Family Devotions: Fruit of the Spirit Series-Joy & Peace

This Week’s Topic: Fruit of the Spirit- Joy and Peace

This Week’s Goal: To understand God’s definition of joy and peace and how they should look in our lives as Christians.

This Week’s Bible Reference: Galatians 5:22-23 (and other verses on that trait of Joy and Peace)

 

Family Devotional

 

Activity: (For All Ages; feel free to do one or both activities)

Option 1: Make a tree for a wall in your home and label the tree ‘believer’ or ‘Christian.’  Each week you can add the particular attribute you are discussing as a family. This week you would add ‘love, peace, and joy ,’ allowing a child to place it on the branch of the tree. I would encourage you to only use one type of fruit (eg. If you make an apple as your fruit, continue with apples).

  • Goal: To have a visual reminder throughout the week of each of the different traits that you are discussing.

Option 2: Discuss the peace that the world offers. (Show pictures of peace signs, a spa, a beach, a person meditating, etc.) Talk about what each picture offers as peace.

  • Goal: To contrast what the world offers as peace in contrast to what God offers as peace.

 

Singing:

Please feel free to do what best fits your family! (See the Intro. to Family Devotions) 

Song Suggestions (based on the topic): “I’ve got peace like a river (joy like a fountain)” – Children’s song, ‘Still’ by Hillsong, Fruit of the Spirit: You Tube Video/Song   or You Tube Video/Song 

 

Bible Reading & Family Discussion Questions (intertwined): 

Galatians 5:22-23 (New Living Translation)

22) But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23) gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

(Parents: Some people say that the word Fruit is intended to be a singular idea- meaning that all of the different traits are together to make up one fruit. Other people take fruit to mean the plural idea of fruit- meaning that each trait is an individual fruit of a life led by the Holy Spirit. Either viewpoint, the message remains the same- ALL of these character traits should be shown in the life of someone who is trying to follow God.)

Joy & Peace 

Last week we looked at Love. Who is someone who made you feel loved last week? What did they do and why did it make you feel loved? This week we are going to begin looking specifically the traits of Joy and Peace in the Fruits of the Spirit.

Joy (toddlers-younger children)

Fruit of the Spirit Coloring Pages (you can use these to help explain each trait)

God’s Joy (in kid language):   Happiness comes and goes, but joy always stays; it comes from knowing and following Jesus.

  • Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy. (Psalm 47:1)
  • The LORD is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving. (Psalm 28:7)

Discussion Questions:

  1. What makes us happy?
  2. What gives us joy?
  3. How can we express our joy to God?
  4. How can we show our joy in the Lord to others?

Joy (older children thru teenagers) 

Verses that tell us about God’s Joy in our lives:

  • You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever. (Psalm 16:11)
  • And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the LORD is your strength!” (Nehemiah 8:10)

Discussion Questions:

  1. Why is joy found in God’s presence?
  2. Why does Nehemiah say that the joy of the LORD is your strength? (You might have to look at the whole chapter of Nehemiah 8.)
  3. What words would you use to describe the joy that God gives?

Peace (toddlers-younger children)

God’s Peace (in kid language):   God’s Peace is knowing that whatever happens in life God will take care of you.

  • Peace is a difficult concept to explain to younger children. I would encourage you to work with them on coloring the page posted above, and talk with them about what peace in terms of what the picture is portraying.

Discussion Question:

  1. When do you need God’s peace the most in your life?

 

Peace (older children thru teenagers) 

Verses that tell us about God’s Peace in our lives:

  • You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. (Isaiah 26:3)
  •  Peace I leave you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27)
  • Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. (Psalm 34:14)
  • Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. (Romans 12:18)
  • And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)

 

Discussion Questions:

  1. Why  does Isaiah talk about peace as being a trait that is based on a trust in God?
  2. How is Jesus’ peace different than what the world offers? What does that look like in our lives? (John 14:27)
  3. The verses from Psalms and Romans talk about what we need to do as far as living in/at peace. How is that shown in your life? 


 

Prayer:

This is a great and easy format to follow as a family:

A-Adoration: What things did you learn about God today? Thank God for the times when he gives us joy and patience! Praise him that he is always patient with us and that his joy is not based on our circumstances.

C-Confession: Confess the times that you struggle with joy and patience in your life; ask God to forgive you. Parents, this might be an opportunity for you to ask your children to forgive you for not always being patient with them in your own life.

T-Thanksgiving: Thank God for what He has done in your lives this week and that He wants to be our foundation!

S-Supplication: God loves us and loves to bless us. Tell God the desires of your heart.

 

Extension Activity/Discussion Starters for the Week:

  • Take a picture (not staged) or draw a picture of someone you experienced living out joy and peace this week. You could do so at the mall, in a park, at school, at work, etc. The idea is to get a visual example of what that would look like so that you can talk about it sometime during the week. Use this to make a picture collage of the Fruits of the Spirit over the next few weeks.
  • The traits of Joy and Peace are hard to reward and measure in someone other than yourself. Here are a few ideas of things to watch for and encourage as a focus for your child’s Marble Jar-Character Training.  (ex: being brave in a scary or new situation [peace], being joyful when they don’t get their way or are faced with a hard situation [joy]). 


 

PG
Mackenzie is a follower of Jesus, wife, mama of two toddler boys, teacher at heart, and coffee lover. She was a lower school elementary teacher for over 6 years, with a master's degree in Reading, and is a certificated Reading Specialist. She currently works part-time at a private school allowing her more time at home with her little guys.

Mackenzie has blogged 680 posts here.

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Comments

  1. Hi there

    Thanks for this – but it is SO hard to read in the current colour and background. Any chance you could either use something like white text or a lighter background. Thanks.

    • John- Try switching to a different browser; do you know which browser you are using? I have only had this problem when I on a network at work. It definitely should not be so hard to see, there is a problem and I will work to fix it. Thanks for bringing this to my attention!

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