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.
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 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.
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.
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.
THE DEATH OF JESUS
What was Jesus’ attitude about the crucifixion He knew He was to suffer?
The custom, at the time of Jesus, was that those being crucified wear a placard around their necks announcing their crimes. This placard was then hung over the criminals head on the cross for all to see. What crime was listed on Jesus’ placard?
Jesus was being mocked by many but in particular how did the religious leaders (pastors & ministers) of that day mock Him?
If Jesus would have done what the religious leaders said what would have happened to humanity?
What was done by God to Jesus on the cross & to us because of Jesus being crucified?
2 Corinthians 5:21
How are we to not view other people now because of what Jesus did on the cross?
2 Corinthians 5:16
What three miracles happened as Jesus died?
Matthew 27: 51-52
What should our attitude be because of Jesus crucifixion?
Over the past few weeks I have been really looking at the sixteenth chapter of John. Jesus is preparing his disciples for his death, resurrection, ascension, and the coming of the Holy Spirit. In the midst of this teaching there are a couple of verses of scripture that establish a theological and practical truth in my life. In verses eight and nine we read…
John 16:8–9 (ESV) “And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me… “
Here’s the truth… All sin rests in unbelief.
So often in our world we think of faith and Christianity in terms of things that you have to do. You have to go to church, give in the offering, tell the truth, etc… However, have you ever thought about Christianity in terms of things that you don’t do? I don’t mean things that you shouldn’t do; we get wrapped up in that at times as well. I mean, have you ever considered that there are things that if left out of your journey towards God, greatly affect your potential destination.
Maybe, simply put it’s like making a cake. There are certain things that you MUST put in. Flour, eggs, milk, sugar, and of course chocolate! Leave any of these out and the chances of having a good cake diminish greatly. The chocolate is just my personal favorite. Anyway, I’m sure you see where I’m headed. There are certain indispensible ingredients. Leave any one of them out and well…you don’t have a cake.
In my walk with Christ it’s like this as well. Without an ever-increasing belief, sin creeps into my life. Or said differently, there is a direct correlation between the degree of sin in my life and the degree to which I believe in Jesus. You might say in response, “But I believe completely in Jesus!” Really? Let’s see.
Jesus said he would never leave nor forsake us. For me that means that He is literally with me every moment of every day. When I turn on the television or sit down and watch a movie, do I allow something to enter into my mind and spirit that is clearly in opposition to Jesus’ teachings? When jealousy or pride shows itself in my heart because of some success that some other minister is having or when I secretly celebrate another person’s downfall or mistake, don’t I have to ignore or not believe that Jesus is still with me in order to maintain those thoughts? You see, there really is a direct connection between how much I believe in Jesus and how much I sin.
Am I still saved during those moments? Absolutely, God’s grace is always bigger than my sin as long as there is any belief in me at all, but I don’t only want enough belief to make it to heaven, I want enough to live an overcoming, Spirit-directed, Christ honoring life before the lost of this world. For that I need more belief. How much more? I don’t know. More every day!