The Big Picture Family Devotional

The Big Picture Family Devotional

by David R. Helm (Editor)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781433542251
Publisher: Crossway
Publication date: 08/31/2014
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 879,711
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range: 6 - 10 Years

About the Author

David R. Helm (MDiv, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary)serves as lead pastor of the Hyde Park congregation of Holy Trinity Church in Chicago. He also serves as Chairman of The Charles Simeon Trust, an organization which promotes practical instruction in preaching. He is the co-author of The Genesis Factor (with Jon Dennis), a contributor to Preach the Word: Essays on Expository Preaching, and the author of The Big Picture Story Bible and1 and 2 Peter and Jude in the Preaching the Word commentary series.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

God Creates His Kingdom

Questions 1–9

Question 1

God Creates a Place

Q. Who created the heavens and the earth?

A. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)

Bible Reading: Genesis 1:1

Devotional Reading: The Bible Assumes God's Existence

The Bible opens with these amazing words: "In the beginning, God." Have you ever stood outside at night and looked up into the stars and wondered, "How did all this get here? How did I get here?" In its very first verse, the Bible reveals the answer to those questions. The Bible says that God exists and that he created the heavens and the earth! Many people question whether God exists. Some are certain there is a God, others are unsure, while still others think that God is only an idea in your mind and not real after all. But guess what? The Bible doesn't waste any time arguing about the existence of God. It simply begins by saying, "In the beginning, God." How refreshing! The first words of the Bible are already hinting at its big picture — the unfolding activity of God in history.

REFLECTION AND INTERACTION

Memorize the question and answer of our first big picture verse: Genesis 1:1.

What does today's Bible reading teach you about God?

Q. Who created the heavens and the earth?

A. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)

Bible Reading: Genesis 1:1–2

Devotional Reading: The Bible Begins with God Creating the Heavens and the Earth

Have you ever wanted to create something? Perhaps you had an idea in your head and you wondered if you could make it. Let's suppose you were going to try. What is one of the first things you would need to do before starting? You would have to gather all the materials your idea needed. Did you know that God did something like that when he created the world? When God set out to create the heavens and the earth he first had to create the materials themselves! The Bible tells us that when God first made the earth, it was only a dark and watery mass. The basic materials were all there, but it didn't look the way it does now. It looked strange. Nothing could live on it — certainly not people like you and me! How amazing it would have been to see God creating and assembling all the materials he needed to make his wonderful creation.

REFLECTION AND INTERACTION

Would you say the Bible reading today is more concerned to teach you about the heavens or the earth?

What does the Bible's concern with the earth here tell you about the focus of Genesis 1?

Q. Who created the heavens and the earth?

A. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)

Bible Reading: Genesis 1:3–25

Devotional Reading: God Formed Places and Then Filled Them

Often when you want to color a picture of something, you first draw, or form, the outline of the object or person to be colored and then fill in the color. Well, something like that is going on in Genesis 1. It's as if the writer gives us an outline of what happened in the first few verses and then fills in the details later in the chapter. The creation outline of day 1 gets filled in on day 4. On day 1 we learn about light and darkness, day and night. Then on day 4, we are introduced to the sun and the moon and the stars, which fill up the sky. Isn't that amazing! The outline of day 2 (the heavens and the seas) is filled in on day 5 (the birds and sea creatures). And day 3 (the earth and plants) corresponds to day 6 (the land animals). The writer wants you to see the overall picture of God's creative activity. He wants you to know that God formed all the places in the universe (days 1, 2, and 3), and then filled those places with creations to rule over them (days 4, 5, and 6). Finally, notice that the writer says God did all this simply by speaking words (see vv. 3, 6, 9, 11, 14–15, 20, and 24)! Imagine creating something that was an idea in your head by talking it into existence!

REFLECTION AND INTERACTION

Can you create things simply by speaking words? What does God's ability to do so teach you about God?

Learn "The Creation Song" found on pages 174–75.

Question 2

God Creates a People

Q. Who created people?

A. God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)

Bible Reading: Genesis 1:26–31

Devotional Reading: People Are Created in God's Image

The Bible makes it clear that people are very special to God. In fact, we are the crowning jewel of God's creation. God did not make people to be like the rest of creation, "God created man in His own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." An image is a reflection of someone or something. When you look in the mirror, you see your own reflection, or image. God made us to reflect his image. That doesn't mean we look like God. Instead, it means that we are like him; we rule over things, just as God does. In ancient times, kings used to set up monuments in faraway parts of their empire to show that they ruled there (often these monuments were statues made to look just like them). In a similar way, God has set us up to rule over his creation. As his image-bearers, we act as his representatives in the world. Later on in the Bible story, the psalmist will pick up on this same idea (Psalm 8), and then, the writer of the book of Hebrews will show us that Jesus is God's supreme image-bearer (Heb. 2:5–8). This is important for us because it teaches us how we extend God's rule today — namely, by living under the rule of Christ.

