Sunday, November 30, 2014

Lesson - What The Angel Said To Zacharias

VERSES:   Luke 1:5-25

MEMORY VERSE:   Luke 1:13   "...and thou shalt call his name John."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:   Genesis. This is the first book in the Old Testament. Now that we have gone completely through the books of the Bible, we will begin again with the Old Testament.

PRAYER:   Thank God for providing everything we need. 

SPECIAL SONG:   Jesus Loves The Little Children (see February - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #2 on this blog. Click on orange circles to hear tune.)

VISUAL AID:   Draw a picture in the middle of the whiteboard or chalkboard of Zacharias talking with the angel. Write nine things the angel told Zacharias around the picture. After those things are discussed, erase Zacharias' mouth and insert an 'x,' showing he was mute. 


  • When we studied the last time in the Old Testament, the very last thing that God had said to the prophet, Malachi, was that He would send someone with Elijah's power and spirit, and he would turn the fathers' hearts to the children and the children's hearts to the fathers (Malachi 4:5, 6; Luke 1:16, 17). After 400 years of silence on God's part, God picks up where he left off, and we find out that that someone was John. He was promised 400 years before he was born and today we find out more about how he would be born and that his purpose was here on the earth was to prepare the way for Jesus. 
  • During the reign of the king of Judea named Herod, there was a man named Zacharias who was a priest and worked in the temple. His wife was a woman whose name was Elisabeth. Both Zacharias and Elisabeth were godly people who loved God and were righteous before God. They did everything they knew to do God's way. The Bible calls them blameless. They had no children and they were getting pretty old. Zacharias had prayed for a child.
  • One day, Zacharias was in the temple because he had been chosen for the job of burning incense in the temple of the LORD. A large group of people was praying outside the temple, so Zacharias was in the temple alone.
  • While Zacharias was inside the temple, an angel appeared on the right side of the altar of incense. When Zacharias saw the angel, he was troubled and afraid. But the angel told Zacharias: 
    • not to be afraid because his prayer had been heard. Elisabeth was going to have a baby boy! 
    • to name the baby John. 
    • he was going to have much joy and many people would be happy because of John's birth.
    • that John would be great in the Lord's sight. 
    • John was not to drink wine or strong drink.
    • John would be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before he was born.
    • many of the children of God would be turned to God because of John.
    • John would have Elijah's spirit and power.
    • that John would make the people prepared for the Lord.
  • Zacharias asked the angel how he could be certain that he would have a child because he was an old man. The angel said that his name was Gabriel and he stood before God in His presence and was sent to bring Zacharias this good news, but because Zacharias doubted the angel's word and asked how he could be certain that he was to have a baby boy, the angel told him that he would not be able to talk until the baby was born. 
  • The people waited for Zacharias outside and wondered why he was staying so long in the temple. When Zacharias finally came out, he could not talk at all! The people thought he had seen a vision in the temple because he made motions with his hands and could not speak a word. 
  • When Zacharias' days of ministering in the temple were over, he went home. Soon, they knew that the angel named Gabriel was telling the truth because Elisabeth was going to have a baby! Next time, we will find out who the angel, Gabriel, talks to next.
"Older Student" Tips:
  • Luke wrote the book of Luke to his friend Theophilus (Luke 1:3).
  • God had not spoken to man in 400 years since He spoke to Malachi. Now, God was ready to speak and He chose Zacharias to whom to speak through an angel. 
  • Zacharias and Elisabeth were Jesus' aunt and uncle.  This baby who was named John and baptized many people, was the cousin of Jesus.  
  • We need to remember that God answers prayers in His own time, not ours.

ACTIVITY:   John Is Promised
Materials needed:  5" x 11" green construction paper, 12" x 18" yellow construction paper, stapler, staples, scissors, marker.

  1. Hand out green paper.
  2. Holding paper lengthwise, fold bottom edge about 2 inches from the top.
  3. Staple two or three staples on each side, forming a pocket.
  4. Hand out yellow paper.
  5. Fold yellow paper in thirds.
  6. Fold yellow paper in thirds again.
  7. Unfold paper.
  8. Cut on creases in yellow paper. In the end, there should be nine 'cards.'
  9. Write "Luke 1:5-25" at the very top of the green paper.
  10. Write "What the angel named Gabriel said to Zacharias" in the middle of the bottom portion of the green pocket.
  11. Card # 1: Write "Don't be afraid!" Zachariah's prayer had been heard. They would have a baby boy!"
  12. Card #2: Write "Name the baby boy John."
  13. Card #3: Write "Zacharias would have much joy. Many people would be happy because John was born."
  14. Card #4: Write "John would be great in God's sight."
  15. Card #5: Write "John was not to drink wine or strong drink."
  16. Card #6: Write "John would be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before he was born."
  17. Card #7: Write "Because of John, many of the children of God would be turned to God."
  18. Card #8: Write "John would have Elijah's spirit and power."
  19. Card #9: Write "John would make the people prepared for the Lord."
  20. Bonus: Turn pocket over and write on the back: "You cannot talk until these things are done."
  21. Place cards in pocket.
  22. See how many cards they remember before taking the cards out of the pocket.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Lesson - Introduction To The New Testament

As Bible teachers, we should want to learn helpful, even creative, ideas to aid our students and ourselves in learning all we can about God's Word. Perhaps, it would help to break down the New Testament into grouped areas of study for an easier understanding and memorization of this testament. Take a look at the books below to see if the information will help you become more familiar with the New Testament.

As we have mentioned before, there are 27 books in the New Testament which were written by eight inspired men--Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter, Paul, Jude and James. The New Testament was originally written in Greek.

