Joshua

It’s Too Hard

Posted on Updated on

Family Devotional Adult 10-29-17

Family Devotional Kids 10-29-17

Download pdf button dark blue devotional


Adult & Teen Discussion Guide

1. Primary Statement

“It’s too hard!” We’ve all uttered those words before, as we let the fear of failure keep us from trying to accomplish something. Many times, God calls us to things that are simply too hard for us… on our own. It takes faith to take on things that seem too hard, but with God’s help, we can do anything.

2. Bible Verse

Philippians 4:13 (ESV) “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

John 15:5 [NLT] “Yes, I (Jesus) am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”

Q. Think of a time when you gave up on something – or never started – because it seemed too hard. Were you factoring in God’s help, or just your own ability?

Q. What are a few examples of things God has called you to that are too hard without His help?

3. Discussion

1 Corinthians 1:28-29 [NLT] “God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.”

Q. Why does God put us in situations where we can only succeed with His help?

Q. When you succeed, and it’s obviously because of God’s help, how should that affect how you see other challenges? How does that effect how others see you? How does it affect how others see God?

Q. Have you ever been frustrated with God because of a difficult situation you found yourself in? Is it possible He allowed you to be in that situation to learn to depend on His strength instead of your own?

4. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family and thank God for giving you strength to accomplish anything He asks of you. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you courage to take on challenges and keep you dependent on His strength instead of your own.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

1. Power Verse

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIrV) “Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Do not depend on your own understanding. In all your ways obey him. Then he will make your paths smooth and straight.”

“Hold on to God when life spins out of control.”

If your family or your children are going through some hard times, take the time to talk about it this week and pray with your kids. Take the lead, showing them how to lean on God in hard times, and let God be your strength.

2. Bible Reading

Read:  Genesis 41:14-27, 41-43

 

Genesis 41:14-27New International Reader’s Version (NIRV)

14 So Pharaoh sent for Joseph. He was quickly brought out of the prison. Joseph shaved and changed his clothes. Then he came to Pharaoh.

15 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream. No one can tell me what it means. But I’ve heard that when you hear a dream you can explain it.”

16 “I can’t do it,” Joseph replied to Pharaoh. “But God will give Pharaoh the answer he wants.”

17 Then Pharaoh told Joseph what he had dreamed. He said, “I was standing on the bank of the Nile River. 18 Seven cows came up out of the river. They were fat and looked healthy. They were eating the tall grass growing along the river. 19 After them, seven other cows came up. They were bony and very ugly and thin. I had never seen such ugly cows in the whole land of Egypt. 20 The thin, ugly cows ate up the seven fat cows that came up first. 21 But no one could tell that the thin cows had eaten the fat cows. That’s because the thin cows looked just as ugly as they had before. Then I woke up.

22 “In my dream I also saw seven heads of grain. They were full and good. They were all growing on one stem. 23 After them, seven other heads of grain came up. They were weak and thin and dried up by the east wind. 24 The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven good heads. I told my dream to the magicians. But none of them could explain it to me.”

25 Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “Both of Pharaoh’s dreams have the same meaning. God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do. 26 The seven good cows are seven years. And the seven good heads of grain are seven years. Both dreams mean the same thing. 27 The seven thin, ugly cows that came up later are seven years. So are the seven worthless heads of grain dried up by the east wind. They are seven years when there won’t be enough food.

Genesis 41:41-43New International Reader’s Version (NIRV)

Joseph Is Put in Charge of Egypt

41 So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I’m putting you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.” 42 Then Pharaoh took from his finger the ring he used to give his official stamp. He put it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in robes made out of fine linen. He put a gold chain around Joseph’s neck. 43 He also had him ride in a chariot. Joseph was now next in command after Pharaoh. People went in front of Joseph and shouted, “Get down on your knees!” By doing all these things, Pharaoh put Joseph in charge of the whole land of Egypt.

Joseph thought life was out of control, but after meeting Pharaoh, he realized he was right where he was supposed to be. God gave Joseph the gift of interpretation. He was in the right place at the right time to interpret a terrible dream for Pharaoh. 

He was in the right place at the right time for God to use him.

3. Discussion

Sometimes life can feel like it’s spinning us out of control! No one had a life that spun from good to bad to worse quite like Joseph. But Joseph never lost his faith, and God blessed Joseph. 

Q. How did Joseph’s life spin out of control?

Q. How did God turn things around for Joseph?

Q. Why do we need to hold onto God when life is spinning out of control?

4. Prayer Focus

When life feels like it’s spinning out of control, pray to Jesus, and ask him to help you through it. Thank God for always being constant and in control.

