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Christmas Devotions - Seventeen From the Beginning

The Gospel of John tells us that the "word" is not only the spoken word (the message from God and Jesus' teachings) but also the "Word," Jesus, the actual person of God himself in Christ, He is the living expression of God's presence with his people. Read John 1:1-18 JUST THE FACTS 1. Who was in the beginning? (v.1) 2. Whom did God send to tell about the "light"? (vv.6-8) 3. What was given through Moses? What came through Christ? (v. 17) LET'S TALK 1. What is Grace? What are so...

November 20, 2017

Christmas Devotions - Sixteen Jesus, the Son of God is Baptised

When John grew up, he travelled from place to place telling people that the Messiah was coming and that they shoud change their ways. He did this to prepare them for the Messiah.The he baptised them in the river to show that their hearts were clean. One day Jesus came to be baptised too. Read Matthew 3:13-17 JUST THE FACTS 1. What did John say to Jesus when Jesus came to be baptised? (v.14) 2. What happened when Jesus came out of the water? (v.16) 3. What did the voice from heaven say? ...

November 19, 2017

Christmas Devotion - Fifteen the visit of the Magi

Several months after Jesus was born, Magi (traditionally called wise men) came from the east to Jerusalem asking about a new king. First, they asked King Herod, who was a friend of the Roman rulers, where to find the one they were looking for. Then they traveled another five miles to the town where Jesus lived in order to find him. Read Matthew 2:1-12 JUST THE FACTS 1. Whom did the Magi say they were looking for? (v.2) 2. What was the name of the king who was disturbed when he heard of...

November 18, 2017

Christmas Devotion Fourteen - Mary and Joseph Present Jesus at the Temple

Forty days after his birth,Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem. They were obeying religious laws that Moses had given the Israelities long before. They went to dedicate their firstborn son to God and to offer sacrifices. Read Luke 2:21-40 Jesus presented in the Temple JUST THE FACTS 1. Why did Mary and Joseph go to Jerusalem? (vv. 22-24) 2. How did Msry and Joseph react to what Simeon said? (v. 33) 3. How old was Simeon and Anna waiting for? What kind of people were th...

November 17, 2016

Christmas Devotion Thirteen - The Shepherds and the Angels

Read Luke 2:8-20 JUST THE FACTS 1. Who appeared to the shepherds out in the fields? (v.9) 2. What did he say? (vv. 10-11) 3. What happended after this angel made his announcement? (v. 13) LET'S TALK 1. Why were the shepherds terrified to see the angel and "the glory of the Lord"? (v. 9) How would you feel if you were camping out and saw this phenomenon? 2. What did the shepherds do after they went to see Jesus in the manger? Why? WHY THIS MATTERS The story of Jesus' birth had to be told, and...

November 16, 2016

Christmas Devotion Twelve - The Birth of Jesus

Read Luke 2:1-7 JUST THE FACTS 1. Why did Mary and Joseph go to Bethlehem? (vv. 1-3) 2. What was another name for the town of Bethlehem? (v. 4) 3. Why did Mary put the baby in the manger? (v. 7) LET'S TALK 1. Can you think of some of the prophecies that were fulfilled when Jesus was born? Look back to the previous readings if you need to. 2. Why would God want his Son to be born in such a poor and ordinary place? WHY THIS MATTERS That night in Bethlehem, God came down to earth in the fo...

November 15, 2016

Christmas Devotions Eleven - The Birth of John the Baptist

Read Luke 1:57-80 JUST THE FACTS 1. What name did the people want Elizabeth to give her son? Why? (v.59) 2. How was the baby's name finally chosen? (v.63) 3. What happened to Zechariah when he wrote down the baby's name? (v.64) LET'S TALK 1. Names were very important during Bible times. They often told what the child meant to the parents or described who he or she would become. Why did your parents give you the name you have? Discuss the names of the people in your family and what they mea...

November 14, 2016

Christmas Devotion Ten - Joseph has a Dream

Read Matthew 1:18-25 JUST THE FACTS 1. Who talked to Joseph in a dream? What did the messenger call Joseph? (v.20) 2. What did the messenger tell Joseph would happen? (v.21) 3. What was Joseph told to name the baby? (v.21) LET'S TALK 1, How do you think Joseph felt after his dream? have you ever had a dream that made you feel better about a situation? 2. Why is it important that these events took place according to the prophecy in verse 23 WHY THIS MATTERS God wanted Jesus, his own Son, to h...

