Tag Archives: Abraham

Family Devotions from Sermon for Elementary, Sunday Mar 25: Genesis 15

Bible Text: Genesis 15 click on link to see NIRV text).

Key Point(s) of Passage: Abram was worried that because he did not yet have any children, that his servant would inherit everything. But God promised that not only would Abram have a son, but that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky.

Memory Verse:“Abram believed the Lord. The LORD accepted Abram because he believed. So his faith made him right with the Lord.” (Ge. 15.6)

Questions for Family Discussion:

You do not have to go through all the questions – pick and choose whatever you feel will work best for your particular family.

1. Preparation – Pray a quick prayer together as a family that God will help you to understand His word.

2. Find an easy to read version of the Bible to read together as a family. The NIRV (New International Reader’s Version) is a good choice for elementary kids. Then if your child is able, help them find the passage in their Bible and read it out loud, while helping with hard words. Or read it out loud for your child.

3. Read v. 1. What is the very first thing God said to Abram? Why do you think God said that to him (why might Abram be afraid of God) ?

4. Also in v.1, what do you think God means when He says, “I am like a shield to you” ?  How is God like that for you?

5. Also in v.1, what do you think God means when He says, “I am your very great reward” ? How is God a reward for us, too?

6. Read v. 2-3. What was Abram worried about? (Parents – you might need to explain a little bit about how inheritance works)

7. Read v. 4. But what was God’s reply? How do you think it felt for Abram -already an old man- to hear that he would finally have a son?

8. Read v. 5. Have you ever tried counting all the stars on a clear night? Do you think Abram tried counting all of them?

9. Read v. 12-14. How did God speak to Abram? Has God ever spoken to you in a dream or while you were sleeping? What did God tell Abram? (God told him prophetically [in advance] what would happen to Abram’s descendants when they became slaves in Egypt, and then were miraculously delivered in the Exodus and got to take treasures with them).

Family Activity Idea
1. Find a nice, clear night when many stars are visible. If it is feasible, drive to a more rural location without many city lights. If available, bring a pair of binoculars or a portable telescope. Go outside and lay on your back and gaze up at the stars. See if you can count even a small portion of the stars in the sky without losing count! How many stars were you able to count? On a clear night, you might be able to see as many as 3,000 stars: http://media.caltech.edu/press_releases/11660. You could even help NASA in their Star Count program: http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/son/energy/starcount/index.html. Now what do you think it felt like for God to tell a childless Abram that he would have more descendants than he could count?!

2. Even though Abram might have been able to see 1,000s of stars that night long ago, we now know that there are actually billions of stars in the universe. It says in Ps. 147.4 that “He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name”. God knows the name -not only of the 1,000s of stars we can see- but of each of the billions of stars that He made! And God knows each and every one of Abram’s numerous descendants, and each and every one of His followers. Though if you want, you can actually name a star too with http://www.starregistry.com/index.cfm. However, after you die and get to be with God, you’ll have to compare His original name for the star with yours!

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Filed under Family Devotional/Sermon Questions, Lower Elementary (1st-3rd), Upper Elementary (4th-5th)

Family Devotions from Sermon for Elementary, Sunday Mar 18: Genesis 14

Bible Text: Genesis 14 click on link to see NIRV text).

Key Point(s) of Passage: God blessed Abram and helped him rescue Lot, who had been kidnapped by enemy kings. Then Abram met Melchizedek the priest and king.

Memory Verse: “Give praise to God Most High. He gave your enemies into your hand.” (Ge. 14.20).

Questions for Family Discussion:

You do not have to go through all the questions – pick and choose whatever you feel will work best for your particular family.

1. Preparation – Pray a quick prayer together as a family that God will help you to understand His word.

2. Find an easy to read version of the Bible to read together as a family. The NIRV (New International Reader’s Version) is a good choice for elementary kids. Then if your child is able, help them find the passage in their Bible and read it out loud, while helping with hard words. Or read it out loud for your child.

3. It is easy to get lost in the details of the first part of Ge. 14. If necessary, you can just summarize for your child what happened – there were four kings (and their armies) who got together to fight against five other kings (and their armies). The king of Sodom and the king of Gomorrah were part of the five kings group.  Lot was Abraham’s nephew. Lot lived in Sodom. The group of five lost the battle, and the people of Sodom (including Lot) got captured and taken away. Now read with your children starting in verse 12.

4. Read verse 12. What happened to Lot? What do you think it would be like to be captured and taken away from your home?

5. Read v. 13-14. Why do you think the man that escaped came to see Abram? What did he tell Abram? What did Abram do? How brave would Abram have to be to take only ~300 men and chase down four kings and their big armies?! Why would Abram do that? How is that like what Jesus did for us? (Jesus was just one man fighting against everyone’s sin and death. Yet Jesus conquered death and saved us! And he saved us not just from being captured or physcially killed like Lot, but rather Jesus saved us from a much more permanent spiritual death!)

