Day 2: Hope in Family
Scripture- Mark 5:21-24 and 35-42
21 When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. 22 Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. 23 He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” 24 So Jesus went with him…35 While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?”36 Overhearing[c] what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” 37 He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. 38 When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. 39 He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” 40 But they laughed at him. After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him and went in where the child was. 41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). 42 Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished.”
This is the story of a father who was not willing to give up on his child and how Jesus rewards him. Jairus was a very powerful leader in the synagogue, but much of the leadership of the synagogue did not believe Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God or even a good teacher. They hated the way he was teaching and reaching people in a new way. Jairus put his pride aside and asked Jesus to come when his daughter was very sick. We must also remember that sin is like a sickness. When we have friends and family who don’t know Jesus as their savior their sin eats away at their lives, their families and homes.
The Christmas story is one of rescue and healing, but in order to be healed we must bring our families to Jesus like how Jairus brought his daughter. How do we do that? First, by witnessing how Jesus is working in our own lives. When people see the joy and hope we have in our lives, many times they will want in their lives too. That is our opportunity to tell them about our hope through salvation. Next, through prayer by placing them at the feet of the Savior, trusting that Jesus will heal the people we pray for from their sin and heal our families. When we give our lives to Jesus, we must humble ourselves and realize that God has a better plan for our lives and money than we could ever imagine.
We can be a blessing to others through money, but just like Jairius we must lay down our pride and trust Jesus with our possessions (our stuff). An example of this is the testimony from a professor at Campbell University. She told the story of growing up very poor in Taiwan as the youngest daughter of nine kids. How did this child who grew up in poverty end up as a teacher at a big university? Her older brothers and sisters could not afford school and had to go to work from a young age to support themselves and their family. They lovingly wanted better for their little sister, so they all gave money throughout her life so that she could complete her education and go onto better things. They wanted better for her than they had for themselves.
Now that she has a good job, she sends money back to help her brothers and sisters in Taiwan, some of whom could not survive in their old age without her help. This professor gives glory to God that through the generosity of her family, she was able to be a blessing to them one day as well. This family uses their money to bless others and God in turn blesses each one of them with everything they need.
Prayer- Jesus please show me how I can serve you by serving my family. Help me to bring my family to Jesus through my witness and through prayer. Help me to trust your plan for my family and my money.
Activity- Think about the people within your family and how you can bless them. Take turns praying for and serving one another. An example of this might be clearing the table after dinner or praying with a younger brother or sister about a test at school. Be creative in ways you can serve one another.
Challenge- Take time this week to think about how you can intentionally serve members of your family. Parents don’t forget to practice leading your children in this challenge. Being consistent, and practicing this behavior every single day will help form good habits with children of service and prayer.