C is for…Courage
By Shelly Burke
(The posts for the A to Z Blogging Challenge will focus on teaching kids lessons from selected Bible verses. Adapt your teaching to the age of the kids you’re talking with.)
Ask your kids what they fear. They might mention:
*The first day of school (whether kindergarten, middle school, high school, or college!).
*Fear is a component of peer pressure—both fearing giving in and doing what is wrong, as well as fearing ridicule if they take a stand.
*Older kids might fear the future—deciding what they want to do after high school
It takes courage to face what life has for us, whether as a child or as an adult (you can read an adult-oriented devotion about “Courage” at Nebraska Family Times). What can kids do to be courageous, and not be afraid? They might mention “go by mom!” or “ask dad!” but there will be times when mom and dad aren’t around.
Read Joshua 1:1,9 to your kids. After the death of Moses, the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua…”Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you, wherever you go.” Joshua 1:1, 9
Explain the setting; after Moses had led the Israelites out of Egypt, he led them in the wilderness for 40 years. Now Moses was dead, and Joshua had the task of leading, according to some sources, more than a million people into the Promised Land. First, though the Israelites had to kick out the people who lived there (they didn’t believe in God and God didn’t want them to be a bad influence on the Israelites).
What do you think Joshua was afraid of? (Answers may be, that the people would not listen to him, fighting the people who were already there, the Israelites fighting amongst themselves, finding enough food, etc.)
But God told Joshua not to be frightened or dismayed, but to be strong and courageous. How could he be strong and courageous? By remembering that God was with him, wherever he might go.
When God says something more than once in the Bible, it means that it’s very important. What does God tell Joshua three times in Joshua 1:6-9? (Read the verses together.)
*”Be strong and courageous…” Joshua 1:6
*”Be strong and very courageous…” Joshua 1:7
*”Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous…” Joshua 1:9
God wants us to be strong, and to be courageous, in whatever we face. We can pray to him for this courage, for strength, and for His guidance to do what will please Him. We can learn what He wants to do in all situations, by studying the Bible.
Then God gives Joshua a promise:
*”…the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 9b
Tell your kids that they can be confident that God is with them wherever they go! He will be with them to guide them in any situation in which they find themselves. They only need to follow His instructions, found in the Bible, and they can be strong and courageous, as God commands.
Dear God, thank You for Your promise that you will be with us wherever we go and in whatever we do. Please give us courage to do what You want us to do. Amen.