Prince of Peace

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Jesus’ birth brought a lot of things to humanity, but one of the greatest things – and one that the spiritually lost search for most – is peace.

1. Read

Luke 2:13-14 [NLT] “Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.’”
The Shepherds who witnessed the armies of heaven showing up on earth must’ve been scared, but the birth of the Messiah was the greatest peace gesture in the history of humanity. At last, we could be in right-standing with God. Q . Think back (if you can!) to a time before you had a relationship with God. What was it like to be at odds with God? How is the peace in your life different now from what it was then? Q . What are a few substitutes people turn to in order to find peace apart from God? How do those substitutes fall short in the end?

2. Challenge

John 14:27 [GNT] “Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.”
Our Messiah didn’t just come to make peace between us and God – He came to equip us with supernatural peace for the challenges and worries of an imperfect life. Q . What’s the difference between the peace the world gives and the kind of peace that only God can give? Q . Peace doesn’t mean the absence of challenges – it’s a change in perspective; a different response. Think of a time when you asked God to remove a problem, and instead, He gave you peace in the middle of it. Was the end result still good? Were you closer to Him as a result?

3. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family – thank Jesus for making peace between you and God. Ask the Holy Spirit to be your comforter and peace-giver when life gets stressful.

Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

Jesus Is… Emmanuel

1. Power Verse

Matthew 1:23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Emmanuel (which means ‘God with us’).”
What’s Up: “Jesus Is With Me Every Single Day!” This week, we continue our series called, “Jesus Is…” In this week’s lesson, we learned another word that is used in the Bible to describe Jesus. We learned that Jesus is…Emmanuel.

2. Read

Read the Christmas Story from the Gospels (You choose which one you would like to read) or retell the story in your own words. Where was Jesus born? What do you think it looked like? (Have your child draw a picture of the manger on a sheet of paper.)

3. Discussion

Christmas is the birthday of a king. But, Jesus was not just ANY king. He was a king who left His throne in Heaven in order to come to Earth. His entire motivation was to save the world from their sin. Jesus chose to come to Earth not as a flashy king with a crown and material wealth. He chose the most humble beginnings – a stable and a manger. He proved that He was not in it for Himself, but for others. Jesus is Emmanuel – “God with us.” He didn’t wait for us to come to HIM. He came to us. He came FOR us. He came to be WITH us. No matter where we are, what we do, or what we face, we can always count on Jesus to be with us. When we face trouble in this world, Jesus can bring peace to our lives. Just like the shepherds – when we spend time with Jesus, we can feel His presence and His peace.

4. Prayer Focus

Pray for your child if they are facing tough situations in their lives. Pray they will be reminded that Jesus is always with them. Lead them in a prayer of thanksgiving for Jesus’ sacrifice to come to Earth and pay the price for our sins.

Eternal Messiah

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Jesus may have been born in a stable 2,000 years ago, but our Savior is eternal – He has no beginning and no end. He’s the Everlasting Father.

1. Read

John 1:1 [NLT] “In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
An Eternal Messiah means that Jesus wasn’t a course-correction. He wasn’t “plan B.” Jesus was with God the Father in the beginning of time. He knew the fall of humanity was coming, and He knew he would be the sacrifice for us. Q . If you knew ahead of time that the human race you helped create would betray you, and you’d have to die to fix their mess, would you go through with it? Q . The Messiah came to save you, even knowing you’d mess some things up after accepting Him. How does that affect the way you feel about His love for you? How does that affect the way you feel about the way you should live your life now?

2. Challenge

Matthew 10:29-31 [VOICE] “Look, if you sold a few sparrows, how much money would you get? A copper coin apiece, perhaps? And yet your Father in heaven knows when those small sparrows fall to the ground. You, beloved, are worth so much more than a whole flock of sparrows. God knows everything about you, even the number of hairs on your head. So do not fear.”
Just as the Messiah was Eternal before you, He’s in eternity ahead of you. Whatever lies ahead of you on the road, He’s already there, and He cares about you deeply. Q . What are things ahead of you in life that cause anxiety when you think about them? What are a few things that might happen which make you nervous? Q . God doesn’t just see the future – He’s already in the future. How does that change how you feel about what might happen to you?

3. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family – thank Jesus for creating humanity, even knowing He’d have to suffer to save us. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you live up to the sacrifice paid to save you.

Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

Jesus Is…Prince of Peace

1. Power Verse

Psalm 29:11 “The Lord gives his people strength. The Lord blesses them with peace.”
What’s Up: “When Life Gives Me Trouble, Jesus Gives Me Peace!” This week, we continue our series called, “Jesus Is…” In this week’s lesson, we learned another word that Isaiah used to describe Jesus when prophesying about His birth. We learned that Jesus is…Prince of Peace. What would you do if you were a prince or princess? (have your children draw a picture of what their crown would look like.)

2. Read

Luke 2:4-20 “While Joseph and Mary were there, the time came for the child to be born. She gave birth to her first baby. It was a boy. She wrapped him in large strips of cloth. Then she placed him in a manger. There were shepherds living out in the fields nearby. It was night, and they were taking care of their sheep.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them. And the glory of the Lord shone around them. They were terrified.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news. It will bring great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you. He is the Messiah, the Lord. Here is how you will know I am telling you the truth. You will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a large group of angels from heaven also appeared. They were praising God. They said, “May glory be given to God in the highest heaven! And may peace be given to those he is pleased with on earth!” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and the baby. The baby was lying in the manger. After the shepherds had seen him, they told everyone. They reported what the angel had said about this child.”

3. Discussion

Q. Who did the angels appear to in this story? Q.  Where did the shepherds go?  Q. Who did they go to see? When the shepherds went to see Jesus, they worshiped Him. They were able to receive peace in His presence. Life is full of trouble and difficult things. This world is filled with scary situations – divorce, death, war, tragedy, etc. It can cause us to fear or worry. When we face trouble in this world, Jesus can bring peace to our lives. Just like the shepherds – when we spend time with Jesus, we can feel His presence and His peace.

4. Prayer Focus

Spend some time in worship with your family. Pray your kids will receive the peace that only Jesus can bring to our lives.

Mighty God

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Isaiah’s prophecy tells us that this promised Messiah – Jesus – was more than a prophet or teacher. His name was to be called “Mighty God.”

1. Read

John 14:8-9 [NLT] “Philip said, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.’ Jesus replied, ‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father!’”

Jesus wasn’t a reflection of God, or a teacher about God. He was God. He is God. Christmas reminds us that Jesus is the most unique individual to ever live. Q . When you read about His life, which is harder to remember: that Jesus was fully God, or that he was fully human? Q . If Jesus had been just a prophet – even the greatest of all prophets – how would that have changed the impact of the crucifixion?

2. Challenge

Philippians 2:5-7 [NLT] “You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being.”

Christmas reminds us that God isn’t just standing in the perfection of heaven passing judgment on helplessly-corrupted humanity. He stepped down into our mess to lead us back to Him. Q . Which of Jesus’ divine privileges do you think it was hardest to do without? Do you think it ever frustrated Him to be so limited? Q . We often speak of God “sending” Jesus to earth, but since Jesus is God, we can also think of it as God Himself coming to save us. Which way of looking at it are you more familiar with? What does each say about God’s character and how He feels about you?

3. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family – thank God for loving you enough to come Himself to save you. Take a minute to worship Jesus for who He is – the Mighty God.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

Jesus Is…Everlasting Father

1. Power Verse

John 3:1 “See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are!”

What’s Up: My Heavenly Father Is The BEST!”

This week, we continue our series called, “Jesus Is…” In this week’s lesson, we learned another word that Isaiah used to describe Jesus when prophesying about His birth. We learned that Jesus is… Everlasting Father.   This world is full of different types of families! A lot of families look way different than others! Q. What do some other families you know look like? (i.e. mom, two kids) Q. What does our family look like?  (Have your children draw a picture of your family, labeling each person.)

2. Read

Matthew 1:20-25 “But as Joseph was thinking about this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. The angel said, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary home as your wife. The baby inside her is from the Holy Spirit.  She is going to have a son. You must give him the name Jesus. That’s because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to bring about what the Lord had said would happen. He had said through the prophet, “The virgin is going to have a baby. She will give birth to a son. And he will be called Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14) The name Immanuel means “God with us.” Joseph woke up. He did what the angel of the Lord commanded him to do. He took Mary home as his wife. But he did not sleep with her until she gave birth to a son. And Joseph gave him the name Jesus.”

