During the month of May, we are focusing on the virtue of determination.
Find a time this week to gather as a family, read a Bible passage, respond as a family to what you have heard, and pray together.
May Virtue Determination: Deciding it’s worth it to finish what you started
What is a virtue? A virtue is something that God does in us to change the world around us.
Bible Story Spirit Thing (The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost) • Acts 2:1-41
Bottom Line God gives you what you need to keep going.
Memory Verse Let us not become tired of doing good. At the right time we will gather a crop if we don’t give up. Galatians 6:9 (NIrV)
Basic Truth I can trust God no matter what.
Jesus promised that he would give the disciples a gift to help them tell others about him. This gift would help them to keep going and to never give up even when things seemed difficult. The gift that God sent was his Holy Spirit to be their helper—just as Jesus had said.
The Holy Spirit comes into our lives to help us in all sorts of ways. The Holy Spirit gives us strength to say no to wrong things and say yes to wise choices. God’s Spirit gives us the ability to share God’s love with others. And with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can have the determination we need to finish what we start.
God knew we would need help to feel God’s love, to follow God’s ways, and to carry out the mission of sharing God’s love with the whole world. So God gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit. We never have to go alone, because the Spirit of God is always with us. God gives us what we need to keep going.
- Why would God give us a gift like the Holy Spirit?
- How does it feel to know that God wants to be with you and support you?
- What current situation are you in right now that you need some determination for?
A SPECIAL REFLECTION FOR MOTHERS
Mother’s Day can feel like the day to celebrate the golden standard of mothering, leaving us to hope others don’t get close enough to see how hard being a mother really is.
Proverbs 31 is famous for the picture it paints of the ideal woman. It’s today’s domestic superhero. The wife of noble character it describes is nothing short of intimidating—getting up before dawn, making her family’s clothes, and conducting lucrative business with her handiwork. It’s a beautiful picture, but sounds so daunting. The Hebrew words used to describe this elusive woman are eschet chayil, directly translating to “woman of valor.” But interestingly, this doesn’t imply something women should aim for. It asserts that we’ve already accomplished it.
Sure, we may miss the mark sometimes. But there are a million things we have done and are doing that make you worthy of the title, “woman of valor.” For the clean dishes, homework help, warm hugs, listening ears—for the courage to get up each day, every day, and do it all again, Eshet chayil! You are a woman of valor.
Have you ever tried the cookie challenge? With an adult’s permission, grab a cookie or cracker from the kitchen. Look up at the ceiling, place the cookie on your forehead and then, using only the muscles in your face, move the cookie from your forehead to your mouth.
Was that easy or hard? Were you tempted to reach up and grab the cookie to put it in your mouth? Did it take some patience and determination to be still enough to not drop the cookie?
Being still is hard. But, sometimes, determination requires us to be still in order to listen to God. We need to stop and listen, instead of moving ahead by ourselves. When we are able to slow down and be still, we find that God gives us what we need to keep on going. We don’t have to do that on our own. God will help us. But first, we have to give God a chance to help us by being quiet and listening for God.
So, for a few moments, bow your head and just be quiet. Listen to the sound of your breathing or your heartbeat. Let anything you’re thinking about drift away and just be still. After a couple of minutes, take a couple of deep breathes and say the prayer below.
We know that no matter what we face, you will give us what we need to keep going. We know that with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can do what needs to be done and finish what we’ve started. Please help us to trust you and remember that you’ll give us everything we need through your Spirit. We love you, God, and we want to love you more. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
©2020 The reThink Group, Inc. All rights reserved. • www.ThinkOrange.com. Adapted by Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church.