September's Family Devotion
Read Genesis 12:1-5
Parents: Abram (not yet renamed Abraham) is a very wealthy man. He has been very successful in business and has many possessions. In order to obey God he will be leaving a thriving city and moving to the equivalent of the sticks. He would have to pack all of his household, including his servants and livestock, and make an arduous journey camping along the way.
1. What did God ask Abram to do?
2. What did God promise Abram?
3. Would it have been easy to obey?
4. Why did Abram obey?
Parents: a great answer for this question is found in the following verse.
Read Hebrews 11:8
This week think about some of the promises God has made to you and your family. Pray that you will have faith like Abram to hear God’s words and believe His promises, obeying even when it’s hard.
Parents: Here are some possible verses to read with your family over the course of the next few days.
1 John 1:9 (forgiveness of sins)
Joshua 1:9 (He is with us wherever we go. Joshua was getting ready to lead the people of God into the promised land, facing many great militaries on the way)
John 11:25 (eternal life)
Read Exodus 3
Parents: You may want to sum up the beginning of this story if your children are unfamiliar: God did indeed make Abram’s offspring into a great number, as many as the stars in the skies (at least their Egyptian captors thought so.) God’s people at this point in history of slaves in Egypt and so numerous that the Pharaoh started to worry they would revolt. He therefore ordered that all the baby boys be killed. Moses’ mother hid her baby instead, eventually hiding him in a basket in the reeds. Pharaoh’s own daughter saves this baby, raising him as her own. And through this one baby, raised in Pharaoh’s own house, God will free his people. Here is where God let’s Moses in on his future.
1. Out of the fury of a burning bush God calls Moses to action. What does he want Moses to do and why?
2. What is life like for the people of God?
3. What does God promise Moses?
Read Hebrews 11:24-26
God knew how difficult life was. He wasn’t surprised by suffering but was moved by it to speak and to act. To inspire Moses during the hard moments to come (asking a Pharaoh to release his favorite slaves wasn’t exactly risk-free) God painted a picture of the prize at the end. Let’s spend the week looking “ahead to our reward.”
John 14:1-4 (We will be with Jesus)
Colossians 3:1-4 (Glory)
Revelation 21:1-7 (The new heavens)
Read Judges 7:1-22
1. What is the Lord’s battle plan? How is this surprising?
2. What does Gideon learn about the strength of the Lord?
3. What would have happened if Gideon had trusting in his own strength or the strength of his army?
Read Hebrews 11:32-34
Over the course of this week take time as a family to read about some of these “deep roots”, whose faith in the promises of the Lord led to their weakness being turned into His strength.
1 Samuel 17–David
Daniel 3–Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego
How were these guys weak? How was God strong? How can knowing these stories of God’s strength in human weakness grow your roots?
Read Hebrews 12:1-3
Parents: The writer of Hebrews makes an allusion to a Roman Coliseum, a huge arena surrounded by a towering stadium. The Romans loved a good show and would cheer wildly for their favorite contestant. The first century readers would have heard the roar of the crowd and felt excitement in the air as he talked about this race.
1. Who is the great cloud of witnesses?
2. What is the race?
3. How do those believers from the past “root” us and they “root” for us?
Consider this week the way in which you are to run this race.
What does it mean to throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles? How can you fix your eyes on Jesus? How can you as a family be a cloud of witness for each other, cheering and encouraging each other so that you will not grow weary and lose heart?
Parents: Some ideas: memorize these verses. Take time to pray with each other each week, if not each day. Read the stories of other faithful saints, either in the Scripture or living today.