6. Read v. 14-17. Did Abram win with his small group against four mighty armies? How do you think he was able to do that? (It could be superior military tactics—it doesn’t say exactly how they won, but in one way or another it was certainly God blessing and helping Abram! In v. 20 it says that “He [God] gave your enemies into your hand”).

7. Who came out to meet Abram in v. 18? Can you say his name 7 times fast? What was his job (he was a king, and also a priest of the one true God)? You can read more about Melchizedek in Hebrews , ch. 7. He is a prototype that points forward to Christ – Christ is the King of Kings, and the Priest that perfectly reconciles us to God. That might be a tough concept for kids though.

8. What does it say in v. 20 that Abram gave to Melchizedek? (He gave him 10% of his money/possessions). Why do you think he did that? What are things we can give to support God’s work? (For example, giving money to your local church, or a charity, or a missions organization, or giving possessions away to people in need).

Family Activity Idea
1. Watch a family-friendly movie that is about somebody being rescued that was lost or captured (for example, 101 Dalmatians, or Finding Nemo). Then talk about how Abram did something similar by rescuing Lot. And even more importantly, show how Jesus did something similar -but infinitely more amazing- by dying on the cross to rescue us from sin and death.

2. Be honest as a family about whether or not you are supporting God’s work with your money and possessions, like Abram did with Melchizedek the priest. What can each member do? For example, if your child has a small allowance, teach them early on to give a percentage of that to support God’s work in some way. Or do they have possessions that could be given away? And as parents, WE need to set the example with our own finances and possessions.

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Filed under Family Devotional/Sermon Questions, Lower Elementary (1st-3rd), Upper Elementary (4th-5th)

Family Devotions from Sermon for Elementary, Sunday Mar 11: Genesis 13.1-18

Bible Text: Genesis 13.1-18 (click on link to see NIRV text).

Key Point(s) of Passage: Abram let Lot divide up the land so they wouldn’t fight over it, but God gave all of the land to Abram’s children.

Memory Verse: “I will give you all of the land that you see. I will give it to you and your children after you forever. ” (Ge. 13.15).

Questions for Family Discussion:

You do not have to go through all the questions – pick and choose whatever you feel will work best for your particular family.

1. Preparation – Pray a quick prayer together as a family that God will help you to understand His word.

2. Find an easy to read version of the Bible to read together as a family. The NIRV (New International Reader’s Version) is a good choice for elementary kids. Then if your child is able, help them find the passage in their Bible and read it out loud, while helping with hard words. Or read it out loud for your child.

3. Read v. 6-7 again. What was the problem? What did the people taking care of the herds begin to do? Have you ever fought with somebody when you both wanted the same thing?

4. (from v. 9-10) How did Abram try to fix the problem? Why did he let Lot choose which piece of land he wanted? Which piece of land looked better to Lot? Why?

5. Read v. 12-13 – where did Lot set up his tent? Do you remember what happens to that place later in Genesis? So did Lot end up in a good place or bad?

6. Read v. 15-16. But what did God promise to Abram?

7. Read v. 4, and also v. 18 – what does that say about the kind of man that Abram is? We have been reading a lot in the last couple chapters that Abram built an altar and worshipped the Lord. Why do you think Abram thought those things were so important to keep doing?

Family Activity Idea
When Abram’s and Lot’s people were fighting, Abram saw the division of the land, and let Lot choose. This week, bake or get a delicious piece of cake, or cookie, or pie. Normally when two children are given that situation, one will inevitably say, “but I got the smaller half!”. So have one child cut the cake (or cookie or pie) into two pieces, and then let the other child choose which piece to take. It is a great tactic to use – one divides, the other chooses.

Or, if you’re brave, start by cutting a piece of dessert into two very unequal parts. Then wait to see what the reaction is. Then get a second piece of dessert and try again with the “one divides, one chooses” method. Then talk about how that demonstrates the wisdom that Abram used in solving his own family conflict.

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Family Devotions from Sermon for Elementary, Sunday Mar 4: Genesis 12.5-13.5

Bible Text: Genesis 12.5-13.5 (click on link to see NIRV text).

Key Point(s) of Passage: Abram goes to the land God promised him, but has to flee to Egypt during a famine. While in Egypt, he lies to Pharaoh but God protects Pharaoh’s and Abram’s households from harm.

Memory Verse: “The LORD appeared to Abram at Shechem. He said, “I will give this land to your children after you.” So Abram built an altar there to honor the Lord, who had appeared to him.” (Ge. 12.7).

Questions for Family Discussion:

You do not have to go through all the questions – pick and choose whatever you feel will work best for your particular family.

1. Preparation – Pray a quick prayer together as a family that God will help you to understand His word.

2. Find an easy to read version of the Bible to read together as a family. The NIRV (New International Reader’s Version) is a good choice for elementary kids. Then if your child is able, help them find the passage in their Bible and read it out loud, while helping with hard words. Or read it out loud for your child.

