At Watermark, we talk a lot about having a “great week of worship.” It’s a saying to help us remember that we don’t just worship God on Sundays, but in every area of our lives, all the time! (1 Corinthians 10:31) During the rest of the week is when we have the opportunities to take initiative to worship God individually, or with other groups of people. When we take the time to remember who God is, who we are, and what God has done for us, the only response is to worship Him!
INITIATIVE: Taking wise action without being told.
MEMORY VERSE: “Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.” Matthew 7:20 (NLT)
This Week’s Finish Line: Worship God and Serve Your King!
After Nehemiah and the Israelites finished building the wall (Nehemiah 6: 15-16), a priest named Ezra read the entire Law to the people aloud (chapter 8). Now that they had the wall built, it was time to rebuild their hearts. They were given time and space to refocus on who their God is, who they were, and where they came from. Of course, they also took some time to celebrate… That wall was an accomplishment no one thought was possible!
- Who was Ezra, and what did he read to the Israelites? (Nehemiah 8:1)
- How did the people respond after hearing the Law read? Look for at least 3 responses. (Nehemiah 8:12, Nehemiah 9:2, Nehemiah 9:5)
- What are some specific things they worshiped God for? (chapter 9)
- What is one thing the Israelites thanked God for from their history?
Bring it Home Conversations & Activities:
* Check out our vision for parents and how to use these activities each week.
TEACHER: Memory Verse Application
At dinner one night, discuss this month’s memory verse (Matthew 7:20). Practice it together again, and discuss why this verse applies to this week’s lesson. How can we show initiative in the way we worship God? Have your kids brainstorm some specific actions they can take individually.
FRIEND: Thanking God A-Z
While driving in the car together, think of things to thank God for. It could be something as simple as thanking God for cooler weather or a bright blue sky, or a bigger story of God working in your family’s life. Make it into a game on a longer trip, and have everyone go around through the alphabet A-Z to thank God for things! (First person thanks God for Apples in the Fall, the next thanks God for his/her favorite sport- Basketball, etc.)
COUNSELOR: Live in the Light
During bedtime one night, discuss the importance of confessing our sin, just like the Israelites did in Nehemiah 9:2. Bedtime is a great time to recap the day, and to make it a safe place to share what happened. Why is it important to confess our sin not just to God but also to others? (1 John 1:5-9)
COACH: Celebrate with Joy!
Pick one morning or afternoon this week to have a celebratory breakfast or ice cream treat. This celebration is not for a birthday or a holiday, but just to celebrate who we are in Christ! As followers of Jesus, the joy of the Lord is our strength, and it’s worth celebrating! (Nehemiah 8:10)
Thank God for who He is and what He has done in your life and the life of your family. Ask Him to help us remember the joy of the Lord is our strength, even when our lives are busy or sad.
Next week we are starting a new unit, and we will be talking about discernment! We’ll look at how David sought God’s direction in 1 Samuel 16.