Jesus Wants Me at His Party: A Bible Lesson for Young Children

A free Bible lesson based on Matthew 22:1-14. Fun activities & ideas to show your youngest kids that they are invited to the best party of all — a party with Jesus in Heaven!!

Are you ready for a party? Chances are, your youngest kids are!! Every child likes a good party, and it’s so much fun to know you are INVITED to join in a special celebration! This is a lesson based on Matthew 22:1-14 that will help your youngest kids know that they are invited to the most special party of all — the party in heaven with Jesus!

Enjoy!

Cheri

Jesus Wants Me at His

Jesus Wants Me at His Party Preschool Lesson (pdf)

Opening Activities:

1. Beforehand, gather a variety of “dress up” material. Ideas include: dresses, shoes, dress shoes, ties, hats, suit coats, skirts, etc. Let the kids look through the dress up items and try some on for fun. Take lots of pictures! Have all the kids choose their favorite outfit to wear for the rest of the lesson. Say: Today we are going to talk about a special party that we are all invited to – but we can’t get into this party unless we are wearing the right clothes!

2. Play a game sort of like Duck, duck, goose. Have all the kids sit in a circle. Walk around the circle, tapping each kid on the head. Choose kids to be “it”, but with this change – when you tap that kid on the head, say, “You are invited!”, he then has to run to the other end of the room where another adult is waiting with a party hat that he should put on before sitting down. Keep the game going quickly, so that soon every kid is “invited”, has a party hat on, and is sitting in the area ready for the lesson.

The Lesson:

Welcome all the kids to your special party. Make sure each kid has a “party hat” on and is sitting nicely, ready for the lesson.

Say: It is so good to have you all here today for our special party! You were all invited to come – and you all put on your party hats and outfits! You look great and you are dressed exactly how you should be for this special party!

Guess what? One day, Jesus told a story about a special party that we are ALL invited to! That party is in heaven! That party will be better than any party we’ve ever been to here!

(Blow on a party favor or throw some confetti in the air)

Jesus has invited EVERYONE to come to this special party! He wants it to be filled up with people who love Him!

But not everyone wants to come to this party. Some people make up excuses for why they can’t come. They say things like, “I have to do something else,” or, “I don’t want to come now.”

(Cross your arms and turn your back to the kids, looking like you are mad and don’t want to come)

Some people don’t even care that Jesus has invited them to his party. They don’t pay any attention to him, they rip up their invitations, and they even hurt the people who tell them about the party!

(Pick up a party hat, rip it up, throw it on the floor and stomp on it)

But Jesus really wants people to come to this party! He wants people to be with him in heaven forever! So, he continues to invite people!

However, the only way you can stay at this party is if you are wearing the right clothes! Do you know what the right clothes are?

(Hold up different samples of clothes and say, “Is it this?” “Do you think it’s this shirt?” “Will this hat get you in?” After each one, say, “No . . . this won’t get you into the party!”)

It’s not really clothes at all – it’s a relationship with Jesus! You have to love Jesus and follow Jesus! If you love Jesus and follow Him, you will be able to stay at this party!

(Hold up a cross)

You see, Jesus died on the cross so that YOU could be at this party! He was punished for all the bad things you did, and all the bad things you will ever do, so that YOU can be forgiven of your sins and live with Jesus forever in heaven. If you follow Jesus, you will be at this wonderful, fabulous party in heaven! That’s worth celebrating! Let’s celebrate now!

(Give the kids noisemakers – such as party favors or instruments and let them make a bunch of noise. Play an upbeat Christian song and let them play their instruments along with it, celebrating the fact that they are invited to this party in heaven!)

Additional Activities:

1. Eat a “party” cake (or cupcakes). For more fun (and mess) have cupcakes already prepared but not decorated and let the kids frost the cupcakes and then put sprinkles on to decorate them. Talk about how you are “dressing up the cupcakes” by putting on something that makes them taste even better. When we put on Jesus, we “taste better”, too, and we are ready for the party!

2. Give the kids party hats and markers and let them decorate the party hats with pictures that remind them of Jesus! Even more fun – make your own party hat! Find instructions (and a free template) here.

3. Make “party invitations”, inviting others to the party with Jesus! Talk to the kids about telling their friends about Jesus and then give them some paper or blank cards and let them create their own “invitation” – inviting them to give their lives to Jesus! (Or inviting them to church). You might choose to write some of the words ahead of time and let them simply decorate it. For example, you might choose to write, “You are invited to come to church with me”. Be sure to include important info about when and where church meets. Then let the kids decorate the cards with whatever craft supplies you give them and encourage them to hand their cards out to someone this week.

4. Beforehand, write the words, “Jesus wants me at his party” across a piece of paper. Then have the kids draw themselves on that paper . . . or take pictures of them in their “dress up” clothes from earlier and put that picture on the paper. For even more fun, use this as a bulletin board idea! Write (or cut out large letters) the words, “Jesus wants me at his party” and put that across the bulletin board. Take individual pictures of each of the kids in their “dress up” clothes and attach those pictures to the bulletin board under the words. Add some party favors and other party decorations to the bulletin board. Use this as a teaching opportunity each time the kids come in for class. Read the top of the bulletin board, mention each child by name and say, “Jesus wants you at his party – but you must accept his invitation and follow Him to be at the party in heaven!”

___________________

If you enjoyed this lesson, I hope you’ll check out my other lessons & Bible Curriculum. My newest one is a 10 week study over BOLD and looks at such issues as bold prayer, bold faith, bold giving, bold service, and more. It includes opening activities & skits, a solid Bible lesson, a Bold biography focusing on such heroes of the faith as George Mueller, Martin Luther, C.T. Studd, and more, and additional activities. It is easily adaptable for all ages & group sizes. Find out more (and view a sample lesson) by clicking on the picture below.

bold 2

Whining and Complaining, YUCK! A Preschool Lesson from Exodus 16

A FREE Bible Lesson about whining and complaining based on Exodus 16. Ideas for games, snacks, crafts, a Bible lesson, and more!

This is a Bible lesson that I wrote today for the pre-k class at our church, and I wanted to share it with you! I hope you will be able to use it and that it just might help some of the kids in your life 🙂

Before I share the lesson, I also want to let you know about a new 10 week study that I just published called Bold: A 10 Week Study for Families and Churches. This study looks at such topics as bold love, bold service, bold faith, bold speech, bold giving, and bold actions, and it includes opening skits and activities, a Bible lesson, a Bold Biography focusing on a hero of the faith (such as George Mueller, Corrie Ten Boom, William Tyndale, Martin Luther, and Nate Saint) and additional activities.  I hope you will check it out and consider using it with your family or church group! You can find out more about it (and view a sample lesson) here.

And now, here’s the preschool lesson on complaining. Enjoy!

Cheri

A Preschool Lesson about Complaining

 Whining Lesson Printable PDF

 

Opening Activities:

1. Beforehand, gather a bunch of mini-marshmallows and mason jars. Place the mason jars on the table and have the kids stand on a chair above them. They need to try to drop the marshmallows into the jars. When the kids have had enough of this activity, say: You made those marshmallows RAIN down into the jars! Today we are going to talk about a time when God RAINED down food for the Israelites!

2. Today we are talking about how the Israelites kept whining and complaining. God doesn’t like it when we whine and complain! Do you ever whine and complain? What does it sound like when you whine? Have the kids whine in their whiniest voices! If possible, record their whining. You will use this recording during the lesson.

3. Play a fun game where the kids practice whining and stopping the whine! Play some music. While the music is playing, the kids should whine as loudly as they can. But as soon as the music stops, you should yell “STOP the whining” and the kids should be as quiet as they possibly can (and not move a muscle). See how long they can stay in that position until you start the music again. When you finish, say: Sometimes we whine a lot, don’t we? But guess what? We can all STOP whining if we really wanted to. Just like you stopped whining during this game, we can stop whining in our lives. Be a person who Praises God and DOES NOT WHINE!

The Lesson:

Beforehand, gather a bunch of pictures of different types of food. Make sure some of them are foods most kids would like and some of them are foods most kids would not. Then hold the pictures up one at a time. If this is a picture the kids like, tell them to say “Yummy!”. If these are pictures the kids don’t like, tell them to say “Yucky!” (in the whiniest voice they can.)

After you get through all the pictures, say: Wow! You guys really know what food you like and what food you don’t like! Do you ever whine like you just did when your mom or dad gives you something to eat? How do you think that makes your mom and dad feel?

Today, we are going to talk about a time when the Israelites whined. A LOT! (play recording of kids whining or have the kids whine).

They had just left Egypt where they had been slaves. They were on their way to freedom. God had done some pretty amazing things for them. Yet, they were HUNGRY! And so they whined. (Play recording or have the kids whine).

God knew they were hungry, and he was ready to take care of them! Do you know what he did? He made FOOD fall from the sky! This food was special flakes . . . almost like it was snowing! When the food landed, the people were able to eat it. They called this food, “Manna”, which means “What is it?” because they really didn’t know what it was!

Drop” croutons, soft pieces of rolled up bread, or oyster crackers at the kids. Have them say, “What is it? What is it?” and then let them eat the crackers. When they are done, say:

The Manna had everything the people needed to stay healthy! We don’t really know what it tasted like, but we do know they made little cakes out of it. They had enough every single day they were in the wilderness!

Yet, do you think they were happy? Guess what they did! They WHINED. (play recording of the whining or have the kids whine). (say the following in a whiny voice: “We want meat!” they said, “We’re tired of this MANNA stuff. It doesn’t taste good anymore. It’s YUCKY!” (play the recording or have the kids whine)

Do you know what God did next? He sent them meat! He sent a type of bird called Quail. There were lots and lots and lots of quail. They came into the Israelite camp and died so the Israelites could fix them for food. There was SO MUCH quail that the whole place was covered with them.

You see, God was a bit upset with all the Israelites’ whining. No matter what He did – and He did some pretty amazing things – they still complained! He gave them food when they needed it, He gave them water when they needed it, their clothes and shoes never grew old, they were safe from their enemies, and yet what did they do? They WHINED! (play the recording or have the kids whine)

God doesn’t like it when we whine and complain. He tells us to do EVERYTHING without complaining or arguing! We should be careful not to WHINE and COMPLAIN, too!

Do you know what can help us to not whine and complain? Thinking about all the good things God has done for us and saying thank you to Him. Let’s do that now!

Take a large piece of paper and spread it out. Have the kids draw or write things they are thankful for on this piece of paper. You might also choose to have them cut out pictures from old magazines to glue on the paper. Encourage them to put as many things as they can on this paper. (If it is a nice day, you might want to take them outside and have them do this with sidewalk chalk).

Close in prayer, thanking God for all He has done!

Additional Activities:

1. Make a quail craft (or other bird craft). Use a toilet paper tube and construction paper. (You might want to trace parts of the bird on construction paper and have patterns cut out ahead of time). Glue the construction paper pieces to the toilet paper tube to make the bird. If they dry on time, let the kids “fly” them around.

2. Have a praise party to chase away the whines! Make instruments (or provide instruments) for the kids. Sing a praise song or play music and have the kids march around with their instruments. Go on a praise parade around the church or outside of the building! Stop every once in awhile to point out something else that you can praise God for (such as the trees, the sun, the birds, etc).

3. Have a praise race. Mark a starting line and finish line. The kids should run from the starting line to the finish line. When they cross the finish line, they need to shout out something that they are thankful for. Make this even more fun by telling them to run a different way each time. Ways they can run include the following:

  • Hop on one foot

  • Skip

  • Crawl

  • Gallop like a horse

  • Walk on your tippy-toes

  • One foot directly in front of each other

  • March with super high knees

  • As fast as you can!

  • As slow as you can!

  • Spinning around when you run!

 

_______________________________________________

Check out my new book for those who want to make a difference in the world! I hope this will challenge and encourage you to go out and SIMPLY SERVE!

simplyserve

Bold Faith: A Lesson over Matthew 8:5-13

Free Lesson over bold faith from Bold: A 10 Week Study for Families and Churches. Includes ideas for games, crafts, snacks, a Bible lesson, a Bold Believer Biography and more!

