» Family of God
Browsing Through Photos
Drag out the photo albums and talk about each child’s birth. (If you have an adopted child, tell the story of how God lovingly placed this child in your family.) Bring out the birth certificates and let them see their tiny hand and footprints.
How does one become a member of God’s family?
It’s as easy as A, B, C
Admit – First, you must understand that all are born into this world as sinners. When you were just a little one, you yelled, “Mine” and “No” when we told you to share or obey. Even a child can understand he has sinned against God – gone his own way. (Ask him to name some sins – wrong things – that other boys or girls do. Many children do not want to admit they have sinned; share that you have sinned also. If they insist that they have not sinned, maybe they are too young to understand and you can talk with them at a later time. )
Believe –Believe that Jesus came to earth just to take the punishment for sin. God is holy (no sin) and must punish sin, so He made a way for you to have your sins taken away so you can go to heaven some day. You can’t wash them away with soap. You can’t be good enough. You just have to believe in Jesus who came to earth to take yourpunishment for sin. Jesus loved you so much that He died on the cross and took all your sin so you don’t have to be punished for it. Jesus didn’t stay dead, but came alive again three days later. Do you believe that Jesus died for you?
Confess – Tell God that you are a sinner and ask Him to come in and take away your sin and live inside you. Ask if your child would like to say a simple prayer or repeat a simple prayer after you. A simple prayer could be like this:
Dear Jesus, I know I have sinned. I believe You died on the cross and came alive again. Please come to live inside me and take away my sin. Thank You.
Use a Bible verse to reassure them – John 1:12 says that if we believe in Jesus and receive Him, we will become a part of God’s family. Actually, let them read the verse from the Bible themselves so they can be assured.
If they pray to receive Christ, celebrate! Write the date down in a family Bible or somewhere so you will remember it. Our family celebrates two birthdays each year – our physical birthday and our spiritual birthday!
GO With Goodies
The fruit of the Spirit for this week is goodness. Ask your kids what the first two letters of goodness spell. (Go) Brainstorm together one way you can GO and do good for someone in your church family.
One idea: Make up a basket of goodies and put it on their front porch. Ring the door bell and run so they won’t see you and will wonder who did such a good thing for them.
Another idea: Since October is Pastor Appreciation Month, think of something your pastor’s family would enjoy – and treat them with a gift card or basket of goodies for them. Add a note telling why you are glad you have him for a pastor.
Remember to Brush Your Teeth
As your kids are brushing their teeth, ask them:
What is a habit? (A habit is a behavior you do regularly until it is almost involuntary – you don’t even have to think about it.)
What are some habits you have? (Washing your hands before dinner, making your bed every morning, etc.)
****A habit my own mom ingrained into me is brushing my teeth before bedtime. If I am exhausted and fall into bed without brushing my teeth, I hear her voice asking me, “Did you brush your teeth?” I’m 51 years old butI get up and brush my teeth!
Habits make it easier for you to do what is right. If you do something – good or bad – often enough and long enough, it will probably become a habit.
Read Acts 10:38. (This verse says that Jesus “went about doing good.” Doing good was a habit for Him.)
Challenge your kids (and yourself) to “do good” every day this week. Think of one good thing you can do each day for someone in your family and do it! (Remind them as they brush their teeth after breakfast.)
Ask your kids each night when they brush their teeth, “What good thing did you do today?”
How can we talk to God?
Two empty tin cans or yogurt cups
Nail (and hammer to make a hole if you use tin cans)
String (about 12 feet long)
Two paper clips
• Use the nail to make a hole in the bottom of the cups. (Warning: an adult should use the hammer and nail to make the hole in the can.)
• Cut a piece of string about 12 feet long
• Poke the string through the end of the can. (If you have trouble getting the string to go through the hole, wet a bar of soap, run the end across the soap and then between your fingers so it has a point.)
• Pull the string in a few inches and tie the end of the string to a paper clip (so it won’t slide out). Repeat this with the other string and can.
• Now, you’ve got a telephone. Give one can to a sibling or friend and tell your friend to walk away until the string is tight.
• Hold the can to your ear and ask your friend to talk into her can. Take turns speaking and listening.
FYI: Why does this work?
Everything that moves makes a sound by causing vibrations or movement of air. Your voice is a vibration. (Put your hand on your throat to feel the vibrations as you speak.) When you talk into the can, the vibrations from your voice go into the can, then from the can to the string, and then back into the other can. The can channels your voice into your friend’s ear. Our ears collect these vibrations (air movements) and change them to nerve signals that are sent to our brain. Our brain interprets these signals as sound.
How can we talk to God? (Prayer)
How does God talk to us? (The Bible)
God gives us hope by giving us the privilege of asking Him anything. God wants us to talk to Him and believe that nothing is impossible with Him. He has recorded many words of hope (promises) to us in the Bible.
Red Light! Green Light!
When you're at a stoplight, use the three colors to teach your kids about prayer.
God always answers prayer. Sometimes He answers yes, sometimes no, and sometimes wait.
Red light: No
Yellow light: Wait
Green light: Yes
Share times (or ask children to think of times) when God answered in different ways. Remembering that God is wise and God gives what is best will help you to have hope through hard times.
Life Without Limbs
Watch this 4 minute video of Nick Vujicic. Nick was born without arms or legs, but despite his disability God has used him to share his testimony and the gospel to over a million people in Asia, Africa, India, Australia, and the US. When he was just a boy, he lost hope. He doubted God's love and what his future would be--how would he get a job, who would he marry, what could he do with his life--but God gave him hope and a purpose.
