Key Passage: Ezekiel 37:27 “My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people.”

Big Picture Question: What does God want His people to do? God wants His people to stop sinning and turn back to Him.

Christ Connection: John 1 says that Jesus is the Word. Jesus showed people what God is like. God gives us His written Word, the Bible, to tell us what He is like too. The Bible has the most important message: the good news about Jesus. It tells us that God sent His Son, to rescue us from our sin.

Dear Parents,
What do you do when you need to remember something? Do you write it down? This week in The Gospel Project® for Kids, kids will learn that the people of Judah had forgotten God’s Word. Jehoiakim was king, and “He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight just as his ancestors had done” (2 Kings 23:37). The people of Judah were facing God’s judgment for their sin.

God told Jeremiah to write on a scroll all the words God had spoken about Israel, Judah, and all the nations. God was patient. He gave the people a chance to heed a warning and to turn from their sin and be forgiven. Jeremiah’s scribe, Baruch, wrote the words Jeremiah received from God. Then Baruch read the scroll. But the people did not heed the warning. King Jehoiakim’s officials brought Jeremiah’s scribe, Baruch, to the king. Jehoiakim rejected God’s Word, cutting it up and throwing it into the fire.

God told Jeremiah to write another scroll. God said He would punish Jehoiakim for rejecting God’s word about the coming judgment. He would punish Jehoiakim’s descendants too. The disaster God warned about would come to the people who did not listen.

Jeremiah told God’s people that God was displeased, that they needed to stop sinning, and that they should turn back to God and obey His Word. John 1 says that Jesus is the Word. Jesus brought the same message that Jeremiah gave to the people of Judah. Jesus came to live among the people, explain their need to turn back to God, and sacrifice His life to make a way for people to turn from sin and to know and love God.

Family Activity: Challenge your family to gather all the Bibles they can find in your house in five minutes. Count how many Bibles you have access to (including mobile devices, computers, and so forth). Ask kids to recall the Bible story. How did King Jehoiakim treat God’s Word? Why does God want us to read the Bible?

Key Passage: Ezekiel 37:27 “My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people.”

Big Picture Question: What job did God give Jeremiah? God called Jeremiah to be a prophet.

Christ Connection: God sent Jeremiah to talk to the people in Judah. Jeremiah told them to think about how they were living. He told them to stop disobeying God. Like Jeremiah, Jesus told people to be sorry for their sin. Jesus lived a perfect life for us and took our punishment so we could be right with God.

Dear Parents,
The people of the Southern Kingdom of Judah were afraid. They had seen the Assyrians destroy the Northern Kingdom and now they were not sure if they would be able to survive. God called on Jeremiah to speak to the people.

“I chose you before I formed you in the womb; I set you apart before you were born.” These words from Jeremiah 1:5 reveal a Creator who is sovereign, working out everything in agreement with the decision of His will. (Eph. 1:11)

Jeremiah 1:5 ends with a specific call for a man named Jeremiah: “I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
Jeremiah was the son of Hilkiah the priest. He lived just north of Jerusalem. Jeremiah’s ministry began when God called him. At that time, Josiah was king of Judah. Whom else did God call in the Old Testament? God called Noah to build an ark (Gen. 6); He called Abram to leave his home (Gen. 12:1-4); He called Moses to lead His people out of Egypt (Ex. 3).

Each time God calls someone, He equips him or her to do His work. Like Moses, Jeremiah was hesitant: “Oh no, Lord, God! Look, I don’t know how to speak since I am only a youth” (Jer. 1:6). God assured Jeremiah: “I will be with you” (Jer. 1:8).

God called Jeremiah to be a prophet to Judah. Judah was deep in idol worship and other sins. God’s judgment was coming. Jeremiah’s job was to warn them. God gave Jeremiah two visions. The first—a branch of an almond tree—was a sign that God would keep His promise to send judgment, and He would do it soon. The second vision—a boiling pot—meant that God’s judgment was coming from the north. God would bring the Babylonians from the north as judgment on His people. Then God sent Jeremiah out to announce God’s declaration.

God had a plan for Jeremiah before Jeremiah was born. God called Jeremiah to share God’s message about sin. In a similar way, God had planned all along to send His Son, Jesus, to show them what God is like and to rescue them from sin.

Help your kids see God’s love even in the midst of His discipline and help them connect Jeremiah’s ministry to the ministry of Jesus. God called Jeremiah to warn the people of the judgment for their sin. Jesus also came to tell people to turn from their sin. He didn’t just tell them about the punishment, He took the punishment on Himself!

