Long Story Short: Ten-Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God by Marty Machowski, NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble
Long Story Short: Ten-Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God

Long Story Short: Ten-Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God

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by Marty Machowski
     
 

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Transform Your Family with Ten Minutes a Day in the Gospel Story

Christian parents know the importance of passing the gospel story on to their children, yet we live in a busy world filled with distractions. Schedules collide, there is homework and yard work and dishes and laundry, the car's oil should be changed, there are phone calls to make and

Overview

Transform Your Family with Ten Minutes a Day in the Gospel Story

Christian parents know the importance of passing the gospel story on to their children, yet we live in a busy world filled with distractions. Schedules collide, there is homework and yard work and dishes and laundry, the car's oil should be changed, there are phone calls to make and before you know it, everyone is getting to bed late again. The Bible can seem like a long story for an active family to read, but when you break it down into short sections, as Marty Machowski does, family devotions are easy to do.

Long Story Short
will help busy parents share with their children how every story in the Old Testament points forward to God's story of salvation through Jesus Christ. You won't find a more important focus for a family devotional than a daily highlighting of the gospel of grace. Clever stories and good moral lessons may entertain and even help children, but the gospel will transform children. The gospel is deep enough to keep the oldest and wisest parents learning and growing all their lives, yet simple enough to transform the heart of the first grader who has just begun to read. Ten minutes a day, five days a week is enough time to pass on the most valuable treasure the world has ever known.

Long Story Short is a family devotional program designed to explain God's plan of salvation through the Old Testament and is suitable for children from preschool through high school.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781936768103
Publisher:
New Growth Press
Publication date:
11/03/2010
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
655,628
File size:
786 KB
Age Range:
4 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Long Story Shorts

Ten-Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God


By Marty Machowski

New Growth Press

Copyright © 2010 Covenant Fellowship Church
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-935273-81-3



CHAPTER 1

Week 1 - God Creates The World

Pick a leaf off a plant and show it to your children. Ask them what it is and what it tells us. Draw them out for a short while. Hold the leaf in your fingers and say, "One little leaf is all we need to know that God is real. Paul tells us in the book of Romans that everyone can see God's power and knows that he is real by looking at the things God made. Every plant leaf is made up of millions of cells that use sunlight and water to make sugar for the plant to use for food! This week you will learn about God's marvelous creation."


Day One

Picture It

If you brought home a goldfish, how would you set up the aquarium? What color gravel would you use for the bottom? Perhaps you would put in a few underwater plants, and stack up a larger rock or two so the goldfish had a little place to hide. You could create a world for your goldfish and set it up any way you want.

That's what God did for us when he created our world. He made mountains, rivers, trees, and everything else. The first part of the Bible tells the story of how God created the world we live in special, just for us!

Read Genesis 1:1–2.


Think about It Some More

Who was the only one around before the world began? That's right, God was alive before the creation of the world. In fact, God has always been alive. That means God doesn't have a birthday. No matter how far back in time you go, God was there. He is the one who decided to create our world. Way back then, there was no world at all. God is so powerful that he was able to make everything we can see out of nothing at all!

Imagine what it would have been like to watch God create our earth out of nothing! God is amazing. There is only one God and nobody can do the things he can do.


Talk about It

• What did God use to create the world? (God didn't use anything at all. He made it out of nothing by his mighty power.)

• Can we make anything out of nothing? (No, only God can create something out of nothing.)

• If you could make something out of nothing, what would you make? (Help your children use their imaginations to think of something. Then explain to them that God used his imagination to make all that we see.)

• How can we thank God for creating our world? (We can thank God by taking care of what he has given us, praising him for all that he made, and obeying his commands.)


Pray about It

Praise the Lord for creating such a beautiful world for us to live in.


Day Two

Remember It

What do you remember about yesterday's story? What do you think is going to happen today?

Read Genesis 1:3–25.


Think about It Some More

Did you notice that God created the stars and planets and everything in the earth and waters —just by speaking? Everything God wanted, he commanded with his voice and it appeared and came to life! When God said, "Let there be light," light suddenly appeared. That is true for everything you can see that is a part of the earth.

