Chapter 32 is about seeing the place of your story in God's Story.
Its about preparing and beling able to share your story.
(Realistically this may take more than one week to do but feel free to do that. If you meet over the school holidays you can take several weeks to do this.
When it comes to sharing your story, a lot of people, don’t know where to start…
Like the bible… they try and explain everything and end up rambling about events that aren’t helpful.
This might sound something like:
Well I was born in 1932 and I rode my pet dinosaur to school, it was a different era back then you see… and then we moved from timbucktoo to Wangaratta or was it warnambool, now I think of it It might have been woolloongabba…
The hearer quickly loses attention.
Remember everyone’s favorite subject is – themselves! Which means we find it easy to talk a lot about our lives in all their detail… but when it comes to sharing our testimony, we are trying NOT to do that.
So, if you ever are having a conversation with someone, and they ask you, “why do you go to church?”, or “I have no idea why a person would want to be ‘religious?” Then ask them, directly, “do you mind if I spend 2 – 3 minutes sharing with you my story, in response to your query?”
Most people are happy for you to share your story, as it’s your story – it’s personal. It isn’t threatening. In fact, your story is often the most powerful ‘living’ testimony to Jesus, and as such, is a valuable tool in the kit-bag of sharing faith.
So how do we do that?
The attached guide are notes I took about sharing your testimony. Sometimes this is done in the public setting – like a church – but we want to be able to do this as part of an everyday conversation with whosoever, and so it needs to be easily shared, and relatable.
Remember the goal is to keep it succinct, to the point and include a brief description of the gospel.
The general gist is:
1) Introduction – something attention grabbing ‘I should have died but…’ you know that feeling when?’
Think of a one line introduction that’s a bit out there… (keep it truthful!)
For example, one of my prison chaplains lived in South Africa and took a photo of Nelson Mandela which was published in the New York times. So he (truthfully) would go around and tell people that he was a published international photographer of head’s of state!
2) Your life before coming to faith (or maybe, your life coming to faith…)
We don’t want to glorify in the sinfulness of our lives. We want to acknowledge that and share about what life without Jesus is like – the goal here is to make your life ‘relatable’ to the hearer; not putting them down and coming across as judgmental but simply recognizing that you had a need for God’s salvation. It could be something like:
I found life was incredibly hard work. There is a relentlessness to it – work, houses, kids, politics. I found that I was forever working but I felt like I was not getting ahead – you know?
I lived for myself. I pursued money and pleasure and ultimately that’s all that mattered to me.
I struggled with confidence and found that I couldn’t deal with people…
The point is not to talk about ‘our issues’ or try and present the gospel as a magic wand that ‘fixes’ everything, but rather to simply share your life experience in a way that is succinct and relatable to the hearer.
3) The Gospel – explain where you heard the gospel, what it is (this needs to be concise, not the whole 31 weeks of the story!) We also want to include the key-points of the gospel:
I remember hearing about a God who loves me and seemed to answer my question of purpose.
At a church service I heard about a God who loves enemies – not good people – but people who were opposed to God and lived as if He didn’t exist … like I was living – but he loved them so much that his son took their place and that really struck me. No one does that! I discovered that -
· God created,
· we had all rebelled,
· God promised and delivered in Jesus.
· His death in my place…
· I had to make a choice to follow him…
4) What’s changed – I now live as a follower of Jesus (and that’s a good thing!)
Even though it looks like going to church and ‘following rules’, it’s actually all about a relationship with the one who made me, who knows me - where I am free and able to be vulnerable about life and find meaning and purpose…
5) The challenge / invitation. That’s my story, but what about you? A simple bible verse such as John 3:16, or Romans 10:13 or another Scripture would be helpful to share.
Can I share this one verse with you? “whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved“ (Romans 10:13) All we have to do is ‘repent and accept’.
God is good and invites us to discover our true meaning and purpose in him. In fact, God so loved the world that he gave …
Take some time now to think through your story following the above guidelines. It might be helpful to spend some time to write this out.
If it takes up more than 1 page, it’s probably too long. Remember our goal is to keep it simple, relatable – so 3 minutes max.
