Join us as we help the kids in our city!
One of the struggles we fight against is fear. Think of the many things that cause us to fear daily: finances, crime, health, our future, job security etc. It is not difficult to feel afraid in life. The exact same happens with our children. They too become fearful, anxious and uncertain about many things. Knowing this applies to all of us, it is so comforting to know that God says He will be our peace. When we are unsettled by whatever circumstance, God assures us that He will be our peace and help us to display such peace for others to see.
Our desire this week was to help our children understand how God is our provider of peace. We looked at some of the things in their life that can affect their feelings; things that can cause fear, uncertainty and insecurity. Those things are real. But then we looked at what Jesus told His disciples in John 14:27. He says, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” Jesus promises that He will not leave us alone but will give us the Holy Spirit, and in Him we find peace.
We looked at the story in the gospels where Jesus calmed the storm. It must have been a massive storm knowing that fishermen were petrified on the boat. Yet Jesus, in one command, stops the storm and brings peace. He longs to speak such commands into our life and bring peace. Our response is that we need to turn to Him and trust Him in all circumstances.
When we live with peace we can also show it. We also encouraged the children to ask God to help them to show peace to others. Jesus says blessed are the peacemakers (Matthew 5). We must also learn to show peace to others.
Once again this term we want to emphasise that the worries we face are real, but our victory in God is real too. Help your children when they are feeling insecure or fearful to remember who gives them peace. Don’t tell them that help comes from money or a good government or a safe country. Those are beneficial, but ultimate peace that weathers any storm comes from Jesus. There is such great security that our children can live in if we point to Jesus during the storms, however life-threatening they may seem.
This week, my son, Nathan went outside on his own in the dark and I heard him saying, “I’m not afraid because I have Jesus in my heart.” For some that seems menial. For him it was a massive victory. He defeated a fear because he knew Jesus was with him. There are more victories to be had for all of our children.
– Greg, Nicole and the Children’s Church team
One the greatest gifts given to us is also one of the hardest gifts for us to give: forgiveness. We respond with amazement and gratitude to God when we understand the love, security and genuineness of God’s forgiveness towards us. It is only because God chose to forgive us of our sins that we can embark in an intimate relationship with Him. Scripture says that while we were still enemies to God, Jesus died for all so that we could be forgiven. This was the incredible truth we taught this Sunday at Children’s Church.
Scripture is full of stories and explanations teaching us about God’s forgiveness. We focused on the story of the prodigal son. Despite the way the son disrespected and dishonoured his father, the father patiently waited every day for the son’s return. When his hope was made a reality and his son returned, the father didn’t say, “I told you so” or, “I will think about taking you back”. The father accepted his son as his son and chose to love him completely despite what he did. This is our God to us. Our children heard about how God wants to forgive us of sins and will if we ask him.
We taught how we cannot remove our sins despite any of our best efforts. No good works can remove our sins and the consequences of our sins. Only Jesus can remove our sins from us. We used a creative analogy using a mirror to teach this (view the curriculum if interested).
We also taught that we too are to forgive others for things they have done to us. Jesus teaches us to forgive because we have been forgiven. How can we be so graciously forgiven by God and then not forgive others?
Living in a family dynamic, we are sure that you are aware that the need to practice forgiveness can be on a daily basis. One of the best ways to teach forgiveness is to practice forgiveness. So, when your children misbehaves in whatever manner, address their behaviour, but then forgive them and let them know it. After that, don’t remind them of their wrongs and expose their errors, but allow them to move forward in the forgiveness you have given.
Help your children to practice forgiveness too. They may need to even forgive you. Don’t force your children to forgive (that isn’t real) but teach them the freedom that comes in forgiving others. Forgiveness can be difficult but God graciously forgives us and also teaches us how to forgive.
We pray that your family will experience freedom living in God’s forgiveness and the forgiveness you display to others.
– The Children’s Church team
It comes as quite a shock how, in society today, so many people struggle with depression. People are constantly searching to be happy and sadly they seek happiness in temporal sources. We are aware that our children face the same struggles and therefore our focus this week is how God is our Joy. God gives us joy that is greater than a temporal happiness and that cannot be taken away.
