Online Sunday School

May 16

Paul Escapes (Acts 9:20-25)
At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God.  All those who heard him were astonished and asked, “Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name?  And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?”  Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah.  After many days had gone by, there was a conspiracy among the Jews to kill him, but Saul learned of their plan.  Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him.  But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall.  After his encounter with Jesus, Paul spent several days in Damascus with the disciples.  The fact that he was received by the community was a sign that he had truly changed. Immediately he began preaching in the synagogue that Jesus was the Christ.  He boldly declared that Jesus was the Messiah.  The radical change in Paul was clearly a miracle.  But not all of the people believed that he had changed.  Many still saw him as the cruel punisher of the church.  His reputation was too strong for some people to accept the change.  The Jewish leaders who were not followers of Jesus plotted to capture Saul and execute him.  They set up an ambush by the city gate, the only way in or out of the city, and waited for Paul.  Paul found out about the plot to kill him, and shared it with the friends he had made in Damascus.  Those friends located a window in the city wall.  At night they put Paul in a large basket and passed the basket through the window. Then they lowered him to the ground outside the wall.
Paul left immediately and returned to Jerusalem, but he continued preaching in the synagogues. He took a strong stand and continued his ministry even when faced with persecution.  God had chosen Paul to carry the good news about Jesus to the Gentiles, and Paul faithfully served God through the remainder of his life.

What a story!  Paul faithfully served God through the remainder of his life.  As we end our online Sunday School classes we need to remember to continue to faithfully serve God through-out the summer and beyond.

After his encounter with Jesus, Paul spent several days in Damascus with the disciples.  The fact that he was received by the community was a sign that he had truly changed.  Immediately he began preaching in the synagogue that Jesus was the Christ.  He boldly declared that Jesus was the Messiah.  The radical change in Paul was clearly a miracle.  But not all of the people believed that he had changed.  Many still saw him as the cruel punisher of the church.  His reputation was too strong for some people to accept the change.  The Jewish leaders who were not followers of Jesus plotted to capture Saul and execute him.  They set up an ambush by the city gate, the only way in or out of the city, and waited for Paul.
Paul found out about the plot to kill him, and shared it with the friends he had made in Damascus.  Those friends located a window in the city wall.  At night they put Paul in a large basket and passed the basket through the window.  Then they lowered him to the ground outside the wall.  Paul left immediately and returned to Jerusalem, but he continued preaching in the synagogues.  He took a strong stand and continued his ministry even when faced with persecution.  God had chosen Paul to carry the good news about Jesus to the Gentiles, and Paul faithfully served God through the remainder of his life.

Loving this story and what a great way to remind us all to always be faithful in our lives.

Below are some crafts for you to enjoy.

Have a great summer and we’ll see you back on Rally day at the end of August.

May 9

Paul Is Changed (Acts 9:1-19)

Saul’s Conversion
Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples.  He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.  As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.  He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
“Who are you, Lord?”  Saul asked.
“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied.  “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”  The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone.  Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing.  So they led him by the hand into Damascus.  For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.  In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias.  The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!”  “Yes, Lord,” he answered.  The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying.  In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”  “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem.  And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”  But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go!  This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel.  I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”  Then Ananias went to the house and entered it.  Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”  Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again.  He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength.  Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus.

Kids, these scriptures about Jesus healing people are awesome to read.  Could you imagine being Saul and being blind and then given the ability to see from Jesus.
Lets review this scripture more closely . . .
Paul was known by Saul, his Jewish name, and also by Paul, his Greek name. To keep from creating confusion, we will refer to him as Paul.  Jesus reached out to the chief enemy of the church, Paul, and showed him God’s love. In Acts 8:3, Luke says Paul began to wreak havoc against the church and throw followers of Jesus into prison. Paul went to the high priest and received papers giving him permission to arrest followers in Damascus and return them to Jerusalem for trial. On the road to Damascus, a light from heaven shone down on Paul and a voice called to him. So overwhelming was the light that Paul fell to the ground. The voice asked, “Paul, Paul, why are you harassing me?” Paul calls out, “Who are you, Lord?”
Immediately he received the response, “I am Jesus, whom you are harassing.” These simple words started Paul down a path of realization that his belief that he was serving God by persecuting the church was completely wrong. He was in fact an enemy of God. As Paul considered the divine perspective on his actions, his whole spiritual world was turned upside down. The physical effects of Paul’s encounter were devastating. When he got up, he realized he was completely blind. The men with him had to help him into the city, and Paul didn’t eat or drink anything for three days. As Paul prayed to God during those three days of darkness, what had happened to him became clearer. Meanwhile, God spoke to Ananias, a follower of Jesus in Damascus, in a vision and told him to go to Paul and restore his vision. At first Ananias protested. Paul had a terrible reputation for being cruel to followers of Jesus. But when God said, “Go!” Ananias obeyed. He found Paul and told him that Jesus had sent him to heal his sight. Instantly, Paul regained his sight. He was filled with the Holy Spirit and baptized. Paul made a complete turnaround and began preaching about Jesus in the synagogues.

May 2

This Sunday School lesson is about Peter’s Miraculous Escape From Prison

It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them.  He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword.  When he saw that this met with approval among the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also.  This happened during the Festival of Unleavened Bread.  After arresting him, he put him in prison, handing him over to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each.  Herod intended to bring him out for public trial after the Passover.
So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.
The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance.  Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell.  He struck Peter on the side and woke him up.  “Quick, get up!”  he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists.
Then the angel said to him, “Put on your clothes and sandals.”  And Peter did so.  “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me,” the angel told him.  Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision.  They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city.  It opened for them by itself, and they went through it.  When they had walked the length of one street, suddenly the angel left him.
Then Peter came to himself and said, “Now I know without a doubt that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from Herod’s clutches and from everything the Jewish people were hoping would happen.”
When this had dawned on him, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying.  Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant named Rhoda came to answer the door.  When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, “Peter is at the door!”
“You’re out of your mind,” they told her.  When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, “It must be his angel.”
But Peter kept on knocking, and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished.  Peter motioned with his hand for them to be quiet and described how the Lord had brought him out of prison. “Tell James and the other brothers and sisters about this,” he said, and then he left for another place.

