Home Time

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Home Time is a weekly devotional that follows Dr. Brooks’ weekend message. It can be used throughout the week by reading a section each day or as a supplement to your current time alone with the Lord by offering a chance to reflect on the past weekend’s message and further apply it as you go through your week. While there are also additional suggestions given for families with preschoolers, children grades K-5, and teenagers at the bottom, it is written with everyone from singles to our elder members in mind. Our hope is that it can provide one more way for God to speak to you throughout the week and help you grow in your walk with Him.

Week of May 26 – Favoritism or Favor?

Listen to the sermon

Memorize: Proverbs 3:4 – Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.  Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.

Read: Genesis 37:1-9 and 39:1-5

This past Sunday, Dr. Brooks preached about the difference between favor and favoritism. We looked at the story of Joseph which begins with Joseph delivering a bad report about the work his brothers were doing and the way his father, Jacob, gave him a special coat with long sleeves (also known as the coat of many colors). That coat really epitomizes the way that Joseph was treated by his father. Not only was it an ornate gift but it was not something that you would wear while working in the fields or tending the sheep. It was a constant reminder to Joseph’s brothers that their father loved him more than he did them. As a result, Joseph’s brothers hated him and eventually sold him into slavery, which was actually a bit of mercy on their part as they initially planned to kill him. While Joseph certainly did not help his cause by lording his favored position over his brothers, you still get the sense that what happened and the hatred which existed between him and his brothers was largely brought about by the favoritism their father displayed. What we see in this story is that favoritism, rather than a blessing, was actually more of a curse, not only for Joseph’s brothers but for Joseph as well. What Joseph needed wasn’t favoritism from his earthly father but favor from his heavenly Father and, in chapter 39, we see that even in the midst of Egyptian slavery, that was always with him. The lesson for us this week is that our focus should not be on trying to be the favorite of other people but on placing ourselves in a position to be favored by God. While they are not always mutually exclusive, the scriptures are clear where our focus should be. So which will you strive for this week: to be the favorite or to live in such a way as to have God’s favor?

Worship Suggestions:

Worship is loving God in all of our life.  Below are suggestions you can apply to your life through upward, inward, and outward worship.

Upward Worship.
Upward worship is giving praise and adoration to God.  It is recognizing and confessing who God is, in His nature and power.  (Hebrews 13:15)

  • Character of God:   Faithful
  • Psalm 86:15, “But You, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.”
  • God faithfully loves us.  He is compassionate towards us, His love is abounding toward us, He is fully gracious to us.  Praise God and thank Him for these wonderful actions words in Psalm 86:15 that describes His faithfulness to you.

Inward Worship.
Inward worship refers to worshiping God through our personal behavior. Ephesians 5:8-10 gives an example of worshiping God through our goodness, righteousness and truth.

  • Inward Attribute:  Love
  • Proverbs 3:4, “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.  Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.”
    • You may be asking yourself, “How do I not show favoritism or even seek to be the favorite?”  The answer to this question can be asked with another question, “Where are you looking?”  Our eyes can look…
    • Inward.  When we look inward we are looking to find our significance by people’s approval.  The problem with looking inward is that the measuring stick for approval is in one’s own eyes and can change according to opinions.  This is unsafe and unrealistic.
    • Upward.  We can look upward to God.  This is a position of looking to please God and to find favor with Him.  When we are looking upward we are looking into the heart of Jesus.  Through His Word we can learn of His love, grace, and faithfulness.  As we look upward to Jesus, He puts in us His heart to love as He loves.   Favoritism disappears when we have the eyes of Jesus.

Outward Worship
Outward worship reflects our love for God and others through our actions.  “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”  Hebrews 13:16.

