Conversation Starters: Lead with Confidence

IMG_7615THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: We all encounter opportunities to move outside our comfort zone. To do something we’ve never done before. Do you hesitate in those moments, or do you take a flying leap? Joshua was called to a difficult challenge: to lead the people across the flooded Jordan River into the land God had promised them. This was a significant test for Joshua because he had just become the leader of God’s people. He was brand new to leadership. Joshua’s response teaches us how to lead well when we’re outside our comfort zone.

Concept: Lead with Confidence

Preschool

Joshua 3:1-4:17

LIFE POINT: Joshua and the people of Israel set up their tents near the Jordan River. The people packed up their tents. God told Joshua to lead the people across the river. God would be with them. The priests went ahead of the people. They carried the ark of the covenant, a special gold-covered box that held the Ten Commandments. When the priests stepped into the river, the water stopped flowing. The priests stood in the middle of the river until all the people crossed on dry ground. Joshua told 12 men to pick up stones from the dry ground and carry them to the other side. The men obeyed. Then the priests crossed. As soon as the priests stepped out of the river, the water began to flow again. Joshua stacked the 12 stones the men brought out of the river so that the people would remember that God took care of them.

LIVE IT OUT: Read the verses in The Message translation of the Bible. Choose a verse for you and your child to memorize together. Give your child stickers to decorate the verse. Comment throughout the week that God wants us to do what He says.

Kids

Joshua 3:1-4:17

LIFE POINT: Joshua and the people of Israel set up their tents near the Jordan River. The people packed up their tents. God told Joshua to lead the people across the river. God would be with them. The priests went ahead of the people. They carried the ark of the covenant, a special gold-covered box that held the Ten Commandments. When the priests stepped into the river, the water stopped flowing. The priests stood in the middle of the river until all the people crossed on dry ground. Joshua told 12 men to pick up stones from the dry ground and carry them to the other side. The men obeyed. Then the priests crossed. As soon as the priests stepped out of the river, the water began to flow again. Joshua stacked the 12 stones the men brought out of the river so that the people would remember that God took care of them.

LIVE IT OUT: What are the qualities of a leader? Help your child research Joshua and what made him a great leader. Help your child to understand that Joshua was a great leader because he listened to God.

Students

Joshua 3:7-17

THE POINT: Lead with an attitude of confidence in God. Do you run toward or away from new opportunities? Explain. Tell your student about a time you ran toward or away from a new opportunity. Discuss this quote:

“Do not strive in your own strength; cast yourself at the feet of the Lord Jesus, and wait upon Him in the sure confidence that He is with you, and works in you.”1 —Andrew Murray

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 Dive In:
• Share with your student an area where you find it difficult to trust God. Then ask him or her to do the same.
• Pray together about your fears, asking God for strength to step into the water.

If he or she plans to complete Bad Company:
• Talk with your student about the people he or she listens to. Help him or her identify which of those influences are positive and which are negative.

1. Andrew Murray, Living a Prayerful Life (Bloomington: Bethany House, 2002), 33.

Conversation Starters: Lead Well

unnamed (4)Everybody leads in some capacity—everybody. And as leaders, we must always be prepared to lead well. As one who had been called to leadership, Joshua found himself standing on the banks of a body of water with his enemies waiting on the other side. He was full of questions about the role he’d been given and anxious to make the right decisions. We can learn much from Joshua about how to lead well in whatever role we’ve been given.

Concept: Lead Well

Preschool

Joshua 1:1-9

LIFE POINT: Joshua had been Moses’ helper for many years. After Moses, God chose Joshua to lead the Israelites. God said to Joshua, “I will be with you, just as I was with Moses. I will never leave you.” God told Joshua to get the people ready to cross the Jordan River. The time had come for the Israelites to live in the land God promised them long ago. God told Joshua to always remember the instructions He had told Moses to give to the people. God said, “Obey My instructions and you will do well in all that you do. Be strong and brave, not afraid or sad. Remember that I will be with you wherever you go.”

LIVE IT OUT: Talk to your child about what she wants to be when she grows up. Give her paper and crayons to draw a picture of it. Help her understand that God loves her and has the perfect plan for her life.

