God Called Isaiah

King Uzziah’s death marked the end of an era. His reign had been long and prosperous. Uzziah became king when he was 16, and he reigned over Judah for 52 years.

But Uzziah’s pride got the best of him. (See 2 Chron. 26:16.) Under Uzziah’s leadership, God’s people had turned away from the promises of God and trusted in the promises of the world around them. God had promised to bless the entire world through Abraham’s family, but God’s people were rebelling against Him. Instead of blessing, they set themselves up to receive God’s judgment. But God’s plans and promises were not thwarted. God sent the prophet Isaiah to preach a message of hope.

Isaiah 6 opens with Isaiah worshiping in the temple. Then God gave Isaiah a vision. Isaiah saw God sitting on a throne. God was reigning over the universe. The magnitude of God’s holiness made Isaiah realize the magnitude of his own sin. His response? “Woe is me!”

God extended His grace to Isaiah. He took away Isaiah’s guilt and shame and invited Isaiah to stay in His presence and then gave him an important job–to tell the people of Israel God’s message.

Isaiah knew he was sinful but God forgave Isaiah’s sin. Isaiah tells us God is good and holy. Like Isaiah, we also know we are sinful. God sent His Son, Jesus, to take away our sin. Only He can save us. The one true God is good and holy.

Help your kids understand that God is perfectly holy—He is pure and without sin and He is unique from anything and everyone else. God is also loving and full of mercy and grace. God sent Jesus to die on the cross to pay for the sins—past, present, and future—of those who would trust in Him. When we trust in Jesus, God says to us the words Isaiah heard: “Your guilt is taken away. Your sin is atoned for.” As you talk, reinforce these truths:

  • There is one true God.
  • God called Isaiah to be a prophet–meaning God gave Isaiah a message to tell to others.
  • Isaiah saw God the King on His throne.
  • Isaiah tells us that God is good and holy.

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Elisha and Naaman

Everyone gets sick at some point in his or her lifetime … often many times! Illness is probably no stranger to your kids. This week, kids will learn about a commander for the Syrian army—he was really sick. He had leprosy, a skin disease that was likely disfiguring and isolating. Without a cure, Naaman would face great suffering. But help came from an unlikely source: a young slave girl.

The people of Israel and Syria were often at odds with one another. The Syrians sometimes attacked the cities in Israel and plundered them. They took what they wanted, including people to work as slaves.

The young slave girl who served Naaman’s wife had been taken from her home in Israel.

As an Israelite, the girl knew about the one true God. She was familiar with God’s prophets, including Elisha, who had performed miracles to help and heal people. The girl told her mistress that Elisha the prophet could heal Naaman. So the king of Syria sent a letter to the king of Israel, asking him to cure Naaman of his leprosy. But the king of Israel had no power to heal Naaman. The power to heal comes only from God.

Elisha called for Naaman. But what happened next was not at all what Naaman expected. Naaman expected Elisha to call upon the name of God, wave his hand over Naaman, and miraculously heal him. Instead, Elisha instructed Naaman to go wash in the river.

Naaman was upset! He could have washed in a river back home! But Naaman’s servants urged him to wash. He did, and God healed him.

Naaman was sick. He had a problem with his skin. When Naaman washed in the river, his skin got better. It was a miracle! We are all sick with a sin problem—but when we trust in Jesus, He heals us. It’s a miracle! God forgives us and gives us new life.

Help your kids understand that not all sick people will be healed on this side of heaven, but our physical maladies are symptoms of an even greater illness–sin. Life is not how it was designed to be, but God plans to make it good! Jesus’ death and resurrection provided healing—forgiveness and eternal life—for those who trust in Him. As you talk, reinforce these truths:

  • There is one true God.
  • The servant girl teaches us to always want the best for others–even people who treat us poorly.
  • God healed Naaman.
  • Naaman learned that obeying God is always best.
  • There is no one like God.
  • How many gods are there? There is one true God.
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Elijah Ran from Jezebel

The prophet Elijah had just witnessed God’s great display of power over the false god Baal. God had sent fire from heaven and then ended a long drought with a great rain. Elijah must have felt a sense of victory; the evil King Ahab could not deny the one true God. But trouble awaited Elijah in the form of Ahab’s wife, Jezebel.

