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Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

STARS AND CHRISTMAS

The stars that we see remind us of the star that God used to guide the wise men to Jesus.


Matthew 2:1-12
“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’” Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.” After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.”

 

 

                                     

 

 

 

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Angels and Christmas

Angels are messengers of God. Angels have a part in the Christmas story.

An angel appeared to Mary to announce the birth of Christ.


Luke 1:26-38
“ Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I [c]do not know a man?” And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.” Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.”


An angel appeared to Joseph telling him that what was conceived in Mary was from the Holy Spirit.


Matthew 1:20-21
“ But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.”



An angel appeared to shepherds to announce the birth of Jesus after which “a great company of the heavenly host” appeared.


Luke 2:8-14
“Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill[e] toward men!”

 

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CHRISTmas

         

1. Introduction


Luke 2:11 NKJV
“ For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
Christmas is a wonderful time to remember God loved us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to this world for us. Christmas is not about what we want to receive, but about what we have already been given.


Luke 2:1-20
“In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.”


There are many things during the Christmas season that can remind us about Jesus. A few of them are: the angel on the top of the tree or over the manger scene, the stars in your Christmas decorations or on the top of your tree, stockings, gifts, Christmas lights, snow, gingerbread men or gingerbread houses, and candy canes.


2. Memory Verse


Luke 2:11 NIV
“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you…”


3. Angels


Angels are messengers of God. Angels have a part in the Christmas story.

An angel appeared to Mary to announce the birth of Christ.


Luke 1:26-38
“ Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I [c]do not know a man?” And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.” Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.”


An angel appeared to Joseph telling him that what was conceived in Mary was from the Holy Spirit.


Matthew 1:20-21
“ But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.”



An angel appeared to shepherds to announce the birth of Jesus after which “a great company of the heavenly host” appeared.


Luke 2:8-14
“Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill[e] toward men!”


4. Stars


The stars that we see remind us of the star that God used to guide the wise men to Jesus.


Matthew 2:1-12
“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’” Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.” After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.”


5. Craft _________________________________


6. Stockings


Stockings can remind us that we need to have “beautiful feet” meaning we need to tell others the Good News.


During the Bible times when people were at war (battle) a person would run from the scene of the battle across the land (mountains) to the city waiting for news. The message of this runner was salvation, meaning that they had won a victory. They were running to tell the people that they had been delivered from their enemy or foe. This was good new or glad tiding. According to the Bible beautiful were the feet of those who ran with the good news of their salvation!


Isaiah 52:7 NKJV
“How beautiful upon the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’ ”


One definition of beautiful is very pleasing to see or hear. The people waiting to hear news of the battle would have seen the feet of the runner as beautiful because of the news that they brought.
As we proclaim the good news of salvation to those who are being held captive, God sees our feet as beautiful. He is pleased when we tell others that the victory over their enemy was won by Jesus, and that they have been delivered from their foe.


2 Corinthians 5:18 NKJV
“Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation…”


As a Christian, the ministry of reconciliation has been entrusted to us. We are to tell all people that God wants to restore them to a right relationship with Himself through Jesus Christ, His one and only Son.
As a person that has been reconciled with God, we should bring good news to the world, we should proclaim peace, we should bring glad tidings of good things, we should proclaim salvation, we should exclaim that the Lord God reigns.


7. Gifts


The gifts of the holiday season can remind us of the gift of salvation.


2 Corinthians 9:15 NKJV
“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!”


God has given us a wonderful gift, but we have the power to accept it or reject it. It is up to each one of us to make our own decision – Will we accept the gift of salvation that God offers through Jesus or will we reject the offer?


8. Craft _______________________


9. Lights


Christmas lights can remind us that we are to be a light for Jesus.


Luke 11: 33 NKJV
“No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lampstand, that those who come in may see the light.”


We are not to hide the light of Jesus Christ in us or keep it to ourselves (don’t be stingy). As followers of Jesus, we are to take the light placed within us and share it with others.


Matthew 5:14-16 NKJV
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.


Everything we do and say should point people to God. When people look at us they should not see us, instead they should see the nature of Jesus in us. There are people watching each and every one of us. Just as the heavenly bodies shine forth in brightness against the blackness of the night, so the lives of true believers lighten the darkness of the world. We are to shine as lights to both the lost and the saved.


10. Snow


Snow can remind us that when we ask for forgiveness, God will wash our sins away.
Our sins, which are as scarlet can be made as white as snow.


