My buddy Derek sent me this email:
I’ve been sending this email to some people asking them to help us out… let me know what you think!
My friend Chris and I are trying to compile a 56 day devotional for a challenge we are giving the 5th and 6th graders in March and April. The whole thing is centered on connecting with God. So we are trying to get 56 days worth of people’s short stories on their experiences with God. These are really short (less than 300 words) and only take a little time (I’ve already done 3). But I know our kids will grow a ton from them. Then if you have a Bible passage and some questions about it for the kids, that would be awesome!
Let me know if you can help! I know it would be way more beneficial for the kids to hear a lot of different people’s perspectives, rather than just 15 of mine, and 15 or Chris’s. Can you also tell me if your story will relate to one of the 8 weekly themes listed below? Feel free to just send it in Word, or in an email. We can worry about formatting.
Your devotional should relate to the mission of 56 Connect:
For the next 56 days, try to stay in a continuous, honest conversation with God, willing to do whatever he wants you to do moment by moment.
Your personal story, along with the Bible passage should go along with one of these weekly themes:
1. Surrendering and God’s Will
2. Reading the Bible & Memorizing Scripture
3. Silence & Prayer
4. Community & Accountability
6. Solitude & Places of Holiness
7. Forgiveness & Grace
8. Great Commandments, Great Commission, & Serving
Here’s my reply.
My brother Kevin has a beehive in his the corner of his back yard, and has harvested honey for several years. One fall, a bunch of leaves were accidently piled up against the beehive entrance. The bees were trapped inside the hive, and they all died. When my brother opened the hive in the Spring, it was full of dead bees, bugs, and rotting honey. Ugh! He cleared away the leaves, but left the hive just as it was, wondering what to do with it.
The next season, he looked again and saw that there were bees flying in and out of the hive! He opened it up and saw that new bees had moved in. They had cleaned out all the bugs and bee carcases, and had begun making new honey!
When Kevin told me that story, I heard God speaking to me. My life is like that old hive. The junk and sin in my life had trapped and killed the life inside. Jesus, however, set up house inside me. He cleaned out the junk and began creating something new.
Unfortunately, it seems that I still end up piling leaves on my hive on a regular basis. I need Jesus to clean me up and make something useful out of me – every day.
Kevin made up a jar of that honey and gave it to me. On the label was the name “Heavenly Honey”. When I pour it over a homemade roll, I remember that those bees took something useless like that dirty old hive and created out of it something wonderful, something that adds flavor to to life.
2 Cor 5.17 says: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
1 John 1.9 says: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
1.Some people think they’ve done things that are too bad to be forgiven. Jesus says he can forgive us no matter what we’ve done. What do you think?
2.Sometimes we pile up the “leaves” around our lives that start to kill us. Sometimes it’s other people or circumstances that do it. What can we do when either of these things happen?
3.Does Jesus ever get tired of forgiving us for the same thing over and over?
4.What does it mean to “confess” our sins? To whom do we confess?