Jesus Christ

Mission: Christmas, You

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Family Devotional Adult 12-24-17Family Devotional Kids 12-24-17

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Adult & Teen Discussion Guide

1. Primary Statement

“Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” Of all the reasons to celebrate Christmas, this may be the most profound. After thousands of years of being at odds with the Creator because of sin, Jesus’ birth announced wonderful news – goodwill toward humankind!

2. Bible Verse

Without Jesus, we would all be destined for God’s wrath.

John 3:36 [VOICE] “Those who believe in the Son (Jesus) will bask in eternal life, but those who disobey the Son will never experience life. They will know only God’s lingering wrath.”

Revelation 20:12-15 [ESV] “And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done… 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”

Q. Take a minute to consider what your fate would be like if Jesus had never come to earth. What feelings does that thought stir up? – Fear, Gratitude, Wonder? 

Q. Consider how very real and intense God’s wrath is toward sin.  How does that change your outlook on the unsaved people in your life? 

3. Discussion

Jesus’ sacrifice paid the price for our sin, and made a way for us to reconnect with a loving God the way He intended from the beginning.

1 John 2:2 [NLT] “He himself (Jesus) is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.”

Hebrews 10:22 [NLT]  “Let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean…”

Q. Think about the price Jesus paid so you could have access to God’s presence.  Do you sometimes take that access for granted? What are some examples?

Q. What are some ways you could treat that access as more of a privilege and less of an entitlement?

4. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family and thank God for paying the price so you could be saved. Ask the Holy Spirit to develop gratitude and devotion in your heart, and to help you cherish the access you’ve been given to God the Father.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

1. Power Verse

James 1:17 “Every good and perfect gift is from above.” 

 Watts Up:  “God’s Gifts are the Best Gifts!”

2. Activity

Q. If you had all the money in the world, what would be the gift that you would give your best friend?  (A new car, an ipad, video game.)

Q. Now, if you had all the money in the world, what would be the best gift you would give someone that absolutely hates you? (Maybe some rotten meat?  A bucket full of slimy worms?)

Well, that might be what someone would give their enemy, but GOD gave the PERFECT gift to all of us—even before we loved Him. 

We were enemies of God before we accepted Him in our hearts. Yet, God gave His one and only Son, Jesus. The Bible says that while we were still sinners, (while we still not living for God,) Christ came for us to save us and to take away our sin! 

Now, THAT’S one perfect, undeserved gift! 

Q. What are some of the best gifts you have ever received?  Are you still as excited about them today?

God’s gifts make our whole life better, and help us to be a blessing to others!

3. Review

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world,that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

Let’s review the AWESOME gifts from God we have been studying the past 4 weeks:  

GRACE: God gives us His grace, His mercy and His forgiveness through giving us His Son, Jesus. 

JOY: Be quick to smile, laugh a lot and no matter what happens, remember that GOD GIVES JOY TO EVERYONE! 

PEACE: Ask God for His peace! He’ll give you all the peace you need to help you through whatever comes your way!

WISDOM:  Wisdom comes from God.  We can use it to make good decisions, and find God’s perfect plan for our lives!

Think about God’s gifts.  Are you excited to have them everyday?

4. Prayer Focus

Pray together and thank God for His many gifts.  Not only did God send His Son, Jesus but He sent the Holy Spirit that brings us Grace, Joy, Peace, Wisdom, and so much more.

Mission: Christmas, God’s Plan for Humanity

Posted on Updated on

Family Devotional Adult 12-3-17Family Devotional Kids 12-3-17

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Adult & Teen Discussion Guide

1. Primary Statement

Christmas means a lot of things to a lot of people – a time to reconnect with family, a time to bond around nostalgia, a time to practice generosity – but for Christians, it’s a time to celebrate Jesus’ birth. In order to fully appreciate the importance of Jesus’ arrival, we need to understand why He came, beginning with the crown jewel of God’s creation – humanity.

2. Bible Verse

Humanity was created to give praise and bring glory to God.

Everything in creation brings God glory, just like a trophy case brings glory to an athlete, or an art gallery brings glory to an artist. Humanity is different, though. We weren’t made to passively point to God – we have the capacity and design to actively praise Him.

Psalm 100:1-3 [ESV] “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.”

Q. What are some examples of creation bringing glory to God? 

Q. What are some ways you can actively praise God?

3. Discussion

Humanity was designed for community.

From the beginning, this worship we were designed for was intended to happen together; side by side in community, with God as the uniting principle among us.

