Friday 2 May 2014

Unity in the Body of Christ--Fundamental Belief #14

Fundamental Belief #14--Unity in the Body of Christ

The church is one body with many members, called from every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. In Christ we are a new creation; distinctions of race, culture, learning, and nationality, and differences between high and low, rich and poor, male and female, must not be divisive among us. We are all equal in Christ, who by one Spirit has bonded us into one fellowship with Him and with one another; we are to serve and be served without partiality or reservation. Through the revelation of Jesus Christ in the Scriptures we share the same faith and hope, and reach out in one witness to all. This unity has its source in the oneness of the triune God, who has adopted us as His children. (Read verses here: Rom. 12:4, 5; 1 Cor. 12:12-14; Matt. 28:19, 20; Ps. 133:1; 2 Cor. 5:16, 17; Acts 17:26, 27; Gal. 3:27, 29; Col. 3:10-15; Eph. 4:14-16; 4:1-6; John 17:20-23.)

The Object Lesson:

Materials Needed
--Children's puzzle with about 24 large pieces
--Small table, such as a collapsible TV tray,  large enough to hold finished puzzle 

Have the puzzle partially started before the story begins.

Many Pieces, One Whole
(Hold up a puzzle piece and say:) Do you like my picture? Isn’t it pretty?

(The children will probably tell you it isn’t a picture but just a piece of a puzzle.)

Yes, that’s right, it isn’t a picture yet. It’s just a piece of the puzzle.   I have all these puzzle pieces but they won’t be a picture unless I put them together.  Each piece is different but it has a place in the picture.  Every piece has a place and when they are fitted together correctly I will have a very nice picture.  What would happen if every piece looked alike?  I wouldn’t have a very nice picture to look at when I was finished.

I've started putting the puzzle together but I'm going to need some help.  (Pass out the remaining puzzle pieces to the children and have them come up, two or three at a time to place their piece(s) in the puzzle.) 

Ah, now we can see the pretty picture in the puzzle and we all worked so well together.  Each piece of the puzzle was different but equally important so the puzzle could be finished.  What would happen if one of the puzzle pieces decided it didn’t want to be in the puzzle and got lost?  Would our puzzle be complete?  No, we need all the pieces to make a pretty picture.

Just as each puzzle piece had its place, we each have a place in our church.  Jesus prayed to His Father that we would all be one just as He and His Father were.  The Bible tells us “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!”  It doesn’t matter that we don’t all look alike or that we can’t all sing or play the piano or preach.  Each person in the church is different from anyone else.  Some are boys and some are girls. Some are tall and some are short.  Some can preach and some can listen.  But just like the puzzle pieces, each one of us plays an important role.  What are some things that people in church can do?  (Preach, teach, play, sing, clean, help, take up the offering, greet people, invite people home for dinner, pray, count money, sit and listen, etc.)  The Bible tells us we are all equal in God’s sight and part of His family.  We are to serve Him and one another.

But even though we are different and do different things we come together in unity because loving and obeying Jesus is the most important thing we all do.  Remember when we put the puzzle together we sometimes put a piece in the wrong place?  We soon realized we were wrong and found the right place for the piece.  Sometimes in our church we also have difficulties and we don’t all agree but with prayer and the help of the Holy Spirit we come together united in our belief in Jesus and find the solution to our problems.  

Aren’t you happy this morning that Jesus has brought us all together as one in His church.

Prayer:  Dear Jesus, we are so thankful that no matter who we are or what we can do we can have hope in You.  We can be one in You.  Amen.

The Bible Verse:
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brethren to dwell together in unity!
Psalm 133:1

The Song:

What Joy It Is to Worship Here
What joy it is to worship here, And find ourselves at home,
Where God, who uses every gift, Has room for all who come!

Yet are no two of us alike of all the human race,
And we must seek a common ground if we would share His grace.

~Words by Fred Pratt Green, Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal #586

The Coloring Page:



Friday 25 April 2014

Remnant and Its Mission--Fundamental Belief #13

Fundamental Belief #13--Remnant and Its Mission

The universal church is composed of all who truly believe in Christ, but in the last days, a time of widespread apostasy, a remnant has been called out to keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. This remnant announces the arrival of the judgment hour, proclaims salvation through Christ, and heralds the approach of His second advent. This proclamation is symbolized by the three angels of Revelation 14; it coincides with the work of judgment in heaven and results in a work of repentance and reform on earth. Every believer is called to have a personal part in this worldwide witness. (Read the verses here. Rev. 12:17; 14:6-12; 18:1-4; 2 Cor. 5:10; Jude 3, 14; 1 Peter 1:16-19; 2 Peter 3:10-14; Rev. 21:1-14.)

The Story:
You will need an almost empty dish detergent bottle and a clear drinking glass in which to sit the upside-down bottle.

Good to the Last Drop
Thomas was helping Daddy wash the dishes after supper one evening.  Daddy filled the sink with warm water and asked Thomas to get the detergent from underneath the sink so they could begin washing the dirty dishes.

Thomas opened the cupboard door and sighed, “I don’t think we’ll have enough detergent to wash the dishes.”

“Why not?” asked Dad who was looking at the nearly empty bottle in Thomas’ hand.

“Can’t you see?” said Thomas, “The bottle is nearly empty.  How can we do dishes if we don’t have detergent?”

Daddy smiled and turned the bottle upside-down over the sink.  Slowly the remaining detergent drained down the neck of the bottle and as Daddy squeezed, out came a stream of thick dish detergent.  Daddy closed the stopper and left the bottle upside-down in a glass.

