Unity: Working Together

Hi all! Today’s lesson is from Ephesians 4. Paul wrote another letter, to the Ephesians. In this letter, one of the things he tells the people is to work on unity. Do you know what unity means? Unity means “being all together”…being one. We live in the United States of America. We are united…all the states work together to be one country. And all the people who love God can work together (unity) to share His love and tell other people about Jesus.

Paul reminds the people that everyone has different ways they can serve God. Some people do the talking on Sunday morning, some people lead the singing. Some people help take care of kids of older people. There are LOTS of ways to show God’s love, but none of them are more important than any other. We all work together. We are united. We are united to share God’s love, to worship Him and tell other people about Him.

Do you have any friends that go to a different church? Do they still worship God? Is your church better than theirs? Nope. Just different. If we love the same God, then we are united. We are together. We can love God together and we can love other people together. Paul says it’s important to work together because that helps us know God better and grow in Him. (Remember yesterday we talked about the fruits of the Spirit and growing in God?) Other people can help us grow in God. They help us learn about Him and they show us ways to love people. We should all work together, we can have unity.

Unity: working together.

For our craft today we wrote out the word: UNITY: working together

Then we cut out a few pictures of people working together and glued them around the word unity.

 

Thanks again for joining us. 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.

This is our song for the fruit of the spirit.

Thanks again for joining us. Love to you all!

Giving generously

Hello all!

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Today’s lesson is from Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians, chapters 8 and 9.

In this part of Paul’s letter he is reminding the people to be generous. Do you know what generous means? It means giving a LOT! What kinds of things can you give?

(Money, clothes, toys)…the most important thing Paul says we can give, is Jesus! We can tell other people about Him and show them His love.

We can share our toys, we can give money or clothes to people on the street who don’t have any. We can sponsor a missionary (someone who goes around the world telling people about Jesus), we can sponsor a child, and we can give our money and our time to our local church. We can spend time with a grandpa or grandma who can’t leave their house much. There are SO many ways to give!

Paul says “God loves a cheerful giver.” That means it makes God happy when we give with a happy heart.

He said, since you try to do the right thing and be like God in your faith, and when you use your words, learning lots of things, and in love, see that you also do a good job giving.

Maybe you and your family can make a list of ways you can give. This is another thing that you don’t have to be a grown up to be good at. Anyone who loves God (even kids) can be a great giver!

The Bible tells us that everything we have is a present from God….and that none of it will last forever. So let’s share the things we have with a happy heart, just like God shares with us, especially His love.

(No craft today), but we enjoy this song from Steve Green (posted by Christian Singers VEVO).

Thanks for joining us, love to you all!

When God lets us choose…

Hello again! Today’s lesson comes from Romans 14. (Also covered in 1 Corinthians 8, 10, and Colossians 2)

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Do you remember last time we talked about worshipping God with our whole lives? Some of the things God tells us to do He is very clear about. Can you think of anything God says NOT to do? (Lie, steal, murder). Can you think of anything God says TO do? (Love one another, tell others about Him, pray and talk to Him).

But sometimes God lets us choose. He doesn’t tell us what kind of job to get when we’re a grown up, or what kinds of games to play. He doesn’t say we can only wear certain colors…He lets us choose those things.

Do you know sometimes grown ups in church fuss over what kind of songs to sing to God or what they should wear to church? And in Paul’s day lots of people fought over what kind of food was ok to eat. But Paul reminded the people of Rome to not argue about things like that. He said, “Loving God is not a matter of what you eat or drink, it’s about being right with God, and having peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, anyone who serves Jesus in this way makes God happy. So let’s try to do things that help everyone get along and know God better. All food is ok to eat, but it is better not to eat or drink (or to do anything else) that will cause your friend to make a choice they think is bad….then they will be sinning against God. If it bothers your friend, try not to do it. If you know your friend doesn’t like something and you do it anyway…that’s not very loving.” He also said some things you can talk to God about and He will help you know if it’s a good choice or bad choice for you. (You can and SHOULD always read the Bible to see what God has to say).