Kids, what a story!  Peter got out of prison after an angel appeared at his side.  We are hearing a lot about angels lately and it was God’s way of taking care of people.
Let’s look at the scripture some more by reading the following . . .
Herod Agrippa I, ruled as king in Jerusalem during the time the disciples were spreading the good news of Jesus’ resurrection and the church was growing.  His job was primarily to keep the peace among the Jewish population.  King Herod used this as his reason for persecuting the church.  Influenced by the Jewish leadership, Herod arrested some of the apostolic leaders.  He said their messianic claims posed a political threat.  James, the son of Zebedee, was first to be killed.  As the head of the church in Jerusalem, his death was a heavy assault on the church.  This action seemed to please the Jewish leadership, so next he arrested Peter and left him in prison during the seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread.  Herod assigned a secure guard of four squads of four soldiers each to guard Peter.  Herod’s power kept Peter in prison, but the church was calling on God’s power through prayer.  The church interceded for Peter with continuous, fervent, and united prayer.  On the night before Peter’s trial and probable execution, God answered the church’s prayers.  Peter was asleep in the jail securely chained to two guards.  Suddenly an angel from the Lord appeared, and a bright light filled the prison cell.  The angel nudged Peter and ordered him to get up quickly and prepare to leave.  Miraculously, Peter’s chains fell off his wrists.  Peter followed the angel, passing two guards, and reached the secured, Iron Gate leading to the city.  Peter was awake enough to obey the angel’s orders, but he didn’t think it was real.  He thought he was having a vision until the gate opened by itself and he was freed.  At that point, the angel disappeared, and Peter, thinking clearly, made his way to the house where the church was gathered praying.  A servant named Rhoda answered the door when Peter knocked, but she was so excited that she forgot to let him in before she ran to share the good news with the church.  Their first response was, “You’ve lost your mind!”  But Rhoda was so insistent; they finally opened the door in the gate and saw Peter.  They were astonished.  Peter quietly told them about his rescue and asked them to share it with the church leadership.  Then Peter left for another place, and the guards were left clueless as to what had happened.

What a great story!  Let’s finish our lesson by completing the activities below.

Enjoy and have a great week!

April 25

Peter and John 

Acts 4:1-22
Peter and John Before the Sanhedrin
The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people.  They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people, proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead.  They seized Peter and John and, because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day.  But many who heard the message believed; so the number of men who believed grew to about five thousand.
The next day the rulers, the elders and the teachers of the law met in Jerusalem.  Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and others of the high priest’s family.  They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?”
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people!  If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.  Jesus is “the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.  But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say.  So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin and then conferred together.  “What are we going to do with these men?”  they asked.  “Everyone living in Jerusalem knows they have performed a notable sign, and we cannot deny it.  But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn them to speak no longer to anyone in this name.”
Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.  But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him?  You be the judges!  As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”
After further threats they let them go.  They could not decide how to punish them,
because all the people were praising God for what had happened.  For the man who was miraculously healed was over forty years old.

Let’s review that scripture . . .
In the Book of Acts, Luke tells the story of how the early church grew.  After Jesus returned to heaven and sent the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, the apostles spread the good news about the resurrected Jesus and started new churches in different countries.  Many who heard the message believed and were baptized.  The church grew quickly but not without opposition.
Peter and John were on the way to the temple to worship one day when they saw a man being carried on a mat.  Peter healed the man, and the grateful man walked for the first time in his life.  Peter and John told the crowd gathered that the man was healed in the name of Jesus Christ whom God raised from the dead. But the apostles were interrupted by the appearance of the religious leaders who didn’t think anyone but the priests should be teaching the people about spiritual matters.  The temple guards seized Peter and John and put them in jail.
The next day, the Sanhedrin met.  They were the highest legislative and judicial body in Israel and consisted of seventy-one members.  The Sanhedrin sat in a semicircle and placed Peter and John in the middle.  They asked, “By what power or in what name did you do this?”
Then Peter, being full of the Spirit, offered their defense.  Peter placed himself and John in the background and concentrated on Jesus.  He asked, “Are we being examined today because we healed a sick man?  This man stands healthy before you because of the name of Jesus Christ, who was resurrected by God.  No other name could have healed him.”
The Sanhedrin was surprised by their boldness to answer, and they didn’t have a rebuttal because the healed man was standing with Peter and John.  They met privately to discuss their options.  They didn’t consider trying to refute the apostles’ words because most of Jerusalem had witnessed the miracle.  Instead they chose to warn the apostles and told them to stop speaking and teaching in the name of Jesus.  Peter and John responded, “It’s up to you to determine whether it’s right before God to obey you rather than God.  As for us, we can’t stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.”  The council released Peter and John without punishing them because of the crowd of supporters.
What an awesome scripture.  Now that Jesus had been risen from the dead and ascended into heaven the apostles were preaching the word of God and his miracles.
Below are some activities and additional reading material for this weeks lesson.

Enjoy!

April 18

Thomas Believes

John 20:24-31
Jesus Appears to Thomas

Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came.  So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”  But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”  A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”  Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands.  Reach out your hand and put it into my side.  Stop doubting and believe.”  Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”  Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

The Purpose of John’s Gospel
Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not
recorded in this book.  But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
Thomas would not believe in the resurrection until he saw Jesus with his own eyes.  The Bible tells the story about how Jesus appeared in front of Thomas and had him touch his hands and side and showed Thomas his wounds from the crucifixion and the day he had died.  So it was important because the resurrection of Jesus was such a powerful event Thomas had to see Jesus with his own eyes and he did.


Let’s talk about it some more . . .
The appearances of Jesus after his resurrection revealed the glory of God.  Jesus
showed himself so that future followers would have the witness of those who saw
him.  Mary saw Jesus but didn’t recognize him until he called her name.  Most of
the disciples were gathered together when Jesus appeared to them, and they
believed in the Resurrection when they saw Jesus alive.  But Thomas was not with the group.  When the disciples shared with Thomas that they had seen the Lord, he didn’t believe them.  Thomas wanted to see for himself.
A week after the Resurrection, on Sunday, the disciples, including Thomas, were
gathered in a locked room.  Jesus entered the room, and said, “Peace be with
you.”  Then Jesus gave Thomas what he needed, “Look at the wounds in my hands
and my side.  No more disbelief.  Believe!”  John doesn’t tell us that Thomas actually touched Jesus’ wounds, but Thomas’ reaction was immediate and dramatic.  He cried out, “My Lord and my God!”  Jesus gave Thomas what he needed, but he said to him, “Do you believe because you see me?  Happy are those who don’t see and yet believe.”  John concludes this passage with a statement of purpose, “These things are written so that you will believe that Jesus is the Christ, God’s Son, and that believing, you will have life in his name.”

Let’s have you try an ‘object Lesson’ for fun . . .
Take a dollar bill and fold it into thirds.  Next, take one paper clip and clip the
top section of the dollar to the middle section.  Now take another other paper clip and clip the bottom section to the middle section.  Before you put the paper
clips onto the bill, they were separate.  But when you pull on the two ends of
the dollar bill, they’re going to jump off the bill and connect themselves.
This is an example of how Jesus reunited with the disciples after the resurrection to show them he was resurrected from the dead and brought new light into the world for the forgiveness of sins.  The holy spirit was cast upon us.
We have also included some activities below for you to do.
Enjoy and we’ll see you next week.

April 11

Hey Kids,
Hopefully you had a great Easter.  What a great way to celebrate that Jesus Christ arose from the dead and he lives within us.
Let’s read some more scripture about this great day that he arose from the dead . . . 
Luke 24:13-35
On the Road to Emmaus
Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem.  They were talking with each other about everything that had happened.  As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him.
He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”
They stood still, their faces downcast.  One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”
“What things?”  he asked.
“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied.  “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people.  The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.  And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place.  In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body.  They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive.  Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”
He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken!  Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?”  And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther.  But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.”  So he went in to stay with them.
When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them.  Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.  They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem.  There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true!  The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.”  Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.