If you think you can keep it to that, take turns sharing your story as part of your small group.
Let people give you feedback – if you’re waffling or drifting down a tangent – don’t be offended! It takes PRACTISE!
And remember – in our small group, we can share in a way that is more intimate and vulnerable. This isn’t about perfection, or who has the ‘better’ story.
Take the time to share with one another (be brave!) and pray for opportunities to share your story.
Chapter 31: Revelation / The End of Time
Timeless Truth: Jesus wins the ultimate victory; he’s coming soon.
Bible Basis: Revelation 1:1–19, 4:1–11, 5:13–14, 19:11–15, 21:10–18, 21–27, 22:7–14, 16–21
Key Verse: “Look! He is coming with the clouds. Every eye will see him” (Revelation 1:7).
Use the Table Talk questions to start a discussion around the dinner table during the week. The Living Faith activity demonstrates how God will separate those who believe in him from those who were never his followers. The Extra Mile has your family watch videos of worship songs based on this chapter of The Story and a video about the importance of telling others about God.
Get the Point:
Preschool: Jesus is coming again. I can live in his kingdom forever.
Elementary: Jesus is coming again. I can live in his kingdom forever.
Middle/High School: Jesus is coming to establish his kingdom. Everyone creature on earth will praise him.
- John says the time that all these things will happen “is near,” but that was around 2,000 years ago. Why hasn’t Jesus returned yet?
- It helps to understand that God isn’t bound by time. He’s infinite. Second Peter 3:8 explains it this way: “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years. And a thousand years are like a day.” What would it be like if time didn’t matter?
- Have you ever wanted to go back in time? If you could visit any point in time, where would you go?
- John describes Jesus in a funny way—wool hair, blazing eyes, metal feet, voice like a river and a sword for a tongue. In your own words, describe Jesus. Why do you think John used these words to describe the Savior?
- Take turns as a family describing each other as John might describe you.
- How does it feel to get to the end of The Story and know that God wins?
Note: Young readers will enjoy “A Dream of Heaven” in the Jesus Storybook Bible on page 342.
- What do you think Jesus means when he tells John, “I hold the keys of death and Hades”? How has Jesus demonstrated that?
- Jesus warns the churches about their behavior. Look at several of them. Do churches battle these same problems today?
- Church in Ephesus—forgotten first love
- Church in Sardis—live according to what you know about God
- Church in Laodicea—lukewarm; need to live on fire
- Which of the above problems do you deal with the most?
- Now that you’ve completed The Story and know more about God, do you think it’s going to be easier or harder to live for him? Why?
- Are you ready, because Jesus says he’s “coming soon”?
Some scary things happen in this chapter of The Story. Battles are fought. Strange looking creatures appear. God judges everybody and separates those who know him and people who never followed him. The Bible says, “Only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will enter the city.” When you pray to accept Jesus into your heart, God’s Lamb writes your name in his book. God knows everybody’s heart, so he can easily separate out his followers.
Do a fun experiment that allows you to separate salt from pepper. You’ll need a paper towel, salt, pepper and a balloon. (If you don’t have a balloon, a comb can work, too.) First, create a small pile of salt and pepper. Make sure they’re well mixed together. Second, blow up the balloon and rub it quickly back and forth against your hair. Rubbing it against a wool sweater works, too. Once you’ve created enough static electricity, move the balloon slowly toward the pile. The pepper should “jump” up and stick to the balloon, while the salt will be left behind. Try the same experiment using a comb. Create your pile and salt and pepper, then comb your hair. Put the comb about an inch from the pile and separate out the pepper.
- Is the pepper better than the salt and that’s why it jumps to the comb? (No, the pepper is lighter and more easily attracted.)
- As Christians are we better than people who don’t believe in Jesus? (No, we just followed the Holy Spirit’s prompting and made the decision to follow Jesus.)
- Because God’s judgment day is going to happen, don’t you think it’s super important to share God’s love with everybody?