Nick Vujicic - Life Without Limbs
04:08 - 2 years ago youtube.com
What Did Noah Do?
Just as God promised, He sent a flood (the water came down from the sky, but also up from the ground). Noah, his family, and the animals were safe in the ark. It rained for 40 days and nights, but the water covered the earth for a little over a YEAR! (See Genesis 7:11-13 and Genesis 8:13-15.)
What do you think Noah and his family did while they were on the ark?
What would have been the hardest part about waiting for the water to recede (go down) after the flood?
When you pray and God doesn’t answer right away, is it hard to wait? Why?
What can you do while you’re waiting?
Having Hope in Rough Waters
Read or tell the following story to your kids.
Jeremy and his family waited for their guide. This was their first time to go rafting. Their guide passed out the lifejackets and helmets. Jeremy listened as he told them, “I have been trained to know what to do and you must listen to me and follow my instructions even if you don’t understand why.”
They climbed in the raft and shoved away from shore. Things were going great! Jeremy, his two older brothers, and his mom and dad paddled and navigated the stream quite well. All the while they were listening to the guide’s instructions. Jeremy was having the time of his life.
Just as they were coming to some rough water, the guide yelled, “Paddle as hard as you can!” Water was splashing in their faces and they could hardly see ahead. That was when they hit more swirling water and the raft flipped over. Jeremy didn’t know what to do. He tried to come to the surface but was underneath the raft. He knew how to swim, but he couldn’t seem to get out from under the raft.
Just when Jeremy didn’t think he could make it, the guide’s strong arm reached in and grabbed him. The guide pulled him out and lifted him back into the raft. The others had floated downstream by the time Jeremy and the guide floated by. The waters were calmer there and they all climbed back in the raft.
Jeremy was so relieved that he felt like crying. He did what he knew to do, but he was glad that the guide was wiser and stronger than he was. “I had my eye on you the whole time,” the guide told him. “I saw where you went under and knew you must be stuck when I didn’t see you come up like the others did.”
“Boy, am I glad you did,” Jeremy exclaimed as he caught his breath.
Read Psalm 33:20-22.
Our soul waits for the LORD;
He is our help and our shield.
For our heart shall rejoice in Him,
Because we have trusted in His holy name.
Let Your mercy, O LORD, be upon us,
Just as we hope in You.
Why is it important to put our hope in God? (He is much wiser and stronger than we are.)
Even if we have to wait on God, He will come through for us. He loves us and is always watching and caring for us.
Say a prayer of thanks to God for His power and His love.
Prayer Asked | Prayer Answered
Items needed: small notebook and pen
After dinner, tell the kids that you want to start a prayer journal. What’s a prayer journal? Glad you asked. It is a record of prayers. Draw a vertical line on the first page. On one side write “Prayer Asked” and on the other side “Prayer Answered.” Put the date beside each entry (when it was asked for and when it was answered).
After dinner each night, ask, “Do you have anything we need to pray about?” Write it in the prayer journal, date it, and pray for it. Continue praying for it, until you see God answer.
NOTE TO PARENTS: Some times it is very hard to wait, but seeing God answer prayer is a good way to build faith. God doesn’t always answer right away; we may have to wait. God answers yes, no, and even wait. We can count on God to do what is best. What do you do while waiting? Keep believing.
God Is My Rock
Items needed: one rock for each member of the family
Paint and paintbrushes or markers
Take a walk outside to look for rocks (at least the size of one's hand). Let each person choose a rock he or she will use as a reminder that God is a rock; God is strong.
Wash, dry, and paint (or use markers) a message on the rock. (God is strong; I trust in God; My hope is in God; God Rocks; God will help me; etc.)
As the rocks are drying, read the following Bible verses (students are memorizing Psalm 18:30) and talk about why God is compared to a rock.
Read Job 19:23-27. Job said that he wished he could engrave some words on a rock that would last forever.
What words would he engrave? (For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth; And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God.)
What are some good things about a rock? (It is strong; it would make a good foundation for building because it is solid and unmoving; it doesn't easily change; it lasts a long time, etc.)
What words would Job want to engrave on a rock? Why? (That God lives and that someday he will see God; he could engrave these as a reminder of the truth he knew about God)
How can we count on God? (To be with us, to answer our prayers, to help us know the right way to go, to protect us)
Use the rocks as a paperweight, a doorstop, or place rock on a shelf as a reminder that God is strong and our hope is in Him.
What Does Disappointment Look Like?
Pair each one in the family with another person. With each pair facing each other, read the following list of situations. Each person must make the facial expression for that emotion.
- your best friend moved away
- your team lost a game
- your lost your allowance
- your brother yelled mean words at you
- your failed a test
- you can't fix your broken toy
- your grandmother is in the hospital
- your dad lost his job
- your friends make fun of you
We all have things happen to us that we can't control or fix. We often feel sad, disappointed, frustrated, or even angry. This week's arrow is “disappointment.”
What can we remember when we are disappointed? (That God is alive and with us; He will help us)
Items needed: balloon (or could toss a ball back and forth)
When Job was going through a hard time, he realized where to put his trust—in God. When we go through hard times, we must remember the truth we know about God.
Review the Bible verse the kids are learning: Psalm 18:30 NKJV: “As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.”
Blow up and tie off a balloon. After saying the verse together a few times, bat the balloon back and forth with the person saying the next word in the verse as he hits the balloon.
What does this verse tell us about God? (His ways are perfect, His words are proven, He will shield [protect] those who trust in Him)
How could this verse help us when we think a situation is hopeless?
(We know God will do what is best and will work things together for good, even when we can't see how He will do it.