St. Patrick’s Day Family Devotion

St Patrick

Verse to Remember:

Be kind and tender to one another. Forgive one another, just as God forgave you because of what Christ has done. – Ephesians 4:32 (NIrV)

Talk About This:

What are some things you think of when you think about St Patrick’s Day?  Shamrocks?  Leprechauns?  The color green?

Actually the holiday celebrates the life of a guy named Patrick who loved God a lot.  When Patrick was only a boy, some people did something really mean to him.

  Has anyone ever been mean to you?  Like really, really mean?

Maybe they made fun of you or called you an ugly name.  Or maybe they even hit you or broke one of your toys on purpose.

How do feel when people treat you like that?  Does it make you want to hang out with them?  Does it make you want to do nice things for them?  Probably not.  It probably hurts your feelings and makes you angry.  That’s totally normal.

What’s not so normal is what Patrick did.  See, Patrick lived in a place called England, and some guys from nearby Ireland took him prisoner and made him a slave.  For six whole years.

Then Patrick escaped and returned home, but somewhere along the way he became friends with Jesus.  So you know what he did?  He went back to Ireland to love all the people there and tell them they could become a friend of a Jesus too.

Can you believe that?  Patrick not only forgave the people who had been mean to him.  He tried to help them too.  Why would he do that?  Because Patrick knew that Jesus forgives us, and He wants us to forgives others in the same way.

That doesn’t mean we have to let people keep hurting us, but it does mean:

  • We pray for them.
  • We show them kindness
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  • We don’t try to hurt them back.

In Ephesians 4:32 it says, “Be kind and tender to one another. Forgive one another, just as God forgave you because of what Christ has done.”

Sometimes we don’t want to forgive people, but that’s why we need to pray and ask Jesus to help us do it.  Remember, all things are possible with God.  It may take time.  It may be tough, but Jesus will help us to let go of our hurt and anger if we ask Him to.

Because Patrick chose to forgive, a whole country got to hear about God’s love.  When you forgive, God can do big things through you too.

  • Who has hurt you that you need to forgive?
  • 
Who can you show God’s love to today?

Prayer:

God, thank You for forgiving me for the wrong things I’ve done.  Please help me to forgive others who hurt me too.  Send me to share your love with someone this week. Amen!



For Extra Fun:

Take a few minutes to make this St. Patrick’s Day craft and hang it somewhere as a reminder to love and forgive others today.

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Bringing the Bible to Life for Your Kids

Storytelling

Have you ever seen a great storyteller in action?  They use their voice, face and body to really bring a story to life for their audience and captivate them with the power of a great story.

As parents who love Jesus, we have the greatest story of all to tell.  It’s God’s story and what makes it so great is that it’s 100% true and still going on today, and, best of all, we are invited to be a part of it.

Now that’s a story worth telling and worth telling well.

If you’ve ever wanted to do a better job of bringing the Bible to life for kids, you’ve come to the right place.  Spoiler alert: telling compelling Bible stories to your kids is easier than you might think!

Here are three quick tips that will help you become an amazing Bible storyteller for your children.

  1.  Ask God to bring the Bible to life in you!  Pray that God would restore your wonder and awe and blow your mind with His big story.  Remember, this stuff really happened.  Moses really did part the Red Sea.  David really did take out a giant with one smooth stone, and Jesus really did walk out of a tomb on Easter morning.   The more we ask God to help us to see his word with fresh eyes, the easier it will be to share that wonder with our kids.
  2. Find a great storybook Bible, like the Jesus Storybook Bible, that’s easy to read aloud with your kids and sets you up to win.  There are a ton of good ones out there.  Check some samples out on Amazon and see what’s a good fit for your family.
  3. Vary your voice to make the story more interesting.  Speed up and get louder during the exciting parts.  Slow down and whisper during the dramatic parts.  Stop and pause when it’s really tense.  Then jump back in for a big finish.  Do voices for different characters and your kids will love it!

The truth is you are probably much better of a storyteller than you even know.  There’s something magical about kids that brings out the storyteller in each of us.  Even those of us who are quiet in public are much more likely to come to life when it’s story time at home.

So what are waiting for? Get into God’s story and watch your kids get swept up in the story along with you and in the process get to know the God who wrote it so that they could know Him better.

 

 

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

You can also listen to this devotion on the Family Jetpack Podcast.

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This is Part Three of a three-part series.  You can catch up with Part One and Part Two here.

