Why the good news of Jesus will change your life. A guide to the gospel.
This past Sunday we continued with the next ‘I AM’ statement that Jesus made, which is in John 8:12 – “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”
Isn’t it fascinating how fear and evil are associated with darkness? Without someone even telling our children, they learn to fear the dark and what it can represent or contain. How encouraging it is then to hear Jesus announce that he is the Light of the world, and that in him, we will never be in darkness.
We explained what Jesus meant by saying that he is the light. No, he doesn’t mean that he is a torch, or a solar charged lantern. Light is the source of life. We need light to live. Plants need light to grow. Light reveals truth. It does not allow something to hide. When there is light, we feel capable of doing things. So the same applies to Jesus. He gives life to us and he reveals all truth. He is our only source of life. We all need to know how much we need Jesus.
We also explained how we can be stuck in darkness. Our sins can leave us in darkness. Distance from Jesus makes us feel like we are in darkness without much hope. But the joy of the Gospel is that Jesus brings light into our life, he removes the darkness (sin) and he gives us life.
We had fun exploring this using glow in the dark paint, solar jars and items hidden in dark boxes.
You can continue exploring this I AM statement with your children. Use solar lights or teach them about plants needing the sun. Remind your children when they may be feeling down or discouraged that Jesus is our light and if we come to him, we feel life.
We have a Lesotho Big Weekend coming up in September. Please pray with your children for this time.
We are looking forward to the next ‘I AM’ statement from Jesus.
– The Children’s Church team
“He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces.”
“The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name.”
1 Corinthians 15:55
“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
We’re two weeks away from Easter Weekend. This means we ought to be thinking about what it all means and teaching our children, like we do at Christmas time, that there is more to this story than meets the eye. Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday are two days that represent the pinnacle of what our faith in Christ revolves around – the day he died and the day he was raised; the day our sins were forgiven forever and the day death and Satan were conquered. Sometimes we see Easter as a holiday time and another round of public holidays on the calendar, but we don’t really spend time dwelling on it. If you think about how much you dwell on Christmas when that comes around, you’ll probably find that Easter gets a lot less airtime in your own walk with Christ. Why is that?
The fact is that Jesus died and rose again and it really happened in history. If someone died tomorrow and rose from the dead three days later, I bet you would be pretty shocked. And whatever that person had to say you would deem to be mighty important. But sometimes I think the familiarity of Easter causes us to forget what we ought to be doing with it. As Christians, we are to always look back at what Jesus did so that we can see what He is doing today, and so we can look forward to what He will do – wipe away tears from all faces. We are to live in the story of Easter.
Easter means we no longer have to search for God. He meets us in Jesus. He met us on the cross when Jesus took the punishment of sin for us, so that our conscience is clear when we put our faith in Him, and we are free. We do not live trying to stack up enough good works to impress God so that we will escape judgement. In Jesus, by faith in Him, we have passed through judgement and have already received eternal life.
Here’s a question for you to think about as we lead up to Easter:
Are your sins forgiven? Or are you trying to pay for them yourself?
Scripture teaches us how important the cornerstone is when building. A building can stand strong or straight with a solid cornerstone set in place. As scripture teaches us (Psalm 118), the same applies to Jesus. He is our cornerstone and without him in our lives, we will be weak and will struggle. Our focus on Sunday was on Jesus, our cornerstone, and how we need to know who he truly is.
One key focus was looking at some of the titles given to Jesus. Is he just a carpenter, a Nazarene, a wise teacher, a prophet? Or is he the Son of God, the Messiah, the promised Saviour of all mankind? It can be easy to answer this question, but do we live with such conviction? We wanted to teach your children that Jesus is more than just a nice man, or a smart one, or a charismatic leader. Jesus is our King, our Saviour, our Cornerstone… and he wants to be with us and we should want to be with him.
Read or re-tell Matthew 16:13-17 to your children. It is the story where Jesus asks his disciples who they think he is. Ask your children the same question and see what they say, and more importantly why they say it. Saying the right thing doesn’t mean one believes it. Our hope is that you get to spend time, many times, talking to your children about who Jesus is. Our teachers really enjoy it but you should enjoy it more, and try it more. And let them know who Jesus is to you and why you believe so.
– The Children’s Church team
We have our hope in Jesus as an anchor of the soul. These few words have been ringing in my head and my heart (Nicole) for a few months now. In such uncertain times: the crime stats, terrorist attacks happening in the world, all the political changes locally and in America and all over the world, we can lose our hope. We become so focused on the problems that we take our eyes off Jesus and find ourselves wallowing in fear.
Anchors date back by millennia. The first anchors were most likely made out of rock. Ancient Greeks most likely used a basket filled with large sacks of sand and stone to anchor their boats. It was only in about 1813 where it got the shape which everyone knows these days.
Regardless of how the anchor has been made, its function has always remained the same. It prevents the ship from moving around when the waters are unstable.
Hebrews 6:19 says, “We have this as a strong and trustworthy anchor for the souls, a hope that enters us into the inner place behind the curtain. How wonderful that God is our hope. We can put our hope and trust in Him because He keeps His promises.”
This week we focused on “God is our hope”. He is that anchor that keeps us secure. In our children’s church lesson we looked at many people in scripture who were given a promise by God. Abraham, Daniel, Esther and even the disciples. They were given promises of God’s protection, His promise that He will give us strength, His promise that He sent Jesus to save us. The amazing thing with all these characters is that God kept His promise and He still does. Knowing that God always keeps His promises and He can not lie makes it all so much easier for us to find our hope in Him.
As families let’s be encouraged to put our hope in God. Where God has given you as a family promises, write them up in your house, remind yourselves of them. Rejoice with your children that God says He will protect us, He will provide for us, He will save us, He will give us boldness and courage. Acknowledge as a family when God answers His promises and when the tough times come, put your hope in Him.
Much love! – The Cornerstone Children Church team