October Family Devotion
Pumpkin patches, grape vines, and apple orchards are all ready for harvest, and October’s family devotions examine a few of the agricultural metaphors Jesus used to explore some of what a life of faith entails.
Read John 15:1-8
Parents note: God is the gardener and source of our spiritual growth (and the fruitfulness of our ministries), not our own striving or personal goodness. We remain in Jesus-the-Vine in order to bear the kind of fruit in our lives that reveals who God is.
Jesus said that he is the vine. What do you think it means to remain in Jesus?
Why do you think Jesus says that bearing fruit is what shows people that we’re his disciples?
Who is able to cause the fruit to grow? Is this something we can do on our own?
What kind of fruit should our lives bear as followers of Jesus? Read about the “fruits of the Spirit” in Galatians 5:22-26.
Read John 15:9-17
Parents note: Jesus loves his disciples--including us--like a father and a friend, and these verses foreshadow that Jesus’ love will ultimately lead him to the cross. He loves to the point of laying down his own life. Christ’s love is generous, unselfish, and sacrificial, and he invites us to love each other in that same manner.
Jesus says that servants don’t know their master’s business, and that his disciples are not his servants but friends. What is Jesus’ business? How do we know?
Apples rot, but Jesus speaks of “fruit that will last.” What do you think he means?
It’s unlikely that we’ll find ourselves called to lay down our lives for the sake of love, but what other things might we have to sacrifice in order to love others like Jesus?
What are some of the ways we love each other well as a family?
Brainstorm something you can do as a family to love your neighbors this week.
Further reading: Luke 6:43-45
Read Matthew 6:25-34
Parents note: Worry squelches faith, keeps our eyes and hearts focused inward, and robs us of contentment, peace, and joy. Jesus teaches listeners to seek first the Kingdom, trusting God to provide.
How does God care for the birds and the lilies? Can you think of a time when God provided for you like that, apart from anything you did?
In this passage, what connection does Jesus make between worry and faith?
What do you think it looks like to seek first Jesus’ kingdom and righteousness?
What are some of the things that worry you? Spend time as a family in prayer, offering your concerns to God.
Read Matthew 20:1-16
Parent’s note: This story affirms work, faithfulness, and the gracious character of God. Sometimes we think of work as a bother, but we are created to serve God and God’s Kingdom. The lucky ones aren’t those “hired” last: more time with God in the fields is a blessing not to be wished away or missed out on. Let’s make the most of our time and our call.
Why are the first-hired workers upset? Were they underpaid for their work?
What does this story reveal about God’s character?
Do you ever find yourself envious because God is generous? What do you think is the antidote to this sort of grumbling?
If Christians are the workers, what is the job God calls us to do? How does verse 16 (“the last will be first, and the first will be last”) factor into the story and what it means to be a follower of Jesus?