September 4, 2005
Good morning boys and girls. Today I would like to start by reading you a little poem.
Woke early this dark morning
And rushed into my day.
With so many things to do
I had no time to pray.
Had lots of chores before me
Each a great big task
I wondered why God didnt help me?
He said, you didnt ask.
You didnt ask! Boys and girls this little poem is a reminder to be sure to say your prayers each day. Our prayers are a way of staying close to God. But you dont need to tell God what you do each day because he already knows what you are up to. You dont need to constantly remind God about the things that you may need because He already knows. He knows everything. But when you say your prayers you should always remember that God is listening. God is always right there by your side, no matter what, to help you when you need Him. And just as God is listening, you too must listen to God. Its a two way street! When someone calls on you for help, are you listening? When someone asks you to share, are you listening? When you know you should be kind to someone, do you listen with your heart? When you are asked to put others first, are you listening? In other words, are you listening to God?
Boys and girls did you ever notice people walking down the street, or jogging, or riding their bikes with headphones on? Obviously they are listening to something. But are they able to hear their friends and neighbors, or have they tuned out the world around them? Well its the same way boys and girls when you pray without listening to God its like you are tuning out God.
Now that weve talked a little about prayer lets see if we can write a good ending to our little poem for today. How about . . .
Woke up early this fine morning
And got a real good start
First I said my prayers to Jesus
Then I listened with my heart!
September 11, 2005
Good morning boys and girls. Today I want us to talk about a word we hear all of the time:
In our daily lives all of us are asked to forgive others for things they have done wrong to us. But its a two-way street. There are also times that we must ask others to forgive us for things we have done wrong to them. You all know that! But sometimes when someone does something wrong to us or to someone we care about it can be hard to forgive. Sometimes youd rather stay angry instead of shaking hands and forgiving that person.
We all make mistakes sometimes, right? Do you know what boys and girls? All of us can be instantly forgiven by God if we just ask. Thats right. If only we would ask. You see when you ask God for forgiveness — when you say you are sorry for the thing you have done wrong and promise to try to change and do better then Gods forgiveness is guaranteed! Isnt that awesome, boys and girls?
When you think of Gods forgiving love for you in this way it just might make forgiving others just a little bit easier. One more thing boys and girls — when you really earn Gods forgiveness in this way the thing that you did wrong is not only forgiven, but its also forgotten!
September 18, 2005
Good morning boys and girls. Today we read in our Bibles that Jesus said the last shall be first and the first last. Does that make sense to you boys and girls? How can the person who is last be first? How can the person who is first, be last? If you run in a race and you win then you finished in first place. If you go bowling with your friends and make the lowest score then you are last. Isnt that right boys and girls?
But when Jesus tells us that the last shall be first and the first last He is talking about our attitude and behavior toward our friends and our family and our neighbors — to all of the members of our human family. He wants us to think not of ourselves first but of others first. He is asking us to help others before helping ourselves.
Suppose you see an older person who doesnt move too quickly struggling to open a door. Should you race to get ahead of that person so you can get through first? No, of course not! You should open the door for that person who needs your help and then go through last. How about when you are having dinner with your family? Should you grab up all of the food for yourself, or should you wait your turn and take your fair share so there is plenty for everyone? How about when you are with your friends? Should you keep your games and your toys to yourself, or should you share your things with your friends? The point is boys and girls Jesus has asked all of us to think of others first, before we think of ourselves. You hear this in the Bible lessons that we talk about each week . . .
Help those that need you,
Share with those that have less than you,
Visit those who are sick or lonely,
Listen with your heart.
And when you do these things boys and girls you will be following Jesus instruction to put others first. And when you put others first, your are guaranteed first place in the eyes of God!
September 25, 2005
Good morning boys and girls. Today Id like to talk about a word we have studied before. That word is : REPENTANCE. What is repentance, boys and girls? Thats right, you remember that repentance is owning up to the things you have done wrong, saying you are sorry and then promising to do better — promising to try to change. And when you repent for the things you have done wrong Gods forgiveness is guaranteed!
Sounds easy boys and girls, doesnt it? All you need to do is ask God and He will forgive you! But its not as easy as it sounds. You see boys and girls sometimes the hardest thing is to really want to change. It is easy to see how others should change but when it comes to ourselves sometimes we dont see so clearly. Saying you are sorry is just the beginning changing your behavior so you dont do wrong again is the hard work that comes after. This is one of those times that you should think of yourself first think first how you should change before you think of how others should!
October 2, 2005
Good morning boys and girls. How many of you saw the movie, Titanic? If you didnt see the movie I can tell you that the Titanic was a famous cruise ship that ran into an iceberg almost one-hundred years ago. There is a scene in the movie where a young man is standing on the front part of the ship, about 100 feet in the air as he looks out over the mighty ocean before him. He yells, Im king of the world! Standing out there that boy must have felt very powerful.
