ELEMENTARY KIDS & FAMILIES date
If I could feel this kind of love for a child I had just met, then how much more must God love me? Inspire (for parents) For numerous reasons, my husband and I decided to build our family through the choice of adoption. God’s voice was clear: Our child was out there in the world, waiting for us. She was waiting for a mom and dad to find her and bring her home. The love I had for someone I had not yet even met was deeper than I had ever thought possible. I desperately wanted my child home, and I knew I would do absolutely anything to make this happen. The day I met my daughter changed me forever. I loved her already because my heart had been connected to her for so long. At that moment, God’s love for me became more real than ever before. If I could feel this kind of love for a child I had just met, then how much more must God love me? He too, seeks me out, pursues me, and claims me as His own. Wow! The desperation I felt to find my child and to bring her home pales in comparison to the depth of God’s desire to be close to me. On the night of my daughter’s homecoming, I told her how much
I loved her. Nothing will ever compare to the depth of emotion I felt as I finally got to look her in the face and say, “Do you know how badly Daddy and I wanted you? We loved you so much that we sought you out. We searched for you because we knew you were our little girl. We chose you, and we are going to love you forever.” I’m convinced God has been saying these same words to me for longer than I know. My identity is as His beloved, desired, pursued, child. God calls me His own!
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by Laura Weber
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Equip (for parents) Paul wanted the Ephesians to know that they were God’s own. In chapter one of his letter, he encouraged them to rejoice in their identity. In chapter two, he asked them to remember where they came from (what they had been saved from). In chapters three through five, he encouraged them to live as “children of light”—to live up to the calling they had received. In the sixth chapter, he asked them to remember that the enemy would try to break them down, destroy the unity of the body of Christ, and make them stray from the glorious calling they have received in Christ. Because of the Roman fascination with Greek culture, Ephesus was Hellenized (turned Greek) under Roman rule. Temples dedicated to Greek gods were built, and much of Greek culture and philosophy was incorporated into Ephesian life. The Ephesians believed that the Greek goddess Artemis presided over theatre, athletics, and even banking. Her temple was so opulent that it was one of the seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Because they were surrounded by Greek customs, the Ephesians were well rooted in the lifestyle and culture of pagan worship. Adherents to the cult of Artemis practiced magic, prostitution, and conjuring of mystical visions. The Ephesian Christians would have to constantly be on guard so that their minds and hearts did not stray back to their pagan origins. God gave Paul the words to speak the truth about who we are in Christ: “dearly loved children” chosen “before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight” (Ephesians 1:4). These words not only spoke to the Ephesian church, but also resonate today. It is still astounding that through Christ we are children of light, able to “live as children
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(for parents & kids) Just for fun, take a few minutes this week to read Ephesians 1:1–11 to your kids before they go to school. Make a list of all the things the Ephesians were blessed with in Christ. Explain to your children that in Christ we are blessed, too. Have each person circle the blessing that means the most to her right now. Now reread verses 3–11 to your children, substituting their names wherever the passage reads “us” or “we.” Remind them that as they go about their day, no matter what anyone else says, their identity is as a chosen and beloved child of God. Share with your children that what they just heard is a part of The Big God Story, and they will hear more in church this week about how God calls us His own. Close your time by praying and thanking God for giving each of you the identity of being His chosen child.
© 2011 David C. Cook. TruResources are developed in partnership with ROCKHARBOR Church and a national network of family and children’s ministry leaders. All rights reserved.