Below is a family devotion you may use with your family and/or you may pass it on to someone else. Share it with the people in your small group to do with their families or even send it off to your grown children, so they can do this with your grandchildren. We hope it will bless your family as it has others.
Helping You Have Homes Devoted,
Jonathan and Carrie
(If you haven’t started family devotions, you are not alone. Statistics show that only 9% of church families do any form of worship/study in the home. Break the stats! Click here for a quick video on some simple insights to starting a Family Devotion.)
A Dirty Devotion: It’s All Garbage
(This devotion has many questions. Choose what works for your family. Change and add to it according to the ages of your kids…Don’t feel like you need to use everything here, but you always want to leave them with some way they can apply it to their lives. I would suggest you also talk about it a day or two later. If you bring it back up and discuss it (at dinner, for instance) they will be more apt to remember it, and the ongoing processing of the scripture can create great discussion about God throughout the week!)
Start by asking:
When your friend is SO excited after receiving a new _____________ (you can fill in the blank with something), how do they act?
[They talk about it constantly, they’re excited, they want to tell others, they want to show it off, etc.]
What is one thing that you have that you are very excited about? Something you earned? And why?
Read Philippians 3:8
I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of Him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them filth, so that I may gain Christ (Philippians 3:8 HCSB)
How Might Paul describe that thing of yours?
What is it about following Christ that in comparison makes everything else seem like dirt, garbage, dog poop? (That’s what it says in the message version).
[It stinks, it’s gross! That’s how we need to view everything that might keep us from knowing Christ and His awesome plan and purpose for us!]
VISUAL ILLUSTRATION: I dare you to get some garbage or even dog poop and put it on the table for your kids to see and smell and I promise they will never forget this devotion! You can keep it in the trash bag or put on some plastic.
What things has Paul lost, given up, to follow Christ?
[Freedom (he is in jail). Friends. Safety. Security. The good life. He was in prison, beaten mocked, etc.]
What is one thing that might be keeping us as a family from knowing Christ better? What is one thing that might be keeping you from knowing Christ better? [Popularity. Time. Money. Stuff. Fun. Sports. Facebook and other online activities.]
Why is it hard to give up these things?
[IF TIME PERMITS, YOU CAN CONTINUE OR THIS COULD BE PART II TO BE DONE AT ANOTHER TIME.]
How can you tell when someone loves something more than Jesus?
What is the second commandment? [Exodus 20. No idols!]
What are “idols” in today’s world?
How do you know when something is an idol? [It’s hard to know. But if that thing keeps you from going to church, from spending time praying or reading the Bible, or keeps you from time with Christian friends; If this thing pulls you away from Jesus.]
What might you love more than Jesus?
How might we (as a family) or you keep this from continuing to be an idol?
Is it possible we/you could allow God to use this thing to bring Him glory? [Sometimes, God gives you desires, talents, gifts and skills that can become an idol (you become proud like Samson or Saul and instead of using these things for God, you use them for your own selfish ambition. You can use your interests, talents and gifts to show your love for God to others. You might want to write this down somewhere and discuss it throughout the week. Plan to talk about these together at meals or turn off the TV when everyone is around to talk about it.]
Close in prayer!