We live in a world populated by sinners. Even the redeemed ones are not perfect so chances are you’ve been hurt by someone and you’ve hurt someone else. The easy thing may be to hold on to grudges or just avoid the hurts but God calls us to something more. Just as He offers to forgive us when we ask, we also can give mercy to others even when they don’t deserve it. It’s not always easy but we can trust that God is good and show that to others by giving mercy.
MEMORY VERSE: “But you, O Lord are a God of compassion and mercy, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness." PSALM 86:15 (NLT)
Joseph had every reason in the world to hold a grudge. His brothers tricked his dad into thinking he was dead and sold him into slavery. As a slave in Egypt he was falsely convicted of a crime and sent to prison. God then made him 2 nd in command in Egypt and used him to save people from famine. When his brothers showed up begging for food, they didn’t recognize him. He could have gotten revenge or sent them away empty handed. Instead, because he trusted God was fully in control of everything, Joseph welcomed his brothers, gave them mercy they did not deserve and saved his whole family from the famine.
* Check out our vision for parents and how to use these activities each week.
Right after a dinner this week read the story of Joseph to your family out of your favorite children’s bible. At the end of your story give everyone in your family a piece of paper and something to write with. Then instruct them that they are going to rate from 1 – 10 how much mercy Joseph’s brothers deserved. 10 = Definitely deserved mercy and 1 = Did not deserve any mercy. Have everyone show their number and ask them to tell you why they picked that number. Then ask them from 1 – 10 how much mercy Joseph gave his brothers. 10 = The most mercy every. 1 = Zero mercy. Then ask your family who else has shown huge amounts of mercy to people who didn’t deserve it!? (hint: Jesus!)
While driving with your family ask for at least two ideas from every person about how they can show mercy. Then tell everyone to pick one of those ideas and see if they can give mercy in that way, every day. Make sure to ask them at the end of every about how they were able to give mercy to someone
As you are putting your family to bed at night re-visit the story of Good Friday and Easter. Talk about how merciful God was to send His only Son to die on a cross for our sins, even though we didn’t deserve it! Ask your kids if it helps them to remember the mercy given to us through Jesus. Be sure to point out that on a scale of 1- 10 of deserving mercy from God we are a 0! But God has chosen to offer us the most mercy ever!
Find a cool rock and write the word “mercy” on it. Make sure that the rock is small enough to fit in the pocket of each of your family members. Every day, let a new member of your family carry it with them as a reminder to give mercy throughout the day.
Thank God for people who have shown you mercy in your life. Ask Him to help you extend His mercy to others, even those who are really challenging to love.
Next week we will be continuing the month of April with MERCY. We will be learning that we can seek out those who need mercy.
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