James 1:22 says, “ Do what God’s teaching says; don’t just listen and do nothing. When you only sit and listen, you are fooling yourselves.” Each Friday we’ll look at one way your family can apply God’s Word, doing what it says as you walk through life this weekend (Deuteronomy 6:6-7).
Have you seen pictures of Leonard Nimoy as Spock? Spock looks weird and he doesn’t act like anyone else. Still, his fellow crew mates love him and he is a valuable part of their team. The fans of the show love him too. Just look at the upset over the death of Leonard Nimoy.
Here are some question for you. Do you deserve to be loved like that? Do other people who are different or outcasts?
Jesus gave us more love than we could ever deserve. He gave up is place in God’s perfect heaven to come, live, struggle, and die as a human. This life can be hard and Jesus saw that Himself.
“He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.”
Isaiah 53:2-4 (NIV)
Jesus didn’t fit in very well with the crowd. He wasn’t especially good-looking. People followed Him around listening to everything He said and asking questions, hoping to make Him look stupid and punish Him (Mark 8:11 is one of many examples). He had lots of enemies and some people hated Him. Most people misunderstood Him. His best friends even turned their back on Him when He faced the hardest thing in His life (Mark 14:42-50). He was beat up, spit on, insulted, and even died a horrible death.
The good news is that Jesus didn’t stay dead. His disciples were very sad when Jesus, their Great Teacher died. They didn’t understand yet that Jesus had to die to take our punishment for sin. That made the first Easter morning that much more special. Can you imagine their surprise when they found out Jesus was no longer dead, but had come back to life again?
Here’s the really exciting part. Do you know why Jesus did all of this? Why did Jesus die on the cross to pay for our sins? (No peeking ahead. Go ahead and give it your best guess.)
“But God is so rich in mercy; he loved us so much that even though we were spiritually dead and doomed by our sins, he gave us back our lives again when he raised Christ from the dead—only by his undeserved favor have we ever been saved—“
Ephesians 2:4-5 (TLB)
God loved us even when we didn’t deserve it. We were focused on doing wrong things and being selfish, but God loved us anyway. God went out of His way and Jesus did what was not always easy to show us He loved us.
How can you follow that example and show love to someone who may not be very popular? Maybe you know someone at school or church who doesn’t seems a little awkward like Spock or doesn’t have a lot of friends. What is one thing you can do to show them you care? How can you be a friend to that person? How can you encourage them? Once you have your idea, go do it! Don’t forget to keep praying for that person and thank God for loving you.
Hey kids, what did you do and how did it go? Ask a parent to help you tell us all about it.