Category: journeying together

Daniel Was Rescued from the Lions

By | August 22, 2015

dan 6You have probably been to a zoo, gone inside the cat house, and seen a lion. You were not able to pet the lion. In fact, there was some kind of fence or wall that separated you from the lion, because lions are dangerous wild animals. The lion is one of the largest animals in the cat kingdom, second only to the tiger. A male lion can reach eight feet in length and can weigh up to 500 pounds. A lion’s roar can be heard five miles away. Lions may not eat for several days, but when they do, they tend to eat all of their prey. They are able to take down animals that are much larger than themselves.

In ancient Egypt, the lion was respected and feared. Anyone with the ability to hunt a lion was considered to be very brave and was often rewarded by the Pharaoh. Lions were a large part of Egyptian activities, and many Egyptian gods were portrayed as hybrids of the lion, meaning the image of the god had some part that was a lion and some part that was a different animal.

Review: Last week, we learned about how God crashed King Belshazzar’s party. Belshazzar was having a feast, and he invited all the top officials in his kingdom. They were all giving praise to the gods of gold, silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone. In the middle of the party, a hand appeared out of nowhere and started writing on the wall. Although all the wise men of the kingdom tried, the only one who could interpret the writing was Daniel. He explained that there were three words used to describe Belshazzar: numbered, weighed, and divided.

What was the meaning behind the three words? Belshazzar’s days were numbered; he was measured against God’s standard and was found lacking; his kingdom would be divided.

Scripture Reading: Daniel 6

Memory Verse: Daniel 6:27: “He rescues and He saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.”

 

Family Activity:

Post the words Character and Consequences on a wall as headings for two columns.

Under the Character column, post the names: Satraps/Administrators, King Darius, Daniel. Leave space after each name to post the characteristics of that person.

Explain that a characteristic is a distinguishing feature or quality of a person. A consequence is the result or outcome of something that happened earlier. As you go through the story, post the appropriate character traits and consequences under each name.

After the story is complete, place the word “God” under the Characteristics column. Go through and write your own characteristics of God and the consequences that result.

Explain that God’s plan was for Jesus to live in our hearts. It’s up to us whether or not we open the door and let Jesus in to help us live a right life in God’s eyes.

 

Pray:

  • Pick one or two character traits you think God would like to see in your life, and ask God to help you develop those traits
  • Thank God that He is faithful, and that He protects those who are faithful to Him.

Lesson: August 23rd

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego

By | August 8, 2015

smaIn Daniel, chapter two, Nebuchadnezzar is given a dream about an image with a head made of gold. The image also consists of silver, bronze, copper, iron, and clay. When God gives Daniel the ability to interpret the dream, he tells Nebuchadnezzar that the head of gold represents Nebuchadnezzar and his kingdom. Daniel reveals that it is God who has given Nebuchadnezzar dominion, power, might and glory. Daniel makes it very clear that Nebuchadnezzar has power only because God has allowed it. Daniel then proceeds to tell Nebuchadnezzar about his future. Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom will be destroyed, and God will set up a kingdom that will never end. The Bible records Nebuchadnezzar as falling prostrate before Daniel, but it’s not for the reason that you might think.

Nebuchadnezzar is giving praise to this God of Israel who can interpret dreams. He did not show any remorse or fear about the future. It seems that he did not hear anything Daniel said past the golden head representing himself, for in the very next chapter he builds an image of gold. There is no name given to the image, so we can assume it was not made to honor any god. Nebuchadnezzar most likely built the image to honor himself. Nebuchadnezzar’s pride gets the best of him. The fourth chapter of Daniel provides a vivid description of how God dealt with Nebuchadnezzar’s pride.

Review: Last week we learned about how Daniel and his three friends remained faithful to God. Daniel and his friends were chosen to be in the king’s service. They were to be given a portion of the king’s food and wine. Daniel requested that they only be given vegetables and water. God blessed them by making them healthier than all the rest who ate food from the king’s table.

Why did Daniel and his friends not want to eat food from the king’s table? Much of the Babylonian food is offered to idols and it would be wrong for them to eat it..

Scripture Reading: Daniel 3

Memory Verse: Daniel 6:27: “He rescues and He saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.”

 

Family Activity:

Divide into pairs.

  • With their backs facing each other, tie the pairs together at the waist.
  • Tell the pairs that they are not allowed to communicate with each other in any way.
  • With all pairs participating at the same time, give the pairs directions to do various activities: sit on the couch, spin in a circle, walk to the other room, lie on your back, or any other simple activities you create.
  • After attempting to do the activities, discuss the difficulty of doing the tasks when the partners are unable to communicate to tell each other what they are thinking. It’s like having two minds that are often in opposition to each other.
  • Now give the same directions to the pairs, but this time let them communicate with each other.
  • Discuss how much easier it was to accomplish their tasks when they were of the same mind.
  • When our minds are in tune with God’s mind, we can be determined that we will serve God in spite of what others are doing around us. We will be able to accomplish God’s plan because we will be working in unison with Him instead of doing the opposite of His plan. James 1:8 says that a man who doubts God is double-minded and “is unstable in all he does.” It is important that we be single-minded, focusing on serving God, so that when temptation does come, we can be strong to stand against it.

