August 14 // Sin makes us dirty.

Read Matthew 3:6 out loud with your family.

 

Ask the following question and discuss the answer together as a family.

 

Q: What activities or games can make us really dirty? 

 

Parent Note: No matter what activities students name, after doing any of them, we'd probably need to do some laundry and take a shower. It's easy to wash off any trace of these activities, but sin also leaves us dirty. Baptism, when combined with faith in Jesus, is a symbolic way of washing ourselves clean of our sins. 

 

FAMILY PRAYER:

Read the following prayer out loud. Have your kids repeat after you:

 

Dear Lord, thank You for Jesus.
I know that he took on the dirtiness of my sin so that I can be close to You.
Please help me to come to turn away from sin and live like Jesus.
We ask these things in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

August 13 // Turn away from sin.

Read Matthew 3:1-2 out loud with your family.

 

Ask the following question and discuss the answer together as a family.

 

Q: Have you ever burned your hand on a stove's burner? 

 

Parent Note: Like touching a hot burner, sin is something we shouldn't do that will cause us pain in some fashion. Understanding that we shouldn't touch burners because there are consequences, is very like coming to understand that certain actions are sinful, and there are consequences for committing them. In the same way we learn to avoid hot burners, believers learn to avoid sins we’ve committed in the past. Admitting the sin, asking for forgiveness, and actively working to never commit that sin again is repentance. 

 

FAMILY PRAYER:

Read the following prayer out loud. Have your kids repeat after you:

 

Dear Lord, thank You for forgiveness.
I know that even when I make mistakes, I can always look to You.
Please help me to come to You when I am feeling tempted to sin.
We ask these things in Jesus’ name, Amen.

August 11 // Live like Jesus.

Read Luke 2:52 out loud with your family.

 

Ask the following question and discuss the answer together as a family.

 

Q: What are some ways we can grow in favor with God and man? 

 

Parent Note: Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life. While that is not possible for us to do, we can use His life as an example of how to live. We can strive to do and say only what the Father wants, just as Jesus did. 

 

FAMILY PRAYER:

Read the following prayer out loud. Have your kids repeat after you:

 

Dear Lord Jesus, we pray that You would reveal Yourself to us, that we would know Your voice and follow You, and that we would uncover great and priceless gifts of Your plan for us.
Please help us to see You clearly.
We ask these things in Jesus’ name, Amen.

August 10 // Do what you're called to do.

Read Luke 2:46 out loud with your family.

 

Ask the following question and discuss the answer together as a family.

 

Q: What are some ways we can honor God's authority? 

 

Parent Note: In this story, Jesus did not act according to typical behavior following a feast; instead, He stayed behind in the temple to discuss Scripture. Jesus acted as He was called to by His Father in heaven. What has God called you to do? 

 

FAMILY PRAYER:

Read the following prayer out loud. Have your kids repeat after you:

 

Dear God, thank You for Your plans for me.
I know that You have great things in store for my life.
Please help me to follow Your will for my life.
We ask these things in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

August 9 // Jesus is the Son of God.

Read Luke 2:49 out loud with your family.

 

Ask the following question and discuss the answer together as a family.

 

Q: Have you ever looked everywhere for something only to find it where it belongs? 

 

Parent Note: You may have had the advantage of knowing where the item belonged, but Mary and Joseph were just learning their son's purpose on this earth. Jesus' question to them: "Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?" didn't make sense to them. His question made as much sense to Mary and Joseph as it would for someone to ask you why you didn't look for the TV remote in the refrigerator.  

 

FAMILY PRAYER:

Read the following prayer out loud. Have your kids repeat after you:

 

Dear God, thank You for sending Jesus.
You knew that we needed a Savior, and You gave us Jesus because You love us.
Help me to have more faith in You every day.
We ask these things in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

August 8 // Jesus knew God's Word.

Read Luke 2:47 out loud with your family.

 

Ask the following question and discuss the answer together as a family.

 

Q: How comfortable would you be if you were asked to teach a college math class? 

 

Parent Note: This question is meant to show how strange it was to see a child of 12 have the level of knowledge of the Scriptures that Jesus had. Presumably, Jesus was in the temple talking with religious leaders about Scriptures for the two days that Joseph and Mary were searching for Him. Being able to talk to people with deep understanding of Scripture for that long is remarkable! 

 

FAMILY PRAYER:

Read the following prayer out loud. Have your kids repeat after you:

 

Dear God, thank You for the bible.
I know that Your Word has everything I need.
Please help me to know You better through Scripture.
We ask these things in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

August 7 // Jesus knew He was the Messiah.

