One Plus One Equals Three

One Plus One Equals Three

Theme: When we are gathered in Jesus’ name, He will be there with us.

Memory Verse: “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20 [NIV]

It is back to school time! All around the world, children have either already started back to school or they will very soon. As a teacher, I can tell you that one thing that is very important for a teacher is to find out what their students already know. That way, they will know where they should start in teaching them what they should know.

I was wondering if it would be a good idea for our Sunday School teachers to give a little quiz to find out how much their students know about the Bible? As an experiment, I made up a sample quiz to try out on you this morning. Are you ready? If you know the answer, raise your hand.

How many of each animal did Moses take on the ark with him? (allow time for answers) “None!” I thought the answer was two. Oh, that’s right, it was Noah that built the ark, not Moses.

Here is question number two. Are automobiles mentioned in the Bible? Let’s check our answer. “Yes, in Acts 2:1″ Let’s see what it says in Acts 2:1. . .”When the day of Pentecost was come, they were all in one accord.” Hey! I don’t think it is talking about a Honda Accord automobile there!

Those first two questions were trick questions, weren’t they? Well, I promise you that the next question is not a trick question. Here it is: According to the Bible, can one plus one ever equal three? Let’s check our answer. “Yes!” How can that be? The answer is in the Bible. Jesus said, “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” Oh, I see, if two are gathered in Jesus’ name, Jesus is there with them — so one plus one equals three.

Look around this room. I’m not sure exactly how many people are here this morning, but whatever the number is, you can add One to it, because Jesus is here too.

Dear Jesus, we thank you for being here with us this morning as we gather together to worship in your name. Amen.

Activities + Resources

And a Reminder from Psalm 149 to Dance before the Lord!


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Moses and the Burning Bush

Moses and the Burning Bush

Theme: God speaks to us.

Memory Verse: Give thanks to the Lord.  Worship him.  Tell the nations what he has done. Exodus 3:1

Shoes come in all types and sizes. There are dress shoes like we might wear to church. There are athletic shoes like we wear when we play sports. There are sandals or flip-flops for summer. We have all kinds of shoes!

But why are we talking about shoes you might be wondering. Well, shoes protect our feet, but they can also serve another purpose.

People might take off their shoes to keep from tracking dirt inside. And in some places, people always take off their shoes and leave them at the door when they enter a house as a sign of respect. Respect means to show someone you think that person is important. And that reminds me of today’s Bible lesson.

God told a man named Moses to take off his shoes. To get ready to hear about what happened to Moses, let’s take off our shoes now. I think that’ll help us understand why God told Moses to take off his shoes.

God called Moses from a burning bush to get his attention and talk to him. God had an important job for Moses. He told Moses to take off his sandals because he was standing on holy ground. Let’s hear what happened.

At first, Moses was confused and wasn’t sure God could really be speaking to him. God wanted Moses to lead His people, but Moses wasn’t sure he was the right guy for the job. But God wanted to get Moses to pay attention.

Why did the burning bush get Moses to pay attention to God?

He gave Moses important instructions. Just like God spoke to Moses, God speaks to us, too.

God, thank You for giving us instructions. Thank You for speaking to Moses and for speaking to us. Help us remember to listen to You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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Baby Moses

Baby Moses by the River

Theme:  God’s care and protection

Scripture: Exodus 1:8-2:10

Memory Verse: “Our help comes from the Lord.  He is the Maker of Heaven and Earth.” Psalm 124:8

Good parents will do everything they can to keep their baby safe. Our Bible lesson today is about a little boy baby who was born in a very dangerous time. 

There was a new King in Egypt who saw that the Israelites were very strong, and they were growing in number. The King in Egypt was afraid that the Israelites were going to take over his country. So he issued a command to all of his people: “Take every newborn Hebrew boy and throw him into the Nile River, but let the girls live.”

During this time, a woman had a boy baby (Pause.). When she saw what a fine, handsome baby he was, she hid him for three months.

As the baby got older, she couldn’t hide him any longer, so she made a basket of tall grass and covered it all over with tar to make it watertight. Then she put the baby in the basket and hid it in the tall grass at the edge of the river. The baby’s sister stood some distance away to watch and see what would happen to him.