“Well, I never thought there could be so much detergent in that empty bottle,” said Thomas.

“That’s because the bottle wasn’t really empty,” said Dad, “If you look at the upside-down bottle you’ll see there’s enough left for another sinkful or two of dishes.  Never overlook the remnant.”

Thomas peered at the upside-down bottle and nodded in agreement.  Indeed there was a sizeable pool of detergent collecting in the upside-down neck of the bottle. 

Daddy and Thomas finished washing and drying and put the sparkling clean dishes in the cupboards ready for another meal and another washing.

Later on that evening, as Thomas was getting ready for bed, Dad came into his room to tuck him in and tell him a story before bedtime prayers.   As Thomas put away his toys and pulled on his pajamas he was rather thoughtful and Daddy asked what was on his mind.

"I was thinking about what you said when we were doing the dishes," said Thomas. "You said not to overlook the rema... rema..."

"Remnant," said Daddy.  

"Yes," said Thomas. "What does that mean?"

Daddy laughed as he explained, "The remnant is the last part of something.  The last bit of detergent is the remnant or remainder of the full bottle.  Just because there was just a small amount left doesn't mean it couldn't be used or it isn't as good as the first part of the bottle.  The squirt or two of detergent we used tonight was just as powerful as the first squirt out of the bottle."

Thomas nodded and added, "Oh, I see.  I guess I have a remnant of glue in my glue bottle and Janie has a remnant of her red crayon in her crayon box."

"Yes, that's right," said Daddy, "The glue and the crayon are still useable even though they are remainder of something that was once full or whole." 

Thomas crawled into bed and Dad pulled the blankets up around his little boy's waist.  Daddy reached for Thomas' Bible and opened it up.  Daddy began reading, "'And the dragon was angry with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Revelation 12:17 KJ2000B)'"

"Daddy, that Bible verse has the word "remnant" in it," said Thomas.  "And I thought there was no such thing as a dragon," Thomas continued.

"Yes," said Daddy, "it does have the word "remnant" and you're right about dragons.  But in the Bible, "dragon" is another name for Satan.  Let me tell you all about it."

"When Adam and Eve disobeyed God and left their beautiful garden home Jesus promised that one day Satan would be defeated.  That happened when Jesus died on the cross and ever since that time Satan has tried even harder to get as many people on his side as he can because he knows his time is short.  Just before Jesus comes back to take us to heaven Satan will try even harder than he ever has before and will make trouble and war with God's people.  God's people are the ones who remained loyal and faithful to God throughout the ages right until today.  Anyone who leaves sin behind and loves and obeys God is considered a remnant or the last ones who will love God on this earth before He comes back and destroys Satan forever.  Satan will know who we are because we will love God and keep His commandments.  But when things get tough and difficult Jesus tells us to hang on.  'God’s people need to be very patient. They are the ones who obey God’s commands. They remain faithful to Jesus.  Revelation 14:12 (NIRV)'  While we are waiting for Jesus to return we need to keep busy helping others and telling them the Good News about Jesus. People need to know He is coming again and how they can be saved from Satan."

"Daddy," Thomas interrupted, "does that mean I'm a remnant?"

"Yes," said Daddy, "anyone who loves Jesus and obeys his commandments are His remnant people." 

"Is that why you and Mommy help people and ask Mr. and Mrs. Gill to the meetings at church?" asked Thomas. 

"Yes, that's part of it," said Daddy, "it also means remaining faithful to Jesus when things are hard and relying on Him to keep us safe and in His care.  We can't do anything on our own without His help.  That's why we have worship and pray together and ask Jesus to guard us and keep Satan away from us." 

By now Thomas was getting sleepy so Daddy kissed him good night and prayed with him.  Would you like to hear the prayer daddy prayed with Thomas.  Close your eyes and we'll pray with Daddy and Thomas.

Prayer:  Dear Jesus, thank you for taking care of us.  Be with us as we work and play and get ready for You to come back to take us to heaven. Keep us faithful until You come. Amen.

The Bible Verses:

And the dragon was angry with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.  Revelation 12:17 (KJ2000B)

God’s people need to be very patient. They are the ones who obey God’s commands. They remain faithful to Jesus.  (Revelation 14:12 NIRV)

The Song:

Trust and Obey
When we walk with the Lord in the light of His word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

~Words by J. H. Sammis
#590 Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal

The Colouring Sheet:

Dish Washing:
Detergent Bottle:

Saturday 19 April 2014

The Church--Fundamental Belief #12

Fundamental Belief #12--The Church

The church is the community of believers who confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. In continuity with the people of God in Old Testament times, we are called out from the world; and we join together for worship, for fellowship, for instruction in the Word, for the celebration of the Lord's Supper, for service to all mankind, and for the worldwide proclamation of the gospel. The church derives its authority from Christ, who is the incarnate Word, and from the Scriptures, which are the written Word. The church is God's family; adopted by Him as children, its members live on the basis of the new covenant. The church is the body of Christ, a community of faith of which Christ Himself is the Head. The church is the bride for whom Christ died that He might sanctify and cleanse her. At His return in triumph, He will present her to Himself a glorious church, the faithful of all the ages, the purchase of His blood, not having spot or wrinkle, but holy and without blemish. (Read verses here. Gen. 12:3; Acts 7:38; Eph. 4:11-15; 3:8-11; Matt. 28:19, 20; 16:13-20; 18:18; Eph. 2:19-22; 1:22, 23; 5:23-27; Col. 1:17, 18.)

The Story
You will need a hand mirror, or even a larger wall mirror will do, near the end of the story so the children can look at themselves.

