God Time Cards :: August

During the month of August our elementary students are learning all about Obedience. Obedience is trusting those who lead you by doing what you’re asked to do. We would like to equip you as parents to begin a conversation about obedience at home this month. To help do this, we want to provide you with this great resource called God Time Cards. These are short devotions are designed for elementary kids. They are fun, engaging – and we hope you love them!

Below you will find 4 God Time Cards to help you and your family continue learning about obedience this August. Simply click below to get started! Enjoy!

Week 1                    Week 2

Week 3                    Week 4

What is My Elementary Child Learning in August?

When you hear the word, obedience, what comes to mind?

Perhaps the last time you got a speeding ticket.
Or what you wish your kids would learn.
Maybe you think about that old hymn many of us sang growing up in church.

“Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.”

(And for those of you now singing that song for the rest of the day, sorry about that.)

The phrase “Trust and Obey” may come off trite and cliché, but the point of the phrase is nonetheless true. Trust and obedience go together. That’s why we define obedience like this:

Obedience is trusting those who lead you by doing what you’re asked to do.

Our obedience demonstrates that we trust people who are in charge, as well as, shows God we trust His plan for our lives. But we don’t always get it right, do we? And our disobedience breaks our relationship with God.

All throughout Scripture, we see how God responds to that disobedience. While there were consequences, God continued to love the world and made a way to restore our broken relationship. With that in mind, this August, we’ll walk kids through God’s One Big Story of God’s plan to rescue us by sending Jesus, His only Son, to make it possible for us to have a relationship with God again.

Obedience, we can’t get around it. Obedience is something everyone has to work on whether we’re 9, thirty-nine, or seventy-nine. We can’t wait to see what God will do in each of our lives as we discover more about what the Bible says about following and obeying God and those He’s put in authority over us.

WEEK 1
We kick off the month at the beginning of the Bible with Adam and Eve in the Magnificent Paradise God created for them to enjoy. Yet, as we discover in Genesis 3:1-24, Adam and Eve decided that they would rather make up their own rules than follow the ones God made for them. Rather than trusting God’s plan, they trusted their own. The consequences they faced changed history.

Bottom Line: I should trust and obey even when I think my way is better. Whether we’re a child or an adult, we will face times when we think our way is better than the one set out for us. We want everyone to learn that when we trust and obey, the consequence can have lasting impact beyond ourselves.

WEEK 2
After Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, the world was broken. This broken world continued to spiral until God had enough. In Genesis 6–8, we read the account of Noah and how he trusted and obeyed God while the rest of the world opposed God. We’ll discover how God used Noah and his family to start over.

Bottom Line: I should trust and obey even when others don’t. This simple bottom line is difficult to put into practice. God calls us to be different from the world. We will stand out to our leaders when we trust and obey when others aren’t. We might never know how God will use our obedience to point others towards Him.

WEEK 3
For week three, we continue our journey through God’s One Big Story with Abram. As we track along with His story throughout passages in Genesis 12, 13, and 15, we’ll see how Abram dropped everything to follow God. God gave Abram a clear promise to establish a great nation from Abram’s family, but God didn’t offer a clear picture of the journey it would take for that to happen. Abram obeyed God in spite of the unknowns.

Bottom Line: I should trust and obey even if I don’t know how it will all work out. Often the big moments of obedience, like the one that happened to Abram, happen to parents or leaders and are out of kids’ control. However, we pray that kids will learn they can trust and obey with how they respond and the attitude they demonstrate throughout the situation.

WEEK 4
In the final week of August, we’ll discover that God’s promises to Abraham are starting to come true. Abraham’s wife, Sarah, gives birth to a son. They name him Isaac. But then in Genesis 18, 21, 22, we discover that God asks Abraham to sacrifice his only son. Abraham trusted what he knew about God and obeyed believing that God would make a way of escape for Isaac. Eventually, Abraham’s family becomes a great nation and another Son would arrive on the planet. Jesus would become the ultimate way of escape for the whole world.

Bottom Line: I should trust and obey because there’s a bigger plan. Like Abraham, God might be asking us to do something that we don’t quite understand. But as we read through the Bible, we read about how God has been faithful throughout history. We can trust what we know about God to trust and obey right now.

