The Connection

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Baptism is more than a rite of passage. Communion is more than a mid-church snack; dedicating your children is more than a protestant placeholder for christening. Each of these is a powerful way to shout the story of the gospel to the world, but you need to have lived that story first. 

1. Read

1 Corinthians 1:26 [ESV] “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”

  • The things we do on New Life Sunday are meant to be a proclamation – a platform where the God-change in your life can be on display to everyone around you.
  • Have you been baptized in water? If so, when did it happen?
  • Who else was there? If you haven’t been baptized, why not?
  • Honesty time! Before this week’s lesson, did you think of communion as a way to proclaim the gospel, or was it just of a way to remember it personally?
  • When you consider it that way, how does it change the way you approach it mentally?

2. Challenge

1 Peter 3:15 [ESV] “…always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect…”

In order to proclaim something, you need to have seen it – lived it – yourself. None of us were literally at the crucifixion of Jesus, but when we stay connected to God’s truth, the “story” becomes real in our spirit, and our proclamation gains credibility and power.

  • When did Jesus’ sacrifice for you first become real in your spirit? How did that affect you emotionally? How did it affect your lifestyle? 
  • Since that time, have those feelings deepened or lessened?
  • Do your words, actions and attitudes enhance the gospel message, or contradict it? 
  • How much of an impact do you think that has on the proclamation the Holy Spirit can make through symbols like baptism and communion? 

3. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes to replay the sequence of events leading to Jesus’ crucifixion in your mind. See it. Smell it. Feel it. Ask the Holy Spirit to make the truth of the gospel vividly tangible in your spirit, so you can be a more effective witness to a lost world.

Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

“Walking Through The Valley”

1. Power Verse

Psalm 23:4 “Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.”

What’s Up: “I Have NO Fear ‘Cause God Is Near!”

This week we talked about one of the most difficult parts of Psalm 23 – “walking through the valley.”

2. Read

Psalm 23:4“Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.”

  • Have you ever been afraid?
  • What are some things that you are afraid of or that make you scared?(Be sensitive to your kids during this time- give them an opportunity to share some of the real deep things they may be scared of, also be open to sharing some of your own with them.)
  • Do you think God wants you to be scared?

God doesn’t want us to be scared or afraid, rather He wants to comfort and protect us. This scripture says that no matter what we face or where we go, God is “close beside me.”

3. Discussion

  • What do you think that means “God is close beside me?”
  • How does that make you feel to know that God is always with you?

You are never alone. God is always with you. When you are scared, or afraid, or don’t know what to do, all you have to do is whisper Jesus’ name. He is right there with you to help you and take care of you.

4. Prayer Focus

Pray that your children will be reminded that God is always with them and that His rod and staff will continue to protect and comfort them. Also, if time allows, pray for the various things they shared that they are scared of, that they will turn those over to Jesus and trust that He will protect and keep them safe.

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