What's New In 252: a look at January 2017 for your elementary kids
Knowledge is a response to the character of God.
When kids turn about four years old they start asking, “Why?” It’s like suddenly a switch flips and they begin to string together their questions in an attempt to understand everything around them. And this continues throughout life. Watch an eight-year-old for very long and you can become convinced that everyone is wired with a natural curiosity to discover what we don’t know and go where we haven’t been.
God designed people in such a unique way—different from the rest of creation—to pursue finding the answers to life’s hidden secrets. The very fact that we naturally pursue knowledge is proof that there is a God. It’s actually genius that God would make us in such a way that we are always discovering, wondering, exploring, innovating, improving, and solving. He wants us to pursue knowing more, because He wants us to know Him more.
The most important thing you can do for young kids is to invite them into the story about a really big God. It’s a story that will always be bigger than they can explain or imagine, but God invites them to spend a lifetime discovering who He is and how He loves them.
Jesus helps us know God better.
If you want to know who God is and how God loves, look to Jesus. When Jesus stepped foot onto the planet, God was once and for all with us. John writes this about Jesus, The Word became a human being. He made his home with us. We have seen his glory. It is the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father. And the Word was full of grace and truth. (John 1:14, NIrV) As we dig deeper into the story of
Jesus, we discover more about how God desires a relationship with us and invites us to help Him spread the message of Jesus throughout the world. To do that, we need to know God through Jesus.
That’s why we think it’s important for us to help our kids and families discover more about knowledge—discovering something new so you can be better at whatever you do. We want kids to know that God is real, God made them and all things. We hope they leave this month believing that when they discover something new about God, they are learning the best way to win at life.
Our Memory Verse for January comes from Psalm 119:105.
In Psalm 119:105, we read, Your word is like a lamp that shows me the way. It is like a light that guides me. (NIrV) When we dig into God’s word, we start to know how God wants us to live. God’s words act like a lamp that shows us the next steps to take on our journey through life. God’s word points the way towards a growing relationship with Jesus.
We will spend the month of January taking a closer look at the way knowledge shows up throughout the Gospels.
January 7/8 We kick off January with the end of the Christmas story. In Matthew 2, we discover wise men in the Far East. Their lives were dedicated to discovering more about the universe. One night they noticed a bright star that lead them on an epic journey to find the King of Kings prophesied in the ancient Hebrew Scriptures. Bottom Line: Discovering what God says helps you know Jesus. The entire Bible points to Jesus. If you want to get to know Jesus, read what the writers of the Bible say about Him. We want kids to understand that the Bible is the key to knowing more about Jesus.
January 14/15 We continue our look at knowledge in Luke 2:41-52 as we head to Jerusalem when Jesus was twelve years old. He had traveled to Jerusalem with his family for a festival. When Mary and Joseph began their journey home they realized Jesus wasn’t with them. So, they turned around and went all the way back to Jerusalem to find Jesus in the temple surrounded by priests and rabbis. Jesus recognized something very important. He knew that if He wanted to be a part of God’s story and know the secrets of the world around Him, He needed to be in a place where He could learn what His Father said.
Bottom Line: What God says is the most important thing to know. We need to keep learning what God says through His words. Through reading the Bible, we can hear what God wants us to know about the best way to live and in the process discover how to have a forever relationship with Him.
January 21/22 In John 1:19-42, we read John’s account of Jesus’ baptism. Jesus was about to start His public ministry. He shows up on the banks of the Jordan River where his cousin, John the Baptist, was baptizing people. John the Baptist recognized Jesus, not just as his cousin, but as God’s promised Savior. John understood God’s story and called out to the crowd, Look! The Lamb of God! He takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29, NIrV) That day, he pointed out to everyone who Jesus was and why they should know Jesus and start to follow Him. Bottom Line: Discovering what God says helps you follow Jesus. The more we read God’s Word, the more we understand about who Jesus is and why He came to earth. God’s Word gives us clarity for what it means to believe in Jesus and follow Him with our lives.
January 28/29 Next, we head to Luke 4:1-13. After Jesus is baptized, God leads Him to the wilderness where Satan tempts Him. Satan twisted what Jesus knew about God and His Word. But Jesus knew Scripture backwards and forwards. Jesus leveraged what He knew from Scripture to use God’s truth to fight and win over evil. Bottom Line: Discovering what God says helps you make the wise choice. When we read God’s word, we discover the truth about what God wants for our lives. And when we know that, it makes it easier for us to make the wise choice. We want kids to know God’s word and be able to use it to resist the temptation to do something wrong.