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Did You Earn It?

Item Needed: Small gift for each child

Announce there will be a contest to earn a prize. Make a list of activities for the children to do and assign each a point value. Announce that if the children earn 250 points by bedtime, they will get a prize. (Make sure the goal CANNOT be reached.) At the end of the contest, add up the points and express disappointment that the children did not EARN enough points. Then announce that you have a gift for each of them.

What is the difference between earning a prize and receiving a gift? (Earning a prize means you must do something to get it, but a gift is given, not earned.) Jesus died on the cross to forgive our sin and give us eternal life in Heaven. That is a gift, not something we can earn. Jesus’ death made us right with God through faith. Believing in Jesus gives us life.

Suggested Activities/Points: Clean bathroom sink—10 points; Read to younger sibling—10 points; Wipe the table—10 points; Sing a song—10 points; Set the table—10 points, etc. (Activities will depend on the age of the children.)

Jesus Gives Life

Items Needed:

  • Small chalkboard, whiteboard, or piece of paper
  • Chalk
  • Dry erase marker
  • Pen
  • Paper towel

Demonstrate how God wipes our sins away. Ask the children to name some sins (disobeying, fighting, stealing, lying, etc.). Write the responses on a chalkboard, whiteboard, or piece of paper.

When sins have been added, ask: How does God feel about sin? (He hates sin; He is separate from sin; etc.) Jesus died on the cross to take our punishment for sin and give us life. If we believe in Jesus and what He did on the cross, God will wipe away our sin. Allow one of the children to erase all the sins—or rip up the piece of paper. Write Jesus Gives Life and say it together.

Switch Places

When your child disobeys, announce the consequence, but then tell your child that you want to take their punishment. Ask: Were you surprised when I took your punishment? Who deserved to be punished?

We have sinned against God and deserve to be punished, but Jesus took our punishment. When He died for our sin, He gave us life–eternal life in Heaven. We need to try to make good choices and grow in our faith. When we believe in what Jesus did and accept His forgiveness, our sins are gone, and we are right with God.