Saturday, August 8, 2020

Forgiveness


Ready:

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.* Matthew 18:21-22 (NIV)

Set:

Tell me what a pencil looks like. They can be long, short, different colors, etc. What do they all have in common on the end? An eraser. If you have a pencil with a worn down eraser, what does that tell you? Do you know what that tells me? It tells me that I make a lot of mistakes. When I make a mistake, I erase it and start over, and over again, until I get it right! I don't know why I keep pencils without erasers, because as many mistakes as I make, a pencil without an eraser is pretty useless.

Pencils remind me of people. People come in all different sizes, shapes, and colors too, but we all have one thing in common, we all make mistakes! We make a lot of mistakes. That is why God sent Jesus to die on the cross -- to erase our mistakes. When we do something wrong, we can ask God to forgive us and because of Jesus, He will erase our mistakes and we can start over again, and again, and again. Unlike these pencils, God's eraser never wears out!

Just as God forgives us over and over again. Jesus taught us that we should forgive other people over and over again.

One day, Peter asked Jesus, "How many times should I forgive someone who sins against me? Should I forgive him seven times?" I imagine that Peter was pretty proud of himself for being willing to forgive someone seven times.

Jesus answered, "Not seven times, but seventy times seven times!"

I think Jesus knew that if he said we should forgive seventy times seven times, we would never be able to keep count and we would forgive over, and over again, just as he forgives us.

It doesn't matter if we are short or tall, skinny or fat, red, white, yellow, or black; we all need God's forgiveness. We also need to remember that Jesus taught that we are to forgive others just as God forgives us.

Go: Think about someone you need to forgive.


Teamwork



 Ready: We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. Romans 12:6-8 (NIV)

Set: You have probably heard someone call another person who has done something foolish, "A silly goose!" Well, I can tell you that geese are not silly! We can learn a lot from the goose. For example, I am sure that most of you probably know that when geese fly, they fly in a "V" formation. Have you ever wondered why the geese fly in a "V" formation? Recent scientific studies have given us the answer. It has been learned that as each goose flaps its wings, it gives a lift to the one immediately following. It has been determined that flying this way gives the geese about 70% more flying range. Of course, that means that the lead goose is working harder. When the lead goose gets tired, he falls back into the formation and another takes his place. Now, that's team work! If you have ever seen a flock of geese flying, you have also noticed that all the time they are flying, the geese are "honking." They do this to encourage one another. It is always easier to do something difficult when you know you aren't flying alone, isn't it? Sometimes, a goose becomes sick or is injured and falls to the ground. When that happens, two other geese go down and stay with it until it is well. If it dies, they join another formation and continue on their journey. Do you think the geese are silly? It sounds to me like they are pretty smart! What lessons do you think we could learn from the geese? We could learn that it is important for all church members to share the responsibility within the church rather than letting the same loyal ones work until they drop! We could learn that it is important to "honk" encouragement to other workers in the church. We could learn that it is important for us to look after those who are sick or in need. There is a lot that we can learn from the goose, isn't there?

Go:

How can we show teamwork in life?