  • The Gospels:  Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. These four books of biography were written by and named after four inspired men who lived with Jesus for the three-and-a-half years that Jesus spent preaching to and teaching the people. These books are four independent, inspired accounts of the life of Jesus. 
    • At times, four men described the same event; 
    • Many times, Matthew, Mark, and Luke told about the same happening; 
    • Occasionally, two of the men recounted the same incident, 
    • Frequently, one man gave an account of something of which only he would write. 
In these books, we find the birth of Jesus, His life, His teachings, His parables and miracles, His suffering and death on the cross, and His resurrection. To understand the entire Gospel story, we must read all four books of the Gospel. This type of study is called a "harmony of the Gospels," seeing how each book harmonizes, compliments, and completes the other books. In these four books, God has given us everything we need to know about Christ to become a believer in Him (John 20:30, 31).
  • History:  Acts. This is the only book of the New Testament that records how the church began. It shows us by example what people did to become Christians and members of Christ's church, how the church grew, how the church was persecuted, and the teaching of Christ's apostles. In this book we find out what the early disciples did to worship God and how often they worshiped, about the apostles' miracles which confirmed that the message they preached was God-given, and about how Christ is coming back again.
  • Letters Of Instruction: Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude. It has been said that the Bible is a "how-to" book and that is correct. The history book, Acts, tells us "how to" become Christians. Now we will notice that these letters of instruction will tell us "how to" live the Christian life. These are actual letters that were inspired by God and written to different congregations of the Lord's church or to certain people. Christians are able to learn how to live their lives in a way that pleases God by reading these letters. Christians were encouraged to continue the many good things they were doing for the Lord and also were rebuked them for not obeying God in the way that He commanded. These books contain instructions to Christians on how to live in a godly way. In these letters, we can read about the differences in the Old and New Testaments, how no one can control the tongue, but should certainly try, how all Christians should be growing in their knowledge of the Word, what Christians should be adding to their faith, about love, and warnings about worldliness.
  • Prophecy:  Revelation. This is the only book in the New Testament that contains the promise of a blessing simply by reading it. It contains much figurative language, yet can, with diligent study, be understood. It tells us about the lake of fire and how beautiful heaven is. It also cautions those who add to or take from the words of the Bible.
Do we want to know how to get to heaven? Do we want to know how to live in a godly way? Do we want to know what will happen when we die? The New Testament tells us all of the answers to these questions. We will be studying these twenty-seven books for a good while! Let us open our hearts and minds as we open the Book of Books--the Bible!

ACTIVITY:  The New Testament Books
Materials:  9" x 18" blue construction paper, 6" x 17" brown construction paper, four colors of scrap paper, glue, markers, pencil.
  1. Hand out blue paper. This is the background.
  2. Hand out brown paper. This is the bookshelf.
  3. Leaving only an inch at the bottom of the blue paper, glue brown paper on top of blue paper.
  4. Write "The New Testament Books" and "27 Books -- 8 Writers" at the top of the blue paper.
  5. Hand out red scrap paper.
  6. Cut four 1" x 5" strips.
  7. Before gluing, place all strips on brown paper to assure all books will fit on the bookshelf.
  8. Next, cut one 1.5" x 5" out of blue scrap.
  9. Place this blue strip next to the red strips for spacing.
  10. Cut one 1" x 5" green strip.
  11. Place green strip at the end of the right side of the bookshelf.
  12. Then, cut twenty-one 1.25" x 5" yellow strips. All yellow strips do not need to be the same width. It will be fine.
  13. Place yellow strips in between blue and green strips.
  14. Alter if they do not fit.
  15. Glue the strips down.
  16. Turn the blue paper, so that the paper is landscape.
  17. Write all 27 books in order on the strips down the bookshelf.
  18. Write "The Gospels" below the red strips.
  19. Write "History" below the blue strip.
  20. Write "Letters of Instruction" below the yellow strips.
  21. Write "Prophecy" below the green strip.
  22. Review books to make certain books are in the proper order before leaving class.
  23. It would be nice to sing The Books Of The New Testament (see March - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #3; click on orange circle for tune) at the end of class, if time permits.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Lesson - More Contrasts Between The Old And New Testaments

As we venture into the lessons of the New Testament, we find that some may question, "Didn't God's people already have a law? Wasn't that enough?" In order to answer this question, we look to the book of Hebrews, which is in the New Testament.

Hebrews 1:1, 2 tells us that God did, indeed, talk to His people in different ways at different times, but now--in these last days--God talks to us through His Son, Jesus Christ. God appointed His Son as heir of all things. Jesus was and is better than the angel who spoke to the men under the Old Law (Hebrews 1:3, 4). Under this Old Law, God spoke to His people through prophets, individuals, and other means such as a burning bush or a donkey, but now there is no need to speak in those ways because we have Christ's law or a new testament in the Bible. 

Yes, God's people were governed under the Law of Moses until Jesus died on the cross, taking that first law out of the way and establishing the second law, His law, which was a better law (Hebrews 7:22). Jesus is now the mediator--or the go-between--of a better covenant with better promises (Hebrews 8:6). As a better covenant, there is no need to offer animals as sacrifices which were once required under the Law of Moses because Jesus was offered once and for all as a perfect sacrifice to bear the sins of all mankind under both testaments (Hebrews 9:28). 

The Old Testament was written for our learning that we might have hope (Romans 15:4) and as a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ (Galatians 3:24). We can learn from those Old Testament characters like Moses, David and Elijah, yet we still need the New Testament to lead us to Christ that we might be saved by obeying His will.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Lesson - The Difference Between Old And New Testaments

We have learned through our studies and taught our children that there are 39 books in the Old Testament and 27 books in the New Testament. The Old Testament is in the front of the Bible and the New Testament is in the back of the Bible. If a person holds a Bible in their hands, searches through its pages until they find the page that says, "New Testament", one has a visual of how much of the Bible is the Old Testament and how many pages are in the New Testament (see picture below). Holding our Bibles in this way, we can ask ourselves, "What is the difference in these two Testaments?"

