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Now Available: God’s Gospel

God's Gospel family devotion book on salvation

We often think about what our children will inherit from those who have gone before them.

But what about the one inheritance that will last forever?

Christian parents have already faced the reality of their own sin, helplessness, and need for a Savior. And, though our young children’s lives often seem simpler than ours, their spiritual predicament is every bit as real. They are never too young to hear God’s good news for them as they face eternity–but as a parent, you may be wondering how to explain it to them in a way they can understand.

We are excited to announce the release of our favorite author’s first book. In God’s Gospel, Jill Nelson continues the Making HIM Known family devotional series as she demonstrates that even young children can learn about the gospel in full detail. This full color, illustrated book is perfect for parent to read with 5- to ten-year-old children. God’s Gospel has 26 chapters that are the perfect length for a family devotion time or one-on-one story time. Each chapter also includes several application questions along with an activity suggestion.

As you read through God’s Gospel, you and your children will discover God’s plan of salvation, starting with his very first designs for creation and moving through what went wrong, how important and hopeless our situation truly is, and what the wonderful news of our Savior’s sacrifice means for us.

Don’t just prepare your children for this life–prepare them for the one that matters most!

Take a look inside:

Read the First Chapter

View the Table of Contents

Order you own copy today!

 

You may also be interested God’s Word.

 

A Look Inside: Open My Eyes, Part 4

Open My Eyes

Today is the final day we are taking an inside look at the themes found in Open My Eyes, our new curriculum for senior high students on studying the Bible.

  1. The need to study the Bible
  2. Understanding the genres of Biblical literature
  3. Learning inductive Bible study skills
  4. Responding to God in faith from the heart

The final five lessons of Open My Eyes focus on presenting the work of the Word in salvation and presenting the Gospel message. Students will put into practice the different inductive Bible study techniques they have learned as they look at Scripture to discover these truths.

The Word of God is effective in penetrating man’s heart and brings salvation when it is received in faith by those who have not hardened their hearts. Believers need to strive to enter God’s rest as they diligently hear, accept and respond to God’s Word.

Open My Eyes VisualAlthough we are instructed to strive to believe, John recorded the two responses people have to Jesus—acceptance or rejection. As students examine the responses of the “many”, Nicodemus, the scribes and the Pharisees, they are reminded that saving faith can only come as a result of the work of the Holy Spirit in bringing about new birth.

Open My Eyes VisualOur responses are not always what they should be, but God mercifully withholds judgment and extends His grace towards men to give them the opportunity to repent. As youth interpret the Parable of the Barren Fig Tree, they learn the difference between presumption and repentance, the purpose of God’s kindness, the consequence of a failure to repent and the righteousness of God’s judgment.

Open My Eyes VisualThe process of salvation begins with election, and moves through the Gospel call, regeneration, conversion (repentance and faith), justification and adoption. Jesus accepts all who come to him, and for those who respond to God’s call to salvation, He is at work in their lives. Students will look at the responses of the two thieves who were crucified with Jesus along with the context of the historical narrative around it.

Open My Eyes VisualThe final lesson of Open My Eyes concludes with the truth that God’s words are sweet to those who have a close relationship with Him. God’s promise of either blessing or curse in Deuteronomy 30:15-18, and the conditions for each, are illustrated as fulfilled in the life of Jeremiah and his fulfilled prophecy concerning Judah’s destruction. Through examining various texts, students are shown that God keeps His Word and that God’s Word sustains His people in the midst of difficulty and trial. Youth are encouraged to examine their heart attitude toward the Word of God.

Learn More About Open My Eyes

Open My Eyes Classroom KitBe sure to enter our contest to win a free copy of the Open My Eyes Classroom Kit. To enter, visit the contest post and leave a comment as directed.

If you would like to learn more about Open My Eyes, view the Curriculum Sample or place an order for your own copy of the study.