Kids

Joshua 1

LIFE POINT: Joshua had been Moses’ helper for many years. After Moses, God chose Joshua to lead the Israelites. After Moses died, God spoke to Joshua. “Get the people ready to cross the Jordan River. Take them to the land I am giving them.” God promised Joshua that no one would be able to stop the people. God promised to be with Joshua the whole way. God gave Joshua instructions. “Be strong. Do not be afraid. Obey Me. Study the instructions I gave to Moses.” God repeated His promise to Joshua. “I will be with you no matter where you go.”

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child make a list of things he would like to do when he is grown. Remind him that God has a definite plan for his life.

Students

Joshua 1:1-9

THE POINT: Leaders surrender to God’s authority and direction. In what ways do you see yourself as a leader? Discuss with your student characteristics of leaders who lead well. Discuss the following quote:

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”1 —John C. Maxwell

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 Lead Well:
• Share with your student someone you look up to and how this person has been a positive influence in your life.
• Talk about the people who have been positive influences in your student’s life, and help your student see how he or she can in turn impact the lives of others.

 

1. “ John C. Maxwell Quotes,” ThinkExist [cited 18 November 2015]. Available from the Internet: https://www.thinkexist.com.

Conversation Starters: Acceptance

38fa0f32-8032-484f-af6e-bd3ef1234a11THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Some people feel like they can’t have anything to do with a person who believes differently. At the other end of the spectrum are those who say we must not only accept any differences, but we must agree with those differences. This suggests that it’s not OK to have an opposing view. We need to recapture what it means to love and accept another person, even when you don’t share the same views. The Book of Romans gives us practical direction on how we do this, especially within the body of Christ.

Concept: Acceptance

Preschool

Luke 17:11-19

LIFE POINT: One day Jesus walked into a village. He was met by ten men who were ill. The men did not stand close to Jesus because of their illness. Instead, they called out to Him. “Jesus, Jesus!” the men shouted. “Please help us. Please make us well.” The men had sores all over their bodies. No one could help them. But the men knew Jesus could make them well. “Go show yourselves to the church leaders (priests),” Jesus said. The men hurried away. As they went to the church leaders, they saw that they were made well. One man ran back to Jesus. He said, “Thank You for making me well.” Jesus was happy the man thanked Him for making him well.

LIVE IT OUT: Make the effort to make friends with a family of a different ethnicity than your own. You and your child will enjoy learning that family’s customs. Help your child learn to accept (be kind to, welcome) people who are different, just as Jesus loves everyone.

Kids

Luke 17:11-19

LIFE POINT: While traveling to Jerusalem, Jesus passed between Samaria and Galilee. As He entered a village, 10 men with skin diseases met Him. They stood at a distance and called, “Jesus, have mercy on us!” When Jesus saw them, He told them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” While they were walking, they were healed. One of the men, realizing that he had been healed, returned and gave glory to God. He fell at Jesus’ feet, thanking Him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus said, “Were not 10 cleansed? Where are the rest? Didn’t any return to give glory to God except this foreigner?” Jesus told the healed man, “Get up and go on your way. Your faith has made you well.”

LIVE IT OUT: Make the effort to become friends with a family of a different ethnicity than your own. Your family will enjoy learning that family’s customs. You can all learn to accept people of all nationalities.

Students

Romans 14:1-4,13-19

THE POINT: Strong relationships are not hindered by differences of opinion. How do you respond when someone disagrees with you? Ask the Lord to help you love others even when you don’t see eye to eye on certain opinions. Discuss the following quote:

It’s OK to disagree, but it’s not OK to be mean.”1 —Kid President

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 Let Love Be Your Guide:
•Encourage your student to ask for your input about the different opinions he or she is surrounded with daily.
•Pray for your student to have discernment and to always show the love of Christ.

If he or she plans to complete Reputations Matter:
•Talk about how to be a peacemaker and love others without compromising convictions.
•Remind your student that his or her actions matter.

1. “Kid President on the 20 Things We Should Say More Often,” Huffington Post, 22 November 2013, [cited 14 September 2014]. Available from the Internet: http://www.huffingtonpost.com.

