In His Presence Family Connection May 16

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Every afternoon, I will post something for you to share with your family in the evening.  It may be a talking point, a short video, a Scripture to read, etc.

Today’s Post…

A Bath on the Inside

Anne Graham Lotz writes in her book, The Daniel Prayer, that she read a little book by an old-timey revivalist that challenged readers to “look to our own hearts and the spiritual ground that had perhaps become hardened over time.”  The author listed sins that at first glance Anne didn’t recognize in herself.  But, by third reading, she saw herself in them all.  She spent 7 days working through that list; confessing her sins.  But, at the end, she said it felt like she’d had a bath on the inside!

For our Family Devo.  time over the next week or so, let’s take a look at some items on that list, one sin each day.  Let’s really let the Holy Spirit reveal to us if each is a sin we’ve been committing.  Then, spend some time in confession.

Explain to your children that as Christians, our sins are paid for.  But, when we sin, we should still ask forgiveness.  It’s tempting to make a blanket statement such as, “Forgive me for all my sins.”  But, Anne writes that the author in the little booklet pointed out that because we sin one at a time, we should review and repent of our sins one by one.

Why is it important to confess sin?

  • sin hinders our relationship with God
  • sin often leads to further sin and a hardened heart (begin not to even identify a sin as sin anymore)
  • personal revival

Today’s word:  Ingratitude

  • As a family define gratitude/ingratitude and make sure everyone understands its meaning.

Here’s how Websters 1828 dictionary defines gratitude.

“…heart, excited by a favor or benefit received”

“a disposition to make a suitable return of benefits or services, or when no return can be made, with a desire to see the benefactor prosperous and happy…a virtue of the highest excellence, as it implies a feeling and generous heart, and a proper sense of duty.”

  • Ask, Do you have so much gratitude that it causes you to want to please God?  That’s what can happen when we focus our hearts this way.  Our hearts get excited and we want to bless and serve the Lord even more!
  • Make a list of things to show gratitude to God for.  This list can include things like salvation, but also specific blessings you’re family has received.
  • Challenge your family to look for things they should have gratitude for.  Spend some time thanking God together.

In His Presence Family Connection May 1

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Every afternoon, I will post something for you to share with your family in the evening.  It may be a talking point, a short video, a Scripture to read, etc.

Today’s Post…

Shield of Faith

Read Ephesians 6:16, “above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.”

Read more on the makeup of the Roman shield here. (start at minute 4:42 – 5:43)

MacArthur Study Bible Notes:  “The Greek word usually refers to the large shield (2.5 x 4.5 ft.) that protected the entire body.  The faith to which Paul refers is not the body of Christian doctrine (as the term is used in 4:13) but basic trust in GodThe believer’s continual trust in God’s word and promise is “above all” absolutely necessary to protect him from temptations to every sort of sin.  All sin comes when the victim falls to Satan’s lies and promises of pleasure, rejecting the better choice of obedience and blessing. ”

Trusting Jesus no matter what life brings your way is vitally important. 

Listen to this hymn remix by Casting Crowns, “Tis so Sweet to Trust in Jesus.”

Song

The lady that wrote this song had been picnicking with her family when a little boy began to drown.  Her husband jumped in to save him and the frantic boy pulled them both down, causing them both to drown. 

In a line from Lord of the Rings, Gandalf says, “It’s what we do with the time given to us” that matters.

Pray for grace to trust Him more.

 

In His Presence Family Connection April 24

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We are reading the story of David, Nabal and Abigail this week.  We are really digging in.  Yesterday, we talked about the setting.  You can click here, if you missed it.

Today’s Post…

Read 1 Samuel 25:2-3.

Describe Nabal.

Describe Abigail.

Nabal’s name means “fool.”  We will see that Nabal’s name fits him perfectly.  He’s going to act very foolishly toward David.

Read 1 Samuel 25:4-8.

David heard that Nabal was sheering his sheep. Feast Day was a special day of celebrating after all the sheep had been sheared.  The owner was overjoyed at the abundance of wool he could now sell.

