Serving

Jonah: “Enemy”

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It’s always refreshing to see the “bad guys” in life get what they deserve, but in the economy of God’s grace, your enemy isn’t who you think it is.

1. Read

Jonah 3:10-4:3 [NLT] “When God saw what (the people of Nineveh) had done and how they had put a stop to their evil ways, he changed his mind and did not carry out the destruction he had threatened. This change of plans greatly upset Jonah, and he became very angry. …Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if whatI predicted will not happen.”

In Jonah’s day, the Assyrians of Nineveh were the “bad guys,” and Jonah was really hoping they’d get the Sodom and Gomorrah treatment.

  • Think of a few people, groups or organizations that feel like enemies of the church, or of you as a Christian. Based on their actions, what kind of judgment (in this life and the next) do they deserve? 
  • How would that make the human side of you feel?
  • Is that God’s preferred outcome for their lives?

2. Challenge

Jonah 4:11 [NLT] “Nineveh has more than 120,000 people living in spiritual darkness, not to mention all the animals,” (God replied). “Shouldn’t I feel sorry for such a great city?”

Luke 6:35-36 [NLT] “…(God) is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.”

Through the lens of God’s grace, no human is the enemy. Hell is. God’s greatest desire for the antagonists in your life is not to nuke them, but to guide them back to repentance (genuine life change) by showing kindness and compassion.

  • For those people / groups you listed, what are some ways you or the church as a whole could show them unexpected kindness and compassion?
  • Coupled with an unwavering standard of God’s truth, how do you think these acts of compassion would be received, vs a picket line or boycott?
  • Which approach better fits God’s long-term goal for those people?

3. Prayer Focus

Spend time praying for your “enemies.” Ask God to bless them, even though they don’t deserve it. Ask the Holy Spirit to put love in your heart for them, and to use you to extend His kindness – and truth – to them.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

“Spy Kids: How To Survive A Night With The Lions”

1. Power Verse

Psalm 55:16 “But I will call on God, and the Lord will rescue me.”

What’s Up: “Building Good Character Makes Me Strong!”

This week, we continue our series called, “Spy Kids”. In this series, we’re learning from the story of Daniel!

2. Discussion

Before you start, double some grocery bags and fill them with enough books or canned goods so your children can’t lift the bag easily. Then call your children in and ask them to pick up the bag. When they can’t, take one item out and ask them to lift it again. Continue doing this until the bag is easy for them to lift.

  • If you knew that sometime in the future your life would depend on you being able to pick up something this heavy, what would you do? (Some type of weight training where they would start with smaller weights and work up to heavier ones; having someone train them.)
  • You’re going to face many types of problems in life. Some will be easy to overcome, but others may not be. All of the problems will be easier to face if you prepare ahead of time by learning to rely on God.
  • If you never pray, read the Bible, or worship God, how easy do you think it would be to rely on Him when you have a problem?
  • Do you think you could pray or worship for an hour without stopping?
  • How do you learn to pray or worship for longer periods of time?

By starting small and building good spiritual habits now, you’ll have the strength you need to face any problems that may come your way.

3. Prayer Focus

Ask God to help you develop those spiritual habits so you can rely on Him when you face problems.

Jonah: Lost Cause

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Have you ever written someone off as a lost cause? Maybe you wrote yourself off! Let’s be honest – if you look from a human perspective, some people are so far from faith in God it would take a miracle to change them… and that’s exactly what God has in mind.

1. Read

Jonah 3:4-5 [NLT] “On the day Jonah entered the city (Nineveh), he shouted to the crowds: ‘Forty days from now Nineveh will be destroyed!’ The people of Nineveh believed God’s message, and from the greatest to the least, they declared a fast and put on burlap to show their sorrow.”

If you asked an 8th century B.C. Jew who the most unlikely people on the planet were to receive God’s mercy, the Assyrians of Nineveh would’ve topped the list. They were right in the cross-hairs of God’s judgment – but they repented powerfully.

  • Name an individual who seems like a lost cause spiritually. Now, think of a few people groups who fit that description. Do you think God has given up on reaching them? Do you act like He has?

2. Challenge

Jonah 3:4-5 [NLT] “The people of Nineveh believed God’s message…”

Jonah didn’t have angelic vocal chords. It wasn’t his presentation that changed the hearts of a wicked city, it was God’s message. When we write people off as too far gone, we do it with our abilities and strategies in mind. When the Holy Spirit is involved, though, no one is beyond his reach, even the lost causes.