A little later, the king’s daughter came down to the river to bathe. Suddenly she noticed the basket in the tall grass. The princess looked in the basket and saw a baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrew babies,” she said.

The baby’s sister asked her, “Shall I go and call a Hebrew woman to nurse the baby for you?”

“Please do,” she answered. So the girl went and brought the baby’s own mother. The princess told the woman, “Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.” So the mother took him home.

Later, when the child was old enough, the mother took the boy and gave him to the king’s daughter, who adopted him as her own son. The king’s daughter said to herself, “I pulled him out of the water, and so I name him Moses.”

What an amazing story of two mothers who loved their child and God’s protection and care. Moses grew to be one of the greatest leaders the people of Israel has ever known. And it all started with a little baby hidden in the tall bushes down by the river.

Dear God, just as the mother of Moses watched over her son and protected him, You love and care for Your children. We thank You for Your love and protection. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

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Psalm: 124.

This psalm of deliverance assumes that the reader knows the outcome of the Exodus story. Even children who know it do not recognize it here. Therefore, as you invite them to hear or read the psalm, tell them that it was written after God had rescued the Hebrews from the pharaoh.
Though the psalmist probably was thinking metaphorically about the floods of life, children make more sense of the psalm if the floods are presented as the waters that flooded the slave babies killed by the pharaoh. The psalm then praises God, who saves people in such situations.

Old Testament: Exodus 1:8-2:10.

We have been learning about Joseph these Hebrews are the great, great . . . great grandchildren of Joseph and his brothers. Children need little help with it.
 

Most church children are familiar with the story of the baby in the basket and enjoy hearing it read. They particularly relish the heroic role of Miriam, the child who was left standing by the river all day to watch the basket. She stuck with her boring task, was on duty and alert at the critical moment, did some quick thinking, and made a courageous move in speaking to the princess. God used her good work to save Moses. So little kids do count. God chooses children, as well as adults, to do important work.


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Joseph Forgives his Brothers

Joseph Forgives His Brothers

Theme: God wants us to forgive others.
Memory Verse: How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together I peace! Psalm 133:1

Genesis 45:1-15 Story

God, thank You for forgiving us. Please help us remember Joseph and find the strength to forgive people who wrong us. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Never Give Up

Theme: When facing life’s trials, don’t give up. Have faith in God
Memory Verse: Then Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.’ And her daughter was healed at that moment. Matthew 15:28 (NIV)

Have you ever heard of Fanny J. Crosby? Fanny was a hymn writer and poet who wrote over 8,000 hymns! A very short list of the most popular hymns written by Fanny would include such great hymns as “To God Be the Glory,” “I Am Thine, O Lord,” “Tell Me the Story of Jesus,” “Jesus Keep Me Near the Cross,” and “All the Way My Savior Leads Me.” You may be surprised to learn that Fanny was totally blind. She lost her sight when she was only six weeks old through the negligence of a doctor who was treating an inflammation in her eyes.

Because she was blind, I am sure that many times Fanny heard the words, “You can’t do this” or “You can’t do that.” One reason I feel sure she heard those words is that she once wrote a song entitled, “Never Give Up!” The words to the refrain of that song go like this:

Never give up, never give up,
Never give up to thy sorrows,
Jesus will bid them depart;
Trust in the Lord, trust in the Lord,
Sing when your trials are greatest,
Trust in the Lord and take heart.

Fanny never gave up! “Blindness,” she wrote, “can not keep the sunlight of hope from the trusting soul.” Fanny had great faith in God and put her trust in him to get her through the obstacles she faced in her life. She never gave up!

Our Bible lesson today tells about another woman who had great faith and refused to give up. The Bible doesn’t tell us her name, it simply calls her “a Canaanite woman.” That means that she was a Gentile and, as you know, Jesus and his disciples were Jews. The Jews would have very little to do with gentiles. The Canaanite woman met Jesus one day as he was traveling in the region of Tyre and Sidon. She came toward him crying out, “Have mercy on me, for my daughter is possessed by an evil spirit.”

Jesus did not reply to the woman and his disciples came to him complaining that she was bothering them and asked him to tell her to leave. Jesus said to the woman, “I was sent only to help God’s lost sheep—the people of Israel.”

