Deciding that someone who has wronged you doesn't have to pay
W E E K 1
We start the month with an interesting moment from Jesus’
life, found in Luke 7:36-50. We find Jesus at the home of a Pharisee. While Jesus was
there, a woman with a bad reputation stopped by with an expensive jar of
perfume. She cried and used her tears to wash Jesus’ feet, then anointed them
with perfume. The Pharisee was upset that Jesus would let a woman like this
near him. Jesus responded with a parable to explain why this woman had honored
Him so much. She understood something about forgiveness that the Pharisees
Bottom Line: Everyone
needs forgiveness. We can’t escape it. At some point, even
if what we did was unintentional, we’ll hurt someone we know. We’ll need to
apologize, and hopefully, we’ll receive that person’s forgiveness. As much as
others need forgiveness, we need it too. When we have this perspective, it
levels the playing field. We get the chance to participate in offering
forgiveness that can make things right with others. Because we need
forgiveness, we should be willing to forgive people in our lives too.
W E E K 2
In week 2, we find Jesus interacting with an unexpected
person in Luke 19:1-10: Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus was a tax collector working for Rome.
He earned a reputation for taking advantage of his fellow Jewish people.
Zacchaeus was considered an outcast by many, so he must have been shocked when
Jesus asked to come over to his home for a meal. When Zacchaeus encountered
Jesus, he changed. He went back to the people he had cheated and returned four
times as much money as he took from them.
Bottom Line: When
you forgive others, it can change them. When God
forgives us, it changes us from the inside out. The same can be true when you
forgive others. You never know what can happen when you take the first step
toward forgiveness. When you decide to reach out and offer forgiveness, it can
change the way the other person sees you, the situation, and the impact of
W E E K 3
In week 3, we discover one of Jesus’ parables recorded for
us in Matthew 18:21-35. Jesus told this parable because Peter asked a question
about forgiveness. Peter might have thought he was doing pretty well to say
he’d forgive someone seven times, but Jesus raised the stakes and said we ought
to forgive others even more. Jesus showed what this meant with a parable about
a servant who was shown incredible forgiveness, yet wouldn’t offer forgiveness
to someone else.
Bottom Line: Forgive
others because God forgives you. God’s
love for us is huge. That love drives God to forgive us when we do something
wrong. God can help us to forgive people in our life too. When we realize how
much God has forgiven us, we can turn around and forgive people who might hurt
us. This might be difficult, but God can give us the help we need to love
others and show forgiveness.
W E E K 4
We end the month in Luke
15:11-32, when Jesus shared a parable to help
people understand God’s amazing grace and forgiveness. A son came to his father
and asked for his share of the inheritance. This broke the father’s heart, but
he went ahead and gave the son what he wanted. The son wasted all of the money
and hit rock bottom. That’s when he decided to go home to his father and ask
for forgiveness. The father welcomed him home with open arms and threw a giant
party for him. His older brother, on the other hand, chose not to forgive and
became angry with his brother. He not only missed out on a party, but he also
missed out on rebuilding a relationship with his brother.
Bottom Line: God will always forgive you. Jesus’ parable is such an amazing reminder of God’s love.
God’s grace and forgiveness is so deep and wide. When we come to God and ask
for forgiveness, God is there waiting with open arms, offering unfailing love
that restores the relationship we’ve broken. This is all possible because of
Jesus. We pray that every kid understands what Jesus did for them and trusts
God with their whole life.