Conversation Starters: Miracles

DSC_1133THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: We can only do so much to protect ourselves from the world around us. Unfortunately, storms—economic, health-related, or even literal ones—enter our lives, bringing havoc and leaving us devastated. In those moments, we see how powerless we really are. Only one Man—Jesus Christ—has ever had full power and authority over the storms we face. We can trust Him over life’s circumstances.

Concept: Miracles 

Preschool

Mark 4:25-41; Luke 8:22-25

LIFE POINT: Jesus had taught people about God. He told His helpers (disciples), “Let’s go to the other side of the lake.” They got into a boat and began to sail across the lake. Jesus fell asleep on a cushion in the boat. Suddenly a great wind began to blow. The wind blew so hard that waves of water splashed into the boat. The helpers were frightened! They thought the boat would sink. The men woke up Jesus and cried out for help. Jesus stood up and said, “Be quiet! Be still!” Immediately the wind stopped blowing, and the waves became calm. Jesus asked the men, “Didn’t you know I could help you?” The helpers were amazed that even the wind and waves obeyed Jesus.

LIVE IT OUT: Does your child get frightened during storms? Help comfort your child by reminding her about the Bible story and that Jesus is always with her. Help your child say a prayer, asking God for help.

Kids

Mark 4:25-41; Luke 8:22-25

LIFE POINT: On that day when evening had come, Jesus told His disciples, “Let’s cross over to the other side of the sea.” So they left the crowd and took Him along since He was already in the boat. And other boats were with Him. A fierce windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking over the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on the cushion. So the disciples woke Jesus and said to Him, “Teacher! Don’t You care that we’re going to die?” Jesus got up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Silence! Be still!” The wind ceased, and there was a great calm. Then He said to them, “Why are you fearful? Do you still have no faith?” And the disciples were terrified and asked one another, “Who then is this? Even the wind and the sea obey Him!”.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child look through the Bible and find miracles that Jesus performed. Make a list of each miracle and where it is found. Say a prayer of thanks for Jesus, God’s Son.

Students

Mark 4:35-41

THE POINT: Jesus has power over all my fears. How do you usually react to
life’s storms? Talk with your student about a moment when you panicked instead of trusting the Lord. Discuss the following quote:

“God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform; He plants His footsteps in the sea, and rides upon the storm.” 1 — William Cowper

LIVE IT OUT: Your student has been encouraged to do one or both Live It Out activities. Here are some suggested ways to help your student:

If he or she plans to complete Uh Oh:
•Sit down with your student as he or she makes a list of storms in life.
•Pray that your student will see the power of Jesus in a greater way this week.

If he or she plans to do Calm Down:
•Take time to praise God with your student for His power and might.
•As your student prays over different storms in life, pray for them as well

1. William Cowper, “God Moves in a Mysterious Way,” Cyber Hymnal, [cited 14 September 2014]. Available from the Internet: http://www.cyberhymnal.org.

Conversation Starters: Service

IMG_8170THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Many people consider themselves “self-made” people, but the truth is no one gets anywhere without the assistance of others. Other people know they need the help of others, and they build their relationships only around what they can get out of the other person. Our relationships would have more success if, instead of focusing on how the other person can help us, we focused on how we can help and serve the other person.

Concept: Service 

Preschool

Acts 11:19-30

LIFE POINT: Many new people were learning about Jesus in the church at Antioch. The people in Jerusalem heard about this church and sent Barnabas there to help teach the people. After Barnabas saw the good things happening in Antioch, he went to find Saul to bring him to Antioch. They worked together to teach the people about Jesus. One day a prophet named Agabus came from Jerusalem to the church in Antioch. He told how the area including Jerusalem would have a famine. This meant the people would have no food. The helpers (disciples) and people at the church gave what they could to help the people in Jerusalem. Barnabas and Saul took the gifts to the people in Jerusalem.

LIVE IT OUT: Involve your child in a church project that helps people. Distributing flyers for a church event, visiting in a nursing home, or helping on a cleanup day are simple projects your child could participate in.