Jesus is coming again. It’s a fact! Only those who believe in him will receive eternal life. Those who reject Jesus will suffer forever. The consequences are huge. This video from illusionist Penn Jillette shows the impact that living a real life for Jesus can have on an atheist. It may not be appropriate for every family, but it has a powerful message. Search YouTube for “Penn Jillette gets a Bible” (3:42). Discuss what Jillette says.
- What were some of the things the man did that made Jillette receptive to his gift of a Bible?
- What do you think of Jillette’s question, “How much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize [try to convince others about your beliefs]?” Does that change the way you feel about sharing your faith with your friends?
As we conclude, look back with your kids at The Story. What is something they learned during this time that changed their life? What was their favorite part of The Story?
Movies are great because they tell a story, much like the narrative of Scripture and the parables that Jesus uses to each his disciples. Often in movies, we can find rich plots, interesting characters, and complex moral dilemmas and in those things, we can often find just the right opportunity to share with our kids how we can live out our faith or how God can meet our deepest needs. They provide great ways for us to help our kids connect the story of Jesus to their world.
One of the resources attached can be used to start conversations with your family or household about any movie that you watch.
the Other 3 relate specifically to the Cars Movies.
Chapter 30: Paul’s Final Days
Timeless Truth: God’s saving grace is worth more than any earthly suffering.
Bible Basis: Acts 20:22–28, 36–38, 22:22–29, 27:1, 9–41, 28:1–10
Key Verse: “I want to complete the work the Lord Jesus has given me. He wants me to give witness to others about the good news of God’s grace” (Acts 20:24).
Use the Table Talk questions to start a discussion around the dinner table during the week. The Living Faith activity has your family put on a sock puppet play, featuring the snake that bit Paul. The Extra Mile encourages your family to watch a music video or read a story on the possible discovery of Paul’s sea anchors.
Get the Point:
Preschool: Paul served God with his whole life. God wants me to serve him, too.
Elementary: Paul served God with his whole life. God wants me to serve him, too.
Middle/High School: God is always with us as we follow him.
- Paul says he doesn’t care if he has to go to prison, he wants to finish the work that God gave him—which is to witness to others about God’s love. What are some ways you can show and tell others about God’s love?
- What kind of job do you want to do when you grow up? How can you serve God in that job?
- The Holy Spirit protected Paul many times, but the Spirit also prompted Paul to go to Jerusalem where he knew he’d be arrested. Who also went to Jerusalem even though he knew he’d be arrested? (Jesus)
- By being arrested, Paul got to share about Jesus with a lot of Romans. Do you think that’s part of why God allowed Paul to be arrested?
- Can you always see how God’s plans are going to turn out? Do think God usually shows you his plan one step at a time?
- Paul is clear that salvation is a gift from God—nothing that’s deserved or can be earned. Since the Bible is so clear, why do people still believe they’ll go to heaven because of their good works?
- Why is it easy to get caught up comparing yourself with other people, instead of to God’s standard?
- Paul writes that “all Scripture is God-breathed.” What does that mean?
- God’s Word is powerful and useful. Paul mentions four specific things where the Bible is helpful (2 Timothy 3:16). Look at each one:
- How is the Bible helpful in teaching?
- How does the Bible rebuke us?
- In what ways can the Bible correct us?
- Why is training in righteousness important?
- Think of verses where the Bible teaches, rebukes, corrects and trains.
Paul’s shipwreck on Malta is one of the most exciting stories in the Bible. As soon as everybody is safely on land, Paul goes to gather firewood and is bitten by a poisonous snake. Paul shakes the snake into the fire as the Maltese people wait for him to swell up and drop dead. But God saves him, and Paul’s able to share about Jesus Christ and see many people come to faith over the next three months.
Put on a family play by creating a snake puppet from an old sock and two buttons. Sew on the buttons for eyes. If you have any red felt or material, cut out a small piece in a forked shape and sew it on as a tongue. You can create two snakes, have the snake talking to Paul or do a snake monologue. Read Acts 27:13-28:10 for background. Ad lib your lines for the play by using one of these ideas:
- Have two snakes talking to each other. One snake is kind of singed since it just bit Paul and was thrown into a fire. This snake is upset because Satan (who once took the form of a serpent) told him to go bite Paul, but nothing happened. In fact, not only is Paul OK, but the islanders think he’s a god and want Paul to tell them about Jesus. The snake is bummed because Satan’s plan isn’t working out. The two snakes get more and more agitated because God’s power always seems to defeat Satan’s plan.
