Theme: God's justice, mercy, and grace.
1. Titus 3:4-5 says that God showed kindness and love, and so he saved us “because of his mercy”. Think about a time when you experienced mercy because of kindness and love.
2. In John 3:1-21 Jesus had a conversation with Nicodemus who was a Pharisee and a Jewish leader. Nicodemus wondered how he could get to heaven. Jesus told him that “God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die” John 3:16. Nicodemus learned that he was saved because of God’s kindness, love and mercy. As you listen to this episode, think about God’s love for this world.
“But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy”
A: They paid the bill even though it was wrong; they gave her a tip even though she didn't deserve it; and they tried to give her extra money to pay for her children’s medicine .
A: To figure out the difference between mercy, grace, and justice.
A: Grandpa pointed out to them that they actually had the answers in their encounter with Marge: while justice would demand that they point out Marge's error on their bill, they choose to pay it anyway (mercy) and to give her a gift of money besides (grace).
In this episode, Liz learns the difference between grace, mercy and justice the hard way. We need to remember that God rescued us! We are forgiven because of God's mercy. What does God's mercy have to do with the way we treat others? Everything!
Jesus told a story in Matthew 18:21-35 to make sure that we really understand this. In the story, a servant owed the king a very large amount of money. The king demanded the money back. The servant begged for forgiveness, so the king showed mercy and forgave his debt! But as the servant left the palace, he found his friend who owed him a small amount of money. The servant demanded his money back. But his friend couldn’t pay. So the servant got the police to put his friend in jail! When the king found out, he was furious. He demanded everything back from the servant. And the servant lost everything he had.
In this story, God is the king and we are the servants. God will treat us the way we treat others. If we take God's love and share it with people around us, God will bless us with even more. But if we take God's forgiveness for ourselves and then are unforgiving to others, God will reject us. Get it? Good!
Do you know the song "Amazing Grace"? It was written by John Newton, a man who used to be a slave trader. He literally bought and sold human beings. Does this sound like someone who deserves grace? The fact of the matter is, none of us deserve grace—that's why it's amazing! Listen and sing along with the song "Amazing Grace" and imagine it is being sung by someone who used to be a slave trader. Now sing it again for yourself. Grace is amazing! Give your family and friends some grace today!
Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.
’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.
Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.
When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.