We Are the Church
It was an awful day.  The pastor was in tears.  The people were in tears.  The children were in tears.  What could make everyone so sad?  Everyone had been so happy.  It was almost Christmas and the people at church were looking forward to the church's Christmas programs and activities.  Some people had planned to take food to the homeless, the children and the choir had practiced Christmas carols for the Christmas program, the pastor had prepared a special Christmas sermon. Now, everything had changed. 

Very late in the evening of December 23 the roof of the church had caught on fire and soon the whole building was engulfed in flames. The roof and part of the walls collapsed, the water pipes burst and anything not burned was flooded with water. There was nothing that could be saved.  Everything was ruined.  The church and everything in it was destroyed...or was it?   

As the church members sadly looked at the smoldering ruins of their much beloved church building they realized it was only a building and their church was still a strong and vibrant part of the community.  They were the church, each and every member made up the church.  The church wasn't a building but it was a group of people who loved and followed Jesus.  They were God's family and they were waiting for Jesus to come and take them to heaven.    It was a sad day when they lost their church building but it was a happy and exciting day when they realized the real church was not destroyed.  Jesus was at the head of the church and it could never be destroyed or lost.  

Soon the people were offered a place to worship until they could rebuild their church building.  They continued to worship together and do God's work in their community. They fed the homeless, they sang and prayed together, they spread the good news about Jesus and God blessed them.  It took a few years for a new building to be constructed and it was a great day when the church finally had a place of its own where the people could come together for worship and fellowship. 

(Hold a mirror so each child can look at themselves while you continue the story.)
Boys and girls you can see yourself in the mirror.  You are part of the church.  Even though we worship in a building the real church is each one of us.  Even though the building has been dedicated to God's work, it is the people who make up church. No matter where we are or what we are doing we are still the church.   Jesus is the head of our church and He has died for each one of us so we can come before God all clean inside just as if we had never sinned or done anything naughty.

Aren't you happy to be part of God's family and part of His church?  Let's pray and thank Jesus today.

Prayer:  Dear Jesus, we are so happy to be part of of your family, to be part of your church.  We thank you for your wonderful gift to each one of us.  Amen. 

Story Source: 

The Bible Verses:
Now you are no longer strangers to God and foreigners to heaven, but you are members of God’s very own family, citizens of God’s country, and you belong in God’s household with every other Christian.     Ephesians 2:19 (TLB)

We will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.  Ephesians 4:15 (EVR)

The Song: 
The following link will bring you to a YouTube video of We Are the Church. You can also hear the song here as well. On the colouring sheet I have used the arrangement that is in the book Sing For Joy.  It is the same tune but the verses are arranged differently. This is a lovely song to teach the children and the whole church as well.  You will notice the song starts with the chorus.

We Are the Church 
I am the church! You are the church! We are the church together!
All who follow Jesus, all around the world! Yes, we're the church together!

The church is not a building, the church is not a steeple,

The church is not a resting place, the church is a people!

And when the people gather, there's singing and there's praying,

There's laughing and there's crying sometimes, all of it saying:

Sing Chorus:

We're many kinds of people, with many kinds of faces,

All colours and all ages, too, from all times and places.

I count if I am ninety, or nine, or just a baby;
There’s one thing I am sure about, And I don’t mean maybe:

Sing Chorus:

Words and music by Richard Avery and Donald Marsh
#141 Sing for Joy


The Colouring Sheet:

Picture of people:

Saturday 12 April 2014

Growing in Christ--Fundamental Belief #11

Painting by Harry Anderson,© Review and Herald

Fundamental Belief #11--Growing in Christ

By His death on the cross Jesus triumphed over the forces of evil. He who subjugated the demonic spirits during His earthly ministry has broken their power and made certain their ultimate doom. Jesus' victory gives us victory over the evil forces that still seek to control us, as we walk with Him in peace, joy, and assurance of His love. Now the Holy Spirit dwells within us and empowers us. Continually committed to Jesus as our Saviour and Lord, we are set free from the burden of our past deeds. No longer do we live in the darkness, fear of evil powers, ignorance, and meaninglessness of our former way of life. In this new freedom in Jesus, we are called to grow into the likeness of His character, communing with Him daily in prayer, feeding on His Word, meditating on it and on His providence, singing His praises, gathering together for worship, and participating in the mission of the Church. As we give ourselves in loving service to those around us and in witnessing to His salvation, His constant presence with us through the Spirit transforms every moment and every task into a spiritual experience. (Read verses here. Ps 1:1, 2; 23:4; 77:11, 12; Col 1:13, 14; 2:6, 14, 15; Luke 10:17-20; Eph 5:19, 20; 6:12-18; 1 Thess 5:23; 2 Peter 2:9; 3:18; 2 Cor. 3:17, 18; Phil 3:7-14; 1 Thess 5:16-18; Matt 20:25-28; John 20:21; Gal 5:22-25; Rom 8:38, 39; 1 John 4:4; Heb 10:25.)

The Story:
Have several plants prepared for this story.  An African Violet is a good plant for this story as it is easily divided for the illustration. Plant food and water should also be part of your illustration.  As you tell or read the story use the plants to show the children what Janie and Thomas' plants looked like at each stage of growth.

Cut two leaves from an African Violet plant and place in the soil.  The little plants will stay fresh for your story and if you leave them in the soil they will eventually take root and you will have two new plants.  But for the story the leaves in the soil will give the children a good visual.

Prepare two more separate pots.  In one pot place a normal size leaf and find a tiny leaf and place that next to the larger leaf.  In the second pot place a withered leaf.  To wither the leaf place it in the microwave for 10 seconds.  That will instantly give you a droopy leaf.