Kids

Acts 11:19-30

LIFE POINT: Because of persecution, many believers were scattered to various cities. They still spoke about Jesus, and people in these cities began to believe. More and more people started to believe, and soon a very large church had started. This news spread all the way to Jerusalem where Barnabas was. He traveled to Antioch to check things out. When Barnabas arrived, he saw what God had done. He was glad and encouraged them. He saw a great number of people learn who Jesus was. A prophet named, Agabus, shared that there would be a very severe famine throughout the entire Roman world. And what did the church do? The Bible says that the disciples decided to provide help for the believers who lived in Judea. They sent gifts with Barnabas and Paul to give to the church in Judea. The believers in Antioch were the first to be called Christians!

LIVE IT OUT: Involve your child in a church project that helps people. Working in a food pantry, distributing food to the needy, or doing yard work for a senior adult are jobs in which your child could participate.

Students

Galatians 5:13-15; 6:1-5, 10

THE POINT: Take advantage of the opportunity to serve. Do you enjoy helping others?When was the last time someone reached out and helped you? Discuss the following quote:

“What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.”1 — Augustine

LIVE IT OUT: Your student has been encouraged to do one or both Live It Out activities. Here are some suggested ways to help your student:

If he or she plans to complete Self < Others:
•Help your student find ideas for ways to serve others by searching the Internet together.
•Encourage your student to put a calendar of service opportunities in a place your whole family will see it.

If he or she plans to complete How Can I Help?:
•Invite your student to hold you accountable to grow in how often and how well you help others.
•Ask your student to pray for you as you serve others this week.

1. “Saint Augustine Quotes,” Brainy Quote, [cited 14 September 2014]. Available from the Internet: http://www.brainyquote.com.

Conversation Starters: Love

DSC_1613THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: We’ve probably all heard someone say, “I love him, but I don’t like him right now.” In that attitude, we treat love as some sort of concept we are required to embrace—especially with relatives—but there are no concrete, day-to-day expressions of love. Yet the starting point for any strong relationship is love—love that is expressed in both attitudes and actions. Jesus modeled this kind of love for us, and calls us to do the same.

Concept: Love 

Preschool

Luke 10:25-37

LIFE POINT: One day as Jesus taught, a man asked Him a question. “Who should we help?” Jesus answered the man by telling a story. “A man walked along a road to another town. Some bad people took his money and clothes. They hurt him and left him lying by the side of the road. Two church helpers walked down the road and saw the hurt man. They did not stop to help but crossed to the other side and kept walking. A third man walked by. He was a Samaritan, a person from the country of Samaria. He stopped to help. He bandaged the hurt man’s cuts, put him on a donkey, and took him to an inn. He paid the innkeeper to care for the man.” Jesus asked the man which one of the people was a neighbor and helped. The man said the Samaritan. Jesus told the man to do the same and help everyone.

LIVE IT OUT: Involve your child in thinking of and completing a project that helps a person in need. Perhaps you could choose a neighbor on your street.

Kids

Luke 10:25-37

LIFE POINT: A man asked Jesus: “Teacher, what how can I inherit eternal life?” Jesus asked what the law said. The man replied, “ ’Love God love your neighbor.’ But who is my neighbor?” Jesus responded by telling this story. A man was traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho. On his way, he was attacked by robbers and left on the side of the road. A priest, then a Levite, came down the same road. When they saw the man,they crossed over to the other side of the road and continued on his way. Then a Samaritan came down the road. He bandaged the man’s wounds, put him on his donkey, and took him to an inn to take care of him. The next morning, he gave money to the innkeeper to take care of the man. He pledged to pay back the innkeeper.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child make an acrostic. Print GOD LOVES ME down the left side of a sheet of paper. Help your child think of words beginning with each letter that show that God loves her.

Students

John 15:9-14

THE POINT: Let love overflow into every relationship. Are you known as a loving person? Why or why not? Who is someone you can choose to love in a more intentional way this week? Discuss the following quote:

“Love one another dearly always. There is scarcely anything else in the world but that: to love one another.” 1 —Victor Hugo

LIVE IT OUT: Your student has been encouraged to do one or both Live It Out activities. Here are some suggested ways to help your student:

If he or she plans to complete Dwell:
•Talk to your student about what it means to dwell in the love of Christ.
•Memorize John 15:9 with your student.

If he or she plans to complete The Price is Right:
•Help your student by discussing what you’ve sacrificed because of your great love for him or her.
•Encourage your student to love others selflessly and sacrificially.

