After Jesus rose from the dead, He spent 40 more days proving that He is alive and preparing His followers to continue His mission after He returned to heaven to be with His Father. In Unit 27, kids will study the time between Jesus’ resurrection and His ascension.
Session 6 presents the story “A Song of Thanksgiving” from Isaiah 12. Picture the reality of your salvation: Imagine standing as a defendant in a courtroom. You’ve been justly found guilty of a crime and the penalty is death. But rather than ordering law enforcement to lead you away to be executed, the judge gets up and takes your place. He takes your punishment upon himself, declaring your innocence and allowing you to walk free. How would you respond?
This is essentially what Jesus does for sinners who trust in Him. God is the judge, and rather than sentencing us to death like we deserve, the Father sent His Son to take our place. That is mercy and grace. So how should we respond?
Look at how Moses and the Israelites responded when God rescued them from Egypt and led them across the Red Sea. Exodus 15 describes their song. They praise the Lord and tell what He has done for them. This same attitude of thankfulness—the proper response to the good news of the gospel—is described in the Old Testament by the prophet Isaiah.
Isaiah had a vision of God’s grace toward sinners, and he describes in Isaiah 12 the song we will sing to the Lord. We will praise God for His mercy and compassion (Isa. 12:1-2), thank Him for keeping His promise to save us (vv. 3-4), and tell of His glory and greatness among the nations (vv. 5-6).
Once we experience salvation, we don’t sit back and cruise through the Christian life. Salvation is a call to action. Out of thankfulness for the Lord, we can love others like Jesus (1 John 4:10-12) and share with the world the good news of the gospel (Matt. 28:19-20; John 14:15). Guide kids to recognize that every good gift comes from God (Jas. 1:17), and God’s greatest gift to us is His own Son, Jesus. With hearts of gratitude, praise and worship the Lord together.
Experiencing God’s truth changes our thoughts and desires, leading to a change in actions. How might a heart of thanksgiving change how you respond to God and others? Leave a comment below.
Here is more help for leaders preparing for the November 26, 2017 session (Unit 27, Session 6) of The Gospel Project for Kids.
Alyssa Jones has been a content editor for The Gospel Project for Kids since 2011. She lives with her husband, Nate, and their two kids in Nashville, TN. Alyssa volunteers with the kids’ ministry at Refuge Church, a church plant in Franklin, TN.