Showing mercy isn’t always easy. Sometimes it’s downright inconvenient. It can take time, physical or emotional energy and even our resources. But all of these costs can be considered trivial when viewed from an eternal perspective and when remembering Christ’s sacrifice for us. Let gratitude motivate you to seek out others in need of the mercy you’ve received!
MERCY: Forgiving others even when they don't deserve it!
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)
This Week’s Finish Line: We Can Seek Out Those Who Need Mercy
David’s path to the throne in Israel was not easy. The previous king, Saul, did everything he could to hunt David down and get rid of him. Eventually Saul died and David became king. Most kings would try to eliminate the previous king’s family. Instead, King David wanted to show mercy to Saul’s family because Jonathan, Saul’s son, was David’s best friend. David searched for someone he could show mercy to and found Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s son who was crippled. Even though Mephibosheth didn’t do anything to deserve it, David gave him all the land that belonged to Saul and servants to work the land for him. Mephibosheth even got to spend the rest of his life living in the palace as a part of David’s family.
- Read 2 Samuel 9. How did David find out about Mephibosheth? What had Mephibosheth done to deserve mercy?
- Why were David’s actions so unusual? How can seeking out those who need mercy seem unusual today?
- How is God like David? (God is in charge of everything. He doesn’t have to seek out people to show mercy to, but He does because He is loving and kind. He doesn’t expect us to pay Him back for the mercy He offers.)
- How are we like Mephibosheth? (We can’t do anything to deserve the mercy and are helpless on our own. God seeks us out and offers us mercy and a relationship with Him. If we choose to accept the amazing mercy that God offers, we become a part of His family.
* Check out our vision for parents and how to use these activities each week.
Teacher: Meal Time
At dinner this week, ask your family who they know that needs mercy. Then open your Bible and read Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Then read Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” These passages tell us that EVERYONE needs mercy from God! They also tell us that God also wants to give people the “free gift” of eternal life with Him. As a family action plan, have everyone commit to seeking out and telling at least one person during the week about how God offers us mercy through Jesus. Follow up and encourage one another!
Friend: Drive Time
As you’re in the car with your kids, ask them if they think it would be easier or harder for someone to seek out others who need mercy if that person was always thinking about themselves. As you talk through their responses, ask them a way they can practice being more selfless and less selfish to better be aware of and seek out others. Then pray for opportunities to reflect God and engage with others throughout the week!
As you’re putting your kids to bed this week, tell them a story or situation where God’s mercy in your life was evident; really make God the hero! Then ask your kids if they can think of a time that God gave them mercy. Pray together, thanking God for being compassionate and merciful.
Get crafty this week to review the memory verse! Complete a 24-48 piece puzzle and flip it over. Then write one (or two) words per piece to fit the entire memory verse on the puzzle pieces. Store in a sandwich bag and work on it with your kids to help them continue practicing the verse.
Thank God for seeking you out and giving you mercy even when you didn’t deserve it. Ask Him to help you seek out those around you this week that may need mercy. Ask Him to help you be more self-less & focused on others this week.
Next week we will have a TIMELINE Weekend!!