God’s Very Good Idea!

In the beginning, God had a very good idea! God’s idea was to make people…lots of people…lots of different people…who would all enjoy loving him and all enjoy loving each other. They would all be made in His image—they would all have a little part of God to show to the world.

So God got to work! He made a beautiful world for the first people. And he said to them: Be happy! Enjoy loving me and loving each other. Look after and enjoy the earth, too! God continued creating people— all were made in His image. And all of them were different. Some were boys. Some were girls. Some liked reading. Some had darker skin. Some had lighter skin. Some liked riding bikes. Some had curly hair. In fact, God made every person!

And God is still doing this—He had the very good idea to create you! You are a part of God’s very good idea!

We are all different, but we are all the same, too. People might look different or speak different or play different. But they are all made in God’s image. God created each of us equally with dignity, value and beauty. He did this so we can love Him and love one another! We are part of God’s very good idea!

As you review this story with your child, we encourage you to reinforce these truths:

  • Every person is made by God.
  • Every person is made to enjoy loving God and loving each other.
  • Every person is made in the image of God.
  • We are all different—with unique interests and characteristics.
  • We are all the same—humans made by God!
  • We are a part of God’s very good idea!

To reinforce these truths in accessible kids language, we recommend God’s Very Good Idea, by Trillia Newbell.

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Jesus Was Born

Last week, kids at Antioch learned about a prophet named Isaiah who wrote promises from God about the coming Messiah, Jesus. God promised a Savior and finally after all the years of waiting, Jesus was born! This week, kids were invited to think about the night Jesus was born into the world.

He wasn’t born in a hospital. And he wasn’t born in a warm home. Instead, he was born in a stable, which is a lot like a barn or even a rock cave. When Jesus was born, he wasn’t greeted by a doctor or a nurse. Instead, there were animals sharing his newfound space.

Jesus was born as a baby, just like we were. He had to learn to talk just like we did. He had to learn to walk like we did. He had to do work and chores like we do. He became hungry and thirsty like we do. He laughed and cried, felt pain, and probably even got sick sometimes, too. He lived like us in many ways. But Jesus was unlike us in many ways, too.  Though He was fully human, He also is fully God. The Bible tells us that Jesus is the image of the invisible God.

Imagining God is very hard! When Jesus came to us, it gave people the chance too see and know God. Jesus is the image of the invisible God. He came to Earth so we could know that God is real, that God is good, and that God can be trusted.

Christmas is a wonderful holiday where we celebrate Jesus coming to earth. But the funny thing about Christmas is that we can’t fully celebrate it without Easter! Easter is when we remember the death and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. On the cross, Jesus showed his power—he took all the sin, sadness, and sickness of the world and paid the price for them. It cost him his life—and he did this on purpose. But he didn’t stay dead— he came back to life and invited every person—that means you and me!— to turn from our sin and trust God.

Now we are waiting for the day when another of God’s promises will be fulfilled—the day when Jesus will return and fix the whole earth and gather His people to live with Him forever in His perfect Kingdom.

If there’s one thing the Christmas story teaches us, it’s that God always keeps His promises. Our God is a good God who left heaven and came to Earth so we would know His love. That is a great reason to celebrate. As you remind your child of this story, we encourage you to reinforce these truths:

  • People were expecting the Messiah.
  • An angel told Mary that she would be the mother of Jesus the Messiah!
  • Mary and Joseph travelled to Bethlehem for a census.
  • Jesus was born in Bethlehem.
  • An angel announced that God’s promise had been fulfilled: Jesus was born!
  • Jesus is the image of the invisible God.
  • Jesus told people to turn from their sin and trust God.
  • We can always trust God!

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Anticipating the Coming King

This week, kids at Antioch will learn what Isaiah said about the coming Messiah. God promised a Savior, but then the people had to wait. From our perspective, some promises take a very long time for God to fulfill, but His timing is absolutely perfect. God’s promise to send Jesus seemed to take a very long time to come to pass, but it happened at the perfect time.