The Bible

Posted on Updated on

Family Devotional Adult 10-22-17

Family Devotional Kids 10-22-17

Download pdf button royal purple


Adult & Teen Discussion Guide

1. Primary Statement

The Bible is more than just a collection of laws and moral guidelines. It’s more than a history or philosophy book – it’s the authoritative Word of God. At the same time, many passages in scripture are debated over their historical accuracy or scientific feasibility – even among religious scholars. With all that uncertainty, what should we believe? According to Jesus, every last word.

2. Discussion

Jesus affirmed the Bible by quoting and teaching from it. 

Jesus quoted the Old Testament scriptures 78 different times, referencing 27 different books. Included in these are books with debated miracles, like Genesis (creation, global flood), Exodus (Egyptian plagues, parting of the Red Sea) and Daniel (Daniel in the lion’s den, Shadrach, Meshach,  and Abednego in the furnace). If you trust Jesus’ words, you have good reason to trust the rest of the Bible.

Q. Which passages in scripture do you find the hardest to believe? 

Q. If Jesus quoted a passage or a book, would that make it easier for you to accept the rest of the book as reliable?

 

3. Bible Verse

Jesus affirmed the Bible directly.

When Jesus referred to the Old Testament writings, He used phrases to describe it such as “the Scripture,” and “the Word of God.” He also said this about the Old Testament:

Matthew 5:17-18 [NLT] “Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. I Tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved.”

Q. Which passages in scripture do you see Christians ignoring most often? 

Which passages do you tend to ignore? 

Q. Since Jesus spoke about the importance of every detail in the Old Testament scripture, is there any logical room to accept some of it as fact and other parts as fiction, legend or embellishment?

4. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes to pray together as a family. Thank God for communicating to you through the words of the Bible and ask Him to help you fully trust in it as His source of truth.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

1. Power Verse

Psalm 84:2 “…With my whole being, body and soul, I will shout joyfully to the living God.”

“God’s Won The Victory, It’s Time To SHOUT!” 

In our series, “Soul Food”, we learn that a shout for victory is one of the key ingredients for a healthy Christian life.  We are often faced with difficult and impossible circumstances.  Sometimes the enemy, Satan, tries to trick us and make us feel discouraged when we’re faced with those tough times.  When we remember that God sent His Son, Jesus, to defeat the devil and win the ultimate victory, we should SHOUT for victory!

2. Bible Reading

Read: Joshua 6

Joshua 6 New International Reader’s Version (NIRV)

The gates of Jericho were shut tight and guarded closely because of the Israelites. No one went out. No one came in.

Then the Lord said to Joshua, “I have handed Jericho over to you. I have also handed over to you its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all your fighting men. In fact, do it for six days. Have seven priests get trumpets made out of rams’ horns. They must carry them in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times. Tell the priests to blow the trumpets as you march. You will hear them blow a long blast on the trumpets. When you do, tell the whole army to give a loud shout. The wall of the city will fall down. Then the whole army will march up to the city. Everyone will go straight in.”

So Joshua, the son of Nun, called for the priests. He said to them, “Go and get the ark of the covenant of the Lord. I want seven of you to carry trumpets in front of it.” He gave an order to the army. He said, “Move out! March around the city. Some of the fighting men must march in front of the ark of the Lord.”

When Joshua had spoken to the men, the seven priests went forward. They were carrying the seven trumpets as they marched in front of the ark of the Lord. They were blowing the trumpets. The ark of the Lord’s covenant was carried behind the priests. Some of the fighting men marched ahead of the priests who were blowing the trumpets. The others followed behind the ark and guarded all the priests. That whole time the priests were blowing the trumpets. 10 But Joshua had given an order to the army. He had said, “Don’t give a war cry. Don’t raise your voices. Don’t say a word until the day I tell you to shout. Then shout!” 11 So he had the ark of the Lord carried around the city once. Then the army returned to camp. They spent the night there.

12 Joshua got up early the next morning. The priests went and got the ark of the Lord. 13 The seven priests carrying the seven trumpets started out. They marched in front of the ark of the Lord. They blew the trumpets. Some of the fighting men marched ahead of them. The others followed behind the ark and guarded all of them. The priests kept blowing the trumpets. 14 On the second day they marched around the city once. Then the army returned to camp. They did all those things for six days.

