A Life of Thanksgiving

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Last Thursday, people all across the country prayed over their family meal, in recognition of “Thanksgiving.” The form is fine, but God is looking for more than a tradition or routine – He wants us to live in a daily attitude of thankfulness.

Psalm 92:1 [ESV] “It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High…”

Do you ever stop to think about why you pray over your food? Or why we sing songs together on Sunday mornings? One of the main reasons for a lot of our Christian traditions and practices is to give thanks to God for His goodness to us. Q . What are a few different ways you can express your thankfulness to God? Q . Which church / Christian practices or traditions seem most closely tied to thankfulness for you? Which seem most disconnected? Why do youthink that is?

2. Challenge

Psalm 50:23 [ESV] “The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!”

As much as God likes music, He doesn’t have a need to be entertained. As much as He enjoys your prayers, He doesn’t have a low self-image that He needs help boosting. What He’s ultimately after is a thankful heart,which can be expressed in a variety of ways. Without that heart, worship / prayer / whatever else becomes an empty shell. Q . Do you ever feel like you’re going through the motions at church or at home when you express thanks to God? What could you do to reconnect meaning behind those things? Q . What’s something you could do, start doing, or stop doing this week that would express a thankful heart to God? Make that a part of your worship!

3. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family – thank God (really!) for His goodness to you. Ask Him to help you keep gratitude in your mind, and to connect your heart with the things you do to express thanks & praise.

Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

Jesus Is…Counselor

1. Power Verse

Psalm 32:8 “The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway foryour life. I will advise you and watch over you.”

What’s Up: “When I Don’t Know What To Do, I Know God Will See Me Through!”

This week, we continue our series called, “Jesus Is…” In this week’s lesson, we learned another word that Isaiah used to describe Jesus when prophesying about His birth. We learned that Jesus is our Counselor.

2. Read

Matthew 2:1-18 “Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea. This happened while Herod was king of Judea. After Jesus’ birth, Wise Men from the east came to Jerusalem. They asked, “Where is the child who has been born to be king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose. Now we have come to worship him.” When King Herod heard about it, he was very upset. Then Herod secretly called for the Wise Men. He found out from them exactly when the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem. He said, “Go andsearch carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report it to me.” The star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy. The Wise Men went to the house. There they saw the child with his mother Mary. They bowed down and worshiped him. They gave him gold, frankincense and myrrh. But God warned them in a dream not to go back to Herod. So they returned to their country on a different road. When the Wise Men had left, Joseph had a dream. In the dream an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph. “Get up!” the angel said. “Take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you to come back. Herod is going to search for the child. He wants to kill him.”

3. Discussion

Q. Who was the king?  Q. Who came to visit the king? Q. Who were the wise men looking for?  Q. What was King Herod’s plan?  How did God help?   This world is tough! There are lots of situations we face every day that bring about lots of questions. “What should I do? How should I respond?  Can anybody help me?” Well, Jesus is our Counselor. When we face tough situations and have questions, we can ask Jesus. He will give us wisdom! Even the three wise men who visited Jesus after he was born needed wise counsel. Q. Do you remember a time when you received wise counsel?  What happened? Q. What are some areas in your life that you might need Jesus to helpcounsel or guide you? Q. What are some ways we can receive God’s wisdom? 4. Prayer Focus

Pray that when your children have questions and they don’t know what to do, that the God who knows all things will give them wisdom and direction to do the right thing. Pray that when they seek their Counselor, they will find peace and wisdom!

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