Show a fully grown plant.  If possible it would be nice to have one with flowers.  Mine has not flowered yet but it is healthy and lush.

The Little Gardeners
Janie and Thomas were watching Mommy water the flower plant that was sitting in the middle of the dining room table.  Mommy had started the plant from a little leaf that the next door neighbour had given her.  It had grown over the months and now it was a pretty plant with beautiful purple flowers.  As Janie watched Mom carefully pour the water into the flower pot saucer, she wished she could have a plant of her own. 

“Mommy, may I have a plant to take care of?” asked Janie.

“Of course,” replied Mommy. “Would you like a plant of your own, too?” she asked Thomas who was watching with his sister. 

“Yes,” replied Thomas.  “But I don’t know how to take care of a plant.”

Mommy assured Thomas she would help him and show him what to do.  So, with Mommy’s help, both children filled a little container with potting soil.  Then Mommy carefully cut off two healthy looking leaves from her plant for the children.  She showed them how to make a little hole in the dirt with their finger and tuck the stem into the dirt and gently pack the dirt around the stem.   Next they watered the baby plants and placed them in a sunny area where the light could reach them but not shine directly on the delicate leaves.  Next she showed them a bottle of plant food and explained how to use it when watering the plants.  Both children were quite pleased to have their own little plant.

Every day Janie looked at her plant to make sure the soil wasn't dry and watered it carefully with the plant food just as Mommy had showed her.  Her little plant looked green and healthy.  As the days and weeks went by she faithfully kept watch over the plant.  One day as she did her daily inspection she noticed a tiny new green leaf pushing up through the soil next to the original leaf she had planted.

"Mommy, mommy, come quick."  Janie called out, "See my plant.  It has a baby!"   

Mommy came running to see what all the commotion was about and sure enough, there next to the big leaf was a tiny green leaf emerging from the soil.  

"Your plant is growing because you watered and fed it.  You'll soon see more leaves pushing through the dirt until you have a lovely new plant," said Mommy to the very pleased Janie.  

Thomas had heard his sister's shouts of delight and had come running to see her plant.  He had a strange look on his face as he looked at Janie's plant.  How come his didn't look like that, he wondered.   Mother caught sight of Thomas' face and guessed all was not well with his plant.  

"Thomas, would you like to show me your plant?" asked Mommy.  

Thomas slowly walked to his room with Mom following close behind.  Thomas' plant didn't look healthy.  It looked dead.  The leaf hung loosely over the container and was limp and lifeless.  

"Thomas, did you forget to water your plant?" asked Mom.

"I watered it a couple of weeks ago," said Thomas. 

"Did you feed it like I showed you?" asked Mommy.

"No, I forgot so I poured some into the dirt," Thomas confessed.

"Well, Thomas, I believe your plant is dead," said Mommy.  I don't think there's any hope for it now.  You didn't take care of your plant so it could not grow strong and healthy."

Thomas nodded his head in resignation.  He decided he wasn't a very good gardener.  Mom gave him a hug and told him he could start over again if he wished. 

Janie continued to care for her plant and several months later she was rewarded with many new leaves.  The plant had grown so much it needed to be transplanted to a larger pot.  Janie enjoyed her plant for many years and was able to help Thomas grow a new one as well.  

Boys and girls Christians are a little like a plant.  When we first give our hearts to Jesus we become one of his children.  We are like a little leaf starting to grow.  That little leaf needs water, sunshine, good soil and plant food.  Christians need "food" also.  But I'm not talking about potatoes or peas or roast.  I'm talking about things that help us grow more and more like Jesus.  

What would happen, if after we gave our hearts to Jesus, we said, "Well, now I'm a Christian I don't have to do anything else.  I love Jesus and Jesus loves me.  That's all there is to being a Christian."  So we never come to church again. We never read our Bibles or pray or sing a hymn or Sabbath School song.  We don't do anything to help others or tell anyone about Jesus.  We don't even think about Jesus any more.  Do you think we would grow more like Jesus or would we start to forget all about our new life?  I think we would soon be like Thomas' plant--limp and lifeless--no longer a happy Christian.  We would soon forget all about Jesus.  

When we give our hearts to Jesus there are some things we can do to grow like Jesus.  We want to keep close to Him everyday and become strong and healthy Christians.  We can start our day with prayer and reading our Bibles.  This is just like talking to Jesus.  We can sing songs about Jesus and what He has done for us.  We can come to church to worship and fellowship with other Christians.  Just being together, worshipping and talking about Jesus, will help us grow.  With the Holy Spirit's help we will start to put others first and try to help them.  That's like growing new leaves.  Instead of staying a "baby" Christian we will be a "growing" Christian learning each day how to be like Jesus.  

Prayer:  Dear Jesus, thank you for saving each one of us.  We want to grow into strong, healthy Christians and do Your work.  Send the Holy Spirit to guide us in our lives.  Amen.

The Bible Verse:
Grow in the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Get to know him better. Give him glory both now and forever. Amen. 2 Peter 3:18 (NIRV)

Grow, Grow, Grow
Read your Bible, pray every day,
Pray every day, pray every day.
Read your Bible, pray every day,
And you’ll grow, grow, grow.
And you’ll grow, grow, grow.
And you’ll grow, grow, grow.
Read your Bible, pray everyday,
And you’ll grow, grow, grow.

~Music by Harry D. Clarke; Words: Unknown Author

Music same as I Will Make You Fishers of Men.

