Life (3 of 3): God’s Map | Devotions with Dad

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Life (3 of 3): God’s Map

For dad only:

Word of God – Word of Man

If your children learn about God’s nature by observing your love, attitudes about punishment, and your level of patience, what do they learn about God’s Word by hearing your words? Do you keep your word? Do you tell the truth? Do you encourage and build them up or put them down?

Word for Word

When doing devotions, many parents have wondered about using different translations. I use multiple translations with my kids because it helps them get the message of the Scriptures. I love the KJV, but it can distract children by using words they do not understand. If something obscures the message, it is a problem, not a help.

Good Word for the day

Start your children’s day with the Bible. If you do not have time to do devotions together first thing in the morning, then at least pray with them and memorize one verse.

Read the Bible together everyday. Take turns letting them read. Have them explain what they think it means. Share insights and tell them how God has used certain passages in your life.

Discuss God’s Word with your children everywhere. If they see a disturbing scene on the road or in the mall, talk to them about it in light of passages you have read or memorized.

Loving the Scriptures

Do not institutionalize your family’s use of the Bible. Love God’s Word. They will adopt your attitudes about it. Let them see you enjoy a passage and be honest with them when you find areas you need to grow in.

You do not earn points in heaven by reading the Bible with your kids. You lay up treasure above by helping them live the Word here below.

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Check this book out:

Come on, Dad!: 75 Things for Fathers and Sons to Do Together

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Read this to the kids:

Knowing the Map

Rusty had packed all kinds of gear into his backpack. He had a magnifying glass, a waterproof matchbox, a flashlight, a first-aid kit, and other great exploring stuff.

While he waited for Dad to come out of the showers, he looked at the bulletin board by the picnic tables. One sign said, “Fire danger: LOW.” He saw pictures of groups of people who had stayed there before. He read a few notices for upcoming events. On the other side, he saw a map. At first he thought it was just a state map, but then Rusty realized this was a map of the whole campground.

Rusty found the big lake at the bottom of the map. Next to the lake, a big red X indicated where Rusty stood with a note that said, “You are here.” Rusty’s finger traced the path from the picnic area around the lake and into the woods. There was a beaver lookout by the stream that ran into the lake. There was also an area that looked like it was thick with trees and was probably the mountain Rusty could see from where he stood. He looked the whole map over to see where the shooting range was, the hiking trails, the good fishing holes, the rope swing, and so much more.

A friend from church came by and ran up to Rusty. “Hey, where are you and your dad going?” the boy asked.

“Hi, Carter. I don’t know yet,” Rusty said. “We are going to find out when we get there. We’re just going to explore the woods.”

“My dad and I are going to the big rope swing,” Carter explained.

Rusty smiled. “That sounds like fun. I’m glad they are letting each Dad and his sons have time alone.”

“Yeah,” the boy laughed, “I can’t wait to see my dad ride that rope swing.”

Carter’s dad called for him, and Rusty said goodbye.

A couple minutes later, Dad came out of the shower house. “Ready, buster?”

“Yep. I have got everything we need to survive in the wild.”

“You do? Did you bring my electric razor?”

Rusty smiled. “Nope, but I have a hunting knife.”

“That will work,” Dad said with a chuckle. “So which way do we go?”

“Umm.”

“Okay, close your eyes, partner, and I’ll spin you.”

Rusty closed his eyes and Dad spun him around a few times. “Now keep your eyes closed and point!”

Rusty tottered a little and pointed straight ahead. He opened his eyes. His finger was pointing at the bathrooms.

Dad laughed and laughed. “Well, I had hoped for more adventure than that. In fact, I think I would rather have to face the wilds of the underbrush than to risk going into those restrooms again!”

“How about we climb up that mountain? We could get to the top and eat lunch up there.”

“You got it, pardner.”

Dad and Rusty set off toward the uncharted forest.

•      •       •

After eating lunch together at the top of the big hill, Dad said, “Well, I was hoping to have a good view down into the valley from here, but you cannot see anything for the trees.”

“We could climb one,” Rusty said.

Dad looked around. “Hmm. There’s a cedar tree with branches low enough to climb up, but…”

“It’s not tall enough,” Rusty said.

