March 22, 2015

NT 36 Peter Denies Jesus

Reference: Luke 22:54-62

Story Summary:
     Before Jesus was arrested, he told his disciples that God's enemies wanted to get them. But one of the disciples, Peter, said that he was willing to go to prison and death with Jesus. But Jesus said to Peter, "Before the rooster crows today, you'll say three times that you don't know me."
     When Jesus was arrested, the disciples ran away, but Peter followed Jesus from far away. He sat in a courtyard near where they were holding Jesus. A female servant said of Peter, "This man was with Jesus." But Peter said he didn't know him. A little while later, someone said to Peter, "You're one of Jesus' disciples." But Peter yelled, "No, I'm not!"
     Still later,  another person said about Peter, "This fellow must have been with Jesus!" But Peter cursed at the man and said, "I don't know what you're talking about!" After Peter denied Jesus for a third time, a rooster crowed. Jesus looked at Peter, and Peter began to weep.
     After Jesus rose from the dead, he went to Peter. He forgave Peter for the three times he said he didn't know Jesus.

Big Idea and Motions: Believe in Jesus to be forgiven.
Believe - Pretend to grab a rope in front of you with both hands.
Jesus - Make a cross with your forearms
Forgiven - hold one palm facing up and pretend to brush something off that palm with the fingertips of your other hand

Verse and Motions: Ephesians 4:32, ESV - ...forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Forgiving - hold one palm facing up and pretend to brush something off that palm with the fingertips of your other hand
One another - hold up one finger
God - point up
Christ - make a cross with your forearms
Forgave - same as above
You - point to another person

Questions to Ask Throughout the Week
Who was Peter? // One of Jesus’ disciples.
What did Jesus say Peter would do? // Say he didn’t know Jesus three times.
What happened to Jesus at the beginning of the story? // He was arrested.
How many times did people ask Peter if he knew Jesus? // Three.
What did Peter say to these people? // I don’t know him, I don’t know what you are talking about.
What happened after Peter said he didn’t know Jesus the third time? // A rooster crowed.
What did Peter do after Jesus looked at him? // Began to cry.
Did Jesus forgive Peter for saying he didn’t know him three times? // Yes.
What did Jesus do to pay our punishment? // Died on a cross.
How can we be forgiven by God? // Believe that Jesus died and rose again for our sins.

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March 15, 2015

NT 35 Jesus is Betrayed

Reference: Matthew 26:47-56

Story Summary:
   The chief priests, elders, and Pharisees wanted to arrest Jesus. Judas, one of Jesus’ disciples, came to them. He agreed to betray Jesus for 30 silver coins.
   Judas thought this was secret, but at the last supper, Jesus made it clear that he knew what Judas had done. Sometime during that meal, Judas left. He went and got a crowd of men with swords and clubs. Jesus and the rest of the disciples went to the garden of Gethsemane.
   After Jesus prayed in the garden, Judas arrived with the men to arrest Jesus. Peter pulled out a sword to protect Jesus. He swung his sword and chopped off one of the men’s ears. Jesus healed the man and told Peter to put his sword away. "Don't you know I could call my Father and he'd send 70,000 angels to fight these men?" Jesus hadn't come to fight these men or even run away.
   Judas' men arrested Jesus and Jesus let them. All of the eleven other disciples, including brave Peter and his sword, ran away, leaving Jesus all alone.

Big Idea and Motions: Jesus bravely went to the cross to save us from our sins.
Jesus - form a cross with your forearms
Bravely - put your hands on your hips and stand boldly
Cross - form a cross with your forearms
Save - do the baseball “safe” sign
Us - point to yourself with two thumbs
Sins - two thumbs down

Verse / Motions: Mark 10:45, ESV - For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
Son of Man - form your arms into a cross (because Jesus is the Son of Man)
Not - wag your index finger “no” with your other hand on hip
Be served - point to yourself with two thumbs
Serve - point to another with two index fingers
Give - pretend to hand a box to another
Ransom for many - cross your wrists (like they’re in handcuffs), then break them apart and gesture your arms in a wide circle

