Blog Posts by Mike Meyers

Family Quest: The Rock – Peak 2 (Lesson 3)

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Confident prayer flows from a personal, experiential trust in the character of God.

family-quest-the-rockTrusting that God will answer your prayers, and always in the very best way possible, begins with the knowledge of the revealed character of God in Scripture.

“As for God, his way is perfect: The LORD’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.” (2 Sam. 22:31)

Scripture is clear; God answers the prayers of his people when they turn their hearts toward him. But how does He answer? What can we expect?

Consider these questions as you prepare your heart this week to lead your child. Would our God be good if He gave us what we asked for even if it was not the best? Would He be a loving Father if He gave us that which would, in the end, do us harm or send us on a detour from His perfect plan?

While the answers to these questions seem clear theoretically, we still struggle with them in practice. Especially when what we’ve asked for seems good and right to us. The truth is that what we ask for may in fact be good and right but not best and not God’s will in that circumstance.

Accepting the fact that God is more interested in our character than He is in our comfort, and believing in His goodness even when it doesn’t seem good to us, is a very real part of the Christian walk, a critical feature of a Christian worldview, and one that we must teach the children early before the storms of life come to shake their faith.

 

BIG IDEA: God will always answer our prayers in the way that is BEST.

 

MEDITATING ON THE WORD:
Jeremiah 33:3
Ephesians 3:20
Matthew 7:11
James 1:17
Isaiah 55:9

SECTION VERSE:
Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask, and you will receive what you ask for. Then your joy will be complete. – John 16:24

LESSON VERSE:
God is able to do far more than we could ever ask for or imagine. He does everything by his power that is working in us. – Ephesians 3:20

PRAYER:
Thank God that He always has the best for us, and that He knows when to say no or wait when we ask for something that isn’t in His plan.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  • What did you learn about prayer in Quest?
  • Do you believe God wants the best for you? Why?
  • Read Matthew 26:36-46 and see additional discussion questions page.

LIVE IT OUT!

  • Make a list of people you can pray for and pray for them each by name.
  • Talk about a time when mom and dad said no to something you really wanted, and why.

– – –

ABOUT FAMILY QUEST: At Reston Bible Church, we firmly believe that parents are a child’s first and most important spiritual leader.  In order to support you that mission, we have created a parent devotional and some discussion starters to go along with each lesson your grade school age children are learning at Quest on Sundays. Our hope and prayer is that this material will help you to engage with your children around the topics they are learning on Sunday mornings, answer their questions, go deeper with them, and find real, day-to-day applications. We are honored to be able to partner with you in the critical task of sharing Christ with the next generation.

Family Quest: The Rock – Peak 2 (Lesson 2)

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“In Jesus’ name.” We throw those words on to the end of our prayers as though they were a postage stamp or
magical phrase that will result in our prayers being answered.

family-quest-the-rockI am as guilty as the next guy in this regard. “In Jesus name,” has become just as rote as saying, “amen,” at the end of a prayer. It is interesting to consider that “in Jesus name” does not appear at the end of any prayers in the Bible. So what does it mean to pray, “in Jesus name,” and why is it the key to answered prayer?

Thinking about the answer to this question brought to mind an incident that occurred some years ago. I was suffering with a kidney stone. Those of you who have had one will attest to the agony. I went to a hospital where I sat, or rather writhed, in pain while the receptionist asked me about my address, my insurance, and my medical history. She then informed me that I had to wait for admittance even though there were apparently no other patients in the waiting area in as much pain. I asked her to reconsider but to no avail.

Then something happened. A good friend of mine, who also happened to be a doctor and, at the time, the mayor of the city we were in, came through the front door. When he saw me there, doubled over on the floor, he took my hand, told the receptionist he was taking me into the attending room and admitting me immediately in his name. The receptionist just nodded in disbelief as I was whisked past her and into the hospital where I was attended to quickly and courteously all at the direction of my friend the mayor. It pays to know people in places of authority and as Christ-followers we have access to the highest of all authority. To pray in “Jesus name” is to come before the Father in the authority of the Son. This is not a little authority either. Jesus said that, “all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” All authority is just that: all.

We will be exploring with the children this week what it means to pray in the authority of Jesus and the importance of the “will” of God in those prayers. As you meditate on our passages and theme for this week consider how you might communicate these truths from your own life stories.

 

BIG IDEA: If you ask the Father for what Jesus wants, He will always give it to you.

