February 28 // Reputation matters.

Read Genesis 41:38 out loud with your family.

 

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

 

Q: Are you known within your family or around school for being particularly good at something? 

 

Parent Note: Joseph had become known for being able to interpret dreams. All it took was one man to remember Joseph’s abilities and then mention it to Pharaoh for Joseph’s life to change dramatically. Being good at interpreting dreams wasn’t enough though. Despite being in jail, Joseph was also known for being wise and trustworthy. It is unlikely that the servant would have recommended Joseph to the Pharaoh if Joseph was a bad guy with a bad character. It is important to not only be good at the things we are talented at doing. Having God at the center of our lives will ensure that we are the type of people others will want on their team. 

 

FAMILY PRAYER:

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

 

Dear God, thank You for the gifts and talents You’ve given me.
I know that everything I have is for Your glory.
Help me to use these things well and for Your purposes.
In Jesus’s name, amen.

February 27 // Treat others well.

Read Genesis 37:27 out loud with your family.

 

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

 

Q: Which would you prefer: being thrown into a pit and left to die or being sold into slavery?  

 

Parent Note: Neither! We don’t want to be treated like that by anyone, especially by those who are supposed to love us! We should always try to treat others the way we would like to be treated, even—and maybe even especially—when we don’t particularly like someone. Jesus calls us to love our neighbors. 

 

FAMILY PRAYER:

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

 

Dear God, thank You for loving me well.
I know that Your love is perfect.
Help me to love others and treat them the way I want to be treated.
In Jesus’s name, amen.

February 26 // Be humble.

Read Genesis 37:5 out loud with your family.

 

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

 

Q: You and your friend both try out for the same role in the school play. You get the role. How do you act around your friend?  

 

Parent Note: We have every reason to be happy, and a good friend would be happy for us. But too much celebrating in front of this particular friend might come off as a little insensitive. We don’t want to gloat about our success. It didn’t take a master dream interpreter to figure out what Joseph’s dreams meant. When he told his father and brothers, they took it to mean that he was gloating that his dreams indicated that one day they would all bow down to Joseph. Whether Joseph told his family about his dreams as a way of providing them information about the future or to brag, we don’t really know; however, a little more care could have been taken in giving them this bad news about their future. 

 

FAMILY PRAYER:

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

 

Dear God, thank You for loving me.
I know that I am cared for and special in Your eyes.
Help me to share that love with others.
In Jesus’s name, amen.

February 25 // God is a loving Father.

Read Genesis 37:3 out loud with your family.

 

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

 

Q: Have you ever had a teacher who had an obvious favorite student? 

 

Parent Note: When this happens, it sometimes feels like there is nothing we can do that will make the teacher like us or approve of our work as much as he or she does for this one preferred student. It can be discouraging. While this can make us feel bad in the classroom, imagine how awful it would feel to know that your parent liked your sibling better than you! This likely would make us jealous, just like Joseph’s brothers’ were of the love and attention he got from their father. God is our father, and He loves every one of His children equally. God’s love is unconditional and limitless. 

 

FAMILY PRAYER:

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

 

Dear God, thank You for loving me.
I know that I am cared for and special in Your eyes.
Help me to share that love with others.
In Jesus’s name, amen.

February 23 // Play fairly.

Read Genesis 27:38 out loud with your family.

 

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

 

Q: In a championship race, you're about to cross the finish line in second place. You're close enough to shove the other runner. Do you do it to win?

 

Parent Note: If we shoved the other runner to win, we didn't really win. The other person, if left alone, would have won. They are a better runner than we are, and they deserve to win, not us. When we face temptation like this, it sometimes helps to think of what our actions would do to the other person. Look at what Rebekah and Jacob's trickery caused Esau and Isaac. Esau lost a blessing over his life that should have been his. Isaac, the father and head of their household was made a fool instead of being respected and obeyed. When we sin, we hurt others and ourselves.

 

FAMILY PRAYER:

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

 

Dear God, You have taught us to be honest.
Help us to be honest and tell the truth at all times.
We ask these things in Jesus' name, Amen.

February 22 // The Truth.

Read Genesis 27:19 out loud with your family.

 

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

 

Q: Have you ever played a joke on someone? 