1. Victor Hugo, Les misérables, (New York: Carleton, 1869), 165.

Conversation Starters: Forgive

IMG_8505-001THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Even in the best of relationships, we will hurt or disappoint one another. It’s often easy to forgive a misunderstanding or unintentional mistake, but it’s harder when the person “knows better” and does it anyway. Or the person keeps doing the same thing again and again. Some of us become hesitant to forgive; because by doing so, it feels like we’re saying what they did was OK. But just as Jesus forgave us, we are to forgive others.

Concept: Forgive 

Preschool

Genesis 25; 27; 32-33

LIFE POINT: Jacob and Esau were twin brothers. Their father was Isaac, and their mother was Rebekah. Jacob liked to stay home and learned to cook. Esau liked to be outside and hunt wild animals. After hunting, Esau would cook the meat for his father to eat. One day Jacob tricked his father and made his brother angry. Esau wanted to hurt Jacob. Rebekah sent Jacob to his uncle. Jacob stayed with his uncle and worked for him caring for his sheep. Jacob married and had many children. He finally decided to return home. Jacob wondered if his brother would still be angry. One of his helpers came and said, “Some men are coming to see you.” Jacob wondered if Esau was sending men to hurt him. So he sent animals to Esau as a gift. But Esau wasn’t angry. When he saw Jacob, he hugged him and welcomed him home.

LIVE IT OUT: Forgiveness is a difficult concept for preschoolers to understand. Model forgiveness for your preschooler so he can begin to understand what it looks and feels like. Soon he will take the initiative on his own to forgive someone.

Kids

Genesis 25; 27; 32-33

LIFE POINT: Jacob and Esau were twin brothers. Esau had been born first. The firstborn son received a special birthright and blessing. Esau loved being outside and hunting. Jacob loved to cook. One day, Jacob was cooking a stew. Esau was hungry and said he’d give Jacob anything if he could have some. Jacob wanted Esau’s birthright. Esau was hungry and said Jacob could have it! The time came for Isaac to give Esau his blessing. Rebekah, came up with a plan. Isaac had instructed Esau to go out, hunt, and bring him back a meal. While Esau was gone, Rebekah and Jacob tricked Isaac into giving him Easu’s blessing. Esau was so angry that he said he would kill his brother Jacob. So, Jacob quickly left! Many years later, Jacob returned home. Jacob was afraid to see Esau. But Esau ran to meet Jacob and hugged him.

LIVE IT OUT: Ask your child to think of someone he needs to forgive, either a friend or family member. Help her think of how she can apologize.

Students

Matthew 18:21-28, 32-33

THE POINT: Relationships grow deeper with forgiveness. Are you quick to forgive others? Why or why not? Examine your heart for any bitterness that you’ve allowed
to grow. Discuss the following quote:

“Forgiveness is me giving up my right to hurt you for hurting me.”1 — Anonymous

LIVE IT OUT: Your student has been encouraged to do one or both Live It Out activities. Here are some suggested ways to help your student:

If he or she plans to complete Forgiveness Unlimited:
•Discuss the importance of confessing sin to the Lord.
•Pray with your student, thanking God for His immeasurable forgiveness toward us.

If he or she plans to complete Selfish Forgiveness:
•Make yourself available to your student to talk as he or she learns to forgive people who may have hurt him or her.
•Model forgiveness in your home this week by extending grace to your spouse, children, and friends.
1. Stephanie Sarkis, “30 Quotes on Forgiveness,” Psychology Today, 1 February 2011, [cited 14 September 2014]. Available from the Internet: http://www.psychologytoday.com.

Conversation Starters: Encourage

DSC_0927THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: No soldier wants to go into battle alone. No one likes to stand up and be the lone voice in a meeting. We want to know someone has our back or is standing with us. We carry out our responsibilities better when we encourage one another. We all need encouragers in our lives. In turn, we can strengthen our relationships when we offer the same support and encouragement to others.

Concept: Encourage 

Preschool

Esther 2:2-18; 4:5-17; 5:1-14; 7:10; 8:8-17

LIFE POINT: The king of Persia wanted to choose a new queen. He looked at many young women; then he chose Esther for his queen. Esther was a Jewish girl who lived with her cousin Mordecai. Haman, one of the king’s helpers, did not like Mordecai or the Jewish people. Haman wanted to hurt Mordecai and all the Jews. “Go and ask the king to help us,” Mordecai told Esther. “Tell him you are Jewish and that Haman wants to hurt us.”
Esther was afraid to go to the king. If she went to the king without being called, she could be in trouble. Esther asked the Jews to pray for her for three days. Esther dressed in her nicest clothes. She went to see the king. The king was happy to see Esther and listened to what she wanted. He helped Esther and Mordecai. The king punished Haman for trying to hurt Mordecai and the Jews.

