Power

Free Will & Choices

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Family Devotional 6-4-17 Adult

Family Devotional 6-4-17 Kids

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Adult & Teen Discussion Guide

1. Primary Statement

Of all the things God blessed humanity with, one of the most beautiful, powerful, and potentially dangerous gifts He gave is the ability to choose. From choosing which shirt to wear, to choosing which career to pursue, to choosing how to respond to God’s Word, every decision in our lives comes with consequences. There is great power in the human will!

2. Bible Verse 

Matthew 8:5-13 [NLT] “When Jesus returned to Capernaum, a Roman officer came and pleaded with him, ‘Lord, my young servant lies in bed, paralyzed and in terrible pain.’ Jesus said, ‘I will come and heal him.’ But the officer said, ‘Lord, I am not worthy to have you come into my home. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed…’ Then Jesus said to the Roman officer, ‘Go back home. Because you believed, it has happened.’ And the young servant was healed that same hour.”

Q. The officer’s decision to believe Jesus affected his household. Who is affected by your decisions in life?

Q. The decision to trust Jesus to heal, sight unseen, is a risk. What are things it’s risky to believe God for? What factors make it easier or harder to decide to trust Him in risky situations?

3. Application

Proverbs 14:12 [ESV] “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.”

Ephesians 5:15 [NLT] “So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise.”

James 1:5 [ESV] “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”

Q. The right decision isn’t always obvious – we need God’s wisdom. What are some ways God brings wisdom into your life?

Q. When you consider the consequences of every decision – good or bad – does it make you feel more empowered or intimidated? Which do you think God wants you to feel?

4. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family and thank God for the blessing of free will. Ask Him to give you wisdom to make the right decisions for yourself and for others.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

1. Activity

The B-I-B-L-E, Yes That’s The Book For Me!”

Take a sheet of paper and write “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:11) on it using the largest letters you can.  Show it to your children and have them read it aloud or repeat it after you. Now take the sheet of paper and cut it into a puzzle where each word is its own puzzle piece.  Lay the pieces out in front of your children, and have them put the puzzle back together.  Repeat the verse aloud several times.  Leave the verse in front of them and take out the piece that says “word” and see if they can still recite the verse.  Leaving that piece out, take out the word “heart” and ask them to recite the verse.  Continue removing pieces until they can repeat the verse by heart.

2. Bible Verse

2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true…” 

Then talk about the following questions:

Q. What does it mean to hide something in your heart? (It means to memorize it.)

Q. Why are we supposed to memorize God’s word? (It helps us choose not to sin when we’re faced with temptation.)

Q. What are some tricks you use when you need to memorize something for school, like math facts or definitions?  How could you use those tricks to help you memorize Bible verses?

3. Application 

Tell your children that the Bible is like a road map for our lives, and the more familiar we are with it, the easier it is to understand which way to go.  Make it a family habit to memorize verses together and rehearse them with each other—working on them as a family helps keep everyone accountable.

4. Prayer Focus

Pray together, thanking God for giving us His word to help us live our lives.  Ask Him to help your family as you begin to hide His word in your hearts.

Love Your Neighbor

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Family Devotional Adult 5-28-17

Family Devotional Kids 5-28-17

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Adult & Teen Discussion Guide

1. Primary Statement

Loving people who love us is easy. Loving those who are different, who dislike us, or who intentionally hurt us, that’s a different story. To love these, though, is to prove that God’s love and grace are at work inside of us.

2. Bible Verse 

Matthew 5:43-45a [NLT] “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven.”

Q. Looking back over your life, who would be some “enemies” on a personal level? Without God’s help, how difficult would it be to love them?

Q. What are a few groups, nationalities, or cultures which seem like enemies to you? (i.e. urban gangs, terrorist organizations, foreign dictators)

Q. What pressures are there from your own group, nationality, and culture to treat these people with hostility?

3. Application

Matthew 5:45b-48 [NLT] “For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.  If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”

Jesus called us to share the good news with everyone, even our enemies. When we remember our own need for God’s grace and forgiveness (things we don’t deserve), we can more easily extend grace and forgiveness to those who are hard to love.

Q. Who is more loved by God: you or the people from the list you made earlier? Who is more in need of God’s grace? Who is more deserving of it?

4. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family and thank God for extending grace to you. Ask Him to help you love those like the people on your list, and to share the good news with them.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

1. Activity

For this devotion, you will need a flashlight or lamp, and a TV or radio. Have your entire family go into the darkest room of your house and then ask them what they see.  Depending on how dark it is, they may or may not be able to see anything.  Hand the flashlight to one of your children (or have someone turn on a lamp or overhead light) and ask them again what they can see.

2. Bible Verse

“The Holy Spirit Will Give Me Power!”

Acts 1:8 “And you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you…”

Then talk about the following questions:

Q. Why couldn’t we see much at first?

Q. Why did turning on the flashlight or lamp help us see better?

Q. What caused the flashlight or lamp to be able to light up? (electricity)

Q. Could you see the electricity? (No, but you could see what the electricity did.)

3. Application & Talking Point

Have your family move into the room where the TV or radio is.  Tell one of your children to turn on the TV or radio.  Listen for a few moments, and then have someone turn it off.

Ask the following questions:

Q. How does the TV or radio work? (Most children and adults won’t be able to answer this question very well, and that’s the point: we don’t really know how they work, we just know that they do.)

Q. What does the TV or radio need in order to work? (electricity)

Explain to your children that the Holy Spirit is kind of like electricity. When we become Christians, it’s like having a power plant in our hearts!  Although we may not fully understand how He does it, the Holy Spirit guides, convicts, comforts, and teaches us.  He also gives us the power we need to do what God asks us to.

4. Prayer Focus

Pray together, thanking God for giving each member of your family the Holy Spirit as a power source in your lives.