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Instructions

As you celebrate this Christmas season, enjoy these devotions with your family and help your children to understand the true meaning of Christmas. Be sure to read the devotions ahead of time to make the necessary preparations. Post pictures of your family participating in the Family Devotions on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with the Hashtag #Bday4Jesus13
(Be sure to follow us on Twitter @RHBCchildren & @RiverlandHills and Like us on Facebook)

*Scripture listed below is in NIrV a version intended for children. Reading Time Scripture Family Time Activity Talk Time A chance to have special conversations with your children

Its Time for Christmas


READING TIME:
Isaiah 9:6 A child will be born to us. A son will be given to us. He will rule over us. And he will be called Wonderful Adviser and Mighty God. He will also be called Father Who Lives Forever and Prince Who Brings Peace.

FAMILY TIME:
Put on your Pjs!!! Make some hot cocoa and put it in a thermos. Grab the family!!! Jump in the car and take a ride to look at Christmas lights. Talk with your children about how excited we get when we see people putting up their Christmas lights because that is a sign that Christmas is coming!!! While looking at the lights, talk to your children about how the people in the Old Testament were so excited because their Savior was coming, and His name would be Wonderful Adviser, Mighty God, Prince Who Brings Peace Jesus. Discuss how the above Scripture was telling about Jesus birth even before He was born. Explain to them that this was prophesy Gods people giving a message from Him that a Savior was going to come for us. Just like we get excited when Christmas is coming, Gods people were excited that He was going to send them a Savior and He DID!!! You may want to discuss deeper with your children the difference between the Old Testament (all events happened before Jesus was born and that told about Jesus coming) and the New Testament (what happened in the Bible after Jesus was born).

TALK TIME:
How can Jesus be your Wonderful Adviser? How is Jesus our Prince Who Brings Peace?

When You Were A Baby


READING TIME:
Luke 2:6-7 - While Joseph and Mary were there, the time came for the child to be born. She gave birth to her first baby. It was a boy. She wrapped him in large strips of cloth. Then she placed him in a manger. There was no room for them in the inn.

FAMILY TIME:
It is time to get out the ole memorabilia of when the children were babies. Show the children lots of pictures of when they were born. Talk about when and where they were born, who was at the hospital to see them, and any other special memories you have about their birth days. Spend some time reminiscing with your children about such an important day. Discuss with them about the most important birthday in the world the day that Jesus was born. Explain to them that He was a baby just like they were. Discuss how His birth was such a humble birth in a stable instead of in a palace somewhere even though He was the Savior of the world!!!

TALK TIME:
Why do you think that God chose to have His son born in a stable instead of a palace? What does this teach us about God? If Jesus had been born in a palace, would that make a difference to you? Why or why not? What does this lesson teach us about how we should live our lives as people who follow Jesus?

What do the Stars Tell Us?


READING TIME:
Luke 2:17-20 - After the shepherds had seen him, they told everyone. They reported what the angel had said about this child. All who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary kept all these things like a secret treasure in her heart. She thought about them over and over. The shepherds returned. They gave glory and praise to God. Everything they had seen and heard was just as they had been told.

FAMILY TIME:
Get all bundled up (unless it is one of those weird South Carolina December nights when we can wear shorts outside) and take a blanket outside and sit under the stars in your backyard. Ask everyone to imagine a night like this, over 2,000 years ago. Then, ask everyone what they think it might have been like to have the quiet shattered by light and angels pronouncing the birth of Jesus. Talk about the shepherds and the verse above. Discuss how they could NOT keep quiet about what they had just seen angels coming to them, the Savior born. They had to tell everyone. Talk about ways that you can be like the shepherds and share the good news about Jesus!!!

TALK TIME:
Why is it important that you be like the shepherds and tell others about Jesus? What do you find hardest about telling others this Good News? Talk about ways that you and your family can tell others about Jesus this Christmas season and all year long.

Lets Make Cookies!!!


READING TIME:
John 6:35- Then Jesus said, I am the bread of life. No one who comes to me will ever go hungry. And no one who believes in me will ever be thirsty.

FAMILY TIME:
Bake and decorate homemade cookies and goodies as a family. Let the children help select the recipes and help in the preparation, cooking and decorating. While baking, talk about how we have lots of fun and good food at Christmas time. On the average, people even gain about 5-10 pounds over the holidays!!! Talk about the different foods that your family likes to eat around Christmas time. Tell the children that Jesus is like a food BREAD. Talk with them about how He is our source of life and that He is the FOOD our soul and heart need. Help them to understand how truly important Jesus is in all of our lives and how we need Him every single day just like we need food.

TALK TIME:
How is having Jesus a part of our everyday life like having food to eat every day? What can you do this Christmas season to be sure you are filling your life with Jesus? Sometimes we can eat too much food. Can we ever have too much Jesus? Why or why not?

