The Holy of Holies

Hi again! Today’s lesson is from Hebrews 9 and 10.

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**As I typed this out, I realized it might be a bit advanced, so here is the super abbreviated version and below you’ll find the elongated version for sightly older kids.

Back when Moses was leading God’s people, God gave them some rules about church. There was a special room where God’s Spirit was and only the priest in charge could go in there and he only did that one time each year. When we sins, we are supposed to have to die forever, but the priest would kill and give God an animal (called a sacrifice) and ask God to forgive all the people for their bad choices (called sin).

But God knew there was a better way to forgive the people once and for all. So He sent His son Jesus. Jesus was perfect and He died for us. No more killing animals and when we believe in Jesus, we don’t have to die forever, instead we can live forever in heaven. Jesus became the sacrifice and He is now the priest in charge. He talks to God and asks Him to forgive our sins. When Jesus died, God said, “no more animal sacrifices, Jesus has died once and for all for ALL people and if you believe in Him, I will forgive you.” And now, instead of having to go to a special place one time a year, God’s Spirit lives in our hearts. The Bible says our bodies are a temple (because God’s Spirit used to live in the temple and now He lives in our hearts!)

 

***Longer, more detailed version:

In Hebrews, God reminds us that before Jesus came to earth, God set up rules with His people. (Moses and the Israelites in the desert). They had special rules for how and where to worship God. There was a main room for people to worship God and then, behind a giant curtain, was a room called the Most Holy Place (The Holy of Holies) which had the ark of the covenant, and God’s Spirit lived there.

The priests worked in the temple (church),  but only the high priest (the one in charge) entered the Holy of Holies, and he only did that once a year. When the High Priest did go in that very special room, he never went without first making a sacrifice (killing one of the animals God told him to). Then he asked God to forgive the sins the people had committed. God’s Spirit lived in the Holy of Holies, in that special room and so only one time a year the High Priest would get to really be with God.

It was a very special job that had to be done *just right.*

But God had another plan…a way for EVERYONE to be close to Him. The gifts and animals sacrifices being offered to God then did not really do anything to fix peoples’ hearts forever. But God was showing the people that it would take a LOT for their sin to be forgiven. The animals the people had to kill were very important to them. They would eat or sell those animals (it was the most important thing they had)…when they sacrificed them to God it was like saying “I need YOU God, more than my animals. (Like we would say ‘I need YOU God more than my house, my money or all my toys.’)
But if you remember from last time, Jesus is the new High Priest and He did not go into the Holy of Holies because He sacrificed an animal. Do you know what Jesus sacrificed? HIMSELF! God says “the blood of goats and bulls sprinkled on those who are unclean sanctify them so that they are clean on the outside. How much more, then, will the blood of Jesus, who was perfect, cleanse the sin from our inside (our hearts) so that we may serve the living God!” They used to sacrifice their best goat or bull but goats and bulls are not perfect, so it would never make the people perfectly “clean” in God’s eyes. But Jesus WAS  and IS perfect and He makes us right with God. When God looks at us, He doesn’t see our sin, He sees His perfect son, Jesus.

Jesus was the new sacrifice. He was perfect and God had said that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. That is why Jesus had to shed His blood for us so we could be forgiven. (He could have said “no” and we wouldn’t be forgiven by God…but He did! THANK YOU JESUS!)

Jesus did not enter the sanctuary made by people, (that was only a copy of the true one in heaven); He entered heaven itself, and He is now with God to ask for OUR forgiveness!

And the best part is,  He doesn’t have to keep dying and going to heaven to offer himself again and again, like how the high priest went into the Most Holy Place every year to ask for forgiveness.

But Jesus came once, died once, and He did away with sin at once by the sacrifice of Himself. And the next time He comes back, will be to take us all to heaven with Him!

Today we don’t have to kill animals anymore for God to forgive us, “And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.” Jesus died for us. And when Jesus died on the cross, the big curtain ripped in half, from the top to the bottom (like from God to us) saying “It is finished. Come here to Me!” The Holy of Holies was now open, God’s Spirit could come to all the people who love Him and we can be perfectly forgiven because of Jesus. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 6 that our bodies are now the temple of God. He used to live in the Holy of Holies and now He lives in our hearts.

 

 

Thanks for joining us, love to you all!

Our High Priest

Welcome back! Today’s lesson is from Hebrews 4:14-16 and 5:1-10.

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So back in the old testament, before Jesus came, the people used to have church in the temple. There was a special room in the back called the Holy of Holies where God’s Spirit lived. And one time each year, the High Priest (the guy in charge of the church) would go in and talk right with God. He would ask God to forgive the people for their sins and listen to what God had to say.

