. That might be a tough concept for kids though.

8. What does it say in v. 20 that Abram gave to Melchizedek? (He gave him 10% of his money/possessions). Why do you think he did that? What are things we can give to support God’s work? (For example, giving money to your local church, or a charity, or a missions organization, or giving possessions away to people in need).

Family Activity Idea
1. Watch a family-friendly movie that is about somebody being rescued that was lost or captured (for example, 101 Dalmatians, or Finding Nemo). Then talk about how Abram did something similar by rescuing Lot. And even more importantly, show how Jesus did something similar -but infinitely more amazing- by dying on the cross to rescue us from sin and death.

2. Be honest as a family about whether or not you are supporting God’s work with your money and possessions, like Abram did with Melchizedek the priest. What can each member do? For example, if your child has a small allowance, teach them early on to give a percentage of that to support God’s work in some way. Or do they have possessions that could be given away? And as parents, WE need to set the example with our own finances and possessions.

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Filed under Family Devotional/Sermon Questions, Lower Elementary (1st-3rd), Upper Elementary (4th-5th)

Teaching Your Children the Story of Easter with Resurrection Eggs

Easter is just around the corner! With that in mind, we’d like to, in the coming weeks, share some resources to help you and your family celebrate the true meaning of Easter.

First, we’ll highlight Resurrection Eggs. Resurrection Eggs are a fun , hands-on and creative way to help your children learn the story of Easter. This kit from Family Life Ministries features twelve colorful plastic eggs. Each egg contains a small object to help tell the Easter story. Over the course of the twelve days before Easter, you and your children open one egg each day and read a short devotional from the included book.
During this period, you trace Jesus’ final week from Palm Sunday through His glorious resurrection. The book also includes ideas for presenting the gospel to your children. This is such a fun Easter tradition you and your children will look forward to every year!  It’s an ideal way to present the Easter story to preschool and elementary aged children.

There are also some wonderful picture books that tie-in to the resurrection egg theme:

  • Benjamin’s Box by Melody Carlson– this picture book is about a little boy named Benjamin who follows Jesus through His last week, collecting treasures along the way. Through this journey, Benjamin comes to learn the good news about Jesus! There are 14 little chapters that you could read aloud to your children. The final 12 chapters coordinate with the treasures found in the Resurrection Eggs.
  • The Story of the Resurrection Eggs in Rhyme and Song by Jean Thompson and Nancy Gordon- this Miss Patty Cake book goes through seven of the Resurrection Eggs for preschoolers, helping open up the wonder of Easter. There is also a DVD which can accompany the book- Miss PattyCake’s Easter Eggstravaganza.

If you’re on a budget, here’s a helpful tutorial on how to make your own resurrection eggs. Or you could do a paper version.

Want to do more? The website 2 Teaching Mommies has activities to go with each egg for those moms and children who enjoy crafts.

May you and your family be blessed as you prepare for Easter!

Resurrection Eggs can be found online or in most Christian bookstores.

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Filed under Book Reviews, Parents' Tool Box

Family Devotions for Early Childhood, Sunday Mar 18: Abram Rescues Lot

Bible Text: Genesis 14:1-24 

Key Point of Passage: God blessed Abram and helped him rescue Lot, who had been kidnapped by enemy kings.

Memory Verse: Abram believed the Lord (Genesis 15:6).

Questions for Discussion:

1)      What happened to Lot and his family after his king lost the battle against four other kings?

2)      Who went to rescue Lot and his family?

3)      Even though the four kings had powerful armies, did God help Abram and bless him?

4)      When Lot’s King tried to give Abram all the riches he had rescued from the enemy kings, did Abram take them?

5)      Who is better to have on your side: lots of kings, or God?

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Filed under Family Devotional/Sermon Questions, Parents' Tool Box, Preschool-Kindergarten, Sunday Sneak Preview, Toddlers 2's & 3's