15 On the seventh day, they got up at sunrise. They marched around the city, just as they had done before. But on that day they went around it seven times. 16 On the seventh time around, the priests blew a long blast on the trumpets. Then Joshua gave a command to the army. He said, “Shout! The Lord has given you the city! 17 The city and everything in it must be set apart to the Lord to be destroyed. But the prostitute Rahab and all those with her in her house must be spared. That’s because she hid the spies we sent. 18 But keep away from the things that have been set apart to the Lord. If you take any of them, you will be destroyed. And you will bring trouble on the camp of Israel. You will cause it to be destroyed. 19 All the silver and gold is holy. It is set apart to the Lord. So are all the things made out of bronze and iron. All those things must be added to the treasures kept in the Lord’s house.”

20 The priests blew the trumpets. As soon as the army heard the sound, they gave a loud shout. Then the wall fell down. Everyone charged straight in. So they took the city. 21 They set it apart to the Lord to be destroyed. They destroyed every living thing in it with their swords. They killed men and women. They wiped out young people and old people. They destroyed cattle, sheep and donkeys.

22 Then Joshua spoke to the two men who had gone in to check out the land. He said, “Go into the prostitute’s house. Bring her out. Also bring out everyone with her. That’s what you promised her you would do.” 23 So the young men who had checked out the land went into Rahab’s house. They brought her out along with her parents and brothers and sisters. They brought out everyone else there with her. They put them in a place outside the camp of Israel.

24 Then they burned the whole city and everything in it. But they added the silver and gold to the treasures kept in the Lord’s house. They also put there the things made out of bronze and iron. 25 But Joshua spared the prostitute Rahab. He spared her family. He also spared everyone else in the house with her. He did it because she hid the spies he had sent to Jericho. Rahab lives among the Israelites to this day.

26 At that time Joshua made a promise and called down a curse. He said, “May the person who tries to rebuild this city of Jericho be under the Lord’s curse.

“If that person lays its foundations,
    it will cost the life of his oldest son.
If he sets up its gates,
    it will cost the life of his youngest son.”

27 So the Lord was with Joshua. And Joshua became famous everywhere in the land.

Q. What city did God tell Joshua to destroy?  What was in the way?

Q. What did God tell Joshua and the Israelite army to do?

Q. What happened after the army marched around the wall the last time?

Q. When did the army shout – before or after the walls came down?

3. Discussion

Sometimes the enemy, Satan, will try to make us think God isn’t able to or doesn’t want to help us out.  But as Christians, we know that God has already won the victory and defeated the devil, so we shouldn’t be discouraged and afraid of what will happen when we’re faced with tough times.  Instead, we should celebrate what we know God is capable of and desires to do to help us.  We must SHOUT about the victory we know we can have with God on our side.

Q. What are some difficult or impossible circumstances you might face?

Q. How should you respond when faced with difficult and impossible circumstances?

4. Prayer Focus

Pray that your children will be bold and courageous when faced with tough circumstances because they know that God has already won the victory.lightstock_263442_download_medium_user_1189589

LifeTeam Roots Session 9

Posted on

JOSHUA 6 & 7

1.  There is no obstacle, circumstance, or need too large for God.

Before they even started, how had the Israelites won the battle?  Notice the tense of the verb.

Several times in Scripture God uses people & plans that seem foolish & weak to the world.  Joshua with trumpets & marching (Joshua 6), Gideon with torches & pitchers (Judges 7), & David with a sling (I Samuel 17).  To whom does the Lord look for to use in His plans?  2 Chronicles 16:9a

What did the Israelites provide in the victory at Jericho?  Hebrews 11:30

How do we inherit what has been promised to us?  Hebrews 6:12

2.  The first belongs to God, all of it.

It seems terrible to us that God commanded Israel to destroy all the humans in Jericho except Rahab & her family.  They did not always obey when God asked them to do this.  What was the result of this disobedience?  Nehemiah 13: 23-27

What do we gain if we obey God & do not become yoked with unbelivers?

2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1

3.  God is always willing to redeem sinners.

What was Rahab?  Joshua 2:1

What had Rahab realized about the Lord of the Israelites?  Joshua 2:11b

What great honor came to Rahab because of her belief in God?  Matthew 1:5 (look at the heading of this chapter)

4.  Sin is a big deal.

Why would God blame the whole nation for the disobedience of only one?  God considered them one people, His people, not just an assorted collection of tribes, clans, & families.  Read what God speaks about them in Exodus 19: 5-6 (considered by Bible scholars to be the heart of the Old Testament.)

What does Paul say about believers in Christ?  1 Corinthians 12:12-13

In Roots 8 we learned to seek first God’s kingdom & righteousness & all these things would be given to us.  Matthew 6:33.  What does God promise if we seek Him first?  Matthew 6:25-32

Phillips Brooks statement:  Do not pray for easy lives; pray to be better men & women.  Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers; pray for powers equal to your tasks.