All That Glitters: The Golden Calf

Connect

Read: Read Exodus 32 (Use the Bible App for Kids by You Version for a fun, younger-kid-friendly version of the story)

The Israelites built a golden calf to worship. Sounds kind of funny to us doesn’t it? Why would anyone worship a cow statue? Moses had just given the Israelites the 10 commandments. Do you remember the first one? “You shall have no other gods before me.” The very first commandment, a law God had warned His people many times about, do not take up any idols that go above Him. Yet, they disobeyed God and his first commandment.

It all may seem weird to us, why would the Israelites break that commandment after being warned so many times? Why would they build a calf of all things? But the truth is, we sometimes do things that are similar to what the Israelites did.

Can you think of anything you have put before God? Anything, good or bad, put before the Lord could be made into an “idol.” Have you ever wanted to win a soccer game more than you have ever wanted anything else? Or have you ever wanted a toy so much, you couldn’t think about anything else? Winning a soccer game is not a bad thing, wanting a toy is not necessarily a bad thing, the desire to be the best at your favorite hobby doesn’t have to be a bad thing, and loving our friends and family is definitely not a bad thing! But, when these things become more important than God, we can turn them into an idol! Wow.

God created us in His being. He wanted us to live in the garden in relationship with Him, but we sinned and that created distance between us. Sin came into the world and it made the world imperfect and unfair. God rescued His people from the Egyptians and gave the commandments, so we might be able to come into His presence. We still couldn’t follow His instructions, we needed saving.

God loved us so much He sent His son, Jesus (we just celebrated the Easter story last week), to die and rise again so it was possible to be with Him! He has done everything just so He might have the chance to be in relationship with us. If we choose to love Him, He asks us to follow Him and that means putting no one and nothing else above Him.

That is why the Israelites building the golden calf was such a big deal. The great news about our Savior, there is forgiveness and we have the chance to turn away from sin. But it is something to remember, if we love God, we need to keep Him first.

Questions: What was the first commandment the Israelites broke? Why was building a golden calf a big deal? Is there anything you can think of that could easily become an idol? (sports, toys, friends, etc. think about what consumes most of your thoughts)

Parents: Share with your kids something that can come before the Lord if you aren’t careful. Share what you do to keep God first (or what you are going to try to do). Do you pray every morning or invite Him to be a part of your day, do you read your Bible or listen to worship music, do you attend church every week or take a moment to give Him the glory of every part of your day? Share whatever it is!

Commit

If your child(ren) want to commit to keeping God first, pray this prayer together, “Dear Lord, I haven’t always kept you first. But I love you and want to follow you, so show me what it looks like to keep you first in my life. Remind me of who you are throughout the day. Make me aware when I am tempted with putting something or someone else first. Guide me and direct me. Amen.”

Create

Implement a way your family can keep God first. Have a discussion on what that could be, (gather together weekly for devotions, pray together every night, listen to worship music in the car, give Him glory for your day at the dinner table etc.) and do it together as a family.

Easter: Jesus’ Death and Resurrection

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Read: Read Luke 23-24 (Use the Bible App for Kids by You Version for a fun, younger-kid-friendly version of the story)

Can you think of something you have done wrong? Maybe you weren’t very nice to someone at school, didn’t listen to your teacher, lied to your parents, or didn’t share with your brother or sister. Those things are called sin, and every person sins.

God created us because He wanted to have a relationship, but God is perfect. And because He is perfect, He doesn’t like sin. So when Adam and Eve, and every person after, sinned, we found ourselves separated from God. God loved us so much He didn’t want to be separated from us. So He sent His son, Jesus, to earth to take away the sins of the world.

So Jesus lived a perfect life and died on the cross- even though He didn’t deserve it, He did it out of love. And it was incredibly painful for Jesus. Can you think of time you were in pain or you hurt? Jesus felt really terrible pain.

That might be really sad to think about, Jesus dying on a cross when He didn’t deserve it. But guess what? That is not the end of the story! Three days later they went to see Him in the tomb, but He wasn’t there! Jesus rose from the dead! The greatest day in history!

Because of His resurrection, because He defeated death, our sins are forgiven and we get to join Him in heaven for all eternity when we love and believe in Him. That is exciting! And worth celebrating!

Questions: Why did God send His son to die on the cross? Who needs forgiveness? What happened to Jesus? What is the greatest day in history?

