Kids Church Lesson
New Testament Lesson
TOGETHER IN JESUS
BIBLE PASSAGE: Ephesians 2–3
STORY POINT: The gospel brings together different people as the church.
KEY PASSAGE: 1 Timothy 6:12
BIG PICTURE QUESTION: What is sanctification? Sanctification is the process of becoming more like Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Overview For Parents:
During Paul’s second missionary journey, Paul stopped in Ephesus and preached in the synagogue. (See Acts 18:19.) Apollos, a Jewish believer, also taught in the synagogue there. Paul’s third missionary journey took him back to Ephesus, where he spent two to three years speaking with crowds about Jesus. (See Acts 19:8-10.) As people believed in Jesus, the church was established and grew under local leadership.
Paul was in a Roman prison when he wrote his letter to the church at Ephesus. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians—like other letters he wrote to churches when he was unable to meet with them in person—brought words of instruction and encouragement that are still helpful to believers today. The letter to the Ephesians focuses on the big idea of unity.
Paul wrote to teach Jewish and Gentile believers that they are one in Christ and that they should treat one another with the love of Christ. Focus on these three ways believers are united: united in sin, united in Christ, and united in one church.
First, we are united in sin. Paul’s description applies to first-century believers, to believers today, and to everyone. We are spiritually dead. Our union with Adam as the representative of the whole human race unites us in sin. Apart from Christ, we live as the world lives—doing whatever we want. This is bad news.
Next, we are united in Christ. Jesus is the second Adam. All who trust in Him are united in Him. He makes us alive again. This is the good news of the Bible. Finally, we are united as the church. Jesus breaks down barriers between Jew and Gentile, and He unites forgiven sinners as one church.
As you teach kids, emphasize that God brings together different people as the church. People who might otherwise have nothing in common are part of the same family, adopted as brothers and sisters in Christ forever and ever.
In today's story, we see how Jesus unites all sorts of different people to be one body in His Name. That's because we as Christians are called to fight the good fight of faith, but we aren't called to do it alone. We need other people. Aside from God, who are those people you know you can go to when you are feeling discouraged? How can you encourage other people?
Old Testament Lesson
Daniel in the Lion's Den
BIBLE PASSAGE: Daniel 6
STORY POINT: God shut the mouths of the lions to save Daniel.
KEY PASSAGE: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
BIG PICTURE QUESTION: Why do we pray? We pray because we trust God, and we know He hears us.
Overview For Parents:
The fifth chapter of Daniel ends with the death of King Belshazzar when the Persians took over Babylon and Darius was put on the throne. Babylon was on the decline—no longer the powerful, prosperous empire it once was. By this time Daniel was an old man, probably in his early 80s. He served the new king as one of the three leading supervisors in the kingdom.
Daniel was very good at his job—so good, in fact, that King Darius planned to put him in charge of the entire kingdom. The other supervisors and governors were jealous of Daniel. They watched for him to do something wrong so they could complain to the king. Read Daniel 6:4. Daniel was “trustworthy, and no negligence or corruption was found in him.”
Through the malevolent persuasion of the king’s leaders, King Darius passed a law that no one could pray to anyone but him, the king, for 30 days. But Daniel continued to pray boldly to God.
Guide kids to imagine how Daniel might have felt. Was he worried about getting caught? Did he have nightmares about being eaten by lions? Even the king’s threat of death did not stop Daniel from praying. The jealous officials turned him in, and Daniel was thrown into the lions’ den.
As you teach kids, emphasize that Daniel was faithful to God—the true King—and God rescued Him. God’s protection of Daniel served to show all the people that the God of Daniel “is the living God, and he endures forever; his kingdom will never be destroyed, and his dominion has no end” (Dan. 6:26).
God also calls us to trust and obey Him no matter what. God sent His Son, Jesus, to rescue us from something much more dangerous than lions. Jesus rescues us from sin and death. Pray that through your faith, and that of the kids you lead, “may the name of God be praised forever and ever” (Dan. 2:20).
Trust and Obey
In today's story, we see how Daniel obeyed God over man; he knew that prayer was more important that what other people thought about him. God calls us to obey even when it's hard, and even when no one else is. Has there been a time in your life when it was difficult to obey? This week, let's take some time to pray and ask God to help us obey him always, knowing that He is always with and will strengthen us!
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