Kids Ministry as Forest Lake

Category: Weekly Devotions (Page 1 of 9)

The Bronze Snake

Big Idea: When we sin, we can turn back to God and be forgiven because of Jesus.

Bible Passage: Numbers 20-21

This week the kids learned that the people of God once again chose not to trust Him. The people complained to Moses about the food and water, and spoke out against God. God sent snakes into the camp of the people because of their sin. When the people repented, and Moses prayed to God on behalf of the people, God made a way for them to be saved. God told Moses to put a bronze snake up on a pole, and all who looked at the bronze snake would be saved from the venomous snakes.

We talked about how we also deserve to die because of our sin against God when we choose not to trust Him. But instead of sending punishment on us, God punished Jesus for the sins of the whole world when He died on the cross. Just as the Israelites looked to the bronze snake to be saved, all those who look to Jesus for salvation will be saved from sin and death. Jesus was lifted up on the cross for us as the bronze snake was lifted up for the Israelites as a way to be saved. Our God is the only one who can save us from our sin and death.

Family Activity

This week, if your kids complain about the food or drink you provide for them, use it as an opportunity to talk about the story. Ask children about other things that they are tempted to complain about. Remind children that it wasn't just that the people of God whinged about the food that God was punishing, but that they chose not to trust Him as their God and provider. How often do we also forget to trust God for all that we need? Thank God together that we are not punished for our sin as the Israelites were, but because of Jesus, when we sin, we can be forgiven. Help children to 'REPENT & REALIGN' as we discussed on Sunday – to REPENT means to turn back to God, and REALIGN means to follow Him once again. We 'REPENT' when we say we are sorry for our sins, and REALIGN when we ask for forgiveness and ask for help to trust Him.

See you next week!


Joshua and Caleb

Big Idea: God wants to trust Him and live by FAITH not in fear.

Bible Passage: Numbers 13-14

This week the kids learned that Moses sent 12 men to look at the land God promised His people. Joshua and Caleb were 2 of these men. 10 of the men did not fear God and were afraid of the strong people in the land. Joshua and Caleb believed God would give them victory over the people living in the land, and that they could trust Him. The land was 'flowing with milk and honey' and lots of fruit! Because the Israelites listened to the 10 men who were afraid, God sent the people back to wander in the wilderness, and only Joshua and Caleb ever reach the promised land, 40 years later. 

The people should have put their faith in God, and not their own strength, no matter how afraid they were. Our God is not bound or beaten by the strength of people and circumstances in our world, He is almighty. The people chose to live in fear, and not in faith, and for that sin, they paid the price of never seeing the land God had for them. God blesses those who trust Him, and we can trust Him every time, no matter how scared we feel. He is faithful and never fails His children.

Family Activity

This week as a family, either make a fruit salad, or see if you can find a grasshopper in the garden. If you make a fruit salad, as you cut the fruit, ask children what makes them afraid. If you find a grasshopper, talk about it's size compared to you. It's natural to be afraid of things in this world, and our God knows that. But just as He did for Joshua and Caleb, and many of the Israelites who trusted Him, God takes care of us, so even when we are afraid, we can still put our faith in God to take care of us, and be near us, always.

See you next week!

God Gave Rules for Sacrifices

Big Idea: God made a way for people's sin to be forgiven.

BIble Passage: Leviticus

This week we looked at the book at Leviticus (Yep, the whole thing!) In this book are the laws and the commands that God gave to His people. He was setting up His promise to them by saying, "I will be your God, and this is how you are to live as my people." He told them as His people "to be Holy, as I, the Lord am Holy."

But the people were sinful, and so in order to be holy, and to be made right with God, they needed a way for their sin to be paid for. So, God gave instructions to His people to bring offerings and sacrifices for their sin, so that they would be forgiven. We read in Leviticus the instructions for animal sacrifices, the offerings people brought, and the way the priests were set apart to enter into God's presence in order make sacrifices on the peoples' behalf. We also read about the Day of Atonement, which was a special day set aside in the Jewish calendar to come together and have 'atonement' made for their sin by the shedding of an animal's blood.

