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Family Sunday

By | July 28, 2015

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August 2nd – Family Sunday.

No Climb, Summit or Rapids Class.

Ezekiel Told About a Future Hope

By | July 18, 2015

NEBUCHADNEZZAR

EZK

The nation of Judah was conquered by the Babylonians. Nebuchadnezzar was king of the Babylonian empire during this time. He is known as the most powerful monarch of his dynasty. The capital city, Babylon, was the largest city in the world and was filled with magnificent architecture. Nebuchadnezzar had numerous military conquests, and he was skilled at politics. In spite of all Nebuchadnezzar’s strength, he was not able to conquer Judah on his own. The Babylonians were only successful in their attempt to defeat Judah because God allowed it. When Israel entered Palestine, they were undefeated against any enemy. When Israel forgot about their God, they became weak and vulnerable.

Review: Last week we learned about Ezekiel’s prophecy to those who were not exiled to Babylon, but remained in Jerusalem. Ezekiel’s vision revealed judgment by the sword and by fire. He then revealed the most devastating judgment that Judah had ever received.

What was the terrible news that Judah received? The glory of the Lord was going to leave the temple. God was no longer going to dwell among His people.

Scripture Reading: Ezekiel 37

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

 

Family Devotion: take time to answer the Unit Review questions.

Questions...

 

Pray: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” —2 Corinthians 5:17

  • Adoration: Give praise to an almighty God who is able to make all things new.
  • Confession: Confess to God the sin that keeps you from being like Jesus.
  • Thanksgiving: Thank God for His plan to make new life possible for anyone who believes.
  • Supplication: Ask God to teach you to become more like Jesus.

 

Lesson: July 19th

Ezekiel Prophesied to the Exiles

By | July 10, 2015

CaptureGOD’S DWELLING PLACE

 

In the Old Testament, the nation of Israel made a tabernacle according to God’s specifications. It was the dwelling place of God, and it was to be treated with the utmost respect and care. Only the priests were allowed in the most holy place within the tabernacle, the Holy of Holies, and that was allowed only one time each year. This was where the presence of the Lord dwelt, and the people had access through the High Priest.

When Jesus came, things changed. The veil that separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the temple was torn in half. No longer is a priest necessary to have access to God. Jesus is our High Priest, and we are able to come to Him at any time. When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we have the most holy God dwelling within us. We are now His temple

 

REVIEW: Last week we learned about the exile of Judah. The last four kings of Judah ignored Go and the numerous warnings He gave them to repent. Instead, they chose to do things their own way and continue in their life of rebellion against God. As a result, they were attacked and defeated by Babylon. Most of the people were taken into captivity and transported to Babylon to be slaves.

Scripture Reading: Ezekiel 10

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


 

TALK

  • Ezekiel’s vision contains a man in a linen tunic and cherubim (chapter 10). What does the Lord tell the man in the linen tunic to do? Fill his hands with burning coals and scatter them across the city. This is the second of a two-fold judgment against those remaining in Jerusalem. The first was that of the sword, and the second is by fire.
  • The next event that takes place in Ezekiel’s vision is the most devastating of all the judgments against Israel and Judah. Read verses 3–5 and 18–19. What do each of these verses say about the glory of the Lord? The glory of the Lord arose from the cherubim, left the Holy of Holies, and moved to the threshold of the temple. Then, it moved to the east gate of the temple. The east gate was the main entrance into the temple. The wings of the cherubim were so loud they could be heard throughout the temple courts. This was a visual of the cherubim beginning to ascend and carry the glory of the Lord out of the temple. Why do you think this would have been so devastating to Judah?
  • Read Exodus 40:34–38. What event is taking place? The glory of the Lord is filling the Tabernacle. While the Israelites were in the wilderness, God gave them very specific instructions on how to build His Tabernacle. The Tabernacle was a tent that could be taken down and moved as Israel was traveling across the wilderness. When the work on the Tabernacle was complete, the glory of the Lord came and filled it. This was God’s physical representation that He was dwelling among His people filled the temple. Just as before, God was showing that He was dwelling among His people. What was the reaction of the people? Worshiped, gave thanks, and offered sacrifices to the Lord.