 

MEDITATING ON THE WORD:
John 15:7
1 John 5:14-15
Matthew 26:36-42

SECTION VERSE:
Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask, and you will receive what you ask for. Then your joy will be complete. – John 16:24

LESSON VERSE:
There is one thing we can be sure of when we come to God in prayer. If we ask anything in keeping with what he wants, he hears us. If we know that God hears what we ask for, we know that we have it. – 1 John 5:14-15

PRAYER:
Thank God that He provides a way for us to come directly to Him for everything we need. Thank Jesus for teaching us to pray.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  • Have you ever prayed for something you didn’t/did get? Explain.
  • What does Jesus say about prayer in Matthew 7:7-8?
  • What kinds of prayers does God answer?

LIVE IT OUT!

  • Write down prayer requests in the family prayer journal.
  • Practice your memory verse John 16:24.
  • Write a letter of encouragement to a missionary.

– – –

ABOUT FAMILY QUEST: At Reston Bible Church, we firmly believe that parents are a child’s first and most important spiritual leader.  In order to support you that mission, we have created a parent devotional and some discussion starters to go along with each lesson your grade school age children are learning at Quest on Sundays. Our hope and prayer is that this material will help you to engage with your children around the topics they are learning on Sunday mornings, answer their questions, go deeper with them, and find real, day-to-day applications. We are honored to be able to partner with you in the critical task of sharing Christ with the next generation.

Family Quest: The Rock – Peak 2 (Lesson 1)

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Smart phones, satellite phones, Skype, Facebook, Twitter, text messages, LinkedIn, and on it goes.

family-quest-the-rockWe live in the most communicative era of human history. We will go to great lengths to facilitate quick, clear, on-demand communication with whomever, whenever we want. And when we lose connectivity? Look out. We want faster and clearer communication every day and we won’t tolerate down time or poor connections. The demand has created a telecommunications industry valued in the trillions of dollars worldwide.

With our insatiable appetite for communications, why is it that when we address prayer, communicating with our God, we have so much trouble? There are books, seminars, systems, and campaigns, and yet we struggle both in theory and in practice when it comes to communicating in prayer with our Lord. Maybe it is because we don’t know how it works. Of course, for most of us, the same could be said about our Smart Phones but that doesn’t stop us from using up the minutes like there’s no tomorrow.

I think it is more likely that we struggle because in our heart of hearts we are depending on ourselves and our gifts and talents to carry us through. But this is an illusion, for when we stop and recognize the truth, in light of God’s Word (Romans 12:6, Deut. 8:18), it is God who gives us those abilities in the first place. “In Him we live and breathe and have our being,” so we are in utter, constant dependency on God for everything, no matter how great or small, whether we recognize it or not. Prayer is our recognition of that dependency, an expression of our trust in Him, and a key to unlocking God’s transformative power in our daily lives through close fellowship with Him. It is how we can, “with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory” (2 Corinthians 3:18) and be changed forever. God’s Word is clear. Our God is a prayer hearing, and prayer answering God. A wonder working God!

Opening our children’s hearts and minds to prayer as a normal part of the Christian life, day-today and hour-to-hour, is our goal for these next few weeks. That is our desire but it is also God’s will and so we should approach Him boldly in Jesus’ name and ask that it be so. Pray for your children.

 

BIG IDEA: When you belong to Jesus, God hears and answers your prayers.

 

MEDITATING ON THE WORD:
2 Chronicles 7:14
Matthew 6:5-15
Matthew 7:7-12
Hebrews 4:16

SECTION VERSE:
Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask, and you will receive what you ask for. Then your joy will be complete. – John 16:24

LESSON VERSE:
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven…” – 2 Chronicles 7:14a

PRAYER:
Thank God that He provides a way for us to come directly to Him for everything we need. Thank Him that He always answers our prayers in the very best way possible.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  • What is prayer? Do you pray? Why? How? About what?
  • In whose name should we pray? Why?
  • Does God answer the prayers of people who don’t know Jesus?
  • Share a story of answered prayer.

LIVE IT OUT!

  • Make a family prayer journal.
  • List out answered prayers and share them at the dinner table.
  • Practice your memory verse (John 16:24).

– – –

ABOUT FAMILY QUEST: At Reston Bible Church, we firmly believe that parents are a child’s first and most important spiritual leader.  In order to support you that mission, we have created a parent devotional and some discussion starters to go along with each lesson your grade school age children are learning at Quest on Sundays. Our hope and prayer is that this material will help you to engage with your children around the topics they are learning on Sunday mornings, answer their questions, go deeper with them, and find real, day-to-day applications. We are honored to be able to partner with you in the critical task of sharing Christ with the next generation.

Family Quest: The Rock – Peak 1 (Lesson 3)

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Come in. You will be safe here…but you’ll never be the same.

family-quest-the-rock“If anyone is in Christ he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

This is one of the great mysteries of the Christian faith. We can find this truth foreshadowed in the events of the Old Testament and these shadows of what was to come are helpful to our understanding. Just as Noah was safe from the flood of judgment in the ark, and Israelites pursued by avengers could be safe within cities of refuge, so it is with us when we are found in Christ. Jesus welcomes us in to abide with Him where we can benefit from the price He paid for our sins. There in Christ we are covered and protected from the judgment that was ours to bear because He bore it for us.

