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.

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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!

Abraham’s Children

Hello again! As we wrap up the book of Genesis, I decided to add this related (but not chronological) lesson. We did do the story of Ephraim and Manasseh yesterday but didn’t change it from LAST YEAR’S LESSON.

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Today’s lesson is based on what I heard at church today and I thought it summed up Genesis so well it needed to be added here. This is from Romans 4. See also HERE.

So this month we read about God creating the heavens and the earth. We read about Adam, the first man, and Noah and Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. We read about how much God loved His creation….but the people did not always love God. A lot of people disobeyed and didn’t trust God.

But not everyone felt that way. Abraham DID trust God and God made a special promise to Abraham…that he would be the father of many many people. As many as the stars in the sky, as many as the sand on the beach. That’s a lot of people! And Abraham BELIEVED God. He had faith. And not only did he BELIEVE God, he OBEYED God too. When God told Abraham to move, he moved. When He told him to give back his son Isaac, he did. Abraham showed that he had faith in God. God loved Abraham and made a special promise to him…not because he was a great person, or because he always did the right thing…but because he TRUSTED God and when God told him to do something…he did it. He had faith.  (Rom 4:9-13)

Abraham did have children, and those children had children and we know Jacob had a LOT of children and those guys had a LOT LOT LOT of children…and all those people would become Israel. The people of Israel thought THEY were God’s special people because they came from Abraham. BUT…in the book of Romans, God tells us that ANYONE who BELIEVES and OBEYS God is a son of Abraham, a part of Abraham’s family. (Rom 4:16-17, 24-25)

If YOU love AND obey God, then YOU are one of Abraham’s children too. Abraham’s family did get pretty big…but that also includes all the people who choose God and love and obey Him.

When we love and obey God, we get adopted into God’s family. He adds us into the family. We don’t have to be born in Israel to be one of Abraham’s children…to be one of God’s children. We just need to trust God, love Him and obey Him. And some of the people IN Israel choose not to love and obey God…the Bible says they are NOT Abraham’s children. They are NOT God’s children. The real children of Abraham and the real children of God are those that have faith in Him. (Galatians 3:7)

So when we read the Bible, we aren’t just reading about THOSE people a long time ago…it’s about God’s story. His plan for ALL of us. God would send His son Jesus through Abraham’s family…but anyone and everyone who believes in God becomes His child and becomes part of Abraham’s family too. One of the stars in the sky.

We will start the next part of God’s story tomorrow, in the book of Exodus. And as we read through Exodus, let’s remember that WE are also God’s children…like the Israelites…their story is our story.

Thanks for joining us. Love to you all!

Joseph and the famine

Hello again all!

The next part of Joseph’s story can be found in Genesis 41-46. For last year’s lesson see HERE.

Recap: Joseph had been sold by his brothers (because they were jealous of him, not because he had been bad) and he was living far away in a place called Egypt. He worked for the king’s helper but got thrown in jail (again…he hadn’t done anything wrong). But he was eventually released from jail. He was now in charge of  Egypt… only the king was higher up than he was.

His job now was to collect food. They were going to have 7 years of lots of rain and good food and then 7 years of not much rain and no food (called a famine.) Joseph was very organized and he did a really good job collecting and saving up the food.

Sure enough, the rain stopped and the famine came. And the people were HUUUUNNNGRRRYYY! But the people in Egypt had enough food because of Joseph’s hard work.

All the other countries did not have much food and people came from very far away to buy some of the food Joseph had. Do you know some of the people who came? Some of Joseph’s brothers!

When the brothers met with Joseph, they didn’t even recognize him!

He pretended not to know them either. He tested them to see if their hearts were still yucky. He tried to trick them and said he would keep the youngest, Benjamin for a servant. But the brothers said, “Oh please no! Our father has already lost one son…he can’t lose another one! We are so sad about our brother who is gone and our father Jacob is so sad. Please please don’t let us lose another brother!”

Then Joseph knew they were sorry and that their hearts were no longer so yucky. He told them who he really was and they all stood…mouths wide open….and said, “HUBBA WHAAAAAAAAT?” (not really…but they WERE VERY surprised!)