Isn’t it amazing that Jesus appeared after he was crucified, died, and was buried or put in the tomb?
Let’s talk about that scripture . . .
On the same day that the women found the tomb empty, two disciples left Jerusalem to travel about seven miles to Emmaus.  The amazing events of the day gave them plenty to discuss on their journey.  On the way a man joined them. Luke tells us that it was Jesus, but the men were prevented from recognizing him. Jesus asked the two men about their conversation.  Shocked by his question, the men said, “Are you the only visitor from Jerusalem who is unaware of the things that have taken place there over the last few days?”  Jesus’ response was simple, “What things?”  Sadly, they reviewed the story of Jesus, referring to him as a prophet.  They described Jesus as powerful in words and deeds, but shared how the leaders had arrested Jesus and crucified him.  Showing their lack of understanding of Jesus’ kingdom, they said, “We had hoped that he was the one who would redeem Israel.”

The men had accepted Jesus’ death as the end of hope.

But their story wasn’t over.  New events of the day had caused quite a stir.  The men said, “All of those things happened three days ago, but this morning some women went to the tomb.  They found the stone rolled away, and the tomb was empty.  The women told us that they had a vision of angels who told them, ‘Jesus is alive!’  Others went to the tomb and found it empty, but they didn’t see Jesus.” Like most of us, they would be persuaded of the Resurrection when they saw Jesus alive.  Jesus began to interpret all of the things that had been written about him in the Scriptures.  It was getting late when they reached Emmaus, so the two men invited Jesus to stay with them.  He sat with them at the table, and during the fellowship of breaking bread together, their eyes were opened.  When the disciples recognized him, Jesus disappeared.  The men were too excited to keep it to themselves, so they returned to Jerusalem to share the news with the gathering of disciples.
It was becoming clear to the community that the women were right.  Jesus was alive and their hope remained firmly in place.

Below are some activities you can do for todays lesson.

Have fun !

April 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easter is here!  Let’s Celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus by reading Luke 24:1-12

Jesus Has Risen
On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb.  They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.  While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them.  In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?  He is not here; he has risen!  Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee:  ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words.
When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others.  It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles.  But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense.  Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb.  Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.

Let’s Talk some more about this scripture . . .
First thing Sunday morning, one week after Jesus rode into Jerusalem as king, several women went to the tomb to prepare Jesus’ body with burial spices they had prepared.  They didn’t go to the tomb anticipating the Resurrection.  They had watched as Jesus died on the cross and was buried in the tomb.  They probably thought it was over.  The women may have wondered how they would move the large stone that had been used to seal the tomb, but the stone had been rolled away.  When they entered the tomb, they didn’t find Jesus’ body, only the cloth they had wrapped around his body lying on the slab.  Their first thought at this scene wasn’t about resurrection but fear that someone had stolen Jesus’ body.
While the women were agonizing over the empty tomb, two men suddenly appeared beside them in gleaming bright clothes.  The women recognized them as angels and bowed their faces to the ground in fear.  The angels said, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?  He isn’t here, but has been raised.  Remember what he told you while he was still in Galilee, that the Human One must be handed over to sinners, be crucified, and on the third day rise again.”  The angels’ words helped them remember Jesus’ words, and they were convinced Jesus was alive.  They ran quickly back to tell the disciples, who thought the women were hysterical or dreaming.  But Peter, after hearing the women’s report, ran to the tomb to see for himself.  Peter walked away from the tomb wondering about what had come to pass.  Even Jesus’ disciples had to be convinced of his resurrection.  God’s power had been shown through Jesus’ resurrection.  Jesus’ words, the angels’ message, and the testimony of the many witnesses who saw Jesus after his resurrection, all these made an impressive case of evidence of this event.  God’s power stands behind the Resurrection, but the followers of Jesus had to be convinced that it had truly happened.

It’s pretty cool that angels appeared and talked to the women at the tomb.

Why do you think we call the day Jesus died Good Friday? (We celebrate it as a holy day because Christ showed his love for us, and we know that he was resurrected from the dead.)

How do you think the women felt when they saw the stone rolled away and found the tomb empty?

What emotion do you think they felt when they saw the angels?

Think about that.

Below are some activities.  Enjoy Easter Sunday and remember Jesus died for our sins to be forgiven so that we may have Eternal Life.
Activities listed below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 28

It’s Palm Sunday, the start of Holy Week. Let’s read a scripture to start our lesson out.

Mark 11:1-11 Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King
As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.’”  They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, some people standing there asked, “What are you doing, untying that colt?” They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go. When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted,
“Hosanna!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!” Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple courts. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.

Let’s talk some more about this story about Jesus . . .
Jesus and his disciples traveled through Jericho shortly before Jesus entered Jerusalem as King. A blind beggar named Bartimaeus asked Jesus to heal him. He shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, show me mercy!” Bartimaeus recognized Jesus as royalty by calling him “Son of David.” When the group reached Bethany, Jesus sent two of the disciples into the village to get a colt that had never been ridden.

How did Jesus know the colt had never been ridden? He knew everything.

About 500 years before, Zechariah wrote that the coming king would be righteous and humble and riding on a colt (Zechariah 9:9). It was a king’s right to claim possessions, so Jesus is shown as the King, who had the right to claim anything for himself.

That’s an interesting part of this story. 500 years before it was written that Jesus would have the right to claim anything for himself.

The disciples placed garments on the colt’s back for Jesus to ride on, and they entered the gate at Jerusalem like royalty. A crowd gathered and treated Jesus as king by throwing their coats on the ground for the colt to walk on. They waved palm branches which was a typical action used for triumphal entries during that time period. The crowd paid homage to Jesus as king, which was appropriate. But the crowd didn’t understand the nature of Jesus’ kingship. These Scriptures portray Jesus as king and show a different understanding of his kingship. The crowd and the disciples expected a warrior king who would claim his kingdom immediately by means of a revolution, freeing them from Roman rule.
The crowd shouted, “Hosanna! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessings on the coming kingdom of our ancestor David! Hosanna in the highest!” In just a few days, it became apparent that Jesus was not there to fulfill their expectations. The crowd who had treated him so royally turned on him and called for his execution. But at the end of that week, God would raise Jesus from the dead, an act no earthly king could do, and the disciples and the crowd would begin to understand the kingdom of Jesus.

So there was some confusion as to the purpose of Jesus’ trip on the donkey into the city of Bethphage and Bethany. The people thought Jesus would come in as a mighty king to control the land and oversee and protect them. He did just the opposite. They turned on him and had him arrested. Then after the crucifixion and the rising from the dead did they realize he was truly the Messiah.

Below are some activity sheets. Have some fun with them!

Let’s end in prayer:
Dear God, we honor you as our king. Thank you for the love Jesus showed for all us during Holy Week; in Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

March 21

Kids,
Today’s lesson we are going to talk about Jesus praying from Matthew 26:36-46.
Let’s begin our lesson by reading the scripture . . .
Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”  He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled.  Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.  Stay here and keep watch with me.”
Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.  Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping.  “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?”  he asked Peter.  “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.  The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”
When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy.  So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.
Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting?  Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners.  Rise!  Let us go!  Here comes my betrayer!”