“Maybe if we go up this ridge we will find a clearing,” Dad said, standing up and putting on his pack.

“Okay, up we go again.” Rusty put on his gear.

They walked up the ridge looking among the tall pine trees for a low enough branch to climb for a view down into the valley. They never found a spot clear enough to see anything below them other than trees and more trees.

Finally, Dad said, “Well, Son, we have seen a lot of great trees, some squirrels, birds, and a few butterflies. I think we should call it a day. Bro. Belden is supposed to be roasting a turkey over the campfire this afternoon. I want to get back in time to eat some of that.”

“Okay,” Rusty said. He was a little disappointed that they had not had more adventure, but he did not want to complain.

“Now, which way do we go?” Dad asked.

“The opposite of how we got here,” Rusty said. “We go back down.”

“Sure enough.”

Dad and Rusty started working their way down the hillside, climbing over boulders, walking out on a few fallen trees, and even chasing a couple lizards.

After a long walk, Dad asked, “Are you sure we are heading back where we came from?”

“I was hoping you knew where we were.”

“In the woods,” Dad said.

“I guess we will have an adventure now. We’re lost. We have to figure out how to get back to the camp.”

“Did you bring a compass?” Dad asked.

“Yep. But I never looked at it to see which way we were heading so I could follow it back.”

Dad looked at the sun through the trees. “That must be west, so we need to head off in this direction. I think the camp will be down that way.”

“Or a highway where we can hitch a ride back,” Rusty said laughing.

“Right,” Dad said, not laughing.

They walked on for a long time again as the sun sank lower in the sky. Finally, they came across a stream.

“Hey,” Rusty shouted. “I think this is the stream that goes into the lake beside the campground.”

“Let’s follow it!”

They traipsed alongside the stream, stumbling downhill at times, until the ground leveled out before them.

“Look at that,” Dad said.

Rusty looked up ahead. “At what? The brush pile?”

“That’s not a brush pile,” Dad whispered. “That is a beaver’s home. See this pond? Beavers built this.”

Rusty looked around wide-eyed. He’d read about this, but never seen it up close. “Hey, Dad, look,” Rusty said. “See that tree wiggling over there? A beaver is chewing at the base of it.”

Dad looked where Rusty pointed. Together they watched in silence as the beaver gnawed through the small tree and it fell over. Then he began gnawing the branches off the tree. They could not see him on the other side of the tree, so they both sneaked carefully along the hill until they could see better. One of them stepped on a branch and the beaver turned and saw them.

Quick as a flash, the beaver scurried down to the water, jumped in, and slapped his tale as he swam away from shore. Two other beavers appeared from the woods on the other side of the pond, and they all swam toward their home. Soon they dove out of sight and did not reappear.

Dad and Rusty stood talking about what they had seen. Finally, Dad said, “Well, we have got to figure out how to get home from here.”

“Wait!” Rusty said. “I remember this! It is on the map. This beaver dam is right near the trail that goes around the lake.” He looked around for a minute and said, “Up there! The beaver lookout point is right there!”

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Now discuss it!

What had Rusty studied that helped him figure out how to get back to camp? A map.

 

How is the Bible like a map to help us figure out life?

 

How do you depend on the Bible to help guide your life?

 

What happens if you ignore God’s Map and try to figure out life on your own?

 

How do you use God’s map?

Study, reading, and memorization.

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Read God’s Word together:

Searching the Scriptures Daily

 

Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews: And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ. And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.

But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people. And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also; Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus. And they troubled the people and the rulers of the city, when they heard these things. And when they had taken security of Jason, and of the other, they let them go.

And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.

(Act 17:1-12, KJV)

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Let’s talk about it!

How were the people in Berea more noble than those in Thessalonica?

 

In Acts 17:2-3, how did Paul convince people about Jesus?

 

Role play: Some one tells you that the Bible is not true. They say it is just stories people made up.

Someone tells you the Bible is full of mistakes. What do you say?

Someone says he only listens to Jesus and does not have to read the Bible. What do you think?

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Memorize it!

II Timothy 3:15

And that from a child

thou hast known the holy scriptures,

which are able to make thee

wise unto salvation

through faith

which is in Christ Jesus.

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