God Provides all things for us. 

Nothing we have is really ours. It is all a gift. In a world that tells us that we can provide for ourselves and challenges us to take control of our own lives, it’s humbling and difficult to grasp that food, clothing, home, family, work and all we need from day to day come to us as a gift. These gifts are given to those who say thanks, and to those who don’t. The sun shines both on those who acknowledge the giver of the gifts and on those who just keep on taking and taking. Which one are you?

The Apostles Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,  maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
  who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
  born of the virgin Mary,
  suffered under Pontius Pilate,
  was crucified, died and was buried.
  He descended into hell.
  The third day He rose again from the dead.
  He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
  From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
  the holy Christian Church,
  the communion of saints,
  the forgiveness of sins,
  the resurrection of the body,
  and the life everlasting.

Video: † Rent the movie Napoleon Dynamite

A God wise enough to create me and the world I live in is wise enough to watch out for me.
— Philip Yancy

(2004) and play the short scene from the 9:35 mark to about the 10:35 mark where 
Napoleon (Jon Heder) and Kip (Aaron Ruell) discover that their grandma (Sandy Martin) is leaving for the night. Napoleon gets upset that he has to provide for himself even though it is for a short time and his grandma has made it easy.

  1. Have you ever take for granted the things (home, food, clothes, love) that parents provide?
  2. Are you truly thankful for these gifts, or do you expect to be provided for? 
  3. Is it easy to get complacent like Napoleon does in this clip?
  4. How does all of this relate to God the Provider?

Survival Skills :

There are joys that long to be ours. God sends ten thousand truths, that come about us like birds seeking inlet; but we are shut up to them, and so they bring us nothing, but sit and sing awhile upon the roof and then fly away.
— Henry Ward Beecher

† Tape a huge sheet of paper on a wall and title it “Things We Need to Survive.”

  1. What are all the things they need to survive?
  2. Who provides all that they need?
    1.  Parents, teachers, and other adults.
  3. God is the ONLY one who ultimately gives Us life and sustains us.
  4. Think about parents who house and feed us, teachers who teach and doctors who heal?
  5. Often God provides for our needs through those around us, but everything is still from God. God is our Father, Creator, Preserver and Provider.

Sacrifices:

  1. Make a list of things they normally don’t go a day without;
    1. maybe it’s soda, coffee, music on the iPod, or a video game.
  2. Remember the Old Testament meaning of burnt offerings. It was the sacrificial act of giving up something special or important and offering it to God. What would happen if you gave up one thing for an entire week?
  3. Perhaps you could “sacrifice” one item of importance for one week and put the money away for an offering.
There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.
— Albert Einstein

Visible and Invisible:

God not only provides the things we can see, God provides us with many invisible things to sustain us daily.

  • What is a list of the invisible things God provides (air, heartbeat, love of parents, etc.)?

Bible Time

  1. Ike and the Knife:
    1. Open Bibles to Genesis 22:1-18 and read together the story of Abraham and Isaac, and how God provided for them.
  2. Daily Bread:
    1. Do a quick study of manna from heaven (Exodus 16) and “daily bread”(Matthew 6:11).
  3. Rocky Water:
    1. Read Exodus 17:1-7 and then talk about what a big bunch of whiners the Israelites were! No matter how surly they got, God provided for them. This would be a good time to look at the cover art painting by He Qi.
  4. My Shepherd:
    1. Read and reflect on Psalm 23. Use a shepherd’s crook and toy stuffed sheep as props.
Thou, O God, dost sell us all good things at the price of labor.
— Leonardo Da Vinci

Wrap-up Reflection

Everything you have is a gift. Every moment, second, breath, and heartbeat is provided for you by God. When was the last time you said thanks to God for the hot water in your shower? For the summer sun? For that pesky little brother of yours? Do you ever wonder how God feels when people continue to take and take without saying thanks? God gives a new day, a new sunrise, oxygen to breathe, and all good gifts that make and sustain life. These gifts are given to those who say thanks, and to those who don’t. Which type of person will you be?

Prayer Journey

Imagine you wake up one day to find your family has disappeared. You look through every room in the house, but they have all vanished. No parents, no siblings, even your pets are gone. You go to the neighbor’s house, but no one answers the door. Walking inside you discover they’ve all vanished as well. Hungry, you return to your house to have breakfast and think things over. The refrigerator, however, is empty. So are the cupboards. The place is entirely devoid of food. Even the salt shaker is empty. You head to the store and immediately notice the deafening silence in the streets. No cars. No people. Even the birds you’re used to hearing as you pass the park are missing. The grocery store’s parking lot is empty, but the automatic door opens for you. Inside, the low hum of the freezers in the frozen food aisle greets you, but there is no other sound. That faint but distinct grocery store smell you are so used to is simply not detectable. You pull a box of Pop-Tarts down from the shelf and tear it open only to discover the box is empty. You take down another. Empty. You run to the dairy aisle for some milk, but all the cartons and bottles are empty. You rush around the store grabbing packages here and there, but every single one is empty. The produce section is empty, as are the meat, seafood and deli sections. What is going on here? Is there some sort of conspiracy? How are you going to live? Where is your family, your friends? All the fears you’ve ever had in your life rush at you like a fierce avalanche, fixing to crush you. You turn your eyes heavenward and raise your hands to God. What do you pray?

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