But she came and worshiped him, pleading again, “Lord, help me!”

Jesus replied, “It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.”

The woman answered, “That’s true, Lord, but even dogs are allowed to eat the scraps that fall beneath their masters’ table.”

“Dear woman,” Jesus said to her, “your faith is great. Your request is granted.” At that very moment, her daughter was healed.

What if she had given up? What if her faith had not been so strong? The end of this story would be quite different, wouldn’t it? Let us follow the example set by Fanny Crosby and the Canaanite woman. Let’s “Keep the Faith” and “Never Give Up!”

Father, we place our faith and trust in you. When we face obstacles and trials in our daily life, help us to keep our faith in you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
 

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When You Need a Helping Hand

Theme: Jesus walks on the water.

Memory Verse: Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” Matthew 14:31 (NIV)
 

Has there ever been a time in your life when you needed someone to give you a helping hand? Of course, there has! Can you name some? (Give them time to respond, then continue.) How about when you first began to try to tie your own shoes, did you need someone to help you? It was probably your mother, wasn’t it? She worked patiently with you until you were able to do it all by yourself. How about when you got your first bicycle, didn’t your dad run along beside you and hold you up? When you began to learn to read, did you just pick up a book and start reading? Of course not, someone—probably a teacher—helped you learn. Did any of you need any help learning how to play soccer? There are always going to be times when you need a helping hand—even when you are grown!

Today’s Bible lesson is about a time when the disciples of Jesus needed a helping hand — one disciple in particular whose name was Simon Peter.

It had been a long, hard day for Jesus and his disciples. After the disciples had helped Jesus feed more than five thousand people with only five loaves of bread and two small fish, Jesus told them to get into their boat and go on ahead of him to the other side of the lake. Jesus then went up on a mountainside to be alone and to pray.

Later that evening, the disciples were quite far out onto the lake when the wind began to blow and the waves began to bounce their boat around on the water.

Shortly before dawn, Jesus went out to the disciples, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they cried.

Jesus immediately spoke to them: “Don’t be afraid! Take courage. I am here!”

Peter spoke up, “Lord, if it is really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”

“Yes, come,” Jesus answered.

So, Peter climbed out of the boat and started walking on the water toward Jesus. But when he started looking around and saw the waves being blown about by the wind. He was afraid and he began to sink. “Lord, save me!” he cried.

Jesus reached out his hand and caught Peter. “Why did you doubt?” Jesus asked.

So, you see, even a grown-up fisherman like Simon Peter needed a hand from Jesus when it came to walking on the water. You and I may face some pretty rough times in our life, but as long as we keep our eyes on Jesus, he will always be there to give us a hand.

Father, help us to remember that you are always there when we need a helping hand. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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David’s Prayers

Theme: God knows your heart

Memory Verse: Psalms 17:6 I call to you, God, and you answer me. Listen to me now, and hear what I say.
 

What is prayer? How many of you like to talk? I know quite a few of you are big talkers. Prayer is talking to God. It’s telling Him what’s going on, asking for help, thanking and praising him and seeking forgiveness. Prayer is also about listening to God. Sometimes we talk too much about what we want and fail to listen to what God is telling us. Jeremiah 29:11-13 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Why do we pray? God already knows what is going to happen, He has already gone before us. But He wants us to talk to him because He wants a RELATIONSHIP with us. Think about your best friend. If you never talked with them, hung out with them or even looked at them, are they really your best friend? No. God wants to be our best friend. He wants us to talk with him and tell him our worries, our fears, and even funny things that happen to us. We can talk to God about everything!

Here’s what we know about prayer

  1. God wants us to know Him: He created us for a relationship with him. He wants to be our best friend
  2. 2. God really does answer prayer. God in his sovereignty chooses to use our prayers to accomplish his purposes, his will. So, God has ordained that certain things would happen in response to our prayer. Basically what we’re asking in prayer matters! This is so cool and should cause us to pray without ceasing or stopping!
  3. God loves us through prayer: We get to know God through prayer and He loves us through it. We feel closer to Him and that means we feel His love even greater.
  4. We love God through prayer: When we worship God through prayer, we tell Him we love him. We thank Him for everything He has done. Sometimes it can be hard to come up with the right words. We don’t always know what to say, but the Bible says the Holy Spirit speaks for us!