Psalm 95:6-7 [GNT] “Come, let us bow down and worship him; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! He is our God; we are the people he cares for, the flock for which he provides.”

Psalm 133:1 [ESV] Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!”

Q. Can you worship God all by yourself?

Q. When you worship God in community with others, how is it different?

Q. What are some ways you can worship God in community?

4. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family and thank God for including you as part of His amazing creation. Ask the Holy Spirit to keep your focus on bringing praise to Him with all areas of your life.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

1. Power Verse

Philippians 3:1 “Whatever happens, dear brothers and sisters, may the Lord give you joy.”

Watts Up: “God Gives Joy To Every Girl And Boy!”

**PARENTS:  Sometimes joy gets buried under a pile of busyness during the Christmas season—joy seems to be inversely related to stress! This week’s devotion is to set aside some time to rediscover and experience joy as a family. You’ll need to clear everyone’s calendar for a couple of hours one night (that may mean canceling some of your own plans).

2. Activity

Think of an activity everyone in your family enjoys, and plan on spending the night doing it. Ask your teens to put away their cell phones (and put your own away) so you can enjoy just being with each other. If you can’t think of anything to do, here are some suggestions:

  • Play a favorite board or card game.
  • Gather all the pillows and blankets in your house and lay together in the floor, watching your favorite funny movie.
  • Drive around looking at Christmas lights while listening to Christmas music.
  • Play charades.
  • Cook something together.
  • Go bowling.
  • Go to the mall and tell everyone they have $500 pretend dollars to spend.
  • Stay together and see how each person spends their money. Don’t buy anything!

3. Discussion

After you’ve finished, take some time to talk about the following questions:

Q. What are some of the best or funniest memories you have of things we’ve done in the past?

Q. Did all of these memories seem good while they were happening, or were some of them not so great at the time, but ended up being special?

Q. What are some of the things you look forward to in the future that you think will bring you joy?

Q. What are some things that keep you from experiencing joy? Where does true joy come from?

4. Prayer Focus

Finally, pray together, praising God for the joy he has brought to your family. Thank him for all of the good memories you have made over the years and for the ones that you’ll make in the future.

It Is Too Painful

Posted on Updated on

Family Devotional Adult 11-26-17Family Devotional Kid 11-26-17

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Adult & Teen Discussion Guide

1. Primary Statement

Life is painful. From toothaches to heartaches, experiencing pain is a part of the human existence. Many people doubt God or leave God because of the pain they experience, but the truth is: God isn’t the source of pain, and if we stay close to Him, He will help us through our pain and bring good out of it in the end.

2. Bible Verse

Sometimes we experience pain as a discipline or a warning.

If you try to bend your finger the wrong way, it hurts! Why? The pain is a warning that your current course of action will damage your body. If you drive too fast around a police officer, you may get a speeding ticket. Why? The financial pain of paying a fine encourages you to drive more safely in the future. Sometimes, we bring pain on ourselves, but it’s helpful.

Hebrews 12:11 [ESV] “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”

Q. What’s a painful consequence you’ve experienced? Did it cause you to change your actions in the future?

3. Discussion

Sometimes we experience pain that we did nothing to cause or deserve.

God’s original creation was pain-free, but when sin entered the world, pain came along with it. Sometimes bad things happen to good people, because this is the sin-infected version of God’s world. In those times, we can look to God for relief, endurance, and perspective. In the long run, God can bring good out of any situation.

Romans 8:28 [ESV] “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

Q. Think of a time you experienced pain that you did nothing to cause. At the time, were you frustrated at God because of it? Looking back now, ask yourself: Did God cause it? Did God help me through it? Am I in some way stronger today because of it?

4. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family and thank God for the hope of a pain-free future with Him forever. Ask the Holy Spirit to strengthen you in seasons of pain and help you to stay close to Him through any circumstance.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

1. Power Verse

 James 1:17 “Every good and perfect gift is from above…”

Watts Up: “G-R-A-C-E!  God Gives Grace to You and Me!”

**PARENTS:  Have 2 small presents ready for each kid (a few coins, candy, etc.).

Call your kids together and tell them that for the next several weeks,you’re going to talk about gifts. Without explaining anything, hand each of them one of the gifts you’ve chosen. Don’t discuss it or tell them why you chose it. If they thank you, just say, “You’re welcome,” without talking about it anymore.

