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February 1 & 4 | Esther Saves Her People

READ the Scripture: Esther

TALK about the Scripture: In 2011, Volkswagen aired a Super Bowl commercial that featured a young boy, dressed as Darth Vader, trying to control things by using “the force.” After several failed attempts at moving objects, the boy stands in front of his dad’s car, puts his hands out toward the car, and the car engine starts! The boy is amazed at his powers, but the commercial reveals the dad standing inside the house using a remote to start the car. The father was in control the whole time!

As we read the Book of Esther, God’s name never appears in the story. He is not mentioned one time, yet it is evident that He is in control the whole time! When Mordecai heard of Haman’s evil plan to kill the Jews, he reminded Esther that perhaps God had made her queen for a purpose. God used Esther to save His people from Haman.

Esther’s life did not go exactly the way she planned. There were ups and downs, but God was in control the whole time! We can trust that God has a plan for us, too. No matter what happens in our lives, we can trust that God is in control, and His plans will always be for His glory and our good!

Christ Connection: God was in control over Haman’s evil plan to destroy the Jews. Like Haman, Satan wants to ruin God’s plan and destroy believers. Satan thought he had won when Jesus died on the cross, but God raised Jesus from the dead and defeated Satan once and for all. All who believe in Jesus are rescued from sin and death.

WATCH the Bible Story Video: Esther Saves Her People

LEARN the Scripture: "Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret." - 2 Corinthians 7:10

PRAY as a Family: God, You are always in control. Help us to trust that You have a plan, and Your plans are good. Even when we don’t understand what is happening, remind us that You have the power to use what the enemy means for evil and turn it for good and for Your glory! Amen.

APPLY what you've learned: Learn the big picture question and answer and practice asking and answering randomly throughout the week together.

Q: How should we feel when we sin?

A: When we sin, we should feel sorry that we have disobeyed God and want to turn from our sin because we love Him.

February 8 & 11 | Nehemiah Rebuilt the Walls

READ the Scripture: Nehemiah 1-7

TALK about the Scripture: In October 2019, more than 1,600 Delaware State University students set the Guinness World Record for number of people buzzing at the same time. The record didn’t exist before that day, but Antonio Boyle, Vice President of the university, came up with the idea and organized the students to set the record. The school’s mascot is the Hornets, so you could say the students were just “buzzing” with school spirit!

You can imagine the thought and work it takes to get such a large group of people to work together. It takes a plan and a leader. When the time came for God’s people to rebuild the walls around Jerusalem, God gave Nehemiah a plan and called him to be the leader for the project.

The work was hard, and it was made harder by those who tried to stop Nehemiah and the people’s work. Through it all, God was with them. The people worked together to rebuild the walls around Jerusalem. The gates and walls were finished in only 52 days!

The amazing feat was just another reminder of how powerful God is and how much He loves His children. God’s greatest demonstration of power and love is seen in Jesus. God loved the world so much that He sent Jesus to save sinners. On the third day, Jesus rose again and secure eternal life for all who trust in Him. This was God’s plan to rescue people from sin and to be with His people forever.

Christ Connection: Nehemiah led the people to rebuild the walls around Jerusalem to protect them from their enemies. Jesus came to protect us from our greatest enemies, sin and death. He died on the cross and rose from the dead to rescue everyone who trusts in Him.

WATCH the Bible Story Video: Nehemiah Rebuilt the Walls

LEARN the Scripture: "Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret." - 2 Corinthians 7:10

PRAY as a Family: God, we praise You because You are powerful and loving. Thank You for showing us Your power and love by sending Jesus to save people from sin. Help us to trust in Jesus and receive the salvation that comes from believing in Him. Amen.

APPLY what you've learned: Learn the big picture question and answer and practice asking and answering randomly throughout the week together.

Q: How should we feel when we sin?

A: When we sin, we should feel sorry that we have disobeyed God and want to turn from our sin because we love Him.

February 15 & 18 | Ezra Read the Law

READ the Scripture: Ezra 7-10, Nehemiah 8

TALK about the Scripture: The Bible is the best-selling book of all time; somewhere between 5 to 7 billion Bibles have been purchased. More than 80 million Bibles will be produced this year! The Bible is also the most translated book of all time. At least a portion of the Bible has been translated into 3,500 languages! God’s Word continues to spread around the world and change hearts as people hear the truth about Jesus.

Ezra loved to study and teach God’s law. After returning to Jerusalem and promising to follow God, the people of Israel gathered to hear Ezra read from God’s Word. For hours and hours, the people stood and listened to Ezra read. The people cried and repented as God’s Word showed them how they had disobeyed God. Ezra told the people to prepare a feast to celebrate the power of God’s Word.

The Bible is God’s Word to us. From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible shows how our sin separates us from a holy God. It also shows us God’s plan to fix all that is broken by sending His own Son, Jesus, to be the Savior we need. Jesus perfectly obeyed God’s commands, died on the cross in the place of sinners, and rose again to conquer sin and death. As we read the Bible, we learn that forgiveness and salvation is God’s gift to all who believe in Jesus!