But there is another way in which we are in Christ that adds an additional dimension and benefit to the believer. Jesus says that He is the vine and we are the branches, that when we abide in him we draw new life from the vine and bear good fruit. In fact we become one with the vine. It is true that in Christ we are safe from judgment, but it is also in Christ where we die to our sins in his death and are raised again to new life with Him in his resurrection. In Him we have new life, a new way of thinking, and a new attitude towards ourselves, our sin, and our God. We are and are becoming new creatures altogether in the safe harbor of Christ. What wonderful news to communicate to our children, that in Jesus they are loved and forgiven and transformed and secure in God’s grasp. Even if we lose our grip He won’t lose his.

BIG IDEA: In Jesus I’m a new creation!

MEDITATING ON THE WORD:
2 Corinthians 5:17
2 Corinthians 3:18
Romans 6:1-4, 7:4

SECTION VERSE:
Here is God’s witness. He has given us eternal life. That life is found in his Son. Those who belong to the Son have life. Those who do not belong to the Son of God do not have life. – 1 John 5:11-12

LESSON VERSE:
Anyone who believes in Christ is a new creation. The old is gone! The new has come! – 2 Corinthians 5:17

PRAYER:
Thank God that He offers us new life Jesus. Tell God that He can change anything in your life to make you more like Jesus.

DISCUSSION STARTERS:

  • What does it mean to make something new? Why would you want to be a new creation?
  • If you’ve accepted Jesus, what changes in your life have you noticed?
  • How do you know you have eternal life?

LIVE IT OUT!

  • Write out 2 Corinthians 5:17 and hang it on your bathroom mirror.
  • List out the ways God has changed your life and hang it on the refrigerator.
  • Invite a friend to Quest

– – –

ABOUT FAMILY QUEST: At Reston Bible Church, we firmly believe that parents are a child’s first and most important spiritual leader.  In order to support you that mission, we have created a parent devotional and some discussion starters to go along with each lesson your grade school age children are learning at Quest on Sundays. Our hope and prayer is that this material will help you to engage with your children around the topics they are learning on Sunday mornings, answer their questions, go deeper with them, and find real, day-to-day applications. We are honored to be able to partner with you in the critical task of sharing Christ with the next generation.

From the Field: Open Arms in Brazil

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img_2628Open Arms Worldwide (OAW) is a Christian organization dedicated to the spiritual, moral, emotional, physical and social enrichment of children and youth who live in under-served or forgotten communities around the world – communities where families and children are at higher risk of becoming victims of poverty, crime, violence, addiction, abuse, and social marginalization. Christian hope is the distinctive of Open Arms and the catalyst that sets life transformation into motion.  The Christian faith instills a hope that is not dependent on physical circumstances. This hope results in resiliency, perseverance, healthy socialization, a sense of history, community and belonging, and strong moral and civic character.  These are exactly the attributes  that these children require if they are to overcome the obstacles before them and fulfill their God-given potentialRBC currently provides support to two OAW missionary families, including Eduardo & Claudia Ribeiro, who shared at our worship services last weekend.

This year, OAW celebrates its tenth year as a ministry organization. For a decade, Open Arms has been bringing hope to children who live in under-served and forgotten communities in Brazil and here in the U.S.  What began in one small community in the interior of Brazil has been replicated in 12 communities across 3 states in Brazil, and serves more than 1,000 children weekly.  Since 2013, OAW has also worked with local stateside churches and schools from their U.S. headquarters in Sterling, Virginia.

Please pray for OAW, their “agents of hope” and the children they reach with the hope of the gospel. Here are some stories from the field of how lives have been changed as OAW seeks to know Christ and to make Him known in Brazil and beyond.

 

 

 

Family Quest: The Rock – Peak 1 (Lesson 2)

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What is the purpose of testimony?

family-quest-the-rockTestimony is the solemn declaration usually made orally or in writing by a witness either in a courtroom under oath or elsewhere. Its purpose is to provide information on which to base a decision. Our memory verse begins with these words, “And this is the testimony.” Whose testimony? God Almighty’s testimony. His testimony, or solemn declaration, is that eternal life can only be found in his Son and be had only through his Son. We have already established that God is trustworthy so we know that the testimony is true. What decision then must be made based upon this information? Why did God give us this testimony?