Philippians 4:6-7 says, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” God wants it all!

But, if you need help finding a way to pray, use your own hand:
Thumb: Praise God
Pointer: Confess your sins- tell him how you’ve messed up and ask forgiveness
Middle: Thank God
Ring: Pray for others
Pinky: Pray for yourself
Palm: Close
 
Our Bible story today is about a man named David. You remember David, don’t you? David was a shepherd boy that God made to become a king. He also slew the giant Goliath with a sling shot. David loved God with all his heart, but he didn’t always do what God wanted him to do. Sometimes, David had heart trouble. Oh, it wasn’t the kind of heart trouble you could hear with a stethoscope, but David knew he had heart trouble. He knew that he had sinned and done wicked and evil things in God’s sight. So, what did David do about his heart problem? He went to the One that he knew could fix it — he went to God. David prayed to God and said, “O God, I have sinned against you and I have done evil things in your sight. Create in me a clean heart, and give me a right spirit.”

Sometimes you and I have heart problems too. We might have some things in our heart that shouldn’t be there. Things like bitterness, anger, jealousy, selfishness, pride, and greed. When we come to church, everything may look great on the outside, but God may look inside and see that our heart isn’t right. When we know that we have a heart problem, we need to do what David did. We need to pray to God and say, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” Do you have some things in your heart that shouldn’t be there? I do! Let’s ask God to fix it!

Dear Father, we know that you can see what is in our heart and we know that there are some things there that shouldn’t be there. Create a clean heart in us, O God. Amen.

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X marks the spot

X Marks the Spot

Theme: We find our treasure at the cross.
 
Memory Verse: “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” Matthew 13:44 [NIV]
 

There was a time, when someone who had something of great value would often bury their treasure so that no one could find it and take it away. Of course, there was always the risk that one might forget where their treasure was buried, so to make sure that they would remember where it was, they would often make a map like this one. Usually they would mark the spot where the treasure was with an “X” like the one on this map. That is where we get the expression, “X marks the spot.”

Jesus once said, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and then hid again; in his joy he went and sold all that he had and bought that field.” If you would like to find the treasure that Jesus was talking about, perhaps the Bible could be the map that leads us to that treasure. The Bible has a lotc of information in it, but it is sometimes hard for us to understand, so how do you know exactly where the treasure is? That’s easy, because “X marks the spot.” (Hold up the cross at an angle so that it looks like the letter x.) Jesus died on the cross so that you and I could enter into the kingdom of heaven. When you look to the cross and put your trust in Jesus, the treasure will be yours.

To enter the kingdom of heaven is the greatest treasure one could ever desire. It is more precious than silver, gold, or jewels. That is why Jesus calls us to give up all that we have and follow him.

Dear Jesus, nothing we have can compare to life in the kingdom of heaven. Help us to place our trust in you, so that we may find that priceless treasure. In your name we pray. Amen.

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Jacob’s Ladder

Theme:  Jacob’s dream about a ladder. 

Memory Verse:  When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought ”Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.”  Genesis 28:16 

Today’s Bible lesson includes a really crazy dream, so pay close attention so you don’t miss it.  

Jacob had a dream about a ladder that reached up to heaven. Jacob started on a long journey to a town called Haran. When Jacob reached a certain place, he stopped to spend the night.  Jacob took a large stone and rested his head on it and went to sleep. Does that sound like a comfortable pillow to you? Not me!  

As he slept, Jacob had a dream.  Jacob’s dream, there was a ladder that reached from the ground all the way up to heaven. There were angels running up and down the ladder. Jacob looked and saw God himself standing at the top of the ladder. God spoke to Jacob and told him that He was going to bless him and his people and that He would watch over him and keep him wherever he went. 

When Jacob woke up he said, “Surely the Lord is in this place.” Then Jacob took the stone he had used for a pillow and poured oil on it. He named the place Bethel, which means the house of the Lord.  

This is a wonderful story of how God blessed Jacob, but it is much more than that. It is also a picture of what Jesus has done for you and me. Jesus came down to earth to make a way for you and me to get to heaven. Jesus is the way, the only way, for us to get to heaven. 

