Women Embracing Faith

Thinking Through the Bible

A Bowl, A Spoon, and A Pitcher March 22, 2011

Filed under: Bible Story For Children,Teaching Tips — womenembracingfaith @ 3:25 pm
Tags: ,

One of “seven laws of teaching” I quoted in Old Paths For Little Feet( p. 97) is “Use the known to teach the unknown.” The Bible is real good at this. It uses the tangible to teach the intangible. Something from everyday life to illustrate a spiritual principle. Here is an example:

‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is ‘born’ again he cannot see the kingdom of God. …Do not marvel that I said to you, “You must be born again.” The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit (John 3:4).

Jesus was showing Nicodemus the role of the Holy Spirit in one’s salvation experience. Without the Holy Spirit’s work in our hearts none of us can know God. He used the wind to help Nicodemus understand the work of the Spirit upon the heart.

Fear not, O Jacob my servant, Jeshurun whom I have chosen. For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will put my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. They shall spring up among the grass like willows by flowing streams (Isaiah 44:2-4).

In this Old Testament passage, the Holy Spirit’s work is illustrated by water. He is like a stream or flowing water bringing blessings upon dry, parched hearts.

God’s sovereignty is always balanced with the truth of man’s responsibility. The two truths are like parallel train tracks, running along beside each other, but never intersecting or crossing the other one out. The Holy Spirit actually renews our hearts, gives us faith, but we are to watch our hearts carefully, and observe the fruit it is producing.

Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life (Proverbs 4:23).

Sometimes we have to stir up our hearts to serve the Lord Jesus and to love him more. We do this through praying, reading and studying our Bible, singing, and serving.

USE THE TANGIBLE TO TEACH THE INTANGIBLE. USE THE PHYSICAL TO TEACH THE SPIRITUAL.

Try this with your children: Put some flour in a large bowl. Let them stir the dry flour. Keep repeating “STIR.” Then let them pour water into the bowl. Keep repeating POUR. STIR, POUR, DRY, WATER. Start with simple vocabulary. “Look what happens to the dry flour. It becomes soft and moist. Our hearts are like this. They are dry and hard. God has to pour his Spirit upon us so our hearts will soften and love him.”

Then, read these verses quoted above out loud, sing a song, and pray. I did this in Children’s Church with ages 5-10. We are learning to sing “O Can It Be” by Charles Wesley to stir our hearts so we can love, worship, and obey God more.

Amazing love! How can it be that Thou, my God, should die for me?
‘Tis mercy all! Let earth adore, let angel minds inquire no more.
‘Tis mercy all! Immense and free! for O my God it found out me.

Advertisements
 

On A Clear Night December 15, 2010

Filed under: Bible Story For Children,Teaching Tips — womenembracingfaith @ 3:41 am
Tags: , ,

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.