He told them everything that had happened…and he told them he forgave them. He was not going to stay mad…he was going to love them and asked them to go get Jacob, the daddy. They all hugged and cried happy tears and then the brothers, their families and Jacob all moved to Egypt. Joseph was in charge of them now, just like his dream had showed. And even though his brothers had meant to do bad things to him, God had used it for good!

God had good plans for Joseph all along. It didn’t always seem like it…but even in the sad and hard things, God was putting Joseph just where He wanted him.

For our craft today we made paper dolls. We started by cutting out a man shape. Then we traced him on three smaller pieces of paper. From that, we cut out a coat (with some tabs on top and on the sides), a jumpsuit shape (with tabs) and a skirt and necklace (with tabs). You could edit these to look anyway you want..but below are the shapes we cut out.

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We drew a face on Joseph,  then we started with his coat. We made it a colorful coat as in the story.

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Next, we took the jumpsuit and added stripes to be his jail outfit.

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Lastly, we colored the skirt blue and added glitter to the necklace (to be his “in charge of Egypt” outfit)

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Our finished products:

 

Now they can retell the story–one outfit for each part of the story.

Thanks for joining us again. Love to you all!

Joseph in Egypt

Hey all! Today’s story can be found in Genesis 39-41. Our story from last year can be found HERE.

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At this point Joseph had been sold by his brothers and was living and working in a new place called Egypt. It was far away from his home and his family. But Joseph started working for one of the king’s helpers named Potiphar. And he was a very good worker. Everyone liked him. Even, the worker’s wife. She wanted Joseph to love her and kiss her but he said, “No way! You are married to Potiphar, the king’s helper that I work for! I could never love you or kiss you. That would be wrong. You are supposed to only love HIM!”

That made her MAD so she LIED and told her husband that Joseph had tried to kiss her (when really SHE had tried to get him to kiss her). But Potiphar had Joseph put in jail anyway.

Joseph hadn’t done anything wrong when his brothers got rid of him…and he hadn’t done anything wrong when he got put in jail. This story doesn’t seem fair, does it?!

But Joseph started working in the jail and because he was such a good worker he was soon in charge of the jail! While he was in jail, God gave him a special talent. That’s something you’re really good at like singing or drawing or playing sports. (My kids understand talents because of the Tinkerbell movies–so if you’re familiar with that you can use the fairies’ talents to explain.)

Joseph’s talent was that he could understand dreams. A dream is like a story you think about when you’re asleep. But sometimes dreams can be silly or not make any sense. But Joseph could help people understand their dreams.

While he was in jail, two of the king’s helpers were also put in jail and they each had dreams. Joseph told the helpers what their dreams meant and they both came true! Joseph asked one of the men to remember him and how he had helped him when he got out of jail. He asked the man to tell the king good things about him so he could get out too, but the man forgot to say anything for TWO YEARS!

For two.more.years. Joseph sat in jail. Until one day, the king himself had two tricky dreams. All of his usual helpers didn’t know what they meant…but Joseph did.

Joseph replied, “Your dreams both mean that there will be 7 years of good food and then 7 years of famine (or no food, usually because there’s no rain.) You should find someone very responsible and put them in charge of saving up food, so when the bad years come, you’ll have leftovers and no one will be hungry.”

The king liked this idea very much, so he put Joseph in charge of saving up the food…in fact he put Joseph in charge of all Egypt!

Isn’t that amazing?

Joseph has had a pretty rough road….he hadn’t done anything wrong but bad thing just kept happening?! God had a good plan all along. And now Joseph was the 2nd biggest leader of all of Egypt!

But God is still not done with Joseph. Tomorrow we will see what else happens!

(For media see yesterday’s post.)

 

Thanks for joining us! Love to you all!

Joseph’s Coat, God’s Plan

Hello all. So yesterday we did the story of Jacob returning to meet his brother Esau which can be found HERE (no new one this year–we just read last year’s).

Today’s story can be found in Genesis 37 and last year’s story and craft can be found HERE.

