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Family Devotion

3 Tips for Starting a Successful Family Devotion Time

Make a plan and stick to it. Set a consistent time to gather together and read God’s Word.

Include everyone, even the littles. While it may seem easier to have a family devotion with just the ones who can sit and listen, it is so important to include your little ones in this family time. 

Get everyone involved. There are several ways each person in the family can be involved, no matter their age. Little ones can offer up prayer requests. As they get older, they can learn to record prayer requests in a family notebook or read the Bible passage when they can. As your kids get older, try asking them to lead the family devotion one night: let them be in charge.

12/30/20 - Happy New Year

MUSIC

If your family enjoys singing, fire up a laptop or tablet.  The following songs are some that we sing at PBC and can be found (with words) on YouTube.

When I Think About The Lord

Holy Spirit

Reckless Love

How He Loves Us

 DEVOTIONAL

The word “new” always seems to bring excitement with it! I remember, as a child, when my parents would buy a new Matchbox car to add to my collection. Think back to that first new (or new-to-you) car…you wanted to show it off to everyone. Just this week we’ve spent time ripping into boxes filled with new things that loved ones chose as gifts for us. New things are a lot of fun!.

What are some reasons new things are so much fun?

Everyone share a favorite gift you received this Christmas.

When you think about turning the calendar to January, have you ever thought about a new year in the same way we think about a new item? A new year holds tremendous potential for excitement, happiness, and fresh experiences.

What is your favorite memory from 2020?

What is one thing you are looking forward to in 2021?

READ Jeremiah 29:11

Do not be mistaken, this verse does not promise an increase in financial wealth or even that we will add more “stuff” to our collection.  Although one or both of those may happen, God’s “plans to prosper you” are that you would find your joy in a relationship with Jesus Christ and experience Him working in and through your life. Let that sink in for a moment…the God of the universe wants to use your life to spread the truth of His Son and be a blessing to others! Hopefully, that causes your heart rate to increase a bit with excitement and brings a new meaning to the phrase “Happy New Year!”.

“Plans for a hope and a future” should bring a sense of security knowing that God has thought through our tomorrows and has already made arrangements to care for us.  Knowing this, maybe 2021 will be a great opportunity for your family to consider how to be a blessing to others.

READ Romans 10:14-15

Spend several minutes thinking through the following questions.  Consider listing thoughts from family members to help develop a plan for 2021.

Because God has blessed me so greatly, how can I be a blessing to my family?

Our church is connected with several ministries in the Alexandria/Pineville area. Might there be a day or two this year that I might volunteer some time to serve with one of them?

When everyone has had the opportunity to share thoughts, pray and ask God to give you clear thoughts related to this conversation.  Thank Him for blessing you and for the plan, He has for your life.

Happy New Year!  We are excited about all God has in store for 2021.

"Happy New Year - 2019" used by permission from FBC Haughton. 

01/06/21 - REDEEM

MUSIC

If your family enjoys singing, fire up a laptop or tablet and consider the following songs your family can sing together with words on the screen!

Good Good Father

Do It Again

Rescue

How He Loves Us

God's Not Done With You

DEVOTIONAL

New Years is often a time when we begin to set goals as we look forward to a new year, but for some of us it could be a time of redemption. Redemption simply means the act of making something better or more acceptable.  Most of our favorite movies have this theme in them as well. For example, the movie “We Are Marshall” is based in Huntington, WV in 1971. The entire Marshall football team and coaching staff was involved in a plane crash that killed everyone onboard. The next year as the town was in mourning, they assembled a new team to take the field and compete. It is a great story that shows even in when times get difficult, we can still move forward!

As you look back at your last year, did it turn out how you wanted? Were there portions that you wish were different? Just like in the movie, we have a chance to rebuild and try again! I love the passage in Isaiah 44:22; which says

“I have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions, And like a cloud, your sins. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.”

That is such an encouraging statement as we look towards what 2021 has in store for us. I am so thankful that as we move forward, we don’t have to worry about the things in our past, because just as this passage says, they have been blotted out! We have been redeemed by God to move forward looking to serve him.