Parents: This might be a great time to introduce what it means to be saved. We all are sinners, and need His forgiveness to be in relationship with Him. Ask your kids if that is a decision they would like to make, and pray together. This is a great tool you can use to guide you with your kids: http://www.kidsofintegrity.com/lead-your- child-christ

 

Commit

Memorize: “He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.” -Matthew 28:6

Create

Make Resurrection rolls as a family! You can make the dough or by pre-made dough from the store. Have your children help put marshmallows in the center of the roll and place on a baking sheet. Explain to your kids the marshmallow represents the body of Jesus being placed in the tomb. Bake the rolls in the oven, and then eat! As you open the rolls, notice the marshmallow is gone! He is risen! You can find information on resurrection rolls here http://www.lifeway.com/kidsministry/2014/03/31/easter-recipe-resurrection-rolls/

10 Commandments/Easter: Top Ten Pt. 2

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Read: Exodus 20:9-21

When I was in elementary school, my best friend lived two doors down from me. We did everything together. There was another kid in our neighborhood, Bobby, who was a bully. My friend, Vaughn, hated Bobby (I was just scared of him).

Vaughn hated Bobby so much, he mixed together all the different soaps and bleaches he could find in his basement/laundry room. He planned to trick Bobby into drinking that mix. Vaughn wanted Bobby dead.

It didn’t happen. The idea scared me, so I told Vaughn’s mom. She threw out the “drink”, and disciplined Vaughn.

Have you ever hated anyone that much? You planned ways for them to die? Maybe it’s not hate but jealousy. Maybe you wanted a toy someone had so much, you thought of ways to take it. Maybe you think of mean things to say to your mom and dad without actually saying them out loud.

Last week, we focused on the first 4 of God’s Top Ten Rules, also known as the Ten Commandments. All four of those rules are about loving God. This week, is the last six rules – honor mom and dad, don’t kill, have one husband or wife, don’t steal, don’t lie, be satisfied with your own stuff.

Not breaking most of those rules seems pretty easy. I’m not going to kill anyone. I’m not going to steal!

Except Jesus, taught that if we even think mean and angry thoughts about someone, it was like killing them. Which brings me back to my friend Vaughn. Though he was a long way off, he got closer than I ever did to killing someone. It doesn’t mean I’ve never done the same thing in my head or heart.

Today, consider not just what you’ve done, but also how you think and feel about others. Do you really love them? In the end, we are supposed to love God and love people.

How are you doing with that?

 

Parents: Do you remember a time when you broke one of these commandments in your heart? Share that with your family. Talk about how that effected your heart.

Commit

Probe your children. Are there areas they are dealing with anger or jealousy? Walk your children through the steps of forgiveness (ask God, ask others, forgive yourself) if there is anger, jealousy or other issues they are dealing with.

Create

Do you want your children to memorize all ten commandments? Use the 10 simple hand motions found in this YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yr1wzb4SXh4. You can search “10 Commandments Jill Connelly” in YouTube.

10 Commandments/Easter: Top Ten Pt. 1

Connect

Read: Exodus 20:1-8

Take a minute to think about your favorite game (indoor, outdoor, team, individual, board game, ballgame, etc) to play. Now share what your favorite game is with you family. As a group, go around and talk about the different rules needed to play each game. Are there a lot or a little?

God had a lot of rules for the people of Israel. He had rules on what to eat and how to cook it. There were rules on where and when to worship. Rules on where and how to set up their living spaces. Rules on what to do with people who broke the rules. God had lots of rules, but He had a top ten list. You may have heard of it before, the 10 Commandments. These ten rules can actually be condensed down to two.

Love God. Love others.

Today, you read the four rules or commandments about loving God. Have no other gods. Don’t make an idol. Don’t misuse God’s name. Remember the Sabbath. We love God by keeping those 4 rules. Don’t put anyone or anything in front of God; make God first. Don’t use God’s name in anger or frustration. Keep one day as holy.

How are you doing with this? Are you keeping these rules? Do you ever put anything as more important than God (TV, video games, sports, toys, friends, money)? Do you ever say God’s name in anger or meanness (curse, cuss)? Do you honor one day of the week?

This week, make it your goal to love God with all your heart and follow these rules!

Parents: All families begin loving God from different places. Assess where your family is at with the first four commandments. How can you improve? What can you change? Challenge your family in these areas.

Commit

Work to memorize this week’s memory verse:

Love the Lord your God with al your heart, with al your soul, with al your mind, and with all your strength. -Mark 12:30

Create

10 Commandment Handprints. Use acrylic paint to make hand prints of both hands on one piece of paper. Above each finger & thumb, write a number (1-10) and a short version of that commandment (Put God first; Worship God only; Respect God’s name; Keep the Sabbath holy; etc).

