Raise your hand if you like DIY home projects. You see a space in your home that could be better organized if it only had a few shelves. So, off to a home goods store you go, only to later find yourself elbow-deep in furniture assembly with an instruction page ignored and tossed aside and a space in more chaos than when you began. Can’t life feel that way sometimes? You start something with good intentions, but later feel overwhelmed and discouraged. God knows our limitations and our tendencies, and He gave us something in His kindness to help us know Him and the way He says is best to go. His Word is a gift and teaches us how to live whether we are in a circumstance of our own making or just navigating the broken world around us. Take time to study His Word and ask His Spirit to guide you!
RIGHTEOUSNESS: Being declared right in God's sight and living in a way that honors Him
MEMORY VERSE: “May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation - the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ - for this will bring much glory and praise to God." Philippians 1:11
This Week’s Finish Line: God's Word teaches us how to live righteously
In the Old Testament, God gave Israelites the Law because He loved them and wanted them to know how to live righteously. In the same way, Jesus wanted to teach and remind His people how they could live in a way that honored Him. One day, crowds gathered around Jesus on a hillside overlooking the Sea of Galilee. In what has become known as the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught people the right way to live in nearly every area of their lives. Because Jesus is God, He knew what was best for them and wanted them to trust Him. Remember, God doesn’t give us rules because He is mean or wants us to behave. God’s Word isn’t a long list of dos and don’ts. It’s the story of God’s amazing, unfailing love for us and it helps us know how we can respond to that love by living in a way that honors Him.
- Read Matthew 5:1-12. Where was Jesus and what was He doing? (He was on a mountain teaching His disciples and the people with them)
- Jesus started teaching by talking about people who live in a right way. How did Jesus describe their righteous character? (Examples: people who know they need God, the humble, those who want righteousness/justice, people who show mercy and work for peace, those who do right but are persecuted)
- How does God respond to them? (He blesses them.)
- Look at verses 11-12. Does this mean everything in their lives will go perfectly? (No, but even when things are hard, they can be happy and trust God for today, knowing that they will one day get to be with Him in heaven!)
*Check out our vision for parents and how to use these activities each week.
Teacher: Meal Time
As you are around the table together this week, spend time recapping everything we’ve learned about righteousness this month. Start with how we first need to be declared right in God’s sight and how, only then, can we begin to live in a way that honors Him. Apart from God, righteousness is not possible. Ask your family how God teaches us and helps us to live in a way that honors Him (His Word, His Spirit, His people). Challenge each other to spend time in God’s Word individually every day this week and share something that God taught each of you from His Word every time you gather for a meal.
Friend: Drive Time
Input a destination into your GPS sometime this week but begin to do the opposite of what it says until your child notices and asks why you’re not following the directions. Ask them if they think you’ve made your drive better or worse, longer or shorter. Use this as an illustration to help your child understand that God’s Word is like a GPS for life. It doesn’t always give us step-by-step directions for every specific thing we encounter, but it does give us wisdom and teach us how to respond and pray regardless of our situation. Help them see that God teaches us the way to live in a way that honors Him, but also gives us the choice to follow Him or not – the same way the GPS told you where to go, but you could choose to follow it or not. Remind them that if they are a follower of Christ who has accepted Jesus’ sacrifice on their behalf, that God will never leave them. In the same way the GPS kept “rerouting” to get you going back in the right direction, God gives us His Word, His Spirit, and His people to help “reroute” us when we get off track.
Counselor: Bed Time
As you are getting your child ready for bed, read Matthew 7:9-12 together. Talk about how God desires to give us good gifts, and the best gift is having a relationship with God through His Son. When we are part of God’s family, He teaches us to live in a way that honors Him and helps us love others selflessly, the way Christ loved us. This is what all of God’s commands come down to, loving God and loving others! Pray, thanking God for His love, the gift of knowing Him. Ask Him to show you someone who could use some extra kindness this week to be reminded of God’s love for them.
This week’s finish line says that God’s Word teaches us how to live righteously. So, bust out your flash cards for this month’s memory verse one last time to practice writing God’s Word on your heart and to be reminded of how we’re made righteous and able to live righteously. Pssst... it’s through Jesus!
Pray and ask God to help you spend time in His Word and teach you what it means to live righteously and honor Him.
Next week we will begin a new character trait and spend a month learning about joy!