Nature Journal: Germs
There are actually millions and millions of tiny organisms that we cannot see. They are everywhere, even on us. Some are good. We call the ones that make us sick - germs.
Germs really like to get inside of our bodies. They can come in through our mouth, our nose, our eyes, and other openings, like a cut. If they get inside, our bodies wage all out war against them through our immune system, sending out fighter cells to kill the germs. Meanwhile, we experience sickness while our body is fighting the germs. You might cough, sneeze, feel really tired and achy, and or have a fever. These are all signs that your body is fighting war with the germs.
One of the most important ways to keep germs out of your body is to simply wash your hands with soap and water before touching your face or eating food and after you use the bathroom. Soap lifts the germs off your hands, and the water rinses them away down the drain.
Germs remind me of sin. Sin is when we break God's law. It hurts God, it makes our character sick, and it hurts others. If we encourage others to sin, we have spread our sin germs to them. We need to be cleansed from sin, and the only way our hearts can be washed clean is to ask for forgiveness from God in the name of Jesus. Jesus is like soap.
In Acts 22:16, the Christian Ananias told Saul who was sorry that he hurt Christians, "And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord" (NKJV). Like Saul, when we decide to accept Jesus as our Savior from sin, we get baptized and start a new clean life with God. We go under the water and come out of the water calling on the name of Jesus. God hears us and says we are clean from sin. Jesus took our sins away! Our Bible story this month is about Jesus' baptism.
Below are some options for experiencing the nature lesson this month. Try one each week.
1. GO --- Go on a nature walk outside. Look for tiny things that God has made. What's the tiniest thing that you can see? Did you know that germs and other microorganisms are so tiny, you cannot see them until they have multiplied into huge numbers. It's amazing that teeny tiny things like germs can make us so sick. Every sin, no matter how small, makes us sick, too, and separates us from God.
2. WATCH --- Do you have a magnifying glass? It helps you see details in things that are small by making them look bigger. Use your magnifying glass to look at the details in a leaf or on a rock or a bug. What can you see now that you couldn't see well before? In order to see germs and other microorganisms, scientists have to use powerful microscopes. God gave us the 10 Commandments to help us "see" sin in our lives. Do you know the 10 Commandments? (Exodus 20; Deuteronomy 5)
3. THINK --- God has placed an army of white blood cells in our body to defend us against germs. These tiny cells kill germs. Some of them die in the process. Watch this white blood cell hunt down bad bacteria in your body.
Think about this. Before God created man, He had an emergency plan if man should sin. Jesus agreed to come to this earth, fight sin, and die for us, so we could have forgiveness from sin and eternal life.
4. MAKE --- Follow the tutorial below to turn a smart phone into a microscope. As suggested, collect a sample of puddle water to look at and observe the tiny microorganisms that are living there!
There is a whole microscopic world we cannot see with billions upon billions of living and non-living things. Thanks to microscopes we have been able to "see" this other world. There is also a spiritual world out there that we cannot see. Sin is real. God is real. There are many many angels that walk this earth, some good, and others that are evil. We cannot see this world, but the Bible "shows" it to us.
Memory Mastery: The Sanctuary
This quarter we are learning about the sanctuary in the wilderness. The sanctuary service teaches us how God saves us from sin. Last month, we learned that the sanctuary has 2 main areas - the courtyard and the tabernacle, representing Jesus' work in the plan of salvation on earth and in heaven, respectively. This month we will meet the priest and the lamb, and we will discover the furniture in the courtyard.
Before the priest offered sacrifice or entered the tabernacle, he had to wash his hands and feet in the laver (Exodus 30:17-21). As our Great High Priest, Jesus was baptized with water before starting His ministry. He wants us to get baptized, too, when we decide to accept Him as our Savior from sin. Can you pretend to wash your hands and your feet? Courtesy of Sweet Publishing and FreeBibleImages.org
If anyone sinned, he had to bring a lamb to the sanctuary. You laid your hands on the lamb and confessed your sin. Then you had to kill the lamb. The priest caught the blood of the lamb and brought it inside the tabernacle. Jesus is the Lamb of God who died for the sins of the whole world. Courtesy of Sweet Publishing and FreeBibleImages.org
This month, can you make a pretend "model" of the sanctuary parts we have learned thus far? Use your "model" to review what each piece represents.
- Use a baking sheet to designate the courtyard.
