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Lesson 11 - Families of Faith

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Overall Question: What are some Bible stories about families "of faith"?

Memory Text: Hebrews 12:1-2 New Living Translation Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.

 

Sunday – “Hold Fast What Is Good”

Acts 10:1-28 New International Version At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. 2 He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. 3 One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, “Cornelius!” 4 Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked. The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. 5 Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter. 6 He is staying with Simon the tanner, whose house is by the sea.” 7 When the angel who spoke to him had gone, Cornelius called two of his servants and a devout soldier who was one of his attendants. 8 He told them everything that had happened and sent them to Joppa. 9 About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. 10 He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. 12 It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. 13 Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.” 14 “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.” 15 The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” 16 This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven. 17 While Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision, the men sent by Cornelius found out where Simon’s house was and stopped at the gate. 18 They called out, asking if Simon who was known as Peter was staying there. 19 While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Simon, three men are looking for you. 20 So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them.” 21 Peter went down and said to the men, “I’m the one you’re looking for. Why have you come?” 22 The men replied, “We have come from Cornelius the centurion. He is a righteous and God-fearing man, who is respected by all the Jewish people. A holy angel told him to ask you to come to his house so that he could hear what you have to say.” 23 Then Peter invited the men into the house to be his guests. The next day Peter started out with them, and some of the believers from Joppa went along. 24 The following day he arrived in Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25 As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence. 26 But Peter made him get up. “Stand up,” he said, “I am only a man myself.” 27 While talking with him, Peter went inside and found a large gathering of people. 28 He said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean.

Acts 10:34-35 Modern English Version 34 Then Peter began to speak, saying, “Truthfully, I perceive that God is no respecter of persons. 35 But in every nation he who fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.

Acts 15:19-20 Common English Bible 19 “Therefore, I conclude that we shouldn’t create problems for Gentiles who turn to God. 20 Instead, we should write a letter, telling them to avoid the pollution associated with idols, sexual immorality, eating meat from strangled animals, and consuming blood.

Acts 15:28-29 Easy-to-Read Version 28 We agree with the Holy Spirit that you should have no more burdens, except for these necessary things: 29 Don’t eat food that has been given to idols. Don’t eat meat from animals that have been strangled or any meat that still has the blood in it. Don’t be involved in sexual sin. If you stay away from these, you will do well. We say goodbye now.

1 Corinthians 2:2 English Standard Version For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 Contemporary English Version 21 Put everything to the test. Accept what is good 22 and don’t have anything to do with evil.

 

Monday – The Power of Culture on Family

Genesis 18:19 God’s Word Translation I have chosen him so that he will direct his children and his family after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just. In this way I, the Lord, will do what I have promised Abraham.”

Genesis 16:1-3 New Century Version Sarai, Abram’s wife, had no children, but she had a slave girl from Egypt named Hagar. 2 Sarai said to Abram, “Look, the Lord has not allowed me to have children, so have sexual relations with my slave girl. If she has a child, maybe I can have my own family through her.” Abram did what Sarai said. 3 It was after he had lived ten years in Canaan that Sarai gave Hagar to her husband Abram. (Hagar was her slave girl from Egypt.)

Genesis 35:1-4 Holman Christian Standard Bible God said to Jacob, “Get up! Go to Bethel and settle there. Build an altar there to the God who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau.” 2 So Jacob said to his family and all who were with him, “Get rid of the foreign gods that are among you. Purify yourselves and change your clothes. 3 We must get up and go to Bethel. I will build an altar there to the God who answered me in my day of distress. He has been with me everywhere I have gone.”4 Then they gave Jacob all their foreign gods and their earrings, and Jacob hid them under the oak near Shechem.