The Colouring Sheet:

Picture credits:


Sabbath School:




Friday 4 April 2014

Experience of Salvation--Fundamental Belief #10

Photo courtesy of

Fundamental Belief #10-- Experience of Salvation
In infinite love and mercy God made Christ, who knew no sin, to be sin for us, so that in Him we might be made the righteousness of God. Led by the Holy Spirit we sense our need, acknowledge our sinfulness, repent of our transgressions, and exercise faith in Jesus as Lord and Christ, as Substitute and Example. This faith which receives salvation comes through the divine power of the Word and is the gift of God's grace. Through Christ we are justified, adopted as God's sons and daughters, and delivered from the lordship of sin. Through the Spirit we are born again and sanctified; the Spirit renews our minds, writes God's law of love in our hearts, and we are given the power to live a holy life. Abiding in Him we become partakers of the divine nature and have the assurance of salvation now and in the judgment. (Read verses here. 2 Cor. 5:17-21; John 3:16; Gal. 1:4; 4:4-7; Titus 3:3-7; John 16:8; Gal. 3:13, 14; 1 Peter 2:21, 22; Rom. 10:17; Luke 17:5; Mark 9:23, 24; Eph. 2:5-10; Rom. 3:21-26; Col. 1:13, 14; Rom. 8:14-17; Gal. 3:26; John 3:3-8; 1 Peter 1:23; Rom. 12:2; Heb. 8:7-12; Eze. 36:25-27; 2 Peter 1:3, 4; Rom. 8:1-4; 5:6-10.)

The Book Steps to Christ is a wonderful resource for this belief.

The Story:  

Information about the life-cycle of butterflies can be found by doing a search on the internet.  Here are two sites with lots of pictures.

The story of the demon possessed man may be found in the following scriptures:

Mark 5:1-20

Luke 8:26-39 

Matthew 8:28-34


Changed From the Inside
How many of you have ever seen a butterfly or a moth?  Of course you all have.  Butterflies are beautiful, fluttering about with their pretty wings, flying from flower to flower or flitting around your yard.  I don't know of anyone who is afraid of the pretty butterfly. 

Butterflies and moths looks much alike and they have the similar life cycle.  You may already know that the butterfly or moth was once a caterpillar crawling about on the leaves and trees.  The caterpillar eats and eats as soon as it hatches from a tiny egg.  It grows from a small grub-like creature to a nice, fat, caterpillar.  Have you ever picked up a caterpillar and let it crawl over your hand.  It's little feet tickle as he moves up your arm. You may have even caught caterpillars and put them in a jar with leaves and grass.  They are fun to watch.

One day a little boy was out in the school yard playing at recess when he noticed a funny looking leaf on bush.  He went closer and realized he was looking at a little cocoon.  He broke off the little branch and carefully brought it to his teacher.   The teacher found a large jar and they laid the branch with the cocoon inside, nestled between some grass and leaves. Then they carefully covered the jar with a lid that had small holes punched in it so air could flow through to the little cocoon.  For the first few days the children in the classroom were very interested in the jar but soon they grew tired of watching because nothing changed.  Every day the little branch with the cocoon just sat in the jar looking as if nothing was happening.  But unknown to the boys and girls big things were happening inside that cocoon.  The little caterpillar was changing into an adult moth.  Wings and antennae were forming and even the caterpillars mouth was changing from a chewing mouth to a sucking mouth.  But no one in the classroom could see this.

A few weeks went by, when one day someone shouted, "Come quick and see what's happened in the jar!"

The children all gathered about the jar and there flitting about was a little yellow moth. It was no longer a caterpillar. It had been born again as a moth.  It had come from the cocoon all ready to begin life as an adult moth.  How different it looked from the caterpillar and how different it's life would be as a moth.  Now it could fly.  It didn't have to stay on a leaf or tree.

The teacher and children took the jar outside and took off the cover. They watched the little yellow moth fly away flapping it's wings as if to say, "Good bye.  I'm happy with my new life."

Boys and girls, caterpillars are not the only ones that can change from the inside.  People can change as well from the inside out.  When we invite Jesus into our lives things will happen.

When Jesus was on earth He sailed across the Sea of Galilee to another country.  When He and His disciples stepped out of the boat they were met with an awful sight.  Running toward them was a demon possessed man.  He was dirty, smelly and full of dried bloody scabs where he cut himself with sharp stones.  He was fierce like a wild animal and wore no clothing.  His family, friends and townspeople were so afraid of him they had bound him in chains but he broke loose and, driven by the demons, ran away to the caves where the dead were buried.  That's where he lived and anyone who dared pass by could hear him screaming day or night.  And now this man was running toward Jesus.  What would happen? 

When the wretched man came to Jesus he fell at His feet and Jesus, knowing what this man longed for, commanded the demons to leave him.  But the demons did not want to leave and screamed at Jesus to leave them alone.  But Jesus is more powerful than Satan and the demons could not stay where Jesus was so they left the man and went into a herd of pigs. The pigs went mad and plunged over a cliff into the sea. 

People from town heard what had happened to the man and the pigs and came out to see for themselves.  There they found the man, in his right mind, dressed in clothing and sitting at the feet of Jesus.  He was changed into a new man.  They hardly recognized him.  Now, instead of screaming and cutting himself he sat at Jesus' feet and worshipped Him.  No longer did he belong to Satan because Jesus had made him all new and clean inside.  The things he once loved to do, he now hated.  He could now go back to his town and live and work and tell others what Jesus had done for him.  He had been saved from a horrible, wretched life.  He knew Jesus had saved him and he would love and serve Him forever. 

You know, boys and girls when we ask Jesus into our lives, when we say we're sorry for the naughty things we do and ask Jesus to forgive us He will treat us just as if we had never done anything wrong.  We will become a new person from the inside out, just as if we had been born again, all new and clean.  We will become more like Jesus every day.

