In light of the current Coronavirus crisis, we’ve decided to release excerpts from the as-yet-unpublished book Why Do Bad Things Happen? A Devotional for Busy Families. This book will not be released until later this year, but we felt families could use these lessons to talk with their kids about what is happening now. Join the E-Team for updates on Nancy Ruth’s progress in finishing this book.
Unit 1, Lesson 1: The Bible Tells One Big Story.
Teaching objective: By the end of this lesson, families should be able to repeat the overarching storyline of the Bible: God made the world. Sin broke the world. Jesus is the only way to be saved. Believers get to live with Jesus! (Older kids can learn the big words: Creation, Fall, Redemption, Glorification.)
NOTE: We’re going to go really fast today, only hitting the highlights. We’ll look a little closer at each of these storyline points in the coming lessons. Those wanting to know more may read the biblical texts below.
Biblical texts: Gen. 1-2; Jn. 4:23; Rom. 16:25-27; 1 Cor. 15:25-26; Col. 2:13-15; Rev. 21-22
Supplies needed: a Bible (or Bible app)
Optional Time-Savers & Helps:
- Cue up the “Review with Music” song on YouTube.
- Collect pictures of Creation, the Fall, Jesus’ resurrection, and Christ’s second coming. This takes time but helps family members remember what we’re discussing today.
- Bookmark Gen. 1:1. The benefit of this is saving the time spent looking them up. The drawback is that family members don’t get to practice their Bible skills. It’s your call.
The Bible is one big book made up of 66 smaller books. You may know some Bible stories. If you have, what are the names of some of the people in the Bible? Did you know that everything in the Bible works together to tell one big story? Are you ready for the best part? It’s true! And this story includes me and you. First, let’s pray.
For younger children: Fold your hands and close your eyes. We’re going to talk to God. Lord, thank You for Your Word, the Bible. Thank You that we can read the Bible. Teach us more about You. In Jesus’ name, we pray, amen.
For older children: Lord, we love You. Thank You for the Bible. Help us to learn how to read it and study it. Draw us closer to You as we study Your Word. Speak to us today, Lord Jesus. In Jesus’ name, we pray, amen.
Bible Lesson, Part 1
Our goal today is to be able to repeat the overarching storyline of the Bible: God made the world. Sin broke the world. Jesus is the only way to be saved. Believers get to live with Jesus! (Older kids will learn the big words for these things: Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Glorification.)
Let’s look first at Creation. Read Genesis 1:1. In the beginning, God made everything. He made the world and everything in it. This is called creation. When God created the world, it was perfect. There was no sin and people lived in a right relationship with God. Genesis 1:31 says, “God saw all that he had made and it was very good” (NIV). This is Creation when God made the world (Gen. 1-2). Repeat after me. “Creation.” (Allow the family to echo.) “God made the world.” (Allow the family to echo.) Good.
Unfortunately, the perfect world God created didn’t stay perfect and “good.” Next came the Fall. Repeat after me. “Creation, Fall.” (Allow the family to echo.) Good. Adam and Eve were the first man and woman. They lived in God’s perfect creation. Unfortunately, Adam and Eve made a bad choice. They chose to sin. Sin is breaking God’s rules. Say that with me. “Sin is breaking God’s rules.” God gave Adam and Eve one rule. He told them not to eat from the tree in the middle of the Garden of Eden where they lived. Adam and Eve sinned and broke this rule. Sin has serious consequences. Adam and Eve’s sin messed up God’s perfect creation. There was now pain and suffering. There was death. Sin also broke God’s relationship with humans. Sin broke the world (Gen. 3). Repeat after me. “Fall.” (Allow the family to echo.) “Sin broke the world.” (Allow the family to echo.) Good.
Break: Review with Music
Let’s take a break and sing a song. (Encourage more active children to dance, sway, or move around during the song. Choose one of the following to sing together.)
