Have you ever had to stand guard? It may have been when you babysat a neighbor or even when someone asked you to hold their phone. Standing guard is serious business. It means you promise to protect that treasured person or possession. Paul writes that in the same way, God promises to guard our hearts and minds in Jesus. We are His treasured possessions, and He wants to protect us with all He has. This week, try to memorize this verse so that you can remember God’s promises of protection and peace.
God could’ve done all kinds of things to help turn our hearts from evil and back towards good. He could’ve taken any path to seek peace and pursue a relationship with us. But God chose to turn our hearts to good and bring us peace by entering in to a relationship with us. Through Jesus, God made a way for us to be as close to Him as possible. When you think about seeking peace with others this Christmas season, do any relationships come to mind? This week, choose peace and reach out to anyone who comes to mind. Remind them that you care for them and are praying for peace in your relationship.
As we move further away from Thanksgiving and inch closer to Christmas, thoughts of thankfulness and peace can sometimes be replaced with lists of wants and needs. Instead of being grateful for what we have, we can fall into the trap of comparing and focusing on what we don’t have. When thanksgiving is replaced with thoughts of what we are getting, it can build walls in our hearts in our relationships with God and others. This week, brainstorm with your small group some ways you can come togethe
Relationships, especially the peaceful ones, take work. This is why the writer of Hebrews tells us to make every effort to live in peace with others. Don’t worry if it doesn’t seem to work the way you’d hoped it would right away. God promises that the effort you take to live in peace will not be wasted. Today, think through how you will respond to others in order to live in peace. Ask God to help you take a step towards peace in even your most difficult relationships.
Christmas is a season often overflowing from the start. From big dinners and class parties to church services and over-packed schedules, it’s often the busiest season of the year! While this season can be filled with good things, it can also be a time full of so much busyness that it threatens to steal our hope and peace. This week, instead of over-filling your plate and schedule, take the time to fill your heart with God’s Word. Start by memorizing this verse so you don’t miss the peace and hope the Christmas season has to offer.
LUKE 1:26b-35, 37-38
Hope means trusting in a bigger picture.
LUKE 2:14, ISAIAH 9:6,
Peace is found through God.
JOHN 1:14, JOHN 3:16
Love requires action.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
ISAIAH 9:6 NIV
Have a conversation about one thing that you’re excited about and one thing that stresses you out during the Christmas season. Ask your students for their answers first, and then share your responses as well.
One night, have your family all get in their pajamas with hot chocolate in hand and jump in the car. Turn the Christmas music up and drive around looking at Christmas lights. If you’re feeling competitive, judge the Christmas lights and displays you find and pick the winner at the end.
As a family, find a few places you can serve together this season—maybe a local nonprofit, soup kitchen, or charity in your community. Let your kid choose which place they’d like to serve, and set up a time to go together. Letting your kid choose gives them a little ownership and will help them be more excited to serve.
Have a family Christmas contest before bed. It could be a coloring contest, a gingerbread contest, an ornament making contest, or a Christmas caroling contest. Be sure to have a fun prize for the winner!
Every good and perfect gift comes from God. In fact, His most perfect gift was His only Son, Jesus.
Gather your family and continue reading the story of Christmas one day at a time using the Advent Calendar.
The Scripture and prompts will take your family on a journey to generosity, leading you to appreciate the season together in a whole new way.
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