Patrol of the Year


Justice-Seeking: Mercy or Judgment?


Saying the memory verse together at suppertime will imprint it on the hearts of your children forever.

James 2:13

Mercy triumphs over judgment.


Why does mercy triumph over judgment? Because mercy motivates better than judgment. Because mercy demonstrates love and "love covers a multitude of sins" (1 Peter 4:8). This doesn't mean that rules are ignored or that we forego discipline. It is more about how we enforce the rules, how we discipline. Can our children sense the love that motivates our discipline? I once read a book of letters by women who were early pioneers, staking out homesteads in the newly opened land west of the Mississippi. One letter was written by a mother to her daughter, giving her advice on childrearing. She told her daughter to use "firmness without coldness." That is one way of describing mercy that tempers judgment.

Mercy triumphs over judgment in God's plan of salvation as well. God's judgment of our sin is death. But God's mercy in Jesus Christ triumphs over that judgment (Romans 3:9-31).


How well did you listen to the story?

Q. What was the name of the new theme park?
A. Five Flags Over Terrene.

Q. What award did Liz hope to win?
A. Patrol of the Year.

Q. What was the motto of the safety patrol?
A. Serve, Protect, Enforce, Enjoy.

Q. Who won the Patrol of the Year award?
A. Marco.


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 does God expect us to be merciful?
Luke 6:36 answers this questions: Be merciful just as your Father is merciful. If God is merciful to us, and he is, then God expects us to demonstrate that same mercy to others. That can be very hard for us to do. When someone hurts us, we want to hurt him or her back. When someone breaks the rules, we want them to be punished. But what if God did that with us? God is merciful in granting us salvation through Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:4, Titus 3:5). God is merciful every day giving us food, shelter, work, family, and friends (Acts 14:17). One of the prime ways that God shows us his mercy is forgiveness. Paul instructs us to remember that as forgiven people, we are to also be forgiving (Ephesians 4:32).


Do you have a younger brother or sister? Do you treat them with mercy or with judgment? The next time he or she makes a mistake, or breaks a rule, or makes you mad, remember this verse and treat them with mercy not judgment.
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