In the letter to the Hebrews, it tells us that JESUS is now our High Priest. He is in charge. When Jesus died on the cross, the curtain that separated that room (the Holy of Holies) from the rest of the church, that curtain ripped in two and the room was open. (Because now God’s Spirit could live in everyone’s hearts!)

So we don’t have to go to a special place to talk to God, or even have someone else do it for us, like they used to have to do. We can talk to God ourselves!

In Hebrews it tells us that Jesus talked to God when He was here on Earth. He would pray for people, that God would make them better, or that He would forgive their sins….and do you know now that Jesus lives in heaven…He’s STILL doing that?! He is STILL talking to God for us!

He is the new High Priest forever and ever. And we can talk to Him anytime and He will help us.

If you remember Jesus was a person just like you and me. So He knows how hard it can be to make good choices. (Jesus never sinned, but He understands how hard it is and He knows how sad things can feel sometimes.) So we can know that He understands when things are hard for us and that He will show us mercy and grace (He won’t be angry with us or not help us.)

We never have to be afraid to pray to God even though He might seem big and far away and we can always know that God is listening and that even Jesus talks to God for us! Jesus is the new High Priest and we can talk to Him anytime we need to, about anything we want and He will hear us and help us. Isn’t that WONDERFUL!?

 

Thanks for joining us again. Love to you all.

The Word of God

Hello again! Today’s lesson is from a few places in the New Testament, but we’ll be mainly focusing on Hebrews 4:12. (From the letter written to the Hebrews–most people think Paul wrote it, but the Bible doesn’t say for sure.)

In this verse God wants us to know “The word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

What is the word of God? And how can WORDS be alive?

The Word of God. John, Jesus’ disciple wrote that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.  In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.” Do you know who this verse might be talking about?

It’s Jesus! The Bible says that Jesus is the Word of God. God talks to us through Jesus and the Bible. Those are HIS words. The words of Jesus and the words of the Bible are GOD’S words to us.

Jesus was with God in the beginning and He made everything and in Him is the light of all people. If the Word of God is Jesus, then we KNOW He can be alive! We know Jesus is alive in heaven with God.

The Word of God is alive and active (that means doing stuff!) Jesus didn’t just go to heaven and sit around all day!

He is sharper than any two-edged sword. God’s word is complete and absolute (nothing is missing in the Bible).  Like a sword, the Word of God (Jesus) divides people. Some people love Him, some people do not. When we read the Bible we choose to love God or we choose not to. There is no in between. And when we love God, when we read the Bible it can help us know which way to go. It gets into our hearts and shows us which way to go. God’s word shows us what is good and what is not. It helps us make the right choices.

In Paul’s second letter to Timothy (3:16-17) he says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” That means EVERY word in the Bible is important, can teach us something, and make us more like God.

God gives us His words in the Bible, His words through Jesus and His words in our heart through His Holy Spirit.

The word of God is alive in Jesus, it divides people (for or against God and shows us our good or bad choices), and teaches us new things everyday!

For our craft today we cut a sword shape out of cardboard and then the kids wrapped the end in foil. We wrote the 3 things we learned today on the bottom of the sword.

 

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Thanks again for joining us. Love to you all!

Love God, Not Money

Hi all! This lesson is from 1 Timothy 6. This is another part of Paul’s letter to his friend Timothy.

Similar lesson can be found HERE.

In this part of his letter, Paul reminds Timothy (and us) that we should be thankful for what we have. He says when we are born we have nothing and do you know when it’s time to die and go live in heaven we don’t take any of our stuff with us? (But heaven will have ALL the BEST stuff you could ever ever dream of! The Bible is sure to tell us it’s a very happy place and no one ever feels sad.)

Paul says if we have food and clothes then we should be happy. But do you know most adults and a lot of kids aren’t so happy with that? They always want MORE MORE MORE! But a lot of times, that makes people make bad choices. Maybe they are sneaky at work to get more money, or maybe they just buy LOTS of stuff instead of helping people.

Paul says “the love of money is the root of all evil.” Have you ever seen a plant? Maybe there is a pretty flower on top and a stem and under the flower, and down in the dirt are roots. The roots keep the plant safe in the ground and guide the flower which way to grow. Whatever we love is like our deep roots…it shows us which way to go. The root is the start and it determines which way the flower grows. If we love God, our roots are in Him and we will grow more and more like Him. If we love money, we will always be searching for more STUFF, more money and starting like that just leads to more and more bad choices.

Instead, we should try to be like God.

Money is not evil. We need money to buy things, like food, or your house. Money is a part of life. But we can’t love money…we can’t spend more time thinking about money then God, or spend more of our time trying to get money than we do serving God.

(In Matthew 6:24 and Luke 16:13) Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

For our craft today we cut out a circle, some petals and a wavy piece of brown construction paper to be dirt. We glued those on our paper and drew on a stem and some roots.

On the roots we wrote “the love of money is the root of all evil” and on the flower we wrote “Love God more than money.”