I would like to introduce you to my new 10 week Bible curriculum for families and churches. This study is called Bold:A 10 Week Study for Families and Churches, and it is based off the Bible Reading Plan for Summer 2017. Each lesson contains an opening skit and activities, a strong Biblically solid lesson, a Bold Believer Biography, and additional activities to reinforce the lesson. Topics covered include bold love, bold faith, bold service, bold giving, bold prayer, bold actions, and more. Bold biographies include such heroes of the faith as George Mueller, Hudson Taylor, C.T. Studd, Martin Luther, William Wilberforce, and Brother Andrew.

Following is a free sample lesson from this study for you to use with the kids in your life! I hope you enjoy it . . . and that you will consider purchasing the entire study. Thank you!

Cheri

Purchase Printable PDF

Purchase from Amazon

 

Bold Faith(1)

Lesson Two – Bold Faith

Opening Skit:

(Scene opens with the Leader standing on stage. Adult comes hobbling in, dressed like an “old” person . . . white hair, shawl around shoulders, glasses down on the nose, walking with a cane.)

Leader: Welcome to week two of our BE BOLD series!

Adult: (hobbling in, talking like an “old person”) Wait for me! I’m here! I’m coming!

Leader: What in the world? What are you doing?

Adult: I’m here for the Be OLD series! It took me awhile, but I got myself all dressed up and I am ready to Be OLD with you!

Leader: Be old with me? What are you talking about?

Adult: The series we’re doing with the young’uns! Be OLD! Now, I admit, I thought it was kinda strange at first, but I guess I can see the value in it. After all, there are a lot of OLD people in the Bible. Who are we going to learn about first?

Leader: We’re not going to learn about the old people of the Bible! Our theme is not Be OLD, it’s Be . . .

Adult: Eh? What was that? Can you speak a little louder and clearer? I’m having trouble hearing you today.

Leader: I said, “Our theme is not be OLD, it’s BE . . .

Adult: Now, wait a minute you young whipper-snapper. I don’t quite appreciate the tone you are using with me. Back in my day, if a young-un talked to his elder that way, he’d be . . .

Leader: His elder? You’re not my elder! And what’s with this crazy outfit, the theme is not be OLD, it’s Be . . .

Adult: (Straightening up and talking in his normal voice) Come on, I worked really hard putting all this together to follow our theme of Be OLD! Some of us have to work harder than others to fit in with this theme!

Leader: (speaking very deliberately and loudly) Ok. Listen to me. Listen very carefully. Our theme is not BE OLD, it’s BE BOLD. BOLD! B . . B . . B . .

Leader & Adult: Bold

Leader: Yes BOLD!

Adult: Oh.

Leader: Now, why don’t you go change out of that crazy outfit you have on and join us for the rest of the day. I’m sure I can find something for you to do.

Adult: Okay. I’ll go change out of this. But what about you?

Leader: What do you mean “what about me”?

Adult: Aren’t you going to change out of your outfit, too? After all, the theme isn’t BE OLD, it’s BE BOLD? (short pause) Oh, I forgot, you can’t change out of your outfit! That’s your natural look!

(Adult 1 runs off the stage while Leader 1 chases after saying something like, “Why

you . . . “

Another adult should come forward and lead the kids in “Be Bold, Be Strong” (or whatever song you are using as a theme song) at this point.

Opening Activities:

1. Have an obstacle course relay race with your group. Beforehand, make a fun obstacle course for the kids to attempt. At the end of the obstacle course, have an item that they have to touch. (The item will represent Jesus). Then divide your kids into teams and have a race to see which team can get through the obstacle course first (with each member running through the obstacle course and touching “Jesus” at the end.)

Say: In this game, there were several obstacles you had to go through to get to Jesus. It would have been easy to have gotten discouraged and to have given up. Sometimes there are obstacles in our life, too, but we need to keep going . . . to push through those obstacles and to reach out to Jesus. We need to have BOLD FAITH!

2. Today’s lesson will be looking at the faith of the Roman Centurion who asked Jesus to heal his servant who was paralyzed. Give the kids an opportunity to think about the challenges a paralyzed person would face through the following (very messy) activity:

Choose a few kids or adult volunteers to come up front and try this activity or, if time and space allows, let all the kids try. Have the volunteers stand in front of a table with their arms behind their backs. Say: You are going to have an opportunity to have a special treat today – a banana split – but there is one important rule you have to follow. You must keep your hands behind your back at all times, and the only part of your body that you can use to make and eat your banana split is your neck on up.

Place the following items in front of your volunteers: a small bowl of vanilla ice cream, a banana (still in the peel), a small cup of chocolate syrup and a small cup of sprinkles. When you give the signal, each volunteer must open the banana, put it in the cup of ice cream, add chocolate syrup and sprinkles and then eat the snack.

Make sure you have a camera ready to record this activity!

When the volunteers finish (or when you decide to end the activity) use the following questions to aid your discussion:

  • What was the hardest part about this activity?

  • What do you think it would be like if you could only use your neck and above for every activity you had to do?

  • What would be the biggest challenges you would face?

Say: Today’s Bible lesson is about a person who was paralyzed – that means he couldn’t move all of his body. It’s quite possible that he was only able to move his neck and head. Life would have been very tough on him . . . but we are also going to learn how someone’s BOLD FAITH changed everything in this person’s life!

3. Object Lesson: Beforehand, squeeze the juice of half a lemon into a bowl. Add a few drops of water and stir it together. Dip a cotton swab into the mixture and then use it to write the word “Faith” on a white piece of paper. Set the paper aside and make sure it dries completely before you use it with the kids.

Take out several pieces of white paper, the one with the secret message included. Say: What would you say if I said that there was a secret message on one of these papers? Would you believe me? Discuss. Say: Well, you are just going to have to believe me when I tell you that one of these papers has a secret message on it. In fact, the secret message is on THIS one! (hold up the paper with the word on it). Do you believe me?

Sometimes we have to believe things that we can’t always see. When I flip on the light switch, I have to believe that the light will turn on, even though I can’t see the electricity itself. Choosing to believe in something that you can’t see is called FAITH, and today we are going to talk about what it means to have BOLD faith.

Hold the piece of paper over a flame or candle (be very careful not to burn the paper) until the message reappears. As the lemon juice warms up, it should show the word. As this is happening, say: God wants us to have faith in Him . . . a faith so strong that we are willing to do anything for Him and that we trust Him with everything. When things around us start to heat up and get difficult, our faith shines through. Show the word on the paper: FAITH. Today we are going to talk about what it means to have BOLD FAITH.

The Lesson:

Beforehand, prepare a “centurion helmet” and gather a bunch of post-it-notes and pens.

Hold the centurion helmet up in front of the group. Say: This is a helmet that I want you to imagine was worn by a Roman Centurion from long ago. This centurion was in charge of many people. He made sure that his group was ready to do whatever was expected at a moment’s notice. Each person in his group knew that they must obey what he told them to do. If he said to “jump” everyone in his group would jump. If he said “spin around in a circle” everyone in his group would spin in a circle. He was in charge and, if you were in his group, you had better do what he said!

How well do you think you could obey a Roman Centurion? Let’s play a little game to find out. Play a quick game of “Centurion Says”. Whenever you say “Centurion Says” the kids have to do what you say. If you give them a command without saying “Centurion Says”, they should not obey. Wear the helmet while you are pretending to be the centurion. You might also choose to let a couple of the kids take a turn being the centurion as well. Whoever is wearing the helmet is the centurion and must be obeyed!

When you are finished playing the game, have all the kids sit down. Say: You did a great job playing this game. Now, let’s see if you can listen well and do what I say during the rest of this lesson. Every time I say, “Centurion says” followed by an instruction, you have to do what I tell you to do. Do you think you can do that? Great! Let’s start the lesson.

Today’s lesson is about one particular Roman Centurion and how he showed BOLD FAITH!

This centurion, like other centurions, was in charge of a lot of men. One of the men he was in charge of was very sick. In fact, the Bible says that this man was paralyzed. That means that he could not move! Centurion says “put your arms straight by your side and sit perfectly still – don’t move!”

The centurion in today’s lesson heard about a man named Jesus. He heard that Jesus could heal people – that he made sick people well and lame people walk again. He knew that if he could get to Jesus, Jesus could heal his servant! So, the Centurion walked to where Jesus was. Centurion says “move your legs up and down like you are walking”.

When the centurion saw Jesus, he said, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, fearfully tormented.” Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him”. Jesus was willing to go to the Centurion’s house and heal his servant! That’s great news! Centurion says, “Clap your hands and cheer”.

But do you know what the Centurion did next? The centurion said, “Lord, I am not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it!” The centurion knew that all Jesus had to do was say the word and his servant would be healed! The centurion had BOLD FAITH!

Jesus was very pleased with the centurion’s faith. In fact, Jesus said that the centurion had greater faith than anyone he had seen in Israel! Then Jesus told the centurion to go back home and his servant would be healed. Centurion says, “Move your legs up and down like you are running really fast. Faster! Faster!”

When the centurion got home, he discovered that his servant was completely healed! The centurion had BOLD FAITH and Jesus rewarded that BOLD FAITH by healing his servant!

We need to have BOLD FAITH, too! We need to trust God no matter what! Are there areas where it is hard for you to have faith? Do you need to ask Jesus to give you faith like the centurion in today’s lesson?

Give each child a post-it note and a pen. Have them write one area where they need to have bold faith. Encourage them to write it in one word. (Examples include the following: home, school, money, food, doctor, etc). When the kids have written their one word that represents where they need BOLD FAITH have them bring the post-it notes up front and stick them on the helmet. Spend a few moments praying for the kids using the words that they wrote as a guide.

Bold Believer Biography:

Today’s bold believer biography is about George Mueller. Use the video “Bold Faith: The Incredible Story of George Mueller (for kids) by Cheri Gamble found here:  

or use the following narration to tell the story yourself.

(Beforehand, gather some bread or rolls and cartons of milk. Keep them hidden until needed in the story.)

Say: When I think of someone who had BOLD FAITH, I think of a man named George Mueller. George grew up in Germany in the early 1800s, and he wasn’t really a very nice kid. He would steal from people – he even stole from his own parents – and he liked to make fun of Christians.

One day, he went to a Bible study. The reason he went was to make fun of the Christians, but God had other plans for him. The words he heard at that Bible study changed his life, and he became a brand new person! He was 100% on fire for Jesus!

God used George in amazing ways, but what we are going to look at today is the BOLD FAITH that George had! George and his wife ended up opening up an orphanage for children who had no parents. George trusted God to provide for everything they needed. He never asked people for money to help run the

orphanage . . . he simply took everything to God in prayer and trusted God to provide.

One day, the orphanage was completely out of food. The kids were hungry, but there was nothing to feed them! George had all the kids sit at the dining room table and then he prayed, thanking God for the food He was about to provide. The thing is – there was NO FOOD in sight! What would they do?

Well, guess what happened next? There was a knock on the door. When George opened the door, he saw the town baker standing at the door with a basket of bread. (take out the bread). The baker told George that he had woken up in the middle of the night feeling that he needed to bake some bread for George and the orphans! He baked the bread at 2 in the morning and brought the bread to the orphanage right when it was needed!

The story doesn’t end there. A short time later, there was another knock on the door. The milkman’s truck had broken down right in front of the orphanage! It was going to take awhile for the truck to get fixed, and all the milk would be spoiled by the time the truck was ready to go! The milkman offered all that milk to the orphans! What an amazing answer to prayer! (take out the milk.)

George Mueller had BOLD FAITH! He trusted God with every detail of his life, and God took care of him! God will take care of you, too! Will YOU have bold faith?

Optional: pass out the bread and milk as a snack for the kids to eat while they watch the video mentioned below.

