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39. Jesus Is Caring

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Materials Needed

  • one sheet of white paper per child (or driveway)
  • crayons (or sidewalk chalk)
  • pen
  • bowl
  • slips of paper
  • Bible

Setting The Stage

You do not have to look far to see the caring side of Jesus. This will be a time for your children to see this characteristic. As you read aloud the examples on the slips of paper, the children will have a chance to communicate the act of caring through their creative drawing.

An option is to allow them to draw on the driveway with sidewalk chalk rather than on a piece of paper with crayons (an added bonus could be that others in the neighborhood could also learn about the caring side of Jesus when you are doing this devotional outside).

Project

Write the following examples on slips of paper, fold them in half and place them in a bowl. Do this before the devotional begins.

  • John 19:26-27: Even when Jesus was dying on the cross and in much pain, he still cared for his mother. When he saw her standing by the cross he made sure his friend would take care of her after he died.
  • John 11:1-5 & 11:32-44: One of Jesus’ best friends died. The man’s name was Lazarus. Even though Jesus knew he was going to bring him back to life, Jesus still cried. This showed how much he cared for Lazarus and his two sisters.
  • Mark 10:13-16: The parents wanted to have their children touched by Jesus. Jesus cared so much for the little children that when the men tried to stop the children from going to Jesus he responded, “Let the little children come to me!” The children came to Jesus and he blessed them.
  • Matthew 14:14: Jesus spent a lot of time while he was on earth healing those who were sick. He helped a man walk who could not walk, a man see who could not see and a woman who was bleeding to stop bleeding. He did all this and more because he cared for the hurting people.

Share with the children that they are going to learn about how caring Jesus is. Allow each child to have a turn choosing a slip of paper from the bowl. After the adult reads the verse and what is written on the slip of paper all the children are to draw a little picture of what they just heard. Each picture will be a bit different. For the younger ones parents might have to draw the picture and let them color it. The end product will be either a page or a driveway filled with little pictures of how Jesus cared. Either way it will be a good reminder of how caring Jesus was and is.

Note: For the three to four year old choose one passage and one picture.

Memory Verse

I Peter 5:7b
He cares for you.

Ask your children how Jesus shows them that he cares. Some potential answers could be ... “By giving us a warm home, loving parents, food to eat, nice friends, the Bible!!”

Prayer

Thank God that Jesus not only cared for people in the Bible, but that he also cares for us now.

Related Topics: Children's Training Resources, Parent Resources, Christian Education, Christian Home, Devotionals

40. Jesus Is Our Savior

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Materials Needed

  • small, beautifully wrapped box with slip of paper inside that reads, “Eternal Life - Heaven”
  • plastic play food (or make your own play food with paper and crayons and a few cans from the cupboard)
  • play money (or make your own play money with paper and crayons)

Setting The Stage

To help your children understand that a price had to be paid for us to get into Heaven, spend some time at a pretend grocery store. The whole issue really is that a price had to be paid for us to get into Heaven, but we could not pay the price ... Jesus had to pay the price for us. Jesus in turn gave Heaven to us as a gift ... we just need to say we are sorry for our sins and thank him for the gift.

Project

A mini grocery store needs to be established. Plastic or pretend food and money are the basics. The children get to go “shopping.” When they are finished making their choices, you ask them to “pay the price” (using those exact words). When they cannot produce the money to “pay the price”, one adult should bring out some pretend money and “pay the price” for them. After all the shopping is done, sit down and help them understand this principle: They wanted the groceries but couldn’t “pay the price” so you paid it for them. People want to go to Heaven but they can’t “pay the price” so Jesus paid it for them.

Ask them the following questions:

  • Why did Jesus need to be the one paying the price? (Because he never sinned - he is perfect)
  • What did Jesus do to pay the price? (He died on the cross)
  • What does Jesus give to us? (The way to get to heaven if we accept the fact that he has paid the price for us).
  • How do we accept the gift? (By saying sorry for our sins and thank you for the gift)

At this point bring out the previously wrapped gift. Hand it to your children but do not let go of the gift until the children say “Thank you” for it. Let the children open it and have the slip of paper read to them. Help the children make the connection with the gift they just received and the gift of eternal life Jesus offers to us. It is just as simple with Jesus’ gift ... we need to say thank you and make it our own.

