Salt & Light
As parents, I’m sure you’ve asked the question one time in your life, “What am I here?” or “What am I am I going to be when I grow up?” No matter how you go about it, the thing that it always comes back to is purpose. What is our purpose in life? As your middle-schoolers are enjoying life playing Minecraft or getting ready for school, know too that they are starting to ask that same exact question, “What is my purpose?”
In this week’s message, we’re jumping into Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and sharing with our kids that our number one purpose in life and why God created is to glorify Him by being salt and light.
The Point – Our purpose in life is to glorify God by being salt and light.
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:13-16 )
In the previous series, we shared with our kids how God’s Word teaches us how to navigate through pain when others hurt us. Often when we dwell on our hurt, our pain can lead to bitterness, and maybe even to anger. Almost all the time, when we don’t forgive or respond the way God desires, we can end up hurting other people too. Jesus has much to say about how serious anger is and how our kids should respond when they feel that way. God desires his children to live in peace. In this week’s lesson, we’re sharing with our kids how serious holding grudges is and how they ought to respond God’s way when they feel angry towards others.
The Point – God desires peace for all of us, so let’s not carry anger or grudges.
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment.” (Matthew 5:21-22)
A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1)
If you’ve ever watched fantasy movies, you may notice how knights always stand on guard protecting the castle. They’re making sure that the most valuable thing hidden within the castle is guarded from invaders. When it comes to us, the most valuable thing that all of us have are our hearts. So, we need to guard it from invaders. We can easily become like that fly that gets enamored by that light until we get too close and get shocked. That’s what temptation can do for our kids. In this week lesson, Jesus uses a vivid image of how serious we should guard our hearts from temptation because he desires what is best for his kids.
The Point – When you are faced with temptation, guard your heart.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (Proverbs 4:23)
And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose on of your members than that your whole body fall into sin. (Matthew 5:30)
Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18)
How many times have we disappointed others because we’ve given others false expectations. We’ve promised that we would accomplish this responsibility or this chore, but we end up not finishing. What God desires for everyone including our kids is to be honest and to not think to highly of ourselves by making promises we can’t keep. Ultimately, that’s what Jesus is saying in this week on the Sermon on the Mount. God is the one who is in control and when we make promises we can’t keep, we are saying that we are in control. He wants us our kids to be good stewards, so that when they say they’re doing their homework, washing dishing, or any other responsibility, they are doing it for God’s glory.
The Point – Let’s be truthful to our promises because God is in control.