Have you ever been worried about how you would make your material resources last? With the rise in gas prices and other goods, many of us are finding it difficult to make our finances last paycheck to paycheck.
With the colder weather and financial increase in the economy, more and more people are feeling depressed and stressed. It can be so easy to keep your head down and focus on your tasks to get through the day.
Have you ever felt like God couldn’t possibly want you or love you because of the bad things you have done in your life? Or do you go to the opposite extreme and justify that you’re good because you’re not as bad as somebody else?
Most of us have heard the phrase, “good Samaritan,” but think about what that means. Simply put, we should help others. Unfortunately, that oversimplifies the truth behind what it means to be a good Samaritan.
Have you ever felt God was leading you do something but when it got hard you quit? You may have even thought, “God must not be in this; it’s too hard. If God wanted me to do this, it would be easy.” Often that is our fear talking.
I don’t know about you, but there are many times I find myself asking the question, “Do I have to adult today?”. When I have big decisions to make or big projects at hand, I would much rather sit in a blanket fort all day eating ice cream watching Hallmark movies.
What does it take to be courageous? Some believe that those who are courageous have somehow learned to conquer their fears. The truth is, they have not conquered them but have made the choice to move forward despite their fears.
As parents, your kids ask you all sorts of questions. Sometimes 20 questions in one sitting. Our kids’ minds are a brilliant and growing muscle and one way they exercise this muscle is by asking questions.
How often do you tell God that you trust Him but then do the opposite of what you know you should do? It is fairly simple to say the words but so much harder walk it out; to find that courage to do what we know we should do.
Have you ever been cooking and used the wrong measuring spoon to add the salt? You just added a tablespoon when it only needed a teaspoon. If you are lucky, you catch it before mixing it all in so you can try to pull some of it out.
There have been times in my life when I knew God was leading me to do something. Unfortunately, I did not understand how He expected me to accomplish it. Have you ever felt that way? How are we to proceed when the task seems so insurmountable and our resources are limited? The truth is we cannot, but God can!
Think of a time when something exciting happened for you. Who was the first person you wanted to tell? Was it so exciting that you felt almost compelled to tell everyone you met, even perfect strangers?
As you look at your church, are they doing good works? Do you like being a part of a church that helps the community and provides multiple resources? Do you realize, as a follower of Jesus, that you are the church?
Think of your best friend. What makes them your best friend? For me, it is our relationship; the ability to pick up where we left off no matter how long it has been since we last saw each other. It is also because I know I can count on them. If ever I need them, they’re right there for me just as I am there for them.
Easter is an amazing time to celebrate. But what is it that we are celebrating? Easter is not all about eggs and bunnies and spring. While those are pictures of what the true story represents, new life or even rebirth, they are just pictures and can distract us from the real reason we should celebrate Easter.
This month we have been looking at how we can love like Jesus. John 13:34-35 pulls everything we have looked at into a simple yet great command, to love others as Jesus loved us so they can know Jesus.
How have you helped someone lately? Or better yet, how have you not helped someone lately? You know, those times you see that someone could use help, but you did not have time, or you were not in the mood?
One of the best things we can teach our kids is that, no matter what, we will always love them. My biggest fear as a child was disappointing my parents. I know they never would have stopped loving me, but my child-mind was not so sure.
Are you good at asking for help? Most of us struggle with this. We either feel like it makes us look weak, or like we are inconveniencing people, or we think people should know that we need help and just help. Do any of these sound like you?
When we think about all the things we must get done, what are some things that always get pushed to the bottom? You know, those things that are important, but we take for granted that we can do them any time, so they always seem to get bumped. But then a week goes by and nothing. Then a month… a year.
As we kick off a new month, we want everyone to know that Jesus loves them. Jesus does not just love a few people; He does not only love people with brown hair; He does not love just the ones that live in a certain area. Jesus loves everyone. Young, old, big, or small – Jesus loves all of us.
All month we have looked at true stories from the Bible that show just a glimpse of how amazing Jesus is. These stories help us see that there is no end to what Jesus can do. This week is no different as we look at the story of Jesus healing a blind man.
Have you ever felt like a boat in the middle of a horrific storm? As if you are being tossed in every direction and you don’t which way you are going? We are living in a time where we can often feel just like that; out of control and unable to get our bearings.
Have you ever been amazed at something your child said? Sometimes it makes you want to shake your head or even hide under a rock, but, other times, it amazes you to hear something so profound come from someone so young.