LIVE IT OUT: Talk to your child about plans she may have for her life, such as what she wants to be when she grows up. Help her understand that God has the perfect plan for her and wants her to love Him.

Kids

Esther 2:2-18; 4:5-17; 5:1-14; 7:10; 8:8-17

LIFE POINT: King Ahasuerus wanted a new queen. Esther lived with her cousin, Mordecai. Esther won the approval of everyone who met her and was crowned queen. Esther did not tell she was Jewish. Haman wanted to kill the Jewish people. He convinced the king to issue a decree that would destroy all Jews. When Queen Esther learned what was happening, Mordecai instructed her to go to the king and ask him to help. Queen Esther stood outside the palace until the king noticed her. The king said he would do anything she asked. Esther made a banquet for the king and Haman. At the banquet, she asked that they join her the next night. The next night, she told the king about Haman’s evil plan. The king was angry and had Haman killed. The Jewish people were saved because Esther trusted God and had courage.

LIVE IT OUT: Talk to your child about plans he may have for his life. Write them down and put them in a safe place. Look at the plans again later. Help your child understand that God has a special plan for his life.

Students

Acts 9:26-28; 11:21-26

THE POINT: Encouragement strengthens relationships. Who is the most encouraging person you know? What are some ways you can encourage others? Discuss the following quote:

“When you encourage others, you in the process are encouraged because you are making a commitment and difference in that person’s life. Encouragement really does make a difference.”1 —Zig Ziglar

LIVE IT OUT: Your student has been encouraged to do one or both Live It Out activities. Here are some suggested ways to help your student:

If he or she plans to complete Effective Encouragement:
•Make a calendar together of ways you can encourage others as a family.
•Think of ways to encourage your student this week.

If he or she plans to complete Promote Good:
•Join your student in posting messages on social media that inspire others.
•Pray for your student to influence peers in a way that honors Christ.

1. “Zig Ziglar Quotes,” Brainy Quote, [cited 14 September 2014]. Available from the Internet: http://www.brainyquote.com.

Conversation Starters: Psalm 23

IMG_8622-001THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: When life seems to turn against us, we need someone to stand with us. We need to know we are not alone when we experience loss. God, who never disappoints or hurts us, walks with us. He provides what we need and strengthens us with His presence. Our desire should be to look back at the storm and say that we are nearer to God and now look more like Him because of His presence.

Psalm 23 

Preschool

Luke 1:26-38; Matthew 1:18-24

LIFE POINT: Mary lived in the town of Nazareth. One day an angel visited Mary. She was surprised. “Do not be afraid,” the angel said. “God has a message for you. You will have a baby. He will be special. He will be God’s Son.” Mary did not understand how this could happen. But she believed God. She said, “I will do what God says.” One night when Joseph was sleeping, he had a dream. God sent an angel to give Joseph a message. “Do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife,” the angel told Joseph. “She will have a special baby. The baby is God’s Son. You will name the baby Jesus.” Joseph believed God and did what God told him to do. He took Mary to his house. Mary and Joseph became a family. God chose a special family for Jesus.

LIVE IT OUT: Review the Bible story with your child. Tell her that God chose a special family for Jesus because families care for one another.

Kids

Luke 1:26-38; Matthew 1:18-24

LIFE POINT: Mary was a young woman who lived in Galilee in a town called Nazareth. Mary was engaged to a man named Joseph. Gabriel was an angel sent by God to Mary. Gabriel said, “Do not to be afraid. You will have a son. You should name the baby Jesus.”
Mary did not understand how she could have a baby. Gabriel reminded Mary that nothing is impossible for God. Mary said she would do whatever God wanted her to do. When Joseph heard about the baby, he was unhappy. Joseph knew he was not the father of this baby. He would not marry her. One night, an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream. The angel said that Joseph should not be afraid to marry Mary. The angel explained that this was God’s Son. He said, “Name Him Jesus.” When Joseph woke up, he did what God’s angel told him to do. Joseph and Mary were married.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child recite Matthew 1:21 from memory. Help him write a short thank-you prayer for the Savior, Jesus.

