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The Bible and the Brain

Research shows that reading to children is important for things like brain development, socialization, and literacy—even “soft” skills like empathy. That’s why we encourage reading the Bible to your children until they are old enough to begin to do so on their own.

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Prodigious advances in technology have revolutionized the field of neuroscience, allowing us unprecedented access to information on the brain’s inner workings. The New York Times has declared the next frontier in science as, “inside your brain”![1]

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Knowing how children’s brains process and store information gives us critical insight on how to help them experience and retain spiritual truths and biblical principles that will deepen their relationship with Christ.

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Here’s a snapshot of how the brain receives and stores information:

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The Bible and the Brain | Experience the Story

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Rote memorization helps lodge information in your short-term memory. But if it is not repeated or attached to prior knowledge—such as associating the new information with a catchy song or important memory—it will quickly be flushed from your brain’s short-term storage any time a new and “more important” piece of information is encountered.

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Getting new information into long-term memory takes work. A good strategy is to connect the information to an additional activity:

  • Using a question and answer format
  • Engaging in a discussion
  • Relating topics to real life situations
  • Role playing or actual application

The more ways something is learned, the more memory pathways are built.[2]

When the brain perceives information repeated in multiple ways, there is a priming process that makes encoding of that information more efficient. That is why writing a vocabulary word in a sentence, hearing classmates read their sentences, and then following the direction to use the word in conversation during that day will result in more successful long-term memory storage and retrieval than just memorizing the definition (Koutstaal et al., 1997).

In other words, the more often information is repeated, revisited, and experienced in multiple ways, the more deeply embedded it becomes.

So what does this have to do with us?

Here at OneHope, we are always searching for effective mediums and ways to communicate the truths of God’s Word to children. It’s our job to instill a deep faith in the next generation. We’re not psychologists or neuroscientists, but we do our best to understand how effective learning takes place so we can leverage those principles in our ministry work.

Ultimately, we trust the Holy Spirit to make the profound truth of the Scripture come alive and move children from simply learning basic Christian doctrine to a deeper understanding and heart knowledge for how to live.


[1] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/31/brain-research-2014_n_6334088.html
[2] http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/107006/chapters/Memory,_Learning,_and_Test-Taking_Success.aspx

4 Ways to Get YOU Ready for Back to School

4 Ways to Get YOU Ready for Back to School | Undeterred.netBack to school! A phrase that instantly strikes fear and a simultaneous “AMEN” from all parents—especially moms. I know because we have two boys: one entering first grade and the other starting middle school. This is the first time when classroom preview day means I’ll participate in orientations, visit with teachers, drop off supplies, and hold my emotions together for an ENTIRE day.

The great thing is that I’m also an educator, so I’ve been on both sides of this scenario. Here are a few tips to guide you in preparing for the school year ahead. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a race!

Guard your heart. Pray with your child every morning. It aligns their spirit with the Father’s and models for your young one how to seek first (Matthew 6:33). Also, pray over your child’s teacher(s) and classmates. Share with the teacher that you want to support the class by praying throughout the year. This will make a genuine connection and help guard your heart when your child tells you that her teacher corrected her. The mama bear in you might want to tell that teacher a thing or two, but the sibling in Christ you are to that teacher should prompt you to learn more about the situation. Then you can guide your child in growing through the experience of being disciplined in love.

  1. Pace yourself! Waiting until the week before school will leave you scrambling to find the exact 10-pack washable Crayola markers listed on the supply list. Online shopping is always a great option if you start early. If your child likes being involved in selecting the items, do this together. Or if you prefer to shop without your student, consider packing all the supplies into their backpack and presenting it to them all ready to go! He’ll likely be SO excited about the goodies inside that he won’t even care he didn’t help pick it out.
  1. Look straight ahead. Don’t get distracted. Your child grows and learns in a unique way like no other child. Glean wisdom from how others prepare, but rest assured that you know your child best. If wearing a uniform is a new challenge, practice the routine before the first day of school. Label everything because that new lunch box and water bottle is new to your child, too, and she might not remember which one is hers in the lunchroom rush with all the other firsts of this new world!
  1. Be prepared. There will be things that are outside your control—like the bus being 20 minutes late the first few days. But by having as much organized as possible ahead of time, you will grant yourself the grace and space to deal with the unexpected.