  • Outward Attribute:   Faithfulness.
  • Proverbs 3:4, “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.  Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.”
  • The act of faithfulness is a gift.  Proverbs 3:4 says to never let love and faithfulness ever leave us.  In other words, it is saying that we are to always love and to be faithful to our God, family and work with your word and commitments. Sometimes we slip in the love and faithfulness category.  In the space below think of ways that you can improve your faithfulness to
    • God:
    • Family:
    • Work:
  • Circle what you’d like to practice this week with your faithfulness to God, Family and Work.

Additional Home Time Suggestions are given below for families with preschoolers, children and teenagers. 

For Families with Preschoolers and Children:

Genesis 37: 1-11; 39: 1-5

Read Genesis 37:1-11 together. Review and ask:

  • Do you think Jacob had a favorite son?
  • How do we know Joseph was Jacob’s favorite son?
  • If you were one of Joseph’s brothers, how would feel? Would you have been jealous of Joseph?

Sometimes things don’t seem fair to us because they are not fair! But God wants us to remember two things. First, God loves you. He loves everyone. We experience God’s favor because He offers love, kindness, compassion, and help to us. Let’s look at the ways we have favor with God. Jesus taught the people about the ways of God. Read these verses together.

What does God say He will provide for us? Draw a picture of the good things God provides.

  • Matthew 6:25-26
  • Matthew 10: 28-29

Now read Luke 12: 7.

  • How many hairs are on your head? God knows. Draw a picture of all the hairs on your head.

Second, he wants us to show love to our family, friends, everyone! What can you do to show love to others?

When something happens to you that is not fair, what should you do? It will help to remember how much God loves you, and how you can show God’s love to others.

For Families with Students (Grades 6-12)

Read:  Genesis 37:1-9 and 39:1-5

Hey Friend!

It is fun to be the favorite isn’t it?  It feels special and a place of honor.  However, when we are the favorite, it always means there is someone who is not.  And that is an awful feeling!  In the story of Joseph, we learn that Jacob had 12 sons and he had a favorite son.  Who was his favorite son?  That’s right, it was Joseph.  Jacob’s favoritism caused several problems.  First, it caused Joseph to elevate himself above his brothers.  Second, Joseph’s arrogance caused the brothers to be angry, jealous and hurt.  And third, Jacob’s favoritism caused his other sons to wonder why they are not important enough to receive special gifts.  As we can see, favoritism is a weed that grows and will take control of your garden, ie your family, peer group, siblings, community, etc.

What is the solution to not seeking to be the favorite or playing favorites?  Proverbs 3:4 says, “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.  Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.”  The answer is Love.  We have been talking about “loving God with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength and loving our neighbor as our self” (Luke 10:27). If we can spend time with God seeking to know Him and experience His love for us, then we can turn and love others as He loves us.  There are no favorites when we love.  Love begins with God (1 John 4:18-19).  When we see with His eyes we will see that everyone is valuable and precious in His sight, we will hurt for the lost, we will care for the broken, and we will be moved with compassion for the lonely.  There are no favorites with God, so let us draw near to Jesus to find our value in Him and then we can turn to others to return His love that He poured on us.


Previous devotionals

Week of May 19: Living Faithfully

Listen to the sermon

Memorize: Daniel 1:8 – But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission to not defile himself this way.

Read:  Daniel 1:6-21

This past Sunday, Dr. Brooks preached on the need to live faithfully no matter what our circumstances might be. We looked at the story of Daniel and his friends in Daniel 1 and the choice they had to make once they were taken from their homeland to Babylon and placed in training to serve the king. Part of that training brought them to the point that they had to choose whether to be faithful to God or obey their new king’s orders. They chose to live faithfully and in the process learned that when they honored God, God honored them. Would we make the same choice? Will we live faithfully even when doing so means potentially making our lives more difficult? Or will we go along to get along? Jonathan Edwards once said that there were two resolutions he tried to live by: “Resolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will.” Daniel and his friends would have agreed. Will you?

Read More - Upward, Inward, and Outward Worship

Worship Suggestions:

Worship is loving God in all of our life.  Below are suggestions you can apply to your life through upward, inward, and outward worship.