16Aug_11x17poster_Obedience

God Time Cards :: July

Our elementary kids will continue to learn all about Faith this July. Faith is defined like this: believing that what Jesus did can change me.  We would like to equip you to keep talking about faith at home this summer. To help do this, we want to provide you with this great resource called God Time Cards. These short devotions are designed for elementary aged kids to do during the week. They are fun and engaging – and we hope you and your kids will love them!

Below you will find the God Time Cards for July. Simply click below to get started!

Week 1                    Week 2

Week 3                    Week 4

Week 5

What is My Elementary Child Learning in July?

Summer is one of those times of the year when you hope to escape your normal day-to-day and head off on a family vacation. Perhaps you have a passport and hope to fill it with stamps and visas from around the world or maybe you keep albums filled with photos from the places you’ve seen and the people you’ve met along the way.

But when you think about it, these aren’t just passport stamps and travel photos, they are stories capturing moments we lived. As we travel the world and experience the different landscapes and cultures, often we can’t help but notice that no matter where in the world we are, God is already there and up to something amazing.

The prophet Isaiah writes, “The whole earth is filled with God’s glory.” And that glory was made real when 2,000-some years ago a REAL human was born, lived a perfect life, died, and rose again. Of course, that man is Jesus. And throughout the past 2,000 years since, His story—His LIFE—has been changing the world.

This summer we’re excited for kids to experience that life-changing story of Jesus and put their faith in Him.

We’ll talk about faith like this: Believing that what Jesus did can change me. Our hope is that kids discover that no matter where they are in the world, the story of Jesus can change them too.

This summer, we get to view the story of Jesus through a man whose life was radically changed when we encountered the story of Jesus. He went from a person who did whatever it took to stop the message of Jesus from spreading to one who ended up writing most of the New Testament of the Bible and dying for his faith in Jesus. This man, as you may have already guessed, is Paul. He went all over the known world preaching the Story of Jesus. We’ll explore where in the world Paul was and how we fit into his story too.

WEEK 1
We continue our look at Paul’s journey in Acts 15:1-35 with an important meeting that happened in Jerusalem. Paul and the rest of the disciples were arguing about if people who weren’t Jewish had to become Jewish in order to follow Jesus. At the end, they decide that the story of Jesus is for everyone. Nothing should stand in the way of people coming to faith in Jesus.

Bottom Line: The story of Jesus is for everybody. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you’ve done, or where you’re from. God’s gift of salvation, through Jesus, is for everyone. When kids start understanding this, we hope that it inspires them to help ALL their friends find out more about Jesus.

Our Memory Verse is Ephesians 2:8. “God’s grace has saved you because of your faith in Christ. Your salvation doesn’t come from anything you do. It is God’s gift.”We can’t earn God’s grace. And while it cost God His own Son, it costs us nothing. It’s God’s gift!

WEEK 2
In Acts 21-36, 25:23-26:32, we find out more about an opportunity that Paul had to share his story with King Agrippa. Paul told King Agrippa that he believed Jesus was the Son of God. That truth was bigger than any other faith story because Jesus actually lived, died, and rose again to save us. This is proof that the Story of Jesus is way bigger than any other story.

Bottom Line: The story of Jesus is bigger than every other story. There are many voices that a child hears in his or her life. From what’s talked about on TV to the music they hear and the friends they find at school. We pray that kids start to realize that no matter what they hear from those competing voices, they can believe that the Story of Jesus is the one upon which they can put their faith.

WEEK 3
In the third week, we’ll take a look at something Paul wrote while he was under house arrest. He was hoping to encourage the early churches in Ephesus. In Ephesians 4:32, Paul writes how we should forgive others because of the way God forgave us through Jesus.

Bottom Line: The story of Jesus changes how I forgive others. Even though Paul wrote these words a couple thousand years ago, they are still true for us today. We hope kids start to realize how much God forgave them, and they can respond to that forgiveness by forgiving the people in their own life.

