Family Sunday School Devotional for August 9
“Jesus Calmed a Storm” from Matthew 8; Mark 4; Luke 8
Listen to- “The Lord is My Salvation from Shane & Shane here:
and- “Fear Not (Isaiah 41:10)” by Seeds Family Worship here:
for younger kids, listen to- “God Makes Everything” by Rain for Roots here:
Supplies Needed- none needed
Summary- Jesus calmed the storm to show the disciples He is God.
Introduction Younger Kid Activity- Storm or Silence Sit in a circle. Help children come up with sounds, actions, and motions to create a storm. Examples- clap hands to make thunder, pat legs for raindrops, stomp feet for lightning, blow air with mouths to create wind, etc. When you say “storm”, kids should use their bodies to make a loud storm. When you say “silence”, children should freeze and be quiet and still. Say, “The Bible tells us amazing stories about Jesus’ power. Today’s Bible story is about a boat, a storm, and how Jesus did something amazing- something that only God could do.”
Introduction Older Kid Activity- Is It Possible? Have kids stand next to one another in a line in the middle of the room. Read a series of actions and instruct kids to take a step forward if it is something they can do or could learn to do. Kids will take a step backward if it is something they could never do. Suggested actions: play basketball, plant a tree, control the weather, lift a school bus, dance in a talent show. Say, “Humans can do many things. But one thing we cannot do is control the weather. In fact, we can barely even predict the weather, even with all our modern technology! Today we will learn about a time Jesus showed His power as God by controlling weather.”
Big Picture Question- Say, “Our new Big Picture Question asks: Why did Jesus perform miracles? The answer to our question is: Jesus performed miracles to glorify God, to show He is the Son of God, and to care for people. A miracle is something God can do that would normally be impossible. Jesus did many miracles while He was on earth. As we learn about some of the miracles Jesus performed, I want you to think about why Jesus did them: to glorify God, to show He is the Son of God, and to care for people.”
Bible Story- Timeline Say, “After Adam and Eve disobeyed God, the world was thrown into sin. Every part of God’s creation was damaged by sin in one way or another. God’s people struggled in sin, sometimes obeying God, but usually fighting against Him or ignoring Him altogether. All along, God had a plan to rescue people and destroy sin. Jesus is God’s plan to defeat sin. Jesus came into the world as a baby. He grew into an adult and traveled throughout Israel doing ministry: healing, teaching, and performing other miracles. Today’s story is called ‘Jesus Calmed a Storm’.” Open a Bible to Luke 8:22-25. Say, “The Bible is the true story about God. Today’s story about Jesus is told in not one, not two, but three books of the New Testament. It appears in the Books of Matthew, Mark, and Luke.” Either tell the story in your own words from this passage or read aloud from the Big Picture Interactive Bible Storybook (the Bible storybook your younger child received from Sunday School) page 222.
Christ Connection- Say, “Jesus’ disciples knew Jesus was a good man and a good teacher. But when Jesus calmed the wind and the waves, He showed His disciples that He is also God. God rules the sea and stills its waves. Jesus did much more than saving His disciples from a dangerous storm. He lived a perfect life, died on the cross for our sin, and rose to life on the third day. His work made the way for us to be saved from something much worse than drowning. When we have faith in Jesus, God forgives our sin and gives us new life with Him forever.”
Key Passage- Open a Bible to Psalm 40:5. Read the verses aloud. Say, “Our key passage reminds us that God made everything and He knows everything. We are not like Him, and we can’t do what He can do. Jesus calmed a storm. That is something that only He can do. He has the power over everything He has made.”
Review Questions- Ask the following questions:
- *PreK- What was Jesus doing in the boat? (sleeping)
- *PreK- What came while Jesus was asleep? (a storm)
- *PreK- Why did Jesus’ friends wake Him? (They were afraid.)
- *PreK- What did Jesus say to the wind and the waves? (“Silence! Be still!”)
- *PreK- What did the wind and waves do after Jesus spoke to them? (The wind stopped blowing, and the waves stopped crashing.)
- How did the disciples react to Jesus’ miracle? (terrified, Luke 8:25)
- How do you react to scary or hard situations? (Guide kids to talk about when it is hard or easy to trust God.)
- How can we know that Jesus is trustworthy no matter what? (Prompt kids to provide ways we can know Jesus is trustworthy. Remind them that God’s Word is true, and it teaches us to trust Jesus. Jesus is God the Son, and the Bible teaches us that He has control over all of creation. We also know that God only does what is good and right. Everything He does is for glory and our good.)
- Why did Jesus perform miracles? (Jesus performed miracles to glorify God, to show He is the Son of God, and to care for people.)
Say, “Jesus calmed a storm to show the disciples He is God. When we understand who Jesus is and put our faith in His work on the cross, God forgives our sins and gives us eternal life with Him.”
For Older Kids- Also, ask the following questions:
- What can you do when you feel afraid of what is happening around you? (Read Isaiah 41:10)
- What do you know to be true about God that can help you have peace in hard situations? (Lead kids to recognize that we can trust that God is in control and has power over everything, even when times are hard. Trusting God gives us peace that can show the world that He is mighty. Jesus proved that He can be trusted. His miracles, teaching, death, and resurrection showed that He is who He says He is. Only Jesus can save us when we look to Him in faith. Read Psalm 56:3-4)
Reflection- Ask older children to answer one of the following questions:
- What does this story teach me about God or the Gospel?
- What does the story teach me about myself?
- Whom can I tell about this story?
