Two Men Went to the Temple To Pray…

Two Men Went to Pray

Two Men Went to Pray

This is an important story, especially for the “church kid”.  This was especially convicting for me when I was much younger because I had the attitude of the self-righteous Pharisee.  Jesus told this parable “to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others.” We must teach our kids that even though they may think they are pretty good compared to other people…if they do not have love and think they are better than others, their faith does not please the LORD. (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)  Two men went to the temple to pray.  One was basically praying to himself…bragging that he was not like all of the sinners he knew…even mentioning the tax collector!  He boasted that he fasted and gave generous gifts to God while the tax collector stood afar off and could not even lift his eyes to heaven.  He smote himself on his chest and begged God to be merciful to him, acknowledging his sins.

"Be Merciful to me..."

“Be Merciful to me…”

Jesus told the listeners of this parable that the tax collector went home justified.”…For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”  Make sure you go over the definitions of righteous, humbles, exalts and justified and merciful. You will also want to explain why the tax collectors were hated in Jewish society.  Worksheets and instructions are posted at kidsbible.wordpress.com (10/30/2012)

The Woman at the Well

 
Woman at the Well

Woman at the Well

This story is found in John chapter 4 and beautifully illustrates the Gospel.  You have heard that Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans because their religion became “tainted” after the ten Northern Tribes of Israel were dispersed by the Assyrians. The Samaritans built a shrine on Mt. Gerizim during the Persian period and claimed that this shrine, not the temple in Jerusalem, was the proper place of worship.  At the time of Christ, no Jew would leave Judea to go to Galilee and travel through Samaria which was the most expedient route…but Jesus  was determined to go to Samaria in spite of the prejudice of His countryman.  He had a divine appointment with a woman at the well of Jacob in Sychar, and their dialogue ends with His famous declaration that He was the promised Messiah. ( I recommend this scene from the 2003 movie,  “The Gospel of John”, and can be viewed on You-Tube.

Woman at the Well wkst

Woman at the Well wkst

For  instructions and a worksheet without text go to the companion blog at “kidsbible.wordpress.com” Please note that I stress certain aspects of the main character’s dialogue and do not cover the immoral lifestyle of the Samaritan Woman for obvious reasons. Jesus is confronting the woman’s doctrinal errors…”that the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth”.  As a result of her faith that He was indeed the promised Messiah, she  immediately runs to the people of her city to invite them to hear Jesus also.

“Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of the woman’s testimony, ‘ He told me everything I ever did.’ So when the Samaritans came to Him, they urged Him to stay with them, and He stayed two days.  And because of His words many more became believers.” John 4:39-41

Jesus – Our Compassionate Savior

“The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger and of great mercy.” Psalms 145:8

Widow of Nain

Widow of Nain

I have been traveling 3000 miles during the past three weeks to see friends and visit my new grandbaby.  If you are new to the blog: WELCOME… for a complete table of contents of Bible Stories, scroll back to June 19, 2013 for O.T. & April 2, 2013 for N.T.a smile for G-ma

I wanted to do a lesson on the widow of Nain  because it emphasizes  the great compassion of our LORD… but couldn’t figure out how to make the widow’s son “come alive”.  Brainstorming with my friend, Robin, she suggested a tab connected to the eyeball “…pull the tab and the eye opens…just like in all of the storybooks I read my boys when they were little”.   I found that magic tape makes the perfect tab!

*Widow of Nain - b For completion of this project you will need brass brads, magic tape and card stock.  There will also need to be pre-cutting with an x-acto blade.  (Don’t allow the kids to use this tool…it is very sharp and regular scissors will make too big of a gouge in the paper!)

Luke, chapter 7 is an interesting chapter.  Jesus had been in Capernaum and “sent His Word” at the  “great” faith of the Roman centurion.    After healing the beloved servant of that notable soldier, He went with many people to the city of Nain.  Just as He was about to enter the gate of the city, a funeral procession was coming the other way.  The young man who had died was the only son of his widowed mother.  Her future was bleak indeed.  Jesus noticed her crushing sorrow and without any plea on her part, was moved with compassion to meet her great need.   Approaching  the bier, and touching it, said , “Young man , I say to you, arise.  And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak.  And He delivered him to his mother.”  The people glorified God, recognizing that He had  visited His people and had sent a great prophet.

