The kingdom of God is everywhere Christ reigns. It can be seen and experienced anywhere his people follow him as King. Sometimes we fall into the false thinking that God can only be seen in Church, or wherever it is safe and comfortable. The truth is, we can see God’s kingdom anywhere, even in the harshest places. Take a walk or a drive through a “rough part of town” and point out all the ways you see God’s kingdom there. This activity will stretch your child’s thinking about who God is and how we can see and experience him anywhere.
KINGDOM: A GUIDE FOR PARENTS
Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk with him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
Colossians 2:6–7 (ESV)
We realize that you, as parents, are the primary faith influencers in a young person’s life. The best disciple-making takes place when students’ parents take the lead. That’s why we’ve created this helpful guide for you to use at home with your child. It is designed to give you some basic information about what is being taught at church through The Core: A Deep Discipleship program, along with some helpful tools, suggestions, and questions to help you reinforce this learning at home.
Overview of the Kingdom Root:
Simply put, the kingdom of God is wherever God is King. It’s not a specific place on earth or in heaven. It’s everywhere God reigns and his subjects honor him as their ruler. When you follow Christ, you acknowledge him as the Lord of your life. You call him King. At that point, you begin living in the kingdom of God. In his kingdom, human logic doesn’t always compute. The laws of living are different, based on God’s greater wisdom. Jesus tells us that “the first shall be last, and the last shall be first,” and “riches” are more than just “money.” In God’s kingdom, the least are priceless, peace trumps power, and justice wins in the end.
Main Topics Covered:
- February 1 – Kingdom Intro Lesson: This lesson introduces and sets the stage for the Kingdom It’s designed to give students a framework for the next few lessons on what it means to live in the kingdom of God and how the rules in his kingdom are radically different than the rules of the world. Bible Passages: Matthew 4:17; Mark 1:15; Matthew 5–7
- February 8 – The Last Shall Be First: Why is it better to be last? Students will learn about how, in the kingdom of God, those who the world calls “last” or “the least” are actually first. Bible Passage: Mark 10:35-45
- February 15 – A Kingdom Worth Dying For: What should I do with persecution? Life as a citizen of the kingdom of God is not always safe. When we share our faith and take risks for him, we will face persecution. In this lesson, students will be challenged to step out of their comfort zones in faith. Bible Passage: 1 Peter 4:12–19
- February 22 – Revenge vs. Forgiveness: Why aren’t grudges worth it? In the Bible, God tells us to forgive and that vengeance belongs to him. Students will wrestle with the idea of forgiving those who hurt them—even their worst enemies. Bible Passage: Matthew 18:21–35
- March 1 – Flashy vs. Meek: What’s so bad about showing off? Students are inundated with the message that they must wear the latest fashions, have the newest phone, drive the best car, and have all the right friends. But the kingdom of God tells us to be meek and humble. Bible Passage: Luke 18:9–14
Questions you can ask your child:
- Who is someone you need to forgive? Is there anyone that you need forgiveness from?
- Which do you think guides your actions more: God’s will or self-protection? Can you think of a time when you took a risk for God knowing it might make you uncomfortable?
- What would it look like if you stopped trying to put yourself first and started making yourself last? What are some things you can do to put others first and serve those in need?
- Isn’t it fascinating how the values of the world are so opposite to the values of the kingdom of God? Of the lessons you studied, which one has been the most challenging to you personally?
Activity you can do together:
Many cities have free or discounted museums that you can go to with your child. Take some time exploring the exhibits at this museum. Marvel at dinosaur fossils or read plaques about ancient human tools. Learn something new that you didn’t know before. Or go to a planetarium, where you can learn about the cosmos and the planets, stars, and galaxies filling it. If you don’t live near anything like that, watch a documentary with your student about a subject you know nothing about. (Don’t worry, not all documentaries are boring!)
Afterward, talk with your child about what you just experienced. What did you learn about God’s creation that you didn’t know before? Did anything surprise you? Did anything seem at odds with what the Bible says about the world? Remember, your goal shouldn’t be to disprove the scientific discoveries you learned about. Nor should it be to reconsider the Bible’s trustworthiness. All truth is God’s truth, and that means science and faith aren’t necessarily at odds. Sometimes you’ll come across something that is blatantly opposed to Scripture’s truth. If that’s the case, discuss why the Bible is trustworthy in all situations. But it isn’t our job to figure out how every scientific discovery fits with what the Bible says is true. Sometimes, it’s okay to admit that God’s truth is bigger than we are, and that some things we will never understand.