We encourage you to go through this post as a family. If you are interested in listening to the song this devotional is based on, click here: https://music.apple.com/us/album/unto-us/1443374941
Advent, the celebration of Christ’s coming, begins four Sundays before Christmas and concludes on Christmas. The five-part Family Advent Kit consists of four weekly devotionals plus a fifth devotional to be used on Christmas. If you celebrate Advent as a family, consider creating an Advent wreath. An Advent wreath hold fours candles and a fifth candle, called the Christ Candle, is placed in the middle. One candle is lit each week, with the Christ Candle lit last of all, on Christmas Day. Before you begin each time of family worship, light the appropriate candle(s) on the Advent wreath to remind your family that you are celebrating the arrival of the Messiah, Jesus.
Read John 1:9-15 aloud to your family. If your kids can read, consider having one of them read or letting them take turns reading.
John 1:9-15 NASB
This was the true Light that, coming into the world, enlightens every person. He was in the world, and the world came into being through Him, and yet the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own people did not accept Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of a man, but of God.
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us; and we saw His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John *testified about Him and called out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who is coming after me has proved to be my superior, because He existed before me.’”
Play “Children of God” from the Doorpost Songs: Unto Us album and sing together. Think about how you can model worship for your family as you sing together. If needed, print copies of the lyric sheet for your family.
Pick a section of the verses to memorize as a family. Use the suggestions below or choose your own. Use the long version for older children and the short version for preschoolers.
Long Version (John 1:12)
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.
Short Version (John 1:12)
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God.
Read the Big Idea and short devotional aloud to your family. If you have time, use the discussion questions at the end of the devotional.
What’s the Big Idea?
When we believe in Jesus, we are adopted into God’s family.
Parents of adopted children, we know that the concept of adoption may not be one you’re ready to talk about with your kids. If not, consider starting with paragraph 3. The language can be pretty easily tweaked by using phrases like “adding people to his family” to avoid that concept if needed.
Do you know what it means to be an orphan? An orphan is someone who does not have a mom or a dad. An orphan doesn’t have a family. But some orphans get adopted by other families. You may have an adopted child in your family, or you may know someone who was adopted.
Adoption is a pretty amazing thing! Adoption means taking someone who was not a part of your family before and saying, “You’re one of us. You belong here, in this family. You are not an orphan anymore. You are our son. You are our daughter.”
God loves adoption. Do you know how we know? We know God loves adoption because he’s constantly adding people to his family. In fact, the Bible tells us in Galatians 4 that God sent his Son, Jesus, so “that we might receive adoption” into God’s family. Our scripture passage today tells us how that adoption happens. When we receive Jesus by believing that he is God’s Son, God gives us “the right to become children of God.” That’s right, anyone who believes in Jesus is a child of God.
So what does it mean to be a child of God?
Well, it means a whole lot! It means that we’re not separated from God anymore. We’re a part of his family. It means that he loves us as sons and daughters, the same way he loves Jesus. It means that we have a birthright, something special that belongs only to members of a family. Our birthright is eternal life, living with God forever in heaven.
As a believer in Jesus, a follower of Christ, you don’t ever have to wonder if God loves you. You don’t ever have to feel alone. God loves you as dearly as his Son, Jesus. He is delighted to know you and be loved by you, and he will never leave you. After all, you’re a part of the family!
Talk about what you have learned as a family. Use the questions below or ask some of your own.
Parents of adopted children, if you’re not ready to talk with your kids about the concept of adoption, skip questions 1 and 2 and start with question 3.
- What does adoption mean?
- How do we know that God loves adoption?
- How can we become part of God’s family?
- What does it mean to be a part of God’s family?
Pray together. Here are some ideas:
- Thank God that he made a way for us to be a part of his family.
- Thank God that he loves us as dearly as his Son, Jesus, and that he will never leave us.
- Pray that God will help you to show others that you are a part of his family in the way that you live.
- Pray that God will give you the chance to help other people become part of his family, too.
Check out this website for more Scripture-based worship songs and devotionals: https://doorpostsongs.com/
To download this devotional as a PDF, click here.