(It’s a simple reminder but I may change it later to something more along the lines of, “Love God, Not Money” instead…oh well). I hope these lessons are a good start for your family in your Bible time and that you can have some good discussions. (I know my 4 year olds have some pretty funny things to say sometimes about the Bible lesson…but I also know God cherishes laughter and is so happy to know His children are learning about Him.)

Lord, help my short comings and help each mom, dad and teacher who takes the time to teach their children about You. Guide our words and help us see in the moment what is most important. Thank you for entrusting these children to us and for helping us through as we do our best to raise them. Please guard our hearts against the love of money.

Thanks again for joining us, love to you all.

Set an example

Hi all! Today’s lesson is from 1 Timothy 4:12, a letter Paul wrote to his friend, Timothy. (Our lesson and craft on this from last year can be found HERE).

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Paul’s friend Timothy was kind of a young guy in the church and Paul wanted to remind him that even though he was young, he could still set an example for other Christians in the his speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.

Do you know that grown ups can learn from kids sometimes? Even grown ups can learn to make better choices and be more like God. And kids who love God can be good examples. You can be a good example of God’s love in the things you say, the choices you make, the love you show other people, and by trusting in God. When we love God we want to do things He says are good for us.

Instead of fussing with your brother or sister, you can show them love. Instead of using mean words with a friend you can show love and use nice words (even if they aren’t.)

Don’t worry about what other people think (don’t let people look down on you) you just do the things you know God wants you to do. Even young people and even kids can be GREAT examples of God’s love.

This week, try to make good choices that show everyone what it means to really love Jesus.

Here is our song this lesson. 

Thanks for joining us again. Love to you all.

Set your mind on Jesus

Hi all! Today we will finish our lessons from Paul’s letter to the Philippians. This bit comes from Phil 4:8.

After Paul reminds the people to talk to God when they are worried, he tells them this:

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Instead of focusing on the things that worry us, first he says “think of things that are true.” These are things like “God loves me. God died for me. God can do ANYTHING! God made EVERYTHING. He loves EVERYBODY and wants them to know Him. It’s important to think about these things and remember them.

Then he says thinks about things that are nobel and right. This means thinking about good things, not yucky things. Do not think about lying or stealing or hurting someone. Think about how you can help others and show them God’s love.

We are to think of things that are pure and lovely and that remind us to praise God. Like stars in the sky or a friends hug. Anything that reminds you of God’s goodness is a good thing to think about.

We can set our minds on Jesus. Can you turn your brain to Jesus? Go ahead…turn your little pretend knobs and think about Jesus. Set your mind on Him, the things He wants you to do, the things He has made, the things He says are true.

For our craft today we drew a big head with a face and then wrote in the brain area the things we should think about.

Our bottom text says: I will set my mind on Jesus. Phil 4:8

 

This song from Steven Green goes along with today’s lesson.

Thanks again for joining us. Love to you all!

Don’t be anxious

Hey all. Today’s lesson is from Philippians 4.

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This is still part of Paul’s letter to the Philippians (the people of Philippi). In this part of his letter, Paul tells the people “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition (that means asking God), with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

This means we don’t have to worry! If we start to worry should we cry? Or hide under our bed? Eat a lot of junk food? No…Paul says if we are worried to PRAY! We can always talk to God. We can talk to God with a thankful heart and ask Him for the things we need.

Now…can we ask God for a trip to Disney World TOMORROW??? We can ask…but He will probably say no. Sometimes God says yes, sometimes He says no, and sometimes He says wait. Just because we ask God for something doesn’t mean we’ll get it right away. But do you know what we WILL get? The Bible says He will give us peace. He will calm our minds and our hearts. If we are worried, and we talk to God, He will help us.

Maybe He will remind us of a Bible verse that says He is control. Maybe He will tell us He loves us, and we can trust Him.

No matter what you are worried about, God wants to hear it. And He wants to help you feel better.

Is there anything you are worried about today? Anything you want to talk to God about? Maybe you and your mom or dad or grandparent can pray right now and talk to God about the things that make you nervous or anxious. Then WAIT. And let God speak to your heart. Maybe He will tell your mom or dad what to say. Maybe He will remind them of a Bible verse they know. But talk to God always…He wants to give you His peace.

 

Thanks for joining us. Love to you all.

Shine like Stars

Hello again! Today’s lesson is also from Philippians 2. This is from Paul’s letter to the Philippians. (These letters were written by Paul, but Paul was very close to God and knew God’s heart. We can know that if it’s in the Bible, it’s something God wants us to see and know. Some things in the Bible that people do are bad examples, things God doesn’t want us to do. But in these verses, Paul shows us something God DOES want us to do.)