Verse: Each of you has received a gift in order to serve others. You should use it faithfully. – 1 Peter 4:10b (NIrV)

Big Idea: God wants me to use my gifts to serve others.

What if you received a present for your birthday but had no idea how to use it? What if you didn’t even know what it was or what it was for? How would you react? Would you ask questions or just pretend like you knew what you were doing? If you didn’t ask any questions, you might end up taking this doohickey or whatchamacallit and using it in all kinds of wrong ways.  

Let’s pretend for a second you had never seen a skateboard in your life, but your aunt got you one for your birthday. What if you opened it up and thought it was a car for your cat? Pretty silly, right? That would cause all kinds of confusion. Not only would your cat probably be a little upset over you pushing it around on a skateboard, you would be missing out on the fun of riding it yourself.  

I know that’s a ridiculous situation, but it’s a lot like what happens when we use the gifts God gives us in wrong ways. God has given every single person talents and skills, some things we’re naturally good at and other things we learn to do as we grow.  He also gives us something called spiritual gifts. Those are the special abilities God gives us when we become friends with Jesus. Continue reading “The Gift That Keeps On Giving”

Easter Devotion Book

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We all love fun surprises, don’t we? About 2,000 years ago, God gave us the biggest and best surprise of all time. After three days in the tomb, Jesus was alive again!

This Easter, help your family rediscover the wonder of the resurrection story through the Best Surprise Ever devotional book.  In this seven-part series, your kids will get a close-up look at Jesus’ surprising power and grace.

When you sign up for the Family Jetpack email list, you will receive the Best Surprise Ever ebook delivered straight to your inbox.

Sign up for your Best Surprise Ever Easter ebook and get ready bring the Easter story to life for your kids.

Worth the Wait

You can also listen to this devotion on the Family Jetpack Podcast.

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This is Part Two of a three-part series.  You can catch up with Part One here

Verse: Wait for the Lord. Be strong and don’t lose hope. Wait for the Lord. – Psalm 27:14 (NIrV)

Big Idea: God’s plans take time.  

Have you ever had to wait on something good? Whether you’re waiting for cookies to bake in the oven or waiting for a special day like Christmas, waiting is never easy. But the best things in life often take time.  

The same thing is true for God’s plans. Remember Joseph? He was only seventeen years-old when God told him he had big plans for his life, but none of those dreams would come true for another thirteen years. Thirteen years! That’s a long wait.  

Imagine waiting thirteen years for cookies to bake or thirteen years for your next birthday. Joseph had to wait thirteen years before God’s plan became reality.  

In the meantime, Joseph went through some hard times. After his brothers sold him as a slave, the slave traders took him to the land of Egypt, where he didn’t have any friends. Continue reading “Worth the Wait”

God’s Big Plan

You can listen to this devotion on the Family Jetpack PodcastBP1.png

Verse: For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. – Eph 2:10 (NIrV)

Big Idea: God has big plans for your life.

What do you want to be when you grow up? A doctor? A teacher? A mom or dad? Maybe a scientist or writer or a famous basketball player? Or how about an actor or a superhero or President of the United States?  

You may have big plans for your future, but guess what? God has even bigger plans for your life than you do. He wants you to be a part of his mission to save the world. That’s more awesome than any job you could ever have.

Just ask a guy named Joseph. Joseph was one of twelve brothers. Can you imagine that? A house with twelve brothers? That would be one wild house. But in Joseph’s case, it was also a dangerous house.

That’s because Joseph’s brothers hated him.  They were jealous that their dad liked Joseph the best and gave Joseph cool presents like a fancy coat. The more Joseph’s dad played favorites, the worse it got.

Even though things weren’t great at home, though, God loved Joseph and had a big plan for his life. God told Joseph all about it through some crazy dreams. In the dreams he ruled over his brothers and even his mom and dad.   Continue reading “God’s Big Plan”

You First (Valentine’s Day)

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You can read the devotion below or listen to the audio in iTunes.  

Verse: We love because he loved us first. – 1 John 4:19 (NIrV)

Big Idea:  We can share Jesus’ love by putting others first.

If you have a brother or sister, you know how important the word first can be.  After all, siblings can be really competitive. Maybe you’ve heard some of these phrases around your house:

  • I want to go first.
  • I get first pick.
  • Let me have the first piece.
  • No fair!  Why is she always first?

Or how about this one?  Have you ever blamed something you did on your brother or sister because they did it to you first?  Whether it was saying unkind words, making mean faces or hitting each other, kids having been using that excuse for years.

