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"Show Them Jesus" - Thoughts on Chapter 4
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A blog post by Bobette Hatteberg, Cornerstone's Children's Ministry Director

This is part of an on-going series of posts on the book, Show Them Jesus, by Jack Klumpenhower


Chapter 4: The Factory-Preset Fourth Grader
“Our kids are programmed to try to earn points with God.  Like a piece of electronics shipped from the factory with default settings, they’re preset not to believe the good news.  This trust in their religious and moral efforts takes the place of trusting Jesus.”

As a parent I can humbly and sadly confess that I’ve probably done many things to reinforce this “preset” in my children’s hearts.  I’ve often made life more about their obedience than about Jesus.  As a teacher I’ve too often turned a “look at how great Jesus is” lesson into a “what you should do for Jesus” lesson.  The author does a masterful job of reminding us that obedience is not a wrong goal, but it is secondary to love for God.   In fact, he makes it very clear that behavior is not real obedience unless it starts with love for God.  I’ve seen it happen:  I’ve taught and preached and reminded and disciplined and badgered and pleaded.  And yet nothing changed UNTIL the heart fell more in love with God, until the heart saw the breathtaking beauty of Christ.  Then obedience followed.  And yet I’ve often spent my time and energy (and my words!) teaching obedience.  What if I had spent more time (and words!) declaring the glory of God?  “If you love me you will obey my commandments”  (John 14:15).  Klumpenhower uses a spiritually infused diagram of “king on the hill” to depict that only a stronger love for Jesus can overpower and displace our love of sin. 
This chapter has prompted me to reread the Gospels with the central purpose of knowing Jesus better and falling more deeply in love with Him... a love I have done NOTHING to deserve.  We don’t make His love for us any stronger or weaker by anything we do (or don’t do).  This is a perfect love.  It is a love that gives us confidence, security, and gratitude and motivates us to obedience.  
I love the question/answer section of the chapter where he addresses the questions this topic raises.  Then he finishes it out with some great discussion questions and practical application that can be applied at home or in the classroom.  If you haven’t been reading this book, now is the time to get caught up.  Chapter 5 looks very interesting!


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