July 30/31, Bible Passage: 1 Peter 1 2 (Peter s Letter to the Jewish Christians) God Is the Holy One

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1 July 30/31, 2016 Bible Passage: 1 Peter 1 2 (Peter s Letter to the Jewish Christians) God Is the Holy One REMEMBER VERSE My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27 1

2 Leader Prep Each week you ll find Inspire, Equip, and Support articles that will help you take time for yourself before you begin your prep. The Inspire article contains personal stories of how God has worked in our lives as fellow ministry leaders, along with insights into that week s Ponder Point. The Equip article gives perspective and context as it introduces the lesson s Bible passage. The Support article provides a time of reflection and assessment through encouragement, prayer, and time in God s Word as you prepare your heart to present the lesson to the kids in your ministry. Inspire My 12-year-old daughter smiled and waved at her friends as she climbed into the car. Then, in a litany of words and stories, she told me how some new friends had invited her to come with them to the movies. It just so happened that the movie was loosely based on the true story of a friend of mine from college. My daughter knew of my connection to the movie, and that made her want to go even more. The problem was the movie was PG-13. So my daughter courageously told her friends she couldn t go because she wasn t allowed to watch PG-13 movies yet. Though I felt a bit of sorrow about her missing out on something fun with new friends, I was proud of her. Thank you for honoring my rules, I said. You really know who you are. Sometimes it s a hard truth that, as Christians, we re different set apart. I haven t enjoyed being left out or dismissed because of my faith and convictions. I cringe when people say things like, Don t say that in front of Amy! I don t like to admit that sometimes it s really hard to be different. I learned something valuable as I watched my daughter make a decision I never would have had the courage to make at her age. My daughter chose to honor God and her family, even though her decision made her stand out as different from her friends. God wants us to choose to live differently because He s called us to be holy as He is holy. He wants to protect me like I want to protect my daughter. Though I m still learning how to be different, I trust that God will give me the strength and courage to be like Him. Amy Palmerton ROCKHARBOR Church Equip In order to follow Jesus and be like Him, we must discover more about who God is. The Bible describes God as perfect, righteous, transcendent wholly other. God s holiness makes Him distinct from everything and everyone else. In Isaiah 6 and Revelation 4 we witness heavenly creatures saying, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty (Revelation 4:8) In fact, they never cease saying this in God s presence. 2

3 First Peter 1:16 tells us to be holy, because [God] is holy. How can we, as sinful creatures, ever be holy? Peter explains that God calls us to be different from the world around us. This is the first step in living a life of holiness. We re to be obedient children (1:14), seeking to be holy in all we do (1:15) and trusting the Holy Spirit to transform us (1:2). But this can cause us much discomfort because we typically seek to fit in, not stand out from the crowd. But, inevitably, we will stand out because God has set us apart as His people. He s chosen us to represent Him, and we have the unique purpose of sharing His ways with the world. As we praise Him for His holiness and follow His plan, others will see we re different. We ll become a light in the darkness and a reflection of the One who calls us to holiness. Peter wrote this letter to Christians undergoing persecution. He was reminding them of the purpose behind their pain. They suffered, and we will suffer, because this world isn t our home. God designed us for a better place. We can rejoice that God calls us to be different. Support In John 17:14 16, Jesus speaks to His Father about the fact that we, as His people, are different. We are God s holy people, set apart to do His work. I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Jesus was hated, rejected, despised, and misunderstood by many. He knew we would experience the same difficulties. Though it s sometimes challenging to be different from the world around us, it s comforting to know Jesus experienced these challenges first. As God s Son, He lived a holy and sinless life. He stood out from the crowd. There was no one like Him. This week, if you re feeling tired, rejected, left out, or despised by the world, bring your cares to God. Remember that He s chosen you to carry light in this dark world and that you re never alone. His Spirit will give you the strength and ability to carry on as foreigners and exiles (1 Peter 2:11). 3

4 ANTICIPATE// Children engage in fun, creative activities designed to pique their curiosity about the day s portion of The Big God Story. Real and Imagined Countries God is the Holy One, and He calls us, as believers, to be holy. Though this can sometimes be hard, it s encouraging to know we re really citizens of heaven. It s comforting to know that, as God s children, we belong in heaven with Him. CELEBRATE// Children participate in traditions, connect through fun questions and activities, experience The Big God Story through creative storytelling techniques, and respond to God in worship all within the faith community. Welcome and Traditions After everyone gathers as a large group, open with Traditions. During Traditions, you re helping the children work toward a common goal and giving them mementos to celebrate accomplishments such as memorizing the Remember Verse, or inviting friends to church. Once children receive their mementos, have them put the objects in the designated container. Once kids fill the container, hold a celebration. SUPPLIES Mementos for your church Traditions (rocks, marbles, gum balls, etc.) REMEMBER VERSE This week s Remember Verse focuses on a character trait of God that s highlighted in today s portion of The Big God Story. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27 Connect Encourage the members of your community to get to know one another through engaging questions, energizing games, and creative activities. Question What s one special talent or skill you have? 4

