The Heart of the Father

“Communication” or “the way we interact with someone” (this is done by talking, facial expressions, hand gestures, and in our generation today we do communications through Facebook, sending SMS, voice call and even video call). The way we communicate with someone determines how we value them.

Examples:

We can talk freely with our friends and laugh about funny and silly things.

When we talk to our parents, teachers or someone older than us we always talk with respect.

When we talk to God, we talk through “Prayer”

“Prayer” is the way on how we talk to God when we thank Him for good grades, nice toys, and all the blessings He has given us. In the same way prayer is the way when we ask God for something that we wanted.

“Prayer is the way on how we talk to God”

We can learn through the Bible that Jesus talks to God the Father through prayer. In fact, Jesus taught us how to talk to God the Father in our prayers. Let us all read Matthew 6:9-13

A. God’s Word

Matthew 6:5-13

9 “This is how you should pray. Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy.
10 May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today the food we need,
12 and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
13 And don’t let us yield to temptation but rescue us from the evil one.

B. Teaching

As we talk to Father God in our prayer, we are looking into the good heart of God who hears all our prayers. By knowing His heart, we get to know His character as our Father which Jesus revealed by teaching us how to communicate with God through prayer.

Today, we are going to get to know the character of God the Father by looking into His heart through our prayer.

1. Key Point 1: God the Father is Powerful

“Power is the capability to do something.”

Who among you watch Marvel movies? Alright, the characters in different movies have their super powers that enables them to fight the bad guys. (Side note: But among them there One and Only Super Hero that saved the World, and His name is Jesus)

Most kids consider their father as “super heroes” or “super daddy” because of the strength that they can see from them. Our fathers are strong. They can lift us up and carry us in their arms. We often ride on their back and ask them to run around while they are carrying us.

What does the Bible teach about Father God’s being Powerful?

9 This is how you should pray. Our Father in heaven, may Your name be kept holy. 10 May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:9-10 NLT)

Have you noticed how Jesus addressed God the Father as “Our” this means that we share one Father (with Jesus) who is in heaven.

Father God is so powerful (Jeremiah 10:12 NIRV “But God used His power to make the earth”) that by His spoken words He was able to create everything. In Genesis 1:1-2 NLT it is written “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

“But God used His power to make the earth” (Jeremiah 10:12 NIRV)

There are a lot of stories in the Bible where God showed his power. God even parted the Red Sea so that His sons and daughters, the Israelites can escape the chasing Egyptians.

Guide Question:

1. We all know that God is powerful, and He created everything that we can see around us. Name 3 of God’s creation which you like the most. Share why you like it.

2. God the Father is Provider

Can you still recall a moment when you ask something from your father? Like a new toy, a bicycle, a chocolate, or even a day in an amusement park?

We all grow up knowing that our father wakes early in the morning because he prepares to go to work. But have you ever wondered why he is doing all this thing? It is because he needs to provide for you.

Jesus showed how praying to our Daddy God connects us to him not because we need something but because we know that is our Great Provider (Jehovah Jireh)

10 Give us today the food we need (Matthew 6:11 NLT)

I remember another story in the Bible when it was evening, and there were a lot of people following Jesus. So, Jesus told his disciples to look for food, but they said that there were no nearby store and even if there is, they need to spend big amount of money to feed the people. Until one child offered his 5 loaves and 2 fishes. Let us look into the Bible what happened.

20 They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of left (Matthew 14:20 NLT)

Guide Questions:

1. Can you still recall the time when you asked from your father something? What was that thing? Did he give it to you?

2. What are the things you are asking Father God right this time? Share it to your life group and find a partner to pray for it.

3. God the Father is Protector

Our father is our life time protector. A “protector” is “someone with the ability to keep us secured against any harm or danger”

A “protector” is “someone with the ability to keep us secured against any harm or danger”

This photo of the father protecting his son went viral because of the great love of the father to protect the son from getting wet because of the rain.

This is the same love is what God is giving to you.

