Three Reasons I Help with VBS

Then Jesus said, “Leave the children alone, and don’t try to keep them from coming to Me, because the kingdom of heaven is made up of people like this.” (Matthew 19:14 HCSB)

IMG_2127Every year I help with Vacation Bible School at my church and in my parent’s church. Here are three reasons why:

  1. I teach the music. As you may know, I love music. I enjoy getting the children to see the connection between the words in the music and the lessons they learned in Bible study. I go over the Bible verse with them every day because, for some of them, it might be the only verse they will ever learn. Once learned, they have a piece of God to carry around with them forever. Maybe one day that verse will come to mind at a time they most need it.
  2. It gives children something to do. It gets them away from the television, the computer, and/or games: Xbox, PlayStation, or Wii. They get to do crafts, music, recreation and have a snack. Something many schools have eliminated. There’s a lot of planning involved, but if one child comes to know the Lord it is worth it.
  3. It lets children know that Jesus loves them. They are special and important to Him. And, they learn that He knows their name. For many children, it is the only time they are exposed to who Jesus is and why He was born. Over the years, I’ve heard stories of grownups who remember VBS from when they were a child. It always has had a positive impact on them.

In the above verse, people were bringing their children to Jesus to be blessed. The disciples tried to scold them and send them away. I suppose they thought Jesus was too important for children. I assume they had no children of their own at that point in their life. Still, it’s not much of an excuse.

As a result of their sending these parents away, Jesus scolded the disciples. Jesus knew then what analyst tell us now; over 80% of people became Christians when they’re a child or a young teenager.

Why is that do you suppose? Think back to when you were a child. Weren’t things simpler? Didn’t life seem easier back then? All you wanted to do is play, right? The truth is, becoming a Christian is easier to do when you are a child.

Let me put it to you in the VBS way:

  1. A—Admit to God you are a sinner. As a child, it’s easier because they aren’t prideful. We adults want to hang onto the delusion that we are “Good People” and that’s good enough for us. It’s not good enough for Jesus. “Good People” still make mistakes. We still misbehave. We still do wrong.
  2. B—Believe that Jesus is God’s Son. As a child, it’s easier because they still have hope and trust in things unseen. They believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny because we tell them they are real. They believe us because we would never lie to them. Right? As we get older, we become less trusting. Most of the time because of experiences with others. Others, who are imperfect like us. Others, who make mistakes and misbehave, too. I am thankful that Jesus is perfect.
  3. C—Confess your faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord. As a child, it’s easier because they understand that they need help sometimes. They have parents to lean on. They understand that they are not the ones in control. They trust us. We, adults, have a hard time putting our trust in the help of others, much less in God, especially when He is unseen. We would rather do it by ourselves because, of course, we know what we want, how to do it, or what needs to be done. The path to Heaven is not a path that can be traveled alone. It must be done with faith in Jesus.

So, you see, it’s easier when you’re a child. They know they misbehave. They are trusting. They have faith. That is why Jesus said, “because the kingdom of heaven is made up of people like this.” (Matthew 19:14c HCSB)

I know it’s hard, as an adult, but try to relearn how to let go of pride, how to admit when you have done wrong, and how to trust again. You won’t regret it.

Lord, thank You, for letting me be a part of teaching children about you during VBS. I pray it will continue to be an outreach to children who would not be exposed to Your love otherwise.

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He is alive! Forever!

“Don’t be alarmed,” he told them. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has been resurrected! He is not here! See the place where they put Him. (Mark 16:6 HCSB)

Watch this video of Kari Jobe as she sings her song “Forever.” Listen to the words and picture in your mind what they depict.

Hallelujah! The Lamb has overcome. There is nothing more I can say. I am too overcome by emotions. Praise Him forever!

Devotional: Road to the Cross-Part Six

For while we were still helpless, at the appointed moment, Christ died for the ungodly. For rarely will someone die for a just person — though for a good person perhaps someone might even dare to die. (Romans 5:6-7 HCSB)

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FreeImages.com/Slavomir Ulicny

Becoming a mother means sacrificing a lot. It means giving up that youthful figure to stretch marks. It means not getting eight hours of uninterrupted sleep because your child is sick in the middle of the night. And, it means hours driving to and from the practices, games, band practices and band concerts. You give up the last bottle of water because your child just finished playing their second game in the tournament.

Sacrifice is a term that’s easy for us to understand. It means being willing to give up something to someone or something else. Usually, we make sacrifices because we care or because something is important to us.

Jesus understood sacrifice probably more than anyone. Before He was arrested, before Peter denied knowing Him three times, and before Pilate interrogated him, He prayed that God would not make Him experience His Father’s judgment. You see, Jesus knew that he would suffer. He knew He would be flogged with a whip. He knew He would be mocked and ridiculed. He knew His clothes would be divided up among the soldiers.

He knew that the sins (every wrong act) of every person ever born and of every person yet to be born would be placed on him. He understood that that alone would build a wall between Him and God. He had never experienced a separation like that because he had never done anything wrong. He was completely and totally perfect. Yet, even knowing all the suffering He knew He was going to go through He was still willing to do God’s will.

And, He was the perfect sacrifice. He didn’t have to die twice. He didn’t have to die for His own wrong doings and then die for our wrong doings. Going through that experience was bad enough the first time. No one would want to do it a second time.

So why even go through with it? Because He not only cares for us, He loves us. Just like we love our children because they are ours and because they have our DNA. God loves us because He created us.

Here is something else He knew and understood, He wasn’t going to stay dead. Maybe that alone was enough to give him the strength to withstand all the punishment he endured. Maybe each slap across the face, every painful slash across his back with a whip, every slow step He took while carrying a heavy wooden cross reminded himself that his sacrifice was not in vain, that God would bring him back like Jesus brought Lazarus back to life.

Lord, I’m sorry that Jesus suffered and died for my wrong doings. I praise you because it wasn’t in vain. I belong to you. I am your child. Thank you.