Family Devotion: How Loud Is Your Life?

Loud

If you ever met Andrew, you would never have guessed how loud he could be.  I met him the year I taught a 5th grade boys’ Sunday School class. In case you don’t know any 5th grade boys, let me assure you, they have no problem being loud.  It turned out, though, by the end of the year, Andrew was the loudest one of all.

But like I said, you would have never guessed it by meeting him.  Andrew wasn’t shy, but he was definitely soft-spoken, polite and never acted up in class.  One day, at the end of the school year, however, his mom took me aside and told me just how loud Andrew could be.  

She told me how his teacher asked him to stay after class one day because she wanted to talk to him.  If you’ve ever had a teacher want to talk to you after class, you know that rarely goes well, but Andrew’s case was an exception.

The teacher said, “I’ve been watching you all year, and you are different than every boy in this class.  When the other boys make fun of someone, you stand up for them. When others complain about homework, you don’t join in.  When I ask for someone to help, you’re the first person to volunteer. You’re kind and loving to everyone in class. I just have to know, why are you so different?”

Andrew shared with teacher that he loved Jesus and just tried to be like him and treat people the way Jesus would.  His teacher wasn’t friends with Jesus, but she asked Andrew where he went to church and said she’d like to visit sometime.  

That was twenty years ago.  I don’t know whatever happened to that teacher or to Andrew, but I bet he kept on being loud.   See, Andrew knew how to be loud even when he was being quiet. His life and actions told people about Jesus without even saying a word.  

The Bible talks a lot about living like Andrew.  Jesus’ friend Peter once wrote, “People who do not believe are living all around you. They might say that you are doing wrong. So live good lives. Then they will see the good things you do, and they will give glory to God on the day when Christ comes again” (1 Peter 2:12 ICB).

In a world full of selfishness, a person who lives a quiet life serving Jesus and others can really stand out from the crowd.  Think about your own life. If you had a been a 5th grader in Andrew’s class, what would his teacher have said about you?  What would your life tell her about God?   

This week, think about how you can be loud with your life without even saying a word.  Then, if you do get a chance to tell someone about the hope you have in Jesus, your life will prove that your words are true.

 

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Family Valentine’s Day Devotion – He Did It First!

1John419Verse to Remember:  We love because he loved us first. – 1 John 4:19 (NIrV)

Terrific Truth:  We can share Jesus’ love by putting others first.

If you have a brother or sister, you know how important the word first can be.  After all, siblings can be really competitive.  Maybe you’ve heard some of these phrases around your house:

  • I want to go first.
  • I get first pick.
  • Let me have the first piece.
  • No fair!  Why is she always first?

Or how about this one?  Have you ever blamed something you did on your brother or sister because they did it to you first?  Whether it was saying unkind words, making mean faces or hitting each other, kids having been using that excuse for years.

It goes like this.  One kid yells, “Mom, she pushed me!”

Immediately the other replies, “Well, she pushed me first!”

Like that makes it okay!  We all know it doesn’t, but sometimes we use that excuse anyway to try to get ourselves out of trouble.

Okay, so those are some bad ways we use the word first, but what would you say if I told you you could actually use the word first in a good way?  In fact, the Bible tells us that the phrase, “He did it first!” can be an excuse to do all kinds of good things.

1 John 4:19 says, “We love because he loved us first” (NIrV).  Jesus’ friend John wrote this about Jesus.  He’s saying that Jesus’ love should be our example for how we treat others.

Remember, Jesus loves people who no else loves.  Jesus loves people who were mean to him.  Jesus loves people who’ve done wrong things.  Jesus loves everyone all the time no matter what.

Here’s the crazy part.  Jesus’ love gives us the power to love others in the same way.

One simple way to love others is by putting them first.  Let your brother have the first piece of cake.  Let your sister pick the first toy.  Let someone else go first in the board game.

They may look at you like you’re crazy, and may be confused why you are being so kind and loving.  If they are, just point to the Bible and explain, “He did it first!”

Put It Into Action:  Take a whole week letting others go first and see what happens.

Prayer:  Jesus, thank you for loving me every day no matter what.  Please help me to love other people in the same way.  Amen.

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bestsurprise

Best Surprise Ever – Family Easter Devotional

bestsurpriseWe all love fun surprises, don’t we?  About 2,000 years ago, God gave us the biggest and best surprise of all time.  Jesus is alive!

Help your family get ready to celebrate the resurrection with these seven devotions leading up to Easter Sunday.

Sign up to receive this seven-week e-mail series and other free family devotions here.  You will receive Best Surprise Ever delivered straight to your inbox each week starting Wednesday, February 14th and continuing through Easter.

Here’s what you can expect:

  1. Surprising Plan: John 3:16
  2. Surprising Courage: The Garden of Gethsamane
  3. Surprising Power: Soldiers Fall At Jesus’ Feet
  4. Surprising Patience: Peter Denies Jesus
  5. Surprising Kingdom: Jesus Before Pilate
  6. Surprising Love: Jesus Dies on the Cross
  7. Surprising Life: The Tomb Is Empty!