Prayer:  Dear Jesus, change our hearts. We want to become new inside and live for you. Amen.

The Bible Verse:

When someone becomes a Christian, he becomes a brand new person inside.  He is not the same anymore. A new life has begun!  2 Corinthians 5:17 (TLB)

The Song:    This is an older and almost unknown chorus but it was stored away somewhere in the recesses of my mind and it seems to be the perfect song for "The Experience of Salvation".  I could only find one You Tube video of the song which is sung at a United Methodist Church meeting.    It isn't found in many songbooks but the old blue "Advent Youth Sing" contains the song (#186) which I have scanned and you can see it below.    You can also find a power point presentation for "Advent Youth Sing" with the words ready to project on a screen. Although the song is not well-known the words and  guitar chords  are available online. I guess someone is still singing the song and I hope you will learn it as well. 

Things are Different Now
Things are different now, something happened to me
Since I gave my heart to Jesus.
Things are different now; I was changed it must be,
Since I gave my heart to Him.
Things I loved before have passed away,
Things I love far more have come to stay.
Things are different now; something happened that day
When I gave my heart to Him.

~Words and Music by Stanton W. Gavitt
#186 Adventist Youth Sing 

The Colouring Sheet

Friday 28 March 2014

The Life, Death and Ressurection of Christ--Fundamental Belief #9

Fundamental Belief #9--Life, Death and Resurrection of Christ

In Christ's life of perfect obedience to God's will, His suffering, death, and resurrection, God provided the only means of atonement for human sin, so that those who by faith accept this atonement may have eternal life, and the whole creation may better understand the infinite and holy love of the Creator. This perfect atonement vindicates the righteousness of God's law and the graciousness of His character; for it both condemns our sin and provides for our forgiveness. The death of Christ is substitutionary and expiatory, reconciling and transforming. The resurrection of Christ proclaims God's triumph over the forces of evil, and for those who accept the atonement assures their final victory over sin and death. It declares the Lordship of Jesus Christ, before whom every knee in heaven and on earth will bow. (Read verses here.  John 3:16; Isa. 53; 1 Peter 2:21, 22; 1 Cor. 15:3, 4, 20-22; 2 Cor. 5:14, 15, 19-21; Rom. 1:4; 3:25; 4:25; 8:3, 4; 1 John 2:2; 4:10; Col. 2:15; Phil. 2:6-11.)

The Story:

Saved From Death
Gareth was excited.  He was going to Florida with several of his friends for a two week vacation.  It would be great because this was no ordinary holiday he and his friends had planned.  They had contacted a skydiving school and made arrangements for skydiving lessons.  Just imagine, jumping out of an airplane, thousands of feet above the ground, and falling to earth at tremendous speeds, but just in time pulling the ripcord on the parachute, continuing the jump by floating to earth.  What a thrilling two weeks this was going to be.   Gareth and his friends had never done anything like this before but they were used to rough sports.  Gareth loved the thrill of white water rafting and he was also a rugby player and took pleasure in the excitement of that rough and tumble game.  Skydiving would be one more sport he and his friends could enjoy. 

Saying good-bye to family, Gareth and his friends boarded a jet that would take them from Briton to their vacation destination of Florida.  Bright and early on a lovely June day the friends made their way to the air field where they met their instructor, Michael.  He was much older than the young people–almost old enough to be their father.  Michael had made thousands of jumps and was not only an experienced skydiver but was a good teacher with excellent recommendations. 

Michael showed them the parachute they would be wearing, explaining how there were actually two parachutes together–a large main parachute that would take them safely to earth and a smaller emergency parachute which was provided just in case something went wrong with the main chute.  He instructed them how to strap the parachute harness to their bodies so it would not slip off in midair.  He also told them, because this would be their first jump, they would not jump alone.  Michael would be strapped to each of his students as their turn came.  He would show them how to manoeuver their bodies so they wouldn’t spin or fall head-first or get tangled in the parachute cords.  He would safely steer them to ground and tell them when to pull the ripcord so the parachute would open in plenty of time so they could finish the jump, floating to earth, slowed down with the resistance of the air against the wide open parachute. 

With thumping heart, fear and excitement mixed together, Gareth made his way to the small plane that would take him almost 4 kilometres (almost 2 ½ miles) above the earth for his first jump.  As they flew higher and higher everything on earth became smaller and smaller until the air field and the surrounding buildings and vehicles looked like a toy village.  When they reached the right altitude Michael motioned for Gareth to come and he strapped the two of them together, putting Gareth in the front.  When the door of the plane was opened, the wind rushed in, slapping them in the face, teasing them to come and jump into the wide open space of the sky.  Michael nodded at Gareth as a signal that it was time to jump from the plane.  Gareth nodded back, barely able to breath with the fear and excitement he felt.  And with that out of the plane they jumped. 

Suddenly Gareth felt so light and free.  Although they were hurtling to ground at a tremendous speed he felt as if he was floating.  The wind was in his face, his arms and legs were spread out as if he were sprawled in bed on his stomach.  Oh, this was wonderful.  This was exhilarating.  This was like nothing he had ever done before.  It was only seconds but it felt like forever.  Suddenly Michael, his instructor, motioned for him to pull the ripcord so the parachute would open.  They were getting closer and closer to the ground and the parachute must be opened so they could finish the jump and land safely.  Gareth pulled the ripcord but something didn’t seem right.  They hadn’t slowed down.  Frantically, he reached for the second emergency ripcord and pulled with all his might and still they were speeding to the ever nearing ground.  Both parachutes failed to open and Gareth, paralysed with fear, knew certain death lay only seconds away.  But then something amazing happened as the ground was rushing up to meet the young man and his instructor.  Michael who was behind and strapped on top of Gareth, wrapped his arms and legs around his student, twisted and rolled over and hit the ground first with Gareth falling on top of him. 

