Sunday, June 25, 2017

Identity Matters

Devotional 2 brings us face to face with a powerful motivator: Identity.  This devotional, like the others, is timed for less than 10 minutes, but feel free to slow down if your kids are older or have a longer attention span.  Parents your notes are in italics.  Happy studying!

Identity matters:

To Do: 

Read Colossians 3:1-4.  Say them aloud once or twice and see if anyone can recite the first verse on their own.  Then read Colossians 3:12-14.

Questions to ask:

*Why should we be good?  Expect kids to say things like, “so we can go to heaven,” “so we don’t go to Hell,” “Because God said so,” and “So we don’t get in trouble.”  Even though these aren’t the answers in the text, don’t hesitate to praise kids for any answer on topic. 

*Why does Paul say we should do all these behaviors?  If the kids don’t come up with “because we are chosen” and “because we are holy and dearly loved” read the passage to them again and ask what Paul said exactly.  

*How were we chosen by God? (Ephesians 1:3-6)

*What does it mean to be holy? Don’t worry if the kids don’t know a good definition.  Emphasize that the idea is that God is without mistake, without sin, without an ugly thought or an ill intention.  He is perfect and complete.  We are, in our unredeemed state, as unholy as can be.  Yet when we were raised up with Christ we were declared holy.  Now, in these verses, Paul calls us to live up to the family standard. 

*Can you point to a Bible verse that says we are beloved?  (John 3:16 and many more)

Insights: Notice what Paul does not say, he doesn’t say, "Be kind or go to hell!" or "Be compassionate or God will get you!" The powerful truth that our sin separates us from God and can cause us horrifying consequences is not the only truth.  It is also true that we are cleansed, raised, beloved and holy. We are driven by that identity to become more like our Father and to imitate our elder Brother.  

Kids can understand this point in two important ways.  First in a family we have certain standards.  For instance in our family obedience and kindness are powerfully important.  Other people may talk back or snap and snarl at one another but in our family that is unacceptable. When we become Christians we join God’s family which has its own standards of behavior.  Paul is saying since we are beloved children in the family of God we have to act like it!

Second, kids can understand that they are grounded in the love of God.   Lots of times we are less than kind, less than compassionate because we feel threatened.  Someone’s action leave us questioning our worth and value so we attack back.  Yet when we really understand that the Creator of the entire Universe chose us and calls us His dearly loved ones, nothing anyone else has to say about our identity matters. 

Did you miss one? 

Monday, June 19, 2017

The "Why" Matters!

I hope you receive as much blessing from Paul's words in Colossians as my children and I did.  Each devotional is timed for less than 10 minutes, but feel free to slow down if your kids are older or have a longer attention span.  I left notes for the parents in italics.  Happy studying!

Why matters: 

To do: 

Read Colossians 3:1-4.  Say the first verse aloud a couple of times as a group to start working on the memorization.

Questions to ask: 

*What does it mean to be “raised up with Christ”? See Colossians 2:9-15.

*What are the things above?  My kids had great ideas here.  My little one imagined that Paul meant to think about the stars and the angels! 

*What are the things on the earth we aren’t supposed to be focusing on?  Does that mean its wrong to read a novel, play video games or other free time activities? This is a great place to identify something that distracts you from thinking about God and admit it to your kids!  Devotionals will be more productive if you respect your kids enough to be honest with them!


As we studied through this section, it struck me that the "why" matters.  We do all the things we are going to be studying about because we are “raised up.” 

I love the double entendre here.  Our baptism is a kind of death and resurrection in the likeness of Jesus (Colossians 2:9-15 and Romans 6). Also our humbled state as sinners in front of our holy God has been transformed. Now our status has been raised to beloved sons or daughters, pure and righteous.  Jesus has been exalted to Heaven, to the best place, God’s right hand.  That’s where we are headed.  That’s where our minds need to be focused!   

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Summer Kid's Devotional Series

This summer began for us with the advent of two young guests.  They’ll stay a couple of weeks and then head off to their grandma’s.  I warned their dad before they arrived that they should be ready for morning devos!  

Morning devotionals are a summertime tradition at my house.  For my homeschooler, during the school year, Bible is an academic subject.  My public school teen and I talk about how to apply God’s principles to her school life all the time.  But when the rigors of school are over, when summer slows everything down, we take a few minutes everyday after breakfast and read the Bible together.  We memorize God’s Word and think His thoughts after Him.  

Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Mean Friend

Do you have a mean friend?  That friend that will tell you the truth when everyone else politely lies? (“Hey Honey, your new deodorant isn’t doing the trick!”).  That friend who will ask you the hard questions, (“Yes, I understand she’s annoying, but are you exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit?”).  The friend who reminds you of your own responsibility, (“This is the just the kind of growth you were praying for!”) That friend who prays for you and cries with you, but she’ll also confess with you and call you to repent?

I have that friend.  Sometimes I am that friend.  And we all need a friend like that to love us enough to tell us the truth.