 

Parent Note: If Rebekah and Jacob's trick hadn't led to something as serious as stealing Esau's blessing from him, it would have been a good joke played on Isaac. Playing jokes or tricking someone with the intent to hurt or harm is wrong. Rebekah and Jacob tricked Isaac with the intent to steal Esau's blessing, and they were very wrong to have done it.

 

FAMILY PRAYER:

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

 

Dear God, thank You for Your Word.
I know that everything from You is the truth.
Help me to be honest, and to share Your truth with others.
We ask these things in Jesus’ name, Amen.

February 21 // No one like you.

Read Genesis 27:15-16 out loud with your family.

 

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

 

Q: If someone wanted to dress up like you, what would he or she need to wear?

 

Parent Note: Let your child come up with answers and have fun with this. Jacob went to great lengths to pass himself off as his much bigger and hairier brother. It would be funny to see someone pretend to be you as a joke, but Jacob wasn’t trying to be funny. He wanted to lie to his father and trick him.

 

FAMILY PRAYER:

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

 

Dear God, thank You for making me the way that I am.
I know that there is no one else that is just like me.
Help me to love you with all that I am.
We ask these things in Jesus’ name, Amen.

February 20 // Do it God's way.

Read Genesis 27:12-13 out loud with your family.

 

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

 

Q: If you bought a ticket to see a movie, would you try to sneak into the theater through one of the exit doors?

 

Parent Note: No, with a ticket, we can enter the theater through the doors like honest customers. There is no need for us to be sneaky. When Rebekah was pregnant with Jacob and Esau, God told her that the oldest would bow to the youngest. If she had shared that bit of information with Isaac, it is likely that Jacob wouldn't have had to resort to underhanded tactics and deceit to claim the blessing. If God truly wanted Jacob to have the birthright and blessing, God would have provided it in such a way that sin would not have been necessary. God keeps his promises and never tempts us to sin.

 

FAMILY PRAYER:

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

 

Dear God, thank You for the plans You have for my life.
I know that Your way is the best way.
Help me to trust Your timing and Your will for me.
We ask these things in Jesus’ name, Amen.

February 12 // Do it God's way.

Read Genesis 16:5 out loud with your family.

 

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

 

Q: A chef has offered to cook for a huge party your family is hosting. Who would do a better job cooking: you or the chef? 

 

Parent Note: No matter how good we are in the kitchen, we're no match for a chef. We should leave this job to the professional. The same is true for promises God gives us. We should let God work it out in His perfect timing. God promised Abraham and Sarah a child, He said nothing about Abraham and Hagar. While that child may have been a blessing, it wasn't the blessing God had in mind. We should leave the fulfillment of blessings and promises to God—He knows what He's doing!   

 

FAMILY PRAYER:

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

 

Dear God, thank You for Your blessings.
I know that You fulfill every promise.
Help me to be patient and trust You.
We ask these things in Jesus’ name, Amen.

February 19 // Give freely.

Read Genesis 25:30-31 out loud with your family.

 

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

 

Q: While hiking, your friend finds that a hole in his canteen has leaked out all his water. You agree to share your water in exchange for his boots. Is this right?

 

Parent Note: No, we should be willing to share our water with our friend without getting anything in return. Our desire to help others should not come from a desire to gain anything. While Esau's need seems exaggerated, Jacob used this moment as a way to trick his brother out of something very valuable.

 

FAMILY PRAYER:

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

 

Dear God, thank You for being generous.
I know that salvation is a free gift from You.
Help me to love and share with others freely.
We ask these things in Jesus’ name, Amen.

February 18 // You are unique.

Read Genesis 25:27 out loud with your family.


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


Q: What makes you different from your siblings?


Parent Note: Even though we come from the same family, we often have very different interests. No interests are better than another, but it can help us to have more in common with some people than with others. In this story, we don't hear about anything Jacob and Esau had in common, but it is likely that they weren't constantly fighting or disagreeable to each other as they grew up. Being kind and helping out our families is very important.


FAMILY PRAYER:

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


Dear God, thank You for making me the way that I am.
I know that I am unique and have special gifts from You.
Please help me to use those gifts and talents to serve You.
In Jesus’s name, amen.

February 16 // His ways are not our ways.

Read Isaiah 55:8-9 out loud with your family.

 

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

 

Q: God called Abraham to do some pretty big things. How can we build our faith and trust in God to obey when God calls us to something? 

