Archive for February, 2016

God Loves a Cheerful Giver

Our hope is for our kids to know that: Everything we do, including our giving, should spring from grace   

“7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give,not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
2 Corinthians 9:7 (NIV)

(Open the bible and read to your child 2 Corinthians 9) God gives us everything that we have and everything that we need. When we realize this it makes it easier to share what we have with others. When we give to others we are demonstrating how thankful we are to God, and  we can expect two wonderful responses. First, they will be grateful and thankful to us for our gift. But even more important, they will be grateful to God for the gift he gave to them through us. Isn’t it amazing that our gift toward others can result in glory to God (2 Corinthians 9:13)!

The Jesus Connection:
Paul was excited about the cheerful giving of the Corinthians. He was excited because their giving flowed out of their “confession of the gospel of Christ” (2 Corinthians 9:13). Jesus gave the greatest gift of his life by dying for us on the cross. It is out of our great thanks toward God that we should be motivated to give toward one another. Although giving to others is a work, God intends our giving to always be motivated by grace. By remembering the gift God gave us in the cross, our hearts are stirred by the Holy Spirit to give. Paul said it like this, God is able to make “all grace abound” (2 Corinthians 9:8) to us so that the treasures of this world no longer have a grip on us and we become cheerful givers.


The Four Soils

Our hope is for our kids to know that: The Gospel is the seed that is sown  

37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man.
Matthew 13:37 (NIV)

(Open the bible and read to your child Matthew 13:1-23) Jesus often used parables so that people would seek him out and ask for understanding. There were many who saw the miracles and heard his teaching yet they still did not believe. The parable of the sower was taught by Jesus to explain different types of hearts. Some will hear the message and not understand it, some will be joyful when they hear but the worries and trials of life occur they fall away, but some who hear the message, receive it, and share it. The message we are referring to is the gospel. The good news of Jesus dying on the cross so that we can have eternal life. Those of us who hear it and share it are like the seed that reproduced a hundredfold! The good news of Jesus will spread all over the world giving many people the hope that we have in Christ Jesus.

The Jesus Connection:
The gospel is the message about the kingdom of God that Jesus introduced in the parable of the sower. Not only is it planted in the lives of believers, but also we who are Christians then share it with others. We share the gospel with the world each time we are not afraid to testify about our Lord to the people around us. As God’s farmers, we sow the seed, then water it, but it is God who makes it grow (1 Corinthians 3:6–7). Since the beginning, the gospel was always how God planned to reach a dying world. The prophets of old longed to see the Messiah and God’s salvation revealed. The disciples were the first to see God’s plan unfold. Now all of us who receive that same message are called to join in the work of scattering the seed by spreading the good news of the gospel.

The Wise and Foolish Builders

Our hope is for our kids to know that: Our love for God is shown by the fruit of our lives, especially when the winds of trials blow

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.
Matthew 7:24 (NIV)

(Open the bible and read to your child Matthew 7:21-27) Jesus tells us that there is a difference between knowing he is God and trusting in Him. We can know that Jesus is God yet not put our trust in Him. He illustrates this by talking about two builders. One builds his house on the sand, and one builds on rock. When the rain and the wind come the house that is on the rock remains standing, while the one on the sand topples over. It is the same with our faith. When we put our trust in anything other than Jesus, we will topple over and crumble when trials occur in our lives. However, when we trust in Jesus, no matter what happens we will come out standing tall, because he is our solid foundation.

The Jesus Connection:
Jesus Christ is the Rock. The sure foundation upon which we build our lives is Jesus himself. No other foundation will do. That Rock—Jesus—is the basis of our claim to forgiveness and life everlasting. The ultimate trial will come for all men when they must stand before a holy God at the last judgment. There will be no hope for those who have not built on the Rock. Psalm 1 tells us that the wicked will not be able to stand in the judgment, but will be blown away like chaff (Psalm 1:4–6) and perish in the fires of hell.