We all like to get gifts, don’t we? Imagine someone got you the most amazing gift, one that you think is too good to be true. They stand there, holding it out to you. What would you do? Say “thanks but no thanks”? Walk by ignoring them? Examine the gift in their hands any way you can without touching it? Hopefully not! You reach out and take it, making it your own. In this same way God is offering everyone the perfect gift even though we’ve done nothing to deserve it. What will you do with that gift?
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 NEED Mercy
Sin is anything we think, say or do that does not please God. Even one little sin separates us from Him because He is holy and just. We have to admit we’ve all done way more than just one little sin. There’s nothing we can do to clean ourselves up and pay the debt we owe God because of our sin. We need mercy. Thankfully we have a God that is also loving and faithful. Through Christ He offers us mercy and the gift of salvation. Salvation is rescue from the punishment, power and presence of sin. Even though we don’t deserve it, God will forgive us when we admit we’re sinners, believe Christ’s death paid the debt we owed and confess that He is the one in control of our lives.
- Read Ephesians 2:1-10. What do you learn about God and about us in these verses
- What amazing gift does God offer to everyone who is willing to accept it?
- How would you explain mercy to someone? Why do we need mercy?
* Check out our vision for parents and how to use these activities each week.
Teacher: Meal Time
Make breakfast for dinner this week with pancakes and syrup (or another sticky/messy food combo). As you’re eating, get the syrup all over your face and hands. Try to wipe it off with a napkin (you won’t be very successful). After unsuccessful attempts to remove all of the sticky syrup, ask one of your family members to go get a wet wipe or wet towel for you so you can actually remove all of the syrup and the stickiness. Help them make the connection between you needing help from someone else to be clean at the dinner table, and how we need mercy from God through Jesus. We all sin (think, say, and do things that don’t please God). Our sin makes us unclean and separates us from God. We can’t do anything on our own to clean ourselves up. But God, who is rich in mercy, freely gave us the mercy we needed by sending His Son, Jesus, to take the punishment we deserved for sin through His death and resurrection.
Friend: Drive Time
As you are driving in the car with your family ask if receiving gifts is something we earn or if gifts are freely given. Explain that a gift is simply something that is given and not something deserved or worked for. Then discuss how God gives us mercy as a gift, that while we didn’t earn it or deserve it, we still need it! John 3:16, Romans 5:8.
At bedtime, remind your kids that God, the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful creator of everything, is the one who has chosen to show them mercy. How amazing! Read Ephesians 2: 1-9, then pray together thanking God for His mercy.
Write out this month’s memory verse on a note card: "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)
Help your kids begin memorizing the verse by asking them to point out the five characteristics the verse describes God as (compassionate, merciful, slow to get angry, filled with unfailing love and faithfulness). Then practice learning the verse together using the notecard as a prompt, when needed.
Thank God for showing you your great need for Him and freely giving you mercy. Thank Him for the faithful believers who, since the 1st century, told someone who told someone who told you about His mercy.
Next week we will continue in our trait for June, MERCY!