Jacob had had a LOT of kids. He had 12 boys and 1 girl. Joseph was not the oldest boy…but he was Jacob’s favorite. Mommies and Daddies should love all their kids the same…but Jacob had a favorite…and that was Joseph.

One day Jacob gave Joseph a very fancy coat. (Most people draw it look like a rainbow, but the Bible just says it was REALLY colorful.) Back then if a coat was going to have lots of colors it cost a LOT of money. Usually only really rich important people could have a colorful coat. All the other brothers had boring brown coats. The other brothers did not like Joseph being the favorite so they were mean to him.

Joseph also had a dream that he would one day rule over and be in charge of his brothers. This made his brothers EVEN madder and they decided to get rid of him. They wanted to kill him.

At first they were going to throw him into a well. (A well is a big hole in the ground with water. People could pull a bucket up and down to fill it up with water. They didn’t have water in their houses…they had go outside to these wells to get water. But the wells were deep and hard to get out of.) So they decided to put him in the well and he could die there, but then they saw some other people coming and came up with a new plan.

Instead of letting Joseph die in the well, they decided to SELL him to the other people. They would get money, Joseph would be gone and the other people would have a new servant who could do all their hard work for them. Didn’t the brothers have yucky sad hearts? It does NOT make God happy that the brothers were being so mean to Joseph. But God had a plan. A GOOD, BIG plan for Joseph.

Only one of Joseph’s brothers, Reuben, the biggest brother, was sad that he was gone. And Jacob, the daddy was very VERY sad that Joseph was gone. The brothers told the daddy that  Joseph was dead. (That was a lie, but he believed them that Joseph WAS dead.)

Instead of Joseph dying, those other people DID buy Joseph and took him to a place called Egypt. It was very far away…but Joseph started working for one of the king’s helpers. Next time we will see what happens to Joseph while he is in Egypt.

This sounds like a sad story doesn’t it? But don’t worry…God has big plans for Joseph and God will take this very sad, very hard thing for Joseph and turn it into something good.

 

For our craft today we made our own colored coats. We used some of dad’s old undershirts, but you could buy some cheap shirts at walmart–or use paper grocery bags. Tutorial here (Tutorial posted by ExpertHowTos with demonstrator Sherie Tengbergen).

We just cut a slit up the middle of our shirts and then decorated. The wonderful thing about this project is: you can use anything you have! Today we used markers and stickers–but you could use paint, fabric, feathers, gems, glitter if you’re brave :0) anything you’d like.

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If you’re looking for media, Veggie Tales has a title called “The Ballad of Little Joe.”

The Beginner’s Bible has THIS VIDEO on youtube.

THIS SONG posted by GodsKidsWorship is about trusting God’s plans for us.

 

Thanks for joining us, love to you all!

Jacob’s Children

Hello again! Today’s story is from Genesis 29, 30, and 35.

Have you ever wanted something that your friend has? Maybe he has a cool bike, or maybe she has the BEST doll. God wants us to be thankful for the things we have…and not be jealous of what other people have.

If you remember, Jacob was running away. He had been tricky and taken his brother’s stuff AND his special blessing.

He traveled a long time and finally came to his uncle’s house. They were happy to see him and told him he could stay with them. Jacob started helping and working for his uncle. One day, his uncle said, “I should pay you! How much money do you want for all this work you’ve been doing?”

Jacob didn’t want money. He wanted to marry his cousin Rachel. She was BEAUTIFUL and he loved her! Rachel had a big sister named Leah…but Jacob loved Rachel. Jacob promised to work for SEVEN years for his uncle if he could marry Rachel when he was done.

His uncle agreed…and Jacob worked for 7 years. Then it was time to get married. After the wedding, the uncle brought LEAH in a disguise and gave her to Jacob. When he woke up the next day he knew he had been tricked. Just like he tricked his brother, he had been tricked too and had married Leah instead of Rachel. He was NOT happy.

His uncle said the oldest girl had to get married first, but if he would wait one week, he could have Rachel too…but he would have to work ANOTHER 7 years. Jacob agreed.

Now this part is a little crazy. You are only supposed to get married one time and love and take care of that person your whole life. But because everyone kept being tricky, Jacob now had two wives. He loved Rachel…but not so much Leah.