When Jesus came to earth, He lived a perfect, holy life without sin. He obeyed all of God's laws perfectly. Jesus then died on the cross, and the shedding of Jesus' blood was the once and for all sacrifice for our sin. Now, we don't have to bring animal sacrifices, or obey the law of Moses in order to be called Holy, but instead call Jesus our Lord and Saviour and ask God to forgive us by the blood of Jesus. 

We praise God for making a way for us to be called His people even though we sin and don't deserve it. We praise God for sending Jesus to pay the price for our sin. Now, in the same way, we are able to show love and forgiveness to others by the power of His Holy Spirit, and demonstrate just how much Jesus loves people.

Family Activity

To 'atone' means to 'make up for'. What are some of the ways we 'make up for' things that we have done to each other? What are some examples for your family? (When we hurt each other, we say we are sorry, when we make a mess, we clean it up.) Discuss them together. Talk about how our mess (our sin) is so bad, and God is so Holy, that we could never make up for our mess on our own. Our mess is too big! This is why Jesus came down from heaven himself to help us. He knew we could never make ourselves right on our own, so He came to save us from our sin. Confess your sins to one another and thank God that He forgives us because of Jesus.

See you next week!

The Tabernacle was Built

Big Idea: God wants to be with His people.

Bible Passage: Exodus 35-40

This week the kids learned that God wanted to 'tabernacle', or 'dwell' with His people. He wanted to be with them. What a beautiful thought! God told His people to build the tabernacle, and gave the people instructions to follow in order to make it. People brought their best offerings to help build it together, because it was a special place. It was where the presence of God was, and so the people made it beautiful, just as God told them.

Our God wanted to be with us so much that He came to earth himself as Jesus. Jesus dwelt on earth and 'tabernacled' with His people, and showed them how to live. Then Jesus paid the ultimate price for sin – His own death, so that we can be forgiven of our sin, and have nothing stand between us and God. Jesus rose again so that we can know He is trustworthy – He has power over everything! One day Jesus will come back for all those who trust Him and we will dwell with us forever in a new heaven and new earth. Until that day, we are promised that His Spirit will dwell with us here on earth and never leave us. Our God wants to be with His people!

Family Activity

Isn't it great that God wants to be with us? We talked about ways we can be with God. When you love someone, and they love you, it's great to spend time together. How can we spend time with the God who loves to be with us? As a family, build a fort out of blankets together, or set up a tent in the back yard. Decorate it beautifully together. Climb in the tent/fort together and read Hebrews 13:5. Our God's promise is for those that trust in Him: "Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you!" Praise God together by singing a song in your tent. 

God Gave the Ten Commandments

Big Idea: We miss the mark, but God has made a way for us to be His children.

Bible Passage: Exodus 20

This week the kids learned about the 10 commandments. God made a covenant (a special agreement) with His people. God called Moses up a mountain and gave His people rules to show how to love Him and others. God promised His people to be their God if they kept His covenant. 

We know that 'all fall short of the glory of God' (Romans 3:23) and no one can keep God's holy standard perfectly. That is why God made a way for us to still be called His people, even though we broke His covenant. God himself in Jesus Christ came to earth, lived a perfect, holy life, and then died to pay the price we deserved for breaking God's covenant. (The payment for sin is death -Romans 6:23). This is God's good grace to us: making a way for us to be His even though we broke His rules and His covenant. Because of Jesus payment for our sin, we can repent (or, 'realign') ourselves to God's ways and live a life of following Jesus. This means loving Him most, and loving other people the way Jesus loves us. 

Family Activity

We talked about how God gave us rules because He loves us. God's rules help us to know how holy and perfect He is. We also talked about why we need to repent or 'realign' ourselves daily with God and follow Jesus, because we miss the mark over and over again! Play a game together like 'Simon Says', or a family board game. Talk about what it would be like to play the game without any rules. Talk about what it would be like to have no rules. God gives us rules because He loves us. Even when we mess up and don't follow His ways, we can still realign and repent and are forgiven because of Jesus!


The Israelites Cross the Red Sea

Big Idea: Our God made a way for us to be saved from sin and death. We can choose FAITH over FEAR and trust Him.

