1. HOOK

  • Who knows what a promise is? What do you do what you make a promise? Do you shake hands on it? Do you do a pinky-promise? Do you spit?
  • When you hear someone say, “I promise,” what comes to mind? Do you sigh in relief or prepare to be disappointed? Your reaction most likely comes from your past—good or bad.
  • The truth is, people will sometimes let us down, but God is always dependable. He can be trusted. Our heavenly Father is always faithful to keep His promises.
  • God is a Covenant-making, Promise-keeping God!

 

2. LESSON: The Abrahamic Covenant

a. What is a Covenant?

  • God is a covenant-making God:
    He makes promises with His people, and He keeps them!

     A Covenant is:

  • More than a contract
  • 2 parties/people becoming 1 (e.g. marriage)
    • What’s mine is yours; what’s yours is mine
    • Someone hurt you = someone hurting me
    • For life; till death do us part
  • Usually signed by blood or exchange of personal belongings (e.g. wedding rings)
  • Penalty for breaking covenant = death
  • There are 3 major covenants in the Bible:
    • Abrahamic Covenant
    • Mosaic (Old) Covenant
    • New Covenant (like the name of our church, tNCC)
  • Today we will look at the covenant God made with Abraham

 

b. God made a covenant with Abraham (Gen 12, 15)

  • God had a special friend. His name was Abraham.
  • God loved Abraham very much and wanted to promise him many good things:
    • A Promised Land to call home
    • Abraham’s family will be a great nation
    • Abraham’s seed/descendent will bless all families of the world
  • God told Abraham not to be afraid because God was always with Him. “I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” (Gen 15:1). God is our protection and source of blessings.
  • All these were awesome promises! But there was only 1 problem … Abraham was already an old man (75 yrs old!) but he didn’t have any children! How was he to become a great nation?
  • God showed Abraham the stars in the skies. So many stars! Have you ever tried counting the stars? Impossible right? God told Abraham that he will have as many descendants as the number of stars in the sky.
  • Still Abraham wanted proof! “Lord God, how shall I know that I will inherit it?”
  • So God decided to cut a covenant with Abraham as a guarantee of His promise.
  • He asked Abraham to bring a:
    • 3-year-old heifer/cow
    • 3-year-old female goat
    • 3-year-old ram
    • turtledove
    • young pigeon
  • Abraham brought all these animals and cut them into 2 and placed them opposite each other.
  • The meaning? “If any of us break this covenant, we will end up like these animals … dead and split into 2.” That’s how serious a covenant was!

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  • Abraham thought he was going to make the covenant with God. Quite scary right? If he broke his part of the covenant, he’d die like those animals!
  • But God, in His grace and mercy, put Abraham into deep sleep.
  • While Abraham slept, God walked through the animal parts all by Himself in the form of a smoking oven and a burning torch!
  • God was BOTH parties in this covenant. God cut the covenant to show Abraham how serious His promise was. He had promised Abraham a land, a great family nation and a Seed that will bless the whole world.
  • Abraham had no part to play in making or keeping it; he was just the beneficiary!
  • This covenant cannot fail because God cannot fail! Isn’t God amazing?

 

c. Abrahamic Covenant a picture of the New Covenant today

  • On the cross, Jesus’ death was the final fulfilment of God’s covenant with Abraham — the Seed that will bless the whole world.
  • On the cross, Jesus’ death was also the start of the New Covenant.
  • Jesus’ body was broken and bloody just like the animals.
  • God the Father walked through the broken and bloody body of Jesus to cut the New Covenant with us.
  • We had no part to play in making the New Covenant or keeping it. Hence we cannot break a covenant we didn’t cut.
  • We become part of the New Covenant by faith in Christ. We are just the beneficiary of the New Covenant!
  • This New Covenant also cannot fail because God cannot fail. Isn’t God amazing?

 

3. ACTIVITY SUGGESTIONS

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  • Memory Verse Activity: Gen 15:1 “I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”