 

PRAY

It is the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives that changes our hearts and makes us new.

  • Ask God to help you remember that you are the temple of God, and to keep your heart pure.
  • Thank God for wanting to dwell among you

 


 

DO

Give each family member a cut-out heart and have each one write his or her name on it. Then each person should tape their heart to the middle of his or her back.

Tell everyone that the name of the game is Guard Your Heart. Explain that the object of this game is to guard your own heart, while trying to capture others.

The room itself will provide boundaries for the game. A player can stand at the edge of the room to protect their back, but DON’T suggest this, or they all will. Let them figure that out for themselves.

To start, spread out evenly throughout the game area, at least arm’s length apart from each other.

Explain that on “GO!” they are to Guard Their Hearts, while trying to collect as many of the other players’ hearts as possible.

 

Explain that when time is up (two minutes) you will say “STOP” and count how many hearts each person has collected. Explain that they cannot grab, turn, push, or even touch the other players, or they are immediately out and lose. They can only grab the hearts of other players.

 

Notice: You do NOT say that those who have collected the most hearts will win, only that you will see how many each person has collected. Most will assume that the object of the game is to collect the most hearts, even though the name of the game is Guard Your Heart. When the game is over, announce that the winners are those who still have their heart, regardless of how many hearts they have collected.

 

Read Proverbs 4:23: “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”

Your heart is the part of you that loves and enjoys life. A lot of people and things in this world are after your heart. There are also a lot of things we chase after. When chasing after the wrong ones, we lose our own heart to those wrong things. 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.

Lesson July 12th

Judah Was Taken into Captivity

By | July 4, 2015

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Jerusalem was the capital city of Judah. It was a great city of commerce and trade. The temple and king’s house were both located in the city. During times of war people would seek refuge or safety within the fortified walls of Jerusalem.

When the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar, came against Judah, he chose to build a siege wall against Jerusalem. A siege wall prevents anyone or anything from entering or leaving the city. This meant that Jerusalem was completely cut off from its food supply. When they heard that Babylon was coming, all the people from surrounding communities fled to Jerusalem for safety. Before the gates could be closed, the city quickly became overcrowded, leaving people to sleep in the streets. Although Jerusalem had its own internal water supply, the people were limited to whatever food they already had on hand. Any wood supply for cooking fires would have quickly disappeared, making it impossible to cook any grains or meat. Since they were unable to leave the city, the garbage probably started piling up in the streets causing an increased number of rodents and diseases.

While the people of Judah were struggling for survival within their own city gates, the Babylonian army was enjoying the opposite. They had fresh food and water every day. They rested well each night just waiting for Jerusalem to weak- en. It was almost a vacation for them. Their siege wall lasted eighteen months. By then, the people inside were not able to put up any kind of fight when Babylon finally broke down the walls of Jerusalem. Most of its occupants were carted off to Babylon as slaves.

The book of Lamentations records the cries of sorrow over the loss of Jerusalem. Lamentations 1:1 pretty much states it all: “How deserted lies the city, once so full of people! How like a widow is she, who once was great among the nations! She who was queen among the provinces has now become a slave.”

God had offered the people of Israel an opportunity to be children of the Almighty King, but they chose to reject God’s offer and were now considered the least among people.

 

REVIEW: Last week we learned about King Jehoiakim’s disregard for God’s Word. The prophet Jeremiah wrote God’s message on a scroll and had it delivered to the officials. The message of judgment against Judah scared the officials, so they brought the scroll to the king. Instead of repenting and pleading for God’s forgiveness, Jehoiakim burned the scroll.

What did God say would be the result of Jehoiakim’s sin? He and his entire family would be removed from the royal line.


