Actors win awards, make money and become famous pretending to be other people. Their job is to try and convince you they are someone else. No matter how good they are, you know that when the camera stops rolling, they are still just the actor. No costume, accent or script can change who they really are. People who want others to believe they are someone they really aren’t can be found everywhere, even in church. They may look the part, act the part and say the right thing but God knows that in their hearts, they trust themselves instead of Him.
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: Beware, Church Won’t Get You There!
On the outside, the apostle Paul looked like the best religious person ever. He was raised in the church, graduated from seminary with top honors, was an elder in the church and never missed a quiet time or bedtime prayers. He looked like he had it all together but in his heart he didn’t love God. One day God changed his heart so he could see that all of the things he did to try and be righteous were really just trash. None of those things could save him, only faith in Christ made him righteous. Paul gave up all of his trash and God gave him the best treasure in return, a relationship with Himself.
- Read Philippians 3:3-11. How did Paul see his list of good things when he compared them to Jesus?
- What did Paul want more than anything else? What did he know was the best thing of all?
- What good things do you try and use to make yourself look righteous to others? What does Paul say is the only way to become righteous?
- Why should we still go to church, pray and read the bible? What good can come from that when we have a relationship with God?
Bring It Home: 3 Activities to Show Kids Righteousness Comes from God Alone
Have each family member write down 2-3 names of people or characters. They can be real or from fiction. Put all the names in a hat and play charades. One at a time, draw a name from the hat and act like that person using words and actions. Ask if acting like that person made you that person. Just because you act and talk like them, that doesn’t change who you are on the inside. Even though you have all of the “right” answers and look like a Christian on the outside, only God can change your heart and make you right on the inside.
2. Who do you look like?
Find family photos going back a few generations. Talk about how family members look like each other both physically and in their personalities. (Janie is friendly like Aunt Sarah; Joey is a hard worker like Grandpa.) If your child is adopted, talk about the day he/she was made a part of your family and how they are like other members of the family. When God adopts us into His family it’s not because of anything we’ve done. God makes us a part of His family because of Jesus’ death on the cross. He gives us the Holy Spirit to live inside us to help us do what is right. He will slowly change us to look more and more like our heavenly Father from the inside out.
3. Spiritual Disciplines
This is a great week to talk about and model what spiritual disciplines are for your kids. Even though we can’t earn righteousness by doing good things, why does God still want us to do them? Why do we go to church, pray, read the the bible, memorize scripture? Talk about what it looks like for you to have a quiet time with God and let them be a part of that this week. Share prayer request and pray for each other. What scripture are you memorizing? Memorize our verse for righteousness, Romans 4:5, together as a family this week.
Prayer: Philippians 3:8
Thank God for the good things that he has given you in your life. Ask Him to help you rely on Him instead of these good things you have or do. Thank Him for being willing to take your trash and give you the best treasure in return, a relationship with Himself.
Next week we will finish up our month on Righteousness by looking at what our response should be when God makes us right in His sight. The woman in Luke 7:36-50 shows us what a humble response to God’s free gift should look like.
How do you use your time in the car to intentionally disciple your kids? What are some simple questions you use to start conversations with them?
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