A.W. Tozer once wrote, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” What do you think of when you think of the character of God? Is it that He is loving? Just? Forgiving? Trustworthy? Good? Whatever comes to mind, God’s Word has a lot to say about why we can celebrate His goodness. Even the rocks in Luke knew that the excellent character of God deserves our praise. Sound crazy? Keep reading!
MEMORY VERSE: “A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart." LUKE 6:45 (NLT)
Less than a week before He would be crucified, Jesus went with His disciples to Jerusalem. Before they got there, Jesus sent 2 of them ahead to find a specific donkey for Him to ride on. They found the donkey just like He said they would and He rode it into Jerusalem. All along the road the people laid their cloaks down for Him to ride over and praised Him for His miracles. This was the very first Palm Sunday. Now, the Pharisees were upset by the Messianic implications of the crowds’ praises (see Zechariah 9:9), so they told Jesus to rebuke them. Jesus responded by saying, “If they kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!” (Luke 19:40 NLT) All of creation knows that God’s excellent character deserves our praise and we can’t let the rocks take our place! Let’s celebrate Palm Sunday this week and praise the goodness of our God shown through Jesus Christ.
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Read Psalm 103. If you can, write or print it out on a piece of paper. As you read through it, circle all of the words that describe God or make a list. Are there any other words you’d include to describe God’s excellent character? Add those to your list, too. Now take a look at all of the words you have that describe the goodness of God. Does this list impact the way you interact with others, spend your time, or help your thoughts? If so, how? If not, how could it? Write your own psalm of praise to God from the list you made, and read it at another family dinner later in the week.
Ask your kids to tell you something they think is excellent. (Examples: buzzer-beater basketball shot; favorite song; beautiful sunrise; delicious dessert). What makes it excellent? What do you do when you get to experience that excellent thing? Are you thankful? Do you want to tell others? Do you want more of it? Our finish line this week is, "The excellent character of God deserves our praise?" What do you think makes God excellent? Do you think He is more excellent than the other things we've talked about? What can we do when we get to experience God's excellent character?
As you are putting your kids to bed, have them each think of one thing they're thankful for from that day. Have them brainstorm at least one way God showed His goodness and excellent character. Pray and thank God for who He is and how He is showing His goodness to you, whether you are going through an easy time or a hard time.
Work on memorizing this month's verse as a family (Luke 6:45). Here are a few options: Write it with wipe off markers on your bathroom mirror. Practice “popcorn style,” where each family member says one word until the entire verse is completed. Write it on an index card, keep it at the kitchen table, and quiz each other at dinner.
Think about some of your favorite character traits of God and thank Him for who He is. Thank Him for all the ways you have seen Him work in your life recently and ask God to prepare your heart to celebrate Easter next week.
Next week we will continue the month of April with the godly character trait, GOODNESS. We will celebrate the good news of our good God: Jesus is alive!
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