We learned last time that Paul told the people to serve like Jesus. In that same letter, he also told the people this:

“Do everything with complaining or arguing so that you may become blameless and pure children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine among them like stars in the universe.”

We are to do EVERYTHING God wants us to do (part of that means obeying your mom and dad) without complaining or arguing. “But I don’t want to!” “But SHE made the mess!” “This is TOO HARD!” “I cleaned it up LAST time!”

He says if we can obey with a happy heart, without grumbling or complaining, it will make us more like God– we will be blameless and pure children of God.

Then we will shine like stars in the universe. Have you ever looked outside at night? Do you remember how BLACK the night sky can be? And how a star SO far away can be SO bright compared to that black sky? People who do not obey with a happy heart are like the black sky. They have black yucky hearts. But when we obey with a happy heart, without complaining or arguing, we are like a bright light…like a star shining in the universe.

For today’s craft we cut out a star and wrote the verse on it. Then we added some glitter and hung them in the kids’ rooms so they can be reminded of today’s lesson.

 

We also found THIS song from Steve Green posted by Kendall Sauer.

Thanks for joining us. Love to you all.

Serve like Jesus

Hi again!

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Today’s lesson is from Philippians 2. Paul wrote another letter–this time to the people of Philippi–the Philippians. In this letter, Paul reminds the people about Jesus. He says “Do nothing out of selfish ambition” Do you know what that means? Being selfish means thinking only about yourself. “ME ME ME, MINE MINE MINE.” When someone is selfish, they only think about what THEY want, and not about other people.

Paul tells the Philippians (and us) to instead, “value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” (That means think about OTHER people! Do you remember when Jesus told us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves? Treat people the way we want to be treated.)

He says “Be like Jesus.”  Jesus is God’s son, so He has all the power God does, and He lives with God in a perfect place….but because He loves us, He made himself nothing and came to earth as  a servant, becoming a man. He humbled himself (accepted God as King and obeyed Him) and He even became obedient to death—even death on a cross! (Remember Jesus didn’t WANT to die on the cross. He prayed and asked God if there was any other way to save us…but there was not. So He obeyed God.) And because He obeyed, God raised Him up and the Bible says that eventually every person will bow and worship Him.

Jesus came to serve. He healed people, He taught them, He washed their stinky feet and He loved them–even enough to die for our sins. (Remember the consequence for our sins is to die forever, but Jesus died in our place and now when God looks at us, He doesn’t see our sins, He sees us as perfect if we love Jesus).

Jesus did not think about ME ME ME MINE MINE MINE, He thought of others. Paul reminds the people to not think all about ME ME ME, but to think of other people too.

How can WE do that?

(Share our toys, help our mom and dad, let our brother or sister have the last cookie)

Selfish=Me Me Me Mine Mine Mine

Humility=not thinking you’re SO important…letting GOD be the most important

Can you and your family make a list of ways to serve other people?

 

Thanks for joining us. Love to you all!

The Armor of God

Hi all! Today’s lesson is from Ephesians 6 (last year’s lesson and craft can found HERE)

 

So in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he talks about armor. When soldiers fight, they wear armor to keep them safe. We have armor that keep our HEARTS safe from the enemy, Satan. What does Satan want to do? He wants to keep us away from God. Sometimes we might think “God doesn’t really love me” or “I don’t REALLY have to obey God.” Or a friend might say “God’s not real.” These are ways Satan tries to keep us away from God. BUT, Paul reminds us that we can fight against those lies from Satan and keep our hearts loving God.

But how do we do that? We put on the armor of God. (We added a piece of clothing for each item and talked about what they meant as we added them.)

We have a belt of truth. The truth is God’s words in the Bible. We remember that God made everything, He can do ANYTHING, He is in charge of EVERYTHING and NOTHING will keep Him from loving us.

We also have the breastplate of righteousness. A breastplate is a piece of armor that covers your heart and lungs in your chest. Being righteous means being right with God…making good choices to obey God.

We put on the shoes of peace. That means we are ready to GO! walk, travel and tell people about Him!

We have the helmet of salvation–we remember Jesus died for us. HIS sacrifice saves our hearts from Satan.

The shield of faith–we believe in God. Sometimes God can be confusing…but we CHOOSE to believe Him. We trust that He will take care of us and keep us close to Him.

And lastly, the sword of the Spirit. The sword is our only weapon and it’s not even anything WE do. God’s spirit will fight Satan FOR US.

 

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So we have the belt of truth-the Bible.

The breastplate of righteousness-we obey God.

The shoes of peace-we tell other people about Him.

The helmet of salvation-Jesus saves!

The shield of faith-we trust in God.

The sword of the Spirit-God fights for us.

(We recited this part several times together)

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We also found this song from KidSpring Children’s Ministry.

And this lesson review from Saddleback Kids.

 

Thanks for joining us! Love to you all!