Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Mentoring Moments -- Chapter 2

I meant to get this up last week, and again the days got away from me, but here is Chapter 2 from my mentoring times with my daughters, Of Cowgirls and Princesses: God's Design for Young Girls. Thanks much to each of you that gave me feedback on the first chapter. I pray that this is a continued blessing and help to each of you:


God’s Plan throughout History

From the beginning of time God had a plan. His plan included you.

He created a beautiful, perfect world. No death, no troubles, no suffering. Adam walked and talked with God as he would a friend or family member. God created mankind and loved him, and loves us as His creation. He made a special place for Adam. A garden paradise. Filled with fruit trees that were both beautiful to look at and held delicious nourishment for him. Rivers flowed through the garden watering it naturally. And Adam tended the garden. Living in joy in the love of God.

God gave Adam an interesting job, naming the animals. Every beast and bird was brought to him for naming. At the end of the task, it was clear that Adam was above each of these animals, and in need of a helper. So, the first matchmaker set to work. God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam. God took a rib from Adam’s side while he slept and closed him back up. Then, from that rib, God made a woman. Again, God had created out of his deep love for man, a perfect helpmeet for him. Now Adam lived in paradise with another physical person to share his life with. Adam awoke, maybe rubbed the sleep from his eyes, and maybe even rubbed them a second time, not believing what stood before him. Adam exclaimed, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of man.”

From the beginning of time, God loved man, God loved woman. He created them to be together as man and wife, living and working side by side in dominion over the rest of creation.

Unfortunately, it did not last. Adam and Eve chose to make a decision that sounded good at the moment, but had disastrous consequences. They chose to disbelieve what God had told them and believe a lie instead.

With their sin, the sin nature has passed to all mankind. But, God had a plan.

He still loved. He still wanted a relationship with mankind. Yet, His justice would not allow Him to overlook their sin. He had to make a way.

For thousands of years, God continued to teach mankind to look ahead to His promised answer for their sin problem. They sacrificed animals as a picture of the Ultimate Sacrifice that would come.

Many people lived through those days, living by faith in what they had not yet seen. Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, David, and many others, chose to follow God because they looked ahead to their reward.

As a result of their faithfulness God was not ashamed to be called their God. They did not live to see the promise fulfilled, but they hoped and believed in what they did not see. We, too, need to have hope and faith in the unseen.

Follow up: Did you find a way to shine for God in your unique way this week? Share with each other how you did. If you have nothing to share, review what you discussed last week, and continue to encourage each other to seek ways to use your unique gifts to shine God’s light.

Hebrews 11:1, 6, 9-10, 13, 16, 39-40
(You may want to take time to read this entire chapter if you have not done so recently or if your daughter has not, and wrap up with the first couple verses of chapter 12).
  1. What is faith?
  2. What relationship do you see between faith and hope (read Romans 8:24, 25 for more on this)?
  3. Where do we get faith from (Ephesians 2:8,9)?
  4. What should be the focus of our faith?
  5. Does faith have its sight set on this world or the eternal?
  6. Did these people live perfect lives because they lived by faith?
  7. How can we strengthen our faith?

Place a reward at one end of the room (candy, a sticker, a small gift or prize, or even yourself with a promised hug for your daughter).

Stand your daughter at the other side of the room from the reward. Then either darken the room or blindfold your daughter.

Instruct her to head toward the reward. If there are obstacles in the way, use your words to make sure that she still heads safely to the reward.

Now repeat this without a blindfold or darkened room.

Discussion points:
How was this similar to the experience of those in the Old Testament? Of us today?

Does faith require sight? Does sight keep us from having real faith?

When you can see, how does it change your thoughts while going toward the reward? Does this help you understand better how faith and hope play a role in our obedience to God?

Action points:
Pray daily that God would help you trust Him more.
Memorize Hebrews 11:1

Pray that God would continue to grow your faith. Pray that you would walk obediently and keep your focus on Him and His Word.

Faith is like radar that sees through the fog. ~Corrie Ten Boom, Tramp for the Lord

Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens. ~J.R.R. Tolkien

Further reading:
For you – Practicing the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence – making living by faith a habit.
For her – The Little Pilgrim’s Progress – living by faith played out in this classic allegory

You would both enjoy George Mueller’s biography. He had an amazing ability to live by faith with an understanding of the power of prayer like few others.

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