January 2021 • Week 1
Today’s Bible Story: The Greatest (Greatest Commandment) • Matthew 22:36-40
Monthly Memory Verse: “Suppose you can be trusted with something very little. Then you can also be trusted with something very large.” Luke 16:10a (NIrV)
Life Application: Responsibility—Showing you can be trusted with what is expected of you
Suggested Songs: Our God, Reckless Love, Peace Like a River
Praise & Pray: Sing along with the provided worship videos and Pray. Access Songs Here.
What You Might Pray: “Dear God, please help me today to learn how to show love to you and others as you show love to me. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.”
Read God’s Word Together: Matthew 22:36-40 (Need a kid friendly Bible? Check out our suggestions here.)
Family Devotional and Discussion
What You Do: Watch the complementary video together as a family and discuss today’s question.
What You Discuss: Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love him with all your mind. This is the first and most important commandment. And the second is like it, ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’” (Matthew 22:37-39). Sometimes when it comes to loving people it helps to put yourself in their shoes. Loving God and loving others isn’t just a suggestion, it is our responsibility, we are expected to love. What are things you’re expected to do?”
Here is the song for Pre-K: Thinking Song
Bible Story Review: Open the Bible and read together as a family Matthew 22:36-40
- Who is someone in your world who may need to be shown love? (Allow kids to respond.)
- How many rules did Jesus pick as the most important? (two)
- Why did Jesus pick only two rules out of the 613? (because He said that all of the other rules are based off of those two)
- What are the two rules Jesus picked as the most important? (Love God, Love others / neighbor)
- Who is your neighbor? Matthew 22:38 the Bible says to love your neighbor. Does the Bible mean your actual physical neighbor that lives next door to you? (Your neighbor means any other people / person around you.)
- How can you love God and love others this week? (Allow kids to respond.)
- When doing a task that is boring or that you don’t enjoy doing; such as, helping with laundry or cleaning your room, how does it help to think of ways those tasks are showing love for God or others?
- Can someone love God and not others? Explain.
- Can someone love others and not God? Explain.
- If you do the things that are expected of you but have a bad attitude about it, are you still being responsible? Why or why not?
Pray and Bless Your Family
What You Need: No supplies needed
What You Do: Ask for prayer requests.
- Ask kids to think about someone they love.
- Encourage kids to pray silently for their loved one.
What You Might Pray: “Dear God, we are so thankful for the great responsibility You give us to love. You put Your people and things around us every day and trust us to take care of them. That’s such a big deal! Please help us see the many opportunities we have to [Bottom Line] Love God. Love others. Help us stand up and say yes to the chance to care for others and create a ripple effect of love in the world around us! Pray for prayer requests. Amen”
What You Need: Bible opened to Matthew 22
What You Do: As a family open the Bible to Matthew 22. Read verses 37-39 together.
- Ask a few guiding questions to encourage family members involvement such as: What did Jesus say is the most important commandment? (to love God; with all your heart, mind, soul.) What did He say is like it? (love your neighbor as you love yourself)
- Unpack that loving God with all our heart, soul, and mind means to love God with EVERYTHING we have.
- Emphasize that Jesus said loving others is just as important as loving God, and that when we love others, we also show God that we love HIM!
- Call out scenarios (see below) that are examples of showing love to God or NOT showing love.
- Also add scenarios that are relevant for your kids.
- If the scenario shows love, instruct family members to stand and make a “heart” with their arms by touching their fingertips together over their heads.
- If the scenario DOESN’T show love, instruct family members to sit down.
- You share your cookie with your friend.
- You make your bed even before your mom tells you.
- You sing songs to God.
- When your dad says that it’s time to come inside, you complain and whine.
- You take time to play with your younger sibling.
- You make the wise choice.
- You keep playing your video game after your mom says it’s time to stop.
- You let someone else go first.
- You yell at someone and call them names.
- You say, “I’m sorry.”
- You read your Bible.
- You say, “I love you!”
- Keep interest high by maintaining an engaging presence and varying your pace.
What You Say: “If we want to follow Jesus, we have a responsibility to love God and love others. And you know what? When we love others, we also show God that we love HIM! We can say it this way: [Bottom Line] Love God. Love others. So how can YOU love God and love others this week? (If kids are stuck for ideas, ask prompting questions such as: How could you love your friends? Could you share with them? Could you let them choose first? How could you love your mom and dad? Could you do your chores the first time they ask? Could you give them a hug? How could you love your brother or sister? Could you let them play with you?) Great ideas! So, remember: [Bottom Line] Love God. Love others.”
What You Need: Pillow case or bag, and a variety of items such as: water bottle, marker, notecard, candy book, spoon, ball, etc.
What You Do: Take turns reaching into the bag, choosing an item, guessing what it is (no peeking!), then pulling it out.
- For each object, lead your family in thinking of ways they could use that item to show love to others. For example:
- A water bottle – Kids might suggest giving water to someone who’s thirsty.
- A marker or notecard – Kids suggest writing a note or drawing a picture for a friend or someone who’s sad.
- Candy – Kids suggest sharing with a friend.
- Book – Kids suggest reading to a younger sibling.
- Ball – Kids suggest playing with a sibling or neighbor.
- Spoon – Kids suggest helping make a snack for a sibling or helping cook dinner.
HINT: If kids are stuck for ideas, ask prompting questions to spark their creativity. Encourage as many ideas as possible by saying things like: Great answer! Good thinking! Oh, I hadn’t thought of that! What else?
- Add challenge by pairing two items and guiding kids to think of ways they could use both items to show love.
- If appropriate for your group, lead kids to pantomime each idea.
- When the bag is empty, encourage kids to name ways they could show love with no physical objects. (giving a hug, a smile, a kind word, etc.)
What You Say: “God wants us to use what we have to show love to others. Sometimes we have (hold up each item as you name it) markers, a bottle of water, candy, or a book. Other times, we don’t have anything at all. But no matter what we have or don’t have, we can always show love. (Make It Personal – Tell about a time when you were young and used what you had to show love. It may have been sharing your snack with someone at school, letting someone else choose first, or taking time to play with a sibling when you wanted to do something else.) “You can show love to others, too, even though you’re young. You don’t have to wait for someone else to go first. You can love God by loving others with WHATEVER you have! What are some ways that you can love others this week? (If kids are stuck for ideas, ask prompting questions to activate their creativity: How could you show love to your mom? your stepdad? someone at school?) Great ideas! So remember: [Bottom Line] Love God. Love others.”