FAMILY BUILDERS: Lessons for the Whole Family During Easter
Christians celebrate Easter as the anniversary of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. But the holiday also serves as a reminder to believers of all ages that they also are resurrected with Christ!
As Easter approaches, Family Builders encourages Christians to meditate on the meaning of their new life in the risen Christ and the glorious benefits that come with it. Along with benefits comes the responsibility to live according to God's Word and walk in His holiness—vital characteristics of the resurrected life. Failure to submit to the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God can prevent believers from receiving the benefits Jesus purchased for them through His death, burial, and resurrection.
FAMILY BUILDERS FOR ADULTS
Living in the Resurrection
As you meditate on the reality of the Resurrection this month, start by taking the time to realize that you, too, are risen with Christ! The scripture says, "Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on the earth" (Col. 3:1–2 NASB). One of the reasons you should consider things above is because in God's eyes that's where you are (Eph. 2:6). You are seated in a place of blessing and spiritual strength to live and walk in the newness of resurrection life.
Our resurrected life brings countless benefits, including forgiveness (1 John 1:9), right-standing with God (2 Cor. 5:21), a brand-new existence (2 Cor. 5:17), physical healing (1 Peter 2:24), wisdom from God (1 Cor. 1:30; James 1:5), supernatural strength (Phil. 4:13), authority over the devil (Mark 16:17), freedom from sin (Rom. 6:5–7), everlasting life (John 5:26; 1 John 5:11), and the glorious privilege of being a child of God (John 1:12; 1 John 5:1). There are many others. Consider taking the time to write down the benefits and the scriptures that explain them. Make confessions of the scriptures and declare them often.
As you meditate on your position in Christ and confess the Word, remember that a resurrected life means a holy life. In addition to revealing the benefits of the Resurrection, the Bible tells us how to live each day. Resurrected people shouldn't lie, cheat, steal, commit adultery, or engage in other ungodly activities (see Ephesians chapters 4–6, Col. 3:5–17). Failure to walk in the Spirit can keep us from receiving the benefits that the Lord Jesus Christ provided for us at the cross. As Christians, even though we might confess the right things, our disobedience can prevent us from receiving from God. Obedience to God and His Word are paramount to receiving and walking in the blessings of the resurrection life. Be determined this month to do both—walk in the Spirit and partake of the blessings Jesus died to give you!
FAMILY BUILDERS FOR CHILDREN
Bringing the Resurrection to Life for Children
This is the time of year for Easter egg hunts. This traditional Easter event gives parents the opportunity to teach the meaning of the resurrected life through object lessons. A real egg with a baby chick inside symbolizes the promise of new life. An empty egg can illustrate the tomb after Christ rose from the dead.
Object lessons are just one way to help children realize that Christ is really alive—and that His life provides them with a new life and glorious promises from God's Word. Illustrations help impart the truth that, instead of being lifeless in a tomb, the risen Jesus lives at the right hand of God to intercede for believers (Heb. 7:25). During His life on earth, Jesus welcomed children with open arms (Matt. 19:13–14), and the scriptures say He is the same now as He was then (Heb. 13:8). Jesus loves and welcomes children today. He listens to them and represents them before the Father.
Parents should take the time this month to talk with their children about the promises of forgiveness, love, acceptance, healing, and provision that are available because of the Resurrection. As parents meditate on these truths, they can teach their children to do the same thing. Parents also have the opportunity to make their children aware that in addition to loving us intensely, the Lord sympathizes with us when we face problems and challenges
Jesus was once a child. Jesus knows the challenges of growing up with brothers and sisters (Mark 6:3), and He wants His young followers to love their siblings the way He loved His. Jesus also respected and served His parents (Luke 2:51).
Living a resurrected life today means children can live like Jesus did when He was a child, because the life of God is in all believers and empowers them to live the resurrected life (Eph. 3:16; Col. 1:27). The Living God understands what it's like to be a child. God loves children dearly and empowers them for spiritual success when they seek Him.
FAMILY BUILDERS FOR TEENAGERS
Resurrection Provision From the 'All-Sufficient One'
Teens sometimes struggle with feelings of inadequacy. One great truth of the Resurrection is that the Bible promises believers of all ages that God is able to make up for any deficiency in their lives! He is adequate for any occasion and can empower His people to meet any challenge and overcome any shortcoming (2 Cor. 3:5).
This month, encourage your teen to focus on the spiritual reality that God is the "All-Sufficient One"—El Shaddai (Gen. 17:1)! Because of the work of Jesus at the cross and His resurrection from the dead, God can transform unsuccessful people into conquerors who are destined for success (Rom. 8:37). He can overcome any weakness with His strength (2 Cor. 12:9). The Resurrection means God will empower His people to walk in the reality of the resurrected life (Rom. 8:32; Eph. 1:19).
Dwelling on God's truths can transform a teen who feels socially insignificant. Remind teens that the Word will grow up in them and produce fruit as they expose themselves to God's truths through reading the Bible and praying. They need to simply get into the Word. They can't produce spiritual fruit in their own strength (John 15:5), but the Word activated in the human heart by the Holy Spirit imparts the work and the benefits of the Resurrection.
If teens heed the Word and walk in it, God will grant their heart's desire for personal confidence and a sense of fulfillment because their focus is on God's provision instead of their perceived shortcomings (John 14:13,15:7; Psalm 37:4).
Other people may appear to "have it all together," but they may really feel inadequate and be putting up a false front to compensate for their true feelings. Youth shouldn't compare their sense of worth and adequacy with their perceptions of others. Teach them to focus instead on the Word of God. The Word will change the way they think and feel about themselves (Mark 4:26–28).
This Easter, consider giving your teen a booklet of God's promises. Buy one that is written from a modern translation of the Bible. Talk to your teen about their feelings of inadequacy. Then encourage them to look up scriptures under the category that addresses their need. Challenge your teen to read the scriptures every day and personalize them by making confessions of the passages. They will be on their way to realizing the sufficiency that comes from their resurrected Lord!
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