Widow of Nain - wkst with text

Widow of Nain – wkst with text

John the Baptist was in prison at this time, and his disciples brought him word of this great miracle.  John sent two of his disciples to Jesus to ask Him if He was the  promised Messiah.  That same hour , the Lord healed many of the people’s infirmities, plagues and evil spirits.  Jesus told the men sent to Him, to go back and tell John what they had seen and heard  “…how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached.”   This , John would understand, was the fulfillment of Isaiah 61.  Jesus was indeed, the anointed one!  Now Jesus was asking John not to be offended.  Do you think that is a strange statement?  Remember that John was facing an uncertain future and knowing the truth about Jesus did not  change his present circumstances. Jesus wants believers everywhere to have faith in God’s Word and trust His purposes even if we don’t understand how things in our life are going to work out.

The complete instructions  are posted on my other blog “kidsbible.wordpress.com”   Since there are a lot of steps I have included photos to help you as a picture is worth a 1000 words! There is also a worksheet without text if you would like to translate this. (also a PDF worksheet with text )

Only One Gave Thanks

Only One Gave Thanks

Only One Gave Thanks

“Rejoice evermore.  Pray without ceasing.  In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”  1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18

Have you ever asked God…”LORD I want to know what to do about..(fill in the blank) Well, I heard a good sermon this week and the preacher said “…don’t tell the LORD ‘I want to know what to do!!!! You need to do what you already know!'” Here in these verses we find out what the will of God is for all of His children.  We are going to focus on giving thanks which brings us to our lesson found in Luke 17.

Jesus is on His way to Jerusalem  and as He entered a certain village, ten lepers stood afar off and shouted “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us”.  These men, because of their disease, had been separated from the life of their homes , communities and temples, and lived in painful and hopeless misery.  Jesus never turned down an appeal for mercy . “and when He saw them, He said unto them, ‘Go show yourselves unto the priests.’ And it came to pass as they went, they were cleansed.”   Oh the joy that must have flooded their souls as they hurried to follow the LORD’S bidding, without pain or impediment.  But wait…One of those that had been healed , turned back…and with a loud voice glorified God  and fell down at the feet of Jesus, giving Him thanks.  Jesus commented on the fact that only one  returned to give thanks…and a Samaritan , at that.  The Psalms are full of Thanksgiving to God so these men should not have been a stranger to this concept.  As a result of this man’s faith, Jesus told him to rise…not only had he been cleansed of leprosy….he had been given salvation!

ten lepers with text

ten lepers with text

ten lepers - no text

ten lepers – no text

"white-out" detail

“white-out” detail

Children have to be reminded to say “Thank-you”.  This is a good story to emphasize this character quality.  ” White-out” was used to make the blemishes.  I used a flesh-colored marker to color the skin, then used a roughed-up pencil erasure dipped in water color to make blops.  (The erasure can be pricked with a pin, or you can use a q-tip.)  When dry , apply white-out.  (Note: If the skin is colored with  waxy crayons, the water color will not adhere . )  If you have older kids you can explain how leprosy (in the Old Testament) was a picture of the hopeless condition of sin that could only be cleansed by God.  In Leviticus 13, verse 2,  we read that this condition was “a rising in the flesh” (hmmm)…it comes from deep within (v 20) and it spreads (v 22) both on the body and is contagious to others which was why the leper had to dwell  alone “outside the camp”. (v46)

“Hear O Israel”

"Hear O Israel"

“Hear O Israel”

I am adding another lesson to the series on Ezra and Nehemiah due to their great importance and relevance as we seek to serve God in these perilous times.  We had left Nehemiah with the succesful rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem (Oct. 20, 2011 blog “Nehemiah Restores Hope”)  In chapter 8 of Nehemiah we read that the people “gathered as one man” to ask Ezra to bring the book of the law so he could read it to them…”and all the people were attentive to the book of the law.”  Ezra stood on a wooden podium, and beside him are listed 13 men, who along with the Levites, explained the law to the people who stood in reverence when Ezra opened the book, but who bowed low and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground as   Ezra blessed “the LORD the great God.”  Verse 12 tells us that the people went away to celebrate a great festival because they understood the words which had been made known to them, then proceeded to make booths to celebrate the feast of Tabernacles.  This making of booths had not been practiced since Joshua’s time so there was great rejoicing.  The sons of Israel continued to assemble with fasting, in sackcloth and with dirt on them… confessing their sins and worshipping God.  This revival brought about great changes in their behavior.  They separated themselves from  the foreigners of the land, and swore to observe all of the commandments. (Chapters 9-13)

Note the reverence and great honor shown the word of God by the people.  We read in Psalms 119: 30 that the entrance of His Word gives light and understanding to the simple. Jesus states that none of His Words will pass away (Matthew 24:34) and  “…assuredly I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.” (Matt. 5:18)   Notice the special regard the LORD bestows on the person who “trembles at His Word” in  Isaiah 66:2…  “My hands have made both heaven and earth; they and everything in them are mine.  I, the LORD, have spoken! ‘I will bless those who have humble and contrite hearts, who tremble at My word’.”This lesson should be especially encouraging to you teachers as we model the Levites in this story and are seeking to make the words of God understandable to children.