  • You can certainly tell people about God’s grace, but what are some other ways His message can be communicated through you?
  • God didn’t prophecy doom to dishearten the Ninevites; He did it to give them a chance to change (yes – even the worst of the worst!) How does God’s dealing with Nineveh affect the way you view His heart for the lost causes that you listed?

3. Prayer Focus

Talk to God and thank Him for coming to rescue you – even while you were a sinner. Ask Him to help you see those “lost causes” in your life the way He does – as people in need of His message and life-changing power. Then, ask Him to use your life to present that message.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

“Spy Kids: Where’s Daniel When You Need Him?”

1. Power Verse

Proverbs 12:26 “The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray.”

What’s Up: “I Will Choose To Have Godly Friends!”

This week, we continue our series called, “Spy Kids”. In this series, we’re learning from the story of Daniel!

2. Discussion

Explain to your children that their lives are like a NASCAR race. Ask them what the goal of a race car driver is. Then explain to them that winning the race of life means living eternally with God. However, in order to win the race, we all need some help.

Every race car driver has a pit crew that keeps his or her car in the best shape possible during the race.

  • What are some of the responsibilities of the pit crew?
  • Would the driver win the race if she had to take care of all those responsibilities by herself? Why not?
  • Can we win the race if we don’t have anyone helping us?

The crew chief is in charge of the entire crew and remains in constant contact with the driver by using microphones and headphones.

  • What kind of person should be the crew chief in our life?
  • Ask your children who owns the car the driver is racing. (Some children may think the driver owns the car, but actually a company owns it.)
  • Who owns our lives?
  • Could we win the race if we didn’t have an owner?
  • Who ultimately should get the credit when we win the race?

Talk about how important it is for us to have people in our lives (“Daniels,” as we learned this week) who will help us win our race.

3. Prayer Focus

Ask God to help you have a good pit crew in your life. Thank Him for owning your life and giving you everything you need to win.

I’m All In!

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Have you ever been the recipient of unfair criticism? Ever been the one to give it? Not all criticism is constructive, and if we’re not careful, a critical spirit can make us miss out on a lot of good around us.

1. Read

2 Samuel 6:15-16 [NLT] “So David and all the people of Israel brought up the Ark of the Lord with shouts of joy and the blowing of rams’ horns. But as the Ark of the LORD entered the City of David, Michal, the daughter of Saul, looked down from her window. When she saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, she was filled with contempt for him.”

When you become a spectator, you’re a lot more prone to criticize those who serve God with gusto. David’s dancing probably would’ve looked a lot different if Michal had been in the crowd.

  • In church, who would you identify with more – the one doing or the one watching?
  • What are some expressions of worship that seem goofy or over-the-top to you? What motives do you think are behind those actions? 
  • What are some other possible motives for them?

2. Challenge

2 Samuel 6:23 [NLT] “So Michal, the daughter of Saul, remained childless throughout her entire life.”

Michal witnessed a season of unparalleled blessing, as God’s presence came to her home town – yet, she missed out on it by standing back and criticizing. Don’t suffer the same fate! Get engaged, and give people the benefit of the doubt – there are a lot of great ways to express praise and thanks to God.

  • What’s your favorite way to express your heart to God? How might that look to someone who was completely unfamiliar with Christianity?
  • Sometimes people are in the wrong, and a challenge to change is just what they need. How is that different from Michal’s experience?

3. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes to express your heart to God in whatever way comes to your mind. Go all in! He deserves it.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

“Spy Kids: Do The Right Thing!”

1. Power Verse

1 Peter 1:15 “…be holy in all you do.”

What’s Up: “Even If I’m All Alone In The Fight, I’m Gonna Choose To Do What’s Right!”

This week, we continue our series called, “Spy Kids”. In this series, we’re learning from the story of Daniel and his friends about remaining faithful to God no matter what!

2. Activity

Read the following scenarios and let your children answer the questions:

A kid in your class has somehow managed to get a copy of the answers to a major math test you’re having later in the week and will give a copy to anyone who wants one. Most of your friends took a copy, but you can’t decide whether to take one.

  • What are some short-term consequences of taking one? (You’ll pass the test, your friends will accept you, you won’t have to study.)
  • What are some possible long-termconsequences? (Your teacher may find outand fail you, you’ll feel guilty, you may not learn what you need to know for future tests.)

Your friends have started calling people names that you’re pretty sure your parents wouldn’t approve of.

