Discipline

Hi all! Welcome back!

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Today’s lesson is from Hebrews 12. The word of the day is discipline. Do you know what discipline means? It means training someone. Do you remember Jesus’ disciples? They were training to be like Jesus! And when we follow God, we become His disciples too !We are always becoming more and more like Him.

This takes discipline. He teaches us. And sometimes…it can be hard.

What kinds of rules do you have at your house?

What are the consequences if you break the rules?

Do you know WHY your mom and dad (or grandma or grandpa) have rules at your house?

The rules are there to keep you safe and help you become the kind of person you should be. Do you know any babies? They don’t know how to make good choices yet, do they? But you’re getting bigger every day and YOU know how to make good choices. The choices we make everyday make us more like God…or not. And sometimes when we make choices that are NOT Godly, God has to teach us, sometimes even punish us with consequences.

In Hebrews 12 in the Bible, it says God is like a daddy to us. He wants us to be safe and be more like Him every day. So He teaches us (through the Bible and our own mom and dad) how to be like Him…which choices to make or which choices NOT to make.

But when we do make bad choices and God has to give us consequences, it says, don’t be discouraged (that means don’t be too sad), because you can remember that God LOVES you and is teaching you how to be more like Him.

If God didn’t care, He would just let us do whatever we want. But God cares about you. The Bible says that when we follow God, we become His sons and daughters, His children, and He loves us and teaches us like His children. Have you ever thought about saying “thank you” to your mom and dad when you are punished? No! That seems silly doesn’t it?! But really, we SHOULD say thank you, because we know our parents are keeping us safe and teaching us how to make good choices.

It might not be fun at the time to have to obey our parents, or to obey God, and it’s never fun to have bad consequences, but we can always remember that God is teaching us how to be more like Him…perfect and loving, just like Him.

(And if your dad is not the best example of being loving or being a good teacher, then you can always remember that God is NOT like that. He cares about you, He loves you and He can show you what a REAL father should be like.)

In Proverbs 3:11-12 it says, “My child, don’t reject the Lord’s discipline, and don’t be upset when he corrects you. For the Lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child whom he loves.”

There is THIS SONG from Chris Tomlin that reminds us that God is good Father to us.

 

Thanks for joining us today. Love to you all.

 

Paul and Barnabas

Hi all! Today’s story is from Acts 13-15.

Paul (who used to be called Saul) and Barnabas (the disciples who had welcomed Saul after he stopped being mean to God’s people and started loving God) began to travel around and teach people about God.

Some people loved to hear about Jesus and a lot of people believed in Him. But some people did not. They met one sorcerer (like a witch) who would do sneaky magic and he worked for a very important leader. Paul and Barnabas taught this leader about Jesus but the sorcerer tried to tell the leader it wasn’t true. Jesus hadn’t REALLY died for our sins and lived again! But then Paul said, “How dare you life about God! From now on you will be blind and won’t be able to see!” And in that moment, God’s Holy Spirit made the man blind. Then the leader KNEW that Paul and Barnabas’ God was the REAL God.

As they traveled God helped them do lost of amazing miracles to prove to the people that Jesus WAS really God. We don’t see that as much today, because we have those examples in the Bible…but then the people were just starting to hear about Jesus and believe. Lots and lots of people believed, but many of the important leaders and rulers did not like them talking about Jesus and in some places they told them to go and never come back, and once the people even tried to kill Paul by throwing rocks at him (like they did to Stephen). But Paul did not die, he got up and kept right on teaching in the next city.

They spent most of their time teaching to Gentiles (the people who were not God’s chosen people of the old testament.) Remember when Jesus came, He said God was showing you before how He sets His people apart. They are special. But it’s not just one family of people…His message is for everyone. And He wants His people to be Holy (set apart…different from the world…trying to be like GOD), but they can come from ANY family! Anyone who believes in Jesus can be saved.

Some of the people were so amazed that Paul and Barnabas could make sick people better or do other amazing miracles that they said “YOU guys must be God too!” But they said, “No no…it’s just God’s POWER that helps us do these things. We are regular people like you! We are just doing what God helps us do!”

Isn’t it amazing how God can use just two guys to tell SO many people about Him?! You can tell other people about Jesus too! God has big plans for you too, no matter how small you may be. And we never have to be afraid to tell people about Jesus, because we know God is control and we can trust Him.

We’ll have more on Paul tomorrow. Thanks for joining us. Love to you all!

God changes Saul’s heart

Hi all! Welcome back! Today’s story is from Acts 9. (You can read our lesson/see our craft from last year HERE.)