We know 'old' and 'new' are opposite terms and that 'testament' can be defined by the word 'law.' But what do the terms 'old' and' new' mean when joined by this word 'testament?" By looking at the words "old" and "new", a person can determine that there should be a great difference in the titles "Old Testament" and "New Testament" just by looking at their names.

The theme of the Bible is "Salvation from sins through Jesus Christ." 

While the Old and New Testaments both have this same overall subject matter, the main difference is that the Old Testament is looking to the future, "Jesus is coming!" As we have seen in the beginning from the fall of man, God had a plan to save mankind. (Genesis 3). We have learned that when man sinned, there was a penalty due. The blood of bulls and goats was never intended to completely wash men's sins away. Jesus, the Messiah, was coming as a sacrifice to bear the sins of all men that they might be saved from their sins.

However, in the New Testament, we find that throughout its pages, the theme is "Jesus is here!" It tells us of Jesus, God's only begotten Son, coming to this earth, what He did while He was here, how He died, and how He took men's sins away through the shedding of His blood. It tells of how man can come in contact with His blood through baptism (Romans 6:3, 4).

Yes, there are differences in the Old and New Testaments. We will study more about this wonderful book that God has given and how it can help us.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

End Of The Old Testament Thoughts

After nine months and nine days, we have now completed our study on lessons through the entire thirty-nine books of the Old Testament. Within these 281 posts, we have studied many characters and have learned much about God's way and His wishes. He never wanted much...only the people's love and obedience. Even with many promises and rewards, the people disobeyed. We have learned that it must have been a difficult task for His children. They disobeyed more times than they obeyed; they suffered the consequences of their sins continually; they prayed to God for forgiveness, repenting of those sins; God would listen, have compassion, and help them; then the people would get comfortable and fall into sin again. A vicious cycle indeed! God was faithful, compassionate, and true, providing words of encouragement and judgment, yet His people never learned. 

The Old Testament was written for our learning (Romans 15:4). We can learn lessons that His people did not by reading and applying what we read to our lives. We can learn by their examples, whether they were good or bad. The fact that God's Word does not whitewash or put God's children in only a good light is an indicator that this book must be from God! Man certainly would have left out some of the bad! 

We will be beginning new children's Bible lessons in the New Testament soon. I will be taking a few days to organize my thoughts and creating a plan for these new exciting lessons. In the meantime, take a look through some of your favorite Old Testament lessons on this blog.  So many lessons, so little time! Thank you for studying with me. We still have much to teach our children!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Lesson - Malachi

VERSES:   Malachi 1:1-4:6

MEMORY VERSE:   Malachi 3:8   "Will a man rob God?..."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:   Review all 66 books of the Bible, reciting out loud as a class.

PRAYER:   Thank God for His many blessings like the Bible, rain, food, clothing, a home, people who love us and take care of us.

SPECIAL SONG:  The Family In God's Plan (see March - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #4 on this blog. Click on orange button to hear tune.)

VISUAL AID:  Large Activity (see below) or write on chalkboard or whiteboard.

  • Malachi is the last book in the Old Testament. The name, Malachi means "My Messenger." Other than his name, we know nothing of Malachi, his family or his background. Comparing the many chapters written in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel, Malachi was considered a minor prophet due to his writing only four chapters in his book. Malachi is the last Old Testament prophet until John, the baptizer. In fact, Malachi foretold the coming of John in his book. The book of Malachi is written in a "teaching conversation" style where God has a conversation with Israel. 
  • We have studied many lessons about the disobedience of God's people. By the time Malachi wrote his book, they were even more disobedient. One huge problem was the priests. The priests should have known God's instructions on how God wanted the people to obey and behave, but the priests were disrespectful and disobedient as well. Priests were to know the law and teach the people. The priests were the messengers of God's law. In Malachi's time, the priests were not doing their jobs.The priests were a stumbling block to the people. 
    • We have learned that sacrifices to God were not to have any blemishes, they were to be the best of the best, yet the priests were offering polluted or imperfect sacrifices to God and God was not pleased. 
    • They were honoring disobedient people instead of telling them of their wrongs.
  • The people of Judah were robbing God by withholding their money. 
  • The men of Judah were divorcing their wives and marrying women from other nations. Malachi tells them that God has always hated divorce. Malachi explained that God has intended that a man should have one wife for life and they were to raise godly children.
  • Malachi said that God would bring judgment on those that practiced sorcery and witchcraft, those who were unfaithful to their wives, those who told lies, those who were unkind to the widows and orphans, and those who did not honor Him. All of these things are still true today. God turns his back on those who practice evil deeds like those.
  • But, God would spare the remnant, the people who still loved God and obeyed Him. He would take care of them as long as they obeyed Him. He will do the same for us today.
  • After Malachi was written, there were no prophets of God until John, the baptizer.
"Older Student" Tips:
  • Sometimes the word "hated" only means "loved less." In Malachi 1:2, 3, it says that God "loved Jacob and hated Esau." Discuss how God loved Jacob. Esau gave up his birthright for a bowl of food. Did Esau treasure important gifts that were given by God? (See April - Lesson - Jacob and Esau on this blog).
  • Edom refers to Esau and his descendants.
  • "Putting away" means divorce.
ACTIVITY:   Malachi
Materials needed: 12" x 18" sheet of light colored construction paper, markers.

