October is just around the corner and with that comes a lot of celebrations! Fall festivals, the State Fair of Texas, and of course, the [potentially premature] Christmas decoration aisles at Hobby Lobby. This week in elementary ministries, we looked back at another October celebration and are reminded that worshipping God and celebrating His faithfulness is something we can do every single day!
MEMORY VERSE: “In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father." Matthew 5:16 (NLT)
Despite enemy threats, God used Nehemiah to lead the Israelites in rebuilding the wall. Though some of them worked with a weapon in one hand, it only took the people 52 days to complete the rebuilding of the wall! About a week later, the people gathered together and Ezra read out loud from the Book of the Law. When the law was explained to the people, they began weeping, but Nehemiah urged them to celebrate with feasting and not be “dejected and sad, for the joy of the LORD is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). A few weeks later, the people gathered again to hear God’s Law read to them. They confessed their sins and worshiped God for His amazing faithfulness both now and throughout Israel’s past. He was and is worthy to be praised!
READ NEHEMIAH 6:15-16
READ NEHEMIAH 8:1-3, 8-12
2. Who was Ezra? (He was a priest and a scribe.) What did he do? (He read God’s Word to all the people and explained it to them.) How did the people respond? (They listened carefully and then worshiped God.)
3. Look at verses 10 & 12. Why did Nehemiah tell the people to go and have a big party? (God helped them finish the wall and protected them from their enemies. God proved His faithfulness and that is worth celebrating. They had heard God’s words and understood them. The joy of the Lord is our strength!)
READ NEHEMIAH 9:1-6
4. Look at verse 3. Days after the Israelites heard God’s law, what did they do? (They read more of God’s Word, confessed their sins, and continued to worship God.)
* Check out our vision for parents and how to use these activities each week.
Read Nehemiah 8:8-12. Have each member of the family share their favorite way to worship God.What are some other creative ways can you celebrate God’s faithfulness? Plan to do one of these after dinner tonight! (Ideas: sing/dance to worship music, draw a picture for Him, write a poem/song for Him, enjoy time in His creation, tell stories about Him to others)
Practice the memory verse stop-and-go style! When you are about 100 feet from a stoplight or stop sign, start saying the verse as fast as you can. The goal is to get through the entire verse before you have to stop at the light or the sign. If you don’t make it in time, pause when you reach the light/sign and then pick it back up when you start driving again.
When was the last time you initiated time with God and thanked Him for who He is and what He’s done? Spend time doing that right now by praying before bed! Did you know that before bed isn’t the only time you can talk to God? He is always there and loves when we talk to Him! Make a plan to initiate time with God sometime this week.
Books of the Bible Challenge!!!
For the next several weeks (September 9 – October 8), elementary kids are being challenged to memorize all 66 books of the Bible in order. Practice this as you drive, get ready for bed or go on a family walk. You can even check out books of the Bible songs on YouTube to help your family memorize all 66 books together. Here are some fun videos to get you started!
Thank God for teaching us to take initiative and follow him. Ask Him to help you remember His faithfulness and to celebrate what He has done. Thank Him that He is our joy and our strength!
Next week we will begin the October godly character trait, DISCERNMENT. We will learn to seek God's direction before acting.
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