What a powerful Bible verse.  As Jesus finished praying is betrayer was coming.
Let’s talk some more about the Bible . . .

After Jesus served the disciples the Last Supper and they sang songs of praise, they went to the Mount of Olives.  The garden of Gethsemane, at the foot of the
Mount of Olives, was a place Jesus had often gone to pray, and that night he retreated into the garden again to talk to God about the coming events.
Most of the disciples stayed outside the garden, but Jesus took Peter, James, and
John into the garden with him.  Jesus instructed them to stay awake and keep
alert while he went further into the garden to pray.  The human part of Jesus
made him vulnerable, and he asked his friends for support during this difficult
time.  Jesus described the intensity of his grief by saying, “I’m very sad.  It’s as if I’m dying.”  Then Jesus went a short distance further, fell on his face, and prayed, “My Father, if it’s possible, take this cup of suffering away from me.  However—not what I want but what you want.”  Jesus had lived his life in obedience to God, so he chose God’s plan over his own desire.  Praying through the night was an
unusual request from Jesus, but he expected the disciples to take his need seriously at this crisis point.  When we are in pain, we reach out for the support of others.  Jesus asked his closest disciples to share his suffering in prayer, but they failed him.  They couldn’t stay awake.  They heard Jesus talk about his death, but they didn’t comprehend what he said.  The thought of Jesus dying and
leaving them was not comprehensible, which was made evident when they all scattered in fear after Jesus was arrested.  Three times Jesus went into the
garden to pray and ask God to take his suffering away.  Ultimately, he prayed, “My Father, if it’s not possible that this cup be taken away unless I drink it, then let it be what you want.”  After Jesus prayed the third time, he woke the disciples and told them, “Get up.  My time has come to be betrayed.  Look, here comes my
betrayer.”  And Jesus surrendered passively to the guards and willingly accepted God’s plan.
How many times did Jesus go into the garden and pray to God? 3
What did he ask the disciples to do? Stay up and watch over him.

A few comments about the scripture:

It’s hard to believe that God’s plan included a betrayer to come and take Jesus and crucify him.  But it was in God’s plan so that we all would be forgiven for our
sins and have everlasting life.
Jesus knew the time to leave his disciples had come.  He knew he was facing some very difficult events in the next few days.  He asked God to take away the pain, but God couldn’t do that.  When God said no, Jesus said, “not what I want but what you want.”

Here are some projects for fun . . .

March 14
Jesus Breaks the Bread
(Mark 14:12-26)

Kids,
As we begin to prepare for the coming of Easter we will be reading and talking about the events leading up to the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. One of those events is The Last Supper.
Let’s read the bible verse Mark 14:12-26 . . .
On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, when it was customary to sacrifice the Passover lamb, Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go and make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”  So he sent two of his disciples, telling them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him.  Say to the owner of the house he enters, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’  He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready.  Make preparations for us there.”
The disciples left, went into the city and found things just as Jesus had told them.  So they prepared the Passover.  When evening came, Jesus arrived with the Twelve.  While they were reclining at the table eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me—one who is eating with me.”  They were saddened, and one by one they said to him, “Surely you don’t mean me?”  “It is one of the Twelve,” he replied, “one who dips bread into the bowl with me.  The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him.  But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! 
It would be better for him if he had not been born.”  While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.”  Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it.  “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them.  “Truly I tell you, I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”  When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Let’s talk about the Bible scripture . . . 
It was almost time for the celebration of Passover, and Jesus knew his death was drawing near.
During his last few days, he took every opportunity to prepare his disciples for the coming events. But like most of his teachings in those last days, the disciples didn’t fully understand.
Can you imagine what it must have been like for Jesus to know that he was going to die and was trying to prepare everyone for what was about to come.

They would never have guessed that Jesus’ death was part of God’s plan or that they would ever turn their back on Jesus.  His words didn’t make sense to them until after Jesus rose from the grave.  Jesus sent two of his disciples into Jerusalem to prepare a place for them to have the Passover meal.  They were to look for a sign: a man carrying a water jar.  That was an unusual sight, because the women traditionally carried the water.  The disciples found the man, and he led them to a room they could use.  The disciples prepared the meal, and everything was ready when Jesus and the others arrived.  The meal began after sunset.  They all reclined beside low tables, which was the fashion for banquets at that time.  As they ate, Jesus surprised the disciples by saying one of them would betray him.  Deeply saddened by Jesus’ statement, the disciples began to ask, “It’s not me, is it?”  Jesus’ response that the betrayer was the one who was eating bread with him added to the disciples’ dismay.  Betraying someone who had shared bread with you was unthinkable for Jews of that time.
Explaining the elements of the Passover meal was a part of the Passover tradition.  Each element was symbolic of God’s deliverance of the Jews in the Exodus.  Jesus identified his mission with the Passover, indicating that he would bring a new deliverance to all humankind.
Jesus took the bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to the disciples.  He said, “Take, this is my body.” He took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it them to drink.  He said, “This is my blood of the covenant which is poured out for many.”  Jesus’ words were a picture of his impending death, presenting his broken body and his shed blood.  When we observe the Lord’s Supper today, we are reminded of what Jesus did for us and the new covenant.

Jesus died for us and our sins.  To be forgiven and to have eternal life.

March 7
Mary Anoints Jesus
(John 12:1-8)

Jesus Anointed at Bethany
Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.  Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him.  Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor?  It was worth a year’s wages.”  He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.
“Leave her alone,” Jesus replied.  “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial.  You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”

Kids, Let’s talk about the verses we just read:
It was almost time for Passover, and crowds of people were heading to Jerusalem to celebrate
the feast.  On their way to Jerusalem, Jesus and his disciples stopped in Bethany and visited
again with Mary, Martha, and Lazarus.  They hosted a dinner for Jesus and his disciples.
Jesus had visited with them before, and in a previous visit, Jesus had raised Lazarus from the
dead.  This visit, Lazarus joined Jesus at the table as an honored guest.  Martha served the meal, while Mary sat at Jesus’ feet.  Mary’s actions during this meal would have been considered scandalous by most people in that day.  It wasn’t a woman’s place to sit at the master’s feet as a disciple, but she was a devoted disciple who wanted to learn from and worship the master.
Mary brought with her a jar full of expensive perfume made from pure nard.  During the meal,
she anointed Jesus’ feet with the perfume and wiped his feet dry with her hair.  Jewish women at that time didn’t let their hair down in public, so her act could have been viewed as extremely improper.  Judas, the disciple who carried the money bag, expressed his view about Mary’s
anointing with perfume as a waste.  The perfume was worth a year’s wages.  He said it should
have been sold and the money given to the poor.  But Jesus defended Mary’s actions.  Mary was
showing great love for her master and gratitude to him for restoring life to her brother.
Anointing his feet showed Mary’s great humility.  Mary probably wasn’t aware that her simple act was a preview of things to come: Jesus humbly washing his disciples’ feet as a servant and Jesus’ death and burial.  Jesus said the perfume was used as an anointing to prepare for his burial. Judas, who had stolen money from the money bag before, revealed a heart in love with self and money, not characteristics of a disciple.  Judas’s actions were a preview of things to come: his betrayal of Jesus.  But Mary’s actions showed her love and respect for Jesus.
Let’s talk some more . . .