Fun Object Lesson

Have an orange for everyone who is participating and ask them to go ahead and start peeling the orange and have the slices laid out when they are done. When they are about halfway finished tell them to STOP for just a second. Tell them you want to have a competition to see who can put the orange back together the best. Provide them with some supplies such as different kinds of tape, staplers, paper clips, string, rubber bands, glue, scissors, and anything else that might be helpful to “put the orange back together”. Then give them 5 minutes to try and put the orange back together as best as they can. After the five minutes is up look at the oranges and ask these questions.

How much does the orange look like it did when we first started?

Is there any way that we could make the orange look the way it originally did?

Are there any similarities with this orange and the way sin affects our lives?

When God created the world, he made everything to work in perfect harmony, however when sin entered, it messed up everything. Often in our own lives we try to put ourselves back together and we will often look like this orange. However, if we can come to the one who originally created us, he can do a mighty work in us! Just as in Ephesians 2:8-9

 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

So before you move on to 2021 take a few moments and reflect on 2020. Ask God to forgive you and to redeem you as you look towards 2021!

(Lead your family in a guided prayer time)

A.C.T.S Prayer is a great one to lead them through.

A – Adoration:  Tell God how much you adore him.

C – Confession: Confessing to God what you have done and asking for forgiveness.

T – Thanksgiving: Thanking God for what he has done for you.

S – Supplication: Asking God for the needs in your life.

Give about 1 minute for each of these and then close in prayer over your family! This is a great model for what a quiet time prayer could look like for your child or students.

Used by permission from FBC Haughton.

01/13/21 - AM I A GOOD FRIEND

MUSIC

If your family enjoys singing, fire up a laptop, tablet, or smart phone!  The following songs are some that we sing and can be found (with words) on YouTube at the following links.

What a Beautiful Name It Is

Good, Good Father

Holy Spirit

INTRODUCTION (Optional)

A friend is defined as “one attached to another by affection or esteem.”[1]  This is someone with whom you have experienced victories, disappointments, boredom, and adventure.  Someone that you enjoy spending time with and that shares similar interests with you.  A friend is different than an acquaintance, who is described as “a person who one knows but who is not a particularly close friend.”[2]  These are the people that you work with or go to school with.  You may enjoy talking to them but don’t really spend much time with them.

ASK:  Who are your friends?

Five Finger Friendship Challenge: Have each person trace their hand on a piece of paper. On each finger of your drawing write a way you can be a good friend. For example: be kind, show gratitude, give a gift, do a chore for them, share, etc.

In 1 Samuel 18, we are introduced to a very extraordinary friendship.  Jonathan was the son of King Saul and would have been crowned king himself after his father died.  David was selected by God to be the next king and had been anointed with oil by the prophet Samuel.  This unlikely duo became very close friends that cared deeply for one another.  In fact, when King Saul had become angry and jealous of David, it was Jonathan who stood up to his father, protected David, and warned him of his father’s plans to hurt David.

READ 1 Samuel 18:1-5, 19:1-7, 20:1-42

Discussion

Being a good friend...Requires Self-Sacrifice

1.  Jonathan’s friendship with David was at the cost of his own career.

2.  Friendship is not about what they can do for you.

Being a good friend...Requires Loyalty

1.  Jonathan openly defended and protected David from his father.

Being a good friend...Requires Commitment

1. David and Jonathan took steps to keep their families from being rivals.

ASK:  How do you treat your friends?

1. Do you encourage them with words? 

2. Are you kind to them even if they do something that upsets you?

3. What can you do this week to be better friends with the people that live around you?  (Parents, help your child think through a task to complete).

A wise man once said, “To have friends, you have to be a friend.”

FAMILIES WITH TEENAGERS

Use the passages to help your teen understand that our friends influence us.  In the same way, we influence our friends.  Engage your teen in discussion about their friends and how they see these two ideas in their friendships.  (Hint: parents, consider allowing teens to use generic terms rather than a friend’s name…especially if it isn’t the most positive friendship on the planet.)

FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN

Use the passages to help your child understand that our friends are a gift from God. We must be kind to them, pray for them, defend them, and seek ways to care for them.

PRAYER

Dear God, I pray for my friend ___________. Thank you for giving me a good friend. Please help me be a good friend. In Jesus’ name, amen.

*For older children, teenagers, or adults encourage each to pray on their own using their own language. It’s important for each person to learn to verbalize their faith.

Want further study on this topic?

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times and a brother is born for adversity.

Mark 2:1-12 is the story of four men lowering their paralytic friend through the roof of a house to be healed.

Proverbs 18:24 A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Proverbs 13:20 He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harms.

John 15:13 Greater Love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

Proverbs 22:24-25 Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work; If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!

[1] https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/friend

[2] https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/acquaintance

"Am I a Good Friend" is used by permission from FBC Haughton.

01/20/21 - LOSING OURSELVES IN THE SERVICE OF OTHERS

INTRODUCTION

The teachings of Jesus can be summed up in the phrase “love God, love people”…in that order.  It’s important to understand that because our relationship with God affects how we treat the people around us.  In today’s passage, Jesus teaches about loving God, loving others, and who our neighbor is.

MUSIC

If your family enjoys singing, fire up a laptop, tablet, or smart phone!  The following songs are some that we sing and can be found (with words) on YouTube at the following links.

Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)

10,000 Reasons

Revelation Song

GLASSES OBJECT LESSON

1. Roll a piece of paper starting at the corner. Form a funnel with a dime sized hole in the end. Cut off the tops so that the wider opening is all the same length. Tape paper so that the funnel will stay wrapped. Make enough so that each child has two.

2. Have them hold their funnels up to their eyes. These are their new glasses.

3. Give them an exact course to follow. It won’t be easy to see through such a small hole. They can only see what is directly in front of them. Make the course obstacle free and in a straight line. Tell them to walk slow and be careful.

4. When they arrive at their destination, everyone will be pleased with their ability to easily perform the task. Have them remove their “glasses” and turn back to look at the path they had just followed.

5. Ask, "Was there anything you missed seeing along your path?

6. Ask, "Without knowing, did you pass another family member who might have needed your help?

7. Ask, Did you pass unfolded clothes or unwashed dishes? (mom may have needed your help today!)

8. Ask, “Why weren’t these things noticed?” “Were you totally focused on your own path/needs/course?”

9. Explain: "These glasses represent living our lives focused only on ourselves and what we need to get done. While many of the things we do in life are very important, sometimes we only see our needs, and are blinded to all of the needs and ways we can be helping others. Simply opening a door for someone, or stopping to help someone will only take a little time, but can make a BIG difference."

LESSON

Read Luke 10:25-37

Children may need help locating the book of Luke in their Bible

Say, “The Bible is divided into two parts: the Old Testament and the New Testament. Luke is one of the 4 Gospels found in the New Testament.”

What is a “parable?” A simple story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson, as told by Jesus in the Gospels.

Ask, "Why did Jesus teach using parables?"  Say, "It’s important to explain why Jesus taught his disciples using parables." 

Ask your child, “Do you like stories?”  Explain, "Jesus knew we all like stories and that it’s easier to remember and understand his truths if taught in the form of a story. In Matthew 13: 10-17 (following Jesus speaking to the large crowds in parables), the disciples asked Jesus, 'Why do You speak to them in parables?' He went on to explain 'why' to them."

After reading the Luke passage talk about the first 2 people passing and how they were wearing their “Selfish Glasses.” Perhaps they were “too busy” or had something they had to hurry and get to. Again, there is little purpose in all of the things we accomplish, unless we are willing to serve others along the way. Talk about how the Good Samaritan did more than just what was necessary by leaving money for the man to be cared for and then asking them to let him know if it cost more than what he gave. He wanted to come back through town and give them more to care for this man.