 

WEEK 4
Next we head to Acts 27:1–28:10 where we discover that Paul was shipwrecked on his way to Rome. This was obviously something Paul never planned, but his faith in God never wavered. God used that whole ordeal to help others put their faith in Jesus.

Bottom Line: The story of Jesus changes how I see my problems. No matter what we face in life, we can believe that God will help us through the tough times. While it may not turn out as we’d expect, we can trust that God has our best in mind. This changes how we see and respond the problems we face.

WEEK 5
We’ll finish up our Where in the World series with something else that Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus. In Ephesians 4:4-6, 15b-16, Paul cast vision for how we need to work together to accomplish everything that God wants us to do.

Bottom Line: The story of Jesus changes how we work together. We can work together using the gifts that God gave us. When we believe in the story of Jesus, life is not just about me anymore. It’s about me working with others to continuing helping even more people hear and believe that Jesus is who He said He was.

16Jul_widescreen_Verse_NIrV

June God Time Cards :: Faith

To kick off the summer, our elementary kids will be learning all about faith. Faith is defined like this: believing that what Jesus did can change me.  We would like to equip you to begin a conversation about faith at home this summer. To help do this, we want to provide you with this great resource called God Time Cards. These short devotions are designed for elementary aged kids to do during the week. They are fun and engaging – and we hope you and your kids will love them!

Below you will find the God Time Cards for June to help you and your family continue learning about faith. Simply click below to get started!

Week 1                    Week 2

Week 3                    Week 4

What is My Elementary Child Learning in June?

Summer is one of those times of the year when you hope to escape your normal day-to-day and head off on a family vacation. Perhaps you have a passport and hope to fill it with stamps and visas from around the world or maybe you keep albums filled with photos from the places you’ve seen and the people you’ve met along the way.

But when you think about it, these aren’t just passport stamps and travel photos, they are stories capturing moments we lived. As we travel the world and experience the different landscapes and cultures, often we can’t help but notice that no matter where in the world we are, God is already there and up to something amazing.

The prophet Isaiah writes, “The whole earth is filled with God’s glory.” And that glory was made real when 2000-some years ago a REAL human was born, lived a perfect life, died, and rose again. Of course, that man is Jesus. And throughout the past 2,000 years since, His story—His LIFE—has been changing the world.

This summer we’re excited for kids to experience that life-changing story of Jesus first hand and put their faith in Him.

We’ll talk about faith like this:
Believing that what Jesus did can change me.

Our hope is that kids discover that no matter where they are in the world, the story of Jesus can change them, too.

This summer, we get to view the story of Jesus through a man whose life was radically changed when he encountered the story of Jesus. He went from a person who did whatever it took to stop the message of Jesus from spreading to one who ended up writing most of the New Testament of the Bible and dying for his faith in Jesus. This man, as you may have already guessed, is Paul. He went all over the known world preaching the Story of Jesus. We’ll explore where in the world Paul was and how we fit into his story, too.

WEEK 1

We’ll kick off the summer with an overview of the four Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. We want kids to understand that the Story of Jesus is not just a bunch of stories in the Bible; rather it’s a message of salvation He came to give the world. We’ll go through an overview of the Life of Jesus, discover why He needed to come, and discuss what putting our faith in Jesus means for us 2,000 years later after He walked on our planet.

Bottom Line: The story of Jesus changes everything. The most important moment in all of history was when Jesus lived on planet earth. What He taught, how He lived, died and rose again changed the course of humanity. We pray that kids will come to realize that Jesus isn’t just a story in an old book, but a real person who can change their life, too.

Our Memory Verse is Hebrews 11:1 (NIrV), “Faith is being sure of what we hope for. It is being sure of what we do not see.” This verse gives us a great definition for what it means to have faith. As kids learn this verse, we want them to remember that the beauty they see around them in the world can point them to God and His plan to send us Jesus.

WEEK 2

We’ll see what happened in Acts 9:1-25 when Jesus appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus. Paul was on his way to stop the message of Jesus from spreading. But Jesus had different plans for Paul. Paul was about to become the one to take the story of Jesus to the rest of the world. This encounter with Jesus completely changed Paul’s life.

