Let’s be honest. We don’t always have the best attitude when it comes to doing the right thing. We like to be safe and comfortable and don’t like when things inconvenience us or disrupt our plans. But what might happen if we chose to step outside our bubble, release the safety net and really follow God’s Spirit, letting Him guide our heart and actions? God does not have to use us in His plan, but He wants to and longs for us to trust Him and follow wherever He leads. Could it be scary and dangerous? Maybe. But is it worth it to trust the one who holds the world in His hand? Absolutely.
SELF-CONTROL: Giving up my way and choosing God's way.
MEMORY VERSE: “A person without self-control is like a city with broken down walls.” PROVERBS 25:28 (NLT)
This Week’s Finish Line: We Choose To Honor God With Our Bodies
Esther is the only book in the Bible that doesn’t specifically talk about God, but that doesn’t mean He was not working behind the scenes. His people, the Israelites, were living in exile in Persia. One of the king’s advisors, Haman, convinced the king that all the Jews were bad people and should be destroyed. But what about God’s promises to Abraham and David about descendants and a Messiah? God chose one ordinary Jewish girl, Esther, to be queen of Persia and gave her the opportunity to save her people from death. Despite the danger to herself, she chose to follow God’s way and speak up for the Jews, honoring God with her attitude and letting His Spirit guide her actions. The Israelites were saved and God kept His promises. Despite how scary and hopeless the circumstances may have seemed, God’s plan never changed because He is bigger and stronger than anything that might try to interfere.
- Look at Esther 4:5-17. How did Mordecai respond to Esther’s fear and doubt? Did God need Esther? (See verse 14) Why not?
- Look at Esther 7:1-6. What could Esther have asked for? How do you see Esther choose God’s way instead of her own way?
- Do you think God’s promises were ever really in danger? Was He going to win no matter what? Why do you think that?
- Even if we don’t have perfect self-control, can God still use us? What is one way you can show self-control with your attitude and actions this week?
* Check out our vision for parents and how to use these activities each week.
Teacher: Meal Time
At dinner this week, ask your family if they think attitude is important. Ask them to tell you why they do or don’t think so, then teach them how living with a good attitude is honoring to God and life-giving for us. Alternatively, if we do exactly the same thing but with a bad attitude it will NOT honor God nor bring us life. For an example of this read 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 together, “Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small return. But the one who plants generously will get a generous return. You must each decide in your heart how much to give, but you don’t want to give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”
Friend: Drive Time
Anytime you’re in the car this week, take time to list off all the people, places, and things for which you’re grateful. You can even make it a game by trying to keep the list going until you get all the way to your destination! Explain how it’s easy to become fearful, discontent, sad, jealous, etc., when we take our eyes off of Jesus and all the ways (no matter how seemingly big or small) God has blessed us. We can fight the good fight by cultivating a grateful heart, which directly impacts our attitude! Be sure to take some time thanking God for who He is and all that He’s given you – especially the gift of His Son!
As you are putting your kids to bed ask them how you could help them choose God’s way over their way with their attitude. Ask them in what moments they find it hardest to honor Him with their attitude. Come up with a plan together to help them in those moments.
As you are getting ready in the morning, remind your family that we need God to be able to have the right attitude in any circumstance we may have during the day. Finish by praying and asking God to remind you throughout the day of what He has done for you and help your attitude and actions reflect that.
Thank God for always keeping His promises even when it seems impossible. Ask Him to help you live more by His Spirit than your own will. Thank Him for how He has uniquely gifted you, where He has placed you and the work He is calling you to do.
We are excited to continue in our first character trait of 2019, self-control!
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