Bible Passage: Exodus 13:17-17:7

This week we talked about the amazing story of the crossing of the Red Sea. After God rescued His people from Pharaoh, they walked through the wilderness. God led them by going before them as a cloud during the day, and as cloud of fire by night. The people knew God was with them, and they followed Him. Then, as the Egyptian army began to chase them, at the banks of the Red Sea, God used Moses to open up a path through the sea that they could walk through. Walls of water stood on either side, and the pathway was dry through the middle. The Israelites passed through the sea on dry land and escaped the Egyptian army! In the wilderness, God provided for His people by sending bread from heaven, water from dry rocks and quail to eat. 

Our God provided a way for His people to be saved from the Egyptians, and proved He is in control of the whole of creation. God displayed His power to save and provide for His people time and time again. Our God provided a way for us to be saved from sin and death and provided a Saviour for us in Jesus Christ. We celebrate our God's victory in Jesus. We learned that our God never changes, and He is still as powerful now as He was then for His children. We can choose FAITH instead of FEAR no matter what we are facing because our mighty God never fails His children.

Family Activity

Ask children to write down some things that they are afraid of at the moment. It can be big or small things. Read the story of God parting the red sea for the Israelites. Then watch this video of the story of Jesus calming the storm for His disciples. Our God is the same yesterday, today and forever. Remind children of the promise that God's Holy Spirit (the same Holy Spirit who raised Christ from the dead!) 'will never leave or forsake them' (Hebrews 13:5-6). Now look at the list of things that are scary again. Ask children if they think the God who saved the Israelites, and calmed the storm, can handle these things. Raise your hands together in surrender and praise as Moses did, and pray that God will help you choose FAITH over FEAR in facing what is ahead. 

The Passover

Big Idea: Jesus paid the price for our sin so we can be free.

Bible Passage: Exodus 11-12

This week we learned about the Passover. We talked about how God kept His promse to rescue His people from Egypt. God gave special instructions for His people to follow. They made a special meal together and had their shoes on ready to escape. God said to take the blood of a lamb and paint it on the door frames of their homes, and all who did this would be saved from the tenth plague that God would send on Egypt. All who obeyed this instruction were saved, just as God said, and the people left Egypt and fled from Pharaoh. God displayed His power over life and death to Pharaoh, to all of Egypt and to His people so that they would know His mighty power to save. In Exodus 9:16, God says, "I have let you live for this purpose: to show you my power and make my name known on the whole earth." God is all powerful, almighty and kept His promise to rescue His children. 

We often call Jesus the 'Lamb of God'. This is because Jesus died to pay the price for our sin, so that we could also be set free. Hebrews 9:22 tells us that without the 'shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.' Our sin needs to be paid for, and because our God is perfectly just, there must be a sacrifice for sin. But our God is also perfect in His love, and made a way for our sin to be paid for by Himself. Jesus was the once-and-for all sacrifice for our sin, so that we could be rescued. Praise God for making a way for His children to be free!

Family Activity

This week, around the dinner table, talk about God's special instructions to His people during Passover. Remind children that we have our own way of remembering the sacrifice that set us free in Jesus when we meet around the communion table. When we break bread and drink the cup together we are thanking God for setting us free from the slavery of sin and death. Praise God for making a way for us to be saved. We too, like the Israelites, are to have our 'shoes on' ready to go anywhere God sends us to share the good news of the gospel. As children put their shoes on this week, talk about how we can take the gospel wherever we go, ready to share the hope that we have in Jesus.

Moses Confronts Pharaoh

Big Idea: God's plan to rescue His children is unstoppable.

Bible Passage: Exodus 5-10

This week we looked at Moses confronting Pharaoh. We saw how Moses was chosen by God to rescue His people. They had been living in Egypt since Joseph rescued them from a famine around 400 years ago, and as God promised, they increased in number – so much so that Pharaoh (the King of Egypt) decided to enslave them to keep them from uprising against him. 

The people of God cried out to Him and God heard them. He chose Moses to rescue them. Even though Moses felt like he wasn't good enough to face Pharaoh, God told Him He would be with Him, and told Him 'I AM WHO I AM." God was saying He is almighty, forever past, forever future and always in control. Moses could trust God. 

Moses went back to Egypt and confronted Pharaoh, who was stubborn and would not release God's people. God displayed His almighty character by sending plagues on Egypt, defying the power of the Egyptian gods and showing His power to Pharaoh. We talked about the lengths that God went to rescue His children from the hands of their enemies, and how great and powerful He is. In Exodus 9:16, God says, "However, I have let you live for this purpose: to show you my power and to make my name known on the whole earth."