4 Ways to Get YOU Ready for Back to School | Undeterred.net

Back to school prep is a given part of parenthood and requires exercising the fruits of the Spirit, but the reward is great. Children who see you investing in the simplest of things—like which pencils have the cool colored erasers—can begin to understand the care and concern of our Father who is so involved in all the details of life and learning!

4 ways to help you child handle bullying

Business principles to help you become a better parent

5 creative ways to surround kids with Scripture

 

When Parenting Goes Viral

This past Saturday, Japanese parents abandoned their 7-year-old son by a road near a forest, as punishment for throwing rocks at people and cars.[1] There’s anger over the incident– they left him, drove about 500 meters and came back – and when they returned their son was gone. All they wanted to do was discipline him a little.

What would make parents do such a thing?

WHEN PARENTING GOES VIRAL | UNDETERRED.NET | EXPERIENCE THE STORY

The same weekend, parents at the Cincinnati Zoo watched in horror as a 450-pound gorilla grabbed a toddler by the leg and pulled him aggressively through the water of his enclosure. The gorilla became more agitated with the screaming audience watching helplessly from above. According to reports, the little boy had to go under a railing, through 3 feet of grass and shrubs, and over a wall before falling 10-15 feet into the gorilla enclosure.[2] [3]

Where was his mother? How could she let this happen?

Parenting is overwhelming and how we parent is constantly being questioned and tested. Unfortunately, in today’s world, our decisions and the consequences of those can even go viral. In reality, we make a lot of bad decisions.

We might not leave our child alone on a road as punishment, but we have all made poor parenting choices at times. We are far from being perfect. And acknowledging this is the first step to becoming the best parents we can be.

  • We are imperfect and have a sinful nature. Let’s protect our children from it.

 “The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.” Galatians 5:17 (NLT)

Thankfully, we have the Holy Spirit, our Helper, who can guide and instruct us through parenting. Furthermore, our heavenly Father is our greatest example. We need to fill ourselves with Him by engaging with His Word daily. Our sinful nature will diminish as we learn to walk and live according to the Spirit of God.[4] 

  • We need to learn child-rearing through the lens of Scripture.

Research shows that child-rearing cognitions influence parents to either act positively or negatively toward their children. In other words, parents see their children through a filter of thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes which direct how they perceive and respond to their children’s actions.

You are probably not even aware what your filters are. You might feel pressured to perform as a parent due to society, family or cultural perceptions. Triggers can be subtle – stress, onlookers, selfishness, laziness, hidden anger.

In correcting your child, are you quickly losing your patience, because you’re in a public situation and embarrassed? Don’t react to the environment. Respond to what your child needs.

Stop for a moment and go back to the beginning. These are selfish concerns. Sometimes we don’t even know we are allowing other thoughts dictate how we are disciplining our children. Ask God to help you see them clearly. Ask God for wisdom. Our Father knows the art of parenting.

  • Children are vulnerable.

Those Japanese parents probably had good intentions about teaching their son to be courteous and kind to others, but the method they chose couldn’t have been worse. Scaring their son into obeying by abandoning him on the roadside is not a good way to discipline. Beneath the surface of that unruly, rock-throwing, rebellious child is a little boy who will never forget the moment he was left alone. We need to remember that emotional scars are very hard to heal. And as parents we are responsible for the physical, emotional and spiritual well-being of our children.

  • Don’t sin against your children.

This is in the Bible, too. Of course we never intend to hurt our children or damage them in any way. But we need to consider the importance of our words, actions, and even body language in our everyday interactions. Everything we do “says” something.

“Fathers, do not aggravate your children, or they will become discouraged.” Colossians 3:21

Let’s treat our children with respect, as well as with love. We are the role models they will follow, and will emulate when raising their own children.

  • Always discipline your children with love.

No one is questioning the importance of discipline. It’s wisdom and life to our children. Without discipline, a child will suffer as an adult.

  1. “The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.” (Proverbs 29:15)
  2. “Discipline your son, for there is hope; do not set your heart on putting him to death.” (Proverbs 19:18)

May we correct, encourage and love our children as God corrects, encourages and loves us.


Leiza Gomes | OneHope | Undeterred.net

Leiza Gomes has a passion to see children and youth find their true identity and purpose in Christ. Together with her husband, she served in overseas missions with youth in Germany and at-risk youth and children in Brazil. Leiza is both a graduate from the International School of Ministry in Boca Raton, FL and of Florida Atlantic University with a Bachelor’s in Multimedia Journalism. She currently works as a Project Design Manager developing tools to share the Gospel with children and youth around world with OneHope.

