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!

Isaiah

Welcome back! Today’s lesson is about another prophet named Isaiah. A prophet is someone who talks with God and then tells the people what God wants them to know.

Isaiah has a whole book of the Bible for the things God wanted the people of Israel to know.

In this book, God tells His people (the people living in Judah and the rest of Israel) that they have disobeyed Him. Do you remember what it’s called when we disobey God? That’s called sin. And God tells them there will be consequences for their sins. BUT, if they will obey God again, and love only Him, then He will forgive them (1: 18-31).

Isaiah spends a lot of his book reminding the people of all the ways they have disobeyed God and how if they don’t ask Him to forgive them that there will be sad consequences–they will be taken away from the promised land. (And they were!)

We all sin too and when we sin, we can no longer live in heaven with God. We get taken away from the “forever promised land” with God (heaven).

BUT, in this book, God was telling His people, “I have a plan.” Isaiah 12:2 says, “Behold, God is my salvation,  I will trust and not be afraid.” Isaiah told the people that GOD Himself would make a way to save His people and to forgive them. Do you know what that way is?

It’s Jesus! God would send His own son, Jesus to die on the cross for us take our consequences so we could be perfect in God’s eyes. (Isaiah 53)

Isaiah told the people about Jesus who would be coming. In chapter 9, he tells the people that a baby will be born “For to us a child is born (Jesus), to us a son is given (God’s OWN son!), and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor (like a teacher and helper), Mighty God, Everlasting Father (we are God’s children!), Prince of Peace.” Most of the people then didn’t understand what Isaiah was saying…but we know he was talking about Jesus and that we don’t have to be afraid of the consequences of our sins if we believe in Jesus and that He came to die for us–we can just be thankful! 

God let Isaiah see some of heaven. In chapter 6 he says. “I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were creatures, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” (Holy means special and not like anyone or anything else.)

And at the end of Isaiah, God promises a GREAT future to those who trust in Him. In chapters 65 and 66, He says, “For the past troubles will be forgotten and hidden from my eyes. I will make new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create…I will take delight in my people; there will be no more weeping or crying.” He says all the people and animals will get along. Everyone will have enough food and not have to worry about anything! The people will be healthy and happy. They will worship God together forever. 

Isn’t it wonderful that even though WE disobey God, HE makes a way for us to be forgiven? There is nothing WE can do to get God to forgive us, it’s like a present He gives us, because He loves us. We just have to say “Yes! I want that present! Thank you, God!”

For our craft today we drew pictures of Isaiah’s vision of heaven and talked about how thankful we are for God sending His son Jesus to forgive our sins and all the things we are looking forward to about heaven.

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THIS VIDEO is a version of the song “I see the Lord” performed by Chris Falson.

THIS VIDEO is an overview of Isaiah by ShareFaithSolutions.

THIS VIDEO is from Saddleback Kids and focuses on the necessity of Jesus’ coming.

THIS VIDEO is from JellyTelly and is also a nice overview.

Thanks for joining us! Love to you all!

David the Shepherd

Hi all…today’s lesson is a variance on David the shepherd. Today’s lesson is more focused whereas last year’s lesson was more broad. (Found HERE.)

Do you remember what David was doing before God said he would be the new king? He was taking care of the sheep! That’s called being a shepherd. What kinds of things do you think a shepherd has to do? (Feed the sheep, get them water, keep them safe, show them where to go, keep them healthy.) The shepherd loves his sheep.

When David got bigger, he was like a shepherd to the people of Israel. He became king and he took care of the people just like he took care of the sheep! He kept them safe, fighting in battles, and he made sure they had food and water. He led the people to God and he obeyed God which helped remind the people to obey God too! (2 Samuel 5:2, 1 Chronicles 11:2, Ezekiel 34:11-23, Psalm 78:70-72)

David would get married and have a baby boy. And that boy would grow up and have a boy and he would have a boy and on and on for 14 times, until another baby boy was born–Jesus. Jesus is like a shepherd too. He leads us to God and He keeps us safe. David wrote a lot of songs and in those songs, David called God “our Shepherd” a lot. (Psalm 23:1-3, 28:9, 95:7, 79:13, 100:3)

