Family Discipleship | 2024

Check out our monthly family discipleship lessons! 

  • February

    February 25, 2024: Family Discipleship on Loving One Another

    Jesus loved people. He loved thieves, prostitutes, tax collectors, diseased people, poor people, children and His followers. He loved people who were devoted to Him and those who were different from Him. He even loved difficult and dangerous people.

    And His love is the same today as it was 2,000 years ago.

    Because we are loved by Him, we are called to love like Him. The extent to which we love one another validates and communicates our faith (John 13:34-35).

    The New Testament contains 54 “one another” passages that teach us how to love. Parents can show their children how to love like Jesus by living out the following “one another” passages.

    Forgive one another (Colossians 3:13). The ultimate example of forgiveness was displayed when Jesus hung on the Cross and cried out for those who were crucifying Him: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). We should forgive others even when they don’t deserve it or ask for it. That demonstrates a love that keeps no record of wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:5).

    Accept one another (Romans 15:7). To truly love someone, you must avoid trying to change the person for your own purposes. Accepting love is patient and kind, even when someone does not meet your expectations (1 Corinthians 13:4).

    Honor one another (Romans 12:10). Honor means to esteem someone as highly valuable. It leads us to treat others as though they are personally autographed by God. When we value others above ourselves, we are emulating the attitude of Christ (Philippians 2:3-5).

    But what if the person you are trying to love does not receive it? Loving others isn’t always easy, but a Christlike love means forgiving, accepting and honoring even those who are different and difficult. Our ability to love others comes from God (1 John 4:7). We can only give love when our hearts are full of God’s love. That is the formula. Any other attempt at loving one another simply does not work. Ted Cunningham

    Key Points

    • God calls us to love others, just as He loves us.

    • We show love to others by forgiving, accepting and honoring them.

    • We can only love others when we are full of God’s love.

    Memory Verse
    “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34

    Scripture Study for a more in-depth look at love, read these Bible passages:

    • Matthew 5:43-48

    • 1 Corinthians 13:1-7

    • Galatians 5:6

    • Ephesians 5:1-2

    • 1 John 3:11-19

    • 1 John 4:7-19

    Preschool Activity

    Draw one large heart and several smaller hearts on red construction paper. Help your child cut them out. Next, paste a picture of Jesus on the large heart. On the smaller hearts, paste photos of family and friends.

    When completed, place the large heart facedown on a table. Help your child place all the small hearts facedown in a circle around the large heart.

    Have your child turn over the large heart first. Explain that Jesus loves him so much that He puts people in his life — people who love him and whom he can love. When we love Jesus, it helps us to love others. All love comes from Jesus.

    Before your child turns over each smaller heart, say, “Jesus loves you so much, He gave you ___ (as your child turns over the heart, shout the name of the person on the photo) to love.”

    Continue until all the small hearts are turned over. Explain to your child that as much as all these people love him and he loves each person, Jesus loves all of us even more than that!

    This activity can be repeated, especially when your child has had a bad day, to show Jesus loves him no matter what.

    Chris Gentile

    School-age Activity

    Help your child create a “Love Others Like Jesus Loves” bag. Using a plain paper bag and the Scripture Study verses listed on this page, have your child decorate the bag with words or pictures that show how Jesus wants us to love others. (For example, you might include the words forgiveness and patience or use pictures that depict kindness.) While working together on the bag, explain to your child that although it’s sometimes hard to forgive someone who has hurt our feelings, Jesus wants us to love others like He loves us.

    Place the bag in an easily accessible location. When someone does something that makes your child feel like not loving him or her, have your child write that person’s name on a piece of paper. As he puts the name in the bag, prompt him to say, “I don’t feel like loving [name] today because ______________. Help me love [name] like You do, Jesus.”

    At the end of the week, have your child discard the papers in the bag without reading the names. Together, ask Jesus to forgive everyone whose names were written on the collected papers. Explain to your child that Jesus forgives us and wants us to forgive others. He chooses to not remember our sins. We can choose to not remember how others have hurt us. Love keeps no record of wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:5). Chris Gentile

  • January

    Jesus opens his sermon with descriptions of people who are already experiencing the good life of God's Kingdom. What might this tell us about God's nature?

    Rather than speaking from the temple to the most powerful Israelites in Jerusalem, Jesus heads into rural Galilee to speak with oppressed, powerless people. Why might he have chosen this location and these people?

    Take some time to reflect on any themes or ideas that stood out to you from the video.

    SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: Matthew 5-7, Matthew 6:9-13, and Matthew 5:3-16

    Click the image to the left to go to a Bible Project video on the Sermon on the Mount. 

  • March

    Family Discipleship: Three Times You Should Never Compromise

    Get your Bible to read James 4:4, John 1:14, Isaiah 40:8, Matthew 4:1-10 and Philippians 2:16

    Introduction to study: (The following is by Stacey Salsbery for Revive Our Hearts Ministries )

    As a mother of four, I’m often negotiating terms of compromise between my children: If your sister rides in the front seat on the way there, then it’s your turn on the way home. 
If he gets the green cup today, then you can have it tomorrow. 
If you pick the Andy Griffith episode this time, then she can pick it next time. 

