The Elementary Years: Teach Them to Say No – Living Free – January 28

The Elementary Years: Teach Them to Say No

Thursday, January 28, 2021

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Today’s Scripture
“You surely know that your body is a temple where the Holy Spirit lives. The Spirit is in you and is a gift from God. You are no longer your own.” 1 Corinthians 6:29 CEV

Thoughts for Today
Begin to teach your school age children about drugs and alcohol. It is quite common today for children in grade school to be offered drugs, especially tobacco, alcohol or marijuana. This is true, unfortunately, even in many Christian schools.

Teach them that drug use of any type is not acceptable, and is, in addition, against the law. Teach them to say NO! Ask them how they would handle a situation where drugs were offered. Listen to them and avoid condemnation but be sure they understand the boundaries you have set and why you have set them.

Consider this …
Teach your children that using anything that harms their body is not pleasing to God. As believers, our bodies are his temple, and we should keep ourselves clean and pure for him.

Father, help my children understand that their bodies are your dwelling place. Help me teach them the dangers of drugs and prepare them to say NO. Help them make right choices.
In Jesus’ name …

These thoughts were drawn from … Godly Parenting: Parenting Skills at Each Stage of Growth by N. Elizabeth Holland, M.D. This study addresses parenting skills from the time of conception until the child has reached adulthood. It suggests methods for raising healthy, godly children in an increasingly secular society. Specific emphasis is placed on communication and teaching skills, discipline, protection and sexual issues at each age. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.

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Encounter with Jesus – January 28

Jan ro 28

Our great mission

Matthew 28: 18-20

If you are a believer, you are part of the body of Christ called to bring his light to the whole world, both personally and collectively. Although many see the church as a social organization, that is not what the Bible says. Sometimes we forget that our purpose is not simply to fellowship, sing, preach, and worship. The Lord Jesus entrusted us with the good news of true life that He offers to all. This calling is not just for “missionaries” —it is for every believer. Your mission field includes your family, friends, co-workers, and perhaps even a group of people that God places on your heart, often in your own community.

Before returning to heaven, the Lord Jesus gave his disciples the Great Commission; He promised to be with the believers until the end of the world. That promise still stands. He does not send us to do his work on our own. By solemnly promising that He will never leave us, He gave us the assurance that all the tasks that He gives, we will carry out through His Holy Spirit.

What an honor to be included in God’s redemptive plan for the world! He invites you to play a vital part in his work of transforming what has been ruined, giving new life. Everything you do in obedience is an opportunity for His Spirit to work mightily through you!

God continues to give us his message of confidence: They will have me as their companion, their captain, their victory. You will have me as your resource, your energy, your anointing. Everything you need you will find in me. How does the greatness of this calling change the way you view your daily life?

Gold Stars – I Do Every Day – January 28, 2021

Gold stars
By Lisa Lakey

In college, I took copious notes, and studied them meticulously before every test. Each “A” was like a little gold star in my heart.

At work, those little gold stars took on the form of a promotion. Or a simple, “Good job.”

As a new parent, I beamed with pride when my daughter started speaking early. Potty trained before age 2? More little gold stars.

But when I tried to apply this aptitude to marriage, my efforts fell flat. Homemade meals meant to impress were burned. I lovingly washed his laundry only to shrink his shirts. Even the “helpful” advice I gave him turned out to be less-than-helpful. I missed my gold stars.

I’d like to say I was motivated by my profound love for my husband. But I’d be lying. Oh, I loved him alright, but my actions were motivated by something much more selfish: my need to succeed.

At an early age, I bought into the lie that success = value. That I was “less” if I failed, if someone didn’t like me, if I wasn’t the best. So I held on dearly to each little gold star, be it figurative or literal (God bless elementary teachers!). Each one a life buoy to hold me over until the next one. And in between? Lots of non-star-worthy moments.

Maybe this is why I didn’t accept Jesus until I was in my twenties. I just couldn’t fathom a world where, “the last will be first, and the first last” (Matthew 20:16).

But can I share something I’m still learning? Marriage is no place for gold stars.

My husband needs a wife motivated by love, not one obsessed with achievement. And I want my husband to feel he can come to me when he falters a bit, not scared of whether or not I will hold him to some unrealistic standard. Our value in this marriage is not determined by our successes, but upon the love and forgiveness Christ has shown each of us.

No gold stars here. But love, hugs, apologies, and second chances? We have lots of those.

Read more on “Giving Your Spouse the Freedom to Fail.”

The good stuff: Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life. (Isaiah 43:4)

Action points: Motives can hide in unsuspecting places. Like in the desires we have for our marriage … and our spouses. What motivates your actions toward your spouse? Did you clean the dishes after dinner because you wanted to lighten their load? Or was it to prove a point—I do too help around the house! Today, attempt to examine your motives in each interaction with your spouse. Pray for God to reveal any that might not be driven by love.

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The Power of A.C.T.S. – Homeword – January 28

The Power of A.C.T.S.

This devotional was written by Robin Dugall

It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples.” Luke 11:1

Within the first few months after I dedicated my life to Jesus, I was told that I needed to pray. I had never been taught to pray as a younger person. I had been attending a church where all the prayers were printed in books and recited only in worship experiences by a man in the front of the church, who wore a robe. It was my impression that only trained people knew how to really pray and that if I prayed at all, I had to find a book to use.

No one had ever taken the time to explain prayer to me. That was soon to become a problem when my youth pastor asked me one night at a Bible study, “Robin, why don’t you pray for us?” I went into shock. Shock, however, is not what God has in mind for His followers when it comes to prayer!

In God’s eyes, there is no off-limits to prayer. As Christ-followers, we have been given “bold access” to God. When it comes to prayer, God has given us an open door to pray in any and all ways possible. When I was 17-years-old, I learned a great model for praying that I still find helpful today.

It revolutionized my life and still guides me as I come into deeper relationship with God through prayer. It’s called A.C.T.S. and I hope you too, will find it helpful in your own prayer life.

Adoration – All prayer should include worship. Begin with the phrase, “I love (or adore) You, God, because You are…” The goal is to focus on an attribute of God. “Praise Him for who He is, not what He does,” I remind myself.  We can always find words of adoration in the Psalms.

Confession – We need to remember that we are broken and need healing. Take time in prayer to say, “Lord, please forgive me for…” or “I’m sorry I… ” Be as specific as possible. Think back over the day to a time when you did wrong or were disobedient. Confession keeps us humble before God.

Thanksgiving – Teach yourself this important aspect of prayer: thanking God. You can thank God for the good things that have happened during the day or for special people in your life.

Supplication – This is what we most often do during prayer, asking God for “things.” Divide this category into two parts: praying for others and praying for yourself.


Try the A.C.T.S. method out for a week. See how this method works for your prayer life.


Luke 11:1-13Psalm 150Psalm 51

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