What better way to transition from a month of thankfulness into the Advent season than to reflect on what God has done for us? Thanksgiving is officially over which means it’s finally acceptable to put up our trees, blast Christmas tunes, and start baking holiday goodies. As we’re gearing up for holiday busyness, use this week to refocus on being thankful for what God has done – that while we were dead in our sin, He showed us perfect love through Jesus.
THANKFULNESS: A grateful heart that comes from trusting God
MEMORY VERSE: “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NLT)
This Week’s Finish Line: We can be thankful for what God has done.
Luke 17 tells of Jesus encountering ten lepers while on His way to Jerusalem. Leprosy was a skin disease, and those inflicted could not heal themselves. The ten cried out to Jesus, asking for mercy. Jesus told them to go show themselves to the priests, and as they were on their way, they were healed of their leprosy. Mark tells us, “One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus,” praising God and thanking Jesus for what He had done (Luke 17:15 NLT). One of ten came back to show he was thankful for what God had done. While we may not have leprosy, we are all sinners, and we cannot heal ourselves. God sent His Son Jesus to die for us and make a way for us to be forgiven from our sins, when we choose to believe this to be true. We can be thankful for what God has done in making a way for us to be restored to a right relationship with Him!
READ LUKE 17:11-14
- Who did Jesus meet on his way to Jerusalem? (10 lepers) Was there anything these 10 lepers could do to heal themselves? (No, they were helpless.)
- What did they ask Jesus for? (They asked Jesus to show them mercy.) What is mercy? (Mercy is showing compassion even when others don’t deserve it.)
- How did Jesus heal them? What did He tell them to do? (He told them to go and show themselves to the priests. Only the priests in those days could say you were really healed and let them go home. They were not healed until after they started going to the temple.)
READ LUKE 17:15-19
- What did 1 of the lepers do differently than the other 9? How did he show thankfulness? (When he realized he was healed, he ran back to Jesus to worship Him. The man knew it was Jesus that had healed him even though he didn’t deserve it.)Why do you think this one leper came back when the others didn’t?
Bring it Home Conversations & Activities:
* Check out our vision for parents and how to use these activities each week.
Teacher: Meal Time
READ ROMANS 5:6-8
What “disease” do we all have? (We all have sin that separates us from God.) What can we do to heal ourselves from sin? (Nothing. We are helpless like the lepers.) Who is the only person who can do anything about our disease of sin? Why is He the only one? (Jesus is God and lived a perfect life. He didn’t deserve death, which is the punishment for sin. However, He allowed Himself to die and take the punishment on Himself. Then, three days later, Jesus came back to life! He had conquered death!) As a family, practice using this story to share the gospel. Pray for an opportunity to share the good news with someone this week!
Friend: Drive Time
Have a “Thank Off.” As you drive, each person in the car goes around and shares something they are thankful for. Go around and around, and the first person to take longer than five seconds to say something they are thankful for is out. Play until you have a “Thankful Champion.”
As the month of November comes to a close, our thankfulness doesn’t have to end! Spend some time thanking God through prayer for family, how He has met your physical needs, or specific friend He has given you. What are some other things God has done that you can be thankful for?
As a family, make a paper chain of thankfulness. Cut strips of colored paper and write on each strip one reason you are thankful to Christ for what He’s done. Then, staple or tape the strips into links and make one long chain for your family. You can add to the chain all throughout the week! Display the chain somewhere at home where it will be a reminder of God’s great love for you.
Thank God that he sent Jesus to live a perfect life and die a death he didn't deserve to pay the punishment for our sin. Thank God that Jesus came back to life and conquered death! Ask God for an opportunity and courage to share the good news with someone this week.
Next week, we will continue looking at December's character trait, PURITY. We will begin learning about being clean and free from the power of sin!
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