    It’s like a continuous dance where neither partner can figure out the steps, and they constantly step on each other’s feet, scream and holler, and have not the slightest clue how to make it work until the dance instructor comes over and reminds them: If you move right, she’ll move left. 
If you go first, he’ll go second. 

    Compromise is sometimes described as a dance of give and take, but there are certain times when the Bible says we should never compromise.  

    Questions for Discussion with your family: Ask each member of the family to respond!

    1. Would you choose to snuggle with a teddy bear or rattlesnake?

    2. If you could choose a vacation spot would you go to the beach or the mountains?

    Some decisions present choices that are easy while others are harder. 

    3. How do you choose whether to go to church on Sunday or sleep in on Sunday mornings?

    Read Matthew 4:1-11 and see how Jesus made the right choice when tempted by Satan. 

    1. What was his source for truth? 

    2. Do you think it was easy/hard to not turn the stones into bread?

    Never Compromise with Sin

    Any agreement with sin is like voluntarily jumping into a canoe without paddles. At first, you may think you’re fine. Perhaps the stream is gentle, the sun warm. But eventually, the stream will lead to more turbulent waters, and since you have no paddles, those waters will carry you into deeper, rougher waters still. The winds of worldliness will blow, and you’ll be caught in the current, tossed about by torrential waves of idolatry, all the while unsure how you got there. Sin does not play nice. We may think we can live next door to sin (or even invite it inside) and remain unaffected, but the riptide is too strong. If we compromise even a little, sin will eventually carry us under. 

    The moment we become covenant makers with wickedness, we become covenant breakers with holiness. It’s impossible to remain in a covenant relationship with both. James 4:4 says, “Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” It’s impossible to extend friendship to both God and the world when the two remain in opposition to one another. 

    What does friendship with the world look like? It looks like siding with the world over God. It looks like making concessions with Scripture to ease tensions with unbelievers. It looks like compliance with sinful behavior. It looks like halfhearted obedience. It looks like claiming Christianity but not living like Jesus. 

    Never Compromise with Satan

    The Christian life is not a picnic; it’s a war. We’re soldiers in desperate need of the armor of God that we might stand against the devil’s enticing schemes. Our greatest enemy is not staring us in the face but skillfully luring us with spiritual compromises, tempting us to give in to our convictions . .  just a little. 

    The devil isn’t looking to make friends; his goal is to capture prisoners of war. Destruction is the name of his game, and unfortunately, it looks as though he’s gaining ground even among the Church. Can the devil persuade us into thinking homosexuality is not a sin? Can he trick us into thinking we’re racist for adhering to God’s definitions of right and wrong? Can he distract us with worldly incentives and surface-level problems? Can he steal our joy and keep us focused on ourselves? Unfortunately, in many cases, the answer is yes. 

    The devil’s arguments often sound good. Their outer shell often looks like truth, but their insides are like a ticking time bomb, set to detonate within anyone who swallows Satan’s lies. So what does God tell us to do in response? Flee temptation and cling to Christ. Only Jesus has the power to defeat the spiritual forces of evil. 

    We will lose if we seek to resist temptation on our own. Apart from Jesus, we can do nothing to fight back. Compromise with Satan is impossible. If we give him an inch, he’ll take a mile, so that’s what he’s looking for—a little tiny crack in our convictions. A small accommodation that just might be the gateway to suppress our righteousness and demolish our faith. 

    Never Compromise with Scripture

    A rapidly growing sinkhole for Christianity is our willingness to compromise when it comes to Scripture by either not adhering to it, not knowing it, or not believing it. But the Bible is not optional for the Christian faith. We don’t get to vote on whether or not we like what it says. As Christ-followers, we carry the task of upholding every chapter.

    It’s impossible to have a genuine relationship with God without adhering to the Word of God. Faith is not the act of believing God will do as I want; faith is the act of believing God will do as He’s said. Apart from knowing God’s Word, I can have hope, but I cannot have faith. 

    The reason we compromise with Scripture is because we think we know an easier way, a better way, or a more satisfying way. But compromising with God’s Word will not lead to satisfaction; it will only lead to sadness. The moment we step away from Scripture, we step away from God since Jesus Christ is the Word manifested into flesh (John 1:14). 

    This is why I’m thankful for ministries like Revive Our Hearts, whose leaders are unwilling to compromise with God’s Word no matter the cultural pressures. Anytime we change, suppress, or misuse Scripture, we create a false god and open the door to widespread idolatry. Time alters many things, but time cannot change the relevance, accuracy, or legitimacy of God’s Word. “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever” (Isa. 40:8). 

    Christ Is Our Example

    There are certainly occasions when compromise is an effective tool, like when my kids are fighting over the front seat or when my husband and I differ on where to put the mini barn. But there is never a valid reason for spiritual compromise. In other areas of life, we make concessions for one main reason: to keep the peace. But there is no peace with sin or Satan, only turmoil. Peace resides with God. Jesus never once compromised with sin, and He told the devil to be gone (Matt. 4:10). He didn’t negotiate with the enemy; He conquered the enemy so we could be free to do the same. 

    So don’t hesitate to put your foot down when it comes to right and wrong, truth and lies, sin and righteousness. It’s not our job to ease biblical boundaries, apologize for them, or manipulate them so people like them more. Our job is to hold fast to the Word of life (Phil. 2:16), resilient, steadfast, and confident in the gracious God we serve, unwilling to compromise our relationship with him!