Nobody else can create things just by speaking. Go ahead and try if you think you can. But you will soon find that no matter how loud you shout, you won't be able to create anything the way God does.


Talk about It

• See if you can count how many times God created things by speaking in our story. (Parents, help your children find all the times the words "God said" occur in today's Bible passage.)

• What is your favorite thing God made by speaking? (Parents, help your children look back at the passage, or list the items God made if your children are too young to read.)

• Did you know that God has given us the ability to create too? For instance, painters create beautiful paintings. And people can make things like houses and cars out of all that God created. But the way we create is different from how God creates. Can you tell the difference between how we make things and how God made things? (We cannot create by speaking—we have to use our hands or some part of our body—and everything we make has to be made from something else.)


Pray about It

Thank God for the way he can create by the command of his voice.


Day Three

Connect It to Jesus

Can anyone guess how our story is about Jesus or points forward to him?

Read Colossians 1:15–17.


Think about It Some More

Although the Bible was written by men, God inspired the words they wrote. That means he was working by his Spirit while they were writing to help them know what they should write. That is how the apostle Paul could write about God creating the world even though it happened before he was born.

In today's Bible reading, Paul tells us something about God's creation that we didn't know before. He tells us that God the Son, Jesus, is the one who was doing the creating. It was Jesus who made the world we live in. Jesus created everything we see around us. Paul said it was created by him and it was all created for him.


Talk about It

• God made so many amazing animals. Which animals do you like most?

• If you were in charge of the creation, instead of Jesus being in charge, is there anything you would do differently? Would you put a lake right outside your home? Would you make it snow more often where you live? (Parents, help the kids get creative here. Then remind them that God gave us creativity as one of the ways he made us like him.)

• Why doesn't the moon fall apart? How do the stars stay floating in the sky? Here is a hint: God gives us the answer in verse 17. Who does the Bible say is holding all the creation together? (Verse 17 tells us that Jesus is holding the whole world together.)


Pray about It

Thank Jesus for creating our world and holding it all together.


Day Four

Remember It

What has God been teaching you this week through our Bible story?

Read Genesis 1:26–31.


Think about It Some More

After creating our world—with all its plants and animals, the sun, the moon, and all the millions of stars—God said that everything he had made was good. But he wasn't finished yet. God saved the best part of his creating for last.

The most special part of his creation was to form man "in his own image." That means man would be able to do some of the things only God could do and be similar to God. After creating man, God put him in charge of all of God's creation and told him to rule over it. Because man was made in God's image he could do things that none of the other animals could do. He could talk with God, worship God, and have a friendship with God.


Talk about It

• kids, ask your parents to tell you all the ways they can think of that show how men and women are different from animals. See if you can think of some they miss.

(Man was made in God's image and is the only part of the creation that can talk with God, worship him, and have a relationship with him. Man can also create things like painting, machines, and music.)

• Before God made man, he said that everything he had made was good. What did God say after he made man?(Parents, if your children can't find the answer—"very good"—have them look in verse 31.)

• What is one very important way in which we are not like God? (We were created; God is the creator. God has been around forever, but we have a starting point.)


Pray about It

Thank God for making us like him so we can pray and worship him.


Day Five

Discover It

Today is the day we look at a different Bible passage—from the book of Psalms or one of the prophets—to see what we can learn from it about Jesus or our salvation.

Read Psalm 1.


Think about It Some More

At first, you might not think Psalm 1 points to Jesus, but take another look. Psalm 1 is about a man who lives for God all the time. It says this man delights in God's Word in the daytime and in the nighttime. While we all should try to live this way, there is only one man who ever lived this way every day of his whole life. That man is Jesus, the one who created our earth. Even when God changes our hearts and we try to follow God, we don't do it all the time. We fail. But Jesus never failed.


Talk about It

• What does Psalm 1 tell us we should do all day and all night? (We should delight in God's Word.)

• What does it mean to delight in God's Word? (To help your children understand the word delight, ask them what they think it means to delight in ice cream. To delight in ice cream you need to eat it up, love its flavor, and wish you could have some more. That is what we do with God's Word. We read it, enjoy what it says, and we can't wait to read it some more.)

