Family Devotion Idea: Don't Schedule Jesus Out

*About once a week, we try to post the outline of a family devotion that you and your kids can do together. Carve out some time with your kids for a fun and creative discussion this week!



Teaching Goal:

We need to make time for Jesus in our busy lives.



Luke 10:38-42  “As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.  She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.  But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made…the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed.’”



Items to build an obstacle course:

Chairs, boxes, tires, benches, etc.



Balls (3 or 4 soccer and/or basketball and/or football)


Lesson and Discussion:

*Words that are written in bold are when you, the parent, are speaking.  Feel free to use your own words.


Jesus went to the home of two women named Mary and Martha.  Jesus sat down and started talking.  Mary sat on the floor to listen to Jesus.  Martha was busy fixing food and cleaning in the other room.  Martha got upset because she was working hard and Mary was just sitting.

Jesus said that Mary was right to spend time with him and warned Martha not to get too busy with things that are not important.


Like Martha, our lives get busy and we do not take time to listen to Jesus.  What keeps you busy?  Going to school, playing soccer, taking swimming lessons, dance lessons, homework, T-ball, bike riding, choir.


Like Mary, what are some ways we can spend time with Jesus?  Prayer, reading or watching Bible stories, Family Times, lying quietly in bed and listening to hear Jesus.  We want to put Jesus first with our time.  When we put Jesus first, there will still be plenty of time for other things.




Set up an obstacle course in a large room or outside.  Use boxes, chairs, benches, tires, and other objects to make obstacles.  With younger children, you may want to use a rope or heavy string to trace the route through the course.  The string will show kids when to go over, under, or around obstacles.


The obstacle course represents living life.  The obstacles on the course represent difficult times and changes that are beyond our control.  Sickness.  Moving.  Accidents.  The balls represent things we choose to do with our time.  Sports.  Entertainment.  Playing with friends.  Computer.  The finish line represents being with Jesus.  The goal of this activity is to get to the end of the obstacle course so that we can be with Jesus.


First we are going to run the course and time how fast we can go without carrying the balls.  Time each child going through the obstacle course to see how long it takes.

Point out how quickly they can run through the course without carrying the balls.  You can get to Jesus and spend time with him quickly when you’re not carrying the balls.


Now we are going to run the course while carrying the balls.  Remember the balls represent a busy life—all the things we choose to do with our time.  Time each child running through the obstacle course trying to carry the balls.  If you have enough time, let the kids run the course again. 


Point out what happens when the kids run the course with the balls and make the following applications:


It takes longer to complete the course.  When we get busy, we have less time to spend with Jesus.  Too often we get to the end of a busy day and we’ve not taken any time to talk with Jesus or read our Bible.  Busy people tend to be ruder, angrier, and less serving toward others.  The obstacles represent things in life that keep us from being with Jesus.  It is harder and takes longer to get through the course when there are obstacles.  If we add too many activities to our lives, we won’t spend enough time with Jesus.


Kids drop the balls.  When we get busy, sometimes we “drop the ball.”  Too many sports and our grades may go down.  We may end up doing an okay job at several tasks instead of doing a great job with fewer tasks.


Kids let go of the balls to get past an obstacle.  When we are busy, it’s harder to adjust to changes and difficult times.  We may need to let go of some of the activities that keep us busy.




We need to keep our lives simple so that we can include spending time with Jesus.  Martha was distracted by activities.  Even though there is nothing wrong with any one activity, too many activities or any activity that keeps us from spending time with Jesus is a problem.


If you like this devotion idea, there are hundreds more available from Family Time Training.  See the link on the left side of this page for more information.