  1. Hand out paper.
  2. Fold paper in thirds, lengthwise.
  3. Unfold paper. 
  4. Fold two sections in half, trying not to fold the top section.
  5. Fold each half of those two bottom sections in thirds, so, in the end, there is one unfolded section and a total of twelve boxes on the bottom two sections(see picture.
  6. Trace on lines.
  7. In unfolded top section, write "MALACHI" and "At the end of the Old Testament, God's people still had trouble obeying God. Their sins were growing. A few of their problems were:" and "Malachi 1:1-4:6."
  8. Number all the boxes, but the last one. (1-11)
  9. BOX #1: Write "priests."
  10. BOX #2: Write "sacrifices."
  11. BOX #3: Write "robbing God $."
  12. BOX #4: Write "men divorcing wives."
  13. BOX #5: Write "sorcery and witchcraft."
  14. BOX #6: Write "unfaithfulness in marriages."
  15. BOX #7: Write "lies."
  16. BOX #8: Write "unkind to widows and orphans."
  17. BOX #9: Write "intermarriages to other nations."
  18. BOX #10: Write "honored disobedient people."
  19. BOX #11: Write "did not fear or honor God."
  20. In the last box, write "No more prophets until John."

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Lesson - Zechariah

VERSES:   Zechariah 1:1-14:21

MEMORY VERSE:  Zechariah 1:3   "...Turn ye unto me, saith the LORD of Hosts..."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:   We have now completed memorizing all 66 books of the Bible. Review the books of the Bible as a class. 

PRAYER:   Thank God for His wisdom and knowing all things, including what is best for us. 

SPECIAL SONG:   The Books Of The Old Testament and The Books Of The New Testament (see March - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #3 on this blog. Click on orange circle to hear tune.)

VISUAL AID:   Chalkboard or Whiteboard drawings of Activity below.

  • Zechariah was a prophet of God who wrote fourteen chapters in his book called, "Zechariah." Zechariah is the most quoted Old Testament prophet in the New Testament. His name means "Whom Jehovah Remembers" and he was preaching and prophesying at the same time Haggai was preaching to God's people. There are only two months difference in Haggai's and Zechariah's books (Haggai 1:1 and Zechariah 1:1). Zechariah is written using figurative language which, to most people, is difficult to understand. The books of Daniel, Ezekiel, and Revelation are written in this same type of writing style. 
  • Although some of Zechariah's book may be hard for the common person to understand, there is always something we can learn from each of the sixty-six books of the Bible. 
  • When we read this book, we can see that Zechariah had a series of eight visions from God. 
    • Some of the visions were concerning the temple and how God wanted the people to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. While one of Haggai's messages to God's people was, "Build the temple!," Zechariah was also saying the same thing at the same time.
    • Many of Zechariah's visions were concerning the coming Messiah which was Christ and concerning the church. Zechariah's visions from God looked to a future kingdom which was the church with a future king who was Christ.
  • Important messages from Zechariah are:
    • God is in control of everything.
    • Finish the temple and good times will come back.
    • Stop sinning! There were 'burdens' or judgments or oracles written against the Jews because of their great sin of idolatry.
    • There would be a time coming when God would cut off the names of the idols out of the land and they would no longer be remembered.
    • God can and will take care of His people.
"Older Student" Tips:

  • The common worldly phrase "apple of his eye" is found in Zechariah 2:8. The phrase only means that the one who is referred to in the verse was a special person. There are many phrases that the world uses like this one that have roots in the Bible.
ACTIVITY:   Zechariah
Materials needed:  9" x 12" piece of any color construction paper, crayons.
  • Hand out paper.
  • Fold paper in half.
  • Fold paper in half again.
  • On outside cover, write "Zechariah, a prophet of God." and "Zechariah 1:1."
  • Open paper once.,
  • In top box, write "Zechariah had eight visions."
  • In bottom box, draw two men. Write "Zechariah" and "Haggai" over each one of the men. Write "preached at the same time."
  • Open paper completely.
  • At top of paper, write "Lessons from Zechariah:"
  • Trace lines, stopping just under "Lessons From Zechariah." Draw line under "Lessons From Zechariah."
  • Box #1: Write "Build the temple!"
  • Box #2: Write "God is in control!"
  • Box #3: Write "Stop sinning!"
  • Box #4: Write "God can take care of His people!"
  • Color.
  • Fold paper and take home.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Lesson - Haggai

VERSES:   Haggai 1:1-2:23

MEMORY VERSE:   Haggai 1:2   "Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts..."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:   Revelation.   Write "Revelation" on small slips of paper and hand out at the end of class, so the students make take it home and memorize the last book of the New Testament.

PRAYER:  May we always respect what God has to say, not adding to it or taking from it.

SPECIAL SONG:   Read, Read Every Day  (see February - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #1 on this blog.  Click on orange circle to hear tune.)

VISUAL AID:   Large Activity (see below)


  • The prophet, Haggai, wrote an Old Testament book that bears his name and consists of four sermons in two chapters. He is considered a minor prophet due to his small amount of writing, not because he was not as important as the other prophets, such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel. Haggai's name means "Festival" or "Joyous One."  He preached at the same time Zechariah preached. We will be learning about Zechariah soon. Haggai's sermons has shadows of the church.
  • After the Babylonians had taken God's people to Babylon and held them captive because of their disobedience to God and serving idols, a small amount of people, or a remnant, was finally allowed to return to Jerusalem. Haggai was among the first group to return to Jerusalem led by Zerubbabel, who was the governor of Judah. 
  • When the people returned to Jerusalem, they were more concerned with building their own homes and getting their own affairs in order and had not rebuilt the temple in Jerusalem. God was displeased about this and spoke to Haggai who in turn spoke to the leaders of God's people and reminded them to get busy and build the temple.Haggai scolded the people for not being busy with the LORD's work. Haggai told them to build the house of the LORD. He told them to put God first!
  • There are five messages in Haggai's four sermons. They are:
    • "Thus says the LORD of Hosts."
    • "Build the temple!"
    • "Consider your ways!"
    • "Sin is contagious and pollutes."
    • "There is a better day ahead!"
"Older Student" Tips:
  • Take a look at the genealogies in Matthew 1 and Luke 3. Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah and the man who led God's people to return to Jerusalem is in both.
ACTIVITY:   Haggai
Materials needed:  9" x 12" any color construction paper, crayons.