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[1] https://www.yahoo.com/news/japan-erupts-anger-over-boy-abandoned-forest-being-064259495.html
[2] http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/nation-now/2016/05/31/jack-hanna-zookeeper-knoxville-cincinnati-zoo-gorilla-killed/85181272/
[3] http://www.cbsnews.com/news/gorilla-death-watchdog-group-wants-cincinnati-zoo-held-responsible/
[4] Galatians 5:24-25
[5] Grusec, PhD, Danyliuk, BA topic ed. Parents’ Impact on Children’s Development – Synthesis. Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development [online]. CEECD, SKC-ECD. December, 2014. URL: http://www.child-encyclopedia.com/parenting-skills/according-experts/parents-attitudes-and-beliefs-their-impact-childrens-development. Accessed [May 31,2016].

 

 

Soccer + Scripture: #Teamwork | Part 3

In soccer, like most sports, there are many ways to approach a game. A wide spectrum of tactics and play styles are available, and coaches like to develop their own philosophy about the game. They are often determined to select a style of play that will both define them and their team. All the time hoping and praying that their particular brand of soccer will bring success. But here’s what is interesting: seldom do you find a style of play that highlights just an individual player. Usually teamwork is the thing that is both emphasized and regarded in high esteem.

There have been several “soccer philosophies” throughout the years. A team from England called Wimbledon had a meteoric rise from non-league soccer to winning the oldest domestic cup competition in the world—the F.A. Cup. Their philosophy was what we call the “long ball.”  Simply thump the ball up field to your attacker and then bust a gut trying to support him. It often caused chaos, but that was often the key to its effectiveness. In the mid-90’s Everton FC had a rather low-skilled squad, but with plenty of heart. Managed by Joe Royle, this team fought for each other, and were affectionately labeled “The Dogs of War”. This ethos of teamwork characterized the entire team and resulted in them claiming the F.A. Cup in 1995. And then we have what is probably the greatest soccer style—when executed correctly—the short quick passing along the ground. Whether that is Brian Clough’s teams of the 70’s that believed the “ball travels faster than the man” or the Johan Cruyff inspired Barcelona of the new millennium with their “Tiki-Taka” one touch soccer. When a team is moving the ball along the ground at pace, it is poetry in motion. Not to mention expending less manpower because you are playing smarter rather than harder.

Soccer + Scripture | Undeterred.net

All these strategies about good game play remind me of what King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 4:9-10:

“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.”

Similar to the previously mentioned soccer tactics, we should endeavor to not work in silos. When we are determined to achieve a result by our own effort, while rejecting the help of others, we place ourselves in a poor position. Like the “Dogs of War,” the power in supporting teammates, friends or colleagues produces unbelievable victories. We can help each other through some difficult circumstances and pick each other up when we fall. It is the same with “Tiki-Taka” play style. You can conserve so much energy, last longer, go further and finish stronger. It is like that old African proverb,

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

Teamwork is of vital importance in our Christian walk. We were not designed to be alone or work alone. We cannot succeed as the lone star of the team—we must work together.

“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12

As you are parenting or mentoring a child to be a great team player, remind them that teamwork requires people to work cooperatively with others towards a shared purpose.

  • Talk about how great it feels to be a part of a team, and how upsetting it is to be excluded. Then encourage your child to look for those who are often left out and make sure they are invited.
  • Being competitive is admirable, but being a great sport and having a positive attitude in any situation is a great way to be a good witness to teammates and onlookers.
  • Practice teaming up by working on a project together at home—it could be artwork that everyone contributes to, planting a garden or coming up with a service project.
  • Play a board game in teams.
  • Organize a friendly game in your yard or park and have a chat beforehand on what it takes to be a good team and how each player can achieve excellent teamwork. Then extoll it when you see it!

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David GoundryRev. David Goundry was born in England before moving to the United States. He uses his abilities to teach, mentor and “prepare those who will go.” He enjoys traveling to many countries with the message of Jesus Christ to the children and youth of the world as well as an “ever-present” on foreign medical missions through International Christian Institute. David and his wife Luiza serve together in the music ministry at their church and have two children, Sarah and Samuel.