  • What are short-term consequences if you start using the word, too?(You’ll feel like you’re part of the group, no one will tease you for not using the word, you’ll feel cool.)
  • What are some possible long-term consequences? (Your parents will find out and punish you, you’ll hurt someone’s feelings, you may start using other words you shouldn’t.)

3. Discuss

It’s normal to feel tempted to do what everyone else is doing even when you know it’s wrong. That’s why it’s important to think about the consequences of our actions before we do them.

4. Prayer Focus

Ask God to give your children strength to fight temptation and to help them see the consequences of their actions.

Jonah: Failing God

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Have you ever blown it big time? Ever felt like you were a total failure to God and to yourself? No matter how badly you messed up, Jonah probably has you beaten in the “failed God” category. And yet, the moment he had a change of heart, God put him right back to work.

1. Read

Jonah 1:17 [NLT] “Now the Lord had arranged for a great fish to swallow Jonah.”

Jonah didn’t want to obey God’s instruction to preach to Nineveh. He ran, trying to sail to the opposite end of the world. Instead, he found himself swallowed by a fish. Make no mistake – you can’t outrun God’s call on your life… or His discipline.

  • Have you ever felt God lead you to do something that intimidated you?
  • Ever promised to do something for Him, but then backed out when things got difficult? How did those situations turn out?
  • Have you ever felt like you were in spiritual “time-out” with God – like He was distant? 
  • Whose decisions put you there? What had to change in order for you to feel connected again?

 

2. Challenge

Jonah 1:17-2:1 [NLT]   “Jonah was inside the fish for three days and three nights. Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from inside the fish.”

It took Jonah 3 days, but he finally made the decision to change and submit to God’s plan. How did God respond? He gave him the exact same command and put him back to work.

  • Think of a pastor or church leader who’s had a moral failure. Did the talent and spiritual gifts God planted in that person change when they sinned? Did His mission for them change?
  • Is it God who has a hard time restoring people from sin, or is it people?
  • What are some things God has called you to do or be? Have you ever failed to live up to them?
  • Did God fire you, or does He want you to get back to work like Jonah?

3. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes and talk to God (thankfully, not from inside a fish!) Thank Him for being patient with you when you’ve made sinful choices and fallen short of His plans for your life. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you put the past behind you and get back to work living for Him.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

“Spy Kids: What’s Your Name?”

1. Power Verse

Isaiah 62:2 “And the Lord will give you a new name.”

What’s Up: “God’s Gonna Give Me A Brand New Name!”

This week, we start a brand new series called, “Spy Kids”.  In this series, we’ll learn from the story of Daniel and his friends about remaining faithful to God no matter what!

2. Activity

Tell your children to imagine they’ve moved to Germany for the rest of their lives. Give each of them a German name such as Gerda, Franziska, Ingeborg, or Sigrid for girls or Gustav, Engelbert, Helmar, or Volkmar for boys. Call them by that name for the rest of the devotion. Then talk about the changes you’d have to make if you moved to Germany.

3. Read & Discuss

  • How hard do you think it would be to learn a new language?
  • Do you think you would like learning new customs?
  • Do you think you would miss your American name and the American way you do things?
  • Would you eventually forget what it was like to live in America?

Read: Daniel 1 

Daniel Is Trained in Babylon

It was the third year that Jehoiakim was king of Judah. Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem. His armies surrounded the city and attacked it. The Lord handed Jehoiakim, the king of Judah, over to him. Nebuchadnezzar also took some of the objects from God’s temple. He carried them off to the temple of his god in Babylon. He put them among the treasures of his god.

The king gave Ashpenaz an order. Ashpenaz was the chief of Nebuchadnezzar’s court officials. The king told him to bring him some of the Israelites. The king wanted them to serve him in his court. He wanted nobles and men from the royal family. He was looking for young men who were healthy and handsome. They had to be able to learn anything. They had to be well educated. They had to have the ability to understand new things quickly and easily. The king wanted men who could serve in his palace. Ashpenaz was supposed to teach them the Babylonian language and writings. The king had his servants give them food and wine from his own table. They received a certain amount every day. The young men had to be trained for three years. After that, they could begin to serve the king.

Some of the men chosen were from Judah. Their names were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. The chief official gave them new names. He gave Daniel the name Belteshazzar. He gave Hananiah the name Shadrach. He gave Mishael the name Meshach. And he gave Azariah the name Abednego.