Upward Worship
Upward worship is giving praise and adoration to God.  It is recognizing and confessing who God is, in His nature and power.  (Hebrews 13:15)

  • Character of God:  Life
  • Deuteronomy 30:19-20, “This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses.  Now choose life, so that you and your children my live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him.  For the Lord is your life, and He will give you many years in the land He swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”

God is life giving.  Consider how God gives life to you…
Think on these great exchanges:

The Great Exchange

I will exchange…

My weariness for His strength,
My weakness for His power,
My darkness for His light,
My problems for His solutions,
My burdens for His freedom,
My frustrations for His calm,
My hopes for His promises,
My afflictions for His balm and comfort,
My questions for His answers,
My confusion for His knowledge,
My doubt for His assurance,
My nothingness for His awesomeness,
The temporal for the eternal, and
The impossible for the possible!

(By Elizabeth George. A Young Woman After God’s Own Heart, p. 25-26)

Use The Great Exchange as a tool this week to worship God by exchanging our way of handling life in exchange for God’s life breathing wisdom from His Word.

Inward Worship 
Inward worship refers to worshiping God through our personal behavior. Ephesians 5:8-10 gives an example of worshiping God through our goodness, righteousness and truth.

  • Inward Attribute:   Convictions
  • Daniel 1:8, “But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission to not defile himself this way.”
  • Daniel and his friends had convictions.   They said they did not want to defile themselves.  They knew the first portion of the food was offered to the King’s pagan idols and the first wine was poured out on a pagan altar before served to them.  Daniel and his friends had conviction in their heart.  They could not allow themselves to eat the food offered to pagans which would defile themselves before their heavenly, Holy God.  They were men of integrity and conviction.

Think like Daniel for a moment:  Take an inventory of how what you see, say and do that keeps your heart pure before God.  Bravo!  These are fantastic and amazing!  Your choices please God very much!  And now take an inventory of what you allow yourself to see, say and do that you know is not pleasing to God.   God desires for us to walk in truth, wisdom, love, and serving each other.      

Let’s practice the Great Exchange even more:  Use this week to identify 3 things that you want to exchange for something better to honor God.   Here are 2 examples to get you started.

My Ways                          Exchange for                      Honoring God

  • Gossip:  I will choose to build up the character of others rather than tear down with gossip.
  • Watching inappropriate tv shows:   I will choose to exchange tv programs that do not  honor God’s Word with shows that have family values.  And if I can’t find any good tv shows I will spend time with friends and family.

Outward Worship
Outward worship reflects our love for God and others through our actions.    “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”  Hebrews 13:16.

  • Outward Attribute:  Help those who are hurting
  • Hebrews 13:15-16, “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess His name.  And do not forget to do good and to share with others, fir with such sacrifices God is pleased.”
  • Our neighbors in Oklahoma have been devastated by tornadoes.  Let us support and help them by praying for them, maybe offering our hands and feet by offering to serve with our hands and feet in the devastated communities and/or offer financial support to different organizations who are there. Below is a listing of organizations where you give donations.

To learn more read the following article from, “How you can help those affected by Oklahoma Tornado.

http://www.lmtonline.com/articles/2013/05/22/front/news/doc519c36ca57572482892150.txt 

Additional Home Time Suggestions are given below for families with preschoolers, children and teenagers. 

For Families with Preschoolers:

Read:  Daniel 1:6-21

When you sit down with your preschooler this week, be sure to explain to them that this is a true story that comes from The Bible.  Pull out your Bible and show them exactly where in the Bible this story is written.  Explain to your child that everything in the Bible is true and we can learn from it.  This is a foundational truth that your preschooler needs to hear over and over again.