  1. Hand out paper.
  2. Fold paper in thirds.
  3. Fold in half again.
  4. On the outside of the folded paper, write "Haggai."
  5. Unfold once.
  6. Write "2 chapters."
  7. Completely unfold paper.
  8. Trace the lines made by folding the paper.
  9. First Box:  Write "5 messages from 4 sermons."
  10. Number the rest of the boxes from 1 to 5.
  11. Box #1:  Write "This says the LORD of Hosts" in the middle of the box. Color around the words.
  12. Box #2: Draw a hammer and nail. Write "Build the temple!" in the box.
  13. Box #3: Draw a person, thinking. Write "Consider Your Ways!" in the box.
  14. Box #4: Write "SIN is contagious and pollutes." Color.
  15. Box #5: Draw a sun coming up over the mountains. Write "There is a better day ahead." in the box.
  16. Fold back up again and take home.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Lesson - Jonah And The Great Fish - Posted Tech Difficulties

VERSES:   Jonah 1:1-4:11

MEMORY VERSE:   Jonah 1:17  "Now the LORD had prepared a great fish..."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:   2 Peter.  Write "2 Peter" on small slips of paper and hand out to 

PRAYER:   Pray that we obey God the first time He tells us something through His Word. We, like Jonah, will save ourselves a whole lot of trouble.

SPECIAL SONG:   Jonah (see March 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #4 on this blog Click on the orange circle to hear tune.)

VISUAL AID:   Cast lots to demonstrate what that meant back in Jonah's time. Make a large Activity (see below).

  • Jonah was a minor prophet who wrote a book that bore his name with only four chapters. Jonah was from Gathhepher which was twelve miles west of the Sea of Galilee. He was, also, the son of Amittai.
  • God spoke to Jonah and told Jonah to go to Nineveh and preach to the people and tell them to repent of their wicked ways, but Jonah chose to run away to Tarshish. He traveled to the city of Joppa and found a ship that was going to Tarshish, which was in the opposite way of Nineveh. He paid for his ticket and went down into the ship.
  • But God sent a great wind into the sea, so that a strong storm almost broke the ship in half! The sailors on the ship were afraid and cried out to their gods. They threw things on the ship overboard to make the ship lighter, so that they might not wreck the ship.
  • Where was Jonah all during this time? He had gone down into the inside of ship, had laid down...and went to sleep. The captain of the ship came into where he was sleeping and said to him, "Why are you sleeping? Get up and cry to your God, so that we will not die!" Then the other sailors decided to cast lots or what we call 'draw straws' to see who was causing trouble on the ship. When the lot fell to Jonah, the sailors asked him where he came from, what did he do for a living, and what nationality he was. Jonah confessed that he was a Hebrew who feared the LORD God who had made the land and the sea. 
  • The men were very afraid! They asked Jonah why he had done this to them because knew he had run away from the LORD. They asked what they should do to him in order to calm the sea because the sea was tossing to and fro. Jonah knew what to do. He told the sailors to throw him into the sea, then the sea would be calm. Jonah said he knew that he was the one who was causing the trouble. But the men even rowed harder to reach the land, but they could not because the sea was very stormy. They prayed to God to spare their lives and, finally, they took Jonah and threw him into the ocean and immediately the sea was calm which made the men honor the LORD God.
  • While all this was happening, the LORD had prepared a great big fish that swallowed Jonah up. Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights. Then Jonah changed his mind and prayed to God. Jonah chose to do what God said. Jonah chose to go to Nineveh. Do you know what happened then? God spoke to the fish and the fish spit Jonah out on dry land! Jonah could have saved himself a whole lot of trouble if he had obeyed God in the beginning and preached to Nineveh.
  • God told Jonah again to go to Nineveh and preach to the people and tell them to repent and stop doing the wicked things that they had been doing. Jonah walked all around the city and the city was so big that it took him three days to walk all around it! As he walked, Jonah cried out loud and said, "Forty days and the city of Nineveh would be overthrown!" The people heard Jonah and believed God. They proclaimed a fast and everyone, even the very old people to the very young children put on sack cloth and they did not eat anything. Even the king of Nineveh heard the word and he covered himself with sackcloth and ashes. Everyone repented of their sins and cried mightily to God to forgive them.
  • When God saw that Nineveh had truly repented and turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind and spared the city of Nineveh from destruction. Jonah had helped the city and obeyed God. 
"Older Student" Tips:
  • Sometimes Jonah is called the "Running Prophet" because in Chapter 1, Jonah was running from God, in Chapter 2, Jonah was running to God, in Chapter 3, Jonah was running with God, and in Chapter 4, Jonah was running against God.
  • The rest of the story:  After the city repented, Jonah was very displeased and angry. Jonah said that he knew that God was merciful, gracious, slow to anger, and was full of kindness, but the reason that Jonah had run away in the beginning was because Jonah was a patriotic man and he had wanted Nineveh to be destroyed. Now that Nineveh had repented of their sins, he was angry and wanted to die. The LORD scolded Jonah and Jonah went outside the city and made a little booth or a lean-to and sat in its shade to see what was going to become of the city. The LORD cause a gourd to grow right over Jonah's head, so that it shaded Jonah's head to help him with his grief. Jonah was very glad to have the gourd grow, but the next morning, God prepared a worm that made the gourd wither and die. Then, God prepared a strong east wind to cause the sun to beat down on Jonah's head. Jonah fainted and wished he could die. He was acting like a spoiled child, wasn't he? God asked Jonah if he was angry because the gourd withered and Jonah said he was. Then God told Jonah that he had pity on the gourd that he himself had not worked to make it grow, yet when it died, he was angry. God asked Jonah if God should have spared the city of Nineveh that had 120,000 little children. That is where the book of Jonah ends and it does not say whether Jonah repented or not, but we must consider that Jonah did write and finish his book.
  • Jonah did no miracles in the whole book because HE was the miracle. 
  • No one knows where Tarshish was, but somewhere over by Spain.
  • Real lesson of the book of Jonah:  We know our God (Jonah 4:2). God had patience with Jonah and Jonah felt like he could honestly talk to God.
  • It is interesting to notice that in Jonah 2:6, it says that "Jonah went down to the bottom of the mountains" in the sea. How did Jonah know that? Inspiration from God!
  • Jesus believed in Jonah's story because he refers to Jonah in Matthew 12:38-41.