- Snake talking to Paul after biting him. Snake is confused because Paul’s not dying. The snake says stuff like, “I put the poison in you, right?” Paul can explain that God is more powerful than any poison. Paul can explain God’s purpose for life. In the end, Paul casts the snake into the fire.
- Snake monologue. Have the snake give all the details of the day. Again, the snake is singed after escaping from the fire. He retells watching 276 people wash up on the beach and start to build a fire, how he bit Paul, how Paul didn’t die, how Paul was taken to the chief official of the island and healed his father. The snake is amazed at God’s power shown through Paul.
Have family members take turns playing different parts.
God can use anything in life for his glory. Sometimes we cannot see the complete picture. This week play Tag-Team Drawings. Each member of the family sits at the table with his or her own colored marker and a piece of paper. At "Go," everyone has 30 seconds to begin a drawing.
When the time is up, everyone moves clockwise to the next paper, gives it a quarter turn, and has 30 seconds to continue the drawing. Continue in this manner, with the paper being given a quarter turn by each new artist, until everyone has added to each drawing.
Talk about the following questions as a family:
- Did you know how the picture was going to turn out when you first started drawing?
- Do we know how things turn out when things go bad? How can we trust during those situations?
- Talk about a time in your life that God used something bad for good.
Chapter 29: Paul’s Mission
Timeless Truth: Without Jesus, all fall short of God’s glory.
Bible Basis: Acts 16:16–36; 1 Thessalonians 1:2–5, 3:9–13, 4:16–18, 5:16–28; 1 Corinthians 1:10, 12:12–18, 27, 13:1–7, 15:21-22, 16:23–24; Galatians 5:22–25, 6:18
Key Verse: “He asked, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ They replied, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus’ ” (Acts 16:30-31)
Use the Table Talk questions to start a discussion around the dinner table during the week. The Living Faith activity encourages your family to make a thankfulness chain. The Extra Mile takes your family to an inspirational video that talks about Paul’s life.
Get the Point:
Preschool: Jesus saves us if we believe in him. I can choose to believe.
Elementary: Jesus saves us if we believe in him. I can choose to believe.
Middle/High School: Following Jesus and spreading his message is not always easy, but builds our character.
- Paul and Silas traveled around preaching about God. Some people loved them; others wanted to hurt them. One time they were arrested and chained up in jail. Instead of feeling sorry for themselves, they sang and prayed to God. Why were they doing this?
- How would you act if you were thrown in jail? Would you sing? Would you be scared?
- Why weren’t Paul and Silas scared?
- A powerful earthquake opened all the jail doors and made the chains fall off. Why didn’t Paul and Silas escape?
- The jailer nearly killed himself when he saw the prison doors open, because his punishment would’ve been death if the prisoners escaped. But Paul shouted, “We’re all here.” The jailer immediately wanted to know how to be saved and how he could serve Paul’s God. Talk about how witnessing with actions can sometimes be more effective than telling people about God with words.
- Paul suffered a lot for Jesus Christ. He was blinded, beaten, stoned, jailed. But he said suffering was good because it creates perseverance, character and hope. Have you ever suffered for something and then come out better in the end? Tell that story.
- Paul warns Christians to stay away from sinful acts, such as sexual immorality, impurity, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, jealousy, fits or rage, drunkenness, etc. Do any things in this list stand out as extremely bad or not so bad sins? In God’s eyes is all sin the same?
- Looking at the above list, talk about specific ways you can overcome certain sinful behaviors. With all the pornography on the Internet and sexualized commercials on TV, is it harder today to stay pure and sexually moral?
- Paul writes some great things about love. It’s patient and kind. It’s not envious, boastful or self-seeking. How does this kind of biblical love differ from the love that boyfriends and girlfriends say to each other?
