Key Passage: Isaiah 53:6 “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

Big Picture Question: What does Immanuel mean? Immanuel means “God is with us.”

Christ Connection: God told Isaiah about His plan. Isaiah said that God was going to send someone named Immanuel. Jesus is the One God promised to send. One of Jesus’ names is Immanuel. The name Immanuel means “God with us.” Jesus is God with us.

Dear Parents,

Today’s Bible story in The Gospel Project® for Kids follows Isaiah’s message to King Ahaz. During King Ahaz’s reign, the king of Assyria was expanding his kingdom by taking over other nations. The Northern Kingdom of Israel and the king of Syria formed an alliance against Assyria and invited King Ahaz to join them. King Ahaz was in a difficult position. If he joined the alliance and they lost, the Assyrian king would destroy him. If he did not join and the alliance won, he was as good as dead.

King Ahaz said no. Israel and Syria attacked Jerusalem. Isaiah 7 opens with the armies of Israel and Syria approaching Jerusalem. King Ahaz was terrified. God sent Isaiah and his son, Shear-Jashub, to give Ahaz a message. God would be Ahaz’s ally. All God asked of Ahaz was to trust Him. God gave Ahaz a sign: “The virgin would conceive a son, and name him Immanuel.” God could do the impossible. What would Ahaz have to fear with God on his side?

Through the prophet Isaiah, God promised to send Immanuel, which means “God with us.” Jesus fulfilled this promise when He came to earth and was born of a virgin. Jesus is our Immanuel, God with us.

Family Activity: Isaiah and other prophets often had to tell powerful people hard messages from God. They could speak with confidence because they were speaking words from God. Practice at home greeting one another with confidence. Stand tall, make eye contact, smile, introduce yourself clearly, and shake hands firmly. Next time you go to church, think of someone you don’t know well and greet that person with a smile, hello, eye contact, and perhaps, a handshake.

Go further: Work together as a family to plan a time to share the gospel with people. Ask your church leadership about family outreach opportunities that may be coming up soon (like our Easter Egg hunt!)

Key Passage: Isaiah 53:6 “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

Big Picture Question: Why did God call Isaiah? God called Isaiah to warn His people.

Christ Connection: Isaiah knew he was sinful and shouldn’t be with God. God is holy. God forgave Isaiah’s sin. God had a plan to send His Son, Jesus, to die for our sins. We must trust Him. When we trust in Jesus, we answer like Isaiah: “Here I am. Send me.”

Dear Parents,

Thank you for continuing this journey of The Gospel Project® for Kids. During the next four weeks, kids will learn about the prophet Isaiah and his message of the coming Messiah. Today’s Bible story focuses on Isaiah’s calling by God to prophesy to the Southern Kingdom of Judah.

In the year King Uzziah of Judah died, Isaiah was worshiping God in the temple when he had a vision. Isaiah saw God sitting on a throne. God’s robe was long; its edges filled the temple. Seraphim—heavenly beings—stood above Him, each with six wings, calling out “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord!” The magnitude of God’s holiness made Isaiah realize the magnitude of his own sin. His response? “Woe is me!” A seraph touched Isaiah’s lips with a piece of coal, an outward sign of God removing Isaiah’s sin and preparing Isaiah for the next step. Isaiah would eagerly take God’s message of hope and the coming Messiah to the people.

God extended His grace to Isaiah and took away Isaiah’s guilt. God passed over Isaiah’s sins because He was going to send Jesus to pay for them. In His death on the cross, Jesus paid for the sins—past, present, and future—of those who would trust in Him. When we trust in Jesus, God says to us, “Your guilt is taken away. Your sin is atoned for.”

Family Activity: Roast hot dogs or make s’mores over a fire, if possible. Talk about using fire (or heat) to purify. (Washing dishes in hot, soapy water lifts grease away faster than washing in cold, soapy water. Doctors sterilize instruments at high temperatures.) In Isaiah’s vision, a seraph (a winged being) touched Isaiah’s lips with a burning coal. This was a picture of cleansing his lips so Isaiah could tell messages from God. We are cleansed by trusting Jesus.

Go further: Work together as a family to plan a time to share the gospel with people. Ask your church leadership about family outreach opportunities that may be coming up soon (like our Easter Egg hunt!)

Key Passage: Jonah 4:2 “I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love.”

Big Picture Question: What is God’s desire for people? God wants all people to be saved

Christ Connection: The people in Judah sinned. To punish them, God sent locusts and stopped the rain. Joel told the people to be sorry for their sin. Jesus also wants people to be sorry for their sin. Jesus died to take away our sin, and He is alive. If we trust in Jesus and are sorry for our sin, God forgives us.

Dear Parents,

Thank you for continuing this journey of The Gospel Project® for Kids. In today’s Bible story, God called Joel to prophesy to the Southern Kingdom of Judah in the middle of a crisis. Judah was experiencing an invasion of locusts, on top of a drought. Joel made it clear the people were not undergoing bad luck—God was judging them for their sin.