Conversation Starters: The Holy Spirit

IMG_9093THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: We come to faith in Jesus when we realize we cannot come to God on our own. We are powerless to save ourselves. Yet, after coming to Christ, we often try to live for Jesus in our own power. Jesus has physically left the earth, but He has not left us alone. We can live for Him, we can do what’s right, and we can face whatever life throws at us because He has sent His Holy Spirit to us.

Concept: The Holy Spirit

Preschool

Matthew 28:16-20; Acts 2:1-2,6-11,14,22,37-41

LIFE POINT: Peter and the other helpers (disciples) of Jesus were staying together in a house. They heard a sound like a strong wind. People gathered outside the house after hearing the sound. Then the helpers went out to tell the people about Jesus. Each person heard the men speak in his own language. Then Peter stood up and talked to all the people. “Listen to me,” Peter said. “I have an important message to tell you about Jesus.” Many people listened to the message that Peter spoke that day. “What should we do?” the people asked. “Start making right choices,” Peter said. Many people believed in Peter’s words and believed in Jesus.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child say today’s Bible verse. Play a game by alternately saying each word of the verse with your child. Remind her that Jesus loves her and He wants her to love Him.

Kids

Acts 1:4-11

LIFE POINT: After Jesus’ resurrection, He spent time with His disciples. It was soon going to be time for Jesus to leave this earth and go up to be with His Father in heaven. But He was not going to leave the disciples alone. He would send the Holy Spirit to be with them. The disciples asked Jesus if He was going to restore the Kingdom of Israel now. Jesus replied that it was not the disciples job to know the days or the times God the Father has set. But they could rest assured by the fact that they would receive power from the Holy Spirit. The disciples would be witnesses for Jesus all over the world! After Jesus said this, He was taken up into heaven. They watched Him disappear into the clouds. Then suddenly, two men dressed in white appeared beside them. These men asked the disciples, “Why are you standing here looking into the sky? Jesus will come again.”

LIVE IT OUT: Challenge your child to memorize John 3:16 and say it in sign language. (See videos of signs on the Internet.) Comment that God’s love involved sacrificing His own Son for us.

Students

Acts 1:3-11

THE POINT: Jesus ascended to heaven but did not leave us alone. How does the Holy Spirit guide you in your daily life? In what ways does the Holy Spirit teach, encourage, correct, and convict you? Discuss the following quote:

The Holy Spirit illuminates the minds of people, makes us yearn for God, and takes spiritual truth and makes it understandable to us.” 1 —Billy Graham

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 Plugged In:
•Read through the book of Acts with your student.
•Discuss ways the Holy Spirit works in the lives
of believers .

If he or she plans to complete He’s Coming Back:
•Talk with your student about how your family can live expectantly for the return of Christ.
•Pray for your student to sense the urgency of sharing the gospel with others.

 

1. Billy Graham, “The Holy Spirit,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, [cited 14 September 2014]. Available from the Internet: http://billygraham.org.

Conversation Starters: Christ’s Teaching

11049620_10155872748635188_6252518132389654265_nTHE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: When a person wants to learn a certain skill or profession, there are certain schools or universities that come to mind. They have the best teachers in that area of study. But where do we go when we want to learn about life? Although many people see Jesus as a religious figure, He didn’t come to earth to teach us religious things; He came to show us and teach us about how to live life.

Concept: Christ’s Teaching

Preschool

Mark 10:17-23, 27

LIFE POINT: One day as Jesus and His helpers (disciples) started on a journey, a man came up to ask Him a question. “How can I go to heaven?” the man asked Jesus. Jesus said, “You know all the commandments. Do not kill. Do not lie. Do not steal. Honor your father and mother.” The man said he knew and obeyed these commandments since he was a young boy. Jesus looked at the man and felt love for him. “There is one more thing you must do,” Jesus said. “Sell everything you own, give it to the poor, and follow Me.” When he heard this, the man was sad. He wanted to follow Jesus, but he did not want to give up all that he owned. Jesus told His helpers, “With men it is not possible to go to heaven. But with God, everything is possible.”

