Theme: Finding Love in Every Story
Love: Choosing to treat others the way you want to be treated
Memory Verse: “In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins. 1 John 4:10 (RSV)
Love is a reflection of the character of God.
God is love. As we read through God’s One Big Story in the Bible, we see an epic love story unfold that started in a garden with a perfect relationship between God and His creation. When Adam and Eve sinned and broke that relationship, God didn’t give up on creation. His love for us drove Him to make the ultimate sacrifice: sending His one and only Son, Jesus to pay the ultimate price to make it possible for us to be with God forever.
Because we are created in God’s image, we have the capacity to love. Every time we choose to treat others the way we want to be treated, we show others a glimpse into the perfect love God has for each and every one of us.
Jesus is the ultimate example of love.
When God sent Jesus to earth, Jesus showed us exactly what it means to love. Jesus prioritized love above everything else. When the Pharisees asked Jesus about the greatest commandment, He reached into the 600+ laws of the Old Testament and took a law that existed about your neighbor and He linked it to loving God. Jesus said, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul. Love him with all your mind . . . and Love your neighbor as yourself,’ (Mark 12:30-31 NIrV). Our relationship with Jesus changes how we love God, love others, and even love ourselves. Love, above all else, was what Jesus stressed most.
That’s why we think it’s important for us to help our kids and families discover more about Love—choosing to treat others the way you want to be treated.
We want our students to learn a verse that gives them the essence of why love is important. Love isn’t just something we demonstrate because it’s a good thing to do. Love doesn’t even start with us. We love because God loves us. Love is an essential part of who God is and how God interacts with the world. We love others because of the capacity He put within us to love. His love drove Him to sacrifice His only Son on our behalf to make the relationship between us right again.
We will spend the month of February taking a closer look at the way love shows up throughout the Gospels in how Jesus interacts with others.
We start off the month looking at love in Mark 4:35-41 as we look at a familiar story from a different point of view. Jesus and His disciples were out on the sea when a flash storm struck fear into the disciples. Jesus showed love for His disciples. He calmed the storm and showed that He can be trusted no matter what.
Bottom Line: Comfort others who are hurting. We meet people every day who need comfort. We pray that as kids discover how Jesus showed love in comforting His disciples during the storm, they will start to become aware of ways they can show love and comfort people in their lives. We can all learn to encourage people in our lives and show them how much God cares about their needs.
Next, we will learn about God’s perfect love. In John 15:12-13, we discover that Jesus showed us love in the most sacrificial way possible, by laying down His life for us. Jesus asks us to love one another, just as He loved us in the way we sacrifice for our friends.
Bottom Line: Love others because Jesus loves you. As kids learn about Jesus’ sacrificial love for us, we pray they will start to understand how they can show love sacrificially to the people in their lives. Showing love to others will not always be convenient. When we begin to see our potential to love in light of Jesus’ love for us, we will understand that showing love, even when it’s difficult, is worth all the effort.
We finish the month in Luke 10:25-37. When Jesus told the Pharisee’s “Love your neighbor as you love yourself,” they shot back with another question. “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus went on to tell the story of the Good Samaritan. When faced with the decision to ignore an enemy or have compassion, the Samaritan chose to set aside His differences and show love.
Bottom Line: Love others because they matter to God. We won’t always get along with everyone we meet, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t deserving of God’s love. Through this story, we pray that kids will see that all people matter to God, and we should show His love to everyone we meet.
Taken from 252 Basics Orange
Math Night was so much fun! The directions for the games are below.
Addition Cards: Students turn over two cards and add the numbers together. Students can write the math problem or answer with dry erase markers. We used plastic plates from the Dollar Tree last night. Uno Cards (or any other cards with numbers) and/or dominoes can be used.
Made Ten: Students roll a dice and think of the number they need to make 10. For example, if you roll a 4, you would need 6 to make 10.
Hot Wheels Addition: Students roll two dice and add the numbers together. Then they drive a Hot Wheels race car to the number on the road.
What will you be wearing 10 years after you graduate?
Theme: Know More. Do More.
Knowledge: Learning something new so you can be better at whatever you do
“Your work is like a lamp that shows me the way. It is like a light that guides me.”
Knowledge is a response to the character of God.
