What do you think of when you hear the word FEAR? Do you think of being scared or afraid? The memory verse this month tells us to fear the Lord. Does that mean we should be scared of God? No! God is good and He loves us. He wants the best for us, and we can trust Him. Our finish line this week says: “Fear begins by believing God is all-powerful.” Let’s think about that as we consider a campfire. Huh? Stay with us... Are you thinking about the campfire? Good. Now consider how a campfire is good: you can roast marshmallows for S’mores, it keeps you warm, it provides light. However, a campfire is also powerful – it can burn you if you touch it or catch other things on fire if it spreads. When we know that a campfire is good and useful, but also understand that we need to be careful around it, we have the right view of the campfire. That’s when we can best enjoy it! Now, consider who God is and what He’s like: loving, kind, patient, trustworthy, faithful, etc. He is also ALL-POWERFUL. He is the almighty Creator of the universe who will bring justice and defeat His enemies. Sometimes He asks us to do things that might seem scary. When He does, we can remember that He always loves us, is always in control, and will always win in the end. That’s what fearing the Lord is all about.
MEMORY VERSE: “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you? he requires only that you fear the Lord your God, and live in a way that pleases Him, and love Him and serve Him with all your heart and soul.” Deuteronomy 10:12 (NLT)
God’s people, the Israelites, had a problem. Their enemies, the Philistines, had come to fight them, but they had a secret weapon. Their mightiest warrior was a giant named Goliath. Every day Goliath came out to make fun of the Israelites and God because he did not fear the Lord. The Israelites were scared because they had forgotten that God had chosen them as His special people and would fight for them. God called a young man named David to stand up to this giant. Now David could be killed by Goliath and the whole Israelite army could become slaves of the Philistines if he failed. There was nothing special about David except that He knew who God was. David chose to fear the Lord because he knew that God was all-powerful and could destroy anyone who is against Him, and God used David to defeat Goliath. God is holy and just. He hates sin, and, in the end, will defeat all of his enemies, just like He did with Goliath and the Philistines.
* Check out our vision for parents and how to use these activities each week.
As you are sitting at the dinner table with your family, pull out your Bible and read Ecclesiastes 12:13 – “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.” Ask your kids what they think it means to FEAR God. Also ask them why they think the Bible says to fear God. After giving them time to answer, teach and explain to them that fearing God means having such reverence (respect, amazement, awe, devotion) for Him that it greatly impacts the way we live our lives. The fear of God is respecting Him, obeying Him, submitting to His discipline, and worshipping Him in awe. Here is a link to a helpful web page that clearly explains this!
As you are driving to and from activities with your family, work on the memory verse together. One of the greatest things you can do for your children is help them understand the importance and relevance of God’s Word and help plant it in their hearts. “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you? He requires only that you fear the Lord your God, and live in a way that pleases Him, and love Him and serve Him with all your heart and soul.” DEUTERONOMY 10:12 (NLT)
As you are putting your family to bed, read Romans 8:38-39 to them. “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” After reading these verses to them, have a conversation about how we can have full confidence that God is all-powerful, always good, and always loving.
This week's finish line is: Fear begins by understanding God is all-powerful. We want kids to know that God is bigger, stronger, and more powerful than they can imagine and that He loves them more than they can understand. To help illustrate this truth, take time this week to have a scavenger hunt with your kids in your home. Have them look for things that are helpful and good, but powerful and must be handled correctly with care. Examples: Stove top, cleaning chemicals, candles or scissors. After they found a handful of things stop the game and have them explain how the things they have found are good but powerful so they must be used wisely and carefully. Explain how God is all-powerful, but that He’s also VERY good and can be trusted. We, of course, don’t “use” or “handle” God (every illustration breaks down at some point); but understanding He’s holy, perfect, glorious, and all-powerful, therefore in control of His whole creation, helps us have the right view of Him.
Thank God for being good in all circumstances. Thank Him for His justice, grace and authority. Ask Him to reveal more of Himself to you so you have a better view of who He truly is.
Next week we will continue in our new trait, Fear!