Joseph and Moses: No More Excuses

Moses-Burning Bush_TIF

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Read: Exodus 3-4 (Use the Bible App for Kids by You Version for a fun, younger-kid-friendly version of the story)

Have you ever felt like there was something you were not very good at? Maybe you don’t have a lot of skill in soccer. Or maybe you have trouble taking tests at school. Can you think of something? Moses had something he felt he wasn’t very good at, yet God used it anyways to do something really crazy! The problem was, Moses had a lot of excuses and almost missed what purpose God had for him.

Moses was leading his father-in- law’s flock (a group of sheep) when he saw it: a burning bush. The burning bush was full of big fiery flames! Moses thought that was interesting so he went to see the fire. Then a voice spoke, “Moses! Moses!” The fire from the bush was God, and he was ready to speak to Moses!

How would you feel if you were Moses? Would you be scared or surprised? God, from the burning bush, asked Moses to take off his sandals in honor of holy ground. He said to Moses, “I am the God of your father the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.”

God came to see Moses for a specific purpose. Do you remember the Israelites, God’s people that were slaves to the Egyptians? God was in the process of delivering His people to freedom. So He wanted Moses to be a part of that deliverance! How cool that He wanted Moses to play a part in helping set people free!

Did you know God does that with us too! He doesn’t have to use us in His story, but he chooses to do so! He has purposes for every person; He simply wants to work with us in relationship! Moses’ purpose was to help deliver the Israelites! That seemed like a pretty big job to Moses, so he made a lot of excuses.

Have you ever made an excuse? An excuse is when you give a reason to not do something. Like if your mom asked you to eat your vegetables and you said, “but I’m really full! I couldn’t eat another bite!” Or if your dad asked you to clean your room and you responded, “I can’t clean it up tonight because I have too much to do!”

Those excuses make a lot of sense, just like Moses’ excuses, but it was still an excuse.

God asked Moses to help lead the Israelites. And Moses had a good excuse. “What if they don’t believe me?!” Moses exclaimed. But God told Moses He would be with him. He still wanted Moses to do what He had said, even if it was scary!

Moses had another good excuse though. Do you remember when we talked about not being very good at something? Moses was not very good at talking! Moses told God, “I am slow of speech and tongue!” But God said explained He was the Father and Creator of every good gift and He would help Moses know what to say and give him the ability to talk.

Moses had a lot more excuses for God. Again, none of the excuses were wrong. Moses probably wasn’t a very good talker. But God didn’t want to hear Moses explain everything that he couldn’t do. Why? Because God can do so many great things, impossible things! He wanted to hear about that! God does impossible things, and He wants us to be a part of those things.

Anything that may seem scary or really hard to you, like talking in front of a lot of people, or possibly doing something you may not be very good at, God can make it possible! He has purposes for you, but you have to let God share His purposes and be willing to obey Him.

The great news is, God doesn’t ask us to do something and then just leave us! He works with us, so we are never alone and we can do impossible things! So let’s not make excuses! We should believe when God tells us our purposes and do what He says!

Questions: Are there things you are not very good at? What was something Moses was not very good at? What did Moses use as his excuse? How did God want Moses to respond? How should we respond when God says he has a purpose for us?

Parents: Pray and ask the Lord to give you just a glimpse of some purpose He might have for your child. It may not be anything big, or even a full picture (it most likely won’t be), but share what you hear with your children. Maybe you hear from the Lord that your daughter is ‘compassionate.’ Share that with her- it’s a gifting and a part of a greater purpose He might have for her. We want our kids to be prepared to say ‘yes’ when God gives more direction on purpose, so let’s help foster this now! If you feel your child is ready, ask him or her to ask the Lord for a word of purpose. God doesn’t just speak to adults; if this is something your child might want to do, help guide them in hearing the Lord’s voice.

Commit

Place Exodus 4:11-12 on your refrigerator, on a mirror, or anyplace you look frequently! Commit to memorizing what the Lord said to Moses when Moses said he was not an eloquent speaker. “Then the Lord asked Moses, ‘Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or not speak, hear or not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go! I will be with you as you speak and I will instruct you in what to say!”

Create

Spend an evening together as a family- try a game night! But make it an ‘excuse free’ night. Even if there is a reason we lost a game, or a reason we can’t help do the dishes, let’s try our best not to use them! Make a tally anytime someone makes an excuse. At the end of the evening, gather together and ask the group a couple of questions. Was it easy or hard to not make excuses? Did you start to recognize what an excuse was when you heard it? When was it the hardest not to make an excuse? Make it fun, and enjoy some quality time together!