When kids turn about four years old they start asking, “Why?” It’s like suddenly a switch flips and they begin to string together their questions in an attempt to understand everything around them. And this continues throughout life. Watch an eight-year-old for very long and you can become convinced that everyone is wired with a natural curiosity to discover what we don’t know and go where we haven’t been.
God designed people in such a unique way—different from the rest of creation—to pursue finding the answers to life’s hidden secrets. The very fact that we naturally pursue knowledge is proof that there is a God. It’s actually genius that God would make us in such a way that we are always discovering, wondering, exploring, innovating, improving, and solving. He wants us to pursue knowing more, because He wants us to know Him more.
The most important thing you can do for young kids is to invite them into the story about a really big God. It’s a story that will always be bigger than they can explain or imagine, but God invites them to spend a lifetime discovering who He is and how He loves them.
Jesus helps us know God better.
If you want to know who God is and how God loves, look to Jesus. When Jesus stepped foot onto the planet, God was once and for all with us. John writes this about Jesus, The Word became a human being. He made his home with us. We have seen his glory. It is the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father. And the Word was full of grace and truth. (John 1:14, NIrV). As we dig deeper into the story of Jesus, we discover more about how God desires a relationship with us and invites us to help Him spread the message of Jesus throughout the world. To do that, we need to know God through Jesus.
That’s why we think it’s important for us to help our kids and families discover more about knowledge—discovering something new so you can be better at whatever you do. We want kids to know that God is real, God made them and all things. We hope they leave this month believing that when they discover something new about God, they are learning the best way to win at life.
When we dig into God’s word, we start to know how God wants us to live. God’s words act like a lamp (Psalms 119:105) that shows us the next steps to take on our journey through life. God’s word points the way towards a growing relationship with Jesus.
We will spend the month of January taking a closer look at the way knowledge shows up throughout the Gospels.
We continue our look at knowledge in Luke 2:41-52 as we head to Jerusalem when Jesus was twelve years old. He had traveled to Jerusalem with his family for a festival. When Mary and Joseph began their journey home they realized Jesus wasn’t with them. So, they turned around and went all the way back to Jerusalem to find Jesus in the temple surrounded by priests and rabbis. Jesus recognized something very important. He knew that if He wanted to be a part of God’s story and know the secrets of the world around Him, He needed to be in a place where He could learn what His Father said.
Bottom Line: What God says is the most important thing to know. We need to keep learning what God says through His words. Through reading the Bible, we can hear what God wants us to know about the best way to live and in the process discover how to have a forever relationship with Him.
In John 1:19-42, we read John’s account of Jesus’ baptism. Jesus was about to start His public ministry. He shows up on the banks of the Jordan River where his cousin, John the Baptist, was baptizing people. John the Baptist recognized Jesus, not just as his cousin, but as God’s promised Savior. John understood God’s story and called out to the crowd, Look! The Lamb of God! He takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29, NIrV) That day, he pointed out to everyone who Jesus was and why they should know Jesus and start to follow Him.
Bottom Line: Discovering what God says helps you follow Jesus. The more we read God’s Word, the more we understand about who Jesus is and why He came to earth. God’s Word gives us clarity for what it means to believe in Jesus and follow Him with our lives.
Next, we head to Luke 4:1-13. After Jesus is baptized, God leads Him to the wilderness where Satan tempts Him. Satan twisted what Jesus knew about God and His Word. But Jesus knew Scripture backwards and forwards. Jesus leveraged what He knew from Scripture to use God’s truth to fight and win over evil.
Bottom Line: Discovering what God says helps you make the wise choice. When we read God’s word, we discover the truth about what God wants for our lives. And when we know that, it makes it easier for us to make the wise choice. We want kids to know God’s word and be able to use it to resist the temptation to do something wrong.
We end our month on knowledge in Matthew 11 where we find John the Baptist in prison. John wondered if Jesus was truly the Savior that God had promised and goes right to the Source to find out. Jesus responded with love and reassured John that all of God’s promises are coming true.
Bottom Line: When you don’t know what God says, ask. Even when you know God’s word, you may have questions about what God is doing in your life. We want kids to know that no question is too big for God. We pray that churches are creating environments where kids feel safe to ask hard questions about their faith. Let kids know that God will respond to their questions with love.
Taken from 252 Basics Orange