Editor's Note: See the PDF for the accompanying pictures and activities (p. 20): http://cdn.ministerialassociation.org/cdn/ministerialassociation.org/assets/spouses/sij-archives-en/2014/sij-en-2014-1.pdf?201610131500
Jesus made you, He loves you, and He has amazing ideas and stories to share with you. He even has some special work for you to do, so more people can discover how much he loves them, too. When we have a special friend, we love being with that person. Here are some ways to spend time with Jesus, your best forever friend.
Spending time with Jesus can change your life! Try spending 5-10 minutes a day reading your Bible, doing something you enjoy based on what you have read, and praying to Jesus. Do it for a month, and look for the difference it makes in your life. It can help you to be a better friend; make wiser choices; and feel happier, more thankful, and less worried.
FIND A BIBLE
One of the secrets to spending special time with Jesus each day is having a Bible you understand and enjoy. Some Bibles have more pictures, some have activity ideas, and some have questions and stories to think about. Go to a store with your parents and look at the Bibles until you find one you like best.
DIY WORSHIP KIT
Ask your parents to help you make a do-it-yourself (DIY) worship kit. Buy a box of index cards and divide them into two packs. Write creative ways of exploring a Bible passage on half the cards. Write Bible passages or story references on the other cards. Each day pick one card from each pack and do whatever the cards say. If the combination won’t work, pick another card.
Find a diary or calendar with little spaces to write in every day. Fill each space with three things you’re thankful for and one new thing you learned about Jesus. If it’s hard, keep thinking and praying, and Jesus will help you know what to write. Or choose a favorite Bible verse each day and add it to your diary. Add a star or sticker to your calendar every time you spend time alone with Jesus.
Here are some ways to bring Bible stories to life and imagine you’re really there:
• Make or draw a scene from a Bible story. Use toy people and bricks to make Bible scenes, and tell the story to your family.
• Draw a picture of your favorite part of the story. Then write a few lines about why you chose this part. Keep your pictures in a journal or folder.
• Imagine that you are really in the story and think about what you would see, hear, smell, feel, and taste.
• Write a short journal entry as if you were watching Jesus perform miracles and tell stories. What would you say to Jesus? What questions would you like to ask Him, and how would you want to praise Him?
• Think about the characters in the story. Who made good choices and who made bad choices? How can they help you to make wise choices in your life?
• Ask yourself, How does this story inspire me to be kind and loving to someone else? Think of one thing to try, and then do it.
TALK TO JESUS
Make your prayer time more interesting with these simple ideas:
• Simple prayer outline:
• Tell Jesus how much you love Him.
• Thank Him for at least three things He has given you today.
• Say you’re sorry for at least one thing you have done wrong today.
• Ask Him to help you, your family, and at least one other person.
• Tell Him again how much you love Him!
• Tell Jesus 26 things you’re thankful for—one for each different letter of the alphabet.
• Fill a bag with different things that remind you to pray for people you know or for things your family needs. Choose one object each day and pray for the person or situation.
JUST A VERSE OR TWO
Pray a simple prayer before you start reading. Ask Jesus to be with you as you read and to help you learn more about Him. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you and inspire you. Then read a few verses each day. Read slowly and carefully. Think about what each verse means. Read until you find a verse that says something special to you.
Then try one of the following activities:
• Imagine you’re designing a poster with that Bible verse on it. Find a picture that really helps to illustrate the verse. Or design your own poster using your favorite art, collage, and drawing techniques.
• Write the verse on a card or in a notebook. Then answer the following questions on the card or in your book:
- What I like best about this verse is . . .
- The most important message in this verse is . . .
- This verse teaches me that God is . . .
- This verse applies to my life because . . .
• Imagine you’re trying to explain this verse to someone who speaks another language. What pictures would you draw, or what action would you do, to help the person understand the Bible verse? Show your ideas to your family, or act out the verse and see if they can understand what it means.
• Find some objects that illustrate a verse and place them in order. Then see if your family can guess the verse you’ve chosen. For example, you could illustrate Psalm 119:105 by arranging a Bible, a torch, some shoes, and a map. (Can you guess which verse this is without looking it up?)
• Create your own secret code and write your verses in code.
• Cut the words and letters for your verse out of newspapers and magazines, then create a collage.
• Write a Bible verse on a small card and carry it in your pocket. If you’re learning the verse, write it in code—just the first and last letter of each word—to help you remember the words.
• Choose a small object to remind you of a Bible verse, then carry it in your pocket. Think about the verse when you’re walking, waiting, and resting. Listen to what Jesus wants to say to you.
FOR EXTRA HELP AND IDEAS TRY THESE RESOURCES:
100 Creative Prayer Ideas for Kids, Karen Holford, Pacific Press, 2003.
100 Quick and Easy Worship Ideas for Kids, Karen Holford, Pacific Press, 2004.
100 Creative Ways to Learn Memory Verses, Karen Holford, Review and Herald, 2010.