Thursday, May 8, 2014

Mother's Day Family Devotion - from Proverbs 1:7-9

This family devotion guide was prepared to replace the normal evening worship service at Tulsa Bible Church with a family time around God’s word.  This is a collection of truths and activities so that you may choose what works best for your family.

I. Opening Prayer
    (Optional Warm Up Activity)

II. Scripture Reading

III. Lessons From Proverbs 1:7-9

    (Optional Hymns and Songs)

IV. Closing Prayer Time


A few tips:
· Make your preparation simple.  If you will thoughtfully read through the lesson ahead of time, you should be adequately prepared.
· Just the act of having a family devotion or worship time says something to your kids about what is important.  It can be a challenge to make family devotions an enjoyable and profitable time, but it will never happen if you don’t try.
· Plan a time when everybody can participate.  Make sure they know not to make other plans for that time.  Keep it short. Keep it simple.
· Let the children interrupt and ask questions at the right times. This is not just a sermon. Let everybody ask, speak, tell, share, and participate. You want to know what they are thinking and whether they understand.
· Include everyone, even the young ones. While it may seem easier to have a quiet time with just the older ones, it is so important to include your little ones in this family time.  As they grow and mature, they will learn to sit quietly during the devotion time.
· It’s important to remember their ages.  If you have small children, you are probably not going to have a deep teaching time.  Try to include different approaches that are age appropriate.
· Let them be children. They’re fidgety. They’re impatient. They’re children. Try to keep a semblance of order during this time together, but be realistic and patient.  Yelling at them to be quiet and sit still defeats the purpose.
· Turn off all electronics. I know this may seem like a given, but it needs to be mentioned.

I. Prayer:
· The leader (probably dad) should start your time by asking God to bless your time together. 
· You might also want to encourage the family to take turns thanking God for something they appreciate about Mom.

(Optional Warm Up Activity)
Starting with the youngest, let each family member tell something that they have learned from their mother.  (Parents, don’t forget to share something, too.)

III. Scripture Reading*: 
Proverbs 1:1-10 (esv)
1 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:
2 for attaining wisdom and discipline;
for understanding words of insight;
3 for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life,
doing what is right and just and fair;
4 for giving prudence to the simple, knowledge
and discretion to the young--
5 let the wise listen and add to their learning,
and let the discerning get guidance--
6 for understanding proverbs and parables,
the sayings and riddles of the wise.
7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
8 Listen, my son, to your father's instruction
and do not forsake your mother's teaching.
9 They will be a garland to grace your head
and a chain to adorn your neck.
10 My son, if sinners entice you,
do not give in to them.

* You might want to introduce the reading time by pointing out the reminder in verse five.
* If your children are old enough, you might want them to take turns reading a verse each.  It is usually helpful for each to state the verse number when they read, especially if some are using different versions.
* The EasyEnglish Bible is based on a vocabulary of 1,200 words and may be a helpful tool for younger children. (

IV. Lessons from Proverbs 1:7-9: 
· You will probably want to reread verses 7-9.
· You will notice that there is not a script to read.  Instead, there are six suggested points to choose from.  The leader should explain the observation in their own words.  There are Scriptures that can be read to further illustrate and explain each point.  Each observation has two or three questions that you can use to generate discussion.
· There is probably more here than you can do in one setting.  You should choose how many depending on the age of the children and how much time you can spend.  Choose the ones that you think are especially appropriate for your family.

1.  Observation: Parents teaching their children is Solomon’s first application after stating that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.”  Parents are the first and primary teachers of this foundational truth.      
Discussion Starters: 
· What is the “fear of the Lord?”
· Why is it especially important for the parents to teach this?
· How do parents teach children the fear of the Lord?

2.  Observation: There is a father (a man) and a mother (a woman).  God has ordained that both a father and mother are important parts of a family. 
Discussion starters:
· Who is better, the dad or the mom?  Why are both important?
· What special contributions does the mother make to a family?