Daniel decided not to make himself “unclean” by eating the king’s food and drinking his wine. So he asked the chief official for a favor. He wanted permission not to make himself “unclean” with the king’s food and wine. God had caused the official to be kind and friendly to Daniel. 10 But the official refused to do what Daniel asked for. He said, “I’m afraid of the king. He is my master. He has decided what you and your three friends must eat and drink. Other young men are the same age as you. Why should he see you looking worse than them? When he sees how you look, he might kill me.”

11 So Daniel spoke to one of the guards. The chief official had appointed him over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 12 Daniel said to him, “Please test us for ten days. Give us nothing but vegetables to eat. And give us only water to drink. 13 Then compare us with the young men who eat the king’s food. See how we look. After that, do what you want to.” 14 So the guard agreed. He tested them for ten days.

15 After the ten days Daniel and his friends looked healthy and well fed. In fact, they looked better than any of the young men who ate the king’s food. 16 So the guard didn’t require them to eat the king’s special food. He didn’t require them to drink the king’s wine either. He gave them vegetables instead.

17 God gave knowledge and understanding to these four young men. So they understood all kinds of writings and subjects. And Daniel could understand all kinds of visions and dreams.

18 The three years the king had set for their training ended. So the chief official brought them to Nebuchadnezzar. 19 The king talked with them. He didn’t find anyone equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. So they began to serve the king. 20 He asked them for advice in matters that required wisdom and understanding. The king always found their answers to be the best. Other men in his kingdom claimed to get knowledge by using magic. But the answers of Daniel and his friends were ten times better than theirs.

21 Daniel served in Babylon until the first year Cyrus ruled over the land of Babylon. Cyrus was king of Persia.

God has a plan for our lives, but Satan wants to destroy that plan. He does that by tempting us to sin and do things God doesn’t want us to do. Satan hopes that we’ll eventually forget what it’s like to follow God and instead learn to enjoy our sins. What he doesn’t tell us is that eventually we have to pay a huge price for those sins—our relationships with each other and ultimately our relationship with God will be destroyed.

4. Prayer Focus

Pray together, asking God to help you resist temptation so you can always be the person God created you to be.

Happiness=Serving Others

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Jesus said, “the greatest among you will be your servant.” We’re called to serve and meet the needs of others… which can be a counterintuitive, counter-cultural thing, at times. When we do, though, we not only make God happy – we find happiness ourselves.

1. Read

Romans 12:13 [ESV] “I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment…”

Being a servant to others begins with an accurate understanding of where your position is. As long as you see yourself as more important than others, you’ll never be able to spend yourself to meet their needs.

  • Name 2 or 3 of the most selfless-giving people you’ve known. From what you can tell, do/did they serve out of obligation, or did they just value others more than themselves?
  • How did their selflessness benefit you?
  • If a poll were taken of 100 people close to you, how would they rate your view of your own importance? 
  • Would they label you as selfless, selfish, or somewhere in between?

2. Challenge

1 Peter 5:6 [ESV]“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you.”

If you puff yourself up full of self-importance, God will have to spend time bringing you back down to earth. If you live humble, though, and serve others, God will raise you up and bring you honor and fulfillment.

  • It’s easy to serve kind, selfless people, but not everyone in life falls into that category. Who are the people in your life who are the hardest to serve? 
  • Why do you think that is? 
  • Does that change God’s expectation of you?
  • Think of a time when you willingly gave time, energy, attention, or money to serve others. How fulfilled did you feel afterward? 
  • Did that act increase or deflate your happiness?

3. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes to thank Jesus for setting the example of selfless service. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you keep the right view of yourself, so you can invest your life in serving others.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

The Good Shepherd

1. Power Verse

Psalm 23:1 “The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need.”

What’s Up: “I Will Follow The Lord, ‘Cause He’s My Shepherd!”

This week we started a new series “The Good Shepherd.” We will spend the next few weeks learning how God is the Shepherd who longs to take care of His sheep – Us!

2. Read

Luke 15:1-7 “Then Jesus told them a story.  He said, ‘Suppose one of you has 100 sheep and loses one of them. Won’t he leave the 99 in the open country? Won’t he go and look for the one lost sheep until he finds it?  When he finds it, he will joyfully put it on his shoulders and go home. Then he will call his friends and neighbors together. He will say, ‘Be joyful with me. I have found my lost sheep.’  I tell you, it will be the same in heaven. There will be great joy when one sinner turns away from sin. Yes, there will be more joy than for 99 godly people who do not need to turn away from their sins.”

