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!

Amos/Hosea

Welcome back all! Yesterday at our house, we did Jonah found HERE.

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Today’s lesson is about two prophets. If you remember, a prophet is someone who talks to God and then tells the people what God wants them to know.

After King Solomon, God’s people (remember those 12 families?) they split up and wanted two different kings. So there was the family of Judah and then everyone else (called Israel). The kings of Judah sometimes obeyed God, but the kings of Israel did not. And the people in Israel were not obeying God very well either.

Two of the prophets (men God told to talk to His people) were named Amos and Hosea.

Amos was a man from Judah. It wasn’t his job to be a prophet….his job was to take care of trees. He was just a regular guy that God used to tell the people of Israel to “KNOCK IT OFF!” They were not being nice to the people who were poor or helpless. The people were not making good choices. (Amos 2:6-8, 3:10, 5:11-12, 8:4-6). Most of the people had a LOT of money and they thought they were HOT STUFF. They forgot God’s words about helping other people and showing God’s love…..they only loved themselves and spent all their time thinking about themselves and all their money buying things ONLY for themselves. So Amos was from Judah and when he came to tell the people to remember what God wanted them to do, they said, “He’s from Judah….he’s not one of us.” And they didn’t listen to him. God warned the people if they didn’t stop that there would be consequences. (And later there would be, when Israel gets taken over and the people have to LEAVE God’s promised land).

Hosea lived at the same time as Amos and he ALSO told the people to knock it off. But when HE talked to the people he also said if they would come back to God and obey Him, that God would forgive them and save them from the consequences. Even though God gives us consequences for our sins (our bad choices against Him), He will forgive us and always love us.

These prophets told the people to stop being mean to other people…stop thinking only about YOU. You can’t just pray and read the Bible…you have to DO what the Bible says…and that means loving other people. God tells His people in Hosea 6:6 that it is more important for us to KNOW Him and to SHOW His love to other people, than to go to church or do “church things” the right way.

The people of Israel did not listen though and they would be taken away from God’s promised land. But when they would later ask God to forgive them, He would.

When we mess up, God forgives us too, but we should also try to not only pray or read the Bible but DO what it says–to love others like God loves us.

Thanks for joining us. Love to you all!

Abigail

Welcome back! Today’s story is from 1 Samuel 25. This is a story about David and a woman named Abigail.

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David and his men were running away from King Saul (again) and they were tired! And hungry!

There was a man named Nabal who was having a feast (like a big party) at his house. He had LOTS of food to share. David sent one of his helpers to ask Nabal to share some food with them. But Nabal did not have a happy heart. He said “NO! I don’t want to share! Especially with YOU guys?! Who do you think you are?!” And he sent the helper away with nothing.

When the helper got back to David and told him what Nabal had said…David was angry. He was going to be the king of Israel some day! He had saved Israel in lots of battles. David and his men had even helped Nabal before…taking care of his sheep. Nabal SHOULD share…but he wouldn’t. So David was angry and he said “Fine! Let’s go show this guy a lesson!”(He wanted to go fight and maybe even kill Nabal).

But when Nabal’s wife, Abigail, heard that her husband had not been nice…she knew it meant trouble. So she came up with a plan. She quickly got together a bunch of the food and sent it to David. She went out to see David and said, “I am so sorry. I know Nabal is not a very nice guy. Please take these presents and forgive us. I never knew your helper came, or I would have given you food. I know God wants you to be king someday and I know you obey God. Please don’t make a bad choice by going to kill Nabal. Don’t fight with him. Make a good choice. Don’t be mean just because he was mean to you…that would be disobeying God. Remember, God wants you to be nice to people who are mean to you.”

David thought about what Abigail said. “Yes! Thank you. You are right. I should not be mean to Nabal even though he was mean to me.”

Abigail was a peacemaker. She kept the men from fighting. She even reminded David that God wants us to be nice to people, even when they are mean to us. (Romans 12:21, Matthew 5:38-40)

Did you know that sometimes grown ups and even people in charge FORGET God’s rules? They forget what God says! We can HELP EACH OTHER remember what God wants us to do. Even kids can help grown ups remember! The Bible tells us what God wants, so it’s important that we read the Bible often so we won’t forget what He tells us.

We found THIS VIDEO  posted by Nickandmarisaparker that illustrates today’s story.

