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Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. ~ Proverbs 22:6 KJV

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    Thursday, January 14, 2016

    I've learned a few things lately and one of those things is that 'acts of love' as Christians doesn't come as easily as I once thought. Right up front, I want to say that when we ask Jesus to be our savior, we don't magically start loving people the way God wants us too. It's true that for a little while when accept Jesus as our Lord and savior, we want to tell everyone about God and how that Jesus died for us and we want EVERYONE to know him like we do.

    Overtime though, the 'newness' wears off and the things of this world start weighing us back down. People begin to irritate us. We start getting annoyed by the way people act. So, instead of wanting to help those types of people, we steer ourselves toward those who are more willing to listen about Christ or those who show an interest in him (which isn't very often in today's world). We may even limit ourselves to those we see at church or the kids in our Sunday school classes. But, what about those we encounter daily?

    Showing God's love to others should come easily. So, why doesn't it?

    Showing God's Love to Others

    Today's lesson is on 'acts of love' or 'showing God's love to others' and how easy or hard it truly can be. Children (and adults) may have a hard time understanding the numerous different ways that we can show God's love to others, but hopefully by the end of this lesson, they will see how truly easy it can be.

    Ask for a show of hands to the following questions, but ask the kids to refrain from talking about the people they feel this way about.

    "How many of you have someone in your life that you don't like?"
    "How many of you have someone in your life that irritates you badly?"
    "What about a teacher or principal?"
    "What about a neighbor?"
    "Do you have someone who used to be your friend until something happened and now they are no longer your friend?"

    The bible tells us in Mark12:31 KJV ~ Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

    Jesus didn't say, "Try to love thy neighbor as thyself". He said, "Thou shalt!"

    That lets us know that as Christians, no matter what happens, we are to love our neighbours. So, exactly who are our neighbors? Well, if you look at the parable of The Good Samaritan, we find that everyone is our neighbor.

    Okay, so exactly how can we show God's love to others?

    We can show God's love to others by the acts of love we do. These small (or big) acts of love show others God's love through us. Jason Gray, a Christian music artist, has a song about this exact thing. Take a moment to watch it below, then show it to your kids in your Sunday schoool class. My kiddos learn better when they can visually see something rather than just me telling them.

    Whenever you get a chance to show your kids visually, I recommend you do so!

    Jason Gray's Acts of Love Video

    Now, as you can see in this video, even the smallest acts of love can help build the kingdom of God. I used the reference in the song about how God put a million million doors in this world for his love to walk through. I told each child that they were a door for God's love and that they needed to open that door to let His love out.

    Showing God's Love Activity

    I saw this activity somewhere and I'd link to it if I could find it, but I can't. It is a really good 'visual' example of how showing God's love to others helps his love to spread from one person to another. 

    Get a colored sheet of paper and scissors. Any sheet of paper will do, but if you are in front of a larger class, colored paper can be seen better. Now, have the kids count how many corners are on that piece of paper. Of course, there are four corners.

    Next, tell the kids you are going to cut off one corner of the piece of paper and that that corner will represent a piece of God's love. Once you have cut off the corner, have the kids count how many corners the paper has now. It has 5!! 

    So, even though you took some of God's love out, it grew more!!! 

    Now, cut another corner off and give that part of God's love away to someone. Count the corners again. There are now 6!!!

    You can continue this to the next couple of corners to make sure the children understand what you are doing.

    The more we give God's love away or 'show God's love' the more his love grows in others!! Sometimes, people may not want your kindness, but give it anyway! 

    Here is a reminder craft about God's love being inside of us and how we need to let his light shine:

    God lets each of us choose whether or not we will give his love to others or hold it in. God never makes us do anything. So, when the time comes and you have the choice to do an act of love, like in the video, do it! Don't hesitate because if you don't show an act of love, God's love won't grow through you. 

    Be the door that God's love can walk through!! Just like the song above!!!

    If you'd like another activity for your kids, here is a free crossword puzzle centered around The Good Samaritan. 


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