• Can children who can't read delight in God's Word? (Yes, if they listen carefully when their parents read the Bible, they can delight in God's Word too.)


Pray about It

Ask God to help each person in your family to delight in God's Word.

CHAPTER 2

Week 2 - God Creates Man

Ask your children to put their fingers on their necks to feel their pulse. Ask them what they are feeling. Then ask who is causing their heart to beat. Say, "We don't have to tell our hearts to beat; they do it automatically. God created our bodies as amazing machines! But we are more than machines. God made us in his image. We can love, create, sacrifice for others, write words, and tell stories—things the animals cannot do! This week you will learn more about how God made man very special."


Day One

Picture It

What if you could make something out of clay and then blow on it and it would come to life? Imagine forming a little dog, giving it two little eyes, a mouth, and a little nose. Then you form the legs, give it a tail to wag, and stand it up on its new legs. Now comes the best part: you blow right on its nose and as soon as you do, your new little pet jumps and starts barking.

What would you bring to life if you could? In today's story, we'll learn exactly how God created man! (Optional activity: give your son or daughter a ball of modeling clay to make his or her own pet creation, then help him or her see it is hopeless to blow life into it.)

Read Genesis 2:4–14.


Think about It Some More

Last week we read in the first chapter of Genesis how God created man in his image. Here in chapter two it tells the story again, only this time it gives us the slow-motion, instant-replay version of how God created man.

We also learn that God made a beautiful place for man to live—a garden called Eden. Two very special trees grew in this garden. One was called "the tree of life" and the other "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." Remember the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Something terrible is going to happen with that tree.


Talk about It

• Can you retell the story of how God created the man? (Parents, have one of your children tell the story, while you or another child acts it out.)

• Who do you think is still missing from the creation? (Woman is missing. God has not created her yet.)

• Do you know the man's name? (The man's name is Adam. We will see that in tomorrow's Bible story. Did you know that Adam is God's word for man? They are the same word.)


Pray about It

Praise the Lord for how amazing he is to create a living man from dust.


Day Two

Remember It

What do you remember about yesterday's story? What do you think is going to happen today?

Read Genesis 2:15–23.


Think about It Some More

God placed Adam in a wonderful garden and filled it with fruit trees. But God made a rule: Adam could not eat from one of the trees, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He warned Adam that if he ate from that tree he would die.

Adam was all alone in the garden, so God made animals to keep him company. When God brought the animals to Adam, Adam named each one. But none of them could talk or sing or worship God like Adam could. He still felt alone. Out of all the animals Adam couldn't find a partner to be his helper.

That was when God did something very special: he put Adam to sleep and made woman out of Adam's rib. God made the woman so she would be the perfect partner for Adam.


Talk about It

• Do you remember how God made man? Was it different from the way he made woman? (Adam was made from the dust, but the woman—she isn't called Eve until after the fall—was created out of Adam's rib.)

• Why do you think the woman would be a better helper for man than the other animals would be? (Parents, you can get real creative here. Imagine the man dancing with an elephant or eating breakfast with a horse or having a rabbit help him plant and care for the trees in the garden.)

• What do we call it today when God brings a man and woman together to start a family? (It is called marriage. When God brought Eve to Adam it was the very first marriage.)


Pray about It

Thank God for making the special women and girls in your life.


Day Three

Connect It to Jesus

Can anyone guess how our story is about Jesus or points forward to him?

Read 1 Corinthians 15:45–49.


Think about It Some More

I'll bet you didn't know that Jesus was also called Adam. That's because Jesus came to correct the mistakes the first Adam made.

It is kind of hard to understand, but the first Adam didn't do so well. He disobeyed God and sinned. We will learn more about that next week.

Jesus came as the second Adam to give obeying God another try. If Jesus could obey God, he would be able to take away the sin that Adam brought into the world. He was kind of Adam 2.0 and this second version of Adam did a great job. Jesus lived a perfect life and didn't disobey God even once!


Talk about It

• This Bible passage reminds us that Adam came from the dust. Where does it say Jesus, the second Adam, came from? (Jesus came from heaven.)