2. Discussion

Q. What did you do to be able to become a member of this family? (Nothing, you were born or adopted into it.)

Q. What are some of the benefits of being a member of our family?

Q. Do you think there’s anything you could do that would cause you to no longer be a member of our family? If so, what? (If your kids mention some things, just say something like, “Oh, really? Do you really think so?” Don’t argue or disagree with them, though.) Now hand them another present. Once again, don’t discuss it or give them a reason for giving them any presents.

Q. Have you ever heard the phrase, “no strings attached”? What does it mean? Grace means that we receive something that we don’t deserve or didn’t earn. Grace is a “no strings attached” gift, which means that the person who gave it to you won’t snatch it back if you don’t do what they want you to do.

The unexpected and unearned gifts you have just gotten are like “grace.”

Q. Can you think of any times you’ve received grace in the past? (Maybe one time you didn’t turn in your homework, but the teacher didn’t count it against you or someone did something nice for you just because they love you.)

Q. What is God’s grace?

Q. What has He done for us that we don’t deserve? (Think not only about salvation, but all of the daily blessings He gives us.)

Q.  What should be our response to His grace? No matter what you [kids] do, your parents will never stop loving you, and neither will God.

4. Prayer Focus

Pray together, thanking God for his grace and asking him to help you see every day the things he does for you that you don’t deserve. Ask him to help you have a thankful heart and to pass his grace on to others.

It Is Too Lonely

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Family Devotional Adult 11-19-17Family Devotional Kid 11-19-17

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Adult & Teen Discussion Guide

1. Primary Statement

When we decide to go all-in for God’s way of life, we may find that some relationships need to change – and others may need to end. The good news is, God’s design for us is community. Though we may experience lonely times walking God’s path, we also have the opportunity for wonderful friendships to grow along the way.

Romans 12:2 [ESV] “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…”

2. Bible Verse

1 Corinthians 15:33 [NIV] “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’”

Luke 14:26 [NLT]  “If you want to be my disciple, you must, by comparison, hate everyone else—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life.”

Sometimes, when we change our life, our old friends don’t want to be around us anymore. Sometimes, in order to step toward God, we need to remove ourselves from the influence of friends who are living the old way.

Q. Who are the main influences in your personal life? 

Q. For each, consider: are they pushing you toward God and His ways, or pulling you away from Him? 

Q. Which influences do you need to limit your exposure to?

3. Discussion

Matthew 12:48-50 [NLT] “Jesus asked, ‘Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?’ Then he pointed to his disciples and said, ‘Look, these are my mother and brothers. Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother!’”

Mark 10:29-30 [GWT] “Jesus said, ‘I can guarantee this truth: Anyone who gave up his home, brothers, sisters, mother, father, children, or fields because of me and the Good News will certainly receive a hundred times as much here in this life.’”

God’s desire isn’t to make you lonely, it’s to fill your life with the community of friendship that is found in the church.

Q. Who are the positive influences in your life, the ones who push you toward God?

Q. How might your Christian life change if you had more positive-influence relationships?

Q. What’s something tangible you could do this week to cultivate the right kinds of friendships in your life?

4. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family and thank God for the positive influences in your life. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you wisdom and courage to change, end, or cultivate the relationships you need to fully live your life for Him.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

1. Power Verse

1 Chronicles 16:8 “Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness…”  

Watts Up: “I Will Be Thankful Every Single Day!”

Jesus asked many questions, and from those questions and His teachings we can learn about how to live our lives.  This week’s lesson is important to help us live a life of gratitude!

2. Bible Reading

Read:  Luke 17:11-19

Jesus Heals Ten Men Who Have a Skin Disease

11 Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. He traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he was going into a village, ten men met him. They had a skin disease. They were standing close by. 13 And they called out in a loud voice, “Jesus! Master! Have pity on us!”

14 Jesus saw them and said, “Go. Show yourselves to the priests.” While they were on the way, they were healed.

15 When one of them saw that he was healed, he came back. He praised God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. The man was a Samaritan.

17 Jesus asked, “Weren’t all ten healed? Where are the other nine? 18 Didn’t anyone else return and give praise to God except this outsider?” 19 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up and go. Your faith has healed you.”

Q. What was wrong with the men who stopped to meet Jesus?

Q. What did they want from Jesus?

Q. How many came back to thank Jesus?

Q. What was Jesus’ response?

3. Discussion

Ten men came to Jesus that day.  Ten men had leprosy.  Even though all ten men were healed, only one of them came back to thank Him.  Can you believe that?  How could only one person come to thank Jesus for what He had done?

Q. Have you ever had something amazing happen in your life that you forgot to thank Jesus for?  

Q. Why do you think it is so easy for us to forget to take the time to thank Him?  (We get busy, we forget Jesus is the source of everything, etc.)

