Read thru the NEW TESTAMENT 2018
Thoughts about God for My Grandkids
Bible Reading: Matthew 3
Many people were coming to hear John preach and would then confess their sins and repent of them. Confession means to agree that what they did was a sin and repentance is a promise to not commit that sin, anymore. Baptism was a visual symbol of what God does when we confess our sins and repent. He washes us clean…the sin is gone…that is forgiveness. However, there were some Pharisees and Sadducees (extremely legalistic religious types) who were only concerned about being punished for their sin. They had no intention of not committing that sin, again. There was no repentance. John told them that there is no forgiveness when that is the attitude.
Thoughts about God for My Grandkids:
When Jeremy was a little boy, I taught him how to shoot a BB gun. We practiced and practiced…and he got pretty good. We shot tin cans and paper targets, but never shot an animal…not even a lizard.
Along with teaching him how to shoot a gun, I also taught him how to handle a gun…
- Where to point it when holding it.
- To always check and see if it was loaded when he picked it up.
- How to clean and take care of it.
- And other things, as well.
Then there was one very important rule on how to use the gun. You never shoot an animal that you aren’t planning to eat. You don’t shoot an animal just to shoot it. The only time you would shoot something that you weren’t going to eat…was if it was going to eat you…like a charging bear, or lion. Or, maybe a deadly snake. You get the idea. We don’t just go out and shoot something for no reason. Don’t ever do it. Eventually, Jeremy became a good enough shot, and I was confident enough that he knew how to handle a gun…that I let him start going outside and shoot the gun without me.
One night, Grandma and I were in bed. Suddenly, Jeremy came running into our room crying. He was very upset. We didn’t know if he had been hurt, or what. Finally, through tears and sobs he said, “I shot the bird.” I said, “You did what?” “I shot the bird.” “What bird?” It was 10 o’clock at night! “I was shooting my BB gun and was trying to see how close I could get to a bird…and I hit it and killed it. I didn’t mean to kill the bird.” Evidently, some time before, Jeremy had been outside shooting his BB gun and had “accidentally” killed a bird. When he saw what he had done he knew that it was wrong. He had done what I had told him to not do. So, what was he going to do about it? He was afraid that if I found out that I would be disappointed in him and that he would be punished. So, he tried to keep me from knowing. He would hide what he had done. He quickly picked up the bird, went into the trees, dug a hole, and buried it. It was gone. Out of sight. He thought that it was over. He had done wrong…but nobody would ever know.
But the problem was…somebody did know…him. And now, later, he felt very bad about what he had done. For several weeks his conscience had been bothering him and he felt guilty for what he had done. And the longer it went the worse it got. He just couldn’t forget. He knew that I loved him and trusted him. And yet, he had tried to hide what he had done from me. Not only had he done wrong…but he had made it worse by trying to hide it from me. And that bothered him, too. It was too much. He had to do something. He just couldn’t stand it anymore. So finally, he came to us and admitted what he had done.
He told us that he knew what he had done was wrong and that it made it even worse when he tried to hide it from us. He said that he was sorry and would never do it, again.
Grandma and I hugged on him and told him that he was forgiven. We told him that we were disappointed that he had done something that we had told him not to do…but that would never change how we loved him. Nothing could ever keep us from loving him.
We explained to him that when we told him to do something, or to not do something, we only did so because we knew it was the very best thing for him. But if there was ever a time when he disobeyed us…he should admit it to us and promise to not do it again.
To help him understand how important it is to do what we told him…we took the BB gun away from him for a while. He was pretty bummed out about that…but it helped him to realize that when we are disobedient there are consequences.
Did you know that God loves us so much that in the Bible He tells us how we should live? He teaches us about life and He tells us what is right and what is wrong. Unfortunately, we sometimes don’t do what God has said. We may try to hide it from God…but not only do I know what I have done, but God knows, as well. God knows everything that we do. When we do something that is wrong…God is deeply disappointed…but He still loves us. Because He loves us, He won’t just let us get away with it. There are consequences. God uses those consequences to remind us that we need to admit to Him that we did something wrong and to promise Him that we will never do it, again. When we do that…He forgives us. Being forgiven is a wonderful thing. Even though God’s love for me never changes…the way that I feel His love can change. When I do something wrong and don’t ask God to forgive me…I don’t feel loved, even though God still loves me. Instead, I feel bad, I feel guilty…and those feelings keep me from feeling God’s love. So, the best thing I can do when I have done something wrong…is to admit it to God and promise that I will never do it again. When I do that, I realize that He has forgiven me and I suddenly feel God’s love all over again. God loves you. Love Him back by living the way He says to.
Love you more than bunches and bunches,