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Tuesday: Struggle

Pray:  Begin by making the sign of the cross and calling upon God’s name.

From God to us, from death to life, from me to you …
in the name of the Father, and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Almighty God, you know what we need to learn -- even when we aren’t aware of our need. Please be with us as we study our Bible story today, and teach us to what it means to live out our faith in the world. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Listen: Pay close attention as these verses from the Bible are read aloud.

James 2:14
James wrote to people of the Church:
My friends, what good is it to say you have faith, when you don’t do anything to show that you really do have faith? Can that kind of faith save you? (CEV)

Engage: Talk about the Bible by having parents respond to children’s questions.

Child: Why do you think James wrote to the people of the Church, asking them to show that their faith mattered? What do you think he was noticing in the people around him?

Child: Can you give some examples of how our faith affects the way we live?

Affirm: Pray for God to put his Word into action in your daily life.

Lord, it can be easy to call ourselves Christians, but sometimes we forget what that means. Strengthen our faith, and give us the courage and energy we need to reach out to others and make a difference in their lives. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Have each person in the family bless one another with these words.

May you treat others with kindness. Amen.

Tuesday: Struggle

Pray:  Begin by making the sign of the cross and calling upon God’s name.

From God to us, from death to life, from me to you …
in the name of the Father, and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Almighty God, no matter what struggles we face, you are always there for us. Help us to realize this, and to trust you more and more as we study your Word. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Listen: Pay close attention as these verses from the Bible are read aloud.

2 Timothy 1:2-4
Paul wrote to his friend, Timothy:
Timothy, you are like a dear child to me. I pray that God our Father and our Lord Christ Jesus will be kind and merciful to you and will bless you with peace! Night and day I mention you in my prayers. I am always grateful for you, as I pray to the God my ancestors and I have served with a clear conscience. I remember how you cried, and I want to see you, because that will make me truly happy. (CEV)

Engage: Talk about the Bible by having parents respond to children’s questions.

Child: What do you do when you are upset like Timothy was and want to feel peace? How does God help you with this?

Child: Who in your life are you grateful for? Why?

Affirm: Pray for God to put his Word into action in your daily life.

Lord, when people we care about have to go away, we feel sad like Timothy did. But you promise to never leave or forsake us. Thank you for being with us no matter where we are in this life. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Have each person in the family bless one another with these words.

May God comfort you when you are lonely. Amen.

Tuesday: Struggle

Pray:  Begin by making the sign of the cross and calling upon God’s name.

From God to us, from death to life, from me to you …
in the name of the Father, and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Almighty God, life can be hard sometimes. But no matter what is going on, you always invite us to pause and spend some time with you. Thank you for loving us, even when we feel alone and unlovable. Help us to learn more about you as we study your Word today. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Listen: Pay close attention as these verses from the Bible are read aloud.

Galatians 2:11-12
Paul wrote to the Galatians: When Peter came to Antioch, I told him face to face that he was wrong. He used to eat with Gentile followers of the Lord, until James sent some Jewish followers. Peter was afraid of the Jews and soon stopped eating with Gentiles. (CEV)

Engage: Talk about the Bible by having parents respond to children’s questions.

Child: Jews were people who came from a religious background. Gentiles did not. In your own experience, what are some differences (good or bad) you might notice between people who go to church and those who don't?

Child: When have you felt afraid of being seen hanging around with someone else? Did this affect any of your decisions? How?

Affirm: Pray for God to put his Word into action in your daily life.

Lord, it can be hard to go against the crowd. But you want us to live in the freedom of the gospel rather than in fear of judgment. Help us to reach out to those who need to hear your Word, and not to worry about what people may say. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Have each person in the family bless one another with these words.

May you bravely reach out to others! Amen.

Tuesday: Struggle

Pray:  Begin by making the sign of the cross and calling upon God’s name.

From God to us, from death to life, from me to you …
in the name of the Father, and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Almighty God, be present with us as we study your Word today. Help us to follow you, and to learn how to live out our faith. Thank you for being with us, even in the midst of hardship and struggle. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Listen: Pay close attention as these verses from the Bible are read aloud.

1 Corinthians 1:10-12
Paul wrote to the Christians in Corinth: My dear friends, as a follower of our Lord Jesus Christ, I beg you to get along with each other. Don’t take sides. Always try to agree in what you think. Several people from Chloe’s family have already reported to me that you keep arguing with each other. They have said that some of you claim to follow me, while others claim to follow Apollos or Peter or Christ. (CEV)

Engage: Talk about the Bible by having parents respond to children’s questions.