Soccer + Scripture #Goalkeeping (Part 2)

Recently, the Juventus and Italian national goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon set a new record when he went 947 minutes without conceding a goal. Anybody familiar with the game of soccer or who has played it knows what a phenomenal achievement this is. It is made even greater by that fact that Gigi (as he is affectionately known) at the age of 38 is no spring chicken. After the game, he penned a love letter to the goal he has guarded for more than a quarter of a century. Here is the letter:

“I was 12 when I turned my back on you, denying my past to guarantee you a safe future. I went with my heart; I went with my instinct. But the day I stopped looking you in the face is also the day that I started to love you. To protect you. To be your first and last line of defense. I promised myself that I would do everything not to see your face again. Or that I would do it as little as possible. It was painful every time I did, turning round and realizing I had disappointed you. Again and again. We have always been opposites yet we are complementary, like the sun and the moon. Forced to live side by side without being able to touch. Team-mates for life, a life in which we are denied all contact. More than 25 years ago I made my vow: I swore to protect you. Look after you. A shield against all your enemies. I’ve always thought about your welfare, putting it first even ahead of my own. I was 12 when I turned my back on my goal. And I will keep doing it as long as my legs, my head and my heart will allow.”[1]

Beautiful, isn’t it? The line that stuck out to me was, “I swore to protect you. Look after you. A shield against all your enemies.” Such an emotional letter written to an inanimate object! If the recipient of the letter were “the heart” instead of “the goal”—it would read very differently!

Soccer + Scripture | Undeterred.net

In the Book of Proverbs we are told, “Above all else, guard your heart, for out of it spring the issues of life.” The school my children attend thought this Scripture so important that they declared it the theme for the entire school year. The headmaster’s desire is for the children to embrace the concept of guarding their hearts against things that come to oppose them.

We would do well to guard our heart like a goalkeeper protects his goal. Nothing causes a goalkeeper more pain and disappointment than picking the ball out of the back of the net. It’s one of the most horrific feelings in soccer. It carries with it a tinge of embarrassment and shame for failing to protect the thing that is most important in the game.

Among a generation that has no regard for what is bombarding and damaging their supple hearts, we must train up our children through prayer and the Word of God to guard their hearts. The enemy will attack them in this crucial spot. 1 Peter 5:8 advises us to, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” As we are training up our children, we must coach them to be like a goalkeeper and guard that which is the most precious to them.

Look up the following verses as a family and choose one to display in a meaningful place in your home and memorize together.

Philippians 4:6-7
Psalm 51:10
Romans 12:2
Psalm 73:26
Luke 6:45

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[1] http://www.foxsports.com/soccer/story/juventus-goalkeeper-gianluigi-buffon-pens-emotional-letter-to-goal-032116

David Goundry

Rev. David Goundry was born in England before moving to the United States. He uses his abilities to teach, mentor and “prepare those who will go.” He enjoys traveling to many countries with the message of Jesus Christ to the children and youth of the world as well as an “ever-present” on foreign medical missions through International Christian Institute. David and his wife Luiza serve together in the music ministry at their church and have two children, Sarah and Samuel.

Soccer + Scripture: #FreeKicks (Part 1)

In soccer everyone loves a great free kick. That moment of anticipation between the player’s foot striking the ball and the net of the opponent’s goal bulging like an old onion bag. Whether it is watching David Beckham bend the ball into the top corner, Cristiano Ronaldo’s gunslinger pose before striking a ball that dips unexpectedly, Zlatan Ibrahimović cracking the ball so hard it is like watching Thor unleash his hammer or Roberto Carlos defying physics with his banana weaving heat seeking missile, we all love a great free kick.

But sometimes, in anticipation of the attacker booting a good ball toward the goal and praying it finds the back of the net, we forget to factor in…THE WALL.

If you watch closely you will often see the goalkeeper screaming at his defenders to make a strong wall; usually waving his fingers in the air to indicate how many players he wants strategically lined up in front of the net. Why? Because this defensive formation is paramount to whether or not the opposing team will be able to score. And nothing drives the strange species of sportsman we call “keepers” to lose their decorum like a ball flying through a gap in the wall and whacking the back of their net.

Undeterred.net | Soccer + Scripture

A gap in your wall is a terrible thing. Proverbs even warns against the dangers of this exact scenario.

Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.—Proverbs 25:28

As parents, we do everything we can from birth to keep our precious child safe. We put up baby gates and install cabinet locks and outlet covers until they can safely navigate and make safe choices on their own. The same vigilance applies to keeping our children spiritually safe. Until they are able to do it themselves, we must build up strong walls of prayer.