REFLECTION AND INTERACTION

What does being made in the image of God teach you about God's plans for you?

Memorize the big picture verse for this week: Genesis 1:27. If you memorize one each week, you will learn all forty-five verses that trace the storyline of the Bible!

Q. Who created people?

A. God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)

Bible Reading: Genesis 2:18–25

Devotional Reading: People Are the Pinnacle of God's Creation

Have you ever seen a road map? It's helpful because it shows you many roads. Some maps even come with an inset map. This highlights in greater detail one part of the road map. Genesis 1 and 2 function much like a road map. After giving us the large map of creation in chapter 1, God highlights the most important part of creation in chapter 2 — people! He wants you to see the creation of people in greater detail. The point is clear: God created this place for people. We learn that Adam loved everything about his life in the garden, except for one thing: he was alone. The animals all had partners, but not Adam. In fact, one of the reasons God had Adam name the animals was to prepare him for Eve. God said, "It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper." So God had Adam fall into a deep sleep. While Adam was sleeping, God took one of Adam's ribs, and from this rib he "built" a woman. As only God could do, he created the perfect companion for Adam. This teaches us another thing about being made in God's image. We are meant for relationship. Not only does man have a special relationship with woman, but both men and women have a unique relationship with God.

REFLECTION AND INTERACTION

Why did God ask Adam to name all the animals?

What was special about Adam's relationship with Eve that was different from his relationship with God's other creatures?

Q. Who created people?

A. God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)

Bible Reading: Genesis 1:26–31

Devotional Reading: People Are to Rule over the Rest of God's Creation

When children are born, who is responsible for them? Parents are. Parents prepare meals, teach their children to get dressed, and help them learn what is right from wrong. Parents are responsible for their children. Do you know who is responsible for caring for God's creation? All of us are. When God created the world and everything in it, he made us responsible for his creation. God gave us the wonderful responsibility of ruling over and caring for all that he created. That means the entire earth and everything in it. It is God's world, but he appointed us to rule it for him.

REFLECTION AND INTERACTION

Discuss some ways that we care for God's world.

Can you think of some ways that we rule God's world?

Question 3

God Is Pleased with His Place and His People

Q. Was God pleased with everything he had made?

A. God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. (Genesis 1:31)

Bible Reading: Genesis 1:3–4, 10, 12, 16–18, 21, 25, 31

Devotional Reading: God's Creation Was Very Good

Let's try to remember some things about God's creation. How did creation get started? God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. God separated the light from the darkness, day and night. Water and sky are listed next, followed by dry ground, which he called land, and the great bodies of water, which he called seas. God caused plants and trees to grow on the land, and then the sun, the moon, and all the stars. Next were fish in the seas, birds in the sky, and animals to live on the land. Finally God created people. Can you remember what God thought about each and everything that he created? The Bible tells us "it was very good." It was just as God had planned it. He was happy with his place and with his people. Nothing was wrong. Everything was just as he had envisioned it in his mind before he began. Everything was good!

REFLECTION AND INTERACTION

Does everything you make turn out just as you planned it? What does the goodness of God's creation teach you about God?

This is a great week to sing "It Was Very Good" found on page 176.

Begin to memorize this week's big picture verse: Genesis 1:31.

Q. Was God pleased with everything he had made?

A. God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. (Genesis 1:31)

Bible Reading: Psalm 104:24–31

Devotional Reading: God's Place and People Gave Him Great Pleasure

What does it feel like to make something very special? It feels good, doesn't it? You feel proud. Making something gives you a certain amount of pleasure and satisfaction. It makes you happy. Imagine how pleased God was after making the world and everything in it! The Bible reading today teaches us that God was extremely happy with all that he had created. We read, "May the glory of the Lord endure [or last] forever; may the LORD rejoice in his works." The Lord was pleased with all he had created, and he rejoiced in it. The place and people were made for God!

REFLECTION AND INTERACTION

Why do you think God created this beautiful place called earth and all of its people?

Name some things in the world that you think still give God great pleasure.

Q. Was God pleased with everything he had made?

A. God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. (Genesis 1:31)

Bible Reading: Colossians 1:15–20

Devotional Reading: The Eternal Son of God Had a Role in Creation

What are some good things about having an older brother or sister? One advantage of not being born first is that you can learn some things faster by watching your older sibling. The Bible demonstrates the same principle. Our New Testament writer today had an advantage in coming later. He learned some interesting things from others who had gone before him — in this case, that the world was created by the eternal Son of God, who was later born into the world and named Jesus. Jesus is the big picture in God's story, the Bible. Before we leave the first chapter of the Bible, we must understand that the eternal Son of God had a lot to do with what happened in the beginning. He was involved in creating everything and is in charge of everything. Perhaps what is most astounding is that he created all things for himself. Since this eternal Son of God is our Creator and King, and since he alone sustains this beautiful place and all its people, he alone deserves all our praise.