“But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (John 20:31)

This is the good news! God’s testimony is that we are sinners, separated from Him (Isaiah 59:2), that we can in no way work our way to Him but can only be reconciled to Him by grace (Ephesians 2:8-9), that He made this possible through the sacrificial and substitutionary death of his Son (1 Peter 1:8), and that because his Son was raised from the dead we can be part of God’s family by receiving Jesus Christ as our Savior (John 1:12). This is God’s solemn declaration and the foundation for life eternal.

 

BIG IDEA: The only way to have eternal life is to believe and receive the gift of Jesus.

 

MEDITATING ON THE WORD:
John 20:31
Isaiah 59:2
Ephesians 2:8-9
1 Peter 1:8
John 1:12

SECTION VERSE:
Here is God’s witness. He has given us eternal life. That life is found in his Son. Those who belong to the Son have life. Those who do not belong to the Son of God do not have life. – 1 John 5:11-12

LESSON VERSE:
But these are written down so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. If you believe this, you will have life because you belong to him. – John 20:31

PRAYER:
Thank God that He provides a way for us to live with Him forever. Thank Him that He loves you. Ask God to bless your family.

DISCUSSION STARTERS:

  • Who wrote this and why? (John 20:31)
  • What is sin and what does it do? (Isaiah 59:2)
  • What did God do to make a way for you to get to Him? (1 Peter 3:18)
  • What happens when you trust Jesus as your Savior?

LIVE IT OUT!

  • Bring an offering for the Missionary of the Month.
  • Think of someone you know who doesn’t know Jesus and pray for them.

– – –

ABOUT FAMILY QUEST: At Reston Bible Church, we firmly believe that parents are a child’s first and most important spiritual leader.  In order to support you that mission, we have created a parent devotional and some discussion starters to go along with each lesson your grade school age children are learning at Quest on Sundays. Our hope and prayer is that this material will help you to engage with your children around the topics they are learning on Sunday mornings, answer their questions, go deeper with them, and find real, day-to-day applications. We are honored to be able to partner with you in the critical task of sharing Christ with the next generation.

Family Quest: The Rock – On Belay, Lesson 1

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To live a truly eternal life, eternal both in quality (in God’s eternal presence and with His eternal purpose) and in duration (we will never perish), we must understand and place our confidence in God’s assurances to us.

family-quest-the-rockAn assurance is God’s pledge, His guarantee for His children born of the Spirit through Christ. While there are experiential or subjective ways for us to get a clue as to our salvation and place in God’s family, our love for the church and the things of God (1 John 2:15, 3:14), and the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) among them, it is only God’s “testimony,” His solemn declaration through His Word, that stands as our objective proof of the assurance we have that, when we have believed and received His gift of eternal life through Christ Jesus, we are secure in his hands.

Why is it so important to know we are firmly held in the Father’s hands? From our childhood most of us can remember hearing these words, “Come on, Daddy’s got you.” If you are like me you probably associate those words with an experience like standing on the edge of a swimming pool that seemed like a bottomless sea or sitting at the top of a slide that seemed like Mount Everest. As we looked down at those outstretched arms we did some very quick calculations. What has my experience been with this person up to now? Can I trust him?

If our father was a trustworthy and loving father who had shown himself to have powerful arms (at least compared to ourselves) capable of catching us, we most likely took a deep breath and jumped. Experience shows us that over time our confidence level in this person grows and makes each subsequent jump easier until finally we are flinging ourselves, carefree into his arms. When Jesus says of the Father, “My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand,” He is saying, “This is my Father and, through me, your Father as well and He won’t let you fall. Jump. Daddy’s got you.” All of our other assurances in God are built upon this cornerstone. Confidence in God’s faithfulness begins here.

 

BIG IDEA: When we are in God’s hands no one is strong enough to take us away from Him.

 

MEDITATING ON THE WORD:
John 10:28-30
1 John 5:11-12
Psalm 145:13
Hebrews 10:23
Psalm 18:2
Psalm 62:2,6-7

SECTION VERSE:
Here is God’s witness. He has given us eternal life. That life is found in his Son. Those who belong to the Son have life. Those who do not belong to the Son of God do not have life. – 1 John 5:11-12

LESSON VERSE:
I give them eternal life, and they will never die. No one can steal them out of my hand. – John 10:28

PRAYER:
If you have trusted Jesus as your Savior, then give God thanks for saving you and forgiving you.

Praise Him that He is so powerful that no one can separate you from His love.

DISCUSSION STARTERS:

  • What do you think eternal life means?
  • Who gives eternal life?
  • Where is eternal life found?
  • Who has eternal life?
  • Who does not have eternal life?
  • Do you believe in life after we die? Why/why not?

LIVE IT OUT!

  • Practice your memory verse, 1 John 5:11-12.
  • Search the Bible for another verse that tells you of God’s unfailing love and share it with your group next week.
  • Pray together.