Joseph and Moses: In Good Hands

Moses-Burning Bush_TIF

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Read: Exodus 1-2:10 (Use the Bible App for Kids by You Version for a fun, younger-kid- friendly version of the story)

What are some things that protect you? In the car, your seatbelt keeps you in your seat, safe and secure. If there were a fire, firemen would come with their trucks and stop the fire. What are some other things? What about your parents? Your parents protect you!  And Moses’ mom desperately wanted to protect her baby boy.

In the story, the leader of the Egyptians, they call him Pharaoh, was like a king over the land. The Israelites were God’s chosen people; they were the descendants of Abraham, Jacob, and Joseph (remember them?) These people were living in the land of Egypt, so Pharaoh was ruler over them. When Joseph was in Egypt, he worked second in command under Pharaoh, but this other Pharaoh years later was not very nice. He was worried the Israelites would overtake the Egyptians so he made the Israelites slaves.

After years of the Israelites being treated unfairly as slaves, a new Pharaoh took it even further. He was so scared of the strong Israelites that he went on a mission to kill young baby boys! How terrible! After this decree, one Israelite woman gave birth to a baby boy. She was scared, so she kept him hidden and prayed he would be saved. She wanted to protect her baby boy!

One day, the baby was too big to be hidden. So she placed him in a basket she had waterproofed, and placed him in the river. The baby’s sister followed the basket floating down the river, hoping and praying for protection.

Pharaoh’s daughter was down at the river when she spotted the basket. She was overcome with compassion and love for the child she decided she wanted to raise the child as her own. The baby’s sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter if she could have one of the Hebrew, a name for an Israelite, women take care of the baby until he was a bit older. Pharaoh’s daughter agreed, and the baby was allowed to be cared for until he grew older. Pharaoh’s daughter named him Moses.

Moses’ mother and sister both protected Moses. But you know who ultimately brought protection? God! He heard the prayers and cries of Moses’ mother and sister, and He cared about them! Something bad could have happened to Moses, but God was the ultimate protector.

And guess what? We will learn about it in the coming weeks, but God used Moses in some really big ways! Spoiler alert, he used him to help set the Israelites free! God protected Moses so He could protect and provide for an entire people!

Moses’ mom and sister were probably a little scared. Next time you are, remember God’s protection for Moses and His protection for you. Ask God when you are afraid to comfort you and protect you.

Questions: What are some things that protect you? Do you have a story about a time you were protected? What did Moses’ mother do to protect him? Who found Moses? Who brought Moses protection?

Parents: We have lived long enough to know things happen. There is tragedy- just look at this story. But the Lord says over and over He is near, He is our stronghold, and protector. It is easy to get cynical of those attributes of God when something hard has happened. Sometimes our protection on earth isn’t at our expectations, but it is perfect. Perfect because He is perfect and He knows us and loves us perfectly. What a chance to teach children, no matter what we walk through, He is our stronghold, our foundation, our rock, our comforter, and our protector. He is a good father! Allow yourself to be encouraged by the Scriptures listed in the ‘Commit’ section.

Commit

Choose from this list of Scriptures to memorize as a family and to place around your house (Psalm 121:2; 2 Thessalonians 3:3; Deuteronomy 31:6; Isaiah 41:10; Psalm 5:11; Psalm 34:19; Psalm 46:1; 2 Corinthians 4:8-9; or whole chapters: Psalm 23; 121)

Create

In Psalm 121 it says the Lord is our helper! He is also our leader, guide, and protector! In some free time, find a blindfold (or something that could be used as a blindfold) and have one person put it on. Another person can be a helper, guide, and director! Remind your child(ren) this is the role of God! Take turns and have fun with it!

Joseph and Moses: What’s in a Name?

joseph in egypt

Connect

Read: Genesis 42;45 (Again, a lot of reading, but a great story.  Read over several sittings.)

Joseph was a miracle child.  He was born after years of Rachel, his mother, unable to be pregnant.  When Rachel finally bears a child, she name him Joseph- “May God add” meaning another son.  Another way of interpreting this is “may God increase.”

Our names have meaning. Sometimes our parents are very intentional about our names. Sometimes they just choose a name that sounds neat or pretty.  Either way, our names are more than just something we are called.

Every step of his life, Joseph brought increase.  He did in his father’s home, in Potiphar’s house, in jail and finally working for Pharaoh.  Each place he went, God used him to increase wealth.

