MONTHLY ARCHIVES: November 2013
THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Most of us would have to admit that we feel the temptation to fight back and the pressure to get revenge. But God hates retaliation. James wrote to first century Christians who knew the pain of mistreatment and the pressure to get revenge. He teaches that the right response when you’ve been wronged is not to give in to the pressure to retaliate, but instead to let it go.
Concept: Fighting Back
Matthew 26:17-30; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
LIFE POINT: God wants people to love one another.
How did Jesus show love to His disciples?
What is one way you can show kindness to another person?
LIVE IT OUT: Talk with your preschooler about situations that are difficult for him, such as a friend hitting him or breaking in front of him in a line. Provide paper and crayons or markers. Ask him to draw a picture of responding kindly in one of the situations.
Matthew 26:17-30; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
LIFE POINT: Living for Christ will be difficult at times.
How did Jesus respond to Judas’ betrayal of Him?
How can you use Jesus’ example to be kind to others, no matter what?
LIVE IT OUT: Talk with your child about a situation in his life that has been difficult. He might not understand why he had to endure this hard situation. Lead him to pray, thanking God for His help through this trial.
THE POINT: God wants me to trust Him rather than seek revenge.
How do you deal with the desire to get someone back?
How can you focus on trusting Jesus rather than seeking revenge?
Have a conversation around this quote: “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”1 —Winston Churchill
LIVE IT OUT:
Ask your student if there is anything keeping him or her from trusting God in situations in which he or she wants to get revenge. Pray daily for your student to trust God in all situations.
Read the same Scripture passages your student does this week.
1. Richard M. Langworth, Churchill by Himself, (London: Ebury Press, 2008), 572.
THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: James wrote that we often find ourselves in the midst of conflict—fights, arguments, quarrels, or disputes. We feel the pressure of conflict every day. No matter what the issue is, the pressure it brings can lead us into conflict. James teaches us that by humbly submitting to Christ, we can resist the pressure of conflicts and quarrels in our lives.
LIFE POINT: We should love others just as we love ourselves.
What did Zacchaeus do because he wanted to see Jesus?
Why did all the people dislike Zacchaeus?
How did Jesus show kindness to Zacchaeus?
LIVE IT OUT: Help your preschooler think of someone at church who is hard for them to like. Talk about a way to show kindness to that person. Think of one kind thing to do.
LIFE POINT: Love all people unconditionally.
Why were people surprised and angry when Jesus went to Zacchaeus’s house?
How can Jesus’ example help you to treat all people with kindness?
LIVE IT OUT: Ask your child to think of one person at school that it appears that no one likes. Challenge them to reach out in kindness to this person.
THE POINT: Overcome the pressure of conflict by humbly submitting to Christ.
Why is conflict so natural for us?
How can we stop conflict before it arises?
How can I pray for you this week?
Have a conversation around this quote:
“Life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it.”1
LIVE IT OUT: Ask your student to share with you how he will draw near to God this week. Encourage your student to set aside time to seek God.
Ask your student if he or she needs help with a specific conflict he or she is currently facing. Pray for your student to fight the pressure of conflict this week.
1. Zig Ziglar, Over the Top (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1997).
When I look at my phone, I see my daughter leaving for camp on my home screen. She stands at the bottom of an airport escalator, an orange backpack over her shoulder. She’d cut her long, strawberry blond hair the day before, so the person smiling from under the carrot top doesn’t look familiar. But the image of a kid who just needs a backpack and a ticket is one I recognize. Some parents may have to nudge their children to camp. For the last two summers, our daughter has run out the door. “Yukon ho!” she yelled when leaving this year, an expression she learned from Calvin and Hobbes‘ main character Calvin, whom she now resembles.
I hadn’t been at the National Airport departure gate for her first trip as an Unaccompanied Minor. I was in the stands at my son’s baseball tournament. For pickup my wife and I flipped the load-sharing. She did baseball duty, and I flew to Minnesota, driving almost four hours to a packed-dirt road lined with birch trees that ended at the shores of Lake Pokegama: Camp Mishawaka. Thirty-six years earlier, I had been the 9-year-old flying alone from Washington to this place with a new haircut.
When I was at camp, my parents didn’t know what was happening to me. We weren’t allowed to use the telephone, so even on my birthday I just received word that they’d called to wish me a happy one. All they got on their end was a handful of sentences written in loopy script with scattershot spelling. Technology makes hovering easier now. For the last few weeks, my wife and I ended our days poking around on the camp website, scanning photographs for the flash of red hair among the campers playing capture the flag and canoeing. Now, as I stood on the soft grass at the edge of the compound, I was doing the same scan, watching my daughter fling herself around along with the other campers, passing time before the organizing ring of the dinner bell.
Use these discussion starters to help foster a spiritual conversation with your family.
Concept: Use of Words
LIFE POINT: Jesus loves children.
Why was Jesus angry with His disciples?
Why did Jesus think children were special?
What did He tell His disciples about children?
LIVE IT OUT: Sing the song “Jesus Loves the Little Children” or “Jesus Loves Me” with your preschooler. Remind her that Jesus loves her and all children.
LIFE POINT: Reflect God’s love by speaking to everyone with kindness.
Why did Jesus get angry with His disciples?
How can you use Jesus’ example to speak kindly to everyone?
LIVE IT OUT: Give your child a box of inexpensive breath mints. Tell him that this week when he is tempted to useunkind words, to use a breath mint to remind him to use his words wisely.
THE POINT: Our words should reflect our relationship with Christ.
How can we do a better job of communicating as a family?
How can we encourage each other with words this week?
Have a conversation around this quote: “Kind words do not cost much…yet they accomplish much.”1 —Blaise Pascal
Encourage your student to choose someone he or she can encourage this week.
Encourage your student this week with positive words.
Ask your student how you can pray for him or her regarding how he or she talks to and about others.
1. John Mason, You Can Do It (Grand Rapids, MI: Revell, 2003), 55.