Grace. This is a word we all like to talk about but do we fully understand what it means? If we just think it means not getting punished for something we did, then our view of grace is far too small. God is perfectly just so someone always pays a consequence when we sin. Sometimes God loves us in a way that He lets us experience the right consequence for our actions. Other times, however, He gives us grace. But what about His justice? Who pays for that? For those of us who have received His free gift of salvation thru faith, God has already put the punishment we deserve on Christ on the cross. When we receive grace, God Himself, out of His infinite love and faithfulness, pays the consequence we deserve for our actions. That is the perfect balance of God’s amazing justice and grace.
FEAR: Having the Right View of God's Perfect Authority, Justice, & Grace
MEMORY VERSE: “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you? He requires only that you fear the Lord your God, and live in a way that pleases Him, and love Him and serve Him with all your heart and soul." DEUTERONOMY 10:12 (NLT)
This Week’s Finish Line: Having the Right View of God Means Understanding His Perfect Balance Between Justice and GRACE
David was a man after God’s own heart but that doesn’t mean he always made the right choice. In 2 Samuel 11-12, David chose to disregard God’s word and stole another man’s wife, Bathsheba. Then, to make sure he didn’t get caught, he arranged for Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, to be killed in battle. David clearly did not fear the Lord and had forgotten that nothing can be hidden from His sight. When the prophet Nathan confronted David about his sin, however, David didn’t make excuses. He confessed his sin and asked for forgiveness. David received consequences for his actions because God is just. But because God is also gracious, He forgave David of his sin. David knew there was nothing he could do to earn forgiveness and we can read his beautiful psalm of repentance in Psalm 51.
- Read Psalm 51:1-12. How does David show that he fears the Lord in this psalm? What does he ask God?
- What was the only way David could be forgiven? What’s the only way we can be forgiven and receive God’s grace?
- Have you ever prayed a prayer like David? If you were to write a psalm like this, what would it say?
- How has God shown you His grace today? This week? Throughout your life?
Bring it Home Conversations & Activities:
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Teacher: What is Grace?
While at the dinner table, spend time with your family defining grace. Ask them what makes grace different than justice. Justice is: getting the right consequences for our actions. Grace is: undeserved, un-earned favor and kindness. Then ask what makes both justice and grace good. Explain to them that only God has the perfect balance of both justice and grace.
Friend: Living Out Grace
During the week look for an opportunity to model God’s grace to your kids. At some point this week your children will do something that deserves a consequence (unless they are perfect angels like I was...). Instead of giving them the consequence they deserve, give your child something they really enjoy. That could be a snack or drink or maybe screen time. Teach them that similar to how they did not receive the consequence they deserved but rather received undeserved favor and kindness, God has done the same for us through Jesus.
Counselor: God's Grace in the Bible
Before you begin the process of getting your family ready for bed read to them about God’s incredible grace straight out of the Bible. Read:
Ephesians 2:4-5 "But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved."
Pray with your family thanking God for His amazing grace!
Coach: Breakfast Song!
As you are getting your family ready for the day, play your favorite version of Amazing Grace so everyone can hear it. Ask them if they understand what the song is saying. Help them see how relevant to our daily lives that song is. Try to memorize every verse of the song before the week is over.
Pray through Psalm 51 and thank God for showing you grace despite your sin. Thank Him for being the one who can give you a clean heart.
Next week we will begin the month of December with the Godly characteristic of FAITH. We will learn that we can trust God because he always keeps his promises.
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