 

Pray:

Adoration: Give praise to an almighty God who is able to save, even from a fiery furnace.

Confession: Ask God to forgive you for putting other things over Him; for having idols.

Thanksgiving: Thank God that He is a loving God that watches over His children.

Supplication: Ask God to help you take a stand for what is right even though others around you may not be doing what is right.

 

Lesson: August 9th

Daniel and His Friends Obeyed God

By | July 25, 2015

dan 1YAHWEH: THE LORD

The book of Daniel was written during the time that the nation of Israel was in exile. It would have been a common belief among the Babylonians that Israel’s defeat was an indication that they served a weak god. The Jews may have had such thoughts themselves as they were living in exile. They may have thought that God had not kept His promises to them.

God used the lives of four teenagers to prove that not only is He the one true God, but that He had not forgotten about His people or His promises to them. The account of Daniel and his faithfulness proves the sovereignty (one who has supreme power and authority) of Israel’s God. Daniel and his friends trusted the Lord, and He showed Himself able to protect and deliver them.

As a result, His power is made known to and proclaimed by the nations of the world. Our Memory Verse for this unit sounds like it could have been the words of Daniel giving praise to God, but these words were actually stated by a pagan king of Babylon.

 

Review: In the last lesson we learned how the nation of Judah was conquered by the Babylonians. God took His prophet Ezekiel to a valley where he was instructed to prophesize to dead bones—telling them that God would breathe life into them again.

What was God promising His people who were now in exile through this prophecy? God would put His Spirit back in them and they would be made new. He would settle them back into their own land.

Scripture Reading: Daniel 1

Memory Verse: Daniel 6:27: “He rescues and He saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.”

 

Family Activity:

Supplies: paper, pencil or pen

To help review the lesson, divide into two teams and play a game of Tic-tac-toe. One team will be “X” and the other team will be “O”. Using the review questions below, ask one team a question. If the team gets the right answer, they can put either an “X” or an “O” in a spot on the board:

 

  • Why did God have to punish the Jewish people? They chose to worship false gods.
  • How did God punish the Jewish people? They were captured and taken into slavery.
  • What kind of men did the king want Ashpenaz to look for? Ones who were handsome and smart.
  • Why didn’t Daniel want to eat the king’s food? Much of the food was used for idol worship and God had specifically told the Israelites not to eat certain foods.
  • What did Daniel ask that he be fed instead of the king’s food? Vegetables and water.
  • Why did Ashpenaz not want to give Daniel vegetables? He was afraid that Daniel would not look very good and the king would be upset.
  • For how many days was the official to test Daniel and his friends? Ten days.
  • How did God bless Daniel and his friends for taking a stand for what was right? They looked even better than those who had eaten the king’s food.
  • How much better were Daniel and his friends than all the magicians in wisdom and understanding? Ten times better.
  • What special gift did God give to Daniel? The ability to understand dreams and visions.
  • Why did the Babylonians change the names of Daniel and his friends? They wanted them to forget about their home land and their God, and to worship the false gods.

Pray: Ask God to help develop you into people who please Him no matter what. Give thanks to God that He is able to protect and deliver us from the enemy’s temptations.

 

Lesson: July 26th

Staying Connected To Your Kids

By | July 10, 2015

Want to know one of the most effective ways to stay connected to your kids?

Have fun with them! Laugh! Play! Create! Explore!

God has given you not just a child to raise but another human being to enjoy, get to know, learn from and best of all, LOVE.

We want to help get your creative juices flowing so we’ve come up with a few hangout ideas for you and your kid. Yes, that was singular. Kid. These ideas are meant to be experienced one-on-one. It’s great having siblings and being a member of a family, but every now and then nothing is better than being the only child and having mom or dad’s undivided attention.

So, are you ready to have some fun with your kid? Are you ready to break away from the same ol’ same ol’ and make a memory? Well, what are you waiting for? Go have some fun and let us know what is your favorite way to connect with you children.

 

Toddlers

  • Dance in the living room to music together.
  • Go outside and explore.
  • Draw with sidewalk chalk.
  • Blow bubbles.
  • Cuddle up and read books and look at pictures together.

 

Preschool

  • Go to a park or playground and play hide-n-seek.
  • Go get ice cream or make sundaes at home. (Don’t forget the sprinkles!)
  • Have a “fancy” dinner or tea party.
  • Go to your local airport and watch airplanes take off and land.
  • Make a fort in the living room with cushions and blankets and “camp out.” If it’s a warm night, go in the backyard.

 

Elementary

  • Let your child pick out a couple of new board games and have a game night.
  • Ride bikes together. (And if you’re not chicken, try to skateboard.)
  • Try doing an art project or craft together.
  • Make dinner together.
  • Have a good old fashion pillow fight!

