Little Hearts Like His

In recent weeks God has been impressing heavily on my heart to train my children up to be adults who are grounded in His Truth.  Yet in order for them to be grounded in the Truth, they must know the Truth.  Therefore, I am going to be using this page to post daily devotional moments for a parent and child or family.   Each section will contain a verse or two, some questions based on the passage, a suggestion for how to walk out the Word, and a prayer of encouragement.   I encourage you also to pray with your child before and after reading God’s Word together.

My prayer is these devotional moments added to the other ways we live out our relationship with the Lord before our children will instill a love for God and His Word within our children while also allowing God’s Word to mold them and shape them into His image.  Remember, God promises His Word will never return void and if we train up our children in the way they should go, when they are old they will not depart from it (Isaiah 55:11 and Proverbs 22:6).

Note:  All Scripture will be from the NIRV translation unless noted otherwise.


Day One:  Wonderfully Made

You created the deepest parts of my being.
    You put me together inside my mother’s body.
14How you made me is amazing and wonderful.
    I praise you for that.
What you have done is wonderful.
    I know that very well.
15 None of my bones was hidden from you
    when you made me inside my mother’s body.
    That place was as dark as the deepest parts of the earth.
When you were putting me together there,
16     your eyes saw my body even before it was formed.
You planned how many days I would live.
    You wrote down the number of them in your book
    before I had lived through even one of them.
Psalm 139:13-16

Think About It:

  1. According to this psalm, who created you?
  2. According to verse 14, how were you made?
  3. If God says you are amazing and wonderful, then what should you say about yourself?
  4. Look at verse 16.  How many days of your life did God know before you were born?
  5. If God knows your tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day…all the way to the end of your life, should you worry about what could happen?

Not Only A Hearer But a Doer

  1. Make a point today to tell a friend, teacher, or relative that God made them amazing and wonderful.
  2. Speak kindly and treat others nicely because God made them amazing and wonderful just like He made you amazing and wonderful.

Prayer of Encouragement

My Faithful Father, I thank You and praise You for creating me.  You do not make mistakes.  You formed me just the way you wanted me to be formed–and I am amazing and wonderful in Your eyes.  Help me to go through each day knowing how special I am to You, and may I tell others how much You love them as well.   And may I not worry about what will happen today or in the days to come because You already knew all of my days before You ever created me.  Amen.


Day Two:  God Thinks About You

God, your thoughts about me are priceless.
    No one can possibly add them all up.
18 If I could count them,
    they would be more than the grains of sand.
If I were to fall asleep counting and then wake up,
    you would still be there with me.
Psalm 139:17-18

Think About It:

  1. What word is used to describe God’s thoughts about you? (verse 17)
  2. If something is priceless, is it valuable or not valuable?
  3. Based on your answers to the above two questions, what does this say about God’s thoughts about you?
  4. Can God’s thoughts about you be counted?  Why or why not?
  5. Will God ever leave you?  How do you know? (see verse 18)

Not Only A Hearer But a Doer

  1. If someone comes to your mind today, say a prayer for that person and then let them know you were thinking about them.  Remember, God never stops thinking about you and tells you so in this psalm!
  2. As you play in a sand box or maybe even play with some sand art, start trying to count the sand.  For each grain of sand you count, think of something about yourself you like or are thankful for.  Even if you may eventually run out of things, be encouraged that God never does; His thoughts about you are more than the sand! And they are priceless!

Prayer of Encouragement

My Faithful Father, I thank You for thinking about me.  I thank You for thinking priceless and precious thoughts about me.   You love me and are not ashamed to tell me so in Your Word.  May every time I see and play in the sand remind me that Your love for me is immeasurable–I could never count all your thoughts about me!  May You help me walk through life knowing that no matter what may go on in my life, You love me, You think about me, and You will never leave me alone.  


Day Three:  New Every Morning

The Lord loves us very much.
    So we haven’t been completely destroyed.
    His loving concern never fails.
23 His great love is new every morning.
    Lord, how faithful you are!
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is everything I will ever need.
    So I will put my hope in him.”
Lamentations 3:22-23

Think About It:

  1. According to this verse, how much does God love you?
  2. Do people ever fail?  Have you ever failed?   Has someone you love every failed? How did failing make you feel?  How do you think it makes others feel?
  3. According to this verse, what never fails?  How does this make you feel?
  4. According to this verse, what is new every morning?   Should you then worry about things that happened the day before?
  5. Where should you put your hope?
  6. Who is the only one you will ever need, even if everyone else around you fails you?
  7. If God loves you, His love never fails, and He is everything you will ever need, how should you think about yourself and others?

