Ezekiel Told About a Future Hope

By on 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

How will you help?

By on July 15, 2015

Vista Parents,

In 2 short months Vista Hilliard will be starting weekly services.   I am beyond excited to see how God is moving at Vista. We are seeing leaders press out in missional ways to be apart of this opportunity on the Gospels Edge,  as others step in to fill the gaps. All while families will have the opportunity to worship in their community, given chances to invite their neighbors to our church!

As One Church in Multiple Locations living at the intersection of Jesus and real life – this is a step for all of us to be apart of.  Pastor Brian’s blog post helps us narrow in ways we can support this movement.

  • Pray  –  pray for those taking this step, pray for the community, pray for the leaders.
  • Disciple  –  continue to pour into, train and release leaders for Hilliard.
  • Step-up  –  as Hilliard leaders turn their focus to Hilliard, step into those spaces created by their absence.  If you see a need, fill it.
  • Repeat  –  as a missional church trying to live at the intersection of Jesus and real life, we’re always going to be in this mode of helping people establish a unique expression of the church in their community.  THIS is the Great Commission!  THIS is the church!

How will your family be apart of this mission?  Will it be praying for the leaders? Stepping into spaces in the absences of leaders? Or will you be apart of the Hilliard Community pressing into where God is leading?

Staying Connected To Your Kids

By on 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

 

 

Ezekiel Prophesied to the Exiles

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 on 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)

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