It goes like this. One kid yells, “Mom, she pushed me!”  Immediately the other replies, “Well, she pushed me first!”

Like that makes it okay!  We all know it doesn’t, but sometimes we use that excuse anyway to try to get ourselves out of trouble.

Okay, so those are some bad ways we use the word first, but what would you say if I told you you could actually use the word first in a good way?  In fact, the Bible tells us that the phrase, “He did it first!” can be an excuse to do all kinds of good things.

1 John 4:19 says, “We love because he loved us first” (NIrV).  Jesus’ friend John wrote this about Jesus. He’s saying that Jesus’ love should be our example for how we treat others.

Remember, Jesus loves people who no else loves.  Jesus loved people who were mean to him. Jesus loves people who’ve done wrong things.  Jesus loves everyone all the time no matter what.

Here’s the crazy part.  Jesus’ love gives us the power to love others in the same way. Continue reading “You First (Valentine’s Day)”

The Big Game

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Holidays and special events are a fun excuse to get your family talking about faith.  Gather your family together for the following devotion time before the big game.

Verse: Training the body has some value. But being godly has value in every way. It promises help for the life you are now living and the life to come.” – 1 Timothy 4:8 NIrV

Big Idea: Jesus wants to train us to be like him.

It’s almost time for the biggest football game of the year. Two teams. 60 minutes of game time. Millions of fans watching around the world. Everything comes down to this one big day to see who will become the ultimate champions.

What do you think it would feel like to play in such a big game? Would you be excited? Scared? Nervous?

What would you do to get ready? Would you work out and practice with your team or just sit around and eat donuts and watch TV?

You’d practice, of course! You’d train, lift weights, run drills, eat the right foods, watch game videos and, basically, do whatever your coach told you to do.

If you were playing in the biggest game of your life, you’d do everything you possibly could to train yourself to win.

The Bible says that following Jesus is a little like that. Every day of our lives is a big deal, bigger than any game. Every day we’re either choosing to live life God’s way or just live for ourselves. When we live life God’s way, people around us see Jesus in us and have the chance to become friends with God too.

Continue reading “The Big Game”

God Is Everywhere

GG4You can read the devotion below or listen to the audio in iTunes.  Here’s Part One, Part Two and Part Three if you need to catch up.

Verse: “Am I only a God who is nearby?”  announces the Lord. “Am I not a God who is also far away?” – Jeremiah 23:23 (NIrV)

Big Idea: God is everywhere, and I can always turn to him for help.

Have you ever played hide-and-go-seek? How good are you at hiding? Do you have special hiding places where no one can find you or do you get caught right off the bat?

Even if you have the hiding skills of a ninja, there’s someone you can never hide from. That’s God. Why? Because God is everywhere all the time.

If you try to hide from God under your bed, guess what, he’s already there. If you sneak into your backyard and crawl beneath the bushes, God is already there too. Even if you hop on an airplane and fly to the other side of the planet, take a jeep into the deepest, darkest jungle, and then climb down into a cave until you are miles underground, you would discover that God is already there too.  

In fact, if you blast off in a rocket and zoom through a wormhole to the other side of universe, guess who would be waiting for you when you arrive? God. He is everywhere, and there is no place we can go where God isn’t present. Continue reading “God Is Everywhere”

God Knows Everything

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You can read the devotion below or listen to the audio in iTunes.  Here’s Part One and Part Two if you need to catch up.

Verse: Great is our Lord. His power is mighty. There is no limit to his understanding. – Psalm 147:5 (NIrV)

Big Idea:  God knows everything, and he always understand me.  

Who’s the smartest person you know? Your best friend? One of your parents? Your teacher?  Or maybe it’s you. Some people seem to know everything. They can name all the U.S. Presidents and the capital of every country in the world and even tell you who won the very first World Series in 1903.

Other people know a lot about science or medicine or cooking or how to build incredible sculptures out of LEGO bricks.

God has filled the world with smart people, but even the smartest people on earth don’t know everything. The only one who knows everything is God.  

Psalm 147:5 says, “Great is our Lord. His power is mighty. There is no limit to his understanding” (NIrV).  No limit!

God created the universe so he knows everything about how it works. He’s a scientific genius.  He designed your body and mind so he’s the ultimate medical expert. God’s seen everything that’s ever happened so he knows every detail of the history of the world.   Continue reading “God Knows Everything”