Think about and share with your family a time where you had the opportunity to serve others.

Was it convenient? Was there a time or money cost? Was it easy? How did you feel afterwards?

PRAY

Prayer Pot or Pail

Using craft sticks, slips of paper, etc. let each family member write down or suggest people or things your family can pray for (ie: Grandma, Mr. Jones down the street, The Lost) Put these in a pot or pail. Family members can select one and pray for whoever or whatever is listed. Use these prayer concerns throughout the week and allow children to add new names or concerns.

Questions to ask: “In addition to praying for _________, how can we bless and help them?”

Prayer Cards

Using index cards, write down ways our family can show compassion to others or people near and around us. If you have recent Christmas cards from family and friends, pick one each day and pray for this family God has placed in your life. When praying together, we also begin relating to God together.

THIS WEEK

God Sightings are those little moments along the way when God shows up in the circumstances of life. When we begin to recognize these teachable moments, they become opportunities for us to reveal the ways of God to our children and family. Below are examples of daily occurrences, similar to The Parable of the Good Samaritan, your family may encounter.

A homeless person holding a sign: Sometimes the homeless are referred to as “hobos” and our judgment as to why someone might find themselves in this predicament is verbalized to our children. Showing compassion is loving others the way God loves us.

Ask your child, “How might we help people and lessen the need for someone to stand on the side of the street?”

Talk about local organizations set up to aid people in need. Discuss how your family and/or your church can help.

Let’s Pray for them right now. We don’t know ALL that’s going on in their life, but God does.

Passing Ambulance: Pray for the person and family needing these services. Thank God for the EMTs for being an extension of God’s love in our community. How can we be an extension of God’s love in the community? 

Funeral Procession: Talk about and pray for the family and friends who are celebrating the life of this loved one. “What are ways we can extend God’s love to people we know who are experiencing the loss of a loved one?”

WANT MORE?

1. Create Random Acts of Kindness Cards

As we begin being intentional about serving others, we also begin establishing patterns that display the priorities in our family.

2. Go to Pinterest and search “Crafts about Good Samaritan." There are MANY to choose from.

"Losing Ourselves in the Service of Others" is used by permission from FBC Haughton.
01/27/21 - Full Focus
Music

If your family enjoys music, fire up a laptop or tablet.  Check out these songs on You tube.

Only Jesus

Nobody

Graves Into Gardens

Devotion

Sometimes I get so caught up in what I “do” every day, I forget that if I’m a follower of Christ, I belong to a different Kingdom—God’s Kingdom. It requires intentional focus on my part to be tuned into His plan for every moment of the day. There’s a path for every person, but the key to getting where God wants you to go isn’t about positive thinking or trying your best, although those things are admirable. The true path is Jesus. He is the start and the end of every good journey. When you commit to fixing your eyes on Him, He will give you the desire, direction and endurance to get where He has called you to go.

What is a favorite road trip you’ve been on as a family?

What did you do to prepare for that road trip or vacation?

To set our focus means to give our attention to what’s truly important in life and minimize or let go of what’s not. When we take an awesome trip, we’re focused on getting there or what we’re going to do when we get there, but in life, we need to be focused on God-moments. How is God working in and through us throughout each day.

Has anyone in your family ever run in a race? Was it hard? Enjoyable?

This life is like a race. Check out the following Scripture!

Read Hebrews 12:1-2

Read this verse slowly and compare a few different versions/translations. Think about what God wants you to hear.

…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us fixing our eyes on Jesus…” (NIV)

Notice how this Scripture starts by telling us to “throw off everything that hinders” before giving us direction about how to run our race. It’s difficult to continue fixing our eyes on Jesus for the long haul when our thoughts are filled with distractions. When we allow our minds to drift, our daily focus can become dominated by things like to-do lists, problems at work, kids, relationships or whatever is going on in our lives. We should not ignore these things, but we are not to be controlled by them either.

Spend several minutes thinking through the following questions.  Consider listing thoughts from family members to help develop a focus plan for the next few weeks.

