When we hear something that sounds too good to be true, that’s usually the case. You may have been told that have thousands of dollars just waiting for you to claim, that you won a free vacation from a random company you’ve never heard of, or that the latest diet craze will finally work miracles. In each of those cases you would probably wonder, “There’s no way that’s true,” or “What’s the catch?” But what if you were told that because of His love for you, the King of the universe sent His only Son to this broken world to live a perfect life and die in your place? And then, because He is God, He came back to life again 3 days later and promises that if you receive His free gift of grace, you’ll get to live with Him forever. This story, which seems too good to be true but isn’t, is at the heart of the Gospel and the reason we can have joy!
JOY: Delighting in God in All Circumstances
MEMORY VERSE: “Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again – rejoice!" Philippians 4:4 (NLT)
This Week’s Finish Line: Because Jesus is Alive, We Can Have Joy
The disciples didn’t know what to think. The man they left everything for and followed for 3 years was killed. Now, 3 days later, some of the women they knew said that the tomb was empty and were told by an angel that Jesus had risen. Peter and John also saw the empty tomb and two friends said that Jesus walked with them for a while along the road but then He just disappeared. All of this sounds way too good to be true. Suddenly, Jesus Himself was standing among them, holding out His hands so they could see and touch the scars that all our sins cost Him. He is alive! This amazing news brought the disciples great joy and it still brings joy to all of us who believe it today!
- Read Luke 24:35-53. What gave the disciples joy? What amazing thing had God done?
- Do you think Jesus was joyful when He showed Himself to the disciples He love? Why do you think that?
- How did the disciples live out our memory verse for the month, Philippians 4:4?
- Why does it matter if someone believes Jesus is still alive? How can believing Jesus is alive today bring you joy?
Bring it Home Conversations & Activities:
* Check out our vision for parents and how to use these activities each week.
Teacher: Journey of Joy
After dinner this week gather your family together in the living room to go on a “journey of joy” in the Psalms. The activity is to give every person in your family 2 - 5 verses that talk about joy to look up and read aloud from the bible. A great resource is Biblegateway.com that has an incredible search engine. Here are a few passages to get you started: Psalm 16:11, 19:8, 28:7, 51:12 and 95:1. After you have all found and read your verses aloud, discuss as a family what you noticed or learned while listening to all of those verses.
Friend: What Brings You Joy?
While driving with your family, ask everyone to name a few things that bring them joy. Keep a mental list in your head and repeat what everyone said. Then ask your kids if they believe that all of the things they listed would bring them joy forever. Ask them if they would want joy forever. Then explain that the most joyful news in the world is that Jesus is alive today after having paid the death penalty for our sins! Because Jesus is alive we can have joy!
Counselor: Psalm 1 Challenge
This is the last week to join us in the six-week challenge by memorizing Psalm 1! It is highly important to memorize scripture and to write it on our hearts, so we have created this challenge for the whole family! We want parents and children alike to be memorizing the same thing together. This is something you can do while driving, while in your living room or while doing dishes and we hope is a bonding activity. You can make flash cards by going to watermark.org/blog/six-week-challenge and printing them off.
Coach: Joy is Dependent on God
As you are getting your family ready for the day, remind your kids that joy is dependent on God and NOT our circumstances! This means that our circumstances cannot rob us of our joy because God is bigger than our circumstances and He never changes! Because God is trustworthy we can have joy.
Thank God that Jesus is alive and used the disciples to spread the good news of great joy all the way to you! Ask God to reveal things in your life that are blocking you from the joy that comes only from Him.
Next week we will continue the month of February with the godly character trait, JOY. We will learn that because God is in control, we can be filled with joy!
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