Cowabunga!

Cowabungalogo.pngWe’re kicking off a new family devotional series for the spring break season called Cowabunga.  Cowabunga is a word associated with old surfer movies (or the Ninja Turtles for all of us 80’s kids), and it’s really just a fun expression of enthusiasm for riding a wave or jumping into an adventure.

In this series, we’re going to help kids take a look at what means to follow Jesus and jump into an adventure with him. Just in time for spring break, we’ll explore several beach-themed stories about Jesus and his friend Pete, who went surfing with Jesus without even using a board!

So whether you’re going to the beach soon or just like to think about it, stick around for the Cowabunga series to help kids discover how to catch the wave of God’s love and follow Jesus wherever he goes.

You can check out Cowabunga Part One here or listen to it on the Family Jetpack podcast.

 

 

 

 

 

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)”

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”

God Can Do Anything

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

Verse: Jesus replied, “Things that are impossible with people are possible with God.” – Luke 18:27 (NIrV)

Big Idea: God can do anything, and I can ask him for help.

You can do a lot of cool things, can’t you? Maybe you’re a really fast runner or you’re awesome at video games or maybe you’re an artist or a math ninja. Or maybe you’re good at making people laugh or just helping people whenever you see a need.

I’m sure there are tons of things you’re great at. That’s how God made you, but no matter how talented you are there are some things we just can’t do on our own.

Have you ever tried to lift something that was too heavy to move? Or tried to get something down that was too high to reach? Or solve a problem that was too tricky to figure out?

At times like this we all need help. Sometimes we need someone stronger than us, bigger than us or smarter than us to lend us a hand and help us to do things that are too hard to do alone.

For example, there was a couple in the Bible who needed some help too. Their names were Abraham and Sarah.  They didn’t have any children and wanted to have a baby more than anything else in the whole world.  Unfortunately, they were way too old. There was no way they could ever have a child on their own.

But one day, God appeared to Abraham and told him they were going to have a baby. In fact, God said he would return in a year, and when he did, Sarah would have a son. When Sarah heard this, she laughed out loud. This sounded absolutely crazy. She knew there was no way an old lady could have a baby. It was impossible.

Here’s what the Bible says happened next, “Then the Lord said to Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh? Why did she say, “Can an old woman like me have a baby?”’ Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (Genesis 18:13-14a NLT)

The answer, of course, is no. Nothing is too hard for God.

God did what he said he would do. It didn’t matter that Abraham and Sarah were too old. God created Abraham and Sarah, so they could do anything God wanted them to do.

A year later Sarah had a son, and they named him Isaac, and Isaac’s family eventually became the nation of Israel. Out of Israel would come the most special baby of all, Jesus.

Jesus once told his followers, “Things that are impossible with people are possible with God” Luke 18:27 (NIrV). That’s good news for us.

Think About It

When we need help, we have a God who can do ANYTHING, and he’s always just a prayer away. So the next time you need help, ask God. He’s bigger, stronger and smarter than any of us, and he loves to help his kids.

Remember, though, just because God can do anything, doesn’t mean he will do anything. He’s not a genie who grants three wishes. He’s not our butler who obeys our commands. He’s a wise King and a good Dad. He gives us what we need, when we need it, and we can always trust Him to do what’s best for us because he loves us so much.

Pray About It

God, you are all-powerful. You can do anything. I am blown away by how amazing you are. Thank you for helping me to do things I could never do on my own. Amen.

Talk About It

  1. What are some things that are impossible for people to do, but possible for God?
  2. What would you do if you were all-powerful like God?
  3. What’s one impossible thing you need God’s help with today?

For Grown-Ups

Do you believe that God really can do anything? Or is there something in your life that you think is beyond God’s ability to change? Maybe it’s a broken relationship or a situation that seems hopeless or something you would like to change about yourself. Don’t give up praying. Invite the God of the impossible to do something amazing today.

Don’t miss a devotion. Sign up to receive Family Jetpack devotions sent straight to your inbox.

 

Great Big God

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Today we are kicking off a brand-new devotional series for January called Ginormous God.  In the next few weeks we will take a look at what the Bible says about how big God truly is. 

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

Big Idea:  God is big and wants to be your friend.

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

What’s the biggest object you can imagine? A tall building? A roller coaster? A planet?  

Scientists tell us there are objects out in space that are way bigger than any of those things, things like stars and black holes and galaxies. But there is one thing that is so big it blows all of these others away.

God. God is ginormous! He made the universe, including the biggest objects in space, and that means he is bigger than all of them.  

But just how big is God? That’s tough to say, because we can’t measure God. We can’t use a ruler or a yardstick of even a tape measure to discover his height.

Why? First of all, God is a spirit. That means he doesn’t have a body. But even if he did, we couldn’t measure him because there’s no end to God. He just keeps going on and on and on. In that way, he’s very different from us.   Continue reading “Great Big God”