A fun video to help tell this story is found here:

  

 

Additional Activities:

1. Make an “invisible ink” painting. Have the kids make their own invisible ink using baking soda and water. Then have them draw a design using this invisible ink on white paper and set the paper aside. Later in the day, after the paper has had time to dry, pass out the white paper (make sure everyone gets a different paper from the one they made). Give the kids grape juice concentrate and have them paint over the paper to reveal the secret message. Remind the kids that, even though we can’t see God, we need to have faith that He is there and that He will take care of us!

2. Make homemade bread and/or milk shakes to remind the kids of the BOLD FAITH of George Mueller.

3. Have the kids make centurion helmets of their own. Find a template here:  

4. The Bible tells us that we should not worry about anything because God will take care of us . . . we are worth more than the sparrows and He takes care of them! Do a craft that will tie in the BOLD FAITH of George Mueller and also remind the kids that they are worth more than the sparrows! Help the kids make bird feeders out of old milk jugs! Find instructions at the following sites: 

5. Teach the kids the song “His Eye is on the Sparrow” and sing it together!

_________________________________

bold 2

Jesus Gives Me Living Water: A Lesson over the Woman at the Well

A free Bible lesson for children over John 4:1-42! Perfect for Sunday School or Children’s Church services!

Jesus Gives Me Living Water

A Bible Lesson over the Woman at the Well

Opening Activities:

1. As the kids come in, give them some saltine crackers or pretzels, but don’t give them anything to drink. Talk with them about what it is like to be thirsty. Have you ever had a time when you were really thirsty? What did you do? Keep offering them the crackers or pretzels as you discuss what it is like to be thirsty. Then say, “Today we are going to talk about what it means to have LIVING WATER!” Depending on the kids, you may want to offer them a drink before going on to the lesson. If your kids can handle it, though, don’t give them the drink until the lesson is over.

2. Do a science experiment to demonstrate LIVING WATER. Beforehand, fill two glass canisters with liquid. In one glass canister, have simply water. In the other one, have Sprite (or a drink like Sprite). Then hold up a couple raisins. The raisins represent our lives. Put some raisins in the glass with water. The raisins should sink to the bottom and stay there. Say, “This is what it is like when we do not have Jesus in our lives. We go through life but we never really experience true life. We stay at the bottom, in the dumps, not really getting anywhere at all. But when Jesus comes along, He gives us living water . . . water that causes us to have true life! With Jesus, we can SOAR!” Put the raisins in the Sprite and watch what happens!

3. Give the kids water and straws and let them blow into the straws to make bubbles in the water. Who can make the largest bubbles? Who can make the fastest bubbles? The kids will have a blast with this . . . let them explore and have fun! For even more fun, add food coloring to some of the water! When they are finished playing with the water, say, “It was a lot of fun making bubbles in our water, wasn’t it? Well, today we are going to learn about the LIVING WATER that Jesus gives us . . . water which makes our life BUBBLE with joy!”

The Lesson

For added fun during this lesson, have a teen or adult volunteer standing nearby. Every time the word “water” is said, have someone spray that volunteer with a squirt gun or throw a cup of water on him. The kids will LOVE seeing this happen!

(Have someone dressed in a Bible costume share today’s lesson. This is the woman at the well.)

Have you ever had a time when you were really, really thirsty and all you could think about was having a drink of nice, cool, refreshing water? Let me tell you about a time when I was thirsty . . . but then I met someone who showed me that what I really needed wasn’t a drink of this water (holds up a cup) but a drink of LIVING water!

It all started when I was getting some water from the well in our town. Have you ever had to get water from a well? It’s not easy! First, I had to walk to the well, carrying my empty bucket! Can you show me what you think it would look like to walk to a well carrying a bucket? (encourage kids to walk in place acting like they are carrying a bucket).

Once I got to the well, I had to lower the bucket down into the well, fill it with water, and then bring it back up again. Show me what you think that would look like! (have kids act like they are drawing water out of a well)

Getting water from a well takes a lot of work! It makes you tired! What do you look like when you are tired? Can you show me? (have kids show “tired” expressions).

Well, when I got to the well on this day, I noticed that I wasn’t alone! There was someone else at the well with me! There was a man at the well. This man wasn’t from my town. In fact, I could tell by looking at him that he was from a group of people that didn’t like the people of our town very much at all. I was sure he would go away when he saw me a the well next to him. And, if he didn’t go away, I was sure he would act like he didn’t even see me. Show me what you look like when you want to act like you don’t see someone. (have kids close eyes or turn head away to act this out)

But this man didn’t go away and He didn’t act like I wasn’t there! No, he started to talk to me! Yes, you heard me right, he TALKED to me! I was very surprised! What do you look like when you are surprised? Show me your most surprised look. (have kids show “surprised” looks).

This man asked me to give him a drink of water. I couldn’t believe he would ask ME for water, and I told him so. Then he told me that if I knew who he was, I would have asked HIM for water and he would have given me living water.

I thought that was very funny! How could HE give ME water? He didn’t have anything to use to get the water! He didn’t have a bucket or anything. He couldn’t give me water. What do you look like when you think something is funny? Do you laugh? Show me! (have kids laugh)

But this man didn’t stop there. He told me that everyone who drinks of this water would thirst again, but whoever drinks the water that he gives would never thirst again! Wow! I wanted that water! Could you imagine? I would never have to go to the well again! I would never be thirsty again! That would be something worth celebrating! Can you celebrate with me? (have kids cheer and clap their hands).

Guess what happened next? This man started to tell me about ME! He knew about the bad life I was living. He knew about all the wrong things I had done. He knew ME! That’s when I found out who this man was. This man was JESUS – the one who had been promised to come and save us! And here he was, talking to me at the well and offering me living water!

Meeting Jesus changed my life, and meeting Jesus will change YOUR life, too!

Yes, a nice, cool, refreshing cup of water will take away your thirst for awhile, but only Jesus can truly satisfy! I want to THIRST for JESUS! I want Him to change my life and make me more like him. What about you? Will you let Jesus change your life?

Beforehand, use large blocks to make the shape of a well. (You can even have the kids do this with you before the lesson begins). Say, “The woman in today’s story needed Jesus to change her life. She had done a lot of bad things, and Jesus knew all about those things — but He still loved her and wanted to give her that living water. Jesus wants to give you that living water, too! He wants to forgive you for all the bad things you have done and help you live for Him!” Give the kids a piece of paper shaped like a bucket or glass of water.  On this bucket, have them draw or write a prayer to Jesus asking Him to change their lives or a picture of something they need Jesus to forgive and to help them not do anymore. Once they have drawn their pictures, have them drop them in the “well” that you made out of blocks. Say, Jesus can give you LIVING WATER, too!

Additional Activities:

1. Play water games! If it is a hot day, go outside and run through the sprinkler or play a game of sponge dodge ball. Talk about how refreshing water can be . . . but that the water that refreshes our soul is only found in Jesus!

2. Set some empty two liter bottles up on a table. Give your kids a squirt gun and have them try to shoot the two liter bottles so that they fall over. Each time the kids get one to fall over, ask a review question from today’s lesson.

3. Give the kids grapes (or other fruit) and yogurt and have them design (and then eat) their own wells.

4. Service project: Have the kids collect unopened water bottles and then deliver them to people in your area who could use them!

______________________________________

Hope you enjoyed this lesson and that you are able to use it with your kids! If you are looking for a longer study to do with all ages, check out Journeying Through James. This is study that we did in all of our children’s ministries a few years ago (we used it with elementary, junior high, and high school aged kids). It takes you through the book of James in one school year. Click on the image below to find out more!

May God bless you as you serve Him!

Cheri

__________________________________________

Journeying Through James Bible Reading Plan

A Lesson for Preschoolers over Job

A Bible Lesson to help you teach your young children about the book of Job.

Job: A Bible Lesson for Preschoolers

I can Praise God When I’m Happy AND When I’m Sad”

Opening Activities:

1. Give all the kids a paper plate. Help them draw a smiley face on one side and a frowny face on the other. Say: Sometimes things happen that make me happy (hold plate with the smiley face out) and sometimes things happen that make me sad. (hold plate with the frowny face out). Do the following things make you happy or sad?

Make each of the following statements. If this makes the kids happy, have them face the smiley face out. If it makes them sad, have them face the frowny face out.

  • You get a new toy

  • You win your tee-ball game

  • You fall down and scrape your knee

  • Your mom or dad gives you a hug

  • You have to clean your room

  • Someone steals your toy

  • You get to go to your favorite restaurant

  • You have an upset tummy

Add other statements that fit your group!

When you finish say: You know what? Some things make us happy and some things make us sad, but we should PRAISE God no matter how we are feeling! We can praise God when we are happy (hold the happy face out) AND when we are sad (hold the frowny face out). Today we are going to talk about someone who did just that!

2. Sing, “If You’re Happy and You Know it”. When you finish the song, say: Should we only praise God when we are happy? NO! We should also praise God when we are sad! Today, we are going to talk about someone who praised God when he was happy and when he was sad.

Bible Lesson:

Beforehand, gather several blank pieces of large paper and crayons, cotton balls, matches (optional), and sticker dots.

Say: Today we are going to learn about a man named Job. Job loved God. Job also had a very good life. He had seven sons and three daughters. Will you help me draw his seven sons and three daughters on this paper?

Take the first blank piece of paper and have the kids help you draw seven people. Let each child draw on the paper (at the same time so it goes quicker). When there are 10 people drawn, count all the kids and then say: That’s a lot of children! Job loved all of them very, very much.

Not only did Job have 10 children, but he also had lots of animals! The Bible says he had 7,000 sheep! Will you help me put cotton balls on this paper to show that Job had a lot of sheep?

Give each child some cotton balls. Put glue on the second piece of paper and let the kids all glue their cotton balls to the paper. Say: Job sure had a lot of sheep!

Not only did Job have 10 children and 7,000 sheep, but he also had 3,000 camels! Will you help me draw some camels?

Take out the next piece of paper and have all the kids help you draw camels.

When they are finished drawing the camels, say: But that’s not all! Job had lots of kids, lots of sheep, lots of camels AND lots of oxen and donkeys! Will you help me draw those?

Take out the last piece of paper. Have all the kids help you draw oxen and donkeys (or anything close) until the whole page is covered.

Take the pieces of paper (that are now filled with pictures and cotton balls.). Job had it pretty good. He had (show the pictures as you say each one) 10 children, lots of sheep, lots of camels, lots of oxen and lots of donkeys.

But one day, something bad happened to Job!

(Hold up the paper with the oxen and donkeys on it). One day some mean people came and attacked his servants and killed his oxen and donkeys! (Rip up the page with the donkeys and oxen on it)

On the same day, fire fell from heaven and burned up all his sheep! (Tear up the page with the sheep – or, if you’re feeling really brave, light a match and burn the page)

On the same day, mean people came and destroyed all his camels! (Tear up the paper with the camels on it)

And, on the same day, all of his children died in a big wind storm! (Tear up the paper with the children on it)

This was a BAD day and Job was very, very sad! (Point to all the torn up pieces of paper). Job no longer had any of those good things. It was all gone! And then Job got really, really sick! He had big sores all over his body that hurt REALLY bad! Things were not looking good for Job!

(Put the sticker dots on the kids to represent the boils that Job had on his body)

What do you think Job did? (ask kids to respond)

This is what Job did – Job STILL praised God! Even though so many bad, bad things happened to him, Job knew that God was still GOOD and that God loved Him.

When we have bad things happen to us, we need to remember that God still loves us! We need to still praise God!

Let’s praise God together now by learning a song that talks about how God is good – even when bad things happen.

Teach the kids the song “God is so good” and sing it with them.

The words are: “God is so good, God is so good, God is so good, He’s so good to me.”

After you sing the song a few times, say: Guess what? Job’s bad times didn’t last forever! Yes, things were really bad for awhile, but God eventually took away the sores that Job had and gave him back even MORE sheep, donkeys, camels, oxen AND children!

And Job praised God again! Job praised God when things were good AND when things were bad. We need to praise God, too!