In the end, God used this ability to increase to save Joseph’s family.  It was a gift from God, so it could continue God’s plan and story.  You too have a name that is more than just something to be called.

God’s plan and story continues – thousands of years later, and you are a part of it.  Do you know what your name means?  If not, look it up with your family this week.  Talk about what you think it might mean.

Just like Joseph, God wants to use you and your specific gifts to see His plan and story continue.  This week, lean into this – whether you feel special or not.  You are!

Questions: Why did Joseph’s brothers end up in Egypt? Why do you think they didn’t recognize Joseph?  Why did Joseph make them jump through so many hoops?  How did Joseph provide for Egypt and his family?

Parents: Tell the story behind naming each of your children.  Did you choose the name for a specific purpose?  Are they named after someone?  What significance is in their name?

Commit

Take some time to look up the meaning of everyone;s name in your family.  This can be tricky depending on names (with a family of Kia, Kessa, Sephine, Beale, and Chilton, this is harder for us 🙂

This is a great site http://www.parents.com/baby-names/

Continue to discuss what everyone things this may mean for your futures – God’s plan and story.

Create

Make a “Crystal Name” science experiment using Borax and pipe cleaners.  For a complete list of supplies and directions, visit http://www.playdoughtoplato.com/kids-science-crystal-names/#_a5y_p=3154354

Joseph and Moses: Better. Not bitter.

joseph in egypt

Connect

Read: Genesis 39:20-23; 40; 41 (a lot of reading, but a great story.  Read over several settings)

As we learned last week, Joseph was in prison for something he didn’t do.  Have you ever gotten in trouble for something a brother, sister, or friend did?

When this happens to us, it’s very easy to become angry and bitter.  Bitterness is keeping anger anger inside of us for a long time.  Have you ever seen a rotten piece of fruit? Bitterness is like rotten fruit – dark and yucky – deep inside our hearts.

We don’t know exactly what Joseph did when he was sent to prison.  We do know he didn’t let anger and bitterness destroy him.  You see, that’s what bitterness does if we don’t forgive and move on.  When an apple is rotten, you must remove it from the rest of the apples, or it will spoil the whole bunch.

We know Joseph wasn’t bitter because he continued to obey his masters in jail. He rose to the top.  He interpreted the dreams for the baker and cup bearer.  When he was forgotten for two years, he didn’t give up.  He jumped at the chance to interact with Pharaoh with his dream.

Are you bitter and and angry about anything? Did your mom or dad yell at you?  Did your teacher say an unkind thing?  Did a friend accuse you of a mean thing (you didn’t do)?

Choose to forgive! We don’t want to be like the apple that spoils everything else around us.

Here’s the best part. When we choose to be better and not bitter, God opens doors for us.  For Joseph, God gave the opportunity to interpret two dreams, then the king’s dream, then move into a very powerful position, and as we’ll see next week, save his family!

This week, choose to be better… not bitter!

Questions: What did Joseph do in jail?  Why did Joseph have the chance to interpret the Bake and Cupbearer’s dreams?  How long did Joseph wait for the cupbearer to remember him in jail? What was the final reward for Joseph’s dedication to and patience with God?

Parents: Share a time when you held on to anger and bitterness. How did that negatively impact you and your life? How did you practically let that anger go?

Commit

Our theme verse for the story of Joseph (4 weeks) comes from a statement Joseph made to his brothers when they were reunited.  Continue to memorize this scripture:

God turned into good what you meant for evil… so that I could save the lives of many people.” Genesis 50:20

Create

Choose one of your child’s favorite fruits. Cup up the fruit to make a snack. As you are cutting the fruit, point out any bad spots.  Share how this is the beginning of a rotten part of the fruit.  Talk about what would happen if it continued to sit for weeks or even days. Finally, point this back to what anger and bitterness does to us in our lives when left uncorrected.

 

Jacob & Joseph: That’s Not Fair!

Joseph's Coat image for email

Connect

Read: Genesis 41

Life isn’t always fair. Bad things happen to everyone. Life wasn’t fair to Joseph.

He is thrown into a pit, sold as a slave, unfairly put into prison and forgotten.

Every place Joseph is placed he does the right thing, yet things continually get worse instead of better.

Have you ever felt like things just weren’t fair? Life is getting worse, even when you do and say the right things?

One of the great themes from the story of Joseph is our scripture for the month – “God turned into good what you meant for evil…” (Genesis 50:20).

