"By calling this covenant 'new,' he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear" Hebrews 8:13 (NIV).
We're welcoming in another New Year. As such, I'd like us to discuss OLD and NEW. (Have children write a list of old and new—write 2-3 of each, and then discuss their answers. Don't tell them what to write about. It's interesting to see what they think.)
1) What new things did you receive for Christmas?
2) Did you meet new people, make new friends?
3) Is new always better than old? Why or why not?
4) How might old be better than new? (Old friends, loved ones, storybooks, pets, etc.)
5) How is new sometimes better than old?
Show children a Bible and how it's divided into the Old and New Testaments.*
God's Word, the Bible, is divided into old and new—the Old Testament and the New Testament. The word testament means covenant or an agreement. The Old and New Testaments are God's written Word, his agreement with his people, meaning those people who trust and follow him. The Old Testament was written before Jesus came to earth. It's the story of God's people, prophecies, and promises. We learn of the first people, Adam and Eve, who disobeyed God and how they and all people born after them were separated from God because of their disobedience. As a result, all living things die—people, animals, and plants.
In the Old Testament, we learn of God's laws, his rules of how to love God and people. We also learn how people offered animal sacrifices to be forgiven of their sins. But that was temporary, because God had a permanent plan to rescue people. God determined that a Savior would be born through the Jewish people; he would die, once and for all, for everyone's sins (Isaiah 9:6, Micah 5:2, Isaiah 53, Jeremiah 31:33, Hebrews 10:1-24).
The New Testament was written after Jesus was born. In it, we are told that he is the Promised Savior spoken of in the Old Testament. We learn of his ancestry and birth, of his life, miracles, teachings, death, and resurrection. We learn how God wants his followers to live and how we are to love and serve others. Yet because of our old sinful nature, which is opposed to God, we must first be born again (John 3:1-8). Through Jesus, we discover how to become new people who faithfully follow God.
Before Jesus came to earth, people's sins were forgiven through animal sacrifices. But now, because of Jesus' death on the cross, we don't have to kill animals to be forgiven.
This old world is not always going to be as it is now, with weather-related disasters, people hating people, cruelty, wars and rumors of wars, sickness, disease, addictions, sadness, death, and suffering. No, this is not how God's good creation will always be or was intended to be. God is preparing a new Heaven and a new Earth for his children! In Revelation 21:4-5, which is from the last book in the New Testament, we learn that God will wipe every tear from our eyes. In that day, there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, because the old order of things will pass away. God will someday make everything new. We will no longer be tempted to sin or do anything wrong. We will love God and other people just how God originally intended! What a day of rejoicing that will be!
"Dear Jesus, thank you for making all things new. Thank you for forgiving our old sinful nature and giving us new birth through your sacrifice on the cross and your resurrection from the dead to give us new life. Thank you for the hope of a new Heaven and a new Earth. Help us to love you throughout the coming New Year. Amen."
Craft time: Make our New Life No-Sew Puppets
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come" 2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV).
Happy New Year!
links in this lesson will take you to our
curriculum; there, you can download samples to see how these core Bible subjects will benefit the
children in your ministry throughout the year.
Copyright 2017 Sarah A. Keith
Fun Bible Facts
There are 39 Old Testament books and the 27 New Testament books.
The Bible was written over a 1500 year period, by a wide variety of authors (as many as 40), from many different locations. Its authors are from all walks of life. Some were kings, some peasants; still others were philosophers, fishermen, doctors, judges, scholars, poets and farmers. Despite the span of time and the diversity of writers, it is one book, with one common purpose: to reveal God's salvation plan to us. The Bible was written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to benefit all who read it.
Bible Stack-O! is a Bible book game based on the concept of chunking; a technique whereby you memorize small bits of information at a time. Telephone numbers and credit cards are typically chunked. Psychologists have determined that 5-7 bits of information is the optimal amount per chunk. Therefore, when teaching children to memorize, it is best to divide the information into smaller bits of information and then commit it to memory before moving on to the next bit of information.
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