Christ Connection: God's Word is powerful. When Ezra read God's Word, the people loved God more and changed their ways. The Bible says that Jesus is "the Word." Jesus is God who came to live with people on earth. Jesus has the power to change our hearts.

WATCH the Bible Story Video: Ezra Read the Law

LEARN the Scripture: "Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret." - 2 Corinthians 7:10

PRAY as a Family: God, Your Word is perfect and powerful! The Bible shows us our sin, but we praise You because it also shows us Jesus and His power to save us from sin. Help us to understand Your Word and let it change us to honor You more. Amen.

APPLY what you've learned: Learn the big picture question and answer and practice asking and answering randomly throughout the week together.

Q: How should we feel when we sin?

A: When we sin, we should feel sorry that we have disobeyed God and want to turn from our sin because we love Him.

February 22 & 25 | The People Promised to be Faithful

READ the Scripture: Nehemiah 9-10

TALK about the Scripture: Does your family have a photo album or memory box to collect special memories for your family? A lot of times, parents will keep photos or memorabilia to help them remember special occasions like the day they were married, a baby’s first steps, or a high school graduation. We keep these items because we want to remember the good times we share as a family. Looking back on memories can also remind us of God’s faithfulness to us.

After God’s people returned to their homes, they had to rebuild their homes and their lives. As they entered this new beginning, they took time to remember the ways God had been faithful to them. The recounted the ways God led the Israelites out of Egypt and through the wilderness. They retold stories of God’s faithfulness to provide bread from heaven for the people to eat. Even when the people did not trust God or obey His commands, God remained faithful to His people.

The Bible says that God is patient with us. He does not want us to die in our sin, but He wants all of us to come to repentance. We can look back and see God’s faithfulness in our lives. It may be in big ways or small ways, but just the fact that we have more days to learn about Him is a gift of His grace. His ultimate gift of grace was Jesus—the Savior who rescues us from sin.

Christ Connection: God’s people remembered all He had done and promised to be faithful. God is gracious and compassionate. All along, God has been faithful to people who are unfaithful. We experience God’s grace and compassion in Jesus, who gave His life so we can receive mercy and life forever.

WATCH the Bible Story Video: The People Promised to be Faithful

LEARN the Scripture: "Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret." - 2 Corinthians 7:10

PRAY as a Family: God, You are faithful. You always do what You promise. Thank You for loving us and showing compassion to us. Even though we have been unfaithful, You remain faithful. Most of all, we thank You for Jesus and His sacrifice. Through faith in Him, we can experience the fullness of your mercy and grace. Amen.

APPLY what you've learned: Learn the big picture question and answer and practice asking and answering randomly throughout the week together.

Q: How should we feel when we sin?

A: When we sin, we should feel sorry that we have disobeyed God and want to turn from our sin because we love Him.

February 29 & March 3 | We Should Be Sorry for Sin

READ the Scripture: Romans 8

TALK about the Scripture: Tug-of-war is a fierce game. Two teams hold opposite ends of a rope and try to pull the other team to their side. Each team is fighting to overpower the other team. One minute, team A is winning and doing great. Then, BAM! Team B takes over and starts to win. It’s a back-and-forth battle.

The people of Israel promised to follow God and be faithful to Him, but they would always mess up and fail to do what He required. While it might have felt like they were winning at times, the reality is that they were never going to be able to win that battle on their own. That’s why God sent Jesus. Jesus came to battle and defeat sin for good.

The Bible says that when we trust in Jesus, we have victory over sin. Sin no longer has the power to control us, and we are freed to live in a way that honors God. But this isn’t always easy for us! In his letter to the Christians in Rome, Paul said that every believer is playing this game of tug-of-war between doing what we want to do and what God wants us to do. It’s a battle because we still want to do sinful things because we are sinful people. Thankfully, God has given us His Spirit! The Holy Spirit changes our hearts and gives us the desire to live for Jesus. We can let the Spirit transform us to look more and more like Jesus!

Christ Connection: God sent Jesus to take the punishment our sin deserves. Because of Jesus, we have forgiveness of sins and eternal life. God gives us His Spirit so we can become righteous like Christ, hating sinning and living to bring glory and honor to God the Father.

WATCH the Bible Story Video: We Should Be Sorry for Sin

LEARN the Scripture: "Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret." - 2 Corinthians 7:10

PRAY as a Family: Jesus, thank You for dying on the cross and rising again to defeat the power of sin! We can have forgiveness and eternal life because You did that for us. Thank You for giving Your Spirit to all who believe so that we can have a new heart and new desire to honor You. Amen.

APPLY what you've learned: Learn the big picture question and answer and practice asking and answering randomly throughout the week together.

Q: How should we feel when we sin?

A: When we sin, we should feel sorry that we have disobeyed God and want to turn from our sin because we love Him.

Canton 57

Monthly Memory Verse:

"Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret." - 2 Corinthians 7:10

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