 

If you remember from our last story about Stephen, when all the people were throwing rocks at Stephen to kill him (because he was teaching about Jesus), they all put down their coats by a man named Saul who was happy to see Stephen die.

Saul wanted to kill all of Jesus’ disciples. He went to the high priest and got permission to go to a city called Damascus where he could find any of Jesus’ followers and take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he traveled to Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.  He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you being mean to me and my people?”

“Who are you?” Saul asked.

“I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting (being mean to),” He replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and then you will be told what to do.”

The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone?! What was going on!? Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him into Damascus. For three days he was blind (couldn’t see), and did not eat or drink anything.

In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. (This is not the same Ananias who tried to lie to God. Do you have any friends that have the same name? Well sometimes people in the Bible had the same name too. So this is a different Ananias.)

God said to him, “Ananias!”

“Yes, Lord,” he answered.

God told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man named Saul…he is praying. In a dream he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”

“Lord!” Ananias answered, “I have heard lots of bad things about this man and all the terrible things he has done to Your people in Jerusalem. Now he has come here with permission from the chief priests to arrest anyone who calls on your name!”

But God said to Ananias, “Go! I have chosen this man to tell EVERYONE about me…to the Israelites and even people who are not Israelites (gentiles).”

Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. He put his hands on Saul, and said, “Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”  Immediately, Saul could see again. He got up and was baptized, then he ate some food.
Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. He started to preach in the churches that Jesus is the Son of God. All the people who heard him were SO surprised and said, “Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Whoa.

Whoa.

Isn’t this the same guy who was being SO mean in Jerusalem to those who love Jesus? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners?” They couldn’t believe it! Saul confused everyone living in Damascus by teaching and proving that Jesus is the Messiah.

Soon the people in Damascus who didn’t like Jesus started to plan to kill Saul. (Isn’t it funny that Saul used to kill people who loved Jesus and now he was about to be killed for loving Jesus!?) But some of his friends helped him escape the city and he went back to Jerusalem.

The disciples there were all afraid of him, and didn’t believe that he really had a changed heart. But one them, named Barnabas, took Saul and brought him to the disciples. He told them how Saul had seen God and that Jesus had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had taught without any fear in the name of Jesus. So Saul stayed with them and began teaching in the name of Jesus. And he even got a new name, Paul.

Then the church grew and grew and lots of people came to know Jesus.

 

Isn’t it AMAZING that God can take someone so set against Him and change their heart? There is no one that God does not love and no one that God can not reach. If you can think of the grumpiest, grouchiest, worst person you know…remember that God loves even them and He wants them to know Him! And because God can do anything…He can change their heart. Why don’t you pray for that person right now that God would help change their heart.

God used Saul…an average person who didn’t even like Him. He changed Saul’s heart and used Saul to tell SO SO many people about Him and to share His love with other people. God’s love changes an angry heart to a loving heart.

 

For our craft today we started with a brown piece of construction paper and drew a basic man shape like this one:IMG_3521

Then we took 1/2 piece of black and 1/2 piece of white paper and folded them in half. (I tape them together when i need my kids to cut out two papers at once). Then I drew a heart and they cut it out.

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Next we cut a box out of the middle of the man’s tummy. To do this, we folded him in half and cut out a 1/2 box (big enough to fit the heart from step 2).

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Then we opened the paper up and turned it over the back. On the back we taped a string in between the two hearts and taped the string top and bottom to the man (as pictured below).

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(Above: Being silly)

Then we drew on a face and wrote on the white side of our heart “God changed Saul’s heart! Acts 9”

(You can now spin the heart from the black side to the white side as you remember that God can change an angry, sad heart to a heart full of His love.)

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This is a cute video version of the story posted by Teaching Kids About Jesus.

Thanks for joining us today. Love to you all.

The Church works together

Hi all! Welcome back! Today’s lesson is a New Testament story AND part of our lessons on living a Godly life. The text for this can be found in Acts 6:1-7 and Romans 12:3-8.

In the days after Jesus went back to heaven and the people who loved Him had received the Holy Spirit in their hearts, lots of people were hearing about and deciding to follow Jesus. Back then, the church took care of any one who needed help. So the grandmas who were all alone, kids without parents, or people who couldn’t work…anyone who didn’t have food or clothes, the church would make sure they got what they needed. BUT, everyone was so busy telling new people about Jesus that some of the people weren’t getting the food they needed! So the disciples got together and said, “We can’t stop telling people about Jesus!? But we also have to make sure we are SHOWING God’s love by taking care of everyone! So…let’s choose seven men who are full of the God’s Spirit and wisdom. We will put them in charge of making sure everyone has the food they need and we will give our attention to prayer and teaching God’s word.”