13 And don’t let us yield to temptation but rescue us from the evil one (Matthew 6:13 NLT)

Whenever King David is in trouble, he writes a Psalms to God to show how God protects him despite there are a lot of troubles. In one of his Psalm, he wrote:

2 “The Lord is my protector; He is my strong fortress. My God is my protection, and in Him I am safe…” (Psalm 18:2 GNT)

Guide Questions:

1. Your father loves you so much that’s the reason why he protects you. What are the usual things that your father protects you from? Do you follow him? If yes, why? If no, why?

2. What are the things that makes you sad or worry? Share it to your group so you can pray for one another.

C. A Short Story About Father

Three boys are in the school yard bragging about their fathers. The first boy says, “My dad writes a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it poem, and they give him 50$”

The second boy says, “That’s nothing. My dad writes a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a song, they give him $100”

The third boy says, “I beat both of you. My dad inspired other men to write down on pieces of paper. Those pieces of paper is what we now call “Bible” – His name is God!

Father God is a Forgiving Father

God’s character does not stop in just being a Powerful Father, a Great Provider and an All-Time Protector but He extends His love by forgiving our sins through Jesus Christ who save us all by dying in the cross for our sins.

12 and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. (Matthew 6:12 NLT)

Looking into the heart of the Father, we can see that His Power, Provisions and Protections are not because He is able but rather to keep us in dwelling in His Presence to satisfy us. Satisfaction is knowing who He is and His plan for our lives, especially His salvation plan for us.

Kids Teaching – Empowered to Serve

Objective
God empowers us to do things that we cannot believe we can do, as we act on the love that He has put in our hearts by serving others.

God’s Word
If you speak, you should do it like one speaking God’s very words. If you serve, you should do it with the strength God provides. Then in all things God will be praised through Jesus Christ. Give him the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 4:11 NIRV

Memory Verse:
Carry each other’s heavy loads. If you do, you will give the law of Christ its full meaning.
Galatians 6:2 NIRV

Teaching

Last week we learned all about being empowered to grow.  We learned that we have to 1) get to know of Him before we 2) get to grow in Him. And that He is the one who is giving is the power to grow more in Him.  He is the one who will give us the enormous love in our hearts that will overflow into every aspect of our lives, and into everyone whom we will meet.

This week, we are going to learn about what to do with all that overflow of love.

But before that, a video (that we didn’t get to see last week).

(Show the video on low volume, and talk over it.) Lobsters are fascinating.  They are the only animals with a shell whose bodies grow faster than their shells.  That means they get too big for their shells, and when happens, they have to do something, sometimes bashing their bodies against the rocks and corals because it has to choice but to burst out because it is just growing too much.

What do they have to do with serving?  I showed this to you because the fast growing lobster body is like the way that God is making our hearts and spirits grow, all the way until it gets to the point where we have no choice but let out that love, let it out in a grand overflow.

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Until you have no choice but to do something.  And where do you think that love will go?

But we’re not lobsters.  We’re not volcanoes either.  (Look at your seatmate to make sure though.)  When we have so much love in our hearts, as much as the Lord can give, and you know that He can give quite a lot, it comes out of us when we serve others.

Carry each other’s heavy loads. If you do, you will give the law of Christ its full meaning.  Galatians 6:2 NIRV

There are lots of places where it says in the Bible that we should be helping one another.  Jesus Himself came and showed us how we should be with each other, telling us to love one another as we love ourselves.

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Love your neighbor as you love yourself.  Mark 12:31a NIRV

You see, you can’t say that you are grown in Jesus if you don’t love like He does.  And you can’t say that you love like Jesus if you don’t serve like He does.

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It’s the natural progression.  We love, therefore we grow, therefore we serve.  There’s no other way out for that love that is inside us.  Because the love that comes from God is an active, dynamic kind of love.  It is the kind of love that yearns to be let out, yearns to be used, yearns to be moved.

To yearn means to crave, or to want very very much.

And so that love comes out in the way that we serve others.  How else can it be expressed?

It comes out in our kindness, in the way we speak to others.  It comes out in the way we help others.  It comes out in our gentleness, in our self-control.  It comes out in our humility, in our general desire to be good.

