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Family Devotional

Family DevotionsThe Holy Spirit and the Golden Tablet of Kublai Khan

Step 1: Gather your children and find a comfortable area. Read the following to them:

The golden tablet of Kublai Khan gave the bearer the same power as the khan. The carrier of the golden tablet could ask any Mongol for food, water, or a horse. The Mongol would have to give whatever you asked for; in fact, the Mongol would feel honored to serve the friend of the khan.

On pages 31-33 of Peril in the Palace, Patrick and Beth are in trouble. The Mongol warriors want to punish them because Patrick jumped over a cooking fire and Beth touched one of their horses.

The man drew Beth and Patrick close. He said [to the Mongol warriors], “These children aren’t Mongols. You can’t expect them to know or understand your laws.”

The young man ruffled Patrick’s blond hair. He gave the cousins a comforting smile.

“We demand that they be punished,” Koke said. “In the name of Kublai Khan, we must have justice.”

The young man gave a half bow. His blue hat flopped when he leaned over.

“Ah,” he said, “you call on the name of Kublai Khan. And . . . so do I.”

The young man reached inside a leather bag hanging from his belt. He pulled out a flat object. It was about a foot long and three inches wide. The edges were rounded. It had strange writing on it. It gleamed in the sun. It looked like pure gold.

 Beth gasped and looked at Patrick.

“Wow,” Patrick said. “That’s the golden tablet!”

 The group of Mongol warriors saw the golden tablet.

 “Ooh,” they said.

 Then the tall man said, “Kublai Khan gave my family this tablet. With it, he has given me his authority. I order you to leave the children unharmed.”

Step 2: Now ask your children some questions to make sure they understand what happened in those pages. Explain to them that the golden tablet of Kublai Khan (or Genghis Khan) was special in Mongol times. The man in the story, Marco Polo, was able to save Patrick and Beth from punishment because he had the golden tablet.

Now ask your children: Do you have something that’s like the golden tablet of Kublai Khan? Do you have something that will save you from punishment? Do you have something that gives you the rights of a king?

(Affirm any answer that they give, but you’re fishing for someone to say “Jesus’ forgiveness” or “salvation” or “the Holy Spirit” or that Christians are sons and daughters of God.)

Step 3: Read just a few of the following verses out loud and then the commentary following the verse —all the while pay attention to your children’s body language and interest level and wrap up the discussion if the material seems over their heads.

Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38, niv). When someone becomes a Christian, God gives that person the Holy Spirit, which in some ways is like being given a golden tablet.

And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance (Ephesians 1:13–14). This Holy Spirit seal is also like the golden tablet. When Christians get to heaven, the seal will give Christians the right to receive the inheritance of Christ.

[T]o all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God (John 1:12). Becoming a child of God is like having the golden tablet. Children of God will be treated just as Jesus would be, like the son or daughter of God.

[Peter said,] “All the prophets testify about [Jesus] that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name” (Acts 10:43). The golden tablet allowed Marco Polo to protect Patrick and Beth from punishment. The Holy Spirit works in a similar way as the golden tablet. Christians won’t be punished for their sins—Christians will be forgiven because Jesus took their punishment.

[Jesus said,] “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it” (John 14:13–14). Christians can ask God to honor their requests because Jesus’ name gives Christians that right. It’s much like a person who had a golden tablet could ask people to help him or her. Christians can ask God himself to listen to their requests.

PrayStep 4: Pray out loud with your family. Thank God for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Thank God that He forgives our sins through the name of Jesus Christ. Thank God that we have the privilege to ask Him for anything in His will through Jesus’ name.