Christmas is a celebration of God’s gift to you and me. The living Word became flesh! The Creator left His throne in Heaven and came to earth as the Baby of Bethlehem!
What a heavenly crescendo to the angels’ song on that starry night so long ago … Glory to God in the highest … as the glory of God was made visible in the lowest of the low, a Baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. The Miracle of the Ages was revealed in a Baby, leaving no doubt whatsoever that God loves little children.
Read 1 Samuel 1 and 3 with Mark 10:13-16.
I. CHILDREN ARE CONSECRATED TO GOD
- In your own words, write a brief biographical sketch of Hannah based on 1 Samuel 1:1-8.
- Describe other women who were also barren for most of their lives, yet bore remarkable sons: Genesis 16:1 with Genesis 21:1-7; Genesis 25:19-26; Genesis 30:1, 22-24; Judges 13:1-3, 24-25; Luke 1:5-17, 57-60.
- What difference do you think it would make if parents prayed for their children as Hannah did for hers?
- From Mark 10:13, who do you think could have been the “people” bringing the children to Jesus? What was their purpose?
- How can you bring children to Jesus today?
- Where was Jesus when this incident took place? See Mark 10:10.
- Who hindered the children from coming? Why do you think they did so?
- Describe where this same scene is repeated today, and how it is repeated for the same reasons.
- What children in your home, neighborhood, school or church would come to Jesus if you brought them?
II. CHILDREN ARE CALLED BY GOD
- Where was Samuel when he heard God’s call? See 1 Samuel 3:1-4.
- Describe the atmosphere of the tabernacle where Samuel lived, based on 1 Samuel 2:12-17, 22.
- How is the atmosphere in which our children are growing up similar to the atmosphere around Samuel when he heard God’s call?
- What means did God use to call Samuel?
- As weak and ineffective as Eli was as a parent, what did he do right?
- Describe how Samuel was taught to understand God’s Word. Read 1 Samuel 3:5-6, 8-9.
- What will you do to help children understand God’s Word?
- What else has God said about teaching children His Word? See Deuteronomy 4:9, 6:7, 31:12-13; Psalm 78: 4-7; Joel 1:3.
- From these verses, describe other young people God called and used:
- 1 Samuel 3:1-21, 1 Samuel 17:1-51, 2 Kings 22:1-2, Isaiah 11:6, Jeremiah 1:6-9, John 6:1-13, 1 Timothy 4:12 with 2 Timothy 1:5.
- If you consecrated your child to God, could he or she be one whom God would call into service?
- Is it possible that God is calling your child to serve Him, but your child doesn’t know how to “listen to God’s voice?” What will you do to teach your child how to listen, just as old Eli taught Samuel?
III. CHILDREN ARE CARED FOR BY GOD
- In Mark 10:14, how did Jesus react to those who kept children from Him? What was His command? What was His warning?
- Why do you think Jesus reacted as He did?
- What had He just made clear about His care for children? See Mark 9:36-37 and Matthew 18:14.
- What clear warning regarding children did Jesus give to adults in Matthew 18:6?
- What indication did Jesus give that He places a high value on children? See Psalm 127:3 and Matthew 18:10, 14.
- What promises did He give to those who care for children? See Matthew 10:42 and 18:5.
- List at least three things you can do for children to let them know that God loves and cares for them. Would you do those things? Remember, He said if you do this for them, you are doing it for Him.
This Christmas, would you give the King a birthday gift He would love to receive? Would you bring a child to Him?
©2011 Anne Graham Lotz
Anne Graham Lotz, founder of Angel Ministries, has proclaimed God’s Word worldwide for more than 30 years. She is author of 13 books and has recently written her first children’s book, “Heaven: God’s Promise for Me,” which tells of the joys and comforts of Heaven. to order, visit billygrahambookstore.org.