Bottom Line: The story of Jesus changes how I see him. When we encounter the Jesus of the Bible we realize that he is not just a character in a storybook—but a real human being who lived and died and rose again.

WEEK 3

We’ll continue Paul’s story in Acts 9:26-31, as we find out what happens when he goes to join up with the other Jesus followers he was known for persecuting. As you can imagine, they were probably a bit frightened to trust Paul. But Barnabus convinced the rest of the disciples that Paul could be trusted. He stood up for Paul who used to be his enemy.

Bottom Line: The story of Jesus changes how I see others. When Jesus enters our life and starts changing us from the inside out, we’ll start to see others how He sees them.

WEEK 4

We’ll finish up June with passages in Acts 11 and 13. Paul and Barnabus head to Antioch as they discover that the message of Jesus is starting to spread to people outside of the Jewish community. Many of these new followers of Jesus are in need. The rest of the disciples send Paul and Barnabus on a journey to collect money that will be a huge help to those Jesus followers.

Bottom Line: The story of Jesus changes how I help others. Jesus said that people would know we are His followers by the way we show love to one another. Putting our faith in Jesus into action will change the way we take initiative to help others in need.

16Jun_standard_Faith

Elementary God Time Cards for May: Contentment

Contentment is our virtue for the month of May in our elementary classes. Our goal is to help you, as parents, continue teaching your kids about contentment at home during the week. To help you do this, here’s a really helpful resource called God Time Cards. These are short devotions designed specifically for your elementary student. They are fun and engaging – we know you and your kids will love them!

Below you will find May’s God Time Cards to help your child continue learning about the importance of contentment in their life. Simply click below to get started! Have fun!

Contentment 1               Contentment 2

Contentment 3              Contentment 4

Contentment 5

What is My Elementary Child Learning in May?

Do you ever notice that you define yourself by specific things or circumstances that show up in your life? Maybe it’s like there’s this box you carry around with everything that defines you: your stuff, your work, your family, your kids, your gifts and talents, or your home.

But there’s a problem with looking at life like this because if this is how we see our lives it’s all too easy to become preoccupied with the wrong thing.

Think about all the stuff in the box. It’s “your” stuff, right? Or is it?

We tend to talk about our lives using words that highlight our ownership of those things and circumstances. Words like my, ours, and mine. And those words can make a huge difference on how we see the world. As long as we keep using these words, we can tend to believe that our stuff will make us happy and that putting more stuff into our boxes will make us even happier.

But the truth is just the opposite. Something radical happens when we look at our life as not really ours. When we view our life as really God’s gift to us—it changes everything. When we see that all the stuff we have is somehow connected to God and the story He wants to tell with our lives, it begins to change the way we see everything. When our world doesn’t revolve around us, our situations look a lot different.

That’s why this month, we want to explain something to kids about contentment. It is deciding to be happy with what you’ve got. In other words, you can choose to be happy because of what God has actually given you. You can choose to shift your focus away from what you don’t have and toward what God desires to do with the life you have. When you trust Him with your life, you become more focused on being grateful for everything He’s already given to you.

The Bible has a lot to say about contentment. This month, we’re going to unpack several of those moments where people learned something about contentment as well as some key principles about how we can live our lives focused on trusting God no matter what.

See, when it comes right down to it, contentment is a heart issue. It can’t be solved by getting the thing that’s off-limits, the thing that someone else has, or even more of a good thing you already have. In other words, contentment happens when we place our trust in the One who is able to meet our needs each day.

When you teach kids to see their life as a gift from God it sets them up for a life of contentment and fulfillment. There will be no reason to be distracted by what others have, or what’s off limits, or what we had in the past. And when all of us really trust God, we will be content with exactly what He has put in our box for today and won’t worry about the future.

WEEK 1
We kick off our month of contentment with a closer look at the context around our memory verse. In Philippians 4:11b-13, the Apostle Paul wrote about contentment to the church in Philippi. Paul wrote that he has learned to be content no matter what circumstance he was facing, which was a pretty amazing thing to say considering he was writing this while he was under house arrest.

