Think about some things you love. Do those things ever let you down? If a new puppy has an accident on the carpet, do you immediately stop loving that cute, fuzzy face? Probably not. Does the fact that junk food is bad for you make you love it less? Maybe, but again, maybe not. God’s love for us is like that, but WAY better! God’s love for His children never changes and never fails. There is nothing we can do to make God love us more. And there’s nothing we can do to make Him love us less.
MEMORY VERSE: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a__
This Week’s Finish Line: God loves you no matter what!
Jesus told a story in Luke 15 about a man who had two sons. The younger son asked for his inheritance, left home, and wasted his money on “wild living” (Luke 15:13 NLT). When all his money ran out, all his “friends” left him and he was so hungry he wanted to eat pig food. He remembered how kind his father was to his servants so made a plan to go home to see if his dad would hire him. On his way, he thought about what he would say to his dad, but when he got home, his dad didn’t even let him finish the speech he practiced. His dad cut him off because he was so excited to welcome him home and celebrate! The older brother heard about this and was so mad that he wouldn’t go to the celebration. He didn’t think his brother deserved that! He himself had always obeyed, and now his irresponsible little brother is getting a party? His dad went out to him and begged him to come to the party. The father loved both brothers the same and wanted both to be a part of his family, no matter what!
READ LUKE 15: 11-32
- What are some of the “wrong” things the younger brother did? (He disrespected his father by asking for his inheritance – that was like saying he wished his dad were dead. He left home and wasted his money on bad things. He was selfish, prideful and foolish.) What were the consequences to his actions? (He had no money or friends, no place to live, no food, and was all alone.)
- Look at verse 20. How did the father act differently than what the younger son hoped for? (The son thought he would have to work to earn his father’s love again. However, the father welcomed him back and the son didn’t have to do anything to earn it. The father loved him no matter what.) How did the father show the son his love? (He ran out to meet him, forgave him and threw a party to welcome him home.)
- Look at verse 28. How did the older brother respond to his younger brother coming home? (He was so angry that his father forgave him and welcomed him back that he pouted.) Did the father show him love? How? (The father came out to him and wanted him to be a part of the celebration. He reminded his son that all he owned would be his someday.)
- Did the father love one brother more than the other? (No.) Why do you say that? Which of the sons needed the father’s love? (Both sons did) Can you do anything to make God love you more? Can you do anything so bad that will make God love you less?
Bring it Home Conversations & Activities:
* Check out our vision for parents and how to use these activities each week.
Teacher: Meal Time
Read or summarize Luke 15:11-32. Which son do you relate to more? Why? Do you ever feel like you’ve done something so bad that God will stop loving you? Do you ever think that if you do enough good stuff that God should love you more than someone else? How would you answer those questions based on the story Jesus told?
Friend: Drive Time
As you drive to a restaurant or store this week, talk about what each person’s favorite thing is there. Have you ever changed your mind about what you thought you loved most? Guess what! God’s love for you never changes! Take the opportunity to share this amazing love of God with and pray for someone at the restaurant or store you’re headed to.
There is nothing you can do to make God love you more or less than He already does. Praise God for His unfailing love. Confess to Him times when you did things that you know didn’t please Him (aka sin). Thank God for forgiveness and for loving you no matter what.
This month’s memory verse is more like a memory passage! It’s long, but it’s so important and awesome and filled with GREAT truths for our lives. Sometimes hand motions help with memorization. Here’s the verse typed out with suggested hand motions. Learn it as a family and feel free to add more motions if you’d like!
“Love is patient (tap watch), love is kind (trace a smile). It does not envy (grab air and pull hands to chest), it does not boast (hands around mouth), it is not proud (puff up chest). It is not rude (pinch nose), it is not self-seeking (thumbs to chest), it is not easily angered (angry fists), it keeps no record of wrongs (shake head no, write a list on palm). Love does not delight in evil (thumbs down, shake head no) but rejoices with the truth (thumbs up, nod head yes). It always protects (use arms as a shield), always trusts (make T with arms), always hopes (fold hands), always perseveres (march in place). Love (hands over heart) never (shake head no) fails (wipe arms like safe)!”1 Corinthians 13:4-8a
Pray and thank God for loving us no matter what! Thank Him for his unfailing love for you that will never end! Praise Him that you are fearfully and wonderfully made!
Next week, we will be continue in the month of February with our character trait, LOVE.
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