Big idea: Because of the cross, we do not belong to ourselves.
About a year ago, we bought a used car. Before it was our car, it belonged to someone else. They loaded their kids in it, vacuumed their kids' snacks out of it and put their parking sticker in the window. If they came into our garage today expecting to do those things, we would have an issue. That car is bought and paid for. It is no longer for their use, but for ours.
Younger kids: How do you feel when someone takes one of your toys without asking? What about if they break it? How do you think God feels when we use the life that He gave us to sin against Him?
Something similar happened to you, if you are a Christian, as offensive as it sounds. You used to belong to the world, with its obsession over status and success (1 Corinthians 6:1), and its immorality (1 Corinthians 6:15). You lived like that, but Jesus bought you with His blood, washed you and transformed you. Once you are saved, you go from being a den of sin to being a Temple of the Holy Spirit that dwells in you. We are not our own, to use our lives as we please. Our lives depend on the one who has purchased us. No one can dispute that He paid enough: His own life!
Older kids: One of the normal parts of growing up is a desire for independence. How does Jesus' claim on our lives restrain that?
This is obviously radically counter-cultural. How can we say that my life is not my own? The implications for lots of current debates are radical. When a Christian is pregnant, their body belongs to God. When I decide whether to not to wear a mask in public, my face belongs to God. When I decide whether to tell the truth or a lie, my mouth belongs to God. When I decide what music to listen to or TV programs to watch, my ears and eyes belong to God. The question is not what I want to do, but what would bring glory to Him.
Discussion idea: Some people will use vulgar language, but not in the church building. Does that kind of distinction make sense biblically?
Prayer focus: Take a specific part of your life today to dedicate to God.