Thanks for joining us, love to you all.

Controlling your tongue

Hi all! Welcome back…this lesson is from James 3.

HERE is our lesson from last year.

Do you know what self-control is? It’s when you can control yourself…when you can make good choices on your own. Do you know what the hardest part of your body to control is? The Bible says it is our tongue. (The words we say.)

When we get angry or sad, it is really easy to say mean, angry things…and hard to wait and NOT say something. When we use our words, we can make someone feel better, or feel sad.
Using our words to be nice to other people is one way to show God’s love. But sometimes we sing songs for God, and then later say mean things to our parents, sister, brother or friend. We can’t use our mouth and tongue to say “I love you God!” but then use our mouth in a way that DOESN’T show God’s love.

But God will help us! When we ask Him, He will help us use our tongues in a nice way–using nice words that bring people closer to God; words that make people feel better, not sad.

Do you know if you light a match it can start a great BIG fire?! If you use your tongue to tell a lie, sometimes that leads to more lies and more people get hurt or in trouble and before long, it’s like a big big fire too–lots of people being sad and in trouble, because you said one little lie.

The things we say last a long time. Have you ever had someone say something mean to you? You still remember that don’t you? When we use mean words with other people, it stays with them. That sadness stays with them. That’s not very loving is it?

The more time we spend reading the Bible and talking to God, the better we will be at using loving words and controlling our tongues. The Bible says no one can be perfect, but God will help us have self-control over our words.
So next time you feel angry, or scared and want to lie, or sad and want to say something mean.. you can take a break…ask God to help you use loving words, and control your tongue.

For our craft today we rounded up a paper plate, some googly eyes, a long strip of crepe paper and two strips of construction paper.

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We folded the paper plate in half, glued the eyes on top and stapled the strips to the bottom and top. Then we glued just the end of the crepe paper strip on the inside of the paper plate and it made a face with a loooooooong tongue.

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The construction paper becomes the handles for our hands to make a puppet.

 

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You can stuff the tongue into the face and then open the mouth and the long tongue falls out!

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Thanks again for joining us. Love to you all!

Favoritism

Hi all! Welcome! This lesson is from James 2.

Let’s close our eyes and pretend for a minute. A boy was having a party. And someone very fancy looking and rich came to the party and someone very dirty and poor came to the party. The boy told the rich person “Ooh! You come sit right up here by me.” But to the poor person he said, “Ew. You can just sit on the floor.”

What do you think about that? Does that seem like God’s love?

I don’t think so. God tells us to love everyone like God loves us. God doesn’t care if we have a lot of money or not much money at all. He cares about what’s in our heart…and we should care about other peoples’ hearts…not just their money or fancy clothes or fun toys.

In James 2, God tells us that acting like that is not what He wants us to do. Do you know that sometimes people who have a lot of money think they don’t need God? And people who don’t have any clothes or money…sometimes they love God more because they know they need Him. Sometimes people who have less clothes and food are better about sharing than people who have a lot of stuff.

When we are nice to some people, but not other people it’s called favoritism (like having a favorite). And you will have some friends that you see a lot that might be your best friends, but that doesn’t mean you are nicer to them than everybody else.

If we are really loving other people like God loves us, we will love people for their heart…and NOT worry about if they have cool toys or video games or fancy clothes.

Do you know that sometimes grown ups and kids don’t want to be friends with someone if they have different skin color? Sometimes kids are mean to other kids who use a wheelchair or glasses. If we are loving like God loves us, we will try to be friends with everyone, even if they are different than us. (Because can I tell you a secret? EVERYONE is different than you! God did that on purpose! No one on earth is just. like. you. There is only ONE you! God made you special and He loves you…and He loves everyone who is different than you too.)

So if you see a kid who seems different than you some way, that’s no reason to not be nice to them. When we love like God, we don’t show favoritism, instead we show love and are a nice friend to EVERYONE.

 

For our craft today, we cut out two hearts. On the one heart, we drew a fancy person on one side and a poor person on the other side. Then we added some sparkl-ies to the rich person and rags to the poor person.

On the other heart we wrote James 2 and stapled it down the center to the bottom heart (so each side open us underneath).

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Then we opened it up and wrote on the backside of the top heart: “Do not show favoritism”

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On the other side we wrote: Love everyone like God loves us!

