“Love your neighbor as yourself.” – Mark 12:31b
Let’s all stand in a circle. We’ll take a ball and toss it around the group. Every time you catch the ball, you have to say one word of today’s Bible verse and then toss the ball to one of your teammates until we say the whole verse a few times. Now, everyone huddle up with your arms around each other, and let’s shout out the whole verse together!
While still in your Huddle, look around at your teammates. Who’s more important? You or them (pause for answers)?
Even though you are on a team, it’s easy to think about yourself first. You want to get better. You want to make big plays. You want to have fun while you play.
But the team is better when everyone is looking for ways to help each other in practice and during games. That means treating our teammates right and putting them first. Find at least two teammates and tell them, “I put you first!”
We’ve already learned that the most important thing we can ever do is love God. So, what is the second most important thing we can do? Jesus tells us it’s to love others!
Find at least two new teammates and tell them, “I love you!”
How do we do that? How do we think we can love others well? Give me some examples (pause for a few answers).
Those are all good answers. But let’s dive into what The Bible says.
The Bible says we love others by showing kindness to others.
Philippians 2:3b says, “Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.”
Remember, when we think of others first or put others first, we’re showing them love. We can do this by making sure our teammates are included in our plays and celebrations if we win or score a point. It’s about not taking all the glory if our team wins or scores a big point.
Secondly, the Bible says we can continue to put others first when we offer our help when they need it.
Romans 12:13a says, “When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them.”
Show of hands, who here has helped your teammate or a friend when they need it? Maybe you’ve helped someone back up if they’ve been knocked on the floor by an opponent. Maybe you’ve helped someone understand a homework assignment. Or, maybe you’ve just helped someone have a better day by being kind or making them laugh.
Turn to your teammate and describe a time when you’ve helped someone. Why did you help that person? How did you feel afterwards (pause for a few minutes for others to discuss)?
Finally, (and most importantly), we show others we love them by telling them about Jesus!
Let’s listen to this verse closely:
Matthew 28:19-20says, “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Part of God’s Game Plan is letting others know about the amazing truths we’ve learned so far. Again, let’s recap:
- You were made on purpose for a purpose.
- You can trust God and His Word.
- God loves you and has sent His son, Jesus to save you.
Let’s focus on that last truth for a moment. God loves us so much that He sent His only son, Jesus Christ, to save us from our sins. He saved us so that we can be a part of His everlasting family. That’s a love that we cannot compare to anything else.
If your friend, neighbor, teammate, or family member doesn’t know this, God calls us to tell others this wonderful truth so that they can also have the opportunity to be a part of God’s family. This is the second action part of God’s Game Plan. God wants us to take action by loving Him and by loving others.
Remember, if we want to show that we love God, we will follow His commandment to love others. And when we do that, we will understand what it means to live out God’s Game Plan for our lives. So, show of hands: who’s ready to take action?
Let’s listen as we close in prayer:
“Dear God, I want to love others better. Help me show kindness, give help, and share Jesus with everyone I can. Amen.”