Every time I read Deuteronomy 6:4-7, I am reminded of the role my wife and I have as the primary spiritual leaders of our children’s lives.

It’s amazing that God chose us to be the conduit through which faith gets passed on to our little girls. Here is a simple family devotional that will fill your kids’ hearts with faith this Thanksgiving. The holidays are the perfect time to be intentional with your families.

FAMILY DEVOTIONAL

Changing Our Focus

Worship – Go around the table and have each family member share something encouraging that God has done for your family.  After each person finishes, have the whole family shout aloud, “Thank you, Jesus!”

God’s Word – Read Luke 19:1-10

Discuss

  • What happened in the story?
  • What was Zaccheus doing with the people’s money?
  • How did the people feel about Zaccheus taking their money?
  • How did Jesus respond to the mistakes Zaccheus had made?
  • Is it easier to focus on the things we want or the things others need?
  • How can we change our focus to others’ needs this Thanksgiving?

Respond – We want to respond to this story through listening.  Talk to God and ask Him to highlight one way He wants you to focus on others’ needs today.  In Luke 19, Zaccheus climbed up a tree to see Jesus.  Find a tree limb in the yard (or draw one on a sheet of paper) and place it in your house so you can see it throughout the day and be reminded of what God spoke.

GAME: THANKFULNESS ALPHABET

There are several ways to use the alphabet to express thankfulness.  Engaging your kids in a game is a great way to speak their love language, and these games will help kids to have a thankful heart.  Choose whichever option works best for your kids’ ages!

  • Have each person name something he or she is thankful for that starts with the same letter as his or her name.
  • Draw a letter out of a hat and have each person name something he or she is thankful for that starts with that letter.
  • This one’s a bit more of a challenge! Starting with the letter “A,” go around the table and have each person name something he or she is thankful for that starts with “A.” Continue the challenge with each letter of the alphabet!

ACTIVITY: ENGAGE THE WHOLE FAMILY

Set aside a time during the day, maybe at a mealtime, with any extended family or friends you’re with this Thanksgiving.  Take this time and encourage each person by sharing why you’re thankful for them.  You might even consider going to the store or a park and sharing what Jesus means to you with someone you meet.

By Noah Hutchison, Children’s Pastor