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This week Pastor Brooks talked to us about the story of Daniel choosing not to eat the King’s food.  This was a choice that honored God.  Our lesson from this story in Daniel 1 is about making good choices.  Explain Daniel’s choice to only eat vegetables, and then brainstorm with your child good choices that they can make:

  • Obey mom & dad
  • Be kind to my siblings
  • Help around the house
  • Tell the truth

Make a fun game out of this brainstorming session.  As a family take turns acting out good choices we can make, like charades (you might want to partner with your preschooler to help them act out their idea).  Have other family members guess what good choice you are acting out.

Throughout this week make note of good choices your child is making.  Say something like, “Thank you Abby for making a good choice to clean your room.”

For Families with Children (Grades 1-5):

Daniel and some of his friends were given a big honor.  The chief of the king’s officials chose them to serve in the king’s palace.  That meant they had to move to a new country to live.  Their families and other friends couldn’t go with them.  When they arrived in the new city, they were each given a new name for people to call them.

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As Daniel and his friends were learning what they needed to do for the king, they made a very important decision.  Since they wanted their bodies be strong and healthy and honor God, they chose to eat vegetables and drink water instead of eating the fancy and rich food that the king assigned them to eat.  Even though Daniel and his friends could have been in big trouble with the king and his officials, they still wanted to please God more.  God honored them because they chose to honor and serve God.

Read Daniel 1:3-20.

  • In what ways did Daniel honor, serve, and please God?
  • How did God show His faithfulness to Daniel?
  • What are some ways that our family can honor, please, and serve God?
  • How does God show His faithfulness to our family?

For Families with Students (Grades 6-12)

Read:  Daniel 1:6-21

Choices!  We all have choices that we make every day.  Sometimes we think about our decisions and sometimes we just act without thinking.  Daniel was a man who thought about his decisions.  Each decision he made, he chose to honor God.  Let’s take a moment to think about his situation.

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Daniel and other young men were taken captive from Jerusalem and taken captive to be a guard for the Babylonian King.   In Babylon the local people worshiped other gods, not the Holy God of heaven.  When David and his friends learned about the other gods and what was being asked of them, they knew if they followed the Babylonian practices they would not be honor their God in heaven.  They knew they would be defiling (not be pure) before God.  So, they made a decision.  It was very clear to them.  The Jewish young men respectfully asked the head official to serve them vegetables rather than the rich, fatty foods and wine that was offered to idols first and then to the men.  Daniel and friends trusted and believed that God would honor them for honoring Him first.  And God did!  The head guard served these young men vegetables and water for 10 days.  At the end of the 10 day test, the Babylonian head guard and official saw that Daniel and his friends were healthier and stronger.  God went before them, He honored them for having convictions in their heart to serve the Lord their God with all their heart, with all their mind, with all their strength, and with all soul.

What about you?  How can you be like Daniel at school, on your team, in a school club, in your home, with your friends, on the internet, in your internet social groups?   Every day we make many decisions with what we see, say and do.  Ask God to point out to you where you can make changes to be like Daniel, that is to stand strong for your faith in God and to honor Him first.


Week of May 12: Taking God at His Word

Listen to the sermon

Memorize: Philippians 4:6-7 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Read: 1 Samuel 1:9-28

This past weekend Dr. Brooks looked at the story of Hannah in 1 Samuel 1 and preached about how she provides us a good example of someone who took her need to God, took Him at His word, and then took her family to God with great gratitude. Despite being barren for quite some time, Hannah desperately wanted a child. She prayed persistently and never gave up on God. The result was that God answered her prayer and rewarded her with a son. While our prayers do not obligate God to answer them in the way we ask, they do position us to receive what He wants to give. For Hannah, God wanted to give her a son who would become the religious leader of His people for many years to come. Yet, even before God had answered her prayer, she trusted that He would respond. And after God gave her the son she longed for, she went back in prayer once again offering thanksgiving for the Lord’s faithfulness. Hannah’s legacy as a mom was simple: she prayed and trusted God to respond. What will be your legacy this week? Will you take your burdens to God and trust Him to respond according to His perfect will? When you do, He stands ready to respond as only He can and, as Paul promised the Philippians, will grant you “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding” (Philippians 4:6-7).

