Summary: The purpose of church, Sunday School, and VBS.
INTRO.- What is church, Sunday School and VBS all about? One thing for sure, it’s the place to learn about God and His Word.
ILL.- A Sunday School teacher asked her students, “Do you believe that story about Lot’s wife looking back and turning into a pillar of salt?”
One little boy said, “Sure I do. Just yesterday my mother looked back and turned into a telephone pole.”
ILL.- The assignment in VBS was to make stickers for the window panes in the classroom. The teacher asked, “What did you learn from the work you did today?”
One boy said, “That if you get too much water on the stickers they won’t stick.”
ILL.- A mother asked her son, “What did you learn in VBS today? “That God created the world in eleven days.” “But that’s wrong.” “In that case, I didn’t learn anything.”
ILL.- Another SS teacher asked, “What do we learn from the story of Jonah and the whale?”
A little girl said, “We learn that people make whales sick.”
ILL.- A youngster went home after VBS and said to his father, “Today we heard a wonderful story from the Bible. The teacher said the Jews were chased out of Egypt by Egyptian tanks.”
“When they came to the Red sea, the Jews saw the Egyptian tanks coming after them so they built a bridge and went over safely. But when the Egyptians kept coming, they blew it up with an atomic bomb and the Egyptians were destroyed.” His father said, “Did the teacher really tell you the story that way?”
He replied, “No, but if I told you how he did tell the story, you’d never believe it.”
ILL.- One lady said, “In VBS my 5-year-old son Robby learned that God created Adam from the dust. One evening during his bedtime prayers, Robby said, ‘Thank you, God, for making my Dad look so cool. HE DOESN’T LOOK LIKE HE WAS MADE FROM DIRT.’”
ILL.- A VBS teacher said, “From the opening of our VBS we ask for volunteers to pray. One morning, a first-grader enthusiastically waved his hand. Running to the front, he took a big breath as everyone bowed their heads for prayer and suddenly his voice boomed through the microphone: I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA....”
ILL.- Another lady said, “In our church’s VBS one of the 4-year-old boys rushed to his father at the close of the evening activities and proudly announced that he had learned his Bible verse for the day, Psalm 46:1.”
“That’s great,” his father said, “Let me hear it.” The little boy said, “GOD IS OUR REFUGE AND STRENGTH, AND OUR PRESIDENT’S IN TROUBLE.” (a present help in trouble)
ILL.- Another lady said, “When I picked up my two boys from their last day of VBS, I asked if they would like to attend next summer.”
“Yes,” they said, “but next year it should be only four days.”
“I was puzzled so I asked why only four days.”
“My five-year-old said, ‘BECAUSE IT’S HARD TO BE GOOD 5 DAYS IN A ROW.’”
PROP.- I want to talk about a few things that are important about church, Sunday School and VBS.
ILL.- One time a father told his little girl, "I love you when you’re good." She replied, "I love you all the time, Daddy."
I think this is very true of our Heavenly Father. He loves us when we’re good, but He also loves us when we’re not so good. He may be grieved over our wrongdoing, BUT HE STILL LOVES US.
ILL.- God loved the prodigal son before he ever became a prodigal. And God also loved him when he was in the hoglot, hungry and hurting. God loved him even though he had sown his wild oats and was paying for it.
ILL.- Max Lucado wrote, "God loves you just the way you are. If you think His love for you would be stronger if your faith were, you are wrong. If you think His love would be deeper if your thoughts were, wrong again. Don’t confuse God’s love with the love of people. The love of people often increases with performance and decreases with mistakes. Not so with God. He loves you right where you are." Praise Him!
I John 4:8 "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love."
I John 4:16 "And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him."
I looked up the words "God is love" and found 74 different combinations in the N.T. Surely this should tell us something about the character of God! If God is anything at all, HE IS LOVE!