– – –

ABOUT FAMILY QUEST: At Reston Bible Church, we firmly believe that parents are a child’s first and most important spiritual leader.  In order to support you that mission, we have created a parent devotional and some discussion starters to go along with each lesson your grade school age children are learning at Quest on Sundays. Our hope and prayer is that this material will help you to engage with your children around the topics they are learning on Sunday mornings, answer their questions, go deeper with them, and find real, day-to-day applications. We are honored to be able to partner with you in the critical task of sharing Christ with the next generation.

Family Quest: The Rock – Intro

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THE ROCK: INTRODUCTION

As a culture, we place a very high value on certainty, on assurance and security.  We work towards “financial security.”  We pay for car insurance, homeowners insurance, disability insurance, health insurance, and a whole host of other “insurances,” in order to protect ourselves from financial ruin or hardship. Why?  Because in order to live a life free of anxious thoughts and fear we need some assurance that if something goes “wrong” we will have a safety net.  Most of us will only take risks when the potential downside of those risks is minimized.  We want protection.  But all of these “assurances” are only temporal and financial and a poor substitute for the real assurances we can have in our God, the giver of all good gifts, the maker of heaven and earth, and the owner of all wealth seen and unseen.

In Isaiah 36, the Assyrian King laying siege to Jerusalem taunts the Israelites with this question: “On what are you basing this confidence of yours?  You say you have counsel and might for war—but you speak only empty words. On whom are you depending, that you rebel against me?  Look, I know you are depending on Egypt, that splintered reed of a staff, which pierces the hand of anyone who leans on it! Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who depend on him.” (Isaiah 36: 4-6).  But Hezekiah took this before the Lord and said essentially, “Lord, our confidence is in you alone.  We are not strong enough to fight this enemy.  Only you can deliver us.”  Hezekiah didn’t trust in Egypt or in counsel of war or ancient insurance plans, but instead in the Living God of Israel – a wise choice, as the account makes clear.

Once we, like Hezekiah, have come to understand that God’s promises are trustworthy, we are able to place our “weight” on them much as a climber places his weight on his harness, ropes, and carabineers. We will find that our confidence grows as God shows himself to be faithful.  The peaks God asks us to climb may increase in difficulty but each will be accompanied by an increase in our confidence in Christ.  When we fall or are taken through a valley experience it will be with this same confidence that we are in the hands of our all-loving, all-powerful, all-wise God.

This year we will cover five main areas we can be sure of based on God’s promises. These are, our salvation, the power of prayer, freedom from the power of sin, forgiveness, and guidance from his Holy Spirit. With our map now laid out before us, I pray that you will meditate on the scriptures we will be exploring.  I am confident that you will see your own trust in God grow as you lead your children on their “Quest” for a deeper relationship with the Lord.   Our hope is that as adults they will look back over their lives and say with the Psalmist, “For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth.  From birth I have relied on you.” (Psalm 71:5-6)

 

BIG IDEA: With Jesus, we can build our lives on the Rock.

 

MEDITATING ON THE WORD:

Matthew 7:24-25
Psalm 62:1-2
Deuteronomy 7:9

SERIES VERSE:

I find my rest in God alone. He is the one who saves me. He alone is my rock. – Psalm 62:1-2a

LESSON VERSE:

I find my rest in God alone. He is the one who saves me. He alone is my rock. – Psalm 62:1-2a

PRAYER:

Pray together for children who are enslaved or otherwise mistreated around the world.  Thank God for His “rock” solid promises to us.

DISCUSSION STARTERS:

  • Why is God compared to a rock?
  • What are some promises God makes?
  • Why can you trust God?
  • What does it mean to be “sure” of something?

LIVE IT OUT!

  • Write down Psalm 62:1-2 and decorate the paper, then hang it up somewhere you will see it everyday.
  • Search the Bible for places where God is called a Rock.

– – –

ABOUT FAMILY QUEST: At Reston Bible Church, we firmly believe that parents are a child’s first and most important spiritual leader.  In order to support you that mission, we have created a parent devotional and some discussion starters to go along with each lesson your grade school age children are learning at Quest on Sundays. Our hope and prayer is that this material will help you to engage with your children around the topics they are learning on Sunday mornings, answer their questions, go deeper with them, and find real, day-to-day applications. We are honored to be able to partner with you in the critical task of sharing Christ with the next generation.

Kids Camp Update

From June 27 through July 1, Reston Bible Church was transformed into an interplanetary gospel children’s training center where more than 350 children and 180 volunteers gathered for our annual Kids Camp. It was a week of adventure, purpose, and learning about the real Force that overcomes sin and death, and gives us the power to overcome all obstacles — that Force is the Master, Jesus.

