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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Week 7 - Psalm 86:11,13

Click here to download or print this post as a pdf.

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 Our Response to God's Love  

This week, our memory verse is Psalm 86:11,13:

"Teach me Your way, O Lord, and I will walk in Your truth;
Give me an undivided heart, that I may fear Your name.
For great is Your love toward me..."

This verse has been shortened for those who are memorizing at levels 1 & 2.

During the past weeks we have learned that God made the world and everything in it. We were reminded that He has carefully formed each one of us. We read about His great love for us. We have addressed the issues of sin and forgiveness. We've recognized that we are sinners, but we have been offered hope through the forgiveness God extends to all who are willing to receive it through Jesus Christ.

Because God made us, we are His. We are precious to Him. He loves us. God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son, and whoever believes in Him will not perish, but will have everlasting life [John 3:16].

This week's verses direct us to consider what our response to God's love should be. He deserves our undivided hearts. He is worthy of our determined commitment to learn what it is He desires for us to do with the life He has given to us and to honor Him with it. How does He teach us His way? Through His Word, the Bible.

As we continue to study God's Word, we will learn more about who God is, who we are and what God's plan is for us. As we learn His way and choose to follow Him and "walk" in it, we will glorify His name with our lives.

           Notes to parents:         


Words to know:

undivided  

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Discussion Questions:

These questions are merely suggestions to encourage further consideration and conversation.

- How do we learn God's way?

- What does it mean to "fear Your name"?

- What was God's response to us because of His love? [See week 5, Ephesians 2:4-5.]

- What should be our response to His love?

- What is the importance of living in the truth? [Continue discussions on honesty and/or relativism from week 6.]

- How can we "glorify His name"?

- How can we have an "undivided heart"?

- What are some things that might divide our hearts? What are some actions we can take to guard our hearts from division?

- If He has delivered us from the "depth of the grave", why do we still die? [See full context of the verses: Psalm 86:11-13.]

- Read Psalm 86:11-13. "I will praise You, O Lord, my God with all of my heart..." Explore the significance of genuine worship and the effect it will have on our whole life. [Is worship a religious act, a state of our hearts...both...or something else?]

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Additional Resources:
Please review all links before sharing them with your children. 

- Seeds Family Worship [not associated with this blog] has put these verses to music. You can listen online and purchase their CD's on their website. Psalm 86:11-13 can be found on their CD, Seeds of Praise [Volume 3]. It is the 11th track, titled: Undivided Heart. This is a fantastic resource for Scripture memorization!

- Visit our companion site, Grow Little Seeds, for more activities and ideas and free printable pages as you study Psalm 86:11, 13.

- Be sensitive to His Spirit. He may provide opportunities to encourage your children this week as they are faced with decisions to "walk in His truth" or go their own way.  You may be faced with similar choices. Consider how you might use that situation to teach your family.


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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

180

This is a graphic and thought provoking video on the subject of life.

Please take 30 minutes to consider what this man has to say...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Week 6 - 1 John 1:8-9

Click here to download or print this post as a pdf.

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  Transparent People and a God who Forgives  

"If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us
our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."
- 1 John 1:8-9




           Notes to parents:         


Words to know:

claim, sin, deceive, confess, faithful, just, forgive, purify, unrighteousness  

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Discussion Questions:

These questions are merely suggestions to encourage further consideration and conversation.

Do not be afraid of addressing the issue of sin with your children. They already know that they do wrong. And at a very young age children begin to feel and express emotions such as anger and frustration at others when they are treated unfairly and shame and remorse when they do something wrong. Children, like adults, need to know that they can be forgiven. They need to learn how to forgive others. Even before our children are able to talk, we can witness in them the result of this ugly thing called sin.

Remember that in many ways; you as the parent are the example to your child of who God is and what He is like. The way you deal with issues of sin and forgiveness within your own family will certainly impact everyone within your home. Do you hold bitterness inside or remind your children over and over of past wrongs or mistakes they have made? Do you forgive each other? Do you insist on giving one another "what you deserve"...or do you balance training and discipline with grace and love? Consider how you can reflect God's character as you interact with your children this week.

- What is sin?

- Do you sin?

- What does it mean to confess my sins?
 
- Does God forgive everyone?

- Have you ever been forgiven for something? Have you ever forgiven someone?  What was that experience like?

- Does God always forgive us when we confess our sin?

- What does it mean now that I am forgiven?
 
- Do others need God's forgiveness?
 
- What is the importance of truth? Consider various angles of this question, i.e. honesty or relativism. Why is it important to be honest about ourselves? Why is it important to recognize absolute truth as we develop our worldview?