 

Parent Note: Knowing that God has the power to do anything He says He will do can help us to trust and obey Him. What seems impossible to us is completely possible for the Lord. There is nothing the Lord can't do. We don't need to understand how He will make it happen, we just need to believe that He can do it 

 

FAMILY PRAYER:

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

 

Dear God, thank You for the wonderful example of a life lived by faith and obedience that we find in Abraham.
Help us to have faith in You and obey You when you call.
We ask these things in Jesus' name, Amen. 

February 15 // Jesus was the sacrifice.

Read Genesis 22:8 out loud with your family.

 

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

 

Q: How do you think the Lord felt sending His Son to be sacrificed for us? 

 

Parent Note: Though agonizing, Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son for his love for the Lord, but God spared him from the pain of doing something so horrific. The Lord did sacrifice his Son, Jesus, for the love of every single human being ever created. While God was able to spare Isaac, Jesus had to go through every awful moment all on our behalf. We serve a God who is love—not just loving—but actually is love. The more we understand about love, the closer we come to understanding God. He would and has done everything for us because He loves us. Sometimes the things He asks us to do are hard, but when we consider the nature and character of God, we must always come to the conclusion that it is for God's good and loving purposes. 

 

FAMILY PRAYER:

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

 

Dear God, thank You for Jesus.
I know that no sacrifice compares to His.
Help me to live a life of thankfulness.
We ask these things in Jesus’ name, Amen

February 14 // Put God first.

Read Genesis 22:9-10 out loud with your family.

 

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

 

Q: Why would God ask Abraham to do something so awful? 

 

Parent Note: God has given us everything we have. To make this concept even more difficult to understand, consider that everything we have really belongs to God. The Lord is in control of all things in creation, and when He gives us things, He is asking us care for them as caretakers, often referred to in the Bible as stewards. Obeying God is more important than anything God has given to us. It can be very hard to see the distinction between ownership and stewardship, but it can make it easier to let things go when God calls us to do so. Clinging to things can tie us down or keep us from realizing God's full potential and plan for our lives. When Abraham made his choice to obey God, he did so by looking at who God is: loving, caring, faithful, and powerful. His faith and trust in the Lord was so absolute that he was willing to offer his own son as a sacrifice because he knew that God wanted him to do this and there was a purpose for it that he did not understand.

 

FAMILY PRAYER:

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

 

Dear God, thank You for all You have given to me.
I know that everything I have is Yours.
Help me to put You first in my life.
We ask these things in Jesus’ name, Amen

February 13 // Love God the most.

Read Genesis 22:2 out loud with your family.

 

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

 

Q: What is most special to you? 

 

Parent Note: This can be anything— a possession, a person, whatever. Now ask your child what they would do if God asked them to give this thing to Him and never see it again. This is what God asked Abraham to do with his son. Abraham had waited so many long years to be blessed with a son, and now God was asking him to offer this blessing as a sacrifice. God was testing Abraham's faith. Did Abraham love his son more than he loved God? Did Abraham trust that God had a plan? Did Abraham believe that God had the power to make things right? 

 

FAMILY PRAYER:

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

 

Dear God, thank You for the things and people You’ve put in my life.
I know that You want me to enjoy them.
Help me to love You more than everything else.
We ask these things in Jesus’ name, Amen.

February 11 // God does the impossible.

Read Genesis 17:17 out loud with your family.

 

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

 

Q: What is something that is impossible?

 

Parent Note: God can make anything happen, no matter how crazy it seems. When God told Abraham that he would make him the father of so many descendants they would be like the number of stars in the sky or sand on the beach, Abraham laughed. He thought God was joking! When Sarah heard this promise, she laughed, too. But God wasn't joking. He was serious, and He made it happen.  

 

FAMILY PRAYER:

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

 

Dear God, thank You for doing the impossible.
I know that You have power beyond my understanding.
Help me to trust You, even when it seems impossible
We ask these things in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

February 9 // We need God's help.

Read Philippians 4:13 out loud with your family.

 

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

 

Q: What are some things that you can’t do without God’s help?

 

Parent Note: Doing anything is possible only through Christ's strength, and with Christ’s strength, we can do all things we are called to do. 

 

FAMILY PRAYER:

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

 

Dear God, thank You for creating languages.
Thank you that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
Help us to depend on You, not on ourselves.
We ask these things in Jesus’ name, Amen.