February 5, 2017
Elementary School (Power of Love)
God is love. As we read through the Bible, we see an epic love story unfold that started in a garden with a perfect relationship between God and His creation. When Adam and Eve sinned and broke that relationship, God didn’t give up on creation. His love for us drove Him to make the ultimate sacrifice: sending His one and only Son, Jesus, to pay the ultimate price to make it possible for us to be with God forever. Because we are created in God’s image, we have the capacity to love. Every time we choose to treat others the way we want to be treated, we show others a glimpse into the perfect love God has for each and every one of us. Jesus is the ultimate example of love. When God sent Jesus to earth, Jesus showed us exactly what it means to love. Jesus prioritized love above everything else. When the Pharisees asked Jesus about the greatest commandment, He reached into the 600+ laws of the Old Testament and took a law that existed about your neighbor and He linked it to loving God. Jesus said, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul. Love him with all your mind . . . and Love your neighbor as yourself,’ (Mark 12:30-31 NIrV). Our relationship with Jesus changes how we love God, love others, and even love ourselves. Love, above all else, was what Jesus stressed most. Love isn’t just something we demonstrate because it’s a good thing to do. Love doesn’t even start with us. We love because God loves us. Love is an essential part of who God is and how God interacts with the world. We love others because of the capacity He put within us to love. His love drove Him to sacrifice His only Son on our behalf to make the relationship between us right again. We will spend the month of February taking a closer look at the way love shows up throughout the Gospels in how Jesus interacts with others. We start off the month in elementary school learning about God’s perfect love. In the book of John, we discover that Jesus showed us love in the most sacrificial way possible, by laying down His life for us. Jesus asks us to love one another, just as He loved us, in the way we sacrifice for our friends. As kids learn about Jesus’ sacrificial love for us, we pray they will start to understand how they can show love sacrificially to the people in their lives. Showing love to others will not always be convenient. When we begin to see our potential to love in light of Jesus’ love for us, we will understand that showing love, even when it’s difficult, is worth all the effort.
Bible Story: Power of Love (No Greater Love) • John 15:12-13
Bottom Line: Love others because Jesus loves you.
Memory Verse: Here is what love is. It is not that we loved God. It is that he loved us and sent his Son to give his life to pay for our sins. 1 John 4:10, NIrV
Life App: Love—choosing to treat others like you want to be treated.
Basic Truth: I should treat others the way I want to be treated.