(The following is a family devotional guide with suggested questions and scriptures.)
T-Talk About It Topic
When you love someone, tell me some things that you (or people in general) will do for that loved one.
Love is a noun—a state of showing deep affection for someone; however, love is also a verb—it’s acting upon that deep affection for someone. When you love someone, you can’t help but show it in your words and actions.
In Deuteronomy 6:5, Moses tells the Israelites (and us today) to love the Lord with all of our heart, soul, and strength. In Mark 12:30, Jesus told the Jews (and us today) the most important commandment is to love the Lord with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. So, God says loving Him is most important.
One of the ways we show our love for Him is by going to church. While not everyone feels this way, we are going to look what God says about the church and reasons why it is good for us!
A-Anchor To The Bible
I am going to give each of you a verse about church. Think about what it says about the good that can come from meeting together with other believers. (If you have smaller kiddos, you can sum up the verse in your own words or mine below).
#1 Exodus 20:8: Going to church honors God. We are commanded to honor God, and we do this by going to church like the early Christians did.
#2 Hebrews 10:25: Going to church is encouraging. Meeting together, sharing our struggles, and hearing encouragement from other believers is a powerful way to stand firm in our faith. Hebrews 3:13 adds to this idea and says that we can help each other stand firm in our faith so that we don’t become hardened against sin.
#3 Matthew 18:20: Going to church is where we can feel God’s presence. We go to church because we can feel God’s presence when two or more are gathered in his name. When we get together out of our love for God, God promises us He is there.
#4 Romans 10:17: Going to church increases our faith. Our faith grows when we hear the Word of God. I love the Message’s translation of this verse: “Before you trust, you have to listen. But unless Christ’s Word is preached, there’s nothing to listen to.”
#5 James 1:22: Going to church encourages us to live out our faith. James urges us to not just listen to what we learn on Sundays, but to live it out. This is where church gets a bad rap, people go and listen, but don’t live it out. Let’s be people who change others’ perspectives by doing what God’s Word says to do!
#6 1 Peter 4:10: Going to church helps us use our spiritual gifts. God has given us spiritual gifts when we ask Jesus into our heart. We can use those spiritual gifts in ministry to others; church is one of those places we can do ministry.
#7 Ephesians 5:19-21: Going to church engages us in worship. Church is where we sing to the Lord, worshipping who He is. Not only that, singing also can fill us with God’s spirit and help us where we are struggling.
As believers, we are meant to be in a community with each other. In the Old Testament, the Israelites lived together, away from Pagan nations. Anytime they mixed with unbelievers, they always strayed from their beliefs. In the New Testament, Jesus hadchurch all the time! Wherever He went and taught the people was church. Church is like a family, God’s family. Just like any family, we are meant to be together. Being together encourages us and helps us live out our faith. Meeting together keeps us accountable in our faith.
But remember, the most important thing about going to church is this: it’s a way of showing our love for God. It’s all about the heart. If we have a crabby heart about going to church, we probably won’t get much from it. If we have an expectant heart about church, we will experience God. That means, if we are looking forward to learning something, we will! If we are looking forward to feeling God’s presence, we will! If we aremad our parents are making us, our heart will miss the blessing that church can bring.
After all, our faith is all about the heart.
L-Learn God’s Word
James, the half-brother of Jesus, lived much of his life not believing his oldest brother was actually God’s son. He doubted, he mocked, and he probably was bitter to Jesus for along time. But when Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, James became a believer. Not only that, he wrote a book of the Bible encouraging believers to practice what they are being taught.
“Do what God’s teaching says; when you only listen and do nothing, you are fooling yourselves.” James 1:22 (NCV)
This verse basically tells us to live out our faith. Don’t just go to church and leave the same person. Go to church and grow in your faith, living out what you learned.
Let’s live out our faith so much, others will look at going to church differently. May our words and actions be the reason why someone will start going to church. That is the heart of James 1:22!
K-Keep Each Other Accountable
This is the most valuable step of any Faith TALK! It’s focused on keeping everyone accountable in this week’s Faith TALK, as well as the memory verse.
Here are a few ideas to keep everyone in check with this week’s TALK:
- Invite someone to church or have your kiddos invite someone to church.
- Have your kiddos take notes during church, writing down important things the pastor says; draw symbols of the things he teaches.
- Ask your kiddos about the lesson they learned in Sunday School and think of ways to build on that lesson.
- Encourage each other to keep going to church; if you have to miss, plan time to talk about faith, whether it’s doing these Faith Talks, talking about a faith topic in the car, or talking about how to live out our faith when eating dinner. Have church at home if your family misses church, so that church is still going on!
- Motivate each other to memorize our focus verse this week.Write the memory verse on a chalkboard and display it by the door.Have them say the verse each morning and initial they did so.