Download 2 Corinthians 4:18 printable Scripture word art here.
Download 2 Corinthians 4:18 printable Scripture word art here.
Download 2 Timothy 1:7 printable Scripture word art here.
By Gary Chapman
God does not forgive everyone. He forgives those who repent of their sin, place their faith in Christ, and accepts his forgiveness. The Christian who sins and refuses to repent will be disciplined by God, Hebrews 12: 5-6. The discipline is designed to bring us to confession and repentance. When that happens, God freely forgives us and our fellowship is restored. That is the fundamental pattern for forgiveness in human relationships. There are three distinct elements to the cycle of forgiveness: 1) A sin is committed. 2) Confession and repentance on the part of the one who sinned. 3) Forgiveness on the part of the one who was sinned against. Jesus spells this out clearly in Luke 17:3.
When confession and repentance are not forthcoming, we are instructed to confront the offender. In Matthew 18:15-17 Jesus indicated that if the first confrontation does not invoke repentance, we should take someone with us in a second effort. And then share it with the larger group of the church. If, after the third effort, the offender persists in sinful behavior, he/she is to be treated as an unbeliever. This means that we pray for them and we return good for evil. But it does not mean that the relationship is mended. God has not forgiven them, nor does he expect us to forgive them. However, we must, as God does, stand ready to forgive if and when the offender repents.
Typically an offense in a marriage stimulates hurt and anger in the heart of the one who is offended. The anger should lead us to confrontation, hoping for repentance so that we can forgive. When repentance is not forthcoming, we must release our anger to God who judges righteously, Romans 12: 19-21. As we release the anger to God and place the offender in God’s hands, we can now “return good for evil.” This is precisely what Jesus did when he was offended. “When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to Him who judges justly,” 1Peter 2:23. Jesus put the offenders in the hands of his father, who is both loving and just, and stands ready to forgive all who will repent. That is the biblical pattern for us. We must never allow anger to live in our hearts. We must always be ready to forgive when an erring spouse turns from their sin and reaches out in confession.
Download the April 2013 Family Time Calendar here. (No fooling!)
Do you have any fun ideas to surprise your family with for April Fool’s Day? We’d love to hear them!
“If you stop at the crucifixion, your child misses the glorious resurrection. If you start at the resurrection, your child misses Christ’s payment on the cross for our sins.” — “I Love to Tell the Story” by Jeff Land (HomeLife, March 2013)
Yesterday I saw this great post about discipling kids in the midst of hectic lives. The author suggests practical ways to teach kids about Jesus using the head, heart, and hands. With Easter just around the corner, now is the perfect time to put these into practice with some hands-on activities that illustrate the resurrection for kids in tangible ways.
You can do this activity with your kids over the 12 days leading up to Easter or as one longer activity. To start, print this Resurrection Eggs printable: HomeLife Resurrection Eggs Printable
You’ll need an empty egg carton, 12 plastic eggs (Target’s dollar section has these as do most dollar stores), a permanent marker, a Bible, plus these 12 items:
1. palm branch – a small branch, leaf, or clipping
2. silver coins – nickels, dimes, or play money
3. bread – a small piece of bread, a cracker, or a crouton
4. whip – a piece of rope, baker’s twine, or yarn
5. purple cloth – a piece of ribbon or a square cut from an old T-shirt
6. thorns – from a rose or bush, or you can break a toothpick into small pieces
7. cross – whatever you have on hand, such as a sticker, jewelry pendant, or you can make one with toothpicks or sticks
9. sign – write on a piece of paper “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS”
10. spices – whole (not ground) spices, such as cloves or nutmeg
12. empty – Jesus is risen!
Get creative and use what you have on hand.
Let your kids decorate a cover for the egg carton. (The resurrection eggs printable above has one your kids can color.) Label your plastic eggs 1 to 12. Using the printable, cut out the 12 Scripture readings to go along with each item. Then fill each egg with the appropriate item and corresponding Scripture. Have your Bible ready for more in-depth discussion.