Everyone thought that was a great idea, so they chose a man named Stephen, and 6 others. (Most of them were Israelites, but one was not. Before, you had to be an Israelite to be one of God’s chosen people, but Jesus came for EVERYONE. Now ANYONE who believes in Jesus and wants Him as their Savior and Lord can be one of His chosen children. So this man was also included as one of the seven.)

So the word of God spread. The seven men made sure everyone had the food they needed and others told people about Jesus. They all worked together to spread God’s word and His love.

In the book of Romans, God says everyone who loves Him is like one body working together. Do your eyes do the same thing as your nose? Do your fingers do the same thing as your heart? Can you hear with your toes? No! You need all the different parts of your body to do what they are supposed to do! And the church is the same way! All of us who love God work together to share His love! Some of us can be like His mouth and teach people about Him. Some of us can be like hands and help other people. Some of us can be like feet, traveling around to the far-away places of the Earth to make sure everyone knows about God. Some of us can be like ears…we can listen to other people when they are sad. There are lots of way to show God’s love! And we can all work together, like the people  in the early church to make sure everyone knows God and His love.

Even kids can and SHOULD help in the church! You can help your mom and dad at home, you can help in your Sunday school class by being a good listener and helping your teacher and you can tell your friends about Jesus too! You can pray for your friends and family…no matter how big, or how small you are…you are never too small to serve God!

This is last year’s lesson on being the body of Christ.

For today’s craft we cut out people shapes and on each one we wrote a way we can serve in the church. (If you were doing this with a larger Sunday school class you could have each child decorate their cut out like themselves and then hook them all together in a banner.) We stapled ours around a paper plate and the center text says: We can ALL work together to tell people about Jesus and show them His love. Acts 6 and Romans 12

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THIS is a really silly video of today’s story posted by JWKidsJacobsWell.

Thanks for joining us. Love to you all!

Don’t try to fight God!

Hi all! Welcome back! Today’s story is from Acts 5:17-42.

Today we made puppets to help tell the story. We used two paint stir sticks and 4 pieces of construction paper. I started by taping two of the pieces together and tracing a head, then the kids cut through both pieces to essentially make two heads. We decorated them (one to look old, one to look younger). Then we glued them back to back on the paint stick.

The older side we labeled Gamaliel and the younger side we labeled Peter.

Then we again taped two pieces of construction paper together and cut out the shape of three heads together. We added googly eyes on (one side is angry, one is happy.)

The happy side is the crowd and the angry side is the angry leaders.

 

And here is the story:

The high priest and all his friends, were very jealous because Jesus’ disciples were teaching about Jesus and the people loved it! (THEY wanted to be the most important people). So they put the disciples in jail. But that night an angel of God opened the doors of the jail and brought them out. “Go back to the temple,” he said, “and tell the people all about Jesus and what He has done.”

So in the morning, they went to the temple and began to teach the people.

When the leaders got up, they asked the jail captain to send for the disciples, but the guards found out they weren’t there. So they went back and reported, “We found the jail perfectly locked, with the guards standing at the doors; but when we opened them, there was no one inside.”

Then someone came and said, “Look! The men you put in jail are standing in the temple courts teaching the people.” With that, the leaders went and brought the disciples…(but they did it nicely so the people wouldn’t get mad and try to stop them.)

“We told you Not to teach in Jesus’ name,” the high priest said. “But you have told everyone in Jerusalem all about Jesus and now they are all going to think it’s OUR fault Jesus died.”

Peter and the other disciples said: “We have to obey God more than people! He wants us to tell EVERYONE about Jesus! God raised Jesus from the dead…the same Jesus you killed on the cross. God made Him Prince and Savior and He brings us back to God and forgives our sins.We have seen these things, and have been given God’s Holy Spirit, which He gives to everyone who obeys Him.”

When they heard this, the leaders were VERY angry and wanted to kill them.  BUT a Pharisee named Gamaliel, who was honored by all the people (everyone thought he was really great!), stood up in the court and said: “Men of Israel, think carefully what you plan to do to these guys. You know sometimes people say they are somebody important and it all comes to nothing. When these people who pretend to be important get killed or run away, their followers leave too. So, with these men, I think we should leave them alone! Let them go! If they are just pretending to know God, or pretending that Jesus was someone really important…no one will care and they will all soon go away. But if Jesus really IS God’s son and they are telling the truth, you will not be able to stop them; you will just be fighting against God.”

They all thought that was a good idea. So they called the disciples in and beat them up! and then ordered them not to talk about Jesus anymore, and let them go.

And do you know how the disciples felt? They were happy! They were SO glad to tell people about Jesus and they were even happy when they got hurt for Jesus because they loved Him so much. Every day in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and telling everyone the good news that Jesus is the Messiah, God’s son.

