As a family, take a trip to observe a few sessions of small claims court at your local court house.
Matthew 12:36, 37 But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.
Matthew 12:34 For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. (NIV)
1 Samuel 16:7 Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.(NIV)
Scripture study time:
(Have each member describe what they found interesting about the courtroom and proceedings.) Could you tell who was guilty or innocent? (Have one member explain why they couldn’t tell if a person was innocent or not.) Who knows who is actually innocent or guilty? (Allow response.) God knows. How does God know? (Have a family member read 1 Samuel 16:7.) God knows because He can see a person’s heart. He knows even if a person is guilty of thinking wrong thoughts. But God also tells us how we can know what a person is like on the inside.
(Have a family member read Matthew 12:34.) How can we tell what a person’s heart is like? (Allow response.) We can tell by what he or she says, how they talk. (Have the family discuss what the courtroom would be like if no one could talk.) It would be very difficult for a jury or judge to decide who was right and who was wrong if no one could talk. In many court cases, the very words people use determine whether or not the judge thinks they are guilty. God tells us that the words we use will also determine whether we are found innocent or guilty. (Have a family member read Matthew 12:36,37.)
God knows our hearts. If we keep our hearts right before God, then it will show through the words we use and how we talk. If it is easier for a person to praise God than to say something hateful, you can be sure that that person is trying to keep his heart right before God. If it is easier for someone to curse, be hateful, or tell crude jokes, then that person is not trying very hard to please God and doesn’t care about a right heart. Let’s determine that, by our words, people will be able to tell that we love God. (Pray for God to help your family have right hearts, ones that care what God thinks. Commit to pleasing Him with the words you use and the way you talk.)
This lesson is the same style as those provided in the Family Time Can Be Fun Ebook.
Copyright © 1995-1999 by Alisa J. Linn
Children’s Ministry Today