Lesson Info

JANUARY 26TH - EZEKIEL FUTURE HOPE

Ezekiel had a tough job: ministering to people who had rejected God and suffered the consequences. The exiled people of Judah were eager to blame God for their circumstances. “It’s not fair!” they argued. (See Ezek. 18:25.)

Ezekiel told the people that they were at fault for their exile; their faithlessness had provoked God’s wrath. The people were getting what they deserved. “I take no pleasure in anyone’s death,” God said. “So repent and live!” (Ezek. 18:32).

God gave Ezekiel a vision. In this vision, God showed Ezekiel a valley of dry bones. The bones represented Israel. Ezekiel prophesied that God would put tendons, flesh, and skin on the bones. He would put breath in them so they would come to life.

Ezekiel encouraged the exiles. Apart from God, they were dead. But God was offering them life. He would restore their future. “My dwelling place will be with them,” God said. “I will be their God, and they will be My people” (Ezek. 37:27).

We too are dead in our sin. (Eph. 2:1) Sin separates us from God because He is holy. We are apart from God’s presence. But God does not delight in our death. He is patient and wants us to repent and live!

Hundreds of years after Ezekiel died, God’s presence came to His people through Jesus Christ, Immanuel—meaning, “God with us.” Jesus is the source of life; He offers us living water. (John 4:10,14) If we do not drink of it, we will become like the dry bones. No life will be in us.

God showed Ezekiel a valley of dry bones. The dry bones remind us what we are like when we sin. God showed Ezekiel His power to make dead people alive. We see God’s power at the cross. Jesus died to save sinners. God raised Jesus from the dead, and He gives us eternal life.

Help your kids understand that God is the author and giver of life and just as He pictured bringing dead bones back to life, He brings us to life when we trust in Jesus. Check out this session’s Activity Page, as well as the Gospel Project for Kids Family App for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS

Babies and Toddlers

  • God promised to bring His people back to their land.

  • Jesus gives us life forever with God.

Preschool

  • God showed Ezekiel some dry bones.

  • God planned to bring His people back home.

Kids

  • Ezekiel told about a future hope

  • God planned to bring His people back to their land and give them new life.

  • UNIT KEY PASSAGE

Ezekiel 11:19-20 (Preschool: Ezekiel 11:19)


FEBRUARY 2ND - DANIEL & FRIENDS

Nebuchadnezzar was the king of Babylon, the strong and powerful nation that overtook Judah’s capital of Jerusalem and brought God’s people from Israel to Babylon. Daniel was a young man in Judah when this happened. He might have heard about the prophet Isaiah’s warnings; now he witnessed their fulfillment (Isaiah 39:5-7).

King Nebuchadnezzar called for the best young men from Judah to be trained for service in the palace. Among these teens were Daniel and three of his friends. The chosen boys were given new identities—new names, new education, new culture. But Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah stayed faithful to the one true God and refused to make themselves unclean by eating the king’s food.

God blessed Daniel and his friends. Daniel’s obedience to God led to his favor with King Nebuchadnezzar, and Daniel’s life would be a testament to God’s control over all things. God remembered His people during the exile and promised to bring them back to their homeland and set up a new kingdom.

Daniel chose to obey God no matter what, and God blessed Daniel and his friends. In an even greater way, Jesus always obeyed God. He came to earth and followed God’s plan to save sinners. Jesus never sinned, but He died the death we deserve. Jesus rose from the dead, and those who trust in Him receive God’s forgiveness and blessing.

Help your kids understand that obedience is not always easy, but we trust God to give us strength to obey Him. Point out that Daniel lived about 600 years before Jesus—the perfectly obedient promised One. We can trust that Jesus will return someday to set up His kingdom forever.

Check out this session’s Activity Page as well as the Gospel Project for Kids Family App for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS

Babies and Toddlers

  • God helps us obey Him.

  • God let the king of Babylon take His people away.

  • Daniel and his friends loved and obeyed God.

  • Jesus always obeyed God.

Preschool

  • How can we obey God? We trust God to help us obey Him.

  • Daniel obeyed God.

Kids

  • How can we obey God? We trust God to give us strength to obey Him.

  • Daniel obeyed God by not eating the king’s food.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

Daniel 2:20-21 (Preschool: Daniel 2:20)


FEBRUARY 9TH - SHADRACH & FRIENDS

Nebuchadnezzar built a tall gold statue and issued a new law: “When you hear music, you are to fall down and worship the statue.” The penalty for defying this law was severe. “Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire” (Dan. 3:6).

So when music played, all the people bowed down and worshiped the gold statue. Well, almost everyone. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to bow down and worship the statue. They loved and worshiped the one true God. Only He was worthy of their worship. The friends’ trust in God enabled them to stand firm no matter what—even as they were tied up and thrown into the fire.

Then something miraculous happened. Nebuchadnezzar saw four men in the fire! They were walking around, unharmed! The Lord not only rescued Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, He was with them. Only He could rescue them.

God rescues us too, through His Son, Jesus. Only Jesus can save us from our sin. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross provided the way for us to be rescued from sin and have eternal life.

Help your kids see that God was good and loving to rescue Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, but He was also good and loving not to rescue Jesus. On the cross, people mocked Jesus: “He saved others; He cannot save Himself!” (Mark 15:31). Jesus was not physically unable to save Himself. He chose to do His Father’s will, and His love for sinners kept Him there. Jesus chose not to save Himself so that He could save others.

