Parents: Merry Christmas! This week, children will learn about the Gift of Love that God has given us in Jesus, and how we can give that gift back to Him.
Dr. Rowland Taylor was a man who loved God, and he showed that love by obeying God’s call on his life to teach the Gospel, no matter how much it cost. Dr. Taylor lived in England during the 1500’s, which was a strange and dangerous time for Christians. The Church of England was in control of the country, and like any church they claimed to follow Jesus Christ. However, many things the Church did were wrong in the eyes of God because it went against His Word. Most English people didn’t know this because the Church discouraged people from reading the Bible, even though it had been translated into the English language by that time. They wanted people to follow the Church’s customs and traditions more than the Word of God, because that gave the people in charge of the Church a lot of power and control.
Dr. Taylor was a pastor that taught his congregation to read the Bible for themselves and trust in Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins. He said a person didn’t need to follow Church traditions to get into heaven or be right with God, they only needed to believe in what Jesus did for them on the cross.
Government and Church leaders heard about this, and Dr. Taylor was quickly arrested and put on trial. They accused Dr. Taylor of being a “heretic”, which means someone who says they are a Christian but inside they really aren’t. After being insulted and accused by one of the Church bishops, Dr. Taylor replied, “I am a Christian man. I have not blasphemed against the Church. In fact, you are the heretic. Christ died once and for all for the sins of mankind. Nothing more is needed for salvation. You and your traditions can offer nothing.”
Dr. Taylor was held in prison for two years. Then, in the winter of 1555, he was killed for his crimes against the Church of England. He refused to disobey God’s calling to preach the true Gospel because he loved the Lord with all of his heart.
That’s one of the amazing things about the gift of love. It’s a gift that God gives us through Jesus, but we can also give it back to Him through our obedience. Jesus said in John 14:23 “If anyone loves me, he will obey My teaching.” He also said in John 14:15, “if you love Me, obey My commandments.”
This Christmas, as we think about what gifts to give others, let’s take time to think about how we can give the gift of love to Jesus by obeying His Word. After all, it’s His birthday.
"There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends." John 15:13
Matthew 2:1-12 | Bring Him Gifts
Chat With Me
1. Discuss ways we can express love to Jesus.
2. Why is it important for a Christian to show love to Christ by obeying His commands?