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child think of things he knows about God, such as He loves us, He knows everything, and He made the world. Read together stories in the Bible that tell about those traits.

Kids

Luke 19:28-40; Mark 11:1-10

LIFE POINT: After Jesus went to Jerusalem. As He came near a town called Bethany, He told two of His disciples to go into the city and bring a donkey to Him. If anyone asked what they were doing, the disciples were to say that the Lord needed it. They brought the donkey to Jesus. They put their own coats on the donkey, so Jesus could ride it. People began to lay their coats on the path for the donkey to walk on. When Jesus started to come down the Mount of Olives, the crowd began joyfully praising God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen! Some of the Pharisees in the crowd were upset by what was happening. They told Jesus to rebuke the disciples. Jesus responded to the Pharisees by saying if the disciples kept quiet, the stones would cry out!

LIVE IT OUT: Talk with your child about some of her favorite ways to praise Jesus, such as Bible reading, singing, praying, and so forth. Incorporate those ways into a family devotion.

Students

Mark 1:21-22, 10:17-22

THE POINT: Jesus teaches us how to live and calls us to follow Him. What’s one of the lessons Jesus has taught you about how to live? How has Jesus helped you live out the Christian life? Discuss the following quote:

“Radical obedience to Christ is not easy…It’s not comfort, not health, not wealth, and not prosperity in this world…But in the end, such risk finds its reward in Christ. And He is more than enough for us.”1 —David Platt

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 Let It Go:
•Evaluate your own life. Are you a model for your student of what following Jesus looks like?
•Discuss the motivation of the rich young man in this story.

If he or she plans to do Walking in Authority:
•Talk with your student about what it means for Jesus to be Lord of our lives.
•Encourage your student to evaluate whether he or she is truly surrendered to the Lordship of Christ.

Conversation Starters: Christ’s Work Today

IMG_8353THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Many of us live segmented lives. We try to keep our home lives separated from school. Recreation and hobbies go in another silo, and we often do the same with church. One area of life often does not impact the others. Life in Christ is not simply another segment of life—it is our life. Christ is exalted over all things; consequently, following Him means we honor Him as Lord of every aspect of our lives.

Concept: Christ’s Work Today

Preschool

Genesis 6:9- 8:19

LIFE POINT: Noah was a good man who obeyed God. God told Noah there would be a flood over the earth. God told Noah to build an ark to protect his family and many animals. God told Noah exactly how to build the ark. He built it from cypress wood and put sticky tar on the outside. He built rooms and stalls inside on three floors. He put a roof and a window on the top floor and a door on the side. Noah gathered and stored food in the ark. God sent every kind of animal. Finally, God shut the door. Rain fell for 40 days. Water covered the tops of the mountains. The ark floated on the water. The rain stopped. Noah and his family waited. God sent a wind, and the water went down. The ground appeared again. When it was dry, Noah, his family, and all of the animals left the ark.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child build an ark of blocks. Add some animal figures to the ark. Talk about the Bible story. Comment that when God told Noah to build the ark, He showed Noah exactly what to do.

Kids

Genesis 6:9- 8:19

LIFE POINT: God saw that the people had become wicked. He decided to destroy the people on the earth. But Noah found favor with God. God told Noah to build an ark that was 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high with three decks and rooms on the inside. God said He would cause a great flood and that everything on the earth would die; however, Noah, Noah’s family, and the animals that Noah would bring onto the ark would be safe. Building an ark was hard work, but Noah did it, just as God told him. He collected the materials and built the ark by hand. When Noah’s family and the animals were finally on the ark, God closed the door. Rain fell for 40 days and 40 nights. The earth was flooded, but the ark floated on the water. When the land was dry, God brought Noah, his family, and the animals out of the ark.

LIVE IT OUT: Ask your child to name the jobs he performs. Discuss what he thinks God’s purpose is for that job. Emphasize that God’s work always has a purpose.

Students

Ephesians 1:7-10, 18-23

THE POINT: Honor Jesus as Lord. How do you honor the Lord with how you live your life? How can you bring glory to God in your family, work, friendships, and church involvement? Discuss the following quote:

“The whole life of a Christian should be nothing but praises and thanks to God.”1 — Richard Sibbes

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 Remain:
•Create your own list of things that distract you from Jesus as your student completes his or her list.
•Pray your student would learn to abide in His presence.