God chose Moses to deliver His children from those who enslaved them. He did this to show His power and His love for His children. Even greater than Moses, is our Deliverer, Jesus. God went to even greater lengths for us, by He himself dying on the cross to set us free from sin and death. When we read the story of the lengths God went to set the Israelites free, we should praise Jesus for His grace and mercy in showing us His power to save us from our own sin.

Family Activity

Read through the list of the first 9 plagues together. Have a charades-type game where you make the noises or actions of each plague and see if family members can guess which one you are demonstrating. Remind children that God has power over animals, the sea, the sky, the weather, the whole earth and even the sun and the planets. Our God is all powerful, and has used His power and His love to set us free from being slaves to sin. Praise Him in prayer together for His might and His mercy to us.

Genesis: A Recap

Big Idea: God doesn't give up on sinners.

Bible Passage: Genesis

This week we finished up the term by looking back at the stories of Genesis. We talked about Adam & Eve, Noah & the covenant rainbow, Abraham, Sarah and the covenant God made to them, Isaac, Jacob & Esau, and then Joseph. We reviewed how God had begun to roll out His plan to rescue the children who turned their back on Him. We looked at how God chose sinful people as part of His plan. We talked about how what people do for evil, God uses for good. We reviewed how even though things can look bleak for us, and sometimes we maybe even feel forgotten by God, He nevers leaves or forsakes us, and He is good to His children.

The book of Genesis teaches us that even though we turned our backs on our good and loving God, he made a plan to rescue us, and that plan was Jesus. God himself paying the price for the sins of the world. And we begin to see signs of this plan unfold all the way back in the very beginning – in the garden. When God promises that one day He will crush the head of the snake and defeat evil forever. 

Next stop, Exodus! We start Term 3 on July 21st, and we can't wait to begin unfolding the rest of History!

See you after school holidays!

Family Activity

Over the school holidays, try making origami paper boats like the one in this video. Place your boat in the lake, or even in the bath or a pool. Use the time folding to talk about the different stories of Genesis we learned about. Remind children that when Noah had to build the Ark, it was because God was so sad about the sin of the world that He wanted to wash all of His creation away. We can thank God that He promised never to do that again, but made a way to save us from sin. Then use your paper boat to give hints to children about the first chapter of Exodus. Moses' mother put her baby in a basket and floated him down the river to save his life. Place your paper boat in the water and watch it float away. Remind children that God doesn't give up on sinners, and what people do for evil, God uses for good. Tell children that at Kidzone in Term 3, we will be talking more about Moses and Exodus and God's plan to save the world. 

Joseph’s Dreams Came True

Big Idea: What people do for evil, God uses for good.

Bible Passage: Genesis 42:1- 46:34; 50:15-21

This week we heard the story of how Joseph interpreted Pharaoh's dreams and was set free from prison, elevated to second in charge of all of Egypt, and was able to save the whole nation from famine. God's hand of favour was on Joseph, and despite all the troubles he had been through, God used him to save many people.

When Joseph's brothers & family came to him for help during the famine, they didn't recognise him.They bowed down to him, just as Joseph had dreamed when he was only 17. Eventually Joseph told his brothers who he was, and he said he forgave his brothers for what they did to him all those years ago. Joseph tells his brothers that it was actually God that brought him to Egypt and used him to save many people. He said that 'what you intended for evil, God has used for good.' Joseph was able to give God the glory for all the things that had happened, and save many people because of God's plan – even though he went through so much suffering.

We also see this in the life of Jesus. What man intended for evil when they crucified Jesus on the cross, God used for our good & His glory. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus, the sins of the world were forgiven, and like Joseph, through His suffering, Jesus saved the lives of many people – for eternity. Because of Jesus, we are chosen to be a part of God's family. 

Family Activity

In the story, Joseph hid a cup in his brother's bag in order to bring them back to him so he could be restored to them. Hide a cup of some kind in one of your children's school bags each day this week. When they come home, ask them if they found it. Remind children that because of Jesus, we are chosen to be a part of His family and can be restored to God. Thank God together for sending Jesus and using what man intended for evil, for His glory and our eternal good.

See you next week for our last week of term!

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