Thank you to all of our volunteers and staff for a week of great Bible teaching, art, music, and tons of awesome games! Thank you, God, for what You did in the lives of the children and volunteers in attendance. Your love was on display in so many ways and for this we are so thankful!

Save the date: Our next Kids Camp will be held June 26-30, 2017!

Click here to revisit our epic tale, THE FORCE WITHIN

Family Quest: The Hope – Yesterday, Today, Forever

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The Hope series graphic copyYESTERDAY, TODAY & FOREVER

“Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.” – Joel 2:29

“I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 22:49)

“And when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent, rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.” (Acts 2:1-4)

The coming of God’s Holy Spirit to dwell within everyone who believed in and trusted God the Father and His Messiah Jesus, signaled the beginning of the New Covenant age that the prophet Jeremiah had spoken about so many years earlier when he said,
“I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”  and “For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

God’s promise to Abraham that, “through you all the nations of the earth shall be blessed,” was beginning to be fulfilled as God’s Spirit began to draw people from every nation, tongue, and tribe into His family, his assembly (ekklesia) of the faithful remnant in Christ (Romans 11:11-31). Help the children this week to appreciate the family that they have been adopted into.

 

BIG IDEA: Jesus sent us the Holy Spirit.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THIS WEEK’S VIDEO

MEDITATING ON THE WORD:

Joel 2:28-29
John 14,16:7-11
Acts 1:8
1 Corinthians 12:7

SECTION VERSES:

“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.’”   – John 14:6-7

LESSON VERSE:

“But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.” – Luke 22:69

PRAYER:

Thank Jesus that He did not leave us alone, but sent the Holy Spirit to guide, comfort, teach, and give us power to live for God.

DISCUSSION STARTERS:

  • Why did Jesus send the Holy Spirit?
  • Review the functions of the Holy Spirit. (Answers below)
    • To empower the people to spread the Gospel and establish the Kingdom (Acts 1:8; John 14:12)
    • To teach (John 14:26)
    • To comfort (Acts 9:31)
    • To convict (John 16:8)
    • To give gifts (1 Corinthians 12)
    • To sanctify (produce change in us) (Galatians 5:22-23)

LIVE IT OUT!

  • Celebrate the New Covenant this week as a family by sharing in communion together at home.  (Matthew 26:26-29)

– – –

ABOUT FAMILY QUEST: At Reston Bible Church, we firmly believe that parents are a child’s first and most important spiritual leader.  In order to support you that mission, we have created a parent devotional and some discussion starters to go along with each lesson your grade school age children are learning at Quest on Sundays. Our hope and prayer is that this material will help you to engage with your children around the topics they are learning on Sunday mornings, answer their questions, go deeper with them, and find real, day-to-day applications. We are honored to be able to partner with you in the critical task of sharing Christ with the next generation.

Family Quest: The Hope – He Has Risen, 2

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The Hope series graphic copyHE HAS RISEN! PART 2

“But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.” – Luke 22:69

“Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and rise again from the dead the third day; and that repentance for forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” – Luke 24:44–49

Jesus was returning to his Father, but for 40 days he explained to his disciples the full significance of his life among them from the scriptures, and shared with them what their mission would now be.  After this he was taken up from them into heaven among the clouds.  We see this event in Acts 1:9 from the perspective of the disciples, but in the book of Daniel, many hundreds of years earlier, we were given the view from heaven of this same event.

“In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence.” Daniel 7:13

Jesus has ascended into heaven where he is seated at the right hand of God the Father.  He is our King, our mediator and High Priest (1 Timothy 2:5, Hebrews 10:12,14), making intercession for us (Romans 8:34), until all his enemies have been made a footstool (Matt 22:44).

 

BIG IDEA: Jesus rules from Heaven.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THIS WEEK’S VIDEO (Watch from 2:25 to the end)

MEDITATING ON THE WORD:

Daniel 7:13-14           Psalm 89:27
Psalm 110:1                Luke 24:50-53
Matthew 28:16-20     Acts 7:56
Acts 1:1-11                  Hebrews 1:3
Acts 2:34-35                1 Corinthians 15:25
Revelation 3:21           Revelation 19:16

SECTION VERSES:

“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.’”   – John 14:6-7

LESSON VERSE:

“But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.” – Luke 22:69

PRAYER:

Give thanks that Jesus the Messiah, the KING, completed God’s story of Hope and rules heaven and earth with the Father.

DISCUSSION STARTERS:

  • How long did Jesus remain on the earth?
  • What was he doing during that time?
  • What kind of body did Jesus have when he rose?
  • Where is Jesus now?

LIVE IT OUT!

  • When we trust Jesus as KING we become part of His Kingdom and are given his Spirit to live a Kingdom life.  How can we do that today?