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Thanks for joining us today! Love to you all!

 

Fruit of the Spirit

Welcome again!

Today’s lesson is from Galatians 5.

(Our lesson from last year can be found HERE)

So this time Paul was writing a letter to the Galatians (people who lived in Galatia). In this letter, one of the things Paul reminds the people is to live how God wants them to live. He says before they knew God, they did whatever they wanted. And everyone sins….so what showed was their sin…they were angry, and mean and thought only about themselves. But, he says, once we know God, God’s spirit lives in our heart and we should become more like Him everyday. And that will show too! (How do we get closer to God? We pray and talk to Him! We sing praises to Him and we read the Bible: His words to us).

The things we do that show we are sinful or that show we follow God are called fruit. Just like fruit trees grow and show off fruit, people grow too and show off what’s inside their heart. Sometimes people grow more and more into their bad choices. Sometimes, they grow more and more to be like God. A yucky tree makes yucky fruit and a good healthy tree makes yummy fruit. Just like trees, people who make bad choices show off yucky things and people who make Godly choices will show good things. These are called the fruit of the Spirit. The fruit is what shows when God’s spirit lives in your heart. And the more you become like Him, the more these things will show.

So what ARE the fruits of the Spirit? Paul says they are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.

We drew trees with 9 branches and then drew a picture for each fruit as we discussed them.

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Love-heart

Joy-smiley face-(being excited about God’s plans)

Peace-cloud-(not worrying, but trusting God)

Patience-clock-(waiting with a happy heart)

Kindness-flower

Goodness-halo-(obeying God)

Faithfulness-mountain-(always trusting God, not loving other things more than God)

Gentleness-lamb

Self-Control-tongue-(being able to take time to make good decisions, not just doing whatever we want right away. We drew a tongue for this one because it can be very hard to think before you use your words to make sure you are using NICE words).

 

And since these are fruits of the Spirit…that means this is what God is like! If we are like Him, we will show these things and He is love, He is joy, He is peace, He is patient, He is kind, He is good, He is faithful, He is gentle, and He has complete self-control.

Also:

We like THIS VIDEO from the “What’s in the Bible” series.

There is also THIS SONG from Steve Green’s “Hide ’em in your heart” album.

 

Thanks again for joining us. Love to you all!

True love is…

Hello all! Today’s lesson is from 1 Corinthians 13. Paul wrote letters to lots of people (they didn’t have email or texting back then). We were learning about the things he wrote to the Romans last time. This time he wrote 2 letters to the people of Corinth (the people were called Corinthians). This lesson is from his 1st letter to them.

Paul says no matter what you do, it has be done with love, or it doesn’t really matter. It doesn’t matter how smart you are, how well you play sports, how well you sing, or even if God helps you do amazing miracles! It all means nothing if you don’t do it with God’s love.

Then he tells us what true love is.

“Love is patient, love is kind.

It does not envy (that means it doesn’t want all the stuff it doesn’t have),

It does not boast, it is not proud (that means it doesn’t say “i’m better than you! or i have more stuff than you!”)

It is not rude, it is not self-seeking (me me me! mine mine mine!)

It is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. (love forgives others when they hurt us)

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. (Love helps us do the right thing)

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (never gives up)

Love never fails. (Does God’s love ever give up on us? NEVER! We remember nothing will keep us from God’s love).

Love is not how we feel, but the choices we make. Did you know you can feel angry and still show someone love? Sometimes we don’t feel like loving someone, but we choose to love them with the things we do. True love is living the way God wants us to.

So for today’s craft we made a window wall to help us remember all the things true love is. When we really show others God’s love, this is how we will act.

We cut out 9 squares and drew a picture on each one. Then we taped just the top part to our bottom sheet of paper (so you can lift the flap) and underneath we wrote the words.

Our 1st picture is a clock, then hands and then a face with snooty upturned nose.

Row 2 features the word “ME”, an angry face (with smoke above his head) and a star.

Row 3 has a sword, a checkered finish line, and a heart.

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Our text underneath each row says:

Love is patient and kind, it does not envy (want what it doesn’t have), it does not boast, it is not proud.

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Row 2:it is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices in the truth.

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Row 3: It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres, love never fails.

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Thanks again for joining us! (Remember to subscribe so you never miss a post) Love to you all!