If he or she plans to complete Alignment:
•Ask your student to evaluate where he or she needs to grow. Invite your student to share what he or she learned during this self-evaluation process.
•Pray over your student in the areas he or she wants and needs to grow.

1. Richard Sibbes, The Complete Works of Richard Sibbes, Volume 7, (Edinburgh: James Nichol, 1864), 185.

Conversation Starters: Christ’s Resurrection

10366130_10154361025720188_8554285414316561043_nTHE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 68 percent of people fear death. From a purely human viewpoint, why would anybody look forward to the end of life? Jesus gives us hope in the face of death. Jesus died, but He also rose again. His death and resurrection conquered death for those who place their faith in Him. We can be assured of eternal life—even beyond this physical life—because of Jesus!

Concept: Christ’s Resurrection 

Preschool

Matthew 27:1- 28:10

LIFE POINT: Mary and another Mary went to the tomb where Jesus was buried. An earthquake shook the ground as an angel from God came to the tomb. He rolled back the stone and sat on it. The angel spoke to the two women, “Don’t be afraid. I know you are looking for Jesus. He is not here! He is alive, just as He said. Come see where He was laying. Then go and tell His helpers (disciples), ‘He is alive!’ ” The women left quickly and ran to tell the helpers. Jesus met and greeted the women. The women went up to Jesus and touched His feet. Jesus told them to not be afraid and to tell the helpers to go to Galilee where they would see Him.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child remember Jesus’ resurrection. Part of the story involved a stone that was rolled away from the tomb. Provide a smooth rock for your child to paint or decorate with permanent markers. Tell him he can remember that Jesus is alive when he sees the rock.

Kids

Matthew 28:1-10

LIFE POINT: On the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to the tomb. Suddenly, there was a violent earthquake! An angel of the Lord descended from heaven and rolled back the stone. He was sitting on it. The guards were so shaken from fear of him that they became like dead men. The angel told the women, “Don’t be afraid, Jesus is not here! For He has been resurrected, just as He said. Come and see the place where He lay. Then go quickly and tell His disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead. In fact, He is going ahead of you to Galilee; you will see Him there.’ ” They ran to tell His disciples the news. Jesus met them and said, “Good morning!” They came up, took hold of His feet, and worshiped Him. Then Jesus told them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see Me there.”

LIVE IT OUT: Talk to your child about Jesus’ resurrection. Ask how he would feel if he had been one of the disciples or if she had been one of the women at the tomb. Say a prayer, thanking God that Jesus died for us.

Students

Matthew 28:1-10

THE POINT: Jesus is alive—and we can live forever. How is your life different because of the resurrection of Jesus? What are some ways the hope of eternity encourages you on earth? Discuss the following quote:

“The truth of the resurrection gives life to every other area of gospel truth. The resurrection is the pivot on which all of Christianity turns and without which none of the other truths would much matter.” 1 —John MacArthur

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 He Got Up, So Will We:
• Help your student write five statements that affirm the hope that the resurrection gives believers.
• Discuss with your student why eternity with Jesus is exciting and something to look forward to.

If he or she plans to complete True Worship:
•Take time to draw a picture of what comes to mind when you think about worshiping God in heaven one day.
•Encourage your student to hold onto the hope of eternity when days here on earth are difficult.

1. John F. MacArthur, First Corinthians MacArthur New Testament Commentary, (Chicago: The Moody Bible Institute, 1984), 398.

Conversation Starters: Christ’s Death

a04d715c-a762-482f-9bb7-ba40e82e8938THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: We hurt when we see or experience injustice. Many of us do what we can to rescue a victim of injustice. But what do we do when an innocent person willingly accepts injustice and undeserved punished…and does so for those who deserve it? This is a perfect description of Jesus, because this is the very reason for which He came to earth. We are still left with the question to answer: How will we respond?