When Jezebel heard what happened at Mount Carmel, she threatened to kill Elijah. Elijah ran away and hid in the wilderness. What a change Elijah experienced! He went from a man faithfully and confidently praying for God’s glory to be displayed at Mount Carmel to a man begging the Lord to take away his life. (See 1 Kings 19:4.)

God was merciful to Elijah. An angel of the Lord brought Elijah food and drink while he rested. Then Elijah traveled to Horeb for a personal encounter with God. Horeb—another name for Mount Sinai—was a familiar place in the history of Israel. It was the place where God gave the Ten Commandments to the Israelites and where Moses met with God.

After the events in 1 Kings 18, Elijah might have expected a grand display of God’s presence, but what he experienced was just the opposite. The Lord was not in the wind. The Lord was not in the earthquake. The Lord was not in the fire. God revealed Himself to Elijah in a voice, a soft whisper.

Elijah’s circumstances were difficult, but God didn’t leave him. God gave him Elisha, a friend and successor. God assured Elijah that he was not alone; there were 7,000 people in Israel who had not turned to worship Baal.

Some people did not like Elijah—they wanted to hurt him because he worshiped God. He urged the people to turn from sin and to return to the true God. Elijah points us to Jesus, who also longs for us to turn from our sin and trust the one true God.

Help your kids understand that the messages God gave through the prophets like Elijah pointed forward to the ultimate prophet, priest, and king—Jesus Christ. His death and resurrection brought victory for God’s people. As you talk, reinforce these truths:

  • There is one true God.
  • God spoke to Elijah in a small whisper.
  • God encouraged Elijah.
  • How many gods are there? There is one true God.
  • Jesus is with us when we are afraid.

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Elijah Confronted Evil Ahab

This week, we continue in the big story of the Bible by learning about the contest between Elijah and the prophets of Baal. King Ahab was an evil king. In fact, “Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel than all the kings of Israel who were before him” (1 Kings 16:33). The things that Ahab did made God angry. God wanted His people to be faithful to Him, but King Ahab led them away from God.

God chose Elijah to get Ahab’s attention. In 1 Kings 17, Elijah told Ahab that a drought was coming. God prevented rain in the land for three years. For Ahab, a man who worshiped Baal—the false Canaanite god of rain and fertility—the drought sent a strong message about the one true God.

When God was ready to send rain on the earth, Elijah appeared to Ahab and instructed him to gather the Israelites and the prophets of the false gods at Mount Carmel. Elijah challenged the people to choose: Follow God or follow Baal. They couldn’t do both.

Elijah set up a challenge to prove who is the one true God. He faced off against the prophets of Baal. Each group prepared a bull on an altar and called on its deity to send fire from heaven. The prophets of Baal called and cried and cut themselves, but Baal did not answer.

Elijah poured water on and around his altar. He called to God, and God sent fire from heaven. Everything was burned up. The prophets could not deny that the God of Elijah is the one true God, and God sent a great rain to end the drought.

The people who worshiped the false god Baal worked very hard to show they loved Baal, but Baal was silent. The one true God is not like false gods. God is real and cares deeply for His creation. God showed His love for us by sending His Son, Jesus, to be the Savior of the world.

Help your kids understand that God is an initiating God. We love God because He first loved us, which He proved by providing Jesus. Only God—the one true God—has power to help His people and to save them. And He saves them through His Son, Jesus, whose name means “the Lord saves.” As you talk to your child, reinforce these truths:

  • There is one true God.
  • Elijah showed the people God’s power.
  • God hears His people when we pray.
  • How many gods are there? There is one true God.
  • The one true God defeated the prophets of Baal.

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What Is My Preschooler Learning in September?

Happy Autumn!

We’re excited to begin a new season with you and your sweet preschoolers. This month we will be teaching kids the bottom line, I can trust God, and the memory verse, “Trust the Lord with all your heart” (Proverbs 3:5, NCV). Click here to view the motions for the memory verse!