In Deuteronomy 28, God told His people that if they did not obey Him, “You will sow much seed in the field but harvest little, because locusts will devour it” (vv. 15,38). That is exactly what happened. These disasters were a wake-up call. Joel told the people to repent. He told them to fast. He told them to cry out to God and ask Him to show them mercy. Then Joel looked ahead to the future. The Day of the Lord was coming, a day when God would show His strength through an invading army. God’s power would be against them. So Joel implored them, “Return to the Lord your God. For He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, rich in faithful love, and He relents from sending disaster.”

God would rather forgive His people than punish them. God used locusts and drought to get Judah’s attention. They had turned from God, and the prophet Joel called them to repent. Like Joel, Jesus calls sinners to repent. Jesus died and was resurrected so repentant people could experience forgiveness. (Luke 24:46-47)

Family Activity: Use a jar to create a temporary insect container for each kid by taking a nail and putting a small hole in the lid. Set aside a time to hunt for grasshoppers or other insects. Place the bugs in the jars and talk about how God used locusts to punish the people of Judah for their sins. Explain that we deserve punishment for our sins too, but Jesus took our punishment.

Go further: Go online to find instructions to make a sundial. Work with your family to create one and use it to time how long it takes for something to occur. Talk to your kids about why we wait eagerly for Christ to return.

Key Passage: Jonah 4:2 “I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love.”

Big Picture Question: How can we be forgiven? God forgives people when they are sorry and ask for forgiveness.

Christ Connection: God was going to punish the people in Nineveh because they sinned. The people of Nineveh were sorry. They told God they were sorry. God did not punish them. He showed them mercy. God showed mercy to the world by sending His Son, Jesus. Jesus took the punishment we should get for our sin. God wants us to go, like Jonah, and tell others about Jesus.

Dear Parents,

Today’s Bible story in The Gospel Project® for Kids is one that many kids have heard before, and we often lose sight of the central message. The message isn’t so much about Jonah being swallowed by a big fish, although that is certainly amazing. Jonah’s account centers around the compassion of God, not only for the people of Israel, but for people throughout the earth—even Israel’s worst enemies!

Nineveh was the capital of Assyria, and the rulers of Nineveh were notoriously evil and cruel. Check out how the prophet Nahum described the city in Nahum 3: “Woe to the city of blood, totally deceitful, full of plunder, never without prey” (v. 1). No wonder Jonah ran the other way! Through a storm and some time in the belly of a fish, God got Jonah’s attention. Jonah went to Nineveh. For three days, Jonah walked around the city. His message to the Ninevites was brief: “In 40 days Nineveh will be demolished!”

The people of Nineveh immediately repented, and God withheld His judgment. Jonah was furious. God rebuked Jonah and prompted him to examine his heart. God displayed His mercy and grace by forgiving the people of Nineveh when they repented of their sin. God showed His love to the rest of the world by sending His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross. God saves those who trust in Jesus and repent of their sin, and He sends them out, like Jonah, with the good news of salvation.

Family Activity: Take a family fishing trip, a trip to a local aquarium, or even a pet store. Challenge each family member to catch (if fishing) or find (if visiting an aquarium or pet store) the biggest fish they can. Talk about what it would be like to be swallowed by that fish. What sounds would you hear? What would you see or feel? Talk about how Jonah’s lack of obedience landed him in a fish. Invite each family member to share times they didn’t obey that got them in trouble.

Key Passage: Jonah 4:2 “I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love.”

Big Picture Question: Does God stop loving us when we sin? God loves us even when we sin.

Christ Connection: Gomer did not love Hosea with all her heart. She did things that made Hosea sad, but Hosea still loved Gomer. God’s people do not love God with all their hearts. We do things that make God sad, but God still loves us. He showed us His love by sending Jesus to be our Savior.

Dear Parents,

Today’s Bible story in The Gospel Project® for Kids reveals what true, unconditional, godly love looks like. God told Hosea to show the people of Israel how much God loved them but in an unexpected way. God told Hosea to marry an unfaithful woman, and to raise her children who were conceived with other men.

Hosea obeyed God. He married a woman named Gomer, and she was unfaithful just as God said she would be. God’s people were no different than Gomer. They loved and worshiped idols, people and things that were not the one true God.

It would have been easier for God (and Hosea) to throw up His hands and say, “Enough! I’m done with you!” But God’s love never gives up. He gave Hosea a love for his wife that compelled him to buy her back from the slave market after all she had done.

Hosea’s relationship with Gomer reminds us of God’s relationship with the people of Israel and with us. Even though God’s people are unfaithful and love other things more than they love God, God still loves us. God sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sin and bring us back to Him.

Family Activity: During the week, write a love note to your kids reminding them that no matter what happens, you always love them. Invite each kid to write a love note to a sibling or parent. Encourage non-writers to draw a picture expressing their love.

Go further: Make heart shaped sugar cookies with your family to pass out to your neighbors. Explain the gospel through the story of Hosea. Help your kids prepare a response to people confused by heart cookies outside of Valentines Day.