Be sure to check out this session’s activity page sent home with your child, as well as the Gospel Project for Kids Family App for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS

Babies and Toddlers

  • God helps us obey Him.

  • Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego loved God.

  • God kept the friends safe from the fire.

  • Jesus has the power to save people.

Preschool

  • How can we obey God? We trust God to help us obey Him.

  • God was with Daniel’s friends in the fire.

Kids

  • How can we obey God? We trust God to give us strength to obey Him.

  • God was with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fire.

FAMILY DISCUSSION STARTERS:

When might obedience be a hard choice in your life?

How did God rescue us from our greatest enemy?

How do we know God was with the friends in the fire? How do we know God is with us?

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

Daniel 2:20-21 (Preschool: Daniel 2:20)


FEBRUARY 16TH - DANIEL WAS RESCUED

The fifth chapter of Daniel ends with the death of King Belshazzar when the Persians took over Babylon and Darius was put on the throne. Babylon was on the decline—no longer the powerful, prosperous empire it once was. By this time Daniel was an old man, probably in his early 80s. He served the new king as one of the three leading supervisors in the kingdom.

Daniel was very good at his job. So good, in fact, that the other supervisors and governors were jealous of Daniel. They watched for him to do something wrong so they could complain to the king. Finally, they persuaded King Darius to pass a law stating that no one could pray to anyone but him, the king, for 30 days. Daniel continued to pray boldly to God. Even the king’s threat of death did not stop Daniel from praying. The jealous officials turned him in, and Daniel was thrown into the lions’ den. 

Daniel was in the lions’ den all night long. When morning came, the king rushed to find out what happened to Daniel and discovered that Daniel was alive and unharmed! God’s protection of Daniel served to show all the people that the God of Daniel “is the living God, and He endures forever; His kingdom will never be destroyed, and His dominion has no end” (Dan. 6:26).

God showed His power to rescue Daniel from the lions, but Daniel was just a small part of a much bigger story. God ultimately rescued us from a much bigger problem—sin and death—through His Son, Jesus. Help your kids understand that God also calls us to trust and obey Him no matter what. God sent His Son, Jesus, to rescue us from something much more dangerous than lions. Jesus rescues us from sin and death.

Check out this session’s Activity Page as well as the Gospel Project for Kids Family App for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS

Babies and Toddlers

  • God helps us obey Him.

  • God kept Daniel safe from the lions.

Preschool

  • How can we obey God? We trust God to help us obey Him.

  • God rescued Daniel.

  • Jesus was hurt to keep us safe.

Kids

  • How can we obey God? We trust God to give us strength to obey Him.

  • Daniel was faithful to God, and God rescued him.

·       Jesus rescues us from sin 

FAMILY DISCUSSION STARTERS:

If you had been Daniel, what do you think you would have done about the new law? Why?

What can you do the next time you feel pressure to do something you know God would not want?

How did God rescue us from sin and death?

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

Daniel 2:20-21 (Preschool: Daniel 2:20)


FEBRUARY 23RD - GOD BROUGHT HIS PEOPLE HOME

God’s people had been living in Babylon for 70 years. Some of God’s people had died in Babylon. Some of their children and grandchildren were born in Babylon and grew up there. But Babylon was not their home. 

Before the people of Judah were exiled, God had spoken through the prophet Jeremiah. These are the words of the Lord: “These nations will serve the king of Babylon for 70 years” (Jeremiah 25:11). Then the Lord said, “When 70 years for Babylon are complete, I will attend to you and will confirm My promise concerning you to restore you to this place” (Jeremiah 29:10). The time had come for God’s people to go back home.

Cyrus, the king of the Persian empire, overthrew Babylon. Cyrus took over the kingdom, including the lands of Israel and Judah. In the following year, the Lord did something miraculous in Cyrus’s heart. He prompted Cyrus to issue a decree: All the Jewish exiles are free to return to their ancestral homes. God’s people were free to live as God’s special people!

The first group of Judean exiles returned home under the leadership of Zerubbabel. Zerubbabel was the grandson of King Jehoiachin, who had been taken to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar. Ezra 2:64-65 says nearly 50,000 people traveled back to Judah. When they got to Jerusalem, they began working to rebuild the temple that the Chaldeans had destroyed.

Help your kids understand that the temple was the place where God met with His people on earth. We meet with God not through a building now, but through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. One day, Jesus will return to restore a greater home for all of God's people, and we will spend eternity with Him. Jesus came to earth to rescue God’s people!

Check out this session’s Activity Page as well as the Gospel Project for Kids Family App for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS

Babies and Toddlers

  • God helps us obey Him.

  • Jesus brings us to God.

Preschool

  • How can we obey God? We trust God to help us obey Him.

  • God brought the Israelites back home. 

Kids

  • How can we obey God? We trust God to give us strength to obey Him.

  • God changed the king’s heart so the Israelites could go home.

  • God brought His people back to their land

  • Zerubbabel led the people to build the temple

FAMILY DISCUSSION STARTERS:

  • What would it be like to be away from your home for a very long time?

  • Why don’t we need a temple today?

  • Where will we live after Jesus returns? (See John 14:2-3.)

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

Daniel 2:20-21 (Preschool: Daniel 2:20)


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