Ezra 10:1-17 New English Translation While Ezra was praying and confessing, weeping and throwing himself to the ground before the temple of God, a very large crowd of Israelites—men, women, and children alike—gathered around him. The people wept loudly. 2 Then Shecaniah son of Jehiel, from the descendants of Elam, addressed Ezra: “We have been unfaithful to our God by marrying foreign women from the local peoples. Nonetheless, there is still hope for Israel in this regard. 3 Therefore let us enact a covenant with our God to send away all these women and their offspring, in keeping with your counsel, my lord, and that of those who respect the commandments of our God. And let it be done according to the law. 4 Get up, for this matter concerns you. We are with you, so be strong and act decisively!” 5 So Ezra got up and made the leading priests and Levites and all Israel take an oath to carry out this plan. And they all took a solemn oath. 6 Then Ezra got up from in front of the temple of God and went to the room of Jehohanan son of Eliashib. While he stayed there, he did not eat food or drink water, for he was in mourning over the infidelity of the exiles. 7 A proclamation was circulated throughout Judah and Jerusalem that all the exiles were to be assembled in Jerusalem. 8 Everyone who did not come within three days would thereby forfeit all his property, in keeping with the counsel of the officials and the elders. Furthermore, he himself would be excluded from the assembly of the exiles. 9 All the men of Judah and Benjamin were gathered in Jerusalem within the three days. (It was in the ninth month, on the twentieth day of that month.) All the people sat in the square at the temple of God, trembling because of this matter and because of the rains. 10 Then Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, “You have behaved in an unfaithful manner by taking foreign wives! This has contributed to the guilt of Israel. 11 Now give praise to the Lord God of your fathers, and do his will. Separate yourselves from the local residents and from these foreign wives.”  12 All the assembly replied in a loud voice: “We will do just as you have said! 13 However, the people are numerous and it is the rainy season. We are unable to stand here outside. Furthermore, this business cannot be resolved in a day or two, for we have sinned greatly in this matter. 14 Let our leaders take steps on behalf of all the assembly. Let all those in our towns who have married foreign women come at an appointed time, and with them the elders of each town and its judges, until the hot anger of our God is turned away from us in this matter.” 15 Only Jonathan son of Asahel and Jahzeiah son of Tikvah were against this, assisted by Meshullam and Shabbethai the Levite. 16 So the exiles proceeded accordingly. Ezra the priest separated out by name men who were leaders in their family groups. They sat down to consider this matter on the first day of the tenth month, 17 and on the first day of the first month they finished considering all the men who had married foreign wives.

1 Kings 11:1 The Living Bible King Solomon married many other girls besides the Egyptian princess. Many of them came from nations where idols were worshiped—Moab, Ammon, Edom, Sidon, and from the Hittites.

 

Tuesday – Sustaining Families Through Seasons of Change

Genesis 12:1-5 English Standard Version Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” 4 So Abram went, as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. 5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people that they had acquired in Haran, and they set out to go to the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan

Esther 2:7-9 Christian Standard Bible Mordecai was the legal guardian of his cousin Hadassah (that is, Esther), because she had no father or mother. The young woman had a beautiful figure and was extremely good-looking. When her father and mother died, Mordecai had adopted her as his own daughter. 8 When the king’s command and edict became public knowledge and when many young women were gathered at the fortress of Susa under Hegai’s supervision, Esther was taken to the palace, into the supervision of Hegai, keeper of the women. 9 The young woman pleased him and gained his favor so that he accelerated the process of the beauty treatments and the special diet that she received. He assigned seven hand-picked female servants to her from the palace and transferred her and her servants to the harem’s best quarters.