Q. What can we do to help remember to thank Jesus for everything we receive?

4. Prayer Focus

Spend time as a family listing, making a chart, or coming up with a fun way to demonstrate all the things you are grateful for that God has given you.  When you are finished, pray together and thank Him for all He has done for you!

It Costs Too Much

Posted on Updated on

Family Devotional Adult 11-12-17Family Devotional Kid 11-12-17

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Adult & Teen Discussion Guide

1. Primary Statement

Have you ever felt the need to do something, but didn’t follow through because the cost was too high? Everything has a cost – whether money, time or energy – and whether something “costs a lot,” or “costs too much” often depends on who’s asking.

2. Bible Verse

Matthew 10:8 [NKJV] “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.”

Matthew 16:24 [ESV] “Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.’”

When God asks something of us, it often comes at a high cost. We have to remember who’s asking, though – not only is He God the Creator, but He’s the Savior, who has given us so much. 

Q. What’s something God has asked of you that cost a lot? 

Q. When you consider what God has freely given you, does that cost seem greater or smaller?

3. Discussion

2 Corinthians 9:6-8 [ESV] “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

Who’s asking doesn’t just determine what we’re willing to give, it determines how we feel about giving it. God isn’t after reluctant givers, obedient givers, or even willing givers. He wants our partnership with Him to be something we celebrate – to give because we love Him.

Q. Have you ever said “yes” to God’s commands because you felt obligated to? In that moment, did you think of Him more as “God the Creator” or “God the Savior?”

Q. What steps could you take this week to redirect your heart to serve God more joyfully?

4. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family and thank God for blessing you in so many generous ways. Ask the Holy Spirit to develop inside of you the willingness and joy to say “yes” to whatever He commands.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

1. Power Verse

Romans 16:20 “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet…”

Watts Up:  “The Devil Is A Liar, And He’s UNDER MY FEET!”

In our series, “Soul Food”, we learn that swagger is one of the key ingredients for a healthy Christian life.  Swagger is how someone looks, feels, and acts when they know they are going to win.  It’s the way they carry themselves, the way they react to difficulties, the way they handle it when their enemy comes against them.  In the Bible Story, you will see a man who has been attacked by the enemy (the devil), but when Jesus sets him free, he develops some swagger by knowing that Jesus has and will take care of him when he faces difficulty.

2. Bible Reading

Read:  Luke 8:26-39

26 Jesus and his disciples sailed to the area of the Gerasenes across the lake from Galilee. 27 When Jesus stepped on shore, he was met by a man from the town. The man was controlled by demons. For a long time he had not worn clothes or lived in a house. He lived in the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet. He shouted at the top of his voice, “Jesus, Son of the Most High God, what do you want with me? I beg you, don’t hurt me!” 29 This was because Jesus had commanded the evil spirit to come out of the man. Many times the spirit had taken hold of him. The man’s hands and feet were chained, and he was kept under guard. But he had broken his chains. And then the demon had forced him to go out into lonely places in the countryside.

30 Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”

“Legion,” he replied, because many demons had gone into him. 31 And they begged Jesus again and again not to order them to go into the Abyss.

32 A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs. And he allowed it. 33 When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs. Then the herd rushed down the steep bank. They ran into the lake and drowned.

34 Those who were tending the pigs saw what had happened. They ran off and reported it in the town and countryside. 35 The people went out to see what had happened. Then they came to Jesus. They found the man who was now free of the demons. He was sitting at Jesus’ feet. He was dressed and thinking clearly. All this made the people afraid. 36 Those who had seen it told the others how the man who had been controlled by demons was now healed. 37 Then all the people who lived in the area of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them. They were filled with fear. So he got into the boat and left.

38 The man who was now free of the demons begged to go with him. But Jesus sent him away. He said to him, 39 “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away. He told people all over town how much Jesus had done for him.

Q. Who ran up to Jesus as he got off the boat?  

Q. Where had he been living?

Q. What did the demon-possessed man say to Jesus?

Q. What did Jesus do to help the demon- possessed man?  Where did the demons go?

Q. What was the man doing when the people from the town came to see?

3. Discussion

Someone with “swagger” knows they are on the winning side. They look past things that stop others because they already know they are going to win.  You can have “swagger” because Jesus has already defeated the devil.  In fact, if you look in the back of the book (the Bible), WE WIN!  Jesus defeated the enemy, and we share in that victory as followers of Jesus!