What are you most excited to teach the senior high students in your church about studying the Bible? Feel free to share in a comment below or ask any questions you have about Open My Eyes!

 

 

A Look Inside: Open My Eyes, Part 3

Open My Eyes

Open My Eyes is our brand new study for youth on studying the Bible and we are so excited to be hosting an Open My Eyes Classroom Kit Giveaway! We would love to you all but enter the contest, but why should you bother? This week we are looking at the truths taught in Open My Eyes and why it is important for teenagers to learn these lifelong skills. The study focuses on these four themes:

  1. The need to study the Bible
  2. Understanding the genres of Biblical literature
  3. Learning inductive Bible study skills
  4. Responding to God in faith from the heart

The main section of lessons in Open My Eyes looks at the genres of Biblical literature, which we discussed yesterday, and teaches the four steps of inductive Bible studies. Open My Eyes is not an exhaustive training of all inductive study methods, but rather it provides a foundation for students that can be used in any personal or formal Bible study.

1. Reading

The first step is to read the Bible. Students are encouraged to regularly read their Bible with purpose. Through careful reading and recording their thoughts and questions, they will be able to get to know God better.

2. Observing

Fifteen lessons in Open My Eyes teach youth the techniques God has given us to use that are helpful in understanding the Bible. Although the first step to good Bible reading and study is always prayer, these techniques enables students to dig deeper into the passages, analyze the context and discover the author’s intended meaning. Techniques include:

  • Open My Eyes VisualAsking questions while purposely and actively approaching a text.
  • Looking at the historical setting of the book and the customs of the time.
  • Exploring the immediate literary context of words, looking at the sentence, paragraph, chapter, book and the Bible as a whole to understand the author’s intended meaning.
  • Open My Eyes VisualUnderstanding that grammar matters. Students learn how to mark up a passage, identifying nouns, pronouns, verbs and adjectives in order to determine the meaning of the verses.
  • Biblical writers employed the literary techniques to add strength to their words. Repetition establishes a theme, listing groups thoughts and rhetorical questions add emphasis.
  • Open My Eyes VisualFigurative language in the Bible communicates spiritual truth powerfully to our hearts, but it must be handled carefully. Youth discover how similes, metaphors, personification, anthropomorphism and hyperbole emphasize key points, communicate truth in a known context and create an emotional response.
  • Identifying classifying statements and independent and dependent clauses encourages application.
  • Finding connecting words and tying together thoughts throughout a passage can unlock the meaning of a text.
  • Open My Eyes VisualObserving logical connections and learning to follow the author’s flow of thought helps youth understand passages.
  • A passage must be understood in the broader literary and theological contexts of its chapter and book, of the whole Bible, and of man’s fallen condition and redemption.
  • To understand the author’s intent and flow of thought, it is important to observe the structure of the text. Student will learn to look for transition markers to break the text into passages, and then to find the main point of the passages.
  • Open My Eyes VisualTo correctly understand a passage, it is important to observe the connections, check the context and follow the author’s flow of thought through the use of mapping.
  • Outlining a passage is another useful tool students will use to understand the author’s flow of thought.

 

3. Interpreting

Open My Eyes VisualsThe Bible is a spiritual book and must be spiritually understood through the illumination of the Holy Spirit. In addition, God has given us sound principles of interpretation to help us rightly interpret the Bible and avoid falling into error. Student start by examining Psalm 25:5 to find several keys to interpretation, then they are taught and practice a series of interpretation principles. These Biblical principles are deduced from Scripture and are applicable to all people, in all cultures, at all times. The most important one is to use the Bible to interpret the Bible.

4. Applying

Open My Eyes VisualUnderstanding the Bible will not make much difference in students’ lives if they do not discover how God wants them to respond to the Scriptures using life application questions. Youth will be challenged to plan practical actions steps they can take and ask the questions: What should I think? What should I be? What should I do?

