By Carolyn Ross Tomlin
Thursday, May 01, 1997
A Life With Jesus
Object: Basketball enclosed in a box or sack Scripture: John 3:16
Boys and girls, I have an object in this container. At this time you could only guess what it is. It could be anything that would fit into this space. After I give you some clues, most of you will know the answer. Please wait until I finish to make your guess.
First, this object is used in a game. Usually a team plays. The team with the highest score wins. The object is round. You can bounce, kick, throw, spin, and roll this object. Now, raise your hand if you know the answer. That's right, it is a basketball. (Remove and show the object.)
Notice another thing about this basketball: It is filled with air. (Bounce once or twice.) For a basketball to do what a ball should do, it must have air. A ball without air is useless. Have you ever tried to play with a flat basketball?
Let's compare the lives of boys and girls to a basketball. For you to live happy, meaningful lives, you must have Jesus. A life without Jesus is missing what He wants us to enjoy.
Listen as I read from God's book. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believeth shall not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16, NIV).
God cared so much for you that He sent his son to be born. He lived and taught others about being a Christian. Then, he died for our sins on a cross. That is how much God loves you and me.
Just like a basketball player needs a team, we need other Christians. The church is a team of people who love God. Aren't you glad we can do this in our church?
Boys and girls, bow your heads as we thank God for loving us.
Signals We Give Others
Object: A Bible
Scripture: Jude 1:21
(Ask a pianist to play softly "All the Way My Savior Leads Me" as children gather.)
When your grandparents learned to drive, they had to know and use hand signals. Automobiles did not have turn signals. Let me demonstrate. Of course, the window had to be down. If you wanted to turn right, you would bend your left arm at the elbow with the hand upright. For a left turn, the arm and hand were extended out straight. And if you slowed down, you dropped the hand into an eight o'clock position. Would you like to try? (Stand with your back to the children and allow them to go through each turn signal.)
Today, cars have turn signals that show others where we plan to go. It's much easier, don't you think?
We also use another type of signal. These signals tell others about our life. When we love Jesus, we want others to see Him in our actions. Our language and the words we speak are a type of signal. As you grow older, the choices you make in friends sends a message. So is your choice of clothing and doing your best in school. And the places you choose for leisure time is important.
Can you think of others? (Pause for response. List choices boys and girls make.)
All of you made the choice to be in church today. That's a good signal. What does this tell others about our lives? Does it show our love for Jesus?
The Bible speaks to us many times about love. Listen as I read this verse. "Keep yourselves in God's love..." (Jude 1:22, NIV). Sending the right kind of signal shows our love for God and others.
Wear a Smile
Object: Distribute happy-face stickers as children gather. Or, draw a smiling face on an index card for each child. Scripture: Psalm 144:15
Boys and girls, you are special. There are many unique things about you. But there is one thing you can give that belongs only to you. It's called a "smile."
What happens when your face shows a smile? (Pause for response.) Yes, people return it. They smile back. This brightens their day. As a baby, your parents waited for your first smile. This facial expression was a first sign of recognition. And it made your mom and dad love you even more.
Think of a smile as a gift from God. Let's talk about places where we can use this special gift. At home, we can have a helpful attitude. We can be pleasant when parents ask us to do chores. At school we can help friends. And remember those with handicaps, or new students. Could your teacher use a smile to lighten her day? At church we can welcome visitors, assist senior adults, hand out bulletins and open doors for people. In fact, we can allow a smile to become part of all we do.
Yes, a smile is important. It shows others how we feel about being a child of God. The Bible say, "Blessed are the people of whom this is true; blessed are the people whose God is the Lord" (Psalms 144:15, NIV).
Let's ask God to help us use this special gift throughout each day.
(Ask children to sing "Jesus Loves Me" or have the pianist play the song.)