Song

“Thank You Lord”

(use the original tune or “She’ll be Coming Around the Mountain”)

“Thank you Lord for saving my soul.
Thank you Lord for making me whole.
Thank you Lord for giving to me thy great salvation
so rich and free.

Memory Verse

John 3:16 (simplified)
God loved us so much that he gave Jesus to us, and whoever believes in Jesus will have eternal life. (regular)

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Prayer

Now would be a good time to say thank you to Jesus for dying on the cross, for paying the price and for giving us the gift of eternal life.

Related Topics: Children's Training Resources, Parent Resources, Christian Education, Christian Home, Devotionals

41. Jesus Is To Be Remembered

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Materials Needed

  • one small cup for each person
  • one small plate
  • a pitcher of grape drink
  • a small piece of bread for each person
  • pen, crayons or markers
  • piece of plain white paper

Setting The Stage

In Luke 22:14-20 we see Jesus meeting with the disciples for the last time to have supper with them. It was during this meal that Jesus asked them to continue meeting together and to celebrate what we now call communion. Jesus was about to die. To symbolize his death, the drink was given to represent Jesus’ blood that was to be spilt. The bread was given to represent Jesus’ body that was to be broken.

There are two approaches that can be taken to help your children understand communion:

a) Have the drink and bread laid out before them and explain to them what it means.

b) Have a time for communion together, each taking the drink and bread.

If the children are old enough to have an understanding of what they are doing and if your church would not be alarmed by the act of a family taking communion together, it could be a very meaningful time for everyone.

Project

You can adapt this part so it fits with your choice of a) or b). Have a small amount of drink poured in each glass. Have the pieces of bread on a plate. Sit around a table with the bread and drink in the center of the table. At this point you can explain about the communion process or you can take communion together.

  • Each person needs to take the time to say sorry to God for anything they have done wrong. This is called confessing your sins.
  • An adult needs to thank God for dying on the cross and having his body hurt for us.
  • As you pass around the pieces of bread, let each person take a piece and eat it. Explain to your children that they are to be thinking about how hurt Jesus’ body must have been when he was on the cross and how thankful we need to be that he did this for us.
  • As you pass out each cup, again explain to your children that they are to be thinking about the fact that Jesus’ blood was poured on the ground and then he died.
  • While he was on the cross he went through all of this for us.

Memory Verse

Luke 22:19b
Do this in remembrance of me.

This can be done in a dot to dot form. Do the writing of the verse in dots beforehand. Let the children rotate doing one word at a time as the verse appears before them. Place the verse on the fridge to review at mealtimes during the coming week.

Prayer

End your time together by having each person take a turn to say thank you to Jesus.

Related Topics: Children's Training Resources, Parent Resources, Christian Education, Christian Home, Devotionals

42. Jesus Is Always With Us

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Materials Needed

  • Bible
  • one sheet of paper per child
  • crayons
  • thumb tack or masking tape

Setting The Stage

How can you know that Jesus is near if you can’t see him? This is a hard concept for anyone to really accept, but it is true and it is what you will want your children to understand a bit better once this devotional is finished.

Project

Read to your children Hebrews 13:5b. The part of the verse you are to read is, “Never will I leave you,” but let them see that you are reading it from the Bible. Tell them this is a promise in the Bible that we have to believe is true even if we can’t see Jesus.

Ask them when they most need to have Jesus with them. Their answer needs to be in a situation they can visualize because they will be drawing it later.

Some ideas would be:

  • playing in the back yard with Billy
  • beside my desk at school
  • when I go to sleep at night

Draw a picture of the situation they just described. Each person is to draw his/her own suggestion. Younger children will need your help because you want the picture to be recognizable. God can be put into the picture as a yellow light or a space where he would be.

Take the completed pictures to the bedrooms and have each child tack his/her picture up beside his/her bed. Before they go to bed at night and when they wake up in the morning, they will see their picture and be reminded that Jesus is always with them.

Memory Verse

Hebrews 13:5b
Never will I leave you

Prayer

Thank Jesus for being with us always even when we can’t see or feel him.

