Faith is trusting in what you can’t see because of what you can see.
Key Question: What are things you believe that you can’t see? Faith can be abstract for kids who still think pretty concretely about life. But we believe all sorts of things are true even though we can’t see or know for sure. From the chairs we use to the love our mom gives us, we choose to believe every day. We pray that kids will start to see how they can believe in Jesus too!
We start off the month in Hebrews 11:1–12:3 where the author recounts the ways heroes from the past looked forward in faith towards Jesus. They trusted God even though they didn’t have all the answers or know exactly how God was leading.
Bottom Line: You can know Jesus even though you’ve never seen Him. As the Old Testament heroes looked forward in faith, we look backwards in faith. We can believe in Jesus because of what we see around us and learn from the experience of God’s faithfulness throughout history. We hope that kids will start to understand the faith they can have in Jesus.
Key Question: How does God try to get your attention? God might not use a blinding light on the road to get our attention, but God does try to help us know He still has a plan for us. We hope through this question, preteens will realize the ways that God tries to get our attention. From the people God has put in our lives to the passages we read in our Bible, God uses all sorts of ways to help us have faith.
In week two, we head to Acts 9:1-9 and meet a man named Saul, also known as Paul. Paul was on his way to arrest and persecute followers of Jesus. But Jesus had other plans for Him. Jesus stopped Paul on his journey and told him about his new mission. In a moment Paul went from believing that Jesus was a false-teacher to believing that Jesus was the Son of God and Savior of the world.
Bottom Line: Knowing Jesus changes the way you see everything. When we put our faith in Jesus, it changes everything. We’ll see people as God sees them. We’ll discover a personal mission to join God in His rescue plan for the world. Jesus really lived and died and rose again. Believing in that, impacts our entire life.
Key Question: What are you afraid of? One of the best ways to work through your fear is to name what makes you scared. We pray that as kids start to understand their fears, they’ll experience the peace that can come from knowing Jesus.
In Acts 9:10-31 we see what happens after Jesus meets Paul on the road to Damascus. God came to Ananias, a follower of Jesus living in Damascus. Ananias knew Paul’s reputation, but he trusted that God would take care of him. He might have been scared, but he trusted that Jesus could change anyone, including a man like Paul. He even helped Paul escape Damascus when some of the religious leaders plotted to kill Paul.
Bottom Line: Knowing Jesus can help you face your fears. When we believe that Jesus conquered death itself, we can believe that Jesus can do anything. Knowing Jesus gives us a peace that passes all understanding. We might fear something from time to time, but we can put our trust in Jesus and know that we can face anything when He’s with us.
Key Question: What are some ways people are different from each other? Preteens are very aware of how they are different from others in their life. Sometimes those differences get in the way of how we show friendship to others. When we follow Jesus, we can see others the way He sees them. Our differences are something to celebrate as God brings us all together though Jesus.
We finish the month in Acts 10 as we pick up Peter’s story. Through a pretty crazy dream and encounter with a non-Jewish follower of Jesus, Peter learns that the message of Jesus if for everyone. Peter had to change his mind about Gentiles because God was now including them in what He was doing in the world through Jesus.
Bottom Line: Knowing Jesus changes the way you see others. We might not always get along with everyone, but Jesus can help us see each other the way God sees them. God loves each and every one of us just as He’s made us. We should love and accept each other just as God loves and accepts us.