Easter Overview

Hi everyone!

 

It’s the week where we celebrate Easter and although we’ve covered Easter several times already, today I am making a one-time lesson. (The other years we have spread this out over several days), but this year I find myself needing a one-day lesson. So here we go.

Gen 1-3: In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. He made everything! And His favorite thing He made was people.

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God made a man named Adam and a woman named Eve and they lived with God in a very special place. They were all together and happy and nothing was ever bad.

Until, one day…one of God’s special helpers decided HE wanted to be the biggest and the best–he thought he could even be better than God!? His name is Satan. And one day he came to the garden where they lived and tricked Eve. God had told Adam and Eve they could eat anything they wanted EXCEPT the fruit from one special tree…the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If they ate from it, they would die.

Abstract lemon tree

But Satan said, “You won’t REALLY die…God just doesn’t want you to be as smart as Him!” So they disobeyed God. When we disobey God, that’s called sin. There was a consequence for their sin. The consequence was: they couldn’t stay with God in that perfect place and one day they would die.

Sin entered the world. And everyone since Adam and Eve has sinned. When we sin, our consequence is that we too will one day die and we *should* be apart from God forever because of our sin…

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But God had a plan…        (Rom 5:12-21)

 

Gen 11-25: A long time later, Adam and Eve had children, and their children had children and on and on and on and on and on until we get to a man named Abraham.

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Abraham loved God. And even though things were hard now (since people were away from God), Abraham still obeyed God and trusted Him. God taught Abraham about sacrifice. Sacrifice is giving up something you really love for something better. In the old days when Abraham lived, one of the most important things to them was their sheep and other animals. They would use the wool for clothes, and they would eat their animals. They could sell them for money to buy other food. Cows gave them milk to drink and they used animals to ride around (no cars back then!) God taught Abraham that if he (or anyone who sinned) would sacrifice an animal to God (kill it and give it to God) that his or her sins would be forgiven. This was a way for them to show God they loved HIM more than their most favorite thing…that God was FIRST in their lives. God would see the blood from the animal and He would look at their yucky sinful hearts, and He would forgive them and see them as perfect again.

The only problem was…every time they sinned…they had to give another sacrifice. But God still had a plan…

 

Exodus 2-20: After Abraham had a son, his son had children and on and on and on until a boy named Moses was born. The people who loved God were now living in a place called Egypt (far away from the place God had picked for them to live) and the king there, called Pharaoh was very mean to God’s people. When Moses was a old man, God picked him to tell the mean Pharaoh to let God’s people go back home. But the Pharaoh said “NO!” So God gave Pharaoh a bad consequence. Then Moses said again, “Let God’s people go!” and the Pharaoh said “NO!” So there was another bad consequence. This happened nine times!! And on the last time when the Pharaoh said “NO,” God said, “This will be the last consequence. All of the first born baby boys will die. UNLESS, you sacrifice an animal (a lamb) and paint around the door of your house with the blood.”

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God’s people listened and obeyed. Each family gave up their best sheep and painted the door with the blood, just like God said. But Pharaoh and his people laughed and said, “No way! We’re not giving up OUR sheep, we won’t listen to YOUR God!?” That night…an angel of God came by each house and if the people had obeyed God, he passed over the house and went to the next one. But if the people had not obeyed God, then the first born boy in that house died….even the Pharaoh’s son died. It was then, that Pharaoh let the people go.

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The people left and headed towards the place God had picked for them. While they were traveling, Moses went up on a mountain and there God spoke to him and gave him the rules the people were supposed to obey. God gave us the rules because He wants us to follow them, but He KNOWS we all sin sometimes (Romans 3:23). The rules SHOW US that we are not perfect like God is, and that we NEED HIM to be perfect and to forgive us when we disobey Him.

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God’s people eventually made it to the place He had for them but they did not always obey Him. They sinned (just like we do) and had to be forgiven every time with the blood of a sheep.

Luke 1-2 BUT, finally, many many many many many years later, God was ready to show us His big and perfect plan! He sent His only and perfect son Jesus into the world as a little baby.

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Jesus grew up and learned and went to school and made His bed and helped put away dishes and cleaned His room. He was a regular person and ALSO, He never sinned, because He is God’s son. (2 Cor 5:21, 1 John 3:5, Hebrews 4:15)

When Jesus became a grown up, He taught the people about God and He did a lot of  miracles (those are things only God’s power can do)–like make sick people better, help blind people see, turn water into wine or turn a little food into a LOT of food.