During September kids will hear the following stories:

  • Noah (God’s Plan) • Genesis 6:8-33; 7:1-24 | I can believe what God says. God told Noah that a flood was coming, but that God would keep Noah safe if he followed God’s plan. God told Noah to build a huge ark and put his family and every kind of animal inside it. Noah obeyed, and the flood came. God kept his promise and kept Noah safe!
  • Noah (God’s Promise) • Genesis 8:1–9:17 | God keeps His promises. After many, many days, God dried up some of the water so that there was dry land for Noah and his family and all of the animals. He put a rainbow in the sky and told Noah that the rainbow was the sign of His promise that He would never send a flood to cover the whole earth again.
  • Jonah • Jonah 1:1–3:10 | I should go God’s way. The people of Ninevah did not follow God, but God still loved them. God picked Jonah to give a message to the Ninevites, so they could learn how to be friends with God! Jonah didn’t want to give the message, he didn’t think those bad people deserved a second chance, so he ran away. He ended up on a boat, and then in the ocean, and then in the belly of a big fish! After talking to God, Jonah decided to obey and talk to the Ninevites. They decided to follow God and Jonah learned that God’s plan is the best!
  • Naaman • 2 Kings 5:1-14 | I can trust God even when it’s hard. Naaman had a skin disease and went to Elisha for help. Elisha told Naaman that God would heal him if he washed himself seven times in the dirty Jordan river. That plan was very different than what Naaman expected, so he got angry and didn’t want to do it. But when he decided to trust God and obey, he was healed!

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Click here for a fun video telling the story of Noah.

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Click here to view a video of the story of Jonah.

A preview video can be found here, and the Parent Cue for September can be found here.

We can’t wait to see what God has to teach us—kids and adults alike—about trusting Him this September. See you soon!

Preschool Parent Cue – April

April is here! This month we’re teaching kids a memory verse from Matthew 22:37-39 – “Love the Lord your God with all your heart… Love your neighbor as yourself.” The bottom line is I can love God and love people. We’re excited to teach kids this important truth! Check out the Parent Cue below for ideas of how to keep teaching this to your kiddos at home!

Preschool Parent Cue – April

What is My Preschooler Learning in April?

Whew! Easter flew by and April is here!

At Easter we celebrated the most amazing display of God’s love for us! Before and after His death and resurrection, Jesus taught that we can show God how much we love Him by treating others the way He wants us to treat them. We can’t wait to teach kids the memory verse from Matthew 22:37-39 – “Love the Lord your God with all your heart… Love your neighbor as yourself.” This month kids will learn to care for others through the lens of “my neighborhood.” As we teach kids about who their neighbors are—that is, everyone around them, including their teachers, doctors, cashiers at the grocery store, and literal next-door neighbors—we will reinforce the bottom line: I can love God and love people. This month we will teach the following Bible stories.

  • Saul to Paul • Acts 9:1-31 | Everyone can learn to love God and love people. Saul didn’t believe Jesus was the Rescuer, and hated Jesus’ friends. But one day Jesus met Saul and changed him so that he decided to follow Jesus, to love God and love people.
  • Early Church • Acts 2:42-47 | We can love God and love people with our friends. The Church is the group of God’s people. We are God’s people, and we can show love to God and people by spending time together, praying and learning about God together, and helping when someone has a need.
  • Peter and John • Acts 3:1-16 | We can love people with what we have. Peter saw a man who couldn’t walk and the man asked for money. Peter told him that he didn’t have money to give him, but instead he told him he would give what he did have; with Jesus’ power Peter helped the man to walk again!
  • Love God, Love People • Matthew 22:34-40 | I can love God and love people. Jesus taught people that the most important things they should do are: love God and love people! When we show love to people, it shows God we love Him, too.

We can’t wait to teach kids the important truth that God wants us to love Him and love people!