Family Activity: Share about your job and why you chose the profession or trade you are in. You may also share about the jobs your parents (the grandparents) worked when you were a kid. Ask your kids to describe the jobs they want to have when they grow up. Tell what you wanted to be when you were a kid. Remind kids that God has a plan for each of them too.

Key Passage: Zephaniah 3:17 “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”

Big Picture Question: Why did God destroy Nineveh? The people of Nineveh didn’t love God or His people.

Christ Connection: Nahum brought a message of comfort to God’s people, reminding them that God loves His people and will protect them from their enemies. Jesus also brought a message of comfort to His people. Jesus assured us of salvation and peace. All of the enemies of God and the enemies of God’s children were defeated at the cross. In the end, all evil will be finally punished.

Dear Parents,

Thank you for continuing this journey of The Gospel Project® for Kids. Nahum was a prophet to Nineveh, the capital of Assyria. He wasn’t the first. Remember Jonah? Jonah reluctantly went to Nineveh, saying, “In 40 days Nineveh will be demolished!” (Jonah 3:4). The Ninevites immediately repented, and God spared them. So what was Nahum doing in Nineveh?

Well, it wasn’t long after Jonah’s visit that the people went back to their old ways. Assyria had defeated Israel and was a constant threat to Judah. Nahum described Nineveh as “the city of blood, totally deceitful, full of plunder, never without prey” (Nahum 3:1). Nahum went to Nineveh to say that God’s judgment was coming. “The Lord will never leave the guilty unpunished” (Nahum 1:3).

God had shown grace to the people of Nineveh in the time of Jonah, but their sin made them guilty. Nahum echoed parts of Exodus 34:6-7: “Yahweh is … slow to anger … But He will not leave the guilty unpunished.” God was going to judge Nineveh. (See Nahum 1:2.) He would make war against them and defeat them. (Nahum 1:6) When God’s judgment came upon Nineveh, His people would be safe. (Nahum 1:7)

Nahum brought a message of comfort to God’s people, reminding them that God loves His people and will protect them from their enemies. Jesus also brought a message of comfort to His people. Jesus assured us of salvation and peace. All of the enemies of God and His children—sin, Satan, and death—were defeated at the cross. In the end, all evil will be finally punished.

Family Activity: Send each family member or a team of family members on a photo scavenger hunt looking for items that protect people. Provide each team or family member with a camera or cell phone to photograph items. Set boundaries of where the family members may and may not go and set a time limit. Meet back to see who found the most items. Talk about how God protects us much better than any of the items they found.

Key Passage: Zephaniah 3:17 “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”

Big Picture Question: How do God’s people live in bad times? God’s people trust God to take care of them.

Christ Connection: Habakkuk lived when bad things seemed to be happening everywhere. He trusted God to take care of His people and rescue them. Bad things happen today, but we can trust that Jesus will come back one day and make everything right.

Dear Parents,

Thank you for continuing this journey of The Gospel Project® for Kids. How much time do you spend waiting? Think about it. Waiting for a traffic light to turn green, waiting in line at the post office, waiting to check your bags at the airport, waiting for coffee at the drive-thru, waiting for a phone call, waiting for a birthday, waiting on someone else. Why do we wait? We know something is coming.

A major factor in waiting is faith—”the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). This is precisely what the prophet Habakkuk addressed. He found himself in a period of waiting, first for judgment and then for revival. All around him, people were oppressed and violence escalated. “How long, Lord, must I call for help?” Habakkuk asked. “Why do You tolerate wrongdoing?”

God answered Habakkuk. God was going to raise up the Babylonians, and they would hold captive the people of Judah. Habakkuk prayed again. Yes, Judah deserved to be punished, but the Babylonians were even more wicked than Judah; how could God, in essence, bless them? God answered Habakkuk. He said the Babylonian captivity would not last forever. After some time, God was going to rescue His people and punish the Babylonians.

Habakkuk lived at a time when evil seemed to be everywhere. By faith, he trusted God’s promise that God would deliver His people. Injustice, violence, and wickedness surround us today, but we can live by faith and trust that Jesus will return to make all things right. Those who are in Christ are waiting for the fulfillment of Christ’s return. Until then, we live by faith. (See Hebrews 10:35-38.)

Family Activity: Play a listening game. Encourage the family to gather in one room. Invite one family member to go to another room in the house and say “hello” or make a noise. Allow the other family members to guess where in the house the voice is coming from. Talk about how it is sometimes difficult to hear the family member. Share how God always hears the prayers of those who trust Him, but He may not always answer when and how we want.