 

In this story you can see not all the Pharisees were bad. Gamaliel was very wise and he knew it wasn’t good to make trouble. If Peter and the other disciples were making it all up, then eventually the stories would stop and people wouldn’t care. BUT, if they said was true, then trying to stop them would be like trying to stop God (and is that EVER going to happen???)

Peter and the disciples KNEW they had to obey God. Even when the people in charge said “NO.” It can be hard to do the right thing when other people are being mean to you. God will always help us obey Him if we ask. The disciples knew obeying God was more important than obeying the leaders…even if meant they would be hurt. It’s more important to do the right thing on God’s side, than the popular thing on peoples’ side. Gamaliel knew that too. He said “You don’t want to fight against God!” Be on God’s side. Obey Him. Tell others about Him and trust Him to help you make the right choices.

 

Thanks for joining us today. Love to you all!

One Last Lesson

Hi all! Today’s story is from Matthew 28:16-20.

After Jesus had risen from the grave and before He went back to heaven He had one last lesson for His disciples.

The disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him. Then Jesus said, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Now go and make disciples of all nations. Tell everyone about Me and My Father. Baptize them (put them in the water and bring them out of the water as a sign that they believe in God). Do this in the name of God the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to obey everything I have told you. And remember, I am with you always, forever.”

Jesus said now that we know about Him, it’s time to tell others! And not just tell them about God, but make disciples (that means help them learn how to really love and obey God!)

For our craft today we made megaphones that look like the world.

We took a whole sheet of blue construction paper and a sheet of green paper that we shredded into various size pieces. Then we glued the green pieces onto the blue and wrapped up the paper (one side more tightly wrapped than the other) to make our megaphone shape. Our text reads: Go and tell everyone about God! Matt 28:16-20

 

Thanks for joining us today! Love to you all!

HE IS RISEN!

Hi all!  We are doing our Easter lesson today! He is Risen!

This story can be found in the Bible in Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24 and John 20.

It was now Sunday morning. Jesus had died on the cross on Friday. The leaders who wanted Him dead were laughing and happy He was finally gone! The people who loved Jesus missed Him terribly and even though He had told them LOTS of times that He would die and be alive again 3 days later (Matt 17:22, Mark 8:31, John 2:19, Matt 12:39-40, Matt 16:21, John 10:17, 18, see also: Isaiah 53:5-12, Psalm 35:19, Psalm 69:4, Psalm 22:16, Zech 12:10, Psalm 22:1, Psalm 16:10, Psalm 49:15) …they didn’t really understand and they were very sad AND they were scared the leaders would come after them next.

After Jesus died, the soldiers and leaders remembered Jesus saying He would live again and they set up guards in front of the tomb (kind of like a cave) where Jesus’ body was put after He died. They put a HUGE stone (bigger than your dad!) in front of the tomb…it would take a LOT of people to move it. They kept watch day and night because they thought the disciples would try to come take Jesus’ body and pretend He was alive. (They didn’t believe Jesus would REALLY live again!)

That Sunday morning, a few of the women who loved Jesus went to the tomb. They were going to put oil and spices on His body and pray. But, one of God’s angels came, rolled back the stone and sat on it. The guards were so scared they fainted!

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; HE HAS RISEN, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’”

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid but SO EXCITED, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my disciples; I will see them soon.”

This is THE story of the Bible. God is all powerful. He is perfect. He made all things and is in all things. He is stronger than anything, even death. God has the power over life and death. Our sin keeps us from God and we should die forever in hell away from God. But God sent His son Jesus to die in our place so we don’t have to. We know Jesus died and lived again and because He did that for us, when we die, we will live again in heaven if we believe He died for us and make Him king of our hearts.

Jesus dying AND living again shows God accepted Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf. It proves that God has the power to raise us from the dead. It shows that those who believe in Christ will not remain dead, but will be resurrected unto forever life.

AMEN!

 

Today we made a diorama (or dino-rino as my kids called it). Basically a little theater and characters to tell the story.

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We used two pieces of green and 2 pieces of blue construction paper to make the grass and sky in our box. We cut out a sun and taped it to the ceiling with a string. We cut out a tomb and folded under the end to tape to the floor of our box. Then we crumpled up a piece of brown paper to be the stone. We also made a flat empty bed inside the tomb.

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The guards are guarding the tomb. (We drew them scared).

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The women are coming to visit the tomb.

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The angel is on the rock, inside the tomb is empty. The guards have passed out and the women are listening to the angel. Jesus is waiting to see them!

 

Thanks for joining us today. Love to you all! Happy Easter!