- Put a small (rectangular) box in there to be the tabernacle.
- Put a cup (of water) there to be the laver.
- Put a (battery-powered) tealight candle on a square piece of paper to represent the altar of burnt offering.
- Use a craft stick or spoon to be the priest.
- Use a cotton ball to be the lamb.
Mission Team: Jesus Loves India
This quarter the world church is building schools, classrooms, and dormitories in India, which is part of the Southern Asia Division. Will you bring your coins all quarter long to dedicate to this special mission project that will help bring education and Jesus to the children of India? The video below will help you learn more about India's people and culture.
This month, see if you can learn these interesting facts about India's people and culture. Choose one or two facts each week to focus on.
Bible Story: Jesus Gets Baptized
Jesus was all grown up now. He was ready to start His public ministry on earth, but the people were not ready to meet Him. They still wanted a Messiah that would help them conquer the Romans. God wanted them to understand that Jesus was coming to conquer sin and death. So, God sent John the Baptist to the people first.
John was a special preacher with a very special message. He told the people, "God's kingdom is coming now! Repent - turn away from your sins!" Some of the people believed John's message. They became sorry for all the bad things they did. John told them, "Come and be baptized. God wants to wash your sins away." John baptized the people in the Jordan River.
One day, Jesus came to John to be baptized. John knew Jesus was special and holy. John said, "You should baptize me. I am not worthy to baptize you." Jesus replied, "It's important for me to be baptized, too, as an example of what is right." John agreed.
Jesus came into the water with John. Then John helped Jesus go under the water and come up. Suddenly, heaven opened up and a bright light encircled Jesus. The Holy Spirit came down on Him in the form of a dove. God the Father's voice spoke from heaven saying, "This is my Son that I love. I am pleased with Him." John recognized the sign from God, and he believed that Jesus indeed was the Messiah - God's Promised Son.
Our prayer verse is Mark 16:16, which says, "He who believes and is baptized will be saved" (NKJV). Do you believe Jesus is God's Son, sent by God to die for your sins? When you really appreciate what Jesus has done for you, you can be baptized like Jesus. When you get baptized, God says to you, "This is my beloved child. I am pleased with you."
Dear Father God, You sent Jesus to die for my sins. Help me understand more and more each day, so I can get baptized soon. In Jesus' name, amen
Below are some options for experiencing the story this month. Choose one to try each week.
1. Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River. It's not a blue river. Some parts are quite muddy, like here below.
The Jordan River connects the Sea of Galilee (northern lake) and the Dead Sea (southern lake). Can you find the three bodies of water in the map of Israel below? Can you make a map of Israel and the water bodies mentioned?
2. Repent is a special Bible word that means to turn away from sin. Let's do an activity. Walk or pretend to drive a car. You can "drive" anywhere you like in this room. But, when I say repent, you have to make a U-turn and start driving the other direction.
John the Baptist told the people, "Repent! and be baptized." God wants us to hate doing bad things and feel sorry for the bad things we have done. When this happens in our hearts, it's called repentance. It's as if we have turned all the way around in our attitude towards sin. John told people who felt repentance that they would stop doing the bad things they were doing and they would get baptized.
3. Baptism is another special Bible word. It means to dip under the water. The Bible says in Romans 6 that baptism represents the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Let's show Jesus' journey through death with a big bowl of water. Start with your hand raised up - that's Jesus dying on the cross on Friday. Then, dip your hand into the water - that's Jesus buried in a tomb on Sabbath. Now, raise your hand up again - that's Jesus coming back to life on Sunday. When we get baptized, we are showing that we believe in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ on our behalf.
4. The baptism of Jesus was a special moment in earth's history. It was the only time in earth's history when people got to see or hear all 3 persons of the Godhead together at the same time. God the Father was the voice from heaven. The Holy Spirit descended on Jesus in the form of a dove. And Jesus - God's Son - was coming up out of the water. It's kind of hard for us to imagine God as 3 persons, but maybe this can help. Go to the kitchen and heat up a tea pot. Then, put some cold water in one glass and some ice in another. When the tea pot whistles, notice the steam coming out of the spout. That steam, the water in the glass, and the ice are all the same substance. It's all water, just in different forms. The steam is water as a gas. The ice is water as a solid. And what we usually call water is water as a liquid. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are all one God that exists as 3 persons.