 

Middle School

  • Watch YouTube together (Good Mythical Morning, See Ya Reel Soon, and StampyLongNose are highly recommended.)
  • Curl up in the bed and read together.
  • Let your child teach you how to play his favorite video game.
  • Go to a concert and jam out together.

 

High School

  • Walk around the mall and window shop, or set a budget your kid can spend on something “just because.”
  • Go out to eat at your kid’s favorite restaurant.
  • Get your nails done and go to Starbucks. (Hey dad, you’re missing out if you’ve never had a pedicure.)
  • Throw the football, baseball, or try some ultimate Frisbee.
  • Put on your team’s colors, and go to a high school, college, or pro game

 

 

The Exile Began | Jeremiah 36

By | June 27, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 12.54.41 AMFEAR OR FEAR?

In the English language there is only one word for fear. In the Hebrew language, which is the language of the Old Testament, there are two words for fear, pachad and yare. The Hebrew word pachad means to have fear, dread, terror, or to be startled. For example, you would never willingly stick your hand in a fire because you would be afraid of being burned. The other Hebrew word for fear is yare, meaning to stand in awe, to reverence, or to re- spect. For example, you recognize the power and position of God and so give Him proper respect.

In today’s Bible reading, King Jehoiakim failed to have dread or respect of God. The scroll that was read to Jehoiakim contained warnings about upcoming judgment against Judah, but the king was not afraid of God’s judgment. He had such lack of respect for God and His Word, he burned the scroll.

 

Review:  Last week we learned how God called Jeremiah to deliver a message to Judah. At first, Jeremiah was afraid because he was young and could not speak well. God touched and put His words into Jeremiah’s mouth. God told Jeremiah that the entire nation would oppose his message, but then God told Jeremiah to not be afraid.

What does God promise Jeremiah? Although the people will fight against Jeremiah, they will not overcome him because God will rescue him. Even with the entire nation against him, Jeremiah did not have to worry, because God promised to be with him.

Memory Verse: Ezekiel 37:27: “My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people.”

 


TALK

God called Jeremiah to be His prophet while Josiah was king of Judah. Now, about twenty years later, God had a message for King Jehoiakim. Jeremiah had all the words written on a scroll, and had his scribe, Baruch, go to the temple and read the scroll to the people.

  1. In verse 5, Jeremiah tells his scribe, Baruch, that he must go to the temple and read the scroll. What was the reason that Jeremiah said he could not deliver the message? Jeremiah said that he was restricted from going to the temple. We are not told why Jeremiah was not allowed in the temple.

  2. The Lord and Jeremiah both had the same wish for Judah after they heard the message of the Lord. What did both God and Jeremiah desire for Judah? They both desired for Judah to turn away from their wicked ways. What did God say He would do if Judah turned back to Him? “I will forgive their wickedness and their sin.”
  3. How did the officials react after Baruch read the scroll to them? They looked at each other in fear. What did they do? They told Baruch to take Jeremiah and hide. They told King Jehoiakim everything that had been read to them.
  4. King Jehoiakim told the officials to bring the scroll and read it to him. What did Jehoiakim do as the scroll was being read to him? Whenever three or four columns of the scroll were read, the king would take a knife, cut them off, and throw them in the fire, until the entire scroll was burned. Not only did Jehoiakim destroy the scroll, but he also wanted to destroy God’s prophet, Jeremiah. The king ordered that Baruch and Jeremiah be arrested. How did God protect Baruch and Jeremiah? God hid them.
  5. The Bible states that when the officials heard what the scroll had to say, they looked at each other in fear. How does the Bible describe Jehoiakim and his attendants’ response? They showed no fear nor did they tear their clothes. Jehoiakim’s father, Josiah, also had a time when God’s Word was read to him. Read 2 Kings 22:11–13. How was Josiah’s reaction different from Jehoiakim’s reaction to God’s words? Josiah tore his clothes, showing sorrow for the sins of the nation against God. Being part of a family that goes to church and has family worship time means that we hear God’s Word often. Sometimes it is easy to hear the words, but not do anything with what we have heard. We may be able to quote numerous Bible verses, but we never think about how we should apply them to our lives. Read James 1:22–25. What should we do with God’s Word? Do not just listen to it, but do what it says; then you will be blessed.
  6. What was to be Jehoiakim’s punishment because he refused to listen to God’s warning? Jehoiakim would no longer have someone on the throne. This meant his entire family line would be removed from the line of royalty. This judgment was fulfilled when Jehoiakim’s son, Jehoiachin, ruled only three months before he was captured and taken into captivity

 


PRAY 

Use this unit’s memory verse as the foundation for your prayer time.

  • Invite God to dwell among you; to be a part of everything that happens in your home.
  • Ask God to reveal to you any false gods that you may have. Ask God to remove them from your lives, so that He is the only God in your home.
  • Commit your lives to God to show those around you that you are God’s people, living a life that is righteous even if those around you are not righteous.

 

(June 28th lesson)

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