Have you ever felt like God couldn’t possibly want you or love you because of the bad things you have done in your life? Or do you go to the opposite extreme and justify that you’re good because you’re not as bad as somebody else? Regardless of where you land, God loves you. There is nothing too bad that you cannot turn to God. No matter how “big” the sin is, sin is sin. Whether you told a lie, you took a life, or anything in between, there had to be a consequence. Jesus paid for every single sin because He loves every single one of us, including you. So if there is anything holding you back from fully giving yourself to Christ, know that’s He’s waiting and He is ready when you are.
Here is a snapshot of what we will show the kids this week:
Bible Story Focus: Jesus loves people even when they do something wrong. (Zacchaeus • Luke 19:1-10)
Memory Verse: “Do everything in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:14, NIV
Key Question: Who does Jesus love?
Bottom Line: Jesus loves everyone.
Bible Story & Worship
Watch the Bible Story Video with your kids so you can recap and discuss it with them in the “Bring Jesus To Their Level” section. Then join your kids in worship as we sing and dance for God.
Next, use the Memory Verse video to practice our monthly verse. This is our last week to practice the memory verse. Be sure to think of a fun reward like a sticker or special snack you can give them next week when they are able to say it all by themselves. The activity sheet and coloring page are fun resources to help reinforce story and/or big idea.
Bring Jesus To Their Level
Follow the following script to recap the story, practice the memory verse and demonstrate to your young children how to pray. (You’ll make a list with your family to pray over so have a pen a paper ready.)
Say: “In our story Zacchaeus was SO happy when Jesus loved him and wanted to be his friend even though he had done something wrong. And Zacchaeus isn’t the only one who is glad. I am, too! I am SO glad that [Bottom Line] Jesus loves everyone, even when we do something wrong. Who does Jesus love?(Togeher.) [Bottom Line] Jesus loves EVERYONE!
“And because [Bottom Line] Jesus loves everyone, Zacchaeus wanted to love everyone, too. That’s why he gave back all of the money he had taken from the people. It was his way of doing everything in love like it says in the Bible verse we’re learning. It says . . . ‘Do everything (march in place) in love’ (hug yourself), 1 Corinthians 16:14. (Open hands like a book.) (Practice this verse several times with your kids.)
“Since [Bottom Line] Jesus loves everyone even when we do something wrong, today we’ll make a list of wrong things we have done. Everyone has done wrong things, but [Bottom Line] Jesus loves everyone, anyway! Maybe you didn’t share or you got angry and screamed or you didn’t obey your parents. Whatever it is, we can use our list when we pray to thank God for sending Jesus to love us, no matter what. (Have each family member list something. Don’t forget yourself.)
“Thank you for making this list with me. Now let’s pray. Would anyone like to pray before I pray?” (Give each family member who wants to pray the opportunity to do so.)
Prayer: “Dear God, thank You for sending Jesus to love us, even when we do something wrong. When we’ve done things like (read the list your family made), Jesus still loves us. Help us remember that [Bottom Line] Jesus loves everyone so we can love everyone, too. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
As we wrap up, I would like to leave you with one of the kids’ favorite ‘good-bye’ songs:
Let Me See Your Alligator
Thank you for the opportunity to partner with you in the discipleship of your kid(s). My prayers are with you.
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and every one that loves is born of God and knows God.”1 John 4:7