When you think of perseverance, who do you picture? A marathon runner? A doctor trying to survive residency? A parent who’s been up all night with a sick child? Whatever comes to mind, it probably involves some sort of struggle that lasts over an extended period of time. People don’t choose to persevere for no reason. There is always some sort of reward at the end. God calls all of us to persevere through different things at different times in our life and those of us who are believers can trust that God has a good plan and that He has an ultimate prize waiting for us in the end.
MEMORY VERSE: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great crowd of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1 (NIV)
Abraham was no one special before God chose him to start a very special family. At the age of 75, God promised him that one day he would have a family that would bless the world and then asked him to follow wherever He led. Soon Abraham was 80 years old, then 85, then 95. Still no children. Had God forgotten? Absolutely not. To show His power, God finally gave Abraham and Sarah the son they had waited for 25 years to hold. But their son was not the ultimate prize, neither was the big family or the land. The ultimate prize for anyone who follows God is not anything here on earth. It is getting to be with Him forever in eternity. Nothing on earth can even come close. With that perspective in mind, we can go the distance by trusting that God has a really good plan for His people.
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Before you leave the dinner table this week, work on this month’s memory verse:
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witness, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” HEBREWS 12:1 (NIV).
Explain that even though the verse is long that it is totally worth it to do the hard work of memorizing God’s Word to renew our minds and fhave on hand even if we don’t have a Bible nearby.
On your way to school this week, ask your kids how they are persevering through the end of the school year. Summer is close, and it’s easy to check out. Ask them how they can go the distance and finish the school year strong. Here are some ideas! Encouraging friends in their classroom, serving their teacher, finishing their homework, praying for others.
As you are putting your family to bed, pray asking God for perseverance for the next day. Lead out in the way you are honest with God in front of your kids in how much you need Him to persevere. Then thank Him for how He gave us the ultimate example of going the distance and staying the course, even when it was tough through the work of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.
Our older elementary kids received a crossword puzzle in their classroom this weekend. You can also find it online here (along with an answer key if you get stuck). At some point this week, have a family game night and then complete the puzzle together! Directions: For each word in the crossword, there is a clue and a verse to look up. Read the clue and look up the verse to find the correct word. Figure out what characteristic of God the verse describes.
Thank God for His promise of eternity with Him. Ask Him to help you trust His plan, especially when you’re tempted to give up during the really hard times.
Next week we will continue our trait for the month of April, PERSEVERANCE!