Mark 12:30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.
Someone once asked Jesus what God’s most important rule was (Mark 12:28). He answered that it was to love God more than anything else. That’s a pretty big thing to ask!
Think about some things that you love. You love your family. You may have a pet that you love. Maybe there are some toys that you just really love playing with. Or there could even be things that you love to do, like sports or games. God is saying to love Him more than you love anything else. Do you think that might be hard? Think about your parents. They’re supposed to love God even more than they love you!
There was another person in the Bible that asked Jesus what He had to do to get into heaven (Matthew 19:16). Jesus answered Him that he had to give up all of the things that he loved more than he loved Jesus. The man thought that was too hard so he didn’t give up anything and he went away from Jesus very sad. What that man needed to realize was that Jesus is better than anything that he loved in his life.
We should love Jesus so much that we want what He wants. We should want to be like Him and want to do what He did. When we make Him most important in our lives, we’re starting to really live for God.
Will you pray about this with your parents? Ask God to make your heart love Him more than anything else. If you ask Him for help doing that, He’ll definitely help you because it’s what He wants most!
What is grace? Is it something you say at the dinner table before you eat? We talked yesterday about how God’s forgiveness is a free gift bought and paid for by Jesus. I mentioned how we can’t do anything to earn or deserve that free gift. That’s part of what grace is.
When God doesn’t give us what we really deserve (death, according to Romans 6:23), but He gives us something wonderful that we could never deserve (His forgiveness, adoption into His family, eternal life with Him), He is showing us grace. It’s not just about forgiveness though.
You have special talents and abilities that no one else has. God gave you those when He planned out who you were going to be. You didn’t do anything to make yourself have those gifts, you got them by God’s grace. Maybe you have always been able to sing well. God gave you that talent. Maybe for you it’s an ability to cook really good food without needing a cookbook. That talent is from God. It’s His grace. Many things in this life are not earned and they come from the Giver of all good and perfect gifts, God (James 1:17).
We should thank Him. Will you pray right now and thank God for all of His grace?
Keep memorizing Ephesians 2:8. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God”
God is good, all the time. It’s important that we know this, because just remembering that God knows everything might make us scared that He’ll punish us. Just remembering that He created everything and that He’s really powerful might make us worry about what He’ll do. But if we remember that He loves us and that He’s good, we’ll never have to worry.
Even though God has all of the power in the world, He doesn’t ever try to just hurt you for no reason. He doesn’t ever try to make you afraid or take things away from you just because He feels like it. God is good so we know if He plans for something to happen in our lives it must be for good. There are a lot of examples in the Bible of people who had to go through some rough times but found out that it was for God’s good plans. Can you name a person like that from the Bible?
Read Romans 8:28 to find out something God said about His plans for you.
Do you have John 3:16 memorized yet? Practice for one more day: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
Yesterday we talked about how God is perfect and He wants us to be perfect. Since we can’t do that on our own, He sent Jesus. If you didn’t read yesterday’s topic, go back and read it by clicking here.
So why is it important that God is perfect? Well, first of all, because you’re not. I’m not either. We make mistakes, we mess up. God never makes a mistake. Not one. Ever. God not only doesn’t make mistakes, He can’t make mistakes.
That’s good news for those of us who trust in Him! When we pray, we know that we’re asking God, the one who doesn’t make any mistakes. When we think He didn’t answer our prayers the right way, we know that can’t be true because He’s perfect. He always does what He means to do and He never messes it up. We can really trust Him!
God has a plan for your life. And since He’s perfect, you know it’s a good plan! Even when things don’t seem like they’re going right, you can know that it’s going to work out the way God planned it.
Joseph was someone who had to trust God through a lot of bad stuff happening. Read about his life in Genesis 37-45. Do you think Joseph ever doubted God?
Memorize John 3:16. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Get some help if you need it!
Sometimes we all do things that aren’t what God would want us to do. That’s called sin. Have you ever sinned? The bad news is, we’ve all sinned. The Bible even says so in Romans 3:23. Sometimes we don’t tell the truth, or maybe we disobey something we were told to do, whatever the sin is, we all do it.
So how can God still love us if we disobey Him? The Bible says that He wants us to be perfect (Leviticus 20:26), but we can’t be because of our sin. We’re unable to please Him if we can’t be totally sinless and we just can’t do that. But there’s good news!
God loves you. In fact, He loves all of His creation. In John 3:16, He says that He sent His Son, Jesus, to take our punishment for the bad things we’ve done. He did that because He loves us. Do you love people that treat you badly? It’s hard isn’t it? We don’t like to keep caring for people who don’t care for us, but God loves each of us even though we treat Him badly by sinning.
If you understand this one thing, you’ll know a lot about God. When He sent Jesus, it wasn’t only to pay for your sins. Jesus also gave you His perfection if you believe in Him. Remember, you need to be perfect in order to please God, but you can’t do it on your own. Jesus is perfect for you! That means if you believe in Him, you can be God’s friend! The Bible even says that means God adopts you as His own child (John 1:12)!
Read Psalm 118:1-4. How long does God’s love last?
Let’s review Genesis 1:1 one more time. Do you have it memorized yet? “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
You’ve probably heard the story of Adam and Eve (If you haven’t, read Genesis 2-3 in your Bible). God created Adam and allowed him to rule over all of the animals of the earth and name them. It wasn’t good enough, though, for Adam to be alone. God wanted Adam to have a friend, so He created the woman, Eve.
God let Adam and Eve do pretty much whatever they wanted to do in the garden where they lived, but He did give them one rule. He told them they could eat from any tree except for one. Do you remember what happened next? Yep. They ate from that one tree. The one they weren’t supposed to eat from. And then what did they do? They hid from God.
Have you ever done something like this? Did you ever do something you knew was wrong and then hide from your parents? They may or may not have known what you did, but God definitely knew, just like He knew what Adam and Eve had done. They couldn’t hid from God because He knows everything!
Some people think this is a bad thing because God knows all of the wrong things that you do, but actually it’s a good thing because God knows you better than anyone and He loves you anyway. He loves you a ton. We’ll talk more about that tomorrow though.
Even if you’ve read about Adam and Eve before, look at Genesis 2-3 and think about how God already knew what Adam and Eve were doing before they admitted it.
Let’s keep working on memorizing Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Find someone to practice with!
Have you ever wondered who God is? Sometimes you sit and listen in church about all of this stuff in the Bible and all of these stories about people who lived a long time ago and you just think, “I wish I knew who God really is.”
It can be a hard thing to understand who God is. We refer to the “nature and character” of God or the “attributes” of God, but that doesn’t make much sense to kids. What that means is just that there are certain things that describe God that don’t describe anyone else.
For instance, no one has every made something out of nothing except for God. Before Him, there was nothing and yet He made the earth, the skies and waters, the animals, the stars and other planets, and even people. If you made something, it would have to be made out of something else. Only God can make something out of nothing.
So who is God? Well, that can’t be answered all in one day, so we’ll take a few to look at some of the things you might want to know about Him. For today, just know that God is the Creator of all things. You were created by God just like the earth, Adam & Eve, your parents, and trees.
Read Genesis 1:1-31 in your Bible to find out more about creation.
Let’s work on memorizing Genesis 1:1 this week: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”