- What’s your favorite part of Paul’s definition of love? (Look up 1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
Paul endured many trails for his faith. Through everything he remained hopeful and thankful. For this family activity, you’ll need pieces of colored construction paper, scissors, markers or pens and glue. Gather your family and explain that Paul spent a lot of times in chains, but it didn’t let anything dampen his faith. Paul said, “How can we thank God enough,” (1 Thessalonians 3:9).
Create a thankfulness chain as a family by cutting construction paper into 8-inch strips that are about one-and-a-half inches wide. (Regular white paper would work, too.) Have each family member take five to ten strips of paper. Write down something you’re thankful for on each strip. Then glue the ends of the strip together to create a chain link. Make sure the words are on the inside of the link. Interlock the links as other family members write what they’re thankful for and watch your chain grow. Try not to say what you’re writing down on your chain. When everybody’s finished and a long chain is created, hang it over a doorway. Leave it hanging for a few days and then plan a time to get together as a family again. Tear off a link of the chain and read what’s on the inside. Have the person who wrote that message explain why their thankful. Keep going until you’ve totally dismantled the chain. Thank God for breaking the chains in your life and giving you so much to be thankful for!
God doesn’t want us to live half-heartedly for him. He wants our total commitment. He wants us to be passionate about the things he’s passionate about. He wants us to have the faith to persevere like Paul.
Go to YouTube and watch Ray Vander Laan’s message, “Run! The Passion of Elijah.” If you prefer to show a portion of this 21:41 video, show the segment from 11:00 to 14:30.
After you’ve watched this video, talk about Ray’s message.
- Why don’t we live passionate lives for Jesus?
- Why is it easy to fall into part-time discipleship?
- How can we live as Christian Olympians?
Remember: Don’t hold back in your Christian life. How we live shows others that God is king!
Chapter 28: New Beginnings
Timeless Truth: The Holy Spirit helps God’s people to spread Jesus’ love.
Bible Basis: Acts 1:2-11, 2:1-6, 23-24, 32-33, 42-47, 8:4-8, 9:1-9, 17-19
Key Verse: “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit. They began to speak in languages they had not known. The Spirit gave them the ability to do this” (Acts 2:4).
Use the Table Talk questions to start a discussion around the dinner table during the week. The Living Faith activity encourages your family to plan a garage sale to benefit people who are struggling in your church. The Extra Mile introduces your family to Team Hoyt who epitomize sacrifice and love.
Get the Point:
Preschool: God gives his people the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit can live inside me.
Elementary: God gives his people the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit can live inside me.
Middle/High School: Through his gift of the Holy Spirit, God gives the apostles the power and ability to spread the message of Jesus.
- When the disciples preached about Jesus and people saw the truth, the believers started eating and praying together. The Bible says they “shared everything.” Do you think this was hard for Jesus’ followers?
- What would be the hardest thing for you to share?
- Why did the early Christians help each other out so much?
- Do you think Christians still look for ways to share with each other?
- This chapter of The Story says Jesus’ followers had hearts that were “glad and honest and true.” How do you think they showed that?
- Talk a little about being glad, honest and true. If you could always live that way, how do you think people would look at you?
Note: Young readers will enjoy “God Sends Help” and “A New Way to See” on pages 326-341 in the Jesus Storybook Bible.
- This chapter contains a powerful verse that says, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name given under heaven by which we must be saved.” What does that mean?
- People try to earn salvation in many other ways. What are some areas where people try to save themselves?
- As faith grew in the early church, so did persecution. Peter and John were beaten and arrested. Stephen was stoned to death. Why didn’t Christ’s followers just give up and hide?
- Why do you think faith thrives when there is persecution?
- Saul led the persecution against the Christians until he met (and was blinded) by Jesus Christ. Would you have trusted Saul after he said he was a believer?
- Why do you think Jesus chose to save Saul instead of having him walk off a cliff?
- Do you think being a Christian is too easy where you live? What’s the hardest part?
The early church cared and provided for each other. That’s an example we can follow today. All churches have families that need a hand. To help your church body, have family members go through their rooms to find items to sell. If you want to take this idea to the next level, coordinate with your church. Encourage your congregation to bring donated items to the church or your home (if you have a place to store them). Help host a garage sale in your church parking lot or your neighborhood. You can put details of where to bring donations in the church bulletin or ask the pastor to make an announcement.