- If the God is faithful to forgive us, then how should you and I treat one another?
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Additional Resources:
Please review all links before sharing them with your children. 

- Learn more about God's plan of salvation at Blue Letter Bible.org

- Here are some verses that may help you as you study and discuss questions regarding sin: Romans 3:23-24, Romans 7:18-25, James 4:17, 1 John 1:8-10, Romans 5:6-8, and Romans 10:9-10.

- Visit our companion site, Grow Little Seeds, for more activities and ideas and free printable pages as you study 1 John 1:8-9.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Encouagement

His Word.

It challenges.
It invades our private lives and private thoughts and disturbs those secret things we hold onto and hide, afraid they may be found and stolen away from us.
It disrupts our comfort.
It shakes our perception of the world.
It haunts our consciences.
If we are willing to hear and pay attention, we cannot walk away from it unchanged, unmoved.
Our wants wrestle with it. While our actions may not - no...will not always acknowledge it, His truth stands firm as champion and cannot be defeated. Still, we flail and we fight and we find excuses and ways to justify and ignore.

This same Word that is so invasive and unwelcome into the most tender places of our selves: this Word that pierces when it touches...like a needle carefully removing a sliver from sensitive, infected skin - also heals and soothes.

It is aloe to a burned heart.
It is water to a thirsty soul.

His Word is a solid rock; not the cold and hard rock that usually comes to mind. It is like a sun-kissed surface on a cool day: inviting, offering warmth to revive. It is safe place to cling to.

It is freedom and rest.
It is joy and hope.
It is wisdom and knowledge, discernment and prudence to instruct those who will learn from it, and save us from the disaster our unbridled feet are intent to find.

It is the swift discipline and the strong arms that embrace and draw us close to reassure us that we are deeply cherished and truly cared for.

It is love; like the parent who kneels down to explain to their little child, yet again, what to do...or not to do and why. Yet we...just like our children, head out to cross the street ignoring the traffic - completely focused on that bright red ball in the neighbor's yard. His Word is the firm and forceful hand that reaches out to pull us back. Do we thank Him? More often, we cry and kick and scream...angry that our plans have been intercepted.

His Word is neglected.
This resource full of insight simply unavailable from any other source is often overlooked.

We rely on men to comment their opinions.
We rely on preachers to read it to us.
Do we pause long enough from the busyness: the constant flow of information, the voices that demand our attention, to listen to Him.

Consider His Word today.
It is invasive...invite it to invade the dark corners that are rarely, if ever swept clean.
It is disruptive. Let it distract us from the very important temporary things that hold our brief attention span.
It is uncomfortable. It pokes and prods at sensitive places. It pulls us away from the dreams we chase...but we don't see the pending crash we have been rescued from.
It is light that reveals us for who we are.
It is light that reveals Him in all His glory, goodness and grace.

His Word is lovely.
His Word is life.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Week 5 - Ephesians 2:4-5

This is a busy season in my life. While I am truly passionate about this project, I know that over the next few weeks I will be unable to dedicate to this blog the time I would like to. In the meantime, please continue to study and memorize these verses. Although the posts may be short [or non-existent]...and the links to activities and additional resources may not be available, these things are not the true focus of our project. Our aim and purpose is to give families a place to start as they develop a discipline of learning the Bible and grow within their hearts a love for the truth of God's Word.

I encourage you to continue to use the printable work pages and and memorize each verse together. Study His Word, dig in and ask questions...then seek out the answers. I am praying that the lack of time and energy I am able to dedicate right now will not be a discouragement to families who have begun using this site, but instead that it might encourage parents to be more active in their own participation.

Please be patient with me. In about a month I should be able to return to a more "normal" schedule and resume posting as we did several weeks ago.

This week's verse is Ephesians 2:4-5:

"But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved."

In weeks 1 & 2 we learned that God made us.
During the last two weeks [weeks 3 & 4] we learned that God loves us.
Weeks 5 and 6 will be be dedicated to learning that God saves us.

He saves us because He loves us. He made us. We belong to Him and are precious to Him. He does not want anyone to perish, which is why He prepared a way for us to be saved. We are not saved by the good things we do, instead, while we were still sinning, Jesus gave His life in our place to rescue us from the punishment of our own sin. Never has the world seen a greater love than the saving love our God has lavished on us!

We have also provided Word Search puzzles, a Picture Code puzzle and Cut-Out Word pages for this verse. You can find these on the Grow Little Seeds site.

May you have a wonderful week!

In His great love,
Heather
Sow Little Seeds Contributor

Friday, August 5, 2011

Review Week!

