Yesterday during children's church (k-4th) our kids heard a story about Old Man Cary, a grumpy neighbor who promised two kids payment for fireworks if they cleaned up his property. We let the kids name the characters while the story was told. Cary was chosen for the grumpy neighbor, followed by Bob and Jamie for the children, and finally Mrs. Schnoodleberry as the mom.
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and filled," without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
Old Man Cary didn't keep his promise, leaving the children in our story devastated. Messages without action...
How many neighbors and friends have heard of this message of hope, but have not witnessed it in person? What devastation does that bring? As adults, do we know our neighbors needs and do we meet them?
We taught the children that what demonstrates love is not only a word or promise, but an act.
And for us, what's one demonstration of your own trust in the love of Jesus? It's simply your love to those who have never received it.
Oh and FYI, the children ended up getting their fireworks in the end. They were given by Bob's mom, Mrs. Schnoodleberry.
"Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord,' and not do what I tell you? 47 Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. 49 But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great."
-Luke 6:46-49 ESV