You Must Be Born Again (“Nick at Night” revisited)

Nick at Night - revisited

“Ye Must be Born Again”

Did any of you follow Moody Bible Institute’s  113th annual Founder’s Week?  The theme of the week was “Holiness” and the last speaker of the event was Pastor Jim Cymbala of Brooklyn Tabernacle.  He powerfully emphasized that the Gospel of Jesus Christ needs to be the most important priority of a Christian’s service.  As teachers, we should strive to make sure some aspect of the Gospel is presented each week.  Let’s take advantage of the time with our kids to clearly present the Gospel and magnify Jesus our LORD and God! “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily..” (Colossians 2:9)  Jude declares that we must “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints…” .  No other way…no other NAME whereby we may be saved…no other revelation!!! But that has not stopped “certain men (or women) from creeping in unnoticed to try and entice us and our kids away from the Truth. Pray for understanding and prepare your hearts by asking the Holy Spirit to convict and cleanse us from sin so we are suitable , holy vessels and His power can flow through us.  Please don’t wait until Saturday night to prepare your lesson…or even worse…Sunday morning!!!  He desires our best efforts, our best strength and devotion our best reflection and creativity.

Nick at Night

Nick at Night

The focus on this lesson is Nicodemus and his exposure to the glorious Gospel in John 3.  The figures should be cut out and glued on black card stock or construction paper.  Every child should memorize John 3:16 so have them write or print it on their papers. Optional: a small “prize” for knowing the verse correctly…even if it is just a simple page of gold or silver stars, would add to the experience.  To  further explore  this lesson see my previous post on 8/27/2011  “Nick at Night”.

Since the kids will be writing the verse on black paper, you will need to experiment to see what will show up.  Bright colors of gel pens work well, so do silver or gold.  If you only have a pencil…this will also work.  Also, there is no need to equip each child with their own as sharing is encouraged!

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

“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

Only One Gave Thanks

Only One Gave Thanks

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)

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

The Miracle of the Tribute Money

Many, O LORD my God, are Your wonderful works which You have done; And Your thoughts toward us cannot be recounted to You in order; If I would declare and speak of them, They are more than can be numbered.” Psalm 40:5

Miracle of the Tribute Money

Miracle of the Tribute Money

The miracle of The Tribute Money is unique to Matthew…the “ex” tax gatherer!  .  Jesus was not liable for the temple tax being the Son of God, even though Peter impetuously answered the officials that Jesus would pay it!  The temple tax (Exodus 30:13) amounted to two day’s wages for a common laborer and was required of every adult Israelite male over 20 years of age for maintaining the temple. Jesus was free from obligation to pay this tax…after all, the temple belonged to Him according to Malachi 3:1 “…’Behold, I send My messenger (John the Baptist) And he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, Whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, (Jesus) in whom you delight.  Behold, He is coming’, says the LORD of hosts”.  Jesus anticipated Peter’s question, and told him  to cast a hook  into the sea of Galilee and take up the first fish he caught.  Can you imagine how this must have humbled Peter who usually fished professionally with nets?   Jesus trusted in the miraculous provision of God to pay His taxes…not out of obligation but out of a desire that He not offend…(and I think as a great lesson for us.)

Please visit “kidsbible.wordpress.com” for the  instructions to this lesson.  I am still traveling and would appreciate your prayers for the LORD’S guidance to a new location which would have to include some kids to teach!  (If you are new to the blog…WELCOME… a complete Table of Contents  for  lessons I have covered from the Old and New Testaments is available if you scroll back past the last post on “food allergies”. (April 2, 2013)  For a Mother’s Day project see the blog from May 2, 2012

Update: (4/2014) Thanks for the prayers. The Lord has led me to a new area… I am settled and have a new class to teach!! Praise Him!!!

Miracle of the Tribute money - a

Miracle of the Tribute money – a