Related Topics: Children's Training Resources, Parent Resources, Christian Education, Christian Home, Devotionals

43. Bible Stories In A Round

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Materials Needed

  • your imagination

Setting The Stage

This is an opportunity for you to review creatively with your children the stories you have learned from the Bible. The main facts should remain correct and in order, but allow the children to add their own creative flair as they tell their part.

Project

Instructions: Pick a Bible story and take turns telling the story by going around in a circle using one or two sentences each. Try to have an adult begin and end the story. As you go around the circle each person should take a turn at least once. Everyone should finish their turn by saying, “Next.” An example has been provided below.

Daniel And The Lion’s Den

Adult:

Daniel was a man who loved God. He showed this by praying to God three times every day. Next.

Child:

Some bad men didn’t like him praying to his God. Next.

Adult:

The bad men went to the king and asked the king to make a law so the people in the land would pray only to the king and no other gods. Next.

Child:

The king made the law. The bad men went to watch and see if Daniel was still going to pray to his God. Next.

Child:

Daniel loved God and so he still got down on his knees and prayed to God three times a day. The bad men saw him doing this. Next.

Adult:

The bad men went to the king and told him that Daniel was still praying to his God. So the king had to throw Daniel into the lion’s den, and that made the king very sad because he liked Daniel. Next.

Child:

Daniel got thrown into the lion’s den but he prayed that the lions wouldn’t eat him, and the lions didn’t. Next.

Adult:

It was God who shut the mouths of the lions. Next.

Child:

The king called to Daniel and asked if he was okay. Daniel said that the lions hadn’t eaten him. Next.

Child:

So the king took Daniel out and threw the bad men into the lion’s den, and the lions ate them all up. Next.

Adult:

The king made it a law that everyone in the land should pray to Daniel’s God, and that made Daniel very happy.

Prayer

This would be a good opportunity to have a little prayer to end the story. This does not have to happen each time but it does fit well with the story of Daniel and the Lion’s Den.

Related Topics: Children's Training Resources, Parent Resources, Christian Education, Christian Home, Devotionals

44. God’s Character

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Materials Needed

  • A Sunday school song book (optional)

Setting The Stage

There are many descriptive words for God found in the songs we sing to him. To help pass the time in the car, this activity will get you thinking as well as having a lot of fun.

Project

This car devotional is a game that is approachable from two different directions.

First:

  • You go around the circle in the car and each person takes a turn.
  • The first person calls out this phrase, “God is ___.” It is his/her choice what word is put in the blank.
  • The first person in the car to come up with a Sunday school song that has the same word in it will get one point.
  • The person who suggested the word has to wait thirty seconds before answering with a song title.
  • Once a song is given, you take a break in the game to sing the song together.

This is a great game for children who are a little older. Of course, the person with the most points at the end wins. To help finish the game a predetermined winning number can be established. For example the first one to reach five points wins. This game will help the children not only think of new and different characteristics of God, but it will also give them a chance to sing their favorite songs to God.

Second:

  • The second option is a better one for the younger children in the car. It is a challenge between the little ones and the big ones.
  • The children will have the sole responsibility to call out this phrase, “God is __.” They are to fill in the blank with a descriptive word about God.
  • Once the phrase has been said, the adults in the car have to come up with a Sunday school song that everyone knows and that also has the chosen word in the lyrics.
  • Once the title of the song is given, everyone takes the time to sing the song together. The object of the game is to stump the adults. The first child to do so gets a big cheer!!

To help you get on the way with this game you will find a few ideas below. Happy singing!!

God is ... LIGHT = “This Little Light of Mine”

God is ... LOVE = “Jesus Loves Me”

God is ... GOOD = “God is so Good”

Song

Once you are finished playing the game, continue singing the same songs all over again.

Related Topics: Children's Training Resources, Parent Resources, Christian Education, Christian Home, Devotionals

45. God In Nature

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Materials Needed

None

Setting The Stage

As we travel in the car we pass by many things our God has made. This devotional helps us to take notice of these things and also gives us a chance to say thank you to God for his creation.

Project

Allow a time span of five minutes to look out the car windows. During this time notice and call out all the things that are a part of God’s creation. Note: If the children mention human made objects, help them understand that God made the material and people made the structure.

