The “Trail Guide” devotional is used by our adult leaders of grade school groups in Quest as a way to prepare their hearts and minds for the topics we will be covering with the children on the weekend. We have made them available here to help our parents of grade-schoolers engage with their children around the topics we are discussing and also for anyone else that might be blessed by following along.
EXTREME MAKEOVER, Unit 2, Section 3, Lesson 2: The Weightier Matters of the Law
“You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.” – Jesus the Christ
Think back to your days on the school yard. What was the law of the jungle? The weak kid, the overweight kid, the kid dressed poorly, the different kid, was ignored (at best) and in many cases the object of abuse. If you’re like me, you might be feeling some shame right now as you think back on those times. Good. Now let’s help our children be “other than” when it comes to their treatment of the defenseless and needy.
What is one sign of a life surrendered to Christ? That we more and more reflect His love for mercy and justice in our every day lives. This is something so real to the children we minister to. They don’t need to stretch their imaginations to picture this. They live it. And for a child it’s more out in the open and obvious. We adults have learned to mask it.
Every child of God should be a minister of mercy and justice. This should be reflected in the friends we keep, the way we spend God’s money, the way we spend the hours God has blessed us with, and the way we use the spiritual gifts and talents that we have been given.
Giving from a distance doesn’t cut it. It’s not the way Jesus worked and it’s not the way His body, the church should work either. We are called to personally stand up for the defenseless, care for the needy, the orphan, the widow, the oppressed. This starts in our family, moves into our family the church, and then to the world around us. Through the empowering of the Holy Spirit, this should be the hallmark of our lives. If it is not then God says we can keep the rest (Amos 5:23-24).
“The key to evaluating any individual church or nation in terms of its use of material possessions (personally, collectively or institutionally) is how well it takes care of the poor and powerless in its midst, that is, its cultural equivalents to the fatherless, widow and alien…People always take priority over prosperity.” - Craig Blomberg
IMITATE GOD – DEFEND THE DEFENSELESS AND THOSE IN NEED. “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 5:16
MEDITATING ON THE WORD:
James 1:27 | Amos 5:15
Ps 82:3 | Zechariah 7:9
Matt 23:23 | Ex 22:21-22