"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." - Ephesians 2:8-9
Play: Choose three activities for your kids to do (pat head while rubbing stomach, spell name backwards, and so on). Reward one treat for each success. Then offer your children a single, better treat. Say, "To get this you have to... do nothing."
Talk: We can't earn salvation, so we can't brag about it (Ephesians 2:8-9). God gives us eternal life only because of His grace, not because we deserve it. It's not a reward for those who read their Bible or pray the most. God offers salvation through Jesus to everyone who believes and accepts His gift. How would you feel if you lovingly gave a gift to someone who insisted on paying for it?
Prayer: Thank God for making eternal life a free gift.
Challenge: Spend some time getting to know this God that loves you so much that He gives you the greatest gift of all (eternal life)...for free!
As Christians, we know how the story is going to end. Yet, the hope into which we have been saved is unseen. What we can see is the world and its demands. We must keep our minds focused on the unseen, or the pressure to live for today's culture will swallow us up. The world demands our attention all the time, from every direction. The ever-present media (TV, magazines, newspapers, internet) distracts us from the unseen and lures us with the false hope of instant gratification. Fortunately, God provides a defense: "the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus for the dead dwells in you" (Rom 8:11).
Demonstrate an eternal perspective for your kids. Talk about the messages the culture is sending and contrast them with the hope we have as followers of Christ. (Parenting by Design, www.parentingbydesign.com)
"For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently."