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!

 

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.

 

Faith

Hello again! Our lesson today is from Hebrews 11 and it’s about Faith.

(Our lesson and craft from last year can be found HERE).

In Hebrews 11 it says that “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we can not see.”

We hope that God will forgive our sins and give us forever life with Him. We can not see God or Jesus today. But, when we have FAITH, we KNOW God forgives us (because of Jesus) and we believe in Him even though we can not see God.

Sometimes it can seem scary or strange to believe something you can’t see, but in Hebrews, God reminds us of a lot of people who had faith and that God DID just what He said He would. We can trust and believe God.

He reminds us of Noah who built the big boat, called an ark, when God told him to and how he and his whole family were safe because they obeyed God.

He reminds us about Abraham, who left his home and followed God and believed God when God said he would have many many children even though he was already super old. (And he did have many many MANY children!)

There was Moses, who led God’s people away from the angry Pharaoh. And He prayed to God and God gave the people food.

And Joshua who led God’s people around the city of Jericho and they blew their trumpets and the walls fell down–those seem like silly instructions, but Joshua believed in God and obeyed and God provided for them and the walls DID fall down.

There are so so many more! Can you think of someone in the Bible who had faith in God? (Jonah, Isaac, Jacob, Ruth, Esther, David, Daniel). You can read Hebrews 11 to see all the others listed too.

When we believe in God, even though we can’t see Him that’s called……Faith!

We can be SURE that God’s promises are true and that we can always always trust in Him, even if we can’t see Him with our eyes.

Is there a time in YOUR life when you had to trust God? Is there a time when believing in God was hard? (Ask your parents to answer too). What is your favorite promise of God’s to remember?

 

For our craft today, I had the kids pick their favorite story of faith and draw a picture of it. Then we added googly eyes (sine faith is about seeing God with ur hearts, not our eyes) to the main character and today’s verse.

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Joshua blowing his horn and Jericho falling down.

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Moses and his staff facing the angry Pharaoh.

 

Thanks again for joining us. Love to you all!

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.