Crossroads: Love

Matthew 1:18-25

Your Story

Talk about a time when you felt love.

My Story and the Bible Story

In the book Love You Forever, both the mother and the son sing these words to each other at different times in their lives: “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living my baby you’ll be.” There are different kinds of love. We love our friends and we love our families. But there’s no stronger love on Earth than a parent’s love for a child. Parents love their children no matter what. Your parents will love you always, and no matter how old you get, you will still be their child. God’s love is like that for us. God is our heavenly parent, and God’s love is stronger than anything else. God created us and loves us no matter what. And God is forever. God never dies. As long as God is there, we are God’s children. This means we are God’s children forever!

One night, when nobody was expecting it, God’s love came down to Earth in the form of a baby.

Read Matthew 1:18-25.

On that dark night in Bethlehem, Jesus was born. His name was also Immanuel, which means “God with us.” God had come to Earth to save God’s people. This happened in the only way possible—the only way that was strong enough. God saved us through love. When Jesus lived on Earth, he taught about God’s love. He showed the people what God’s love looked like. Then, when he died and came back to life, he showed everyone that God’s love is more powerful than anything else. Nothing, not sin and not death, can ever separate us from God’s love. This week, we light the candle of Love. Soon we will celebrate Jesus’ birth, and with Jesus came hope, joy, peace, and love. The greatest of these is love! God showed love for us by coming to Earth, by dying for us, and by defeating sin and death. God was willing to go through the worst thing we can imagine to share this love with us.

God also wants us to share love with others. Love is a feeling, but it’s also a choice. We can choose to share it with others, or we can choose to ignore them. We can choose to forgive others when they are mean to us, or we can choose to hurt them back. We can choose to love people when they seem unlovable, or we can turn away from them. God chooses to love us even when we are unlovable. God chooses to love us no matter what. We have a choice too. We can choose to share God’s love, or we can choose to spread hate. Which will you choose?

Discussion and Prayer

  1. Talk to your kids about the reasons you love them. Share with them that you love them when they do the right thing and when they mess up, that you love them when they get As and when they get Cs, that you love them no matter what.
  2. Talk about ways you can show love to others this week.
  3. As appropriate, discuss what to do when people are mean to us. Sometimes simply showing love only brings us more pain. Help your children know who to talk to when they are experiencing cruelty from someone else. Explain that we can show God’s love by finding help for people who are bullies.
  4. Pray, thanking God for loving us no matter what. Ask for help sharing God’s love with others.

Note: Some children are aware of situations in which parents don’t show love in the way that they should. If your children raise questions, be willing to talk about their concerns. Share how God’s love can be shown to kids in those situations through other people who care about them.

Rev. Jessica Asbell is the Minister to Children and Families at First Baptist Roswell, where she has been serving since 2012. She has written the children’s curriculum for Smyth & Helwys’s Annual Bible Study for the books of Daniel; Ezekiel; Luke; Jonah; 1 Corinthians; 1, 2, 3 John and Jude; Colossians; The Story of Israel’s Ancestors: Living toward a Promise; and Where Faith & Family Meet: A Book of Weekly Devotions. She has also written for CBF’s Spark and Form and for Affect in CBF’s fellowship! magazine. Married to Jonathan Oravec, Jessica reads every chance she gets.

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