Students

Psalm 23

THE POINT: No matter what you are going through, God is with you. Tell your student about a difficult season in your life when you knew God was with you. How did God reveal Himself to you during this time? Discuss the following quote:

“Without a shepherd, sheep are not a flock.”1 —Russian Proverb

LIVE IT OUT: Your student has been encouraged to do one or both Live It Out activities. Here are some suggested ways to help your student:

If your student plans to complete Refuge:
• Talk with your student about the challenges he/she is going through. Spend some time praying with your student about these challenges.
• Memorize Psalm 46:1 with your student. Post it around your home as a reminder that God is always with you.

If your student plans to complete Encouragement Box:
• Help your student find materials to create an encouragement box.
• Give your student notes of encouragement or Scripture that he/she could add to the box.

1. “Shepherd,” ThinkExist.com, [cited 2 May 2014]. Available from the Internet: http://thinkexist.com.

Conversation Starters: Dealing with Crisis

DSC_3917THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: We have all been through hard times, but God is bigger than our circumstances. In the Book of Genesis, we see how God prepared and led Joseph in advance of difficult times. While our situation is different from Joseph’s, we can trust the Holy Spirit today to prepare us for and lead us through hard times of our own.

Concept: Dealing with Crisis 

Preschool

Genesis 41

LIFE POINT: Pharaoh had a dream. No one who could tell him what the dream meant. Then the cupbearer remembered Joseph and told Pharaoh. Pharaoh sent for Joseph. Pharaoh told Joseph his dream about seven healthy cows and seven thin cows and seven large heads of grain and seven thin heads of grain. Joseph said that God would help him understand the meaning of the dream. Joseph said that for seven years much food would grow and then seven years of famine when little food would grow. Joseph told Pharaoh to appoint a man to gather extra food in the seven good years and to save it for the years of famine. Pharaoh liked the plan. He put Joseph in charge of gathering the food. Joseph was in charge of everything in Egypt. When the famine came, people came to Joseph to buy food for their families. God helped Joseph, and the people had enough food.

LIVE IT OUT: As your child watches, place several coins in an offering envelope and seal it. Allow your child to carry the offering to church. Help her place the envelope in the offering plate. Tell her, “This is one way you can give to God.”

Kids

Genesis 41

LIFE POINT: Pharaoh had a dream. No one who could tell him what the dream meant. Then the cupbearer remembered Joseph and told Pharaoh. Pharaoh sent for Joseph. Pharaoh told Joseph his dream about seven healthy cows and seven thin cows and seven large heads of grain and seven thin heads of grain. Joseph said that God would help him understand the meaning of the dream. Joseph said that for seven years much food would grow and then seven years of famine when little food would grow. Joseph told Pharaoh to appoint a man to gather extra food in the seven good years and to save it for the years of famine. Pharaoh liked the plan. He put Joseph in charge of gathering the food. Joseph was in charge of everything in Egypt. When the famine came, people came to Joseph to buy food for their families. God helped Joseph, and the people had enough food.

LIVE IT OUT: If you ever pay your child for helping with small jobs around the house, or if you give him an allowance, use coins so that he can more easily understand tithing, giving an offering to God, and saving instead of just spending.

Students

THE POINT: God has a plan to see you through any crisis. Do you trust God to take care of you? Discuss with your student a time where you had to trust God through a crisis.
Discuss the following quote:

“The strong hands of God twisted the crown of thorns into a crown of glory; and in such hands we are safe.”1 —Charles Williams

LIVE IT OUT: Your student has been encouraged to do one or both Live It Out activities. Here are some suggested ways to help your student:

If he plans to complete Be Thankful:
•Invite your student to talk about what he or she is thankful for?
•Lead your student by example. Discuss with him or her 5 things you are thankful for.

If he plans to do Ministry to Others:
•Challenge your student to minister to people going through hard times. Serve alongside him or her.

•Pray for your student to trust God whenever he or she deals with a crisis.

1. “Christian Quotes – Anxiety and Worry Index,” Daily Christian Quote, [cited March 22, 2014]. Available from the Internet: http://dailychristianquote.com.

