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Week 1 - Day 3

Big Idea: God’s champions exercise forgiveness!
Memory Verse: Hebrews 12:1. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

Coach’s Corner: Once in the Olympics... Have you ever played a game of croquet? It’s a great outdoor game. The game is played on a grassy surface where you set up a pattern of wire goals and wooden posts. The object of the game is to take a mallet and hit a wooden ball through the course. The first player to complete the course is the winner. Although it is a fun game, it doesn’t seem to be much of an Olympic sport for rough-and-tumble athletes. In 1900 the Olympics were played in Paris, France. That was the only year that croquet was considered an Olympic sport. France won all the croquet events, which is not surprising since only the French competitors took part. The spectators didn’t like it either. There was only one fan who watched the competition. Since then it has never again been in the Olympics. Sometimes our busy lives resemble a croquet field. First we have to go left and then to the right. Sometimes we have to do things over and over until we finally reach our goal. That’s why God gives us his Word in the Bible. There we can find the right path to take until we gain our victory in heaven.

Today we learned about Joseph and his reunion with his brothers. If you want to learn his back story, check out Genesis 37-40. Needless to say, Joseph had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. He had been beaten, sold into slavery, and was wrongly accused. Yet he remained faithful, and God blessed him.

Application: It is hard to find a clearer example of true forgiveness in all of Scripture. Joseph was wronged so many times that it is difficult to imagine he was even alive. Yet God used him in so many important ways. We are taught from when we're little to stand up and fight against those who wrong us. We see it in little children who fight back, in teens who repay those who wrong them, and in adults who are constantly seeking revenge on the roadways or in the workplace. Revenge is Satan’s answer to getting even with those around us. Yet God’s ways are just the opposite. He teaches us to repay good for evil, to turn the other cheek, to bless and not seek revenge. And we have the greatest example in the person of Jesus Christ, who was led as a sheep to the slaughter, beaten, whipped, and crowned with thorns. Yet he knew that sinful people needed his help. He willingly carried everyone’s sins on his shoulders instead of seeking revenge against all mankind. And so, just as Christ (and Joseph) forgave, so we must do likewise. That is why we pray in the Lord’s Prayer, “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.”

Mission Moment: Today in the Missions/Service rotation, we learned about the Roma (gypsy) population living in Croatia, and how they experience discrimination. The children put together and prayed over pencil pouches with a personalized note that will be sent to a child in the Roma village where our missionaries, the Warners, are serving.

Each day we have learned a special fun fact about the country focus:
  • India. Has more people than any other country, but only 2% are Christian. Our ministry partners there are praying for that to be increased ten-fold.
  • Greece. Population is 99% Christian, but also has many refugees coming through; Paul visited and wrote letters to churches in several towns in Greece, so much of the NT is in the Greek language (including the letters to the Corinthians, where the Bible memory verses come from!)
  • Croatia. An area along the coastline is called Dalmatia, and is where Dalmatian dogs come from! 

Games Fun: Today the kids played a series of games for track and field. Ask them how far they slid!

For tomorrow: Bring towel and swimsuit.
Menu: Hamburgers.
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