Read Luke 2:44-45 out loud with your family.

 

Ask the following question and discuss the answer together as a family.

 

Q: Have you ever been lost?

 

Parent Note: Jesus wasn't lost, but his parents didn't know where He was, or that He wasn't in danger. Remembering how they felt when they were lost will help your child to relate to the terror Mary and Joseph felt as they searched for Jesus. 

 

FAMILY PRAYER:

Read the following prayer out loud. Have your kids repeat after you:

 

Dear God, thank You for saving me.
Even before I knew I was lost, You sent Jesus to save me from sin.
Help me to turn away from sin and live like Jesus.
We ask these things in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

August 6 // Jesus was always part of God's plan.

Read Luke 2:26-30 out loud with your family.

 

Ask the following question and discuss the answer together as a family.

 

Q: Have you ever had to use clues to find an answer?

 

Parent Note: Even before he was born, people knew that Jesus was coming. We can read about Jesus in the prophecies of the Old Testament, which promised the world that a Savior was coming.

 

FAMILY PRAYER:

Read the following prayer out loud. Have your kids repeat after you:

 

Dear Lord, thank You for Your perfect plans.
You made a way for Your people to be saved, even before we knew we needed it.
Please help me to grow in wisdom and live like Jesus.
We ask these things in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

August 3 // God teaches us lessons.

Read Jonah 4:9-11 out loud with your family.

 

Ask the following question and discuss the answer together as a family.

 

Q: Would you want to be on a soccer team with someone who didn’t like soccer or care whether or not the team wins? 

 

Parent Note: No, we generally want to be on teams with people who want to be there and who will work just as hard as we do to win. God knew Jonah’s attitude toward the people of Nineveh, so why did He choose him for this mission? As much as this mission was to show the people of Nineveh that they were acting wickedly, it also had a lesson to teach Jonah about his attitude and about God’s love and mercy. 

 

FAMILY PRAYER:

Read the following prayer out loud. Have your kids repeat after you:

 

Dear God, thank You for teaching Jonah a lesson.
Thank You that we can learn the lesson of obedience, too.
Help us all to obey You.
We ask these things in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

August 2 // We should celebrate God's mercy.

Read Jonah 4:1-2 out loud with your family.

 

Ask the following question and discuss the answer together as a family.

 

Q: Your sibling eats a bunch of junk food before dinner and is forgiven. You do the same thing and get grounded. Is that fair? 

 

Parent Note: The people of Nineveh were disobedient, and Jonah thought they should be punished for their wickedness. Jonah had just experienced God’s mercy and grace for being disobedient. While Jonah’s disobedience may not have been quite as extensively wicked as that of the Ninevites, it was still disobedience. Jonah was thankful for God’s mercy when it was bestowed upon him, but he was angry with God for being merciful to the Ninevites. God is constant. He doesn’t change or bend the rules. No matter what, when we repent and ask for forgiveness, we are met with God’s mercy. 

 

FAMILY PRAYER:

Read the following prayer out loud. Have your kids repeat after you:

 

Dear God, thank You for showing Your mercy to me.
I know that there is nothing I could do to deserve all that You have done for me.
Help me to share with others the love and mercy that You have given me.
We ask these things in in Jesus' name, Amen. 

August 1 // We can't run from God's plan.

Read Jonah 1:12 out loud with your family.

 

Ask the following question and discuss the answer together as a family.

 

Q: What might happen if you don’t study for a test?

 

Parent Note: We could get lucky and pass, but more than likely, we would fail. That’s a pretty obvious consequence for not doing something we know we should. Jonah had hoped that God would find someone else to go to Nineveh, but when he saw the terrible storm, he knew that God sent it because of his disobedience.

 

FAMILY PRAYER:

Read the following prayer out loud. Have your kids repeat after you:

 

Dear God, thank You for not giving up on me.
I know that even when I mess up, You’re there to pick me up and forgive me.
Help me to obey Your plans for me, even when they’re difficult or hard to understand.
We ask these things in in Jesus' name, Amen. 

July 31 // We can't hide from God.

Read Jonah 1:5 out loud with your family.

 

Ask the following question and discuss the answer together as a family.

 

Q: Is there anywhere in your house where you could hide and never be found? 

 

Parent Note: Probably not. It might take a while for someone to find us, but if we were known to be hiding in the house, they could look in every room, around all of the furniture, and behind every door. At some point, we would be found. God is with us always. Trying to hide from God is like playing hide-and-go-seek in a single room without furniture and the seeker doesn’t have to cover his or her eyes. There’s nowhere to go. 

