How can we encourage our children to live out the truth of the Gospel in their own lives?
We’re wrapped in cozy blankets with warm popcorn and hot chocolate by our side this month as we sit down to watch What’s In The Bible? Volume 12: Letters From Paul. I know I say this all the time but this is one of my favorites. As a religion minor in college, my Life and Letters of Paul class was a highlight for me. I have always loved these practical books of the New Testament; they helped me put my faith into action, even at a young age.
That’s the goal in sharing these letters with our children. We want to help them understand what to do with the hope we have in Jesus Christ. From defining the church to explaining large concepts such as justification, The Letters of Paul remind us of the truth Christians stand on and how, then we are supposed to live.
What is Letters From Paul all about?
- The Church
- Timeline of Paul’s Letters
- Gospels vs. Epistles
- Paul in Jail
- The Early Churches
What can we learn from Paul’s letters in living out our faith?
Phil and friends define the church at the beginning of these episodes, helping kids understand the origin of what they know to be the sanctuary and classrooms we gather in each week.
It was fresh revelation for me to think about the fact that the early churches in Rome did not yet have the Bible as we know it. These letters from Paul were their only source of guidance and encouragement.
The What’s In The Bible? gang go through an amazing summary of Paul’s letters, giving an overview of each book. Their explanation of why we need Paul’s letters (the Epistles) along with the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) is simple – the Epistles help us put the Gospel (our faith) into action.
Paul’s letters begin with Romans, the largest and most comprehensive book in the group. Romans is the most complete summary of what Christians believe and will become an important source of foundational truth for our children as they grow in their faith.
Talking to our kids about living out our faith and 3 more conversation starters:
1. Grace – As a Christian we are justified by grace through faith and made righteous. We are made right by grace, God’s “undeserved favor”, which allows us to get something better than we deserve. We receive God’s gift of righteousness by faith in what God did for us, not because of what we do. Can you think of a time you received something more than you deserved?
2. The Fruit of the Spirit – God does not say, “If you love me, you need to do what I command. . .” but rather, “If you love me, you’ll want to do what I do. Your heart will be changed.” God’s love through Jesus changes us to want to do what is right. With the Spirit of God in us, the fruit that comes out of us is different than the fruit that came before we knew God. The good fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control can be hard to produce on our own. But with God’s help, we can share these good things with those around us. Which of these fruit of the spirit can you show someone in your life this week?
3. Sanctification – When we walk with Jesus, the power of the Holy Spirit will make us more like him and produce good fruit in our lives. But this doesn’t happen overnight. It will take the rest of our lives. Sanctification is a life long process of being made more like Jesus everyday. How does it help you to know it will take the rest of your life to become more like Jesus?
4. Spiritual Disciplines – We walk with Jesus by being a part of God’s church – the body of Christ – to learn and worship together with other followers of Jesus and by practicing spiritual exercises like prayer, Bible reading, fasting and worship. These spiritual exercises help us set aside time to spend with God and learn about him. Just like physical exercise helps our body, spiritual exercise helps us grow with Jesus. Which of these disciplines can you practice this week?
Volume 12, Letters From Paul!, wraps up with a summary presentation of the Gospel and our role as Christians. Though these episodes are not the last, Phil and friends do a wonderful job summarizing what we’ve learned about the Bible and Christianity up until this point, connecting all the dots to create a beautiful picture of God’s Story and great rescue plan. I found one of the last lines of their presentation to be incredibly inspiring for my own life, as well as my role in leading my children along their journey of faith – we get to be a part of restoring God’s creation. Every job, role, assignment, season and creative inspiration in our lives can come out of this honor. This realization can give new meaning and purpose to everything we do.
Have you watched What’s In The Bible? Volume 12 with your family? What have you been learning or discussing about living out your faith?
Jessica Wolstenholm is co-founder of Grace for Moms. After 15 years in the music and publishing industries, Jessica came home to be with her two small children. Although the transition from the corporate world to the playground has been an adjustment, she is learning every day to access the grace available to us through Christ as she navigates the full time job of motherhood. She is the co-author of The Pregnancy Companion: A Faith-Filled Guide for Your Journey to Motherhood and The Baby Companion: A Faith-Filled Guide for Your Journey Through Baby’s First Year. Jessica lives in Nolensville, TN with her husband, Dave and two miracle babies, Hope (6) and Joshua (3).