5 MINUTE FAMILY DEVOTIONS

Family devotions help create a firm foundation for your children's spiritual growth. By reading God's Word and praying together, you help train your children to carry these practices with them through life. You're also helping them to learn the truth of God's Word and to come to know Him better. When we dive into God’s Word, we are teaching our children that God loves and cares about them and us relentlessly. When we pray, we are showing our children that we have access to a God who is holy, loving, and able to meet our needs. 


These quick devotions can be done at the dinner table, in the car (if your kids can read), or before bed.

  • The sounds of Silence from

    "INDESCRIBABLE" BY L. GIGLIO

    Psalm 5:3

    "My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up."


    Did you know that you could be right next to someone in space, shouting at the top of your lungs, and that person wouldn’t hear a thing? That’s not because those space helmets get in the way. It’s because voices travel as sound waves, and sound waves need something to travel on—like the atmosphere on Earth. Since there’s no atmosphere in space, sound waves have nothing to travel on. So astronauts have to talk to each other using a different kind of wave: radio waves, which don’t need atmosphere to carry them.


    But God doesn’t need sound waves or even radio waves to hear us. That’s because prayers carry our voices to God. So if the God who created the entire universe is ready to listen to whatever we have to say—why don’t we pray more?


    At least part of the answer is that we get distracted and busy. The busyness of school, church, sports, family, friends, and a zillion other things gets in the way. Then there’s texting and video games and TV shows and movies and computer work. On average, we spend almost eight hours a day staring at some sort of screen, like a TV, computer, or phone—that’s almost sixty hours every week!


    In the middle of all of these fun, cool, and exciting things, God calls us to “be still” (Psalm 46:10) and pray to Him. Praying is when we praise God for who He is, thank Him for all He’s given us, and ask Him for what we need.


    Try it today. Find a special place where you can be alone with God. In a treehouse, in a corner of your room, or even in a bubble bath. Be still, talk to God, and listen for Him to answer. And, remember, God usually speaks with a still, small voice—so be sure to listen closely.


    Be Amazed!


    Praying is so important that Jesus—God’s own Son—took time to pray. Check out some of the ways Jesus prayed in Luke 5:16; 6:12; and Matthew 14:23.


    Prayer


    God, thank You for wanting to spend time with me. Thank You for always listening to me and answering my prayers.

  • Holding it together

    "INDESCRIBABLE" BY L. GIGLIO

    Colossians 1:17

    "And he is before all things, and by him all things consist."


    Have you ever seen workers build a brick building? They don’t just stack the bricks on top of each other. They need some sort of glue to hold all those bricks together. The glue for bricks is called mortar.


    In the same way, your body is made up of 37.2 trillion little bricks called cells. And like a building, those cells need some sort of glue to hold them all together. The glue for cells is called laminin.


    Laminin holds your body together. The thing that’s even more amazing about laminin is what it looks like. When you take a peek at laminin (and you’ll need an electron microscope to see it), it looks like . . . a cross.


    Why is that important? Because it’s another reminder that we are God’s own creation. You see, God left His fingerprints all throughout His creation. The Bible tells us that even though we can’t see the invisible qualities of God—like His awesome power and His holiness—we can see His creation and know He is real (Romans 1:20). Jesus was with God at creation, and “in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible. . . . In him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:16–17 NIV).


    Laminin is a picture of what Jesus tells us in His Word—He is the glue that holds our bodies, our souls, and everything—together. So when you’re feeling overwhelmed and having the absolute worst day ever, think about laminin—and remember that Jesus holds you—and all things—together.


    Be Amazed!


    The earliest use of glue was birch bark tar, which was used to make spears. The earliest written record of the use of glue comes from ancient Egypt. Hieroglyphs show that the casket of Pharaoh Tutankhamun (you may know him as King Tut) was glued together with a glue made from animal bones and skin


    Prayer


    Lord, when I start to worry about all the things happening in my life and around me, help me to stop and remember You are Lord of all—and You hold everything, including me, together.



  • Speed of light

    "INDESCRIBABLE" BY L. GIGLIO

    Genesis 1:3

    "And God said, 'Let there be light: and there was light."


    Have you ever wished you’d been there to see God create the world? I mean, how amazing would it have been to see how He did it all?