So sometimes God is very clear about what He wants. But sometimes He gives us choices. Before we make a choice we should always

  1. Read God’s word (the Bible) and pray to see what God has to say about it (this can be hard because sometimes our friends don’t make choices that God wants them to. But we can make good choices even if our friends don’t. God will always help you make the right choice if you ask for help!)
  2. Make sure it won’t cause anyone else to make a bad choice
  3. Make sure it’s a choice that shows God love and helps others
  4. If a friend makes a different choice that still shows God love and helps others, then we don’t need to fuss about. (If your friend is making choices that make God sad or hurt other people, then you can help remind them how to make good choices or find a grown up to help).

We can make good choices if we think about loving God and loving others.

 

Thanks for joining us again. Love to you all!

Worship through love

Welcome back! Today’s lesson is from Romans 12.

Have you ever heard the word “worship?”

Worship means to show honor or love for something. We worship God. We want to show that He is the greatest and that we love Him and will obey Him. We give Him our hearts, our time, our things, we make our choices based on what He tells us.

Some people think worship means singing to God…and that’s ONE way to worship God (and it’s a wonderful way!) but it’s not the only way!

In Paul’s letter to the Romans he tells them LOTS of ways to worship God. He said we can worship God with our whole bodies…with everything we do. Every day we can worship God.

Here are some of the way we show God we love Him, respect Him and think He’s the best!

Everyday, Paul says, you can choose to not think you’re better than anyone else. Remember everyone who loves God has things they are good at and everyone can help others know God. So don’t think you’re better than anyone else…everyone just needs to do the best job they can loving God and loving other people.

Then he says, stay away from bad things and always stay near what is good. Take care of other people. Be excited about God! Be joyful (kind of like happy) because you know God loves you and has great plans for you! Be patient and trust in God when hard or sad things happen. Always, always pray and talk to God. Share everything you have with anyone who needs it.

You can also worship by being nice to people even when they aren’t nice to you. Be happy for your friends when they are happy, but if they are sad, be sad with them. Don’t fight or fuss with each other, try to get along. And don’t only hang out with people like you. Anyone can be your friend.

And one more time he reminds us to not be overcome by evil, but to overcome evil with good. That means if someone is being mean, you don’t be mean back, love them!

Loving God by singing, dancing, and praying are great ways to worship Him. But it is also worship when we love others, share with them and are nice even when people aren’t nice to us. That’s worship too!

How do YOU like to worship God?

 

Isn’t it great that all the ways Paul shows us to worship God are things KIDS can do too!? Yay!

 

For today’s craft we took a piece of construction paper and painted some lines from the center. Then when it dried, we cut out and glued on a heart and our text reads: We worship God by loving others. Romans 12

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This song by Casting Crowns relates to today’s lesson.

Thanks for joining us again, love to you all!

Believe and Confess

Hello again! Today’s lesson is Romans 9 and 10.

This is another lesson from Paul’s letter to the Romans.

This time he wanted the people to remember that we are only given forever life in heaven because God loves us. We can’t do enough good things to earn our way there. If we could, then people would always say “look at all the good things I’VE done. God loves me MORE. But God doesn’t have favorites. He loves everyone and because He loves us, He gave us His son Jesus to die for us. THAT is why we are saved from our sins.

This is grace. When we are supposed to get bad consequences and we don’t it’s called mercy. But God does even better than that. He doesn’t just forgive our sins, He also calls us His children and says we will live forever in heaven with Him! That is grace. God gives us more than we could ever earn. The Bible says God is like a good Father who loves to give His children gifts. The best gift God gives us is eternal life in heaven with Him.

Paul said “Some of the Israelites don’t want God’s grace. They want to go to heaven because they follow all the rules. But nobody follows all the rules all the time, we all sin. We NEED God’s mercy and grace. And there’s nothing we can do make Him let us into heaven….it is a gracious gift from God to us.”