A lot of the people LOVED Jesus, but some people did not. The Bible teachers didn’t like that Jesus talked about forgiveness and love instead of teaching them about FOLLOWING THE RULES and the kings in charge didn’t like that the people liked Jesus more than them. “What is he tries to take over and be king?!!?” they worried. So they came up with a plan to get rid of Him.

Matt 21: It came time for the people to celebrate Passover (a big holiday where they remembered God passing over the houses of the people who obeyed Him and how He led them away from Egypt to the place He had for them). Jesus came to town to also celebrate. Lots of people were excited to see Him. So excited that they waved palm tree branches and laid coats on the ground so the dirt roads wouldn’t make Him all dusty. They shouted “Hosanna! We love you! We praise you!” This just made the leaders even MORE jealous and MORE angry. They HAD to get rid of Jesus.

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Matt 26-27: Jesus had a group of helpers, called disciples. One of them agreed to help the jealous leaders. A couple days later, Jesus was eating with His disciples and He told them He had to leave soon, but He would be back. The disciples were sad and confused. Jesus went to pray and most of His disciples went too, but one of them, Judas, went to get the leaders.

When Judas brought the leaders back, they captured Jesus. His other disciples tried to stop them, but Jesus said, “No. This needs to happen.”

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They took Jesus and decided to kill him. The built a cross out of wood and they put nails in His hands to keep Him stuck on the cross. They called Him names, they hit Him, they beat Him up, and they made fun of Him. They made Him carry that big wooden cross up a hill and then he had to hang on it for a long time until He died.

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They also had two other people who had done bad things on crosses next to Jesus. They had sinned, but Jesus hadn’t…but He was dying anyway. One of the guys next to Jesus made fun of Him…but the other one KNEW Jesus was God’s son and asked Jesus to forgive him. Jesus said, “Yes. And today you will be with me in a perfect place.”

Jesus asked God to forgive ALL the people and then He died. The Bible tells us that Jesus was God’s plan for our sins. Just like the people used to sacrifice their best, God sent HIS best, His son Jesus, to be a PERFECT sacrifice (since an animal can never be perfect it was never good enough). Jesus was a PERFECT sacrifice that would clean away our sin once and for all. (Rom 6:1-11, Heb 10:4, 1 Peter 1:9) His blood is the once and for all sacrifice to take away sin.

When God looks at our hearts now, if we believe in Him and say with our mouths that JESUS IS OUR LORD, then He will only see the sacrifice of Jesus and He will see us as perfect again. (Heb 9:11-15, Rom 3:24, Heb 10:1-18)

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But that’s not even the end of the story!

Matt 28: After He died, they put Jesus’ body in a tomb and they rolled a big, big, BIG rock in front of it so no one could take it. The leaders were so nervous they even had guards watching the tomb.

Three days later, there was an earthquake and the rock rolled away. The guards were so scared they fainted! Some women who loved Jesus were coming to see His body and to put some smelly good things on it, but when they got there, the tomb was open, the rock was moved and an angel was sitting on the rock.

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The women were so afraid!! But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid…I know you’re looking for Jesus….but He’s not here…He’s ALIVE! Go tell the others and go find Him!” They did tell the others and they did find Jesus. Jesus stayed with them a little while longer before He went back to heaven to be with God.

 

 

Jesus died in our place as a sacrifice. But He didn’t STAY dead…He is more powerful than even death. And now when we sin, if we ask Him to forgive us and we believe in His sacrifice, He WILL forgive us. God will look over our sin and see Jesus and He will forgive us and we will get to live forever with Him. (Rom 10:9, John 17:3, Rom 5:6-11, John 3:16)

“6 We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. 10 When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. 11 So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.” (Romans 6:6-11)

 

THAT is why we celebrate Easter.

We are all made and loved by God. We are all sinners. Sins have consequences. Only Jesus, the perfect son of God can take the place of our consequences. He died to forgive us and lived again to give us forever life with God in heaven!!!!

Romans 10:9 says, “If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

 

Amen! Thanks for joining us all, hope everyone has a wonderful Easter!

Jesus heals a deaf man

Hi all! This story today is from Mark 7:31-37. This is another miracle Jesus did. Remember a miracle is something only God can do. (Sometimes He uses people like Jesus or the disciples or maybe even you to do the miracle…but it is ALWAYS God’s power).

