Prince of Peace

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Jesus’ birth brought a lot of things to humanity, but one of the greatest things – and one that the spiritually lost search for most – is peace.

1. Read

Luke 2:13-14 [NLT] “Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.’”
The Shepherds who witnessed the armies of heaven showing up on earth must’ve been scared, but the birth of the Messiah was the greatest peace gesture in the history of humanity. At last, we could be in right-standing with God. Q . Think back (if you can!) to a time before you had a relationship with God. What was it like to be at odds with God? How is the peace in your life different now from what it was then? Q . What are a few substitutes people turn to in order to find peace apart from God? How do those substitutes fall short in the end?

2. Challenge

John 14:27 [GNT] “Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.”
Our Messiah didn’t just come to make peace between us and God – He came to equip us with supernatural peace for the challenges and worries of an imperfect life. Q . What’s the difference between the peace the world gives and the kind of peace that only God can give? Q . Peace doesn’t mean the absence of challenges – it’s a change in perspective; a different response. Think of a time when you asked God to remove a problem, and instead, He gave you peace in the middle of it. Was the end result still good? Were you closer to Him as a result?

3. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family – thank Jesus for making peace between you and God. Ask the Holy Spirit to be your comforter and peace-giver when life gets stressful.

Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

Jesus Is… Emmanuel

1. Power Verse

Matthew 1:23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Emmanuel (which means ‘God with us’).”
What’s Up: “Jesus Is With Me Every Single Day!” This week, we continue our series called, “Jesus Is…” In this week’s lesson, we learned another word that is used in the Bible to describe Jesus. We learned that Jesus is…Emmanuel.

2. Read

Read the Christmas Story from the Gospels (You choose which one you would like to read) or retell the story in your own words. Where was Jesus born? What do you think it looked like? (Have your child draw a picture of the manger on a sheet of paper.)

3. Discussion

Christmas is the birthday of a king. But, Jesus was not just ANY king. He was a king who left His throne in Heaven in order to come to Earth. His entire motivation was to save the world from their sin. Jesus chose to come to Earth not as a flashy king with a crown and material wealth. He chose the most humble beginnings – a stable and a manger. He proved that He was not in it for Himself, but for others. Jesus is Emmanuel – “God with us.” He didn’t wait for us to come to HIM. He came to us. He came FOR us. He came to be WITH us. No matter where we are, what we do, or what we face, we can always count on Jesus to be with us. When we face trouble in this world, Jesus can bring peace to our lives. Just like the shepherds – when we spend time with Jesus, we can feel His presence and His peace.

4. Prayer Focus

Pray for your child if they are facing tough situations in their lives. Pray they will be reminded that Jesus is always with them. Lead them in a prayer of thanksgiving for Jesus’ sacrifice to come to Earth and pay the price for our sins.

Troubled World

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troubled world

What a week we have had!  The bombings in Boston, the explosion in Texas, and a seemingly non stop barrage of media stories about gun control, same-sex marriage, and lets not forget North Korea!  Fear abounds in our nation.  As of this morning the city of Boston is shut down because of a remaining at-large bombing suspect.  North Korean leaders continue to spew a rhetoric that seems likely to end in some sort of military conflict and there is a palpable distrust within our nation for our own leaders.  As a nation we face what seems to be an unavoidable financial crisis due to our daily increasing $16.8 trillion debt, and many of the institutions that secure our nations ability to survive are under attack.

Wow!  How then should the church respond?  With FAITH!

Jesus said, in Matthew 24:37:

“As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.”

GREAT NEWS!  Jesus is coming again!

When fear and trouble abound people look for answers, peace and safety.  You and I know that there are no real answers, peace or safety without Jesus!  In the midst of all of these situations you and I must live a life that demonstrates that real faith makes a real difference!  This is not a time for the wringing of our hands and hiding in our homes!  These are the days when we need to aggressively advance the Kingdom of God through a demonstration of a peace-filled life made possible through a faith grounded upon the Word of God and confirmed by the Holy Spirit through our daily communication with our Father.

These are the days when arguments against Christianity can be destroyed if you and I will live what we say we believe.  You see nothing else offers any hope.  Atheists, Agnostic Intellectuals,  and those without Jesus and His word sit paralyzed with fear and offer no hope for those in a similar state.  You and I cannot be those people.  Rather, with faces and hearts turned heavenward we must live a life that reveals the power of the faith within us.  We were made for just such a time.

I believe that God is raising up leaders for a great harvest of the lost.  I want to be one of those leaders!  Do you?