Act Justly, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly…Children’s Message on What God Truly Desires
Main Objective: What does God want from us? What kind of offering is good enough for the King of all creation? Kids might at times wonder what it means to be children of the Lord, or what (if anything) we should do or give to Him. This message discusses the concept of offerings and sacrifices rendered to God. The truth is that God does not desire things, but our hearts. We can give Him our love and our actions, but we also know that He loves us and provides for us no matter what.
Law/Gospel Theme: “Act justly, love mercy, walk humbly…” These are powerful and meaningful words, but it’s important not to misinterpret them as a call to somehow earn God’s approval. God wants us to remember that nothing we bring or do can match His strength and power, nor does it need to. “Walking humbly” means recognizing that He does the work. We want to live for Him and serve Him, but we have all we need in Christ.
Optional Materials: Offering basket or plate, money/checks or other material items, pictures of altar
Bible Passage: Micah 6:1-8
Message: Note: As with most messages, the details of how you choose to communicate this are adaptable and should cater to timing as well as to your audience and student needs.
Children’s Sermon Micah 6:1-8 What Does the LORD Require?
Greet children, with an offering plate or basket in hand.
Hello, children of God!
Do you know what this is? Hold up offering plate or basket. That’s right, if you saw this in church, you’d probably recognize it as an offering collection plate. At a lot of churches, people pass these around during a service, and congregation members put money in. Sometimes they might put in cash dollars and coins (hold up examples), or perhaps checks (Hold up checkbook or check examples). But how much should we put into the offering plate? What amount do you think is enough for God? This might sound like a strange question. After all, maybe it depends on how much money you have, or how much you make. Or maybe you should give God something besides money, like a car or a toy or an animal. What does God truly want?
Well, the truth is, God doesn’t just want our money, and really, it would never be “enough” for Him anyway. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t give to the church. Tithing is an important way of furthering the Lord’s ministry and helping others. It’s important to give some of what we have back to the church. But that isn’t the important thing. God doesn’t just want us to give monetary donations. He wants US. He wants our hearts, attitudes, minds, soul, strength. He wants all of who we are. And He wants that because He loves and cares about us, no matter who we are or what we have or what we give.
So how do we do this? And what does it mean? There’s a prophet in the Old Testament named Micah, who talked about this. Micah was thinking about all that God had done for His people of Israel, and was wondering what He might give God. In those days, people would sacrifice animals as offerings back to God, a lot of times. Or sometimes they’d give things like oil or money. Micah was considering what could be good enough to sacrifice to the most high God. He realized that what God really required was different than those types of sacrifices. God wants us to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with Him. That’s what Isaiah concluded.
What does this mean? Well, acting justly means caring about what is fair, and wanting the best for others. Loving mercy (or as some translations put it, loving kindness) means understanding and recognizing that God has given us great mercy, and all that we have is given to us freely and without us being deserving of it. We can appreciate and value that, and we can also work to show mercy and kindness to other people. And walking humbly with God means that we live daily in His presence, and we realize all of who we are an all of what we have comes from Him. Even though these things might seem like actions that we have to “do”, being humble is recognizing that nothing comes on our own strength and power. We can only live because of God’s strength and power. Walking with God is knowing that He is in charge and Holy. And that’s a wonderful thing! We would mess up a lot if we tried to do everything on our own. But God takes care of it for us. And He gives us all that we need. We don’t have to worry about making sacrifices or special offerings, because God gave us Jesus, who takes away our sins forever and covers that for us. We can rest in His salvation and know that God is always in charge!
Let’s say a prayer and thank God for giving us that hope and reassurance.
(Have kids repeat each line)
Thank you for taking care of all of our needs.
Please help us to trust in you.
To act justly, love kindness, and walk humbly.
Help us live in your presence and love.
Thank you for your love
We love you, God!
In Jesus name, Amen!
Bible Verses/story to Reference:
Hear what the Lord says:
Arise, plead your case before the mountains,
and let the hills hear your voice.
2 Hear, you mountains, the indictment of the Lord,
and you enduring foundations of the earth,
for the Lord has an indictment against his people,
and he will contend with Israel.
3 “O my people, what have I done to you?
How have I wearied you? Answer me!
4 For I brought you up from the land of Egypt
and redeemed you from the house of slavery,
and I sent before you Moses,
Aaron, and Miriam.
5 O my people, remember what Balak king of Moab devised,
and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him,
and what happened from Shittim to Gilgal,
that you may know the righteous acts of the Lord.”
6 “With what shall I come before the Lord,
and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
7 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”
8 He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God? -Micah 6:1-8