I don’t know about you, but I love to travel for special events. Since I live far from my family, I only get to see them during special events. Traveling to see them is a big deal but we try to go as often as we can because they are worth it; they’re special to me. How far would you travel to see someone, or something, that is important to you?
Think about all the people in your community. The people that help do the things we can’t do or don’t want to do. Sure we may pay some of them, but what if there was no one there to do that job. What’s easy for one person is extremely difficult for someone else. That’s how God made us, to work together.
Being grateful, even for the little things, doesn’t always come easy. We sometimes take for granted the good things we have; we just expect that they’ll always be there. And it’s not that we’re ungrateful (most the time), we just don’t stop to think about what life would be like without them.
It’s fall and Thanksgiving will be here before we know it. This is a great time of year to refocus and remember all those things we have to be thankful for. James 1:17 tells us, “Every good gift and perfect gift comes from above. . .”
All month we’ve been looking at how God’s got it. We’ve seen how God’s always with us even in the fire, that God will always take care of us even when we don’t know where the current will take us, and God hears us and gives us what we need even when we’re wandering and don’t know where to look. God has made those promises to us.
Have you ever wondered, “Does God even hear me?” But then, in the midst of that bad day, someone says or does something that just turns it all around. Or you were worried about something and you hear exactly what you need to hear through a sermon, a friend, or even the radio.
It’s one thing to “know” God is always with us (Joshua 1:9); to “know” He promises to never leave nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6); to “know” that He never gives us more than we can handle (1 Corinthians 10:13). But even “knowing” all His promises, do we act like we trust Him?
Forgiveness is one of the most difficult things we’ll ever have to do. We don’t want those that hurt us to “get off easy.” In fact, have you ever thought to yourself, “they need to suffer for what they did?” But who really suffers when we refuse to forgive someone?
What do you tell yourself when things get hard? “When things get tough, the tough get going,” or some such phrase to motivate yourself? I don’t know about you, but for me, that just doesn’t cut it. This may energize me for a bit, but ultimately, things continue to spiral because my focus is still on the problem, on myself, on what “I” need to do to fix it.
Have you ever thought that life should be easy because you’re a Christian? Now that you believe in Jesus life should be full of rainbows and butterflies; that life should now be smooth sailing; that you should get your cake and eat it too? Those are nice thoughts but that’s not what the Bible tells us.
Think of someone you care about, someone that means a lot to you. Don’t you want to talk to them all the time? To share something exciting that happened, something upsetting, or just because. Do want to hear from them about all the same stuff? When you love someone, when they are important to you, you want to share life with them.
Say this out loud: “I am wonderfully made in God’s image!” Do you believe that? As we grow up, we tend to forget the wonder that actually went into making us. But each and every one of us, YOU, are wonderfully made in God’s image.
We all have a place that is special to us. That place that brings back memories, that makes us smile, where we can be ourselves, or just gives us a sense of peace. Jesus is preparing a place that surpasses all of that for each and everyone of us that believe and follow Him.
Sharing God with people can be tough. There are so many stories in the Bible to choose from that it can seem overwhelming. But there is one basic story that can show the true awesomeness of our God - God made everything.
Have you ever said or done something and then immediately knew you had messed up. We often wish we can take back our words or actions that hurt the people we love. We can’t take them away but God still loves us.
Life would be boring without all our differences but it can be hard talking to people who don’t talk like us, look like us, or believe the same way we do. Jesus didn’t say go tell people exactly like us about Him but to teach all nations. So who can we share Jesus with? Everyone!
I spy someone who believes in Jesus when I look at the life of Paul. But Paul didn’t always believe. Paul was against Jesus and everyone that believed in Him; he didn’t believe in the new law Jesus gave to loves others as Jesus loved. Then Paul actually met Jesus and his life was never the same.
Even though Easter was just a few months back, it’s an important event for us to recap as we continue to ask, “Who can believe in Jesus?” Our I Spy theme is looking for (or spying) things in the Bible that help kids answer, “I can believe in Jesus.”
This is our last week to focus on God’s love for us. We’ve seen that God created us, God has a plan for us, God loves us no matter what, and God loves us so much that He sent Jesus to be our friend forever. Just in case that hasn’t made it abundantly clear to our kiddos that God thinks they are pretty special, we’re going to focus on just that with the story of the lost coin.
We started May with how much God loves us because He created us. This week we’ll see that God loves us so much that He has a plan for each of us. Keep working on the memory verse so the kids know NOTHING can separate us from God’s love. When we ask kids, “Who loves you,” we want them to be able to say, “God loves me!”