We Can Respond Gently to the World in Need

Have you ever looked back on your day or week and felt like you missed the mark in every area? Even though you tried to be all things for all the people in your life, you just fell short. It’s easy to feel convicted when we read passages like Matthew 25:34-40 which remind us that the way we love and serve others (or don’t) reflects our love for the Lord. But take heart! There is good news! God has prepared good works for us to do and He allows us to participate with Him in His kingdom work. Even though we fall short and miss the mark, we can have hope because our works don’t save us and God has given us everything we need to respond gently to the world in need.

GENTLENESS: Responding in a kind and careful way

MEMORY VERSE: Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowances for each other's faults because of your love." Ephesians 4:2 (NIV)

This Week’s Finish Line: We can respond gently to the world in need

Ephesians 2:8-10 makes it clear that salvation comes by faith, not works. It then goes on to say that God has planned good works for us to do once we are saved, but again, these good works do NOT save us or make God love us more! A great example of believers doing the good things God planned for them an is found in Matthew 25:34-40. Here, we see the hungry fed, the thirsty given drink, and the stranger invited in. The righteous people didn’t earn their righteousness from the good works they did. You can never do enough good things to earn it. The good works were a result of the righteousness God had given them. They responded gently in a kind and careful way to those in need because they knew God had taken care of their biggest need, a need for a Savior! The converse is also true, as we see in Matthew 25:41-46. Those condemned to hell are sent there because they were not saved by grace through faith. Their lives and choices reveal what was in their hearts.

Family Questions:

READ EPHESIANS 2:8-10

  1. How do we see God's gentleness in these verses? (God responded to our sin by sending Jesus to die and take the punishment we deserve. When we accept His free gift of grace, God forgives us, makes us righteous, and welcomes us into His family!)
  2. Look at verse 9. Are we saved because of our good works? (No!) Look at verse 10. Why do we do good works, like responding gently to a world in need? (When God forgives our sins and makes us new in Jesus, He gives us the ability to do the good things that He has planned for us. We respond to a world in need with gentleness because of what God has done in our lives.)

READ MATTHEW 25:24-46

  1. How had the righteous responded gently and honored the King without knowing it? (The King said that when they were feeding the hungry and taking care of the sick, it’s like they were feeding and taking care of Him.) Just think: Every time you respond gently to someone in need, it’s like you are doing it for God Himself!
  2. Did they earn eternal life because they responded with gentleness? (No!) How do you know? (Ephesians tells us that it’s not our good works that save us, it’s grace and grace is a free gift God offers us!)

    Bring it Home Conversations & Activities:

    * Check out our vision for parents and how to use these activities each week.

    Teacher: Meal Time

    Look at Matthew 25:35-36. What do you think it would look like for you to respond gently to a world in need as a family? How can you respond to someone who is hungry? How can you respond to someone who is lonely? How can you respond to someone who’s clothes are worn out or don’t fit? How can you respond to someone who is sick or in a hard time? Take one of the ideas you thought of and put it into action this week.

    Friend: Drive Time


    Invite your kids to help you spot other drivers who are not responding gently on the road (Careful! This might be a little convicting!). Talk about how even when others don’t respond to situations with gentleness, we still have a choice to respond back harshly or gently. Help your kids think through other examples in their own lives beside road rage where they have a choice to respond harshly or gently to the world around them (ex: specific situations at school, with siblings, when there are consequences for their actions, etc.)

    Counselor: Bedtime

    Pray and thank God for those who have helped you when you were in need. Ask Him to give you opportunities to respond in a kind and careful way to those in need around you this week.

    Coach: Anytime

    From January 7 – February 11, we will be working on memorizing six verses from Romans. These verses make up what we call the Romans Road, and they are a great tool for sharing the gospel with others! This week, work on memorizing Romans 5:8. Click HERE for flash cards to print out and use to help you learn! Don’t forget to check out Join the Journey as we go through the book of Romans this year!

      Prayer

      Pray and thank God for those who have helped you when you were in need. Ask Him to give you opportunities to respond in a kind and careful way to those in need around you this week.

      Looking Ahead

      Next week, we will be continuing in the month of January with GENTLENESS. We are going to learn how to respond gently when people are in touch circumstances.

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