Imagine Devotional Day Nine

Instructions for the Family Leader

The purpose of this time together is for your family to seek the Lord, discuss what God would have the family as a whole to do, and to have each member of the family share what he or she believes God would have them do individually.

You need to help each person in your family to understand, regardless of how young or how old they are, that their personal participation is what matters to God. What they do, or how much they give, is not nearly as important to God as learning to trust and obey Him.

Family Leader begins by saying…

Commitment Sunday is 72 hours away and it’s time for our family to make a decision about what we are going to do.

In II Samuel 24:24 King David said: “…I cannot present burnt offerings to the Lord that have cost me nothing.”

The Bible tells us that God once commanded King David to build an altar for the Lord, a place of worship, on a specific piece of ground. David paid the owner of the land for that privilege, so that he could offer to God the “dead” sacrifice He required.

The Bible tells us that Jesus was the last dead sacrifice (Hebrews 9 & 10) and that because of Christ’s death on the cross God doesn’t require those anymore. What God does require is living and holy sacrifices.

In Romans 12:1 we’re told that to offering ourselves as these living and holy sacrifices is the least we can do considering all He has done for us.

Psalm 116:12 says, “What can I offer the Lord for all He has done for me?” 

Family Leader says…

Before we make our commitment, let’s ask ourselves some questions:

  • What has the Lord already done for us? (Let each member list all their blessings: Spiritual, Physical, Material, etc.)
  • What do we have that wasn’t given to us by God? (Even the things we have acquired by working have come to us as a result of the time, strength, health, skills, and intelligence God has gifted us with)
  • The Bible says in II Corinthians 5:14: “The LOVE of Christ compels us…” (In other words, the great love of Christ and what He has ALREADY done for us should be enough to motivate us to do whatever God wants us to do) 

Does it? If we say as a family that we love Jesus and appreciate all He has done for us; and if we want to trust, obey and honor Him, should that make a difference in what we are willing to do?

Family Leader says…

This very special time in our church does involve reaching a financial goal. But, more importantly than that, we as a church want to learn to trust God more and obey Him better. That should also be the goal for our family.

It is important that we understand that what we choose to do will NOT be done as a way to win God’s acceptance by how much we give or what sacrifices we choose to make.

When we give our lives to Christ and trust Him to save us, the Bible says that God places us “in Christ,” and being “in Christ” makes us acceptable to God. No matter what we do or don’t do, nothing can ever change that fact.

Our commitment is simply about a way for us to say “thank-you” to God, and to show the world what a great and awesome God we have.

  • So, in light of all God has done for us, what can we do to show Him our gratitude?

Principles We Need to Remember:

1. Do what we can.

God wants us to do what we can with what we have. He only expects us to give back to Him what He has already given to us–He expects no more.

2. Do that much.

Will we give God our best or will we hold back the best for ourselves?

3. Do it now.

Psalm 95:7 says, “Oh, that you would listen to His voice TODAY.” There will never be a better or an easier time to step out in faith. If we are ever going to do it, the time is now. 

Prayer Time:

Ask God to reveal to you, as the leader of the family, what is in your heart. Confess any sin that is keeping you from being the leader God wants you to be, or that stands in the way of hearing from God as to what he would have you do.

Ask God to convict each member of your family as to what He would have them to personally do during this time in the life of your church. Lead them to ask God to show them anything in their lives that more important than Jesus. Make sure you allow plenty of time for silent prayer, for each family member to pray aloud, and for God to speak.

Suggestions for “Doing What You Can”

1. Children can make and sell things:

o   One little boy took his allowance and bought enough materials to make a cross necklace out of beads and leather. He sold the necklace for $5.00, which he used to buy more materials to make more necklaces. At last count he had given $1,800 to his church’s campaign, and was still going strong!

o   Another three-year-old colored pictures and sold them to adoring family and friends.

o   One enterprising child took his allowance and brought a bottle of dog shampoo and started a “dog washing business.”

o   A two-year-old helped her Nana make and decorate cupcakes, which she sold. She got to personally put the $50 she earned to help build Jesus’ house in the collection box.

2. The whole family can go through their things and have a garage sale.

3. Families can give up going out to the movies and instead substitute a “family movie” night at home with a rental. Game night works, too.

4. Parents who work outside the home can “brown-bag-it” at lunch.

5. Where it is possible and by allowing a little extra time, tolls roads can be avoided and that money saved.

6. Families can cut down on eating out or when they do eat out, limit their spending by eating at less expensive places, or by drinking water with their meals to save money.

7. Families who are really serious can give up their cable for a pre-determined length of time.

8. Families can collect and sell aluminum cans.

9. Each member of the family can use paper money during the day and save all their coins each evening in a common jar. One family of five went to Disney World every summer just by faithfully doing this. Instead, during their church’s campaign, they chose to forego their trip and give that money to the Lord.

These are just a few ways that each person in the family can get in on what the Lord is doing. This can be a time for even the youngest member of the family to learn some life-changing principles about giving, and about trusting and obeying God.

Remember, parents, your kids will only be as excited and enthusiastic about this as you are–it’s caught, not taught!