Romans 10:9 says all we have to do is accept God’s grace. “If you confess (say) with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Jesus already did all the work! Of course when we love Him, we WANT to do good things, to be like Him….but those good things are never good enough to forgive our sins…only Jesus can do that. We just need to believe and say “Yes, you ARE Lord, I believe.”

For our craft today we cut out little hearts, put on some lipstick and kissed them (confess with our mouths and believe with our hearts), then we wrote today’s memory verse.

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Thanks again for joining us, love to you all!

Nothing can separate us!

Hi again, this lesson is from Romans 8:37-39. Our lesson from last year can be found HERE.

Do you know how much God loves you? Do you know what would make God STOP loving you? Will He love you for a day? A year?

The Bible says that NOTHING can separate us from God’s love. Nothing high or low, no bad guys or even death. Not even our bad choices. God loves us. HE LOVES YOU! You can always trust in His love.

We made a book today to help us remember how BIG and FOREVER God’s love is.

 

(Illustrations include: Title page, dead man, happy man, Angel, yucky demon, clock, arrow to the future, a king, up, down, ALL, a broken circle, a heart)

 

My kids love making these little books to help learn a story or memorize a verse. I hope yours will as well. Thanks for joining us, love to you all!

From Adam to Jesus

Hi all! Today’s lesson is from Romans 5.

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This is another part from Paul’s letter to the Romans.

The first people God ever made were named Adam and Eve…and they disobeyed God. They sinned. That’s when death entered the world and they couldn’t stay with God anymore. Adam started it all, but everyone sins, just like Adam did. But Paul reminds us that even though sin started with one person, forgiveness comes from one person too! Do you know who that is? It’s Jesus!

Our sin keeps us from God, but Jesus’ sacrifice (dying in our place) brings us back to God. He took our punishment (death). But He didn’t stay dead! God raised Him back to life! That’s what He does with us too! We should have to die for our sins, but because of Jesus, He forgives us and gives us eternal (forever) life with Him.

Paul said if someone was about to kill your best friend, you would stop them! But if someone was trying to kill a bad guy, would you stop them? Jesus did. Jesus didn’t die for us because we are good, He died for us even though we are bad and sin.

Verse 8 says, “God demonstrated (showed) His love for us in this, while we were still sinners Christ died for us.”

Sin came from one man (Adam) and is forgiven by one man (Jesus). God loves us even when we sin, and Jesus chose to die for us and forgives us, THAT is true love.

 

We did a craft today, but I don’t really like how it turned out…you win some, you lose some. The important thing is that our children hear the words of God.

Some of these New Testament stories may even be a bit advanced for their understanding. We try and pray for wisdom in how to teach these things to our kids, but sometimes Biblical concepts may still go over their heads. It’s not in vain though. Continual reading and learning of God’s word is a wonderful (and essential) habit to teach our kids. And you never know when they WILL understand these concepts so it’s never too early to teach them! Laying a strong foundation that you can build and build as they grow is never in vain. (Isaiah 55:8-11,  Proverbs 22:6, Deut 11:18-21, Romans 10:17)

 

Thanks for for joining us again, love to you all!

All have sinned…

Hi all, today’s lesson is from the first 4 chapters of Romans.

Paul wrote a lot of letters. He wrote some while he was traveling and some while he was in jail. One of the letters he wrote was to the people of a big city called Rome. These people were called Romans and the book of the Bible named after his letter to them is also called Romans.

Paul starts this letter by talking to the Jewish people. If you remember a long long time ago a man named Abraham believed God and obeyed Him. And even though Abraham and his wife didn’t have any kids, they believed God when He said Abraham would be the father of many many countries and many people. God chose Abraham and Abraham loved God right back. God did give Abraham a son and his family became God’s people. Abraham had a son named Isaac and Isaac had a son named Jacob and Jacob had 12 sons who became the leaders of the 12 tribes (big family groups) of Israel. (The people of one tribe, Judah became known as Jews.)

