Summer. Isn’t this supposed to be the stress-free season? No school! No routine! Read books! Have a swim party! The problem is, all of these fun-filled activities/vacations/camps get packed into only a few weeks, and before we know it, Summer has become anything but peaceful. Add this to the constant worldly troubles and sorrows we face, and anxious thoughts abound.
PEACE: An untroubled heart that comes from trusting God
MEMORY VERSE: “I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” JOHN 14:27 (NLT)
This Week’s Finish Line: Trusting God Gives Me Peace in any Circumstance
Paul spoke to the elders in Ephesus of his certain difficult experiences to come, while also noting the overwhelming peace he held through it all in Acts 20:17-24. It stands out in this passage how Paul fixed his eyes on Jesus, only wishing to “finish [his] race and complete the task the Lord Jesus had given [him]- to testify the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace” (Acts 20:24). How was Paul able to maintain a peaceful heart? He explains some of this in a letter later: through prayer and thankfulness (Philippians 4:6-13). What would happen if we took that same method into practice in our own lives?
- Ask each family member to list one circumstance in his or her life currently causing anxious thoughts.
- Read Philippians 4:6-9 together. How does the Bible say we can have peace?
- Spend some time in prayer as a family for each item listed from question #1. Are there things you can also list that you are thankful for? Put these lists side by side and practice prayer & thanksgiving every day this week before dinner or at bedtime.
Bring It Home Activities
1. Think Thankful Thoughts!
Most people have heard of a thankful tree around Thanksgiving, but since it’s Summer, use a bright pool noodle and have everyone in the family write down things he or she is thankful for on neon post-it notes to tack onto the noodle. Display it somewhere easy to see, and be sure to have plenty of post-its on hand to add more!
2. Significant Summer
All throughout the summer, we are challenging parents to make the time they have with their kids significant. Take time this summer to intentionally disciple your kids in 4 areas: Grow, Play, Serve and Rest. You can download a free copy of our Significant Summer booklet filled with ideas for you and your family to not waste your summer. Track the fun things your family did on the Significant Summer chart and tell us about it on social media using #sigsummer14.
When we bring our anxious thoughts to God through prayer and thanksgiving, He will give us peace to guard our hearts.
Next week we will start a new unit studying service! We’ll start by looking at Luke 10:30-37 if you want to read ahead!
Has your family done anything significant this summer? Be sure to share it with us, using the hashtag #sigsummer14 on Twitter, Instagram, & Facebook!