You probably know how the Bible starts: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Then God made Adam and Eve and put them in the garden of Eden. Not long after that, Adam and Eve sinned, which is the first time we hear about the One who will come to rescue people from sin. A lot happened between sin entering the world and Isaiah’s writing

When Isaiah prophesied about the coming Messiah, it wasn’t something that was going to happen the next week or year. He told about the Messiah 700 years before Jesus was even born! God’s people were waiting for God to keep His promise. Each generation looked forward to the Messiah’s arrival. Now, thousands of years later, we can look back on Jesus’ birth and celebrate that God kept his word. Jesus, our Messiah, came!

When we are in desperate situations, it’s so easy to panic and let fear control us. When we hear that help is on the way, we are relieved. When Isaiah was alive, the world was in big trouble. Sin had broken nearly every single part of it. Isaiah told the people not fret—help was coming! When Jesus was born, he left heaven and came to Earth to help us.

Likewise, our sin leaves us in a desperate situation because no matter how hard we try, we can’t stop sinning. We need someone to help us!  When Jesus came, He died on the cross to pay for our sin and invite us back to God. But Jesus’ restoration of the world isn’t done yet. One day Jesus will return to fix the things that are still broken! We can feel relieved knowing that Jesus has come and is coming again. We can trust in Jesus to free us from the power and penalty of sin now. We can know that someday we will even be free from the presence of sin too!

As Christmastime nears, we celebrate because Jesus chose to be born so He could make a way for our sins to be forgiven. We celebrate at Christmas because it’s proof of God’s fulfilled promise! We can always trust God.

As you remind your child of this story, we encourage you to reinforce these truths:

  • There is one true God.
  • Isaiah was given a message for the people.
  • The message told of the Messiah!
  • 700 years later, Jesus–our Messiah– was born!
  • God kept His promise.
  • We can always trust God.

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Hezekiah, Judah’s Faithful King

He’s a chip off the old block. Like father, like son. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. These idioms exist because sons tend to look and behave like their fathers. When it came to Hezekiah and his father, Ahaz, however, the two were far from similar.

When Ahaz was king of Judah, he did not respect God, God’s law, or God’s prophets. He worshiped idols. Ahaz “did not do what was right in the sight of the Lord his God” (2 Kings 16:2). He led the people away from God, provoking God’s wrath and anger.

Hezekiah, on the other hand, “did what was right in the Lord’s sight just as his ancestor David had done.” Hezekiah destroyed the places of idol worship and cleansed the temple. (See 2 Chron. 29.) The Lord was with Hezekiah, and Hezekiah prospered.

Hezekiah was a faithful king who led the people of Judah to worship God like they were supposed to, but even good kings get it wrong sometimes. His wealth and success led to pride. How did Hezekiah react when God said everything in his palace would be carried off to Babylon? He said, “Who cares? I’ll be dead by then.”

Jesus is our faithful King who never sinned. Check out some of these definitions for the word faithful: “strict or thorough in the performance of duty”; “true to one’s word, promises, or vows”; “steady in allegiance or affection”; “loyal”; “constant”; “reliable, trusted, or believed”; “adhering or true to fact, a standard, or an original”; “accurate.”

Jesus completed His work—he came to invite us back into relationship with God. It cost him a lot, but he was faithful in it all. He said on the cross, “It is finished!” (John 19:30). “Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Heb. 13:8). One day Jesus will return to make all things the way they are supposed to be. (Rev. 1:1-6)

Hezekiah prayed that God would save his people from their enemies so that everyone would know He is the true God. God answered that prayer! Jesus prayed a similar prayer—that all of creation would be rescued. By dying on the cross and rising again, Jesus rescued his people from the consequence of sin and death. One day Jesus will return to make all things the way they are supposed to be!

Help your kids see that Jesus is the greater Hezekiah. Hezekiah interceded for his people to ask God to save them from their enemies, but Hezekiah was a sinner and needed to be saved himself. But Jesus was sinless! He interceded for His people to save us from sin and death. As you talk, reinforce these truths:

  • There is one true God.
  • Hezekiah trusted in God.
  • Hezekiah asked God to keep His people safe.
  • God answered Hezekiah’s prayer.
  • How many gods are there? There is one true God.

 

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