3. Read ch. 12, vs. 7 – what did God tell Abram? What did Abram do in response? Why?

4. Read 12.8 – it says that Abram “worshiped the Lord” when he got to his new country/home. Why do you think he did that? (It is speculation as to exactly why – it could be thankfulness for God taking him to a strange land safely, or recognizing God’s power, or maybe he was still a little scared being in a strange place and wanted to connect with God to feel peace, or maybe he was asking for God’s blessing on his new home). When are good times for us as Christians to worship God? What does it mean to worship God? What is worship really all about?

5. Read 12.10-20. Why did Abram go to Egypt?

6. Why did Abram tell Sarah to tell the Egyptians that she was his sister? What was Abram afraid of?

7. What happened to Pharaoh and everybody in his palace? Why do you think God did that?

8. Was Abram acting out of faith or fear when he lied to Pharaoh? Is it ok to ever lie? Why or why not? 

9. Read 13.1-5.  Why did Abram build an altar again after coming back from Egypt? What is an altar? Why did Abram worship God again?

Family Activity Ideas
1) Parents – share with your children about a time that like Abram, you were afraid of something and acted out of fear. Then have your children share a time that they were afraid of something and how it went. How can we trust God more in situations like that? 

 2) We see at the beginning and end of this passage that Abram built an altar and worshipped. Worship seems to have been part of the normal pattern of his family’s life. Have a short time of family worship – each person could share a short prayer to God for something they are thankful for. Then play one or two of your favorite worship songs and worship together as a family. Then close with a short prayer.

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Family Devotions from Sermon for Elementary, Sunday Feb 19: Genesis 11.27-12.9

Bible Text: Genesis 11.27-12.9 (click on link to see NIRV text).

Key Point(s) of Passage: God calls Abram to go to a new land, and Abram does. God promises to bless the world through Abram.

Memory Verse: ” I will bless those who bless you. I will put a curse on anyone who calls down a curse on you. All nations on earth will be blessed because of you.” (Ge. 12.3).

Questions for Family Discussion:

You do not have to go through all the questions – pick and choose whatever you feel will work best for your particular family.

1. Preparation – Pray a quick prayer together as a family that God will help you to understand His word.

2. Find an easy to read version of the Bible to read together as a family. The NIRV (New International Reader’s Version) is a good choice for elementary kids. Then if your child is able, help them find the passage in their Bible and read it out loud, while helping with hard words. Or read it out loud for your child.

3. Read ch. 12, vs. 1 – what did God tell Abram to do? Did God tell Abram yet where he was going? Would it be hard for you to move to a new country without knowing where you were going? Why or why not? How can we trust God in situations like that?

4. Read 12.2 – God told Abram he would become a great nation! How do you think that would that feel to have God say something like that to you? What nation was God talking about? (The nation of Israel; in a spiritual sense, all believers in Christ are “grafted in” [see Romans 11] to the nation of Israel)

5. Read Galatians 3.7-9 – Who else are “children of Abraham” (Abraham is a later name for Abram) ? St. Paul is telling the Galatians that one of Abraham’s distant descendants (like a great-great-great grandchild) was Jesus Christ – so those who believe in Jesus are like children of Abraham!!! So what do you think the Bible means when it says “All nations will be blessed because of you” ? (The whole world is ultimately blessed through Abraham’s later relative/descendant – Jesus). How is Jesus a blessing for all nations? (Also see Galatians 3.14).

6. Read Genesis 12, verse 4 – So after God told Abram to leave to go to a new country, what did Abram do? Would that be easy or hard to do? Why?

7. Read 12.8 – it says that Abram “worshiped the Lord” when he got to his new country/home. Why do you think he did that? (It is speculation as to exactly why – it could be thankfulness for God taking him to a strange land safely, or recognizing God’s power, or maybe he was still a little scared being in a strange place and wanted to connect with God to feel peace, or maybe he was asking for God’s blessing on his new home). When are good times for us as Christians to worship God? What does it mean to worship God? What is worship really all about?

Family Activity Ideas
1) Parents – share with your children about a time that like Abram, you felt God calling you to go in a new direction (moving houses, changing jobs, getting married, etc.). Talk about the process of trusting God in your situation. Like Abram, is there a way that you can now see looking back, that what seemed like a scary situation at the time, has turned out to be an opportunity to bless others?

2) Take a “trust walk”. Abram had to go to a new place without fully knowing where he was going! Blindfold one person. One other person in the room has to guide them to a new location using only their words (go left, go right, jump, crawl, etc.)! Introduce obstacles or increase the distance if it is too easy.

For an extra challenge, have a few different people shout out bad directions, and have only person giving the right directions. See if the person can pick out the one, true voice. That is a good object lesson in how we need to learn to hear God’s voice in the midst of many voices in the world that are trying to lead us.

3) This is a “choose your own adventure” of sorts! Through Abram, God ultimately blessed the whole world! As a family, think of somebody you can work together to bless this week (outside of your immediate family). It could be a neighbor, or a friend at work or school. Then come up with a tangible way to bless them this week (bake them cookies, shovel their snow, ask them if would like prayer, etc.) – and do it!

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Filed under Family Devotional/Sermon Questions, Lower Elementary (1st-3rd), Parents' Tool Box, Sunday Sneak Preview, Upper Elementary (4th-5th)