Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. – Ephesians 5:1-2
We were created for a purpose—to follow God’s example and walk in the way of love as sons and daughters of God. As we walk in this way, God grows us in wisdom. Just like children who start out making a lot of mistakes, we will fumble and fail, but as we stick by Him, He tunes our minds and spirits to His very own. As we learn more of how God works, we learn how to do our work in His strength. His strength endures on our behalf through the hardest times and produces joy and thanksgiving in us. When we allow Him to work through us, we have new eyes to see His beautiful Kingdom and to love deeper.
Saint Augustine once said, “a Christian is: a mind through which Christ thinks, a heart through which Christ loves, a voice through which Christ speaks, and a hand through which Christ helps.” When we trust God, we allow His Spirit to think, love, speak, and help through us. And as Christians, that’s where we learn who we really are. We learn as a child learns, day after day with our loving Father.
Wouldn’t it be great if we experienced that beautiful picture of growing in the Lord and never ran into bumps in the road? But, like kids do, we fall down. Getting hurt or not getting our way sometimes seems like the end of the world. But even when we’re down on the ground crying (figuratively or literally!), the truth is still true… we are children of the King, destined for great power and great responsibility. We have the honor of “walking in the way of love” with Love Himself. As we learn more about who we are in Christ this week, let’s keep this reminder of hope before us.
Research: Where’s the Need?
At the end of this week, we’re going to encourage you to do something that makes a tangible difference in your community. Today, as preparation for that, do an internet search together as a family to find statistics about needs in your city, state, country, or the world––anything from information about local homelessness to global sex trafficking. Begin thinking about what pulls at your heart; what need are you most passionate about helping to meet? Make a list of five issues you want to get involved with, starting with what you feel most strongly about.
(Note: Each week has different spiritual content and activities, but the invitation to research and make a difference in your community remains the same. If you’ve already connected with a service opportunity through one of our other weeks, we encourage you to find ways to continue investing there.)
Activity: I Am Who He Says I Am
To kick off this week’s exploration of identity, we want to start by getting our heads on straight. Before we can begin thinking about protecting and preserving others’ identity as children of God, we first need to understand that status for ourselves. Take some time today and choose ten verses from this list of who God says you are. You might have some of these verses memorized already, or you may have to look some up online. After you’ve found them, write each one out on an index card. Keep those cards close for the rest of the week: hang them on your wall, keep them in your pocket, wherever you’ll remember to look at and read them often.