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Psalm 78
. . . we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. .
so the next generation would know them . . . and they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

It's Incredible

Each Wednesday evening at our church, I'm privileged to share the good news of Jesus to Awana guests. Many of them have never been to a church and know nothing of Jesus, except what they may have heard here and there. Last night, as I folded the Evangecube* to the picture of Jesus, risen from the dead, I explained that, "Jesus didn't stay dead. After three days in the tomb He rose from the dead and came alive again."

One boy said, "It isn't true."

Later, as I talked with him more about the truth of Jesus' resurrection, I agreed with him that it is a shocking thing. But what good would it be to say that Jesus could forgive us and save us if He didn't have power over death?

But the guest in my Awana class represents the majority view of our culture. What is it like to be a kid growing up in a church environment, but surrounded by a world that denies the truths that your church and family teaches? I think church kids tend to put church ideas into a separate compartment in their mind from the other things they learn about life and the world around them.

When I wrote Lord, Have Mercy, I wanted to help families show their kids that Jesus Christ truly is the Son of God and that this incredible truth--proved by Jesus through miracle after miracle--matters today. It changes everything. It cannot be kept in a compartment of "church ideas."

Throughout Lord, Have Mercy, kids are often asked, "Why does this matter to you today?"

Why does it matter that Jesus calmed the wind and waves? Churched kids often answer with things like, "When I'm scared, Jesus can calm me," or "When my life is hard, Jesus will be with me." These nice answers miss the incredibleness of what Jesus did.  Jesus Christ stood up in the boat and rebuked the wind and waves. The storm stopped. Jesus Christ, this man from Nazereth who said that He was sent from God, stood up and controlled the weather.
"Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him." (John 3:36 NIV)
The Lord, Have Mercy devotion for Week Three, Thursday asks, "In light of this verse, why does it matter that Jesus holds power over the weather?"

Jesus taught that we must believe in Him to be saved from God's wrath for sin. This is a big deal. But He also showed that He was no ordinary man. He showed that He had supernatural power over our natural world. We can put faith in Him with confidence.

If you are using Lord, Have Mercy to guide family devotions, I hope that you are able to challenge your children to realize the incredibleness and the reality of Jesus Christ.

*Click on the picture of Toby in the right sidebar to watch a video of Toby telling about Jesus using the Evangecube, when he was three years old.

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