Bottom Line: When you focus on God, He can help you be content. No matter where you are in life, contentment is one of those things that is often difficult to find, even for kids! We pray that when kids focus on God and all that He’s done for them, they’ll find the strength they need to be content.

Our Memory Verse is Philippians 4:12b (NIrV), “I have learned the secret of being content no matter what happens. I am content whether I am well fed or hungry. I am content whether I have more than enough or not enough.” There will be moments when we are only focused on getting more and more stuff. But we need to remember that we can be content with what we have because we can do all things through God who gives us strength.

WEEK 2
In 1 Kings 21:1-19, 27, we find King Ahab whining about not getting something he wants. A guy named Naboth owned a vineyard that Ahab desperately wanted. His wife, Queen Jezebel, took matters into her own hands and at Naboth’s expense, gets Ahab that vineyard.

Bottom Line: When you focus on what you don’t have, it can make you miserable. For Ahab, even though he got what he wanted, it was ultimately a bad move for him. God gives us so much. When we focus on what we don’t or even can’t have, we can become angry and bitter at God for not giving us what we want. God has our best in mind. We should trust Him no matter what.

WEEK 3
We find the Israelites in Exodus 16:2-21; 17:1-4 focusing on what they used to have instead of focusing on God. As they were traveling in the wilderness, they longed to be back in Egypt where they had food and shelter. At the same time, they seemed to forget that in Egypt they were slaves! They were so caught up in what they used to have, that they were missing out on what God was doing in their lives right then and there.

Bottom Line: When you focus on what you used to have, you can miss what you have now. There are times we look back on parts of our life wanting to go back and live those moments again. Kids may want to go back to preschool when they didn’t have homework forgetting that they had an early bedtime AND had to take a nap during the day. When that happens, they forget that right now is pretty great. Times may be hard, but God has us here for a purpose. We can trust Him with the details.

WEEK 4
This week we’ll take a look at Luke 12:13-21 and a story Jesus told about a rich fool. He was so focused on getting more and more that he missed out on opportunities to help others around him. We don’t want kids growing up so focused on their stuff that they miss out on what matters most: loving God and loving each other.

Bottom Line: When you focus on stuff, you can miss what matters. It’s not bad to have nice things. But when having those things and getting more of those things becomes all you think about, we may need to evaluate something. We can become so focused on our stuff that we miss out on the relationships we have. We pray kids will start to discover how to prioritize what matters most.

WEEK 5
We’ll close out the month discovering a little more about one of Jesus’ teachings from the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6:25-34. Jesus knows that sometimes people worry about every little thing. By telling us about God’s care for the birds and the flowers, God will take care of everything we need.

Bottom Line: When you focus on God, you don’t have to worry. This could be a huge week for some kids in our ministries as they learn that God cares deeply for them and will take care of them. This might not look like they expect, but God will meet their needs.

 

16May_widescreen_Contentment

April God Time Cards

Elementary students at Antioch are learning all about Perseverance this April! Perseverance is refusing to give up when life gets hard. We would like to equip you to continue the conversation about perseverance at home. To help you do this we want to provide this great resource called God Time Cards. These short cards are designed for elementary kids to do as a weekly devotion. They are fun and engaging – and we know you and your kids will love them!

Below you will find the God Time Cards for April to help you and your elementary student continue learning about the importance of perseverance and what it means to keep going when life gets hard. Simply click below to get started! Have fun!

Week 1                    Week 2

Week 3                    Week 4

What is My Elementary Child Learning in April?

I’ve never been much of a long distance runner. I like sprints—quick and fast, finished in less than 10 seconds. In fact, the one time I did compete in a long distance race, I ended up sick on the side of the track. I know a ton of people who’ve run marathons. They put in the hard work, build up the stamina, and finish the race. They may not win, but they finish—and for a marathon that is a huge accomplishment.

On the other hand, one of my friends is on another level. He races in triathlons. He started a few years ago with this goal: compete in the Ironman Kona triathlon. This race is hard core. It starts out with a 2.4 mile swim, followed by 112 miles on a bike, and to top it all off, a full 26.2 mile marathon.

