My husband, Glenn, is sharing these daily lessons for our West Huntsville family as we are necessarily (because of the virus) spending less time physically together in worship, study and fellowship. We may be “socially distanced,” but we’re a close-knit family and we want to keep it that way! One way to stay on track together, spiritually, is to think about a common passage and make applications for our lives together even when we are unable to assemble as frequently. I’m sharing these daily family lessons here for those in other places, whose families (or even congregations) might benefit from a common study in these uncommon days of semi-quarantine. There are Family Bible Time guides included, as well. You can adapt, shorten or lengthen them according to the ages of kids (and adults) in your family. Blessings.
My Favorite Proverbs: Seven Things God Hates: A Lying Tongue (Prov. 6:16-19)
When you were a child and consciously tried lying for the first time, you had no idea you had taken a small, childish part of something of this magnitude in this world. Satan invented it (Jn. 8:44) and has enjoyed practicing lying since he smiled assuringly and said to Eve, “You shall not surely die.” She believed him and introduced sin into the world.
Lying is bad because truth is good. Christ is the epitome of truth; so much so that Scripture says He is the truth (Jn. 14:6). Use your imagination and you’ll be shocked with how frightening things would become if God wasn’t opposed to lying. The Bible would not be dependable. You couldn’t be sure if Jesus died on the cross to offer redemption to mankind or not. You wouldn’t be confident that the church was the sphere of the saved (Col. 1:13). Did God really create this world in six days (Gen. 1-2)? These are ridiculous things to question, of course, but they illustrate just how critical it is that our God cannot lie (Tit. 1:2). I love Him for His love of truth because it gives me security. I want to emulate Him in this love.
The same is true in my marriage. I love my wife because she always tells the truth. As our children grew, we were persistent in stopping lying quickly before it could become a devastating habit. We talked of the truth and valued truth. The same value is absolutely necessary in my work, my medical treatments, my friendships, and my banking. Any of these things can be corrupted by lying. The Psalmist wrote, “You shall destroy those who speak falsehood.” This is obviously a serious subject.
I’m thankful the Gospel is described in Scripture as “the truth”. Meditate on that today as you reaffirm your love for truth in all aspects of your life:
“Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever” (1 Pet. 1:22-23).
Story Time from Glenn and Cindy: Genesis 46
1. Just before Jacob went to Egypt to live in Goshen God reassured him about this major decision: “I am God, the God of your father; do not fear to go down to Egypt, for I will make of you a great nation there” (Gen. 46:3).
God didn’t give Jacob details about how he would protect him and why he shouldn’t fear. He simply said, “I am God….” Sometimes your Mom or Dad will tell you to do something and you respond, “Why?”. The answer is, “Because I’m your father,” or, “I’m your mother.” What does it mean when they say that? What did it mean when God said this to Jacob?
“Be still, and know that I am God” (Psa. 46:10). Sing this verse now if your children know the tune (or make up your own tune. “Twinkle, twinkle little star works pretty well.)
2. Speak to your children about the genealogy presented here (vs. 8-27). Explain that this will help us with historical facts as the nation grows great in number, but also teach them that such genealogies give us a perspective about ourselves—that while we are important to God, we are one small part of a big picture. For all these people, who lived their lives and are now gone, one thing ultimately mattered: whether or not they were faithful to the God of Jacob. Make a brief genealogy of your family beginning with your children’s great-grandparents and coming down to them. Show them pictures, if you have them, and put those photos in a line. Teach them that they belong to this family and that they are important. Teach them that all that matters is whether or not they obey God and teach their children to obey him.
3. Joseph taught his brothers how to speak in Egypt about to their occupation. It was better to Egyptians to hear them say, “We work with livestock” than to say “We are shepherds.” Use this lesson to teach your children about being polite and the kinds of things that endear them to other people instead of being offensive. Give them examples. You may even want to let them tell you which sounds better:
It is better to say “No, thank-you,” than to say “I really don’t like squash.”
It is better to say “Excuse me,” than to say “You are in my way.”
It is better to say, “Please be quiet for a moment.” than to say “Shut up.”
It is better to say, ” Great dinner. May I be excused,” than to say “I’m done. I don’t want any more.”
It is better to say, “May I see that?” than to say ” Give me that.”
It is better to say, “That was fun. Now let’s do…” than to say “I’m tired of doing this.”
4. Talk with your children about the moment when Joseph hugged his father for the first time in many years. Talk about how hard it is for parents and children to be separated. If there has been a time when your children have been away from you, talk about how happy it was to come back together. Talk to them about how our Father, God, does not want to be separated from us and that only when we choose sin do we ever have to be separated from God. Talk about how happy it is for God when people who have left Him repent and come back to Him. Do your children know anyone who has recently done that?
5. Pray with your children. Ask God to help us remember that He is God.