Self Less (3 of 3) | Devotions with Dad

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Self Less (3 of 3)

For DAD Only:

Kids First, Dad Second

Recently at a family conference, the speaker challenged the parents to spend more time playing with their kids. I needed to hear this. My life has become so clustered with purpose, ministry, and other meaningful activities, that I had not spent much time just playing.

Of course, I have not been neglecting my kids’ spiritual needs. Nor have I been ignoring their needs for guidance and discipline. But I sure have been scoring a low grade in the friendship department. So I have shaken the dust off my blue jeans and started being more fun as a dad.

Dads have to be careful not to be selfish with their time. I give of my time to the church I pastor and the souls I am working to win. What about my kids? They are more than a business arrangement. They need quantity time, not just quality time. A baseball game takes a quantity of time. Uno or Monopoly make quality time only if I push everything else aside. A quick fifteen minute storybook is a great start, Dad, but it may just be a cop out.

Maybe you do play with your kids. Take time to analyze other areas of your life, are you being selfish in other ways? Remember, more is caught than taught.

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Dad, read this story with your kids:

Giving to a Thief

Dad was sitting behind his desk when Rusty and Misty finished their cake and ice cream. His Bible lay open in front of him.

“So what ever happened to Sonny and the kid he took the bike from?”

“Well, it was tough for the boy to prove who had stolen it.”

“But he had just bought a new horn for it. What did he do?” Misty asked.

“First, he asked in the store if anyone had seen who took his bike. Nobody knew. So, he walked home.”

“Were his parents mad?” Rusty asked.

“I imagine they were upset that this had happened to him. After he told them what had happened with Sonny before he went in the store, they called Sonny’s parents.”

“Did Sonny have the bike?” Misty said.

“His parents said he didn’t and that their boy wouldn’t do such a thing.”

“But you know he did!” Rusty said.

Dad shrugged. “Well, he kept it hid so no one would find out he had it. One day, the nice kid was out walking and delivering his newspapers. Suddenly, Sonny came zooming by on the boy’s bike.”

“Did he say anything?”

“Yes. Sonny stopped and sneered at him.

“The boy said, ‘That looks like my bike!’

“Sonny laughed. ‘It only looks like your bike. But it’s mine. I got one just like yours.’

“‘Sure you did,’ the boy replied.

“‘Hey, where’s your bike?’ Sonny asked.

“‘It got stolen.’

“‘Too bad,’ Sonny laughed. ‘I was hoping to race you.’ Sonny popped a wheelie and rode away down the street.”

“That’s really mean!” Misty said.

“So, did he go get the bike back?” Rusty asked.

“Well, his parents came over to talk to Sonny’s parents who defended their boy and said he didn’t take it. They claimed that the other boy was lying about Sonny having a bike at all.”

“So, then what?” Misty asked.

Dad sighed. “This boy knew a principle from God’s Word. He had learned from his parents that we should be kind to our enemies. He must have known this verse here,” Dad leaned forward to read from his Bible. “And if anyone wants to sue you, and take your shirt, let him have your coat also.”

“What does that mean?” Misty said.

“This Christian young man realized that Jesus wants us to do extra good to people who are extra mean. He went to his bedroom and got out the bike horn he had purchased. Then he walked up the street to Sonny’s house. ‘Here,’ he said, ‘I want you to have this.’

“Sonny took it and didn’t know what to say. Then, before he started crying, the boy turned and hurried back home.”

“I bet that taught him,” Rusty said. “Did he give the bike back?”

Dad frowned. “No, he didn’t.” Dad let out a long sigh, then got up and opened the closet door. He rummaged around on the shelf until he pulled out a small shoe box. He set it on his desk and took off the lid. He reached in and pulled out a faded old bike horn.

“Cool,” Misty said. “You’ve got one.”

“Is this it, Dad? Is this the one in your story?” Rusty asked.

“Yes.” Dad sat down in his chair again.

“That’s really neat!” Misty said.

“So,” Rusty picked up the horn, “were you in the story?”

