PARENT GUIDE for May 7/17

GOSPEL PROJECT: 

Unit 15, Session 4: Ezekiel Told About a Future Hope

Dear Parents,

Ezekiel had a tough job: ministering to people who had rejected God and suffered the consequences. The exiled people of Judah were eager to blame God for their circumstances. “It’s not fair!” they argued. (See Ezek. 18:25.)

Ezekiel told the people that they were at fault for their exile; their faithlessness had provoked God’s wrath. The people were getting what they deserved. “I take no pleasure in anyone’s death,” God said. “So repent and live!” (Ezek. 18:32).

God gave Ezekiel a vision. In this vision, God showed Ezekiel a valley of dry bones. The bones represented Israel. Ezekiel prophesied that God would put tendons, flesh, and skin on the bones. He would put breath in them so they would come to life.

Ezekiel encouraged the exiles. Apart from God, they were dead. But God was offering them life. He would restore their future. “My dwelling place will be with them,” God said. “I will be their God, and they will be My people” (Ezek. 37:27).

We too are dead in our sin. (Eph. 2:1) Sin separates us from God because He is holy. We are apart from God’s presence. But God does not delight in our death. He is patient and wants us to repent and live!

Hundreds of years after Ezekiel died, God’s presence came to His people through Jesus Christ, Immanuel—meaning, “God with us.” Jesus is the source of life; He offers us living water. (John 4:10,14) If we do not drink of it, we will become like the dry bones. No life will be in us.

Christ changes that. Evangelical Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias wrote, “Jesus does not offer to make bad people good but to make dead people alive.” Indeed, He does. God saves us by grace, making us alive with Christ through the Holy Spirit. (Eph. 2:4-5) And we enter into a relationship with Him!

God showed Ezekiel a valley of dry bones. The dry bones remind us what we are like when we sin. God showed Ezekiel His power to make dead people alive. We see God’s power at the cross. Jesus died to save sinners. God raised Jesus from the dead, and He gives us eternal life.

Help your kids understand that God is the author and giver of life and just as He pictured bringing dead bones back to life, He brings us to life when we trust in Jesus.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS
● Babies and Toddlers
○ God helps me love Him.
○ God showed Ezekiel some dry bones.
○ God promised to bring His people back to their land.
○ Jesus gives us life forever with God.
● Preschool
○ Why should we obey God? We obey God because He loves us.
○ God planned to bring His people back home.
● Kids
○ Why should we obey God? We obey God because He loves us.
○ God planned to bring His people back to their land and give them new life.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE
● Ezekiel 11:19-20 (Preschool: Ezekiel 11:19)

NEXT WEEK
● “Daniel and His Friends Obeyed God” (Daniel 1)

 


PRETEEN CURRICULUM: Explorers: Embracing Purity

based on 1 Corinthians 6:12-20; Romans 12:1-2

LESSON OBJECTIVE
Know: God is the only one who can create a pure heart in us.
Think: Remember God knows everything we think, say, and do.
Do: Ask God to keep your thoughts, words, and actions pure.
THE MORE YOU KNOW
This month’s Special Topic Unit is on Biblical Purity. We will be discussing topics such as God’s design for marriage, gender identity, and why guarding your heart against sexual temptations is important.
In order to handle this in the most age-appropriate way possible, we are taking a more general approach to purity with children. The principles, after all, are the same. Protecting our hearts, minds, and bodies from sin is a safeguard that keeps us from compulsively desiring things that corrupt what God meant for good.
The Christian community is really good at knowing the black and white stance on some of these issues, but we may not be quite as good at knowing the why behind the stance. Every guideline God gave us in His Word is designed to be used as a guardrail on our journey to know Him better. Remember that God intends good for those who love Him, so if one of His guardrails restricts from certain choices, the only conclusion to be drawn is that particular choice will never lead us to true peace and fulfillment in our Creator, no matter how tempting it might be at the time.

Help your child understand that God loves us so much and that His design for our lives is intended to bring us into closer relationship with Him.