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. –Colossians 4:2

So many times in God’s Word we are commanded to be diligent and faithful, constantly in prayer. When we fail to do so, we have gaps in our walls. And it won’t be long before the opposing team finds that gap and exploits it.

We need to make sure that we are standing in the gap in prayer on behalf of our children, teaching them to pray without ceasing so they can fortify their own walls.

It is imperative that we raise the next generation as children who pray so that they will grow into adults who love to pray and recognize the critical importance of prayer. Model and encourage prayer at home and in every situation. Make sure their wall is strong and if there are gaps, stand firm together with them in those gaps. Keep the wall strong so the enemy has no opportunity to break through and score against us.

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David Goundry

Rev. David Goundry was born in England before moving to the United States. He uses his abilities to teach, mentor and “prepare those who will go.” He enjoys traveling to many countries with the message of Jesus Christ to the children and youth of the world as well as an “ever-present” on foreign medical missions through International Christian Institute. David and his wife Luiza serve together in the music ministry at their church and have two children, Sarah and Samuel.

40 Verses to Pray Over Your Kids

Praying Scripture over our kids is incredibly powerful! As we pray for them, we are reminded of how deeply God loves them and wants them to know and trust Him. He is very clear about this in His Word!

The Bible is packed with demonstrations and declarations of God’s love, faithfulness, and power. We know that God honors His Word. It is alive and active Hebrews 4:12, and as we align ourselves with what God has spoken, our prayers are permeated with strength and truth. Our own faith increases as we agree with God’s Word over our children’s lives!

Here is a preview of the 40 verses to pray over your children:

Undeterred.net | Prayer Downloadable

 

 

BUTTON_Undeterred Prayer Downloadable-09

 


 

 

111116977276274.cXIsYg4oxbn2wurCqtcO_height640Danielle Dykert is the Vice President of Product Development at OneHope. Since joining the OneHope team in 2010, she’s had the privilege of designing countless Scripture engagement products for children and youth, including books, films, curriculum, websites, and apps. Danielle has a BA in English Literature from Taylor University and a Master of Nonprofit Management from Florida Atlantic University. She is passionate about excellence in design and engaging children and youth around the world with God’s Word.

29 genius ideas for really USING the Bible verse your child brings home from church

You see it coming every Sunday…the memory verse paper. You have high hopes of being intentional with it, but by Wednesday it somehow always ends up in the recycle bin. And you end up feeling guilty. We’ve created a list of great ways that will have you looking forward to getting that memory verse paper. AND actually USING it!

  1. Make it into a table topper so your entire family can get their “daily bread” while eating their daily bread at breakfast, lunch and dinner!
  2. Tape it to dresser drawers so kids can review while they’re getting dressed.
  3. Record your child reading the verse, then play it on repeat to help them practice learning it while picking up toys.
  4. Clip it to the mirror in the bathroom—kids can read the verse in their head while brushing teeth, styling hair, or washing hands.
  5. Put it in a baggie and hang it in the shower—clean inside and out!
  6. Where do your kids go often? Tape it to the Band-Aid or Goldfish box—God’s Word will beKids-32 there every time they head for a snack or get a boo boo.
  7. Not for the faint of heart—use dry-erase markers to copy the verse onto a window or mirror. If your kids are old enough not to write on the upholstery, this can be done inside your vehicle!
  8. Use chalk paint to make a beautiful board and let the creativity flow to word art the verse. Place it where everyone will see and read it often!
  9. Do some math—divide up the number of words in the verse and segment them according to the number of stairs in your home. Attach each word/phrase to the backdrop of a stair and you’ll be able to practice every time you climb.
  10. Get a binder ring and hole punch each verse. Attach to the ring and keep in your car, purse, bedroom or anywhere you or your kids can easily flip through it.
  11. Write super tiny and put this week/month’s verse into a little girl’s locket or glue to something small a little guy can carry in his pocket. Then it is with them wherever they go!
  12. Put it in a note in your child’s lunchbox.
  13. Use it as a bookmark in a book you’re reading together as a family.
  14. Put it in an envelope and mail it to your child while you are out and about–who doesn’t love getting mail!
  15. Stick it under their pillow and see how long before they realize it’s there! Read it before bedtime every night.
  16. Tape it to the bottom of someone’s plate or chair at the dinner table. Every night move it to another location. Whoever is “it” reads the verse aloud to the family.
  17. Play a game where you hide it in each other’s room. Every time you find it, read it through, and then go hide it in someone else’s room.Kids-31
  18. Glue it into a spiral “I’m not scared” notebook that your child can keep near their bedside or anywhere they experience fear. God’s Word will be at their fingertips where they can easily read through all the affirmations.
  19. Hang it on the fridge. There. I had to say it. I know you were thinking it.
  20. Cut it into a puzzle and try to reassemble. Store each set of pieces in a baggie and grow your collection!
  21. Snap a pic and post to social media with a shout out to your church—they’ll appreciate knowing that you enjoy what they are doing, as well as knowing parents are using their resources at home.
  22. Cut and paste onto a piece of paper or greeting card and write a letter to the person who came to mind when reading this Scripture. Helps you and your child learn to encourage others!
  23. Pair with Christmas cards you receive at the holidays and pray a verse for each family’s Christmas card/photo you receive.
  24. Bury it in the cereal box and see who discovers the hidden “treasure” first.
  25. Tape it to a screen—kids may use that device once they’ve memorized and recited that verse to you.
  26. Build up a stash, then let your kids unleash their creativity to make a wind sock or mobile.
  27. Cut out the words and tape to building blocks. Scramble the blocks, then build them in the order the words should go.
  28. Save them up and when you have a bunch, make them into a paper chain. Use the chain as a countdown to an exciting activity—trip, vacation, birthday, holiday etc.
  29. Hang a string or wire across your mantel with clothespins. Clip each new verse on and decorate your home with meaningful Scriptures.

