If you had to describe yourself in one word what would it be? What if you could choose five words? A paragraph? Sometimes we choose words to describe ourselves based on how we feel about ourselves. A lot of times we base how we feel about ourselves on our performance, our circumstances, and how other people treat us. Kids do this too! This week we’re going to send your kids home with a list of the things that GOD says are true about those He loves. We can respect ourselves not because of how others view us or because of things we have done but because of how God views us and what He has done for us. Romans 5:8 says that “God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”
MEMORY VERSE: “Respect everyone, and love your Christian brothers and sisters. Fear God, and respect the King.” 1 Peter 2:17
Zacchaeus was not a popular guy when Jesus picked him out of a crowd, out of a tree in fact. Zacchaeus was a tax collector who collected money from his Jewish neighbors for the Romans who ruled them. Usually tax collectors took more than they needed to for their own personal gain. The people could not believe that Jesus was going to spend time with a “sinner” such as this! But after spending time with Jesus, Zacchaeus said that he would give away half of his wealth and repay four times anyone he had cheated. Jesus said that salvation had come to the home of Zacchaeus, not because of what Zacchaeus was going to do, but because of who He believed Jesus was. Zacchaeus was known to others as a bad person, but after spending time with Jesus, he was a new creation! 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun.” Zacchaeus could respect himself because Jesus had called him out of that tree and into a relationship with a loving God, and his following actions showed that he had indeed become a new creation in Christ.
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At dinner this week, pull out this handout your child left with this Sunday. Let them choose one of the words on the handout and then read the verse that goes along with is. Discuss how respecting yourself starts by understanding what God says is true about us. At every dinner time, have your kids choose a new word and go through the same exercise.
As you are driving with your family, make it a game to see who can spot the most valuable object. Have everyone guess the value of the things they are spotting. After a few minutes of playing the game ask your kids what they think the most valuable thing in the whole world is. After they have answered explain to them that it is actually US! People are the most valuable thing in the world! Read Luke 12:24 to them and explain that God has created us in His image and because of that we are more valuable than anything.
As you are putting your family to bed, discuss how even our thoughts about ourselves matter to God. God has made each of us just how He wanted us to be. But there may be times where you are tempted to have thoughts about yourself like, “no one likes me," “I’m not good enough," or “I can never do anything right.” The truth is that, when we are having those thoughts, we are not respecting ourselves because we are not thinking on or believing what God says is true about us. When you are having those thoughts turn to 1 Peter 2:9 and read it aloud to yourself.
Get them ready for the day, take some time to read Romans 5:6-8 with them. Talk about how amazing it is that Jesus chose to die for us even though we do not deserve it! This means that we too can respect ourselves because of what God has done for us.
Thank God for how He made you unique and with a purpose. Thank Him for what He’s done in your life. Pray for yourself and the kids in your group that you would find your worth in Christ and not the things of this world.
Next week we will have a We Believe Weekend!