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Preschool Parent Cue for February

Valentine’s Day is coming up and we can’t wait to celebrate the amazing love of our God! This month our preschoolers will be learning the bottom line that Jesus loves everyone and the memory verse: “Love each other as I have loved you” (John 15:12, NIV). Our kids will hear about how Jesus wants the whole world to know that he loves every single person–even if they do something wrong and even if no one else loves them. See the Parent Cue below for ideas of how to incorporate the message of God’s love into your routine this month!

Preschool Parent Cue – February

What is My Preschooler Learning in February?

 

Happy February! The arrival of this month is often characterized by hearts, and the colors red and pink, and maybe even some special gifts for the people we love (like chocolate or little delicious hearts with sweet messages on them). What a perfect time of year to talk about…

God’s LOVE!

This month’s bottom line for our preschoolers is Jesus loves everyone! Our memory verse is “Love each other as I have loved you” (John 15:12, NIV). We can’t wait to share these Bible stories about Jesus’ love for people!

  • Woman at the Well • John 4:1-30 | Jesus loves everyone. Jesus met a Samaritan woman—she was different from him, she lived in a different place and wore different clothes—and Jesus loved her and wanted to be her friend, even though they were so different!
  • Zacchaeus • Luke 19:1-10 | Jesus loves us even when we do something wrong. Zacchaeus made some wrong choices, but Jesus still wanted to be his friend and visit him at his house! When he did, he showed him he loved him and helped him make right choices.
  • The Unloved Woman • John 8:2-11 | Jesus loves us when no one else does. There was a woman who made some bad choices, and everyone was mean to her and wanted to hurt her. But Jesus saved her and told her that because he loved her, he wanted to change her life and help her make good choices!
  • Disciples Tell Others • Matthew 28:16-20 | Tell everyone Jesus loves them. Jesus loved everyone so much that he told his best friends, the disciples, that they were going to have new jobs: they were going to tell as many people as they could that Jesus loved them and wanted to be their friend forever!

To our parents and family members and Antioch Kids leaders, you are so influential in these kiddos’ understanding of God’s love! We invite you to take some time this month, amidst preparing valentines for your kids’ classmates or decorating Valentine’s cupcakes, to remind your children about the most powerful, joyful, life-changing love there is—the love of our great God!

“… God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him… if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” (1 John 4:8-9; 12, NIV)

What is My Preschooler Learning in December?

Hi there!

December is here! This season is so exciting, because we are thinking about Christmas. When kids think about Christmas, they often think about presents, too. On Sunday mornings in Antioch Kids we will get to tell kids about the most amazing gift ever given! This gift, of course, is when God sent His own Son into the world to be with us! Here is the plan for each week in December:

  1. Jesus is Born • Luke 1:26-33, 38, 46-49; 2:1-7 | An angel came and told Mary she was going to have a baby. This baby would be God’s Son, and he would be called “Jesus.” Right before Mary was ready to have her baby, she and Joseph had to travel to Bethlehem. Every inn was full, so Jesus was born in a stable.
  1. The Shepherds • Luke 2:8-20 | God chose shepherds to be the first people to hear about His Son’s birth.
  1. The Wise Men • Matthew 2:1-2, 9-11 | Some wise men knew a baby King was coming, and they followed the star that led them to him.
  1. Family Service | On December 27th our kiddos and adults will get to learn together about the story of the young boy Jesus in the temple!

Below are two videos from the Jesus Storybook Bible that present the stories from weeks one and two. The third story can be found in the print version of the book, which can be purchased here (The Wise Men | “The King of All Kings”).

During the first three weeks, we will also be introducing the remaining three pillars of Advent Conspiracy to our preschoolers.

  • Give More (Dec 6) The best gift ever was God sending His Son Jesus to be with us. We can follow His example by giving relational gifts, our time and shared experiences, rather than just stuff.
  • Worship Fully (Dec 13) The Christmas story teaches us to worship fully by choosing to celebrate our king Jesus with every breath.
  • Love All (Dec 20) Jesus came into the world in order to love people. We can love others by noticing their needs and doing something to help.

This is such a special time of year, when we celebrate the coming of our God, because He loved us so much! We can’t wait to continue talking with your kiddos about the love of our great God!

Merry Christmas!

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