3.  Observation: Mothers are important teachers regardless of your family’s school choice.  Moms should be women of the Word.  Husbands should encourage their wives (and children) to spend time the Word and lead by example. 
Discussion starters:
· When do moms teach their children?
· Why is it important for a mom to know what the Bible says?
· What can each family member do to help mom have time to study the Word?

4.  Observation: Children are learners.  Children, you should listen to and honor your mother. Don’t forsake your mother’s wise counsel. 
Discussion starters:
· In what ways are moms specially qualified to teach their children?
· What kinds of things do mom’s teach their children?
· Where do moms get their wisdom?

5.  Observation:  There are promises of reward for those who listen. 
The Word: Proverbs 1.9; Ephesians 6:1-3 (It is interesting to notice that the Greek word for “obey” is the Greek word for hear with a prefix.)
Discussion starters:
· Why a  mother’s teachings better than a “good luck” charm around your neck?
· Can you think of ways that things your mother taught you have helped you?

6.  Observation: Wise children bring joy to their mom.  Children who follow the godly teaching of their mother will not follow the wrong crowd but will praise their mother. 
The Word: Proverbs 1:9-15; 31:28-29
Discussion starters:
· Why do children who listen make their mother rejoice?
· What are some ways that praising your mom show you are wise?
· What are things you can do and say to show your appreciation to your mom?

(Optional Hymns and Songs)
· “Trust and Obey” 
· “Count Your Many Blessings”
· Ask your mom for one of her favorites.

IV. Closing:
1. Each child should “rise up” in turn and express their appreciation for their mother.  (The parents should also praise their mothers as an example.)
2. The father should take a few minutes to praise his wife, his children’s mother, and close in prayer. If the father is not available, mom or an oldest child can close in prayer.
Bible Trivia about Mothers
1. Who lived in Jericho and became King David’s great-grandmother? (Joshua 6:25; Matthew 1:5-6)
2. Whose daughters were given a share of the inheritance in the promised land even though they had no brothers?  (Numbers 27)
3. Who promised to give her first child to the Lord?  (1 Samuel 1:9-11)
4. Who put her baby in a basket in a river?  (Exodus 1; 2:1–11; 6:20)
5. Whose mother taught him what a virtuous wife was like?  (Proverbs 31:1)
6. Whose son, a king, bowed down to her and had a chair brought for her to sit in? (2 Kings 2:19)
7. Who tried to kill all her grandchildren?  (II Kings 8:26)
8. Whose son was the most wicked of the kings of Judah, but later humbled himself greatly before the Lord?  (2 Kings 12:1; 2 Chronicles 33:1-2, 12-13)
9. Whose son jumped in her womb when Jesus’ mother came into the room?  (Luke 1:5–80)
10. Which grandmother did Paul say had genuine faith?  (2 Timothy 1:4-5)
Q: Why is a computer so smart?
A: It listens to its motherboard.
“If at first, you don’t succeed, try doing it the way your mother told you.”
A mom was teaching her 4-year-old son to zip up his jacket.
“The secret,” she explained, “is getting the little straight piece all the way into the little slot before you pull up the zipper.”
Her son looked up at her and said, “Mom, why does that have to be a secret?”
A question about mother’s logic: 
Q: What is the theological basis for mom’s explanation, “Cause I’m your mother!” 

Musings, Meditations and Misc Thoughts featuring Exodus and Leviticus

"I want you to know kids. I've been where you are. I want you to know that sometimes I thought I was listening. Sometimes I was sure I wasn't. I want you to know that I rubbed the wrist of my mother raw because I used to turn her watch around to try and see the time with frequency all through the evening message. She bore silent scares to her grave of this activity by her child. But I want you to know if you are listening boys and girls that I am so thankful to my mom and dad who didn't capitulate to my stupidity and brought me under the sound of the proclamation of the Word of God.
I feel really sorry for the liberated young families these days who have determined that they're not going to influence their children like this. They don't want to turn them off. Let me tell you something. You can't ever turn them on if you don't under God give them the opportunity to be exposed to the teaching of God's Word. Most of what I have learned of Christian doctrine I did not learn at seminary. I learned actually sitting in services as a small boy in Scotland listening to the Word of God preached. It is a great and awesome privilege."  --Alistar Begg

