Summary: What it means to be a child of God
I. SERMON: What I learned at VBS Luke 18:16, 17 July 28, 2002
A. A group of people gathered together to talk about VBS and they began sharing stories
1. ILL.- One person shared a story about a young boy who went home after VBS and told his father about the Bible story they had studied The little boy began, “Boy it was a really cool story Dad. The Jews were being chased out of Egypt by the Egyptian who driving tanks. When the Jews came to the Red sea they couldn’t find a way to cross over the without getting wet so the Jews built this really big bridge and they crossed over it safely. When the Egyptians in their tanks tried to follow the Jews blew the bridge up with this huge atomic bomb and the all the Egyptians died.”
His father said, “Now son, Did the teacher really tell you the story that way?” The little boy replied, “No, but if I told you how he did tell the story, you’d never believe it.”
2. ILL.- Another lady said, “In our church’s VBS one of the 4-year-old rushed to her mother at the close of the evening activities and proudly announced that she had learned his Bible verse for the day, Psalms 46:1.”
“That’s great,” her mother said beaming with pride, “Let me hear it.”
The little girl slowly began to recite, “GOD IS OUR REFUGE AND STRENGTH, AND OUR PRESIDENT’S IN TROUBLE.”
3. Well that may not be how the verse goes but the truth of the matter is the president is in a little bit of trouble right now and our VBS truly was unbelievable.
III. Prepared this week –
A. VBS is an undaunting task to undertake especially for a small church like ours I mean if you have been around children for any length of time you know if you get 20, 30, 40 or more children together and you have got your hands full.
1. As I reflected on that I thought I better began the week with a little extra time of prayer and bible study. I turn to my trusty concordance and began reading all the various scriptures about children..
(a) There are over 435 different references in our Bible about children – about the joys and challenges
(b) But what I really found interesting that there was one story, one story about children that is repeated in each of the gospels almost exactly word for word
(c) Turn with me if you will to Luke 18:16, 17
2. What was it about this story that made it so important in the life of Jesus that all three of the Gospels recorded it? What does it mean to come as little children before God? What could I learn this week in VBS about the kingdom of God.
B. I listened to stories and lessons the children were being taught.
1. On Thursday they learned about Prayer
(a) They studied the Lord’s Prayer
(b) They learned the Hand Prayer
(i) Thumb – pray for me
(ii) Pointer Finger – for those who point the way
(iii) Middle Finger – for those who stand tall – our leaders
(iv) The Ring Finger– for those you love
(v) The Pinky Finger – for the weak
(c) Made Prayer Journals
(i) As I read through some of the journals I was touched by their prayers
(a) Thank you God for letting me be borne
(b) Take care of my mommy, daddy, grandma, grandpa and pets
(c) Help my parents love me even when I am bad
2. On Friday they learned about the giving of Gifts for God’s glory
(a) Gifts of Favors
(b) Gifts of Love
(c) Gift of Thanks
3. And on Saturday they learned about Service
(a) Service not just to the poor and needy
(b) But in the church as well
(i) We are thankful for the Banner and Planters
C. But while the lessons were insightful and wonderful – the girls did a fantastic job
1. I didn’t think that was exactly what God wanted us to understand about coming to Him as little children.
2. So I began to really watch and listen to what the children were saying and doing and this is
IV. What I Learned at VBS
A. To be like a child in the kingdom of God you have to actively worship God with your whole body
1. Now Justin is a pretty active child (just ask anyone who was here this week) And in his hyperactivity you don’t always “see” God
2. But when they would begin to worship God through must it was amazing. Justin would become very focused very intentional and move, boy did he move, that boy can cut quite a rug