Now these things, I know that they’re very easy to remember, here in church, where it’s bright and happy, and there’s games and singing.  But I know that it’s not always easy to choose to be good.  It might be that you’re tired.  Or busy.  It might be that you just have too many things to do.  Or that you’re just plain lazy.

But God knows your heart.  He knows when the reason is valid, when the intention to serve is still there, but that you just need to rest.

And when your heart intention is right, God will anoint you, He will give you the strength and resources, He will equip you with what you need.  He will fill in what is needed.  He will empower you to serve.

That’s the challenge for us today: to say yes to Jesus once again and promise to be a servant for Him.  And then choosing to receive the empowerment that comes from Him to carry out this servanthood.

(The worship team begins the worship with the chorus.)

Worship
Heart of a Servant – City Harvest
Build My Life – Bethel Music

Lifegroup Discussion
Read 1 Peter 4:11.

  1. What are your top 3 favorite chores to do around the house?
  2. What are your top 3 least favorite chores to do around the house?
  3. Have you ever done something for someone else that was difficult to do?  How did you feel about it afterwards?
  4. In your notebooks, write down your family’s names, and think of something you would like to do for them within the day.
  5. If you can choose, what ministry would you like to serve in in our church?

Teaching Slides here.

Kids Teaching – Empowered to Grow

Objective
God empowers us to move beyond the basics of Christian faith, and grow up in Christ, in a way that we can’t even imagine.

God’s Word
A Call to Spiritual Growth
Hebrews 5:11-6:3 NLT

Memory Verse:
It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow.
1 Corinthians 3:7 NLT

Teaching
This month we are talking about Empowerment in Christ, and this week, our topic is Empowered to Grow.

A Call to Spiritual Growth
Hebrews 5:11-6:3

Paul wrote this letter, and he was very funny in the analogy.  When you read this during your discussion later, he says two things that are amusing to me.  The first is that, he calls the people dull (the equivalent of the bad S-word) and not willing to listen.  And the second that is that he compared people to babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food.  It’s very funny, you should read it over and over again.

To grow means to undergo natural development by increasing in size and changing physically over a period of time.

(What does it mean to grow physically?  Height, weight, size, lenght, girth, etc. Show chart, growth over time)

All living things grow (bigger, taller, wider, longer, etc.) as time passes. Look at the person beside you. Does he or she look like a living thing? Then for sure, they have grown through the years.

Apart from physical growth, there’s mental growth as well.  As kids we are sometimes told to grow up! Especially when we do something that our parents or guardians think we should be doing better.

(Have you ever heard that from your parents or teachers?  Grow up, insert-name-here!  You’re not a baby anymore!)

And then, here comes my favorite part: spiritual growth.  You can also grow in Christ.

1 Know of Him

“And this is the way to have eternal life—*to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ*, the one you sent to earth.” (John 17:3 NLT)

We start with knowing of Him — that He is the way, the truth, and the life.  We recieve Him in our hearts, and promise to love Him.

(Who here has Jesus in their hearts raise your Bible!  If you don’t have a Bible, raise your pinky finger, so that you will pinky swear you will have a Bible next week!)

After the knowing, comes the growing.  You know of Him, now you can grow in Him.

But of course this type of growth is not measured in height or weight or size.  (You have to be this tall to read the Bible — not!)

This growth is measured in increase.  (Say it with me, “increase”.)

In other words, you can also use: “better”, “more”, “further”.

You see to grow in Christ means to increase in your knowledge of Him, your love for Him, and in obedience to Him.

And the wonderful thing is that it is Jesus Himself who will bring about this growth.

“I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but *it was God who made it grow*.” (1 Corinthians 3:6-7 NLT)

It was God who made it grow.

2 Grow in Him

God is the source of your growth. As you walk in the power of the Holy Spirit, read the Bible, pray, tell people about Christ and spend time with other believers, God will be at work in you producing fruitfulness and maturity.

