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God has a kingdom.  Jesus came to herald the coming of that kingdom, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns too, for that is what I was sent to do.” Luke 4:43 Net Bible. When Jesus sends out the seventy, He tells them to say, “The kingdom of God has come upon you!” Luke 10:9b  Net Bible. Interestingly in that same passage Jesus makes this comment as well, “The one who listens to you listens to me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects the one who sent me.” Luke 10:16 Net Bible. Do you see a chain of authority? Do you see the relationships here and how your relationship with those with whom you share the gospel message is a connection through you to God? We are the messengers now, the ones sent forth. What better place to preach the gospel than in our own homes, churches, and classrooms?

Some may wonder if children can really understand the concepts of the gospel and the kingdom of God. Jesus said, in Mark 10:14-15 Net Bible, “Let the little children come to me and do not try to stop them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” God has told us clearly that children don’t need to be street smart like us to receive His Kingdom, the Kingdom belongs to them and those like them. We must be innocent and full of faith like them to be able to receive it ourselves. The reason that the Kingdom of God transcends age differences is because it is not a place or a thing, it is a person. Jesus also said, “nor will people say, ‘Look! Here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For the kingdom of God is among you [because of My presence].” Luke 17:21Amplified Bible. The difference between Christianity and all other religions is summed up in one word. RELATIONSHIP!

In the Lord’s prayer we are taught to pray, “Thy kingdom come Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” The very words of this prayer suggest to us that there are two opposing kingdoms. The one where God is recognized as king and the one where He is opposed. I would like to suggest a very simple object lesson available for teaching our children about how the kingdom of God verses the kingdom of man. No better image conjures up these two kingdoms like money. Timothy warns us, “Now godliness combined with contentment brings great profit. For we have brought nothing into this world and so we cannot take a single thing out either.  But if we have food and shelter, we will be satisfied with that. Those who long to be rich, however, stumble into temptation and a trap and many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.  For the love of money is the root of all evils…” 1 Timothy 6:6-10.

Money is used by the enemy of our souls and by our culture to teach trust in self-dependence and in riches? How do we teach our children to look at money in a new way, a way that reminds them to trust in God? In America we put the words, “In God we Trust” on our currency. This is the object in our object lesson.

Let your children see these words and have them read them out loud. Ask them to name ways to trust in money and ways to trust in God.

Let’s teach them that having money is not enough. It will only bring them true riches when they are trusting in the God who gave them that money. They need Him to guide them to use it for His glory and their good.

We won’t trust Him if we don’t know Him well. We won’t listen to His voice if we don’t know it well. It is in growing in our relationship with Him and His Word that we grow in trust and obedience.  The difference between living in our kingdom or His all comes down to one word. RELATIONSHIP!

Suzi Ciliberti works for Christar, a Missions Agency that plants churches among least-reached Asians worldwide. She served in Japan for two years as a single missionary and another nine with her husband and two children, then the family returned to the states. She and her husband have been serving in the US Mobilization Center since 2000. As a part of the Member Care Department, Suzi is consultant to families with children. She has been working as a children’s teacher since she was 17 and began her training under Child Evangelism Fellowship. She has taught in the church, as a school teacher for two years in a Christian elementary school, and as a speaker for adults training to work with children. She has also trained children, who are a part of families that work overseas, in their identity in Christ. She brings 44 years of teaching experience to her work. She loves creative writing as well as teaching and has found great fulfillment in combining the two as she blogs for Heartprints. She finds it a great privilege and joy to serve the Lord and His people. One of her favorite verses is Deuteronomy 4:10b, "Gather the people to Me, and I will let them hear My words, that they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children."