Isaiah 1:18-20 NKJV
“ ‘Come now, and let us reason together, ’Says the Lord, ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool. If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the lands; But if you refuse and rebel, You shall be devoured by the sword’; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”


Reason together means to come to a legal decision. God is not a God of compromise, and we must align our opinion of sin up with His. We must come into agreement with God concerning the seriousness of our sins. God is a holy God and sin cannot enter into His presence. Man is full of wickedness and far from innocence. Deceit fills our hearts (thinking, feelings and actions). Without God’s plan for salvation we would be hopelessly lost, and unable to enter into His presence. Through God’s plan our sins, which are as scarlet can be made as white as snow.
God is willing to forgive (pardon) man’s sins if they will repent and turn to Him. We can receive this forgiveness only through Jesus Christ. Jesus left His home in heaven and came to this world (born as a baby) for one reason and one reason only, to die. Jesus was willing to come and take our punishment for our sins. He took all our sins upon Him. He became our sacrifice for our sin.


11. Craft _____________________


12. Lunch


13. Gingerbread


Gingerbread can remind us that Jesus turns our stink into a sweet aroma that God accepts.
The sweet smells of the holiday season can remind us of the gift of salvation. Salvation spices up our life – through the blood of Jesus our stinky lives become a sweet smell to God. Jesus spices up our life!
When we have sin in our life we stink to God, and we are unacceptable. God hates sin. He does not hate the sinner, but He hates the sin.
When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior we become a sweet smell to God. We are accepted by God only through the blood of Jesus.


Ephesians 1:7 NKJV
“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.”


If we have accepted salvation when God looks down upon us, he does not see the sin that we committed, all He sees is the blood of Jesus Christ.


Hebrews 10:19-22 NKJV
“Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.”


Jesus truly spices up our live and makes us acceptable to God, our Father. He paid for our salvation (made us acceptable to God) with His own life and blood.


14. Candy Canes


Candy canes can remind us that Jesus is the Good Shepherd.
A candy maker wanted to make a candy that would be a witness, so he came up with the idea of a red and white candy cane. He incorporated several aspects of Jesus‘ life: the birth, the ministry, and the death of Jesus.
The candy maker began with a stick of pure white, hard candy. White symbolize the virgin birth and the sinless nature of Jesus.
The candy was made hard to symbolize that Jesus is the solid rock, the corner stone, and the foundation of the church.
The candy was made in the form of a “J” to represent the precious name of Jesus, who came to earth as our Savior.


John 10:11
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”


The shape of the candy also represents a shepherd staff. Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He wisely and tenderly provides for all our needs. He also protects and watches over us. Like a shepherd, reaching down with his staff, He reaches down into the low and dangerous places of this world to lift out the fallen lambs who, like sheep have gone astray.
The candy was stained with red stripes. Three small stripes were used to show the trinity – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three small strips also represented the stripes of the scourging Jesus receives by which we are healed.
The large red stripe was for the blood Jesus shed on the cross so that we can have eternal life.
Over time this candy became known as the candy cane – for many, a meaningless decoration at Christmas time. However, the meaning is still true. God loved us so much that He sent His very own Son, Jesus Christ, to become our sin offering.


15. Craft ___________________________

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My True Love

In the song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas”, the True Love represents God and the love He has for us.



John 3:16-17 NKJV
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

1 John 4:8 NKJV
“He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.



The me who is receiving all the 12 gifts represents the true believers.



1 John 4:16 NKJV
“And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.”

2 Corinthians 9:15 NKJV
“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift !”



Ephesians 2:4-10 NKJV
“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
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Jesus – The Rock Of Our Salvation – Celebrating The Resurrection of Jesus

As the children arrive:
* How Many? (Guessing game)
Sit a jar of jelly beans at the check in table. As the children arrive give each child a slip of paper. Have them write down their name and how many jelly beans they think there are in the jar.
The child that comes closest to the amount, without going over, is the winner. There prize is the jar of jelly beans.

* Give each child a name tag

* Give a copy of rock hunt activity to each child.

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1. Open in prayer

2. Jesus Is The Rock Of My Salvation In Color (with follow along activity sheet)

Psalm 62:2 NKJV
“Truly my soul silently waits for God;
From Him comes my salvation.
He only is my rock and my salvation;
He is my defense;
I shall not be greatly moved.”

Jesus is our rock and through Him we have salvation. We are going to look at nine different colors and discuss what each color represents, and how it relates to God and His plan for us.
(Pass out the JESUS-THE ROCK OF MY SALVATION color sheet)

 

Yellow – represents creation.
God made the world, and all that is in the world, and the entire universe out of nothing. He spoke His Word, and everything came into existence. This is referred to as creation.