 February 27;postID=815622126435209111
Ex 10.3. "How long will you refuse to humble yourself before Me?" Now that is question that echoes thru the ages. #tbcreading

Exodus 10.17 "Now therefore, please forgive my sin only this once..." Only this once? Now there is a Pharaoh who didn't get it. #tbcreading
Employer to applicant: "In this job we need someone who is responsible."
Applicant: "I'm the one you want. On my last job, every time anything went wrong, they said I was responsible." - The Good, Clean Funnies List
March 3 Titus 1.16 "They profess that they know God; but in works they deny [him]...". An interesting doctrine check. #tbcreading
I'm thinking about what "faith (believing) of the elect," "truth according to godliness, "and "hope of eternal life" have to do with each other. And how they relate to Titus setting things in order in 1:5 and maintaining good works and meeting urgent needs, and being fruitful in 3:14. Any ideas? #tbcreading
Reading FamilyLife's book for men, "Stepping Up" is reinforcing my conviction that young parents need to spend intensive, serious time studying Proverbs, getting a firm grasp on its theological wisdom (Kidner, the NIV Application commentary, and especially Waltke are excellent resources), and spending serious time guiding their children through the book in an expository, theological, repetitive, and compelling manner. Okay, I feel better now.
Ex. 18:23 "If you do this thing, and God commands, then you will...". I don't think I have noticed that caveat Jethro threw in with his advice to Moses. It is a good reminder to cross check some of this great productivity and management advice we get with what God commands. #tbcreading
 While holding meetings at Burdett road, London, in 1874, Mr. Moody and Mr. Sankey one Saturday took a drive out to Epping Forest. There they visited a gypsy camp. While stopping to speak to two brothers who had been converted and were doing good missionary work, a few young gypsy lads came up to their carriage. Mr. Sankey, standing in his carriage, sang to them. One of those most interested was a boy who climbed up on the carriage wheel. The boy begged that he sing again. Touched by the boy's sincerity Mr. Sankey placed his hands on the boy's head and said: "God make a preacher of this boy."

Fifteen years later, when Gypsy Smith made his first visit to America, Mr. Sankey had the pleasure of taking him for a drive in Brooklyn. While passing through Prospect Park Gypsy Smith asked him:"Do you remember driving out from London one day to a gypsy camp at Epping Forest?"

Sankey replied that he did.

"Do you remember a little gypsy boy standing by your carriage," Gypsy Smith asked again, "and you put your hand on his head, saying that you hoped he would be a preacher?"

"Yes, I remember it well."

"I am that boy," said Gypsy Smith.

Sankey’s surprise can better be imagined than described. Little had he thought that the successful evangelist and fine gospel singer of whom he had heard so much, and whom he had so much admired, was the little boy he had met in the gypsy camp. Truly God had granted his wish of fifteen years before, and had made a mighty preacher of the gypsy boy.

We don’t know how many boys Sankey prayed a similar prayer over, but it reminds us of the importance of having high aspirations for children we minister to and asking God to do big things for them. Even one Gypsy Smith would be a great return on a host of prayers for children you know.