Is there anything in our lives that is keeping us from being close to Jesus?

What things in our life take up a lot of time and energy, maybe keeping us from more important matters?

Are there “focus thieves” in our minds that keep us from focusing all of our attention on Jesus?

Pray together and ask God to show you ways to refocus on Jesus.

Post Hebrews 12:1-2 somewhere and read it once a day to remind your family to be focused on Jesus.

02/03/21 - Who Am I
Music

If your family enjoys singing, fire up a laptop or tablet. The following songs are some that we sing at PBC and can be found (with words) on YouTube.

When I Think About The Lord

Holy Spirit

Who You Are

Devotion

People often ask the question “Who are you?” Typically, when someone asks the question, we think about our school grade, the sports we play, the hobbies/games that we like, or stuff that we have. But what is actually more important is: “Who am I as a Christian?”
The word “Christian” means Believer / believer in Christ Jesus. A Christian becomes a Christian by trusting Christ Jesus as Savior and Lord. In other words, a Christian has placed their life and trust under the control of Christ (1 Corinthians 6:20, John 13:13).
People Do Not become a Christian by:

Attending Church

Being Good or doing Good Things

Giving to the poor or unloved

When a person has repented (confessed sin to Christ) and asked for God’s forgiveness, they become a Christian. Becoming a Christian When a person becomes a Christian, not only means trusting Christ as Savior and Lord, they have received God’s forgiveness for sin (John 3:13, Romans 5:8). A Christian has received forgiveness for sin, and they become a New Creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Romans 3:10 says, “There is none righteousness, no, not one.”

Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

The greatest GIFT we ever receive is the Gift of salvation from Jesus and Jesus alone.

The only hope we have is Jesus.

The only chance we have for salvation is Jesus.

The only peace we have is from Jesus.

The only name under heaven in which we can be saved from sin and death is Jesus (Acts 4:12).

Jesus said about Himself that He alone can give us the gift of Salvation. (John 14:6)

"Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me."

Before closing in prayer talk about ways Christians show others they are saved. Praise God!

02/10/21 - What Is the Church

Music

If your family enjoys singing, fire up a laptop or tablet. The following songs are some that we sing at PBC and can be found (with words) on YouTube.

When I Think About the Lord

Holy Spirit

Who You Are

Devotion

Many people do not understand the purpose and function of the church.
The first thing many people think of when they think of “Church” is the building where the church meets. If that statement “where the church meets” is confusing to you; maybe you don’t realize that “church” really relates to “gather” or the gathering of the people who make up the church. The Greek word used in the New Testament is (ekklesia). The church is in its easiest definition “the community of believers.”
To be a member of Philadelphia Baptist Church a person must be a believer. A believer who professes faith in Jesus Christ becomes a part of God’s community and for us the community is called Philadelphia Baptist Church (or Philadelphia Baptist Church HD).

Jesus started the church; Matthew 16:18

Jesus is the head (leader) of the church; Colossians 1:18

Purpose

Therefore; one of the purposes of the church is to “gather” together. Part of that purpose includes worshipping God, but it also includes Fellowship with the other believers. Maybe you are child, or even an adult but you are not presently a Believer. Maybe you are not yet a Christian. Does that mean you cannot participate? No, it just means that you are not yet a full member. You may be an “attender” but not yet a member. If you need help with understanding the difference call the church and make an appointment for you or for your family with one of the ministers.

Function

What is Worship?
Worship occurs when we attribute to (or set aside for God) the credit He is worthy of receiving. Worship is our response to God, based on His presence with/in us a His followers. Worship is one of the most vital functions of the church. Fellowship grows out of our love for God. Basically, believers will want to Fellowship with God and Fellowship with other believers. Another Greek word for fellowship is (koinonia.)
Read Acts 2:46-47 to see a picture of people in Fellowship.

