Living By the Rules
Jesus taught with authority.
A game, complete with a copy of the rules, with which the children are familiar. (I used Skip-Bo, but feel free to change it to any game you wish.)
The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. Mark 1:22 (NIV)
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Do you enjoy playing games? I do. I especially enjoy getting together with a group of family or friends and playing games. One of the games I enjoy is called Skip-Bo. Have any of you ever played Skip-Bo? It is very easy to play, but like most games, before you play, you must read the rules so that you will know how to play the game.
Who makes up the rules for a game? The person who makes up the game makes the rules, don't they? The one who created the game, makes rules for the enjoyment of all who play the game. If someone doesn't follow those rules, it takes away from the enjoyment of the game. Have you ever played a game with someone who won't follow the rules? Do you always follow the rules?
There are rules that we must follow in life too. Look, I have the rulebook right here. The Bible is the rulebook we must follow in life. Who wrote the rules? God did. God created life and He wrote the rules. Just as the creator of a game makes rules to ensure the enjoyment of all who play his game, God wrote these rules so that all who live life might enjoy it the way he intended for them to enjoy it.
One day Jesus went into the synagogue and started teaching. The Bible tells us that the people who heard him were amazed at his teaching. He didn't sound like their regular teachers. He didn't sound like someone who knew about the rules, he sounded like someone who had written the rules. Well, guess what? He did write the rules! Jesus was God -- in human form -- who came to earth to teach us how to live.
God made the rules and He showed us how to follow the rules. Now He wants us to follow the rules so that we will enjoy life the way He intended it to be.
Dear Father, you have taught us how to live. Help us to follow the example of our Lord, Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.