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Jesus came to make friends with us, even when we don't deserve it.
Hey kids! Today we’re on Week 4 of our Get Rich series from the book of Ephesians. So far we’ve learned some important ways we can be rich in God’s love. When we trust in Jesus, we are adopted into God’s family. There are a lot of cool perks to being one of God’s kids. We also have learned that getting to know God more makes us love him more and that we can’t brag about anything God gives us. God is the best gift giver because he loves us, not because we’ve somehow earned it. Today we’re going to talk about how to be rich in “Peace”.
Peace means you make ________, not _________
Think about your brother or sister. Do you remember those times when you’re getting along and sharing your toys and your bag of candy? (Does that ever happen?!) Those times are called times of peace. You’re acting like friends, not enemies! Your parents love those moments, and so does God.
But then, of course, you have those other times when you’re not at peace. You’re yelling at each other. You’re stealing each other’s stuff. You’re wrestling with each other. Maybe a punch in the arm. Or a pile-drive to the gut. (I hope you don’t ever do that!)
Which one is better: war or peace? That’s an easy one! Peace.
Do you remember how he did that? Jesus made friends with us by dying on the cross for our sins! Jesus didn’t have to do that. It took a lot of love and sacrifice for Jesus to leave heaven and come down to earth and live in this dirty world and die on the cross. But he did it.
And because he did, we can have a good relationship with God. Anyone who invites Jesus into his or her heart can be best friends with God. Everything changes in our “upward” relationship, thanks to Jesus!
But that means something else, too.
We should make peace with ________
That’s actually what our Bible verse in Ephesians is talking about. A long time ago, the church had two main groups of people: the Jews and the Gentiles. Jews felt special because they were God’s people in the Old Testament. Gentiles sometimes felt left out because they didn’t know as much about God. So the church started to look like a football field, with two sides fighting against each other and trying to beat the other team.
But Ephesians says there’s only one team: Team Jesus. Because of Jesus, everyone is on the same side. Let’s look at our verse again:
“Peace to us.” Not just to us and God. But to us and others. Being a Christian means you make friends, not enemies. At church with other kids. At school with the kids you like… and even the kids you don’t like. You don’t have to be best friends with everyone, but you should make friends with anyone. You should make peace! That’s how Jesus lived.
Remember: even when we didn’t deserve it, Jesus came to us to make friends. Can you think of someone at home or school that you need to make friends with? Will you be brave enough to do it this week?