Without a Doubt

The disciples knew that Jesus was the Light of the world; he had told them so. They had seen in his life, words, and miracles, a glimpse of the glory of God. It was as if they were looking at a lamp with its light shaded from view, sort of like this lamp. (Show lamp with shade.) When Jesus was transfigured on the mountain, it’s as if the shade was taken away and the disciples could see the true brightness of God’s glory.

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Shepherd and Door

Did you know that in Bible times, a couple thousand years ago, being a door was part of a shepherd’s job? The sheep pen was usually a stone wall built in a circle with only one opening. So after the shepherd had gathered all the sheep into the pen for the night, he would have to lie down across the opening to guard the sheep. The only way a wolf could get in was through that door, so the wolf would have to deal with the shepherd first. Do you think a good shepherd would let a wolf through that door? No sir! The shepherd would drive the wolf away!

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Sweet Temptation

Well, I’ve got something in my sack here that’s about this big. (Indicate with thumb and forefinger about one-half to one inch.) Do you think you’re stronger than something that big? Okay, I’ll show you what I have. Candies! No, I don’t want you to have a wrestling match with candy. I don’t want to see how strong these muscles are. (Indicate biceps.) I want to see how strong you are inside. We’re reading a lot of verses this Sunday about temptation. Does anyone know what temptation is?

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Salt and Light

Jesus wants us to be salty, and he wants us to shine brightly. People around us should know for sure that we’re Christians. We should show them love and acceptance and tell them about God and invite them to church.

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Following the Lamb

This is why Jesus was sent to earth. He was sent to save us from our sins; sent to die in our place on the cross. And this is why John called Jesus, the “Lamb of God.” Even though John the Baptist did not know exactly what was going to happen to Jesus, he was inspired by the Holy Spirit to call Jesus the Lamb of God. Jesus came to save us from death and to bring us to eternal life. We follow a Lamb who saves us.

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A Noisy Parade

He came riding on a young donkey. Have you ever seen a parade that consisted solely of one man riding on a donkey? It may not sound that exciting, but this was King Jesus, the man who could do miracles and heal people. The crowd knew who he was, and they went wild! They yelled, waved palm branches, and threw their coats on the road! Did they make a lot of noise? They sure did! The whole city heard them! Everyone came running.

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Nativity Rat at the Manger

RAT: So compared to the Creator of the Universe and all things good and amazing, humans and rats are almost on the same level. But God loves us anyway. God loves the ratty and the tattered. God loves us even though we are small and mean. God loves even the rat.

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Swatting vs. Sympathy

Sympathizing is better than swatting. Jesus sympathized. He did not swat. Jesus listened and loved and shared the Good News of God’s love.

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From Abraham to Jesus

God can see our whole family of faith, connected by birth and connected by our love for Jesus. Even though we can’t see the whole picture of God’s plan for our lives and for our family, God can see it.

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Loss or Gain

The jewel that you treasure and want to keep is your life and the plans that you have for your future. Your life is very special and unique. Each one of you shines like a jewel. Jesus asks each of us to live for him and to give up our lives for him. But when we lose our lives to Jesus, what do we find? We find that Jesus gives back to us a life full of joy and love and thankfulness. For a single jewel, we have been given a splendid crown of many jewels. When you give your life to Jesus, it is not losing, it is gaining.

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