When we were kids, most of us had some sort of plan for our lives, an idea of what we were going to do, where we were going to live and who we’d live with. Most likely there was a point in your life when you realized that all of your grand plans weren’t going to work out exactly like you hoped. Things changed, problems arose, and people didn’t do what you expected. No matter how well thought out your plan was, it wasn’t perfect and had its share of problems. An awesome thing about our great God is that since the beginning of time He’s had a plan for the world. Believe it or not, God’s plan has never changed. He’s never had a Plan B (or C or D) because He is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-seeing. We can trust His perfect plan because He is (and always will be) holy, just, loving and faithful.
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)
God created the world perfectly, but man’s disobedience brought consequences and sin entered into the world. Early in the history of the world there was so much evil that God made a plan to destroy the world… but not completely. God chose a man named Noah to build an ark. This ark would keep Noah’s family and two of every animal safe while God sent a flood to destroy all the living things on land. This was no easy task. God gave Noah the strength to persevere for years building the ark and then he had to spend months in a boat filled with smelly animals waiting for the rain and the floods to go away. Why could He persevere even through these difficult situations? Noah believed that God’s plan is always perfect, and that God will never forget His promises or His people.
Plan a day ahead to freeze a quarter inside of an ice cube for each member of your family. At dinner one evening, give each person one of the ice cubes with the quarter inside. Explain to them that whoever gets the ice to melt completely off their quarter first wins all the quarters. Tell them that they cannot put it in their mouth or hit it against anything. Teach them some things take perseverance but can be totally worth it in the end.
As you are driving to school, have one of your kids open a Bible and Psalm 18:30 "God’s way is perfect all the Lords promises prove true," to everyone. Remind each other that you can stay the course of God’s way today because God’s plan is perfect. Then pray asking God for strength to persevere before you each hop out of the car.
As you are putting your family to bed read them the story of Noah in your favorite story Bible. (Genesis 6-9) Tell them about occasions when it’s been difficult for you to persevere and why. Ask each person when it is the hardest for them to persevere. Ask the question of "why it is hard sometimes?" Then talk about how it must have been hard for Noah to persevere, but he chose to, because he knew that God’s plan was perfect.
Spend some time making cookies with your family this week. Show your kids the recipe and read the instructions carefully. Work with them to follow the recipe exactly. As the cookies are baking in the oven, ask them if there were any ingredients you could have taken out or steps you could have skipped. Teach them how each ingredient and each step matters in how the cookies turn out. Connect this lesson with God’s plan for us and how perfect His plan is even when it seems like it is taking a long time. Then enjoy the cookies together!
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!