Conversation Starters: Helping Others

IMG_1260THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: So many of us can be thankful for our homes, possessions, and comfortable lifestyles. Others among us just barely get by. We often struggle in situations that confront us with the underprivileged. It’s often easier to look the other way when we cross paths with someone who is homeless or poor, but God calls us to help people who may be different than us, showing them His love for them.

Concept: Helping Others 

Preschool

Ruth 1:1-22; 2:1-23; 4:13-17

LIFE POINT: Ruth and Naomi were all alone. Naomi and Ruth decided to move back to her hometown, Bethlehem. They arrived at harvest. Ruth and Naomi needed food. Ruth decided go into the fields and pick up the grain the workers left behind. Ruth went to a field and began to gather grain. Boaz owned the field. Boaz saw Ruth and asked a worker “Who is that woman?” The man explained who Ruth was. Boaz told Ruth to stay in his
field close to his workers. He shared water and food with her. Naomi was surprised to see how much grain Ruth had gathered. Ruth explained that she had worked in Boaz’s field. Naomi said, “Boaz is my relative. Stay with his workers and you will be safe.” Ruth worked in Boaz’s fields until the harvest was over. Later, Ruth and Boaz were married. They had a baby boy named Obed. Ruth, Boaz, Obed, and Naomi were a happy family.

LIVE IT OUT: Give your child age-appropriate chores to help his family. Remind him that God wants families to help each other.

Kids

Ruth 1:1-22; 2:1-23; 4:23-27

LIFE POINT: Naomi decided to move back to Bethlehem after her two sons and husband died. Naomi told Ruth and Orpah, “You should go back to your families.” Naomi convinced Orpah to return to her family. Ruth stayed. The two women had no money for food, so Ruth asked Naomi for permission to go into the fields and pick up fallen grain. Boaz owned the field where Ruth chose to work. He saw her and asked who she was. When Boaz found out about Ruth, he told her to keep working only in his fields. His harvesters would care for her. After a time, Ruth and Boaz married. Later they had a baby boy! They called him Obed. When Obed was a man, he had a son. Obed named his son Jesse. When Jesse was a man, he named his son David. David eventually became the king of Israel.

LIVE IT OUT: Encourage your child to find a friend or neighbor with a specific need. Then help him decide how to do something for that person that shows God’s love.

Students

Deuteronomy 15:7-11

THE POINT: We are to imitate God in our desire to help the poor. Plan with your student how you and your family can help others who are less fortunate. Discuss the following quote:

If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.”1 —Mother Teresa

LIVE IT OUT: Your student has been encouraged to do one or
both Live It Out activities. Here are some suggested ways to help your student:

If your student plans to complete More Than Words:
• Encourage your student to help those in need.
• Help your student gather items to take to a local food pantry.

If your student plans to complete Thankful:
• Ask your student what he/she is thankful for.
• Share with your student how you’ve been blessed in your own life.

1. “Mother Teresa Quotes” Goodreads.com, [cited 5 May 2014]. Available from the Internet: http://www. brainyquote.com.

Conversation Starters: Justice

DSC_9747THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Justice is what most people look for in any society. Unfortunately, the reality of injustice is just as common. We all want justice when we’ve been wronged, but are we as ready to step up when it’s someone else needing justice? We cannot ignore injustice because our apathy or inaction is simply another form of injustice. We can’t right every wrong, but God calls us to be His champions for justice.

Concept: Justice 

Preschool

Judges 6-8

LIFE POINT: Some people called Midanites were hurting God’s people. The Midianites stole their crops. The people prayed for God’s help. One day as Gideon was working, an angel appeared to him. The angel called him a mighty warrior. The angel said that Gideon must lead his men to save his people from the Midianites. Gideon did not know how to do this, since he was not strong. “God will give you the victory,” the angel said. God chose the men who would go with Gideon by the way they drank water from a stream. Gideon had 300 men. Each man had a torch in a clay jar and a trumpet Gideon and his men surrounded the Midianites’ camp. It was dark and late. At the signal, the men
blew their trumpets and broke their jars. The Midianites were confused and ran away. Gideon and his men followed and defeated them. God had given them the victory!

LIVE IT OUT: Ask your child to name some things God wants people to do. Help her work to do what God says.

