God's Story (five fingers)
1. God is interested in you
(Thumb: Most important)
- God made us so that we could live in a loving relationship with Him.
- He is making you an offer. The question is: What will you do with it?
2. Problem: We don’t do what God wants us to do
(Index finger: Pointing at others with accusation or blame, but the problem is with us)
- There is a big problem in our lives: Sin.
- What is sin? Stealing, lying, killing... (breaking the Ten Commandments) is sin.
- But God’s standard is even higher:
- Thinking badly about someone else is sin.
- If you know the right thing to do but don’t do it, that’s sin.
- The root of sin: Thinking we know better than God, ignoring Him, and refusing His love.
- God is holy and He desires us to be perfect.
- Imagine that someone could make a video clip with all your sins: with all your mean deeds, all your dirty thoughts and all the situations where you thought nobody was watching. How would you feel if that came to light and others could see the video clip?
- God doesn’t ignore these things but the consequence of sin is punishment.
- Our sins cause us to be broken, spiritually dead and separated from God.
3. God’s solution: Jesus Christ paid the price for our sin
(Middle finger is the tallest finger: Symbol for the cross where Jesus died)
- How can God be full of love but also be the judge who punishes sin? How does this fit together?
- God’s special solution is His son, Jesus Christ.
- He came to this world, lived a perfect life, and brought healing to many people.
- His enemies arrested Him, beat Him, and killed Him on the cross.
- But three days later He came back to life!
- He took our punishment so that we can have forgiveness!
- Illustration story: The Two Twins (see back)
4. God wants a relationship with us
(Ring finger: Relationship with God)
- God has done everything so that our broken relationship with Him could be restored. He is offering you a new, eternal life together with Him.
- Now it’s your turn to decide: Will you accept His offer?
- But we must realize that this decision has consequences. It means leaving your old life behind and starting to live like Jesus lived.
- We make this decision by turning away from all our sin and let Jesus cleanse us.
- It’s like saying “Yes” to a marriage. When you say “Yes,” God will also say “Yes” to you. He wants to talk to you, to provide for you and to live with you!
5. The Holy Spirit will support you
(Pinky: There is potential for growth)
- When we take His offer, God will fill us with His Spirit.
- This “Holy Spirit” is like God’s power for you. He shows you what to do, changes your weaknesses, and helps you to live like Jesus.
- Also, people with the Holy Spirit will support you and train you to understand God better, so that He can use you.
The Two Twins
There were two identical twins. One of them strayed from the right path as a teenager. He joined a gang and had no contact with his family anymore. Eventually he became a murderer. On a raid, he shot a person who got in his way. In court, he saw his brother again for the first time in years. His brother was the judge! “Great, it’s my brother!” he thought, “he should still love me! He’ll get me out of here.”
His brother, the judge, passed the sentence – the death penalty! The twin brother was angry. “Why so strict?!”, he asked, “that’s not loving!” But the judge had to stick to the law to fulfill justice.
The sentenced twin was sitting on death row when suddenly, in the middle of the night, the door opened. It was his twin brother! At first he was angry with him. “Why did you sentence me to death?!”, he demanded.
“I had to; I’m just. But I have an offer for you. We both look the same. Let’s change clothes. I’ll stay here and you can go.”
“Okay, great!”, the twin said, and left the prison. He celebrated the whole night because he was so happy. The next morning he remembered, “Wait a second, the execution was scheduled at 9 o’clock this morning.” He walked to the prison walls and suddenly heard a shot! He realized that his brother really had taken his punishment! He was totally desperate. He went to his brother’s house and found a letter from him. It read,
“You’re free. I took your punishment. I want you to live my life from now on, to be honest, and to remember what I did for you.”
My answer to God’s offer
God has done His part. Now it’s your turn...
- Did I accept His offer?
- □ Yes □ No □ Unsure
- Am I sure that I received eternal life?
- □ Yes □ No □ Unsure
- Did I turn away from my sin and wrong ways?
- □ Yes □ No □ A little bit
- Am I sure that I received the Holy Spirit?
- □ Yes □ No □ Unsure
What is hindering me?
What did I not understand? Where am I unsure?
Talking with God: My next steps
Here you find suggestions for a conversation with God. Add everything that is on your heart and that you want to tell God. If you feel unsure about certain points, you can tell that to God honestly. Use the support of someone who has experience in talking with God.
God, which things in my life are not like You want them? Which sins do I need to turn away from?
God, I thank You that I can talk with You. I realize that I didn’t live according to Your will. I’m sorry. Please forgive me that I _______________ (name what God showed you).
Jesus, I thank You that You made a solution and that You died for me. I’m ready to change my life and get rid of everything You call sin. I want to live according to Your will.
Holy Spirit, please help me with that. Cleanse me and fill me.
If you can say all this from your heart then let someone explain to you how the start of this new life works (see “Baptism” worksheet).