Genesis 1:1 NKJV
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

In the beginning the world was beautiful and perfect.

Genesis 1:31 NKJV
“Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.”

God’s most special creation was man. He created man to share a special friendship (fellowship / intimacy) with Him. The first man and woman (Adam and Eve) shared a very special friendship with God.

* HAVE THE CHILDREN COLOR THE YELLOW ROCK ON THE ACTIVITY SHEET

Black – represents sin.
When sin entered the world, through Adam and Eve’s disobedience, it stood between them and God. Man could no longer enjoy the special friendship (intimacy) that he once had with God.

God still loved man, and desired for the intimacy He once had with man to be restored. God is a holy God and sin cannot come into His holy presence therefore sin separated man from God.

Romans 3:23 NKJV
“…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…”

* HAVE THE CHILDREN COLOR THE BLACK ROCK ON THE ACTIVITY SHEET

Red – represents the blood of Jesus.
God knew that sin had to be punished and that someone who had never sinned would be needed to take the punishment. Jesus Christ was the only person that never sinned, therefore He was the only person that would be acceptable as a sacrifice. Jesus made a way to God by dying on the cross for our sins.

We have been saved, delivered, healed and set free through the blood of Jesus. We have been saved from the punishment of sin by Jesus’ blood. Jesus was punished for our sins. He took our place.

Romans 5:8-9 NKJV
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him”

The blood that Jesus shed was for man’s sin. His precious blood provides atonement for our sins. Through His blood we can be restored into right fellowship with God. Because of His sacrifice we can once again experience the intimacy with God that He desires to have with us.

Jesus made a way for man to have a relationship with God again. The Bible describes Jesus as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

John 1:29 NKJV
“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

The blood that Jesus shed on he cross washes away our sin.

* HAVE THE CHILDREN COLOR THE RED ROCK ON THE ACTIVITY SHEET

White – represents forgiveness.
The Bible tells us that everyone has sinned. However, when we confess our sins to God and ask Him to forgive us, He will.

1 John 1:9 NKJV
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

When we ask for forgiveness we are made clean – our sins are forgiven and forgotten. We become a new creation. We are restored by Jesus to what God had originally created us to be. Everything about our lives change, because we are transformed into the likeness of Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

Just like a caterpillar changes into a butterfly, we too are changed when we accept Jesus as our Savior.

* HAVE THE CHILDREN COLOR THE WHITE ROCK ON THE ACTIVITY SHEET

Blue – represents water baptism.
Water baptism is an important part of a believer’s life. As a believer we should follow Jesus’ example in water baptism.

Matthew 3:13-17 NKJV
“Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?” But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him. When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

Those who accepted Jesus as Savior in the time of the New Testament were baptized in water to show that they were Jesus’ followers. Jesus established the command and the Church obeyed it. We, too, should obey it. When we are baptized we are obeying Jesus, and it is a milestone (memorial) in our life. It is a time that we can return to in our memories as a specific moment that we know we declared to others that Jesus is our Savior and Redeemer.

We are baptized to show others that we have accepted Jesus as our Savior and want to follow Him and live for Him. Water baptism is also an illustration of our dying to sin and being raised to new life in Christ Jesus.

Before Jesus left to go to heaven, He left instructions about baptism.

Matthew 28:18-20 NKJV
“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

* HAVE THE CHILDREN COLOR THE BLUE ROCK ON THE ACTIVITY SHEET

Orange – represents the Holy Spirit.

John 16:5-11 NKJV
“But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.”

After Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, He stayed on earth for 40 days, appearing to many different people, then He ascended into heaven. During this time Jesus told His followers that He would send them a Helper, the Holy Spirit, after He left.

Acts 2:1-4 NKJV
“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

* HAVE THE CHILDREN COLOR THE ORANGE ROCK ON THE ACTIVITY SHEET

Green – represents growing in Christ.
Every believer needs to grow spiritually.

2 Peter 3:18 NKJV
“but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

Two things that will help you grow spiritually are reading the Bible (God’s letter to you) and praying (talking and listening to God.) We are not to study the Word of God just for the sake of acquiring more knowledge. We are to mature and be doers of the Word not just hearers. Growing (mature) in our faith is not an option. God does not want us to stay babies forever. Every aspect of our lives should experience growth.

