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Family Devotional: Kindness, the story of Joseph

The second in our Scripture-rich parenting series: a simple 5-step plan for making devotions with your family interactive! Missed the first one? Click here to catch up and learn about obedience through the story of Abraham.

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Step 1: Read

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Genesis 37, 39-45

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Play The Dreamer and Dreams Come True in the Bible App for Kids

The Dreamer Bible App for Kids

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Key Verse:
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Ephesians 4:32

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Step 2: Explain

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Kindness: having a friendly attitude towards others. 

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When Jesus comes into your life, He changes it completely. One of the ways people will know you are different and that He has changed your life is by the way you treat other people. Jesus has asked us to be kind to each other.

Sometimes, people are mean or unfriendly to us. It’s hard to be kind back to them. So hard, in fact, that we can’t do it ourselves. Thankfully, when we ask Jesus to come into our life and forgive us of our sin, He sends His Holy Spirit to live inside us. As the Holy Spirit helps us show kindness to others, we are showing them what God looks like. Kindness is also one of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

But showing kindness to people who have hurt us is not easy! When Joseph’s brothers arrived in Egypt, Joseph had the power to hurt them. He could have made them slaves, just as they had sold Joseph into slavery. But instead, with God’s help, Joseph showed them kindness and forgiveness. He used his power to help his brothers and give them food and a safe place to live.

When someone has hurt your feelings, don’t respond in anger. Instead, ask God to show you how you can be kind to that person. Jesus said we are to love our enemies (Matthew 5:43). It might be as simple as a smile, letting that person go ahead of you in line, or helping them with a math problem when they need it. Your kindness shows them how God loves them.

You can also show kindness by helping a classmate with a subject that comes easy to you, but is difficult for them. You can show kindness by helping your parents around the house without being asked. You can show kindness in so many ways!

Step 3: Pray 

Dear God, Help me show kindness to others. It’s not easy to show kindness to people who have hurt me, but I want to follow You and grow to be more like Jesus. Show me what I can do to love people like You love them. Amen.

Step 4: Talk about it!
Kids ask your parents: 

Was there ever a time you showed kindness to an enemy? What did you do?

Parents ask your kids:
Is there someone you struggle to be kind to? How can you show kindness to that person today or tomorrow?

Extra questions: 

  1. Why did Joseph’s brothers hate him? (His father favored him.)
  2. What was God’s plan for Joseph’s life? (To take care of the Israelite people in Egypt.)
  3. Why did Joseph’s family move to Egypt? (Because of the famine, and Joseph provided for them.)
  4. How did Joseph show kindness to his brothers? (He forgave them and gave them food and a place to live.)

Dreams Come True Bible App for Kids

Step 5: Practice it!

Choose one or more of the following activities to help your child/ren put the concepts they just learned into action. Download a free printable with these activities here.

  1. Draw a picture of a tree with fruit on it and write “kindness” on the fruit. Post the picture on your wall. Whenever you see the picture, ask God to grow kindness in you.
  2. Show kindness to someone by writing them a note, drawing a picture for them, or taking them cookies. Ask your child to think of something else kind they could do.
  3. Memorize Ephesians 4:32 together as a family.
  4. Make “kindness” award tickets and hand them out to each other when you see someone being kind.

 

Family Devos: OBEDIENCE, Abraham’s example

Use this easy 5-step plan for family devotions or Sabbath this week! Feel free to personalize the content to fit your family—for example, you could rearrange the steps and start with the activity if that works best for you.

Step 1: Read

Genesis 15:1-6; 21:1-7; 22:1-19

Play “Abraham’s Big Test” in the Bible App for Kids

AbrahamsBigTest_Scene5_FINAL

Key Verse:
He replied,
“Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”
Luke 11:28

Step 2: Explain

Obedience: Doing what is asked of me.

When we do what people in charge of us ask us to do, it’s called obedience.

When we obey, God promises to bless us. Jesus said a person who hears God’s Word and obeys it is blessed (Luke 11:28). A blessing is a gift God gives us that brings us joy. Did you realize obedience could bring happiness? Wow!

Abraham was willing to do the hard thing and give up his son. God blessed him with a ram (a male sheep) to offer as a sacrifice instead.

Do you find it hard to obey? When Mom and Dad ask you to do your chores, or finish your homework, think about the fact that you aren’t just obeying them, you’re also obeying God! The Bible says, “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord” (Colossians 3:20).

Even grown-ups have to obey. They must obey the law, police officers, and their bosses at work. We need to learn to obey our whole lives.

Sometimes, God might ask us to obey and do hard things, like obeying a teacher we don’t really like, or being a friend to a kid who is unfriendly. Other times, we will have to choose whether or not we will obey when bad things in life happen. Someone we love may get really sick or even die. A friend might choose to no longer be our friend. In these hard times, we might want to run away from God and do things our way. But God promises that He will bless us for our obedience, even during hard times. The Bible says “in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

Step 3: Pray

When obeying is hard, ask God to help you trust and obey. The same God who provided for Abraham will provide for you too!

