I know positively that “The word of God is living and active.” I know because I cling to the promises of God in his Word and because my God is so gracious to show me his wonders. I got to see his wonders yesterday at Reading Club…
We began Family Meeting with a game and then settled into our study of the Fruits of the Spirit. We were continuing our study of ‘peace’. I pulled out my Bible, marked with several scriptures, saying we were going to find out what is God’s definition of peace. I began with Isaiah 9:6.
“A child will be born to us. A son will be given to us. He will be called Wonderful Advisor and Mighty God. He will also be called Father Who Lives Forever and Prince Who Brings Peace.”
Long before Jesus was born, God told Isaiah that he was going to send his son and he would bring us peace.
We moved to the second verse, Luke 2:13-14.
“Suddenly a large group of angels from heaven also appeared. They were praising God. They said, ‘May glory be given to God in the highest heaven! And may peace be given to those he is pleased with on earth!”
Jesus has arrived and the angels declare that peace is coming.
But then, why don’t we have peace with God? Do we? We talked about what it means to have peace in our relationships with each other and then I pressed on with Romans 3:23.
“Everyone has sinned. No one measures up to God’s glory.”
And Romans 6:23.
“When you sin, the pay you get is death. But God gives you the gift of eternal life because of what Christ Jesus has done.”
We paused here and I walked over to one of the boys and said that it is kind of like me saying, “I’m not doing anything you say! I’m going to be mean to you; I’m going to be ugly to you! Then you turn around and saying, ‘Ok Ms. Halie, I’m going to die for you.'” It doesn’t make sense, but that is what Christ did for us! We said “no” to him and then he died for us!
I continued reading Romans 5:1-2 and Romans 5:6-8.
“We have been made right with God because of our faith. Now we have peace with him because of our Lord Jesus Christ. Through faith in Jesus we have received God’s grace. In that grace we stand. We are full of joy because we expect to share in God’s glory.”
“At just the right time Christ dies for ungodly people. He died for us when we had no power of our own…While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
I briefly reiterated that we have all sinned and said “no” to God, but that he died for us. But at that point, it was as if a flood gate of questions had opened in the room. One 4th grade girl looked at me and said, “When have I said ‘no’ to God? I haven’t said ‘no’ to God.” This thought was echoed across the room. It was as if all of a sudden, they heard me say they were sinners for the first time against God!
I talked about how when we disobey what God has said, we are saying no to him, like when they disobey their parents. And the questions came again, “How am I saying ‘no’ to God when I disrespect my mom? I don’t understand how that goes together.”
The Bible says that God has given us to our parents as gifts, he has put them in charge of us and told us to obey them. When we disobey, or disrespect them, we are telling God with our actions that we don’t think he made a good choice in picking our parents, that he was wrong and we shouldn’t have to obey.
Then the conversation began about when we begin to sin and why do toddlers know how to say ‘no’ to their parents. One student has a baby sister, who is so tiny and yet knows how to say ‘no’. I asked this student if her mom had taught her sister how to say ‘no’. She giggled and said she hadn’t. Students all around the room began making suggestions as to how the baby could be disobedient:
“Some people just hang out with the wrong people.”
“Maybe she heard it from her siblings.”
“She just doesn’t have any patience.”
I don’t know about you, but I don’t know of many two-year-olds that hang around with the wrong crowd! At this point we have reached the end of our time for Family Meeting, but there is no way I am stopping this conversation!
Finally, one of the teen girls, who works as a Reading Buddy, whispered to her first grade buddy, “We were born into sin.” He proudly reports it to the room and so begins the conversation of original sin!
We are all sinners because we were born sinners! Do you remember Adam and Eve, when they sinned in the garden?
“Yes, Satan was there and gave them the apple.”
“So, did Satan make them sin?”
“Yes” “No” “Yes”
“Did Satan shove that fruit in their mouths and make them swallow?”
“Adam and Eve sinned all by themselves and we sin all by ourselves. We don’t need anyone to help us sin; we do it all by ourselves.”
Another of the teens, pipes in and asks, “Well has anyone ever been born without sin?” I am so excited that I get to answer, “Yes, one man” and before I have a chance to continue many kids start saying, “Jesus” all around the circle. Yes, Jesus was born without sin because his father was God, not an earthly father.
But, praise God that because of what Jesus has done, we are not left in our sin. He came to save us. While I don’t want this to end, the questions have died down and everyone begins to fidget, so relishing the moment, I flip open my Bible to see the last verse I had marked. It was John 3:16.
“God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son. Anyone who believes is him will not die but will have eternal life.”