Today is the 18th installment of 30 days of resources for your family to use to grow together. Each of our daily activities will have the following pieces:
- PLAY TOGETHER: An opportunity to have fun and do something together instead of watching Netflix.
- TALK TOGETHER: Around the dinner table or just two of you sitting on the back porch, take turns asking these questions to learn more about the other.
- ORIENT TOGETHER: In time of need we have an opportunity to renew our vision for Jesus, and pray for His work in our life and world.
We hope these resources are helpful to you as a family. Feel free to share with others as well!
Bake Bread – Seriously! Go look up a recipe on line and bake some bread with your family. It’s easy, cheap, fun, and tasty!
- If you could live in any time in history, which time and why?
- If you could meet anyone in history, who and why?
- If you could witness any event in history, which one and why?
Read John 15:1-11
As I am writing this, we are about to enter into week 4 of national quarantining due to COVID-19.This season has been interesting for all of us. We find ourselves with more time on our hands, stuck inside, some of us jobless, and all of us wondering when this is going to end. But wherever you find yourself today, this text forces us to one major question: Where have you been running to for comfort, peace and satisfaction?
Ten times in these eleven verses the word, “Abide” pops up. For something to appear that many times in so few verses should get our attention. So what is Jesus trying to communicate in this passage? He’s telling us the secret to a joy filled life, namely, to abide in Jesus. Pretty profound, huh?
What strikes us in the beginning of this passage is that Jesus says that He is the true vine. Now, this should tip us off. Why would Jesus need to qualify this by using the word, true? It seems to indicate that there are other vines that one can look to for life and nourishment, but Jesus is the only vine that is true! There are many false vines we can abide in but the result of abiding in the true vine is bearing fruit. Look at your life, do you see the fruit of Christ in your life? Not sure? Ask those closest to you. Jesus gives us a warning that those who do not bear fruit are gathered up and thrown into the fire. These words should be taken seriously.
But what does it mean to bear fruit, and how can we be sure that we are abiding in Jesus? Well, Jesus is using the image of fruit to get across a simple point: the type of fruit shows what kind of tree it came from. Apple trees produce apples, from fig trees come figs and palm trees bear coconuts. So too, if you abide, or remain in Jesus, you will look like Jesus, talk like Jesus, think like Jesus, and act like Jesus. If you take stock of your life what attitudes and actions do you find? Love, or hate? Patience or impatience? Peace or anxiety? Hope or fear? Gentle words or harsh words? What do you find?
During this season of social distancing and in-home quarantine it can be so easy to turn to movies, Netflix, food, social media, sleep, and others for joy and satisfaction. I am tempted to do the same. But none of those things can promise what Jesus promises: “These things I have spoken to you, that MY joy may be in you, and that your joy may be FULL” (vs. 11). Jesus wants to give us His joy! A joy that is not contingent upon circumstances or possessions, but perfect full joy! Lest we forget, ask yourself: under what circumstances did Jesus say this to His disciples? Right before He was betrayed and crucified, which He knew was going to happen. Jesus offers us a joy and satisfaction that we can have in the most difficult of situations. How can He make this promise? Because He sealed His promise with blood. He laid His life down so that we can lay all other things down. The things of this life leave us with empty promises, but Jesus leaves us with an empty tomb: power and life over death!
Father, thank You for creating so many things that we can enjoy in this life. We confess that we often abuse the gifts You’ve given us and cherish them over the creator. Instead of letting the gifts lead us back to You, we replace You with them. We pray that You would help us not waste this quarantine, but to truly pursue You fully. Help us love You and enjoy You!
Today’s Family Resource for Growing Together is written by Adam Davenport, a speaker and business consultant in Raleigh, NC.