MONTHLY ARCHIVES: December 2017
CONNECTION POINT: People experience joy through praying.
THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Too often prayer is limited to asking God to intervene in a crisis or fix a problem. To be sure, the Bible is full of invitations for us to call on Him to work, but our prayers should also reflect the fact that God has already been at work and continues to work in our lives. When we reflect on His work in our lives and the lives of others, it should cause us to rejoice and motivate us to continue praying joyfully for God’s work.
Concept: Pray with Joy
Ruth 1:1-22; 2:1-23; 4:13-17
LIFE POINT: After her husband and sons died, Naomi decided to go where she lived before. She told her son’s wife, Ruth, to go home to her own family. But Ruth wanted to stay with Naomi. Naomi and Ruth returned to Bethlehem. The people were excited to see Naomi again. She told them why she was so sad. Ruth went into the fields and gathered barley for their food. Ruth was in a field that belonged to Boaz. Boaz made sure she had plenty of barley. He knew she cared for Naomi. Ruth continued to gather barley with Boaz’s servants. Naomi and Ruth were thankful for the food and for Boaz caring about them. Then, Boaz took Ruth as his wife. Ruth had a baby boy. Naomi loved the new baby. They named the baby Obed. Ruth, Boaz, Obed, and Naomi were a happy family!
LIVE IT OUT: Explain to your child how important her family is to God. Families are an important part of God’s plan for people, and God loves families. Help your child name ways God shows His love to your family. Pray, thanking God for His love.
Ruth 1:1-22; 2:1-23; 4:13-17
LIFE POINT: Bethlehem had very little food. Naomi and her husband moved away. Later, Naomi’s husband and sons died. Only Naomi’s daughters-in-law were left. Naomi went back to Bethlehem. Ruth went to Bethlehem with Naomi. Ruth worked in the fields. She picked up grain the workers left. Ruth worked in a field owned by Boaz. Boaz asked about the woman he saw working. “She is Ruth who came back with Naomi. She has worked hard.” Naomi saw the grain Ruth brought her. Naomi said, “Boaz is part of our family. Keep working in his fields.” Later, Boaz married Ruth. They had a baby. Naomi took care of him. The baby was Obed. Obed grew up to be the grandfather of King David.
LIVE IT OUT: Does your child know that God has a plan for her family? Help your child learn that God wants families to love and honor Him. Just as God planned for Ruth’s family to be in the lineage of Jesus, God has a special plan for your family.
THE POINT: Prayer is an opportunity to experience joy. When has someone’s recognition meant a great deal to you? What are some examples of temporary happiness versus true joy? What obstacles hinder us from building deeper relationships? How can you build the kind of relationships Paul described in these verses? Why are both knowledge and discernment necessary for loving others like Christ? Discuss the following quote:
“[Prayer is] a constant fellowship, an unbroken audience with the King.”1—E. M. Bounds
LIVE IT OUT: Encourage your student to take practical steps to take his or her faith and Live It Out. Here are some ways you can encourage your students to live out their faith with Christ personally, in community, and in their culture:
• CHRIST: Discuss with your student the gifts that God has given to him or her. Be sure to include their salvation, hope, and the purpose that God has provided.
• COMMUNITY: Encourage your student to memorize Philippians 1:6 and pray for the work that Christ has planned for their future.
• CULTURE: Help your student to orient his or her life placing Jesus as the focus of each and every day.
1. E. M. Bounds, Purpose in Prayer (New York: F. H. Revell, 1920), 66.