Faithlife
Faithlife

vbs 2004 - Family Message

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Fathers will tell you their #1 desire is to provide for and protect their children.

 

The most significant provision, the most effective protection, is to model and raise up a family in relational wholeness. A father who is instrumental in meeting the relational needs of his family helps Christ become real to his children.  

 

4 Fears Every Child Has:

I can’t be myself and still be loved.*

You won’t give me what I really need.*

You won’t understand what I’m feeling.*

You won’t always be there for me.*

 

But how do we, as parents, learn to be good models? We must first gain a fresh encounter with the relevant Christ ourselves.

 

When you extend love to your family, that love "comes from God... [For] if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love has been brought to full expression through us." (I John 4:7, 12 NASB).

 

Based on what each group discovered, identify four relational needs we have that Christ’s

coming to earth demonstrates.

• The need to be __accepted__ unconditionally. (Read Genesis 1:27 and Romans 8:29.)

• The need to be __loved__ sacrificially. (Read 1 Peter 1:18-19 and Romans 3:25-26.)

• The need to be __understood__ intimately.   (Read Hebrews 4:14-15.)

• The need to be __related__ to continually. (Read Hebrews 13:5-6 and Matthew 28:20.)

Summary

The Incarnation is God saying, “I want a relationship with you. A relationship that accepts

you without condition, loves you sacrificially, understands you intimately, and relates to

you continually.” That is a relevant Christ!

GROUP ACTIVITY 2

Say, “We know Christ came to this earth as a sacrificial means of saving us. But what

does that mean to us relationally? Let’s break up into four groups and each group

take one of the four sets of questions and discuss the answers. Then we’ll come back

together to share those answers.”

Assign each of the four small groups a set of questions found in the workbook on page 54,

“Questions about the Relational Meaning of the Incarnation.”

Questions about the

Relational Meaning of the Incarnation

Break into four groups and answer these questions and then come back together to share

your answers.

It is understandable that God unconditionally accepted Adam and Eve; they were

his perfect creation.

1. But why would God unconditionally accept us, since we all

have sinned? (Read Genesis 1:27 and Romans 8:29.)

__Because he created us in his image and he wants and plans to restore us to his

likeness so we can live in perfect relationship with him.__

2. A. God loves us and wants a relationship with us, but what did that relationship cost

God? (Read 1 Peter 1:18-19 and Romans 3:25-26.)

__It cost God the life of his only Son.__

B. If you were to wear a price tag indicating your worth to God, what would it read?

__Jesus__

3. A. God knows everything, but what else does Christ taking on human form tell us?

(Read Hebrews 4:14-15.)

__He understands our weaknesses.__

B. What does that do for us? (Read Hebrews 4:16.)

__Receive his mercy and find grace when we need it.__

Leader’s Guide / Belief Matters 45 00 Belief Matters

4. A. One of the greatest of human fears is being alone—totally alienated from everyone

and everything. What did God promise that addresses that fear? (Read Hebrews

13:5-6 and Matthew 28:20.)

__A love relationship in which he would never leave us.__

B. Since Christ is no longer on earth, how can his promise be fulfilled? (Read John

14:16-17 and Romans 5:5.)

__He promised to send the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts/lives.__

————— —-————

Based on what each group discovered, identify four relational needs we have that Christ’s

coming to earth demonstrates.

• The need to be __accepted__ unconditionally.

• The need to be __loved__ sacrificially.

• The need to be __understood__ intimately.

• The need to be __related__ to continually.

Summary

The Incarnation is God saying, “I want a relationship with you. A relationship that accepts

you without condition, loves you sacrificially, understands you intimately, and relates to

you continually.” That is a relevant Christ!

CLOSING THE SESSION

Say, “Someone has said that Jesus Christ is not some distant historical figure or hero

who died on a cross. He is as real as your heartbeat, as relevant as your closest

friend, and as ‘right now’ as this very moment.

“This week’s workbook assignment will reinforce his relevance to your life

and further help you convey a real and relevant Christ to your family.”