ACTIVITY:   Jonah And The Great Fish
Materials needed:   12" x 18" dark blue construction paper, 4" x 18" medium blue construction paper, 3" x 18" little blue construction paper, 12" x 12" black construction paper, 4" x 12" brown construction paper, scraps of orange, black, tan, and green paper, marker, crayons, glue, scissors.

  1. Hand out darkest blue paper.
  2. Hand out light blue paper.
  3. Glue light blue paper to the very top of the dark blue paper.
  4. Hand out medium blue paper.
  5. Glue medium blue paper just under the light blue paper.
  6. Hand out brown paper.
  7. Round bottom corners of brown paper or cut at an angle.
  8. Glue brown paper to top edge of light blue paper. This is the boat.
  9. Draw 'wood' on boat. (see picture).
  10. Hand out black paper.
  11. Fold black paper in half.
  12. Draw a big fish with top of fish on fold line.
  13. NOT CUTTING ON FOLD, cut fish out. 
  14. Glue the black fish's BACK in the middle of the dark and medium blue paper.Fish should open up.
  15. Out of tan scraps, draw Jonah.
  16. Cut Jonah out.
  17. Color Jonah.
  18. Glue Jonah INSIDE the black fish.
  19. Out of black scraps, cut out black rock.
  20. Glue to bottom of picture.
  21. Out of tan scraps, cut or tear out dirt.
  22. Glue dirt to bottom of picture.
  23. Out of green scraps, cut out seaweed.
  24. Glue seaweed to paper.
  25. Out of orange scraps, cut out little fish.
  26. Glue orange fish in seaweed, saving one fish.
  27. Draw an 'x' on the saved orange fish's body where the eye should go. This fish is dead.
  28. Glue dead fish inside the black fish with Jonah.
  29. Glue tiny bits of green seaweed inside the black fish with Jonah.
  30. Draw eye and gill on black fish.
  31. Write "So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea..." and "Jonah 1:15" on the top right of the boat.
  32. Write "Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah..." close to the black fish.
  33. Open up black fish.
  34. On the inside of the top fish, write "And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights..." and "Jonah 1:7).

Lesson - Zephaniah

VERSES:   Zephaniah 1:1-3:20

MEMORY VERSE:  Zephaniah 1:7  "Hold thy peace in the presence of the LORD GOD: for the day of the LORD is at hand..."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:   Jude.  Write "Jude" on small slips of paper and hand out at the end of class. 

PRAYER:  May we always love the LORD and show are love to Him by doing His commandments.

SPECIAL SONG:   The Books Of The Old Testament and The Books Of The New Testament (see March - Songs We Sing In Bible Class on this blog. Click on orange circles for tune.)

VISUAL AID:   Large Activity (see below) written on the whiteboard or chalkboard, explaining that the people did not want to serve God, but they wanted to worship the sun, moon, and stars, some wanted to worship God AND Idols, and some wanted to only do what they wanted to do.

  • Zephaniah, too, was a minor prophet, writing only 3 chapters to make his book. While we do not know a lot about Zephaniah, we do know that he was related to good King Hezekiah. He was King Hezekiah's great-great-grandson. Zephaniah was preaching at the same time as Jeremiah in the days of Josiah, a few years before Nineveh fell. Zephaniah means "Jehovah hides."  
  • God spoke to Zephaniah many things concerning Judah, telling them the many terrible things that would happen if they continued to worship false gods. We have heard this before, haven't we? The people did not listen to God's prophets and they suffered the consequences of being disobedient. God was a jealous God and He wanted His people to serve Him only, but they continued to look to their surrounding neighboring nations and copied them. The other nations served idols; Judah served idols. 
  • Judah made idols with their own hands and then worshiped their own stone or wood carvings. Zephaniah said that God was going to stretch out His hand upon Judah because they did not listen to the words He gave to Zephaniah. The LORD God is not a God that is made with man's hands; God is a living God, all-powerful, all-knowing, and every-present. God is the one who made everything, even man.
  • Because Judah was worshiping the sun, moon, and stars, and the fact that some of the Jews worshiped both God AND an idol named Malchan, and the fact that some of the people had turned their backs away from the LORD and did what they wanted to do, it meant that God was going to utterly and completely destroy the land. God would allow the people to go into Babylonian Captivity. Zephaniah said there would still be a remnant or a few people who would worship God with their whole hearts and God would listen to them and take care of them. God would save the remnant and would be with them. The remnant was the good people who served God.
"Older Student" Tips:
  • There are a few times the phrase "the day of the LORD" is written in this book. There are two meanings to this phrase. It sometimes refers to the Day the LORD will judge his people in the last day, but sometimes it only refers to a day that the nations will be judged and a consequence given.

ACTIVITY:   Zephaniah
Materials needed:  9" x 12" blue construction paper, scraps of orange, yellow, white, and red paper, glue, scissors, markers, crayons.

  1. Hand out blue paper.
  2. Write "ZEPHANIAH said that God was going to stretch out His hand upon Judah for making idols." and "Zephaniah 1:4-7" at the top of the paper.
  3. Divide the the bottom of the paper into thirds (see picture above).
  4. Write "The host of heaven" at the top of the first box.
  5. Write "Some people worshiped..." at the top of the second box.
  6. Write "Some would turn away from God and..." at the top of the third box.
  7. From scraps, draw and cut out sun, moon, and stars.
  8. Glue sun, moon, and stars in first box.
  9. From white scrap, cut out rectangle and write GOD.
  10. From red scrap, cut out rectangle and write IDOLS.
  11. Glue "God"  and "IDOLS" rectangles in second box.
  12. Write "and" between white and red rectangles. (see picture)
  13. From yellow scrap, cut out yellow rectangle.
  14. Write "Do what they wanted to do." on yellow paper.
  15. Glue yellow rectangle in third box.