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3.20-21)
“The Bible in American Life” is a national study by the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture, which is located at Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis. The purpose of the study is to understand better how Americans use the Bible in their personal daily lives and how other influences, including religious communities and the Internet, shape individuals’ use of scripture. The study discovered these key facts, along with others described in the report.
• There is a 50/50 split among Americans who read any form of scripture in the past year and those who did not. Among those who did, women outnumber men, older people outnumber younger people, and Southerners exceed those from other regions of the country.
• Among those who read any form of scripture in the past year, 95% named the Bible as the scripture they read. All told, this means that 48% of Americans read the Bible at some point in the past year. Most of those people read at least monthly, and a substantial number—9% of all Americans—read the Bible daily.
• Despite the proliferation of Bible translations, the King James Version is the top choice and by a wide margin—of Bible readers.
•The strongest correlation with Bible reading is race, with African Americans reading the Bible at considerably higher rates than others.
• Half of those who read the Bible in the past year also committed scripture to memory. About two-thirds of congregations in America hold events for children to memorize verses from the Bible.
• Among Bible readers, about half had a favorite book, verse, or story. Psalm 23, which begins, “The Lord is my shepherd...” was cited most often, followed by John 3:16.  
"Why should the Egyptians speak, and say, "He brought them out to harm them...' " Ex 32.12. It is interesting that Moses did not expect the Egyptians to question the existence of God after the plagues, but His character. cf. Ex. 34.6-7 #tbcreading
Ex. 32.35 "...the calf which Aaron made." I'm thinking that accomplishment did not make it onto Aaron's high priest resume. God help me to be strong and of good courage to not do stupid stuff like that. #tbcreading
Phil Martin, the point that you made in your message Sunday night about Jesus praying for something for which God's response was "No", and that it should encourage us to go ahead and pray without worrying if we are praying for the right thing was powerful and helped me a lot. Thank you!
April 8Thinking about this statement: "Ultimately, our repentance and belief has more to do with God than us."
April 12 Thinking about how ambitious God is... " present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight—". Col. 3:22 Will that really happen with me? #tbcreading
April 13"When we become too glib in prayer, we are most certainly talking to ourselves." A.W. Tozer (I think)
April 17 Thinking about why after Nadab and Abihu were killed for offering strange fire God told Moses, Aaron, Eleazar and Ithamar (their brothers) "Do not uncover your heads or tear your clothes, lest you die..." (Lev 10.6)
Why did God not want them to morn the death of their brothers that way?
April 21 Lev. 17.2-7 (esp. v. 7)
They shall no more offer sacrifices to demons, after whom they have played the harlot.
"...shall no more..." Thinking about the "demons" I have "sacrificed" to and how to make those sacrifices to the Lord. #tbcreading
Leviticus 19.3 After the general admonition to be holy, the first two commands were to revere your mother and your father and to keep the Sabbaths. I am thinking about whether there is a connection between the two. #tbcreading
April 24 After an admonition to keep His statutes, God says, "I am the LORD who sanctifies you." Lev. 20.8  Lord, help me to love your precepts and statues and do your sanctifying work in my heart, my tongue, and my hands and feet. #tbcreading
April 24 "...doing ordinary things with Gospel intentionality..." --Justin Pickard at the TBC senior banquet
April 24 The exhortations of Titus would carry no weight unless backed by the pattern of his life, a principle which has been amply illustrated in the history of the Christian ministry. --Donald Guthrie
April 27 We know Elijah was “a man of like passions as we are,” but alas! We are not men of like prayer as he was. --Leonard Ravenhill
April 29Try not to ask the silly question, "God, what are You doing?" because the answer is always the same: "I'm changing you!" Don't ask, "What are You doing that for? You're supposed to be making me happy!" or He'll answer, "Who told you that? I'm not trying to make you happy; I'm trying to make you holy!" --James MacDonald in "I Really Want to Change... So, Help Me God" 
May 2 Conflicts are opportunities to help children understand their desires that cause the conflicts (James 4.1-2). The external problems describe when, not why, we get angry. ---Tedd Trip at BCO's "Instructing a Child's Heart" Conf.
May 3 Are we willing to manipulate our children to obey for reasons they will later need to repent of (i.e. fear of man, self-interest, greed, Pharisee pride, etc.)? --Tedd Trip @ "Instructing at Child's Heart conference"
@ "Instructing a Child's Heart" conference @ Bible Church of Owasso
We need to give our children a bigger vision than just obeying. Submission is dignified and noble (as modeled by Christ).
May 6  What did the the wise King Solomon do when his mother walked into the room? How did he show respect to his mother?
"So Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him on behalf of Adonijah. And the king rose to meet her and bowed down to her. Then he sat on his throne and had a seat brought for the king’s mother, and she sat on his right." 2 Kings 2:19