Fasting

Fasting- An Act of Submission

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When we think of “worship,” fasting rarely comes to mind, but in truth, they’re closely related. Fasting and worship share the same root – submission to God.

1. Read

James 4:6-7 [ESV] “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God.”

Fasting, just like worship, is an act of willful submission. It rarely comes easily, but that’s part of what makes it so powerful. If God is really “Lord,” we owe Him worship, whether we feel like it in the moment or not. Q . What has been the most challenging part of your fast so far? Have you been tempted to cheat, or to quit? How does sticking with it – against your natural desires – help you deepen your devotion to God?

2. Challenge

Psalm 8:1-4 [NLT] “LORD, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth! Your glory is higher than the heavens…What are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them?”

Whatever the expression is, worship begins with an understanding that God is, well – God, and you’re not. Before you call on God to meet your larger-than-life need or give you divine wisdom, you have to get off of the throne of your life and bow before Him. Fasting is a season of practicing that dynamic, as you say “no” to your desires, and “yes” to God’s plan. Q . What’s an area of your life that needs divine intervention? Is He Lord in that area of your life right now, or are you? Q . God wants us to be humble, but not to feel broken-down or worthless. How would you describe the right balance between self-worth in God, and humble knee-bowing before His throne?

3. Prayer Focus

Take a minute to search your heart. What are the areas where your will often puts up a fight against God’s way? Ask the Holy Spirit to help you, as you continue a season of fasting, to focus on submitting better in those areas.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

Life is a Highway: STOP

1. Power Verse

Galatians 5:25 “…let us follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.”

What’s up: “S-T-O-P Say No To Sin!”

This week, we continue our series called, “Life Is A Highway”. In this series, we’re learning that life is a lot like a highway. The Bible says that there are two roads that we can choose to travel on. One leads to life in Heaven forever and one leads to sin and death. We have to make sure we are on the road that leads to Heaven.

2. Activity

Ask your kids to make a list of “BIG” sins and “little” sins. When they finish, take turns reading each list.  Sin is dangerous. ALL sin is dangerous. Sadly, many Christians have decided there are “BIG” sins and “little” sins – they divide them up just like we did. There are some sinful habits that we tend to ignore and allow to remain in our lives.

3. Discussion

What are some of the sinful habits we tend to ignore and allow to remain in our lives? Why? ALL sin breaks God’s heart and can cause eternal damage to our souls. It’s important to S.T.O.P. sin in its tracks and defeat those nagging sinful habits that tend to continue to hang around. S – Stop What You Are Doing T – Think About What The Bible Says O – Obey It P – Pray That God Will Give You Strength To Resist It

4. Prayer Focus

Pray for your children if they have been struggling with the same sinful habits over and over. Pray God will help them break those habits and follow the S.T.O.P. method.

Fasting for Advancement

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A fast is a special season of setting yourself apart and reaching out to God. It’s more than just a routine or tradition – fasting is for special times and special needs.

1. Read

2 Chronicles 20:1-3 [NLT] “After this, the armies of the Moabites, Ammonites, and some of the Meunitesa declared war on Jehoshaphat… Jehoshaphat was terrified by this news and begged the LORD for guidance. He also ordered everyone in Judah to begin fasting.”

Jehoshaphat was in a dire circumstance – something that was beyond his ability to fix, and he responded by seeking God’s help in a special way. Whether it’s oppression, danger, hardship, or even a new season of opportunities you’re facing – when the moment is bigger than you, fasting is the right way to respond.

Q . What are the challenges, hardships or decisions in your life right now which are too big to be addressed by your strength alone?

Q . Have you fasted before? What prompted you to do it? How did God respond?

2. Challenge

2 Chronicles 20:3-4 [NLT] “Jehoshaphat was terrified by this news and begged the LORD for guidance. He also ordered everyone in Judah to begin fasting. So people from all the towns of Judah came to Jerusalem to seek the LORD’s help.

Fasting isn’t a badge of honor you wear to feel holier, or a magical ritual that makes God do your will. Fasting is a way to put yourself in a position of humility and dependence, while you wait on God’s guidance, provision, protection, and blessing.

Q . As you begin this fast, what do you want the Lord to do for you?

Q . How is fasting different than normal times of prayer? What change does it make in you?

3. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as you begin this season of fasting, and reaffirm your submission to God and your reliance on Him for help. Ask Him specifically what you need, and thank Him in advance for His answer.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

Life is a Highway: One Way

1. Power Verse

John 14:6 “I am THE WAY, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”

What’s Up: “God’s Son Is The Only ONE WAY To Heaven!”

This week, we start a brand new series called, “Life Is A Highway”.  In this series, we’ll learn that life is a lot like a highway.  The Bible says that there are two roads that we can choose to travel on.  One leads to life in Heaven forever and one leads to sin and death.  We have to make sure we are on the road that leads to Heaven.

2. Activity

Draw a horizontal line with a large circle at the right end of it across the middle of a piece of paper. Label the line “Jesus” and in the circle, write the word “Heaven.”  Show the paper to your children and tell them that they’re going to help you draw a life map.

Ask them to name some of the things they’ll encounter during their lives that might influence them, either positively or negatively.For each suggestion they make, draw a side road off of the horizontal road and label it.Some of the side roads might be friends, school, sports, drugs, money, alcohol, work, spouses, children, etc. 

3. Discussion

Q. Some things we listed are always bad influences.  What are they?

Q. Some things we listed can sometimes be good influences and sometimes bad.  What are they?  Why?

Q. Can following any of those things get you to Heaven?  Why not?

Throughout life, things will come along, both good and bad, that might distract us or cause us to lose sight of our true destination – Heaven.  Some of those things may be exciting or seem good at the time, but they won’t get us to Heaven.  The only way we can stay on the highway to Heaven is to maintain a daily relationship with Jesus.

4. Prayer Focus

Pray that God would help your children to stay focused on the highway to Heaven and to live their life so others will see the difference in them.