Close your time in prayer.

Belief Matters 00 46 Belief Matters / Leader’s Guide

Reproducible Handout # 5

(for Session 4)

The Greatest Story Ever Told:

The Great Reconnection

Reader # 1

“In a Middle Eastern land many years ago, where a beautiful river branched out to form four

other rivers, was a pristine garden. Lush tropical trees and plants grew delicious fruit of every

taste and texture. A paradise of grasses and flowers under a canopy of clouds and sky must

have painted a breathtaking canvas. Imagine musical birds and sparkling waterfalls producing

a soundtrack of sheer delight. It was perfection itself, the Garden of Eden where the first

man and the first woman lived in perfect harmony with each other and with their Creator,

the trinity of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

“From the first moments of their existence, this first couple—Adam and Eve—enjoyed

a close relationship with their Creator. They talked to him just as they talked to each other.

They walked with him in the garden. They laughed together, sharing the delights of paradise—

reveling in the gazelle’s grace, the eagle’s soaring strength, the sparrow’s playfulness.

“They communed with God as a dear friend and loving Father, for they were a family.

And through this relationship they had everything they needed. They had love, because their

love came from God. They had joy, because their joy came from God. They had peace,

because their peace came from God. They had no hunger, greed, fear, or pain, because

God’s holy presence permeated the wonderful garden. They were a perfect family.”

Reader #2

“But then something terrible happened. A rebellious angel named Lucifer plotted in hatred to

ruin the perfect family and world God had created. Lucifer, who had been cast out of heaven

because he wanted to rule his own kingdom without God, persuaded the first human couple

that they, too, should rule their own world without God. So he deceived them into believing

that they knew better than God. He convinced them to selfishly and sinfully choose their own

ways rather than trusting in God’s ways.

“Adam and Eve’s sinful choice to reject God and his ways formed a dreadful wall—a

wall of death—that separated them from their loving Creator and Father God. Gone were their

shared moments of intimacy and happiness. Gone were the trills of laughter they enjoyed

together. Gone was their close relationship.

“From that point on, God watched in grief and sadness as children—his children—

came into the world he created without knowing him and feeling his love. He watched them

every moment of the day, but they could not feel his interest. He saw them follow the sinful

path of Adam and Eve that would keep every child, teenager, and adult from knowing and

feeling his love.”

Leader’s Guide Belief Matters 00 74 Belief Matters Leader’s Guide

Reader #3

“The perfect and holy Creator, who knew no sin, watched as his sinful children separated

from his very presence. They were now disconnected from the only source that could sustain

life, love, joy, and peace. He watched as his children had to suffer the agony of war and

hunger, disease and heartache, which could last forever and ever. The sin separated God from

the cherished family he had created, and it broke his heart. And at that moment when his

heart broke for his children, he already knew how he would respond.

“And this—though it is miraculous—is no fairy tale. It is absolutely true.

“God wanted so much to reconnect to his children and restore a relationship with

them—with you—but God, being holy, could not relate to sin. So he devised a plan. He sent

his Son into our world to become one of us—a child himself, a human baby—for you. He

who was God came to earth—in a virgin’s womb, as the prophets foretold, as the shepherds

learned—to cancel the curse so you could know, so you could feel his love for you.’

Reader #4

“The sin of the first couple and your sin caused death, and the prince of darkness, Satan

himself, held the power of death over you. Only one thing could cancel the curse of sin: A

sinless human had to be willing to sacrifice himself for you. So God’s Son, perfect and sinless

in every way, became human. As the Bible records, ‘Only as a human being could he die,

and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death’

(Hebrews 2:14).

“He did it all for you. Though you sinned against him, he loved and accepted you.

That is the meaning of the Incarnation. It shows you how much he wants a relationship with

you.

“And that kind of relationship is available to anyone who responds to his offer of a

never-ending, always-with-you love relationship by believing and trusting in Christ as the

Son of God, your Savior, Redeemer, ‘reconnector,’ and friend.

“Not the end, but the beginning if you trust in the Incarnate One.”

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