Daniel and His Friends Obeyed God

This week in Antioch Kids, we will begin learning about the life of Daniel. God’s people had been warned by the prophets: “Turn from your sin, and turn back to God!” But the people did not listen. The nation of Judah was consumed by idol worship; the kings did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. So as warned, the people were taken from their land.

Nebuchadnezzar was the king of Babylon, the strong and powerful nation that overtook Judah’s capital of Jerusalem and brought God’s people to Babylon. Daniel was a young man in Judah when this happened. He might have heard about the prophet Isaiah’s warnings; now he witnessed their fulfillment. (See Isa. 39:5-7.)

King Nebuchadnezzar called for the best young men from Judah to be trained for service in the palace. Among these teens were Daniel and three of his friends. The chosen boys were given new identities—new names, new education, new culture. But Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah stayed faithful to the one true God and refused to make themselves unclean by eating the king’s food, which was against the dietary laws of the Old Testament.

God blessed Daniel and his friends. Daniel’s obedience to God led to his favor with King Nebuchadnezzar, and Daniel’s life would be a testament to God’s control over all things. God remembered His people during the exile and promised to bring them back to their homeland and set up a new kingdom.

Daniel chose to obey God no matter what. Help your kids understand that obedience is not always easy, but we trust God to give us strength to obey Him. As you review this story, remind your child that:

  • Daniel and his friends loved and obeyed God.
  • It is not always easy to obey God–but it is always best to obey God.
  • God helps us obey Him.
  • How can we obey God? We trust God to help us obey Him.

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Abundance Swap

Join us for our the ABUNDANCE SWAP on December 9th. 
Bring items at 1:00pm. Swap starts at 2pm. It lasts an hour.

It is an alternative to the holiday shopping season because some of the good stuff we have isn’t being well used or fully enjoyed.

How does it work?
Step 1.  Find quality items. Look  in your home, shop, garage or office for items that someone would enjoy as a gift. These should be fun, useful, interesting or beautiful items in really good shape that you feel  you can spare. “Quality” doesn’t mean “expensive”. It means well-made, worthwhile, and likely to be valued. Please only include items that are in good enough condition to be “gift worthy”.

Step 2.  Contribute then collect. On the day of the ABUNDANCE SWAP, bring your items. Help organize your items in these categories: Men’s Items, Women’s Items, Kid’s Items, Kitchen, Home Decor, Outdoor Equipment, Garage, Tech, and Miscellaneous. Once you have contributed, enjoy a cup of coffee– then the swap will begin. We invite you to find some things that you’d like to take away to give as gifts to others!

Step 3.  Spend less and love more. Use the gifts you take home to reduce the cost of your new gift purchases.  As you spend less, consider using the “saved” money to help those in need in our community and around the world.

Three simple steps, that’s it. This will be our own holiday shopping event–a round of giving and receiving that includes no money and no new demands on resources. For some of us it may be a stretching exercise – a chance to let go of stuff, or to let go of worries that we might not get back “our fair share”, or  let go of commercially-planted ideas that a gift should be shiny, new, and from the store.

Bonus! There will be coffee,  hot chocolate, and a gift wrapping station available. We hope you can join us this year at the ABUNDANCE SWAP!

Questions? Email us by clicking here. See you December 9th!
Time: 1pm
Place: Antioch Office (255 SW Bluff Drive)

To learn more, watch this short video here or click below!

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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


We Believe in Kids!

At Antioch, we believe in kids ministry because God loves kids!

Psalm 127:3 tells us that kids are a blessing from God. In Luke, Jesus welcomed children and affirmed their value. Make no mistake, kids matter to God and He longs for them to know of His great love!

Serving in Antioch Kids isn’t about checking a box by making a Sunday morning commitment. Instead, it is an opportunity to teach the youngest generation about God’s great love! If you are interested in learning more about serving in Antioch Kids, simply let us know. We’d love to serve kids and families together!

To learn more, check out the links below and watch our new video!

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Antioch Kids Training Booklet

Volunteer Application