Bible Reading: Romans 6:20-23
The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23
What will the next school year be like? Ellen has heard that the fifth-grade teacher pulls out a yardstick from behind her back and cracks it against the chalkboard. “This is fifth grade,” Mrs. Headstomper tells her new students. “Behave like ladies and gentlemen—or else.”
This teacher isn’t run-of-the-mill mean. She is seriously mean .. . headstomper mean.
Some of the kids who are going into the sixth grade have also told Ellen about Mrs. Headstomper’s “penny push-ups.” Any student who misbehaves is sentenced to a half hour standing in the corner holding a penny to the wall with his or her nose. Twitch a muscle and the penny drops. The time-out starts over.
Is there really a Mrs. Headstomper? Probably not. But a lot of kids keep thinking that sooner or later they will crash into a wickedly mean teacher. That’s sad. What’s even sadder is how many people think God is a close relative of old Mrs. Headstomper.
Some of your close friends probably picture God as a mean old guy just waiting for them to do something wrong so he can put them under his thumb and crush them. They think God’s biggest goal is to trap them, trick them, or hurt them.
But that isn’t the God you know.
The Bible’s biggest message is that God is love. He loves us so much that he has given us everything we need to spend eternity with him. He’s not plotting our misery. In fact, he’s planning our good: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope’” (Jeremiah 29:11).
Talk about it: How can we be sure God really loves us and wants to fill our life with good things?
The best and biggest way to be certain of God’s love is to examine how he dealt with our major problem: sin. All people rebelled against God. Yet he invented a better way to deal with our wrongdoing than lining us up against a wall and forcing us to do penny push-ups.
You know what God did. He sent Jesus to die and rise again to purchase our forgiveness and make a way for us to be friends with him. That doesn’t sound anything like Mrs. Headstomper, does it?
TALK: How can you explain to your non-Christian friends that God isn’t out to get them?
PRAY: God, help us to share with our non-Christian friends what you are really like. Help them to understand that your love is for all of us!
ACT: Who do you know who needs to hear this message? Share it!