Concept: Christ’s Death

Preschool

Mark 11:1-11

LIFE POINT: As Jesus and His helpers (disciples) traveled to Jerusalem, Jesus told two helpers, “Go ahead into the village and find a young donkey. Bring the donkey to me. If anyone asks, ‘Why are you untying the donkey?’ say, ‘Jesus needs it.’ ” The helpers did what Jesus said and brought the donkey to Jesus. The men put their coats on the donkey’s back. Jesus got on the donkey and rode it along the road to Jerusalem. People laid their coats and plant branches on the road as Jesus rode by. Some people shouted happy words to Jesus. The people remembered everything Jesus did to help people.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child learn to praise Jesus in different ways. Sing praise songs when you are in the car. Say a short prayer for protection as you leave on an errand. Thank God for a beautiful day.

Kids

Matthew 26:17-30; 27

LIFE POINT: The Jewish people gathered for the Passover. They wanted to remember how God had rescued them out of Egypt. Jesus told the disciples to go into the city and tell a man that Jesus wanted to celebrate Passover at his place with the disciples. When Jesus was sitting at the table with the disciples, He said that one disciple would betray Him. This was Judas Iscariot. Jesus took the bread, gave thanks, and broke it. He gave it to His disciples and said, “Take this and eat it; this is My body.” Jesus took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it to His disciples. Then He said, “Drink from it.” He told the disciples that His blood would be shed for many for the forgiveness of sins. Jesus would be arrested and sentenced to be crucified. Jesus had done nothing wrong, but He died so that the Old Testament Scripture might be fulfilled.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child research and make a timeline of Jesus’ last days. Include each of the Gospels in your research. Emphasize that Jesus died for our sins.

Students

Matthew 27:28-31, 45-50, 54

THE POINT: Jesus’ sacrifice is the heart of the gospel. How often do you think about all that Christ endured on the cross? This week, spend some time reflecting on the sacrifice of Jesus. Discuss the following quote:

“It was not nails that held Jesus to that wretched cross; it was his unqualified resolution, out of love for his Father, to do his Father’s will—and, within that framework, it was his love for sinners like me.”1 — D. A. Carson

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 Forsaken for Me:
•Spend some time this week reading the account of Jesus’ crucifixion with your student.
•Encourage your student to ask questions and really dig deep alongside you into the reality of what our sin cost.

If he or she plans to do Faith After a Quake:
•Tell your student about a moment in your life when God became very real and true to you.
•Pray for your student to see God and realize how great, awesome, and real He is.

1. D. A. Carson, Scandalous: The Cross and Resurrection of Jesus, (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2010), 30.

Conversation Starters: Psalm 42

5ed72e1e-951a-4e2e-9fbc-bdf7d0f8e586THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: We can often feel overwhelmed and let our circumstances get us down. Some of the most confusing times of our lives can be when we don’t know what to do. In the Bible, we read the words of the psalmist, who also experienced a down time, but his words give us encouragement by pointing to the God who is above our circumstances.

Preschool

Matthew 2:1-12

LIFE POINT: After Jesus was born, wise men came to Jerusalem. “Where is the special baby that was born? We saw a star that rose after He was born,” they said. “We have come to worship Him. He is God’s Son.” The king heard about the men who were looking for a special baby. The king asked the priests to find out where this happened. The priests
studied the Bible and said, “The baby was born in Bethlehem.” The king told the wise men, “Go to Bethlehem to find the child. When you find Him, tell me where He is. I want to worship Him also.” The wise men left Jerusalem. As they traveled to Bethlehem, they saw
the star they had followed. It was shining over the place where Jesus was. They were very happy! They went into the house and saw Jesus with His mother, Mary. They worshiped Jesus. The wise men gave Jesus special gifts–gold, frankincense, and myrrh. God warned the wise men in a dream to not return to the king. So they returned home a different way.

LIVE IT OUT: Use your time driving in the car play worship music and sing. Encourage your child to sing along, too.

