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 5

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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…

I usually try to suggest a movie for your Friday night.  We’ve had a “Lord of the Rings” marathon going this week and you might want to watch these movies over the weekend.  There are 3 movies in this series (and then you have The Hobbit, which has 3 more).  These movies are PG13 and not for little eyes.  The special effects are very good!

See if you can pick out the Christian symbolism.

You might also want to learn more about the author J.R.R. Tolkien and his books here.

BTW, the books make great read-alouds for all ages!

 

 

In His Presence Family Connection May 2

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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…

Courage

Read Mark 15:43.

There’s a line in the “Easter story” that I’ve missed all this time.  In the above verse, it says, “coming and taking courage,” Joseph went to Pilate to ask for Jesus’ body.

Imagine.  Joseph was a council member (Mark 15:43).  It was this council (Sanhedrin) that had forced Pilot to crucify Jesus, an innocent man.  Pilot might not understand why he would now ask for Jesus’ body.  Also, the other council members surely would be enraged by this.

But, that didn’t stop Joseph of Arithmathea.  Coming and taking courage, he did it.  And Pilot agreed.  And Joseph got to be a part of the fulfillment of God’s prophesies.

Are there times when God tells you to do something and you find it hard to have courage?  Discuss.

Think of some examples in the Bible of times when people had to choose to be courageous.  What was the result?

Courage is not the same as bravery.  Bravery has fearlessness in it’s definition.  Courage  involves being afraid, but doing it anyway.    Remember the shield of faith (trust) in yesterday’s family devotion.

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 24

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This week’s Family Connection will be a little different and you can Comment and let me know if you like it.  We will study one Bible event the whole week.

Read 1 Samuel 25:1-38.

Explain that you will unpack this story all week.

Today, we will just focus on the setting.

David was on the run from Saul.  He went to a desert area.  He was soon joined by 600 men (1 Samuel 23:13) .  They were made up of men who were in distress, in debt, and discontented.  (1 Samuel 22:2).  David became Captain over them.

I found this picture for the Wilderness of Paran.  You might be able to find another picture to show your family.  If so, comment and share the link, please.

In His Presence Family Connection April 20

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Today’s Post…

Watch the Andy Griffith episode, Sermon for Today.

(Just a fun video to lead into the devotional I’ve entitled, “What’s Your Hurry?”

Talking Points: (written from my point of view as I share it in my devo time with my children tonight)

  • When you get the urgency to do something on the spur, its a good idea to “red flag” that notion.
  • What I’ve found in my life is that God usually tells me to do something and then I begin to pray about and ask Him for confirmation.  And He provides it, usually from several sources (a sermon, a Scripture, something I read…)
  • What I’ve found is that when I act impulsively, I usually put my foot in my mouth and/or “set back” something the Lord was working on or trying to do in that person’s life or it hurts my relationship with that person.
  • Be aware the enemy loves to trick us into acting impulsively.  He will make that thing seem so urgent.  He will make it seem like the best thing and the right thing to do in the moment.  He will make you believe it’s up to you to act – now!
  • But, I’ve found that God usually doesn’t tell me to do something on the spur of the moment.
  • Of course, there are times when He does need us to act quickly, but I could probably count those times on one hand.  (based on my personal experience)  For example, once we were at a restaurant and I felt led to share the gospel with a man that sat down nearby.  I did not do so, and regret it to this day.
  • But, more often than not, impulsively rushing forward to do something (even if it seems like such a good thing) is not always the best choice.  And often, that strong impulse is from the enemy.
  • Pray every morning and ask God for discernment for your day.

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 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?