Dinner by Candlelight
READING TIME:
John 8:12 - Jesus spoke to the people again. He said, I am the light of the world. Those who follow me will never walk in darkness. They will have the light that leads to life.

FAMILY TIME:
Prepare a special dinner for your family. Ask for everyones favorites and have the entire family help cook. Get the children to help set the table and even allow them to add their own special touch to the table (maybe special place cards or other table decorations). Tell the children that tonights dinner is going to be extra special because you all are going to have a candlelight dinner. Light the candles and enjoy your family dinner. During dinner, have good, meaningful conversation with your children. Talk with them about the light that is on the table and how it helps us to see in the dark. Discuss how Jesus is called the light because He brings hope to people who live in the dark. Take the time to discuss the symbolism of the light (Jesus) and the dark (people without Jesus). We celebrate Christmas because God gave Jesus to us to shine light into our world and our lives.

TALK TIME:
How has Jesus brought light into your life and into your family? What are some actions you can take to demonstrate the light of Jesus to someone else?

Such A Special Gift


READING TIME:
Matthew 2:9-11- After the Wise Men had listened to the king, they went on their way. The star they had seen when they were in the east went ahead of them. It finally stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy. The Wise Men went to the house. There they saw the child with his mother Mary. They bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures. They gave him gold, incense and myrrh. John 3:16 - God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son. Anyone who believes in him will not die but will have eternal life.

FAMILY TIME:
Before this devotion, find an empty box and put a mirror in it. With a dryerase marker, write the words, To: Jesus on the mirror. Close up the box and wrap it with Christmas wrapping. Put a tag on it that reads, To: Jesus. Gather your family together and tell them that you all are going to open an early Christmas present. Before you open the present, talk with the family about how the wise men traveled very far- following a star- to find Jesus. When they found Him, they bowed down and worshipped Him, and gave Him the first Christmas gifts: gold, incense, and myrrh. We have a tradition now of giving and receiving gifts, and this is a very fun part of Christmas. Next, allow the children to open the present and look inside the box. Pass around the box with the mirror in it (or just pass the mirror) and allow everyone to take a look at the mirror. Discuss how the very best gift that we can ever give to anyone is to give OURSELVES TO JESUS.

Explain that as a Christian, Easter and Christmas are the most important events that we can celebrate the gift of Jesus coming for us and the gift of Jesus dying for us so that we can have eternal life. Read John 3:16 with your family. This is a great time to talk with your children about salvation and about the ABCs of being a Christian.

A - Admit that you are a sinner - For all have sinned and fall short of the
glory of God. Romans 8:28 - ASK for Gods forgiveness.

B - Believe in Jesus - God loved the world so much that he gave his one and
only Son. Anyone who believes in him will not die but will have eternal life. John 3:16 - BECOME a child of God by asking Christ into your heart.

C - Confess that Jesus is your Lord - Say with your mouth, Jesus is Lord.
Believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead. Then you will be saved. Romans 10:9. CHOOSE to follow Jesus!!! THE MOST IMPORTANT GIFT THAT YOU CAN GIVE THIS CHRISTMAS IS GIVING JESUS YOUR LIFE.
(It is great to introduce the concept of Salvation to your children at all ages. As you hear them talk and mature to show understanding of Salvation, you can lead your child to accept Christ. Contact the Church Office (Dr. Carney or Christy Todd) if you feel they are ready to make a public profession of faith and are ready for baptism. They can also participate in the Class 101 for children (1st grade and older) for some basic principles of the Christian faith.)

TALK TIME:
Why do you think the Wise Men wanted to find Jesus? Why do you think they took Him gifts? What is the most important gift(s) you can give Jesus? What other gifts can you give to Jesus this Christmas? What gifts does Jesus give to you?

Happy Birthday Jesus !


FAMILY TIME:
On Christmas day, have a BIRTHDAY PARTY FOR JESUS. Use the cake mix and icing that you received from Sunday School to bake cupcakes and celebrate His birthday. During the busyness of Christmas day opening presents, cooking, traveling, spending time with family be sure to STOP and remind the entire family of the reason we celebrate Christmas the birth of our SAVIOR. Use candles, sing Happy Birthday to Jesus, eat the cupcakes HAVE A PARTY!!! (Remember to post pictures on Facebook and Twitter of the Birthday Party.) Happy Birthday Jesus!

TALK TIME:

Stop and have a special prayer time as a family. Allow the children to pray aloud as well as the adults. Hold hands and make this a very special part of your Christmas day.

FROM THE PRESCHOOL & CHILDRENS MINISTRY STAFF

Merry Christmas

Remember to post pictures on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram of the Birthday Party.

Use our Hashtag #Bday4Jesus13


@RHBCchildren @RiverlandHills

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