Vision

The vision of PBC is “Loving God, Loving Others, & Showing Other’s God’s Love.” At PBC we believe Christ is the head of the church, the Church is the bride of Christ, and members are called to fulfill the role Jesus gave before He returned to Heaven:

Matthew 28:18-20
Read the passage above and think about what it is that Jesus wants all church members to accomplish as we walk through life, and we enjoy worship of God and fellowship with one another.
Pray as a family for God to use you to make a difference in the lives of others

The Church

The church helps people grow closer to God.
The church helps people develop spiritually.
The church helps people mature in life and in faith.
The church helps people commit to a cause that is greater than self.
The church helps people connect with other believers for encouragement, strength, and support.
The church helps people have a place to go when times are tough.
The church helps people know that God is always on their side.
The church helps people realize that Jesus was not just another good man, but that He was God’s perfect son who forgives sin and offers eternal life.

Do you have eternal life?

If not check out one of these links below:

Read my story at WhatIValuemost.com (search for Andrew Orr)

PeaceWithGod

02/24/21 - HOW DOES THE CHURCH WORK?
Music

If your family enjoys singing, fire up a laptop or tablet.  The following songs are some that we sing at PBC and can be found (with words) on YouTube.

When I Think About The Lord

Holy Spirit

Devotion

How does the church work? What do I mean?
I don’t mean mechanically! Although that is important as well. For instance, without a pastor, a music/worship leader, ministers over various areas such as preschool, children, youth, missions, the local church would miss a sense of direction.

Think about the word “Function.” How does the church function?

The church functions through the staff, deacons, and everyone who volunteers. Remember, the Bible describes Jesus as the head leader of the church;
Colossians 1:18 – “and He is the head of the body, the church, who is from the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence (that means He(Jesus) surpassed everything else).

Read 1 Corinthians 12:15-27  (Take a few minutes to read these verses as a family in your preferred versions. Take time for everyone to have their own Bible in hand as you read.)

So how does the church function? How does the church carry on the  function of making a difference? How does PBC make a difference by Loving God, Loving Others, and Showing Others God’s Love?

First, the church seeks to help EVERYONE become a BELIEVER in Jesus Christ.

There are many ways that we do this; through preaching, teaching, and evangelism (sharing the Good News of Jesus).

Second, the church seeks to encourage & help people be faithful to the Lord. We do this by spending time with each other in the Lord through Bible study and fellowship. We support one another!

One of the greatest challenges that people face is being alone. The Bible teaches us to be together. When God created everything, one of the things that He clearly said was that it was not good that man be alone (Genesis 2:18); therefore, God created woman. The verse even says that he created a “help meet” or “helper.” God never intended for us to experience life alone or by ourselves without other people around us. That is one of the reasons “the church” (the body/not the building) is SO important.

As a family take a few minutes to talk about How your family chooses to be a part of the body:

Do you attend worship?

Are each of you in a Sunday School class (not just the kids, how about you adults?)

Do you just do church stuff on Sundays or are you involved in the extended ministry of the church?

Finally, what adjustments do you or does your family need to make to make sure you are not trying to make a difference with Jesus alone?

Before you end your discussion as a family be sure to recognize that The Church also functions according to certain standards and values.

The church values Believing in Jesus.

The church values being Baptized in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. At PBC baptism is by immersion in the water, not sprinkling and not something done as an infant but when a person makes their own decision to follow Christ.

The church values being Faithful in learning and living.

The church values Participation in worship and small groups and “building up one another.” Hebrews 10:25

The church values being a Witness. Being a witness means telling others what Jesus is to you!

The church values being a Servant. Everyone can serve in the body of believers called the church.

The church believes in being a Steward. That means being committed to supporting the work and effort of the church in taking care of the People (One Another), the Programs (the activities and classes), the Physical property (taking responsibility for cleaning, upkeep, and protecting), Prayer (become a person of prayer – talk with God each day), and for the Processes (there are ways the church functions, such as how to become a teacher, deacon, volunteers.) We will talk more about these soon.

Do you have eternal life?

If not check out one of these links below:

Read my story at WhatIValuemost.com (search for Andrew Orr) 

PeacewithGod.net