Family Devotion: Sin Enters

**Note: Family Devotions is a time when a family can get together to talk about faith and have open discussions about critical questions.  It is okay, not to have answers to their questions, feel free to say, “I don’t know” and search the answers out together as a family.**

Younger Family Activity: Picnic Time

It may be cold in some areas of the country, but here in the Northwest this week it’s going to sunny and nice.

Gather the family together to have a special picnic as a family.   Go out to the park or set it up on the floor of the living room.   I recommend KFC Family Meal at the local park because I love fried chicken and fresh air.  But wherever and whatever you have with your picnic, just have fun.

Have the meal, but set aside something that looks good that isn’t meant to be eaten and tell the family that we can’t have it. A good example would be a chocolate cake.  Eat the meal together, maybe even do a family activity.  Just don’t eat that one item.

After a while and many questions later, tell the story of Genesis 3.  Ask the family, about the story.  Questions could be “How do you think Adam and Eve felt, before and after?”  “Why do you think they disobeyed God?”

Allow the family to enjoy the meal and talk about sin.  How sin is disobeying God’s will, but thankful Jesus came to save us from our sin.  Pray for your family and enjoy the rest of your evening.

Older Family Activity: Would You Rather

Sit down with your family and play would you rather.  Things to consider.

  • Coke or Pepsi
  • Crocs or Flip Flops
  • Cake or Cookie
  • Vanilla Frosty or Chocolate
  • English or Math
  • Dogs or Otters
  • Beach view or Mountain view.

Ask them “What are some choices you make regularly?”

There are some choices you make every day that are a no-brainer or have no significance.  But sometimes there are choices we make that are difficult and can hurt people that we care about.

Genesis 3, Adam and Eve made a selfish choice and because of their choice, they disobeyed God.  Which allowed sin to enter the world.  They made the wrong choice and because of that wrong choice, had to deal with major consequences.  Thankfully we have a God, who forgives us when we sin and because of Jesus, our sins are forgiven.  We still have to deal with the consequences of our bad choices, but we don’t have eternal consequences because of Jesus.

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Family Unity

Acts 2:1; 42-47 (ESV)

When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place … And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

I have always read this passage thinking solely of a church setting. They all gathered, they devoted to teaching and fellowship, etc.

This past week, when I was thinking about this passage, I thought what happens if I apply these verses to my home life?

I mean the early church was pretty unified, so maybe these disciplines helped create unity with themselves, and if applied to home perhaps we can have more unity in the family.

We are all believers, and we gather together every day with each, so how well do we match up to the early church?

  • Are we devoted to teachings?
    • No
  • Are we devoted to the fellowship?
    • Yes
  • Breaking of Bread and Prayer?
    • Yes
  • Do we share our possessions?
    • Yes
  • Do we attend church together?
    • Yes
  • Generous?
    • Depends – we have young kids.

Not to shabby with the assessment, but the one that stuck out to me was the very first.

Devoted to teaching.

We have separate devotions, but we don’t share our thoughts. So there is learning but no teaching.

Even though we are missing one occasionally two (again we have two young kids), that one is a huge one. Teaching is fundamental in the upbringing of kids. So we have changed this, and it wasn’t very hard.

We just read the Gospel Passage from Book of Common Prayer at dinnertime, and then we ask one question. One question usually gives five to ten minutes of discussion with each other.

That is it. Have we been unified? Time will tell, but dinnertime has been more meaningful and thought provocating.

Give it a try yourself.

Worship God Always: Creative and Active Groups

When we break up into small groups during our Midweek, I let them choose if the children want to try a creative group or an active group.

This week, we were looking at the story in Acts 16, where Paul and Silas were in prison praying and singing songs to God.

The main idea is that even in tough times, we can always worship God and think of the blessings He has already given us.

Here is what the children did during this time.

Creative Group: Song of Praise

Items Needed: Paper Clipboards and Pencils

Say: In our story today, we talked about Christians getting arrested for helping out a little girl that was being taken advantage of for money. We can assume that they were not happy with the situation, but instead of being overwhelmed with anger, they started singing songs of worship?!

Ask: Does anyone here want to share a moment of frustration or anger?

Say: For our activity today, I want you to write a song or poem of worship to God that might help you in bad times.

Example: Don’t give up don’t quit. Remember good things take time. God will give you strength.

**Afterward**

Ask: Does anyone want to share their poem or song?

>> This activity went over well with kids. One child gave up free time to finish her song and even drew illustrations to go with it. Super simple and very engaging.

Active Group – Hard Stretches

Items Needed: Nothing

Say: Get in a large circle. We are going to something a little unusual before we start a game. We are going to stretch.

Do: Have the kids do some hard stretches.

Ask During The Stretches: Are these stretches easy? Are they annoying? Are they bothersome? Are they important?