Read More - Upward, Inward, and Outward Worship

Worship SuggestionsWorship is loving God in all of our life.  Below are suggestions you can apply to your life through upward, inward, and outward worship.

Upward Worship. Upward worship is giving praise and adoration to God.  It is recognizing and confessing who God is in His nature and power.  (Hebrews 13:15)

  •  Character of God: God is Good.
  • Nahum 1:7, “The Lord is good, a refuge in time of trouble.  He cares for those who trust in Him.”
  • Psalm 145:8-9, “The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.  The Lord is good to all; He has compassion on all He has made.”
  • “God is good, all the time, God is good.”  This is a warm saying we say each week in worship. It is a great saying to tell ourselves often. God is good!  We can overlook His goodness sometimes, but let’s not get caught in the trials and difficulties of life.  Let us keep our eyes on the Lover and Creator of life.  God is good, He is kind, He is compassionate, He is gracious.  And the list goes on.
  • Take a moment to reflect on God’s goodness to you.  Write in your journal your list of God’s goodness to you.  And then offer this list to God in praise and thanksgiving.

Inward Worship.  Inward worship refers to worshiping God through our personal behavior. Ephesians 5:8-10 gives an example of worshiping God through our goodness, righteousness and truth.

  • Inward Attribute: Trust
  • Psalm 56:3-4, “When I am afraid, I will trust in You.  In God, who’s Word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid.”
  • Psalm 91:2, “I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’”
  • John 14:1, Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust in Me.”
  • In whom do you trust?  We can turn to so many  different people, books, scholars, even TV personalities to seek advice.  But in the quiet of your heart, who do you truly trust?  The one and only source of truth, strength, power, and      faithfulness is our God.
  • Hannah from 1 Samuel 1:9-28, called out to God in her loneliness and desperation.  God heard her.  And Hannah trusted Him through the years of prayers and longing.  God is good.  He is worthy of our trust.  He may not always answer on our time table, or answer according to our plan, but He does hear, He is our refuge, He is good, He sees beyond today, and we can trust in Him.
  • In your journal write a  letter to God of your fears.   After writing your fears, talk to God about these fears.  Give them to God—He is ready to carry them for you.  And then trust that God has your best interest at heart.   God is good and He is going to act on your behalf.  Trust in Him.

Outward Worship. Outward worship reflects our love for God and others through our actions.    “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”  Hebrews 13:16.

  • Outward Attribute: Share your love and appreciation with your mom or someone special.
  • It is Mother’s Day!  This is a great week to share your love and appreciation for your mom and special female caretaker in your life.  You can give flowers, write a note of appreciation, give a thoughtful gift, spend a few minutes on the phone visiting, and/or even take her out for lunch.

Additional Home Time Suggestions are given below for families with preschoolers, children and teenagers. 

For Families with Preschoolers:

The story of Hannah and Samuel is in most children’s Bibles.  Read the story with your preschoolers.

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This week we celebrated Mother’s Day.  Any time we celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, we think about how thankful we are to be your parents.  Hannah wanted to be a mommy so bad.  I love to read the story of Hannah, because she is a good example to us of how we should pray to God.  She prayed to God trusting that he would give her a son ,and when she got what she wanted, she remembered to go back and thank God for giving her a son.

Think about something you have prayed for as a family.  Has God answered that prayer?  Did you thank God?

(*Remember to model this for your children during family prayer time.)

Making a family prayer journal is a good way to keep up with things your family is praying for.  You can go back to remember how God has answered prayers and thank him. 

For Families with Children (Grades 1-5):

Remember with your children when your family has prayed and asked God to hear and answer a prayer.  Explain that sometimes we may pray and pray about something and it might seem that God has not heard our prayers because the thing we are praying for does not happen.

