In our story last week, God asked the Israelites to obey Him even when it didn’t make sense, and Joshua and his men marched, blew horns, shouted and watched God collapse the walls of Jericho! In today's lesson, it happens again! We see God asking his children to obey and when they do, He can act on their behalf! He chose Gideon to lead the Israelites to victory. In a very unusual battle, Gideon wins with a very small number of warriors and another strange battle plan. God wanted to be sure the people of Israel realized that only the power of God delivered them and not any strength of their own. In our own lives, we need to remember that obedience to God frees us up to depend on God instead of trying to handle things on our own. Will you promise to do 2 things this week? First sing Jesus Can do Anything from this Sunday's wall activities often!! Second, watch this week as God steps in to lead and direct you and then win your battles!
That's some battle plan, God! Walk around...play some music...yell. As Israel begins to conquer Canaan, it runs into a major obstacle – Jericho. Jericho was a fortified city with a strong fortified wall around it and secure gates. Archeological digs have found sites where they believe Jericho was located. It appears that, according to one archeologist, it might have even had 2 walls around it; the outer wall being six feet thick and the inner wall being 12 feet thick. Houses were even built into the walls of the city (see Joshua 2:15).
Well, obviously, God’s battle plan seemed a bit unorthodox. But because of the way He had Israel conquer Jericho, there was a fear of the LORD and the Israelites that spread throughout the land of Canaan. God made the armies of Israel strong and successful as they came to occupy the land. It's a good thing Joshua listened to the bizarre directions that God had given him for taking the city of Jericho. We need to be obedient to God even though sometimes God calls us to do things that seem strange at first. God’s ways are not our ways yet they’re always good and right and best (and many times miraculous)!
What is your favorite part of Christmas? I bet you will say "Gifts!" Gifts have been a part of Christmas for a long time! It started with a group of wise men that traveled from the east, following a star in the sky. They were seeking the new King that had been born. They brought gifts to Jesus, who by the time they arrived, was around two years old. These gifts were symbolic: they brought gold for a king, incense used by priests in the temple, and myrrh, an embalming spice—this King and High Priest was born to die. We continue the tradition of gift giving still today. But as we think about Christmas, we must always keep our eyes on the greatest gift ever given: Jesus! He came wrapped not in paper, but in strips of cloth. He came not to fulfill our wishes, but to give us eternal life! Today we will focus on the gifts of Christmas & talk about how we can receive the Gift of Christmas best by giving! In response to the best Gift-Giver we give Him our hearts & complete authority of our lives then listen for ways we can become gift-givers too! Like you do 26 times a year! THANK YOU!
Hello beautiful teachers! I hope that you are having a wonderful week as we prepare our hearts to learn and teach the wonderful birth of Jesus. What an amazing season of Joy we are in right now – Christmas is by far, my family’s favorite holiday. The tree, the decorations, the smell of warm cookies baking on the weekend; all signs of the Christmas holiday at our house. One of my favorite decorations is my Willow Tree Nativity scene. When the kids were much smaller, I didn’t put this decoration out because I didn’t want it to get broken. I also used to move the decorations around to make them look perfect once the kiddos were done “decorating”. In their minds, putting every single ornament on 5 chosen branches at the very bottom of the tree was perfect. I only did this for one year though - I found myself stressed and worried about things that weren't important.
I work daily to keep my focus on what really matters - realizing that Christmas isn’t about a perfect tree or keeping my Nativity scene in a box. It is about celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ and the pure joy that this should bring to everyone! I try to remember daily the reason for why we are celebrating – to see the perfection in our Lord versus perfection in everything around us. No matter what we are going through, we can always turn to a perfect God in this imperfect world. My prayer this week is that we are all able to remember this – even through the hustle and bustle of life and through the Christmas season. We put too many unrealistic expectations on ourselves – God does not. He just wants us to believe that Jesus is His son who came to seek and save the lost and to celebrate and share this wonderful news!!