God’s Providence and a Boy’s Fishing Plans

Gabe's fish for blog

Every day we have opportunities to teach our children to see and understand everything through the amazing reality of God’s providence. But how often do we actually make “use” of these opportunities? Do some incidents or situations seem too small or insignificant to warrant God’s notice? Here is a delightful true story featured in the curriculum
My Purpose Will Stand: A Study for Children on the Providence of God
. Consider reading it with your students or children, and think about your own experiences, looking for ways that God watched over the “details” even in ways that you could have not imagined. Continue Reading…

Shaping Your Child’s Attitude toward Church

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Think of how your children might “see” the church—the body of Christ—through you. Are they being given an attractive picture that they would want to embrace? Here are some good words from Tedd and Margy Tripp,

Church is usually a family priority for believers. That is good and appropriate. But parents shape how their children think about church life. Magnify the beauty of the corporate life of your church. It is an essential element of Christian culture. If attendance to church and its activities are a burdensome obligation that competes with other desirable pastimes, children will live for the day they can opt out of attendance… Continue Reading…

Good Advice from a President to His Son

U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt was an avid sports enthusiast. But he also saw a potential danger in that enthusiasm. Here is a portion of a letter he wrote to his son Ted while Ted was away at school. This advice is as sound today as it was when he wrote it, and is a good reminder to pass on to our own sons. Continue Reading…

The Existence of Evil and Good Friday

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There comes a point when there is no longer a way to avoid the difficult question, “Why is there evil in the world?” Whether or not our children and students verbalize it specifically, they will be wondering. How will we answer a question that so many great thinkers and theologians have debated for centuries? I think this explanation by John Piper is extremely helpful: Continue Reading…

A Gospel Song for Children

One of the things I miss most about not teaching this year is the wonderful worship time that I experienced in first grade Sunday school. I especially miss singing Mighty, Mighty Savior with the children. It is an easy song for children to learn, and it presents clear Gospel truth. You can see the words and listen to it here: Continue Reading…

Being Amazed Over and Over Again

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As a teacher, the greatest emphasis in our lesson preparation is spending time in heart preparation. I found these words from Pastor C. J. Mahaney to be especially helpful this week:

I received another recent expression of thanks from a man who concluded his letter with these words: “I am amazed by the power of the gospel over and over, and have increased in my own love of the Savior. I can’t believe that I have been saved from what I deserve.”

Amazed by the power of the gospel, over and over—can you say those words about your own experience as well? Do you continue to find your salvation an incredible miracle as you recall the judgment you genuinely deserve? Continue Reading…

Free Lesson: Helping Children Understand the Resurrection

Children Desiring God Blog // Helping Children Understand the Resurrection: Free Lesson

I love Easter. I love reading the familiar gospel accounts. I love the bright, beautifully decorated sanctuary at church. I love the loud, celebratory music we sing together. I love hearing the pastor repeatedly proclaim “He is risen!” I love seeing the children dressed up and full of excitement. I love gathering together with family for a special meal. But more importantly, I love this about Easter…

The resurrection of Jesus is God’s gift and proof that his death was completely successful in blotting out the sins of his people and removing the wrath of God… From the cross the Son of God cried, “It is finished” (John 19:30). And by means of the resurrection, God the Father cries, “It was finished indeed!” The great work of paying for our sin and providing our righteousness and satisfying God’s justice was finished in the death of Jesus.Then, in the grave, he had the right and the power to take the keys of death and open the door for all who come to him by faith.

(John Piper, The Passion of Jesus Christ, copyright © 2004, pages 100-101.)

Here is a free lesson from our newly revised curriculum Jesus, What a Savior! that can be used to help children better grasp these important truths about Jesus’ resurrection. Although it was written for 5 – 6 year old children, the illustrations and explanations can be easily adapted for older children.

 

Free Lesson: Helping Children Understand the Cross

Children Desiring God Blog //  Helping Children Understand the Cross: Free Lesson

The gospel narratives give us a vivid picture of the events of Jesus’ final days and hours. As teachers and parents it is important that we help our children “walk” through these. All the events of Jesus’ life and ministry led to this moment in history: The perfect Son of God giving up His life on the cross. But it is also crucial that we give our children a vivid picture of what was “unseen” or more hidden in the narratives of the crucifixion. Unseen by any human eye, when Jesus died on the cross something truly amazing happened …

[Jesus Christ]…  whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. (Romans 3:25 ESV)

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
(2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV)

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. (1 Peter 2:24 ESV)

Here is a free lesson for our newly revised curriculum Jesus, What a Savior that is designed to help children better see and understand the significance of Jesus’ death on the cross. Although it was written for 5-6 year old children, the illustrations and explanations can be easily adapted for older children.

 

Creative Holy Week Activity: The Resurrection Tree

Children Desiring God Blog //  Holy Week Activity: The Resurrection Tree

Holy Week will soon be upon us and it’s not too late to start a new tradition. Here is a wonderful idea from Noël Piper that is simple, creative and meaningful. You can easily include the whole family in this activity.

The Resurrection Tree is a bare branch, broken from a bush in the back yard, just as the Jesus Tree was. On its twigs we hang symbols that remind us of the Crucifixion and Resurrection and things that point us toward the names and facets of Jesus that are related especially to his sacrifice for our redemption…. Perhaps those discoveries will occur as we consider the state of our relationship with Jesus and our understanding of the salvation he offers us. Reading the gospel accounts of his last days (Matthew 21—28;
Mark 11—16; Luke 19—24; John 11—21) will be essential for this consideration. Like the symbols on Advent’s Jesus Tree, most of these objects won’t be ornaments but small toys and household items that we “re-create.”

She also provides a list of possible symbols to include on the tree:

      • Donkey
      • Palm branches or ferns as miniature
      • Palms
      • Grapes and wheat or loaf and cup
      • Towel and bowl of water
      • Coins or money bag
      • Torches or lanterns
      • Chalice
      • Rooster
      • Pitcher and bowl (Pilate washing hands of responsibility)
      • Crown of thorns
      • Hammer and nails
      • Cross
      • Spear
      • Colors (perhaps using cloth swatches or beads)
        • Purple (passion and mourning, as well as the robe placed on Jesus in mockery
        • Red (suffering, Christ’s blood)
        • White (Christ’s purity and innocence)
        • Black (the heaviness of sin and grief)
        • Gold (paradise, promised to the thief next to Jesus and to everyone who trusts him)

 

(Treasuring God in Our Traditions, copyright © 2003, page 95.)

Start with the Facts and Move toward Response

In this short video, Sally Michael walks us through the importance of the five levels of learning. This is a great resource for every parent and teacher.

A Vision for Encouraging Faith in the Next Generation from Children Desiring God on Vimeo.

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