Giving Up the Grudge

Children’s sermon from August 2015 at Lake Nojiri:

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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Career Change

Our ideas about what we want to do or be probably will change as we get older; but they may not. Some people decide at a very young age what they want to do as an adult, and that desire stays with them. They end up doing the very thing they had always planned on doing.

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Long Fuse

Do you think God has a short fuse? No, our God is very patient. In the Bible, it says that love is patient and kind. God is love and he is very patient. And this is what Nehemiah 9:17 says, “You are a God of forgiveness, gracious and merciful, slow to become angry, and full of unfailing love and mercy” (nlt). God is slow to anger. God has a very long fuse.

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Connected to Divine

In the book of John, chapter 15, Jesus tells us that he is the vine and we are the branches. It order to be truly alive and in order to do great things with our lives (which is like producing fruit) we need to be connected to Jesus. We need to be praying and reading the Bible and listening to God. Jesus is holy. Another word for holy is “divine.” It’s easy to remember that word, because He is divine and we are “de branch.” But we need to stay connected to the holy or “divine” if we want to be really alive.

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Not Seeing but Believing

Do we always have to be able to see things in order to believe they exist? What are some things that we can’t see but still know are there? (Let kids share their thoughts.) We can’t see the air all around us, but when the wind is blowing, we can feel the air, or we can see the things it moves. (Use fan to illustrate air movement—maybe letting it move a scrap of paper.) We can’t see sound waves, but when we hear a loud noise (use whistle to illustrate sound), we know that sound is real. We can’t see the love that our parents and friends have for us, but we feel their hugs and hear their loving words, and we know that their love is real.

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Listening for the “Love”

Baabara: But why did Jesus have to die in the first place? Me: Well, if the disciples had listened carefully, they would have understood that Jesus was going to die on the cross to save the world from sin and death. By dying on the cross, Jesus, the Good Shepherd, was saying something very important to the whole world. Baabara: What was he saying? Me: Jesus was saying, “I love you.”

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The Pain of Separation

As Jesus rode into Jerusalem, he knew that he was going to die on the cross, be buried in a tomb, and after three days, come back to life again. For a short time, Jesus was going to be separated from his friends and family on earth. Do you think that made Jesus sad? How do you think it made his close friends feel? (Let children answer.) Before Jesus came back to life, he would be separated from people he loved very much—people who loved him and needed him to be with them. And that kind of separation is a sad thing.

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Snake on a Stick

Strange as it may seem, there is a connection between Moses’ snake on a stick and Jesus on the cross. Many of you might know the famous Bible verse, John 3:16; “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” But right before that verse is this one: “Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.”

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