Friday, January 31, 2014

Let's Count the Ways God Loves Us

With Valentine's Day approaching, I thought it would be fun to do a Valentine's Day countdown. Since Valentine's Day is all about love, it's the perfect opportunity to teach our children the ways God shows His love for us. God's love is pure, everlasting and unfailing.  He demonstrates His love day in and day out through ordinary and extraordinary ways.  I wanted to develop a Valentine's Countdown that showcased His love in a fun way.  Hence, the Let's Count the Ways God Loves Us Valentine's Countdown was born!

I put together this countdown using some simple materials.  Here's what you will need:

  • Construction Paper (2 different colors)
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Marker
  • Tape

First, I made a template and cut out 14 red hearts and 14 pink hearts. That way I could glue them together and have each side a different color. Actually, I put the red and pink paper together so I could cut both colors at the same time.  That made sure the two sides fit together exactly right and made it go a lot quicker! I made my hearts kind of fat...fitting 2 hearts on one piece of construction paper.

Next, I glued the red and pink hearts together with a glue stick.

Then I numbered the red side of the hearts 1-14 and wrote one way God shows His love for us along with a Scripture reference on the pink side (see below for a list of "Ways God Loves Us").

I put the the numbered hearts on the pantry door along with a snazzy little sign.

On February 1st, we will start turning over one heart each day until we reach Valentine's Day. You can look up the verse and discuss how God shows His love for us in that way with your children. 

I purposely chose John 3:16 for Valentine's Day.  February 14 is the Day of Love.  No greater act of love has ever been bestowed on me than God sending His Son to die on the cross for my sins. I'll take that over a box of chocolates and a giant teddy bear any day!

Here's the list of "Ways God Loves Us" and Scriptures I used for the back of the hearts:
  1. He Gives Us Rest (Psalm 23:2) He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams.(NLT)
  2. He Provides Food (Matthew 6:25-26) That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life--whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn't life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don't plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren't you far more valuable to him than they are?(NLT)
  3. He Gives us Joy (John 15:11) I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! (NLT)
  4. He Watches Over Us (Psalm 121:5) The LORD himself watches over you! The LORD stands beside you as your protective shade. (NLT)
  5. He Knows Our Names (Isaiah 43:1) But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine.” (NLT)
  6. He Forgives Our Sins (1 John 1:9) But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.(NLT)
  7. He Created Us (Genesis 1:27) So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. (NLT)
  8. He Gave us the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16) All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. (NLT)
  9. He Cares for Us (1 Peter 5:7) Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.(NLT)
  10. He is With Us (Deuteronomy 31:8) Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD with personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.(NLT)
  11. He Leads Us (Psalm 16:11) You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever. (NLT)
  12. He is Our Strength (Psalm 46:1) God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. (NLT)
  13. He Protects Us (2 Samuel 22:31) God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection. (NLT)
  14. He Sent His Son (John 3:16) For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. (NLT)
Here are four bonus "Ways God Loves Us" because it was SO hard to just pick fourteen. The list could have gone on and on!  Feel free to substitute these in for any of the ones listed above:
  • He Directs Our Steps (Psalm 37:23) The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. (NLT)
  • He Seeks Us (Luke 19:10) For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost. (NLT)
  • He Provides Us Clothing (Luke 12:27-28) Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.  And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? (NLT)
  • He Saves Us (Ephesians 2:8-9) God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. (NLT)

I'm really happy with how this countdown turned out. From now on, I plan to make Valentine's Day more about God's love and less about flowers and hearts.  I hope you will, too!


Project Outtakes:

Do you notice anything wrong with this picture? Let's just say I'm really glad I had my husband proof read this post before I posted it.

Sometimes I am kind of messy when I work, right Honey? And why is there a flashlight on the kitchen table? I have no idea.  I live with a two year old.

One pink heart casualty. Glue softly. Lesson learned.

1 comment:

  1. What a neat way for kids (and grown-ups, too!!) to focus on the love of God. What a great idea for a blog...the Christian walk is one that should be walked each and every day not just on Sundays. Nicely done, Julie!