  • How many sheep were there in the story? What happened to one of the sheep?
  • What did the shepherd do for the one sheep that was missing?
  • Who/What does the sheep represent?

3. Discussion

In our Bible Story, one sheep was missing. The shepherd left 99 of his sheep to go find the one that was lost. We learn from this story that God, our shepherd, will do whatever it takes to find one of his sheep (us!) that is lost or missing. 

  • What do you think it means for a person to be lost or missing? 
  • Why do you think God cares so much about one person who is missing?

That’s Right! God loves us so much, He will do whatever it takes to be in relationship with us. And when we are in relationship with Him, He will do whatever He can to take care of us and meet our needs. He is “The Good Shepherd” who wants to take care of us. He loves us and wants us to have everything we need!!!

4. Prayer Focus

Pray for the members of your family that they will be in right relationship with God. Give each child an opportunity to respond to an opportunity to accept Him. Also, give each child a chance to share a need that maybe they need God to meet as their “Good Shepherd.”

Broken People

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Adult & Teen Discussion Guide

Life is messy – no one makes it for very long without collecting a few scars along the way. Brokenness in our past -or present- can turn us inward and drive us to cover up our story, but if we let Him, God can use the worst of our lives to bring some of the greatest change in others.

1. Discussion 

Luke 5:31-32 [NLT]  “…Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent.” 

Jesus is not looking for the best and brightest, He’s searching for broken people who need saving – which just happens to include you.

Q . What’s an example of a hurt, failure, or dark season in your past which you’d rather keep hidden or forgotten?

Q . What emotions do you feel when you remember that event or season?

Q . Jesus didn’t run away from you because of it- He ran toward you because of it. How does that alter how you feel about your past?

2. Challenge

1 Timothy 1:15-16 [NLT] “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I (Paul) am the worst of them all. But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life.”

Q . Think of the emotions you felt when you remembered the scars from your past. How do you think Paul felt about his?

 Q . It’s easy to see how Paul’s visible life change was an example of God’s grace. How might God be able to use your hurts, failures, and dark seasons  (as well as the healing that He brought or is bringing) to be an example to people in your world?

Q . The story of God’s transforming power in your life may be the key to someone else being born again. How does that change your willingness to be open about it?

3. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family: thank Jesus for searching you out and healing your brokenness. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you boldness to share your story so others can find healing.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

God Can Do It

1. Power Verse

Luke 18:27 “What is impossible for people is possible with God.”

What’s Up: “God Can Do A Lot With A Little!”

This week, we continue our series called, “Elisha: God’s Powerful Prophet.” In this lesson, we learn from an amazing story of a widow in desperate need of God’s POWER! She found out that God can take the little bit we have and turn it into something amazing! We learn that God is our source, and, when we obey him, blessing follows obedience. God can use what little we have to do POWERFUL things!

2. Read

2 Kings 4:1-7 (NIRV)  

“The wife of a man from the group of the prophets cried out to Elisha. She said, ‘My husband is dead. You know how much respect he had for the Lord. But he owed money to someone. And now that person is coming to take my two boys away. They will become his slaves.’ Elisha replied to her, ‘How can I help you? Tell me. What do you have in your house?’ ‘I don’t have anything there at all,’ she said. ‘All I have is a small jar of olive oil.’ Elisha said, ‘Go around to all your neighbors. Ask them for empty jars. Get as many as you can. Then go inside your house. Shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars. As each jar is filled, put it over to one side.’ The woman left him. Then she shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her. And she kept pouring. When all the jars were full, she spoke to one of her sons. She said, ‘Bring me another jar.’ But he replied, ‘There aren’t any more left.’ Then the oil stopped flowing. She went and told the man of God about it. He said, ‘Go and sell the oil. Pay what you owe. You and your sons can live on what is left.’”

3. Discussion

Q. Why did the woman need money?

Q. What was the only thing the woman had in her house?

Q. What did Elisha tell the woman to borrow from her friends?

Q.  What did the woman do with the oil in her jar? When did the oil run out?

Very often, we sell ourselves short. We begin to compare ourselves to others – our talent, our abilities, our money, our family – and we convince ourselves that we have very little to offer God. However, God does not ask us to out-perform, out-give, or out-do our friends and neighbors. God asks us to be faithful with what He has given us. No matter how “little” our lives may be, if we give God what we have, He will use us to accomplish BIG things for Him.