Only the best of the best compete at Kona, meaning you can’t just sign up for this, you have to qualify for it. That goal set my friend on a journey of years of training, multiple triathlons, and a team of doctors and athletic trainers who got him in tip-top shape to make competing in Kona even a remote possibility.

And believe it or not, his perseverance paid off. Not only did he qualify for Kona, he came in first and WON his division. He had what it took to swim, bike, and run the distance.

Just like runners show perseverance on the track, Christians often have to show perseverance in their faith. Jesus never promised that following Him would be easy. In fact, He said quite the opposite. “In this world you will have trouble.” But in the next breath He encourages His disciple with these words. “But have no fear, I have won the battle over the world.”

Jesus won the battle over the world as He persevered through the worst: rejection, violence, heartache, even death itself—all to rescue us. This is why the author of Hebrews told us to “fix our eyes on Jesus.”

In fact, the author of Hebrews has a lot to say to his audience about perseverance. See, life was very difficult for these early Christians as they were persecuted for their faith. They were forced into hiding. They met secretly in fear of violence. By simply continuing to believe that Jesus was the Son of God, the early Christians were seen as outcasts. So, the book of Hebrews was written to remind those Christians to refuse to give up. Even though life had gotten hard, they needed to keep doing what they knew was best for them to do.

This month, we’ll spend most of our time in the book of Hebrews where we’ll discover more about what the Bible says about perseverance. We define perseverance as refusing to give up when life gets hard. We have the chance to lean in to them and say: “Don’t give up. Persevere in your faith. Trust God no matter what.”

Throughout Scripture, the writers continually point people of faith to continue their journey relying not on their own strength, but God’s supernatural power. Take our memory verse for example. Isaiah 40:31 (NIrV), “But those who trust in the Lord will receive new strength. They will fly as high as eagles. They will run and not get tired. They will walk and not grow week.”

Isaiah offers hope to those who persevere and trust in God. They will find strength even when they feel like giving up. Going through those tough times will teach us that God is always there.

When it comes down to it, we all have experienced things that we would have never experienced if we didn’t push through the difficult times. When you get to the other side, you’ll see something that you would have never seen before—if you just believe in what God can do and what God can do in you.

WEEK 1
We start off our month on perseverance with Jesus’ last words before He ascends back to heaven. In Matthew 28:20, we have the huge task Jesus gave His disciples to share His story throughout the world. In Acts 1-2, we discover how Jesus’ sent the Holy Spirit at Pentecost to help the disciples accomplish that task.

Bottom Line: When life gets hard, remember God is with you. Because of the Holy Spirit in our lives, God is always with us. No matter what happens, we can continue to persevere because God can give us the strength we need to continue.

WEEK 2
In Hebrews 12:1, the author of Hebrews reminds us that when life gets hard, we can look to the heroes of the faith and see how they trusted God through some extremely difficult circumstances. God brought them through those trials, and God will help us through ours.

Bottom Line: When life gets hard, remember how others persevered. It’s comforting to know that others have made it through to the other side of difficult times. When we see how God helped them, it’s helps us trust God more with our own circumstances.

WEEK 3
In Hebrews 12:2-3, we will talk about what it means to run the race of life with perseverance. It will get hard, but we can focus our attention on Jesus. He is the ultimate example of someone who endured death itself to accomplish the rescue mission God set out for him.

Bottom Line: When life gets hard, remember what Jesus did for you. Jesus persevered through the most difficult life had to offer. He did that for us. We pray kids discover that they can trust Jesus with their whole life from now until eternity. When life doesn’t go as planned, kids can look to Jesus and remember how His life and death overcame the world.

WEEK 4
Finally, through Hebrews 12:12-15, kids will learn that others are watching us as we persevere through difficult times. When our friends or family members are having trouble persevering, they can look to our example and be encouraged to stick with it.

Bottom Line: When life gets hard, remember you can help others persevere. After we go through a difficult time, we often have a chance to help others through similar situations. We want kids to learn that as they trust God and persevere, they will set an example and encourage others to do the same.

April Editor’s Notes
By Dan Scott, Rethink Group

16Apr_standard_Perseverance