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Isaiah 1:18; John 1:29; 1 John 1:7; Matthew 23:26
- Sheet of Paper
You will be making a paper snowflake so you may want to practice if you have never made one before. If you are teaching a class of kids you could also hand out pieces of paper and have them make the snowflakes as well.
(Take out the piece of paper and being to fold it and cut it into the shape of a snowflake. You can do this while you talk.)
Have you ever made a paper snowflake before? They are a lot of fun to make, and they are a great way to decorate your house for winter. There is nothing so beautiful as freshly fallen snow. It is so white and pure. Whenever I see snow, or when I make a paper snowflake I think about Psalm 51:7 where is says “Wash me and I will be whiter than snow!”
Snow is very white isn’t it? Can you imaging anything more white than snow? God says that when he forgives our sins we are even whiter than snow!
Snow may look very white, but did you know that each snowflake has a dirty secret? When snowflakes form it actually forms around a very tiny piece of dust. The ice crystals grow on this piece of dust and it becomes a beautiful snowflake. But even though the snowflake it beautiful and white on the outside it is dirty inside. Many people are like that. They look nice and clean and happy on the outside, but inside they are sad and full of sin.
Jesus wants to clean us of that sin. He wants to save us and forgive us. He does not just want to clean us and make us look nice and white like a snowflake though. He wants to clean us on the inside. He wants to take that dirty heart and make it clean.
Jesus wants to make us not AS white as snow, but He wants to make us even WHITER than snow!
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Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10; 1 Samuel 16:7
(Come out wearing a mask.)
Have you ever worn a mask before? It can be fun to put on a mask and act like someone else. (Try on a few different masks.) Why do people wear masks? (Wait for responses.) To look like someone or something else. A mask hides what you really look like. Sometimes when people rob a bank or commit a crime they will wear a mask so no one can see what they look like.
Do you ever wear a mask? I don’t mean a real mask over your face though. Sometimes people will act a certain way so that people will think that they are better than they really are. They will come to church and say the right things, and sing loud, and act like a follower of Jesus, but it is really just a mask that they are wearing.
Jesus was upset at the Pharisees one day because they would dress fancy and act like they loved God but really they were mean and unkind to people. Jesus said in Matthew 23:25-26 that they were like a tomb or a casket that was painted to look really nice, but inside was only a skeleton! He said that they were like a cup that was nice and clean on the outside, but was really dirty on the inside.
Do you ever try to make yourself look better than you really are? Do you try to impress people? We all do this at times. But God wants us to be humble. Instead of saying that we love God and other people He wants us to actually love them! We show that we love Him by our actions. By how we live.
God is not fooled by a mask. In 1 Samuel 16:7 it says that people look at the outside but God looks at our heart. Let us make sure that our actions are pleasing and honorable to God.
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Matthew 15:19-20; James 4:8; Matthew 12:33; Luke 6:45; Jeremiah 4:14
- Nice looking cup or glass (something not clear works best)
- Plain or Styrofoam cup
Put some mud inside the “nice” cup. Smear some mud on the outside of the plain-looking cup.
(Hold up both cups and show everyone.)
I have two cups here. One of them is really nice (maybe you can tell them where you got it if it has any significance to you) and the other one is not so nice looking. Which cup would you rather drink out of? This really nice looking cup that looks clean? Or this plain-looking cup that looks like it has something on it? (Wait for a response). Most of us would want to drink out of the nice cup.
(Pour the mud out of the nice cup.)
Would you still like to drink out of this one?
(Show the clean inside of the plan looking cup.)
Now which one looks better to you? Although this nice one looks better on the outside the other one is better on the inside. If we had to drink water from one of these cups we would choose the one that is clean inside.
When Jesus walked the earth there were many people who tried to look good on the outside by doing good things, going to church, dressing nice and following all the right rules. But Jesus knew that their hearts were not clean at all. They were filled with envy and greed. Jesus also saw people who didn’t look as good on the outside, but their hearts were pure before God.
What do you think God prefers? Someone who looks good on the outside, but is dirty on the inside? Or someone who maybe doesn’t look the best or even say all the right things, but is clean inside? Jesus wants us to be clean inside! He says in Matthew 23:25-26 that we should make sure that we clean the inside of the cup and not worry as much about the outside.
It is important for us to make sure that we have a clean heart before God and not worry so much about what we look like on the outside.
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