Not Only A Hearer But a Doer

  1. We all make mistakes.  Next time you make a mistake, say you are sorry and then trust God’s love for you.   Do not keep thinking about your mistake.   When you wake up the next day, wake up knowing it is a new day with a fresh start.   Yes, there may be consequences for your actions, but God’s forgiveness and peace will be with you.
  2. Practice forgiving those who hurt you.   We all make mistakes.  Help those who make mistakes see God’s love for them by forgiving their mistakes.

Prayer of Encouragement

My Faithful Father, I thank You for Your love that never fails.   Thank You for forgiving me when I mess up.  Thank You that I can wake up every morning to a fresh start and Your faithful love.   Thank You for always being with me and for being my everything.  Because You are my everything, I can put my hope in You.   People may makes mistakes and fail, but You, Lord, will never fail and will never leave me.  Amen. 



Day Four:  No Worries

So I tell you, don’t worry about the food you need to live. And don’t worry about the clothes you need for your body. Life is more important than food. And the body is more important than clothes. Look at the birds in the air. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns. But your heavenly Father feeds the birds. And you know that you are much more worth than birds. You can not add any time to your life by worrying about it. (Matthew 6:25-27)

Think About It:

  1. According to this passage, what should you not worry about?
  2. What is more important than food?
  3. What is more important than clothes?
  4. Why does Jesus mention birds? In other words, how are they examples of why we shouldn’t worry?
  5. Who is more important than birds? So how does this make you feel?
  6. Worry can make you sad, scared, and even make you sick.  Are these good things or bad things?
  7. According to this passage, what can worry not do?
  8. So should you worry? Why not?  Who then should you trust?

Not Only A Hearer But a Doer

  1. Next time you start to worry, look around for a bird and remind yourself God takes care of the birds–and you are more valuable than birds!
  2. Make a bird feeder of your own, or buy one, and then fill it with bird seed. As the birds come to eat, you can remind yourself God takes care of you.
  3. One way God takes care of us is through the generosity of others. Ask your parents how you can give money, time, clothes, or food to someone who may need it. Your kindness will help someone else trust God and not worry.

Prayer of Encouragement

My Faithful Father, I thank You for always taking care of me. You tell me not to worry about clothes or food because in the same way You take care of the little birds, You promise to take care of me. Help me not to worry about things, and help me also to open my eyes to ways I can help others.   Amen.


Day Five:  Obedience

Children, obey your parents as believers in the Lord. Obey them because it’s the right thing to do. Scripture says, “Honor your father and mother.” That is the first commandment that has a promise. “Then things will go well with you. You will live a long time on the earth.”
(Ephesians 6:1-3)

Think About It:

  1. According to verse 1, what should children do?  Why?
  2. What is the first command with promise?
  3. What is the promise that goes with the first command?
  4. This passage says to “honor” your parents?  What do you think it means to honor someone?  (Suggestion: look up “honor” in a dictionary)
  5. Verse 1 states children should obey their parents “in the Lord.”   This means that by obeying your parents you are also obeying someone greater than your parents. Who is it you are ultimately obeying when you obey your parents?
  6. Do you think attitude plays a part in honoring and obeying your parents?  Explain.

Not Only A Hearer But a Doer

  1. Next time  your parents ask you to do something (like clean your room, put your clothes away, brush your teeth, go to bed, turn the tv off, come inside, or stop playing video games), follow their instructions the first time they ask and with a good attitude.  By doing so, you will be honoring them and honoring God.
  2. Do you have brothers or sisters?   Another way to honor your parents is to do your best to get along with your brothers/sisters.  You could share your toys with them, speak kindly to them, or help them if they need you.
  3. No one is perfect; we all make misakes.  Sometimes you will make the wrong choice to disobey.  But even if you disobey, by telling them you are sorry and accepting any punishment you may have earned, you are also honoring them…and the Lord!

Prayer of Encouragement

My Faithful Father, I thank you for my parents.   I know they love me very much and want the best for me.  One way I can honor them and honor You is by choosing to obey. Please help me make the right choice to do what they ask me to do when they ask me to do it.  I know this will not always be easy, for some times I will be having fun doing something when they ask me to stop.  So help me remember that You promise it will go well with me if I obey.  And help me remember that by obeying my parents I am pleasing You too.  Amen.


Day Six:  Work for the Lord

Work at everything you do with all your heart. Work as if you were working for the Lord, not for human masters. (Colossians 3:23)

Think About It:

  1. What do you think it means to work at something with all your heart?
  2. According to this verse, you should do everything as if you were working for _____?
  3. Based on this verse, even if no one else (like your parents or friends or teachers) is watching you, who is always watching you?

