Advent-Day 25-He is Here!

Welcome back! Today is the last day of our advent calendar. We have been learning all about God, God’s son Jesus and Jesus’ earthly family.

Today we read Luke 2 (as a whole) and talked about how Jesus came as a baby and as God’s son. We remembered the real reason Jesus came…to die on the cross in our place. Adam was the first person made and he and everyone after him sinned (disobeyed God). The punishment for disobeying God is to die forever. But, when God forgives us, we can then LIVE forever with Him.

But the only way to be forgiven by God is to believe in Jesus. (John 14:6, Acts 16:31, Romans 10:9-10). Jesus came to die so we wouldn’t have to. When God sees us, He now sees Jesus’ sacrifice (if we believe in Him.) Isn’t that a GREAT reason to celebrate?! Jesus was the last “adam” (man) to face the penalty of death for sins. But He never sinned and took our punishment anyway. (1 Cor 15:45) Sin came into the world through one man, and sin left through one man. One perfect man, God’s son, Jesus.

Merry Christmas!

Bible story: Jesus’ birth

Attribute of God: the last Adam

Craft:

Side one of our ornament today is baby Jesus. (You could make Him however you wanted. Our kids wanted to use some new glitter markers they got.)

Our text reads: Baby Jesus was born! The Messiah was here! Luke 2, John 4:25

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Side two of our ornament is a cross cut and glued onto our ornament.

Our text reads: Jesus came to die for us. The last Adam. John 3:16, 1 Cor 15:45IMG_0846

Our completed advent tree front and back. (We also talked through each ornament briefly today…telling much of the old testament on the front, and describing Jesus’ birth story through the back.)

Thanks for joining us through this month. We’ll be back in January with stories from Jesus’ life. Love to you all!

Advent-Day 24-Waiting for the Messiah

Welcome back! As we finish out our advent calendar (this lesson and tomorrow’s) we have now learned about many of the people of Jesus’ direct family line and His extended family (the Israelites). We have learned a lot of things about God and we’ve learned the story of when Jesus was born.

The Bible is separated into two parts. Everything before Jesus and everything after Jesus was born. But between the time the 1st part (old testament) stops and the 2nd part (new testament) begins, there is some empty space.

400 years passed between the last written words of the old testament and when Jesus was born.

There are no books written for those 400 years, but it doesn’t mean God wasn’t there. He was always working, and listening to His people–He still is. God’s timing is perfect. He sent Jesus just went He meant to. There are no new books of the Bible being written today, but of course we know God is still alive and working and loving us!

During that time, a bunch of different people took turns trying to take over and be in charge of the Israelites (Persians, Syrians, Greeks and Romans). When the new testament picks up, the Romans are kind of 1/2 in charge of the Israelites…they have their own leaders, but the Romans are in charge of them too.

The people were VERY ready for this new king to come! They thought an earthly king would come and get rid of the Romans (and anyone else who tried to take over). But we know Jesus really came to claim the Israelites’ hearts.

Also, some of the leaders of the church made up more and more rules. They made it very hard for the people to follow God. There were so many rules and the leaders thought they were much better than everyone else. The people felt kind of trapped! (Jesus would come help them and show them it’s not hard to love God!)

Now you know how excited the people were! They were stuck under a lot of different leaders…and they were eager for the new king.

Jesus didn’t come to be an earthly king, though…He came for their hearts. He wanted to show the people how much God loved them. And He wants US to know how much He loves us! As you remember Jesus this Christmas, think about all He is and all He has given for us. And if you believe in Jesus and what He has done for you, then ask Him to be YOUR Lord. Ask Him to take your heart too.

Bible story: the 400 “silent” years

Attribute of God: His timing is perfect

Jesus’ birth story: a much awaited Messiah

Craft:

Side one of our ornament today is a clock. We drew on the hands and numbers (but you could use number stickers and even a brad to make moving hands).

Our text reads: God waits–His timing is perfect!IMG_0722

Side two of our ornament is a heart.

Our text reads: Jesus was desired and wanted. Romans 8, Matt 2IMG_0721

Thanks for joining us again. Tomorrow is our last day and we will finish our advent tree. Love to you all!

Advent-Day 23-Prophecies

Welcome back! We are almost to the end of this months’ series where we are reviewing our old testament stories–learning about God, God’s son Jesus and Jesus’ earthly family.

 

Did you know that HUNDREDS of years before Jesus even came to earth as a baby, God was telling people about Him? God told the prophets what to tell the people…and here are some of the things they said about Jesus. (These prophets lived and died before Jesus was born..but everything they said came true!)

I found this wonderful list! someone else had posted online. It features 354  prophecies about Jesus.

We will see just a few of these: Isaiah 11 says,

“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
2 The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of might,
the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—
3 and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.
He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
or decide by what he hears with his ears;
4 but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
5 Righteousness will be his belt
and faithfulness the sash around his waist.
6 The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling[a] together;
and a little child will lead them.
7 The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
8 The infant will play near the cobra’s den,
and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
9 They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.
10 In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious.”

Also in chapter 53: “Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
4 Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
8 By oppression[a] and judgment he was taken away.
Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was punished.[b]
9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the Lord makes[c] his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
11 After he has suffered,
he will see the light of life[d] and be satisfied[e];
by his knowledge[f] my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,[g]
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,[h]
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.”

Isaiah 9:6-7 says, “For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.”

Zechariah 9:9: “Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
righteous and victorious,
lowly and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”

Micha 5:2: “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”

Malachi 3:1-3:

“I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty.2 But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, 4 and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the Lord, as in days gone by, as in former years.

 

We know that God is truth. He can not lie. (John 14:6, Prov 30:5). And everything God said about Jesus..all 350+ prophechies about the coming Messiah came true in Jesus.

Isn’t it wonderful to know we have a God with such a big plan? He is always true and He loves us so much! I am so glad He sent Jesus, and so glad we can celebrate His birth and life together.

 

Bible story: the prophecies about Jesus

Attribute of God: He is the Truth

Jesus’ birth story: It all came true in baby Jesus!!

Craft:

Side one of our ornament today is a Bible. We made this from several pieces of white paper glued on top of one another to form a book and then i had the kids scribble some words on and we headlined it “Bible.”

Our text reads: The Bible tells us about the Savior! Is 9:7, 53:1-12, 11:1-10

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(Sorry the pictures are sideways today??)

Side two of our ornament today is fireworks…because we are so happy every word of God came true! We made the fireworks by using oil pastels on black construction paper.

Our text reads: Every word came true! John 14:6, Prov 30:5

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Thanks for joining us. Love to you all!

 

Advent-Day 22-Worship Restored/Gifts for Jesus

Hi all! Welcome again!

This month we are learning about God, God’s son Jesus and Jesus’ birth story and earthly family.

Yesterday we talked about the Israelite’s coming back to the promised land after being in exile and fixing everything. (Found in the Bible in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah). They fixed their houses, the walls that kept the cities safe and the temple (the church.) But also, a lot of very important things that they used to worship God had been taken. They got those things back and the people listened to their leaders and decided once again, they would follow God. They started really worshipping Him again in the church.

Do you know what worship is? It’s when we show God how much we love Him! We can sing, or pray…even showing love to other people is a way to worship God.

God is worthy of our worship. 1 Chronicles 16:25 says, “For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; He is to be feared above all gods.” (The whole chapter is a great read about God’s worthiness).

How do YOU worship God?

 

When baby Jesus was born, some wise men from far away traveled a long time to visit baby Jesus. And they brought presents to give to Him. The Bible doesn’t say how many men came, but they did bring three gifts-gold, frankincense and myrrh. (Frankincense is a spice an myrrh is oil–both of these were usually presented to kings.) They brought baby Jesus some of the best things they had and it makes God happy when we give Him our best too!

These men came to adore Jesus and to give their gifts to the new King. We can use the things God has given us (like money, and our talents–singing, dancing, being a good friend) to worship God. He is worthy of our worship!

 

Bible story: worship returns to the temple

Attribute of God: WORTHY of our praise

Jesus’ birth story: the wise men bring gifts

Craft:

Side one of our ornament today is a temple. (You can make it as accurate or elaborate as you’d like…ours turned out rather simple today…just a gold church with “God” written on it.)

Our text reads: The people worship God. He is worthy of our praise! Ezra, Nehemiah, 1 Chron 16:25IMG_0626

Side two of our ornament is some gifts for baby Jesus. We used some scraps of wrapping paper and drew bows on top. (Again, you could use the mini bows, or make them however you want).

Our text reads: The wise men brought baby Jesus gifts. Matt 2.

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Our current tree front (Bible story side) and back (Jesus’ birth story side)

 

Thanks for joining us! Love to you all!

Advent-Day 21-Ezra, Nehemiah, Zerubbabel/Wisemen

Hi all. Welcome back!

