Justice-Seeking: Not getting what's deserved.
Saying the memory verse together at suppertime will imprint it on the hearts of your children forever.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
One definition that I learned for grace is "getting what I don't deserve." And, that is what Billy experienced in this story. Spike paid for the neighbor's broken window, even though Billy broke it. Grace is the basis of our salvation. If God gave us what we deserve, we would be condemned to die for our sin. But instead God gives us grace-paying the penalty for our sin himself so that we don't have to.
Which is harder-to give grace or to receive it? It's hard to give grace, especially to someone who has hurt us and has no remorse or means to pay us back. But I think it's even harder to receive grace because receiving grace means that we must admit that we are helpless to pay for our own sin, we are utterly dependent on God to pay for our sin and help us live godly lives. We don't like to be dependent. We don't like to admit we are helpless. We like to think that we can deserve what we are given, that we are good enough to receive salvation.
But down deep we know that we are helpless. And, as long as we fight against admitting this, we are putting off receiving what God has died to give. God doesn't give to us when our hands are full of our "good deeds." God gives when we've thrown up our hands in despair, admitted our helplessness, and need for his salvation. God gives when we present him with empty hands and an open heart.
JUST THE FACTS
How well did you listen to the story?
Q. What was Spike saving up his money to buy?
A. Tommy Lashtail Deluxe Premium Shredder Skateboard and Ultimate Ride Skate Shoes.
Q. Spike and Liz found a decoder message - what did it say?
A. The thief is among you.
Q. Who wrote the message?
Q. Who actually broke the window?
Q. Who paid for the broken window?
This question is meant to help the children develop a biblical understanding of God, who He is and what He does. The "answer" is not meant for parents to read to their children. Rather its purpose is to assist parents in guiding the conversation to this biblical understanding. We encourage you to use an open Bible in this conversation, building biblical literacy and well as a biblical theology.
Why do we need grace?
We need grace because it is impossible for us to be good enough to pay the debt for our sin. A brief trip through the book of Romans teaches us this and how God graciously gives us what we ourselves cannot give. Our memory verse this week is a part of the Roman Road. Read and discuss these verses with your family during your mealtime devotions. Tell your story of grace. Invite your children and grandchildren to tell their stories. If there is anyone who has not received God's grace, challenge them to do it today and to join you on the journey.
The Roman Road
Romans 3:23 - For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
Romans 6:23 - For the wages of sin are death,
but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 5: 8 - But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 10:13 - Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
Romans 10: 9, 10 - If you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.