GL Kid’s Journal – July 2017, Week 1

Bible Story: 1 Samuel 17

Bottom Line: God Made You to Be You

Memory Verse: For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

Life App: UNIQUENESS—discovering who God made you to be so you can make a difference.

Basic Truth: I can trust God no matter what.

The first two weeks of July have been a blast in GL Kid’s We are continuing our theme of Gadget’s and Gizmo’s, but this month the focus is on how God has created each of us with our own unique talents, personalities and individual purposes. We really want the kids to understand that God’s creativity is evident not only in the physical world, but also can be found in each and every one of them.

Like all of our lessons, they are based upon a story from the Bible. This one is a very familiar story, one that we all know. The story of David and Goliath.

There were some powerful things we can learn from this story. First off we learn that God can use anybody, big or small, king or shepherd, warrior or poet to bring about His glory. Second we learn what happens when we have faith in God, verbalize that faith AND we take actions that show that faith, God honors and delivers. But it’s the third lesson that we really wanted to show the kids.

When David told King Saul that he was going to not only fight this giant, but defeat him, Saul offered David his armor and his weapons, preparing David for the battle in front of him. David considered these items, tried them on, but in the end wasn’t comfortable. The armor was too heavy and David couldn’t move. The sword was unwieldy, and David had no confidence in using it. So David told Saul that he wouldn’t fight with the King’s armor. That he would face this giant with what he had confidence in.

David had some unique experiences for a young man. As a shepherd he had defended his Father’s flock against bears and lions, and he had done so with staff and a sling. A unique choice for fighting off such powerful animals. David had confidence in the abilities and gifts that God has given him, and even more so he had confidence in the God that had given him those gifts. David made the unique choice again, this time to face the giant warrior Goliath, with a staff, a sling with a few smooth stones, and the power of God behind him.

We all know how this ends. God rewards David’s faith and boldness with a victory against Goliath, the Philistine army is scattered, and David is made a hero! But if not for David’s unique choice, if David had decided to try and fight as someone else, not himself, his victory may have come at a much higher difficulty. David’s swift and dominant win, came because David recognized that God created David to be David. The same way God created you to be you!

This last Sunday we had to missionary guests who shared amazing stories of kids praying and believing for miracles. In one case a little girl prayed for a healing, against the wishes of the woman she prayed for, and God delivered that miracle healing! This week I challenged the kids to look for opportunities to pray with people for the miracles they need, to have the faith that God answers prayers. Even ones that come from the tiniest of us. I challenge you to do the same as a family. Look for opportunities to pray, to believe, to give God the opportunity to show you something amazing.

Pastor Paul

Diving Deeper – Moving Out From the Shallows

In my last post I shared the story of how I almost drowned when I was younger. It’s true that after that the deep end scared me. But it did something else too, it motivated me.

That year in school was the first year that we had swimming in gym. I threw myself into learning how to swim. After a the first couple of weeks of swimming, I could swim all over the pool without fear. From there I started to build up endurance, I never became a competitive swimmer, but I could definitely hold my own after we finished our swimming class.

The next year I took another step. I learned how to free dive. In two years I had gone from barely being able to doggy-paddle to being able swim laps in an olympic size pool and to be able to free dive to the bottom without any fear. I did not let the fear of the deep end keep me from going back in.

Whether you have had a “drowning” experience, or your just starting to move into the deeper end of what God has, there are some universal things that we must each do if we are to overcome our fear of the unknown and to let God brings us deeper and deeper into His plan for our lives.

The first thing we have to do is to live a life of surrender. Before we can go and make disciples, we must learn to be a disciple first. Charles Spurgeon said,

Men do not drop into the right way by chance; they must choose it, and continue to choose it, or they will soon wander from it

We have to daily choose to surrender our lives to Christ in order to grow in Him. This complete surrender requires that we trade our desires, for God’s desires.  We have to commit to praying and reading the Bible daily, we have to make this commitment to spend time with Jesus on a consistent basis. The ultimate place of a disciple is being in a place where we can learn daily from Jesus, and obey.

We also have to develop a heart of sacrifice. Sacrifice for us is something given to God in order to make more room for Him in our lives. That means for us learning to give up worldly desires, comforts, and material possessions for God.

Our entire life as Christ-followers is following the example that Jesus laid out for us. His life was one of complete sacrifice. He lived apart from family, He had very few friends, He had no home. His life was permeated with and culminated in the ultimate sacrifice on the cross for us. When we sacrifice something, we can do it confidence and the knowledge that we are not being asked to do anything that Jesus didn’t, and in most of our lives, we are asked to give up far less.

What are some things that you can give up today to make room for more of God? Is it financial? Maybe its something in your schedule. Remember that the more you carry with you, the harder it is to swim in the deep end.

While we are learning to swim, one of the best ways we can learn is by faithfully supporting the Great Commission. 

I’ve often heard it said that whatever you spend your time and money on, that is where your heart truly lies.

If that’s true, than if we commit ourselves to faithfully pray for and financially support missionaries, than we are building our own heart for missions, and developing a life dedicated reaching the lost.

This is something that I don’t just believe, but live out as well. I believe in praying for our missionaries and their families, that’s why I pray every missionary I know, or hear speak. If they have a prayer team, I make sure they know that they have the support of my prayers to encourage them.

That is also why Stacy and I give faithfully to Speed the Light every week and also personally support 4 other missionary families. We believe in their callings and in their missions, it’s an honor to be able to support them in their endeavors for Christ.

But this means more than praying and giving. It means living as a missionary right here at home. Since our home is in heaven, not on this earth, we are all missionaries here, and we all have a work to do in the Great Commission, whether it’s at school, work, or at home. We all have our mission fields that we live on or visit daily.

It’s time for many of us to move out of the shallow end of our faith. It’s time for us to experience the deep end in our relationship with God. The risks are great, but our reward is greater.

My challenge to you is too start taking these steps to move out of the shallows. Commit to praying for a missionary, financially give to missions, and start looking for a way to live out the missionary calling that we all have been charged with.

Matthew 28:19 NLT

Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Source Material: The Fifty Two, Volume 4  Produced by national youth ministries Copyright ©2010 Gospel Publishing House.

New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.