Additional Activities:

1. Make a pile of cotton balls at one end of the room and have an empty bucket at the other end. Give each child a plastic spoon with a cotton ball on it. Have the children walk from one end of the room to the empty bucket and dump the cotton ball in the bucket. When they drop the cotton balls, have them say one way they can praise God. (You might want to help with this).

Add variety to this game by having the kids do different things while carrying the cotton ball (examples include: walk backwards, walk on one leg, hop, skip, crawl, spin in circles, etc.)

TIP: If possible, have all kids go at the same time so no one is waiting. This will keep all kids engaged during this game.

2. Snack: Give the kids a variety of cut up fruits and some yogurt. Help them spread the yogurt on a paper plate and then place the fruit on top to make a smiley face and then a sad face. (Grapes can be eyes, cut up strawberries can be the mouth, bananas can be the nose, etc). Talk about how we can praise God when we are happy AND when we are sad! Eat the snack.

3. Help the kids make an “I can Praise God” book. Staple several pieces of paper together ahead of time. On the cover, write: “I can Praise God when I’m . . . “. Write one of the following words on each of the inside pages: “Happy”, “Sad”, “Scared”, “Alone”, “With a bunch of people”, “Sick”, “Healthy”, “Mad”, “Excited”. Help the kids draw pictures of them in each of those situations on the page that matches. (For example, have them draw a picture of something that makes them happy on the “happy” page). While they are working on the books, talk about how they can praise God no matter how they are feeling. Send it home with them to finish and to read with their families.

__________________________________

I hope you enjoy this lesson and that you are able to use it! Check out some of my other free Bible lessons here.

"The Call" a ten week study for families and churches

Sixty-Six: A Bible Reading Plan for Kids of All Ages

This is an 11 week Bible Reading plan that will take your family through every book of the Bible with suggested Scriptures, discussion questions & activities for each day’s reading! Perfect for summer Bible reading!

Hey there! This is an 11 week Bible reading plan that is PERFECT for the summer. It is a bit longer than my normal Bible Reading Plans — eleven weeks/6 days a week. The reason for this is that I wanted to take the kids through every book of the Bible this summer! There is a suggested reading for each day (older kids can do the first reading, younger kids can do the one in parenthesis), as well as discussion questions and activities. When there are two activities listed, the first one is aimed towards younger children and the second one is aimed to older children/teens. You can use this plan as a family, or print it off and let your kids read on their own!

Note: The Old Testament plan is pretty much in chronological order, while the New Testament goes in the order of the books of the Bible.

I hope this plan helps your family grow closer to Jesus this summer!

Cheri

Sixty-6_ A Bible ReadingPlan for Kidsof all Ages

Print the Plan Here

Week One

Day One

We are going to start our Bible reading at the very beginning – both of the Bible and of all history! Let’s take a look at what happened when God created man and woman!

To Read: Genesis 1:26-31

To Discuss: What was special about the man and woman that God created?  What did God say about His creation? What does that mean about you? What does God think about you? Discuss how God made each person in the family exactly as He wanted them to be! Some He made girls, some He made boys . . . He knew exactly what He was doing when He made you!

To Do:

1. Have your child lie down on a large piece of paper (or tape several pieces of paper together to get the right size). Trace around his body. Then have him fill in the body to make the picture look like himself Discuss what makes him special as you are doing this. Say: God made you special – He made you exactly the way He wanted you to be. Spend time today thanking God for how He made you.

2. Think about each person in your family. What words would you use to describe each person? Take sticky-notes and write one word on each sticky note to describe each person in the family. Stick these notes on the person you are describing (Make sure you are being nice!!!) Have fun reading off the notes and thanking God for how He made each person in your family unique and special!

Day Two

Some time during the book of Genesis, lived a man named Job. Job was a man who loved God with all his heart. God allowed Satan to test Job by putting him through some horrible situations. Job remained faithful to God through it all. Let’s take a look at how this testing of Job began.

To Read: Job 1 (Job 1:8-12)

To Discuss:   Why do you think God allowed Job to be tested by Satan? Has anything ever happened to you that seemed to make no sense? How do you respond? Sometimes bad things happen to us for no apparent reason. We need to remember, however, that God loves us and will be with us when we go through these hard times – even if we never understand why these things happen.

To Do:

One of the ways that Satan hurt Job was by causing a great wind to come and kill all his sons and daughters. Make a “great wind” in a bottle.  

Day Three

The rest of Genesis takes us through the flood, the beginning of God’s chosen people (the Israelites), and the moving of these people into Egypt where they eventually ended up as slaves. The people cried out to be delivered – God heard them and used his servant, Moses, to lead them out of slavery. Let’s take a look at what happened when the Israelites were escaping from Egypt and how God showed His power in a mighty way.

To Read: Exodus 14:13-31 (Exodus 14:21-22)

To Discuss: How did God show His power in these verses?   How do you think the Israelites felt when they walked through the sea? How would you have felt? What do these verses teach you about God? Discuss how God can do anything – He can even control nature! Sometimes it takes a step of faith on our part, though! We have to be willing to go where God wants us to go and do what God wants us to do!

To Do:

1. Make blue gelatin with your child. As you are making it, have him try to separate it (like the sea was separated). Discuss how this is an impossible task for us, but NOTHING is impossible for God! Once the gelatin hardens, take it out and separate it so that the gelatin makes “walls” of water. Have fun eating it together – and talking about today’s Bible reading.

2. Is there anything in your life right now that seems “impossible”? Draw a picture of what you think it looked like when the sea was divided. Write some of your “impossible” things on the picture of the water. Spend time praying for each of these things. Remember, NOTHING is impossible with God!

Day Four

Today we are in the book of Leviticus. This book has a lot of the laws that the Israelites had to follow. It can be difficult to read all these laws and see what the people had to do just to be forgiven for their sins! Reading through Leviticus should make us thankful that we have Jesus! He was the perfect sacrifice for our sins – once and for all! No longer do we have to follow all these Old Testament Laws!

To Read: Leviticus 1:1-4 (Leviticus 1:4)

To Discuss: Why do you think the sacrifice had to be “without defect”? Do you think it was possible to have a sacrifice that was completely without defect? Why or why not? Why did the people have to place their hands on the head of this animal? How did this symbolize what Jesus was going to do when he died on the cross?

To Do:

Write down some of the sins that you have committed on a piece of paper. Talk about the process of how the people had to be forgiven for their sins back in the Old Testament. Then take a match and burn the paper (or make a fire and throw all the papers in the fire). Talk about how Jesus makes it possible for us to have our sins forgiven today. He was the ultimate sacrifice – a true lamb without defect!

Day Five

In the book of Numbers, the people have safely escaped from Egypt and are now getting ready to enter the promised land. They are given a chance to go in and take over this land . . . and Moses sends some spies to check it out first. Let’s see what happens next.

To Read: Numbers 13:1-3, 13:21-14:10 (Numbers 13:30-33)

To Discuss: What was the response of the spies to the people who lived in the land? Who were the only ones who showed faith? What happened as a result? What does this tell you about the people at this time? Even though the people had seen God do impossible things many, many times before this, they still doubted Him! We serve the SAME God!! Do you ever doubt Him? What situations make it difficult for you to have faith?

To Do:

Use toothpicks, grapes and other pieces of fruit (like bananas or apples) to make your own “giant” people. Talk about how God is bigger than any giant in our lives while you eat your newly created snack.

Day Six

Because of the people’s unbelief, they were unable to enter the promised land themselves – only their kids could enter it! The only exception was the 2 spies – Joshua and Caleb. So, for the next 40 years, the people waited in the wilderness until all the people who had doubted God had died and the kids (who were now adults) were ready to enter the land. During this time, the book of Deuteronomy was written. It contains reminders of the law that God had given the people. Let’s read a bit of it today:

To Read: Deuteronomy 6:1-9 (Deuteronomy 6:5).

To Discuss: Why do you think it was important for the people to write these commands everywhere and tell them to everyone? Is this still important today? How would you apply these verses to your life today?

To Do:

1. Help your child make a heart out of red construction paper. Inside the heart, have him draw or write ways that he can show God that he loves Him.

2. How can you show God you love Him with all your heart, soul, and might? Make a list of the different ways and then put that list into practice!

Sing along!! 

Week Two

Day One

Finally the wandering in the wilderness is at an end. All of the older generation (except Joshua and Caleb) have died and the kids are now adults and they are ready to take over the Promised Land! Joshua tells us the story of how they do this. Let’s read some of it today.

To Read: Joshua 6 (Joshua 6:15-21)

To Discuss: How did the people take over the promised land? What is amazing about this? What does this tell you about God? Are you willing to obey God – even when the instructions seem a bit strange?

To Do:

1. Act this story out with your child! Build a wall out of bricks and have fun marching around it seven times and then blowing horns and shouting. Talk about how God can do anything!

2. Act this out with food! Use graham crackers and frosting to make a wall. Use E.L. Fudge crackers as people and bugles as the trumpets. Blow the trumpets, shout, and eat the wall!

Day Two

The book of Judges takes us through a cycle of what happens after Joshua and Caleb die. For awhile, the people serve God . . . but eventually they forget all about Him. Because of their disobedience, God allows them to be conquered by other nations, where they eventually call out to God and he sends a deliverer (called a “Judge”) to rescue them. They then follow God . . . as long as the Judge is alive. But when the Judge dies, they soon forget about God and the cycle continues. Let’s take a look at one of the stories of deliverance from this book.

To Read: Judges 7 (Judges 7”19-22)

To Discuss: How did God show His power in these verses? What do you think Gideon was feeling/thinking during all of this? How would you have felt?

To Do:

1. Use a paper towel tube and aluminum foil to help your child make a “trumpet”. Have him walk through the house shouting “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon”. Talk about the power of God!

2. Make your own “comic book” style depiction of this story. Share it with the rest of your family – and then tell them the part of this story that stands out to you the most.

Day Three

In the middle of the period of the Judges comes a beautiful story of love and redemption. A young woman named Ruth (who is not even an Israelite) marries a Jewish man. The man dies, along with his brother and father, leaving Ruth and her mother-in-law alone. Ruth could have gone back to her own people, but she decides to stay with her mother-in-law and serve the one true God. Eventually, God leads Ruth to someone who can “redeem her”, she marries him, and she ends up in the line of Jesus Christ! Let’s read the part where Ruth’s “kinsman redeemer” makes the commitment to take care of Ruth.

To Read: Ruth 4:1-6. 13-17 (Ruth 4:14-15)

To Discuss: How is this story a picture of what Jesus does for us? What is significant about Ruth being in the line of Christ? What does this story tell you about God’s love?

To Do:

1. A baby brought hope and joy to Naomi. Babies often bring joy to people! Look at baby pictures of your child with him and talk about the joy that he brought to your life when he entered your family.

2. Did you notice the way they sealed their deal? They exchanged sandals! Play a game with sandals today! Take a shoe and pass it around your family while playing music. When the music stops, whoever is holding the shoe says one thing that they thank God for!

Day Four

After Ruth came a judge named Samuel. Samuel was the last judge of Israel, and he was obedient to God from a very young age! When he was three, he went and lived in the temple, where he served God for the rest of his life. Let’s take a look at what happened the first time God spoke to Samuel.

To Read: 1 Samuel 3:1-21 (1 Samuel 3:5-9).

To Discuss: Explain how God first spoke to Samuel. What did Samuel think was happening? How did Samuel finally respond?

To Do:

1. Act out this story with your child. He will love pretending to be Samuel when you pretend to be God (and vice-versa)!

2. When God finally gave His message to Samuel, it wasn’t a very fun message! How do you think Samuel felt about this message? Do you think there are things that God wants you to say/do today that might be difficult? Spend time praying for courage to always do and say what God wants you to!

Day Five

At the end of 1 Samuel, the people are no longer satisfied with a Judge. Instead, they want a King. God tells Samuel not to take it personally, that they are not rejecting Samuel but rather God, and Samuel anoints the first King of Israel – a man by the name of Saul. Saul starts off good, but doesn’t stay that way, and Samuel anoints the second king – a young shepherd boy named David. David is described as “a man after God’s own heart” and, while he makes mistakes, his devotion for God is strong. God promises David that an everlasting King will come from his family – one who will reign forever. This King is King Jesus! Let’s read about when God makes that very special promise to David.