Daniel 1 New Living Translation (selected verses) 3 Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, his chief of staff, to bring to the palace some of the young men of Judah’s royal family and other noble families, who had been brought to Babylon as captives. 4 “Select only strong, healthy, and good-looking young men,” he said. “Make sure they are well versed in every branch of learning, are gifted with knowledge and good judgment, and are suited to serve in the royal palace. Train these young men in the language and literature of Babylon.” 5 The king assigned them a daily ration of food and wine from his own kitchens. They were to be trained for three years, and then they would enter the royal service. 6 Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were four of the young men chosen, all from the tribe of Judah. 8 But Daniel was determined not to defile himself by eating the food and wine given to them by the king. He asked the chief of staff for permission not to eat these unacceptable foods. 9 Now God had given the chief of staff both respect and affection for Daniel. 10 But he responded, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has ordered that you eat this food and wine. If you become pale and thin compared to the other youths your age, I am afraid the king will have me beheaded.” 11 Daniel spoke with the attendant who had been appointed by the chief of staff to look after Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. 12 “Please test us for ten days on a diet of vegetables and water,” Daniel said. 13 “At the end of the ten days, see how we look compared to the other young men who are eating the king’s food. Then make your decision in light of what you see.” 14 The attendant agreed to Daniel’s suggestion and tested them for ten days. 15 At the end of the ten days, Daniel and his three friends looked healthier and better nourished than the young men who had been eating the food assigned by the king. 16 So after that, the attendant fed them only vegetables instead of the food and wine provided for the others. 17 God gave these four young men an unusual aptitude for understanding every aspect of literature and wisdom. And God gave Daniel the special ability to interpret the meanings of visions and dreams. 18 When the training period ordered by the king was completed, the chief of staff brought all the young men to King Nebuchadnezzar. 19 The king talked with them, and no one impressed him as much as Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. So they entered the royal service. 20 Whenever the king consulted them in any matter requiring wisdom and balanced judgment, he found them ten times more capable than any of the magicians and enchanters in his entire kingdom.

 

Wednesday – Toward a First-Generation Faith

Judges 2:7-13 New Life Version 7 The people served the Lord all the days of Joshua and all the days of the leaders who lived longer than Joshua and who had seen all the great works the Lord had done for Israel. 8 Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died when he was 110 years old. 9 They buried him within his land in Timnath-heres, in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash. 10 All the people of that day died. The children who came after them did not know the Lord. They did not know about the things He had done for Israel. 11 Then the people of Israel sinned in the eyes of the Lord. They served the Baals, the gods of the Canaanites. 12 They turned away from the Lord, the God of their fathers, Who had brought them out of the land of Egypt. They followed other gods of the nations around them, and worshiped them. So they made the Lord angry. 13 They turned away from the Lord and served Baal and the Ashtaroth.

John 1:12-13 New Life Version 12 He gave the right and the power to become children of God to those who received Him. He gave this to those who put their trust in His name. 13 These children of God were not born of blood and of flesh and of man’s desires, but they were born of God.

John 3:7 Lexham English Bible Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘It is necessary for you to be born from above.

1 John 5:1 English Standard Version Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him.

 

Thursday – Twenty-First-Century Runners

Matthew 28:5-7 Contemporary English Version 5 The angel said to the women, “Don’t be afraid! I know you are looking for Jesus, who was nailed to a cross. 6 He isn’t here! God has raised him to life, just as Jesus said he would. Come, see the place where his body was lying. 7 Now hurry! Tell his disciples that he has been raised to life and is on his way to Galilee. Go there, and you will see him. That is what I came to tell you.”

John 3:16 Common English Bible God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have eternal life.

Romans 1:16-17 J.B. Phillips New Testament 16-17 For I am not ashamed of the Gospel. I see it as the very power of God working for the salvation of everyone who believes it, both Jew and Greek. I see in it God’s plan for imparting righteousness to men, a process begun and continued by their faith. For, as the scripture says: ‘The just shall live by faith’.

1 Corinthians 2:2 Easy-to-Read Version I decided that while I was with you I would forget about everything except Jesus Christ and his death on the cross.

2 Corinthians 5:18-21 New International Reader’s Version 18 All this is from God. He brought us back to himself through Christ’s death on the cross. And he has given us the task of bringing others back to him through Christ. 19 God was bringing the world back to himself through Christ. He did not hold people’s sins against them. God has trusted us with the message that people may be brought back to him. 20 So we are Christ’s official messengers. It is as if God were making his appeal through us. Here is what Christ wants us to beg you to do. Come back to God! 21 Christ didn’t have any sin. But God made him become sin for us. So we can be made right with God because of what Christ has done for us.

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