Child: What’s a good way to solve a disagreement? When have you done that?

Child: Have you ever taken a side in someone else’s argument? Why can that be unhelpful?

Affirm: Pray for God to put his Word into action in your daily life.

Lord, it is hard when we argue with the people who are closest to us. Help us notice where others suffer, so that we can more easily be kind to them. May we learn to see people as you see them. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Have each person in the family bless one another with these words.

May you look to God when you need help! Amen.

Tuesday: Struggle

Pray: Begin by making the sign of the cross and calling upon God’s name.

From God to us, from death to life, from me to you …
in the name of the Father, and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Lord God, as we hear more about Paul and his adventures, teach us to listen well, and to be thankful for the many good things in our lives. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

Listen: Pay close attention as these verses from the Bible are read aloud.

Acts 28:3-4
After Paul had gathered some wood and had put it on the fire, the heat caused a snake to crawl out, and it bit him on the hand. When the local people saw the snake hanging from Paul’s hand, they said to each other, “This man must be a murderer! He didn’t drown in the sea, but the goddess of justice will kill him anyway.” (CEV)

Engage: Talk about the Bible by having parents respond to children’s questions.

Child: Do you think Paul was frightened when the snake bit him on the hand? Why or why not? What would you have done if you were him?

Child: People turned on Paul and said terrible things about him. What’s the best way to respond when people say bad things about you?

Affirm: Pray for God to put his Word into action in your daily life.

Heavenly Father, when times are tough, we know we can always turn to you. Thank you for being our dearest and best friend. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Have each person in the family bless one another with these words.

May you face hard things with faith. Amen.

Tuesday: Struggle

Pray: Begin by making the sign of the cross and calling upon God’s name.

From God to us, from death to life, from me to you …
in the name of the Father, and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Lord God, open our ears to hear your Word, and our minds to understand it. Be with us now, and always. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

Listen: Pay close attention as these verses from the Bible are read aloud.

Acts 27:18-20
[Paul and several other prisoners were sailing on a ship with some sailors when a storm hit]. The storm was so fierce that the next day they threw some of the ship’s cargo overboard. Then on the third day, with their bare hands they threw overboard some of the ship’s gear. For several days we could not see either the sun or the stars. A strong wind kept blowing, and we finally gave up all hope of being saved. (CEV)

Engage: Talk about the Bible by having parents respond to children’s questions.

Child: Why do you think the sailors threw their cargo off the ship during the storm? Does that decision make sense to you? Why or why not?

Child: Why would it be important for sailors to be able to see the sun or the stars in Paul’s day? How would modern sailors handle that problem?

Affirm: Pray for God to put his Word into action in your daily life.

Heavenly Father, sometimes things seem dark all around us, and it is hard to imagine how we’ll find our way forward. But you are our guide, leading us every step of the way. Help us to remember that in hard times. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Have each person in the family bless one another with these words.

May you trust God when you’re scared. Amen.

Tuesday: Struggle

Pray: Begin by making the sign of the cross and calling upon God’s name.

From God to us, from death to life, from me to you …
in the name of the Father, and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Lord God, you know us by name, and we belong to you. Let that good news soak into our hearts and minds today, and help us to remember it when we are feeling most alone. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

Listen: Pay close attention as these verses from the Bible are read aloud.

Acts 24:5-9
[A lawyer named Tertullus, and several other leaders, went to the governor to present a case against Paul]: “This man has been found to be a real pest and troublemaker for Jews all over the world. He is also a leader of a group called Nazarenes. When he tried to disgrace the temple, we arrested him. If you question him, you will find out for yourself that our charges are true.” The Jewish crowd spoke up and agreed with what Tertullus had said. (CEV)

Engage: Talk about the Bible by having parents respond to children’s questions.

Child: No matter where Paul went, he met people who were against him. Why do you think he chose to continue to work for Jesus? Would you have the courage to do that? Why or why not?

Child: As people who believe in Jesus, should we expect our lives always to be easy? Why or why not?

Affirm: Pray for God to put his Word into action in your daily life.

Heavenly Father, most of us would like a simple, stress-free life. But sometimes, serving you requires doing the hard things. Help us to remain faithful each day. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Have each person in the family bless one another with these words.

May you serve God even when that’s hard to do. Amen.