Friday, May 5, 2017

2017 TBC Mother's Day Family Worship Devotion / "The Prodigious Provision for the Prophet’s Widow"

2017 Mother’s Day Family Devotion

This family devotion guide was prepared to replace the normal evening worship service on Mother’s Day with a family worship time.  It has different activities so you can choose the parts that work best for your family.  This year (2017) we are focusing on the prophet’s widow in 2 Kings 4:1-7.
I.  Opening Prayer
II.  Scripture Reading 1 Samuel 1:1-28
III. Lessons from Hannah.
       (Optional Hymns)
IV. Closing Prayer Time
      (Fun Stuff)

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 it 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.

III. Scripture Reading1 
After King Solomon’s reign, Israel broke into two countries, Israel and Judah.  Elisha was a prophet in the northern kingdom of Israel.  2 Kings 4:1-7 tells the story of a mother and widow of one of the prophets (kind of like a preacher) who worked with Elijah.  Because her husband was gone, she did not have any money to pay a big debt or buy food for her and her sons.
2 Kings 4:1-71—The Prodigious2 Provision for the Prophet’s Widow
1There was a group of prophets.  The wife of one of these men spoke aloud to Elisha.  She said, “My husband is dead.  He was your servant and he loved the Lord.  My husband should have given money to a certain man.  But he did not, so that man will come to take my two children.  They will become his slaves.’ 
2 Elisha said to her, ‘How can I help you?  Tell me, what do you have in your house?”
She said to Elisha, “I, your servant, have nothing in the house, only a pot of oil.”
3 Then Elisha said, “Go to the people who live near you.  Ask them all to lend you many pots.  The pots must be empty.  4 Then go into your house. Shut the door behind you and behind your sons. Pour the oil that you have into all those pots.  When each pot is full, put it by your side.” 
5 So she left Elisha and she shut the door behind her and behind her sons. They brought the pots to her and she poured the oil into them.  6 When all the pots were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another pot.”
But he said, “There are no more pots!”  Then there was no more oil to pour into pots. 
7 Then she went and she told all this to the man of God.  He said, “Go and sell the oil.  Use some of the money to pay that man who wants your sons.  Buy food for you and for your sons with what you do not need to pay the man.”

1   Note that this story is in the Easy English Bible for younger children.  If you have older children you might prefer to read in the version you usually use.   (
2 Prodigious: extremely large or great in size, amount, strength, extent, or the like; enormous.  

IV. Lessons from The Prodigious Provision for the Prophet’s Widow
1. It’s hard being a single mom.
God designed families to have a mother and father, but sometimes something happens and children only have a mother. 
What did the widow in this narrative (story) have to worry about because her husband had died?
Think about and make a list of all the things your mother does.  Think and make a list of the extra things a mother has to do when there is not a father. 
2. Living in Community
Why did the single mother think that Elijah would help her?  Do you know any single moms?  Do they feel like they could ask you for help?  Why?  What could your family do to help them?
3. A Mother’s Compassion
Who and what was the mother in this narrative concerned about?  How did she show that concern?
There is an attribute of God that mom’s do a better job demonstrating than anybody else.  What do you think it is?  Read these two verses for a clue.  (Isaiah 66:13; 1 Thessalonians 2:7)
4. Honor and Obedience
What did the mother ask the sons to do?  Would you have thought it was a weird request?  Do you think it would have been hard for them to ask their neighbors for pots?  Why?
Does your mother ever ask you to do something you don’t want to do?  What does the Bible say that would encourage you to obey your mom when it is hard or you don’t understand why?
Does your attitude toward your mother have anything to do with being holy?  (Leviticus 19:2-4)
5. The Gospel
The widowed owed a debt that she could not pay.  Her children were going to become slaves.  Elijah helped them pay the debt and have money to live on.  She had to trust him and do what he said.
· We have sinned and owe God a debt that we cannot pay. 
Romans 3:23; Hebrews 9:27; Romans 6:23
· God the Father sent Jesus to die on the cross in our place and pay our debt for sin.
Romans 5:8; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; 2 Corinthians 5:21
· We must receive Christ through faith.
Acts 26:20; John 1:12; John 3:36)
· Jesus rose again and gives believers the Holy Spirit to help us to live a new life.
Galatians 5:19-23; Ephesians 4:22-30)
6. Thought Question for older children:

It seems like it would have been easier for Elisha to just give the widow some money.  What might have been some reasons for (and/or benefits from) having her go through the process of collecting jugs, pouring the oil, and selling the oil for the money?

(Optional Hymns)
· “I Need Thee Every Hour”
· “Giving Thanks for Mothers”  
( )
· Ask your mom for one of her favorites.
IV. Closing:
1. Each child should “rise up” in turn and express 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 older child can close in prayer.
(Fun Stuff): 
Bible Trivia: Who am I?
1. What is the first verse in the Bible with the word “mother”? 
2. Who was the mother of all the living? 
3. Who was the mother of nations?  
4. Who was the mother of King Ahaziah (and daughter of Jezebel)? 
5. Whose mother taught him Proverbs 31:1-9? 
6. Who was the mother of Boaz?   
7. Who was the mother of Solomon?   
8. Who was the mother of Timothy? 
9. What Bible character did not have a mother? 
Sunday school teacher: Tell me, Johnny. Do you say prayers before eating?
Johnny: No, ma’am, I don’t have to. My mom’s a really good cook.
Daughter:  What’s it like having the best daughter in the world?
Mother:  I don’t know.  You’ll have to ask your grandma.
Ryan: Why did you chop the joke book in half?
John: Mom said to cut the comedy.
Sayings of Old Testament Bible Mothers
“Samson! Get your hand out of that lion. You don't know where it's been!” (Judges 14:5-8)
“David! I told you not to play in the house with that sling! Go practice your harp. We pay good money for those lessons!”
“Abraham! Stop wandering around the countryside and get home for supper!”
“Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego! I told you never to play with fire!”
“Noah! No, you can't keep them! I told you, don't bring home any more strays!”

 Bible Trivia Answers:  1. Genesis 2:24   2. Eve, Genesis 3:20   3. Sarah, Genesis 17:16   4. Athaliah, 2 Chronicles 22:10   5. King Lemuel    6. Rahab,  Matthew 1:5  7.   Bathsheba, 1 Kings 1:11   8. Eunice, 2 Timothy 1:5   9. Melchizedek, Hebrews 7:1-3

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