– – –

ABOUT FAMILY QUEST: At Reston Bible Church, we firmly believe that parents are a child’s first and most important spiritual leader.  In order to support you that mission, we have created a parent devotional and some discussion starters to go along with each lesson your grade school age children are learning at Quest on Sundays. Our hope and prayer is that this material will help you to engage with your children around the topics they are learning on Sunday mornings, answer their questions, go deeper with them, and find real, day-to-day applications. We are honored to be able to partner with you in the critical task of sharing Christ with the next generation.

Family Quest: The Hope – He Has Risen, 1

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The Hope series graphic copyHE HAS RISEN! PART 1

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die”  – John 11:25

“Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.”
– Romans 6:4-7

“…having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.”  – Colossians 2:12

“Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”   – 2 Corinthians 5:17

“Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil” (Hebrews 2:14)

Jesus’ resurrection vindicated His divine claims and conquered once for all the power of the second death, separation from the Father, opening a way into the true Holy of Holies, the Throne of Grace for all who are found in Christ.   What joyful news!  He is risen! He is risen indeed!!

 

BIG IDEA: Jesus defeated death.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THIS WEEK’S VIDEO (Watch from the begining through 2:25)

MEDITATING ON THE WORD:

Matthew 28:1-15
Luke 24:1-49
John 20-21
1 Corinthians 15:14

SECTION VERSES:

“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.’”   – John 14:6-7

LESSON VERSE:

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die”  – John 11:25

PRAYER:

Thank God that we don’t have to fear physical death because we have been made alive spiritually with Jesus forever!

DISCUSSION STARTERS:

  • How would you feel if you were one of Jesus’ friends when He was buried?
  • What about when He rose from the dead?
  • Why did Jesus rise from the dead?
  • Why is it so important that He rose?

LIVE IT OUT!

  • Eternal life starts the moment you trust in Jesus. Make a list of the ways this new life has changed you and is changing you.

– – –

ABOUT FAMILY QUEST: At Reston Bible Church, we firmly believe that parents are a child’s first and most important spiritual leader.  In order to support you that mission, we have created a parent devotional and some discussion starters to go along with each lesson your grade school age children are learning at Quest on Sundays. Our hope and prayer is that this material will help you to engage with your children around the topics they are learning on Sunday mornings, answer their questions, go deeper with them, and find real, day-to-day applications. We are honored to be able to partner with you in the critical task of sharing Christ with the next generation.

Family Quest: The Hope – Love & Justice 2

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The Hope series graphic copyGOD’S LOVE & JUSTICE INTERSECT, PART 2

“God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood — to be received by faith.” – Romans 3:25a

 

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46).

At the cross Jesus suffered the humiliation, physical death, and most dramatically of all, the separation from the Father, spiritual death, that our sin has earned us.  That is the intersection of love and justice.

thebridge

BIG IDEA: God is love. God is just.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THIS WEEK’S VIDEO (Begin at 5:36 at watch to the end. Parents: There are some scenes in this portion of The Hope that are not appropriate for younger viewers.  You may consider simply reading the account to your child from Luke 23 or skipping some sections of the video as we did in Quest.)

MEDITATING ON THE WORD:

Isaiah 53
John 3:16
Romans 6:23
2 Corinthians 5:21

SECTION VERSES:

“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.’”   – John 14:6-7

LESSON VERSE:

“God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood — to be received by faith.”  – Romans 3:25a

PRAYER:

Think about the fact that Jesus did nothing wrong, but was willing to suffer and die so we can live with God.  Give thanks for God’s love.

DISCUSSION STARTERS:

  • What does it mean to be just?
  • According to God’s justice, what does sin deserve? (Romans 6:23a)
  • If Jesus was innocent, why did Jesus die? (2 Corinthians 5:21)
  • Why is Jesus’ sacrifice important to us?

LIVE IT OUT!

  • Talk about what Jesus did for you. How should we respond to what we’ve learned about Jesus and what He did on the cross?

– – –

ABOUT FAMILY QUEST: At Reston Bible Church, we firmly believe that parents are a child’s first and most important spiritual leader.  In order to support you that mission, we have created a parent devotional and some discussion starters to go along with each lesson your grade school age children are learning at Quest on Sundays. Our hope and prayer is that this material will help you to engage with your children around the topics they are learning on Sunday mornings, answer their questions, go deeper with them, and find real, day-to-day applications. We are honored to be able to partner with you in the critical task of sharing Christ with the next generation.