The Inductive Bible Study Handbook

The Inductive Bible Study HandbookStudents are encouraged to practice these skills both in the classroom using the Student In-Class Notebook and during the week with the Student At-Home Journal. With so much to learn, The Inductive Bible Study Handbook is a wonderful reference tool that walks through the four steps of inductive Bible study in an easy to understand way. It is an essential tool for students going through Open My Eyes to reinforce what they are learning. It can also be used by anyone wanting to strengthen their study skills for personal study or other Bible studies.

Start teaching these truths to your youth!

We are giving away a free copy of the Open My Eye Classroom Kit. Be sure to visit our contest post and leave a comment there to enter.

If you would like to learn more about Open My Eyes, view the Curriculum Sample or place an order for your own copy of the study.

 

Win an Open My Eyes Classroom Kit!

 Open My Eyes Classroom Kit

 

How many parents and youth ministers are eager to strive toward this goal for your students?

We need an education that puts the highest premium under God on knowing the meaning of God’s Book, and growing in the abilities that will unlock its riches for a lifetime.

John Piper, “A Compelling Reason for Rigorous Training of the Mind,” © 2015 Desiring God Foundation, www.desiringgod.org
Our newly released curriculum, Open My Eyes: A Study for Youth on Studying the Bible, was specifically designed to help your students grow in their ability to unlock the riches of God’s Book by teaching them Bible study skills. Here is a description:
Treasures are not for the fainthearted, and Bible study is hard work. But prayer, careful reading, and meditation, combined with good Bible study skills, produce a bountiful harvest of truth and understanding. Open My Eyes is a curriculum for senior high youth on how to study the Bible. It focuses on the different genres of biblical literature and the process of inductive Bible study, and provides opportunities to practice the skills of observation, interpretation, and application. The end goal is that students might understand God’s Word as the biblical authors intended, and begin a life-long journey of learning to know and treasure God through studying and applying His Word to their everyday lives.
We would love to share the blessing of this resource with a church, home school, Christian school, or missionary family by giving away an Open My Eyes Classroom Kit, including:
  • a Teacher’s Guide
  • a Resources DVD
  • one Student In-Class Notebook
  • one Student At-Home Journal
  • and one Inductive Bible Study Handbook

This is a combined value of up to $140.00. Contest open to readers over 18 years of age, except where prohibited by law. If the winner is located in the United States, he or she may choose from an Open My Eyes Print Classroom Kit (3-Ring or Spiral Bound) or Electronic Classroom Kit. International entrants are eligible to win an Electronic Open My Eyes Classroom Kit. The winner will be chosen at random and announced by Monday, August 31.

To enter this drawing, please leave a comment by Wednesday, August 26 about one of the most interesting or challenging books you have studied in the Bible. 

A Look Inside: Open My Eyes, Part 2

Open My Eyes

Open My Eyes, our newly released study for youth teaches youth the lifelong skill of studying the Bible. The curriculum focuses on four keys themes, which we are looking at this week:

  1. The need to study the Bible
  2. Understanding the genres of Biblical literature
  3. Learning inductive Bible study skills
  4. Responding to God in faith from the heart

The main section of lessons in Open My Eyes varies between discovering the genres of Biblical literature and learning practical inductive Bible study skills. This gives students extra time to learn new skills before introducing the next one.

Open My Eyes VisualsIf you do not consider the literary context the verses in the Bible are presented in, you may be very confused. There is a great difference between historical narratives and parables, letters and poetry. To correctly interpret a Bible passage, students need to learn to understand the author’s intended meaning through exploring the context. Christians can be deceived in their understanding of the Word if they do not carefully study the Bible.

Open My Eyes gives students an overview of nine genres of Biblical literature to equip them in understanding the context.

