Editor’s note: Today’s devotion is slightly adapted from a family devotion packet that accompanies the This Is Love Family Activity Magnet. CTA has written six FREE, reproducible Easter devotions just like this one. You can send them home for families to use in their personal devotions, use them in your Sunday school, or make them part of your Easter outreach event.
Before you begin, place a new toy and an obviously old toy in an opaque bag, like a grocery sack. If possible, choose items that both girls and boys would like.
I’m so glad you came today! Jesus is always happy when you come to learn his Word, and I am, too!
Today, I have a story to tell you. It’s about someone your age named Drew. Drew’s class decided to collect toys for children at the homeless shelter. All the way home that day, Drew was very quiet. What do you suppose Drew was thinking about? (Let the children speculate.)
When Drew got home, Mom noticed right away. “What’s wrong, Drew?” she asked. “Why are you so quiet? Do you want a snack?” Drew didn’t answer. He just shook his head no and went to his room. He closed the door and opened the chest where he kept his toys.
One by one, Drew took the toys out. He looked each one over carefully, then shook his head and put it down on the floor. Before long, the whole floor was covered with toys! Finally, Drew got to the bottom of the toy box. There, he saw one last toy.
(Take the used, battered toy out of your bag and show it to the children.)
This was the toy Drew picked up. He smiled and went out to ask Mom for a sack to put it in. And for a snack.
What do you suppose Drew will do with this toy? (Let a volunteer respond.) Yes, that’s what I think, too. I think that’s the toy Drew will take to donate to the toy drive. Why do you suppose Drew chose that toy? (Let the children speculate. Maybe because it’s battered. Maybe because he has outgrown it, and he likes playing with his other toys more.)
Now I want to read a very short story from the Bible to you. But don’t forget about Drew. We will come back to him in a minute.
The story I am going to read happened just after Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose again, just after he went back to heaven. More and more people believed in Jesus as the Savior. Thousands of people! Now, here’s what the Bible says about those people. (Read Acts 4:32–33, if possible from a children’s Bible.)
What would it have been like to live among those believers? (Let several volunteers comment.) Everyone shared. Everyone loved Jesus. All the people loved one another. God blessed them all with love and forgiveness. How happy it must have been!
(Take the new toy out of the bag and hold both toys.) Let’s say one of the children in Jerusalem had both of these toys. Which of them do you think he or she would have shared? Maybe both?
What made these people willing to share? Yes! It was Jesus’ love! They remembered Jesus had died for them and that he rose again. They remembered that Jesus was their kind, good Savior and their forever Friend! And they had learned that sharing made them happier by far than selfishness - all because of Jesus.
So if you could talk to Drew, what would you want to tell him? (Listen to volunteers’ responses, guiding them toward the truths you have shared with them.)
Jesus gave up his life on the cross for us. He sacrificedhimself. Because he did that, the first believers sacrificedtheir belongings, sharing everything they owned with each other, even all their money! Now, because Jesus sacrificedhimself for us, we can share. We can love unselfishly.
Let’s pray: Dear Jesus, forgive us for the times we’ve been selfish. Thank you for sacrificing yourself for us and for making us God’s forgiven children. Fill our hearts with your love for others. Amen.
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