ELEMENTARY KIDS & FAMILIES date
As followers of Christ, God calls us to an adventure.
Inspire (for parents) “Mommy, let’s go on an adventure!” My kids and I had spent the morning at our local arboretum. It had already been a busy day. We had walked through roses, counted turtles and ducks in the pond, and visited the children’s garden. But the kids weren’t done yet. My daughter spotted a trail heading through some evergreen trees. Though it was a wellmarked walking path, my children were delighted. To them, this was uncharted territory. They were eager to explore. I knew that just a few hundred yards ahead of us, the trail would open back up into the main entrance area of the park, but the kids had no idea. As we walked further into the trees, the trail twisted and turned. The kids became a little hesitant, not knowing what would be around each turn. They dragged sticks behind them, worried they might get lost as we went on. “Where are we even going?,” my daughter wondered aloud. Suddenly, the trail opened up again. We came out of the treelined path and were right back on the open lawn. My kids exploded
with laughter, asking if we could do it again the next day. They had loved every minute of our little adventure. They had faith that I knew where the trail would end. Because they trusted me, they went on, even when they weren’t sure where they would end up. Our walk with Jesus is often very similar. As followers of Christ, God calls us to an adventure. As His children, we can have the assurance He is always one step ahead of us, and that He sees the wide-open places, even when we feel we are hidden in the trees. by Alyson Crocket
Gettinctgs 27S—t28a(Prtauel indRome)
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Equip (for parents) God called the Apostle Paul to a life of adventure, but also a life of sacrifice. Before Paul had even fully committed to Christ, Jesus told Ananias that He would “show [Paul] how much he must suffer for my name” (Acts 9:16). In order to take up his new identity in Christ, Paul gave up his former identity as a Pharisee, a man from Tarsus, and a Roman citizen—three titles that carried a lot of status in his day. Paul was a Pharisee, and Pharisees were some of the most revered men in Jewish society. In fact, the word Pharisee means, “set apart.” Paul received his Pharisaic training from a famous “Rabban,” a title which only seven Jewish teachers received. Paul’s father was also a Pharisee. So Paul’s training and his Pharisaic lineage gave him an important identity in an already important Jewish community. Paul was also born a Roman citizen. Citizenship to Rome was coveted during Paul’s time because Rome was a powerful empire. Many people paid large sums of money to procure the status of a Roman citizen, and all the rights therein. Paul proclaimed in his letter to the Ephesians that he “became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace” (Ephesians 3:7). He gloried in his new identity as a child of God. Throughout his ministry, Paul suffered. He endured public humiliation, years of time in jail, a shipwreck, death threats, and more, but endured it all with joy because he knew the adventure of life with Christ was worth it. He knew the identities he had received from the world could never compare to his identity in Christ.
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(for parents & kids) Just for fun, gather your kids together this week, and tell them you are going to share about an adventure at sea Paul had while he was following Jesus. As you read this part of The Big God Story, found in Acts 27:27–43, encourage your children to close their eyes and imagine what the shipwreck must have been like. Ask them to tell you how they think Paul felt being on that boat during such a violent storm. Remind them that the storm lasted for 14 days; and during that time, Paul could not see the sun or the stars. Ask them what they might have done if they had been there. Think of some other questions that reflect on what you just read such as, “Why did Paul tell everyone to eat?” or “What happened when the ship struck land?” Remind your children that what they just heard is a part of The Big God Story, and they will hear more in church this week about how God calls us to a life of adventure. Close your time by praying and asking God to reveal to each of you the adventures and journeys He has in store as you follow Him.
© 2011 David C. Cook. TruResources are developed in partnership with ROCKHARBOR Church and a national network of family and children’s ministry leaders. All rights reserved.