Use these passages each day as a personal or family devotion to help you follow Jesus as his disciple.
Saturday, June 17
All who hate me whisper about me, imagining the worst.
“He has some fatal disease,” they say. “He will never get out of that bed!”
Even my best friend, the one I trusted completely,
the one who shared my food, has turned against me. (Psalm 41:7-9)
Why do you think the Psalm writers best friend has turned against him?
Kid Connection: Sometimes friends have disagreements. Ask God to help you be a good friend.
Prayer: Loving God, when I want to imagine the worst about someone, help me give them the benefit of the doubt instead.
Sunday, June 18
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.” Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. (Matthew 16:13-17)
Why did people think Jesus was John the Baptist, Elijah or Jeremiah?
Kid Connection: Simon Peter told Jesus that he is the Messiah. He knew this because God told Simon Peter. What does Jesus mean to you?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, reveal yourself to me in a surprising way today.
Monday, June 19
Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.” Then he sternly warned the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah. (Matthew 16:18-20)
How did Peter feel when Jesus gave him the “Keys to the Kingdom”?
Kid Connection: Jesus gave Peter the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. How do you think Peter felt when he was given this gift?
Prayer: Dear Jesus, give me peace when I am burdened by responsibilities.
Tuesday, June 20
From then on Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead. But Peter took him aside and began to reprimand him for saying such things. “Heaven forbid, Lord,” he said. “This will never happen to you!” Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.” (Matthew 16:21-23)
How do you think Jesus felt the moment Peter reprimanded him?
Kid Connection: If you were there when Jesus said he would be killed and then rise from the dead, what would you say to Jesus?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, in a difficult situation I face, help me see it from a divine point of view.
Wednesday, June 21
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? (Matthew 16:24-26)
What does Jesus mean by gaining “the whole world”?
Kid Connection: In this passage, Jesus wants the disciples to give up their old life and follow him for a new life. What do you need to give up in order to follow Jesus completely?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, when I get worried about the “stuff” of this life, remind me of the importance of my soul.
Thursday, June 22
Simon Peter said, “I’m going fishing.” “We’ll come, too,” they all said. So they went out in the boat, but they caught nothing all night. At dawn Jesus was standing on the beach, but the disciples couldn’t see who he was. He called out, “Fellows, have you caught any fish?” “No,” they replied. Then he said, “Throw out your net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you’ll get some!” So they did, and they couldn’t haul in the net because there were so many fish in it. (John 21:3-6)
What kind of lesson was Jesus teaching the disciples with this huge catch of fish?
Kid Connection: Jesus used this fishing lesson to teach the fisherman to trust in him. How can you put more trust in Jesus?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, give me peace about a situation where I feel there is “not enough”.
Friday, June 23
“Now come and have some breakfast!” Jesus said. None of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Then Jesus served them the bread and the fish. This was the third time Jesus had appeared to his disciples since he had been raised from the dead. After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.” “Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him. (John 21:12-15)
What are the “these” that Jesus is referring to in his conversation with Simon Peter?
Kid Connection: Feeding the lambs mean telling others about Jesus. What can you do to tell others about Jesus? Do you always have to use words?
Prayer: Dear Jesus, show me how I can extend compassion to those who are your “lambs”.
Saturday, June 24
Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?” “Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.” “Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said. A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep. (John 21:16-17)
Why was Peter hurt when Jesus asked him the same question a third time?
Kid Connection: Jesus wanted to make sure that we, his sheep, were taken care of. What do you think Peter could do to take care of “the sheep”?
Prayer: Dear Jesus, when I feel my commitment to my faith is wavering, strengthen me.