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Children's Sermon: Believe, Act

Preparation
Find pictures of Tim Tebow and put them on PowerPoint slides or print them to make large signs. Remember, children think in pictures! Also, get a pitcher of water and add some drops of blue food coloring. You also need a mason jar with a metal ring, an index card and a scrap from a pair of pantyhose (nylons; nude works best). Stretch the nylon over the mouth of the mason jar and hold it tight. Then screw the metal lid on. Trim off the excess nylon so it is only visible at the opening. Pour water through the panty hose at the top so the jar is half-full of water. Then place the index card on top and hold it in place with your hand. In one swift motion, use your other hand to turn the mason jar upside down. Remove your hand holding the index card. The card should stick to the bottom of the jar without falling off and without water pouring everywhere. Then, in one horizontal motion, slide the index card off the jar. The water should stay in without spilling because of the water-tension in the nylon holes. Then jerk the jar so all the water spills out (best to have a bowl underneath to catch the water). Practice this a time or two before doing it for the kids.

Key Verse: John 3:16
"
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."

Manuscript
Hey, kids! I've got a question for you. Have any of you heard of Tim Tebow? Yeah? Who is he?

OK, so he's a football player. I found a picture of him online. Take a look. Have you guys seen him look like this before? Yeah. What about this next one? So what's that written on his face? John 3:16. What is John 3:16? Right—a verse from the Bible! Can anyone quote that for me?

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."

Tim Tebow takes that verse John 3:16 very seriously. He's been vocal about his faith, has faced a lot of scrutiny for not compromising, and always references God when given the opportunity. After every touchdown, he always kneels and honors God, which has been refered to as Tebowing; and some people have even made fun of him for doing this. After he wore John 3:16 on his eyeblack, Google got more than 90 million hits; it was the most popular search entry by the following Monday. Now, I'm not saying you have to wear Bible verses on your eye makeup or anything, but I want you to understand that if he didn't really believe that verse—John 3:16—then he wouldn't behave the way he does.

You see, the key word in this verse is believe. The original Greek word pisteuo is a life-altering type of belief. That is the type of belief that is based on faith—absolute certainty—which is really important because the words belief and faith have their roots in a word that means "persuaded and confident." What I want to emphasize is this the type of belief you have to see to believe.

What? That doesn't make any sense? Yes, it does. This type of belief that John wrote about in the gospel bearing his name is one you live out; and when lived out, it is evident to others that we believe. In other words, unless other people see it, then we probably don't really believe it, do we? Now, it doesn't mean we do things to show off or to have other people see us; rather, it means we live our lives in such a way that shows we are absolutely, positively, 100 percent, without-a-doubt sure. Because of our confidence in Jesus, other people can see how much we truly love Him and how that plays out in our lives. They will see us serving others, being kind to our enemies, obeying our parents and doing our best at everything we do because it honors God.

Think about: If I believe something is true, I'm going to behave as if it is true, right? OK, so I have here a pitcher of blue water. It's actually just regular water, but I put a little bit of food coloring into it so everyone in the back can see it better. So I've got this pitcher of water, and I believe I can pour it into the jar without making a mess. Do you believe it? I hope I can, so I will act on it. Let's see.

Yup. That worked. Now, I also have an index card. If I put it on top of my jar, like so, what do you think would happen if I tip over the water jar? Do you think this little card could hold all of this water in the jar? Yes? No? How many of you say yes? How many say no? I say yes; I believe I can. So let's act on this.

WOW!! It's holding in the water. Now, I also believe it won't spill if I take my hand away. What do you think? Yes? No? Let's act on it.

Cool—no spill!! One last thing. I believe I can take away this card, and the water will not spill. How many of you believe that? How many of you think the water is going to pour everywhere? I think it will not spill, so I will act.

WOW! The water stayed inside! (Splash it out.)

So do you think I would have done that if I thought it was going to make a mess? Well, no. I wouldn't want to make a mess all over the church. I'd have to clean it up! However, because I knew the science behind what was happening—because I believed a principle of water tension was true and that the physical properties of the molecules rubbing together would react the way God created them to react, I acted upon that truth and tried it here. It really could have gone horribly wrong. It didn't work every single time when I tried this at home. The only difference was there was a sink at home, but I acted on my belief this would work.

In the same way, if we have true belief in Christ, we won't just think about it or agree with it, but we will act on it. Other people will see we believe through our actions.

So, I want to urge you that if you believe in Christ in your heart and in your head, make it evident with your hands and feet.

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