November 11, 2016

Christmas Devotion Nine - An Angel Announces Jesus' Birth

Read Luke 1:26-56 JUST THE FACTS 1. What was the name of the angel who visited Mary? (v.26) 2. What was the name Mary was to give her child? (v.31) 3. What was Mary's final answer to the angel? (v.38) LET'S TALK 1.Why did Mary believe this very unusual announcement? Why did Mary visit Elizabeth? 2, What was Mary like? Why do you think God chose her to be Jesus' mother? WHY THIS MATTERS God showed that he can do the impossible - a virgin became pregnant by his Holy Spirit, and God's Son came ...

November 10, 2016

Christmas Devotions Eight - The Birth of John Foretold

Read Luke 1:5-25 JUST THE FACTS 1. Who was Zechariah? What was his wife's name? (v.5) 2. Who visited Zechariah in the temple? What was the message? (vv. 11-17) 3. What happened to Zechariah? Why? (v.20) LET'S TALK 1. Was Zechariah's inability to speak a punishment or a blessing? Explain. 2. In what way would John "go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah" (v.17)? Why did the angel compare John to the Old Testament prophet? WHY THIS MATTERS God kept the promise he had ma...

November 9, 2016

Christmas Devotions Seven - The Messiah Will Come From Bethlehem

Read Micah 5:1-5 JUST THE FACTS: 1. What town was the prophet talking about? ( v. 2) 2. What did the prophet say about this small town? ( v. 2) 3. What would this ruler be like? ( vv. 4 - 5) LET'S TALK: 1. What do you think it means that the ruler over Israel would be one "whose origins are from of old, from ancient times" (v. 2) 2. How has Jesus' greatness reached to the ends of the earth? Discuss. WHY THIS MATTERS: Christ existed long before history began. He was present at the cre...

November 8, 2016

Christmas Devotions Six - God will Come to Save

Read Isaiah 35:1-10 JUST THE FACTS: 1. How would the desert and wilderness rejoice? ( vv 1-2) 2. What would happen to blind people? Deaf people? Lame people? 3. What would be the name of the highway? ( v 8) LET'S TALK: 1. A 'contrast' shows the difference between two things, such as the contrast between desert land and land that has plenty of rainfall. How many contrasts can you find in this passage? 2. Who will walk on the Way of Holiness? How do you picture this? What will it be...

November 7, 2016

Christmas Devotions Five - The Branch from Jesse

Read Isaiah 11:1-10 JUST THE FACTS: 1. What gifts would the Spirit give this "shoot" (v. 1) When the Spirit rested on him? ( v. 2) 2. What would the "shoot"wear his belt? As his sash? (vv. 6-9) 3. What animals are mentioned in this reading? How will these animals someday behave? (vv. 6-9) LET'S TALK: 1. Why do you think Isaiah talked about the Messiah's coming by using words about growing things, like the "Branch" and the "shoot" (v. 1)? What sometimes happens when you cut off a pla...

November 6, 2016

Christmas Devotion Four - God's People Ask for Salvation

Read Psalm 80:1-19 JUST THE FACTS: 1. Where does God sit? (v. 1) 2. What did this writer ask for? (vv. 2-3) 3. What happened to the vine? (vv. 8-11, 16) LET'S TALK: 1. Why do you think the writer used the word picture sof a vine? Why not just say "Israel"? 2. What did the people promise to do if God sent them a ruler? (v 18) What did they mean by saying they would call on God's name and not turn away? WHY THIS MATTERS: God's people continued to plead with God to show mercy and save the...

November 5, 2016

Christmas Devotion Three - A Child is Born

Read Isaiah 9:1-7 Just the facts What event was coming? (v.6) What are some of the names this special child would have? (v.6) How long would this king reign? (v.7) Let's talk What is it like when everything is dark? What about when someone turns on the light? How does this news bring people out of 'darkness' and into 'light'. (v.2) This child would have several names. What does each of them mean to you? Discuss each one. Why this matters Though God's people were facing a frightening...

November 4, 2016

Christmas Devotions Two - The Sign of Immanuel

Read Isaiah 7:10-8:10 Just the Facts What did God want Ahaz to do? (7:11) What was the sign God promised to send? (7:14) What was the boy going to eat? (7:15) Lets talk This prophecy was meant for Ahaz's time, but it was also a foreshadowing of Jesus' coming. Why do you think the prophet gave two meanings to these verses? "Immanuel" (7:14) means "God with us". When do we use the name "Immanuel" today? Can you think of a song about Immanuel? Why this matters The sign God gave to Ahaz ...