Download Free Resource

29 Ways to use Scripture-01


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Family Devotions – Forgiveness

Here’s the fifth in our new series of 5-step plans for doing Scripture-rich, interactive devotionals with your family!

Forgiveness

Step 1: Read

 Acts 9:1-19, I Timothy 1:13-15, Philippians 3:12-13

Play “From Enemy to Friend” in the Bible App for Kids

Forgiveness2-01

Key Verse:

“… I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead” Philippians 3:13

Step 2: Explain

Forgiveness: choosing to love someone even if they have wronged you. 

Saul left home to study Jewish Law—the list of 600+ things that were “right” and “wrong”. He loved these laws so much that he went after anyone who didn’t live by them like he did—getting them in trouble, even having them thrown in prison or put to death!

He especially didn’t like people who believed in Jesus, and was on his way to Damascus to search for, arrest, and even kill as many as he could find there.

On the way, God stopped Saul’s attack. He spoke to Saul, told him that he could be forgiven for his past mistakes and start a new life following Christ.

Not only did God forgive Saul, but he even changed Saul’s name to Paul. Paul became a mighty man of God, despite all the bad things that he had done to God’s people before he was saved. If God can forgive Saul’s sins, He can forgive any of us.

Step 3: Pray

 Dear God, thank you for loving me, even when I make poor choices, and for Jesus’ death on the cross so I don’t have to constantly try and make up for my mistakes. Help me to remember that because of Jesus, I am forgiven. Help me to offer that same compassion to others who do wrong to me. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Step 4: Talk about it!

Kids ask your parents:

 Tell about a time when someone showed you/you showed someone forgiveness even though you didn’t think you/they deserved it.

Parents ask your kids:

Have you ever wondered if you could do something so bad that we or God could not forgive you for it?

Extra questions:

  1. Why was Paul on the way to Damascus? (to find and persecute Christians)
  2. Who stopped Paul? (God)
  3. What horrible things had Paul done that God forgave? (persecute and kill Christians)
  4. What was Paul’s new mission from God? (to share the Gospel)
  5. What did Paul say we are supposed to do about our past sins? (Forget the past, look forward to what lies ahead (Phil 3:13b)

 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 printable here.

  1. As you color, think about things you need to ask God to forgive you for, or things you can ask others to forgive you for.
  2. Write down things you have done today that were not wise choices. Pray to God, asking Him to forgive you, then use a dark marker to cover over those words to symbolize that you’ve been forgiven.
  3. Find a dry erase board, some sand, or another creative and erasable place you can write or draw something mean someone else has done to you. Erase it once you have thought, prayed, and chosen to forgive that person.
  4. Forgiveness2-02Look up and write down I John 1:9. Now put it where you go when you are upset. Let it be a reminder to you of the power of forgiveness.

 

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