We Can Bless Others- Week Four

“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; I was naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’” Matthew 25: 34-40 (NASB)

Think about a time when someone blessed you. I remember when I just had two little babies. I felt very overwhelmed much of the time. I’m not the most organized person, so I was rarely prepared. Well, one day, we were out and one of the babies had a huge blowout diaper. Of course, I had exactly one wet wipe on my person. I could have kicked myself. Then a complete stranger, another mom, noticed my predicament and “loaned” me her pack of wipes. That was an extremely simple gesture, but in that moment, it was such a blessing. It made that situation bearable for me. I am still grateful for those few wet wipes.

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Imagine if we all just gave a little of ourselves to one another. Imagine what a huge blessing we could be to each other.

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We often find ourselves saying, “But what can I do?” We think we do not HAVE enough to give. But think of it: You HAVE Jesus. You HAVE all that there is to give.

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We can find ways to give. We can find ways to bless others. Through acts, time, words, or things. We can be a blessing. You may not be able to feed all of the homeless people in your area, but you CAN feed one. You may not be able to clothe all of the poor, but you CAN donate your used clothing and clothe some.

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This week, let’s focus on ways we can bless others. Let’s write notes of encouragement. Let’s take food to the hungry. Let’s open our eyes and see how we can bless our world.

Discussion Questions:

  • In what ways are you a blessing to others?
  • Do you recall a time someone was an unexpected blessing to you?
  • What more could you do to bless others?

Activities:

  • Start a Family Food Drive! Decide on a budget, and go shopping for a local food pantry. You can also shop your own pantry. It doesn’t matter how MUCH you give, simply THAT you give.
  • Take on some Neighborhood Trash Duty. Take a family walk armed with a garbage bag. Pick up trash around your neighborhood. This is especially helpful on trash day ― when things might have gotten dropped on the ground. It may not seem important, but it is something you can do to show love for your neighbors.
  • Become a family of Secret Helpers. You can run this two ways. Way one: Each member of the family draws a name from a hat, and they secretly do things to try to bless that person this week. The alternative: Just let them play “Spy and Try” to secretly bless the family through the week. Either way works. They aren’t working for a Thank-You; they are trying to secretly be a blessing.

My Prayer for You:

Lord, open our eyes to the needs of those around us. Prick our hearts and let us be moved to action. Show us how we can be a blessing and give us the courage to do it. Let our hearts be burdened for others. Let us be moved to action and show others the love You so freely give. Let us be a blessing. Amen.

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We Are Thankful – Week Three

“Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NASB)

“Therefore I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the nations, and I will sing praises to Your name.” 1 Samuel 22:50 (NASB)

“O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His lovingkindness is everlasting. Then say, ‘Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us and deliver us from the nations, to give thanks to Your holy name, and glory in Your praise.’” 1 Chronicles 16:34-35 (NASB)

“Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.” Hebrews 13:15 (NASB)

Clearly this thankful-thing is Biblical. Last week, we listed all our blessings, and for these, we should give thanks.

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Expressing gratitude can be difficult for some of us. Sometimes it is because we are not grateful because we are not focused on being content and counting our blessings.

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Sometimes it is because we aren’t sure how to adequately express our gratitude. Other times, it may be because we try to suppress our emotions, thinking only intellectualism matters. (God made your emotions and uses emotional language to express Himself to us. Your emotions are God-given and can give glory to God. Don’t always suppress them.)

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Gratitude and expressing thanks is a matter of the heart. We have to see the blessing to be thankful for it. We sometimes have to practice this to get to where it is our natural response.

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This week, let’s focus on actually giving thanks. Let’s say, “Thank You,” to God. Let’s say,  “Thank you,” to one another. Let’s learn to express our gratitude.

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Discussion Questions:

  • Do you thank God for your blessings enough?
  • Do you thank others when they are a blessing to you?
  • Do you need to work on seeing things from a grateful point of view?

Activities:

  • Think of someone you have not/did not thank for something they have done in your life. It could be a teacher, pastor, friend, family member, librarian, crossing guard, etc. Write them a Thank-You note. Be specific about what you are grateful for. It doesn’t have to be long, but be specific in your thanks. For kids that are too young to write, Mom and Dad can help with the writing, and they can do the decorating!
  • Consider how a Thank-You feel, and share that feeling. Mom and Dad, tell each of your children something you are thankful to them for. (Some examples: Thank you for always being willing to help. Thank you for sweeping the porch today. Thank you for being kind to your siblings. Thank you for giving me lots of hugs and kisses.) After you tell each child, “Thank you,” discuss as a family how it feels to be told, “Thank you.”
  • Have a Thank-You Relay. You’ll need spoons and cotton balls. Give each kid a spoon. Pass the cotton ball from spoon to spoon without using hands. Remember to say, “Thank you,” when you receive the cotton ball! If you have enough people, you can split into teams. You can amp up the intricacy for older kids if you need to or keep it simple for little ones. To take things up a notch, make them spin around, jump, run, or not bend their elbows while they pass the cotton ball! Grab a spoon yourself! This is full-family fun!

