Jesus came into this world as a tiny infant, completely dependent on Mary and Joseph for His needs, but He didn’t stay an infant, He grew and He learned. He learned to walk and talk. He probably sat at his mother’s knee and listened to her tell Him stories. I think He followed Joseph into the carpenter shop and learned how to hammer pieces of wood together to make something and His parents took Him to the temple church. He loved being in God’s house.
I know for me, it’s hard to wrap my mind around Jesus being fully human and yet fully God, but He was. He was an infant, a boy, a teen and then a man. He most likely fell and scraped his knee a few times as he learned to walk and run. He felt pain. He knew joy and sorrow. He experienced everything that we experience here on earth and He learned from firsthand experience what it’s like to live here on earth.
As Jesus grew, He grew strong and wise. Like most Jewish boys, He probably went to the synagogue to learn to read and to learn the scriptures. I think that going to the synagogue or temple was His favorite thing to do. That’s where the story today takes us. Jesus went to the temple with His parents at twelve years old. By this age, He was beginning to fully understand who He was and He wanted to be in His Father God’s house. He listened, learned and talked with the teachers there. Yet when Mary and Joseph came searching for Him, He obeyed them and went home with them. God was pleased with His Son, Jesus.
Let’s learn from Jesus’ example and grow strong and wise. Even as adults, we can learn new things and continue seeking wisdom. I think seeking wisdom begins when we listen; listen to others who have wisdom in various areas, listen to our family, friends and God and what He says in His Word. Proverbs 2:6 says it this way, “For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Let’s keep growing, learning and listening this year, especially to God. He created us, He knows us and He is with us.
I recognize my propensity to charge full-speed ahead trying to manage the jobs and responsibilities that I think I have before me. I set goals, make plans and do my best to love and serve you and others. Yet I know that in the midst of my planning and doing, I sometimes forget to consult you. Then I find myself frustrated and weary from taking on too many tasks. I lack wisdom, Lord. Frankly, some of the great opportunities I am facing scare me to death. I’m not sure how to proceed, but I know that you are leading. You said if we lack wisdom to ask. So God, I’m asking, give me wisdom. Give me wisdom in my job, my relationships, my parenting or grand parenting. Give me wisdom to follow you daily. Show me ways of helping my kids grow in wisdom too. May I never become too busy to listen for your voice amidst all the other noise. Teach me Lord, to listen and apply my heart to gaining wisdom.. Amen
LEARNING & LISTENING TO GOD
How do we listen and learn from God? How about asking Him to show you? Here are some things that help me – things I’ve learned from others and also from trial and error.
* Make time spent in prayer and reading your Bible a priority. Yes, it can be done on the fly, but when you actually take the time to meet with God, like a friend, I believe you will grow. If you can make time to brush your teeth or stop by Starbucks, then you can spend time with God. How about asking God to meet you at Starbucks? He’s there with you whether you realize it or not and it’s a good place to meet a friend.
* When meeting with God, ask Him to help you understand what you are reading and ask yourself three questions as you read your Bible:
1. What stood out to me from what I read today?
2. What is God saying to me through what I read?
3. How can I act on what I read?
If we want to be wise, we need to act wisely. It doesn’t help to read and learn if we don’t apply what we learn. A pastor that I knew may years ago used to say, “If you always do what you’ve always done, then you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”
ENCOURAGING KIDS TO LISTEN
* Listen to them. Encourage them to talk about their day, their ideas, their dreams. Really listen.
* Play listening games. There are so many sounds around us that we aren’t even aware of because we’ve tuned them out. Take a minute with your child to listen. What do you hear? The refrigerator running, a dog barking outside, a clock ticking? You can do this outside too when taking a walk. Be in the moment and be aware.
* Encouraging them to listen to God – Get a simple Bible that they can read or look at. There are a lot of good ones out there. There’s even a Bible Ap For Kids that you can download for free on your phone and it’s fun!
SHARE A STORY – Jesus At The Temple – Luke 2:41-52
Mary, Joseph and Jesus walked to the temple church one day, –
(Walk, walk, walk.)
They went to the temple church to worship and to pray. – (Fold hands.)
When it was time to go, Mary and Joseph headed out of town. – (Walk again.)
They thought Jesus was with them, ‘til they began to look around. –
(Put hand over eyes—searching.)
Mary and Joseph wondered, “Just where did Jesus go?” –
(Wave hands outward with a puzzled expression on face.)
They asked everyone they knew; no one seemed to know. – (Shake head no.)
Back to Jerusalem they hurried, looking for him everywhere. –
(Look up and down and all around.)
Finally they found him in the temple, talking with the teachers there. –
(Put hands by mouth to indicate talking.)
Mary and Joseph said, “Son, you had us worried! We didn’t know where you could be.” – (Cross arms over chest in a loving manner.)
Jesus said, “I want to be in my Father’s house. I thought you’d know where to find me.” – (Make church with hands together.)
Jesus obeyed His parents, going home with them that day. – (Walk again.)
Jesus listened in the temple church too. He listened and obeyed. –
(Hand by ear as though listening.)
You can listen and obey, just like Jesus did. Jesus came to earth to be your friend. He will help you. When you listen at church to stories from the Bible, you’ll grow to know and love God more and that’s a very wise thing to do.
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, Thank you for loving me. Help me to listen and grow up loving you. I can listen to Bible stories, teachers, mom and dad. I want you to be my friend forever. I want to learn more about you. Amen
MEMORIZE: “Jesus became wise and He grew strong. God was pleased with Him.” Luke 2:52 CEV
KNOW: Jesus came to earth to be my friend.
TALK ABOUT: Growing, learning and listening
ASK: Who wants to be your friend? Jesus wants to be my friend.
AND DO: I can listen and learn about God.
FUN IDEA FOR THIS WEEK
* Talk about your church with your child this week – ask about his/her teachers, friends, stories he/she is learning about – anything. Pray for your church and your child’s teachers.