The devotionals on these pages are designed to guide you and your family through two months of short, simple times with God and each other.
Find a small shoebox with a lid. Draw a heart on the lid. You?ll also need one "jewel" for each family member?you can get plastic gems at a craft store or paint small rocks in bright colors. Write Matthew:6:21 on a small piece of paper and tape it inside the lid of the box. Place the "jewels" inside the box. You?ll also need note paper and pencils for everyone.
Read the Word
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matt. 6:19-21).
Talk It Over
WEEK 1: Family Treasure
After reading this month?s passage, pass the box around for everyone to look at, then place it in the center of the group. Talk about some of the "treasures" God has given you that will last for eternity?family members, friends, your relationship with Jesus. For this month, you?ll be focusing on the treasure God has given you in one another. Ask each family member to write down one thing he or she treasures about the family (for younger children, have a parent write out the child?s response in the child?s words). Encourage everyone to focus on how this person helps them grow closer to God (maybe your little one likes to remind you of all the bugs God made). Then have each person read his or her response. As each person reads, have that person take a "jewel" out of the box and replace it with the written "treasure." Have all the family members take the "gem" stones with them throughout the week in a backpack, pocket or purse to remember the key verse of the month. End your time by thanking God for making you a family. Ask him to help you treasure one another.
WEEK 2-4: Treasuring Each Other
For the rest of the month, you?ll focus on individual family members. Each week, choose a person and have everyone write down something they treasure about that person. Repeat the process of reading your responses and placing them in the treasure box. If you like, ask each family member to bring a favorite Scripture verse to offer as an encouragement to the person of the week. After everyone has shared their "treasure," pray for the person you?re focusing on, thanking God for making that person part of your family. Finally, let the person of the week keep all the slips of paper as a reminder of your family?s love. This devotion can be adapted for Mother?s or Father?s Day or for any family member?s birthday as a way of celebrating the "treasure" each person is. The treasure we are laying up through this devotion is our love for God and our love for the people he has given us in our family. It can be adapted for grandparents, for a graduation, for a retirement or anniversary party, etc. If you write these treasured characteristics down on paper, they can be cherished mementos.
"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matt. 6:21).
Karen L. Maudlin, Psy.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in family therapy. She also taught in a Montessori-based children?s worship program at her church.
Ask your child to tell you one thing she loves about God. Write down her answer on a large piece of colored paper she can keep in her room. Read the month?s passage, then ask "How does God show you that he treasures you?"
Have your child draw a picture of a treasure chest and include the memory verse. Encourage him to memorize the verse by the end of the month. Have your child think about his most valued possession, then encourage him to give up that possession for a week. Ask him to think about the treasures we have from God. Which treasures are most important?ours or God?s? Why?
Ask the child to memorize the memory verse by the end of the month. Help your child use a concordance to find three other Bible verses about treasure. Is there a common theme in these verses? Encourage your child to think about the things she treasures. Ask, "What is God asking you to do with your ?treasures??" Encourage her to think about other ways she can focus on God?s treasures.
Together, think of ways you can focus on God?s treasures, not earthly possessions. Could you cut back on spending this month and give the money to a charity? Could you give up a Saturday to serve your church or community as a family?
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