Look It Up
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had, and bought it (Matthew 13:45-46 NASB)
You'll need one small marble for each member of the family and a single large marble and some white paint or nail polish. Paint each of the marbles white so they look like pearls.
Upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had, and bought it (Matt. 13:46).
Talk It Over
WEEK 1: The Pearl
Hand one of the small "pearls" to each family member and place the large pearl in the center of the table. You might want to set it on a dark plate or napkin so it will show up and won't roll off the table. Read the passage again slowly. Encourage each family member to think of the pearl as his or her most precious possession. Ask if they're willing to trade their pearls for the larger pearl. Then ask if anyone would trade a favorite possession?their toys, their car, their house?for the larger pearl. Talk about why your answers might have changed when you started talking about giving up things that are valuable to you.
Now, pass the large pearl around the family. Talk about the meaning of the pearl. What does it mean to give up everything for the kingdom of heaven? Let each person keep his or her pearl during the month. Encourage your family to think about what they'd give up for God each time they see their pearl. End with a prayer asking God to help your family give everything to him.
WEEKS 2-5: Giving Everything
Each week, ask a different member of the family to bring his or her favorite possession to the devotional time. That family member is the "person of the week." Then follow the discussion guidelines below, asking the questions only to the person of the week. If you have more than four people in your family, assign more than one child to a week. And save a week for Mom and Dad!
After you've read the passage, have the person of the week talk about why this possession is her favorite. Ask her why it's hard to think about giving up the things we love. Ask questions like: How did you feel when you first found the "Great Pearl" of God's love? What would you do if God asked you to give up something precious for him? What are some ways you can give God your best? Has God been asking you to give something up for the kingdom?
End your time by praying specifically for the person of the week.
Karen L. Maudlin, Psy.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in family therapy. She also teaches in a Montessori-based children's worship program at her church. She and her family live in Illinois.
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1999 by the author or Christianity Today/Christian Parenting Today Magazine.
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