Saturday, 5 March 2011

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Development Window to Teach Children About God


According to "The Power of Teachable Moments" by Jim Widmann and Marianne Hering (Ch. 7), the following is a list of Bible facts and principles that were adapted and expanded from the Parents' Guide to the Spiritual Growth of Children, edited by John Trent, Ph.D., Rick Osborne and Kurt Bruner. The list is broken into into age groups: 0-4, 5-6, 7-9, 10-12, 13-15 and 16-18. Under each age heading are listed the biblical topics/principles that children should be able to grasp during the developmental window.

Ages 0-4:

1. God exists.
2. God loves you.
3. Jesus loves you.
4. God wants to take care of you.
5. God created everything.
6. God created you.
7. God gave us the Bible.
8. God's Son, Jesus, died for your sins so you can be with God.
9. Prayer is talking to God.
10. You need to talk to God regularly.
11. You need to regularly listen to stories about God and Jesus from the Bible.
12. God wants you to be good, kind and loving.
13. God wants you to see and think good things.
14. God wants you to go to church.
15. God wants you to obey your parents.
16. God wants you to share your things with others.

Ages 5-6:

17. God is your loving heavenly Father. He wants to guide, teach, love, protect and provide for you.
18. Jesus showed us who God is and what He's like.
19. God is everywhere, He can do anything and He knows everything.
20. Jesus has always been with God and is God.
21. God tells you about Himself, His Son, Jesus, and His plan for you in the Bible.
22. God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for you.
23. God has prepared a place for you in heaven. Jesus is coming back for you.
24. You can have a relationship with God by accepting what Jesus offers you: salvation.
25. God wants to have a relationship with you.
26. You can talk to God through prayer.
27. You can thank God and Jesus for all teh good things for your life.
28. You can ask God for wisdom and guidance.
29. You can read about God and His Son, Jesus, in the Bible or in a Bible storybook.
30. God has a plan for you.
31. The Bible tells you the kind of person God wants you to be.
32. God's way works best. You can be all God wants you to be by following Jesus.
33. God wants you to put only good things into your heart.
34. When you sin, you should ask God to forgive you - and He will.
35. God wants you to spend time with other Christians, both at church and in the community.
36. God wants you to help others and be nice to them.
37. God wants you to obey Him and follow Jesus in everything.
38. God wants you to share and take care of everything He gives you.
39. God wants you to understand and memorize the Bible verses.

Ages 7-9:

40. You can be sure that God is real.
41. There is only one God.
42. God exists in three Persons: Father, Song and Holy Spirit. This is called the Trinity.
43. God is eternal.
44. Jesus is both God and man.
45. Nothing exists apart from God creating it.
46. God's character is true, honest, loving, compassionate, faithful, just, impartial and holy.
47. The Bible is true. It is God's Word and you can trust it.
48. God made sure all stories in the Bible are part of the same larger story.
49. Not everyone obeys God.
50. God wants you to learn and study the Bible.
51. The world is full of sin. There is an enemy in the world (Satan).
52. Jesus died to save you from the penalty of sin.
53. Jesus defeated sin and Satan.
54. Jesus is the only way to God.
55. You read the Bible to learn who God is and what He has done and is doing.
56. You can pray your own prayers or with your parents.
57. Prayers benefits you in many ways.
58. Sometimes life gets hard and you should keep praying because that's the way God makes you stronger.
59. You can trust God and turn your life over to Him.
60. You should learn to seek God.
61. Jesus gives you peace.
62. God wants you to learn and grow and become like Jesus.
63. Growth is a learning process.
64. Your character should match God's character.
65. God wants you to develop your talents.
66. God wants you to develop the fruit of the Spirit, which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22).
67. God wants you to mature and develop your personality.
68. Church is God's idea. Jesus is the head of the Church. At church you learn about God and encourage each other to follow Jesus.
69. God wants you to understand what a blessing people and good relationships are.
70. God has taught you right and wrong. He did this to keep you safe and to give you a good life.
71. The Ten Commandments are a good guide for life.
72. God wants you to share your faith.

Ages 10-12:

73. Not everyone believes the truth about God, but there are ways you can respond to their objections. (Handling contrary opinions about God, or basic apologetics; you can also study other religions so that you are equipped to handle their questions.)
74. God wants you to explore the Bible.
75. God put the Bible together in a fascinating way. Some dozens of authours over a period of several thousand years created a book with a single, unifying profile of God and His will and purpose.
76. You need to learn how to study the Bible.
77. God lets His people serve Him and worship Him in different ways.
78. God gave us an accurate record of His Son, Jesus.
79. God wants you to tell others about what Jesus has done.
80. Jesus will return as Judge and there will be a new heaven and a new earth.
81. You can pray on your own.
82. You can read the Bible on your own.
83. You can learn to worship God and Jesus on your own or in a group.
84. God wants you to choose to grow, learn and seek His wisdom.
85. You don't have to live the Christian life on your own. God is working in you by His Holy Spirit.
86. God wants you to find and follow His will for your life.
87. God wants you to choose to commit your entire life and everything you have to Him.
88. God wants you to choose His way because you love Him and want to be like Jesus.
89. God wants you to learn to seek and follow His Spirit's leading.
90. You need to learn how to resist temptation and Satan.
91. You need to get involved in Church and find your place in the body of Christ.

Ages 13-15:

92. God is your provider. You can trust Him to take care of your financial needs.
93. God is the God of people groups and families. He is also a personal God - your God.
94. God's love is based on His goodness, not on your love-ableness.
95. God is more interested in building your character than He is in making you comfortable. God loves you and helps you, but He doesn't always make things easy.
96. When you have depressing and sad thoughts, God wants you to pray and tell Him. He will help you.
97. God wants you to pray for your family, friends, your future spouse, your nation and the world.
98. God wants your words to be wholesome. Cursing or taking the Lord's name in vain is inappropriate. God does not want you to gossip or to tease with harsh jestling.
99. The Bible warns against getting drunk or letting anything control your mind, be it alcohol or drugs.
100. God wants you to witness to people who are different from you. They can be different in their cultural background, how much money they have, their skin colour, hobbies, or their taste in music.
101. God wants you to be sexually pure in thought and deed.
102. God wants you to choose friends who will help you become a stronger Christian. Find those friends who ask, "What would Jesus do?"

Ages 16-18:
103. God has shaped you and designed you for His plans. He is the potter; you are the clay. Your destiny is found in Him.
104. God gives you the strength and resources to face each day, no matter how tough it is.
105: God's purpose for sending Jesus was to offer forgiveness to the world. He will forgive your sins if you ask Him in Jesus' name.
106. God wants you to honour your parents even when it is difficult.
107. You need to choose God as your own God. He does not want lip service to a family tradition; He wants your heart.
108. God wants you to live each day for Him and to be prepared to serve Him today with the gifts He has given you. This will help you discover your identity.
109. You need to be learning how to be respectful, honouring, self-sacrificing and self-controlled. These are the qualities that make a good spouse.
110. God wants you to stand against the common culture. This takes self-control.
111. By discovering your spiritual gifts, you can better serve God and the church. You will be satisfied only when you are serving others with your God-given gifts.
112. Feelings can be deceptive. God wants you to obey Him and renew your mind by reading the Bible so you will not be led astray by emotions or arguments that appeal to your emotions.

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