Kids Ministry as Forest Lake

Category: Weekly Devotions (Page 1 of 8)

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!

Joseph Sent to Egypt

Big Idea: Even when bad things happen to us, God has not forgotten us. He is working for our good, always, no matter what.

Bible Passage: Genesis 37-41:1-31

This week we talked about the story of Joseph, one of Jacob's youngest sons. Jacob had 12 sons, and Joseph was his favourite. You may have even heard about the multi-coloured coat Jacob gave to Joseph. Joseph was given dreams from God at a young age – at 17! Joseph's brothers were not impressed by these dreams, nor did they like him being their father's favourite child – so they made plans to get rid of him. We read in this story that Joseph was sold as a slave by his brothers, imprisoned by his new master, and then forgotten about. It wasn't until Pharaoh needed his dreams interpreted that anyone thought of Joseph and his special gift. But eventually, when Joseph was 30,  he was not only freed from prison, but elevated to a position of power by Pharaoh, and put in charge of the lands. What a long time to wait! And what an amazing thing that God did for Joseph!

We talked about how sometimes we feel forgotten about too. Especially when bad things happen to us. How could God care about us if all these bad things keep happening? We talked about how each moment, or day in our lives is like a puzzle piece, and only God sees the whole puzzle together as a picture. We see the individual pieces and wonder how they make sense. God knew he would use Joseph in Egypt far before his brothers set about to sell him into slavery. God gave him the gift of special dreams far before he would need them to gain favour with Pharaoh. God sees the whole picture, and uses all the pieces to bring about our good for His glory. We can trust God, that even in the scary, sad or hard times, God has not abandoned us, but is at work, putting the whole story together, making it beautiful. And even more than this – that He is with us the whole time as He promises. "Never will I leave you, Never will I forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6

Family Activity

Do a puzzle together as a family. Hold up one piece of the puzzle and ask your kids, "Can you tell what the whole picture is just from looking at this piece?" Explain to children that each day, moment or season for us is like a puzzle piece. We can't see the whole picture of our lives and how it will work out. Only God can see that. But we can trust Him, that He is making our story beautiful, for our good, and His glory – just like He did with Joseph. We can trust Him in the hard times, because we know that even if they don't make sense to us, God knows what is going on, and more than that, He cares, and He promises to be with us through it all. He will never leave us. When you finish the puzzle, pray to God and thank Him for His Holy Spirit who gives us peace, joy and strength to trust Him in the scary, sad and hard times.

Jacob’s New Name

Big Idea: The fight for our heart is a tough wrestle, but God will not give up on us.

Bible Passage: Genesis 22

This week the kids heard the story of Jacob's wrestle with the Lord. We talked about how at the beginning of this story, Jacob is fearful and afraid to meet his brother, Esau, after he stole his birth-right blessing. Knowing he has to go and meet his angry brother, he sends out gifts and family members before him on his journey, to appeal to his brother. But God meets with Jacob. All night the Angel of the Lord wrestles with Jacob, and even changes his name to Israel – which means "God fights". The passage tells us that Jacob won't let the Angel of the Lord go until He blesses him. After the fight, Jacob (now named Israel) goes to meet his brother, out the front of the procession – he runs to him and greets him with a kiss!

We talked about how God meets with each of us too. He fought for us on the cross when Jesus died to take away our sin, once and for all. God wrestles with our hearts to make them clean. Sometimes the fight is hard, and in order for us to fight against sin and trust God, we need help from the Holy Spirit. We talked about how our fight to be like Jesus is not fought with our fists, but with prayer. The wrestle with our hearts to be faithful happens as we surrender to God, confess our failures, recieve forgiveness and strength from the Holy Spirit to have faith to trust God each day. 

Family Activity

Practice the "fight" for your hearts each day this week. Find some time during the day to kneel together, as a team would huddle before a big sport's match. Kneel together and make fists with your hands as if to fight, and then remind children that the fight for our heart is not with our fists, but with our prayers. Take your fists and put your hands together in prayer, or lay them up palms out, to surrender to God. Pray together in your team huddle, asking God for forgiveness for when you've failed, and for strength to fight the battle to be like Jesus each day. Remind children that there is no sin to big for God to forgive, He promises to hear our prayers, forgive our sins and help us every day because He loves us.



The Stolen Blessing

Big Idea:  God uses us even when we are sinful because He always does what He says He will do. He is faithFULL even when we are faithLESS.

Bible Passage: Genesis 25:27-34, 27:1-45

This week the kids heard about the story of the stolen blessing from Isaac to his sons, Jacob and Esau. They were twins, but they were also sibling rivals. There was trouble between them as they grew up. Even though Esau was the older son, who should have received the birth-right blessing from his father, Jacob dressed up as Esau and stole it, as his father was dying! Despite the mess that people made, and despite their sin, God chose to use these people to fulfill His plan. He was faithful and fulfilled the covenant that He made to Abraham, Isaac and then Jacob. We see in this story that even when people are faithless and sinful, that God is faithful and keeps his promises to bless us, anyway. 

We talked about how because of Jesus payment for our sins, we too can be blessed and used by God, even though we sin. We talked about how important it is to repent- that is to 'realign' ourselves with God. To turn back to Him each and every time we sin, because He promises to forgive us, continue to bless us and use us as part of His plan. No sin is too great for God not to forgive! We love our faithful God for never giving up on us.

Family Activity

Have a member of the family close their eyes or wear a blindfold, and put out their hands.Then choose another member of the family to touch the hands of the one with their eyes closed. Have the blindfolded person try to guess whose hands touched them. Repeat the game together until everyone has had a turn. Say to children that Jacob tricked his father into giving him the birth-right blessing that belonged to his brother. Even though his dishonesty was sinful, God still used Jacob in His plan to bless the nations. Talk about your own mistakes with children if possible, and remind children that the best thing to do when we sin is to turn back to God and repent. He promises to forgive us, to bless us and to use us in His plan. What a great God we have!

The Promise Reaffirmed

Big Idea: We can say, “the Lord is my God,” because He is faithful to do what He says He will do.

Bible Passage: Genesis 25:19-26, 26:1-6, 28:10-22

This week we talked about the story of God’s reaffirmation of the Covenant he made to Isaac, Abraham’s son. God kept His promise to save the world by making a covenant with Abraham that came true with Isaac, and then Jacob too. We see how God is faithful even when people are faithless, and He chooses people to be part of His plan. To Jacob, God says, “I am with you, and will protect you everywhere you go.” When Jacob realised He was chosen by God to be blessed, He said, “How awesome is this place! If God does all He says He will, then the Lord will be my God.” We can likewise respond to God because He did do what He said He would to save us, in Jesus. We can say, “How awesome is our God! He has done what He said He would, He is my God!” because we are chosen by Him to be His children. 

Family Activity

Make a commitment as a family to do something together every day this week. It can be as simple as brushing your teeth in the same room, or singing a song before bed time. You can be as creative as you like. Commit today to do this activity every day this week. Then, try together, to keep your word. When you get to Friday, talk about how you have gone each day. Whether you have succeeed or failed, talk about how hard it is for us humans to keep our promises, and that sometimes we fail. But God never does. When He says He will do something, He always does it. This is how we can trust Him. He promised to save us from sin, and He as done that in Jesus. Praise him together for His faithfulness.

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