Thousands of years later, the Apostle Paul wrote “And we know that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28).

On December 7, 1941, one of the worst attacks on American soil took place –

Pearl Harbor. 16 naval boats were damaged or destroyed, 188 airplanes were destroyed, 1,178 people were hurt and 2,403 people were killed. It was not a good day.

Yet a lot of historians point to the attack on Pearl Harbor as a turning point in World War II. To that point, America had remained as bystanders. The attack by Japan forced us into the war.

The attack was bad, and things actually got worse for America. Yet eventually, it turned to the good for us – even propelling America into the position of the most powerful country in the world.

Like Joseph as a slave and in prison, I’m sure many men and women asked God why He allowed the attack on Pearl Harbor. Also like Joseph, it took them years to see any good come out of that evil day. The great news? Good did eventually come!

No matter what is happening in your life right now, remember that God can turn it to good. Make sure to continue to love Him and follow His commands!

Questions: What is the worst thing that has ever happened to you? Why? Has anything good come from that? What? How does that help you trust God with the bad things that happen to you now?

Parents: As a family, you may be walking through difficult circumstances right now. Talk about what the good might look like in the future – near and far. You may be doing great as a family – do you know someone who isn’t? Spend a few minutes praying for them.

Commit

Continue to memorize on our verse for the month. “God turned into good what you meant for evil…so that I could save the lives of many people.” -Genesis 50:20

Create

One of the men Joseph helped was the royal baker. Bake one of your favorite items. As you wait for the final product in the over, talk about how long Joseph had to wait (10+ years) to see his dream come true.

Jacob & Joseph: No Good Choice

Joseph's Coat image for email

Connect

Read: Genesis 37 (we recommend the Bible App for Kids by YouVersion)

Jacob gave his son Joseph a coat, with many colors. (What kind of colors do you think it had on it?) It was a beautiful coat, and Joseph was very happy. But Jacob had 11 other sons, and he didn’t give them a coat. Think about that. If you were one of Joseph’s brothers, how would that make you feel? Would you be a little sad? Would you be mad at Joseph? Joseph’s brothers were pretty mad at him. They got jealous.

Do you know what it means to be jealous? Imagine this. Your brother got a really cool bike for Christmas. You really want that bike. You wish you had that bike! In your heart, you start to feel mad at your brother, mad that you don’t have a bike, mad that no one got you a bike, and unthankful for all of the fun things you do have.

That’s what it means to be jealous.

The bad thing about being jealous is it creates a lot of other problems. We start to get mad in our own hearts. And when something enters our hearts, we make choices out of it. When we have a mad and unthankful heart, we aren’t very nice to our brother, thankful for the gifts we did get for Christmas, or happy for our brother when nice things happen to him.

These choices hurt our brother, our parents, and you! Even more importantly, God doesn’t like when we have a mad heart and unthankful heart. He loves us anyways, but it makes Him sad. Because He wants what’s best for us! Joseph’s brothers were jealous and out of their mad hearts they made bad choices.

They hurt their brother! They sold him away! Out of their jealous/mad/unthankful hearts came some really bad choices that hurt Joseph and their father. The brothers later began to feel really bad about what they had done, and wished they could take it back.

The story, as we will learn, turned out okay for Joseph and his brothers. They forgave each other, and their hearts changed! If you find yourself getting mad or jealous, ask Jesus in that moment to change your heart. We don’t want to hurt others out of our mad heart! Have Him remind you of all you have to be thankful for!

 

Questions: How did Joseph’s brothers feel about not getting a colorful coat (and attention from their father)? How would you feel if you were Joseph’s brothers? Why did Joseph’s brothers make a wrong choice? How can we change our hearts?

Parents: Jealousy can be very dangerous when it comes into our hearts. We know that a lot of choices that are made stem out from what is within our hearts, so let’s be proactive in praying for right hearts for our kids. Remember this Scripture from Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

Commit

Ask your child(ren) if they have ever felt jealousy (use the devotion to help describe it if they are younger). Pray this prayer with them, “Dear Lord, sometimes we get jealous, and sometimes my heart isn’t right. Please change my heart. May we think about good things. Remind me to be thankful. Amen.”

Create

For practical tips on guarding your heart look to Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy– think about such things.” So as a family, practice thinking (and filling your minds/hearts) about such things. Play worship music in the car and in your house (for kids we recommend Bethel Music’s Kids album!) Have a time to pray before bed (and meals) not out of duty or “religion,” but because we are building/modeling a relationship with God and are working on “thinking on such things.”