Forgive Everyone | 2-16-14

This month and next, we are learning about the extreme sayings of Jesus. “Forgive Everyone,” is that even possible?

The word is . . . F O R G I V E N E S S

Bible Story
Learn about a king who forgave his servant who owed him a lot of money. The servant turned around and demanded that a friend who owed him a little bit of money pay him back right away.
[Matthew 18:23-35]

Prayer
Dear Jesus, I am so glad that you always forgive me when I ask. Please help me to forgive others when they do something wrong to me. Help me to follow the way you forgive everyone, not just the people I want to. Amen.

T a k e  I t  H o m e

Parents
Take some time to think about forgiveness. Is there someone you need to forgive? Make that phone call or write that letter today. Remember that your example speaks volumes to your kids. Forgive others in the Lord’s strength.
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Birth – Age 2
Show unconditional love to your child! Every day, no matter what, give your child a hug and tell them something you love about them. Set them up to experience God’s love and forgiveness in the moments of each day.

Age 3 – Kindergarten
We often teach our children to say “I’m sorry,” when they have wronged someone; but it’s also important to show them the path of forgiveness when someone has wronged them. The words “I forgive you,” are powerful; make a habit of using them when someone says they are sorry. God is the one who helps us forgive — show your kids that having an open heart toward forgiveness is obeying God.

Love Your Enemies | 2-9-14

In Bright Beginnings we are busy discovering what Jesus said in the Bible. “Love your enemies,” for example: who does that? Extreme Sayings is our theme for February and March.

The word is . . . L O V E

Bible Story
This story is about Joseph – Jacob’s youngest son. He had a dream and when he told his brothers about it they were angry and jealous. Read about how Joseph ends up as a slave in Egypt, and how God used his life for a great purpose! And by the way, he meets up with his brothers years later and forgives them for how they had treated him! Wow.
That’s extreme.
[Genesis 37:1-28 and 45:4-5]

Prayer
Dear Jesus, help me to love others in the way that you love me. It is easy to love my friends and family but help me show love to those who are hard to love or that don’t like me. Amen.

T a k e  I t  H o m e
ss_lindsey gira on flickr.

Parents
Hugs, hugs and more hugs this week! Show your love by interacting with your child through words and physical touch. Studies show that playful physical interaction like tickling, wrestling, chasing and catching, between parent and child releases high levels of endorphins in the children and strengthens the parent-child bond.
Have fun this week loving on your child! This is also a way to show God’s love to them – and they will want to share love in return.

Birth – Age 2
Play an “I Love You” game with your child. Say “I love your . . . nose!” and point to their nose, “I love your … ears!” and point to their ears, etc. Make it fun. Let your child know that you love them and everything about the way God created them!

Age 3 – Kindergarten
Look for a “teachable moment” this week. Ask your child to think of an “enemy.” Maybe it’s a boy or girl that makes faces at them, pushes them around, or calls them names. Remind them that these are the kind of kids Jesus says we are to love!

It’s not easy, but because Jesus asks us to love our enemies, we need to do it. Encourage your child to show love to an “enemy” this week.  Maybe it’s sharing a toy with someone who is usually mean to them, or giving them a smile, “hello,” or asking them to play. Talk about how Jesus loves everyone no matter what. That’s extreme.

The Gift of Treasure | 2-2-14

lovegivelive_iconLove Christ
Give Mightily
Live Joyfully

Family Discussion

  • Why do you think God cares about how we handle our money?
  • Why are money and possessions so important to people?
  • What can money do for us?
  • What is the big temptation we have when it comes to money?

Family Action
Remind yourselves that your money and possessions are gifts from God. Devise a plan for every family member to include God in the way they handle their money and possessions.

Young child 
Make a bank with three slots—one labeled “For God”, one labeled “Savings”, and one labeled “For me.”

Teen
Open a bank account (if they don’t already have one) and strategize how these three categories could be implemented: God, Savings, Me.

Adults
Consider how you want to put God first in the weekly implementation of your budget. If you are married, be sure and make this a prayerful discussion between the two of you.

Family Prayer
Thank God that He has given you money and possessions. Ask Him to help you to always be incredibly grateful and to always be a cheerful giver.

Memorize
“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7)

“God loves a cheerful giver.” [2 Corinthians 9:7c]