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Sharing God's Love and Joy
52 Devotional Bible Studies for Senior Adults
byWilla Ruth Garlow
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January - First Week
Theme: HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Suggested materials: Bibles, songbooks, and New Year horns, blowers and other noise makers
DEVOTIONAL TIME SUGGESTIONS
• Begin by wishing everyone a happy New Year and giving them a New Year noise-maker or rhythm instrument.
• Ask them to keep time with their noise-makers while the group sings, “Auld Lang Syne” and “Happy New Year to you, God bless you this year” (Tune: “Happy Birthday”).
• Read Psalm 96:1-4a and Philippians 4:4.
• Prayer thanking God for the New Year.
• Song, “In My Heart There Rings a Melody” (page 41) – to celebrate God’s goodness and the joy of the New Year.
It’s January! HAPPY NEW YEAR
January is a time for us to stop and focus on the brand New Year that God has given us....a new start - a clean slate. The old year is gone. We can thank God for His blessings in the past, but we can look forward to, with God’s help, starting a new future, a new beginning in this New Year which The Lord has given us.
1. We have a New Year, but God gives us a precious gift that is not new!
GOD GIVES US HIS LOVE. (Ask the group to quote John 3:16). God made you. God made you special. God loves you and you can count on God’s love.
Read (or ask someone to read) Romans 5:8 and Romans 8:35-39.
God sent His Son to redeem us, to save us from the eternal punishment of our sins. No one can separate us from God’s love! His love is not new in this New Year.
2. We have a New Year, but God gives us another precious gift that is not new!
GOD GIVES US HIS GRACE....HIS UNMERITED FAVOR. We can count on God’s love, but we can also count on His goodness to us.
Read (or ask someone to read) Philippians 1:2.
God’s grace and goodness gives us reason to rejoice. God’s grace gives us hope for this New Year, hope for eternity.
3. We have a New Year, but God gives us yet another precious gift that is not new!
GOD GIVES US HIS HELP AND COMFORT AND PEACE...NO MATTER WHAT THE CIRCUMSTANCES.
Read (or ask someone to read) Psalm 32:4, Isaiah 51:3, Isaiah 66:13.
Jesus promised us that His Father, God, would send us The Holy Spirit to comfort us and give us personal peace.
Read John 16:7, 13, 31-33.
How good God is! Because of His love and grace, we can have comfort and peace.
• Song/Chorus, “God Is SO Good” (three times) ---
First time, “God is so good, He gives us LOVE.”
Second time, “God is so good, He gives us GRACE.”
Third time, “God is so good, He gives us COMFORT AND PEACE.”
• Pray again, thanking for the New Year, but also for His love, grace, and comfort that are not new and are available to each of us.
• Fun song (use the noise makers to keep time with the music) “We wish you a happy New Year, happy New Year all year!” (Tune: “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”).
If you choose to provide a craft: MAKE NEW YEAR BOOKMARKS
You will need: heavy colored paper cut into bookmark shapes, message strips with the words, “Happy New Year. GOD LOVES YOU!” typed on sheets of white copy paper, scissors, glue, hole-punch, 1/4 inch ribbon.
Give each person a bookmark shape and a “Happy New Year” message strip. Allow each person to cut out the typed message and glue it on a bookmark. Punch a hole in the top of each bookmark and tie a ribbon on it. Write each person’s name on the back of his/her bookmark.
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About the Book
The joy to be found in the discovery of God’s word is a lifelong journey that can begin at any age. This book is full of Bible studies that have been written specifically for use by people who have experienced life for a few years and their families. Willa Ruth Garlow is a gifted Bible teacher and writer. She has the wonderful gift of illustrating God's Word and applying it to our lives. She has a love for God and for people that comes alive in these 52 studies – one for every week of the year. If you lead a weekly Bible study for older adults, you will find this rich resource very helpful and rewarding. These lessons can be used as a weekly or monthly study in churches, retirement communities and many other settings. They also make a wonderful devotional Bible study at home. You will be blessed. May God bless the study of His Word.
About the Author
Willa Ruth Garlow lives in Oklahoma City. A writer and motivational speaker, she has authored materials for Lifeway Christian Resources and has been a keynote speaker in 34 states and around the world. She considers her most important roles to those of wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.