You can’t put trash into a piggy bank and expect to pull out $100 bills. You can’t put rocks into a jar and expect to pull out candy. The same thing is true with our hearts. God is the only one who can change an evil heart into a good heart. However, we all make choices every day about what we put into our hearts. The images you see, the things you read and the people you listen to are all making deposits into the treasury of your heart. It’s these things that will flow out of you through your words and actions. Are you overflowing with God’s goodness or with something less valuable?
Peter, one of Jesus’ closest disciples, denied he even knew Jesus 3 times just hours after he’d promised to never abandon Him (Luke 22:54-62). After His resurrection, Jesus didn’t find Peter to shame him or yell at him because of what he had done. Instead, Jesus continued to lovingly pursue Peter out of His goodness. In John 21:15-19 we see that despite Peter’s failure and sin, Jesus loved and forgave Peter. He even trusted him with the very important task of taking care of His sheep, the church, after He returned to heaven. Throughout the book of Acts we see Peter loving others because Christ had loved him and forgiving because he had been forgiven. God chose to give Peter a good heart and let His goodness flow through him to everyone he met.
You will need a pitcher, clear glasses, clean water and dirty water. Explain to your kids that the pitcher is like their hearts. Talk with them about different things that we put into our hearts. Examples include what we read, things we look at, people we’re friends with, and music we listen to. Have them come up with some bad examples and for each one pour some of the dirty water into the pitcher. Ask them if they want a drink and pour out some of the water into a glass. Would they drink that? Explain to them that God can clean our hearts and wash out the glasses and pitcher. Have your kids think of good things they can put into their hearts and add clear water to the pitcher. Pour the water in to a glass and ask if they’d want to drink that. When we let God’s goodness into our hearts, His goodness is what will flow out!
Our definition of goodness is a heart that reflects the excellent character of God. Grab a mirror and a dry erase marker and paper towel. Let the kids look at their reflection in the mirror. What do they see? Now have them think of some of the things they sometimes put into their hearts that are not good. Write those things all over the mirror. Now look at the reflection. What do they see? Can they see themselves clearly or reflect a true image with all of those things in the way? Take the mirror and wipe off everything they wrote. Explain to your kids that only God can wipe away all of the sin and bad things so they can once again see themselves as God sees them and reflect His excellent character to others!
Take some time this week to help your kid make “good” deposits into the treasury of his or her heart by working on learning either our memory verse for this month, Luke 6:45, or our Goodies for Goodness verses, Psalm 103:1-12. You can get a jump start on next month by looking at our memory verse for consistency, Psalm 119:4-6. Read the verses together with your kids and talk about what they mean to you and to them.
Thank God for pouring out His goodness on you. Ask Him to help you put good things into your heart so that good things will flow out. Thank Him for always loving you and being willing to forgive when you come to Him.
NEXT WEEK, May 4, is BAPTISM SUNDAY at Watermark so there will be NO Watermark Kids programming. Bring the whole family and join us at 10 AM to celebrate the stories of how God has changed the lives of people in our body!