In Bible times, most people wore sandals, and the roads they walked on were dusty.  They may have bathed and been clean, but by the end of the day, their feet were very dirty.  Foot washing was one of the first things people did when they entered a house.  A good host provided water for the guests to wash their own feet, or a servant in the house would wash the guests’ feet.
Before Passover, Jesus and his disciples were sharing a meal when Jesus unexpectedly got up
from the meal.  He took off his outer robe and tied a towel around his waist.  Then he poured water into a washbasin and began washing the disciples’ feet.  Jesus’ actions were that of a servant not a master, and the disciples were uncomfortable with the reversal of roles.
When it was Peter’s turn to have his feet washed, he strongly objected.  Peter’s response showed love for his master but not humility.  Jesus was teaching his disciples humility and servanthood by his example.

Jesus had a special way of teaching – a very humble man he was!
Like many other things Jesus taught, the disciples didn’t understand the lesson at the time.
But his words became clear after Jesus’ death and resurrection.  Jesus told Peter, “Unless I wash you, you won’t have a place with me.”  Since Peter’s greatest desire was to be with Jesus, he responded, “Lord, not only my feet but also my hands and my head!”
Again Peter showed his love for Jesus but with an element of pride and self-will.  Jesus scolded Peter again by saying people who have bathed only need their feet washed.  Then Jesus said to all of the disciples, “If I, your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet, you too must wash each other’s feet.  I have given you an example: just as I have done, you also must do.”
When we choose to follow Jesus, we agree to be a servant to others.  Jesus taught us by example to be humble, servant leaders.  Jesus said, “Since you know these things, you will be happy if you do them.”
Jesus wants all of us to be humble in our ways.  To act like he would have and to love one another as you would love yourself.

Let’s try an activity below: See ya next week!

February 28
Matthew 5:1-9

Kids,
Today we are going to read Matthew 5:1-9 . . . 
Jesus’ Introduction to the Sermon on the Mount
Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.
The Beatitudes
He said:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”

The children of God.
What an awesome scripture!
Jesus preached his most famous sermon to a huge crowd on the side of a mountain. The Sermon on the Mount, as it is often called, is found in Matthew 5–7. Jesus’ sermon began with twelve statements, called Beatitudes, to encourage the crowd and explain how people will live in God’s kingdom. That’s pretty cool, that Jesus knew to explain to the children of God and all the people how they should live in God’s wonderful Kingdom.

Matthew shared several features of this setting.
First, it took place on a mountain. Mountains are important in the Gospel of Matthew, where they are often places of revelation. Second, Jesus sat down to teach the crowd, which was the expected pattern of Jewish instruction in that day. Finally, the makeup of the crowd was important. Jesus taught his disciples, but that also included the people in the crowd who were following him.

Matthew used a standard Jewish literary form for each Beatitude, starting with “Happy are people . . .” or “It will be well with the one who . . .” and ending with “for that one shall receive . . . .” These blessings are for people who are ready for the kingdom of God, who experience well-being and happiness under God’s rule. Being a follower of Jesus and God will make you a a happy person.
When we’re hopeless, grieving, humble, and hungry to do the right thing, God plants happiness
within us. God promises the kingdom to the meek, the poor in spirit, the merciful, and the peacemakers. The peacemakers are called God’s children because they live in peace and bring
harmony to others. The lifestyle Jesus taught in the Beatitudes challenges us in our daily lives to be more like Jesus. The Holy Spirit lives in us and helps us become more like Jesus.

One of today’s activities include a crossword puzzle for you to print out and complete.
Jesus started his sermon with the Beatitudes. They are statements that tell us how to live like Jesus and how to be happy. The word bank has words from Matthew 5:1-9. Insert the words from the word bank into the puzzle by counting the number of letters and boxes. Unscramble the letters in the highlighted boxes to make the word needed to finish the bonus statement.

Here are some other activities for you to print out and complete.

That’ it for today’s lesson. Have fun with the activities and don’t forget to keep reading the Bible.

February 21

Kids, we should read the Bible every day! God should be part of our everyday life!
Let’s take a moment and read Deuteronomy 6:1-9 to ourselves.

Love the LORD Your God

These are the commands, decrees and laws the LORD your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the LORD your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life.  Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the LORD, the God of your ancestors, promised you.
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.  Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children.  Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

God’s word is not supposed to be something we just learn about at church once a week.  It is meant to be a part of our everyday lives: something we study, something we talk about with others, something that we think about and try to live out every day.

Let’s say a SIMPLE PRAYER:
Dear God,
Help us to read our Bible every day.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen.

Let’s share an activity . . .
ITEMS NEEDED:
A clock with a minute hand.
Do you see this watch ticking away?  Every detective knows that the clock never stops ticking on crime.  The school day ends for you at a certain time.  The work day for most of your parents does too.  But detectives know that they can be on call any time of any day.  In fact, the moment a crime is discovered, the clock is already ticking for them.
Detectives are always on the case, and the sooner they can get to the scene, gather evidence, and look for clues, the better chance they have of cracking the case.

Church begins and ends at a certain time every Sunday, but our time with God should last all week. God is there for us 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so why should we be satisfied with a few hours on Sunday?  Like true detectives, true Christians are always working out their faith.  Sunday through Saturday, day and night, we can grow our faith by studying God’s Word and praying to Him every chance we get.
This watch will keep ticking every day of the week.  Let’s keep our faith growing every day as well.

OBJECT LESSON OR KIDS SERMON:
Here are some general questions – Answer the questions the best that you can. Use your Bible if you need to.
What is the Bible?
What does Moses tell the people about the Bible?
Why does Moses want the people to remember God’s Word?
How many days a week do you read your Bible now?
How many days a week should we read the Bible?

Here’s another story . . .

Have you ever heard the term bankers hours?  Bankers hours refers to the regular time when the bank is open.  Traditionally, bankers hours are about 9 am to 5 pm, though every bank is different. Regardless what the start and finish time may be at a specific bank, you can expect them to open right on time and close right on time.
Many jobs operate on a similar schedule.  The office opens at a certain time and closes at a certain time.  Any work not done by quitting time can be resumed in the morning.  No big deal!  But there are some professions that just can’t stick to regular business hours.
One of those jobs is the job of a police detective.
A police detective doesn’t expect to work 9 to 5.  They know that crime doesn’t keep regular hours, and because of that, they have to keep odd hours as well.  If a crime happens at 1 a.m. Saturday night, they need to be on the scene immediately.  From the moment a crime happens, evidence at the crime scene can deteriorate, become corrupted, or even vanish completely.  A good detective knows the sooner they get to the scene, the better their chances of solving the crime!  Detectives keep their cell phones charged and the tools of their trade packed and ready.  They are always on call, always investigating, always searching for clues.
Today we’re starting a new series called Bible Detectives.  We want to train you guys to become Christians who are seeking God and investigating their faith every day.  We want you to see your faith not as something you work on a few hours every Sunday but a vital part of your everyday life.  We serve a God who is watching over us 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and as Moses taught the children of Israel in the book of Deuteronomy, God wants us to work on our relationship with Him every day of the week!