God wants us to grow and bear fruit in His garden. The goodness or sweetness of our fruit will depend on how much time we spend with God – in prayer and in His Word.

John 15:1-6 NKJV
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.”

As we draw closer to Jesus our lives will have certain fruit. This doesn’t mean that we will start sprouting fruit, but that the more time we spend getting to know Jesus, the stronger our spirit will become and the easier our fruit will be seen and like by other people. The Bible tells us that there are nine fruits of the Spirit.

Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”

* HAVE THE CHILDREN COLOR THE GREEN ROCK ON THE ACTIVITY SHEET

Purple – represents the blessed hope.

Titus 2:11-14 NKJV
“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.”

The blessed hope is referred to as the rapture. It is when Jesus will return to take the true Christians home to heaven.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 NKJV
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”

The Bible tells us that Jesus is coming again. One day He will appear in the sky and a trumpet will sound and those who are true Christians will go to be with Him in heaven.

John 14:1-3 NKJV
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”

Jesus is in heaven right now preparing a home for us. He is also sitting at the right hand of the Father interceding, praying, for us.

Hebrews 10:12 NKJV
“But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God”

We should be ready at all times for Jesus to return because we do not know when He will come.

Matthew 24:44 NKJV
“Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”

* HAVE THE CHILDREN COLOR THE PURPLE ROCK ON THE ACTIVITY SHEET

Pink – represents resurrection.
One day both the saved ( those that have accepted Jesus as their Savior) and the lost will be resurrected. The saved to everlasting life with God and the lost to everlasting damnation.

Revelation 20:11-15 NKJV
“Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”

In the end everything in the world will be beautiful and perfect again. God promised He would make a new heaven, a new Jerusalem, and a new earth.

2 Peter 3:10-13 NKJV
“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”

Revelation 21:1-2 NKJV
“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”

The new Jerusalem, will come down out of heaven and will shine with the glory of God. The city will be made of gold and will be decorated with precious jewels, and the streets will be made of pure gold, as transparent glass.

Revelation 21:18-21 NKJV
“The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.”

It will have a great wall with 12 gates made of pearls. The city will not need any light from the sun or moon because Jesus, the Lamb of God will be the light.

Revelation 21:22-23 NKJV
“But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.”

Revelation 22:1-5 NKJV
“And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.”

Down the middle of the city will flow the river of life, and on each side of it will grow trees of life. The throne of God will be in the city, and people will worship God forever. There is so much more about heaven that we don’t know, and it will be far better than we could ever imagine.

* HAVE THE CHILDREN COLOR THE PINK ROCK ON THE ACTIVITY SHEET

God’s ultimate plan for man:

Revelation 21:3-5 NKJV
“And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.”

3. Game – Pass The Jelly Beans

Need: 2 bags of jelly beans

Divide the children into two teams. Each team is to line up in a row.
Hand a bag of jelly beans to the first person on each team. They are to pass the jelly beans to the person behind them (over their head) and so on.
When the jelly beans get to the last person in each row they are to run to the front of the line.
When the original first person is back in the front of the line the game is over. The team that finishes first is the winner.

4. The Rock – short Bible lesson
Give children a copy of The Rock (short Bible lesson)

Psalm 18:31
“For who is God besides the LORD? And who is the Rock except our God?”

The name Rock refers to the fact that God is the foundation of everything. He alone is immovable and unbreakable.

Psalm 18:2
“The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold”

When building a house it is important to dig down to the rock to form a strong foundation so that over time the ground beneath the house won’t begin to crumble and tear the house apart.

It is true in our lives also. It is important for our lives to be built on the Lord so we will have a strong (firm) foundation – as our daily routines and the storms of life wash over us we won’t crumble.

A strong foundation ( a life build on the Lord) will last throughout all time, in this life and in the one to come.

Psalm 62: 2
“Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.”

5. Activity Sheet: Jesus Is The Rock Of My Salvation – Put Your Thinking Cap On

6. Game – Jelly Bean Toss

Need:
Jelly Beans
9 empty cans – Label (or paint) each can with the color of the jelly beans that are to be tossed into it. (yellow, black, red, white, blue, orange, green, purple, pink)

Give the children an equal number of jelly beans. One at a time the will stand at a designated distance from the bowls and try to toss their jelly beans into the correct containers. For each correct toss they will earn a point. The child that earns the most points is the winner.

7. Wise and Foolish Builder – short Bible lesson
Give children a copy of The Parable of the Wise and the Foolish Builders – short Bible lesson.