When the five minutes are up, the adult will choose any color and call it out. The children must then list off the previously mentioned items that fall under this color category.

Continue this until all the colors have been mentioned.

Example: Green

- grass

-leaves

- weeds

- moss

- reeds

When you are finished categorizing the items by color, have the children tell you the colors that did not have an answer (probably colors like purple or orange). Take the next five minutes for everyone to look out the window until a part of God’s creation, in that particular color, is found.

Prayer

Allow each person to say this simple prayer, ‘‘Thank you God for making the ___.” Have each person fill in the blank with one of the items from God’s creation that was mentioned earlier.

Related Topics: Children's Training Resources, Parent Resources, Christian Education, Christian Home, Devotionals

46. Sing-A-Long

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Materials Needed

  • Sunday school song book (optional)

Setting the Stage

Music can calm the savage beast and can also do a lot for children who are getting restless in a car. This is a time to soothe, relax and calm the children and yourselves. Spend the time worshipping God as well as reviewing old favorites and learning new treasures.

Project

It is as simple as singing ...

You can trust your memory and go for it.
You can get a church song book and use it.
You can make a list of favorites and leave it in the car.
You can buy a children’s sing-a-long tape to use in the car.
You can pick and choose some from the following list.

Here is a list of some of the best loved Sunday school songs (add your favorites to it).

Deep and Wide

Give Me Oil in my Lamp

God is so Good

Hallelujah, Praise Ye the Lord

He is Lord

Heavenly Sunshine

I Have the Joy

I Will Make You Fishers of Men

Jesus Loves Me

Jesus Loves the Little Children

My God is so Big

My God is an Awesome God

Peace like a River

What a Friend We Have in Jesus

Thank You Lord

This is the Day

This Little Light of Mine

Related Topics: Children's Training Resources, Parent Resources, Christian Education, Christian Home, Devotionals

47. Twenty Questions

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Materials Needed

None

Setting The Stage

This is a great game to help your children remember Bible characters. It will work best if everyone stays within the scope of familiar characters. You will be amazed at their ability once you have completed the Old Testament Story section in this book.

Project

The way to play:

You can go from youngest to oldest and give everyone a chance to "think."

  • The first person to take a turn will think of a Bible character without saying who it is.
  • The rest of the people in the car can take turns asking yes/no questions.
  • The group as a whole is allowed 20 questions to figure out the character.
  • As soon as someone thinks they know, they can call out the name, but they need to remember if it is wrong they have used up one of their 20 questions.

The more you play the game the more skilled the children will become at asking appropriate questions. The first few times you play this game the adults will have to take the lead, give some examples and be willing to be flexible until everyone knows what is happening.

An Example:

1. Is it a girl? no

2. Is it a lady? no

3. Is it a boy? yes

4. Is he nice? yes

5. Do we see him when he is all grown up? yes

6. Is he in the Old Testament? yes

7. Is he known for helping somebody? no

8. Did he write a book in the Bible? yes

9. Did he kill somebody? yes

10. Did he kill a giant? yes

11. Is it David? yes!!

You will find a lot of time can pass playing this game while you are on those long trips. It is also good for those short trips when the kids are going wild.

Related Topics: Children's Training Resources, Parent Resources, Christian Education, Christian Home, Devotionals

48. Easter

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***Note: Some work must be done the day before***

Materials Needed

  • half a piece of poster board or a back section from a large empty cereal box
  • half a cup of flour and half a cup of water mixed together in a bowl
  • empty cardboard juice can and lid
  • newspaper
  • two popsicle sticks
  • a fair amount of brown and green paint
  • green, red and yellow construction paper
  • glue
  • paint brushes
  • sponge
  • one white sheet of paper
  • crayons
  • tape
  • children’s Bible (optional)

Setting The Stage

This devotional is really two in one. The first stage is putting together the paper mache Calvary and grave. After a day of drying, the scene will be ready for painting and decorating. While this decorating is taking place the salvation story can be told. Once the decoration is completed, it is the children’s turn to tell the special story to you. It is a story that can change their lives!

Project

Note: This is a devotional for older children. If you feel your children are still too young to benefit from this format, take the time to tell the Easter story as found in Part III of this devotional. This may happen at the dinner table while you are enjoying your Easter dinner.

