Think back to Christmas or your last birthday. What was it that you really wanted? Did you get it? Do you even remember what it was? You may still be really excited about what you got this year, but chances are, the further back you go, the harder it is to remember what you got or to still be as excited about it. Whether it’s a new car, the latest tech gadget, or those shoes that make your friends jealous, it will eventually break, get lost or go out of style. Nothing lasts forever so we tend to keep looking for the next “thing” to make us happy. But what if we didn’t? What if we trusted that God, our perfect and loving provider, really did give us everything we needed? Let’s practice being content knowing that God gives us what we need, and knowing that our ultimate, unfading treasure is in heaven.
MEMORY VERSE: “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” Philippians 4:12 (NIV)
In Matthew 6, during His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus talked to the people about real, lasting treasure, treasure that can’t be found here on earth, but only in heaven. We can sometimes worry about having nice stuff, like the right clothes or new gadgets. Our hearts often seek after these temporary things, but they will never fully satisfy. Jesus calls us to seek first His kingdom. Know that God gives us everything we need and find real contentment in Him.
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When you’re at the dinner table, read Matthew 6:19-34 and discuss as a family! Where should we store up treasures and what do you think that means? (God considers treasure to be how we steward our lives, gifts, and resources to love and serve others, not the stuff we collect.) Do you believe that God will supply you with all that you need? Is there a difference between need and want? What are some things lying around, or stuck in storage closets, that your family could give away that would be helpful to someone else and remind you that “stuff” isn’t where life is found?
While in the car with your family this week, challenge your kids to remember everything they got for Christmas or their birthday this year. Can they remember what they got last year? Are they still as excited about those presents now as they were then? Why not? What’s on their wish list now? Discuss with your kids what eventually happens to all of the stuff they try to collect. Talk to them about the difference between storing up treasures on earth versus storing up treasures in heaven. Remind them that true treasure is from God and can never fade, break, or be stolen.
As your family is getting ready for bed, read them Matthew 6:25-34. Remind them that God loves them so much more than birds and flowers. Just as He gives the birds food and makes the flowers beautiful, He will give your family what you need for whatever tomorrow will bring. Your future is secure in God’s hands no matter what. Whether you have a lot or a little, your true treasure is knowing God!
As you are getting your family ready for the day, remind them that God loves them and will give them what they need for the day. Instead of wishing for things they don’t have, challenge them to find ways they can share what they do have with others or to make a list and thank God for all the things He has already given them. Teaching our hearts to be thankful and generous can help us be content with whatever God has given us.
Thank God for providing for your needs because of His love for you. Ask Him to help you seek His kingdom first and have your heart set on His treasures, not those on earth.
Next week we will continue in our last week of CONTENTMENT!