3. Discussion

Q. Who was the young man in this story? Q. Who came to speak to him? Q. What did the angel say to Joseph? Q. How did he respond? Because of his obedience, Joseph became the earthly father of Jesus. And God is OUR Father – our Everlasting Father! Even though we have our family here on earth, we are all children of God! He is our Everlasting Father! He will always love us and never leave us!Have your children add God to their family picture, labeling Him “Everlasting Father.”

4. Prayer Focus

Pray your kids will remember that no matter what happens God, their Everlasting Father, will always be there.

Wonderful Jesus

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“Wonderful” is a word we use often. Casseroles can be “wonderful.” News about getting an extra hour off from work can be “wonderful.” “Wonderful,” is more than just a way to say “really good,” though. It means to marvel at something, to be in awe… it means something about our Savior.

1. Read

Isaiah 9:6 [ESV] “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful…”

In Hebrew culture, a name was more than just what you called someone. A person’s name encapsulated the essence of who they are – their character, their attributes. “Wonderful,” isn’t the name on the tag of the Messiah’s robe; it’s one of the cornerstones of who He is.

Q . What does your name mean? Does it describe your character, or is it way off?

Q . Do you know what the name, “Jesus” means? If not, look it up real quick!

2. Challenge

Luke 2:16-18 [ESV] “And (the Shepherds who had been visited by the angel) went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them.”

The birth of Jesus is a true wonder. For those of us who have heard the story many times, it’s easy to lose our sense of astonishment and awe… but we should recapture that. Wonderful is who Jesus is.

Q . Think back to when you first heard the story of Jesus’ birth. What was the most astonishing thing about it to you?

Q . What causes us, as humans, to lose our sense of wonder? What could you do to regain that sense this Christmas season?

3. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family – thank God for the absolute miracle of Jesus’ birth. Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with fresh wonder this Christmas season as you think about our Savior.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

Jesus Is…Mighty God

1. Power Verse

Psalm 77:13 “O God, your ways are holy. Is there any god as mighty as you?”

What’s Up: “Mighty, Mighty, Jesus Is Mighty!”

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

2. Read

Luke 1:26-37 “In the sixth month after Elizabeth had become pregnant, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee.  He was sent to a virgin. The girl was engaged to a man named Joseph. He came from the family line of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.  The angel greeted her and said, “The Lord has blessed you in a special way. He is with you.” Mary was very upset because of his words. She wondered what kind of greeting this could be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary. God is very pleased with you.  You will become pregnant and give birth to a son. You must call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High God. The Lord God will make him a king like his father David of long ago. The Son of the Most High God will rule forever over his people. They are from the family line of Jacob. That kingdom will never end.”  “How can this happen?” Mary asked the angel. “I am a virgin.” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come to you. The power of the Most High God will cover you. So the holy one that is born will be called the Son of God. Your relative Elizabeth will have a child even though she is old. People thought she could not have children. But she has been pregnant for six months now. That’s because what God says will always come true.”

3. Discussion

Q. Who was the girl in this story?

Q. Who came to speak to her?

Q. What did Gabriel say to Mary?

Q. How did she respond?

There are a lot of BIG problems in this world. Every day we face powerful situations – sickness, family problems, fear, sinful habits, and so many more – but Jesus is a MIGHTY GOD. He can help us with any situation we face. Jesus is more mighty than anything that comes our way. The power of God is greater than anything. God did the impossible by using Mary to give birth to Jesus, the Savior of the world.

Q. What are some MIGHTY things that God can do in your life? (Have your children make a list – spend some time on this.) God can do the impossible in your life! All you have to do is call on Him and have faith in Him, and He will do the impossible! We serve a MIGHTY GOD!

4. Prayer Focus

Pray for your children if they have an impossible need. Pray that they would always remember that God is on their side and He is MIGHTY! Pray that they would have faith in Jesus and that God would do the impossible in their lives.

A Life of Thanksgiving

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

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

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

2. Challenge

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

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

3. Prayer Focus

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


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

Jesus Is…Counselor

1. Power Verse

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

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

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

2. Read

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

3. Discussion

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

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

You’re New

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When we come to God, He doesn’t refurbish or repair us spiritually – He makes us something all-new, something beyond what we could ever be otherwise. Every day with Him is a refreshing of that newness, as we walk in His grace and empowerment.

2 Corinthians 5:17 [NLT]
“…anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”

Being new in God is more than just feeling different. With His help, we’re now able to act differently – to live the way He created us to.

Q . What are some things you can do differently, now that God has made you a new person?

2. Challenge

Romans 6:4 [NLT]
“For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.

