By All Means

God Speaks to Us in the Quiet

Have you ever noticed that you hear a lot of sounds at night that you don’t usually hear during the day? Maybe it’s a dog barking, a quiet clock ticking, or even the wood in your home making clicks and pops as it settles. The Bible tells us that when Samuel was a young boy, God spoke to him one night as he was lying in bed. Samuel did not know it was God at first, but once he figured it out, he responded, “Speak. I’m listening.” Then God gave him a message. For the rest of Samuel’s life, God continued to speak to him in this way.

God speaks to us, too, but we often have to settle down and listen so that we can understand His message. This is one reason it is so important to make time to spend in prayer with God. When nothing else can distract us and we can listen carefully, God can speak to us the best. Samuel knew this well.

Do you want to find out what God has in store for you? Just start listening!

Have children practice these exercises with a friend to see just how much they can hear when they are focused. Give these instructions:

Demonstrating Christ’s Love

Verse image

“I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings” (1 Cor. 9:22–23).

Do you ever take time to reflect back on the moment that you knew you needed a Savior? Do you remember the moment that you committed your life to following Christ? What about the moment that you knew without a doubt what God was calling you to do in His service? It is always a joy to spend time contemplating these experiences and remembering with gratitude the people who took time to pour their lives into ours.

By All Means Resources 2017–2018

Resources:

Associational Leader Tool 2017–2018

See the big picture of associational WMU with the Associational Leader Tool 2017–2018. This essential resource for associational WMU directors offers age-appropriate planning information for the WMU emphasis, Project HELP, and the growth plan, as well as graphics and promotional resources.

DVD: W173105 • $14.99

.ZIP file: E173107 • $14.99

By All Means

By All Means

Listening is one of the skills that we try to teach preschoolers. We do all kinds of activities to help preschoolers develop their listening skills. We sing motion songs, clap rhythms, play listening games, and make rhythm instruments. Preschoolers listen to us as we tell stories, give instructions, or read books to them. We know that listening is important for preschoolers to learn as they grow and relate to others.

As much as we try to teach preschoolers about listening, it is a skill that we keep learning throughout our lifetime. As adults, we too must learn to listen in order to cultivate relationships with others. To get to know unbelievers so we can share our faith with them, we have to spend time listening. Think about the following two aspects about learning to listen.

Coloring for Jesus

Disaster relief volunteers often work with children whose families have gone through natural disasters. These volunteers help families and children on a temporary basis with basic needs like food, water, and shelter. They also help children by just being a friend when they need one the most. One special thing they do is to look after children so that parents can take care of other things. The volunteers play with children, talk to them, and give them guidance when they don’t understand the horrible things that have happened.

One way disaster relief volunteers help children cope is to let them draw and color pictures about their feelings. Volunteers can then follow up with the children to let them know that Jesus loves them and wants to take care of them. They let the children know that Jesus can take things that are messed up and make something great out of them.

Did you know that you can help friends who are going through a rough time in the same way that disaster relief teams do? You can recycle old, broken crayons and reshape them into something new and beautiful. Then, you can give them to friends and talk to them about their feelings.

Cultivating Relationships

By All Means Emphasis

Preschoolers are pros at cultivating relationships. Have you ever watched them on the playground? From about the age of 3 and on up, they love to play with their peers. You can see them learning together as they pick up a leaf and peer at its veining. You can watch their delight as they chase a butterfly or compare snowflakes that have fallen on their gloves. When another child falls, preschoolers will rush to the child to help them up. They don’t discriminate based on age or race or gender or socioeconomic situation. Preschoolers just have a natural love for each other, even when they are meeting for the very first time.

Missionaries become pros at cultivating relationships, too. Wherever they go, that is their missions field. At the coffee shop, they are looking for 1 who looks lost or alone. At the laundry, they look for the single parent who needs a special touch. On campus, they seek out those who may be homesick or lonely. In the park or the athletic field, they connect with families who don’t know the Lord.

DE TODOS MODOS: ÉNFASIS DE LA WMU PARA 2016–2018

De todos modos

Durante 2016–2018, la WMU (UFM) desafiará a los seguidores de Cristo a

  • seguir su ejemplo,
  • entrar en el mundo a su alrededor,
  • cultivar relaciones y
  • crear oportunidades para demostrar el amor de Cristo.

Mire los recursos (los impresos y los para descargar) para De todos modos / By All Means. 


Escritura:

“Por lo cual, siendo libre de todos, me he hecho siervo de todos para ganar a mayor número. Me he hecho a los judíos como judío, para ganar a los judíos; a los que están sujetos a la ley (aunque yo no esté sujeto a la ley) como sujeto a la ley, para ganar a los que están sujetos a la ley; a los que están sin ley, como si yo estuviera sin ley (no estando yo sin ley de Dios, sino bajo la ley de Cristo), para ganar a los que están sin ley. Me he hecho débil a los débiles, para ganar a los débiles; a todos me he hecho de todo, para que de todos modos salve a algunos. Y esto hago por causa del evangelio, para hacerme copartícipe de él” (1 Corintios 9:19–23 RVR 1960).

Versículo de énfasis:

By All Means

By All Means Graphic

My brother-in-law, Kyle, is the best at making connections with people. Within a few minutes of meeting someone, he will make the connection that he knows their great aunt’s cousin’s nephew. If he doesn’t connect through someone they know in common, he makes a connection through a common place by telling a story about someone he knew from the place where the person is from. Kyle seldom meets a stranger because he knows how to make these connections with people.

Paul talks about making connections and cultivating relationships with people in 1 Corinthians 9:22–23: "I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings." As we look to what it means to share Christ with the world around us, making connections with people is crucial. The connections we make are openings that lead to conversations, and our conversations can lead to sharing about Christ.

Step Into the World: Love in Action

As we enter February, our thoughts move from the Christmas season to the celebration of Valentine’s Day. During this month, we spend time thinking of ways to demonstrate our love for friends and family. It is a season filled with beautiful opportunities to step into the world around us to share God’s love with others.

Dictionary.com says that the phrase step into means to “Involve oneself or intervene” in a situation. So, saying that we will step into the world to show Christ’s love infers much more than simply saying “I love you.” Stepping into the world means that we put our love into action.

John, the beloved disciple, said, “Dear Children, let us not love with words or speech, but with actions and in truth” (1 John 3:18 NIV1).

Step into the world. Develop a Christ-centeredness that flows into an others-centeredness. Let’s place our selfish concerns, including our fears, behind us and step out in courage and boldness. Instead of thinking of stepping into the world as a duty, begin to look at it as a privilege.

Reaching Others “by All Means”

We live in a world defined by boundaries. We talk of setting boundaries with people, with our jobs, and even with our churches. We want “space” and “me time.”

Quite simply, we think of ourselves a lot.

WMU’s emphasis theme for 2016–2018 encourages us to do something else—to think of reaching others with the gospel “by all means.”

In 1 Corinthians 9:22b, Paul tells us how he is willing to “become all things to all people so that by all possible means [he] might save some.” Rather than talking about the ways that he is excluding people, Paul encourages us by his example to include others, regardless of socioeconomic divisions.

Why is Paul willing to do this? “ I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings” (v. 23).

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