November 3, 2016

Christmas Devotion One - Davids Forever Kingdom

Read 2 Samuel 7:1-17 Just the Facts: Who gave God's message to King David? (v. 4) What did God promise his people? (vv. 10-11) What did God promise David and his descendants? Lets Talk: What do you think it meant in David's time to "establish a house"? In what way are families important in our culture today? How is your family important to you? Who were your ancestors? How many generations can you identify? What is it like to imagine having children and grandchildren who will come...

November 2, 2016

Christmas Devotions Introduction

Over the remainder of Term 4 we will post some devotions you can do together as a family. There are three per week (20 in total) based on the book The Family Reading Bible: The Christmas Story. These will give the big picture of God's grace in sending Jesus, our Saviour to live on earth and walk among us. Families are important to God and yours matters to Him very much. He wants your family to be a safe, loving haven where you can raise your children to love and obey Him and believe in His Son,...

November 1, 2016

2016 Term 2 - Amy Carmichael (1867 - 1951)

"Please help me! Please don't send me back!" screamed 7-year-old Preena as she jumped into Amy Carmichael's lap, clinging to her neck. The little girl had just escaped from a Hindu temple in the middle of the night while her guardians were sleeping. Preena's mother had given her to the temple priests in hope of winning the favour of the gods. Amy knew this frightened girl needed her love and protection. Amy Carmichael had come to India to reach those who did not know Jesus. She was sure God...

May 16, 2016

2016 Term 1 - George Muller (1805 - 1898)

George Muller was born in Germany in 1805 to wealthy parents. His father was a tax collector. It seems George was a troubled child; a constant liar, gambler and a thief. By the age of ten he was stealing government money from his father! His life changed when he attended university. His friend, Beta, took him to a Bible study group where he learned about God and became a Christian. At age 29 he started to achieve some big things. In 1834 he founded the Scriptural Knowledge Institute which ...

April 4, 2016

2016 Term 1 - Stations of the Cross - Passion Week

There is so much that has been happening at school with camp, sports events and yesterday's trip to the Waikato Art Museum. All of these exciting events are a very important part of our curriculum and we appreciate all the support you have given us in these. This week we are building up to Easter and this is our focus. At school our student leadership team and staff have put together a 'Stations of the Cross' which we would be thrilled to have you visit. This shows some of the important themes o...

March 22, 2016

2016 Term 1 - William Tyndale (1494 - 1536)

In the last edition of the newsletter I shared with you details about our house teams and how we have related them to biblical aspects. In these next editions I want to share with you the significance of the people our house teams are named after. We have four house teams, each named after a person who has been a significant role model for us in achieving great things for God. We have related biblical symbols and colours to each team and related them to the twelve tribes of Israel and the four c...

February 29, 2016

2016 Term 1 - The Significance of House Teams

We have had an excellent start to the 2016 school year. All our classes are up to speed and by now you will be aware of the planned activities in different classes your children are in. Thank you to all those who came to O' Night a few weeks ago. This explained how things work in your child's class and what to expect this year. Make sure you remember the invitation to come in and see your child's teacher at any time through the year. Please don't wait for any school interviews as school is a par...

February 15, 2016

2016 Term 1 - Welcome and Introduction

Welcome to the 2016 school year. We all hope you have had a superb Christmas break, enjoyed celebrating Christmas and had a great time with your family. 2016 promises to be a big year and I look forward to telling you about different things as the year progresses. Our Kid on the Rock unit, school camp, 'Own Your Own Devices' in the Senior room, modern learning environments and other key events will all be big news over the next few weeks. Every term is always a big one here at Matamata Christi...

February 2, 2016

Term 4 2015 - A Christmas story. Life - It's yours to choose

With Christmas just a few weeks away we have been doing a lot to build up to the Christmas message. To celebrate the last newsletter of the year I want to retell a story and Christmas message I read from the Reverend Simon Allaby of the 6:19 Trust in the UK. When Simon was a child he and his family would spend Christmas each year with an aunt and uncle. They had an unused fireplace which his aunt would decorate with a bed of newspaper in the grate and then carefully place gold and silver pain...

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