Want to do this activity but are short on time? You can find a resurrection eggs kit here: http://www.lifeway.com/Product/resurrection-eggs-p005430542
This activity appeared in HomeLife’s April 1995 issue, and it’s been a favorite ever since. Try it with your kids the night before Easter. HomeLife Resurrection Cookies
These tasty sweet rolls make a great Easter morning breakfast, and you probably already have these ingredients on hand! HomeLife Resurrection Rolls
Easter is the most important holiday for a Christ-follower. Don’t let it slip by without being intentional to teach your kids the good news.
Dawn Hollomon is a minister’s wife, mom to a preschooler and a teenager adopted from Ethiopia, and the editor of HomeLife magazine.
We’re excited to have Family Time contributor Kelly Stewart guest blogging today! Check out some more of her tips for having a backwards-themed family night.
Family nights are not a new concept. We began having themed family nights three years ago, as a way to be strategic and focused in spending time as a family, having fun and teaching God’s Word in a fresh way. We knew they required planning and thought, communication and a willingness to go the extra mile. We have had good nights, and even some stressful ones, but we have created an environment in our home that has our children eager for time together as a family.
Backwards Family Night was our first official themed Family Night and it remains one that my children continue to talk about today. We made great memories due the amount of laughter we shared when we all came to dinner with our clothes on backward and stumbled around walking backwards. They also LOVED eating under the table but their absolute favorite thing was eating dessert first! This is an easy win for you as a parent because who doesn’t love eating dessert before your meal?
The devotional in this month’s Family Time is based on Mark 9:35. At this point in the life of Jesus, He was trying to prepare his disciples for his coming death and resurrection, yet they did not fully comprehend what He was telling them. The disciples were more concerned about who was the “greatest” among them.
“No, I am greater! I walked closer to Jesus on our way through Galilee, He must like me more!”
After being caught by their Savior, He sits them down and gives them a new definition of what it means to be Great! He points out that those who are “great,” put others first and serve those around them. What a reminder for us as parents of what it means to be “great” for our Savior, but also for our family. Spending focused, intentional time, building your relationship with your children around God’s Word, may not always be easy or go the way your imagine in your mind, but it will build the foundation of “greatness” for your children. Take the time, put it on the calendar and have a fun night with your family. I can’t wait to hear about your night.
Jason & Kelly Stewart are the proud parents of four children and love to share fun family nights together. Jason has been on staff at LifePoint Church for nine years, and they are currently serving at their campus in the Seattle area. They are the creators of the ministry Family Muscle, which focuses on building strong families through strategic and intentional living.
Update: Congratulations to our winner, Beckey! We’ll email you today!
Thanks for helping us get to 4,000 likes, Facebook friends!
As promised, here’s the giveaway to enter to win a copy of God Gave Us Easter by Lisa Tawn Bergren (WaterBrook Press).
We’ll announce the winner Monday morning. Have a great weekend!
If you and your family are doing HomeLife’s Family Time devotions, we want to hear about it! Thanks to the Davis family for sharing their story.
After inconsistent, complicated family time devotions last year. My husband and I resolved for the new year to do something simple enough to do on a regular basis but still with an element of fun. God brought to my mind seeing some sort of calendar about a year ago in the Homelife magazine at the library. I got online and found the January calendar with a daily Bible passage and discussion starter at www.lifeway.com/homelifeonline and printed it to use for dinner time devotions each night. Simple and perfect! Then I realized it was connected to an article in the January 2013 magazine, so I went to the library and checked it out. There is a fun family time all planned out! Awesome! We had so much fun with our Super Hero night. Everyone was really creative with creating a costume. BAM! Our girls are 9 and 12 and we all loved it! We look forward to doing the family time each month. Thank you for these resources. Easy and fun…perfect family time devotions.
(A.K.A. Super Hero Name: Marvelous Maid)
P.S. Check out the scrapbook page the family made to document their Family Time:
Download the March 2013 Family Time calendar here: March 2013 Family Time PDF
Check out our printable Scripture word art for March!
Download Psalm 91:2 printable here: Psalm 91:2 PDF