    It would’ve been breathtaking and overwhelming. Why? Because when God said, “Let there be light!” there wasn’t just the flick of a universal light switch. Oh no! This was more like a light explosion that would have been way more than your eyes could handle.


    The Bible tells us in Psalm 33:6 that the heavens were made by the word of God. He breathed out the universe and everything in it. So when God said He wanted light—that light came flying out of His mouth at 186,000 miles per second! That’s how fast light travels, so we call it the “speed of light.” God’s light streaked across the heavens, chased back the darkness, and lit up the entire universe in a blaze of brilliant glory.


    Only one object can move faster than the speed of light—and that’s the speed of God. When you call out to God in prayer, He’s instantly right there to listen—and He starts working on His answer right away. The thing is, though, God may not give you that answer right away. Sometimes He asks you to wait for it, and sometimes He might not give the answer you want. But you can trust that God will always give you the exact, right answer—at just the right moment and in just the right way. He’s always working faster than the speed of light!


    Be Amazed!


    God’s universe is so big that it can’t be measured in feet or inches or even miles. We have to use a bigger ruler: the light-year. A light-year is—you guessed it—how far light travels in a year, which is 5.88 trillion miles. Our own Milky Way Galaxy is 100,000 light-years wide. And that’s just one galaxy out of the billions that our mighty God created!


    Prayer


    God, I can’t even begin to imagine how fast light really is. And to know that You hear my prayers even faster than that is amazing to me. Thank You, God, for rushing to listen to me!

  • No Bones About IT

    "INDESCRIBABLE" BY L. GIGLIO

    James 5:16

    "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."


    Bones—they’re what separate us from the jellyfish. Well . . . bones, intelligence, souls, and a few other things. But the point is that bones are hugely important. The adult body has 206 bones—more than half of them are in your hands and feet. The femur (thighbone) is the longest, while the stapes (which is in your middle ear) is the smallest.


    Bones do many things for your body. For example, bones keep you standing tall. They make up your skeleton and give your body its shape. Bones provide a frame for your muscles so you can move, and they protect your soft tissues and organs. They also store minerals your body needs—like calcium. And bone marrow—the stuff inside your bones—is actually a factory for your blood cells. So, yes, the bones of your skeleton are pretty important, but they aren’t the only bones you have.


    You also need to have healthy “bones of faith.” You keep these bones healthy by praying to God, praising Him, studying His Word, and being with His people. The bones of faith are some of the most important bones you need to shape your life. They help keep you moving in the right direction as you follow God’s will. They protect the soft insides of your heart and soul. And they store up the power of God in your spirit, so it’s there when you need it. If you keep your bones of faith healthy, these bones will keep you standing tall when temptations and tough times come. Make no bones about it—these bones of faith are hugely important!


    Be Amazed!


    You were actually born with 300 bones in your body, but now you have only 206. What happened? Did you lose some? No, but some of them did grow together. For example, when babies are born, the bones in their skull are still separate. They’re connected only by tough membranes called fontanelles—these create the “soft spot” on a baby’s head. Over time, the bones grow together and become solid.


    Prayer


    Lord, show me how to keep my “bones of faith” strong—so I can always stand tall for You!

  • No kidding

    "Indescribable" by L. Giglio

    1 Tim 2:14

    "Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity."


    You probably know that a kitten grows up to be a cat, a puppy grows up to be a dog, and a duckling grows up to be a duck. But did you know that a kit grows up to be a fox? A puggle grows up to be a platypus? A flapper becomes a swan? Or a fry grows up to be a fish?


    But the real question is what will you grow up to be? Will you become the person God designed you to be? God has given you special gifts and talents—things you can do that no one else can do in the same wonderful way. He wants you to use your gifts to love Him and love others. Loving God and loving others are the two greatest commandments, and you can find them in Matthew 22:37–40.


    The great news is you don’t have to wait until you’re all grown up to start using your gifts and following God’s Word. You can start right now. But I’m just a kid, you might say. That’s okay—just check out what one kid in the Bible did. Josiah was only eight years old when he became king and led the people back to God. (Read about Josiah in 2 Kings 22–23.)


    Now, you don’t have to be a king to do what’s right and to lead people to God. You can be a teacher, a firefighter, the president—or a kid. Just love God with all your heart, soul, and mind, and love others—and you’ll grow up doing great things!