Words Of Encouragement Along The Way #13 - Quiet Study

Are you having trouble concentrating as you prepare for your Bible class? Is there too much noise in the room? Is there enough light? Are there too many interruptions? Are you thirsty? Maybe the problem is where you are studying and if you have prepared.yourself before you begin.

Key to any type of Bible study is preparation. Find a truly quiet place at a convenient, trouble-free time in which to begin your study. After you have gathered all the necessary materials, found the proper area, have adequate lighting, and have anticipated solutions to most of your interruptions, then you are ready to begin your study. 

It is always a good idea to begin your study with a prayer. Pray that God will help you as begin studying His Word. As a sincere seeker of Truth, God will hear your prayer and give you the strength and determination you need. 

Most importantly, study from your Bible. This may sound too simple, but occasionally we may need a reminder that we need a  BIBLE to study the Bible. The Bible is its own best commentary. A concordance may also be a helpful tool. 

Also needed is time. Not a few minutes here and there, but a purposed amount of time for a diligent study of God's Word. No one can set a time for you. You will know if you have studied  enough by how well you know your lesson.

And--don't give up! Your students need you! God expects you to be, not only prepared, but well prepared. You are needed to teach your students lifelong messages of God's truths. Let us be prepared as we teach the most important lessons of our lives. (Psalms 19:7-11).

Friday, November 14, 2014

Lesson - Habakkuk

VERSES:   Habakkuk 1:1-3:19

MEMORY VERSE:   Habakkuk 2:20  "The LORD is in His holy temple:let all the earth keep silence before Him."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:   3 John. Write "3 John" on small slips of paper and hand out at the end of class, so the students may memorize one more book at home. It might be a good idea to review all the books of the New Testament at some point in class since we are nearing the end of the Books of the Bible.

PRAYER:  When we sin, pray that we will ask God to forgive us and then have courage to do what God wants us to do.

SPECIAL SONG:   Be Careful Little Eyes (see March - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #3 on this blog. Click on orange circles to hear tune.)  If time permits, sing The Books Of The Old Testament and The Books Of The New Testament (see March - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #3 I on this blog.)

VISUAL AID:   Draw a picture on the chalkboard or whiteboard of Habakkuk looking up a cloud with his mouth open as if he is talking to God. 

  • Habakkuk is an unusual name that means "embrace." Habakkuk wrote his small, three-chapter book right before God's people went into Babylonian captivity. Instead of writing in the unusual style of 'prophet speaking to the people,' the book of Habakkuk is written with God and Habakkuk speaking to each other. Habakkuk would ask a question or wonder out loud at something and God would answer. He felt comfortable speaking to the LORD God and asking questions.
  • Habakkuk didn't understand why wickedness consumed God's people. He said that it didn't seem like God was doing anything about the people's wickedness. God responded and said that something was happening: He was going to raise up the Chaldeans (also called Babylonians) to punish Judah. 
  • In this book, the Babylonians were described as a cruel nation who would march through the whole land of Judah and take houses that were not their's and, not only houses, but they would also take so many captives that they were numbered like the sand. Can we number the sand? No. That was another way of saying there would be a huge amount of people being led away into captivity. God said they had fast horses, faster than leopards, which would run to the violence. The Babylonians thought nothing of politeness or manners. They had no respect for authority and did what they wanted to do, but, still, God used this cruel nation of Babylon to discipline His children, the nation of Judah. 
  • God told Habakkuk to be patient and wait on Him to deal with His people in a just manner. God said there would be many "woes" brought on Judah for serving false gods and not serving Him.
  • Habakkuk trembled and was afraid of the things that God said would happen to His people because of their wickedness and disobedience, but Habakkuk also believed and trusted in God. He said that the LORD was his strength.
"Older Student" Tips:
  • Throughout the Bible, God used nations against nations to fulfill His wishes and His Will. He also used nations to chastise or discipline His own people. God cannot tolerate disobedience, but He corrects the people in His own time. He is patient with those who are willing to repent from their wicked ways. God is, above all, just.

ACTIVITY:     Habakkuk
Materials needed   9" x 12" blue construction paper, 4" x 12" green construction paper, 4" x 8"  yellow construction paper, scraps of white and tan paper, scissors, glue, markers, crayons.

  1. Hand out blue paper.
  2. Hand out green paper.
  3. Tear top edge of green paper. This is the grass.
  4. Glue green paper to the bottom of the blue paper.
  5. Hand out scraps of tan and white paper.
  6. Draw Habakkuk on tan paper.
  7. Color Habbakuk.
  8. Cut out Habbakuk.
  9. Glue Habakkuk to grass.
  10. Cut out a cloud to represent God.
  11. Glue in corner of blue paper.
  12. Hand out yellow paper.
  13. Cut yellow paper inhalf.
  14. On one half of the yellow paper, write "It doesn't seem like much is being done about the people's wickedness." 
  15. Cut this sentence into a speech bubble.
  16. Glue the speech bubble pointing to Habakkuk.
  17. On the other half of the yellow paper, write "I will raise up the Babylonians to punich Judah."
  18. Cut this sentence into a speech bubble.
  19. Glue this speech bubble pointing up to the cloud where Gid is speaking.
  20. Somewhere on the paper, write :Habakkuk Talk To God" and "Habakkuk 1."

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Lesson - Nahum

VERSES:   Nahum 1:1-3:19

MEMORY VERSE:   Nahum 1:7   "The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:   2 John.  Write "2 John" on small slips of paper and hand out at the end of class.