Dear God, Help me learn to be obedient just as Abraham was obedient to You.

Sometimes it’s hard for me to obey, but I want to follow You and do what Your Word, the Bible, says. Help me obey my parents and the people in charge of me. Help me trust You when obeying is hard. Amen.

Step 4: Talk About It!

Kids ask your parents:

Was there ever a time where it was hard for you to obey? What did you do?

Parents ask your kids:

What are some things you can do when you find it hard to obey?

Extra Questions:

  1. The Bible tells us we are to obey people who are in authority over us. Who should we obey? Parents, grandparents, teachers, police, the government, pastor, bosses
  2. What had God promised Abraham? A son, and many descendants from that son who would bless the whole world.
  3. What did God ask Abraham to do? Take Isaac to Mount Moriah and kill him as a sacrifice to God
  4. Abraham built an altar, laid wood on it, tied up Isaac, and raised His knife, then what happened? A voice called out telling Abraham not to hurt Isaac.
  5. Who was Abraham’s descendant that blessed the whole world? Jesus

Step 5: Practice It!

Choose one or more of the following activities to help your child/ren put the concepts they just learned into action.

  1. Draw a picture of someone obeying.
  2. Write a note or draw a picture for some people in charge of you to thank them for taking care of you.
  3. Write an acrostic for the word “obedience,” making each letter say something to remind you about why it’s important to obey.

Download a free printable with these activities by filling out the form below.

NEW from OneHope to your family this Christmas!

We’BLOG Christmas 2014 Downloadable-02ve created this simple, doable, Bible-rich Christmas guide to help your family experience Immanuel—God with us—all throughout the holiday season!

Print it out, or view it on your phone or tablet while you’re on the go with your kids. This helpful guide prompts you to purposely reflect on Jesus, the true reason for the season, while you are out and about doing the things you ordinarily do every day. Overlay Scriptural significance to your morning routine, while you’re on the go, even during meals and at bedtime with these fun conversation starters and activities!

BLOG Christmas 2014 Downloadable-01

Full-color version for phone/tablet/printable here!

For grayscale version to save on printing click here.

Five Finger Prayer

Sometimes the idea of prayer can feel overwhelming to young children. So making the abstract idea of having a conversation with God into a simple and concrete expression helps put kids at ease knowing that they CAN talk to God!

A great way to start teaching them to pray is using a five finger prayer, like this one.

Five Finger Prayer-01

Family & Friends

Since the thumb is the closest finger to you, start off by praying for the people who are closest to you—your family and friends, neighbors, team members and classmates to name a few.

Scripture: I Timothy 2:1

Teachers

The next finger is the index finger—the one you use to point things out, like following the words when you are learning to read or pointing out locations on a map. This should remind you to pray for your teachers and anyone else who is helping you learn and grow. Don’t forget to include parents, small group leaders, coaches or instructors, doctors and counselors in this group!

Scripture: Titus 2:7

Leaders

Your middle finger is the tallest, reminding you to pray for leaders and people who have authority. In addition to your pastor, you can pray for people in government and all other leaders to have wisdom to make good decisions for the people they lead.

Scripture: 1 Timothy 2:2

Weak & Troubled

The fourth finger—also known as your “ring finger”—is the weakest finger. It can remind you to pray for the sick, sad and needy in your community and around the world. Anyone who is facing a problem can use your prayers!

Scripture: Galatians 6:2

Yourself

The pinky finger may be the smallest, but it’s no less important than all the other fingers! Once you have prayed for all the other groups of people, be sure to take time to pray for your own needs as well.

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:17

No matter what age your children are, they can practice this prayer wherever they go! Spend additional time with them opening up God’s Word and tying each prayer to a verse in Scripture. This deepens their understanding of the importance of practicing prayer as something God has commanded us to do and helps build their spiritual muscles!

 You can download a printable PDF of the Five Finger Prayer HERE.

How Bible Engagement Affects Youth

In our Spiritual State of the World’s Children research study, we surveyed more than 152,000 13-19-year-olds in 44 countries on five continents. The study evaluates how many teens are engaging in Scripture as well as exploring their faith, beliefs, and behaviors. We discovered that the teenage “norm” has gone global – crossing cultural and religious boundaries. We looked at the everyday life of teens and trends, specifically as they relate to Bible engagement and found that teens who engage in the Bible – more so than any other religious text – reported a stronger connection to their faith and beliefs and more positive behaviors than those who read other religious texts.

ABY Scripture Enagagement-01

 

American Teen Statistics

As part of our Spiritual State of the World’s Children research, we surveyed more than 152,000 teens in 44 countries on five continents. 5,108 13-18-year-olds in the United States answered questions about their life, beliefs and behaviors. Respondents were 43% male and 57% female. The statistics reveal their attitudes concerning relationships, morals, and personal beliefs.

North America Statistics