Over 2,000 years ago, Jesus, God Himself, came to earth. He called 12 unimportant, ordinary men to be His disciples. In 3 short years He performed miracles, spoke truth, died on the cross and rose again 3 days later. Think about this: someone who knew, saw and heard Jesus over 2,000 years ago told someone who told someone who told someone who told someone who told YOU about Him. Crazy, right? How did a small group of people from a tiny backwoods community change the course of history? Why do we even know about Jesus today?
DILIGENCE: Consistently working with all your heart to bring glory to God
MEMORY VERSE: “Therefore my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 CORINTHIANS 15:58 (NIV)
This Week’s Finish Line: My Work for the Lord is Never Useless
In Matthew 28:16-20, Jesus gave His disciples a very important job to do. He told them to go and tell everyone about Him. Those of us who trust in Him have become His disciples so this job has been passed down to us. While God does tell some people to travel around the world sharing the Gospel, this doesn’t mean we have to pack up and move to a different country. Jesus promises to always be with us wherever we go so we can diligently be on mission for Him anywhere we are. Whether God asks us to move to Africa or be faithful where you are right now, 1 Corinthians 3:5-9 tells us that one person’s job is not more important than another when it’s done for Him. No matter what He asks you to do, whether big or small, He wants to use you, yes YOU, to do amazing things for His glory!
- Reread Matthew 28:20. Is there anywhere we go that Jesus doesn’t go with us? Is there anything we do that He doesn’t want to be a part of? Is any part of your life too small for Him to care about? Why do you believe that?
- If we are all being diligent to do whatever God asks us to do, is one person’s job more important than another’s? What if God wants your friend to be a missionary in a far away country but He wants you to stay home and be faithful in the little things you do everyday. Is your friend’s work more important than what you do? Why not?
- Think about this: you tell your friend about Jesus but they don’t believe in Him. Should you feel disappointed or think you did something wrong? Reread 1 Corinthians 3:6-7. Who makes the “seed” grow?
- Brainstorm some ways you can be diligent in the small things this week. Where can you diligently be on mission for God this week?
Bring It Home: 3 Activities
1. Tracing Your Spiritual History
All elementary kids went home with this page to help them trace their spiritual history back a few generations. Print out a copy of it and, as a family, talk with your kids about who told you about Jesus and who has helped you grow in your walk with God. Trace you family’s spiritual history as back as far as you know. Celebrate the lives of the people who were faithful to continue the Great Commission and tell you about Jesus. Think of who YOU can tell about Jesus to keep the Gospel spreading.
2. All the Nations
When Jesus says “all nations” he doesn’t mean nations like Mexico, Ethiopia, or India. When Jesus says “nations” He means “people groups” which are people that share the same language and custom. While there are less than 200 countries, there are over 10,000 people groups in the world! Over 4,000 of them, nearly 3 BILLION people, have never had the chance to hear about Jesus and the Gospel! Visit Kids of Courage and Joshua Project with your kids to learn more about different people groups. Be diligent to pray for a specific unreached people group each day this week.
3. One on One Time
Get some time alone with each of your kids this week and ask them the following questions. What are some of your favorite things to do? What is something that is hard for you to do? What are your most favorite things about yourself? Is there anything you wish was different about yourself? Remind them that God makes each person special and unique and we can use the special way we were made to be diligent in all the different things we can do for Him. Brainstorm ways they can work with all their heart for the Lord, not matter how big or small it is.
Prayer: Colossians 3:23
Thank God for the disciples He first chose to begin spreading His Gospel throughout the whole world. Thank Him for the faithful believers that came before you and told you about Jesus. Ask Him to help you be diligent to keep the Good News going.
Next week we will be looking at the life of missionary Hudson Taylor and how he was diligent to spread the Gospel to China in the 1800s and formed the Inland China Mission.
How do you encourage diligence in your kids? How do you talk to them about their attitudes and heart when they just want to check the box?