Dad nodded.

“That’s cool,” Misty said. “You must have been the nice boy.”

Rusty chimed in, “Yes, and Sonny finally told the truth and gave you back your bike, and now you have the horn still. Right?”

Dad shook his head. “No, I was Sonny.”

Rusty and Misty stared at their dad as tears formed in his eyes.

“I didn’t know Jesus as a child. My parents never went to church. I had never even read the Bible. When that boy gave me the bike horn, I learned what Jesus was really like. His family moved away from the area, soon. But I started going to his church. That’s why you kids can be raised in a godly home—because someone knew what it meant to be selfless and not selfish.”

“Wow,” Misty said.

Rusty hugged his dad. “Sorry I was selfish, Dad.”

“I forgive you, Son. You’re learning.” Dad picked up the horn and turned it over. “You said you always wanted one of these.”

“Well, yeah, but I don’t really need one.”

“Tell you what, I’ll give you this if you will remember what it stands for.”

Rusty smiled. “Awesome. I promise!”

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Why did the boy give the bike horn to Sonny?

Do you think he had any idea how much good he did for Sonny?

How do we usually want to act when people do us wrong?

Why do you think Jesus said what He said in Matthew 5:40?

Have you ever done something like this? Has there been a time you should have?

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Read the following scripture with the family:

But I Want It!

And it came to pass after these things, that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard, which was in Jezreel, hard by the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. And Ahab spake unto Naboth, saying, Give me thy vineyard, that I may have it for a garden of herbs, because it is near unto my house: and I will give thee for it a better vineyard than it; or, if it seem good to thee, I will give thee the worth of it in money.

And Naboth said to Ahab, The LORD forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee.

And Ahab came into his house heavy and displeased because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him: for he had said, I will not give thee the inheritance of my fathers. And he laid him down upon his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no bread.

But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said unto him, Why is thy spirit so sad, that thou eatest no bread?

And he said unto her, Because I spake unto Naboth the Jezreelite, and said unto him, Give me thy vineyard for money; or else, if it please thee, I will give thee another vineyard for it: and he answered, I will not give thee my vineyard.

And Jezebel his wife said unto him, Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? arise, and eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite. So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name, and sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters unto the elders and to the nobles that were in his city, dwelling with Naboth.

And she wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people: And set two men, sons of Belial, before him, to bear witness against him, saying, Thou didst blaspheme God and the king. And then carry him out, and stone him, that he may die.

And the men of his city, even the elders and the nobles who were the inhabitants in his city, did as Jezebel had sent unto them, and as it was written in the letters which she had sent unto them. They proclaimed a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people.

And there came in two men, children of Belial, and sat before him: and the men of Belial witnessed against him, even against Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, Naboth did blaspheme God and the king. Then they carried him forth out of the city, and stoned him with stones, that he died.

Then they sent to Jezebel, saying, Naboth is stoned, and is dead.

And it came to pass, when Jezebel heard that Naboth was stoned, and was dead, that Jezebel said to Ahab, Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give thee for money: for Naboth is not alive, but dead.

And it came to pass, when Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, that Ahab rose up to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it.

And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, which is in Samaria: behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth, whither he is gone down to possess it. And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Hast thou killed, and also taken possession? And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the LORD, In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine.

I King 21:1-19

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Does a selfish person think things are more important or people?

Does a selfless person think things are more important than people?

Do you ever get mad at people and say things you should not say when they take or break your stuff?

Are you being selfish or selfless? What can you do differently?

What is the cure for selfishness?

Do something for someone else. Think more highly of others than you do of yourself.

Role play: You are sitting down to breakfast and someone spills a drink in the middle of your food. What does selflessness say? What would selfishness say?

You go to church and see someone wearing the same outfit you saw at the store and wanted to buy. You know they knew you wanted it and intentionally bought it before you could. How do you treat them?

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Memory Verse

Matthew 5:40

And if any man

 

will sue thee at the law,

 

and take away thy coat,

 

let him have thy cloke also.

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