Paul wanted the people to know that God had chosen the people of Israel to give His laws to and He made a promise to always be with them. They would sacrifice (kill) special kinds of animals when they sinned and God would forgive them. BUT Jesus came and sacrificed HIMSELF and from then on, anyone who believes in Jesus would be right with God and forgiven for their sins (bad choices against God).

The Jewish people didn’t always like hearing that God was for EVERYONE. They thought they were special! God’s chosen people, remember?? But Paul said, ANYONE who believes and obeys God is like one of Abraham’s children. God didn’t choose Abraham and his family because of the great things they did, but because they believed. So anyone who believes like Abraham and obeys God will also be forgiven and be one of God’s people.

Paul said “all people have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” No one is perfect… We all sin (make bad choices) and that sin keeps us from God. Have you seen the movie Brave? Merida shoots her bow and arrows at the target. When we try to follow God we are like the arrow, but sometimes we miss the bullseye (the middle of the target). When we mess up and sin, we fall short and miss what God wants us to do. That also means we miss out on God. Our sin keeps us from God, BUT Jesus gave us something we don’t deserve. He died for us so when we believe in Him, when God sees us, He sees us as right on target. Righteous….right with Him. Paul said there’s nothing we can do to EARN God’s love or to EARN a place in heaven. God loved us enough to give His son in our place. And not just the Israelites, but ALL people because EVERYONE sins and needs the gift Jesus gave us when He died on the cross and took the consequences for our sin.

 

For our craft today we made targets out of paper plates and construction paper. We folded our red piece of paper in half and drew three rings on it like this.

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We cut out each ring and glued the smallest and biggest onto our plate. Then we cut out and glued on an arrow and wrote the paraphrase of our verse:

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, but are made right with God for free, as a gracious gift, because of Jesus’ sacrifice.” Romans 3:23-25image

 

Thanks for joining us, love to you all!

Paul’s Shipwreck

Welcome back, today’s story is from Acts 27/28 and our lesson on this story from last year can be found HERE.

So Paul had been put in jail AGAIN for teaching about Jesus. The leaders decided he and some other prisoners would go to Rome to go to the judge who would decide what to do with them.

It was not an easy trip. They were in the boat a lot longer than they were supposed to be because there were storms. When they were ready to keep going, Paul warned them, “This is not going to be a good trip. It will be really dangerous and we might even die!” But the guard didn’t listen to Paul, instead he followed the advice of the pilot and of the owner of the ship and they decided to keep going.

Before very long, a huge storm came, like a hurricane. The ship was caught by the storm and it rocked the boat so hard they had to hold the boat together with ropes! They had to throw all the stuff off the boat because it started sinking and everyone was afraid they would die.

Paul stood up and said: “You should have listened to me! But don’t be scared, because no one is going to die; but the ship will be destroyed. Last night an angel of God stood beside me and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You will go to the judge; and God Will protect the lives of all who sail with you.’ So be brave and trust, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me.”

They got closer and closer to an island and some of the guards tried to escape in special life boats, but Paul said to the soldiers, “Unless you stay with the ship, you cannot be saved.”

Then the soldiers planned to kill the prisoners to prevent any of them from swimming away and escaping. But the guard wanted to save Paul’s life and kept them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and swim to land. The rest were to get there by riding on planks of wood or on other pieces of the ship. In this way everyone reached land safely, just like God said.

When they got to land the people there helped take care of them and Paul was able to teach them about Jesus and do some pretty cool things. He was bit by a snake and didn’t die and he helped some sick people get better. (God gave him that power so he could show everyone GOD’S power and that God is real and can do ANYTHING!)

Even though the ship crashing and being put in jail were sad and scary things, God had a plan! He used Paul to teach the guards and people on the island about Him. Sometimes when sad or scary things happen to us, we can remember that God is in control and that He loves us no matter what and that He has a plan. We should always trust God, even when we don’t know what will happen next, just like Paul did.

We made little boats today with flags that read “Trust in God, Acts 27”

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Thanks for joining us, love to you all!