God tells Abraham to sacrifice Isaac

Categories: Children's Church

Lesson: God Provides the Lamb



1. Story:

  • Tell the story of God telling Abraham to sacrifice Isaac from Genesis 22:1-19.
  • Abraham was a friend of God.
  • Remember all the promises God promised Him? One of them was that God promised Abraham as many children as the stars. And though Abraham had no children for many, many years, God finally gave him a son, Isaac.
  • One day, God told Abraham, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love … Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering.”
  • Abraham waited so long for his son. And now he had one, God was asking him to sacrifice him?
  • Abraham couldn’t understand; but he knew God, he knew God loved Him, and he trusted God.
  • So the next morning, Abraham took his son Isaac and set off to the place where God told him to go. He carried the fire and knife, and put the wood for the burnt offering on Isaac’s back.
  • As they walked up the hill, Isaac asked his father, “The fire and wood are here, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”
  • Abraham answered, “God will provide the lamb.”
  • When they reached, Abraham then built an alter and arranged wood on it. Then he bound Isaac and laid him on the altar on top of the wood.
  • How do you think Isaac felt? He definitely couldn’t understand! But he knew his father, he knew his father loved Him, and he trusted his father.
  • As Abraham reached out his hand raised the knife high, suddenly the angel of the Lord called out, “Abraham! Abraham! Stop! Don’t hurt the boy. I want him to live and not die. I know now that you love me because you would have given me your only son.”
  • Abraham must have been so relieved. He looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in the thicket. He took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering in place of his son, and called that place, “The Lord will Provide.”
  • God then blessed Abraham again, “Because you obeyed me, even when I asked you to do a hard thing, I will richly bless you. From you will become a great nation, and all people on earth will ask you to be blessed the way I have blessed you, all because you obeyed my command.”
2. Lesson: Good News for Today!
  • From this story, we see God’s heart and a shadow of His redemption plan.
  • God:
    • wants His people to live, not die
    • wants to rescue His people, not punish them
    • wants His people to just trust Him
  • God promised that one day, through Abraham, He will give the world a sacrifice to tell them how much He loves them.
  • One day, God took His son, His only son, Jesus, whom He loves, and sacrificed Him as a burnt offering.
  • He put the cross on His back and made Him walk up the hill.
  • Like the ram caught in the thorny bush, Jesus had a crown of thorns pressed on His brow as He took the punishment for our sin.
  • God provided Jesus, the lamb of God. Jehovah Jireh!
  • And because of Jesus’ obedience, we all have the same blessing of Abraham.
  • Let’s pray: Thank you Jesus that You took our place as the sacrificial lamb. Thank you that You took all our sins and sicknesses on the cross and that You defeated death when You rose 3 days later. Thank you that we have life and blessings because of You. Amen!”

Abraham & the Child of Laughter

Categories: Children's Church

Lesson: Nothing is too difficult for God (Gen 11-21)

 

1.       Game: Laughing Game
Play a simple laughing game; modify as you see fit.
  • Mrs Mumble
    • Everyone sits in a circle. First person turns to the one on the right and asks “Have you seen Mrs Mumble?” without showing his/her teeth or laughing.
    • The next person has to say, “No. I’ll ask my neighbor.” And then ask the following person the same question without showing teeth or laughing.
  • Ha Ha game (for younger kids only)
    • Get the kids to lie on their backs, with their heads resting on another player’s stomach. Tell the kids that the aim of the game is not to laugh at all. The first kid has to say somberly “Ha”, then the next one says “Ha ha”, the third one says “Ha ha ha” and so on. The person who does not laugh at all wins.
 2.       Story: 
  • The last time we learnt that God gave many promises to Abram.
  • One of the promises was that Abram will have many children, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the shores.
  • But as many years passed (24 years since God first called Abram), Abram and his wife, Sarai, still did not have any children.
  • Gen 17: Then one day, when Abram was 99 years old, God appeared to him and told him that yes, he will still have many children. In fact, God wanted to change his name to Abraham, which means “father of many nations”.
  • And his wife will now be called “Sarah” — she will be the mother of nations and kings!
  • Sarah was a beautiful woman, but she was also very old now. She was almost 90 years old! How many of you have grandmothers who are 90 years old?
  • But God said that Sarah will have a child.
  • The thought of that made Abraham fall down on his face and laugh!
  • Gen 18: Another day, two men visited Abraham, and he prepared a meal for them.
  • After they had eaten, they asked Abraham, “Where is your wife, Sarah?”
  • “There, in the tent,” he said.
  • One of the man said, “I will return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.”
  • Now Sarah was listening from inside the tent. She couldn’t believe what the man said, so she laughed to herself. “We’re both so old; how can we have a son?”
  • The man said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the LORD?
  • Gen 21: True enough, nothing is too hard for God. One year later, Sarah gave birth to a baby! They named him “Isaac”, which means “son of laughter.” 
  • She said, “God has brought me laughter! Everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.”
3.       Lesson: Good News for Today!

  • When all else fails, know that God is all powerful and NOTHING is too difficult for Him.
  • Romans 4:18 says, “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be.’”
  • Whatever problem you may face, trust that God will always keep His promises.
  • Isaac brought much joy to Abraham and Sarah.
  • The good news is that through Isaac, God brought another special baby in an even more miraculous way. This baby’s name was Jesus, and His birth brought lots of laughter and joy to the whole world! Praise the Lord!
  • Memory Verse: “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” Genesis 21:6
 
4.       Activity ideas:
  • Song: Ah Lord God (Nothing is too difficult for you)
  • Craft: 
    • Something smiley face related, e.g. a happy face mask, with memory verse “God has brought me laughter.” (Genesis 21:6)
    • Other ideas: Toothy PuppetSmiling Craft