- “The B-I-B-L-E” (younger children)
- “10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)” by Matt Redman (praise & worship)
- “I Know that My Redeemer Lives” (hymn)
- Your favorite song about the hope we have in Jesus
Bible Lesson, Part 2
So far we’ve looked at Creation and the Fall. Repeat after me. “Creation.” (Allow the family to echo.) “God made the world.” (Allow the family to echo.) Repeat after me. “Fall.” (Allow the family to echo.) “Sin broke the world.” (Allow the family to echo.) Good. Next comes Redemption. Say that big word after me. “Redemption.” (Allow the family to echo.) Good.
Redemption is just a fancy way to say that God saves us. We’ll talk about that more later, but here’s the important part. When we mess up and sin, we are separated from God in spiritual death. We can’t fix this problem on our own. That’s the bad news. Most of the Old Testament talks about this. The Old Testament also promises a solution. Here’s the good news. God loves us and wants us to be with Him. That’s why He sent Jesus to take our punishment for sin. He died on the cross to pay for our sins. Then He came back to life again. That’s what Redemption means. Jesus saved us (Rom. 16:25-27; Col. 2:11-15). The Old Testament promises Jesus and the New Testament tell us about Him. It also tells us how to believe in Jesus and follow Him. Repeat after me. “Redemption.” (Allow the family to echo.) “Jesus is the only way to be saved.” (Allow the family to echo.) Good.
The last one is Glorification. Repeat after me. “Glorification.” (Allow the family to echo.) Good. Glorification is when God makes all things new again. Someday Jesus is coming back again. When He does, the world as we know it will end. Everyone will answer to God for the things they’ve done. Those who trust Jesus as their Lord and Savior get to live Him forever in heaven (Jn. 4:23; 1 Cor. 15:25-26; Rev 21-22). We’ll learn more about that another day. Repeat after me. “Glorification.” (Allow the family to echo.) “Believers get to live with Jesus!” (Allow the family to echo.) Good.
Let’s see how well you listened and think about what we’ve learned.
Let’s review the overarching storyline of the Bible. Repeat after me. “Creation. God made the world.” (Allow the family to repeat.) “Fall. Sin broke the world.” (Allow the family to repeat.) “Redemption. Jesus is the only way to be saved.” (Allow the family to repeat.) “Glorification. Believers get to live with Jesus!”
Can you say the overarching storyline of the Bible on your own? What comes first? Then what? Then what? How does the story end?
Memorize the first part of this week’s memory verse together. Isaiah 41:10 (NIV; Feel free to use a different version if you prefer.) “So do not fear, for I am with you.” Isaiah 41:10. We never have to be afraid because God is always with us.
Locate the Table of Contents in a Bible. [If you’re using a Bible app, find the list of Bible books.] The Table of Contents is a list of what’s in a book with page numbers of where to find things. [In an app, each part of the book is a link you can click on to get there. Practice this with the following questions.] What page does “Psalms” start on? What page does “John” start on?
Optional Challenge: Work on memorizing the Wisdom books: Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs. The last wisdom book goes by many names. Some call it “Song of Songs.” Some call it “Song of Solomon.” Others call it “Canticles.” It’s all the same book. That book with three names is a love song written by King Solomon about his wife. It also describes God’s love for us.
Quick Summary & Peek At Next Time
Today we learned the overarching storyline of the Bible. Say it with me. “Creation. God made the world. Fall. Sin broke the world. Redemption. Jesus is the only way to be saved. Glorification. Believers get to live with Jesus!” Next time we’ll look closer at Creation.
Optional Further Reading:
Gen 17; Isa 53; Rom 3; 1 Cor 15
- Anderson, Tawa J., W. Michael Clark, and David K. Naugle, “The Narrative Contours of a Christian Worldview,” in An Introduction to Christian Worldview: Pursuing God’s Perspective in a Pluralistic World (London: Apollos, 2017), 97-141.
- Crain, Natasha. Keeping Your Kids on God’s Side: 40 Conversations to Help Them Build a Lasting Faith. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2016.
- Lewis, C.S. The Problem of Pain. New York: HarperOne, 1940.