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In the Bible, we meet a woman by the name of Hannah.  Hannah wanted very much to have a baby.  She prayed to God and asked Him for a child.  She prayed for a long time.  When it seemed like God might not be hearing her prayers, Hannah kept praying and trusting God because she knew He was good.  She did not understand why God had not allowed her to have a baby.  But she loved and worshipped God and she kept talking to Him about the deep longings for a child that she had in her heart.

Eventually, Hannah became pregnant with a baby boy whom she named Samuel.  Samuel was a special child who loved and served God from the time he was a little boy until he grew to be a very old man.  Hannah was so very thankful to God for His answer to her prayer. She knew that God did not have to answer her prayer with a son, but she was so thankful that He chose to do so.  She was also very happy that God used her son Samuel to do things that were very helpful and honoring to God.

Explain that when we pray, we worship God and then talk with Him about the things that are on our minds.  Sometimes we ask Him for certain things.  At times, He may answer our prayer as we would hope.  Other times, He may not answer the same way.  This is not because He does not hear us.  God loves His children, He hears all of our prayers and He answers them in ways that He thinks are best for us and most honoring of Himself.   Just like Hannah, we can trust God and His ways.

For Families with Students (Grades 6-12)

Read:  1 Samuel 1:9-28

We celebrated Mother’s Day this weekend.  This was a great opportunity to share with your mom your love, appreciation and thankfulness for who she is and what she does for you.  Your mom loves you very much!

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In a world that is busy and self-centered, there is one person who will always be your champion—that person is your mom!  It is not too late to share your appreciation for her.  She is your number 1 cheerleader.  Let her know you are thankful for her.

Pastor Brooks taught from 1 Samuel 1:9-28 this past weekend.  We learned about a very special person.  Her name was Hannah.  She was a young woman who wanted to be a mom, but couldn’t.  In her sorrow and grief she cried to the Lord.  Eli, the priest, saw her tears and anguish.  He actually thought she was drunk, but she wasn’t.  She poured her sorrow to God, just as we can to do too.  Eli, the priest, blessed her and assured her that God would answer her prayers.  And He did!  Hannah gave birth to Samuel, who was a very special child who grew up to be an important religious leader. Sometimes God answers our prayers slowly, sometimes quickly, sometimes His answer is “no” and sometimes He says “not now.”  No matter what God’s answer is, He is good, He hears you, He loves you and He has your best interest at heart.

There are many lessons we can learn from this story in 1 Samuel, but the two lessons of importance for this devotional is that 1) God is good and 2) we can trust Him.   God faithfully listened to Hannah.  He saw her heart, He heard her prayers and even anguish.  In God’s perfect timing He answered her prayers.  Take a moment to reflect on God’s goodness in your life.  You may be struggling at the moment, but in your struggles God is with you.  He loves you and He is with you.  Write in your journal how you see God’s goodness to you.

Second, you can trust God.  King David wrote, “When I am afraid, I will trust in You.  In God, who’s word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid.” Psalm 56:3-4.  Look at your list of fears again.  Pray to God like Hannah did.  Pray with all of your heart with no fears of God’s judgment or rejection.  He already knows what is on your mind, so trust Him with your whole being.  And then ask Him for His will, His goodness, His peace, and His courage.  And then trust that He is a safe place to share your heart and the perfect place of rest.  God is good, He loves you very much, and He can be trusted.


Week of May 5: Looking Forward to the Future – Intentional Inclusivity

Listen to the sermon

Memorize: John 20:21 – Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.

