What are some adjectives you use to describe God? Words like loving, compassionate, powerful and sovereign are probably somewhere on your list. But how often do you describe God as joyful? God doesn’t just tell us to “be full of joy in the Lord” like our memory verse says this month. He IS joy Himself. The word more commonly used in scripture is “delight.” From Genesis 1, when He created things and called them “good,” to the celebration in heaven at the end of Revelation 21, we see the Lord delighting in His children, those who follow His word and seek after Him with all their hearts. God is joyful and He wants to share that joy with us!
JOY: Delighting in God in All Circumstances
MEMORY VERSE: “Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again – rejoice!" Philippians 4:4 (NLT)
This Week’s Finish Line: Because God is Trustworthy, We Can Have Joy
As a part of His big rescue plan, God chose a very ordinary couple to become the parents of an extraordinary family. Abraham and Sarah had done nothing to deserve it, but God made them some amazing promises. He promised land, a big family, and that their family would bless the whole world. However, Abraham and Sarah saw one big problem. They didn’t have kids and were too old to become parents. Thankfully our God is the God of the impossible and we can trust Him to always keep His promises. When Abraham was 100 and Sarah 90, God finally gave them a son and told them to name him Isaac, which means laughter. God, once again, proved He was trustworthy and Abraham and Sarah got to share in God’s joy. This small family of Abraham and Sarah’s grew and grew. The most amazing thing is that for all of us who trust Christ as our Savior, we are a part of their family too! We are part of the joy that God shares with the whole world.
- Do you think God is joyful? Why or why not? Do you think He is the source of your joy? Why or why not?
- Read Genesis 17:1-8. What amazing promises did God make to Abraham? Do you think God was joyful when He made these promises?
- How did God keep His promises to Abraham and Sarah? What did He tell them to name their promised son when he was born?
- In what ways has God shown that He is trustworthy in your life? How can believing He is trustworthy bring you joy?
Bring it Home Conversations & Activities:
* Check out our vision for parents and how to use these activities each week.
Teacher: What is Joy?
While at dinner this week have everyone in your family answer the question “what is joy?” Pay attention to what they say and ask how they came to that conclusion. Teach them through our definition of joy, which is: Delighting in God in all circumstances. Explain to them that joy is not something that we can produce ourselves, but it is actually a fruit of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. So, really, it is the God-given ability to delight in Him in all of life’s circumstances. Thankfully joy is different than happiness in the fact that joy is not determined by our circumstances!
Friend: Counting Your Blessings
This week we are specifically teaching on how we can have joy because God is trustworthy. While driving, play the game "Count Your Blessings" with your family. The game is simply to see how many “blessings” your family can bring to mind together. Tell your kids that there are double points if they can think of blessings that have come from God being trustworthy and keeping His word. The goal is to come up with 50 or more!
Counselor: The Six-Week Challenge
Join us in the six-week challenge by memorizing a verse a week of Psalm 1! It is highly important to memorize scripture and to write it on our hearts. So we have created this challenge for the whole family! We want parents and children alike to be memorizing the same thing together. This is something you can do while driving, while in your living room or while doing dishes and we hope is a bonding activity. You can make flash cards by going to watermark.org/blog/six-week-challenge and printing them off.
Coach: Memory Verse
As you are getting your family ready for the day practice the memory verse together!
"Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again – rejoice!" Philippians 4:4 (NLT)
Write it on flash cards to send with your kids that day. To make it fun you can also allow your kids to write it on their bathroom mirrors with a glass crayon or dry erase marker!
Thank God for being your true source of joy. Thank Him for all the promises He has made, kept and will keep in the future. Ask Him to help you run to Him for joy instead of trying to find it in the temporary things of this world.
Next week we will continue the month of February with the godly character trait, JOY. We will learn that because Jesus is alive, we can have joy!
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