If you want to start having a family Bible time, but are completely overwhelmed, getting resistance from your tweens and teens, and have almost no time to spare for an in-depth Bible study, this may be exactly the book you are looking for.
If you find your family Bible time has become stale or boring, the relevant conversation starters found in this book may infuse new life into your devotional time.
If your family is struggling with the current system you are using, this book may come as a breath of fresh air because it is so easy to use. You can use this book at the dinner table, in the car on the way to soccer practice, or wherever you can squeeze a couple of minutes into your day.
Each devotional ends with three questions. The first question is usually a generic question to open up conversation, followed by two questions that are spiritual in nature and include Bible application. A lot of these are life application questions and are best suited for junior high to high school students.
Dinner Table Devotions offers random thoughts on different days, with two or three verses pulled from different parts of the Bible to support the text. It is not chronological or topical in nature. My concern with this type of devotional is that verses can sometimes be taken out of context to support the author’s viewpoint on a particular subject. Nancy Guthrie, however, has been careful to stay true to the Bible, offering up a wide range of relevant topics.
If you and your family are looking to dig deeply into God’s Word, appreciate chronological or topical studies that are carefully organized, and/or are particular about which Bible translation you use, you may be disappointed with the lack of depth or systematic approach of this book. (This book uses the New Living Translation Bible.) If you are looking for a simple resource to help you get into the habit of family devotions, then Dinner Table Devotions would be an excellent place to start.
February 8 – Are You Changing?
All of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord–who is the Spirit–makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. 2 Corinthians 3:18
The LORD your God will change your heart and the hearts of all your descendents, so that you will love him with all your heart and soul and so you may live! Deuteronomy 30:6
This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace. Colossians 1:6
People can change a lot of things about themselves. They can change their hair color, their names, and the people they spend time with. And there are some things they can’t change – certain physical characteristics, the families they came from, and their natural personality types. When it comes to changing our habits or ways of thinking or the ways we respond to things, sometimes we feel powerless. That’s just the way I am, we think. I’ll never change.
But we are not on our own when it comes to change. If we are connected to God and open to the ways he wants to work on us and in us, he will change us from the inside out. Then we won’t be stuck committing the same old sins and thinking the same destructive thoughts and feeling the same defeated feelings. Paul suggests that we are changed as we look at the face of Jesus. So if we want to change to be more like Jesus, we need to look toward him, think about him, and listen to him. This is the key to changing to become like him.
1. How have you changed over the past year? How would you like to change in the coming year?
2. What things about yourself do you need to accept as part of the way God made you?
3. What things about yourself have you accepted as “just the way you are” that need to be changed to be more like Jesus?
Taken from One Year of Dinner Table Devotions and Discussion Starters: 365 Opportunities to Grow Closer to God as a Family, by Nancy Guthrie. Copyright © 2008 by Nancy Guthrie. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All Rights Reserved.