Monday, April 11, 2011

The Jesus Visit

I love teaching AWANA JV.

Junior High is such an amazing age! With few exceptions, it's the age where kids who have gone to church all their lives begin to take the head knowledge of God and turn it into heart knowledge.

It's the age where God becomes personal, rather than just the God of their parents.

It's the age where God becomes real.

One of my favorite things to do is to have them ask any question they want about God or the Bible. We then try to answer them the best we can, and the evening could last for hours! Hands are raised continually - I finally have to stop and send them out to game time. I love this, and they do, too!

One of the lessons this year asked them what they would do if they found out Jesus was coming to stay at their house for a week. I asked them to write down their responses.

Some are comical, some are insightful. Some were so real they brought tears to my eyes.

(This guy gets it. No need for a job with Jesus here!)

Clean (maybe) and get a room ready. Do Jesus stuff with him

While he was here: 1. I would be a lot nicer to my sisters 2. I WOULD PANIC!

(Make samiches)
Tell young kids to be extra good.
Dress up.

Clean the House
wash the dogs
Buy groceries
I would be very friendly engaging.
I would say only nice things
Not talk bad about anybody

would tidy up my lifestly [sic]
and get up to date on the bible and try to be more like him so he wouldn't think I was a fool.

I would be like Oh my gosh, I would clean and sanitize the whole house then I would try to go and be good. Not a naughty little heathen I usually am. Eh more like an evil imp. I would try to go to awana more again like I am now.

I loved the P.S. on this one:
1. Change sheets
2. clean EVERYTHING!
3. I would try to act REALLY good :)
P.S. I would brag to everyone!

Who wouldn't want to brag that Jesus was staying at HIS house?!

This was from one of our college kids, JV Leader:
1. Clean Room
2. Buy unleavened Bread
3. Remove woopie cushion from guest chair.

This one has a full schedule:
Clean the House and ask Him about what it was like back then. and take Him Burger King and stuff, go shopping, thrown [sic] party and make His week fun. awesome

This one is sure to impress the Lord of Lords:
I had to chuckle a little. Pray one hour a day to whom? He's right there!

I can see the influence of mothers in so many of these. I can picture the panic and cleaning frenzies that a guest inspires! Look at this one:
Clean the house
make sure the house is PERFECT
as can be

One that I forgot to photograph but really made me laugh read, "Get a room ready. Get food. Take him to the Holy Land Experience." The Holy Land Experience is a theme-type park made by TBN that is supposed to look like the biblical Jeruselem. Um, didn't Jesus see the REAL Holy Land?

This one was really insightful:
Same as before because he see's [sic]
me all the time and he'll know
it's just because he's coming.

Here's one from our JV Secretary:
Cancel ALL other things.
Let my friends/
fam know He was coming
(schedule group time)
While there:
Soak HIM all up!

This one was from a sweet JV girl and I wholeheartedly agreed with her:
I would cry a lot.

The point of this, of course, was to help them understand that God is with them right now. Once we trust that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, we become children of God. The Holy Spirit then dwells in us. We are never NOT in the presence of God!

As I read back over these for this post, I was also struck by how much we feel we have to do in order to be pleasing to God. I know of people who won't come to God because they (understandably) believe they are not good enough. They think they have to clean up their acts, put their affairs in order, learn more Bible verses, or scrub and sanitize themselves in order to be accepted by God. I also know many who won't set foot inside a church because they don't think they have the right clothes to wear in God's house.

Even though I understand that I could never make myself holy enough for a Holy God, I find myself falling back on this mindset on occasion. My default mode is to try to work things out on my own, to not "bother" God with my problems while He's trying to save the world. I put myself down when I don't say things perfectly, react perfectly, or live perfectly. I fall into the trap of thinking that once again, I have let God down or disappointed Him.

The truth is, God loves me.

God gave everything to make me His child because of HIS mercy and goodness, not mine. He knew I was a sinner when He died for me.

He knows I will still sin, as long as I'm here and not with Him in heaven.

He knows, and He did the hard work of cleaning me up to make me righteous. And now, He lives with me all the time - IN me.

"Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5b)

Lord, I cannot clean and sanitize enough for You.
Thank You for making me clean.
Lord, I cannot live holy enough for You.
Thank You for living a perfect life for me.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life,
neither angels nor demons,
neither the present nor the future,
nor any powers.

Neither height nor depth,
nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the
love of God that is in Christ Jesus
our Lord
. - Romans 8:38-39


agable said...

One of my favorite things about you is how dedicated you are to sharing the Lord with kids. It melts my heart. Thank you for the reminder that God is with us all of the time! I'd still probably clean my house though :)

jessie said...

This is such a cute idea - but also very heart-revealing.

Who cares about cleaning! I'd practice even more piano so I could play all my repertoire for Jesus! (Think He's already sick of hearing the same parts being drilled over and over? :)


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