Family Devotions: New Life
We hope you had a joyful Easter! It was amazing to see so many people logged on for our Easter gathering online and we’re encouraged at the resiliency of our church during this unique season.
This week, we’re focusing our devotions on the theme of new life and how we can grow to be more like Jesus. Like last week, we’re including a song to listen to with each time that you can find on this Spotify playlist we created. We also included a few other songs that have been really ministering to us in this season. Feel free to use any of these three devotions whenever you can this week to help your children remember they were made in His image!
Day 1: Earthly bodies
Today we remind ourselves that we are not designed for this world as it is, but created for a heavenly world.
Before you read the Bible, take some time to wonder about things that you have seen that become new by leaving behind something old. Perhaps you could talk about animals like hermit crabs that need to find new homes when they grow or caterpillars transforming into butterflies or lobsters that molt. (if you children are curious about this, we encourage you to find some videos of these animals undergoing these changes!).
Read 2 Corinthians 5:1-5 (we recommend using the Easy to Read version) and talk about what the difference is between the earthly body and the heavenly one. This passage talks about it like the difference between a tent and a house. Do you think you might want to live in a tent forever? Probably not. That’s why the Bible says we can get tired of that way of living. Encourage your children to draw the two kinds of living (tent vs. house or earthly vs. heavenly body) in whatever way they want to. Then, talk though why earthly living just doesn’t compare to heavenly living.
For older children, you can ask them if they’ve ever felt tired of the way life is on earth. Help them realize that this is normal and it’s evidence that we were created to live in that heavenly house, not the temporary tent of this world as we know it.
One day, we will go to our heavenly home. Until then, we live to become more like Jesus and bring parts of Heaven to Earth as we love Him and our neighbors.
You can end by reading verse 7 in the NIV: “For we live by faith and not by sight.” Play Graves into Gardens and pray for change in our lives and in the world that can make it feel more like a home and not a tent here.
Day 2: Putting on the new
This day we are exploring at what it could mean to “dress” like children of God.
Did you ever notice how what you wear can make you look a certain way? Should we try that out now? How about we dress up like we are going to play sports? Ready, go! What about dressing up like it is snowing outside? Ready, go! (*if you don’t have time to do all this, feel free to just show some photos of different people and have children guess who they are or what they are going to do). Wow, you are really good at this! So, you can see that how you look and dress can change what you are ready to do next.
The Bible tells us that in the same way, we are to try and “dress” in clothes that represent the new life we have in Jesus. Ask your children to draw self portraits of what they think it looks like to be clothed in the clothes of God’s Kingdom. While they draw, Read Colossians 3:8-17 (again we recommend the Easy to Read version).
Finish by listening to Who You Say I Am and asking your children to draw the things they want to leave behind as the old life (things like lying, saying mean things, envy or rage), represented by old clothes on the ground in their self-portraits. Remind your children that these are the exact kinds of things that Jesus came to set us free from because they are not part of who we are supposed to be!
Pray and give thanks for who God is. And that He will help us all leave those parts of the old life behind and give us new life that is who we are made to be!
Day 3: Good Fruit
Our last devotion this week focuses on the good fruit that will grow in our children’s lives as they cultivate a life led by the Spirit of God.
Start by having your children draw their favorite fruits and maybe even eating some fruit while you do this! Read Galatians 5:16-18 and 22-25 while they eat and draw.
Have you ever felt a time when you had a choice and you could feel the fighting inside you? Tell me more about that if you are willing. The Bible tells us this is what we all experience sometimes. These verses show us that it is the sinful part of us that is fighting again the Spirit and we are to follow the Spirit because that is how we are created to live!
How do you know when it is the Spirit leading you? What does it feel like? What kind of fruit do you think the Spirit is growing in you right now? If you need help remembering, let’s read those fruit of the Spirit again: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Let’s listen to a song and ask the Spirit to show us how He wants to lead us to grow more of those fruit in our lives! Play Good Good Father and let children freely listen to God while drawing or singing along.