Genres of Biblical Literature (more…)

A Look Inside: Open My Eyes, Part 1

Open My Eyes Study for Youth

In case you missed the news, we released Open My Eyes last week, our first curriculum for senior high students. The 40-week study teaches youth how to study the Bible. This week, we are going to give you an inside look at the 4 themes the lessons are structured around:

  1. The need to study the Bible
  2. Understanding the genres of Biblical literature
  3. Learning inductive Bible study skills
  4. Responding to God in faith from the heart

Before being taught how to study the Bible, the first five lessons lead students to discover the steadfastness of the Bible and why it is critical to study the Bible. The starting point of this curriculum is the truth of the authority of the Bible. Because the Sovereign God of the Universe is the Author behind the authors of the Bible, the Bible is true in all its parts and completely reliable. Man’s understanding of Scripture can be in error, but this divine book, inspired by the Holy Spirit is never in error. Students are given the sober warning that God’s authoritative Word cannot be changed, questioned or disobeyed without grave consequences.

Open My Eyes VisualAlthough it may be daunting to attempt to study a divine book with that warning, the Bible is a clear book that the Holy Spirit uses to enable ordinary people to know God. The Bible was written to all peoples of all generations by God, who wants to be known and understood by ordinary people. Students, who belong to God, love, understand and see the clarity in His Word.

Open My Eyes VisualNot only are God’s children able to understand the Bible, it is imperative for them to study it. Youth may often raise questions, “Is there more than one way to God?” and “Isn’t it enough to be sincere in whatever faith you choose?” But, they will learn that the Bible is necessary for salvation, maintaining spiritual life and knowing God’s Will. It is the sufficient source of truth, containing all we need for salvation and faith, and must not be added to.

Both studying the Bible through the help of the Holy Spirit and meditating on memorized verses are crucial to understanding the truths of the Bible and growing in faith. A haphazard approach to reading the Bible often results in overlooking large portions of the Bible and missing its overall structure. But, a plan or system for Bible reading and study can help one to avoid these pitfalls. Understanding the Bible is the result of a combination of a redeemed heart, diligent study and dependency on the Holy Spirit. Only then will students be able to truly discern the author’s intended meaning of a passage and glean the spiritual truths that encourage us to grow.

Open My Eyes Visual

The final lesson before digging into Bible study methods, gives youth an overview of God’s redemptive plan. They will see how the Old Testament informs the New Testament and how the New Testament interprets the Old Testament. The Bible is one continuous, interconnected story with a central message as God’s plan and purposes progressively unfold. Ultimately, the whole Bible is about Jesus. It was written that we might believe that Jesus is the Son of God and receive life in His name.

Check back tomorrow, to see how students will gain an understanding of the genres of Biblical literature. To learn more about Open My Eyes, view the Curriculum Sample or place an order for your own copy of the study.

 

New Senior High Youth Curriculum Released: Open My Eyes

Open My Eyes

 

The Word of God is profoundly simple…and amazingly complex. Understandable to children…yet confounding to scholars. Only through the work of the Holy Spirit can our eyes be opened that we may “behold wondrous things” out of God’s law (Psalm 119:10).

Our brand new curriculum, Open My Eyes, teaches 9th-12th grade students how to study the Bible. Students will learn careful observation tools and sound interpretative principles as it provides pointed application suggestions so the Word of God might be understood as the biblical authors intended, and practiced in everyday life.

Open My Eyes begins with lessons on the authority, clarity, necessity and sufficiency of the Bible and the need to study the Bible and understand God’s plan of redemption. Then, youth will gain an understanding of the different genres of biblical literature (poetry, parables, gospels, etc.) and the inductive Bible study process as they practice reading, observation, interpretation and application skills. The curriculum concludes with five lessons aimed at the heart of the students, with the challenge not to presume upon the patience of God, but to respond to Him in faith.

