Family Devotional

    
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FAMILY DEVOTIONAL

 

INTRODUCTION

Your family can change the world right where you are, one gospel conversation at a time! Through this devotional, you will work as a family
to identify someone you would like to see come to faith in Christ. Family members can each choose one person, or the entire family can focus on one person or family.

Over the next four weeks, you’ll learn how to reach people with the gospel from the best example—Jesus.

Week One: Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1–10)
Week Two: The Woman at the Well (John 4:1–30; 39–42)
Week Three: Nicodemus (John 3:1–21)
Week Four: The Royal Official (John 4:43–54)

 

LUKE 19:1–10

WEEK 1 | ZACCHAEUS

PREPARE

1. Become familiar with the Who’s Your One evangelism initiative by visiting the Who’s Your One website: whosyourone.com

2. Order, for free, or download and print the prayer guide and bookmarks: whosyourone.com/start-a-campaign

3. Go to lifeonmissionbook.com/conversation-guide, and review the 3 Circles method of sharing Christ. Download the free app to your phone, so it is always handy.

4. Open a Bible to Luke 19:1–10, which is the story of Zacchaeus. Read the story yourself before presenting it to your family, making note of the following things about Zacchaeus and the interaction between Jesus and Zacchaeus. Focus on how Jesus approached Zacchaeus and how your family can apply Jesus’ method of evangelism to people in your sphere of influence.

     a. Zacchaeus was rich because he had taken advantage of his position as chief tax collector by extorting money from his fellow Jews. He was despised by the people in Jericho because he had sold out to the Roman government and mistreated his own people (v. 1).

     b. Jesus called Zacchaeus by name, though He had never been introduced to him (v. 5). He also knows your person or family of focus. He knows you, too!

     c. Jesus spent time with Zacchaeus at his house, much to the horror of the citizens of Jericho (v. 6). Jesus came to seek and save the lost (v. 10).

     d. Though Zacchaeus was a blatant sinner and hated by the people, Jesus thought he was worth saving. Jesus wasn’t concerned with what “righteous” people thought of Him.

     e. Zacchaeus responded with his whole heart and took immediate action (v. 8). He promised to give half his possessions to the poor and pay back four times the money he had extorted, though only 20% more than what had been extorted was required. These were the actions of a transformed man.

LEAD

Gather the family, and get rid of any distractions, such as television and electronic devices. Explain the concept of Who’s Your One and that you, as a family, are going to participate.  Decide as a family who your one(s) will be. These could be neighbors, coworkers, classmates or family members.
According to the ages of your children, either read Luke 19:1–10 from the Bible, or tell the story.

QUESTIONS

1. When we pray for God to touch a person’s heart, He is faithful to do it.  What evidence is there in verse 4 of the story of Zacchaeus that shows Jesus had already been at work on Zacchaeus before He entered Jericho? Zacchaeus was so anxious to see Jesus he climbed a tree.

2. Was Zacchaeus considered a good person by the people of Jericho? Why or why not? The people despised Zacchaeus because he had extorted money from them. They thought him a friend of the Romans.

3. Did Jesus care what the people thought of His going to Zacchaeus’s house? No. Which was more important to Jesus—His reputation among the people or the salvation of Zacchaeus’s soul? Zacchaeus’s soul.

4. What evidence do we see in verse 8 that Zacchaeus was a changed man because Jesus spent time with him? He returned four times the money he extorted and gave half his possessions to the poor. His heart was changed, and he acted on it.

5. How can we apply this story and the actions of Jesus to the people we have chosen as our one(s)? Begin by praying for God to soften their hearts, then make an intentional effort to befriend them (if not already) and be an example of Christ. Accept other answers that fit your context and the people you have chosen. Invite discussion of actions to take.

ACTION

1. Give each family member one of the bookmarks you ordered. You can order this resource free of charge in packs of 25 from the North American Mission Board at nambstore.com.

2. Have each person write the name of the person, persons or family in the blank provided on each bookmark. Tell each family member to put the bookmark in a place where they will be reminded to pray for their one.

3. Bring out the prayer guide you ordered from the North American Mission Board or downloaded and printed from whosyourone.com/for-you. Note that there are 30 days of pre-printed prayers that coincide with the Bible verse references printed on the bookmarks. Commit to gather as a family and pray daily for your one(s).

4. Write the names of your one(s) in the blanks provided in the prayer guide.

 PRAYER

First pray for your family and your commitment to this task. Then pray for your one(s) using the prayer on day one of the prayer guide. Pray also for whatever the Lord lays on your heart about the persons for whom you are praying. 
Continue to pray every day, using the prayer guide and the bookmark, for seven days, until you come together again as a family for the devotion for week two.