Key Passage: Zephaniah 3:17 “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”

Big Picture Question: What will happen at the end of time? At the end of time, God will rescue His people and punish evil.

Christ Connection: Zephaniah prophesied about the Day of the Lord—a day when God will judge the world for its sin and Jesus Christ will return. Jesus will make everything new, and everyone who trusts in Him will be safe.

Dear Parents,
Thank you for continuing this journey of The Gospel Project® for Kids. Today’s Bible story takes place during the early years of King Josiah’s reign, before he made his reforms. Zephaniah was a prophet to Judah during that time. Zephaniah prophesied about the Day of the Lord, when God will judge the world for its sin and Jesus Christ will return and make everything new.

Zephaniah’s prophecies were intended to get the attention of Judah. Read Zephaniah 1:14-18. Who could ignore those types of descriptions? The Day of the Lord will be universal and intense. Zephaniah made a call to action: turn back to God.

Zephaniah also described God’s promise of future restoration. A new day is coming—a day when God will bring us home. (Zephaniah 3:20) The new day dawned with Christ’s first coming, but will one day come in fullness. On the day that Jesus gathers His people and reigns in victory, this promise will ring true over us: “The Lord has removed your punishment; He has turned back your enemy. The King of Israel, Yahweh, is among you; you need no longer fear harm” (Zephaniah 3:15).

The final Day of the Lord is coming. Do not ignore the warnings of Zephaniah. Respond to Zephaniah’s admonition: “Seek the Lord … Seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you will be concealed on the day of the Lord’s anger” (Zephaniah 2:3). If you are in Christ, you will be concealed from the Lord’s anger and experience the joy of a new day. We can look forward to and prepare for that new day. (See 2 Peter 3:13-14.) Jesus will be among us, a warrior who saves. “He will rejoice over you with gladness. He will bring you quietness with His love. He will delight in you with shouts of joy” (Zephaniah 3:17).

Family Activity: Host a family cooking contest. Assign a different dish for each family member to create a meal. Make it a simple meal. Invite a family friend or relative to be the judge. Assist younger kids, but let them do as much as possible. The judge should pick his or her favorite part of the meal. Talk about how God is going to one day judge the decisions we make during our life. Remind them that we will all fail, but Jesus didn’t. That’s why we put our trust in Him.

Key Passage: Zephaniah 3:17 “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”

Big Picture Question: How did Josiah help God’s people? Josiah helped God’s people obey God.

Christ Connection: Josiah respected God’s law. He obeyed and did what God said. Josiah wanted God’s people to love God and obey the law too. When Jesus came to earth, He obeyed the law perfectly.

Dear Parents,
This week in The Gospel Project® for Kids, we take a look at Josiah. Josiah was 8 years old when he became king. His father, Amon, had been assassinated by his own servants, and the people of Judah made Josiah king. (2 Kings 21:23-24) Think of the 8-year-olds you know. Are any of them suited to rule over a kingdom?

Josiah did well as king of Judah, and he didn’t step into the easiest of circumstances. His father had been a wicked king, and Judah was corrupt with idolatry. Josiah was not like his father, though. When he was a teenager, he began to seek God—the God of his ancestor David. Then Josiah made changes in Judah. He tore down the altars and idols of false gods, and he began repairing the Lord’s temple.

During the temple repair, the high priest found the book of the law of the Lord. The court secretary read the book of the law to Josiah, and Josiah tore his clothes. He knew the Lord’s righteous requirements, and the people of Judah fell short. Josiah gathered the people and read the law aloud. He made a covenant to follow God and obey His commands, and then those listening vowed to do the same. Josiah had great respect for God’s law. He allowed God’s word to control what he did as a king. Josiah wanted God’s people to love God and obey the law too.

When we stand before the law, we too should mourn over our sin. We have fallen short of God’s standard and are cursed. (Romans 3:23; Galatians 3:10) But the gospel is good news. When Jesus came to earth, He fulfilled the law by obeying it perfectly. He died on the cross to pay for our sins. When we trust in Him, His righteousness is credited to us. Our debt is laid on Him, and He redeems us. (Galatians 3:13)

Family Activity: Ask each family member to choose a favorite Bible story to share with the family later in the week. You may also encourage them to tell why it’s a favorite. Talk about how Josiah, even at a young age, realized how important God’s Word is to read, obey, and share with others.