Thursday, November 7, 2013

Sin IS a Big Deal


Piece of paper with “God and Me” written in large letters
Bottle labeled “poison”

I want you to think about a time when you got hurt – not too bad – maybe a cut or a skinned knee.  Maybe you cried or maybe you thought – hey, no big deal.

There are lots of things that aren’t a big deal, but there are some things that really are BIG DEALS.  (Ask kids what they think are the biggest problems in the world today – write on the board)

What could fix them?
What problems seem beyond fixing?

Let’s think of these problems a little differently.  Let’s imagine that all the problems we wrote down are actually pointing to a much deep sickness in this world – not a sickness like the flu or a disease like malaria, but a sickness of the heart.

Some problems can be fixed.  It’s wonderful to hear about new drugs that are helping with malaria, or better ways of cleaning the air.  But most of the big problems in this world can’t be fixed by small fixes.  Because humans keep polluting, or hurting one another, or take more than they need and leave others hungry. 
It reminds me of the verse in Jeremiah 17:9 you all learned in your Start Zone – the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick, who can understand it? 

I want us to think of 3 big ways sin is a BIG DEAL.

But first, let’s be sure we know  what sin is (ask kids)
I want to give you an easy way to understand what sin is.  Sin is anything we think, say, or do that breaks God’s laws.

So what might be some sins kids do?
(kids will mention easy sins – stealing a cookie, disobeying mom.  Push to get to bigger categories – selfishness, anger, jealousy, fights, hating)
Deep down – sin is telling God – you’re not the boss of me!

Another verse you learned in your Start Zone was Romans 3:23 – who knows it?
(Get out 3 props and put on a table so the kids can see)

So why is sin such a big deal to God?

First, sins a big deal because everybody does it.  Sometimes we think – there are people who do big sins, like murder and God is really mad at them.  But we think that the rest of us do little sins – a little lie, a little stealing, a mean word to someone on our team at game time, a little shove to your younger brother or sister  – but we think God looks at the good things we do and he says – oh, (clubber), it’s okay.    You do much more good than you do bad.  So we think we’re not too bad.  But the bible says everybody sins.  You can’t travel to another place in this world to get away from sin.  So I’m going to put the globe up here to help us remember that all have sinned.

Here’s a second reason sin’s such a big deal.  The bible tells us that God is good – totally good – and he hates evil.  So one reason sin is so awful is that it separates us from God.  I’m going to use this piece of paper to help us remember that.  (piece of paper with us and God – tear it to separate Me from God).  It makes us enemies of God.

Finally, God says sin is deadly.  God makes such a big deal about sin because the wages of sin for everybody is – what?  death.  Until we understand that, we can’t really understand why sin is such a big deal to God and to us!

To help us remember that, here’s a bottle that I want you to imagine has something very, very deadly in it.  There is a poison called cyanide that is so strong, if you mixed a teaspoon in water, and drank it, you’d be dead in 15 seconds.  Who would drink something like that?  You wouldn’t.  But God says sin is far more dangerous, and far more deadly than cyanide.  The wages of sin is death, so we drink the poison.

Let’s see if you remember it –

The globe reminds us (have them answer) - that sin is a big deal because all have sinned.
The torn pages reminds us that sin is a big deal because (let them answer) it separates us from God
And finally, the poison reminds us that sin is fatal – there’s no cure and the wages is death.  No matter how good you are, how kind, how obedient, how many AWANA verses you learn, how many toys you share – when you sin, sin wins and you die. 

Now that’s pretty bad news, isn’t it?

And most of the time we really, really don’t like to think about this.  But sometimes we have to face hard news.  But I urge you to keep listening.  Until you realize you’re sick, you won’t go to a doctor.  (at this point I brought up a child, and had the kids imagine I was his doctor.  I told them I knew he had a serious disease, but I didn't want to tell him because it would make him sad.  I said I 'loved" him too much to tell him bad news.  We talked about how sometimes you have to tell someone bad news because they won't get better unless you do.)  Until you see how sick your soul is, you won’t see that you need Jesus.

And in fact, this is the way God begins to work in us, to help us see how bad a place we are in, and how much we need Him.  It’s actually a good thing that you feel a bit uncomfortable.  Until you do, you won’t reach out for God.

Your Start Zone ended with this verse –
John 3:36

Whoever believes in the Son will have eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him. 

God has made a way for the whole world to be forgiven, a way for God and you to be friends, and not enemies (tape paper together), a way for you to live and not die, even though you sin (take bottle off table). 

We’ll learn more about that next week.

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