Showing mercy isn’t always easy. Sometimes it’s downright inconvenient. It can take time, physical or emotional energy and even our resources. But all of these costs can be considered trivial when viewed from an eternal perspective.
MERCY: Forgiving Others Even When They Don't Deserve It
MEMORY VERSE: “But you, O Lord are a God of compassion and mercy, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness." PSALM 86:15 (NLT)
This Week’s Finish Line: We Can Seek Out Those Who Need Mercy
David’s path to the throne in Israel was not easy. The previous king, Saul, did everything he could to hunt David down and get rid of him. Eventually Saul died and David became king. Most kings would try to eliminate the previous king’s family. Instead, King David wanted to show mercy to Saul’s family because Jonathan, Saul’s son, was David’s best friend. David searched for someone he could show mercy to and found Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s son who was crippled. Even though Mephibosheth didn’t do anything to deserve it, David gave him all the land that belonged to Saul and servants to work the land for him. Mephibosheth even got to spend the rest of his life living in the palace as a part of David’s family.
- Read 2 Samuel 9. How did David find out about Mephibosheth? What had Mephibosheth done to deserve mercy?
- Why were David’s actions so unusual? How can seeking out those who need mercy seem unusual today? What might you have to give up to show mercy?
- If you’re always thinking about yourself, is it easy or hard to seek out those who need mercy? Why? How can you be less selfish and more self-less?
Bring it Home Conversations & Activities:
* Check out our vision for parents and how to use these activities each week.
Teacher: Who Needs Mercy?At dinner this week, ask your family who they know that needs mercy. Then open your Bible and read Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Then read Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” These passages tell us that EVERYONE needs mercy from God! They also tell us that God also wants to give people the “free gift” of eternal life with Him. As a family action plan, have everyone commit to telling at least one person during the week about Jesus, and how through Him, God has given us access to the mercy that we NEED! Ask everyone at the end of the day how they did in seeking out people that need mercy.
Friend: God's Mercy in Your Life
While driving this week tell your family a story of God’s mercy in your life. Take time to really think of a story or situation where God’s mercy was apparent. This could be your story of grace when God got ahold of your heart and grew your love for Him by saving you. Or maybe a decision you almost made that when looking back would have caused you pain. Tell them the story with an emphasis on God and His mercy, really making Him the hero!
Counselor: Identifying God's MercyAs you are putting your family to bed, ask them how they have seen God’s mercy in their lives. It is likely that they won't know what to say or even know in what ways God has shown them mercy. Help them to see that the fact that they live in America where they are free is God’s mercy. The fact that they have people in their lives that love them is God’s mercy! The fact that they are warm at night, have food to eat and go to school are all because of God’s mercy in their personal lives. Have them start a list of ways they see God’s mercy in their lives and to continue adding to the list as they experience and see more ways in which God shows His mercy to them.
Before you send your family off for the day, in the morning, gather them all into a circle. Tell them that you are going to go around the circle and everyone say a prayer to God thanking Him for the mercy He has shown you. Close the prayer time by reading 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.”
Thank God for showing you your great need for Him and freely giving you mercy. Thank Him for the faithful believers who, since the 1st century, told someone who told someone who told you about His mercy.
Next week there will be no new blog post because next Sunday is BAPTISM SUNDAY!!! Don't miss the chance to be a part of one of the best celebrations in the Metroplex all year as we celebrate the mercy of God in the lives of our friends who are being baptized!
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