Let’s talk about the scripture:
So the scripture passage comes right after Moses has read the Ten Commandments to the people of Israel for the second time.  He emphasizes to the people that they need to not only learn these commandments for themselves but teach them to their children.
Talk about them when you lie down, when you wake up, when you sit down together, and when you are walking.  To put it in terms of a police detective, be on the case all the time!
God wants every part of our life to be touched by His Word, and if we let the Word of God become part of our everyday life, not only will we have a strong relationship with God, we will live in a way that leads other people to God.  Being a Christian means we study and live God’s Word all day, every day.  We are always on the case.
Some of you may be wondering why I started a series on detectives by talking about bankers. Bankers aren’t as exciting as detectives.  Sure, some of them make good money, but why would I even bring them up?
I started this lesson talking about bankers and banker’s hours because that’s how too many Christians treat their faith.  We clock in on Sunday morning when we get to church.  We sing our songs, give our money, nod our heads along with the message, and then clock out when we leave. God has our full attention for an hour or two on Sunday.  The rest of the week, we’re on our time.
God isn’t part of our home life or school life.  God has no influence on how we work, play, study, do chores, or practice.  Even though God is watching over us at all times, He has no influence on how we live our daily life.
This isn’t the life God wants.  This isn’t the way Moses taught God’s people.  God’s Word should guide every part of our life.  It should inspire us to be better children, siblings, classmates, students, teammates, neighbors, and friends.  God’s Word should make us want to be better people and to treat everyone with love and respect.  More than anything, God’s Word should lead us to an ever-growing relationship with God Himself!
You can’t keep banker’s hours and grow your faith.  You need to be a detective.  You need to be always on the case.  I hope this series will inspire you to make God’s Word a part of your life every day.  I hope it will transform all of us into people who value our time with God and spend every opportunity investigating His Word.  When it comes to tracking our lives, God is always on the case. Let’s be on the case all the time, studying the Bible and living our faith every day.

Remember that God’s word is not supposed to be something we just learn about at church once a week.  It is meant to be a part of our everyday lives: something we study, something we talk about with others, something that we think about and try to live out every day.


Let’s close with that Simple prayer again . . .
Dear God,
Help us to read our Bible every day.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen.

February 14

BOTTOM LINE: God’s love will never let us down.

OBJECTIVE: Kids will learn they can count on Jesus to be there for them always.

KEY PASSAGE: Kids – Take some time to look up these Bible verses and read them.
Galatians 5:22-23 talks about the Spirit of a lot of wonderful things that fulfill our hearts.
1 John 4:7-8 talks about Love and God. It is an awesome verse. Read it a couple times and remember how much God loves you.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 talks about love and how it has so much meaning. Read it and think about what love means.

God’s love never fails because God never fails. God is love, and God’s love is enough to get us through any disappointment we may face!
For most of you, Valentine’s Day is a day to trade cards with friends at school and get a little candy from Mom and Dad. In a few years, it will be a very different day. Many of you will have Valentines of your own. Some will not. Some will try to gain a sweetheart, and some, unfortunately will lose yours. When you get to that point, you’re going to see just how much people can fail you. Broken hearts and broken promises add up, and you’ll soon realize how much people can let you down.
Boyfriends and girlfriends aren’t the only ones that’ll let you down. Nobody is perfect, and in your life, you can expect your parents, your teachers, your heroes, just about everyone to disappoint you. Promises are forgotten or broken. Hopes and dreams fail to come true. These leave you disappointed, wondering if there’s anyone at all you can trust.
You can trust in God. God is your maker. He sent his son Jesus to die for your sins. He loves you with all his heart, and he wants nothing but his best for you. God will give you the love you need to get through the hard times.
In God’s love we find hope. We find hope that we will love again. We find hope that things will get better. We find hope that we will one day live with God in a place free from pain and broken hearts.
Valentine’s Day is supposed to be a happy day. It’s a day when young people in love celebrate their new love and old couples celebrate all their years of love. It’s a day of hope for many more who wish to be in love. But for some, it’s a day of sadness of not having love. In fact, sometimes Valentine’s Day can turn into a disaster.
Take this story for example. A guy in Indiana wanted to show a girl he knew in Florida that he loved her, so he arranged to send her a HUGE bouquet of flowers for Valentine’s Day. The flowers were delivered as promised, and the girl was absolutely delighted.
“Are these from your boyfriend?” asked the delivery man.
“No,” she said. “He’s a really good friend.”
“Oh, okay,” said the delivery man.
Later that day, the delivery man called the girl back and asked her out on a date. It’s never easy to watch your plans fail, is it? You plan and you prepare. You want to make sure everything is just right. But then… disaster strikes. We see it happen in the Super Bowl, when one team’s plan for victory falls apart. We see it on Valentine’s Day, when one young man’s hopes of winning his true love are dashed to pieces. We see it on TV shows, where an aspiring singer’s hopes of stardom are crushed when she’s told, “You’re just not good enough.”

MEMORY VERSE: “Love never fails.” – 1 Corinthians 13:8a (NIV)

SUMMARY: The Bible tells us that God is love and that love never fails. People and circumstances
will let us down, but God never will.

Lets Talk . . .  God will never fail you, even when your choice of chocolate might.
Does anyone here like chocolate?
There are a lot of different chocolates you can buy this time of year. Does anyone know why? Let me give you a clue. Is there anyone here allergic to chocolate?
As fun and as nice as boxes of chocolate are, they are not a catch-all gift for Valentines.
Some people are allergic to chocolate. Some people don’t like chocolate. Some people love chocolate, but they don’t like the samplers because they would rather not take a chance eating one they don’t like – like the coconut!
Long story short, you better know your Valentine before you buy that box of chocolates if you don’t want a Valentine’s Day FAIL!
There’s only one thing and one person that will never fail and never let you down. God’s love is the thing, and God is the person. God is our Creator. He loves us, and he will always be there for us. Valentines will come and go, but God’s love is never changing and never wavering.
Don’t put your trust in the things of this world. Place your trust in the one who will never let you down, Jesus!
I hope all of you enjoy Valentine’s Day, this year and in the years to come. It’s a wonderful opportunity to celebrate love and all the good that love brings. Just remember that only one love will never let you down, and that’s the love of God. As 1 John tells us, God is love, and when we place our trust in God, he will never let us down.

SIMPLE PRAYER: Dear God, thank you for your amazing love. Help us to share that love with others, and to sense your love when we need it most.
In Jesus’s name, Amen.

