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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.
Acts 16:31; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 3:16; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38
- Package of Life Savers candy.
Imagine that you are out on a sailboat in the middle of the ocean. Everything is calm and beautiful and then you see some dark clouds out on the horizon rolling in. They are getting closer and closer and you see the flashes of lightning and hear the clap of the thunder. Before you know it, the boat is getting tossed and thrown by the violent waves. As you are making your way across the deck a huge wave hits the boat and carries you overboard into the cold ocean water below.
As you struggle in the water, you realize that you need help. What do you think could help you? (Wait for responses).
Maybe a life saver? I just happened to bring some with me!
(Take out the roll of life savers and show everyone.)
I heard that these can save you if you ever fall over board but I am not really sure how well they would work. Do you think these would work very well?
Well, I guess these life savers won’t work to save you from drowning in the ocean but they might save you from having bad breath! (If you want to you can hand out a life saver to everyone).
The Bible says that we all have sin in our life and that sin will result in death. We need to be saved. Now one of these life savers won’t help us very much but we have Someone who can save us from the sin that tries to drown our lives. His name is Jesus Christ.
The way we are saved from sin is by doing what it says in Romans 10:9. It says that we have to say that Jesus is Lord and believe that in our heart. That’s it. It isn’t very complicated at all. Jesus is our life saver and the only one that can save us from sin and death.
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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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1 John 3:4; 1 John 1:8; Psalm 119:11
- Fence. You can use a piece of a fence or if you are unable to get that you could simply use a photo or drawing.
(Show the piece of the fence.)
Do you know what this is? This is a piece of a fence. Do you know what fences are used for? (Allow for some answers.) They are used for boundaries and protection. They help keep thing good things in and bad things out. If you have some pets that you don’t want to run away you will often put up a fence so that they don’t escape.
Fences are important to have in our lives too. Not a real fence like you would put up around your house. But these fences are the boundaries that we put in our lives to keep us safe.
The Bible tells us in James 4:17 that if someone knows something to be sin and then goes and does that they will be sinning. When we read God’s word we learn the things that please God and the things that make God unhappy. We need to make boundaries in our lives that help us to stay away from those things.
If we are always tempted to steal something then you should make a boundary for yourself to not go into a store alone or you could make sure that you are with someone who will help you. Or maybe you are tempted to tell a lie to someone but if you have fences in your life then you will know that telling a lie would not please God.
Some people think that fences and rules are bad but they are there for your protection.
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2 Corinthians 5:17; Colossians 3:10; Ephesians 4:22-24
- Container of milk (or juice, soda, or whatever as long as it is obviously different from water.)
- Tall pitcher of water.
- Pan or tray to catch the overflow
You will want to test out this object lesson to make sure that you have enough water to fully displace the milk in the glass.
In Romans 12:1-2 it tells us that we shouldn’t be the same as the world and that we should let God change the way that we think. Many people talk about being “street wise” or “worldly-wise” and that means that you think the way that the world thinks. However, God wants us to think the way that He thinks. He wants you to be renewing your mind.
(Show the glass and place it in the pan.)
This glass is going to represent your mind. The things that you think about. (Fill the glass full of milk.) Now it is full of all kinds of bad thoughts. Things of the world. Basically thinking in a way that does not please God. If you have thoughts about lying, or cheating or doing something wrong those a thoughts that don’t please God.
God wants us to change the way that we think. Everyone look really hard at this glass and let’s make it change into something else just by looking at it. Ready? Go!
(Stare very intently at the milk.)
Nothing happened! How can we change what is in the glass? How do we change the way that we think? By filling it up with something else.
(Show the pitcher full of water.)
This pitcher of water will represent God’s Word, the Bible. (Slowly start pouring the water into the glass of milk, letting it overflow into the pan.) Instead of letting our thoughts be filled with things of the world we should let it get filled with God’s Word. It is so easy to let the world’s thinking slip in. We are exposed to it on TV, movies, music, magazines, the Internet and many other ways. We need to fill our lives with God’s Word.
(The milk should be overflowing, and now it should be noticeably diluted.)
Do you see what is happening? The water is replacing the milk. The same way that when we pour God’s Word into our lives it begins to change the way that we think by replacing those worldly thoughts. (Continue to pour the water.)
The more we let God’s Word into our life the more it will clean us and help us to think the way that God wants us to. Sometimes more bad thinking gets added back in and that is why we need to study God’s Word on a daily basis.
(The glass should be mostly clear.)
Let us read and study God’s Word and let it transform the way that we think.
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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.
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.
Incoming search terms:
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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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