PRESCHOOL & KINDERGARTEN KIDS & FAMILIES date
Oh, to have the faith of a child, with no fear of rejection .... After all, it is good news! Inspire (for parents) My second daughter gave her life to the Lord when she was just five years old. She was truly impacted by the fact that Jesus sacrificed His life for hers, and that one day she would live with Him and be part of His family. In fact, she became very vigilant about being sure that everyone we came in contact with heard this good news. For several months following her decision, anytime we came in contact with new people she would tug on me and ask, “Mommy, do they know Jesus?” She was not very discreet with her questioning, so many people heard her inquiry. Some would respond with a definite, “Yes, I know Jesus.” Most would just smile, while still others would pretend they didn’t hear what she was asking at all. She didn’t limit her passion to just adults. She made sure all her friends knew they too could be part of God’s family. One day while at the beach, she met some children close to her age. They began playing in the water and building sand castles, exactly what you
would expect from a group of five and six year olds, but then the extraordinary happened. I looked up to find all the children with their eyes closed and my daughter leading them in a prayer. She came running back to me and said, “My new friends know about Jesus and asked Him into their hearts!” Oh, to have the faith of a child, with no fear of rejection. To know and be excited about the Truth and want everyone you come in contact with to hear the same thing. After all, it is good news! by Debbie Guinn
ted Gettinukge 19S:1t–1a0r(Jesus and Zacchaeus)
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Equip (for parents) In Luke 19, a tax collector and notorious sinner named Zacchaeus finds something so compelling about Christ that he sprints ahead of the crowds to climb a tree and watch as Jesus passes. That sort of faith caught Jesus’ eye, and Jesus made plans to stay with him. The city began to grumble and gossip. They were displeased that Jesus would have chosen to stay with someone with such a miserable reputation. Jesus turned to the crowd and said, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” Zacchaeus was on a path toward destruction. In the first century, tax collectors were known as notoriously greedy, corrupt thieves. They often collected fines over what the government required, pocketing the profits for themselves. Yet, when Jesus showed Zacchaeus God’s true, unconditional love, his whole life was changed. The power of God’s love healed his very soul. He willingly responded by giving away half of his goods, repaying those he had cheated, and vowing to change for good. Despite Zacchaeus’s past and dislikable demeanor, God’s love was able to penetrate his soul and transform him from the inside out. Accepting God’s love might have been extremely challenging at times for a man like Zacchaeus. It’s difficult to comprehend how a totally righteous God can love us in the midst of our sin; our minds are not fully able to comprehend such love. Therefore, His love can feel almost uncomfortable to us because it is pure grace. We aren’t accustomed to receiving grace-love, because in our world we often live by standards where love must be earned. However, it is grace-love that is truly transformational and leads us to new life.
I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13 (NLT)
Support (for parents & kids) Sometime this week, read with your child the biblical account of Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1– 10. Pray together as a family that your children will better understand Jesus’ love and desire to have everyone be part of His family. After reading, ask your child to tell you his favorite part of this passage and share with him yours as well. Just for fun, go outside and read this story together under a tree. Give your child a fresh perspective; if possible, assist your child in climbing to a low branch and hold him there so he can see from a higher view (or hoist him onto your shoulders). Ask him what he would do if he knew Jesus was coming to town. When you’re finished, share with your children that what they just heard is a part of The Big God Story in the Bible, and they’ll hear it in church. Close your time by praying and thanking God that He wants everyone to be part of His family.
© 2011 David C Cook. TruResources are developed in partnership with ROCKHARBOR Church and a national network of family and children’s ministry leaders. All rights reserved.