For parents: This devotional is to encourage children to know they are important, no matter how small or big or what their personal strengths or weaknesses are. Be sure that this sacred time of studying God’s Word is not laced with sarcastic jokes about people’s weaknesses or short-comings. Our families need to be safe places where kids can be genuinely loved without conditions. Take time today to tell each family member one thing you love about them. It may make people feel uncomfortable at first, but give them some help and encouragement. Be sure to know that jitters and giggles will come, but guide them to a sincere form of praise for a loved one. Do not allow others to say negative things about each other and try not to laugh (no matter how hard it may be) if the cutest littlest member makes a scathing joke about another member. This is a time of love and security! Start off as an example and let the children see you praise each of them for one thing they are good or that you love about who they are. (ex. You are very thoughtful. You are so kind to people. You have a strong personality that God wants to use to you as a leader someday. You are very good at organizing. I love your smile. I love your hugs.)
If you have siblings, line up from tallest to shortest as quickly as you can without talking.
How are you ordered? Is it most important to least important? Nope. Each child is important. The oldest was born first, but each person has the same value. Why?
The towns in Israel were important based on the tribe they belonged to. Each tribe came from one of Jacob’s 12 sons. Bethlehem was from the tribe of Judah, but was the “least important and smallest town.” Judah was blessed as the tribe of kings. King David was born in Bethlehem, but he was born as the youngest son in one of the smallest towns in Israel.
Hundreds of years later, God fulfilled his prophecy about his son Jesus by having Jesus be born in Bethlehem, just like king David. Jesus is actually considered a descendent of David. (This is why the people called him Jesus son of David.)
Let’s read what the Bible says about Bethlehem:
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times.”
Therefore Israel will be abandoned
until the time when she who is in labor bears a son,
and the rest of his brothers return
to join the Israelites.
He will stand and shepherd his flock
in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they will live securely, for then his greatness
will reach to the ends of the earth.
And he will be our peace
Do you ever feel little? Do you ever feel like you don’t matter?
Our feelings don’t always matter. Sometimes we will feel sad about ourselves, but God sees something pretty amazing.
God used the little town of Bethlehem to bring his Son into the world. He wasn’t born in the biggest town.
Let’s pray together and ask God to help us to have eyes of faith to see what God sees when he sees us.
“Father, in Jesus name, thank you that you brought Jesus into the world in a small town that was insignificant in the eyes of people. When other people look on the outside, you look on the heart. You choose people who are willing to be used by you.”
“God, it’s not about how big I am or how smart I am. You want to use me to shine your hope to the world. God, help me remember it’s not about my feelings. It’s about your truth. Jesus, use me to bring you glory even though I am small. I love you so much! Thank you for caring about me. Thank you that I am important to you!”
“God, it’s your power in me that shines out. Please shine from me, Jesus! Be big in me. Let me bring you glory, Lord God.”
“Jesus, fill me with your confidence. I want to walk in the joy of The Lord. In Jesus name, Amen.”