One day Jesus was traveling to a new place and some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk (because it’s hard to know how to talk when you can’t hear other people talking), and they begged Jesus to help him get better. “Please please please!” they said.

Jesus took him aside, away from the crowd, then He put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then He spit and touched the man’s tongue. He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Be opened!” Right away the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak! 

Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more He told them not to, the more they kept talking about it! People were overwhelmed with amazement. “Everything He does is AMAZING!!” they said. “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”

The people were supposed to not make a big deal of it…but they couldn’t help it! They were so amazed by what Jesus had done, they just HAD to tell people. The man had his ears and tongue opened so he could hear and speak, but those watching had their minds and hearts opened–they could see now that Jesus was someone special…God’s son, the Messiah, the One who had come to save them not just from being sick or deaf, but Jesus had come to save their hearts.

 

For our craft today, we cut out a face shape and then made an upside down U cut out. (It serves as a flap so you can open and shut the mouth). We cut a strip of red paper and folded it up accordion style and glued in down inside the U.

Our text reads: “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak!” Mark 7:31-37

 

I struggled to find decent media for this one, but if I do, i’ll be sure to add it later

Thanks for joining us again! Love to you all!

February intro

Hi all…this month we are studying the miracles of Jesus.

 

CLICK HERE  to find all of the lessons for February. I will add new lessons if/when we get to them and will update the current links with video/new crafts if applicable. Thanks for studying the Bible with us this year!!

 

As always, try to remember a few things:

  1. You preach the Word consistently and it WILL sink into your children’s hearts. (2 Tim 4:2, Proverbs 22:6, Deut 4:9 11:9, Heb 4:12)
  2. Children understand far more than we give them credit for. (Matt 11:25, 18:3)
  3. Even if something IS over their heads, you are setting a precedent for daily (or at least frequent and consistent) study of God’s word. This is holy. (Deut 11:9, Joshua 1:8, 2 Tim 3:14-17, Psalm 1:1-2)
  4. Crafts and videos are a great way to help children visualize and internalize the message, but know nothing has to be perfectly done. The concepts the kids take away and the process of creating while they learn is helping cement those truths in them much more so than having a pinterest-perfect product at the end…so be gracious with them and yourself as you do (or do not do) activities and crafts related to the Bible stories.

 

Thanks again, love to you all!

Continuing on…

This week we are beginning the stories of Jesus’ life (master list found HERE)

We already covered Simeon and Anna.

We are also doing Jesus growing (with a new craft and links)

Jesus in the temple (with new craft and links)

and John baptizing Jesus. (with new media links)

 

Next week we hope to study Jesus calling his disciples, John’s story, and the transfiguration.  Thanks for studying the Bible with us!  Love to you all!

Lamentations

Hi all! Today will be our last lesson in the “song books” and then we’ll do a brief study on the nativity to finish out the month.

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Today’s lesson is about the book of Lamentations. The Bible doesn’t say for sure who wrote this book, but most people who study the Bible think Jeremiah the prophet is the author. (For this lesson, we will assume Jeremiah is the writer).

For most of this book, Jeremiah is writing about how sad Jerusalem (the capital city in Israel) has become. After the people disobeyed God, Babylon came in and destroyed Israel and moved most of the people away. Everything was ruined and it was very sad. People were dying, their homes were gone, there was trash and fires, no food, and sadness all around. It was very very sad. Jeremiah was also so sad because the people had disobeyed God. He wasn’t just sad about the consequences, but he was sad that the people had disobeyed.

BUT…Jeremiah remembered that God is loving and forgiving. Let’s read some of what he said…

3:19-33: I remember my suffering and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall.
I well remember them, and my soul is sad within me. Yet this I remember and therefore I have hope:

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not done for, for His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness!
I say to myself, “The Lord is all I need; therefore I will wait for Him.”

The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LordIt is good for a man to be disciplined while he is young. Let him sit alone in silence, for the Lord has laid it on him. Let him bury his face in the dust for all the wrong things he has done—there may yet be hope.

Let him offer his cheek to one who would strike him, and let him be filled with disgrace.

For no one is cast off by the Lord forever. Though He brings grief, He will show compassion, so great is His unfailing love. For He does not enjoy bring sadness or grief to anyone.

40-42: 40 Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the LordLet us lift up our hearts and our hands to God in heaven, and say: “We have sinned and rebelled and you have not forgiven us.”