This made Leah sad and so God gave her lots of babies. Then Rachel got jealous that Leah had a baby and she didn’t! She was so upset she made a bad choice. She said “Jacob, here is my servant, you can have a baby with her!” And Jacob did…also not a good choice.

Rachel said, “Haha! Now I am winning! I will have more babies than HER!”

Well…all of this fighting over who had more babies led to more bad choices. Leah told Jacob to have a baby with HER servant…and SHE had a baby! Leah and Rachel each had more babies after that and altogether Jacob had 12 boys and 1 girl.

These boys would grow up to be the leaders of the 12 tribes (families) of Israel. Their names are:

Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Isaachar, Zebulun, Joseph, Benjamin, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. These boys would fulfill the promise God made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob…and even Jesus would be come from Judah’s family!

 

Leah and Rachel spent most of their lives being jealous of each other (wanting what the other one had.) Leah wanted to be loved by Jacob and Rachel wanted children like Leah had. When we want what other people have, we can sometimes forget to be thankful for what we DO have. Leah and Rachel’s jealousy led them to make bad choices. When we worry about what other people have, it only makes our hearts sad and can sometimes lead us to make bad choices–choices that might hurt more than they help. Let’s be thankful today for what God has given us and not worry about what our friends have.

 

For our craft today, we made a picture of Jacob’s 12 sons…and talked about how they would be the 12 tribes (families) of Israel. They would fulfill the promise God made to Abraham and Jacob about their grandchildren being as many as the stars in the sky.

For this project, we used some orange paint (you could also use brown or any color you’d like) and we used the lid of the paint to be a stamp and made 12 circles. After that dried, we drew two eyes on each one and some decorations (hair, beards etc). Then we practiced writing letters by writing the initial of each boy. Our text says “Jacob’s Sons, Genesis 29/30/35)

 

THIS VIDEO is posted by CityLifeMedia and is based on the Jesus Storybook Bible.

Thanks for joining us. Love to you all.

God gives Jacob a dream

Hi all! Welcome back! Today’s story is from Genesis 28 and last year’s lesson can be found HERE.

If you remember from last time, Jacob tricked his older brother Esau into giving him all his stuff AND his father’s special blessing. And his brother was MAAAADDDD! So mad he wanted to KILL Jacob. So Jacob ran away.

One night he laid down outside on a rock, fell sleep, and had a dream.

In his dream he saw some stairs. The bottom of the stairs was earth and the top of the stairs was in heaven. Angels were going up and down the stairs, going back and forth up and down the stairs to and from heaven.

Jacob saw stairs going to up to heaven to connect us to God, but now we have Jesus who we can talk to all the time. HE connects us to God. Jesus is like the stairs between heaven and earth. We can trust in Him and know that He is caring for us and that He loves us.

Jacob was still dreaming and he heard God from the top of the stairs say, “I am God. I promised your grandpa Abraham, and your dad Isaac and now YOU, that you will get to keep this land where you are sleeping. This is your promised land. You will have SO MANY children and grandchildren and great grandchildren…more than all the sand by the ocean. And everyone on earth will be blessed by you” (because Jesus would come from their family later on.) I will watch over you and take care of you. I will bring you back here. I will keep my promises.”

When Jacob woke up, he yelled “AH! I found God’s house! He lives HERE!” He gave God an offering (like a special present) and promised to always give back to God part of everything God had given him. Today, we give part of our money, time and things back to God by giving to others and supporting our church, our pastors and missionaries (people who go all over the world to tell people about Jesus.)

We know God ALWAYS keeps His promises. He kept His promises to Noah, Abraham, all the way down to Jesus and to US!

 

For our craft today we took black construction paper and some wavy brown paper. We glued the wavy brown to the bottom of the black and then used oil pastels (you could crayons or markers too) to draw a sleeping Jacob. Then we cut out a blue cloud shape–his dreaming bubble. (My kids recognized this from Daniel Tiger when he does his make believe.) In the dream cloud we drew some steps and angels going up and down. Our text reads: Jacob’s dream Genesis 28

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Thanks for joining us. Love to you all!