Matthew 7:24-27 NKJV
“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.“But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”

Luke 6:46-49 NKJV
“But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say? Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great.”

The story of the wise man who built his house upon a rock is one of the parables of Jesus. During His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told a story about two men: one who built his house upon a rock and another who built his house upon sand.

The house built upon a rock weathered the storm, and the builder is called wise; but the house built on the sand collapsed during the storm, and the builder is called foolish.

8. Activity Sheet – Build On The Rock

9. Game – Separate The Jelly Beans Race

Give each child a print-out of Separate The Jelly Beans Race and a small amount (equal amount) of jelly beans.
At the signal they are to separate their jelly beans by color – placing the jelly beans on the correct spot.
The child that correctly finishes first is the winner.

10. Activity Sheet -Jesus Is Our Foundation

11. Lunch or snack
While children are eating someone can hide the rocks.

12. Rock Hunt

Prizes will be given in three different ways. It is possible for a child to win three prizes – if they find the most rocks, one of each color and can say what each color represents.

* A prize will be given to the child that finds the most rocks.

* A prize will be given to each child that finds at least one of each of the different colors (yellow, black, red. white, blue, orange, green, purple, pink.)
Encourage the children to work together in trying to earn this prize. For example: If a child finds multiples of a certain color they can trade (not give) one of the multiplies with someone that needs that color.

* A prize will be given to each child that has at least one of each color, and can explain what each one represents.
Yellow – represents creation.
Black – represents sin.
Red – represents the blood of Jesus.
White – represents forgiveness.
Blue – represents water baptism.
Orange – represents baptism in the Holy Spirit.
Green – represents growing in Christ.
Purple – represents the blessed hope.
Pink – represents resurrection.

13. Determine prizes

14. Hand out prizes

15. Craft (s)

16. Closing prayer and dismissal.

 

CHILD PAGES

GAMES

ATTENDANCE RECORD

CRAFT IDEAS

 

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Tu B’ Shvat – One Christian’s Perspective

Tu B’ Shvat is the Jewish New Year for trees, for the purpose of calculating the age of the tree for tithing. It is usually in January or February. One custom associated with this celebration is to consume those fruits which grow in the land of Israel. Before any food is eaten a blessing is said.
When we look at a tree in the winter it looks like nothing is happening inside it, but that is far from the truth. Trees (as well as us) have suffered through cold, dark days and nights. The sap is beginning to rise deep in the heart of trees. New life is starting to emerge. Many things are going on where the eyes cannot see. What looks dead and frozen over will blossom out with buds before long. All looks bleak, cold and lifeless, but there is a promise of rejuvenation.
Tu B’ Shvat is the point at which the trees stop being nourished by the waters of the previous year, and begin to be nourished by the new years waters. Like the trees on Tu B’ Shvat, last years water supply is not enough. We too need fresh rain (fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit / fresh moves of the Holy Spirit).
Tu B’ Shvat has more to do with the tree’s fruit rather than the tree itself. Just like a fruit tree our lives should produce. As we look back over the past year, how was our fruit bearing? Did we bear fruit?
There will be (or have been) times in our lives when everything looks bleak and there seems to be no sign of life (growth). During these times we must remember that many things are going on where the eyes can not see.

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PREPARING FOR ETERNITY

 

ARE YOU PREPARED?

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THE RIGHT LIST

It is important to be on the right list.

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THE LIGHT AND MY LIFE – CHILDREN’S HANUKKAH BOOKLET 10

John 8:12 NKJV
“Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
.

Night 1 – The Lord Is My Light And My Salvation
Psalm 27:1 NKJV
“The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?”
.
Night 2 – God’s Word Is A Light
Proverbs 6:23 NKJV
“For the commandment is a lamp,
And the law a light;
Reproofs of instruction are the way of life”
.
Psalm 119:105 NKJV
“Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.”
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Night 3 – Walk In The Light
1 John 1:5-9 NKJV
“This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”
.
Night 4 – Let Others See Your Light
Luke 11:23 NKJV
“No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lampstand, that those who come in may see the light.”
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Night 5 – Walk As Children Of The Light
Ephesians 5:8-10 NKJV
“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.”
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Night 6 – Don’t Run In Vain
Philippians 2:14-16 NKJV
“Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.”
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Night 7 – Glorify God
Matthew 5:16 NKJV
“ Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
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Night 8 – A Chosen Generation
1 Peter 2:9-10 NKJV
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.”

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SPRING IS IN THE AIR BOOKLET

                                   

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