Know: Christianity is about active pursuit, rather than passive belief.
Think: I will keep a long-term view of faith, recognizing the eternal significance of each moment.
Do: Take responsibility for growth and keep moving forward in pursuit of Christ.
READ: LISTEN TO GOD
Read Philippians 3:7-14; Hebrews 12:1-4, 12-14; 2 Timothy 2:20-26. Our bodies do not become more fit by accident. We must fuel them with the proper food and exercise them in order for change to occur. Growth in Christ is no different. We must be intentional in our faith for it to be strengthened. We are called to be stewards of all God has placed in our care. That includes the opportunity we have to know and serve Him here and now.
PRAY: TALK TO GOD
Give equal attention to the elimination of sin and the practice of righteousness. Pray that you and your family not only seek out the sins in your lives, but replace them with Christlikeness.
DO: WALK WITH GOD
OPTION 1: Sometimes we feel like our relationship with God isn’t making any progress. When God seems far away, it is often because we are not making the effort. We have to be intentional in our pursuit of God. When we make our relationship with Him our highest priority, the rest of the aspects of our life will follow suit. Put together a puzzle with your child where there is a picture of the finished puzzle. First, have your child put the puzzle together without the picture, and then, again with the picture. The puzzle came together much easier when he was able to focus on the picture, much like our lives when we are able to put our focus on God.
OPTION 2: Start your family thinking about intentionality by asking these questions:
• What are some goals that you have set for yourself at some point in your life? (Answers will vary, perhaps including such things as losing weight or learning a new skill. Be prepared with an example of your own.)
• What made it difficult to achieve those goals? (Answers will vary. The idea is to begin identifying how many things can distract us or work against our progress.)
• What behaviors made it possible to achieve those goals? (Answers will vary. The idea is to identify common traits to progress, specifically that it takes intentional effort in a variety of areas.)
Today your child learned Rahab put her faith into action when she hid the spies from the king’s soldiers. Because of her actions and faith, God kept Rahab and her family safe. Rahab’s actions showed her love for and faith in God. I Can Live by Faith and be a hero for God like Rahab was.
Today your student learned Paul’s goal was to know Jesus and be like Him. He was also dedicated to sharing the gospel with others so they could know Jesus and be like Him. Your student was challenged to be intentional with his or her faith and to encourage others to keep living for Jesus.
Today your teens talked about intentionally growing in Christ. If your teen had a recent growth spurt, ask him or her to compare those clothes in the back of the closet with the ones they are wearing now. Think of friends who have also had sudden noticeable growth. Some growth is unpredictable—teens grow at different rates, over different stretches of time. For physical and mental growth, however, there are developmental milestones that physicians and social norms have established. What would be the spiritual milestones that would be growth indicators for your teens? Read together Ephesians 4:13-16 for some ideas. Help your teenager to measure progress in these milestones during the coming year.