Family Devotion: Thankfulness

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in 5 Minute Devotions, Blog, Family Devotions

Devote some of this weekend to God by doing this devotion on being thankful!

THANKFULNESS- Luke 17:11-19.  Only one out of ten men came back to thank Jesus for healing them.

Begin by asking:

  • When was a time someone did something for you where you felt really thankful?

After reading (or having someone in the family read the verses), ask these questions to spark a discussion on the value of being thankful.  (I realize there are more questions than needed, ask those that will work best with your family to help create the character of thankfulness.)

  • What is leprosy? Why was it such a serious disease physically and socially? (It was a contagious skin disease.  Those who had it had to leave all their loved ones and live with those who had leprosy.  No one could ever touch them.)
  • Why do you think only he came back to give thanks? (He recognized and believed in who healed him and the others didn’t.)
  • Why is it important to note that he is a Samaritan? (Samaritans don’t respect or like Jews and yet he came back to praise God.)
  • Why do you think the others weren’t thankful?  (They may have been so selfish and so excited, they were more concerned about telling others and doing things they haven’t been able to do, than recognizing the source of their healing.)

 

How about us?

  • What has God done for us?
  • Why is it hard to recognize what God has done for us, (see God’s answered prayers)? (The biggest reason is probably because we don’t really expect God to work, so we really don’t look for Him to.)
  • Would our outlook be different if we really lived out Proverbs 3:5-6 or Matthew 6.33?
  • How can we try, even more, to look for what God does, to see God’s answered prayers? (Here is one idea: write prayers down in a pad and then write the date next to when they were answered.  It is incredible to look back after doing this for 5 years and remember all of God’s answered prayers.)
  • How can we as a family, show our thanks for what God does?

 

Want to go deeper (have some teens you want to challenge)?

  • Jesus said this man had faith.  How did this man show his faith? (He went out of his way to give thanks and praise to God.)
  • Giving God our deep thankfulness is a way we reveal our faith in God?  Why? (It expresses our trust in Him. It shows we acknowledge His answered prayers.  That He is at work.  That He gets the glory.)
  • How do we demonstrate our thankfulness to God?
  • What was the result of this man’s faith? Luke 17:19…  He was already healed, so what was made “well?”   (People’s New Testament says it this way, “His faith had not only saved his body, but he had been born to the new life, his soul was saved.”)

When Should Children Learn to Tithe? (and a family devotion)

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in 5 Minute Devotions, Blog, Family Devotions

As soon as they are old enough to want to buy stuff, it’s time to start opening up with them about how you spend and give. As you think about your giving for next year, consider bringing your children into the conversation. Carrie and I are open with our children about our finances. We show them the checks we write as we give God our “offering.” We even stopped the automatic withdrawal from the bank, because we wanted our children to actually see us write the check and put it in the plate on Sunday mornings.

We know this is a value we can’t JUST TEACH our children. It’s a value they will NEED TO CATCH as we live it out.

Why do we want to do this at an early age?
First of all, it models for them we trust God at His Word. (Matthew 6.33)
Secondly, it models for them our obedience. (We, as adults, have to be obedient, too!)
Third, they see that we are serious about giving back to God.
Forth, when they see us give, it gives us credibility when we encourage them to give 10% of their income (allowance, birthday money, etc.)
Fifth, God deserves it! (He is faithful! He is good!)
Sixth, it teaches them that Mom and Dad keep our priorities straight, (our spending and desire for money in it’s proper place)!
Seventh, it supports and helps other people! (That is what Caleb said (our 8 yr. old.)

Some of you may have an unknown financial future. Trust us, we can relate! Trust God that He will provide. Let your kids see you trusting in God! They need to know that God does bless, that His Word is true, that He does care and He will take care of us! Matthew 6.33!

FAMILY DEVOTION:
Want to lead your family in a devotion on this topic? It can be as simple as doing this at the next meal time together.

Say, “Mom and dad want to share something with you. Will one of you read from Matthew 6.33?
(Have a child/teen read.)

Ask, “What does this say about God’s character, His Qualities?” Let them answer. (He will provide, He is trustworthy, dependable.)we should to seek Him

Ask, “Do we need to worry about anything? Why?

Ask, “What do we need to do?” (Seek His Kingdom.)

Ask, “What does that mean?” (To seek and do what He wants for us rather than always what we want.)

Say, “Someone read Malachi 3.10. This is why we offer to God first a part of what He has given us.

Ask, “Why do you think God gave us this command?” (It shows who really trusts in Him, keeps our priorities straight (focused on Him), He wants to provide and take care of those who are faithful to Him. It’s also one way God’ uses us to provide for other’s needs, etc.)

Ask, “Why is it important for you to give of your allowance, even if it’s a small amount?” (It’s because you need to be obedient even in the small things. It develops a habit, a tradition. When we can obey God in the little things, God will know He can trust us in bigger things.)

The Cronkhite’s give out allowance on Saturdays (this way it’s close to Sunday) and ask them how much they are going to offer back to God and to set it aside to bring to church in the morning.

Hope this helps.
Jonathan

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