My Prayer for You:

Lord, help us to give thanks, to speak from our lips what our heart fully feels. Give us the courage to give thanks out loud and often. May it be a blessing to the people around us. Amen.

Fruit of The Spirit Family Devotional: Week 7: Faithfulness

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Read Galations 5:22-23 at least once during the week. Read it daily if you’d like! We’re wanting the kids to memorize The Fruit of The Spirit.

faithful weekly verseLuke 16:10 is the memory verse this week. Read the memory verse at the beginning of each devotional time. The goal is to have each member of your family memorize this verse to the best of their ability this week. I also use the weekly memory verse in our handwriting lessons. You can print out the image above or make your own- just try to get the written verse up on your wall this week. (Image is sized to print 5×7.)

Day One: What is faithfulness?

True. Trustworthy. Believable. Loyal. Accurate. When we talk about faithfulness, we’re talking about someone sticking by our side, being on our team, staying loyal to us. Someone who is faithful is someone you can count on. You know they won’t tell you things that aren’t true or try to hurt you. They are on your side. On your team. In your corner. Faithfulness is belief and trust and loyalty all rolled into one ball of comfort and strength.

Activity: Walking By Faith: You’ll need a blindfold. One child is blindfolded and the other child is the faithful guide. Have them walk about and have the guide help the blindfolded overcome minor obstacles. Was the guide faithful or did the guide try to trip the blindfolded child up?

 

Day Two: The God Who Has Been Faithful

In the Old Testament (the first half of the Bible written before Jesus was born), the writer’s were constantly pointing us toward what God had done. Whenever the people faced a new dilemma, they’d list all the ways God had been there for them in the past. They’d tell of God who was a friend of Abraham, a God who rescued his people again and again, a God who gave the people what they needed. They’d talk about how God cared for the people in the desert with Moses. God had shown the people that he was their friend. He was looking out for them. And he could be trusted. “The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” -Lamentations 3:22-23

Activity: Make a list of all the ways, big and small, that God has been faithful to you and your family. Go back as far as you need to. Make the list long or short. Use pictures, use words. How has God shown you that he is on your side?

 

Day Three: The God Who Is Faithful

Keep Calm because Great is His Faithfulness! The God who was faithful IS faithful. He has always been on your side. Do you recall some of the things you listed God did for you in the past? Guess what? God is going to continue to walk right with you and will be faithful. How can we know that? Because he is faithful! Imagine you found a lizard. Imagine this lizard would bit you anytime you put your finger within a few inches of him. Imagine you invite a friend over and they meet your lizard. You’d likely say, “Be careful! He bites.” Why? Because he always bites. You know him to be a biting lizard, so you expect him to bite. We know God is a faithful God and we can trust and rely on His faithfulness.

Activity: Silly Animal Game- Each person needs to think of an animal. Just one animal. Going around the circle, each person acts like their chosen animal. Take turns guessing what animal they are acting out. Thinking of the same animal, go back around and ask each child to act their animal out again. This time, the guessing isn’t much, because everyone already knows what that person will do. Verbally relate to the children that we know God will be faithful because he has been faithful, just like we knew x child was x animal because they previously acted it out.

 

Day Four: Faithful to Others

“Be faithful in the small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” – Mother Teresa

We need to be faithful to others. You need to be someone others can trust, believe, and count on. Can you think of some ways to do that? (Answers will vary. You may want to prompt “keeping promises” and “telling the truth”.) Everywhere you go, you say something about the God your serve. Let’s show one another God’s faithfulness along with His love.

Activity: Duck, Duck, Truth?! Sit in a circle. Every close your eyes. The child tapped will tell a lie. Everyone else will tell something true. Then all the kids can guess who is being faithful and who is being unfaithful. You can switch it up and have multiple children lie. You can also have no one lie. It is up to you. For younger kids, you may have to give a prompt: “Everyone tell me what color socks you are wearing!” “Everyone tell me your favorite animal!” “Everyone tell me your name!” It doesn’t have to be complicated. Just learning what truth is and what it is not.

 

Day Five: Faithful to God

There were two children walking together along a road. One child said to the other, “I am so thirsty! I need a drink.” The friend offered a drink. The child then said, “I am so hungry! I need a snack.” The friend gave of their own snack. The child said, “I am so tired! I need you to carry me.” The friend graciously gave a much-needed piggy back ride. The friend then turns to the child and says, “I need somewhere to sleep.” The child replies, “Well, I hope you find somewhere nice.” And turns to leave.

The friend had been so faithful. Everything the child needed was supplied. But the favor was not returned. It is much the same in our relationship with God. He gives us all He has. He gave us life, His Son, health, friends, family, food. He protects us, guides us, and makes our paths straight. He asks to come live in your heart. Will you be a faithful friend of God? Or will you tell Him to go sleep somewhere else?

Activity: Pray. Pray for the Lord to soften the hearts of your family, to let them live faithful lives to God. To help us be faithful to one another. Thank Him for his faithfulness in the past and future.

Activity 2: Draw a picture of the story.

Activity 3: Did you learn your memory verse? Share it!