Questions to Ask Throughout the Week
Who wanted Jesus arrested and killed? // The Pharisees, Chief Priests, and Elders
Who secretly agreed to betray Jesus? // Judas
How much did they pay Judas to betray Jesus? // 30 silver coins
What signal did Judas use to show the men who Jesus was? // A kiss
Who did Judas come with? // A crowd with swords and clubs
What did the men come to do? // Arrest Jesus
What did Peter do? // Use his sword, chopped on a guy’s ear
What did Jesus do with the ear? // Healed the man
What did Jesus say he could do if he wanted to escape? // Call for 70,000 angels
What did the disciples do when Jesus was arrested? // Ran away

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March 8, 2015

OT 41 The Sun Stands Still

Reference: Joshua 10

Story Summary: 
   Adoni-Zedek, the king of Jerusalem, heard about how God was with Joshua and the Israelites. He heard they had defeated the cities of Jericho and Ai and destroyed their kings. He also heard that the people of Gibeon made a deal with the Israelites to let them live in their land, as long as the Israelites promised to keep them safe.
   Adoni-Zedek approached four other kings. He asked them to attack Gibeon with him and they agreed. When the attack began, the people of Gibeon sent a messenger to Joshua asking for help. Joshua and his men marched through the night to Gibeon, to surprise their enemies. God said to Joshua, “Don’t fear. I’ve handed them over to you.
   God made Adoni-Zedek’s army panic. They ran away as the Israelites battled them. God sent hailstones to fall upon the men as they ran. But night began to come and Joshua feared the army would escape. He prayed that God would make the sun and moon stand still in the sky. And God did just that. The sun and moon stopped, leaving daylight for Joshua and his men to defeat Adoni-Zedek and the four kings.

Big Idea and Motions: God is in control of the whole universe.
God - point up
Control - pretend to use a video game controller
Whole - gesture widely with your arms
Universe - hold your hands above your head and wiggle your fingers (the twinkling of the stars)

Verse / Motions: Psalm 115:3, ESV - Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.
God - point up
Heavens - hold both hands up and wiggle your fingers
He does - pound the bottom of your fist into your upward-facing palm a few times
All - gesture your arms in a wide circle
Pleases - fold your arms, nod your head, and smile

Questions to Ask Throughout the Week
Who was the king of Jerusalem? // Adoni-Zedek
What did he hear about Joshua and the Israelites? // God helped them defeat Jericho and Ai
What deal did Joshua make with the people of Gibeon? // Israel can live there if Joshua kept the people safe
How many other kings did Adoni-Zedek find to help him? // Four
What did Adoni-Zedek and the kings do? // Attack the city of Gibeon
How did Joshua surprise the enemy’s army? // They marched all night
What did Adoni-Zedek’s men do as the Israelites attacked? // They ran away
What did God send from the sky to strike Adoni-Zedek’s men? // Hail
What did Joshua pray? // That God would make the sun and moon stand still so they could finish the battle
What happened after Joshua prayed? // God made the sun and moon stand still so the Israelites could win

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March 1, 2015

OT 40 Achan's Sin

Reference: Joshua 7-8

Story Summary: 
     When the Israelites battled Jericho, God warned them to destroy the items in the city and to give the gold and silver treasures to God. Anyone who disobeyed would bring destruction on themselves and on the Israelites. But Achan took some gold and silver and hid them under this tent.
     Joshua sent some men to check out the next city in the promised land: Ai. The men came back saying that Ai was small and only a few thousand men were needed for the battle. So Joshua sent 3000 men. But the men of Ai roundly defeated the Israelites and chased them away.
     Joshua cried out and asked God why this happened. God explained that somoene had disobeyed his command to destroy the things of Jericho and had brought trouble on the Israelites. God told Joshua to destory those things that had been stolen.
     God went through the tribes of Israel and eventually directed Joshua to Achan. Achan finally admitted his sin, but it was too late. Both Achan and the things he had taken were destroyed. After this, the men of Israel went to Ai a second time, and this time, God helped the win the battle.

Big Idea and Motions: Don’t hide; confess your sins and be forgiven.
Hide - cover your face with your hands
Confess - make your hand talk like a puppet
Sins - two thumbs down
Forgiven - hold left palm up, brush it off twice with the fingertips of your other hand*
* This is the ASL sign for “forgiven.”

Verse / Motions: 1 John 1:9, ESV - If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins...
We - point to yourself
Confess - make your hand talk like a puppet
Sins - two thumbs down
Faithful - cross your fingers on both hands
Just - pound the bottom of your fist on your up-facing palm (like a judge’s gavel)
Forgive - hold left palm up, brush it off twice with the fingertips of your other hand

Questions to Ask Throughout the Week
What were the Israelites supposed to do with the treasures of Jericho? // Give them to God.
What was Achan’s sin? // He stole some of the treasures of Jericho.
Which city was bigger and stronger: Jericho or Ai? // Jericho.
Did Joshua send all the army men to Ai? // No, just 3000
What happened at the first battle of Ai? // The Israelites lost and were chased away.
Why didn’t God help the Israelites win the first battle of Ai? // Because Achan sinned.
What did Achan do with his treasures? // Hid them under his tent.
How did Joshua find out who sinned? // God helped him find Achan
What happened to Achan and the treasures? // They were destroyed
What happened in the second battle with Ai? // God helped the Israelites win
Instead of hiding our sins, what does God want us to do? // Confess our sins

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February 22, 2015

OT 39 The Battle of Jericho

Reference: Joshua 6

Story Summary: 
     Joshua was the man God chose to lead the Israelites to conquer the promised land. The first city the Israelites encounter was Jericho, a city surrounded by walls. The gates of the city were shut tight as the people of Jericho were scared. They'd heard how God saved the Israelites from Egypt and the parted the Red Sea
     God told Joshua that he would give the city of Jericho to them. But he had some unusual instructions. Instead of trying to knock the walls over, God told Joshua to have the fighting men, seven priests with trumpets, walk around the walls of Jericho once a day for six days, carrying the ark of the covenant with them. On the seventh day, they were to march around the city seven times. On the seventh time, the priests were to blow their turmpets, the men were to shout, and the walls fell down.
     Joshua and the Israelites obeyed God's strange instructions because they had faith. On the seventh day, after they followed God's instructions, the walls of Jericho fell down and the fighting men conquered the city. But two spies rescued Rahab and her family, just as they had promised.

Big Idea and Motions: Faith is believing God’s Word is true.
Faith - pretend to grasp a rope in front of you with two hands
Believing - same as faith
God’s - point up
Word - pretend to open a Bible
True - form a “T” with your hands

Verse / Motions: Psalm 20:7, ESV - Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
Trust - pretend to grasp a rope in front of you with two hands
Chariots - pretend to turn a steering wheel
Horses - pretend to ride a horse
We - point to yourself
Name - pretend to write on your palm with your finger
Lord our God - point up as you say each word

Questions to Ask Throughout the Week
What city did the Israelites need to take over? // Jericho
What surrounded the city of Jericho? // Large walls
What were they supposed to do the first six days? // March around the city of Jericho.
What did the seven priests carry? // Trumpets made from ram’s horns
What else was carried around the walls of Jericho? // The ark of the covenant
How many times did the people march around on the seventh day? // Seven times
What did the priests and the people to do after they marched around seven times? // Blow trumpets, shout
What happened after the priests blew their trumpets and the people shouted? // God knocked down the walls
Who won the battle of Jericho? // God and the Israelites
Why did Joshua follow God’s strange instructions? // Because he had faith
Who should we have faith in? // Jesus, that he died and rose again to save us from sin