To Read: 2 Samuel 7:8-17 (2 Samuel 7:12-13)

To Discuss: What is the significance of what God is telling David in these verses? How do you think David felt when he received this promise? God told David that this King will have a kingdom that will never end – what does that mean? Are you part of that kingdom today?

To Do:

1. This passage is about a special King – King Jesus! Help your child make a crown while talking about King Jesus!

2. God reminded David about his humble beginnings as a shepherd. Isn’t it great to know that God can use anyone to carry out His plans? Spend time today asking God to use YOU to carry out His plans, too!

Day Six

The story of Israel is also contained in 1 & 2 Chronicles. Some of the events in these book happen at the same time as the events in 1 & 2 Kings. Today, we are going to look at some of the mighty men who served King David as found in the book of 1 Chronicles.

To Read: 1 Chronicles 11:10-25 (1 Chronicles 11:10)

To Discuss: David surrounded himself with people who helped him and supported him! Who do you surround yourself with? Why is it important to have people around you who will help you?

To Do:

1. David had a lot of “Mighty Men”. These people had great courage! Play with your child, pretending to be David and his mighty men. Talk about some of the things these mighty men may have done. Have even more fun with this by using mini-figures to represent the mighty men, or making your own “army” out of “army guys” or “dolls”.

2. Choose one of the “mighty men” from today’s story and write your own story about how this person served David.

Week Three

Day One

David loved to write songs! In fact, he wrote a whole song book – what we call the Book of Psalms! Psalms is full of song lyrics – some happy, some sad, some full of praise, some full of questions. Let’s read one of these songs today.

To Read: Psalm 46 (Psalm 46:1-3)

To Discuss: How do you feel when you read this Psalm? How can you apply this Psalm to your life?

To Do:

1. Help your child make a mountain out of playdough (or a flour and water mixture, or whatever else you have on hand). Have even more fun by mixing baking soda and vinegar together at the top of the mountain to make a “volcano”. Talk with your child about how God made the mountains and volcanoes (and everything else) and about how we can trust Him to help us when things are scary.

2. What kinds of things scare you? Write your own “Psalm”, sharing how you can trust God – even when things are scary and seemingly out of control.

Day Two

After David died, his son, Solomon, became king. Solomon was very wise – the wisest man who ever lived! He, along with a few other people, put some of his wise words down in a book called Proverbs. Let’s read some of those words today.

To Read: Proverbs 16:1-9 (Proverbs 16:9)

To Discuss: There are a lot of great tidbits of wisdom in these verses! Discuss your favorites.

To Do:

1. The Lord directs our steps! Take your child outside and have him paint with his feet! Paint the bottom of his feet and let him run around on your sidewalk, making a “path” with his steps. Then talk about what it means that the Lord “directs our steps”. You might also want to play a game of follow the leader, stressing the importance of following God wherever He leads.

2. Are you a “planner”? Do you have your plans all figured out? Spend time today asking God to be in charge of your life and to show you what His plans for your life are.

Day Three

Ecclesiastes is also a book of wisdom, possibly written by Solomon. This book can be depressing to read, as the writer talks about how everything is meaningless without God. The main point of this book can be summarized in the verses we are going to read today – remember God, because, in the end, nothing else matters except your relationship with Him. Let’s read those verses now.

To Read: Ecclesiastes 12:1-8 (Ecclesiastes 12:1)

To Discuss: Why is it important to remember your creator in the days of your youth? How can having a relationship with God when you are young impact your entire life?

To Do:

1. Talk with your child about how he is not too young to serve God! Help him come up with some ways that he can serve God today! Choose one of the things from his list and help him do that!

2. Make a poster with the first verse from today’s reading on it. Hang that poster in your room and read it every day!

Day Four

While Solomon was very wise, he also had some weaknesses. His biggest weakness was his love for women. He had many, many wives! There is a book in the Bible dedicated to one of his wives – it is a love story that celebrates the beauty of marriage. We are going to read a small part of it today – a warning about being careful in our relationships.

To Read: Ecclesiastes 3:5 (Ecclesiastes 3:5)

To Discuss: What does it mean to not arouse or awaken love until she pleases? What is God’s plan for marriage? (This is a good time to have a discussion with older kids about God’s design for marriage and purity!)

To Do:

1. Talk with your child about your relationship with your spouse. (If you are not married, you can talk about a special relationship in the past or about what you pray for him in his future relationship). This would be a fun time to go through your wedding album with your child and talk about that special day. End by praying for your child’s future spouse.

2. Take some time today to make a list of qualities that your future spouse must have (for example, he must be a Christian and put God first). Pray over this list. Then, when you are dating in the future, remember those things on this list that you are not willing to change (like must be a Christian). Spend time praying for your future spouse.

Day Five

After Solomon dies, the nation of Israel goes downhill. The nation is divided into two parts – a northern kingdom and a southern kingdom. The northern kingdom has only bad kings, while the southern kingdom only has a few good kings. In the middle of these bad kings comes a prophet by the name of Elijah. Elijah follows God and is not afraid to stand for Him no matter what. One of these times comes on top of a mountain. Let’s read about this showdown today.

To Read: 1 Kings 18:20-46 (1 Kings 18:25-39)

To Discuss: Explain what happened during this showdown. What parts of this story do you like the best? How does God demonstrate His power in this story?

To Do:

1. Help your child gather rocks, sticks, and pitchers of water. Help him arrange the rocks and sticks in a cake pan to make an altar. Pour water over the top of the whole thing. Try to light it on fire. Talk about why it was difficult and the miracle that happened in today’s story!

2. Elijah had to trust God to answer with fire. Do you trust God to answer your prayers? Take a rock and write the word “Trust” on it. Decorate the rock if you’d like. Keep that rock somewhere to remind you to trust God to answer your prayers.

Day Six

Elijah’s story has an amazing ending! He doesn’t die . . . let’s read about what happens to him and who takes over as God’s prophet.

To Read: 2 Kings 2:1-15 (2 Kings 2:11-12)

To Discuss: What happened to Elijah? What was Elisha’s response? How do you think Elisha felt watching this? How is this a fitting end to Elijah’s time on earth?

To Do:

Use cheese, pretzels, and whatever other snack foods you have on hand to help your child make a fiery chariot. Have fun eating it together while talking about today’s story. Older kids can have fun making this snack today, too!

Week Four

Day One

One of the good kings in the southern kingdom was a man named Hezekiah. Whenever he was faced with challenges, he prayed and asked God for help. Today we are going to read about one of those times.

To Read: 2 Chronicles 32:9-23 (2 Chronicles 32:20-22)

To Discuss: What did Sennacherib threaten? How did Hezekiah respond? How did God answer his prayer? Hezekiah’s first response was to pray. What is your first response?

To Do:

1. When something scary was happening to Hezekiah, he prayed! Help your child understand that he can pray about scary things, too! Help your child draw a picture of something that scares him . . . and then spend time praying about it together!

2. Make your own prayer journal (find some prayer journal pages here) and write down your prayer requests and answers to prayer.

Day Three

God was not happy with the nation of Israel. Both of the kingdoms were disobeying him and following other gods. God wanted the people to turn back to Him . . . and He sent several prophets to tell the people to repent! We are going to start looking at some of these today . . . and we will start with a very small book called Obadiah.

To Read: Obadiah 1:15-17 (Obadiah 1:15)

To Discuss: What was the warning here? Is there any hope given in these verses? How would you feel if you were given this warning?

To Do:

Part of these verses say, “As you have done, it will be done to you.” This is similar to the “Golden Rule” in the NewTestament, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Discuss both of these statements with your child. Then spend some time talking about how you should treat other people. Role play situations where it might be hard to treat people well, and use these situations to show your child how to respond to everything as Jesus would want.

Day Three

Even though the Lord was not happy with His people, He still loved them. He wanted them to turn back to Him, and gave them plenty of opportunities to do so. He also sometimes used these prophets to tell about what would happen in the future . . . in the long-distance future! Let’s look at what He said through the prophet Joel . . . and how that message is also a message to us today!

To Read: Joel 2:18-33 (Joel 32-33)

To Discuss: What were the promises in these verses? What are the promises for us today?

To Do:

These verses say that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved! That means anyone can become a Christian! Spend time today praying for people you know who need Jesus!

Day Four

While all these prophets were being sent to Israel, one prophet from Israel was sent to a foreign nation. This prophet was named Jonah . . . and he did not want to have anything to do with what God was calling him to do. He didn’t like the people of Ninevah, and he had no intention of going there with God’s message. In fact, he went the opposite direction. God worked out His plan, though, causing Jonah to be thrown over the ship and swallowed by a large fish. He was eventually given a second chance, and he shared God’s message with the people of Ninevah (who, unlike the Israelites, immediately repented and followed God!!!) Today, let’s read the beginning of this story.

To Read: Jonah 1 (Jonah 1:12-17)

To Discuss: Why did Jonah not want to go to Ninevah? Do you ever not want to do something God wants you to do? What can you do to make sure you always obey God – even when it’s hard?

To Do:

1. Drape a large blanket over a table and sit under the table with your child. Talk about what it might have been like for Jonah inside the fish. Talk about how it can sometimes be hard to do the right thing, but we need to always do what is right . . . no matter what! End by eating goldfish crackers and watching “Jonah” by Veggie Tales.

2. Sketch a picture of a fish. Inside the fish, make a list of things that God might want you to do that you find difficult. Pray about each item on your list.

Day Five

Amos was a shepherd whom God used to deliver a message of repentance to His people. He was still giving them a chance to turn back to Him. Let’s read some of the message that Amos gave the people.

To Read: Amos 5:4-15 (Amos 5:14-15)

To Discuss: What were some of the ways the Israelites were disobeying God? What did God want the people to do? Does God want the same for us today? How can we seek good and not evil?

To Do:

1. Hate Evil, love good! Talk to your child about how we should RUN from evil!!! Play a fun game. Make a list of things that are “evil” and things that are “good”. Then say one word at a time. If the word you say is something “evil” your child should run away from you. If it is something “good” your child should run towards you. Have fun with this . . . but be sure to emphasize that we need to stay away from those things that are evil and run towards those things that are good.

2. God wants us to establish justice. There is a lot of injustice in the world. What is one area of injustice that you care a lot about? Do some research on it and then do something to help spread awareness for this issue.

Day Six

Another prophet at this time was a guy named Hosea. While many of the prophets were sent with tough messages about God’s punishment, Hosea was sent with a message of love. Hosea’s message was that God loved His people – even though they were unfaithful to Him. Hosea’s life demonstrated God’s incredible love for His people – as Hosea lived out God’s unfailing love through a relationship with his unfaithful spouse. Hosea showed the people that God was willing to pay a price for the people . . . and, in fact, Jesus would pay that price several years in the future. Let’s take a look at part of Hosea’s message to the people.

To Read: Hosea 14 (Hosea 14:9)

To Discuss: What is the message to the people in this chapter? How can verse 9 be applied to us today?

To Do:

1. The righteous will walk in the ways of the Lord. Go for a walk with your child, talking about how important it is to always follow Jesus . . . staying on the right path.

2. Some people will tell you that there is no absolute right or wrong, but we know that is not true. There are things that are right 100% of the time . . . and there are things that are wrong 100% of the time. Ask God to help you know what is right and what is wrong – and to always do the right thing no matter what.

Week Five

Day One

Another prophet during this time was Isaiah. Isaiah had a long message for the people . . . one which actually prophesied about Jesus Christ as well! Let’s take a look today at what happened when God called Isaiah to be his prophet.

To Read: Isaiah 6:1-8 (Isaiah 6:8)

To Discuss: What vision did Isaiah have? How did Isaiah respond to this vision? What did God ask Isaiah? How did Isaiah respond? Are you willing to respond the same way?

