September 3 – September 9
Week 3 – Wimpy Relationships
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;I will counsel you with My loving eye on you.” - Psalm 32:8
Other than putting captions under our vacation photographs, few families keep a regular diary of their life together. Whether or not we actually write down these things, a diary is being kept. It embraces our conversations, activities, attitudes, choices, and so many other things. Families are important and require constant care and nurturing, so a regular look at our diary will help us see our journey together. Strong families are a blessing from God. As we look around our family, we often see strengths in another that they may not see in themselves. In loving, gentle ways, we can help bring out the best in those we love the most. Children are so impressionable and quickly mimic parents and older siblings as they find their place in the family. Families have their own language in support of one another: gentle discipline, affirmation, correction, guidance, demonstrations of love and grace. Our families have a responsibility to one another. We trust and depend on those who surround us daily.
The Scripture readings for this week clearly show God’s love for all people and how we might show love and support for others as we seek to develop new relationships. As you read and discuss these Scripture readings with your family, listen to the voice of God. Some decisions your family makes together; others you must make on your own. In everything, let the Word of God direct you.
Sunday, September 3
Read: Luke 7:1-10
This section of Scripture is about healing, but more than that, it is about faith. Even though he never came face-to-face with Jesus, the Roman centurion demonstrated greater humility and faith in Jesus than many of Jesus’ followers. In seeking out Jesus on behalf of his own sick servant, he became the servant himself.
Reflect: When Jesus spoke of the faith of the centurion, what kind of faith was He describing? Is your faith like that of the centurion? What can keep you from having that kind of faith? Pray and ask God for greater faith.
For the Family: The centurion’s servant was very sick. What did the centurion ask Jesus to do for his servant? Why? Think about ways that you and your family can help someone who is sick and is in need.
Monday, September 4
Read: Luke 7:11-17
The presence of God completes our family and embraces us in times of joy and sorrow. He still comes into our homes and our lives and performs signs and wonders within our families. In this section of Scripture, Jesus has compassion on a widow who has lost her only son. Jesus raises him from the dead.
Reflect: Jesus demonstrates His power over the grave in this compassionate raising up of the widow’s dead son. What difference does His power make in your daily life? Why is it important that we demonstrate His compassion in practical ways to those in need?
For the Family: Jesus cares about us and is always with us when we hurt. How was He with the widow, and what did He do for her? Pray together as a family and thank God for always being with you.
Tuesday, September 5
Read: Luke 8:1-3
These three short verses are packed with messages about the ministry of our Lord. We get a peek at how Jesus traveled and with whom. We see who supported Jesus and the twelve disciples while they devoted themselves fully to their calling. We see women, whose lives were transformed by the love of Jesus, respond generously to God’s call on their lives.
Reflect: Everyone in our family is important and has something to contribute as we share with one another the blessings of God.
Take time to identify the ways God has blessed your family and the ways He keeps your family strong. Ask Him to show you ways you can support someone who is called into the full-time ministry.
For the Family: Who was traveling with Jesus? How did they help Him do His work? Why does Jesus want us to help with His work? How can you do that together as a family?
Wednesday, September 6
Read: Luke 9:1-6
Like a new driver who has been trained and tested and goes out on his/her first solo trip behind the wheel, Jesus sends His twelve out on their first solo mission to preach the Gospel, heal the sick, and build relationships in the communities. He taught them and gave them everything they needed to do what He called them to do. In the same way, Jesus equips us and empowers us to answer His call on our lives.
Reflect: Why does God want us to rely on Him for everything? God has put us into communities to share His Good News and build up one another. Where is your community? How do you fit in? How do you do what He has planned for you to do?
For the Family: Why did Jesus tell His disciples to stay with someone in the town instead of staying in an inn (hotel)? Is there someone in your neighborhood or your school that you don’t know very well? How can you get to know them better?
Thursday, September 7
Read: Luke 10:38-41
This story of Mary and Martha illustrates how easily our best motives can be tainted by selfish ones. Martha loved Jesus, and her desire was to serve Jesus well. However, her focus became self-centered when she turned her attention away from Christ Himself. She became absorbed with anger, frustration, and resentment toward her sister Mary. Like Martha, we are often prideful in our service and allow our focus to become so clouded by all we have to do that we forget what is most important and who we are serving.
Reflect: Often families feel it is very important to meet the expectations they feel others have for them, whether it’s true or not. How can you help others to know their true worth and to focus on what can never be taken away?
For the Family: Whose house did Jesus visit? What was Mary doing? What was Martha doing? Do you think Martha was being selfish? Why? What did Jesus say to her? What would He say to you if you were being selfish?
Friday, September 8
Read: Luke 14:1-15
These verses demonstrate Christ’s humble service and love for others as He heals a man with dropsy and tells a parable about sharing ourselves and a meal with those who are outside of our own circle of friends and acquaintances. He wants us to be others-focused as He is … to serve as He has. He wants us to choose to give freely and generously of ourselves in response to God’s generosity to us.
Reflect: It is natural for us to spend time with people like us. Yet, we know the nice surprises God may have for us as we develop relationships with new friends. How does Jesus want us to see others (v.11)? How will your family be inviting to someone outside your current circle of friends?
For the Family: When you do something nice for someone, do you think they should do something nice for you? What does Jesus say about that (v.14)? Ask Jesus to show you someone at school or in your neighborhood who needs a friend. Think about ways you can be a friend to that person.
Saturday, September 9
Read: Luke 19:1-10
Determined that nothing would prevent him from seeing Jesus, Zacchaeus climbed up into a tree so he could see Jesus pass by. But Jesus did not pass by that tree. He stopped and invited Himself into the home of Zacchaeus. Jesus wanted to have a relationship with Zacchaeus. He wanted to share a meal and
have conversation. Neither does Jesus pass by us. In the way that He reached out to Zacchaeus, He reaches out to us. He wants to have a relationship with us ... to share a meal and to share conversation regularly.
Reflect: Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus. What did he do? What happened when Jesus came by? Jesus wanted to spend time with Zacchaeus, and He wants to spend time with us. How can we spend time with Jesus today?
For the Family: Thank God that Jesus took away your sins and is a constant guest in your family. What will you do as a family to welcome God into your home?