Which is not to say that you don’t do anything to help along your spiritual growth.  This is where discipline comes in, when you put in the time and effort to read your Bible and pray everyday.  This is where the self-control and patience comes in, when you remember your Christlikeness even when everyone else around you is just so annoying and loud and testing you and tempting you to sin.

“Better to be patient than powerful; better to have self-control than to conquer a city.” (Proverbs 16:32 NLT)

(If you want to grow physically, what can you do to help your body?  Eat vegetables, get more naps in the afternoons, sleep long at night, etc.  It’s the same thing.  If you want grow in Christ, you can also do some things to help you along in your journey.)

And the great thing about it is that when it is God, when it comes from God, when He is the one moving, He moves with a supernatural power.  He works at a rate that we can’t imagine.  He can make things happen in your life so wonderfully, not even any of those superhero powers in the movies can compare.

That’s why we say, Empowered to Grow!  With a power that comes from Jesus Himself!

And when we grow in Christ, we can surpass whatever barriers we can think of.  You can have more faith that you’ve ever had before.  You can hear from Him more clearly than you’ve ever had before.  You can worship more deeply than you’ve ever had before.

Now we have to talk about lobsters.  Don’t worry, it’s all connected.

Lobsters are the only animals with a shell whose bodies grow faster than their shells.  That means they get too big for their shells, and when happens, they get rid of that shell, sometimes bashing their bodies against the rocks and corals just to get it off so that they can grow a new shell to fit.

I want to have that kind of faith!  I want to grow so much in Christ, that it overflows out of me, in my worship, in my serving Him, in my life.  And if I have to get rid of my shell, or whatever it is that’s keeping me from growing in Him and loving Him more that I have ever imagined, then I’m going to get rid of my shell and grow and grow and grow!

When I started out writing this teaching, I thought I would play with that word GROW, and think if acronyms that would work, and I came up with several.  Obviously, I was inspired:

  • God reveals our worth
  • God reshapes our weaknesses
  • God rules our world
  • God removes our worries
  • God renews our wisdom
  • God requires our work
  • God rejoices in our worship

But right now, let’s focus that last one.  God Rejoices in Our Worship, and when we are empowered to grow, we have an empowered worship as well, is that an Amen?  Then let’s stand up and worship God, and say yes God, I want to know You more, I want to grow in You.  Let’s worship.

Worship
I Love You Jesus (Children’s Prayer)
New Wine (Hillsong Worship)

Lifegroup Discussion
Read Hebrews 5:11-6:3 verse by verse.  Encourage lively reading.

  1. What can you say about Hebrews 5:11?  Why do you think Paul used these words? (Show them the NLT version, and lead them into a discussion about how even before, people “don’t seem to listen”).
  2. (Fold a big piece of paper in half, lengthwise, just one for your group.  On the first column, get suggestions from the group one by one, and write down things that babies and young kids do that kids their age don’t do anymore.)
  3. (On the other column, write down things that they do now that they have grown, that they couldn’t do before.  Lead them into thinking of their day to day activities at home, in school, and in church.)
  4. Do you remember when you first received Jesus? (Encourage them to think about the date carefully, and write it down in their notebook or Bible.  It is an important date.)
  5. What do you know about Jesus now that you didn’t know before?
  6. Are there still things in the Bible that you don’t understand?  Think of three questions and submit to the teacher.
  7. Can you think of other acronyms for the word GROW?
  8. What is your favorite worship song?

Teaching Slides here.

Mothers in the Gospel: Jochebed’s Bravery

Objective:
To teach children the value of being bravely obedient to God, and having sustaining faith in Him, through the life of Jochebed, the mother of Moses.

God’s Word:
Exodus 2:1-10 NIRV

Memory Verse:
Be on your guard. Remain strong in the faith. Be brave.
1 Corinthians 16:13

Teaching:
This month we will dedicate four weeks to learning about famous mommies in the Bible. These are women whom God called to be mothers — leaders in their households, bearer of children, daughters of God. We will study their lives, and by their experiences and examples, we will see what God wants us to learn from them.

