Who doesn’t love a good shortcut? It can be helpful to get around bad traffic or reduce the prep time for your favorite recipe. Not every shortcut, however, is beneficial in the long run. Sometimes shortcuts can cause you to miss some pretty amazing things and essential learning experiences you would have gotten had you taken the longer road. In life, the path God calls us to walk may not be the shortest, easiest and most painless but we can trust that his way is best because he loves us so much.
MEMORY VERSE: “People with integrity walk safely, but those who follow crooked paths will slip and fall.” PROVERBS 10:9 (NLT)
After Saul, the first king of Israel, decided to go his own way instead of God’s, God chose David to be the next king of Israel. This did not go over well with Saul who became jealous to the point of murder. While David was running for his life from Saul, he was twice presented with the opportunity to take a shortcut to the throne by killing a defenseless Saul. In 1 Samuel 24 and 26 we see David trust God’s timing and spare Saul’s life both times. His refusal to take a shortcut to the throne is a reflection of another King. Jesus had all the power to become King as soon as He came to earth. However, He also knew that He could only become our King AND Savior if He followed His Father all the way to the cross. God’s plan is always perfect so we can follow Him not matter what.
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During dinner this week talk to your kids about all the ways that Jesus showed integrity. Read Matthew 4:1-11 about the story of Jesus being tempted in the wilderness. Talk about how hard that must have been, because Jesus had all the power to do the things that he was being tempted with, but He trusted that God had a better plan. He knew inside that following God was the best for him.
While driving this week share with your kids ways that you were tempted that day and how you dealt with that temptation to live a life of integrity. Share Hebrews 4:15 with them, that Jesus can sympathize with us, because he was tempted to not live with integrity too! Ask about temptations they faced that day and how they handled them.
Your kids love to hear stories about you when you were little. So during bedtime this week tell them a story from your life about how you did or did not have integrity. Walk them through the whole story, capturing the hardship of the decision you had to make. Then walk them through the consequences, whether good or bad, that came with that decision. Make it real and empathize with them about how hard it is, and confirm again that no matter how hard a situation is God will give us the strength. Remind them that it is ALWAYS worth it to live with integrity.
Before sending your kids off for the day, share the portion of “The Lord’s Prayer” with them where Jesus taught us to pray, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." Encourage your kids that Jesus is ready to deliver them from any temptation they might face today. Pray together for specific areas you know you and your kids will struggle with, and then recite this month’s memory verse together as you send them off for the day!
Thank God for the integrity of Christ which led Him to the cross. Ask Him to help you follow His way even when no one is looking. Thank Him that His way is best, no matter how challenging things may seem in the moment.
Next week we will continue looking at the character trait of INTEGRITY. We will learn the story of Micaiah and how he wasn't afraid to share God's Truth, even when it wasn't popular.
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