55-57: I called on Your name, Lordfrom the depths of the pit. You heard my plea: “Do not close your ears to my cry for relief.” You came near when I called you, and you said, “Do not fear.”

Jeremiah said it’s important for God to teach us right from wrong. And it is important for us to be really sorry when we disobey God. But when we pray and call out to God, He is there. He forgives us, He loves us…He loves us enough to sometimes give us consequences and teach us how to be more like Him. When we are scared, He says, “Do not fear.” God does not forget us, even when we disobey Him…He listens to us because He is good…everyday He loves us and cares for us. Even when it doesn’t seem like it, He is there and we don’t ever have to be afraid, because we know WHO God is and HOW God is and that He will help us through any sad or hard thing. It is OUR job to obey Him, and when we DO disobey, to make it right with God–to take the consequences and to tell Him sorry and ask Him to forgive us and the Bible says He will. Even when we are not faithful and disobey God, He is ALWAYS faithful and stays with us and loves us.

Lamentations is a good place to end our old testament study because of the reminder that God is with us. After the Israelites came back, they were still being ruled by other people, but they were back in Israel. They continued to only half-way obey God and they let other people tell them who to worship or who to put in charge…for 400 years….but God was there. And He was about to send His son Jesus (Immanuel-which means “God with us”) to make things right once and for all. He was with His people, ready to forgive them and love them every day.

Thanks again for joining us. Love to you all!

Ecclesiastes

Hi all! Today’s lesson is from a book called Ecclesiastes. Eh-klee-see-as-tees.

all-is-vanity

King Solomon wrote this book and it’s about how the only thing that matters is God.

King Solomon asked God for wisdom…but even still…Solomon was always looking for what would make him happy. “I said to myself, “Look, I am wiser than any of the kings who ruled in Jerusalem before me. I have greater wisdom and knowledge than any of them.” 17 So I set out to learn everything from wisdom to madness and folly. But I learned firsthand that pursuing all this is like chasing the wind.” 1: 16-17

2:1-11: “I said to myself, “Come on, let’s try pleasure. Let’s look for the ‘good things’ in life.” But I found that this, too, was meaningless. So I said, “Laughter is silly. What good does it do to seek pleasure?” After much thought, I decided to cheer myself with wine. And while still seeking wisdom, I clutched at foolishness. In this way, I tried to experience the only happiness most people find during their brief life in this world.

I also tried to find meaning by building huge homes for myself and by planting beautiful vineyards. I made gardens and parks, filling them with all kinds of fruit trees. I built reservoirs to collect the water to irrigate my many flourishing groves.I bought slaves, both men and women, and others were born into my household. I also owned large herds and flocks, more than any of the kings who had lived in Jerusalem before me. I collected great sums of silver and gold, the treasure of many kings and provinces. I hired wonderful singers, both men and women, and had many beautiful wives and companions. I had everything a man could desire!

So I became greater than all who had lived in Jerusalem before me, and my wisdom never failed me. 10 Anything I wanted, I would take. I denied myself no pleasure. I even found great pleasure in hard work, a reward for all my labors.11 But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless—like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere.”

Solomon looked around at all the world..the people who were doing great, and the people who were working hard, the people who were having a hard time and the people who were hungry or hurt…and he tried to understand it. He knew that sometimes sad things happen to good people…and that sometimes mean people get more money or more praise. Life is not fair sometimes. He found out that money, THINGS, being smart, being in charge like a president or king, or having everything you ever wanted is NOT what makes a person truly happy.

Solomon reminds us that we may never understand ALL the things God is doing or WHY things are happening. 8:16-17: “In my search for wisdom and in my observation of people’s burdens here on earth, I discovered that there is ceaseless activity, day and night. 17 I realized that no one can discover everything God is doing under the sun. Not even the wisest people discover everything, no matter what they claim.” 3:11 “Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.”

So life is not always fair, and we may not understand it…but GOD does. We can trust Him. He provides us with food, drink and work (2:24) and He wants us to enjoy all He’s given us in life. (5:19) Even when life is scary or unfair…we can trust God. 12:13 “Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty.”

The more King Solomon tried to find happiness with lots of wives, with money, with being smart, being in charge…the more he learned that NONE of that matters. All that matters is obeying God and enjoying what He gives us.

Let’s be thankful today for what God has given us and try to remember that having lots of things is nice, but what really matters is obeying God and following Him.

Thanks again for joining us. Love to you all.