Women Embracing Faith

Thinking Through the Bible

ADVENT CONTINUED December 29, 2010

Filed under: Bible Story For Children,Teaching Tips — womenembracingfaith @ 4:29 pm

Anna and Simeon saw Mary and Joseph coming into the Temple with a month old baby boy. Both of these old people had been waiting expectantly for the Promised One. They knew their Bible. They remembered God’s promise to Adam and Eve of a Seed to come; they knew about Abraham and the stars; they had read about the importance of David’s descendents in God’s bringing about His promised Savior. So they waited, and prayed, and hoped. Then when they saw Jesus, somehow they KNEW…..(See Luke 2:22-38).

TEACHING TIP
Always apply the Bible story’s main point to your child’s everyday life, heart, and spiritual experiences….even if they are only three!

Here is an example: Are we waiting expectantly for Jesus to come back? One day we will look up and see Him coming. We will join the big parade for the KING of the whole world. Do you believe that Jesus will come back? Does it make you excited, glad, hopeful —or afraid? Those who have trusted in Him all their lives will be happy to see their friend and KING.

This last week of Advent focuses on the returning King who is worthy of all our praise. “O Come Let Us Adore Him” is an easy chorus to stir our hearts to love God more. It is important to “warm our hearts” with the application of the biblical principle. All of us are affected by music. Adoration is one aspect of love. Music is one way to apply the scripture.

This focus completes the emphasis on the gospel in the Christmas story to our families. Don’t let these teaching opportunities slip away.

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On A Clear Night December 15, 2010

Filed under: Bible Story For Children,Teaching Tips — womenembracingfaith @ 3:41 am
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It is always important we all remind ourselves that the Bible is made up of many books tied together by one theme. That theme, of course, is Jesus–his essence, his life, death, resurrection, and his coming again. Look for that theme no matter which book you’re reading. See it in the Psalms. Look for his righteousness in the Proverbs.

TEACHING TIP
We have had some cold clear nights lately. This is a perfect time to bundle up and take a walk with a child. Talk about the stars and planets for awhile, and how God created it all for his own glory–to reflect something of his power, goodness, and grace. In a way, the stars are like the rainbow. They remind us that God always keeps his promises. Then tell them the story of Abraham. How God told him to look up at the stars and try to count them. Abraham couldn’t begin;there were so many. Then God told him his family would be like the stars—so many, a big family. That sounded ridiculous because Abraham and Sarah had no children. None. But, Abraham believed God could keep that promise. God declared Abraham perfect—righteous—excused from any and all of his sins!

And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward the heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them. Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness.” (Genesis 15:5-6).

The rest of the Old Testament tells how that promise was kept. His family always had this example of God’s promise and Abraham’s faith that God do what he said. Everytime you look up at the stars, remember how God kept his promise to Abraham and will keep his word always. He never lies or deceives others like we sometimes do. Have you ever tried to get away with something you knew was wrong? To look really innocent…. That is a way of lying, and it shows you that you need a Savior too–just like Abraham. Even Abraham lied. I have told a lie myself. That’s why we, everyone in the world, needed Jesus to come, live without lying, die, and come back alive.

God let others from Abraham’s family know Him and, over the years, made more and more promises to them about the coming of Jesus. He would be born into this family, descended from Abraham and his one son, Isaac. He would be born in Bethlehem. He would be put to bed into a feeding trough where the barn animals ate! Whenever you look up at the stars, remember these two stories of Abraham’s faith and Jesus’ birth are connected. Everyone who is fully convinced that God is able to do what he promises will be saved.
Looking at the stars as we walk and talk with a child can remind us all that God keeps his promises always. Even a young child can understand this simple biblical principle and have the stars to always remind him of God’s faithfulness and plan of salvation …

“For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them” (Romans 1:19).
“For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17).

TEACHING TIP
Speak directly to the child about his and your own sin. Then lead them immediately to the hope and comfort found only in the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Home or Church Responsibility? December 1, 2010

Filed under: Family Life — womenembracingfaith @ 2:17 am
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BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES FOR FAMILY EVANGELISM

Isn’t evangelism the church’s responsibility? If you saw your child slipping off a cliff into a black hole, would you wait for the guide to grab him? Help is one thing. Leaving our children’s eternity in the hands of “strangers” or even friends in the church is out of the question, don’t you think?

This is the kind of reasoning that is leading to abandonment of Sunday School programs, mentoring relationships between the generations, or other church programs designed to specifically call children to faith in Christ Jesus and a life pleasing to Him. The result is a swing from “leaving it all to the church” to placing the entire burden of evangelism on the family. This burden is hard to bear alone. Many families respond with a shrug of their shoulders at yet another load to bear and fall into sitting together once a week (or month!) and attending traditional holiday services together. Morality and tradition that fits into the prevailing culture results. This is a far cry from true evangelism where Christ Jesus is exalted in the home and each family member lives for Christ.

Both approaches are out of balance and a departure from biblical orthodoxy. Paul tells Timothy that the church is a household, is God’s, and is a pillar and buttress of the truth (I Timothy 3:14-15). It is supposed to support and defend the gospel–to constantly remind everyone that God sovereignly changes lives, calling each person in the family to turn from their own sins and rely on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, the One who was promised from the very beginning. The church, not the family, is the one chiefly responsible for the guarding of the gospel.

“If the proper order is observed within the confinement of a true Bible congregation, the family will be sufficiently augmented with grounded principles, precepts and patterns of spiritual growth and life.” (Roger Hargrave, GraceWorx Ministries, Summer, 2010). italics mine.

It takes two for effective evangelism within the family. The biblical balance is both the church and the family working together to bring up children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Principle 1: Don’t go it alone. Raise your children in active participation within a local church functioning as close to the New Testament description as possible.