MEMORY VERSE: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart . . . Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-39, NIV
KEY QUESTION: WHO CAN YOU LOVE?
BASIC TRUTH: GOD LOVES ME.
BOTTOM LINE: I CAN LOVE GOD AND LOVE PEOPLE.
MORNING TIME: This month let your child wake up to, “Good morning! It’s time to love God and love people!” Remind your child every day that God loves him, and He wants us to love people the way He loves us.
PLAY TIME: Let your child pick a favorite toy or stuffed animal. Tell him to hold the toy out in front so it can be the “leader.” Play “Follow the (name of toy)” with your child. When you’re done, cuddle up and talk about how Jesus is the best leader to follow because He loves us and is always right.
CAR TIME: When you get in the car, talk with your child about where you are going and the people you will see. Brainstorm ways you can love the people where you are going so you’re ready when you get out of the car. Grocery store? A big smile and “have a nice day” works. Getting a haircut? Sitting still and saying “thank you” are great ways to show some love. Play date with friends? Sharing and giving a hug or a high five are always good ideas.
BATH TIME: Buy some rectangle kitchen sponges at the grocery store and cut them into heart shapes. Give them to your child as a surprise during bath time. Talk about how the heart shape reminds people of love. The way we treat people can remind them of love too.
CUDDLE TIME: Cuddle up with your child and pray. “Dear God, thank You for always loving us, no matter what. You showed us how much You love us when You sent Your only Son, Jesus, to be our friend forever. Help us learn how to love You and love people, the way You love us. I want (name of child) to grow up loving you and people more than anything. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
PARENT TIME: Do you spend a lot of time talking about neighbors with your preschooler? In their life, every day is another day to meet a new neighbor! There are the neighbors next door, the neighbors who work at the grocery store, the neighbors at the playground. They’re everywhere! Each day brings an opportunity to teach our little ones who their neighbors are, how to say hello, smile, and how to say their name. What if while introducing them to their neighbors, we also taught them that God wants us to love our neighbors the way God loves us? What does it look like to love our neighbors? Well, Jesus teaches us that every time we treat someone with kind words and actions we are showing God we love Him. When we smile at the grocery clerk, we are showing God we love Him. When we rake our neighbor’s leaves, we are showing God we love Him. When we show kindness to a stranger on the street, we are showing God we love Him. This month, think about how you are loving your neighbors. Remember that your preschoolers will model your behavior. Why not take this opportunity to teach them what loving their neighbor looks like? You could even spend some time together doing something special for one of them. Not only will you warm someone’s heart, but you’ll create a treasured memory too.
SUNDAY MESSAGE NOTES
WEEK 1/April 3, 2016 /ACTS 9:1-31
Saul becomes Paul and a follower of Jesus after a life-changing meeting with Him.
WEEK 2/April 10, 2016/ACTS 2:42-47
More and more people start following Jesus. Everyone shares what they have so that no one in the church goes without what they need.
WEEK 3/April 17, 2016/ ACTS 3:1-16
Peter and John have no money to give the lame beggar, but they do what they can and help him walk again in the name of Jesus.
WEEK 4/Ap4il 24, 2016/ MATTHEW 22:34-40
Jesus teaches us the greatest, most important things God wants us to do: Love God and love people.