PRAYER:   Pray that we always put God first in our lives.

SPECIAL SONG:   No, Not One (see June - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #6 on this blog. Click orange circle to hear tune.)

VISUAL AID:   Large Activity (see below)

  • Nahum, like many men we have recently been studying, was also a prophet of God. He, too, was considered a minor prophet because of his small amount of writing--only three chapters. Nahum preached to the city of Nineveh 100 years after Jonah had preached to the city. The LORD had harsh words for Nineveh, who had again become disobedient to Him, but this time Nineveh would not escape destruction.  The city was destroyed in 612 BC.
  • Nahum's name means "Comforter",  but Nahum is not trying to  comfort the people. He is trying to stir them up to repent from their serving of false gods and idols. Nineveh would have no more peace. God was against them, and why? Because they were full of wickedness.
  • Nahum tells us more of God's nature. He says that God is good, yet He is jealous. God told us that He was a jealous God in the ten commandments that Moses wrote on the tablets on Mt. Sinai, didn't he? (See May - Lesson - The Golden Calf on this blog). God wanted the people to only love and serve Him, but they strayed just as they did in Nineveh's time. God never changes. He was still a jealous God while Nahum preached to the people, trying to persuade them to return to God. Nahum also mentioned that God was slow to anger; it took a lot to make God angry enough to destroy wickedness, but God has a limit as to what he will endure, even today. No one can hide when God is angry. Where would we hide? God knows everything!
  • Nineveh's sin was idolatry and pride, which we have seen in many nations before this. The Old Testament was written for our learning (Romans 15:4), we need to be certain that we are not guilty of the same sins. Idolatry is putting ANYTHING before God. Many put fun and recreation before God. Some put their families before God. We need to always put God first above everything! (Matthew 6:33).
"Older Student" Tips:
  • Discuss how God can be good, yet severe at the same time.
  • We can remember that Nahum preached to Nineveh by thinking of the first letter of their first names--"N."
Materials needed:  9" x 12" red construction paper, marker, crayons, scissors, tape.

  1. Hand out red paper.
  2. Fold paper in half.
  3. Fold paper in half again.
  4. Unfold paper once, so that the paper is still folded in half and the fold is at the top.
  5. In large block letters, write "Nineveh" on top panel. (see picture below). 
  6. Turn paper over, so that the fold is still at the top.
  7. In large block letters, write "Nahum on the top panel. (see picture above).
  8. On one of the bottom panels, write "Nahum preached to Nineveh just list Jonah, but with bad results." (see picture).
  9. Color letters.
  10. With the paper folded in half, cut the 'v' out of the "N' on both sides. (see top picture). The cut doesn't really 'do' anything, it is just for decoration.
  11. Fold paper like a tent with "Nahum preached to Nineveh just list Jonah, but with bad results." on the outside, so it can be read.
  12. Tape sides to secure.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Lesson - Micah

VERSES:   Micah 1:1-7:20

MEMORY VERSE:   Micah 6:8    "He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?"

BOOK TO REMEMBER:   1 John.  Write "1 John" on small slips of paper and hand out at the end of class for home memorization.

PRAYER:   Pray that we will all stay close to the LORD by doing the right things, showing love and compassion, and living in a humble manner before God.

SPECIAL SONG:  This Little Light Of Mine (see March 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #3 on this blog. Click orange circle for tune.)

VISUAL AID:  Large Activity (see below)


  • Micah was a prophet of God who preached to God's disobedient people at the same time Isaiah, Amos and Hosea were preaching. God spoke to Micah and then Micah would tell the people what God had said. Micah was a spokesman for God who also wrote a book that has seven chapters. Because he did not write as much as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel, Micah was considered a minor prophet. He was a country boy from a place called Morasheth-Gath. His name means "Who is like Jehovah?" 
  • Micah preached to the Jews who were not doing what God told them to do. They disobeyed God. In fact, Micah said that the people were doing evil things because they could do it! He said that they made up wicked things to do  and did not wait until it was nighttime to do bad things, they did them in the morning when the sun was up! The people were very disobedient and they did not listen to God when He spoke to Micah. They just kept doing bad things and did not care what God thought.
  • God got angry and said that only the remnant or only His people who were obeying his commandments would have hope. Micah was speaking of the Messiah, the one who was going to break their bonds of sin and have hope. God blamed the leaders of His people for the people's disobedience because they were the ones who should have known God's judgments. But the leaders did not lead the people; the leaders hated good things and loved evil things. That is not what they should have done! 
  • God said He was going to give up on His people and when they cried to Him to help them, He would hide His face from them. While God's face is against them that do evil deeds, His eyes eyes watch over the righteous and His ears are listening to their prayers. God is a good God.
  • Read Micah 6:8. Micah told the people that God had showed them what was good and told them what He required of them. The people were do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly before God. But...the people would not listen to Micah or to God.

"Older Student" Tips:

  • Read 1 Peter 3:12. Discuss.

Materials needed:  6" x 18" light green construction paper, 3" x 4" orange, blue, yellow, red, and green construction paper - each, markers, crayons, glue.

  1. Hand out light green construction paper.
  2. Write "Micah Told The People How To Please God" and "Micah 6:8" at the top of the light green paper.
  3. Hand out 3" x 4" papers.
  4. One each paper, write a number "1", "2", "3", "4", or "5".
  5. Fold top edge down on each bright colored rectangle.
  6. Glue TOP EDGE ONLY of each small paper. These are flaps.
  7. Press flaps in place on light green paper. (See picture)
  8. Fold each flap up.
  9. Under #1, write "God had shown the people what was good."
  10. Under #2, write "He had told them what the LORD required."
  11. Under #3, write "Do justly."
  12. Under #4, write "Love mercy."
  13. Under #5, write "Walk humbly with God."
  14. Close flaps.
  15. Re-read with class as they flip up the flaps.