May 29, 2012

Devotion for the week of May 28

Bible Point: God gives us the Holy Spirit to help us.

Key Verse: "But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you" (John 14:26).

Read this quote and talk it over with your family.
"All along [Jesus] had planned to depart in order to carry on his work in other bodies. Their bodies. Our bodies. The new body of Christ... As Augustine put it, 'You ascended from before our eyes, and we turned back to grieving, only to find you in our hearts.'" - Philip Yancey, The Jesus I Never Knew

  • How is Jesus able to finish his work through us?
  • What important part does the Holy Spirit play in that job?
  • How does the presence of God inside of you change how you act?

May 08, 2012

Devotion for the week of May 21

Bible Point: Christians should encourage each other in faith.

Key Verse: "But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness" (Hebrews 3:13)

Read this quote and talk about it with your family.
"As I have come to know, reaching out to others in the name of God can be one of the most deeply rewarding experiences any person can enjoy."
- Former US President Jimmy Carter, Living Faith

  • When have you reached out to help another Christian? Was it a rewarding experience? Why or why not?
  • Which is easier for you: having close relationships with other Christians or keeping your faith to yourself? Why?
  • Read Hebrews 3:13. Why is it important to encourage others, even when it's challenging?
  • What should be our motivation when we try to encourage others in faith?

Devotion for the week of May 14

Bible Point: God wants us to tell everyone about Jesus.

Key Verse: "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age" (Matthew 28:19-20)

Read this quote and talk it over with your family.
"Trying to destroy Christianity by killing Christ was like trying to destroy a dandelion seed head by blowing on it." - Walter Wink, Engaging the Powers

  • Dandelions grow when the seeds of one blow away. How do new Christians "grow"? How do people become Christians?
  • How does the good news of Jesus spread from one culture to another?
  • How can you spread the good news?

May 07, 2012

Devotion for the week of May 7

Bible Point: Follow where God leads.

Key Verse: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight" (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Read this quote with your family and talk about it.
"I will have to discern between an authentic call from God and what might simply be a foolish impulse on my part. Courage alone is not enough; it must be accompanied by wisdom and discernment." - John Ortberg, If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat

  • How can you distinguish between a call from God and a foolish impulse?
  • Have you ever gotten the two mixed up? What happened?
  • How can you gain the wisdom needed to hear God's call?
(Anne's note: This is something I've always struggled with... is this God's will or my will? It doesn't necessarily mean it's "foolish" if it's my will, but it is important to distinguish between the two. I heard a woman in her 80s say that she still struggled with this question. I don't think it's something we'll ever have completely figured out...)

April 30, 2012

Devotion for the week of April 30

Bible Point: Trusting in God makes us courageous.

Key Verse: "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go" (Joshua 1:9).

Read this quote and talk it over with your family.
"'Be strong and courageous!' (Joshua 1:6,7,9). Are you? Honestly now - are you?... The real tests of courage are much broader...much deeper...much quieter. They are the inner tests, like remaining faithful when nobody's standing alone when you're misunderstood."
-Charles R. Swindoll, Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life

  • When have you had an opportunity to be courageous, and how did you handle it?
  • What does it take to be courageous?
  • How can you depend on God's strength to be courageous?

April 23, 2012

Devotions for the week of April 23

Bible Point: God gives people different gifts for serving him.

Key Verse: "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do"
- Ephesians 2:10

Read this quote with your family and talk it over.
"I believe God has gifted each person uniquely, but not completely; we need one another." - Kurt Johnston

  • What do you think the author means when he says God has gifted each person uniquely but not completely?
  • What are some gifts you believe God has not given you?
  • How can you as a family work together and use your different gifts to serve God?
Daily Challenge
  • Put your gifts into motion. For instance, if your gift is encouraging, make it a point to encourage three or four people. If your gift is service, serve God by caring for someone else's physical needs.

April 15, 2012

Devotion for the week of April 16

Bible Point: Faith is believing in Jesus even though we can't see him.

Key Verse: "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Hebrew 11:1

Read this quote as a family and discuss it.
"Faith is a lot like hiking on a trail at night, guided only by the beam of a flashlight. You have just enough light for your next step." (DC Talk, Like Like a Jesus Freak)

  • How good are you at giving God areas of your life and then leaving them with God? Why is it hard to trust God with the REALLY important things?
  • Is it harder to have faith in God to handle things when you can't see what God is doing? Why or why not?
  • If faith is trust in action, what can you do to remind yourself that God is in control even when you don't see any more than one step at a time?