We are preparing for VBS for June 1-5, 2020 at 6 – 8 pm. Due to the coronavirus, our plans may change. Stay tuned for more details!
We can have faith knowing God is always with us.
“You are the God who does miracles. You show your power among the nations.” Psalm 77:14
The Israelites did not have an easy time as they traveled through the desert. But they always had a reminder of God’s presence with them – a pillar of cloud during the day, and a pillar of fire at night.
Exodus 13:21-22, 40:33-38, The Cloud of God
The Israelites had never set foot out of Egypt for generations. They had no maps to guide them on their way, and there were no road signs to point them where to go. God used a cloud by day and something else by night to lead His people to freedom.
READ EXODUS 13:21-22, 40:33-38
Imagine waking up in the morning and seeing a giant cloud outside your door. The cloud never dissipated, never went back up into the sky. It was there every day, in front of the camp, for all of Israel to see. Not only did the Israelites have a cloud to follow by day, they had a pillar of fire to keep them company at night. Day and night, the visible presence of the Lord never left them.
God wanted His people to know He was always there. He wanted them to trust Him enough to follow when He led them. The story of the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire reminds us that God is still with us. Even though we can’t see Him or even see his presence, we can trust He is always there for us.
The Israelites did not have an easy journey through the wilderness. There were many dangers along the way. There were times they wondered where their next meal would come from and when they would find water. There were dangerous animals, and even dangerous people who tried to harm them.
Day in and day out, the people could look out of their tents and be reminded they were not alone on this journey. The cloud never left their sight, and when sunset came, it changed into a pillar of fire. That doesn’t mean there weren’t times the Israelites were unfaithful to God, but God’s patience with those stiff-necked, stubborn people shows us that God’s love never wavers. He
remained with them in good times and bad. He loved them, and His love is unconditional.
The Bible is filled with stories of God’s faithful presence. When Daniel is cast into a den of lions in Daniel 6, God shut the mouths of the lions. When Daniel’s three friends were cast into a fiery furnace in chapter 3 of that same book, the king saw four men walking around inside.
Even in the New Testament, we see that God never leaves His people. God protected missionaries like Peter and Paul, even when they went to prison, so they could do His will. God never left His faithful servants, and He will never leave us. God is still present to this day in the hearts of believers, and when we place our trust in God, we can know for sure He is always with us.
We may not see God in a pillar of cloud, but we can look to the clouds and know He is watching us. We may not see Him in a pillar of fire, but we can feel His warmth in a campfire. God loves His people and He will never leave us. We may not see Him with our eyes, but we can have faith and know He is always there!
I miss you guys!! Can’t wait to see you all!!!!❤ Don’t forget to be singing and worshiping the Lord!!! Turn that praise music up and THANK THE LORD FOR HIS GOODNESS!!!!! ~ Amanda
Hi kids!! We are going to learn a little this week about Palm Sunday and the events that happen during Holy Week. This lesson comes from Mighty Messages, Bible-Based Lesson Kit. Our scripture this week comes from Matthew 21:1-11 and Luke 19:39-40.
There is an ancient prophecy at the beginning of the reading. It comes from Zechariah 9:9. It was written more than 500 years before Palm Sunday happened. What do you think it means when something happens that was foretold hundreds of years earlier?
In the part from Luke, the religious leaders of the day told Jesus to rebuke people for quoting the same 500 year old prophecy about him being the Messiah. Rebuke means to correct them and tell them they are wrong. He refused and said that if the people didn’t say it, the rocks and stones would declare that he was the prophecies fulfillment. Why would the religious leaders be unhappy to see their real messiah, instead of happy? (NOTE: These religious leaders are BAD GUYS.)
We celebrate Palm Sunday because people were finally starting to recognize the importance of Jesus. There were other prophets of the day who were performing a few miracles here and there. What made Jesus different?
There are 7 main events in holy week, or the week between Palm Sunday and Easter. Here’s a way we can learn them all by studying these below…
1. Palm Sunday: Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, and many people put Palm branches down for the donkey to walk on as a show of respect for Jesus. Many people thought he was the Messiah, coming to rule Israel.
2. Religious leaders plot to kill Jesus: Jesus was a threat to the religious leaders because he performed miracles and had lots of people believing in him. They wanted the people to keep believing them, so they plotted to have him murdered.
3. Last Supper: On Thursday night, Jesus sat down with his disciples to have passover dinner. He broke bread and said it was a symbol of his body. Then, he blessed wine and said it was the symbol of his blood. He told the disciples he would be murdered and would rise on the 3rd day, and his body and blood were a sacrifice for sins.
4. The Arrest: After supper, Jesus and the disciples went into the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. The disciples fell asleep! Jesus prayed, and the soldiers came to arrest him after he was betrayed by his disciple Judas.
5. The Trial: Starting that night, Jesus faced, Annas, Caiaphas, and Pontius Pilate. Pontius Pilate agreed to crucify Jesus between two rebels because the crowd demanded it.
6. The Crucifixion: Jesus was crucified Friday at noon. He lived on the cross for 3 hours, then said to the Father, “Into your hands I commit my spirit.” And he died. There was an eclipse, an earthquake, and the very thick curtain inside the temple was ripped in two.
7. The Resurrection: Some of Jesus’ disciples, Mary Magdalene, and a few other believers saw the empty tomb on Sunday morning. Some saw angels who said, “He is not here; He is risen.” Over the next 40 days, 500 people saw the arisen Jesus.
Questions will follow in the next couple of days… Here are a couple of things I would like you to think about…
What do you think the disciples were thinking when they saw the crowds worshipping Jesus? Talk about your thoughts with your parents.
Also think of a time when you thought that things would go one way but they turned out completely different. What happened? How did you feel? Can you think of any ways you saw God working in the end result?
You’re invited to join us for our Trunk N Treat event! Trunk N Treat will be held in our church parking lot on Thursday, October 31, from 6 pm – 9 pm. We will have inflatables and bouncy houses, candy, food, and more! We hope to see you and your family there!
*For church members who would like to volunteer at the Trunk N Treat event, please see the sign-up sheet on the counter at the back of the church. We’d love to have you help us with this event!
You’re invited to our Back to School Bash during the Paoli Fall Festival! Our Back to School Bash will be held in the church parking lot on Saturday, September 14, from 4 pm – 7 pm. We will have inflatables and bouncy houses, hot dogs, and more! We hope to see you and your family there!
*For church members wishing to volunteer for this event, there is a sign-up sheet on the counter in the church. We’d love to have you help us during this outreach event.