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Week 2 - Day 4

Big Idea: God’s champions listen to the Coach!
Bible Memory Verse: Isaiah 40:29-31 “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.”

Coach’s Corner: Once in the Olympics... Do you like bicycling? How long has it been since you learned to ride your bike? Did your mom or dad help teach you how to ride? Riding a bicycle is lots of fun. It is also an important sport in the Summer Olympics. But there is one form of cycling that is no longer in the Olympics. It was called tandem cycling. Do you know what a tandem bike is? That’s when there are two riders on the cycle; one sits behind the other, almost as if he is following the one in front of him. From 1906 until 1972, men’s tandem cycling was an Olympic sport. The riders raced against a clock, and the fastest time won. Just like the rear rider on a tandem bike follows the person in front, so our lives are so much easier if we have someone to follow. If only there was someone to take us in the right direction. As God’s children, we do have such a leader. Jesus is always in front of us to show us the way. He does that through his Word, the Bible. We should always be prepared to follow where our Savior leads.

Jesus began his ministry when he was 30 years old. John the Baptist laid the groundwork for that ministry. His sole purpose was to prepare people for the coming of Jesus. In the first chapter of the gospel of John, we see John the Baptist preaching to the people to prepare themselves because the Messiah was here in person. Because of this preaching, John had accumulated a rather large following of disciples. These people often traveled many miles to hear him preach. Repeatedly, John had to tell his followers that there would come a time when they would need to switch their allegiance from him to Jesus Christ.

Our story today takes place on the east side of the Jordan River. This was many miles from Andrew’s home, which was on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. On this day John saw Jesus coming toward him and John spoke the famous words: “Look, the Lamb of God who has come to take away the sin of the world.” Then John reported that he had seen the Holy Spirit come down to Jesus like a dove, which was the sign that this was truly Jesus, the long-awaited Messiah. The very next day, John happened to be with two of his disciples when Jesus passed by again. Once again John declared that Jesus was the Lamb of God. When these two men heard John say this, they decided to find out more about Jesus. Just who was this Lamb that John was talking about? They were curious, so they began to walk behind Jesus. Sensing their presence, Jesus turned and asked them what they wanted. Their first comment was that they wanted to know where Jesus (the rabbi or teacher) was staying; it was likely small talk intended to start a greater conversation. Jesus obliged their question and motioned for them to walk with him. He then took them to his residence. The Bible then says that they were able to spend the day with him.

What a stroke of good fortune. How honored they were! What do you think they talked about? It was like having a movie star, president, or sport’s hero invite you to his or her home to spend the day—just one-on-one. Scripture then tells us the name of the first disciple was Andrew. Although the second disciple is not mentioned, it is usually considered to be John (who never names himself in his gospel account). Just spending a day with the Savior is interesting to consider. But it was what happened next that puts the frosting on the story. Immediately after the conversation with Jesus was over, Andrew ran to find his brother, Simon Peter. His message to Peter was, “We have found the Messiah!” And he brought Peter to meet Jesus. Thus Andrew became a follower of Jesus and later an apostle.

It must have been difficult for Andrew to change his allegiance from John the Baptist to Jesus. He likely was a close friend of John’s since it was he and the other disciple who were alone with John when they began to follow Jesus. Yet once he spent an afternoon with the Lord, Andrew knew that Jesus was the Son of God, who was truly the Messiah sent to redeem all people. From that day on, Andrew continued to follow Jesus. For several months he stayed with Jesus as his disciple, and eventually Jesus called him to be one of the privileged 12 apostles specifically called to serve Jesus.

Andrew is a wonderful example of what it means to serve and follow the Lord. Had he not followed Jesus that very first day, he may have never had the opportunity again. Andrew knew that Jesus was the Way and the Truth and the Life. We should stress to our children the importance of following the Lord. There are many voices calling us. There are many people trying to sway us. Satan is always seeking to have us follow him. Be prepared to give students examples of how we can follow Jesus in our lives, our thoughts, and our actions. Like the beautiful old hymn says, “Come follow me, the Savior spake.”

Missions Moment: Today we focused on China and the underground church. We continued working on our prayer bracelet and continued to collect change. We will tally all change on Friday.

Game Fun! Today we had fun doing track and field events in the water!
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