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February 8, 2015

OT 38 Crossing the Jordan River

Reference: Joshua 3-4

Story Summary: 
      Joshua and the Israelites were ready to enter the land God promised to give to them. To do that, they needed to cross the Jordan river. At that time of the year, the river's water was flowing fast and over its banks. It would be dangerous to cross it, but Joshua told the people that God would do amazing things among them.
     He told the priests to carry the ark of the covenant and step into the river. As they stepped in, he said God would make the waters stop flowing so the people could walk through. And when the priests stepped into the river carrying the ark, the waters stopped flowing and began to pile up ahead of them. The whole nation of Israel safely crossed the Jordan.
     After they crossed the river, God told Joshua to have 12 men go to where the priests stood in the river and carry out 12 large stones. Joshua took the 12 stones and piled them up where they camped. Joshua said that, whenever their children would ask about the pile of stones, they could tell the children about how God stopped the Jordan river for them to cross. This miracle showed the people that God was with them.

Big Idea and Motions: Remember how God saved you.
Remember - tap your brain
God - point up
Saved - do the baseball “safe” sign
You - point to another person

Verse / Motions: Psalm 77:11, ESV - I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old.
I will - point to yourself
Remember (both times) - tap your brain
Deeds - bounce one fist on top of another
Lord - point up
Wonders - hold your palms up and out and wiggle your hands
Old - put a hand above your eyes and look far away (into the past)

Questions to Ask Throughout the Week
What did the Israelites need to cross? // The Jordan River
Why would it be dangerous to cross? // The waters flowed fast that time of year
What were the priests carrying? // The ark of the covenant
What did Joshua tell the priests to do? // Stand in the Jordan River
What did Joshua say would happen when the priests entered the river? // The would stop flowing
When did the water stop flowing? // Right when the priests entered the river
What did the miracle show the Israelites? // God was with them in the promised land
What did Joshua tell 12 men to do? // Collect 12 stones from the river by the priests
What did Joshua do with the stones? // Made a big pile of them
What would the Israelites tell the children when they asked about the pile? // God stopped the Jordan river

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February 1, 2015

OT 37 Rahab and the Spies

Reference: Joshua 2

Story Summary: 
     After Moses died, Joshua became the leader of Israel. He sent two spies into the promised land. He wanted them to check out the city of Jericho. While they were there, the spies stayed with a woman named Rahab.
     The king of Jericho got word that spies were in his city. He sent a message with his men to Rahab, telling her to turn the men over. But Rahab hid the spies under some flax on her roof. Then, she tricked the king's men into looking in the wrong place.
     Rahab knew that God was giving Jericho to the Israelites. She had faith in the God of Israel. She asked the spies to spare her family, as she had just saved their lives. They agreed to spare her if she didn't tell anyone about them. The spies told Rahab to hang a red rope from her window. On the day of the battle, anyone inside the room with the red rope hanging from the window would be saved.
     Rahab, whose house was in the city wall, lowered the men outside her window with a rope and told them how to escape Jericho. She then hung the red rope from her window. When the day of the battle came, Rahab's family was saved.

Big Idea and Motions: Have faith in Jesus, you will be saved.
Faith - pretend to grasp a rope in front of you with two hands
Jesus - form a cross with your arms
You - point to another person
Saved - do the baseball “safe” sign

Verse / Motions: Acts 16:31, ESV - And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
They said - make your hand talk like a puppet
Believe - pretend to grasp a rope in front of you with two hands
Lord Jesus - form a cross with your forearms
You - point to another person
Saved - do the baseball “safe” sign
Household - form a roof over your head with your arms

Questions to Ask Throughout the Week
Who was the new leader of the Israelites? // Joshua
Who did he send into the promised land? // Two spies
What city did the spies go to? // Jericho
Who did the spies stayed with? // Rahab
What message did the king of Jericho send Rahab? // Tell us where the spies are
How did Rahab help the spies? // Hid them on her roof, pointed the king’s men in the wrong direction
What did Rahab ask the spies to do? // Save her and her family
The Bible says Rahab helped the spies because she had… ? // Faith
What did the spies say Rahab needed to to? // Not tell anyone, hang a red rope from her window
Like Rahab, to be saved, we need to have faith in… ? // Jesus

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