 

JOHN 4:1–30; 39–42

WEEK 2 | THE WOMAN AT THE WELL

PREPARE

Open a Bible to John 4:1–30; 39–42, which is the story of Jesus and the woman at the well. Read the story yourself before presenting it to your family, making note of the following things about the woman and the interaction between her and Jesus. Focus on how Jesus approached the woman and how your family can apply Jesus’ method of evangelism to people in your sphere of influence.

     a. Samaria was a place most Jews avoided because the Samaritans, also Jews, were considered impure because they had intermarried with foreigners and created a mixed race, betraying their people and nation. They also did not worship in Jerusalem but at Mount Gerizim. Jesus, with His disciples, went there anyway (v. 4).

     b. The woman was at the well at noon, which could mean she was trying to avoid an encounter with other women in her city because of her bad reputation of having had five husbands and being with a man who was not her husband. Most women drew water twice daily, in the morning and evening. She was not only an outcast of the Jews but also of her fellow Samaritans. Jesus engaged in conversation with her anyway (vv. 6–9).

     c. Jesus spoke to the woman about living water, a spiritual term she did not understand because she thought in earthly terms (vv. 10–15). In the Bible, God is identified as Living Water (Jeremiah 17:13). In saying this, Jesus was claiming to be the Messiah, but the woman still didn’t get it.

     d. Jesus made the conversation personal by telling the woman about her past and present marital situations, not to condemn her, but to help her believe that He was the Messiah they were expecting. Jesus told her plainly that He was the Messiah (vv.16–26).

     e. The woman went back to the town and told everyone to come and see the man who claimed to be the Messiah (vv. 28–30). Jesus stayed with them for two days, and they believed His words and recognized Him as the Savior of the world (vv. 39–32).

LEAD

Gather the family, and get rid of any distractions, such as television and electronic devices. Review the concept of Who’s Your One, and remind family members who their one is. 
According to the ages of your children, either read John 4:1–30; 39–42 from the Bible, or tell the story.

QUESTIONS & ACTIONS

After reading or telling the story, ask the following questions:

1. As a family, discuss any spiritual differences between you and your one. What common ground do you have? How can you connect on this common ground without compromising truth?

2. The Jews typically avoided Samaritans and even Samaria like a plague. Is there a stigma attached in you having a relationship with someone like your one? Discuss ways in which you can form a close relationship with your one despite the stigma, if one exists.

3. Jesus typically spoke in terms regarding the spiritual realm, but most people think in the earthly realm. Remember that your one likely thinks this way. Use simple language when explaining the gospel to him or her. Use the 3 Circles method as a guide. Talk about this method of sharing as a family.

4. Jesus knew the Samaritan woman and all that she had done, but He did not speak words of condemnation to her. He led her to reach her own conclusions about who He was and her need for Him. Talk about ways you can connect with your one through his or her personal life without being a busybody or making the person feel condemned. Make the conversation about him or her, not you. Listen, and really hear. Your one needs to feel comfortable speaking openly to you.

5. Talk about ways you can help your one with any problems about which he or she has spoken to you. Remember to lift the person up in prayer, and tell him or her you have done so.

PRAYER

Pray for your family and your commitment to this task. Then pray for your one(s) using the prayer on day eight of the prayer guide. Pray also for whatever the Lord lays on your heart about the persons for whom you are praying.
Continue to pray every day, using the prayer guide and the bookmark, for seven days, until you come together again as a family for the devotion for week three. Give opportunities for family members to share their experiences they have had with their one(s).

 

JOHN 3:1–21

WEEK 3 | NICODEMUS

PREPARE

Open a Bible to John 3:1–21, which is the story of Jesus and Nicodemus. Read the story yourself before presenting it to your family, making note of the following things about Nicodemus and Jesus’ interaction with him. Focus on how your family can apply Jesus’ method of evangelism to people in your sphere of influence.

     a. Nicodemus was a member of the powerful Jewish council and a secret believer in Jesus. He was also wealthy and welleducated. Because of the Jews’ animosity toward Jesus, he was afraid to be seen with Him; therefore, he made an appointment to visit Jesus at night.

     b. Speaking in spiritual terms, Jesus told Nicodemus he must be born again to enter the kingdom of heaven, meaning we are reborn spiritually through the work of the Holy Spirit. We receive the Holy Spirit by confessing faith in Jesus as our Lord and Savior (v. 3).

     c. As Israel’s teacher, Nicodemus knew the Old Testament thoroughly, but he didn’t truly understand what it said about the Messiah. Knowledge does not equal salvation (vv. 10–11).

     d. Jesus tells Nicodemus plainly that belief in God’s Son is the only way to heaven and that He was not sent to condemn the world, but to save it (vv. 16–18).

     e. Jesus uses the term Light to describe Himself. Light reveals truth. No thought or deed can be hidden from God.

LEAD

Gather the family, and remove any distractions, such as television and electronic devices. Review the concept of Who’s Your One, and remind family members who their one is. 
According to the ages of your children, either read John 3:1–21 from the Bible, or tell the story.

QUESTIONS & ACTIONS

After reading or telling the story, ask the following questions:

1. Discuss what it means to be spiritually born again. Talk about how you might explain the concept of being born again to a person who knows nothing about Jesus or the Holy Spirit. How might you explain the concept to your one? Jesus uses the example of the wind (v. 8).

