Main Idea: This devotion will help your family understand that our love for other Christians shows others that we are true followers of Jesus.
Scripture: Malachi 2:10; John 13:34-35
Supplies: For this F@H Talk you will need a Bible and a way for you to share the picture and watch the linked video with your family.
Use the picture of the Carolina Panthers and Washington Redskins below to help launch into your family devotion. While showing your family the picture, say something like the following:
In every sport, teams have their own team name, colors, and jersey design. This is a picture of the Carolina Panthers and the Washington Redskins. Ask your family the following questions:
Which team’s jersey do you like the best, the Panthers or the Redskins?
Why do you think teams wear different uniforms?
What if the both teams wore the same uniforms?
Say something like,
Teams wear different uniforms so that they know who is on their team and who is not on their team. Teams also wear different uniforms so that the referees and people watching the game can tell who is on which team. It would be hard and confusing for the players, referees, and fans if both teams wore the exact same jerseys.
Matching team jerseys help the quarter back know who to throw the ball to, helps the running back know who to run away from, and helps the defensive players know who to defend and tackle. ASK: But what would happen if teammates tackled each other, blocked each other, fought each other, or gave the ball to the other team on purpose? Allow your family to respond and then watch this video together. After watching the video, discuss the following questions.
How would you feel if you were playing a game and your own team mate tackled you, kept you from scoring, blocked your shot, or stole the ball from you?
Should teammates help each other or play against each other?
God uses the prophet Malachi to remind the people of Israel that they were on the same team. He reminded them all that God was their Father and Creator. Since they all shared God as their Father and Creator, they should be loving each other with their actions and attitudes. The people of Israel, at this time, are not being honest with each other, loyal to each other, and husbands are not being faithful to their wives. This is why Malachi asks the following questions of the Israelites who have returned from Babylon.
Read or have another family member read Malachi 2:10.
Are we not all children of the same Father? Are we not all created by the same God? Then why do we betray each other, violating the covenant of our ancestors? (NLT)
Malachi was reminding them that they were all part of the same team, team Israel. God was their team’s Father and Creator because He brought them out of slavery in Egypt and called them to Himself. The love that God had and continued to show the Israelites as their Father and Creator, should have caused them to want to love Him and each other. Instead they treated one another badly, causing others outside of team Israel to wonder wether or not they were really God’s people.
Love for other believers has always been the uniform for God’s people. Because of God’s special relationship with the Israelites they were to love Him and love each other. Their love for one another was proof to other nations around them that the God of Israel was the one true God. Today, as Christians, we too are able to have a special relationship with God when we believe in Jesus and become His disciple. Jesus told his first disciples that people would know we were His disciples by the way that we loved others who also believed in and followed Him.
Read or have another family member read John 13:34-35
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples. (NLT)
SAY: Jesus told His disciples to love each other the way that He loved them.
Discuss the following:
How do you think Jesus showed that He loved the disciples?
How do you think Jesus shows that He loves you?
What is one way that you can show love to someone at church this Sunday?
Use the following prayer as a guide or read it if you need to, there is no shame in reading the prayer if this whole idea of praying with your family is new to you. As you make it a habit to pray with and in front of your family, you will see the Holy Spirit transform the feelings of awkwardness and fear into comfortability and boldness.
“God we thank you that You are love. We thank You for loving us and showing that You love us by sending Jesus to die on the cross for our sin so that we could be friends with You now and forever. Please forgive us when we are unloving to others who know and love You too. God help us to love others who love You and follow You so the world will know that we are on Your team, so the world will know that we are Your disciples. Amen.”
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16, ESV)
Additional Resources for this F@H Talk:
Corresponding message for this F@H Kids is “Restore Faithfulness to Your Covenant Relationships, Restore Flavor to Your Worship” from Bland, Restoring Flavor to your worship.