Summary: This is an illustrated, evangelistic sermon for children designed to lead them to Jesus. This message illustrates how God takes bad things away from us and replaces the bad things with good gifts.
1. A homeless man
1. Five Pillows
2. Five pillowcases that have the following words written in large letters with black ink: Sadness, Fear, Worry, Sickness, and Sin.
3. Five gift-wrapped packages that say: Joy, Faith, Hope, Healing, and Salvation.
There is a man in this town who is very poor. I saw him today at the market place. He was dressed in rags and he looked very sad. Here he comes now. (A disheveled scruffy looking man makes his way to the platform. He is carrying a large trash bag. Inside the trash bag are several pillows. Each pillow has a large word written on the pillowcase).
What is this man carrying? Sir, could you show me what is in your bag? (The man slowly pulls out one pillow. Written on the pillowcase is the word “SADNESS.”)
Sir, you do not have to be sad. Did you know that Jesus will give you joy? The Bible says, “The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). Will you allow Jesus to take away your sadness and to give you joy? (The man is acting really sad, but finally he is persuaded to give his sadness to Jesus. Jesus exchanges the Sad pillow for a gift that says JOY. Jesus takes the pillow from the man and holds it in his hand).
“What else do you have in your bag?” (The man pulls out a pillow that says, “FEAR.”) You do not need to be fearful. God has not given you a spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). Do you want to give your fear to Jesus? (The man acts afraid, but finally he is persuaded to exchange his fear for the gift of FAITH).
Do you have any thing else in your trash bag? (The man pulls out “WORRY.”) Jesus does not want you to worry, he wants to give you hope (Matthew 6:31). Will you exchange your worry for the gift of hope? (Again, the man gives away his worry and receives the gift of HOPE).
Let’s find out what else you have in your bag. (The man pulls out “SICKNESS.”) Are you sick? (The man nods “yes”). Where in your body do you feel pain? (The man points to his head, his back, and his arm. Then he coughs and stumbles around like he is crippled). Wow, you are hurting everywhere. Did you know that Dr. Jesus can heal you? (The man mimes that he does not have enough money to pay a doctor). You don’t need any money to get healed. Jesus paid the price so that you do not have to be sick anymore. The Bible says, “By the stripes of Jesus, you are healed” (1 Peter 2:24). (Jesus takes the man’s sickness and gives him the gift of HEALING).
What is the last thing you have in your trash bag? (The man pulls out “SIN.”) Jesus died on the cross to pay the price for your sins. (The actor playing Jesus stretches out His hands. In each hand He is holding the pillows. He pretends to die on the cross. The homeless man comes and kneels in front of Jesus). But Jesus did not stay dead. After three days Jesus rose from the dead. (Jesus resurrects. He throws the pillow behind Himself and stand victorious. He lifts up the man and gives him a hug. Then Jesus hands the man the gift of SALVATION.)
Tonight Jesus wants to take away your sadness, your fear, your worry, your sickness, and your sin. If you will cry out to Jesus, He will save you and give you a brand-new life (Acts 2:21). If you want to receive the gifts that Jesus has for you, lift up your hand.
Repeat this prayer after me, “Dear Jesus, Please take away my sadness and give me joy. Take away my fear and fill my heart with your faith. Take away my worry and give me hope. Tonight, I exchange my sickness for your healing. I exchange my sin for your salvation. I believe Jesus died on the cross to set me free. I believe Jesus rose from the dead and tonight I cry out to him. Jesus, I turn away from my sin and I turn toward you. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.”