2. Like Nicodemus, does your one know a lot about the Scriptures but has no relationship with Jesus? Knowledge is not salvation. What would be the evidence of a person being born again? (Holy Spirit controlled, fruits of the Spirit evident, points to Jesus as the source of salvation, etc.)

3. Most people have at least heard of John 3:16, perhaps even your one.  Discuss as a group what Jesus is saying in John 3:16–18. This is the gospel message in a nutshell. How can you share this message with your one? Use the 3 Circles app to help.

4. Think of ways to explain to your one that God sees everything we do and knows our every thought. Explain that one of the functions of the Holy Spirit is to convict us of sin or to bring it into the light. Other functions of the Holy Spirit are Counselor, Teacher and Comforter. The Holy Spirit always points to Christ.

5. Does your one believe in the Trinity? Discuss ways you can explain that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are One Person.  For help, refer to the following verses: John 10:30; John 20:28; John 14:16–17.

PRAYER

Pray for your family and your commitment to this task. Then pray for your one(s) using the prayer on day 15 of the prayer guide. Pray also for whatever the Lord lays on your heart about the persons for whom you are praying.
Continue to pray every day, using the prayer guide and the bookmark, for seven days, until you come together again as a family for the devotion for week four. Give opportunities for family members to share the experiences they have had with their one(s).

 

JOHN 4:43–54

WEEK 4 | THE ROYAL OFFICIAL

PREPARE

Open a Bible to John 4:43–54, which is the story of Jesus and royal official, whose son was sick. Read the story yourself before presenting it to your family, making note of the following things about the royal official and Jesus’ interaction with him. Focus on how your family can apply Jesus’ method of evangelism to people in your sphere of influence.

     a. After staying in Samaria for two days, speaking to the Samaritans, Jesus went to Cana in Galilee where He had performed His first miracle—turning water into wine. There He encountered a royal official who was probably an officer in Herod’s service and whose son was near death.

     b. The official had walked 20 miles from Capernaum to Cana to see Jesus. He recognized the authority of Jesus and had faith that Jesus could heal his son. He was desperate (vv. 46–47).

     c. Some people won’t believe unless they see a physical, earthly miracle. This was true of many of the people in Cana. That is not faith (v. 48). Look at Hebrews 11:1 for the definition of faith.

     d. The royal official had great faith that Jesus could heal his son.  What he didn’t know was that Jesus could heal his son from afar (v. 49). This desperate man took Jesus at His word and hurried back to Capernaum to see his son after Jesus told him his son would live.

     e. Sure enough, the son was healed at the exact time Jesus had declared he would live (v. 52). Jesus always knows where we are. His power is not limited by time and space. “So he and his whole household believed” (John 4:53, NLT). This miracle impacted a whole household. Your ministry to your one can, too.

LEAD

Gather the family, and get rid of any distractions, such as television and electronic devices. Review the concept of Who’s Your One, and remind family members who their one is.
According to the ages of your children, either read John 4:43-54 from the Bible, or tell the story.

QUESTIONS & ACTIONS

After reading or telling the story, ask the following questions:

1. Often people seek Christ in seasons of adversity or situations they can’t fix themselves. He is their last resort. Define adversity for your family. Is your one experiencing a season of adversity as was true in the royal official’s life?

2. Some people think that a loving God won’t allow adversity into our lives. But because He loves us, He wants us to grow in faith in Him. God often uses challenging circumstances to draw us closer to Him. We “grow through what we go through.” Think of ways you can explain this concept to your one.

3. Adversity presents many opportunities for growth. First, our faith in God intensifies, and we are strengthened, possibly for a future assignment or event. Second, as we walk in strong faith in the Savior, others take notice. Possibly a whole household will be saved (v. 53). Third, God is glorified. The attention is on Him, not on our earthly circumstances. And fourth, the devil is defeated when we look to heaven and walk bravely through the adversity. His attempt to paralyze us and turn us away from God is thwarted. Brainstorm ways you can explain the things mentioned above to your one and apply them to his or her current situation.

4. Is your one a person who is angry at God for a loss he or she has suffered? Think of ways you can encourage him or her to run to God, not away from Him.

5. Review the 3 Circles app again, and think of ways you can use it explain some of the causes of hardship in this world. This world became broken in the Garden of Eden, and we live in it—for now. But we have the hope of glory in heaven. That hope comes through Jesus Christ alone.  Practice with each other, so you will all be ready to share an accurate account of the gospel with your one(s).

PRAYER

Pray for your family and your commitment to this task. Then pray for your one(s) using the prayer on day 22 of the prayer guide.  Pray also for whatever the Lord lays on your heart about the persons for whom you are praying.
Continue to pray every day, using the prayer guide and the bookmark, for eight days until you come together again as a family for a recap of your experience and the results. Talk about ways your family can continue to pray for and interact with your one(s) and others.

WHAT'S NEXT?

At the end of the eighth day, meet to recap your experiences. What were the high points? What were the lows? What can you do better next time? 
Determine to take your experience with Who’s Your One to another level with more people. Determine to live your life on mission.