Kids

Matthew 2:1-12

LIFE POINT: During the reign of King Herod, wise men from the east arrived in Jerusalem. “Where is the newborn King of the Jews? We saw a star that rose after He was born,” they said. “We have come to worship Him. ” King Herod was upset. He was the king! Herod’s advisors told him about Micah’s prophecy that t Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. King Herod sent the men to Bethlehem. “When you find this child, come tell me so that I can worship Him, too.” The star led the men into Bethlehem and stopped above the very place where Jesus and His family stayed. The wise men saw Jesus with Mary. They fell to their knees and worshiped Jesus. They presented Him with gifts: treasures of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. After being warned in a dream not to go back to Herod,
the wise men returned to their own country by another route.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child find the following verses in the Bible: John 16:33, Psalm 27:14, Psalm 37:7, and Hosea 12:6. Discuss how these verses speak about God’s
encouragement.

Students

Psalm 42:1-3, 6-8; 43:3-5

THE POINT: You can trust God when you don’t know what to do. Talk to your student about a time in your life when you had to trust that God was above your circumstances.
What did learn about God’s character during this time? Discuss the following quote:

“Don’t trust to hold God’s hand; let Him hold yours. Let Him do the holding, and you the trusting.”1 —Hammer William Webb-Peploe

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

If your student plans to complete Written Word:
• Encourage your student to look to Scripture when feeling discouraged.
• Suggest Scriptures to your student that you find encouraging.

If your student plans to complete Forward Thinking:
• Help your student find creative ways to be an encouragement this week.
• Pray for your student to be an encouragement to the people around him or her.

1. SearchQuotes.com, [cited 2 May 2014]. Available from the Internet: http://www.searchquotes.com.

Conversation Starters: Psalm 46

DSC_0826THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: “I could have some peace in my life if it weren’t for ….” We could all complete that statement with something that, at best, is annoying or, at worst, causes pain in our lives. Peace is not just the absence of irritating circumstances or challenging problems. We can experience truth in the midst of trouble. Psalm 46 points us to the source of such peace: God Himself.

Psalm 46:1-11

Preschool

Luke 15:11-24

LIFE POINT: Jesus was teaching people about God’s love. He told a story about a father and a son. Jesus said, “A father had two sons. The younger son said, ‘Father, give me my share of all that you own.’ The son took all that was his and left. He traveled to a faraway country. He wasted his money on wrong choices. When a famine came, he had no food and no money. He finally got a job taking care of a man’s pigs. The son was so hungry he thought about eating the pigs’ food. The son realized he needed to go home and tell his father that he was sorry. So the son returned home. When the son was near his father’s house, the father saw him. The father ran to him, hugged, and kissed him. ‘I am sorry,’ the son said. The father was so happy his son was home. The father had forgiven his son and they all had a big party.”

LIVE IT OUT: Forgiveness is a hard concept for preschoolers to comprehend. Begin teaching your child about forgiveness by modeling forgiveness for him.

Kids

Luke 15:11-24

LIFE POINT: One day Jesus told a story about a man who had two sons. The younger son asked his father for his share of the money and left. The son spent his money foolishly and soon had nothing left. There was a famine. Food was hard to find. The son got a job so he would have money for food. The only job he could find was feeding pigs. He was hungry and he wanted to eat the pigs’ food! The son remembered his father’s house. He decided to go home, ask for forgiveness, and ask to work as his father’s servant. Before the son got home, his father ran to greet him. The son began telling his father that he had done wrong. His father didn’t wait. He forgave him and ordered the servants to, “Bring the best robe for my son. Put a ring on his finger. Put sandals
on his feet. Let’s have a feast and celebrate! This son of mine was lost, and now is found!”

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child make a list of wrong choices she has done on a certain day. Lead her in a prayer of forgiveness.

Students

Psalm 46:1-11

THE POINT: God is the source of peace when your world falls apart. Discuss with your student some things that people mistakenly try to find peace in. Discuss the following quote:

“God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.”1 —C.S. Lewis

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

If your student plans to complete Be Ready:
• Help your student answer the question,”Why do you have peace?”
• Pray that your student would have an opportunity to share his/her answers.

If your student plans to complete Stronger:
• Ask your student how he/she would complete the sentence: “I would have some more peace in my life if it weren’t for…”
• Pray for your student to find peace in a relationship with Jesus Christ.

1. .S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York, NY: HarperCollins, 2001), 50.