Read: Acts 13:1-5

This past weekend Dr. Brooks preached on the 4th 20/20 Vision Committee group: Missions. He spoke about how each of should see ourselves as being on a mission from God to take the gospel to everyone we meet. If we look at the church in Antioch, they were not only sending people to share the gospel other places but those that stayed behind made it a point to share the gospel with their city as well. Remember, the disciples were first called Christians at Antioch (Acts 12:26). Being a missional church means believing that all of us have been called to share the gospel through the power of the Holy Spirit wherever God may send us. It means being willing to go ourselves as well as being willing to send others whom God has called. The church at Antioch was probably sad to see Paul and Barnabas go but that didn’t stop them from sending them with prayer, thanksgiving, and continued support throughout the course of their ministry. So really the question we have to ask ourselves this week is “are we missional?” The Bible is clear that God is and he has given us the awesome opportunity to join him in that. It may not always be comfortable or easy but there is no greater purpose we can have in life than sharing God’s love and salvation with the people he places in our lives while helping others to do the same. Will you join us in doing that this week?

For Families with Preschoolers:

This week Dr. Brooks preached about being on mission. In Acts we hear about Paul & Barnabas being sent out to tell others about Jesus.

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Here are a few talking points to guide conversation with your preschooler:

  • Do you know what a missionary is? Who in the Bible was a missionary? What did they do that made them a missionary?
  • Do you know any missionaries that live in other countries? (mom & dad, it might be good to mention a missionary from Tallowood)
  • What can we do to tell others about Jesus, just like Paul & Barnabas? We too can be “on mission.” Talk to your child about how sometimes missionaries go to other countries to tell people about Jesus, and sometimes we stay right here in Houston to tell people about Jesus. Everyone we come in contact with needs Jesus.

For more about Tallowood’s missions programs click here.

This week as a family pray together for someone that you all know who isn’t a Christian. Maybe it’s someone in your family, maybe it’s your hair dresser or the person who mows your lawn. Talk to your child about how God wants everyone to know Him and we should tell them about Jesus! Encourage your child to think of a friend that doesn’t go to church and then invite that child to come with you to church some time.

For Families with Children (Grades 1-5):

Read Acts 13:1-5

Begin by asking your family to define “church.” Lead them to discover that the church is a group of Christians who meet together to worship God, pray, study the Bible, serve, give, love and encourage other Christians, and tell others about Jesus .

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Fill in the blanks: Tallowood Baptist Church is a group of Christians who meet together in the buildings at 555 Tallowood to _______, _____________, _________________, __________________, ___________, ___________________.

Ask, “What did God tell the church at Antioch to do?” (Send Saul and Barnabas as missionaries to Cyprus.) Why did God want Barnabas and Saul to go to Cyprus? (Acts 13: 4- 5) What command from God was the church at Antioch obeying when they sent Barnabas and Saul? (Read Matthew 28:19-20 and Acts 1:8.)

How does God speak to the Christians at Tallowood? What are some ways the Christians at Tallowood obey God’s command to go and tell? Brainstorm with your family. Take a look at tallowood.org to find ways Tallowood is a church similar to the church at Antioch. Show your family Tallowood’s website and explore it together. How will your family serve this week?

For Families with Students:

Read Acts 13:1-5

When you think of a missionary what comes to mind? Growing up, I always tended to think of missionaries as being people that took the gospel to foreign countries and places that other people just didn’t really want to go.

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After all, whenever you see them coming back on Sunday mornings or hear about them in Sunday School, that’s usually the context. I wonder what kind of difference it would have made if I’d also heard about people being missionaries to the inner city, or to their neighbors, or even to the people in band or on the basketball team. The fact is that God calls all of us to be missionaries in one way or another. In Antioch, he called Paul and Barnabas to be missionaries to other cities in the Roman Empire, but he was still calling the people they left behind to be missionaries to their city as well. So where is God calling you to take his message of love and salvation in your life? Is there someone in your classes that needs to hear the gospel? Is there someone on the football or volleyball team that needs to know God’s love? Are you in band or orchestra with someone who needs Christ? Pray and ask God to help you see the people in your life as he sees them and to love them like he loves them. And finally, trust that God will show you how to share your faith with them. Being a missionary to your school can seem like a daunting responsibility but we’re not called to do it alone. God promised that he would be with us and no one wants the people you know to know God more than He does.