Pain reached and tore into every part of Gareth’s body and then nothing.  Floating in and out of consciousness, Gareth was rushed by ambulance to the hospital where it was found his spine had been fractured and his leg was broken, but miraculously he was not paralysed.  Several weeks later Gareth was able to go home. 

But what became of Michael?  Michael died that day.  He took Gareth’s place and was killed instantly from the impact of hitting the ground.  He had taken the brunt of the blow as the two hit the ground together.  His actions that day saved Gareth’s life.   He knew Gareth would certainly die if he hit the ground first so he made a wonderful decision that saved the young man’s life.  He would take Gareth's place.  He would die to save another person. 

You know, boys and girls, Jesus did that for us.  But He did so much more. He died to save not just one other person but everyone who ever lived on this earth.  He knew we faced certain death and he stepped in to take our place, to be a substitute for each one of us. 

When God created Adam and Eve they were supposed to live forever, eating from the Tree of Life that was in the Garden of Eden.  Their children and all the people who would eventually be born were supposed to live forever.  You and I were supposed to live forever.  But all that changed the moment Adam and Eve disobeyed.  Just as God said, Adam and Eve grew old and did die and so did their children and their children’s children and their children’s children’s children.  That would have been everyone’s end– be born, live and die– with no hope of any other future.  The wonderful life Jesus had planned for everyone was ruined.  The people He had created and loved so much would not live.  This would have been unbearably sad if there had not been a plan to save the ones He loved. 

When Adam and Eve sinned, Jesus came to them and told them about a wonderful plan that had been made even before they had been created. Because Jesus was their Creator, He was the only One who could come to their rescue.   Jesus would come and die just as if He had sinned.  Pure and sinless Jesus would die for everyone.  And that’s exactly what He did. 

When Jesus came to this earth he came as a tiny, new-born baby, but little babies grow up and so did baby Jesus.  He became a boy and then a teenager and finally a man. All through His life he was kind and gentle, obedient and loving.  Even though He became human He did not sin.  Satan tried everything to make Jesus sin but he failed.   If Jesus had sinned even once He would not be able to be our Substitute and save anyone.  Jesus was on a rescue mission to this world and Satan would not stop Him. He was the only One who could rescue His people.   

Jesus’ life on earth was not easy.  He often lived and slept outdoors.  Even when he helped people by healing them or teaching about God’s love, some people were angry.  They were so angry they arrested Jesus, beat him and told lies about Him and finally Jesus was taken by soldiers and nailed to a cross where He died.  He died like someone who had done terrible, wicked things.  Jesus, Who had never sinned, Who was pure and holy, died for the bad things I have done, for the bad things you have done and for the bad things anyone will ever do or did.  He took my place and your place.  He became our Substitute.  When God looks at us and sees our sins, Jesus will say, “I died for him/her.  My blood covers all those sins.”   Because Jesus died for us we will not have to die forever.

Satan was furious and tried to keep Jesus in the grave so His death would be forever.   But Satan has no power over God.  Three days after Jesus died His Father called him out of the sleep of death and He came out of the grave with victory over death and Satan and sin.  Jesus reclaimed this earth from Satan. 

The whole universe can now understand what a wonderful gift Jesus has given to His poor, sinful people.  Jesus longs for everyone to accept this free gift of eternal life.  We will know how good and kind our Jesus is to forgive us and take our place.  Because He loves us so much we will love and obey Him.  We will change and become more like Jesus.   And when Jesus comes to take us to heaven, we will be waiting for Him.  People who died loving and waiting for Jesus to come will be awakened from their graves never to die again for Jesus died that “forever” death for each one of us.  We will bow and declare “this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us.” Isaiah 25:9

Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank you for the wonderful free gift of eternal life.  You have given us the victory over Satan.  Amen.

The story of Gareth Griffiths and Michael Costello can be found on several news sites on the web.  This was my main source for details:

The Bible Verse:

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  John 3:16 (NKJV)

The Song:

Lord, I Lift Your Name On High
Lord, I lift Your name on high,
Lord, I love to sing Your praises.
I’m so glad You’re in my life,
I’m so glad You came to save us.
You came from heaven to earth to show the way, 
From the earth to the cross, my debt to pay;
From the cross to the grave,
From the grave to the sky;
Lord, I lift Your name on high.

~Words and Music by Rick Founds

Picture Credits


Jesus and Child:

Jesus with Cross:

Jesus and Mary at Tomb:

Jesus Ascension:

Friday 21 March 2014

The Great Controversy--Fundamental Belief #8

Art by Clyde Provonsha, Illustration © Review and Herald Publ. Assoc.

Fundamental Belief #8--The Great Controversy

All humanity is now involved in a great controversy between Christ and Satan regarding the character of God, His law, and His sovereignty over the universe. This conflict originated in heaven when a created being, endowed with freedom of choice, in self-exaltation became Satan, God's adversary, and led into rebellion a portion of the angels. He introduced the spirit of rebellion into this world when he led Adam and Eve into sin. This human sin resulted in the distortion of the image of God in humanity, the disordering of the created world, and its eventual devastation at the time of the worldwide flood. Observed by the whole creation, this world became the arena of the universal conflict, out of which the God of love will ultimately be vindicated. To assist His people in this controversy, Christ sends the Holy Spirit and the loyal angels to guide, protect, and sustain them in the way of salvation. (Find verses here: Rev. 12:4-9; Isa. 14:12-14; Eze. 28:12-18; Gen. 3; Rom. 1:19-32; 5:12-21; 8:19-22; Gen. 6-8; 2 Peter 3:6; 1 Cor. 4:9; Heb. 1:14.)

