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June 4 – June 10, 2017

  • This Week: Mary Praised God / Mary Visited Elizabeth (Luke 1:26-38,46-55)
  • SWKIDS Memory Verse: “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” –Hebrews 11:6 
  • Christ Connection: Mary was willing to follow God’s plan, even though being Jesus’ mother would not be easy. Mary wanted to bring praise to God. Likewise, Jesus brought praise to His Father by willingly dying on the cross to save people from sin.
  • Family Discussion:

Questions to ask about the Bible story—

1. Who told Mary she was going to have a baby? (the angel Gabriel; Luke 1:26-27,31)

 

2. Mary was engaged to be married to whom? (Joseph, Luke 1:27)

 

3. How did Mary feel about the angel’s announcement? (afraid, deeply puzzled; Luke 1:29)

 

4. What did the angel say the baby’s name would be? (Jesus, Luke 1:31)

 

5. The angel said the baby would be whose Son? (God’s Son; Luke 1:32,35)

 

6. Who else did the angel say was going to have a baby? (Mary’s relative Elizabeth, Luke 1:36)

 

7. What special role would Elizabeth’s baby have? (He was going to be the messenger who would prepare the way for the Messiah, Luke 1:17)

 

8. What did Elizabeth’s baby do when Mary came to the house? (He leaped for joy, Luke 1:41)

 

9. How did Mary praise God? (with a song, Luke 1:46-55)

 

10. Big Picture Question: Who announced John’s birth? (The angel Gabriel told Zechariah that he would have a son.)

 

 

Questions to encourage personal connections—

1. When was a time that you received news that was so good, you almost didn’t believe it?

2. What is one of the most difficult things you have ever had to do? How do you usually react when asked to do something difficult? What can our reactions show others about God?

3. What is something that gives you great joy and reminds you of God’s goodness?

4. What are some things that you like to celebrate?

 

Activities and resources to deepen understanding and application—

1. Discuss together as a family:

  • How do you think Elizabeth’s baby knew Jesus was near?
  • How do you think Mary felt about being the Messiah’s mother?
  • Can you think of other difficult things God asks people to do?

2. Honor Mom by thanking her for specific things she does for each family member.

3. Work with your family to write a praise song to God (you can use a familiar tune that is meant for another song, but add your own words). Sing it together before meals, on the way to church, or before bed.

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May 28 – June 3, 2017

  • This Week: John’s Birth Was Predicted (Luke 1:5-25)
  • SWKIDS Memory Verse: “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” –Hebrews 11:6
  • Christ Connection: God sent John to be the last prophet before Jesus. John would tell people about the coming Savior. John’s job was to remind the people what God had said in the past and to get the people ready to meet Jesus.

 

 

 

  • Family Discussion:

 

Questions to ask about the Bible story—

 

1. What was Zechariah chosen to do? (serve in the temple by burning incense as an offering, Luke 1:9)

 

 

 

2. Big Picture Question: Who announced John’s birth? (The angel Gabriel told Zechariah that he would have a son.)

 

 

 

3. What did the angel say about John? (He would turn people back to God and prepare the way for Jesus, Luke 1:16-17)

 

 

 

4. Why didn’t Zechariah believe the angel? (He thought he and Elizabeth were too old, Luke 1:18)

 

 

 

5. What did Zechariah lose because he didn’t believe the angel’s message? (his voice, Luke 1:20)

 

 

 

Questions to encourage personal connections—

 

1. When do you have a difficult time being very quiet? What do you think it would be like to not be able to speak for months?

 

2.  Have you ever been late for something very important or have you ever missed something because you were not ready in time?

 

3. When was a time that you heard some very good news?  How did you feel?

 

 

 

Activities and resources to deepen understanding and application—

1. If you have saved birth announcements from when your children were born, take them out and look at them together.  Explain that parents often announce when they are expecting a baby or when the baby is born or adopted. Work together as a family to design a baby announcement for John. Include the baby’s name and gender, the parents’ names, and some words that describe John.

 

2. Look up how to say “I love you” in sign language.  Discuss how difficult it must have been for John to stay silent for so many months.  Together, learn several words or phrases in sign language.

 

3. Take turns sharing about some news that you heard that made you happy. Explain that God’s people knew God had promised a Messiah, and they were waiting for news of Him.

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May 21 – May 27, 2017

  • This Week: From Abraham to Jesus (Matthew 1: 1-17)
  • SWKIDS Memory Verse: “And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.” –Galatians 3:29
  • Christ Connection: Jesus came to earth as a baby in Bethlehem. Jesus had earthly parents, Mary and Joseph, but His true Father is God. Through Jesus, God kept His promises to Abraham and David. Jesus saves people from their sin and adopts them into God’s family.
  • Family Discussion:

Questions to ask about the Bible story—

1. Who were Jesus’ parents on earth? (Mary and Joseph, Matt. 1:20-21)

 

2. Who is Jesus’ true Father? (God the Father, Luke 1:35)

 

3. Name a king in Jesus’ family. (David, Solomon, Rehoboam, Abijah, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Joram, Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Amon, Josiah, Jechoniah; Matt. 1:6-11)

 

4. Name a woman in Jesus’ family tree. (Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba/Uriah’s wife, Mary; Matt. 1:3-6,16)

 

5. Whose family did God promise would be as numerous as the stars? (Abraham, Gen. 15:5)

 

6. Can we be a part of Jesus’ family? (Yes, when we believe in Jesus we are adopted into Jesus’ family; Gal. 4:5)

 

7. Big Picture Question: What makes Jesus different? (Jesus is God’s One and Only Son.)

 

Questions to encourage personal connections—

1. What do you think it was like for Jesus to leave heaven and come to earth as a tiny baby?

2. What do you know about your family history (your ancestors)? Do you know the names of your great-grandparents?  What about the names of your grandparents’ grandparents?

3. Can a person be famous without being important? Why do we remember some people from history and not others?

4. If you could meet any famous person, whether still alive or not, who would you choose? Who do you think is the most famous person in history?

 

Activities and resources to deepen understanding and application—

1. Discuss the different members of Jesus’ family. Read stories from the Bible about them.

2. Work together to construct your family tree. Experiment with an online genealogy site. Work with your kids to research your family heritage as far as you can. Is there anyone interesting or famous in your family tree?

3. Print a listing of children in foster care waiting on a home. Keep the list in your family vehicle. Pray as a family for a different child each time you find yourselves waiting.

 

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May 14 – 20, 2017

  • This Week: Malachi the Prophet (Malachi 1:6-14; 3:7-12; 4:4-6)
  • SWKIDS Memory Verse: “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” –Matthew 6:33
  • Christ Connection: Malachi was a messenger—a prophet—who told God’s people to repent. Malachi also told about another messenger God would send. This messenger, John the Baptist, would call people to repent and get them ready for a final Messenger, Jesus Christ. Jesus would bring good news of salvation.
  • Family Discussion:

Questions to ask about the Bible story—

1. In what way were the people becoming lazy with their worship? (The priests were offering to God stolen, lame, or sick animals instead of their best animals; Mal. 1:13)

 

2. Whom was God going to send? Who would come first? (God would send a Messiah to the people, but He would send a messenger to prepare the way first; Mal. 3:1)

 

3. What did God say when His people did not give an offering or tithe? (God said they were robbing Him by not offering a share of their wealth to Him, Mal. 3:8-10)

 

4. What did God promise if they would give generously? (to return blessing on them even more than they could count, Mal. 3:10-12)

 

5. What did God say the righteous people would be like? (playful, jumping calves; Mal. 4:2)

 

6. Big Picture Question: Does God keep His promises? (Yes, God is always faithful even when we are not.)

 

Questions to encourage personal connections—

1. When was a time that you received hand-me-downs from someone else? Do you prefer used things or new things?

2. When was a time that you were caught doing something you knew was disobedient?

3. What should your response be when you are caught doing the wrong thing? How can you show that you are truly repentant?

 

Activities and resources to deepen understanding and application—

1. Take turns sharing ways you each worship and connect with God.

2. As a family, discuss the following questions:

  • What are ways we can grow lazy in worshiping God?
  • How does God want us to give?Who was the messenger
  • Malachi prophesied about? (John the Baptist)

3. Volunteer as a family to clean up a walking trail or roadside in your city. Talk to your kids about what it meant for John to prepare the way for Jesus.

 

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May 8 – 13, 2017 

  • This Week: Ezra Read the Law (Nehemiah 8:1-12) 
  • SWKIDS Memory Verse: “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.” –Josh 1:8
  • Christ Connection: God’s Word is powerful. When Ezra read God’s Word, the people changed their ways and loved God more. The Bible says that Jesus is “the Word.” Jesus is God who came to live with people on earth. Jesus has the power to change our hearts.
  • Family Discussion:

Questions to ask about the Bible story—

1. How many chapters are in the Book of Nehemiah? (13 chapters)

 

2. What division of the Bible is the Book of Nehemiah in? (Old Testament History)

 

3. What book of the Bible comes before Nehemiah? (Ezra)

 

4. What book of the Bible comes after Nehemiah? (Esther)

 

5. What country had taken the Jews captive? (Babylon, Neh. 7:6)

 

6. Where did the people of Israel meet to hear God’s law read? (the city gate, Neh. 8:1)

 

7. Who read God’s Word to the people? (Ezra, Neh. 8:1)

 

8. How did the people respond when they heard God’s law? (They wept, Neh. 8:9)

 

9. What did Ezra and Nehemiah tell the people to do? (to not be sad but to celebrate, Neh. 8:10)

 

10. What made the Jews so glad? (They understood God’s Word, Neh. 8:12)

 

 

11. Big Picture Question: Does God keep His promises? (Yes, God is always faithful even when we are not.)

 

Questions to encourage personal connections—

1. What are some of your favorite books? What kind of books do you like to read and why do you like them?

2. Have you ever practiced something hard until it became easy?

3. Have you ever broken a rule because you didn’t know what the rules were? Can you think of a situation where you didn’t follow instructions and it caused problems for you?

 

Activities and resources to deepen understanding and application—

1. Brainstorm reasons that knowing God’s Word can be helpful.

2. As a family, discuss the following questions:

  • What makes the Bible different from every other book?
  • Who are some people who help us understand God’s Word?
  • When might we feel sad when reading God’s Word?
  • What do we know from the Bible that gives us a reason to celebrate?
  • When can you read the Bible together as a family?

3. Make a plan and spend time this week reading God’s Word.

4. Memorize a Bible verse through the course of the week. Practice your verse during family meals.

5. Purchase Bibles to be sent to a place where people do not have ready access to God’s Word. 

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