Instead of being taught the same old Bible stories and lessons, I am being taught how to determine the lesson my own.–Sanya, student

You can learn more by viewing the Curriculum Scope & Sequence and the Sample Lessons. The following resources will equip you to teach the youth in your church or home:


Classroom Kit

Classroom KitThe Classroom Kit contains everything your class needs to start this curriculum. The main resource, the Teacher’s Guide, contains 40 lessons which alternate between a large group teaching time and small group discovery and discussion. Each lesson features a focus statement that summarizes the main ideas of the lesson and serves as anchors for understanding how to study the Bible. Students are encouraged to follow through on a personal application step each week.

Open My Eyes is not intended to be an exhaustive study of inductive methods, but rather an introduction to them, with the prayer that it will start youth on a lifetime journey of Bible study. These skills can be practiced in any inductive Bible study.


Student In-Class Notebook

Student At-Home JournalThe notebook provides students with a format for recording important points taught in the lesson as well as an opportunity to practice inductive Bible study skills as they mark up passages, make observations of the text and interpret the meaning. Youth will fill out charts, map passages and make an outline to discern the flow of the author’s thoughts. This record of their interactions with the Word will not only serve as a reminder of truths and Bible study skill taught, but will also be a journal of insights imparted by the Holy Spirit.


Student At-Home Journal

Student At-Home JournalWhy do students need to study at home? Besides reinforcing important truths and skills learned in class, the Student At-Home Journal provides an opportunity for the student to practice inductive Bible study skills. Without this practice, the student will be hampered in his use of sound observation, interpretation and application skills. Hearing must become doing in order for these skills to take root.

More importantly, the journal provides the student with the opportunity and encouragement to personally interact with the Word of God and to ponder His relationship to God. It becomes a means for the Holy Spirit to work in the heart of the student as he thoughtfully responds to questions, meditates on the Word, and considers what God is asking of him.

The Inductive Bible Study Handbook

The Inductive Bible Study HandbookThe Inductive Bible Study Handbook is a reference tool that teaches the 4 main steps of and tips for inductive Bible study. The steps include read, observe, interpret and apply.

Students will use the Handbook in conjunction with both the Student In-Class Notebook and the Student At-Home Journal. The Handbook can also be used as a stand alone resource.

 

Open My Eyes is a curriculum seeking to do just that – open the eyes of our youth to see the truths in God’s Word. Our children are confronted with a culture in which it is acceptable to define their own truth. And, accordingly, are influenced to interpret God’s Word in a way that seems right to them, rather than discerning the God-given meaning of the text. Open My Eyes equips them with tools, a methodology for proper interpretation, to rightly handle the Word of Truth. I am grateful that our church is reinforcing and strengthening skills that we seek to teach in our home.–Pamela, parent

Order a copy of Open My Eyes today and start teaching your youth the important skill of studying the Bible! Order online or by calling 877.400.1414.

 

Promise Items Are Now Available!

Promise Items Now Available

The Promise Buttons and Promise Iron-On Transfers, to accompany the Faithful to All His Promises curriculum, are in stock. Thank you for your patience in waiting for these items.

These Promise Items are part of a powerful illustration that helps children learn to trust in a promise made by their teacher, just as they have to learn to trust in the promises made by God. At the beginning of the class, the teacher will promise to give each student a Promise Item. Some will receive it within a week or two…other children will have to wait 40 weeks. Each child must trust that the teacher will honor their promise to give them a Promise Item as they learn to see the character traits of a trust-worthy promise-keeper. Through this illustration, children will discover and be reminded that “God always keeps His promises.”

Our classic button has been updated with a new look and several additional options for Promises Items have been added. To teach Faithful to All His Promises, you will need one Promise Item for each student and teacher in the class. You may choose from:

Promise ButtonsPromise Buttons

The Promise Button is a 2.5 inch, pin-back metal button. Children can wear it to class, attach it to a backpack or pin the button up in their room. Promise Buttons are available in sets of 8.