This week, we will be discussing Jochebed (Jo-ke-bed). (Can you say that out loud?) She was also Moses’ mother. Who is Moses’ mother? Who is Jochebed?)

“To Amram she bore Aaron, Moses and their sister Miriam.”
Numbers 26:59b

From Numbers 26:59 we learn that Jochebed was married to Amram, and they had two children, Meriam and Aaron. At that time, the Pharaoh leader of Egypt was getting nervous about how big the Hebrew population was becoming. He became so scared that they would one day rise up and rebel against him, that he ordered all Hebrew baby boys killed.

But then Jochebed became pregnant, and gave birth to Moses. Now she knew that if anyone finds out about her new born baby boy, the entire family would be in big trouble. She knew she had to do something.

It’s a safe assumption to say that a lot of the Hebrews probably did kill off their babies. Maybe there was even a reward out for anyone who reports newborn baby boys, who knows? By this time, some of them have been tempted into idol worship, bowing to the gods of the Egyptians, and starting to follow their ways. They might have forgotten Jehovah God.

But Amram and Jochebed were strong in their faith during a time when many Israelites had become idolatrous. They knew that God was a covenant-making, promise-keeping God who provides and protects. And so when Moses was born, Jochebed hid him. She was able to hide Moses from the authorities for three months.

1 Be brave to trust

Our first key point today is a reminder for us to trust in God. Do you know that it takes a certain amount of bravery to put your trust in something? You could be the oldest, wisest, strongest Christian there is, you never miss your daily devotions, you go to church and life group and prayer nights and serve and praise and worship God with all your heart, and still (still!) two simple words can bring you down. Do you know what those two words are?

What if.

What if I fall? What if I fail? What if I don’t get it? What if I’m wrong? What if I lose? What if I die?

What if, what if, what if???

Jochebed might have had questions in her head at that time, we will never know. (When I meet her in heaven maybe I’ll ask her.) Let’s see, she might have been thinking, what if he cries out, and the neighbors hear? What if someone goes to their house? What if there was a surprise inspection? What if someone in town remembers that she was just pregnant and asks to see the baby to make sure that it wasn’t boy? There are so many areas for failure, so many challenges that she had to overcome.

But she pushed through her what-ifs and bravely trusted God in the most difficult decision that she could make for her son. It was literally life and death, not just for Moses, but probably for her and her entire family. It was a king’s decree after all, that they were all blatantly ignoring.

But instead of fear, she chose faith. She chose to be brave to trust in God no matter what.

2 Be brave to act

The second thing we learn from Jochebed in this story is the way that she acted on her faith. Yes, she trusted God, but she didn’t stop at just trusting Him in her heart. That’s simply where she started. She continued to be an amazing woman, a courageous mother, when she pushed through with her plan and actually went ahead and did it.

And it’s a very dramatic plan, wasn’t it? The optics are awesome: a baby in a basket, woven out of grass, floating on a river. What amazing bravery to actually hear this message from God, and follow through with it!

She didn’t just sit back and say, God will do the rest. She didn’t stay inside her house and just pray that she didn’t get caught. She had drive, endurance, courage! She did all that she could so that her baby would be saved! She sent her daughter to follow the baby down the river, who by the way, was so clever as to actually suggest her own mother as a caregiver to the baby. These women are awesome. Wow Mom indeed.

(Come to think of it, all the women in this story rock. Even the princess, who ignored her own father’s law and listened to her maternal instincts to take care of a crying, abandoned baby when the need arose.)

“faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead”
James 2:17b NIV

James 2:17 says that faith without action is dead. The love of God that is within us has to be activated in order to become real love, Godly love. But we have to be brave to make it so.

Be brave

“Be on your guard. Remain strong in the faith. Be brave.”
1 Corinthians 16:13

This week through the life of Jochebed, we are reminded to be brave. To stand for our faith, and act out our love. To replace our what-ifs to God-wills. To be courageous instead of cowardly.

One simple act of bravery that we can do right now is to worship God. We show our faith in Him by proudly and loudly singing and praying of our love to Him. Are you ready? Let’s do it.