February 7
Boy Jesus in the Temple
Luke 2:36-52

Background:
Luke 2:39-52 talks about the story of Jesus when he was 12 traveling to Jerusalem with his parents for the annual festival of Passover. Passover recalls the events that saved the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt long ago. Families would travel in large groups from city to city and Jesus’s parents lost track of him during their travels. He was lost. Mary and Joseph hurried back to Jerusalem to try to find Jesus. They found him at the temple gathered with teachers of the law. The teachers were amazed at Jesus’ understanding of Scripture. His parents wanted to know why he had stayed behind. Jesus gave any answer that was wise beyond his years: “Why were you looking for me? Didn’t you know that it was necessary for me to be in my Fathers’ house?” he asked.
Jesus was a unique child! He understood that he would become the Messiah at an early age.
All children have special traits and are unique children of God !

Prayer:
Dear God, thank you for helping Jesus to grow. Thank you for helping us to grow to! Amen.

Bible Story:
Read Luke 2:39-52 from the Bible.
What happened when Mary and Joseph couldn’t find Jesus?
Mary and Joseph had to come back to the temple and find Jesus. When they did, Jesus’ parents were surprised to find him discussing God’s law with the leaders and teachers.
Jesus knew he was special!

Activity Sheets:

Activity: Express:
The places I’ll Go

When you grow up, where will you go? What will you do?
Draw a picture of yourself all grown up. Imagine where you might go and how you’ll get there.
Write on the picture what you imagine from the picture you drew.

Another thought . . .
What do you think Jesus imagined his future life to be like?
Do you think he knew all the good work he would do for God?
What does the Bible verse (Luke 2:39-52) tell us about how Jesus grew?
What are some privileges you get as you get older? or what are some advantages you get as you get older?

One Room Kids Comic: 

What did you notice in this week’s One Room Kids Comic ?
Kahley got a special privilege in today’s story.
Why do you think Kenji was mad ?

Family Devotion:

Let’s take a look at your Take- Home Pages for today
Ask your family to join you in this weeks devotion.
Read the devotion at the bottom of page 79.

Have a great week !!
See you next time !

January 31

“The Holy One of God”

Hi Parents – you can have some fun with this lesson if you take about a half hour to practice before calling the kids to lesson. Go online and Google “easy magic tricks for children”. I clicked on the site “13 Easy Magic Tricks For Kids” though I’m sure other sites can do as well. Quickly look them over, pick one or two, practice, and voila! You’re ready for a little fun! (Since magic is deceptive it may be a good idea after the trick to show them how this is done – so they can know, learn, and maybe later have fun with their friends.)

Hi Kids!
Can you predict the future? People who seem like they can are sometimes called fortune tellers. Why don’t you and your parents take a moment now and make a couple easy predictions about your future for today – then wait and see if they come true!

In the Bible’s book of Acts, chapter 16, beginning with verse 16 the Bible talks about Paul and Silas meeting a girl that could tell the future. She was amazing in what she could predict! People would gather around, and the men with her would charge people money before letting her predict – kind of like a magic show. But she wasn’t having fun telling the future – these not very nice men were making her do this so they could make money off the crowd. So Paul helped her by praying in the name of Jesus to help her stop. How was Paul able to do this? By praying in the name of Jesus. This story is about healing – making someone better.

Have you ever seen a magic show – someone doing magic? Can you do magic? How about your parents – can one of your parents do magic? Go ahead – ask if they can. Maybe they can show you a magic trick! If not, maybe another day.

Now, let’s read more scriptures. Read from the book of Mark 1:29-30. Wow! She was sick with a fever, and Jesus healed her just by touching her and lifting her up – she was all better! Now read again from Mark chapter 1, this time verses 40-42. See! Jesus did it again! This time by touching and commanding he healed a man who was sick with a nasty skin disease that doctors call leprosy. These are what we call miracles – it didn’t take medicine or surgery, just the touch of Jesus and by the command of his voice.

Now, let’s think about the difference between fortune telling, magic shows, and what it was that Jesus did. Have you ever seen something that really amazes you? Can’t figure out how it is done? Maybe something like a magic show? After a while you can usually figure out how it was done, and discover that lots of people can have fun this way. But there are some things that no one can do. People will say, “that’s impossible!” It’s impossible to make a fever go away just by touching. It’s impossible to cure a man’s skin disease by touching and commanding. But Jesus did. How? Because Jesus is filled with the goodness of God and the heart of God. Jesus is the Holy one of God – the son of God. God gives life. Because Jesus prays to God and has the Spirit of God, Jesus was able to do these miracles of healing.

In our first reading, in the book of Acts, Paul was able to help the girl because it was the right thing to do and because he called upon the name of Jesus for Jesus to help her. Even today people call upon the name of Jesus when we pray for help. We start a lot of our prayers with, “Dear Jesus”. We finish a lot of our prayers with, “In the name of Jesus I pray”.

Is there someone we know who needs God’s help? Let’s pray. “Dear God, thank you for these stories in the Bible, that teach the difference between tricks, games, and the goodness of God – miracles. We can see that you give life and even heal people. Lord, there are people today that can use your help, in all kinds of ways. Help them! In the name of Jesus we pray. So let it be – Amen!

January 24

A morning prayer: Dear Lord, it’s a new day – and it’s a church day! What shall we do together? Let me set this time aside to be with you, that you may show me this day how to live all week long. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

A New Testament Reading: Mark 1:14-20 Simon & Andrew; James & John.

A Reading from the Old Testament: The Book of Jonah (there are only four chapters).

In today’s gospel of Mark, Jesus calls the first four of his disciples. Simon and Andrew had started their work, just like you did today – you got up, had breakfast, brushed your teeth, and started your Sunday School. Andrew and Simon, and James and John too all were fishermen, working with their nets. They knew what they were doing – it was everyday work for them. Until Jesus came.

Jesus called out to them saying, follow me! And pretty much just like that, they did! What do you think they heard in the voice of Jesus? Did they hear the voice of a stranger? Did they hear the voice of God? Was it a voice like a father or grandfather’s voice calling them? They were busy, doing their work. Why do you think they moved and followed Jesus?

The story about Jonah and the whale is pretty famous. It will be interesting to read the whole story, when you have time. But today we are going to be talking about Jonah. When the story begins in chapter 1 Jonah probably had gotten up and started doing what he thought he was going to do that day – probably a LOT like other days. But today is different. Today “the word of the Lord” came to Jonah – God called him!

Do you know what you will be doing today? Has a “word of the Lord” ever come to you? If God had something special for you to do today, what might that be? Maybe that’s why you are doing this lesson today – to get ready to find out!

What do you think Jonah did? Did he obey like Andrew and Simon, James and John? Did he follow God’s voice? No. Jonah didn’t! In 1:3 Jonah instead ran the other way! He got on a boat and went the OTHER way.

A windy storm blowing the waves surrounded the boat. Even the sailors were afraid! But the sailors were brave men, and tried to continue on.

Well, Jonah didn’t have time for God, was even afraid of God’s plan, but God used the wind and the waves and the storm, and the whale too, to get Jonah to go to the big city God told Jonah about. God was angry at the city and the King, and wanted Jonah to tell the city of Nineveh about the punishment God planned to give to the city and it’s king. So eventually, in chapter 3, Jonah went to the city and gave God’s message. And then, in chapter 4 verse 5 we learn that Jonah left the city, climbed a hill, and then sat down and looked back to see what would happen.