REFLECTION AND INTERACTION

Why should we worship the Son of God?

How does it make you feel to know that all creation was made for Jesus?

Question 4

God Is King over His Place and His People

Q. What command did God give his people to obey?

A. [From] the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die. (Genesis 2:17)

Bible Reading: Genesis 2:15–17

Devotional Reading: God Rules His People by His Word

Do you like being told what you can and cannot do? Why not? After giving Adam and Eve the most beautiful garden ever, the first thing God did was tell them what they could and could not do. He gave them a simple command. Out of all the trees in the garden, there was one from which they could not eat. If they ate from it, they would die. In this command God makes it clear to us that he is a King who rules over Adam and Eve. God has authority over them, just as a king has authority over his kingdom. And just as children should obey parents, Adam and Eve were to obey God. If they did not, they would be punished. Too often people think they can do whatever they like. However, the Bible teaches us that people are meant to live under God's Word.

REFLECTION AND INTERACTION

Did God make us in such a way that we can live life in whatever way we choose?

What does God's command to Adam and Eve teach you about the relationship between God and people?

Memorize this week's big picture verse: Genesis 2:17.

Q. What command did God give his people to obey?

A. [From] the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die. (Genesis 2:17)

Bible Reading: Genesis 1:29–31

Devotional Reading: Life Is Good under God's Word

The garden of Eden was the most beautiful place in the world. The trees stood tall and cast cool shade over the soft green grass. Birds sang beautiful songs. No one suffered from deadly diseases, and people didn't die. This was the "good life" for Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. They didn't have to struggle in their work, because God provided everything they needed. When the Bible says that life in the garden was good, it means good for the purpose for which God created it. Everything was very nice. By obeying God, Adam and Eve would continue to enjoy God and his magnificent garden. Imagine how great life must have been when everything was "very good" under God's word.

REFLECTION AND INTERACTION

Do you think that you would have enjoyed living under God's word?

What do you think would have been the best part of life in the garden?

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "The Big Picture Family Devotional"
by .
Copyright © 2014 Holy Trinity Church.
Excerpted by permission of Good News Publishers.
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.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments,
How to Use This Devotional,
Part 1 God Creates His Kingdom,
Questions 1–9,
1 God Creates a Place,
2 God Creates a People,
3 God Is Pleased with His Place and His People,
4 God Is King over His Place and His People,
5 God's People Reject God as King,
6 God's Place Is Forever Changed,
7 God's People Are Forced Out,
8 Everyone Now Rejects God as King,
9 God Judges Everyone Who Rejects Him as King,
Review of Questions 1–9: God Creates His Kingdom,
Part 2 God Begins His Promise,
Questions 10–18,
10 God Promises a New Place to a New People, Who Will Bless All People,
11 Abraham Believes God's Promise,
12 God's Promises Extend from Abraham to Isaac and Jacob,
13 Israel Enters Egypt,
14 God Rescues Israel from Egypt,
15 God Tells Israel How to Live as His People,
16 God Sets Israel Apart to Be His People,
17 Israel Promises to Live as God's People,
18 God Keeps All His Promises to Israel,
Review of Questions 10–18: God Begins His Promise,
Part 3 God Continues His Promise,
Questions 19–27,
19 Israel Rejects God as King,
20 God Is Not Surprised,
21 God Promises a New King,
22 God Promises a New Place,
23 The Kings of the Earth Reject God's Promises,
24 The Kings of Israel Reject God's Promises,
25 Israel Enters Exile,
26 The Ragged Return of Israel from Exile,
27 God Promises a New People,
Review of Questions 19–27: God Continues His Promise,
Part 4 Jesus Fulfills God's Promise,
Questions 28–36,
28 Jesus Is Born,
29 Why Jesus Came,
30 How Jesus Saves,
31 You Must Be Born Again,
32 Jesus Is the Resurrection,
33 Jesus Is the Only Way,
34 Jesus Is Crucified,
35 Jesus Died for Our Sins,
36 Jesus Rose from the Dead,
Review of Questions 28–36: Jesus Fulfills God's Promise,
Part 5 God Completes His Promise,
Questions 37–45,
37 Spreading the Gospel of Jesus,
38 Peter Defines the Gospel,
39 Paul Defines the Gospel,
40 Believing the Gospel,
41 Living as People Set Apart,
42 Living as God's New Creation,
43 Living as People with Hope,
44 All to the Glory of God,
45 Comfort from the King,
Review of Questions 37–45: God Completes His Promise,
Big Picture Songs,

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