Hear O Israel - worksheet

Hear O Israel – worksheet

Print worksheet on card-stock.  Cut the portion containing the scroll, which leaves a space to write the memory verse.  Have the kids write their memory verse first thing , then they can color the page and prepare the scrolls. Cut carefully around scroll.  For younger kids, you will want to pre-cut the scrolls. You will need 2 toothpicks for each scroll.  Before class,  measure and cut the ends off the toothpicks.  The kids can color them with brown markers and glue one to each end of the scroll….centering them.  Roll up each end  of the scroll tightly, meeting in the middle (see sample).  If you have printed the scrolls on card stock, they should keep their shape rather well.  Glue or tape into Ezra’s hands.

Zacchaeus is Found

Zacchaeus is Found

Zacchaeus is Found

Zacchaeus  was very blessed indeed.  Jesus has been preaching the Good News for three years and is making His way to Jerusalem to suffer and die for the sins of the world.   We all know the story of  the vertically challenged chief tax collector…. tax collectors were hated because of their collaboration with the Roman government and exploitation of their fellow countrymen.  Perhaps he had heard of Matthew leaving the ranks of his profession, and was curious about what kind of a man would be worth following and giving up a lucrative profession for.

He climbed a tree to get a better look when he heard that Jesus was passing through Jericho. To his surprise, Jesus stopped and called him by name.  He was bid to come down quickly, for Jesus must go to his house.  The lonely man gladly welcomed Him – the result of the visit : salvation, forgiveness and a changed life.  Jesus sought Zacchaeus because He loved him.  No one is beyond seeking…Who is Jesus wanting you to reach out to? What stands in the way of us making the efforts necessary to show we care.  Maybe it is a child who has only come to your class once or twice. Pray and ask the LORD to help you make effective contact.   For complete instructions see the post at kidsbible.wordpress.com… (this will involve some precutting with an x-acto blade so you can fit Zacchaeus into the tree. ) I also used a leaf punch to cut out leaves.

Zack - worksheet

Zack – worksheet

Zack - no text

Zack – no text

Samson is Forgiven

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” Proverbs 4:23

Samson is Forgiven

Samson is Forgiven

We previously posted a lesson about the powerful  Nazirite judge of Israel – Samson. (August 2011)  His life has many lessons for us today so I think it would be a good idea to take two weeks to study his life.

A Nazirite vow was a serious commitment between a man or woman and God…a setting apart…a special consecration.  They would be willing to avoid all contact with any dead body…separate  themselves from anything pertaining to the grape or grapevine and as a visible manifestation of their  holy vow…no razor was to take any of the hair on their head all of the days of their consecration.  In Samson’s case ,  he was  called to a lifelong consecration from his mother’s womb!  Sadly, we have read about the poor choices Samson made even though he was mightily blessed by God with supernatural strength and was called to judge Israel for twenty years.

Samson went against the advice of his parents to marry a God-fearing Israelite woman choosing a Philistine woman instead because he liked the way she looked! (Remember…these were the days that everyone did what is right in their own eyes and stopped obeying God?  Sound familiar???)  He did not learn from his mistakes and made other poor associations with those that sought his defeat.  This might be a good time to teach about the bondage that the enemy of our soul wishes to put God’s children under.  As a result of Samson’s disregard of his sacred vows,  he was blinded, bound , and imprisoned with the lowly task of grinding grain.

There is hope for this poor soul, because scripture tells us “…however the hair of his head began to grow again after it was shaved…”  I’m  sure Samson had a lot of time to reflect on his sinful behavior  and was able to confess and repent because we read about him in Hebrews 11:32 as joining the ranks of the faithful.  When he was called to be brought to the idol temple to be mocked by the pagans gathered, he called on the Lord GOD (Jehovah) to remember him with strength once more.

Samson is forgiven - wkst

Samson is forgiven – wkst

Samson - no text

Samson – no text

Note: Depending on your translation there are two ways to spell Nazirite…or Nazarite!