Not Only A Hearer But a Doer

  1. Next time your parent or teacher asks you to do something, do your best at it, even if you do not like what they are asking you to do. This will be working with all your heart. Remember, though, your best may not be perfect. God does not ask us to be perfect; He asks us to do our best. If you do what people ask you to do as if God asked you to do it, you will do it with all your heart.
  2. If you are alone and have the chance to do the right thing or to do the wrong thing, or you have the choice to do your best or to cut corners, remember that God is always watching you. Everything you do should be for Him.   So do the right thing and do your best, even if no one is around to see you or reward you for it. God promises He always sees what you do and will reward you later. (See Colossians 3:24)

Prayer of Encouragement

My Faithful Father, I thank You for loving me as I am. You do not ask me to be perfect, but You do ask that I do my best. Help me to do my best at everything I do. Those times someone asks me to do something I don’t really want to do, please help me to remember You are always with me and always watching me, so I should work as if working for You. After all, You deserve my best. Amen.


Day Seven:  Shining Star

Do everything without complaining or arguing. Then you will be pure and without blame. You will be children of God without fault among sinful and evil people. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky. (Philippians 2:14-15)

Think About It:

  1. According to this passage, what should we do without complaining and arguing? Can you give some examples of what this includes?
  2. Everyone has tasks and life events that may not be easy or fun. Can you think of some things you do not like to do? According to this verse, should you complain about them?
  3. What will be like if do everything without complaining and arguing?
  4. What will we shine like if we do everything without complaining and arguing?

Not Only A Hearer But a Doer

  1. On a clear night, with the permission of an adult, go outside and look up at the stars. The more stars shining, the brighter the night, right? Well, imagine yourself as a little star for Jesus. The less you complain, the brighter light you will shine for Jesus. And the more people who choose not to complain, the more the light of Jesus will shine into a dark world.
  2. Next time a parent or guardian asks you to do something you do not like, take a moment to picture yourself as a star in the sky. And then without complaining or arguing, do what you were asked to do. You will not only be without blame, but you will be shining the light of Jesus to all those around you.

Prayer of Encouragement

My Faithful Father, I thank for reminding me in John 8:12 that you are the Light of the World and that I as Your child have Your light in me. Help me to do everything—even the things I don’t like—without complaining and arguing.   I know that by NOT complaining I am letting Your light shine. Let me shine like a star for You. Amen.


 

Day Eight:  Be Kind and Forgive

 Be kind and tender to one another. Forgive one another, just as God forgave you because of what Christ has done. (Ephesians 4:32)

Think About It:

  1. According to the first sentence, how should we treat everyone?
  2. Can you think of an example of being kind?
  3. To be “tender” is to be caring, gentle, or to show concern and sympathy. Can you think of an example of being tender?
  4. According to the second half of this verse, what should we do to those who do wrong things?
  5. Who forgave you? How did He do this? In other words, what did Jesus do for you?

Not Only A Hearer But a Doer

  1. There is a well-known saying “If you have nothing nice to say, then do not say anything at all.” Ephesians 4:32 has a similar meaning. Before you say or do anything, take a moment and ask yourself if it is kind, nice, gentle, or caring. If it will make the other person sad, angry, or hurt, then do not say it or do it.
  2. Recall the examples you gave in the Think About It section above for being kind and tender. Make a point in the next few days to do those examples or ones like it. Some ideas could be to send a kind note to a relative far away, to help your parent carry in the groceries, to help your brother or sister with something, to play nicely with your brother or sister, or to help someone clean up something they may have dropped. Even asking “Are you okay?” to someone who looks hurt or sad is a way to be kind and tender.
  3. No one is perfect. There will be times when someone does or says something that hurts you or makes you angry. When you feel hurt or angry at something someone did to you or to someone you know, think about what Jesus did for you. He died on the cross for your sins and in turn asks you to forgive those who do wrong things against you. It may not be easy, and you may not feel like it, but ask Jesus to help you forgive them like He forgave you.

Prayer of Encouragement

My Faithful Father, I thank You for loving me. Thank You for sending Jesus to the earth to live a sinless life, to die on the cross for my sins, and then to rise from the dead three days later. Help me to forgive others like You forgave me. I know it may not always be easy, so please help me when I need to forgive. Help me also to say and do nice things to everyone. I confess sometimes it is hard to be nice to everyone, so please help me be kind, caring, and tender to everyone I meet. May I be kind and forgive in the same way You are kind and forgive me. Amen.