I. Paper Mache

Mount Calvary and the Grave: Rip two sheets of newspaper into 2” x 8” strips. Mix together the flour and water. Lay the piece of cardboard in front of you; take half a sheet of newspaper and wad it up into a ball. Set the ball in the center of the cardboard. This is to be Mount Calvary. Next, you need to cut the top three-fourths off of the juice can leaving only the bottom and one inch of the sides. Lay the juice can on its side, resting on the cardboard. Tape the juice can to the edge of the paper ball so the mouth of the can opens to the front of your display. This is the grave.

Run the strips through the flour and water mixture making sure they are completely wet. Then run the strip through your fingers removing the excess mixture. Lay the strips over the ball and tin and onto the cardboard forming the gentle slope of a hill. Overlap the strips at different angles and in a nonuniform design until the ball and tin are effectively covered. The end result should look like a cave that has been cut out of a rock. Paper mache the lid on all sides. This is the stone for the tomb.

Allow these to dry for about 24 hours so they are easily painted. A blow dryer can help rush this process if needed.

II. Decoration

a. Painting: The cardboard and hill are painted green. The fastest and easiest way is to dip the sponge into the green paint and let the children dab it all over the appropriate area. The tomb and stone are painted brown with a brush.

b. The Garden: The tomb Jesus was buried in was in a garden so we need to add a few trees and some flowers. The trees are made out of one popsicle stick broken in half and green construction paper for the leaves. The flowers are made from the colored construction paper to create a beautiful garden. Poke small holes into the cardboard where the trees are to stand (on either side of the tomb). Put glue around the base of the popsicle sticks. The trees will need to be held in place until the glue dries. The flowers are glued onto the cardboard.

c. The Cross: The second popsicle stick needs to be broken at the one-third/two-thirds mark. This will enable the two-thirds part to be the vertical long piece and the one-third part to be the horizontal cross piece. Glue these two pieces together to form a cross and hold in place until the glue is dry. Poke a hole in the top of your paper mache hill and stick the base of the cross into the hole. Put a little glue around the base to help hold it in place.

d. Jesus: A small paper doll figure of a man needs to be cut from the sheet of paper. Dark hair, a face with a beard and clothes need to be drawn on our Jesus. Although we do not really know what he looked like, we can try to imagine.

III. The Story:

You need to tell the details of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection to your children while you are doing the decorating. This can be done by reading the story from a children’s Bible or you can tell the story in your own words. The story is found in Luke 22-24.

Make sure the details below are included in the telling of this special story.

  • Jesus was arrested, tried and found guilty. These bad people sentenced Jesus to death on a cross.
  • Jesus was perfect, which means he had never done anything wrong, so these bad people were wrong in what they were doing.
  • These bad people beat Jesus, spit on him and laughed at him.
  • Then they took Jesus and nailed him to the cross where he died.
  • Jesus’ friends took his body, wrapped it in cloth and placed him in a nearby grave.
  • The bad people wanted to make sure that he stayed in the grave so they rolled the stone over the front of the grave and put guards in front of the tomb to keep anyone from opening the grave.
  • Three days later Jesus was brought back to life. God moved the stone to let Jesus out.
  • The guards were so surprised they fainted.
  • Jesus was alive again and he showed himself to his friends.
  • Jesus stayed a bit longer on earth and then in a flash he went back up to Heaven.

IV. The Retelling

Now it is the children’s turn to tell the story using the paper doll figure. Help them to incorporate into their story as many details as possible from what you told them earlier. During the Easter holiday let your children tell the story over and over. It would even be good to use your Calvary and Garden Tomb display as a centerpiece for the Easter dinner so the story can again be shared with those around the table.

Prayer

Not only do you want your children to understand the details of the story, but also the fact that Jesus suffered and died for us. As you study Jesus in the Getting to Know Jesus section, the whole plan of salvation will be understood better by your children, but right now you want them to take time to say thank you to Jesus for going through all of this for us, because it is through Jesus’ death that we have eternal life.

Related Topics: Children's Training Resources, Parent Resources, Christian Education, Christian Home, Devotionals

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