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John 3:16; 2 Timothy 1:9; Romans 6:23
- Dollar Bill
(Hold up the dollar bill)
Have you ever seen one of these before? Of course you have! It is a dollar bill. Tell me some ways that you can get one of these dollar bills?
(Let the kids respond. If they don’t know you can coach them with earn it, steal it, borrow it, have one given to you, and etc.)
There are many ways that you can get this dollar bill. But let me ask you, who does this dollar bill belong to? That’s right it belongs to me. And what can I do with this dollar bill? Anything I want to! I need a helped to assist me. (Choose a kid to help you.)
Does this dollar bill belong to you? (No) Who does it belong to? (You) Would you like to have it? (Yes) Here! It is yours, you don’t even have to do anything for it! It is a gift!
God’s grace is a lot like that dollar bill. It is something that has great value. But there is nothing that you can do to earn God’s grace, favor and forgiveness. In fact, Ephesians 2:8-9 says that it is a gift from God. If we were able to work for it we could brag about it, but God just wants to give it to us for free!
Grace is simply getting something nice that we don’t deserve. My helped didn’t deserve that dollar bill, but I gave it to him/her anyway. Even though we don’t deserve God’s grace he offers it to use freely.
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Romans 6:23, 1 John 1:9
Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:8-10; Galatians 5:16
How many of you have ever made a mistake before? Many times in life we do things that are very wrong and we say that we made a mistake. The problem is that we often call our sins “mistakes” when really they are much more than just a mistake. A mistake is something that you make on a test because you don’t have the right information.
When we sin we are often doing it on purpose, it’s not a mistake. We often do those bad things over and over again. Do you know what happens when you sin? It destroys relationships. (Take the newspaper and tear it in half.)
This paper is now destroyed and that’s what happens when we sin. How would you feel if one of your friends told you a lie or stole something important to you? You’d probably be really upset and hurt. It would hurt your relationship. How would you feel if they came to you and said “sorry” but in a way that shows they aren’t truly sorry for what they have done? You would probably realize that they aren’t truly sorry.
In Romans 6:23 it says that the wages of our sin is death. That means that our sin have destroyed our relationship with God. It was more than just a mistake, it was sin. But in 1 John 1:9 it says that if we confess that sin to God, He will forgive us.
The first step in restoring our relationship with God is simply admitting to him that we realize we have done something wrong.
1 John 1:9
Isaiah 43:25; Matthew 6:12; Psalm 103:12
- Magic Thumb Tip
- White tissue paper
- Magic Marker
Make sure you practice this in advance. Using a thumb tip is easy, but it does take a little practice to master. Practice in front of a mirror to begin and then friends and family, until it becomes natural.
Have you ever done anything wrong before? Maybe you told a lie, or swore? Maybe you disobeyed your parents or took something that didn’t belong to you? These things are called sins. A sin is anything that goes against what pleases God.
(Take out the tissue)
Let’s say that this nice white tissue represents your life. It is all nice and clean. But one day you tell a lie.
(Write Lie on the paper.)
What is another sin that you may have done?
(Wait for responses and then write them down on the tissue.)
As you can see this piece of paper is full of sins now. It doesn’t look very clean anymore does it? There is nothing that we can do that can make these things go away. In 1 John 1:9 it says that if we confess our sins to God he will remove the sins for us! That sounds like a pretty good deal doesn’t it? In Psalm 103:12 it says God will take our sins and move them as far as the East is from the West!
(Begin pushing the tissue of sins into your closed hand containing the thumb tip)
Although you can’t remove the sins on your own, we serve a God that is faithful to remove them for us. We just need to ask him. We need to repent of the sins we have committed and follow Jesus.
(Push the final bit in with your thumb, and remove the thumb tip from your hand and show your hands are empty)
When God removes our sins he takes them completely away so far that we can never find them again. Let us ask God to forgive our sins today!
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1 Peter 2:24
2 Corinthians 5:21; Isaiah 53:4-6; Hebrews 9:28; Matthew 8:17; Galatians 3:13
- Large shirt that you don’t mind ruining. A button up shirt will probably work the best as it is easiest to put on and off.
- Permanent markers
(Call up a volunteer and put the large shirt on them.)
Here is my friend and just like you they have sinned against God at times. The Bible says in Romans 3:23 that we have all sinned, so let us think of some different sins that this person may have committed. (You can ask for sins if you want, or you can just write down the ones that you want to.)
Stealing. Maybe this person was at a store and really wanted a pack of candy and instead of paying for it they just snuck it in their pocket. That is a sin, and we will write it down. (White “stealing” on the shirt in permanent marker.)
Maybe this person told a lie also, so let’s write that down as well. (Write “lying” somewhere else on the shirt.
Perhaps they were taking a test and they decided to cheat, do you think that would please God? No! Let’s write down “cheating” as well.
Maybe they were playing ball with some friends and they all started bullying someone else who wasn’t playing the game as well. Let’s write down “bullying” too.
(Feel free to write down as many as you want to.)
Wow! Look at this person! They are covered in sin aren’t they? Do you think that they can wipe all these sins off?
(Instruct the helped to try to wipe all the sins off of the shirt.)
They may scrub and wipe and struggle, but there is nothing that they can do to remove these sins that we have written down. There is not way to make themselves clean again.
(Have another volunteer come out and play Jesus, or you can play it.)
What Jesus did when he went and died on Calvary was he took the sins away from us. God could not be near sin and since we were covered with sin God could not be near us. So Jesus took our sins and put them on himself.
(Take the shirt off the helped and put it on Jesus, or yourself.)
Then when God saw Jesus all he could see what the sin. Jesus died on the cross wearing all of our sin on his back. When Jesus died the sin and death could not hold him any longer. (Take the shirt off and throw is far from you.) Jesus came back alive and left the sin in the grave. He is now alive and offers us freedom from the sin that once held us captive.
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Revelation 13:8; Revelation 20:12; Revelation 20:15; Revelation 3:5; Revelation 21:27
- Guest Book. Even a plain notebook will do.
Have you ever been to a really nice restaurant before? When you go to a nice restaurant you don’t just barge in and sit down wherever you want. You usually have to go up to a counter and they ask for your name. Some really nice restaurants even want you to call in a reservation before you come.
(Show the guest book.)
The receptionist will write your name down in the book and let you know when they will seat you. Once they are ready with a table for you they will call you and let you come and sit down and enjoy your delicious meal.
If you just came running in do you think they would give you a table? No! Because you do not have a reservation.
Did you know that Heaven has a reservation list too? It is called the Lamb’s Book of Life. The Bible teaches us that anyone who believes that Jesus is Lord gets their name written in that Book. Once day when we get to Heaven before they let us in they will check to make sure that our name is in the Book of Life.
If your name is in the Book because you gave your life to Jesus then they will let you in. But the Bible says that if your name is not in the list you will be cast out of Heaven and will not be allowed to enter.
If your name in the Book of Life? When we believe that Jesus is Lord and say that with our mouth then God puts our name in the book and makes our reservation for our home in Heaven.
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Luke 6:36; Matthew 5:7; 1 John 1:9; 1 Peter 1:3; Hebrews 4:16
- Bucket of water
In Lamentations 3:22-23 it says that God’s mercies are brand new every morning. Do you know what mercy is? Mercy is not getting a punishment that you deserve.
Imagine that you did something wrong and you are about to get in trouble from your parents, teacher, boss, or maybe even the police. How would you fee? Probably pretty scared. You know that what you did was wrong and you know that you deserve to be punished for it. Instead of punishing you though, they forgive you and don’t punish you at all. How would you feel about that? That is mercy.
We all love mercy, but sometimes we begin to wonder how much mercy God really has. Will he run out? One day will he stop giving us mercy? That’s why Lamentations 3:22-23 is such an encouraging verse because it tells us that God’s mercy is new each and every day.
(Show everyone the bucket of water.)
How much water do you think is in this bucket? (Allow for some answers.) Well, I don’t mean in gallons or cups. (Show the eyedropper.) I mean in drops! How many drops of water do you think are in this bucket? Let’s count them together.
(Start taking some water out and slowly letting it drip while you count them out loud. You can count up to 15 or 20 or whatever you want.)
We have barely even taken any water yet! There are thousands of drops of water in here. But do you think that God has more mercy than the drops of water in this bucket? YES!
In fact, we might be able to understand it a little better by taking this eyedropper to the ocean and then counting all the drops of water in there. How many drops of water do you think the ocean has? I don’t even think you could count them all. But guess what? God has more mercy than even that!
His mercy and forgiveness is brand new for us each and every day.
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Romans 6:23; John 3:16-17; Romans 5:8
- Lump of coal
As Christmas gets closer and closer many people start talking about Santa Claus. The chubby guy in a red suit that delivers gifts to all the good kids in the world. We go to the malls to sit on his lap and tell him all the wonderful things that we want, then we try to be really good so he will actually bring them. But what happens if we aren’t good? What does Santa supposedly bring to bad children?
(Show the lump of coal.)
He brings a lump of coal! That doesn’t sound very nice does it? I sure wouldn’t want to just get a lump of coal for Christmas. But guess what! I am not a very good person. I have done things that I shouldn’t do. In fact, the Bible says in Romans 3:23 that we have ALL sinned and fallen short of God’s standard.
This means that all of us have been on the “Naughty List.” All that we deserve is a big fat lump of charcoal!
However, this holiday really isn’t about Santa Claus, it is about Jesus! It is His birthday that we celebrate. Santa may only be able to give out lumps of coal to people who aren’t very good, but Jesus does something even better!
In John 3:16-17 it says that God sent his Son Jesus to this world to save people. Jesus already knew that all we deserve is a dirty lump of coal, but He wants to give us something MUCH better than that! He wants to make a trade!
Jesus takes our lump of coal for himself and gives us freedom from sin and eternal life in heaven! That is the greatest gift that anyone could ever get.
So Santa may only give our black coal for people who have done bad things, Jesus gives those people the chance to have eternal life. Let us make sure that we remember Jesus and the wonderful gift that He gave us as we celebrate Christmas this year.
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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1 John 1:9
Romans 3:23; Ephesians 4:32; Matthew 6:15; Acts 2:38; Matthew 6:12
- Flash Paper. You can purchase it online or at a local magic shop or it you are daring you can try to make it yourself.
- Pen or pencil
Practice this beforehand so that you understand how quickly the flash paper will burn! What you will do is hold a sheet and light the bottom corner and as it burns higher up let it go and it will completely vanish.
Have any of you ever committed a sin? Have you ever done anything wrong before? What is something that you have done that is wrong? (Let the kids answer and write their answers on the piece of flash paper).
Now this paper doesn’t look very clean does it? How many of you have ever felt like this paper, dirty all over and covered in sin? Some people try to hide the fact that they have sinned. (Crumple up the paper and hold it in your closed hand). The Bible tells us in Romans 3:23 that we have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glorious standard. Just ignoring the sin didn’t make it go away did it?
God wants to completely forgive you of your sins and make you a brand new person inside. Doesn’t that sound great? Jesus promises us in 1 John 1:9 that He will forgive us of every wrong thing that we have done if we will apologize and ask Jesus to forgive us. We need to accept His free gift. Then God promises that He will completely take our sins away.
(Light the paper on fire, and it will instantly burn up with no residue or ash).
Just like those sins on that paper are gone Jesus wants to make your sins disappear too if you will let Him come and forgive you.
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Romans 3:23; Hebrews 9:22; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 5:8; Luke 13:3; John 3:36
- Mirror, piece of glass or polished metal (could even be a TV or anything with a glass surface, but if you use a TV you will need to put a signal through it to make the marker visible)
- Red dry erase marker
- Black sharpie permanent marker
- Spray bottle with water in it
- Cloth or paper towel
Make sure you try this before you do it live.
(Hold up the mirror and let the kids look into it.)
What do you see? (Wait for responses.) You can see yourself in it so this mirror is going to represent you. The Bible tells us in Romans 3:23 that, “all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glorious standard.” How many of you have ever done anything wrong? The Bible tells us that all of us have sinned, so let’s say you cheated at school.
(Put a mark on the glass or even write the name of the sin in small letters with the black permanent marker).
This permanent marker is going to represent the sins in our lives. Then later on you tell your parents a lie. (Put another mark on the glass).
Perhaps your parents ask you to take out the garbage, but you are very disrespectful and you disobey. (Put another mark on the glass.)
Maybe you start picking on your sister, and calling her names and hurt her feelings. (Put another mark on the glass).
Now this glass doesn’t look very clean anymore. Maybe you feel really bad about the things that you have done, so you try to do something nice to make up for it, maybe you offer to set the table. (Spray some water on the screen and try to rub the marker off).
You still feel bad though, because there is nothing that we can do to take away the sins in our lives. (Add a few more marks).
They keep adding up the more wrong things that we do. There is a way to remove the sin in our life though. It is by receiving the free gift of forgiveness that Jesus offers to all of us. Jesus died on the cross and shed his blood so that we can be forgiven. It says in Hebrews 9:22 that without the shedding of blood there can’t be forgiveness of sin. (Start drawing with the red dry erase marker all over the black ink, make sure to cover it all completely or you the permanent marker won’t come off.)
What was once impossible for us to do, Jesus can do with His blood. (Take the rag and wipe off all the ink.)
If you feel like your life is filled with all kinds of bad things like this mirror was, you need Jesus to clean you with His blood. You need to receive His free gift of eternal life, because only Jesus can remove the sin in our life.
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