By CTA – Christ to All
Let’s play a game today. It’s called “The Opposite Game.” Here’s how it works: I’ll say a word and you say the opposite. Like this: big . . . little; short . . . tall; hot . . . cold.
(Play the game, using the following word pairs: daytime/nighttime; light/dark; brave/scared.)
Let’s talk more about that last set of opposites: brave/scared. When might kids like you feel afraid? Why is that? (Let volunteers respond.)
Getting to the Heart
When might a very small child feel afraid? What about a teenager? Do adults ever feel scared? When? (Allow volunteers to answer each question; or simply pause for a second after each question to allow the children to think.)
It’s true! Everyone feels afraid at times. When bad things happen and even when we just imagine something bad might happen, we often feel afraid.
Sometimes we learn we had no reason to be afraid at all. Have you ever felt afraid because you suspected there might be a monster in your closet? Or under your bed? As we get a little older, we learn that there are no such things as monsters. Mom turns on the light and we see that the “monster” we imagined was just a shirt sticking out of a drawer or only our backpack lying in the corner. In the daytime, we feel a little silly for being afraid of shirts and backpacks. But in the dark, we may find ourselves feeling a little bit scared, even when we know better.
Still, some fears are real—very real. Sometimes we feel afraid when we’ve said or done something wrong. We know that our sin could ruin a friendship or hurt someone we care about. Or we might worry that when a grown-up finds out what we’ve done, the punishment will be something terrible.
The Bible has a lot to say about fear. Here’s one verse. God is speaking and he says, “I will never leave you” (Hebrews 13:5 ESV). What a wonderful promise! God promises to never—never, ever—leave us. That means we are never alone—ever!
You know how strong our Lord is! At least two times, he made a terrible storm on the sea stop just by saying, “Peace! Be still!” Or remember all the sick people Jesus healed? He is very strong to be able to heal those people. Best of all, do you remember when Jesus died on the cross? That was a terrible, frightening day! But Jesus did not stay dead; he came back to life again on Resurrection Day.
Jesus is stronger than any storm. Jesus is stronger than any sickness. Jesus is stronger than any sin and stronger than all our sins. Jesus is stronger than even death, and death is perhaps the scariest thing of all. Our strong Savior is always with us. He promises that he will never leave us. When we feel afraid because of our sins, we can say, “Dear Jesus, please forgive me.” And he always will! Jesus will help us every time we feel afraid.
Let’s use our opposites one last time. When I point to you, tell everyone here today: “Jesus will never leave me!” Ready?
In the light or when it’s dark . . . (Jesus will never leave me!)
In good times or in bad times . . . (Jesus will never leave me!)
When the sun shines or if storms come my way . . . (Jesus will never leave me!)
When I do what’s right and even when I sin . . . (Jesus will never leave me!)
While I live and when I die . . . (Jesus will never leave me!)
Editor’s Note: CTA has a wide variety of children’s ministry items for your church or ministry.