Each day in November, the Everyday Truth blog is looking at a different name for God and providing a family devotional for you to use with your kids. The goal is to keep our hearts focused on giving thanks to God during the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving.
If you do something wrong and your parents find out, what happens? You probably receive some type of punishment, right? What would you think if your parents didn't punish you when you did something wrong? Would you think there was something wrong with them?
Usually when we do something wrong, there are consequences. If you didn't do your chores, you might lose your allowance. If you hit your sibling, you might get sent to time out or lose video-game playing privileges for a while. If you break the neighbor's window, you might have to pay for it.
The Bible tells us that the consequence for sin is death. It's not talking about being struck dead on the spot when we sin (there would be no one left in the world). The death that the Bible is talking about is an eternal death that keeps us separated from God forever.
But, God is a God of mercy. In Ephesians 2:4-5, Paul says "But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved." God doesn't make us pay the price for our sin. He sent Jesus to do that for us.
Jesus took our place on the cross, so that we could have a relationship with God. He showed us mercy so that we would not have to pay the debt that we owed because of our sin.
Think of a time in your life when someone showed you mercy -- a time when you didn't get what you deserved. How did it make you feel? Did you feel thankful?
God's great mercy should be a reason for us to feel joyful and thankful. Who do you know that would sacrifice their son so that they can show you mercy? That's what God did. Jesus' sacrifice should give us a sense of peace, joy and thanksgiving.
On your thankfulness leaves today, write down how knowing God is a God of mercy -- that He doesn't give us what we deserve -- makes you feel. Write down the reasons you are thankful for God's mercy.
Pray together and thank God for being a God of mercy. As you go throughout your day, look for ways you can model your behavior after God's and how you can show mercy to others.