    Be Amazed!


    Kids can make a big difference in the world by doing little things—like comforting a friend, sharing what you have, or telling others about God. What can you do today to grow into the person God made you to be?


    Prayer


    Dear God, thank You for creating me uniquely and with a purpose. Help me see all the ways—big and small—I can show Your love to others today.

  • Packed with Power

    "INDESCRIBABLE" BY L. GIGLIO

    1 Corinthians 6:19

    What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?


    Ants are tiny little creatures, but they can lift up to 50 times their own weight. The rhinoceros beetle can lift something that’s up to 100 times its weight. That would be like a person lifting something that weighs about 9 tons. Or think of it this way—a polar bear weighs about half a ton, so it would be like lifting 18 polar bears. Even more impressive is the dung beetle, which can pull up to 1,141 times its body weight—and you don’t want to think about what that dung beetle is pulling!


    God can pack a lot of power and strength into tiny little packages. In fact, He packs an unbelievable amount of power and strength inside you. You see, when you decide to follow God and become one of His children, He packs His Spirit—the Holy Spirit—inside you. Your body becomes a home to the Spirit of God! That is an indescribable gift, but it is also a huge responsibility.


    You see, this gift of the Holy Spirit wasn’t free. “You were bought by God for a price” (1 Corinthians 6:20), and God paid that price when Jesus suffered and died on the cross. As a result, God expects you to take extra good care of your body. That means eating good foods, exercising, and getting plenty of rest. It means not hurting yourself with drugs, alcohol, or smoking. But it’s not enough just to watch what you put into your body. Honoring God means not using your body to sin. This means avoiding things like using your mouth to gossip or letting your eyes watch things you shouldn’t.


    As a child of God, your body is packed with the power, strength, and presence of God’s Spirit. Ask Him to help you use your body to honor Him and do what He wants you to do!


    Be Amazed!


    The webs of the Nephila orb-weaver spider are so strong that people in the South Pacific use them as fishing nets.


    Prayer


    God, I know I am still kind of small, but I know You can use me in powerfully big ways. How can I live for You today?

  • The Truth about being false

    "Defend Your Faith" by J. Floria

    Do you like taking tests with true-or-false questions? Researchers have found the answer is more often true than false. But these tests can be tricky. The next time you have to answer a true-or-false question, remember these tips.


    Tip 1: Read the questions carefully. If you skim, you may miss an important detail that makes the answer obvious. 


    Example: God told Moses to build an ark made of gopher wood. True or False?


    The answer is false because Noah built the ark—not Moses. If you read too quickly, you could miss that detail. 


    Tip 2: If one part of the question is false, the answer is false.


    Example: After Jesus rose from the dead, His disciples were all killed for their belief that He was God’s Son. True or False?


    The answer is false. Although many of them were killed for their beliefs, the Bible isn’t clear how some others died, including John, who was imprisoned on the isle of Patmos.


    Tip 3: Watch out for qualifying words, such as always, all, only, and never.


    Example: Only Moses saw God in the Old Testament. True or False?


    The answer is false because Jacob said he saw God (Genesis 32:30). The prophet Isaiah also recorded seeing God in Isaiah 6:1.


    These test-taking tips can help you get an A in school. But it’s even more important to test what you hear about God.


    Defend Your Faith


    The Bible warns us to beware of false teachers. These people twist truth and mislead people. For thousands of years, false teachers have made up rules or added to God’s Word to lead people the wrong way. Some teachers have done this to get rich or powerful. 


    Whenever you hear someone teaching about God—whether it’s a pastor, family member, or friend—test what they say versus what you know from God’s Word. The key here is you must know God’s Word. That’s why reading the Bible yourself is so important. If you don’t know the full truth, you can get misled by false teaching. So test everything you hear about God. When you find His truth, you’ll get an A in life. 


    2 Peter 2:1

    But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction"


    Genesis 32:30

    And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved"

  • Path through the sea

    "DEFEND YOUR FAITH" BY J. FLORIA

    What would you think if a friend told you that next Thursday you’d have a substitute teacher with blonde hair and glasses who spoke with a French accent and gave you homework that required frozen fish? Crazy, right? But what if that was exactly what happened? Would you listen to your friend more closely the next time he predicted something in the future? 


