Romans 8:28 tells us that God is always working for the good of those who love Him. But what about the really hard times? What about the times we’re sick or lonely, disappointed or hurting? Scripture tells us we can still trust in God’s goodness even when we can’t see it. He has a plan that’s so much bigger than we can see. His plan can take even the hardest things and use them for good. We see this most clearly in the life of Christ. The very darkest day of Jesus’ life was turned into the greatest good the world has ever known.
GOODNESS: A heart that reflects the excellent character of God
MEMORY VERSE: “A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.” LUKE 6:45 (NIV)
This Week’s Finish Line: God is Always Working for Our “Good”
Jesus was betrayed by a friend and abandoned by those closest to Him. He was unjustly arrested, beaten and sentenced to die (Matthew 26:47-50). He is the mighty creator of the universe but He allowed Himself to suffer as an innocent sacrifice. He had the power to save Himself at any moment (John 19:9-11, 16) but He loves us so much that He took the punishment we deserve and stayed on the cross (Luke 23:32-35). He knew that all of the pain and suffering, although difficult at the time, was necessary to fulfill God’s good plan (Mark 14:32-36). He was in control every step of the way and when His mission was finished, He willingly gave up His life for us (John 19:28-30).
- How did Jesus show He trusted His Father’s good plan? What was the mission He came to earth to finish?
- Had Jesus done anything wrong to deserve punishment? Did Jesus have the power to save Himself? Why didn’t He?
- How would you have felt if you were one of Jesus’ disciples? What would you have done the day after Jesus died?
- Talk about some of the hard things in your life. How do you remind yourself of God’s goodness no matter what you are going through?
Bring It Home: 3 Activities to Show Kids God Can Use Everything for Good
1. Play-doh Crosses
Grab some play-doh or make homemade salt dough with your kids. Talk about things that are hard in their lives (and your life too). Use the dough to make sculptures that represent those hard things. Ask them if they think God can use those things for good. Ask if it’s easy or hard for them to trust in God’s goodness and why. Have everyone take their sculptures and form them into a shape of a cross. Talk about how God can take whatever is going on and use it for good… even if we can’t see it at the time. Take your crosses and make a small hole at the top. Bake them in the oven at very low heat for about an hour so they’ll harden. Decorate them, put a string through the hole and hang them as a reminder of God’s goodness in every situation!
2. Easter Week Timeline
There is no better week in the year to talk to your kids about the amazing sacrifice Jesus made for us on the cross. Take some time to talk about the different things that happened during the week. Check out this Holy Week Timeline or visit Bible Gateway’s Blog to help you and your kids know who was where and when during the week leading up to Good Friday and Easter. Take time to sit and talk about what the disciples might have been thinking and feeling on Saturday and why the good news of Easter is so amazing.
3. Goodies for Goodness
This month we have challenged all elementary kids to memorize Psalm 103:1-12. If they can say it word perfect to their leader or WM Kids staff by the end of April they will get to attend a DONUT PARTY before their regularly attended service one Sunday in May. All kids went home with a copy of the verses in NLT but they can choose to memorize it in any version. Check out these fun ways to help your kids memorize the verses.
Thank God for being good, loving and kind in any and all circumstances. Thank Him for His amazing sacrifice on the cross for you. Ask Him to help you trust His goodness wherever He has you right now.
Next week we will be celebrating the GOOD news of our GOOD God: Jesus is alive! Join us for Easter services Saturday, April 19 at 4 or 6 p.m. or on Sunday, April 20 at 8, 9:30 or 11:15 a.m. (No children’s ministry at 8 a.m. on Sunday.)
What is your family’s favorite thing to do to prepare to celebrate Easter?
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