Once you’ve gathered items, figure out a date for the sale. An ad in the local newspapers, signs on the road or a mention on craigslist can get the word out. Make sure the people buying the goods know that all the money is going to help less fortunate families. Encourage your family to get involved by organizing items and manning tables. Coordinate with other families at church. Many hands make light work, so get as many people involved as possible.
With some planning and a lot of effort, your family can reach out in a tangible way to your church. You can make a difference!
Believers in the early church sacrificed for each other. Rich people sold their land and helped the poor. Strong people defended and protected the weak. Two brothers can teach everybody something about real caring. Go to YouTube and watch “Sports Illustrated Kids 2012 SportsKids of the Year: Conner and Cayden Long (OFFICIAL)” (4:42).
Answer these questions. Is Conner a hero? Who benefits more, Conner or Cayden? What one lesson do you want to take away and apply to your own life? What does their story teach you about unconditional love?
Chapter 27: The Resurrection
Timeless Truth: Jesus fulfilled the prophecies by rising from the dead.
Bible Basis: Matthew 28:2-8; Luke 24:36-49; John 21:1-6; Matthew 28:16-20
Key Verse: “He is not here! He has risen, just as he said he would” (Matthew 28:6).
Use the Table Talk questions to start a discussion around the dinner table during the week. The Living Faith activity shows your family how to bake some special rolls. The Extra Mile has your family watch a couple of videos set to Carman’s classic song “The Champion.”
Get the Point:
Preschool: God raised Jesus from the dead. God gives me new life, too.
Elementary: God raised Jesus from the dead. God gives me new life, too.
Middle/High School: Jesus was raised from the dead to give us everlasting life. Jesus ascended to heaven and leaves his followers to continue his work in the world.
- Imagine showing up to Jesus’ tomb and finding it empty with an angel sitting on top of the stone. What would you have done? Would you have been scared like the soldiers?
- The angel reminded the women that Jesus said he’d rise from the dead—and he did. Jesus always does what he says. What are some of Jesus’ other promises?
- Have you ever gone from being really sad to super happy? That’s what happened to the women who found the empty tomb. Tell your story.
- When the women told the disciples Jesus had risen, two of them—John and Peter—ran to it. Why do you think the rest of them didn’t go too?
- Why is the empty tomb such great news to Jesus’ followers back then and today?
Note: Young readers will enjoy “God’s Wonderful Surprise” on pages 310-317 in the Jesus Storybook Bible.
- Jesus appeared to several different people after rising from the dead. Each incident was very different. Talk about each one:
- Mary Magdalene was doubled-over crying at the tomb when Jesus showed up and she didn’t recognize him. Why do you think she didn’t recognize him? Why did Jesus not want her to hold onto him?
- Cleopas and a friend were walking to Emmaus when Jesus started talking to them about recent events. Jesus explained what all the Scriptures said about him. When Cleopas and his friend recognized Jesus, he disappeared. How surprised do you think they were? What did they learn from Jesus?
- When Jesus appeared to the disciples, he asked for something to eat. Why did he do that? Talk about what it would’ve been like for the disciples to see their beloved Jesus again.
- Thomas missed Jesus’ first appearance to the disciples and said he wouldn’t believe unless he touched the holes in Jesus’ hands. When Jesus appeared, Thomas believed without touching the holes. Why?
- Jesus said people are more blessed who believe without seeing. How does that make you feel about your relationship with Christ?
- Do you think you’ll be able to appear in different places when you’re in heaven?
When the stone rolled away, the tomb was empty. Jesus had risen! Make some empty tomb rolls to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. You’ll need a tube of prepackaged crescent rolls, jumbo marshmallows, butter, cinnamon and sugar. These rolls make a great breakfast treat or add a sweet taste to dinner.
