Purpose of Life

Mission: Christmas, God’s Role for Israel

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Family Devotional Adult 12-10-17Family Devotional Kids 12-10-17

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Adult & Teen Discussion Guide

1. Primary Statement

Did you have a favorite aunt/uncle, or grandparent when you were a kid? Maybe you were the favorite, and got special treatment… or maybe your sibling was! We know God loves all humans, but it’s clear in the Bible record that He had a special, chosen people – the nation of Israel. Why? How was that part of the mission of Christmas?

2. Bible Verse

Israel as God’s chosen people illustrates how He accomplishes His mission.

Occasionally, God accomplishes things all on His own, but most of the time, He works through people.

 

 

Judges 6:12-16 [NLT]“The angel of the Lord appeared to (Gideon) and said, ‘Mighty hero, the Lord is with you… Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!’

‘But Lord,” Gideon replied, ‘how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!’ The Lord said to him, ‘I will be with you…’”

 

Q. What’s one problem you’ve noticed in your community / society / workplace / family that needs God’s help to fix?

Q. When you  remember the “problem-fixes” that God brought through David, Moses, Gideon and others, what do you think your role might be in making a difference?

3. Discussion

The nation of Israel also illustrates how God produces change through people by first producing it in people. 

Genesis 32:28 [NLT] “‘Your name will no longer be Jacob,’ the man told him. ‘From now on you will be called Israel, because you have fought with God and with men and have won.’”

Q. In what area(s) of life do you find yourself wrestling with God the most?

Q. Thinking back to the problem you’ve noticed in your world, what type of change do you think God may require in you before He works change through you?

4. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family and thank God for including people in His work. Ask the Holy Spirit to produce the needed changes in you so that He can produce change through you.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

1. Power Verse

2 Thessalonians 3:16 “May the Lord…always give you his peace no matter what happens.” 

 Watts Up: “God Will Give You Peace Within, He’ll Be With You ‘Till The End!”

2. Activity

For this week’s devotion, you will need a heavy rock, a plastic cup, and a handful of pebbles. Place the cup in the kitchen sink or bathtub or by a water hose outside. 

Ask your kids to try to move the cup by doing the following:

  • blowing as hard as they can
  • throwing pebbles at it
  • pouring water on it

Replace the cup with the rock and ask them to do the same things. Then discuss these questions:

Q. If you were a grasshopper and you were out in a windstorm or a thunderstorm, do you think it would be safer to be on the cup or on the rock?

Q. Which is stronger, the cup or the rock?

3. Discussion

Read Isaiah 26:3-4 to your kids:

“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the LORD always, for the LORD GOD is the eternal Rock.”

When we are stressed or in the middle of a storm, we can always find peace by trusting in God, who is our rock. He will not be moved by the storm, and as long as we stay connected to him, we won’t be, either.

4. Prayer Focus

Pray together, thanking God for providing us peace as we trust in Him. Ask Him to help you fix your thoughts on Him, especially in times of stress.

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.