To Do:

1. Help your child write the words “Send me” on a piece of paper and decorate the paper. Then take a picture of your child holding that up in front of him. Print the picture off, frame it, and hang it in his room. Talk with him about what it means to tell God, “Send me”.

2. Do you have a mirror in your room? Write the words “Send me” on the mirror with a marker. Then, every time you look in the mirror, ask God to show you where He wants to send you and to help you do what He wants you to do.

Day Two

Micah was another prophet sent to warn the people of Israel. He also was given special prophecies about Jesus . . . mainly about His birth! Among his prophecies was the one that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem (which he was several hundred years later). In the middle of this book, however, are a couple verses that summarize the way God wants His people to live. Check them out:

To Read: Micah 6:6-8 (Micah 6:8)

To Discuss: According to these verses, what does God desire for us? What does that mean to you?

To Do:

1. Let’s focus on loving kindness today! Help your child think of something kind that he can do for someone else . . . then help him do it!

2. Make a poster of verse 8. Hang this poster in your room.

Day Three

Remember how Jonah was sent to Ninevah with a message from God? Nahum was also sent to Ninevah . . . about 100 years later. This time, however, the people of Ninevah did not listen – and they were destroyed. Let’s read part of Nahum’s message today.

To Read: Nahum 1:1-15 (Nahum 1:3)

To Discuss: What was Nahum’s message? How does this message relate to us today?

To Do:

1. The Lord is slow to anger. Talk about what it means to be slow to anger. Play a game with your child: take a paper plate and draw an angry face on one side and a happy face on the other. The angry face reminds us that the Lord is slow to anger (and we should be slow to anger, too). Whenever you show the angry face, your child should walk very slowly. Whenever you show the happy face, your child should run – because we should be QUICK to love! Have your child stand on one side of the yard while you stand on the other. Play red light/green light . . . only using the paper plate (red light = angry face, green light = happy face).

2. Which verses stick out to you the most in this passage? Draw pictures to represent that verse.

Day Four

God sent a lot of prophets to his people! He gave them plenty of warnings! Another one of these prophets was Habakkuk. Habakkuk knew things were going to get bad . . . but he also knew that God would be with him no matter what happened, and he promised to praise God no matter how bad things got. We will see those words in today’s reading.

To Read: Habakkuk 3:17-19 (Habakkuk 3:19)

To Discuss: How is the Lord our strength? How does the Lord help us in good times and bad?

To Do:

1. Take a bunch of newspapers, pillows, or blankets and stuff your child with them to make your child look like he has huge muscles! Take pictures of him posing with big, strong muscles! Then say: It is fun to pretend to be strong . . . but God is stronger than anything or anyone! Isn’t it great to know that God is on our side?

2. Habakkuk said he was going to praise God even though the world around him was falling apart. Do you ever feel like the world around you is falling apart? How can Habakkuk’s words help you during those times? Write your own prayer to God, praising Him even when things are tough.

Day Five

Zephaniah gave another warning to the people . . . but he also told them that there would still be a “remnant” of believers. Even though the kingdoms were going to be conquered, there would still be people who stayed true to God through it all.

To Read: Zephaniah 3:12-20 (Zephaniah 3:16-17)

To Discuss: How does the Lord feel about His remnant? How do you think these words would have been an encouragement to the people who were serving God at this time? How are these words an encouragement to you?

To Do:

1. These verses say that God rejoices over His people with shouts of joy! Can you imagine God rejoicing over you? Show your child what it might be like for God to “rejoice over him” by holding him in your arms and shouting out all the things you love about your child. Say, “I love you soooo much, but God loves you even more!!” and then end your time together by tickling him!

2. What does it mean to you that “God rejoices over you”? Spend time thinking about the great love that God has for you!

Day Six

Jeremiah was the last prophet before the southern kingdom was taken into captivity. (The northern kingdom had been taken into captivity several years before, but the southern kingdom was still holding on.) God sent Jeremiah to His people with a very unpopular message – and as a result, Jeremiah was treated pretty poorly! Jeremiah never backed down, though, and eventually his message came true and the people were conquered. God did give Jeremiah a promise, though, and that was that the captivity would only last for 70 years. Let’s take a look today at the day God called Jeremiah to be His prophet.

To Read: Jeremiah 1:4-10 (Jeremiah 1:4-5)

To Discuss: When did God have a plan for Jeremiah’s life? What did God tell Jeremiah to do? How did God reassure Jeremiah? Do you ever feel like Jeremiah did? How does God help you during those times?

To Do:

1. God knew Jeremiah and had a plan for his life before Jeremiah was even born! God loves your child and has a plan for his life, too! If you have copies of your child’s ultrasound pictures, show them to him today and talk about how babies who are inside their mommies are important and loved, too!

2. Do you ever use your age as an excuse as to why you can’t do something big for God? How do you think God would respond to that? God can use you . . . no matter how young or old you are! Spend time today asking God to show you His plan for your life!

Week Six

Day One

The book of Lamentations is a lament – a book of sorrow and sadness reflecting on the captivity of the southern kingdom. Jeremiah, the prophet who warned the people the captivity was coming also wrote this book. In the middle of the book, however, is a reminder of God’s faithfulness. Let’s read those verses today.

To Read: Lamentations 3:19-26 (Lamentations 3:22-23)

To Discuss: What gives Jeremiah hope? How can this give you hope, too?

To Do:

1. God loves us SOOO much! Every morning, he has more and more love for us! Help your child make a sun craft to remind him of this. Cut a big circle out of yellow paper (or paint white paper yellow). Then cut several long rectangles out of yellow and orange paper to be the sun’s rays. Have your child write or draw one way that God shows His love to us on each ray of the sun. Then attach the rays to the circle. Write verses 22 & 23 on the circle. Hang the sun in your child’s room.

2. Jeremiah remembered God’s faithfulness and it gave him hope. What gives you hope? Write a letter to God, thanking Him for His faithfulness and mercy to you.

Day Two

The people had been warned, but they would not repent! Finally, God had enough, and the southern kingdom of Judah was conquered by “a lion from the north” – or the Babylonians. The Israelites were taken into captivity. Many of the teenagers were taken into a special program where their names were changed and they were indoctrinated in the ways of the Babylonians. This program lasted for 3 years, and then the graduates were given places to work in the kingdom. Daniel and his friends were among these teenagers. These four young men determined that they would serve the one true God no matter what, and, while their faith was put to the test, they always stood strong. Daniel stayed committed to God his entire life. He served several different kings of Babylon and was promoted to a high place of leadership. Not all the other leaders liked Daniel, however, and some of them devised a way to get rid of him. Let’s read about that today.

To Read: Daniel 6 (Daniel 6:16-22)

To Discuss: What would you have been thinking if you were Daniel? What do you think it was like for Daniel when he was thrown in the lion’s den? What can you learn from the story of Daniel?

To Do:

1. Act out this story with your child! Use paper plates to make lion masks. Then have one of you pretend to be the lions (make sure you are mean and loud!!!) and the other pretend to be Daniel. Have fun acting out the story and discussing the courage and faith of Daniel!

2. Make your own lion snack! Use cut-up bananas, oranges, and other items to make a lion’s face. Be creative! When you have the perfect lion, take a picture and then eat it up!

Day Three

Ezekiel lived at the same time as Daniel. Like Daniel, he was a displaced Jew who was now living in Babylon. Unlike Daniel, he did not live in the palace and serve the king. One day, God gave Ezekiel a vision and prophecy, which Ezekiel wrote down in the book of Ezekiel. Let’s read part of it today.

To Read: Ezekiel 37:1-14 (Ezekiel 37:7-8)

To Discuss: Why did God have Ezekiel prophesy to a bunch of dried up bones? What did this represent? What was the promise God gave to the people of Israel through Ezekiel?

To Do:

God can bring new life to even things that are dead – like the bones in this passage! Make a skeleton craft using q-tips and black construction paper. Glue the q-tips on the paper to make the skeleton. Use white paper or chalk to make a head for the skeleton. Talk about what this passage means for us today.

A song for today: Come Alive (Dry Bones) a song by Lauren Daigle:  

Day Four

The time of captivity was coming to an end. A man named Zerubbabel was a leader among the Israelites and God had a message for him. He used a prophet named Haggai to deliver this message – a message that challenged Zerubbabel to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. Let’s read some of that message today.

To Read: Haggai 1:1-15 (Haggai 1:7)

To Discuss: What did God want Zerubbabel to do? Why was this important? How would you feel if you were given a task like Zerubbabel?

To Do:

1. Zerubbabel was told to rebuild the temple of the Lord. Help your child “build” a temple today. Use blocks, legos, or boxes (or whatever you have on hand) and build a temple together.

2. The temple was important to worship in Old Testament times – it was considered the house of God. Today, however, there is a different “house of God”. What is it? (Hint: Read 1 Corinthians 6:19-20). How should we treat that temple? What are some ways that we can make sure we are treating God’s temple well? Make a list of ways you can care for God’s temple – your body.

Day Five

God also spoke to a man named Zechariah during this time, reminding the people of their past and sharing a message for the future. In this middle of these prophecies, God states again the importance of justice and compassion. Let’s read those verses today.

To Read: Zechariah 7:8-14 (Zechariah 7:9-10)

To Discuss: What did God want the people to do? Did the people listen? What was the result? Do you think God still cares about the widow, orphan, stranger, and poor today? How does He want us to respond to these people?

To Do:

God loves all people – and He wants us to love and care for all people, too. Make a special gift for someone you know from one of these groups. Deliver that gift and do something nice for them while you are at their house, too!

Day Six

The Persian nation had conquered Babylon and the Jews in Babylon were in the process of being set free and rebuilding the temple when a young Jewish girl back in Persia found herself in a position of power that eventually led to her saving her people from destruction! Let’s read part of her story today.

To Read: Esther 4 (Esther 4:13-16)

To Discuss: Why was Esther afraid to stand up for her people? What was Mordecai’s response to this? What do you think of Esther’s response in verse 16?

To Do:

1. Make a king’s scepter out of paper towel tubes and whatever art supplies you have on hand. Talk about the danger Esther faced when she approached the king, but how she still did the right thing. Encourage your child to always do the right thing, too.

2. Mordecai challenged Esther that maybe she was queen for “such a time as this”. What does that phrase mean to you? Do you think God could have a special purpose in mind for you . . . do you have a “for such a time as this” moment? Make a poster out of those words (“for such a time as this”) to remind you to always seek to do what God has planned for you!

Week Seven

Day One

The Persian empire is now in control of Babylon and God moves the king, a guy by the name of Cyrus, to let the Israelites go back to their original homes and rebuild the temple. Remember Zerubbabel? He is going to lead this project! Ezra is one of the prophets at this time, and he records what happens in his book, appropriately titled “Ezra”.

To Read: Ezra 3:8-13 (Ezra 3:10-11)

To Discuss: What did the people do when the foundation for the temple was laid? Why were some praising and rejoicing while others were mourning?

To Do:

1. When the foundation of the temple was laid, the people had a huge praise party! Have a praise party with your child today. Help him make some home-made instruments (you can even use pots and pans if you want) and have a parade through the house (or neighborhood) singing songs and shouting out praise to God!

2. Some of the people were praising God, and some were weeping. We should be free to express whatever emotion we have before God. What things make you rejoice? What things make you weep? Make a list and then pray about all of those things today.

Day Two

Nehemiah was cupbearer to the king of Persia. He was also a Jew and he had heard about what was happening back in Jerusalem – that the people were having great difficulty and the walls around the city were not being repaired. The king saw that Nehemiah was in great distress, and, after finding out why, the king gave Nehemiah permission and resources to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem! Let’s take a look at some of the words of Nehemiah.

To Read: Nehemiah 2 (Nehemiah 2:1-8)

To Do:

1. The king gave Nehemiah special letters giving him permission to go back and rebuild his city. Have your child pretend to be a king. Give him some paper and stamps (if you have them) and have him write or draw a special letter like the king may have written for Nehemiah. Roll it up and seal it with a stamp.

2. Nehemiah faced opposition when he set out to rebuild the walls. Do you ever face opposition when you try to do something right? What can you learn from Nehemiah’s response to opposition? Write about a time when you faced opposition and how you handled it.

Day Three

We are now ready to read from the last book of the Old Testament – the book of Malachi. After the book of Malachi is written, God is silent. The next time He speaks, He will speak to a young Jewish girl, and it will be to announce that she is to be the mother of the Messiah – Jesus Christ!

To Read: Malachi 3 (Malachi 3:8)

To Discuss: How did God say the people were robbing Him? God wants us to give our best to Him. Are you giving Him your best?

To Do:

1. Help your child make his own treasure chest or piggy bank based on whatever materials you have on hand (you can even use a can or water bottle for this). Then encourage your child to fill it up with change until it is full. When it is full, take it to church and give it as an offering to God.

2. Are you giving a regular offering to God? Find a way to earn money – and then give part of that money (or all of it) to God as an offering.

Day Four

Hooray! We are now in the New Testament! Remember how I said that the next time God speaks, it will be to a young Jewish girl? Let’s read about that today. (NOTE: It’s been over 400 years since the book of Malachi was written).

To Read: Matthew 1:18-25 (Matthew 1:18-21)

To Discuss: How do you think Joseph and Mary felt when they were told they were going to be the parents of God’s son?

To Do:

An angel appeared to Joseph in a dream. Make an angel craft today. Find some cool ones here.

Day Five

The first four books of the New Testament share what happened when Jesus was on earth. Today we are going to read from the book of Mark.

To Read: Mark 11:1-10 (Mark 11:7-10)

To Discuss: How did the people treat Jesus when he came riding into town on a donkey? Why do you think they shouted these things out to him?

To Do:

The people laid down palm branches in front of Jesus to praise him as he came riding into town. Make your own palm branches today out of construction paper (or whatever else you have on hand). Write words to describe what you praise Jesus for on each of the palm branches.

Day Six

The book of Luke was written by a Doctor who researched the life of Jesus and wrote his book based on his findings. Let’s read what he reported about the death of Jesus.

To Read: Luke 23:33-56 (Luke 23:33-37)

To Discuss: What happened to Jesus in these verses? Why did Jesus have to die?

To Do:

Make a cross snack craft today. Frost a graham cracker with white frosting. Then use sliced grapes to make a cross and background on the graham crackers.

Week Eight

Day One 

John was written by one of the disciples of Jesus. He also wrote the books of 1, 2, & 3 John and Revelation. We will read about the resurrection of Jesus from John’s book today.

To Read: John 20 (John 20:11-18)

To Discuss: Discuss the different emotions that Mary felt in this chapter. What about the rest of the followers of Jesus? How would you have felt?

To Do:

The tomb was empty because Jesus had risen and the tomb is still empty today! Make an empty tomb cresent roll.   

Day Two

Dr. Luke also wrote the book of Acts. In the book of Acts, Luke writes about the beginning of the church. This also has the story of the conversion of Saul – a man who started off persecuting (even killing) Christians, but would become a great leader in the early church. But Luke begins his book with Jesus going back into heaven. Let’s read about that today.

To Read: Acts 1:1-11 (Acts 1:9-11)

To Discuss: What command did Jesus give the disciples? How does this command apply to you today?

To Do:

1. Help your child draw a picture of Jesus going into heaven. Give him cotton balls and have him glue those down on the paper to be clouds. Then have him draw a picture of Jesus going up into the clouds. Talk about how Jesus will one day come back down to earth to get us and take us to heaven!

2. Rewrite verse 8 using places that are familiar to you. What would be your Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria? Once you have it rewritten, make a poster of it and hang it in your room. Pray each day for opportunities to be Jesus’s witnesses in each of these places.

Day Three

Romans was a letter written by Paul to the church in Rome. Let’s read some of what he says.

To Read: Romans 8:26-39 (Romans 8:38-39)

To Discuss: What promises speak to you the most in these verses?

To Do:

1. NOTHING will separate us from the love of God! Play a game of hide and seek with your child. Each time you find your child, say, “Can you hide from God’s love?” NO!

2. Choose your favorite verse(s) from this passage. Draw a picture illustrating that verse. Show it to the other members of your family and see if they can figure out which verse you are illustrating.

Day Four

Paul also wrote 1 & 2 Corinthians. These books were written to the church in Corinth.

To Read: 1 Corinthians 15:50-58 (1 Corinthians 15:51-52)

To Discuss: What is the promise in these verses? How does it make you feel to know that we have victory over death through Jesus Christ?

To Do:

1. Act out these verses with your child. Have him lie down on the floor and pretend to be “dead” (you might even want to cover him with a blanket as if you are burying him). Then blow a horn (it can be a pretend horn) and have him jump up. See how fast he can do this. Talk about how some day all of us who love Jesus will be with him in heaven. Help your child draw pictures of what he thinks heaven will be like.

2. Some day we will all be changed. We will have a new and perfect body that will never get sick or hurt! What do you think this new body will be like? Write or draw something to represent what you think it will be like when we are all changed.

Day Five

Let’s look at a section of 2 Corinthians today.

To Read: 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

To Discuss: What do you think the “thorn in the flesh” was? How did it impact Paul? What did he learn as a result?

To Do:

1. Talk to your child about things that bother him that he wishes would change. Talk about how, sometimes, these things don’t go away easily . . . or even at all. We need to learn to praise God, even when there are tough things that won’t go away. Plant a rose to show that something beautiful can come – even in the midst of the thorns!

2. Decorate a flower pot with words and designs from these verses. Then plant a rose to remind you that something beautiful can grow even in the midst of the thorns!

Day Six

Paul wrote the letter of Galatians to the church at Galatia. Let’s read what he said to them as he closed the letter.

To Read: Galatians 6:1-10 (Galatians 6:6-10)

To Discuss: How do you bear one another’s burdens? What does it mean that a man reaps what he sows? How can you do good to all people?

To Do:

Plant a garden . . . or visit a garden and pick your own fruit. Talk about the process of growing a garden and how this relates to the Christian life. If you are able to pick fruit, bring it home and make something tasty out of it . . . and then talk about how you want to make sure the fruit in your life is good and tasty, too.

Week Nine

Day One

The book of Ephesians was written by Paul to the church at Ephesus. Today we will read a very famous portion of this book about putting on the armor of God.

To Read: Ephesians 6:10-20 (Ephesians 6:10-11)

To Discuss: What is our fight really against? What does this mean? What is the armor of God and how does it help us in this fight?

To Do:

1. What are some things we can do to make us strong? We can exercise! Do some fun exercises with your child. Then say: Just like exercise makes our body strong, there are some things that can make us strong in the Lord. Do you know what they are?

2. Make an armor of God craft.  

3. Make your own “shield of faith”. Draw pictures of examples of when people have shown great faith . . . including you!

Day Two

The next book in the Bible is Philippians. Paul wrote this letter when he was in prison! This letter is all about attitude . . . our attitude should be just like Jesus’s was!

To Read: Philippians 3 (Philippians 3:20)

To Discuss: How should we live our lives according to this chapter? What verse sticks out to you the most in this chapter? Why?

To Do:

1. Talk to your child about how our real home is in heaven. We are just living here on earth for a short time! When someone visits a country that is not their own, he needs a passport! Help your child make a “passport”. Take his picture and glue it on a small piece of paper. Write on it that his citizenship is in heaven and have him decorate the inside with pictures of his true home . . . heaven!

2. According to these verses, everything should be like GARBAGE compared to knowing Jesus! Think about all your great accomplishments up to this point. Write down all the things you are proud of and the things that you own on a piece of paper. Then crumble that paper up and throw it in the garbage! The only thing that really matters in life is JESUS!

Day Three

The next book of the Bible is Colossians. This book was also written by Paul.

To Read: Colossians 3 (Colossians 3:17)

To Discuss: How are we supposed to do all things? Will keeping this in mind change the way you do your daily activities? How?

To Do:

1. Talk to your child about the jobs he does each day. Say: Every time you do something, remember, you are doing it for Jesus – even those jobs you don’t like! Have him draw a picture of himself on a piece of white paper. Then help him make a “broom” out of construction paper. On the broom, have him draw or write different things he does each day. Glue the broom on the paper and write Colossians 3:17 at the top of the paper.

2. How do you set your mind on things above? Draw a picture of yourself from the neck up. Make a speech bubble and write different ways that you can keep your mind focused on things above inside of this speech bubble. Pray, asking God to help you keep focused on Him.

Day Four

Another letter from Paul was 1 Thessalonians.

To Read: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18)

To Discuss: What is the promise found in these verses? How does this promise make you feel?

To Do:

1. Go outside and look at the clouds. Have fun pointing out the different shapes that you see in the clouds. Then talk to your child about how, someday, Jesus will come back and everyone who believes in Him will go up to heaven. Do you think we will go up riding on the clouds?

2. Make cloud dough. Use 1 cup of baby oil and 8 cups of flour mixed together. Talk about what it will be like to be taken “up in the clouds” to be with Jesus!

Day Five

To Read: 2 Thessalonians 3 (2 Thessalonians 3:1-2)

To Discuss: What would you consider the main theme of these verses? Have you ever spent time praying for people who are telling others about Jesus? Why don’t you do that today?

To Do:

1. In the first verse of this chapter, Paul asks the people to pray for him as he serves Jesus. We should also pray for our ministers and missionaries. Help your child make a card for a Christian leader you know. Send it to that leader . . . and then spend time praying for him.

2. Memorize verse 13. Make a poster or some other representation of this verse and place it somewhere to remind you to live by it each day.

Day Six

Paul wrote 1 & 2 Timothy to a young leader in the church named Timothy. He had a lot of great advice for Timothy, and we get to read it in these books. Check them out!

To Read: 1 Timothy 6:6-21 (1 Timothy 6:7-10)

To Discuss: Does verse 7 remind you of anything (think Job . . . )? What are some ways where you can see verse 9-10 at work in our world today? How can you guard yourself against this?

To Do:

1. Help your child make his own play money. Spend time playing “store” with it. Then talk about how it is important that we not love money more than God! Have him turn his play money over and draw pictures of things he has that he is thankful for or ways that he can praise God on the back of each piece of money.

2. Play a game of Monopoly. Discuss ways that you can keep money in its right place.

Week Ten

Day One

We will start this week on the second letter Paul wrote to Timothy.

To Read: 2 Timothy 4:1-8 (2 Timothy 4:6-7)

To Discuss: How can you see these verses happening in today’s world? How do Paul’s words in verses 6 & 7 encourage you?

To Do:

1. Paul talked about the reward he was going to get in the future. Talk with your child about rewards. Has he ever gotten an award for something? Help your child design an award (like a ribbon) that might be something a person who has “fought the good fight” and “finished the race” would receive.

2. Speaking the truth in the last days will be hard, but we still must do it! We must always be ready to speak the truth . . . we must fulfill our ministry! Practice “speaking the truth” today. Choose a topic that people don’t want to hear the truth about and research what the Bible says about that topic. Practice sharing the biblical truths on that topic with the other members of your family. Doing this will help you be prepared – in season and out of season!

Day Two

Today we will move on to one of Paul’s shorter letters – the book of Titus.

To Read: Titus 3:1-11 (Titus 3:5-7)

To Discuss: How does the kindness of God change us? Has His kindness changed you?

To Do:

1. We cannot save ourselves – we are saved through Jesus! Cut a heart shape out of a piece of paper. Talk to your child about the fact that we all do things that are wrong – we all sin. Have your child draw or write different things he has done that are wrong on the heart. Say: Look at all the things that we’ve done that are wrong! Aren’t you glad that Jesus forgives us and saves us! He makes it so that we don’t see those bad things any more! Cut another heart out (the same shape as before) and glue it over top of the other one. Jesus takes our sin away!

2. How can you be ready for every good deed? Think of some good deeds you can do for others. Make a list and then choose one and do it!