Family Quest: The Hope – Love & Justice 1

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The Hope series graphic copyGOD’S LOVE & JUSTICE INTERSECT, PART 1

“No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”   – John 10:18

“And so it came to pass, that Jesus, whom John called the Lamb of God, went up to Jerusalem, to observe Passover…Jesus gathered His disciples to celebrate Passover. Taking the Passover bread, Jesus broke it and said, “This is my body, which is given for you.” Then He took the wine, which represented the blood of the Passover lamb, which had been placed over the entrances of the Hebrew dwellings. And He said, “This is my blood which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.” – The HOPE, Chapter 10

Jesus walked resolutely into Jerusalem at the start of the Passover week knowing full well the mission he had come to accomplish. “From that time Jesus Christ began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it.”  – Matthew 16:21–25

No one was forcing his hand.  “For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. “No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again.”
Throughout Hebrew history, God reiterated His promise to send a Deliverer who would one day free humankind from Satan, sin and death; who would one day secure the promised blessing for all nations. Jesus was now saying that the road to that blessing was charted through unthinkable suffering and loss.

BIG IDEA: Jesus chose to lay down His life.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THIS WEEK’S VIDEO (Start at the beginning and watch until 5:36.) Parents: There are some scenes in this portion of The Hope that are not appropriate for younger viewers.  You may consider simply reading the account to your child from Luke 23 or skipping some sections of the video as we did in Quest.)

MEDITATING ON THE WORD:

John 1:3   Isaiah 43:25    Colossians 1:16-17
Mark 14:61-62  John 8:58  Isaiah 43:10-11
John 5:17-18   Mark 2:5-7

SECTION VERSES:

“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.’”   – John 14:6-7

LESSON VERSE:

“No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”   – John 10:18

PRAYER:

Thank God for his great love for us. That while we were still sinners His Son would die in our place.

DISCUSSION STARTERS:

  • Why did Jesus enter Jerusalem that day?
  • Why did people celebrate Jesus’ arrival into Jerusalem?
  • What does Hosanna mean?
  • How did Jesus control events?

LIVE IT OUT!

  • Jesus chose to give His life for us.  What are some small ways we can give our lives (our time, our energy, our love) to others this week?

– – –

ABOUT FAMILY QUEST: At Reston Bible Church, we firmly believe that parents are a child’s first and most important spiritual leader.  In order to support you that mission, we have created a parent devotional and some discussion starters to go along with each lesson your grade school age children are learning at Quest on Sundays. Our hope and prayer is that this material will help you to engage with your children around the topics they are learning on Sunday mornings, answer their questions, go deeper with them, and find real, day-to-day applications. We are honored to be able to partner with you in the critical task of sharing Christ with the next generation.

Family Quest: The Hope – Divine Claims

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The Hope series graphic copy“Jesus answered, ‘Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” – John 14:9

“He began asking His disciples, saying, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Simon Peter answered and said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.” – Matthew 16:13–17

In the past two lessons we talked about how Jesus, as God’s anointed One, was a great teacher and a powerful prophet.  These statements are true, but Jesus did not leave room for us, or the people of 1st century Israel, to leave it at that.  In his famous interaction with the Jewish leaders during the Feast of Dedication (John 10:22-39) Jesus says, “I and the Father are one.” Those who heard him understood exactly what that meant, “The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.”   His statement was so unambiguous that they sought to kill him right then and there for claiming to be God.  All that the Law and the Prophets pointed to in the coming Messiah; Great High Priest to restore the priesthood, King of kings to restore David’s rule, and a prophet “like Moses,” could only be fulfilled by God in sinless human flesh.  All other’s had fallen short even as their lives foreshadowed the perfect which was coming, Jesus.  Jesus is our All in All.

 

BIG IDEA: Jesus is God.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THIS WEEK’S VIDEO

MEDITATING ON THE WORD:

John 1:3   Isaiah 43:25    Colossians 1:16-17
Mark 14:61-62  John 8:58  Isaiah 43:10-11
John 5:17-18   Mark 2:5-7

SECTION VERSES:

“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.’”   – John 14:6-7

LESSON VERSE:

“Jesus answered, ‘Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” – John 14:9

PRAYER:

Thank God that Jesus left no room for debate about who he said he was; God himself.

DISCUSSION STARTERS:

  • What did the religious leaders not like about Jesus?
  • How did Jesus say that he is God?

LIVE IT OUT!

  • How can we show God the Father to others?  Brainstorm some ideas and post them on your fridge or bathroom mirror.

– – –

ABOUT FAMILY QUEST: At Reston Bible Church, we firmly believe that parents are a child’s first and most important spiritual leader.  In order to support you that mission, we have created a parent devotional and some discussion starters to go along with each lesson your grade school age children are learning at Quest on Sundays. Our hope and prayer is that this material will help you to engage with your children around the topics they are learning on Sunday mornings, answer their questions, go deeper with them, and find real, day-to-day applications. We are honored to be able to partner with you in the critical task of sharing Christ with the next generation.