Summary: Before Jesus entered his heart the apostle Paul wasn’t doing God’s work, was he? Neither were we.
Theme: God’s grace
Object: A pair of work gloves
Scripture: About a month ago I had a lot of work to do in my yard. We had a very large tree that needed to be trimmed and so I decided to do it myself. So I got a pair of work gloves and some rope and a few other things and I went to work. I noticed that as I was working my gloves weren’t doing a thing. They were just laying there on my workbench being lazy. In fact I am thinking about taking them back to the store to get a refund. They call these work-gloves but they didn’t do a thing. I would cut a limb down, cut it into smaller pieces and then load on my truck to haul it away. And you know what? My gloves just laid there and watched me the entire time. I kept thinking when are you tow gonna get up and help me? Why don’t you get up and sweep the driveway?? And they never did a thing!!
They did just what they’re doing now-just laid there. They’re useless. Now maybe if one of you ask them they get up and get busy. Anybody want to try??? (allow a couple of kids to try) I give up! What do you think we need to do to get these gloves to do any work? (wait for answers) What?! Put my hands inside the gloves?! (put gloves on)
You know, this is amazing! It’s like these gloves have become a whole new- thing! Why, once I put my hands in the work gloves, they can do all sorts of things. They’re not use-less anymore. They’re use-full now. I’ll bet they can hammer nails, rake leaves, and pick up limbs. They can probably open doors and lift and carry all kinds of heavy objects. (Pause then get a little serious) We know, of course, it isn't the gloves that would be doing the work. It is my hands inside the gloves that would be doing the work, isn’t it? Yes.
You know, that is the same way it is with being a Christian. Before Jesus entered his heart the apostle Paul wasn’t doing God’s work, was he? Neither were we. No way! He persecuted the church and even arrested and sometimes killed Christians. But by His grace God changed Paul and filled his heart like my hands fill these gloves. Then God used Paul to do so many good works. And when we let God fill our hearts, He can use us to do all kinds of good works, too. We go from being use-less (point to gloves) to (put on gloves) use-full for God.
Let’s pray: Heavenly Father, we don’t want to be use-less. We ask you today that, by your grace, you will fill our hearts with your love so we can be use-full for you. Amen.