Day Three

There was once a slave named Onesimus. This slave ran away from his master (who was a Christian). When he was away from his master, he met Paul, and Paul introduced him to Jesus Christ. After he became a Christian, he knew he had to go back to his master. Paul wrote a letter to his master and sent it back with him. His master’s name was Philemon and the book of Philemon is Paul’s letter to him concerning his runaway slave. Let’s read through it today.

To Read: Philemon 1:1-25 (Philemon 1:4-5)

To Discuss: Talk about how Onesimus’s life changed. How did God use the situation in his life to bring about change? Can you think of any situation in your life that God has used to bring about change?

To Do:

Paul said that he thanks God for Philemon. Are there people that you are thankful for? Make a list of the people in your life that you are thankful for. Choose one or two to send a nice letter or card (or a picture that you draw). Pray for these people.

Day Four

We are not sure who wrote the book of Hebrews. It is a longer book that is written to the Jews. Let’s read a few verses out of it today.

To Read: Hebrews 12:1-3 (Hebrews 12:1-2)

To Discuss: What is that great cloud of witness talked about in verse 1? (You might want to read through Hebrews 11 to get an idea of some of the people who make up that group). Why is it important to fix your eyes on Jesus?

To Do:

1. Talk with your child about how living life is like running a race and we need to be faithful all the way through to the finish. Set up an obstacle course in your house (or outside) and have your child run through it. Cheer him on the whole time! Relate this to today’s reading.

2. Train to run a road race – and then do it! Keep your eyes on the finish line!!!

A song for today:  

Day Five

The book of James was written by one of Jesus’s brothers – a man by the name of James. Can you imagine being the younger brother of Jesus? We know from the gospels that Jesus’s brothers didn’t always believe in him – but James came to have faith in Jesus, became a leader in the church, and was eventually killed for his faith. Let’s take a look at some of his words today.

To Read: James 3:1-12 (James 3:2)

To Discuss: Does your tongue ever get you in trouble?

To Do:

1. We need to be careful of what we say! Give your child tongue depressors (or craft sticks) and have him write on each craft stick the types of things we should say. Say: Doctors use these tongue depressors to look into our mouths . . . they help keep the tongue out of the way! We need to make sure we keep the tongue out of the way, too . . . we need to ask God to help us say only good things! Things like this (read off the words your child drew on craft sticks)

2. What kind of damage can fire do? How is the tongue like that? Use pretzels and cheese to make a “fire”. Eat the fire while talking about ways you can use your tongue for good and not evil.

Day Six

Do you know who Peter was? He was one of the disciples of Jesus. He was pretty outspoken as a disciple, and he became a strong leader in the church. He also wrote the books of 1 & 2 Peter.

To Read: 1 Peter 2:13-25 (1 Peter 2:24-25)

To Discuss: What are the main themes in these verses? What stands out to you the most?

To Do:

1. Jesus took our sins on him when he died on the cross! Help your child make a torn paper cross craft. Cut out the shape of a cross for him. Then give him several colors of construction paper (or tissue paper). Have him rip the paper up into tiny pieces and glue them on the cross.

2. According to these verses, we are to honor our leaders. How do we honor those in authority over us? Pick a government leader, write him an encouraging letter, and then spend time praying for him.

Week 11

Day One

Today we will continue on in Peter’s writings.

To Read: 2 Peter 3:3-18 (2 Peter 3:18)

To Discuss: What is going to happen in the last days? How is Jesus going to return? Why has Jesus waited so long to return? What should you do as you wait for Jesus to return?

To Do:

1. Just like we grow physically, we need to also grow spiritually! Look at some old pictures of your child with him. Talk about the ways he has grown. Then talk about how he can grow closer to Jesus, too. Sing the song “Read your Bible pray every day” with him.

2. Read “The Final Battle”, book 7 of the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. How does this book reflect the verses you read today?

Day Two

Now we are back to some books written by John, the disciple whom Jesus loved. Love is the theme of these books, too. Take a look.

To Read: 1 John 2:1-17 (1 John 2:6)

To Discuss: How does keeping God’s commandments show that we love Him? How should we treat others?

To Do:

1. Play a game of Simon Says with your child. Remember, always do what “Simon Says” to do! When you finish, talk about how we should always do what God tells us to do. How do we know what God tells us to do? By reading the Bible!

2. Close your eyes and try to walk around your house. Are you very successful? Why not? John is telling us in these verses that if we don’t love people, it is like we are stumbling around in the darkness . . . we will not be very successful at getting anywhere! Is there anyone you are having a hard time loving? Pray for that person today!

Day Three

And now on to 2 John . . .

To Read: 2 John (2 John 6)

To Discuss: What is the commandment we had from the beginning?

To Do:

1. Trace your child’s foot on a piece of paper. Help him cut out the foot. Then have him draw or write ways that he can follow God’s commandments inside the foot. If you have more than one child, hang all the feet up on a wall as if they were walking in a path. Pray together, asking God to help you all walk in His ways.

2. How do we show that we love God? We walk according to His commandments! How do we know His commandments? We read the Bible! You have done a great job reading the Bible through this reading plan . . . make plans now for how you are going to keep reading the Bible after you are finished with this plan.

Day Four

And 3 John . . .

To Read: 3 John (3 John 11)

To Discuss: What should you imitate? How can you do this?

To Do:

1. Play a “mirror” game with your child. Stand in front of your child, and your child has to imitate everything you do . . . doing exactly what you do and how you do it. (Older children would have fun and a bit more of a challenge if you have them “mirror” what you do . . . they have to do it as if they are a mirror image of you). Talk about what it means to imitate what is good.

2. Write the words “imitate what is good” on an index card and tape it to your mirror. Remind yourself of that every time you look into the mirror.

Day Five

Jude was another one of Jesus’s brothers. He also came to believe in Jesus, and he wrote the book of Jude.

To Read: Jude (Jude 20-21)

To Discuss: How are you to behave in these last days?

To Do:

1. Make heart shaped cookies with your child today to remind him to live in the love of God!

2. These verses say to build yourselves up in faith. Play a game of Jenga . . . stacking the blocks carefully. When the blocks fall over, discuss some of the things that make people fall away from the faith. How can you make sure you don’t fall?

Day Six

This is so exciting! We have finally reached the last book of the Bible! This book was written by John. He was sent off to an island for his belief in Jesus, and, while on that island, he had a vision of the end of time and of heaven! Let’s end our reading plan by reading from the very last chapter of the very last book of the Bible!

To Read: Revelation 22 (Revelation 22:12-13)

To Discuss: How many times does Jesus say he is coming quickly? Why hasn’t he come yet? (remember what we’ve read earlier!) How do you feel when you think about his coming?

To Do:

1. Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. Sing the alphabet song with your child. Then go through each letter of the alphabet and say one thing that you learned about God that starts with each letter. (You might have to help with this – and it’s okay if you don’t get all the letters. This is just meant to be a fun way to review all that you have read together!)

2. These verses refer to the “water of life” that is available to all who are thirsty. What do you think this means? Drink some nice, refreshing water today (or have extra fun and make a smoothie). Discuss this chapter while you are drinking the smoothie!

Congratulations on finishing this Bible Reading Plan!! Find other Bible Reading Plans here.

brothers-feet4

A Bible Lesson for Easter

A free Bible lesson for your family over Matthew 28:1-15. Includes a game, discussion questions, craft ideas, cross-curricular activities, and more!

Today I want to share with you a special Bible lesson that you can do with your family during Easter. This is from a 7 week Easter study that I wrote specifically for families. The lesson I am sharing today is just one of the days of this study — the study is broken down into 7 weeks, with 5 lessons in each week. Each lesson has an opening activity, a Bible lesson, additional activities, and activities to help you extend the Easter focus into other areas of the curriculum.

If you enjoy this lesson, perhaps you would like to use the entire study this year. You can find our more about that here.

Have a great Easter season — and enjoy the lesson!

Cheri

 The Feast: A 7 Week Easter Study for Families

Week Six, Day Five

Matthew 28:1-15

The Appetizer:

Gather marbles or ping pong balls (or another small round ball) and cups. Have one person hold the cup at the end of the table so that the mouth of the cup is just touching the table, making a “basket” for the ball. The other people should stand at the other end of the table and roll the ball across the table. The goal is to get the ball into the cup with one roll.

After everyone has had a chance to try, say: Today we are going to read more about how the stone was rolled away from the tomb, and we are going to see what the reaction was by the guards and the Jewish leaders.

The Meal:

As you read this passage, have family members use action figures or dolls to act it out.

Read Matthew 28:1-15. Use the following questions to aid in your discussion:

1. Who came down from heaven and rolled away the stone? What did he look like?

2. What was the response of the soldiers to the earthquake and angel? Why do you think this was their response? When they regained their senses, who did they report to? Why?

3. How did the Chief priests decide to respond to what had happened at the tomb? How does that affect us still today?

NOTE: The Chief priests KNEW Jesus had risen from the dead. How could they deny it? They were the only ones who had remembered that He had prophesied that very thing, they had placed a guard at the tomb, and they had the guards’ eyewitness testimonies of what had happened. Now they were creating a cover-up to hide the facts . . . a conspiracy theory that is still believed to this day. This shows that they truly had hard hearts. They refused to acknowledge the truth. Do you know anyone today who has all the facts but refuses to acknowledge the truth? Discuss.

4. The guards were paid money to say they had fallen asleep and the disciples had stolen the body. Why was this such an unlikely story? What did the Chief priests promise they would do if the governor heard about their story? I’m guessing that the Chief priests may have had to bribe the governor, too.

NOTE: If the guards had really fallen asleep, they should have been punished for their incompetence. They should have lost their jobs and possibly their lives.

The Dessert:

Choose from the following activities:

1. Act out this passage of Scripture with your family. Make your own costumes and have fun with this! If you cannot use costumes or if you have a small family, make each character out of toilet paper tubes or a different material that you have on hand and act it out that way.

2. The angel rolled the stone away. Go outside and have some fun rolling around. Find a hill and roll down it, or have races to see who can roll the furthest. You could also use Easter eggs and have an Easter egg roll race.

3. Decorate Easter eggs as a reminder that Jesus rose from the dead.

4. Make another empty tomb craft. Try one of the ones here or here.

5. It sure looks like the Chief Priests had a lot of money! First, they paid Judas to betray Jesus. Then they paid off the guards, and they possibly paid off the governor, too. How do you think they got all their money? Make your own play money today. Discuss how money can become a problem in our lives. We need to make sure that we do not love money more than Jesus!

Extended Activities for Day Five

Language Arts:

1. Choose from the following journal prompts:

  •  Write a journal entry from the perspective of the guards.
  • Describe the appearance of the angel.
  • Write about the danger of loving money more than Jesus.
  • Write a response to people who say that Jesus did not really rise from the dead but that the disciples stole the body while the guards were asleep.

2. Find the similes in verse 3. Write your own sentence containing similes.

3. This version of what happened is slightly different from the version we read yesterday. That is okay – in fact, it gives credibility! Matthew is writing the details he wants his readers to remember, and even though they are slightly different from the details we read yesterday, they are still accurate. Compare and contrast today’s reading with yesterday’s.

History/Geography:

1. Research what the penalty would have been for soldiers who fell asleep while on the job.

2. Find Galilee on a Bible map. Make your own map of Galilee.

3. Make a timeline for the events from the night Jesus was betrayed until He rose again.

4. Research other situations in history where people have been bribed to tell lies.

Science:

1. Study earthquakes.

2. Study lightning.

3. Study the emotion of fear and what it can do to the human body.

Math:

1. The passage we read today says that an angel of the Lord descended from heaven. Let’s practice descending numbers today. Start at a number and count down by 1’s, 2’s, 3’s, 5’s, 10’s, 15’s, etc.

2. The soldiers were given money to lie about what had happened. Spend time studying money today. What would the currency have been back then? What would a large sum of money have been? Compare that to today’s currency.

Outreach Ideas:

1. Collect money for a worthy cause.

2. Make Easter cards and send them out to people you know.

*****************

easter widget