There are quite a few stories around the birth of Jesus in the Bible, most notably Luke 2. That’s the narrative we read together on Christmas, and it reminds us how God did not leave us here alone, but sent His Son to us, to be with us. Another fascinating story surrounding the coming of Christ is the story of the “Wise Men” who come to visit Jesus in Bethlehem. Imagine what Joseph and Mary must have felt to be visited by such wealthy guests from a far off land! This was a day well before the media could spread a news story across the globe, so God placed a specific star in the sky to catch the eyes of the wise men. Without even being of the Jewish people, they knew this was the sign of a great King, and they came to worship.
PURITY: A life that reflects a heart washed clean by God
MEMORY VERSE: “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10 (NIV)
This Week’s Finish Line: We can pursue purity because of Jesus.
Look at Matthew 2. As you read it as a family, try to put yourselves in the shoes of king Herod (king of the Jews). Imagine some wealthy wise men traveling to your palace from somewhere you’ve never heard of, telling you of a new king of your own people! Verse 3 says Herod was “troubled” when he heard this news. Instead of taking his fears to God, he reacted out of fear and committed great tragedies among the people. Now place yourself in the shoes of these wise men. They saw a specific star in the sky, and both knew and trusted that it was a sign from God. Without hesitating, they went to find this great King they could worship.
- Why do you think the Wise Men wanted to find Jesus? Why did they travel so far to find him?
- Do you think anything surprised the wise men when they finally found Jesus?
- Unlike the wise men, we don’t have a star to follow to find Jesus? What do we have that they didn’t have?
- Look at Psalm 119:9-12. How can we use the Bible (God’s Word) to follow Jesus now and to pursue purity?
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TEACHER: Learn Purity Through God’s Word
At dinner this week, read Psalm 119:9-12 together. What is the psalmist talking about? Have your kids explain verse 9 in their own words. Practice some scenarios your kids might run into at school or with friends when they could use God’s Word to remember to stay pure. (for example: cheating on a test: Proverbs 10:9 & Proverbs 12:22)
FRIEND: Gift Giving
While driving in the car this week, have each person in your family tell their favorite gift they’ve ever given to someone. What made it special? Why is it fun to give special gifts to other people?
COUNSELOR: Jesus Helps Us
During bedtime this week, talk with your kids about purity. This month we’ve studied how God makes all things pure, our own sin stains us, and we can be made pure through Jesus. Pursuing purity all the time is hard and actually impossible without Jesus, so talk with your child(ren) about how to ask God for help in this area. James 1:5 says “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.”
COACH: Memorize God’s Word Together
As we finish up 2014 and look ahead toward 2015, make it a goal for the new year to memorize Scripture together as a family. Catch up at the end of December by practicing this month’s memory verse: Psalm 51:10. If you’ve already got that one down, practice Psalm 119:9 (How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your Word.) on the way out the door every morning this week.
Thank God for what He has done in your life over this past year and what He has taught you. Ask Him to help you keep pursuing purity in your life, even when it is difficult. Thank Him for the plans He has for you in the upcoming year.
Next week we will start a new unit on Joy! We will start the month by looking at the lives of Abraham and Sarah in Genesis 17 & 21.
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