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Family Time with God

December: The Great Provider

"There is no one like you, O Lord" (1 Chronicles 17:20).

"[God's] divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness" (2 Peter 1:3).

WEEK 1: All We Need

YOU'LL NEED: A bandana or small towel and a light snack for each person. Put a snack in the center of each bandana, then tie the four corners together to make a "bag." You'll also need to find a picture of a cow in a book or magazine.

GET STARTED: Give each person a snack bag. As you eat, explain that this month you'll be talking about the ways God provides for us and gives us what we need. These snacks are your way of providing for your family.

TALK IT OVER: Read Genesis 2:4-22. Together, list some things God provided for Adam. Now list some things God provides for your family. Then read Psalm 107:8-9. What does this passage tell us to do?

WRAP IT UP: Show the picture of the cow, one of God's provisions. Now ask your family to think of everything we get from a cow. Challenge your family to hunt around your house and find other things that came from a cow. What other things in your house can you trace to an original provision from God? End with a prayer thanking God for everything he gives us.

WEEK 2: It Takes Trust

YOU'LL NEED: A paper cup of water for each person.

GET STARTED: Have each person drink their water. This week you'll be talking about what happens when we try to provide for ourselves instead of trusting God. Talk about how the water got in the cup. Did the cup just decide to fill itself up with water? Of course not. Someone had to provide the water.

TALK IT OVER: Think back to last week's reading about Adam. What would have happened if Adam had said, "No thanks, God. I'll take care of myself"? When Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the tree, they were trying to provide for themselves instead of trusting God. What happened next? Ask everyone to think about a time they needed to rely on God for guidance. Talk about the ways God provided for each of you in these situations.

WRAP IT UP: Take your empty cups to the sink and have everyone pinch their cup closed. Try to fill the cups with water. What happens? What are some ways we act like closed-up cups? Pray together and ask God to help you all be open cups, ready to hold everything he's given to you.

WEEK 3: One Way

YOU'LL NEED: One empty paper cup, and a piece of paper and pencil for each person.

GET STARTED: Hold the cup in your hand and explain that you'll be talking about God's provision of salvation.

TALK IT OVER: Tell your family that the cup represents Adam's relationship with God before sin entered the world ?the cup is safe and secure in your hand. Now place the cup on the floor. Talk about how sin separates people from God. Ask your children to think of a way for the cup to get back into your hand on its own. Explain that, just as it's impossible for the cup to jump into your hand, it's impossible for people to get back to God on their own. Ask what God did to bring us back to himself. Read John 14:6. If your children have not received Jesus as their Savior, they may be ready at this time.

WRAP IT UP: Pass out the paper and pencils and ask each person to draw a maze. Now trade mazes with each other and try to make your way to the end. Say a prayer thanking God for providing a way back to him through his son Jesus.

WEEK 4: God in Me

YOU'LL NEED A shoe box, wrapping paper and a treat for each family member. Put the treats in the box and close it up. Wrap the box in the wrapping paper, using a layer of paper for each person.

GET STARTED: Set the wrapped box where everyone can see it. Explain that this week you'll be talking about the special gifts God provides for each one of us.

TALK IT OVER: Ask someone to read Romans 12:6-8. Talk about people you know who have some of these gifts. What are the ways people use their gifts? Now talk about the gifts you see in one another. What are some ways you can use these gifts?

WRAP IT UP: Starting with the oldest person, unwrap the gift with each person taking off a layer of paper. Once the youngest person has taken off the last layer, open the box and share the treats inside. Talk about how you can help each other uncover the gifts God has given each of you. End by thanking God for his wonderful provisions.

Karyn Henley is the author of the original Beginner's Bible (Zondervan) and other resources for parents and children. Visit her website at www.karynhenley.com.

Read more articles that highlight writing by Christian women at ChristianityToday.com/Women

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