Get all the ingredients together and gather your family. Have somebody separate the dough into triangles. Overlap two of the triangles and roll them out, so they stick together. Brush a little butter on the dough and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Place a marshmallow inside the dough and pinch all the ends together to cover it. It’s important that the dough completely covers the marshmallow, so it’s totally enclosed in a “tomb.” Follow these same steps with all the dough. Bake the rolls according to the directions on the package. Allow to cool. When you bite into these golden brown “tombs,” they’re now empty—just like Jesus’ tomb on Easter morning! Praise God for raising Jesus from the dead.
Jesus rising from the dead may be the most history-altering event ever recorded. When Christ defeated death, he also defeated the devil’s schemes that started back in the Garden of Eden. By eating the fruit, Adam and Eve created a separation between humans and God. Satan doesn’t want us to have a relationship with our heavenly Father. Jesus’ perfect life, death and resurrection make it possible for us to know God intimately again.
Watch this church video that re-enacts what this epic battle between God and Satan, using Carman’s song “The Champion.” Go to godtube.com and watch “The Champion – Music Videos” (8:48).
After you’ve watched the video, talk about what it’s like to know God personally. Jesus’ resurrection dealt the ultimate blow to Satan, but the devil still tries to trap us in sin and make us forget Jesus’ sacrifice. Commit as a family to live a victorious life with Jesus.
Chapter 26: The Hour Of Darkness
Timeless Truth: God gives eternal life to those who know Jesus Christ.
Bible Basis: John 13:21-30; Matthew 26:26-28; John 14:1-15; Matthew 26:33-35; John 18:4-10; Luke 22:51-62, 23:32-45; Matthew 27:46-49; John 19:30
Key Verse: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God. Trust in me also” (John 14:1).
Use the Table Talk questions to start a discussion around the dinner table during the week. The Living Faith activity has family members wash each other’s feet. The Extra Mile shows your family a couple of videos set to Chris Tomlin’s song “Jesus Messiah.”
Get the Point:
Preschool: Jesus died for our sins so we can be with him forever. I can accept his love.
Elementary: Jesus died for our sins so we can be with him forever. I can accept his love.
Middle/High School: Jesus died for our sins to allow us to live fully now and have eternal life.
- If you didn’t know how it was going to turn out, this would be the saddest chapter of The Story. A lot of terrible things happened to Jesus. He was arrested, his friends let him down, and he was beaten and killed. When Jesus asked his disciples to pray for him, they fell asleep instead. Talk about a time that your friends let you down?
- Why is it so hard to stay awake sometimes when you’re praying at night?
- How do you think the disciples could’ve encouraged each other to stay awake—would’ve pinching each other worked?
- After all the miracles they’d seen, why did the disciples abandon Jesus? Don’t you think they would’ve had more faith?
- Will Jesus ever let you down? Why?
Note: Young readers will gain understanding of Jesus’ last days by reading the three stories on pages 286-309 in the Jesus Storybook Bible.
- Jesus talks a lot about being God in this chapter (John 14:9, etc.). Why is it so important that Jesus is God?
- During his arrest, Jesus is asked if he’s Jesus of Nazareth. He responds, “I am he” and everybody falls down. Why did those words have so much power? Why didn’t Jesus run away when everybody fell?
- Peter got a little bold when Jesus was arrested and cut of the high priest’s servant’s ear. Jesus told Peter to back off, picked up the ear, and healed the servant. If you were one of the soldiers, what would you have thought about this Jesus who knocks over people with his words and has the power to heal?
- Because Jesus hadn’t done anything wrong, the Jewish leaders had to make up false testimony against him. Why was Jesus ultimately sentenced to death? (Blasphemy—saying he was God.)
- What sets Jesus apart from other people who have claimed to be God?
In a poignant act of servanthood, Jesus washes the disciples feet at the Last Supper. He was the ultimate leader and the ultimate servant. As parents, display that same kind of servant leadership by washing your children’s feet. You’ll need a basin of warm water and a towel. The idea isn’t to scrub and clean the person’s feet. You just need to gently bathe the feet with water and dry them with a towel. As you wash their feet, tell your kids the way you want to serve them (i.e. by providing food and place to live, by showing them how to serve Jesus, by encouraging them to be their best.)