We are up to day 21 of our advent calendar, learning about God, God’s son Jesus and Jesus’ earthly family.

Today and tomorrow’s Bible stories go hand in hand. These can be found in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah in the old testament of the Bible. Our complete lessons for Ezra and Nehemiah can be found here and here. (Below is a shortened version of these accounts).

After King David and some kings after him, the Israelites kept on disobeying God, so He let other people come and take over the promised land and the Israelites had to go live in different places (like Esther in Persia and Daniel in Babylon). The Israelites were finally allowed to go back to the land God had given them after 70 years.

Some of the people who helped go back and start rebuild were named Ezra, Nehemiah and Zerubbabel. Zerubbabel was one of the leaders of the Israelites (and a great great great great (lot of greats) grandpa to Jesus!)

When Ezra, Nehemiah and Zerubbabel got back to the promised land, it was a mess! The temple (the church) had been broken and the walls that kept the city safe were a mess! These men helped lead the Israelites to fix the walls and the temple. (We’ll learn more about this tomorrow). They helped *restore* Israel.

Some people tried to stop them from fixing everything, but God kept them safe. He is the ruler of all things and nobody can stop God’s plans!

Israel was rebuilt…the temple and the walls by the Israelites.

But what Israel (and all of us) really needed was for their HEARTS to be restored. They and we, all make bad choices and sin, but God is the Ruler of all things remember. Nothing can stop His plans…and He had a GREAT plan to save us from the consequences our sins.

When Jesus came as a little baby, He was God’s son, perfect and able to fix the people’s sinful hearts. (Eph 2:8, Col 1:20)

Now there were some wise men from a far away place who had read all the things people had said about this new baby King and they were anxious to meet Him! (Matt 2) They followed that big star in the sky until they found Him. They remembered that in Micah 5 of the Bible, it says, “But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rules of Judah; for out of you will come a Ruler who will be the Shepherd of my people Israel.” They followed the star to Bethlehem to meet the new Ruler, the new Shepherd.

The wise men traveled and waited a long time (just like the Israelites had to travel a long time to the promised land and then wait a long time to restore it.) They were excited to see the new King. But this King had come to restore not the land, but our hearts.

 

Bible story: Ezra, Nehemiah, Zerubbabel

Attribute of God: Ruler of all, Restorer of our hearts

Jesus’ birth story: the wise men seek Him

Craft:

For side one of our ornament today, we took a block and dipped it in red paint and made a brick wall. (This works better with a sponge..but we were out of sponges today…so we made do.)

Our text reads: Nehemiah, Ezra and Zerubbabel help restore Israel. Ezra/NehemiahIMG_0620

For side two of our ornament, we cut out some basic people shapes and opted to decorate them with tissue paper today. (You could make them look any way you like.) We added a star to the top to lead the way (you could just draw it on, or use glitter if you don’t have a star shape.)

Our text reads: The wise men seek Jesus who will restore Israel’s hearts. Matt 2, Micah 5

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Thanks for joining us today. Just a few more days to complete our advent calendar. I hope these mini lessons have helped you and your children remember all of God’s goodness to us, before Jesus and through the events of His birth.

More tomorrow! Love to you all!

Advent-Day 20-Daniel

Hi again!

This month we are learning about God, God’s son Jesus, and Jesus’ earthly family.

The next person we will learn about is Daniel. This story can be found in the Bible in Daniel chapter 6, and our complete lesson can be found here.

Daniel was living in Babylon and working for the king there. The king liked Daniel very much and that made his other helpers jealous. They didn’t like that Daniel was the favorite. So they thought up a way to get rid of Daniel. They decided that everyone should worship only the king and anyone who worshipped or prayed to anyone or anything else would be thrown in lion’s den to be eaten.

Well, the king like the idea of everyone worshipping only him, so he agreed and made it a law.

But Daniel loved God and knew he could only pray to God. So he kept on praying, and of course the bad guys saw him and caught him. They told the king, “We found someone praying to another God, not you! We will throw him in the lion’s den!”

When the king found out it was Daniel, he was very very sad, because he liked Daniel, but the rule was the rule, so Daniel had to go in. The king hoped Daniel’s God would save him! He worried all night and as soon as it was morning, he went to check on Daniel.

“Did you God keep you safe?” he called.

“He did!” Daniel answered back. “He sent an angel to shut the lions’ mouths! They didn’t even hurt me!”