Further Learning- Take about 15 minutes to do one of the activities from the 2020 Missions Conference At-Home from our church’s website. Many activities have internet links to view videos or see simple directions for crafts, science object lessons, music appreciation/interaction, cultural information, games, and food recipes. With a few extra minutes of planning, prepare for next week’s missions activity. Pray- Thank God for being more powerful than anything that terrifies us. Thank Him for showing His love by sending His Son, who died on the cross to bring us peace with God.
Adult Sunday School Devotional for August 9
“Jesus Casts Out Demons” from Luke 8
Listen to- “Taste and See (Psalm 34)” by Shane & Shane here:
and- “I Know Whom I Have Believed” by Daniel W. Whittle here:
Summary- Jesus demonstrated His authority over evil by driving demons out of a man.
Christ Connection- When Jesus approached the man who was possessed by demons, even the demons recognized His authority. Jesus drove the demons out of the man, but when the people saw His authority, they were afraid and drove Him off. Jesus would later demonstrate His authority over sin and evil in a greater way through His crucifixion and resurrection. While many continue to reject Him, one day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess Jesus is Lord (see Philippians 2:9-11).
Point 1. The demons recognize the Son of God’s authority (read aloud Luke 8:26-33).
Demons: Demons are angelic beings who sinned against God and now continually work evil in the world today (see Job 1:6; Zechariah 3:1; Luke 10:18). Demons oppose God and seek to destroy His work, as seen in the Bible’s description of Satan, the head of demons, who seeks to “steal, kill, and destroy”. Though demons have power, they are limited by God’s control and can only act within the constraints of what God permits. In the end, all of the demons will be cast into the lake of fire, for which it was originally created.
Note- The demons knew that Jesus is the Son of the Most High God, the Second Person of the Trinity. As James 2:19 says, even the demons believe in God, and they shudder. They believe in God and His Son, but they refuse to honor and obey Him; therefore, they are awaiting His eternal wrath. The demons begged not to be tormented by Jesus, implying He has the power to do so, and He does. They feared banishment to the abyss, which is hell, the place of eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels and also the eternal punishment for all those who do not believe in Jesus (see Matthew 25:41). “Legion” was afraid because Jesus has the power and authority to punish His enemies, both physical and spiritual. One day He will exercise that authority, but not yet, not until the Father says the time is right (see Mark 13:32). For now, the demons would simply be displaced at the word of the Lord. They asked for permission to enter a herd of pigs. Again we see Jesus’ authority because the demons needed His permission, which He granted.
Respond- What will a faith response to the authority of Jesus look like, as opposed to the forced submission displayed by the demons?
Point 2. The people fear the Son of God’s authority (read aloud Luke 8:34-37).
Note- The people in this Gentile region had tried to restrain the man and had failed every time. Chains and shackles were insufficient to restrain this man who was out of his mind. They likely had written him off and hoped he remained secluded in the graveyard. They could do nothing for him. Jesus, however, succeeded with mere words in freeing the man from his spiritual shackles. No longer wild, the man was sitting still beside Jesus. No longer naked, the man was dressed. No longer out of his mind, the man was in his right mind. His sanity had been returned to him through the intervention of the supernatural Savior of humanity.
Respond- How might the authority and power of Jesus cause fear in people today?
Note- Fear can drive us toward Jesus or away from Him; it can drive us to a deeper holiness or to abandon the reason and wisdom that comes from God in Jesus Christ. The difference, of course, is faith. The fear of the Lord is a good thing for the believer, marked by humility, reverence, and holiness. But without faith, one can only be afraid of the Lord, marked by distance from God and distrust of His ways.
Point 3. The man obeys the Son of God’s authority (read aloud Luke 8:38-39).
Note- Our level of desire to commune with Jesus is a reflection of the sin in our lives, but it is directly proportional to our desire to repent of our sin. When we recognize the depths of our depravity and the amazing grace of our freedom through faith in Jesus, sin begins to lose its appeal and we find greater satisfaction in the Son of the Most High God. This is the process of sanctification borne out of the new identity of the believer.
Note- The man didn’t need more training or coaxing. He knew what he had experienced, and that he could tell his story of what Jesus did. Just as this man was commissioned to share his good news, so we are commissioned to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ (see Matthew 28:18-20). Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead to free us from our sin and its consequences. Our testimony may not sound as dramatic as the testimony of the man who had been demon-possessed, but it is. Before faith in Jesus, we were enslaved to sin, spiritually shackled with no way to break free, if we even wanted to. But by faith in Jesus, our chains have fallen away- we are free forever!
Respond- Why might we be reluctant to share our testimony of the Gospel of Jesus in our lives?
Conclusion- Demon-possession may be a foreign concept to many of us, but it is a biblical reality at home and abroad. We may be blind to spiritual oppression, but it is all around us. Any idol of the heart finds its root in sin. Demonic forces may be subtle or overt, but from this true Gospel story, we can know that Jesus has the power to break the chains of sin, to bring dead hearts to life, to calm wild spirits, and to save sinners. Because of this good news purchased for us on the cross, we repent of our sin and believe in Jesus and follow Him, and we go wherever He sends us to proclaim all that God has done for us in Jesus.
Apply- Because Jesus has set us free from sin and death, we recognize and embrace His authority over every area of our lives as we proclaim what Jesus has done for us.
-How will you obey Jesus in faith because of His authority over all things physical and spiritual?
-What are some ways your family can help one another experience community instead of isolation in order to combat sin?
-With whom will you share your testimony of all that Jesus has done for you to save you from your sin? (Pray, praising God the Father for sending His Son Jesus to save us from our spiritual wreck so we can enjoy His rule over creation with power and authority. Ask that by His Holy Spirit’s help, we might be able to faithfully and boldly share the Gospel of Jesus so others can find freedom through faith in Him.)