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

Google Docs Links:
Lesson - http://goo.gl/AqpsjA
Resources - http://goo.gl/EVI91F

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

Google Docs Links:
Lesson - http://goo.gl/ciU7HZ
Resources - http://goo.gl/6FOCTe

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

Google Docs Links:
Lesson - http://goo.gl/1zW5HV
Resources - http://goo.gl/rSpouy

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

Google Docs Links:
Lesson - http://goo.gl/G3BGS1
Resources - http://goo.gl/NN0NSW

December 28, 2014

OT 36 The Ark and the Tabernacle

Reference: Exodus 25:10-22, 26:1-37, 28:1-2, 41

Story Summary: 
     When God gave Moses the law on Mount Sinai, he also gave him instructions of things to build. First was a special tent called the Tabernacle, or Tent of Meeting. God promised to meet with the people there. The tabernacle was divided into two rooms. In the first room, the Holy Place, there was a special table for bread, a golden lampstand with seven candles, and an altar for burning nice-smelling incense.
     The second room, the Most Holy Place, held the Ark of the Covenant. It was a special chest covered in gold. On top, it held statues of two angels, with wings facing each other. Inside the ark, they placed the stone tablets of God’s law. It was above the wings of the angels on the ark that God promised to meet with the people.
     God chose priests to work in the tabernacle. Priests lit the candles, placed the bread, and burned the incense in the Holy Place. And, once a year, the high priest would enter the Most Holy Place with the blood of a goat as an offering for the sin of the people. Because Jesus died for all of our sins on the cross, we no longer need the tabernacle to meet with God.

Big Idea and Motions: Because Jesus died, we don’t need the tabernacle to meet with God.
Jesus died - form a cross with your arms
We don’t need - wag your index finger “no”
Tabernacle - form a “roof” with your arms over your forehead
Meet - bring your hands together and interlock your fingers
God - point up

Verse / Motions: 1 Peter 3:18, ESV - For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God.
Christ - form a cross with your forearms
Suffered - punch your palm
Once - hold up one finger
Righteous for the unrighteous - two thumbs up, then two thumbs down
Bring us - pretend to give something to someone else
God - point up

Questions to Ask Throughout the Week
What are the two names of the special place God told Moses to make? // Tabernacle, Tent of Meeting
What were the names of the two rooms in the tabernacle? // Holy Place, Most Holy Place
What were some of the things in the Holy Place? // Table of Showbread, Golden Lampstand, Altar of Incense
What special box was in the Most Holy Place? // The ark of the covenant
What did the ark look like? // Covered in gold, two angels on top
What was placed inside the ark? // Two stone tablets of the law, ten commandments
Where did God say he’d meet with them? // Between the angels’ wings above the ark
Who were the special people God picked to work in the tabernacle? // Priests
Who did God pick to be priest? // Aaron, Moses’ brother
How often did the priest go into the Most Holy Place? // One time a year
What did the priest have to bring into the Most Holy Place for the sin of the people? // Blood of a goat
Why don’t we need a tabernacle to meet with God? // God’s Son, Jesus, died for all our sins

Google Docs Links:
Lesson - http://goo.gl/A27tAl
Resources - http://goo.gl/qPxisU

December 21, 2014

NT 04 Shepherds Visit Jesus

Reference: Luke 2:8-20

Story Summary: 
     The night that Jesus was born, shepherds were in a field, watching their sheep at night. An angel appeared to them and God's glory shone around. The shepherds were terrified.
     The angel came with a message: a savior had been born in the town of Bethlehem. This savior was the Christ, God's special savior. The angel told them how to find this child: he would be wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger, an animal's eating dish. Then a whole big group of angels appeared and began to praise God before returning to heaven.
     The shepherds left to find out if the angel's news was true. They came to where Mary, Joseph, and Jesus were. And they found a child lying in a manger just like they were told.
     The shepherds were so excited that they went around telling everyone what they had seen and heard. All the people who heard the news were amazed. And Jesus' mother Mary kept all these things like a secret treasure in her heart.

Big Idea and Motions: The good news of Christmas is Jesus is Savior.
Good - two thumbs up
News - cup your hands around your mouth
Christmas - form the letter “c” with your arms
Savior - do the baseball “safe” sign
Born - pretend to cradle a baby

Verse / Motions: Luke 2:11, ESV - For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
You - point to another person
Born - pretend to cradle a baby
City of David - touch your fingertips together to form a “rooftop,” separate them, then form a rooftop again*
Savior - make the baseball “safe” sign
Christ - form a cross with your forearms (for Jesus)
Lord - point up
* This is the ASL sign for “city”.

Questions to Ask Throughout the Week
Who were out in the fields, watching their sheep at night? // Shepherds
Who appeared to the shepherd? // An angel
What good news did the Angel tell the shepherds? // A savior is born
What is the “city of David”? // Bethlehem
What did the Angel tell the shepherds to look for in Bethlehem? // A baby, in cloths, lying in a manger
Who appeared with the first angel? // A large group of angels
Who did the shepherds find in Bethlehem? // Mary, Joseph, and Jesus, in a manger
Who did the shepherds go tell about Jesus? // Everyone
How did the people react to the shepherds’ news? // They were amazed
What did Mary think of all this? // She remembered these things like a treasure in her heart

Google Docs Links:
Lesson - http://goo.gl/mqxIYF
Resources - http://goo.gl/pyDB6G

November 30, 2014

NT 02 An Angel Visits Mary

Reference: Matthew 1:18-25, Luke 1:26-38

Big Idea and Motions: Jesus came as a human to save us from sin.
Jesus - form a cross with your forearms
Human - touch various parts of your body
Save - make the baseball “Safe!” sign
Sins - two thumbs down

Verse and Motions: Matthew 1:21 - She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (ESV)
Bear - squeeze your belly
Son - pretend to cradle a baby
Call - pretend to call on a phone
Jesus - form a cross with your forearms
Save - make the baseball “Safe!” sign
People - turn your hands upside down, interlock your fingers and wiggle them
Sins - two thumbs down

Questions to Ask Throughout the Week
Who was the girl in today’s story? (Mary.)
Who appeared to her? (The angel Gabriel.)
What did Gabriel say Mary was going to have? (A baby.)
Name one thing Gabriel said about the baby. (Son of God, King, rule forever, name him Jesus.)
What happened to Mary when the Holy Spirit came down to Mary? (She became pregnant.)
Who was promised to be married to Mary? (Joseph.)
When Joseph found out Mary was pregnant, what was he going to do? (Divorce her.)
What did the angel in Joseph’s dream say? (Marry Mary; her baby is from the Holy Spirit.)
What does Jesus’ name mean? (Savior.)
What is today’s big idea? (Jesus came as a human to save us from our sins.)
What is today’s Bible verse? (Matthew 1:21 - She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. - ESV)

Google Docs Links:
Lesson - http://goo.gl/rcPyQ4
Resources - http://goo.gl/xeZJ2A