Promise TransfersPromise Transfer

The Promise Transfer is a 4×4.5 inch iron-on transfer. It can easily be applied to a t-shirt, sweat shirt, tote bag, banner, flag or any other fabric item that is not tightly woven (such as nylon). Promise Transfers are available in sets of 8.

Promise ItemCustom Promise Items

The Promise Item Graphic is included on the Resources DVD in the Classroom Kit as JPEG, EPS and PNG files. This enables you to create a promise item customized for your class. You can be creative with making t-shirts, hats, posters, bookmarks, magnets or whatever else you know the children in you class will cherish or use so they can be reminded of this great truth.

 

Classroom Kit Sampler Pack

Each print Classroom Kit includes a Sampler Pack containing 4 Promise Buttons and 4 Promise Transfers.

Order your Promise Items today!

Place you order online or call our customer service team at 877.400.1414.

 

Your Teaching Tone

ID-100158151Imagine you are preparing to teach your students a lesson that includes the following passage:

And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” (Isaiah 6:3-5 ESV)

What type of tone would be appropriate when reading this passage aloud to the students? Will the tone you use serve to help or hinder your students in better understanding the meaning of the text?

Tone: mode of expression, inflection, modulation, accentuation, mood, attitude, temper, etc. As a teacher (or parent), the tone you use to communicate a certain truth may either serve to help or hinder the learner in understanding and applying that truth. The above passage spoken in a quiet, sweet, comforting  voice would not help your students understand and feel the weight of the text. In a similar way, it would not be helpful to use a loud, forceful voice to convey the meaning of Matthew 11:28,

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

This topic came to mind as I read Pastor Mark Vroegop’s article, “Is Your Preaching Tone Deaf?” Though he was writing specifically about preaching, the main points of his article apply equally to those of us who teach children and youth.

The Bible is more than just a collection of propositional statements. It is truth with tone. And there are many different tones: comfort (2 Cor 1), bluntness (Jam 4:4), lament (Ps 13:1-2), wonder (Rev 4), sarcasm (2 Cor 11:19), instruction (Rom 12), joy (Ex 15), questioning (Ps 22:1), struggle (Lam 3), wisdom (Prov 1), and rest (Psalm 23) to name a few. The beauty of the Bible is found, in part, through its variety of tone.

Using the right tone requires a great deal of wisdom. But if used well, it invites people into a further understanding of the passage and opens up new applications. Preaching with the appropriate tone helps people feel the weight of what is being said. It makes the passage come alive in new ways. It can open their heart to truths that may have been missed without the right tone. By using the right tone, you will help people hear the truth of God’s Word. Truth through tone is a powerful way for both the pastor and the congregation to walk together into what is being said in the Bible, and a proper tone allows a person to not just what’s in a particular passage, but to feel

(from www.9marks.org)

(Image courtesy of Paul Gooddy at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)

An Inside Look at Application – Faithful to All His Promises, Revised

Children Desiring God Blog // An Inside Look at Application: Faithful to All His Promises Revised

When teaching Sunday school, there are two main pillars to the class time: teaching and application.

Application is an essential step to apply truths from the Bible lesson to a child’s everyday life. The Small Group Application section of each lesson provides small group leaders with specific questions to discuss with the children in their group. These questions help children understand and clarify what they heard in the lesson and lead them towards three responses:

  • The Head: What the children know and understand.
  • The Heart: What the children feel, such as emotions, desires and convictions.
  • The Hands: What action the children will take, such as a response, commitment, etc.

One of the major updates we made to the revised version of Faithful to All His Promises, was to rework the application section. The questions were expanded and finessed to equip small group leaders with material that is age appropriate, integrated with workbook activities and targeted towards the heart. Here is a sample application section from Faithful to All His Promises, along with the matching workbook pages so you can take a look inside the curriculum and see the changes!

Lesson 7 Promise: God Will Forgive You

Main Ideas:

  • If we confess our sins, God will forgive us.
  • When God forgives sin, He blots

Small Group Application

(more…)

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