TALK 

  1. Today’s passage names four different kings that reigned in Judah during a short period of time. What are the names of the four kings? Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah.
  2. Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, and Jehoiachin were brothers. Their father was Josiah, the king who started a great reform in Judah after reading the scroll that was found in the temple. How does the Bible describe these last kings of Judah? they did what was evil in the eyes of the lord. Read Jeremiah 22:15–16. How does the Bible describe their father, King Josiah? “He did what was right and just so all went well with him.” In spite of their father’s example of walking in the ways of the Lord, his sons had to make their own choice of how they would live. The same is true for us. We may have parents that love God and teach us God’s ways, but we still have to choose for ourselves whether or not we are going to love God and walk in His ways. Having Christian parents does not automatically make us Christians. We must choose to either accept or reject Jesus. What choice have you made? If you have not chosen to accept Jesus, then you have chosen to reject Him. The good news is that you can change. Come to God and He will forgive you. see the Basics of salvation in the back of this guide.
  3. How does the Bible say that each of the last four kings lost their thrones? they were each defeated by another nation. the kings of egypt (neco) and Babylon (nebuchadnezzar) defeated the kings of Judah. In our Old Testa- ment study we have learned about the many kings of Israel and Judah. Although they were different men, and the events happened over hundreds of years, the outcomes were always the same. If the king chose to walk in the ways of the Lord, the country was protected against its enemies. The country even celebrated miraculous defeats against its enemies. On the other hand, if the king chose to do what was evil in the eyes of the Lord, the country was vulnerable to attack. The country even suffered defeat from nations that were weaker than Israel. What lesson does this teach us about how we choose to live our lives? When we give our lives over to sin, it will blind us to what is right; it will bind us so we are weak in fighting against what is wrong; it will make it easy to be caught by the enemy. When we sin against God, there will be consequences.
  4. Verses 15–16 of 2 Chronicles 36, tell us of God’s desire for His people to turn back to Him. We read that God sent messenger after messenger, but the people mocked, despised, and scoffed at His words. Reread verses 17–21. As you read the verses, think about how much God’s heart was breaking as the devastation was taking place. 2 Peter 3:9 says, “the lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” The God of the Old Testament is the same as the God of the New Testament. His desire is the same today as it was thousands of years ago; for all people to come to Him.

 

PRAY 

Recognize that you are unable to follow God by yourself; you need God’s power in your life to overcome evil.

Acknowledge God as your only means of salvation from sin. • Ask God to help you to be faithful to Him.


 

DO

The nation of Judah got into a lot of trouble because of their sin. This game will help us to understand the seriousness of sin and its consequences.

supplies: blindfold, string long enough to tie hands together, one chair for each person Directions:

• Using the chairs, make a large circle in the middle of your room. If you don’t have enough room for chairs, have everyone sit in a circle on the floor. The chairs/people should be facing out.

• Go around the circle and whisper a number into the ear of each family member. Choose and announce one number to be “Judah.” Place a blindfold on “Judah’s” eyes and tie his or her hands.

Explain that this represents the bondage that Judah faced from the Babylonian king.

• After“Judah”inbound,call out another number to be the“enemy.” The“enemy”willnothaveanyblind folds or ties to restrict him or her.

• When you say “Go!” have the “enemy” chase “Judah” once around the circle of chairs. Be careful to remove obstacles. The object is for the enemy to catch and tag Judah. Judah must get around the circle and back into his seat before he is tagged. Obviously, Judah will be easily caught.

Use this game to illustrate how giving our lives over to sin will blind us, bind us, and make it easy to be caught by the enemy! When we disobey God, there will be consequences.

(July 5th)

God Called Jeremiah

By | June 13, 2015

In today’s Bible reading, God gave Jeremiah a vision of an almond branch. This is not our first encounter with the almond branch. When God wanted to confirm that He had indeed chosen Aaron as His high priest, God caused Aaron’s rod to bud, bloom, and produce almonds. God also chose the almond flower as a model for molding the cups of the candlestick in the Tabernacle. God’s choice of the almond tree was no accident. The Hebrew word for almond has the same root as the Hebrew word meaning to watch or to awaken. God is making the statement that He is watching, and we in turn should be watching for His Word to be fulfilled.