He takes care of us…and even more important than making sure we have the THINGS we need, He takes care of our hearts. Jesus doesn’t just take care of us, He loves us, just like a shepherd loves his sheep. (Isaiah 40:11, 53:6, Micah 7:4, Jeremiah 31:10)

Sometimes if a wolf or other scary animal would come and try to eat one of the sheep, the shepherd would fight the animal–even if he died..he would try to fight to save his sheep. Do you remember Jesus died for us? Sin (anything that disobeys God) wants to have our hearts…which keeps us away from God forever…but Jesus, the Good Shepherd, fought and died to save us. (Isaiah 53:6, John 10:11). But He didn’t stay dead–because unlike a regular shepherd, Jesus, the Good Shepherd, is stronger than sin and death. Not EVEN dying can keep Jesus away from us or away from loving us.

God gave His people in Israel a good shepherd, David to lead them and protect them. But later He would give ALL of us Jesus, the Good Shepherd (the best shepherd of all) to love us, protect us, and save our hearts.

 

For today’s craft, we cut out a sheep’s head and then glued some fluffy cotton balls to make a sheep.

 

Thanks again for joining us. Love to you all!

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!

Adam and Eve

Hi all! Welcome back…today’s lesson is from Genesis 2 and 3. Last year’s lesson and craft can be found HERE.

Yesterday we learned about God creating everything and on His last day of work, He created man. The Bible says God said “Let us make man in OUR own image.” (the Father, son and Holy Spirit–isn’t it great to know God made us like Himself??) God took some dirt from the ground and made man from the dirt. God breathed into his nose and gave him life. He put the man in charge of everything else He had made–which meant man could name everything and be in charge, but also that he needed to take care of everything. God named the man Adam.

God knew it wasn’t good for Adam to be alone so he put Adam to sleep and took one of his ribs (the bones near your heart) and from that bone He made a woman, named Eve. (Isn’t that kind of a silly way to make people? It kind of seems funny…but God knew exactly what He was doing!) Adam and Eve would be partners, and work together and keep each other company.

God had made a perfect garden for Adam and Eve to live in. Only perfect things were there and it was wonderful with no sadness or fear or anything yucky. In the middle of the garden were two trees–the tree of Life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God said Adam and Eve could eat any of the food in the garden EXCEPT for the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. “If you eat from that tree, you will die,” God told them.

One day, a serpent (a snake) came to Eve and said “Did God REALLY say you can’t eat from any tree in this garden?”

“Oh! We can eat from ANY tree–except THAT one…if we eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, God says we’ll die!”

“Really?” said the snake. “You won’t REALLY die! God just knows if you eat the fruit from THAT tree that you’ll be as smart as He is and you’ll know what’s good and evil…He just doesn’t want you to be as smart as Him. Really…it’s ok. You can eat the fruit.”

The snake lied. God DID tell them they would die if they ate the fruit. But Eve didn’t listen to God. She listened to the snake. She disobeyed God. That’s called sin. It was the first time someone sinned. And then she got Adam to eat some too..he sinned too. God knew right away.

When they ate the fruit, Adam and Eve DID suddenly know the difference between good and bad and they KNEW they had done something bad. So they tried to hide from God…but of course you can’t hide from God. He found them.

God knew they had to leave the garden. Now that they had sinned and knew good from bad, they couldn’t stay and eat from the tree of life–they couldn’t live forever, because they were no longer perfect and God never wanted people to live forever in their yucky sin. So He came to them and told them they couldn’t stay in the garden anymore. They had to leave and they would have to work hard now to get their food. And they would be away from God.

Adam and Eve left the garden and began a much harder life away from God…but God was always watching, always providing and He had a plan. HE, perfect God, would provide a way for Adam and Eve (and all of us who sin) to come back to Him and live forever. He would send His son Jesus to be a man like us and die INSTEAD of us. Jesus would be perfect and able to give us the fruit from the tree of life. He would take our consequence of dying and instead, give us back to God to live forever. ISN’T THAT WONDERFUL?!

 

For our craft today, we made puppets! We used three socks, some tacky glue (you could also use hot glue or super glue), some googly eyes and some old ribbons (but get as creative as you like!)

We made an Adam, an Eve, and a snake. Then we took turns being the characters and retelling the story.

 

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!