 

 

Day Nine:  Love One Another

 “I give you a new command. Love one another. You must love one another, just as I have loved you. If you love another, everyone will know you are my disciples.” (John 13:34-35)

Think About It:

  1. Jesus is speaking to His disciples in this passage.   What is the new command He gives them?
  2. What does it mean to love someone? How can you show love to someone? As you think about this, remember you can show love by how you act, what you say, and what you do.
  3. Jesus says to love one another as He loved us. How did Jesus show His love? (Check out John 15:13)
  4. According to verse 35, how will people know we are disciples of Jesus? In other words, when you are in school, at home, or playing with friends, how will people know you know Jesus?
  5. Do you think Jesus wants us to love only those who love us, or should we love everyone? (See Matthew 5:43-48)

Not Only A Hearer But a Doer

  1. If you have a flashlight, take it out and turn it on. How do you know there are batteries in it? The light shines, right? If you go to turn it on and no light shines, then you know it needs batteries.   In a similar way, people will know Jesus is in your heart by the light you shine. In this case, the light you shine as a follower of Jesus is love. They will know you know Jesus by your love.   In fact, the God’s love shining through you will help light up a world darkened by sin.
  2. In the think about it questions above, you thought of ways you can show someone you love them.   Think of three people you know who you could show love to today. And then do it!   Remember, you can show others love by saying nice, encouraging words to them, by serving them, by giving gifts to them, by spending quality time with them, and through giving them hugs.

Prayer of Encouragement

My Faithful Father, I thank You for loving me. Thank you for loving me by sending Jesus to the earth to die for my sins. Jesus is the greatest example of what it means to love people. Please help me this day to love others as You have loved me, even if those I must love are not nice to me. Remind me I can give hugs, I can say nice things, I can give gifts, I can serve, and I can spend time with people to show them I love them. Even obedience to those in authority shows them love. And as I love others, help them see that I love them because I love you. Let your light of love shine through me, Jesus.   Help people see You in me. Amen.


Day Ten:  Hold on to Love and Truth

 Don’t let love and truth ever leave you.
Tie them around your neck.
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will find favor and a good name
in the eyes of God and people.

(Proverbs 3:3-4)

Think About It:

  1. According to this verse, what two things should never leave you?
  2. Can you give an example of what it means to love? How about what it means to walk in truth?  If it is easier, think of the ways people don’t show love or don’t show truth.
  3. What do you think it means to “tie them around your neck” and to “write them on the tablet of your heart”?
  4. According to verse 4, what two things will happen when you keep love and truth?
  5. What is “favor”? What is “a good name”? Can you give examples?
  6. If favor and a good name are what we find when we have love and truth, what do you think would happen if we lose them?

Not Only A Hearer But a Doer:

  1. To tie something around your neck is to keep it close to your heart.   Make a witness necklace or bracelet (see an example here). Then wear it to remind yourself to always keep love and truth with you wherever you go. It will also be a great way to tell others about the love of Jesus.
  2. Psalm 119:11 says, I have hidden your word in my heart so that I won’t sin against you.” Ask your parents to help you find a Bible verse that applies personally to you. Write it on a note card, carry the note card with you, and then spend the next week memorizing the verse. By memorizing God’s Word, you will be writing His truth on your heart.

Prayer of Encouragement:

My Faithful Father, I thank You for loving me. You are the greatest example of love. And You always tell the truth. Help me to love others the way You love them and to tell the truth in every situation. I confess it is not always easy to love people, and it is not always easy to be honest. So please give me the strength to do so. And thank You that You promise that when I walk in love and speak the truth, You will give me favor and a good name with the people in my life. Amen.


Day Eleven:  Tell of His Goodness

 Sing to the Lord. Praise him.
Day after day tell about how he saves us.
Tell the nations about his glory.
Tell all people about the wonderful things he has done.

(Psalm 96:2-3)

Think About It:

  1. Who are we to sing to and to praise?
  2. What three things should we tell about?
  3. How often should we do this?
  4. Who should we tell?

Not Only A Hearer But a Doer:

  1. When we tell others about how Jesus saves us, we are giving them our testimony. Take some time and write down how you met Jesus. You can then share this with your friends and family. If you do not remember a time you asked Jesus to be your Savior, ask a parent, guardian, or youth leader to tell you how you can know Jesus.
  2. One way we can praise God is to tell others about all the wonderful things He has done.   Think of something God has done for you recently, and then find 2 or 3 people you know and share it with them.  You’ll be praising God by telling about the wonderful things He has done!

Prayer of Encouragement:

My Faithful Father, I thank You for all the good things you have and will do in me. May I spend time every day thanking You and telling others about how great You are. Thank You for sending Jesus to this earth to die for my sins. Help me be bold to tell others what Jesus did for me. Let me also proudly share all the other wonderful things You have done for me as well. May I sing and praise You day after day. Amen.

 

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