The almond tree is the earliest tree to show any sign of life in the spring. It is the first tree to Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 12.41.48 AMawaken and bloom, and it very quickly produces its fruit. In Judah, the almond tree can begin blooming as early as January and pro- duces fruit as early as March. When the almond tree begins its blooming, one can watch for the coming of spring. The same is true of God’s promises or warnings of judgment. God used many prophets to give His Word to His people. Just as the almond tree was a sign that spring was coming, the warnings the prophets gave were a sign of what God was going to do. God has never forgotten a single promise, and there has never been a promise God has not kept. When you read about a promise from God, you can be sure that it will happen. Just watch for it.

 

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

 


TALK

Jeremiah was a priest called by God to be a prophet to Judah. He prophesied during the reigns of Josiah, Jehoiakim, and Zedekiah, right up to the time that the people of Judah were taken into captivity.

  1. When did God say that He set apart Jeremiah to be His prophet? Before Jeremiah was even born, God already had a plan for his life. Read Psalm 139:4, 16 and Jeremiah 29:11. What do these verses tell you about God’s knowledge of you and God’s plan for you? God knows what you are going to say even before you say it. God knows how many days you will live. God wants to prosper you, keep you from harm, and give you hope.
  2. How does Jeremiah respond when God tells him to prophesy? Jeremiah said that he was unable to do as God said, because he was too young and did not know how to speak well. How does God answer Jeremiah’s doubt? God told Jeremiah that he should not be afraid because God was going to be with Jeremiah and that He would protect Jeremiah. God touched Jeremiah’s mouth, putting words into Jeremiah’s mouth. God enabled Jeremiah to do the job.
  3. God gave Jeremiah two visions. What were the visions and what was the reason for each one of them? Jeremiah saw an almond tree—God said it was because He was watching to see His word fulfilled. Jeremiah saw a boiling pot tilting away from the north—God said it was because Judah’s enemy would come from the north. This was the message that Jeremiah was to prophesy to the people of Judah.
  4. In verses 17-19, God made it clear to Jeremiah that the job of prophesying against Judah was not going to be an easy one. God mentioned four groups of people that would fight against what Jeremiah was to tell them. Who were the four groups of people? Kings of Judah, its officials, its priests, and the people of the land. Those four groups of people pretty much covered everyone in Judah! The whole nation would defy God and His prophet.
  5. What does God promise Jeremiah? Although the people would fight against Jeremiah, they would not overcome him, because God was going to rescue him. Even with the entire nation against him, Jeremiah did not have to worry because God promised to be with him.

 

PRAY

Adoration: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you . . . ” Give praise and worship to the all-knowing God who created you.

Confession: “I do not know how to speak; I am only a child.” Ask God to forgive the times when you did not trust Him to enable you to do the job that He asked you to do.

Thanksgiving: “They will fight against you, but they will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you.” Thank God that He is all-powerful, and that He promises to rescue you from evil. Thank God that He keeps His promises.

Supplication: “. . . do not be terrified by them . . .” Ask God to give you faith so that you will trust Him whenever He asks you to do a job, even if it is a hard one.


DO

Supplies: salt, pepper, saucer, plastic spoon, fleece or other cloth

USING THE SUPPLIES ABOVE, PARENT SAYS:

Today, I will show you how we can always trust in our Lord to protect us, even when circumstances seem hope- less. This saucer represents the world, in which we all live. I am going to take some salt and place it on the world. This salt represents God’s people. Now, as we know, the world is full of evil. The devil is always trying to deceive God’s people. Let me take some of this pepper, and put it on top of the salt. This pepper represents the tricks and lies used by the devil, and they are right on top of God’s people.

How can we avoid these tricks and lies and remove them from God’s people?

It is impossible for us, but God can do miraculous things. Let me show you. This spoon represents our loving God. (Take the spoon and rub it against the cloth to create static electricity. Slowly wave the spoon over the pepper. The pepper should stick to the spoon.)

Sometimes we may have no clue of how to escape the grasp of the devil, but God is always there for us. He will always provide a way for us to escape any temptation the devil throws our way. Even when we are afraid, God will take care of us. (Read God’s promise from I Corinthians 10:13: “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”)

 

(Lesson June 14th)

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