Rejoice in Good
What gets you excited? Do your kids see you go wild when a ball team wins a game? Do you get beside yourself over going on vacation? Do you flip your lid over getting a bonus at work? Or do you jump out of your La-Z-Boy and shout for joy that your pastor has scheduled two extra nights of church this week?
It’s all too easy for us to get carried away with the cares of this life and give our sons and daughters a wrong impression. If they see us get more excited about money than we do about God, what master will they serve when they get older?
What if my kids see me scurry in ecstatic anticipation for a camping trip but grumble about going to prayer meeting? How will they turn out if dad pushes everything out of his schedule to have a movie night but lets a sore shoulder keep him out of church?
Do I get as excited about someone’s miraculous healing as I do about my candidate getting elected? Do you rejoice when someone gets the Holy Ghost as much as you do when you get a pay raise? Are you as happy about your co-worker coming to church as you were about getting your new truck?
The Right Choice
“My name’s Rusty.” He was standing with a new acquaintance in the foyer of his family’s church.
“I’m Kurt,” the new boy said.
“Is this the first time you’ve been to our church?” Rusty asked.
“Yeah, we just moved here a week ago. We used to go to Life Tabernacle, back where we used to live.”
“Is that your brother?” Rusty asked, looking at the boy playing with a yo-yo.
“Yep. I’m stuck with him.”
“You guys will really like our kids’ church on Sunday mornings. Sis. Johnson is the best.”
“Is it funny? Do you get snacks?”
“We do lots of stuff. But she tells really good Bible stories, and she and her son do puppets sometimes.”
“At my old church we had pizza in class once.”
“I like pizza,” Rusty said.
“You want to hear a joke?”
“Yeah, I like jokes,” Rusty smiled.
Kurt said, “Okay, so there’s this guy that goes on vacation to Texas. So he goes to eat at the restaurant connected to his hotel. He orders a steak and iced tea. When the waitress comes out with his drink, it is a huge glass that almost looks like a pitcher. The guy says, ‘Wow, that is a huge glass of tea!’ And do you know that the waitress says?”
Rusty shook his head.
“She says, ‘Well, everything’s big in Texas.’ So, a little bit later she comes back with his steak. It’s so big that it’s hanging over the edge of the plate. He says ‘Wow! That steak is huge!’ She says, ‘Everything’s big in Texas!’ So he eats the whole steak. When he’s done he says, ‘Can you tell me where the bathroom is?’ The waitress says, ‘Down the hall, to the left.’ So, he goes down the hall, but he forgets and takes a right. He opens the door and falls right into the swimming pool. Suddenly he yells ‘Don’t flush!’”
Rusty thought for a second and then started laughing. “That’s funny!”
Kurt’s little brother came up and said, “Hey, I’ve got a joke.”
“Okay, what is it?” Rusty asked.
“Who’s there?” Rusty asked.
“Atch? Atch who?”
“Ha! You sneezed! Ha, ha, ha-ha!”
Service was about to begin, and Rusty saw his parents heading into the sanctuary. Kurt said, “Hey, Rusty, why don’t you come sit with us?”
Rusty said, “Let me ask my dad.” He went and asked, and came back smiling. “He said I could sit with you as long as you guys were sitting toward the front and not the back.”
Kurt looked at his mom, who shrugged saying, “Yeah, I guess.” They went into the sanctuary together and found a seat.
When the singing started Rusty joined in with the congregation, but he noticed that Kurt didn’t sing much and that his little brother looked at a book all through song service.
The youth pastor was preaching that night, Rusty enjoyed hearing him talk. He was preaching about being thankful. While the preacher talked about Jesus healing some men that had leprosy, Rusty noticed that Kurt had made a paper airplane. He tried to not be distracted by his new friend’s behavior, but he saw Kurt scoot the airplane across the pew to his brother. His brother lightly tossed the plane, but it swooped up over the back of the pew and landed by someone behind them.
Rusty tried to focus on the preacher as he told about the sick men going to see the priest. Then he noticed that Kurt had a drinking straw in his mouth. The preacher told how one man came back after he found out that he had been healed of his disease. Rusty saw Kurt point the straw at his little brother and shoot him with a spit wad. The preacher told how the healed man ran back to Jesus and fell down at His feet to say—
Rusty looked down at the spit wad that had stuck to his arm. Kurt and his brother doubled over, snickering. Rusty wiped the slimy spitball off on the pew. He looked up and saw Mom glancing back to see what the commotion was. Rusty glanced back over at Kurt, who was reloading his straw with another chewed up wad of paper.
Rusty stood up quietly and walked up to where his parents were sitting. He slipped in beside his dad to listen to the rest of the sermon about the man who was thankful.
Why did Rusty move to sit near his parents?
He didn’t want to be distracted from hearing the sermon.
Was it rude for Rusty to leave his new friends?
Do you think his parents were glad he got up without being told?
What would have happened if he’d stayed?
He probably would have gotten in trouble with the two boys.
The Bibles speaks against those who “rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked” (Proverbs 2:14). Have you ever seen kids delight in wickedness?
Teenagers spraying graffiti, bullies picking on a little kid, or students laughing about pulling a prank on a teacher.
What is the memory verse for this week? How did Rusty illustrate this scripture?
Have you ever done something like Rusty did?
Happy for the Wrong Reason
Luke 22:1-13, King James Version
Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover. And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him; for they feared the people.
Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve. And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them. And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money. And he promised, and sought opportunity to betray him unto them in the absence of the multitude.
Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed. And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat.
And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare?
And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in. And ye shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? And he shall shew you a large upper room furnished: there make ready.
And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover.
What’s our memory verse? What is iniquity?
Lawlessness. It’s is not accidental, but intentional sin.
Who disobeyed the first part of this verse?
The priests rejoiced in iniquity (“they were glad”) about capturing Jesus.
Who obeyed the second part of our memory verse?
Peter and John obeyed Jesus (the truth) and His prophetic word about who they would see.
How does God feel about people who do bad things? How should we feel?
Role play: Your friend pulls a chair out from under someone as he is sitting down. What do you do?
Your friends are talking after church while people are still praying. What should you do?