STUFF. It's all around us, and we're constantly bombarded by a need for more of it from every angle. The belief that we "never have enough stuff," is prevalent in our culture, and we all believe it! Contentment is fleeting; it's much easier to focus on the stuff we have or wish we had.
MEMORY VERSE: “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 (NLT)
This week, we looked at two stories in the Bible to contrast where they found their hope. One is found in Luke18:18-25, about a Rich Young Ruler. He asked Jesus what he could do to inherit eternal life, and one of the things Jesus said was to give all his possessions to the poor. The Rich Young Ruler was saddened by Jesus's reply, and walked away unwilling to do what Jesus said. In contrast, the story of Zacchaeus Luke 19:1-10 shows a man who also was very rich. Instead of holding tightly to his stuff though, he gave it away joyfully to follow Jesus fully! His response showed that his hope was not in his stuff, but in having a relationship with Jesus!
* Check out our vision for parents and how to use these activities each week.
At dinner this week, discuss with your kids what it means to have your hope in God's promises and not in stuff of the world. We know that God will give us all we need, (Philippians 4:19), but often times that isn't enough for us. We think more stuff will make us happy, and that shows the world that our hope is not in God after all. Brainstorm as a family ways you can be a light to the world by showing your hope is in God and not in stuff!
While driving in the car this week, ask your kids if they can think of any examples today when the world told them they needed more stuff to be happy. Can you see any billboards or signs? Commercials on the radio? Did you have a conversation with someone today that made you think you needed more stuff? Ask your kids if they think that stuff really would make them happy long-term. Why or why not?
During bedtime this week, ask your kids if they think they are rich. Ask yourself too! Then go to globalrichlist.com to see where you land on the global scale of "rich or not." Talk with your kids about how we can appreciate the gifts God has given us while still keeping our hope in him. Even Zacchaeus did not earn his salvation by giving his things away! Ephesians 2:8-9 says we are NOT saved by works. God cares about our hearts! The Rich Young Ruler couldn't give away his things because his hope was fully in those things. Pray together that your hope will be in God's promises.
In the mornings this week, keep working on this month's memory verse (Romans 15:13). Draw some pictures to show what it looks like to "overflow with confident hope!" Think of ways you can show this hope to others this week.
Thank God for all the earthly blessings He has given you. Ask Him to help you put your hope in Him alone and steward your resources wisely so that you can be an example of hope to others.
Next week continue to study HOPE, and look at 1 Kings 18. Even when people disappoint us, God will always keep His promises!
Image via Flickr Creative Commons