Say Before The Game: I am not a big fan of stretches and there are a lot of times, that I complain during the stretches. But they are important because they help me get ready for what is ahead. In our lesson today, we learned that bad times are coming. Not everything in life is going to be good or fun. Stretches help your body can ready for the activity, similar to how worship is beneficial for the soul. We need to be in worship whenever we can get so that when bad times happen, we can still praise God during those times. Alright, since we stretched, let’s play my favorite game of tag ______________________ for a few minutes

>> I thought the kids would rebel or complain about the stretches since this is usually the hypergroup. The opposite it happened, they did the activity and listened very well.

Family Chat: God Is Our Provider

Items Needed: Gross water, spring water, donut holes, large donuts

In today’s story, we find the Israelites are finally free from slavery. And at first, they were excited. So excited they sang a song celebrating their freedom. That is like Disney level of excitement. But it didn’t take long for them to start grumbling.

They were thirsty! Can you give me your best grumbling…

So Moses showed them water that was a little disgusting. The Bible say’s it was bitter. Have you had something bitter… (Give them a cup of water that is a little gross)

So what do you think Moses did? Well just as any normal person would do, he threw in a piece of wood. Seriously he threw in a piece of wood, and the water became fit to drink. Who knew, wood could do that?! Thankfully they ended up in a beautiful place with spring water (Give them a clean cup of water)

And things were good, but what do you think happened next?

Read verse Exodus 16:3

The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt!There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.” (NIV)

Doesn’t that sound like teenager complaining about being grounded

Now they are hungry. Give me again your best grumbling…

So God provided the food bread from heaven, which tasted like wafers with honey. How awesome would that be! (Give them donut holes)

So God has provided drinks and food, but do you think that made them happy? No, they wanted meat. One more time give me your best grumbling

Now I don’t have meat, but I do have something a little bigger (Give them bigger donuts)

God showed His people over and over again that He knew what they needed and what they wanted. Still, the Israelites continued to question God’s provision. Thankfully our God is patient; we learn more about His patience much later in God’s Big Story. Even when they saw ten plagues, the crossing the red sea, making the water drinkable, bread and quail coming out of the sky, and we learn in Chapter 15 God providing water out of a rock. All of this shows God Provides.

Worship Response

Supplies: Bird Seed, Pencil, Glue Stick, Large Stripe of Paper

God Provides for you and me, as a worship response, I want you to write your name on the stripe of paper. When you are done, then you are going to trace your name with the glue stick. After that is done, we are going to give you some bird seeds, to scatter over your paper.

When you are doing that, be a reminder how God provided for His people, and know that He provides for you today.

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Spiritual Parents Need To Be Spiritually Healthy

Sounds obvious…..

But is it true in your life?

Take a few moments and consider how much time you put in your spiritual life?

Is just once a week on Sunday?  Is it daily, if so how much time?

What do you do?  Do you journal? Do you say prayers? Do you read Christian books?  Do you read your Bible?

If the Christian leader in your home (aka you) isn’t spiritually healthy, then how can the home be spiritually healthy?

A Christian parent needs to be faithfully seeking God themselves, not only for their spiritual pilgrimage but also to be a living testimony for their spouse and children.  If I say, my favorite football team is Ohio State, and I watch every other team but them, would you think I am a real fan?  Same goes with our faith, if I say “I believe the Bible to be true and Jesus is important in my life,” but never pick up the book or say a prayer, would you say I am genuine about my faith?

We don’t need to spiritual gurus.  We don’t need to perfect examples.  We need to show our families that God is the priority in our lives.

Here are some way’s to make sure God is your priority

Turn loose time  into God time.  We all have some loose time during our day.  Take one of those times to read a verse or two.  Take one of those times to say a quick prayer for your spouse and children.

Plan time in your day, your week and your year for God.  If you are not careful with your time, it will fill up fast.  Make sure not to overload your time with things that are not spiritually essential.  Maybe plan time off during the week or even plan a sabbatical sometime during the year.

Share your spiritual moments.  When a verse strikes your interest, share your thoughts with your family.  It doesn’t have to be a well thought-out idea, tell your family a verse you are thinking about, and maybe they might have insight that will help you! When you have an answered prayer, let your children know. If God is working in you, make sure your family knows it.

Something Extra

Make a spiritual journal for each of your children.  Every night when they go to bed or prepare for bedtime, write a God-moment and say a prayer for them.

 

7 Day’s of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a week away, but you can start helping your children understand thankfulness by reading a scripture each day with your family. I prefer doing this at dinner time, and letting my oldest son read the scripture. But you can do it in the car ride home, before your child going to bed, during breakfast or whatever time works best for your family.

Day 1: 1 Chronicles 16:34 ESV
Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!

Day 2: 1 Corinthians 15:56-57 ESV
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Day 3: Philippians 4:6 ESV
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Day 4: Psalm 147:7 ESV
Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; make melody to our God on the lyre!

Day 5: Psalm 100:4 ESV
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!

Day 6: Psalm 95:2 ESV
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!

Day 7: Colossians 3:17 ESV
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.