 

FAMILY PRAYER:

Read the following prayer out loud. Have your kids repeat after you:

 

Dear God, thank You for always being with me.
I know that You see and know every part of me.
Help me to bravely follow Your will for me.
We ask these things in in Jesus' name, Amen. 

July 30 // You are part of God's plan.

Read Jonah 1:3 out loud with your family.

 

Ask the following question and discuss the answer together as a family.

 

Q: Have you ever worked on a group project and someone didn’t do their part? 

 

Parent Note: When this happens, we have to do our own part of the project as well as the work the other person was supposed to do. This is a really irritating situation! When we are given a responsibility, others are depending on us to follow through. God gave Jonah talents and abilities, and when He gave Jonah a task to do, He expected it to be done. 

 

FAMILY PRAYER:

Read the following prayer out loud. Have your kids repeat after you:

 

Dear God, thank You for using me in Your plan.
I know that You made me for a reason.
Please help me to follow Your way for my life.
We ask these things in in Jesus' name, Amen. 

July 29 // Go where you're called.

Read Jonah 1:1-2 out loud with your family.

 

Ask the following question and discuss the answer together as a family.

 

Q: Would you rather visit Disneyland or a prison? 

 

Parent Note: It seems pretty likely that everyone would rather visit Disneyland than a prison. God asked Jonah to go to a place filled with evil people. He was afraid for his life. The important thing for us to remember is that if God calls us to go to a potentially scary place, He will protect us and help us to be successful. 

 

FAMILY PRAYER:

Read the following prayer out loud. Have your kids repeat after you:

 

Dear God, thank You for Your good plans for me.
I know that You love me, and Your ways are the best.
Please help me to obey Your plan for my life.
We ask these things in in Jesus' name, Amen. 

July 28 // Faith inspires others.

Read Daniel 6:26-27 out loud with your family.

 

Ask the following question and discuss the answer together as a family.

 

Q: Daniel's faith inspired the king. How does his faith inspire you?

 

Parent Note: Daniel didn't stop worshiping God, even though it could have cost him his life. Daniel faced the lions with courage because he trusted God to save him. Daniel continuously did what was right, no matter what the consequences might be. Daniel's steadfast faith inspired the king to embrace the God of Israel as his own God.

 

FAMILY PRAYER:

Read the following prayer out loud. Have your kids repeat after you:

 

Dear God, thank You that you are powerful and good.
Thank You that you can protect us from anything we are afraid of.
Help us today to have the power, love, and self-control that You give to us.
We ask these things in in Jesus' name, Amen. 

July 27 // Knowing God is trusting Him.

Read Daniel 6:22 out loud with your family.

 

Ask the following question and discuss the answer together as a family.

 

Q: If you made an airplane, would you be confident flying it off of a cliff? 

 

Parent Note: If we studied what makes airplanes fly, applied that knowledge to the construction of our plane, and tested it out in a safer environment than a cliff, we could build confidence in our plane's ability to stay in the air. Daniel had a close relationship with God that he built over years of prayer. He studied Scripture and understood God's love and plans for him. Daniel was able to see God work in his life. Without that relationship, knowledge, and evidence, Daniel would not have entered the lions' den with the level of confidence described in this story. He knew God and trusted Him. Through prayer and reading Scripture, we can build a close relationship with God that will give us confidence to face any trial this life can hand us. 

 

FAMILY PRAYER:

Read the following prayer out loud. Have your kids repeat after you:

 

Dear God, thank You for knowing me inside and out.
I know You made me because You want to be close to me.
Please help me to know You and trust You more each day.
We ask these things in Jesus’ name, Amen 

July 26 // God helps us help others.

Read Daniel 6:14 out loud with your family.

 

Ask the following question and discuss the answer together as a family.

 

Q: Have you ever wanted to help someone but didn’t know how to help? 

 

Parent Note: The king, as powerful as he was, couldn’t figure out a way to keep Daniel out of the lions’ den. There was nothing he could do. When we find ourselves in situations in which we don’t know how to help someone in need, all we need to do is pray. We can pray for God to fix the situation, or we can pray for God to give us wisdom and direction on how to help the person. God will always help us help others. 

 

FAMILY PRAYER:

Read the following prayer out loud. Have your kids repeat after you:

 

Dear God, thank You for helping me.
I know that You are there for me even before I ask.
Please help me to be there for others, the way that You are there for me.
We ask these things in Jesus’ name, Amen