5 RESPOND// Small Group Leaders SMALL GROUP S E C T I O N Children respond to what the Holy Spirit is teaching them as they reflect on the day s portion of The Big God Story, engage in relationship, and create meaningful pieces of art individually or together. Reflect: God Is the Holy One Peter wrote to many believers scattered around the area believers who had been forced to leave their homes. Peter wanted to encourage them. He reminded them God calls us to be different from the rest of the world. Encourage the kids to open their Bibles and read the suggested passages. Questions for Younger Kids Have you ever been to a place where you felt like a stranger? What was that like? How do you think the Christians felt after being forced to leave their homes? 1 Peter 1:1 What does it mean to be holy? 1 Peter 1:15 16 Why do you think God wants us to stand out from everyone else? 1 Peter 2:12 Questions for Older Kids Have you ever been to a place where you felt like a stranger? What was that like? How do you think the Christians felt when they were forced to leave their homes? 1 Peter 1:1 Have you ever experienced suffering because of what you believed? What happened? How do you think trials stretch our faith? 1 Peter 1:6 8 Why does being holy mean we need to serve others? 1 Peter 1:22 23 Why do you think God wants us to stand out from everyone else? 1 Peter 2:12 How do you feel different from the rest of the world? Why are we called foreigners or exiles? 1 Peter 2:11 How does the Holy Spirit give us strength to live in this world when things get difficult? WANT MORE? Additional supplies: Bibles, upbeat music (suggestions: Celebrate, TruWorship Sincerely Yours or Your Love, TruWorship You Are), scissors, bowl or basket Print the Reflect questions, cut them into strips, fold the strips, and place them in the bowl or basket. As you go through the questions, play a game of Hot Potato! Play music as the kids pass around the bowl. When the music stops, have the child holding the bowl pull out a question and answer it. Keep playing until you ve answered all the questions. 5

6 Create: Shining Stars Star Tour SUPPLIES Star cutout (see Resources) Poster board or construction paper (yellow; enough to make several stars) Scissors Markers Masking or painter s tape PREPARE AHEAD Print the Star cutout and use it to trace and cut out several stars from the yellow poster board or construction paper. On most of the stars, write different names of God: Famous One, Immanuel, Prince of Peace, Great I Am, etc. Leave several stars blank. SET UP Tape the stars with the names of God to the floor around the room. RELATE Today we learned the apostle Peter wrote a letter to Christians who needed some encouragement. Peter reminded them God had set them apart as holy people, and because of that, God s light shone through them. Our God is so incredible! Throughout the Bible and in our lives, the amazing things about God shine into the world. What are some amazing things about God? (Examples: He s loving, good, beautiful, creative, etc.) To help the children brainstorm, invite them to go on a Star Tour. Lead them on a tour to the stars you ve taped to the floor, and read the names and descriptions of God together. Then allow them to decorate the blank stars with drawings or symbols of these characteristics of God. For example, they might draw a crown for Prince of Peace. Invite the kids to also write more personal names or attributes of God, such as The One who helps [child s name] at school or The One who hears [child s name] s prayers. 6

7 BLESS// Small Group Leaders SMALL GROUP S E C T I O N Children are blessed through a prayer of commission, a portion of Scripture, or words of encouragement and guidance. SUPPLIES HomeFront Weekly (see Resources) Remember Verse cards (see Resources) Bible RELATE As you bless your kids, tell them they have the opportunity to also be a blessing to others. Encourage them to freely share the joy and love they have received from God. Encourage the kids to stand in a circle and hold hands. Have them close their eyes as you read the blessing over them from 1 Thessalonians 5:23 24: May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. Now have your kids bless one another by gently squeezing the hand of the person to the right and saying these words: May you be holy as God is holy, through the power of His Holy Spirit. May you stand out as a light in the darkness. HomeFront Weekly is provided as a parent resource with each week s lesson (see Resources) and can be ed or printed and distributed. This preteaching tool encourages families to spend time in God s Word together before children arrive at church. The best part is that parents are the first to introduce their kids to the Bible content they ll hear at church. 7

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