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

Lead the children in a prayer of celebration and thanksgiving that Jesus IS victorious and that WE WIN!

It Is Too Long

Posted on Updated on

Family Devotional Adult 11-5-17Family Devotional Kid 11-5-17

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Adult & Teen Discussion Guide

1. Primary Statement

“How long is this going to take?” All of us have asked that or thought that more times than we can count. In a world governed by time and prioritized around pleasing one’s self, it’s easy to let impatience replace joy and turn us ungrateful. The only way to overcome that trap is to live full of the Holy Spirit.

2. Bible Verse

Ephesians 5:18 [GWT] “Don’t get drunk on wine, which leads to wild living. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.”

Believing in God isn’t enough to produce heart change and life change – you have to live full of His Spirit, His directing influence. Without the Holy Spirit, we’ll never experience patience the way we need to.

Q. The conjugation of the original language means to be “being filled” on an ongoing basis. What are some ways you can invite the Holy Spirit into your day to day life?

Q. What’s one step you can take today to allow more access to the Holy Spirit’s direction and influence?

3. Discussion

Galatians 5:22 [NLT] “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience…”

Patience is one of the things that should be evident to others when the Holy Spirit is filling your life. You don’t produce the patience – He produces it in you, which is why if you want to live with patience in your life, you have to keep Him in the driver’s seat. 

Q. Have you tried to “be patient” on your own? How well did it work?

Q. What are some ways you think the Holy Spirit might work in you to develop patience?

Q. Fruit is a visible sign that differentiates one plant from another. When people see your life, can they tell by your patience that the Holy Spirit is living in you? Have you seen that type of patience in others?

4. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family and thank God for being patient with you. Ask the Holy Spirit to produce patience in your life by giving you His perspective.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

1. Power Verse

2 Corinthians 6:17 “Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you.” 

Watts Up:  “To Be A Healthy Christian, I’ll Stay Away From Sin!”

In our series, “Soul Food,” we learn that separation is one of the key ingredients for a healthy Christian life.  Have you ever known someone who claims to be a Christian, but acts just like the world?  They go to church, give in the offering, worship God, but then they act a totally different way when they are away from church?  In our Bible Story, we learn from the story of Ananias and Sapphira how we should NOT be hypocrites.  We learn that we must live lives that are separated unto God!

2. Bible Reading

Read:  Acts 5:1-11

Ananias and Sapphira

A man named Ananias and his wife, Sapphira, also sold some land. He kept part of the money for himself. Sapphira knew he had kept it. He brought the rest of it and put it down at the apostles’ feet.

Then Peter said, “Ananias, why did you let Satan fill your heart? He made you lie to the Holy Spirit. You have kept some of the money you received for the land. Didn’t the land belong to you before it was sold? After it was sold, you could have used the money as you wished. What made you think of doing such a thing? You haven’t lied just to people. You’ve also lied to God.”

When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. All who heard what had happened were filled with fear. Some young men came and wrapped up his body. They carried him out and buried him.

About three hours later, the wife of Ananias came in. She didn’t know what had happened. Peter asked her, “Tell me. Is this the price you and Ananias sold the land for?”

“Yes,” she said. “That’s the price.”

Peter asked her, “How could you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! You can hear the steps of the men who buried your husband. They are at the door. They will carry you out also.”

10 At that moment she fell down at Peter’s feet and died. Then the young men came in. They saw that Sapphira was dead. So they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 The whole church and all who heard about these things were filled with fear.

Q. What did they decide to do with all of the money from selling their land?

Q. What did Ananias tell the Apostle Peter?  

Q. How did Peter respond?

Q. What happened to Ananias?

Q. What happened to Sapphira?

3. Discussion

Ananias and Sapphira are great examples of hypocrites.  Today, there are lots of people that claim to be Christians, but in reality, are hypocrites.  They say they belong to Jesus, but they don’t act like it.  Their words, actions, and attitudes are no different than those who are not following Jesus.  Sadly, when lost people look at those hypocrites, they think THAT is the way all Christians act.  As a result, they want nothing to do with Jesus.  When we become followers of Jesus, we must separate ourselves from the things of this world and be and act more like Jesus every day!

Q. What are some ways you should be careful to separate yourself from the things of this world?

Q. What can you do to make sure you never become a hypocrite?

4. Prayer Focus

Pray that your children will live lives that are separated from the world and that their words and actions will set them apart from those who don’t know Jesus.

It’s Too Hard

Posted on Updated on

Family Devotional Adult 10-29-17

Family Devotional Kids 10-29-17

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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.