What reason did David give for asking for some food during the feast?

Read 1 Samuel 25:9-11.

How did Nabal respond?

Did he give David and his men some food?

You can be sure that news of David and Goliath had spread.  You can also be sure that Nabal had heard about how Samuel had anointed David as the next King of Israel.  (1 Samuel 16:13)  The first part of the chapter we are reading this week hints at this.  It says that Samuel had died and Israel gathered together and lamented or mourned for him.  (1 Samuel 25:1) Samuel was the last judge of Israel.  Nabal knew all about him and about David.

Why do you think Nabal responded the way he did?

Read 1 Samuel 25:12-13.

How did David respond?

Let’s see what happens on Thursday.  (I don’t post on Wednesday since we are a church.)

 

 

In His Presence Family Connection April 17

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Every afternoon, I will post something for you to share with your family in the evening.  It may be a talking point, a short video, a Scripture to read, etc.

Today’s Post…

Title: Why should we avoid sin like the plague?

(I gave this one a title because it has a very clear purpose.  This one is a MUST, especially if you have teens.)

Read Mark 6:49-52.

The disciples couldn’t understand the significance of Jesus’ miracle with the loaves and fish.  Verse 51 says they were amazed when He walked on the water and then got into the boat the wind ceased instantly.  They had just seen a miracle when the loaf.  Why were they still not really “getting it.”

Verse 52 says they couldn’t understand because their hearts were hardened.

Why?

Answer:  Their hearts were impenetrable.  They didn’t understand not because they were ignorant, but because they had a rebellious heart.*

Read Mark 8:14-21.

Jesus was talking about evil influence while the disciples worried He was talking about their not bringing bread along for the boat ride.

Again, He calls them out for their hardened hearts (verse 17).  They were “rebellious, spiritually insensitive, and unable to understand spiritual truth.”*

It seems like when we entertain sin, a little bit of our heart gets hardened.  Continuing in this attitude leads to a hardness of heart and a blindness to truth.  It’s scary to think that someone like this doesn’t even realize they are “blind.”

Re-read Mark 8:18.  Discuss.

For this, and many reasons, we should avoid sin at all costs.  Don’t entertain it.  Keep your heart from hardening by not giving in to rebellious thoughts.  Capture your thoughts quickly and don’t allow yourself to complete actions that aren’t in line with what Christ would want you to do.  Don’t risk a hard heart!

Read Isaiah 44:20.

Pray and ask God to help each family member stay away from sin and a rebellious attitude.  Pray that your spiritual eyes always remain open.  Pray for anyone you know who is living in rebellion and seems to have a hardened heart.  Remember, God can do impossible things!  He fed multitudes and calmed the sea.

 

*The John MacArthur Study Bible

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In His Presence Family Connection April 14

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Today’s Post…

Start a tradition of reading the Easter story much like you do the Christmas story each year.  Serve resurrection rolls.  See recipe below.

Read Mark 15-16 with your family.  This is the story of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection.

Find an age-appropriate Easter video to watch together.

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resurrection rolls

Easy Resurrection Rolls

Unroll crescent dough; leave in triangles (may need to stretch it out a bit).  Roll regular sized marshmallow with butter.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.  Wrap the crescent around the marshmallow, making sure there are no seams!  Bake at 350 for about 10 or 15 minutes.  Take out and cool.  Gently poke a hole in the side of the roll and it should be hollow where the marshmallow melted.

In His Presence Family Connection April 10

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Sorry for the delay.  I’ve been working on a Bible Study on Anna for my Growing Character Bible Study Journal.  I thought I’d let our Family Connection center around her tonight.

Today’s Post…

Read Luke 2:36-38

Try to pick out everything you can about what you learn about Anna from these verses.

Make a list on a piece of paper so you can see it.

Your list may look like this:

  1. daughter of Phanuel
  2. prophetess
  3. older lady
  4. widow
  5. lived on temple grounds
  6. served God
  7. fasted and prayed
  8. heard Simeon’s blessing
  9. spoke of Christ to those in Jerusalem

Talking Points:

  • Why do you think God chose to include Anna in the Bible?
  • What kind of person do you think she was?
  • What can we learn from her life?
  • Define faithfulness.  How was Anna faithful?