Of course that young man was not king of the sea or even king of the Titanic — he wasnt a king at all. A king is a very powerful person who rules over his land and his people. And of course that boy was wrong because there is no human king of the sea. That job belongs only and forever to God, who is not only King of the Sea but King of the Universe!
We live in Gods Kingdom and we are expected to live by Gods rule. Just like you must obey the rules in your community so that you can live a happy life — you must obey the Rule of God to live a happy life for all eternity. And God has promised that those who follow the examples of Jesus, our true King, can have eternal life with God, the King of Kings, the King of the World, the King of the Universe!
October 9, 2005
Good morning boys and girls. In our Bibles we have read about many of the parables of Jesus. A parable is just another word for a story that helps to teach us a lesson about something. One of the Parables that Jesus taught is called the Parable of the lost Sheep. In this story Jesus talks about how the shepherd takes care of his sheep. If he has a flock of 100 sheep and just one of them is lost, he will go out and look for the lost sheep, and the shepherd will not rest until he finds it. It is the shepherds job to find that one lost sheep and bring it back to the rest of the flock. When the shepherd finds the lost sheep he is very happy. He picks up the lost one and carries it on his shoulder back home to the rest of the flock.
In this Parable, Jesus is explaining to us that God loves us just like a shepherd loves his flock. When we get lost, God comes looking for us. When we fail to obey Gods Law, when we forget the examples of Jesus, God will come looking for us too. And when He finds us, He is happy and He carries us back home again.
October 16, 2005
Good morning boys and girls. We learn in our Bibles today that during the time before Jesus, owning cattle (cows and bulls) was a very important sign of a persons wealth. If there was a battle between two groups, one of the ways to measure who won the battle would be to find out how many of your opponents cattle were captured. If you wanted to know if a man was rich you would find out how many cattle he owned. And when you came to the Temple to Worship God, you would make Him an offering of one of your cattle. We also read in our Bibles that even though a man might think he owns his cattle, they already belong to God. In fact, boys and girls when we understand this point we understand that everything on earth, every living creature, every plant, every mountain, every flower — every single thing on earth was created by God and therefore belongs to God, and not to us!
Thats right! Every car and every house and every dollar bill belongs to God. Everything that we have comes from God. And we are here as stewards of all of these things. Thats a new word for us boys and girls. What does this word steward mean? A steward is someone who has been entrusted to look after something. Not something that he or she owns, but something that someone else owns. We have been given the job to be stewards of all of Gods miracles of creation. It is our job to treat these miracles of creation very carefully. We are stewards of our air and we must be careful not to pollute it. We are stewards of our water and we must never foul it up with garbage. We are stewards of the mountains and the forests and the beaches and we must always take care of them so they will be beautiful for all future generations. God has given each one of us an awesome responsibility to be his good stewards here on earth. What a wonderful job that is!
October 23, 2005
Good morning boys and girls. We read in our Bibles today that Jesus was asked, which is the greatest commandment? And Jesus answered, first, you must love God with all your heart. And second, you must love one another!
How many times have we heard these things, boys and girls? Obviously these commandments were very important to Jesus but how important are they to us?
How many of Jesus followers really make these the most important things in their lives? How can we tell if these are the most important things in our lives?
Heres a little test that we can take to see if we are on the right track:
(1) Do I think of others, before always thinking of myself?
(2) Do I listen to God when I pray?
(3) Am I a good steward of all of Gods miracles of creation?
(4) Am I tuned into the Good News of the Gospels?
(5) Do I try to forgive others?
Hopefully you have said Yes to most of these questions. But even if you didnt the Good News is that that the forgiving love of God is always right there to help you make a perfect score!
October 30, 2005
Good morning girls and boys. Today I would like us to talk about brotherhood. What exactly is brotherhood? Yes it is true that brothers and sisters in a family share a brotherhood. Thats really the exact meaning of the word — just being brothers. But we are not just brothers to our family members, are we, boys and girls? No, God wants us to share a brotherhood with all of His children here on earth. God wants us to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be brotherly not just to our family, but to all of our friends and neighbors, and to those who need us.
Boys and girls have you heard some of the names that big cities in our country have been given? Can anyone think of any? How about The Big Apple, New York City. A Capital City is what Washington D.C. is nicknamed. Does anyone know where the Windy City is? Thats right. The Windy City is Chicago, Illinois. Heres a good one. The city of Philadelphia has been called the City of Brotherly Love. Boys and girls wouldnt it be great if that were true not only for Philadelphia but every city in the world? Wouldnt it be great if it wasnt just a slogan for a city but an instruction for all of its citizens.
Well it is an instruction for all citizens of the world. It is not a slogan but an instruction from Jesus to do the work that is expected of each of us. Boys and girls, all of Gods children are brothers and sisters. Ill bet you didnt know you had such a big family, did you?