Your Works Don’t Work

Your Works Don’t Work Hero Image

Most of us would probably admit that we know we’re not perfect. We know our weaknesses and the sins we’re most tempted to give in to. But we all do good things, too, and sometimes we may be tempted to think if we just do enough good works we can make up for the bad. I may be an over-spender, but I tithe to the church. I may be impatient and yell in traffic on the way to work, but I do my quiet times in the morning. Unfortunately, in God’s economy, no amount of good works can make up for the sin in our lives. That’s a debt we can’t pay on our own. Thankfully He doesn’t expect us to be perfect because He knows we can’t be. That’s why He sent His Son, to live the perfect life we can’t so that we can be made righteous when we trust in Him.

RIGHTEOUS: Being Declared Right in God's Sight

MEMORY VERSE: “But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners." Romans 4:5 (NLT)

This Week’s Finish Line: Your Works Don’t Work

One day when Jesus was teaching, a rich young man came up to Him and asked, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” This young man had worked hard to follow the law and do good but the questions he asked Jesus revealed a problem. He wanted to know what he had to “do” to become righteous. Jesus didn’t ridicule him or respond harshly. Instead, Jesus loved him. Jesus wanted to show the young man that he couldn’t be good enough and that his heart was in the wrong place. Instead of trying to work his way into heaven, all he, or any of us, can do is to rest in the truth that Christ is enough and that through Him we can be saved and made right in God’s sight.

Family Questions:

  1. Read Mark 10:17-27. Why do you think the rich young man went away sad when Jesus told him to sell everything he owned?
  2. How did Jesus respond to His disciples who asked, “Then who can be saved?”
  3. What are some good things you do? Why do you do them? Why does God still want you to do good works even if they don’t earn you righteousness?
  4. Reread Mark 10:27. How does it make you feel knowing that God can do the impossible

Bring it Home Conversations & Activities:

* Check out our vision for parents and how to use these activities each week.

Teacher: Your Works Don't Work!

As you are sitting at the dinner table with your family read Galatians 2:20-21 to them:

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.” Gal. 2:20-21.

Teach them what Paul is saying is that if we were able to attain righteousness through our works then Jesus died for nothing! The truth is that all who BELIEVE IN CHRIST are made right, nothing we do can make us right.

Friend: Righteous Charades

As a family spend time playing the game charades together this week. Have the category be famous people or people you know. Make it fun and high energy! Then talk to your family about the game afterwards. Acting like a character does not make us that character. Remind them that doing Christian things are great and help us get to know Jesus better, BUT we can perform for the world as a “Christian” and feel like we are one because of our family, church attendance, etc. but to God it is just a stinky show. It’s just a silly game of Charades. Only Godknows our hearts and knows if we’re being real or not. Only HE knows if the person you’re acting as is really you…so remember, your works don’t work…only HE can make you righteous!

Counselor: The Six-Week Challenge

Join us in the six-week challenge by memorizing a verse a week of Psalm 1! It is highly important to memorize scripture and to write it on our hearts. So we have created this challenge for the whole family! We want parents and children alike to be memorizing the same thing together. This is something you can do while driving, while in your living room or while doing dishes and we hope is a bonding activity. You can make flash cards by going to and printing them off.

Coach: Works Are a Response

As you are getting your family ready for the day remind them that while our works don’t make us righteous our lives should still be marked by good works. Those works are out of a response of gratitude for what God has done for us through Jesus! Ask your family to be thoughtful of what God has done for them and then allow the gratefulness to overflow into their works!


Thank God for loving and valuing you even when you love and value things more than you love and value Him. Ask Him to reveal to you “other gods” in your life and to give you a greater desire for Him. Thank Him for being the God of the impossible!

Looking Ahead

Next week we will finish the month of January with a Timeline Weekend! We will learn about the era's in the Bible of Conquest-Judges-Kingdom.

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