Kids

Judges 6-8

LIFE POINT: One day, God sent an angel to Gideon. “God sent me to tell you that He has heard your people praying and asking for His help,” the angel said. “You are the one God chose to help them.” Gideon said he did not have an army and that the Midianites were too strong. God announced that He would be with Gideon. God chose men to fight by the way they drank from a stream. Now Gideon had only 300 men. And the enemy had 120,000 men! God helped Gideon know what to do. Gideon gave every man a trumpet and an empty pitcher with a torch inside. He placed directed the men to surround the enemy camp. At Gideon’s signal, the men broke the pitchers and blew their trumpets. “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!” they shouted. The enemy was frightened and began to fight one another. The battle was won!

LIVE IT OUT: Talk with your child about different choices she makes every day. Remind her that God wants her to make right choices. Pray with your child that she will make the choices God wants her to make.

Students

Exodus 23:1-3, 6-9

THE POINT: God wants us to defend those who can’t defend themselves. Discuss with your student some of the injustices you see in your community and how you can take action to help. Discuss the following quote:

“It takes great courage to open one’s heart and mind to the tremendous injustice and suffering in our world.”1 —Vincent A. Gallagher

LIVE IT OUT: Your student has been encouraged to do one or both Live It Out activities. Here are some suggested ways to help your student:

If your student plans to complete Called To Action:
• Help your student determine what social justice topic to research.
• Commit to serve alongside your student as they learn about this social injustice.

If your student plans to complete Do More:
• Encourage your student to stand up against bullying.
• Be an encouragement to students, or even other adults, who may be bullied in your community or church.

1. Vincent A. Gallagher, The Truth Cost of Low Prices: The Violence of Globalization (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Book, 2006), 96.

Conversation Starters: Serving Others

IMG_7365-001THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: At the root of all our problems is a selfish bent, an emphasis on “what I want.” While it’s good to be a part of a church that will help us grow in Christ, sometimes we cross the line when we make the church all about what it can do for us personally. The church is to help us grow, but as a part of the body of Christ, we are also to be involved in serving and helping others grow.

Concept: Serving Others 

Preschool

Deuteronomy 4-6

LIFE POINT: The Israelites were getting ready to go into the land that God had promised them. Moses spoke to the people before they went into the land. Moses told the people to remember everything that God had done for them. He reminded the people that God had brought them out of Egypt and led them to the land that He had promised to give them. Moses reminded the people of the Ten Commandments that God had given them.
Moses told the people they must worship only the One true God. Moses said, “And this commandment is the greatest: love God with all your heart and all your strength. Teach these words to your children so that they will love God. God will bless your families for many years if you keep His commandments.”

LIVE IT OUT: With your child, look at a picture of your family. Lead her to do one kind thing this week for each person in the picture. Mention that it pleases God when we help our family.

Kids

Deuteronomy 4-6

LIFE POINT: The Israelites were getting ready to go into the land that God had promised them. Moses spoke to the people before they went into the land. Moses told the people to remember everything that God had done for them. He reminded the people that God had brought them out of Egypt and led them to the land that He had promised to give them. Moses reminded the people of the Ten Commandments that God had given them. He told the people they must worship only the One true God. Moses said, “And this commandment is the greatest: love God with all your heart, all your strength, and love your neighbor as yourself. Teach these words to your children, so that they will love Me. I will bless your families for many years if you keep my Commandments.”.

LIVE IT OUT: Draw a picture of your family. Promise to do at least one kind thing this week for each person in your picture.

Students

Ephesians 5:15-21

THE POINT: Serving in the body of Christ is a wise use of our time. Discuss your student’s current schedule. Ask: Is this a wise use of your time? Consider your own time. Are you using it to serve the body of Christ? Discuss the following quote:

Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair.”1 —Gilbert K. Chesterton

LIVE IT OUT: Your student has been encouraged to do one or both Live It Out activities. Here are some suggested ways to help your student:

If he plans to complete Preferences:
•Reflect with your student on times when you’ve complained about preferences in your church.
•Determine to prioritize your real issues over preferences.

If he plans to do Appreciate Your Leader:
•Suggest ways your student can serve the leaders of your church.
•Pray with your student for your church leaders.

1. “G.K. Chesterton Quotes,” Goodreads, [cited March 20, 2014]. Available from the Internet: https://www.goodreads.com.