Goodness! How would you have felt, finding your way through that big strange city, and then telling the people that they were bad and were going to be punished by God? Would you want to deliver that message? What might people say or do to Jonah?

Can you imagine! The people DID believe Jonah, and so did their king. They showed they were sorry in a number of ways, and asked God’s forgiveness. And by the end of chapter three God changed God’s mind and decided not to destroy the city.

Do you think Jonah was relieved? Happy not to have the people mad at him? Was Jonah happy now for the city now that it was saved? Surprisingly, Jonah was NOT happy – he was disappointed, maybe even mad! So actually, by the end of chapter 4, God uses a shady plant to help teach Jonah a lesson about Jonah, his anger, and the love and mercy of God.

The sailors were brave and tried to help Jonah. The city of Nineveh listened to God’s words and obeyed, changing their ways. Jonah especially was the one man in the story that was supposed to know God and follow God’s ways. But Jonah was a bit of a rascal, wasn’t he? He didn’t listen to God at first and ran the other way on the boat. He went to the city only because God made him go. Jonah knew the city was bad. And Jonah wanted to see God punish the city – he climbed that hill almost like wanting to see 4th of July fireworks! Jonah shows anger, and Jonah pouts.

What does this story tell us about God? Well, God has plans – and often will use us in helping his plans to work. All the world is subject to God – people, boats, wind and storm, sailors, whales, cities, more people and kings. Whether we know or not, believe or not, we are part of God’s big story – and plans. God WANTS all people to know God and obey God. God has enough love for all the world, and all people. Do you think God wants you to know God, and does God have enough love for you? You bet!

January 17

Hi Kids!

Last week we talked about our baptism and how baptism helps bring us into the family of God. Isn’t it great to be part of a family, having persons who love you near you all the time?

Now, for this week. Have you ever been at a really busy place with lots of people and store counters and then looked around and suddenly couldn’t find your parents? Did you think, “Oh no! I think I’m lost!”? But most of the time our parents are still nearby. Thank goodness!

Sometimes this happens even to adults – we get really busy and aren’t thinking about where we are, and suddenly, the thought comes – “Gosh, it feels like I’m kinda lost!” Again, thankfully, we’re not really lost – we look around and can find ourselves right away.

Let’s take a moment with family and talk about times we thought we were lost. What made you think you were lost? How were you “found” again? How did you feel when you were found? How did your friends who found you feel? How do you think even GOD felt? What can you do to make sure you DON’T get lost?

Sometimes it is even worse if we lose something really important. Have you ever lost your temper? Have you ever lost the feeling about how much you love someone? Certainly we don’t want to “lose” love and goodness! Losing our temper, love and goodness makes us feel lonely, doesn’t it? That’s when we become the ones looking, looking EVERYwhere, hoping to find love and goodness.

Let’s look at three bible stories Jesus told in the gospel of Luke, chapter 15. With your family, start reading with verse 3 the stories about the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son. Read just one at a time. If you want, you can spread this out over three different times of reading and talking.

What do you think the lost sheep is about? Why is this sheep so important – doesn’t the shepherd have lots of sheep? Who is the lost sheep? Could it be a real sheep? Sure it could be! That’s why Jesus thought of it – people who watch over sheep would certainly know this story. But could YOU be the lost sheep? Could your brother or sister, or a good friend? Could adults? Maybe it could be just about ANYone!

If we are the sheep, who is the shepherd? When the sheep was lost, was the sheep ever really alone? Do you think the sheep might have been scared? How about the shepherd? Was the shepherd worried about the sheep? And when the shepherd found the sheep, see how happy he was! Even HEAVEN was happy! Did you ever think heaven could be so happy about things that happen here? About sheep and children being found?

What about the story of the lost coin? Who could the woman be? She has ten coins, but lost one. Why is she so worried about one coin? With the coin lost, she was worried. But now look, with the coin found she’s so happy! Even the angels are happy for her! Everyone is so happy!

Now read about the lost son. This is not a lamb or a child, this is a young man who gets lost. How does HE get lost? Is this about temper and other things, about love and goodness? Does the story come to a part where the young man thinks it through and decides he wanted to be different? Why do you think he wanted to “find his way” back home again? Do you think his parents would be happy to see him again? How about his brothers and sisters? How about the angels? Heaven? How about God?

That’s a LOT for this week. Just like we learned last week about us and baptism, we have family who cares about us. Our own family, but also the family of God, and especially, God. Jesus is teaching us about this, and giving us the chance to discover love and goodness in real life.

You don’t ever want to get lost. But if you ever feel lost, know that God has shepherds who will be looking for you, and will be soooo HAPPY when you are found!

Let’s pray. Dear Jesus, thank you for being God’s son. Thank you for my baptism, and the Bible that teaches me real things about living. Thank you for my family. I am so thankful I am naming each one of us by name! (take time to name…). I don’t want any of us ever to be lost, but if it happens, come look for us! Thank you Jesus. So let it be – Amen!

(Parents – did you know that Amen in the bible means “so let it be”?)

January 10

Hi Kids!
In old cowboy movies about the wild west, church folk would sometimes be seen gathering at the river. In fact, there’s even a song about that – “Now We Gather AT the River!”. One at a time the church folk waiting to be baptized would wade into the river where the preacher was waiting for them and he would then push them down under the water – and then help make sure they came up again just fine! It was exciting and refreshing, and everyone watching would cheer and clap. There was something about it that was like a fresh start, a new beginning – something everyone who was a Christian did.

Today’s calendar for the church brings us again to scriptures about baptism.
Wow! That’s a really neat topic – baptism! Have you been baptized? Do you remember your baptism?

Ask your parents to tell you what your baptism was like. Where did it happen? What did you wear? Who was there? Were family and friends invited? Were you given any gifts to remember and celebrate your baptism?

Ask your parents to talk about their own baptisms – were they the same or different from yours?

Even if you do not remember your baptism, it is said that each time you witness someone’s baptism, whether it is by a river or in a church sanctuary, you are “remembering” yours in seeing theirs.

Let’s read a few scriptures about baptism:
Mark 1:4-11
Acts 2:38-39
Galatians 3:26-27

The scriptures say that one of the gifts received in baptism is the gift of the Holy Spirit. Wow! Scripture and even today’s Christians say there is POWER in the SPIRIT! Talk with your parents about what kind of gift you think the Holy Spirit is, and how might that make a difference for you the rest of your life.

Baptism scriptures refer to those being baptized as being part of a family – the family of God. You already have a family at your house. What is meant by a church family, and what is meant by the family of God? How might this make a difference for the rest of your life?

There is much that could be talked about with baptism. If you and your family would like to learn more you might invite your pastor to visit you and ask him to talk about baptism. If you have not yet been baptized, talk about when a good time might be for your baptism.

Let’s pray: Dear Jesus, you often prayed to your “Father in heaven”. Even your prayers sound like family! Help me to remember that already I am baptized, or one day will be, and that I have or will have the gift of the Holy Spirit and be part of the family of God. Just like I have a special family at home, I have a special family with the church too! Thank you Jesus! Amen.