We explained to the children how the joy that God gives to us is far greater than the emotion of happiness. Some days we may feel sad, we feel insecure or angry, but when we find our joy in who God is and what He does for us, despite how we are feeling, that joy cannot be lost. We have grown up hearing fairy tales ending with, “And they lived happily ever after.” We explained how this belief is often misunderstood. We looked at Paul in the New Testament as an example. From a sinful life he is miraculously saved and as the myth goes, “And so he lived happily ever after.” This however was not true. Paul faced prison, shipwreck, abuse, and more. That doesn’t sound so “happily ever after”. However, Paul does claim to be full of joy, knowing that his joy is found in Jesus. He was a great example of how despite what life throws at us, our joy in Jesus cannot be taken away. This joy is our salvation, our relationship with Jesus and our hope in all of His promises.
Be aware of the emotions that your children experience and as we have taught throughout the term, remind your children who God is to them. When they are afraid, God is their courage. When they are unsure, God is their faith. When they are sad, God is their joy. Keep reminding your children who God is. As your children are challenged with emotions, help them see what it is and apply how God helps us find life and strength to move forward. And remind your children how God’s joy can never be taken away.
We hope that your joy will be made more alive in God as you see your children live in God’s joy.
– Children’s Church team
“For yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.”
This week with our children we came to the final lines of the Lord’s Prayer that Jesus taught. Remember, Jesus is teaching us how to pray and also what to pray about. These final lines emphasise the supremacy of our God. This is an incredible conclusion that we are to make in all of our prayers: God is in complete control, He carries complete power and in all that happens, in however God answers our prayers, He will have the glory.
A key point we focused on this week was the power that Jesus displayed in overcoming sin and defeating death and the grave in his resurrection. In his resurrection we find our victory and because of his resurrection we can confidently pray to God and trust him to hear and answer our prayers as he wills. We truly want our children to come to the understanding of why Jesus went to the cross and the significance of his resurrection. Once we understand the incomparable power of our God, our faith in him grows when we pray.
Remind your children that Jesus is alive. Remind them that our God has all power and that all things are possible for our God. Because of this knowledge, we need to pray, pray and pray. Keep reminding your children of the previous lessons taught. We hope that you are seeing more life in your family prayer life. We have definitely seen great growth in our children praying this term.
There are two more weeks to go for this term which we know will be as exciting as the previous eight.
– Children’s Church team
Many times in prayer we may have asked our Father, “Lord, let your will be done”. We can often say that without actually thinking about the consequence of this prayer and the response it needs from us. Are we willing to lay down our agenda, our method, our wishes, no matter how good they sound, if God says we ought to do things differently – His way?
This was the focus for Children’s Church this Sunday. Matthew 6:10 says, “Your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven”.
Our children were taught how we, as people, feel so proud and successful when we get things right, e.g. win a game, answer correctly, fix a problem etc. We are happy that our efforts were right. But many times we are also wrong. What then? Well, we know that God’s will, His effort and plans are always right and He is always successful.
Jesus taught us to ask the Father to let His plans happen and that we would seek His plan and that we would obey, no matter how we may disagree or how strange God’s plan may sound. We looked at the example of Joshua and how God told him to march around the city of Jericho, blow their trumpet, and then the walls would fall down. Surely no person would have come up with that idea, but that was God’s plan, and Joshua asked that God’s will be done, obeyed, and the walls fell down.
So we explained that we need to speak to God, constantly seeking His plans, His thoughts, His advice and His leadership, for He will never fail.
As you continue to pray with your children, this week begin asking God to share His will for us personally, for your family and for the Church. I believe that God will give incredible ideas to our children and to your mom and dad on how every day in our different environments, be it school or work, we can live out God’s plans.
Ask your children what they think God wants to do in different situations. Let’s all learn to seek His will first. Also, speak to your children about the faith that God gives us to obey Him, like to obey and march around the city wall.
We cannot wait to hear and see the amazing decisions that our children will make in obeying God that will impact our city with such life. Different crafts were made to remember the story of Joshua. They looked wonderful.
– Children’s Church team