• I want to thank all the parents who sent their children to our VBS this year. At least in the class I taught, the children we very good and I think they learned a lot!
• Today when you look in the bulletin, you will see a sermon title and an outline that does not match what I am going to do today.
• Today, I felt compelled to share with you all what we taught the young people during our Lava Lava Island VBS this week!
• I felt this VBS was one of the better ones content wise that I have been a part of over the last 15 years or so.
• The great thing about God’s word is it is simple, yet powerful and is applicable to all ages. We could have taken the content of our VBS and taught it (with some changes) to any age group.
• During VBS we taught the children a bible point each day, backed up with a bible story which was anchored to a bible treasure verse.
• Then of course all the activities reinforced the bible point for the day.
• I hope that in the message today, you will find a message of encouragement. I hope you are taken by the simplicity of the message, and struck by its’ power.
I. JESUS BRINGS HOPE (LUKE 2:1-20)
Key passage: Psalms 42:5(NLT) Why am I discouraged? Why so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again—my Savior and
• The first Bible point for the week was, Jesus Brings Hope. For this Bible point we took the children to the story of the birth of Jesus in Luke 2:1-20.
• This is an interesting place to start because the world needs hope. During the time of Jesus, the nation of Israel was under the control of Rome. The nation did not like this control, things looked very bleak.
• In the world we live in today, would you agree we need hope. Look around you, look at what is happening around the world. There are folks who want to kill as many of us as possible. The society seems to be busting at the seams.
• Look at the world your children are living in. We have drugs running rampant, sexual images are everywhere.
• Those of you who are parents or grandparents, do you worry about your children? How many of you worry about your job situation? Maybe your marriage is on the rocks, maybe you are suffering from financial or medical problems?
• What do you do, how do you keep your sanity? For the children, many of them have a lot of stuff happening in their lives, where do they turn?
• Our key verse found in Psalm 42:5 says in part, “I will put my hope in God!
• During the first day of VBS, we encouraged the children that the one place you could place your hope is in God.
• God is the one constant in an ever changing world. Hope means no matter what is happening, we have something to look forward to. Things could be falling apart all around us, yet God is still there for us.
• Many children face so much uncertainty with the break up of families, with having to move because of job issues. Your children need to know where they can place their hope.
• Adults, we need the same. When all looked lost, God sent His Son!
• GAL 4:4 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law,
• Where is your hope placed? Put is in Jesus!
II. JESUS FOLLOWED GOD’S WORD (MATTHEW 4:1-11)
Key passage: Psalms 119:11(NLT) I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
• During the second day we taught the children that Jesus Followed God’s Word!
• The bible story we used was Jesus being tempted in the wilderness by Satan in Matthew 4:1-11.
• Each and every day we are ALL faced with temptations. The children face temptations, and each one of us faces temptation.
• How many lives have you seen ruined because some adult succumbed to temptation.
• Jesus was hungry, and thirsty. He had been in the wilderness for 40 days then Satan came a calling.
• When we are at our weakest points is when we are most likely to be attacked by the devil.
• What did Jesus do when He was weak and was facing temptation?
• Jesus fought off temptation by following God’s word. Jesus fought off temptation with God’s word. Jesus quoted scripture to Satan and that is the only weapon He used to overcome temptation.
• Did Jesus break out His King James Bible? No, He did what our key verse of the day encourages us all to do! Psalms 119:11(NLT) I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
• To hide God’s Word in your heart does not mean it is hidden from view, but instead God’s word is stored up in your heart!
• When you are being attacked, you can recall the Word of God’s hidden in your heart to defeat the temptation.
• Parents, you will not always be around your children 24/7. What is going to keep them from doing the wrong thing? What is it that will keep them from maybe making that one life altering decision? What will keep them from going along with the crowd, when the crowd is wrong?
• God’s word hidden in their hearts.
• What will keep you on the right path? God’s word hidden in your heart.
• You do not have to fall prey to temptation! God will help you!
• 1CO 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
III. JESUS GIVES US COURAGE (MATTHEW 10:1-31)
Key passage: Philippians 4:13(NLT) For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.
• Is it easy to do the right thing? Is it always easy to do what Gad has called you to do? NO!
• On our third day, we taught the children that Jesus Gives Us Courage! We used the story of Jesus sending out the 12 disciples as found in Matthew 10. This was going to be a difficult job for them to carry out, yet Jesus gave these men the courage to do the job.
• When God asks you to do something, He provides the needed courage to do the job!
• Children today have a tough road ahead of them. There are so many things trying to trip them up, there are so many challenges the face, so many obstacles. Many times your child may be the only one who is trying to do what is right.
• Do you remember how hard is was to not go along with the crowd? It takes courage.
• Our key verse for this thought comes from Philippians 4:13, For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.
• Jesus can give you the strength to do anything He has called you to do. How many times in your life have you felt helpless in the face of temptation?
• When I felt called to the ministry, I really did not know if I could do it, one day I realized that if Jesus called me to do it, He would provide the courage I needed to do what He has called me to do.
• Courage is something that we need no matter how old or young we are!
IV. JESUS SAVES US (LUKE 23:25-24:12)
Key passage: John 3:16(NLT) “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
• On Day four, we taught the children that Jesus saves us! The bible story was taken out of Luke 23:25-24:12. The story was the death and resurrection of Jesus.
• We wanted the children to know there is a god in heaven who loves them so much He sent His only Son to die for them!
• Our Key passage was: John 3:16(NLT) “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
• If you live and then die, and it is all over, what is the use, where is the hope? What about having a God who is demanding, but not loving?
• Where is the joy in serving a God who does not love you?
• We need to understand that Jesus is the only way we can be saved, that thought should have an impact on our lives!
• JOHN 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
• God’s grace flows down from Jesus to us! We are saved by the blood of Jesus!
• How many people do you know who are trying to make up their own way of being saved?
• Jesus saves us, not our good deeds, not some other religious figure, not some religions system! Jesus saves!
V. JESUS GIVES US A REASON TO CELEBRATE (ACTS 1:1-11)
Key passage: John 14:2(NLT) There are many rooms in my Father’s home, and I am going to prepare a place for you. If this were not so, I would tell you plainly.
• On the last day we wanted the children to understand that life in Jesus is good now, but there is more to come!
• In Acts 1:1-11, the disciples saw Jesus ascend into heaven! Jesus told them there was more to come! The disciples did not have to be sad because Jesus was coming back!
• Our key passage was found in John 14:2. There are many rooms in my Father’s home, and I am going to prepare a place for you. If this were not so, I would tell you plainly.
• Jesus went away to prepare a place for us!
• Most of us have a favorite place to go. When we are preparing to go to that place, we most likely are excited about going!
• We are to live our lives in such a way that we celebrate the fact that Jesus is preparing a wonderful place for us to spend eternity!
• As I have said before, if all there is to life is what we can see, it would seem like a waste, but there is more. I love my life, but I know there is more to come!
• Our softball team had a great season. We celebrated when we took our first 2nd place finish. We thought that was great. Later in the season, we won our first tournament. The celebration was taken to a whole other level.
• We can celebrate life now, but when we look at what awaits us, our celebration will be taken to a whole other level!
• Our VBS week was a very good one. We planted the seeds of the gospel in the minds of 70 plus young people. I believe when we plant the seeds of the word of God, the word will not come back void!
• Remember, Jesus brings hope, Jesus followed God’s word, Jesus gives us courage, Jesus saves us and Jesus gives us a reason to celebrate!
• Do you want to make the angels of heaven celebrate today? Give your life to Jesus!