    The Bible identifies many men and women whom God gave knowledge of future events. They’re called prophets. Through God’s inspiration, these prophets made hundreds of prophecies that came true in amazing detail.


    One of the most interesting is a prophecy about the ancient city of Tyre. God’s prophet Ezekiel predicted the city would be completely destroyed because the people rejected God and practiced evil. At the time, Tyre was one of the most powerful cities in the world. Nobody would’ve thought it could be brought to ruins. But Ezekiel said even the stones, wood, and dirt of the city would be thrown into the water (Ezekiel 26:12).


    Soon after Ezekiel gave his prophecy, the city was attacked for thirteen years by the army of Babylon. Babylon finally defeated Tyre and left it in ruins. Some people escaped to an island offshore and built another strong city. Nearly 250 years later, Alexander the Great conquered that island city by building a half-mile-long path through the water. History shows that Alexander’s armies created the “path” by throwing all the rocks, lumber, and dirt from the original site of Tyre into the sea. More recent geologic studies of the area show that the island was linked to the land by a stretch of sand that was about ten feet below the water. That made it a bit easier for Alexander to build the path and conquer the last remnants of Tyre.


    Defend Your Faith


    Ezekiel’s prophecy was fulfilled in amazing detail because God knew what would happen to Tyre and its people. In fact, this prophecy came true with such accuracy that some people claimed that the book of Ezekiel was written after Tyre was destroyed. But Ezekiel lived and prophesied nearly three hundred years before Alexander the Great attacked Tyre in 332 bc. 


    The Bible is full of prophecies like this. At the time many prophecies were made, people didn’t believe they could come true. But they did. All of God’s Word is true. We can always trust what we read in the Bible . . . even when it seems impossible. 


    Psalm 119:160 "Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever."


    Ezekial 26:12 "And they shall make a spoil of thy riches, and make a prey of thy merchandise: and they shall break down thy walls, and destroy thy pleasant houses: and they shall lay thy stones and thy timber and thy dust in the midst of the water"



  • Puzzling Parables

    "DEFEND YOUR FAITH" BY J. FLORIA

    Jesus often taught in stories called parables. His parables were based on everyday events that people in the crowd could relate to. Although the people all recognized the real-life situations, not everyone understood the deeper meaning of Jesus’ teaching—like in the two short parables He shared in Matthew 13:44–46.


    In the first parable, Jesus told of a man who found a treasure buried in a field. The man joyfully sold everything he had and bought the field to win the treasure. In the second parable, Jesus told a story of a merchant searching for pearls. Once the man found a priceless pearl, he sold all his possessions and bought it. 


    After reading these stories, you probably picture yourself as the man or the merchant. That’s exactly what Jesus was hoping. He wants us to imagine that we’re the person who discovered the treasure or the pearl, because we can! The “treasures” Jesus talked about really represent eternal life in heaven. In the parables, the men sold all they had and bought the pearl or the field with the treasure because it was the most important thing they could ever do. 


    Wait a sec, you might be thinking. Isn’t the Bible clear that we can’t buy our way into heaven? So what was Jesus’ real meaning behind these stories?


    Jesus never contradicted the Bible with His words. As the ultimate author of every word in the Bible, He couldn’t say anything that contradicted the Word because He can’t contradict Himself. (Pause to think about that for a while.)


    The point of these parables is that we must be willing to give up everything for God. Jesus makes that clear in what He said right after these parables. He compared the kingdom of heaven to a net that collected fish in the sea. Only the good ones were kept (see Matthew 13:47–50).


    Defend Your Faith 


    Nobody can buy his or her way into God’s kingdom. It’s a gift from God when we believe in Him and put our faith in the truth of His Word (Ephesians 2:8–9). The point of these parables is that the kingdom of heaven is worth sacrificing every worldly possession and advantage we have. The rich young ruler discovered this in Mark 10:17–22, but he wasn’t willing to give up his wealth and walked away from having eternal life.


    God wants us to choose His unique and valuable treasure of salvation over anything the world offers. When we willingly give up everything for God, we become citizens of God’s kingdom and gain the ultimate prize.


    Suddenly those parables aren’t so puzzling after all! 


    Matthew 13:44-46

    44 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.

    45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:

    46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.