This week we are encouraging families to review the previous 4 memory verses that we have learned together:

Week 1 - Acts 17:24-25
Week 2 - Psalm 139:13-14, 16
Week 3 - Psalm 103:8-10
Week 4 - Psalm 103:11-12

In part, we are encouraging this because I see a need in my own family to go back and refresh our memory of these verses we recently learned. And in part, I have been consumed with other obligations this week and been unable to dedicate the necessary time to complete Week 5. So if you have studied through each week, please be patient as I take an extra week to prepare and in the meantime, practice the past verses again [or choose a verse for your family this week], Week 5 will be posted next Sunday.

Hope your weekend is refreshing and the week ahead is full of His grace!
In His great love,
Heather

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Week 4 - Psalm 103:11-12

Click here to download or print this post as a pdf.

Before reading this post with your children, we suggest you review it yourself and then discuss with them some words they may not understand. We have linked to definitions, pictures and/or other information about the "Words to Know" below, in the "Notes to Parents" section of the post for your convenience.
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  So Great is His Love  

“For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is His love for those who fear Him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has He removed our transgressions from us."
– Psalm 103:11-12

source: learnersdictionary
Last week we learned about sin. This week, we will be learning about forgiveness and love - specifically the love and forgiveness that God offers to us.

Romans 5:8 tells us that God demonstrated His love for us by taking the punishment for our sins upon Himself...even while we were still sinning. He did not wait until we stopped doing wrong things. He did not wait until we chose to love Him.

"This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins." - 1 John 4:10

source: bibletimenews
Psalm 103 describes God's love toward those who honor Him: His love is measureless, "as high as the heavens are above the earth".  This chapter also describes His forgiveness: He removes our sins as far as the east is from the west; they are gone.  God showed us His love when Jesus took the punishment for our sins and died in our place. When we accept what Jesus did for us, God removes our sin...we no longer need to pay the penalty ourselves. [Romans 6:23].

As you memorize your verse this week, remember to thank God for His great love and for the forgiveness He shows to us.


           Notes to parents:         


Words to know:


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Discussion Questions:

Do not be afraid of addressing this issue of sin with your children. They already know that they do wrong. And at a very young age children begin to feel and express emotions such as anger and frustration at others when they are treated unfairly and shame and remorse when they do something wrong. Children need to know that they can be forgiven. They need to learn how to forgive others. Even before our children are able to talk, we can witness in them the result of this ugly thing called sin.

Remember that in many ways, you as the parent, are the example to your child of who God is and what He is like. The way you deal with issues of sin and forgiveness within your own family will certainly impact everyone within your home. Are you compassionate and gracious? Are you slow to anger or quick to accuse? Do you hold bitterness inside or remind your children over and over of past wrongs or mistakes they have made? Do you forgive each other? Do you insist on giving one another "what you deserve"...or do you balance training and discipline with grace and love? Consider how you can reflect God's character as you interact with your children this week.


- How much does God love us? Can His love for us be measured?

- How far is the east from the west?

- How high are the heavens above the earth?

- If God removes our sin from us, why are we still punished for the wrong things we do? [Why do people go to jail...or time-out?]

- What does it mean to "fear" God?

- If God forgives us, how should we respond when other people do wrong?

- How can we love and forgive someone who has done wrong to us? Does this mean that we allow people to continue doing wrong things to us?

- God will forgive me, so does it really matter if I choose to sin?

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Additional Resources:
Please review all links before sharing them with your children. 

- Read the context. Read Psalm 103

- Learn more about God's plan of salvation at Blue Letter Bible.org

- Read the account of Adam and Eve in Genesis 2:15-3:24. What lie did they believe that made them decide to disobey God?

- Here are some verses that may help you as you study and discuss questions regarding sin: Romans 3:23-24, Romans 7:18-25, James 4:17, 1 John 1:8-10, Romans 5:6-8, and Romans 10:9-10.

-Here are some verses that may help you as you study and discuss questions regarding forgiveness: Colossians 3:13, Matthew 6:14-15, Matthew 18:21-35, Psalm 130:2-5, John 8:2-11, Psalm 32:1-5, Luke 6:27-40, Ephesians 3:12, Titus 3:3-7.

-Here are some verses that may help you as you study and discuss questions regarding God's love: Psalm 107:1, 43, 1 John 4:8-21, 1 John 3:1, 1 John 3:16-18, Psalm 136, Zephaniah 3:17, Romans 5:6-8, Romans 8:35-39,

- Visit our companion site, Grow Little Seeds, for more activities and ideas and free printable pages as you study Psalm 103:8-10.