What’s the Difference?


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Bible Reading: Romans 13:13-14

We should be decent and true in everything we do, so that everyone can approve of our behavior.   Romans 13:13

Tom, 11, stands several inches shorter than everyone else in his class. He’s always trying to prove he’s as big as the other guys. His latest strategy? Acting tough by screaming and cussing his way through every sport he plays.

Chloe, 8, thinks she’s dumb. So she almost always copies assignments from her brainy friend, Akiko, who gladly shares her work.

Travis, 9, has a wild temper. He settles arguments by swinging his fists around and inflicting pain.

Leah, 15, has made enemies out of most of her friends. She’s known as “The Blab” because she tells the nastiest stories about people—true or not, she doesn’t care.

Juan, 10, was lonely after his family moved from Mexico to California. But his new buddies have shown him how to sniff stuff to get high.

Talk about it: From what you just read, how many of these students are Christians? Any of them? Some of them? Most of them? All of them? Can you tell?

Here’s another important piece of information to help you answer this question: All of these students attend church and belong to a Bible-club group.

So what do you think now? Which of them are Christians?

Actually, all of them trusted Christ at some point in their lives.

Are you surprised? shocked?

True, how these boys and girls are acting doesn’t fit how the Bible says a Christian should live. But we’re made right with God by trusting Christ, not by behaving well. Still, you have to wonder about these students. They’re supposed to show the world what Christ looks like, but they don’t look much like Christ, do they?

That’s the point Paul made in today’s Bible passage. Even though being God’s child depends on faith—not behavior—there should be a difference in how God’s children act. Just as Christ lived in obedience to his Father when he walked this earth, we’re called to obey God too.

Jesus came to earth in human flesh to show us how to live, and he came to die for our sin. That’s called the Incarnation—God alive in human form. Jesus has risen from the dead and returned to heaven, so now he wants to live through you. That’s another kind of incarnation—God alive in us. He wants to show the world through us the huge difference he can make.

TALK: Isn’t it cool Jesus wants to live through you? Will you let him?

PRAY: Talk to God about your answer to that question.

ACT: What can you do today so people can see a difference in your life because you belong to Jesus?


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