god's people repented

Bible Passage: Nehemiah 8–13

Story Point: God’s people repented and promised to be faithful.

Key Passage: The God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little while. - 1 Peter 5:10

What is God Like: God is a Provider

CHRIST CONNECTION: The Bible teaches us about God and Jesus. It helps us know the right things to do. We do wrong things a lot, but God can change our hearts and help us say no to sin. Jesus died to rescue us from sin.








Consider questions that pursue the heart of your child during natural points of connection. Here are a couple for during a walk or at the dinner table this week:

  • Is there anything in the Bible you need help understanding like the people in the Bible story this week? We can look at it together.

  • Do you remember how the people in our Bible story this week celebrated with a feast? How do you like to celebrate things as a family? What things do you like celebrating?



  1. Why was Nehemiah sad? (God’s people were in trouble. Their city wall and gates were broken.)

  2. Who led the people to rebuild the walls and fix the gates? (Nehemiah)

  3. Who did Nehemiah say would fight for the people? (God because He is great and powerful)

  4. Why were their enemies afraid when the wall was finished? (They knew that God was with His people.)


  1. Who read God’s Word to all of the people? (Ezra, Neh. 8:2)

  2. How did the people respond when they heard God’s words? (They cried, Neh. 8:9)

  3. What did Ezra tell the people to do when they got home? (prepare a feast and share with their neighbors, Neh. 8:10)

  4. Why do you think the people responded to the Word of God by crying? Guide the kids to see that the people realized that they had sinned against God. They had fallen short of what God had called them to, and they knew that they deserved to be punished. Their sin separated them from God and that made them very sad. (Isa. 59:2)

  5. Why did God want the people to celebrate instead? God had been incredibly kind to His people. He restored them to their land and revealed their sin so they could repent and obey Him. His faithfulness was greater than their sin, and He wanted them to be happy about His goodness. Their celebration honored God’s work.

  6. What can you do when you realize that you have sinned? Help kids understand that when we sin we must confess our sin and repent. Repent means to turn away from sin and turn to Jesus. God has shown us grace and has promised to forgive our sin when we come to Him with a repentant heart. (Acts 3:19)




WHAT YOU NEED: paper or poster board, crayons, markers

WHAT YOU DO: Provide each person a piece of paper or do one big piece that the whole family can draw on at the same time. Invite each person to draw pictures of their family’s traditions for celebrating different holidays or accomplishments. (Christmas, Easter, the Fourth of July, birthdays, first/last day of school, good report card, and so forth) Invite everyone to share their drawings with one another.

WHAT YOU SAY: Every family has different traditions for celebrating special days. In today’s Bible story, the people of Jerusalem celebrated when the walls and city gates were finished. They celebrated by listening to the Scriptures and having a big feast. They were not only excited that the walls were finished, they were excited that they understood God’s words! Let’s get ready to hear more.


WHAT YOU NEED: paint (ideally, red, yellow, blue, and white), brushes, paper

WHAT YOU DO: Set out paint. Give each of the kids a large piece of paper and a paintbrush. Allow them to experiment mixing colors to make new colors.

WHAT YOU SAY: Were you pretty confident that you knew which color you would get when you mixed yellow and blue together? Every time we mix those two colors, we get green. Depending on how much blue or yellow you use you might get a different shade, but it’ll always be green. We can know some things for certain. We can also have confidence that God is going to keep His promises. He has promised to make a way out of sin for us, and He has done that through His Son, Jesus. We know that when we confess and repent of our sin He is faithful to forgive us.


WHAT YOU NEED: paper, markers, string

WHAT YOU DO:Encourage kids to write out the key passage on their piece of paper and then roll it up like a scroll. For younger kids, help them write one word that may be significant. Perhaps write the word “Forgive” or “Bible” and have them trace it. Kids can tie the paper with string. with the string.

WHAT YOU SAY: Back in Ezra’s day, the Bible wasn’t bound all together as one big book like it is today. Instead they used lots of scrolls with God’s Word on them. However it is written, God’s Word encourages us today because it reminds us that God restores His people. Keep working to remember our key passage so you can always remember God’s faithfulness to us.


"God will... himself restore... you after you have a suffered a little while." 1 Peter 5:0 (CSB)


"And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast." 1 Peter 5:0 (CSB)



WHAT YOU DO: Give each preschooler a flattened paper coffee filter. Guide a child to use yellow, orange, and red markers to color their coffee filter. Invite a preschooler to set his colored coffee filter on a towel. Invite him to use a spray bottle to spray the filter with water. Point out how the colors blend together. Set aside his “sun” to dry.

WHAT YOU SAY: In this week’s Bible story, God’s people—men, women, and children—got together early in the morning when the sun was just coming up. It was a special day. Listen to the Bible story to hear what made this day so special. Retell the Bible story.


WHAT YOU DO: Set out rhythm instruments. Play familiar worship songs. Encourage children to choose an instrument and play as they sing. Review the Bible story and list ways the people worshiped God in the story. Ask preschoolers to name other ways they can worship God.

WHAT YOU SAY: In our story this week, how did the people worship? They listened to Ezra read the scroll; they lifted their hands to praise God; they bowed down to pray. God’s people promised to obey God.

look for the bible

WHAT YOU DO: “Hide your Bible” and invite toddlers to look for it. When they bring you the Bible, celebrate they found it. Retell the Bible story.

WHAT YOU SAY: The Bible is God’s words to us. The Bible tells us God’s plan to rescue us. NOTHING CAN STOP GOD’S GOOD PLAN.




Guide kids to think about and answer one or two journaling prompts. Be sure to join them.

  • What does this story teach me about God or the gospel?

  • What does the story teach me about myself?

  • Are there things God is asking me to do in this story? How are they for God’s glory and my good?

  • Are there any promises in this story to remember? How do they help me trust and love God?

  • What characteristics of God do I see in this story?

  • What does the story teach me about people around me?

  • If I’m honest, what parts of this are hard to understand or believe?

talking to kids about the gospel...

Here’s one way we talk about the gospel with elementary kids

A- We are God’s most treasured creation! Created to be with Him. However, there’s a problem. It’s sin. Sin is anything we do that isn’t what God wants for us. We’ve all done it, even me. And sin gets in the way of us having a relationship with God. We need to admit we have this problem!

B- Believe that Jesus is who He says He is and did what He said He did in order to make a way for our relationship with God to be made whole again...specifically He loves you SO MUCH that...”Christ died for our sins, just as Scripture said he would. He was buried. He was raised from the dead on the third day, just as Scripture said he would be.” (1 Cor. 15: 3-4) He took the punishment we deserved.

C- Choose to put your faith in Jesus. Jesus says that our response, or the way we accept it is by faith. In other words putting our trust in Him.