Q. Have you ever faced a hopeless situation that God used to do something big?

Q. How can you be faithful to God? What talents or abilities do you have to use?

4. Prayer Focus

Pray for your children that God would use them to do big things for His kingdom and would use their little to do a lot.

The Security of Humility

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Adult & Teen Discussion Guide

Nobody likes to be humiliated. From childhood on, we all learn to avoid embarrassing situations and improve our standing with others. In God’s leadership system, though, the noblest thing we can do is to voluntarily lower ourselves, not in shame, but in service to others.

1. Discussion 

Philippians 2:3–4 [ESV] “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

Q . Which is easier – serving your own interests, or those of others? Which requires more strength?

Q . What’s a scenario in your life where it’s easy to serve others? What makes it easy?

Q . What’s a scenario where it’s hard to serve others? What makes it hard?

Q . Godly humility doesn’t mean belittling yourself or being a doormat for others to abuse. Describe an example of “humility” that’s belittling and abused. Contrast that with an example of humility with dignity and strength.

2. Challenge

Matthew 23:12 [ESV] “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”

One way or another, everyone will be humbled or, “made low.” If you do it voluntarily, God will bless you. If not… well, it’s not a pleasant experience, to say the least!

Q . Think of a time in your life when you were proud, and someone / something brought you down a few notches. How did that feel? Was the end result positive or negative for you?

Q . Think of a time when you voluntarily lowered yourself to put someone else first. How did that feel at the time? How do you feel about it now, looking back? Was the end result positive or negative for you?

3. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family: thank Jesus for modeling true leadership by serving humanity. Ask the Holy Spirit to point out places in your life where you tend to “exalt” yourself, and to give you the strength of character to choose humility and service.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

Don’t Keep It To Yourself

1. Power Verse

Mark 16:15 “…Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere.”

What’s Up: “I Will Share God’s Love With The World!”

In our Bible Story, we learn from Elisha and four lepers the importance of sharing and not holding good news to ourselves. Especially, since we have the greatest news – the Good News of Jesus dying on the cross and raising to life for our salvation and eternal life in Heaven. The world is starving for the truth, and we must deliver the Good News to the world!

2. Read

2 Kings 7 (NIRV)  

Elisha replied, “Listen to a message from the Lord. He says, ‘About this time tomorrow, flour won’t cost very much.’ The king was leaning on an officer’s arm. The officer spoke to the man of God. The officer said, “Suppose the Lord opens the sky and pours down food on us. Even if he does, could what you are saying really happen?” “You will see it with your own eyes,” answered Elisha.

The Attack on Samaria Ends

There were four men who had a skin disease. They were at the entrance of the gate of Samaria. They said to one another, “Why should we stay here until we die? So let’s go over to Aram’s army camp. Let’s give ourselves up. If they spare us, we’ll live. If they kill us, we’ll die.” They arrived at the edge of it. But no one was there. The Lord had caused the soldiers of Aram to hear a noise like a huge army. So the soldiers of Aram had run away at sunset. They had left the camp just as it was. And they had run for their lives. The men who had a skin disease arrived at the edge of the camp. They entered one of the tents. They ate and drank. Then they took silver, gold and clothes. They went off and hid them. But then they said to one another, “What we’re doing isn’t right. This is a day of good news. And we’re keeping it to ourselves. If we wait until sunrise, we’ll be punished. Let’s report this to the royal palace.” Then the people went out of the city. So 12 pounds of the finest flour sold for less than half of an ounce of silver. And 20 pounds of barley sold for the same price. That’s exactly what the Lord had said would happen. What Elisha, the man of God, had told the king came true. 

3. Discussion

Q. Who doubted Elisha when he said there would be plenty of food the next day?

Q. Who was at the gate of the city? Where did they decide to go?

Q. What did the lepers find in the Aramean’s camp? What did they decide to do when they stopped eating?

Q. What happened when they shared the good news with the whole city?

The world is full of bad news. There are lots of bad things going on in the world. People are constantly dealing with tough stuff. The world is longing for the truth that someone loves them and has the power to help them! As Christians, we have that truth, and we have to share with the world that God loves everyone and has the power to help us with whatever we face in life.

4. Prayer Focus

What Good News do we have, as Christians, that the world needs to know? What can you do to share that Good News of Jesus with others? Pray for your children to have the courage to share the Good News about Jesus and let everyone they know see the truth of God’s love every day.