God’s work in us isn’t just a onetime change. Every day, we have the choice to embrace the comfort of our old, indulgent life, or to say, do, and think the things that the Holy Spirit wants. Being new every day means that no matter our past failures, God gives us the strength to win today!

Q . Which is easier for you – saying “yes” to the new life and behaviors, or saying “no” to the old ones?

Q . What’s something from the “old” you that’s long gone? What’s something you’re still working on saying “no” to?

Q . What are some ways the Holy Spirit helps you to say, do, and think things differently?

3. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family: thank God for an all-new life every day. Ask Him to help you to keep choosing the new way of living He’s calling you to.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

Jesus Is…Wonderful

1. Power Verse

Psalm 86:10 “For you are great and perform wonderful deeds. You alone are God.”

What’s Up: “Jesus Is Wonderful – Yes He Is!”

This week, we start a brand new series called, “Jesus Is…” In this week’s lesson, we learned about the prophecy that Isaiah made about Jesus. We learned that Jesus truly is the most WONDERFUL person who ever lived on Earth.

2. Read

Philippians 4:19 “My God will meet all your needs. He will meet them in keeping with his wonderful riches. These riches come to you because you belong to Christ Jesus.”

Q. What are some things that you consider wonderful? (Have your children write these things down – give them a minute or two to make a long list of wonderful things.)

We overuse the word “wonderful” A LOT! We use it to talk about food, saying, “That meal was wonderful!” We use it to talk about entertainment saying, “What a wonderful concert that was last night!” Wonderful has lost its “WONDER.However, Jesus truly IS wonderful! When we think about His grace, His love, His power, and His character – we are filled with wonder. Our minds can barely comprehend just how WONDERFUL He really is.

3. Discussion

Q. What are some things about Jesus that are wonderful? 

(Have your children write these things down – give them a minute or two to make along list of wonderful things about Jesus.)

Q. What is your favorite wonderful thing about Jesus that you just wrote down? 

Q. Why is it so special to you?

Jesus is SO wonderful! And if we open our hearts and minds, Jesus will fill us with wonder this Christmas Season!

4. Prayer Focus

Pray with your children a prayer of worship and thanksgiving to Jesus for His wonderful miracles, wonderful love, and for being such a wonderful Savior.

Empowered by the Spirit- Part 6

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The Holy Spirit grants a lot of different abilities to believers to accomplish His mission – from knowledge, to healing, to discernment – but it all starts with infilling, when the Holy Spirit comes upon a believer in power.

Acts 1:8 [ESV] “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses…”

God can give any ability to anyone He chooses at any time, but the example we see in scripture is that the abilities of His Spirit flow freely once a believer has been filled with, or baptized in, the Holy Spirit. If you want the abilities, you need to be filled!

Q . Speaking in unknown languages is the first noticeable sign that a person has been filled. If you’ve been Spirit-filled, what was your experience like speaking in unknown languages for the first time? How would you describe it to someone who had never been around it?

Q . If you haven’t experienced Holy Spirit infilling yet, describe your thoughts or ideas about speaking in unknown languages. Does that idea confuse or intimidate you? What would prevent you from asking God to fill you, right here, right now?

2. Challenge

Acts 2:16-17 [NLT] “No, what you see was predicted long ago by the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days,’ God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people.’”

Spirit-empowerment is such a big deal, God wants every believer to experience it. That means you, too!

Q . If empowerment is so vital, why doesn’t every believer speak in unknown languages and operate in the special abilities of the Spirit? Is the breakdown on God’s end, or ours?

Q . In what ways has your experience with or understanding of the Holy Spirit changed during this series? What are some ways you’ve grown in that area? How can you share those experiences and new understanding with others?

3. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family: thank God for the empowerment that comes with the infilling of the Holy Spirit. Ask Him to fill and energize you to be effective accomplishing the mission He’s given you.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

Give Thanks

1. Power Verse

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

What’s 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. Read

Luke 17: 11-19 “Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. He traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men met him. They had a skin disease. They were standing close by. And they called out in a loud voice, “Jesus! Master! Have pity on us!” Jesus saw them and said, “Go. Show yourselves to the priests.” While they were on the way, they were healed. When one of them saw that he was healed, he came back. He praised God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. The man was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Weren’t all ten healed? Where are the other nine? Didn’t anyone else return and give praise to God except this outsider?” 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? 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!