Along with the Bible verses above you may find Patriarchs and Prophets and The Great Controversy by Ellen G. White a good reference for this story.  

Why Was Sin Permitted 
The Flood   
The Controversy Ended 

The Story:

The Great War
Everyday I see stories on the news about wars and battles.  You can read about them and see them in newspapers, television and on computers.  Wars are terrible and cause such destruction and loss of life. Will wars ever end?  The Bible tells about the first war.  It has been going on for thousands of years and when it ends all wars will come to an end. 

A long time ago before this world was created there was a bright and shining angel named Lucifer.  He was the most beautiful and wisest of all the angels and God made him the highest angel in heaven.  All the other angels loved Lucifer and listened to his words and carried out his commands.  As time went on Lucifer began to feel as if God did not give him the power he should have.  Little by little Lucifer began to question, in his mind, why God did not consider him equal with Jesus.  But Lucifer could never be equal to Jesus because Jesus had created Lucifer and all the other angels in heaven.  They were to be God’s messengers and helpers.  They could never be God or equal to God.

Lucifer was jealous of Jesus and started to talk against Him to the angels, telling them God was unfair, telling them they would have a better heaven if God’s laws were changed.  Many angels listened and believed Lucifer but many more remained loyal to God.  

The Bible tells us there was a war in heaven.  Jesus and His angels fought against Lucifer and the angels who followed Him.  Lucifer and his followers could not stay in heaven.  God threw them out of heaven and they came to earth.  Lucifer, who was once a shining angel in heaven,  became Satan the evil angel who does not want anyone to love Jesus. 

When Adam and Eve were created and lived in the Garden of Eden, Satan was waiting for them.  The only place he could go was the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  Because God loved Adam and Eve He told them not to go near the tree because He knew Satan was at war and wanted Adam and Eve as his prisoners.   Adam and Eve believed Satan’s lies about God and the Great War that started in heaven continued on this earth. Since that time people have been choosing to follow God or Satan.

After Adam and Eve sinned the people on earth became very wicked. There were only a handful of people who followed and believed God.  God looked at his once-lovely earth and was very sad.  He would destroy this earth and everything in it with a flood of water because it was so very bad.  But he would save His people.  Noah and his family loved God and God gave them a way of escape. They were saved in a big boat along with some of the animals.  

Even after the flood, the Great War went on.  Satan successfully tempted people who did not stay close to Jesus.  Hundreds of years passed by until the time was right for Jesus to come to this earth as a little baby.  Satan was furious and tried to kill baby Jesus but God’s angels protected Him.  Satan knew if Jesus grew up and died for our sins, as He promised, he, Satan, would loose the Great War.   

Jesus did die on the cross for our sins.  We do not have to die the "forever" death because of this but Satan, our enemy, still continues fighting. The world is now very wicked again. People blame God for the horrible things that happen: for wars and death, for famine and flooding, even for bad weather.  They say God is not loving and kind.  They say God is just a made-up story.  Sometimes it seems as if Satan is winning but Jesus won the Great War when He died on the cross. The victory is His!  God loves us so much He promised to save us if we are willing to believe in Him.  He promised to give us power and strength over Satan.  The Holy Spirit and the holy angels are ready to come to our aid as soon as we call out for help.  We are not alone in the battle against Satan.

Satan knows his time is short so he is trying very hard to take as many prisoners with him as he can.  When Jesus comes again, with all the holy angels, the last battle will be fought. Satan will be destroyed along with all the evil angels and anyone who followed him.  Satan and sin will be defeated and everything will be made new again.  Sin will never again enter this world.  Everyone will know Satan was wrong and that God is loving and his laws are just and fair. We will be with Jesus and live forever in a wonderful, sinless world that He will re-create for us.

The Great War is ended. There is no more sin or sinners. Everything, our world and the whole universe, is clean from sin. Joy fills the world.  There is no disagreement. From Jesus, who created everything and everyone, comes life and light and gladness– it is throughout the reaches of never-ending space.  From the tiniest unseen speck to the biggest planet in the universes, all things that move or stay still, in their great beauty and perfect joy, shout out that God is love! 
Paraphrased from the book, The Great Controversy, p. 678

Prayer: Dear Jesus, we are on Your side.  We are waiting for this Great War to end so we can be with you forever.  We thank You for the power and strength You have given us over Satan.  Amen.

The Bible Verse:

There was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back.  But the dragon wasn’t strong enough. He and his angels lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was thrown down to the earth, and his angels with him. The dragon is that old serpent called the devil, or Satan. He leads the whole world down the wrong path. “...The devil has come down to you.  He is very angry. He knows his time is short.”  Revelation 12:7-9, 12

The Song:

The children may enjoy standing and marching on the chorus of Onward Christian Soldiers.

Onward, Christian Soldiers
Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus going on before.
Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe;
Forward into battle see His banners go!
Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus going on before.

~Words by Sabine Baring-Gould
#612 Seventh-day Adventist Hymnnal

The Colouring Sheet: There are two sheets that can be photocopied back to front and folded down the middle to make a little four-page booklet.

 This is the back page.                               This is the front page.

This is the middle.

Armour of God:

Adam and Eve:

Noah’s Ark:

Second Coming: