Before the service we played a few rounds of “Find the Queen of Hearts.” Take a deck of cards, pull out two kings and the queen of hearts. put a slight bend in them to make it easy for you to grab. Place the three cards face down. Show the kid playing the queen of hearts then proceed to move the cards around. Go slow for the younger kids. If you like you can do like what i did and go quickly for the older kids. Point out that the Kids are the ones making the choice. You are not forcing them to make bad or good choices.
our memory verse for the week
1: God doesn’t FORCE us to do what he says.
Ill: God did not make us like puppets. While He does have the power to force us to do what He wants, he doesn’t. We are not like a puppet that has no control over it’s body.
a. God gave man the power to choose good and evil.
Just like in the game of “Find the Queen of Hearts” where the kids were the kids made either good or bad choices when trying to find the queen, we have the power to choose to do good or do evil.
b. God has given us the ability to not do wrong
1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
According to scripture God provides a way out when we are tempted to do wrong. It’s your choice to take that way out.
C. Sometimes we have to ask God for help in making these choices
19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.
Here in this scripture we find Christ saying that he’s here knocking at our door. He’s there for you so you can repent and do right. But you need to invite him in so he can do so.
2. If you stop and ask God to speak he will.
Believe it or not God is probably speaking to you right now. He’s talking to the young and old. In the Old Testament we find the Story of Samuel. One night Samuel was sleeping. when suddenly he heard a voice calling out to him. He ran out to see if it were Eli calling him. But Eli told him to simply go back to bed. This happened a couple of times before Eli finally said “Go, lie down; and it shall be, if He calls ou, that you must say, ‘Speak Lord, for Your servant hears'”
So he did. he layed back down and sure enough God called out to him, Samuel then spoke out “Speak Lord, i’m listening.” It was then that God gave Samuel direction. It is when we silent our mind and allow God to speak to us that we truly hear him.
On a side note I did discuss with the children how to respectfully talk to God. I taught them to call him “Lord,” “Master,” and “Father.”
3. God can Guide us whether we are aware of it or not.
a. His guidance while we are aware.
According to James 1:5, if we ask God for wisdom he will be more than happy to give it to us. But the key to this is prayer.
ill. to illustrate this i brought one kid up for another round of find the queen. The difference is that while they weren’t looking during worship i replaced the queen with a random card and put it in the hood of one of the kid’s jacket. I then gave our lucky player a two way radio and told them to pray into radio to ask for help finding the queen. The person on the otherside (my helper in the back of the room) told them where to find the card. Of course the kids were all shocked but it made the point.
b. God can direct us when we are unaware by setting up certain situations.
I shared part of my testimony to illustration. In 1999 i was living in Missouri. Through a series of sad and ungodly choices made by people outside of our control, my mother, sister, and I, were left stranded here in Louisiana homeless. However, through God’s grace, and sovereign love he guided us through every painful moment of this so that in the end He would be glorified and so that we would be protected. God’s plan has always been for me to minister to the hurt and lost and he used the poor choices of others to help me make the proper choices that glorify him.