 

 

 

In His Presence Family Connection – January 27 (Activated for Change)

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Every afternoon, I will post something for you to share with your family in the evening.  It may be a talking point, a short video, a Scripture to read, etc.

Today’s Post… (Activated for Change)

Watch the movie, God’s Not Dead (1 or 2 – 1 may be more entertaining for kids, since the main character is younger.  2 better relates to this topic)

Talking Points:

  • What are some things going on in society that are contrary to what the Bible teaches?
  • Is there anything God is calling us to do about those things?
  • What are some things we can do?
  • For Older Kids -President Trump has signed an order that federal dollars (including our tax money) cannot go to organizations that fund abortions.Many senators are working on bills to stop abortions in their states.  Find out who your senators and representative are and write letters urging them to seek to end abortion.

https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/

http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

Visit this link from March for Life for guidance on how to contact and write letters to your legislator.

You might take a moment to watch this video from Focus on the Family’s Family Policy Alliance.  It tells about what’s going on with pro-life legislation and policy right now.

  • Pray.

Here’s a prayer for unity within the body of Christ.

Dear Heavenly Father, may we, the body of Christ, be found faithful upon Your return.  Help us to put off our old deceitful desires and to put on true righteousness and holiness.  May this be evident everyday in our decisions.  May there be no divisions among us, but may we be united in the same mind toward common causes for the glory of Christ.  Please activate us and use us to accomplish change.  Call us to fast and pray and see a great awakening come to our city, our country, and the world.  May the peace of Christ rule in our hearts, to which we are called in one body.  Humbly and thankfully we pray, Amen

1 Cor. 1:7-8, 10, Ephesians 4:22,24, Romans 12:4-8, Judges 20:6, Ezekiel 11:19-20, Col. 3:15

 

 

In His Presence Family Connection – January 26 (Bad Thoughts)

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Every afternoon, I will post something for you to share with your family in the evening.  It may be a talking point, a short video, a Scripture to read, etc.  It will never take more than 20 minutes for you to do.  Twenty minutes will allow your tots to hang in there and and your teens to stick around.  Be sure to subscribe to get the daily post delivered to your Inbox.

Today’s Post… (Bad Thoughts)

Ask, Do you ever have a bad thought pop into your head?  Maybe a bad word you heard or an image you saw on the computer or television

The truth is, once you see or hear something, you can’t erase it from your mind.  It’s in there.

However, there are some things that you can do when those bad thoughts come.

  • You can say, “I rebuke those thoughts away from my mind, thoughts and tongue,” each time they come to your mind.  Often, Satan is the one constantly bringing them up.  When I was young, I remember saying that line when I saw or heard something bad on a movie or television.  I didn’t want those bad images or words to take root.
  • You can instantly repeat a Scripture when the bad thought comes.  Jesus recited Scripture when He was tempted by the devil.  Here’s one you can use…                       “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:14
  • Remember that the Bible says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7  But, that doesn’t mean he will flee forever. He will keep trying to make you think bad thoughts and to dwell on them.  It’s a strategy of his so they become temptation and sin.  Resist him each and every time he tries!
  • Pray and ask God to help you.  Satan would love to make you believe God is mad at you for having bad thoughts.  That’s a lie.  Jesus was tempted in the wilderness (Matthew 4).  I believe that He went through that to show us that He understands.  He loves you, unconditionally.

(Teach younger kids the song, “Oh Be Careful Little Eyes What You See.”)

(Give older kids an index card and let them write the verse above on it and decorate it, if they’d like.  Tell them they can keep the verse handy to use when bad thoughts come.  Encourage them to memorize it so they will have it with them all the time. Remind them that Scripture can be a weapon against Satan. Also remind them that they shouldn’t give Satan any tools to work with – they should not visit websites or searches that they know might allow bad things into their minds.)