Welcome! I’m so glad you are here today!
As we get started, I have a few questions for you. To answer, you will hold up one finger if you are first. If you are second, hold up two fingers. Ready?
- All your friends are on the playground, deciding what to play. Are you thinking about what you want to play? Or about what your friends want to play? Are you first? Or are you second?
- Mom is making dinner. You are playing a video game and have unlocked a higher level than ever! Mom says, “Come, help me unload the dishwasher.” Do you think first about what you want to do? Or about what Mom wants? Are you first? Or are you second?
- Other kids in your class are saying mean things about a new student. She is standing all by herself. If you walk over and say hi, others may say mean things to you, too. So do you think of yourself first or about the new kid? Are you first? Or are you second?
Those were hard questions, weren’t they? Most times, we want to be first. We want to be first in line, first to choose, first to play. Being first is fun, and it’s not always wrong. It’s fun to be first sometimes. But as we grow closer to Jesus, we learn that Jesus put us first. And we learn that by putting others first, we grow more like Jesus. We learn that letting others be first brings us joy.
When did Jesus put you first? (Let volunteers answer.) Those are all good answers!
This time of year, especially, Christians help each other remember the biggest, best, most awesome way Jesus put us first—by suffering and dying for us. Jesus let himself be punished for our sins in our place. He suffered and died for all the selfish things we have done, all the mean things we have said, and all the unkind things we have thought.
Jesus is our Savior. In love, he put us first. There is a word for that: humility. Can you say that with me? (Repeat the word several times together.) Jesus showed humility in putting us first, suffering and dying for us.
Jesus did not stay dead, though. He rose from the dead and will never die again. (Hold up two fingers in a V.) What letter is this? Yes, number 2 is also V for Victory. Jesus died and rose again in victory! One day, he will come again. He will take everyone who believes in him to live with him with the family of God in heaven. He is getting that home ready for you right now! He is still putting you first!
The Bible says this. (Read Acts 15:11, perhaps from a children’s Bible.)
Because Jesus put us first, we can be second. We can act in humility and kindness toward others:
- We can let others decide what game to play.
- We can help Mom or Dad or Grandpa, even if we would rather keep on playing a video game.
- We can stand up for that new kid or that kid others like to tease.
In humility, Jesus put us first, dying and rising again in victory for us. So in humility, we can put others first; we can be second—and victorious. (Hold up a two-fingered V.)
Let’s pray: Dear Jesus, in humility, you put us first. You suffered, died, and rose again for us! Thank you so much, dear Jesus! Teach us to put others first. Teach us to find joy in being second. We love you, Jesus. Amen.
Editor’s note: Are you busy planning your Easter classes and events? Do you want to spend less time planning and more time interacting with the kids? Six weeks before Easter Sunday, use this devotion and send home CTA’s brand-new children’s Easter resources! There are countdown to Easter activities, sticker books, games, and much more!
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