The smell of expensive perfume fills the air and a woman can be heard quietly crying. All eyes are on one man as he begins to tell a story. “A man loaned money to two people—500 pieces of silver to one and 50 pieces to the other. But neither of them could repay him, so he kindly forgave them both, canceling their debts. Who do you suppose loved him more after that?” Simon replied, “I supposed the one for whom he cancelled the greater debt.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus responded.
RIGHTEOUSNESS: Being declared right in God’s sight; no matter who you are or what you’ve done
MEMORY VERSE: “But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgave sinners.” ROMANS 4:5 (NLT)
This Week’s Finish Line: All Who Believe in Christ are Made Right!
In Luke 7:36-50 we see Jesus interact with two very different people who have more in common than they realize, Simon the Pharisee and the unnamed woman. Both owe a debt they cannot pay. Both are sinners in need of a Savior. The difference is that Simon is blind to his sin and trusts in his own works to gain righteousness. The woman sees her sin and believes Jesus is the only one who could make her right in God’s eyes. Her show of love is evidence of her forgiveness, not the reason for it. She was so thankful for Jesus that she couldn’t help but show it. We should follow her example of what it should look like when we realize we can’t do anything to earn righteousness but all who believe in Christ are made right!
- Compare Simon and the woman’s reaction to each other and to Jesus? How did their actions reveal what they thought about themselves and Jesus?
- Have you ever owed someone but they told you that you didn’t have to pay them back? How did you feel? What debt do we all owe God?
- Is there any sin so big that God can’t or won’t forgive? Why not? What does that tell you about God?
- How can you follow the woman’s example and show your thankfulness to God for who He is and what He’s done for you this week?
Bring It Home: 3 Activities to Remind Kids that it’s Christ Who Makes Us Right
1. The Greatest Exchange
Items Needed: nice gift that your kids might want; box of junk—smelly trash, broken toys, dirty rag or sock, empty cartons or cans
Share an object lesson to talk about the great exchange—our sin for Jesus’ righteousness. Invite one child to receive the box of junk and ask him or her to open it. This box represents us and the wrong things we do. The Bible even says that the GOOD deeds we do are like filthy, dirty rags compared to God’s righteousness. (Isaiah 64:6) Ask them what are some wrong things we do?(lying, stealing, disobeying, etc.) Ask the child, “Would you like to trade that box for this box (with the nice gift or money)?” If he/she says yes, make the exchange.
Jesus wants to make a much GREATER exchange with us. We can exchange our sin for His righteousness. When God sees us, He sees not our sinfulness, but Jesus’ completely pure, clean, holy, righteousness! What a great exchange!
2. Debt of Sin
Sit down with your kids and have them brainstorm 10-20 things they consider sins. Once you have your list, have your kids rank them in order from “not so bad” to “really terrible.” Why do you think some sins are worse than others? Do you think there’s a sin so bad God won’t forgive it? Can you do any of these things and still be perfect like God? Sin is sin in God’s eyes and even one we think is “not so bad” makes us just as unclean as one that is “really terrible.” Remind them that each of us owes God a debt we cannot pay but God is willing to forgive us if we ask. There is nothing no sin so “big” that God’s grace can’t cover it!
3. A Heart of Thankfulness
Every day this week have each person in your family write down one thing they are thankful for about who God is or what He’s done. At the end of the week set aside some time for your family to worship God together. Let everyone share what they were thankful for this week. Give each person a chance to pick a song to sing and spend time thanking God as a family.
Prayer: Titus 3:4-7
Thank God for cancelling the debt you owe because of your sins. Thank Him for taking your sin and making you new when you believed in Christ. Ask Him to give you a thankful heart so that you want to love and serve Him with everything you do.
Next week we begin a month long look at the Godly character trait of DILIGENCE. We will be learning what it means to consistently work with all our hearts to bring glory to God. Open up to 1 Corinthians 15:58 NIV and you can start working on our memory verse for March.
Do you do a family devotional during the week? What does it look like? What resources would help you make better use of that time with your kids?