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!

The Law

Hello again! Today’s lesson is from Exodus 19-23, Romans 3,5, and 8. Our lesson and craft from last year (focusing on the 10 commandments) can be found HERE. Today’s lesson focuses more on the law and WHY God gave His people the law.

 

After God saved His people from the Egyptians, He led them through the desert and provided food and water for them. The people came to a mountain called Mt Sinai. God told Moses to come up the mountain and He would give Moses the rules the people needed to follow.

For 40 days and nights Moses talked with God and God told Moses everything the people needed to do or not do to obey God. God even wrote the rules on some stone tablets.

Do you know why your mom and dad have rules for you? They have rules to keep you safe (don’t touch a hot stove, use gentle hands, hold hands when you walk in a parking lot) and rules to help you become good people (study for school, clean your room, help take out the trash).

God’s rules for His people were the same way. Some of the rules keep the people safe and some of them help us be more like God.

Can we ALWAYS obey God? No…we can’t. (Romans 3:23) Only one person has ever perfectly obeyed God…do you know who that is? It’s Jesus! Jesus is the only person who was perfect. We all mess up and disobey God’s rules sometimes. So one thing the rules does is it shows us our sin. If we don’t know what the rules are, then we don’t know we are disobeying God. Now that God gave His people the rules, they would know when they disobeyed. (Romans 5:20)

Do you remember what the consequence for disobeying God is supposed to be? It’s dying. Back in Moses’ day, the people would ask God to forgive them and change their hearts to follow Him again. Then an animal (like a sheep) would have to die–to show that they were sorry and wanted to be right with God again.

If they people disobeyed God and never tried to make things right in their heart, the consequence would be forever death, in hell, away from God.

But God had a better plan. One day, He would send His OWN son, Jesus to be the sheep. Because He was perfect, He was the only one who could stay with God and take the place of our consequence-Romans 3:10, 19. Jesus died just like the sheep used to die. And He didn’t stay dead. He lived again…just like when we sin, we are supposed to die, but if we choose Jesus, then we will live again, forever. (Romans 8:3, 11)

The law (the rules) God gave His people showed them (and us) that we sin. And it shows us that we NEED a savior. (We need someone to save us from the consequences of our sins.) The Bible tells us that Savior is Jesus. And ALL we have to do, is believe in Him. (Romans 3:22, 25-26)

When we love God, we WANT to obey Him…so we try our best to follow His rules. (Romans 3:31) But when we mess up (and we all will), we trust that Jesus has taken that consequence for us and if we tell Him we are sorry and stop doing those bad things, that He WILL forgive us.

 

Even God’s people didn’t always obey the rules (as we’ll see next time). But now they had God’s plan–His plan to keep them safe, to help them be more like Him, to show them their sins, and to show them their need for a Savior.

Today we made little stone tablets like the ten commandments, but instead of writing the 10 commandments on them we wrote this:

The rules show us that we: SIN, and that we need a SAVIOR.

 

Thanks for joining us again! Love to you all!

Abraham’s Children

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for joining us. Love to you all!

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!