By Jane L. Fryar
Place the pieces of a broken cup, vase, or tchotchke in a large bag. Along with it, place some kind of ball (softball, baseball, football, or tennis ball).
Bookmark your Bible at Galatians 2:20 so you can find it easily as you deliver the Ministry Message.
Jacob and Joanne were brother and sister. Jacob was in third grade and Joanne was in fifth. One day, while Dad was working in the garage, Jacob and Joanne sat at the kitchen table doing their homework. Soon, Mom came home from work and went to hang up her coat in the closet. As she went, she found these things on the floor in the sunroom.
(Open your bag and show the children the broken pieces and the ball.)
What do you suppose Mom thought? What do you suppose she did or said? (Let volunteers suggest scenarios. Briefly talk about them together.)
Those are all interesting ideas. Some of you have guessed already! Mom brought these pieces and this ball out to the kitchen. “Who broke my [vase]?” she asked Jacob and Joanne.
“I didn’t!” said Joanne.
“Not me!” said Jacob.
Just then, Dad walked in from the garage. “Did you break my [vase]?” Mom asked him.
“It wasn’t me!” Dad exclaimed.
When do we sometimes say things like “Not me!” or “I didn’t do it!”? (Let volunteers suggest two or three examples.)
Getting to the Heart
Usually, we say, “Not me!” or “I didn’t do it!” to get out of trouble, don’t we?
When we break a rule and get caught . . .
When we do something we know we shouldn’t do and someone gets hurt . . .
In times like that, we are tempted to deny our wrongdoing, to cover it up, or to blame someone else. Today I brought a verse from the Bible that is kind of surprising. In this verse, the apostle Paul says, “Not me! I didn’t do it!” But it’s not about sin at all! Listen!
It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me (Galatians 2:20 NLT).
“Not me!” Paul says. He is not talking about his sins. He is not denying his disobedience. Instead, he is talking about the good things he does. “It’s not me! It’s Jesus in me!” he writes. “Jesus is alive in me and he is doing through me all the kind, helpful, thoughtful, loving things you see me do.”
Our lives as the people of God can be like that, too. When we do wrong, we can say, “Jesus, please forgive me.” And Jesus always will! He died on the cross to wash away all our sins, every one of them!
And when we do right, we can say, “Not me! Jesus in me gives me the power to do all this! He powers me up!”
Taking It Home
Pray with me: Dear Jesus, thank you for your gift of forgiveness and for making us your very own people! Thank you that you power us up to do good, kind, thoughtful, loving things for those around us. When we do that, remind us to say, “Not me, but Christ in me!” as we show your love. In your name we pray, dear Jesus. Amen.
Editor’s note: Today’s devotion is slightly adapted from the Ministry Message for the Power Up with Jesus! line of products.
You are welcome to copy this article for one-time use when you include this credit line and receive no monetary benefit from it: © 2020 CTA, Inc. Used with permission.
Editor’s note: Our lives as the people of God can be like that, too. When we do wrong, we can say, "Jesus, please forgive me." And Jesus always will! He died on the cross to wash away all our sins, every one of them!
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