After you’ve washed your children’s feet, give them the opportunity to wash yours. If they want to, your kids can let you know how they want to serve you.
When you’ve cleaned up from the foot washing, put on a video or some music and have family members give each other foot rubs. A good-smelling lotion can make this even more enjoyable. Be wary of family members with ticklish feet—they tend to kick when they’re rubbed.
You can add to this experience by reading John 13:1-16 and by asking these questions:
- What most surprises you about Jesus washing his disciples feet?
- Do you think it was hard for Jesus to wash Judas’ feet, knowing that Judas would soon betray him?
- Do you think it’s important for leaders to show they love and care for the people they’re leading?
- What are some other ways that Jesus showed the disciples that he loved them?
Chris Tomlin’s song “Jesus Messiah” has a beautiful message that goes along with this chapter of The Story. Watch him perform it in a 6:05 video on YouTube called “Chris Tomlin - Jesus Messiah - LIVE @ SPIRIT 105.3 FM.”
After you’ve watched the video, talk about the parts that you liked the best. What lyrics from the song impacted you?
Chapter 25: Jesus, The Son Of God
Timeless Truth: Jesus is the promised Messiah.
Bible Basis: Mark 8:27-30, 34-38, 9:30-32; John 7:11-15, 25-31, 8:12-14, 31; Mark 10:13-16; John 11:55-57; Mark 11:2-10; Matthew 21:10-11; John 12:27-33, 37, 42-50; Mark 14:1-2; Luke 22:3-6
Key Verse: “They all shouted, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’ ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ‘Hosanna in the highest heaven!’ ” (Matthew 21:9).
Resource: The Story: Teen Edition, The Story for Kids/Children/Little Ones: Chapter 25
Use the Table Talk questions to start a discussion around the dinner table during the week. The Living Faith encourages your family to think about Jesus’ claim that he was God. Theologian C.S. Lewis helps you out. The Extra Mile has your family watch a couple of videos about Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem.
- Jesus loves children. In this chapter of The Story, the disciples try to keep little children from coming to Jesus. Jesus got mad and said, “let the little children come to me.” How does that make you feel?
- Do you think Jesus understands what it’s like to be a child? Why?
- Jesus said, “Anyone who will not receive God’s kingdom like a little child will never enter it.” What do you think that means?
- What part do you like best about Jesus?
- What’s your favorite story about Jesus so far?
- Jesus used startling statements to grab people’s attention. In this chapter of The Story, he says “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me . . . will save it” (Mark 8:35) and “many who are first will be last, and the last first” (Mark 10:31). What do you think that means? Do you think it’s true? Why?
- Why do some of Jesus’ teachings seem so opposite of what society says?
- Which of Jesus’ teachings are the hardest for you to understand?
- Is it possible to follow the Bible’s commands without fully understanding them?
- Talk about how faith impacts your walk with the Lord.
In this chapter of The Story, Jesus makes it very clear that he is God’s Son and the Messiah who’s come to save people from their sins. Some people didn’t like his teachings and walked away from him. The same thing happens today as people wrestle with what Jesus said. History records the fact that Jesus walked the earth and taught many people. But Jesus said he was God, and that causes a dilemma for people—or as C.S. Lewis might say a “trilemma” as they decide if they think Jesus was a liar, lunatic or Lord. Figuring out what you think about Jesus is the most important decision you’ll ever make.
C.S. Lewis is best known for writing The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and all of The Chronicles of Narnia, but he also wrote some great books about theology, including Mere Christianity. In that book he writes: "I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God.' That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic - on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg - or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."
After reading the above excerpt from Mere Christianity, discuss it as a family.
- What do you like best about Lewis’ thinking?
- Why is this argument so effective?
- What do you think people who aren’t Jesus followers would think about these statement?
Churches love to re-enact Palm Sunday as Jesus came into Jerusalem on a donkey. Palm branches and jackets paved the way for the coming King. Jesus didn’t run from his destiny of dying on a cross. He rode straight into it. Watch this humorous video on YouTube called “Skit Guys – Palm Sunday” (3.55).
Did you learn anything new from this video? Pray as a family and thank God for sending his Son to die for your sins.