Dear God, thank You for providing a way for us to get to heaven. If there are some here today who have not found the way, we pray that they will find Your way today. In Jesus’ name, amen. 

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Hide and Seek

 

Theme: Wherever we go, God is there.

Memory Verse:  I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night— but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. Psalms 139:11-12 (NLT)

 

Do you think anyone ever tries to play “Hide and Seek” with God? Do you remember the story of Adam and Eve? After they had eaten the fruit that God had told them not to eat, they heard God walking in the garden. They were ashamed of what they had done and didn’t want God to find them. What did they do? They ran and hid among the trees. Did God find them? Sure he did. You can’t hide from God.

Do you remember the story of Jonah? God told him to go to Nineveh and tell the people there to repent of their sin. What did Jonah do? He ran from God and tried to hide. Did God find him? He sure did! And you will remember that Jonah found himself… in the belly of a great fish!

The Bible tells us that God chose David to be the king of Israel because he was “a man after God’s own heart.” (Acts 13:22) But even David did things that did not please God. There were probably times when David wished he could hide from God, but he knew it was impossible. Listen to the words of David. (Psalms 139:1-12 – NLT)

We can’t hide from God. He knows all about us. He knows what we are going to say before we say it and what we are going to do before we do it. It is foolish to play “Hide and Seek” with God. Besides, the reason God comes seeking is because he loves us and wants to bless us. Why would we want to hide from his blessing?

Father, we are thankful that even though you know everything about us, you love us anyway. Amen.

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Parable of the Sower

We have two videos this week:  the first is for preschoolers, the second for our older kids.  

The Parable of the Sower

Theme: Having hearts receptive to God’s teaching.
 
Scripture: Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
 

Memory Verse: “But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” Matthew 13:23 (NIV)

As Jesus traveled around the countryside with his disciples, large crowds often gathered around him to hear him teach. He often taught them by using parables. A parable is a story that Jesus made up to help people understand what he wanted to teach them.

Our Bible lesson today is one of the parables of Jesus. It is called The Parable of the Sower. It was a story about a man who planted seeds in the field. Listen to the story that Jesus told.

A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he scattered the seed, some fell on the hard path nearby and the birds came and ate it up.

As the farmer continued to plant the seeds, some of them fell on soil that was full of rocks. There was not much dirt around the rocks so the seeds started to sprout and grow the very next day. The only problem was, there was little dirt, so the plants didn’t put down roots which would help them become strong and healthy. In the afternoon, the sun was very hot so the plants that had started to grow in the rocky soil withered and died because they had no root in the ground.

Some of the other seeds fell on soil that had been taken over with weeds and thorns. The weeds and thorns grew faster and taller than the plants from the seeds, so they choked out the plants that the sower wanted to grow.

Finally, some seed fell on the good soil that had been plowed, fertilized, and weeded to make a good place for the seed to grow. Those seeds made healthy plants and produced good fruit.

This is the lesson that Jesus wanted his disciples to learn, and it is also the lesson that he wants us to learn today. The seed that the sower was planting in the story represents the teachings of God’s Word. Our heart represents the soil where the sower planted the seeds.

Sometimes our Sunday School teacher or our Minister is trying plant the teaching of God’s love in our heart. If our heart is hard and filled with anger and bitterness, the teaching falls on hard ground and never grows, just like the seed that fell on the hard ground in the parable that Jesus told.

There are other times when we hear the Word and we get excited about it, but then our excitement fades away because our understanding is too shallow. That’s the way it was with the seed that fell on the rocky soil.

Sometimes we hear the Word and we believe what it says, but we want to keep on doing the same things we have been doing. That is like planting the seed in with a bunch of weeds. I’m sure you can guess what happens. The weeds will soon take over!

The last seed is the best, it fell on the good ground. If you learn from what you hear in Sunday School and church, the seed that Jesus plants in your heart will grow. Your life will produce good fruit just like Jesus intended. You will be helping others to grow in their knowledge and understanding of God’s love.

Our Father, help us to be like the good soil in our lesson today. Help us to listen to your Word and grow up to be the kind of boys and girls you want us to be. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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