• God created Adam and expected him to obey God's command. What was the command God gave him? (Hint: it's in Genesis 2:16–17.)

• Jesus came to earth to do God's work too. What was Jesus' work? (Jesus' work was to obey God in everything. Jesus also died on the cross to take the punishment for the sins of men.)


Pray about It

Thank God that he made Jesus into the second Adam. Thank him that Jesus had the same choice Adam had, but Jesus made the right choice and did not disobey.


Day Four

Remember It

What has God been teaching you this week through our Bible story?

Read Genesis 2:22–25.


Think about It Some More

When God made the woman and brought her to Adam, Adam was very excited. Finally he had found the helper he had been looking for. The moment Adam saw her, he could tell she was the perfect partner for him. Adam and the woman, whom Adam later named Eve, came together to make the very first marriage.

Did you know that God is the one who invented marriage and he did it when he created the woman and brought her to the man? Every time a man and a woman are married they are following the pattern God created all the way back in the garden of Eden.


Talk about It

• Kids, ask your parents how excited they were on their wedding day.

(Parents, think back to what it was like to walk down the aisle or finally see your bride or groom all dressed up, and communicate that excitement to your children.)

• What do we call it when a man and a woman promise to be together for life? (A marriage or a wedding.)

• Why was the woman the perfect helper for Adam? (She could talk with him, be his friend, help him with the work of the garden, and worship God with him.)

• Kids, ask your mom and dad what the perfect partner for you might be like someday.

(Everyone should look to marry someone who loves God and talks with him, just like Adam and Eve both talked with God.)


Pray about It

Thank God that he created marriage. Pray that if God calls you to marriage, he would lead you to someone who loves and worships God.


Day Five

Discover It

Today we look at a passage from a psalm or one of the prophets to see what we can learn from it about Jesus.

Read Isaiah 9:6.


Think about It Some More

Isaiah spoke of a very special child. The child would be a boy who would be in charge of the whole world. He would have some special names: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.

Only one boy who was ever born was called these names—Jesus. God helped Isaiah see this long before Jesus was even born.


Talk about It

• Can you remember why Jesus had to come and how that connects to our story about Adam? (Parents, give them a hint that it has to do with Adam disobeying God's commands.)

• Do you remember the story of how Jesus was born? (Parents, see how much your kids can remember about the birth of Christ.)

• Isaiah gives us several names to describe Jesus. See if you can remember some of the things Jesus did, and add another name to Isaiah's list to describe Jesus. (Help your kids remember some of the things Jesus did. He was a healer, Savior of the world, giver of life, friend of sinners, etc. All of these can be used as names to describe Jesus.)


Pray about It

Thank God for sending Jesus to save us from our sin so we could be adopted into God's family.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Long Story Shorts by Marty Machowski. Copyright © 2010 Covenant Fellowship Church. Excerpted by permission of New Growth Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Marty Machowski is the Family Life Pastor at Covenant Fellowship Church, a Sovereign Grace Ministries church in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, where he has served on the pastoral staff for twenty-two years. Marty leads Promise Kingdom, the children s ministry of Covenant Fellowship. He and his wife Lois and their six children reside in West Chester Pennsylvania.
Marty Machowski, is a Family Life Pastor at Covenant Fellowship Church, a Sovereign Grace Ministries church in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, where is has served on the pastoral staff for over twenty years. He is the author of the Gospel Story for Kids series including The Gospel Story Bible, two family devotionals, Long Story Short and Old Story New, and the Gospel Story Curriculum. He and his wife Lois and their six children reside in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

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Long Story Short: Ten-Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I picked this book up after hearing about it on Family Life Today. I was looking for something more than just reading a Bible Story, I wanted something to really help my daughter to think about what was being read. This book has really helped and I would recommend for those looking for devotionals with younger kids as our daughter really engages in the questions and you can see her processing the Bible passage as we go through the questions. The devotions do not take up much time - have a short Bible Reading followed by 3 questions which get you thinking about the passage you just read. Then tip for your prayer based on the reading. Excellent resource...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago