Yes, I'm a pastor's wife, but I suspect not all of my readers are Christian. I won't hold back on my beliefs, but I also won't shove religion at you. I try not to accept things just because they're told to me but read and research in order to make up my own mind. You'll find a random mix of stuff here, depending on what interests me at the moment. I like to read others' opinions, whether they agree with me or not, which means I love comments on my posts!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Wednesday's Word

I teach the 9-12 year olds almost every other Wednesday. Often, the 5-8 year olds are mixed in with us. This won't usually be posted on Wednesdays, but "Wednesday's Word" will be the lesson I have taught for the current week. Feel free to use any part of these and/or adapt them to your group.

Salvation


WHAT'S IN A NAME?
I began by asking if anyone knew what their name meant. I had looked up most of them in the class already and shared what I learned. I like Behind the Name and Baby Names World. It'd be great to bring a baby name book if you have one.
Your parents or someone close to you picked out your name. They made that decision. But Mary and Joseph didn't have that choice. God sent an angel to tell Mary and Joseph, "You will have a son, and you will call his name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sin."
Jesus = the Lord saves or God will help

THE LORD SAVES. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
"Being saved" means that you have accepted the free gift of salvation offered by Jesus Christ to all people.
Acts 4:12 – “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."


WHAT IS THE FREE GIFT OF SALVATION?
God requires a perfect blood sacrifice in order for us to join him in Heaven. Also, as sinners, we cannot have a relationship with God because "Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong"(Habakkuk 1:13). We are all sinners, and this blood covers our sins. In the Old Testament, the sacrifice was an unmarred lamb. But God knew we needed more. He sent his own Son to die for us. Jesus left paradise and came to live among sinners who beat Him and nailed Him to a cross so that we would not go to Hell.
John 3:16 - For God so loved the world that He gave is only begotten Son that whosever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life."
The free gift is that we will live eternally in Heaven. All we have to do is accept Christ as our Savior.

STORY TIME
There were 2 best friends--Zach and Mike. These 2 did everything together and even started going to church. Mike liked to sit in the back and cut-up. He liked going to Church because he could socialize with his friends. Zach started listening to the lessons the teacher said. He learned about Jesus' sacrifice and how He's preparing a mansion for Zach in Heaven. He learned about the ugliness of Hell. One night, Zach prayed for God to forgive him and to come live inside of him. Then Zach received a ticket that read "Ticket to Heaven," which he later showed to Mike. Mike said "I want to go to Heaven. How about sharing your ticket with me?" Zach looked at his perfect ticket and held it close. "I don't know. I'd rather not mess it up." "C'mon," said Mike, "I thought you were a Christian. Aren't Christians suppose to share?" Zach finally agreed and tore off a small part of his ticket. Mike looked at his little piece and exclaimed "Look how big your piece is compared to mine. You're being greedy! That's not very Christian-like." Zach said "Fine. I'm going to tear it in half this time" and he gave Mike another piece.
That night, the boys were in a bad car wreck and both died instantly. They stood before the gates of Heaven waiting to see if they made it in. Mike wasn't worried since he had his ticket. He proudly handed it to the angel and said "Here's my ticket. I'm ready to see my mansion!" The angel opened his ticket (The pieces spell Hell). "How can that be!?" exclaimed Mike. I went to Church and didn't do anything really bad." The angel replied, "It takes more than that. You didn't ask Jesus to be your savior," and he banished Mike away.
Zach was a little worried about his ticket since it was torn, but he handed it over to the angel. The angel opened it (it's a cross). Jesus came through the gates with open arms and said "Welcome home, my child."
For a how-to video on folding and tearing the paper, look up paper cross on GodTube or YourTube.


ASKING JESUS INTO YOUR HEART
Just like our story says, all you have to do to go to Heaven is ask Jesus to be your Savior. When Jesus was crucified, 2 theives were hung beside him. (Luke 23:39-43) One mocked him saying "If you're Christ why not save yourself and us?" The other thief rebuked him, saying "Do you not fear God, seeing you are in the same condition?" And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man has done nothing wrong." To Jesus, he said "Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom." Jesus said "Verily I say to you, today you shall be with me in paradise." The thief did not have time for long confessions or good deeds. He simply said "Lord, remember me." He confessed Jesus as Lord and Jesus reserved a place for him in Heaven.
If any of you are not a Christian or have doubts whether or not you are, I'd like to give you the opportunity to pray that Jesus come into your heart. All you have to do is say this prayer with me...
Dear God,
I know I am a sinner. I want to receive the gift you offer--that you will forgive me and erase my sins. I confess with my mouth & believe with my heart that Jesus is your Son & that he died for me. I ask you right now to come into my life and be my personal Lord & Savior. I repent of my sins & will worship you all the days of my life. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

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