Worship:
In Jesus’ Name – Darlene Zschech
King of My Heart – Steffany Gretzinger
Victor’s Crown – Darlene Zschech

Kids Teaching – Almighty Praise

Objective
As part of the Adoration / Praise Series, we will impart to kids that an all-powerful praise comes from the heart. It’s not about the nice music, nor the excellent performance. Real praise goes up to the heavens and makes God smile. It is the kind that comes from a pure, sincere, and humble heart.

Big Point
All powerful praise comes from the heart.

Teaching Video
Paul and Silas in Prison Video
00:40-3:08

God’s Word
3 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying. They were also singing hymns to God. The other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a powerful earthquake. It shook the prison from top to bottom. All at once the prison doors flew open. Everyone’s chains came loose.
Acts 16:25-26 NIRV

Key Points

  1. Praise God from the start
  2. Praise God from the heart
  3. Praise God non-stop

Bible Verses

Lord, in the morning you hear my voice. In the morning I pray to you. I wait for you in hope.
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭5:3‬ ‭NIRV‬‬

The Lord is gracious, kind and tender. He is slow to get angry and full of love.
Psalm 145:8 NIRV

Teaching Reflection
What comes to your mind when you think about praise? Maybe, songs? Singing and dancing? Musical instruments?

In Christian church parlance, worship usually means “slow songs” and praise usually mean “fast, dance songs”.

There’s nothing wrong with this association. God is a God of order after all, and it’s good to have standards that we can adhere to.

Here though, we are talking about praise as that concept of lifting up our God most high, declaring that He is the greatest of all, and in the process, being edified in and of ourselves.

With Almighty Praise, we want to teach that it speaks of several things:
– giving honor to God
– thanksgiving
– driving away the enemy
– staying positive / encouraging
– declaring victory
– inviting God’s presence
– claiming God’s power
– focusing on God

Praise reaches for and achieves all of these things, and so much more! Because praise is a very powerful thing. When we praise, we do it with our bodies, so we spend strength and energy to do it, and in turn, it energizes, empowers, and refreshes us as well.

# 1 Praise God from the start

God wants us to think about Him the very minute that we wake up in the morning. He should be the first thought that we have in the day; even before doing anything else, we should be praising Him. We want praise to be a priority. We want praise to be so important to us that we never forget to do it every single day.

Also, we want praise to be something that starts for us even before we have a reason to praise Him. That means, we praise because God, full stop. Even before we have something to thank Him for, even before we have something to ask. Even before the sickness comes, or the sickness is healed. Even when the blessings are pouring in, or when the blessings have yet to come. From the very start we praise God!

# 2 Praise God from the heart

God wants our praise to be something that we feel here (in our hearts) and know here (in our minds). He wants it to be joyful! He allows it to be painful! It is always exciting. It can sometimes be tiring. But all throughout, God wants it to come from our heart.

When Paul and Silas were in chains in their jail cell, they were tired and hurting, being severely beaten. I would not have blamed them for just praying quietly and going to sleep at that point. But instead, they praised God all the more.

And that’s what made their praising all the more amazing, all the more powerful — because they still had hope in Jesus even their desperate situation! They can be hurting in their bodies, but in their hearts, they are still singing, and that’s the kind of praise that Jesus wants.

# 3 Praise God non-stop

And this is how often we praise Him! Endlessly! Every night and day and with no delay — just like that song says!

Praising God never stops. Whether we are sad or happy, winner or loser, hopeful, or despairing — all of our days we should be praising God.

Remember the chains binding Paul and Silas? Chains are a symbol of being trapped, right? They signify that a person can’t move, aren’t free. They’re usually very depressing.

But what did they do? They started praising. From the start of their situation, they praised God. From their heart, with their voices and with what movement they can do, they praised God. And non-stop, they praised until the walls of that prison fell down, and that is what we have to do every day, that is how we want to praise God every day: From the start, from the heart, and non-stop.

Link to Slides
The script for the entire teaching is in the speaker notes.