Then the king knew that Daniel’s God was the One True God and he said from then on, everyone should worship Daniel’s God, the one Real God.

 

The Bible tells us that the angels help God. He is in charge of all the angels. There are LOTS of angels, and they have different kinds of jobs they do. (Is 6:1-3, Hebrews 1). Some stand before God and worship Him. (Rev 5)

It’s no surprise that when Jesus was born, angels appeared and sang “Glory to God!” We can’t always see angels, or what God may be having them do, but they showed up that night! To the shepherds in the fields, they announced the new Messiah was here!

 

Bible story: Daniel in the lions’ den

Attribute of God: God of the angel Armies

Jesus birth story: the angels declare “Glory!”

Craft:

Side one of our ornament today is a lion. We cut out a yellow circle (looks sort of green in the photo below). Then we cut up some scrap ribbon and glued in around to be the mane and drew on a face.

Our text reads: Daniel in the lions’ den. Daniel 6

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Side two of our ornament is some angels, made from cutting out angel shapes, then gluing on glitter and ribbons.

Our text reads: The angels “Glory to God!” Is. 6:1-3, Luke 2

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Thanks again for joining us. Love to you all!

Advent-Day 19-Esther

Hi all!

This month we are learning about God, God’s son Jesus, and Jesus’ earthly family.

The next story from the Israelites found in the old testament before Jesus was born, is a story about a girl name Esther. There is a book in the Bible called Esther where you can read her story and our complete lesson on Esther can be found here. (Below is a condensed version of the story).

Esther was an Israelite, but all the Israelites had been moved and some were living in Persia. The King of Persia was not happy with the queen so he kicked her out and decided he would pick a new queen.

His guards picked up all the young ladies who were not yet married and brought them to the palace. They had to each meet with the king and the king would pick which one he liked best.

Esther wasn’t too sure about this, but her cousin Mordecai watched out for her but he made her promise not to tell anyone she was an Israelite. The Persians did NOT like the Israelites…especially, Haman, the king’s best helper. He HATED the Israelites, especially Mordecai, because Mordecai would not bow down to him.

So Haman decided he wanted all the Israelites killed and he kind of tricked the king into signing a law that said all the Israelites would be killed.

Well, the king picked Esther to be his new queen and when Mordecai heard that all the Israelites were to be killed, he asked Esther to help.

“You have to talk to the king for us! Ask him not to kill your whole family, all the Israelites!”

“I can’t go to the king without him asking me first. Anyone who goes before the king could be killed!”

“You have to try,” said Mordecai. “We will all pray for you.”

So Mordecai and the Israelites prayed and Esther prayed too. She got her strength from God and went to the king. He could have had her killed for coming to see him without being invited…but instead, he held out his royal scepter (like a very fancy stick) and that meant it was ok!

He asked what he could do her, and Esther got nervous and invited him to dinner. The king agreed and at dinner asked again, “What do you really want?”

Again, Esther asked that the king and Haman come to dinner the next night.

At dinner that night the king asked again. “What can I really do for you? You can have anything!”

Esther answered, “Someone is trying to kill my whole family! All my people!”

“Who would DO such a thing?!” asked the king.

“Haman, your majesty. I am an Israelite. And Haman had you sign the paper that said we could all die!”

The king was so unhappy that he had Haman killed instead and the Israelites were able to go free.

 

Numbers 24:17 says, ““I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel.”

This was a sign that Jesus would come and bring victory over His enemies. He would be like a star. Rev 22:16 says, “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”

And He would be like a scepter, royal, like a king, and giving us access to the Real King. When Jesus came, it was like God holding out His scepter us, saying, “It’s ok, come to me!”

When Jesus was born, there was a BIG, BRIGHT star over the barn in Bethlehem. It showed the shepherds and the wise men where to go to find Jesus. (Matthew 2)

God is a great King, but He loves us so much, He wants to know us and be with us. He will always lead us to Him, and will welcome us. (Matt 7:7)

Bible story: Esther

Attribute of God: Scepter

Jesus’ birth story: The Star

Craft:

Side one of our ornament today is a scepter. We cut out a stick with a ball on the end and then decorated it. (Today the kids chose glitter, you could decorate it any way you want, of course.)

Our text reads: Esther led God’s people-the king held out his scepter. Esther, Numbers 24:17

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Side two of our ornament is a star, made from cut out construction paper, then glue around the edges and glitter on top.

Our text reads: The star showed the way to the Messiah.

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Our current tree front and back:

Thanks for joining us. Love to you all!