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Remember the Hint

I’m continuing my series of articles entitled, “Demos for Devos” – short for demonstrations for devotions. I’ve wanted to reach back into my collection of demonstrations the Lord has given me to teach various biblical truths in hopes of encouraging dads to take the lead in creative family devotion times. You don’t have to be great Bible scholar or teacher to teach your family important truths for life and relationship with God and others. In fact, the simpler and shorter, the better. 

This month’s demonstration has to do with teaching one of the most foundational truths of the gospel which expresses the heart of God and helps explain what it means to believe in God for salvation as well as for all our daily needs .

 

Scripture Focus

Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, "I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you," so we confidently say, "The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?  (Heb. 13:5-6)

Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes ot the Father but through me." (John 14:6)

 

Demonstration

Tell your children that you are going to play a game for devotion time. Draw or tape two lines, or lay down two strings far enough apart that jumping from one to the other is impossible. Have your children stand behind one of the lines. Instruct them that they are to get across the wide space to the other line (or string) without touching the ground or walking or climbing on any furniture. Tell them that it is possible for them to get to the other side, but they will need a hint. Tell them up front what the hint is.

The hint is: your father. (If a father isn’t there, then give the name of someone who can carry them across – such as a big brother). Fathers, stand behind the line that’s opposite the children. You are to wait until one of your children asks for help – to carry them to your side. (You may walk in between the lines). Now that the demonstration is set up, tell them to “Go!” The only thing from this point on that you can say is, “Remember the hint: your father.” As your children try to figure out how to do it, demonstrate patience and gentleness as you tell them to go back to the line and repeat the hint.

When a child finally “gets it,” he or she will ask you to come carry them over. Then you may go to them, pick them up, and carry them across. Once the first one asks, then the rest usually follow suit.

Once everyone is across, explain how the demonstration teaches the gospel. For any person to get to God and have eternal life, he must be perfectly righteous (get to the other side). Sin has made it impossible for us to get to God because we do not have the ability to be sinless, just as it is impossible for the child to leap across the space and reach the other line. We always fall short of the glory of God (Romans3:23). This is called sin.

Man in his pride wants to be able to reach the goal without asking for help. This pride may show up as your children try many different ways to get across to the other side without asking for help. Paul wrote that it is impossible for the flesh to please God by keeping the Law of God (reaching the line becomes our goal, though God’s goal is that we be with Him). You may have some children try to leap across to the other side, falling short of the goal line and landing in the middle. If any children attempt to jump across, send them back for another try, reminding them that the rules say they cannot touch down between the lines and that they need to “Remember the hint: your father.” Explain how man’s attempts to get to God all fall short of what God requires, which is trust and reliance on God Himself. 

The Good News is that the heart of God is to help us and give us eternal life through His Son, Jesus Christ. He does for us what we cannot do – be righteous. God sent His Son, Jesus, to live a righteous life as our substitute, and then God gives Jesus’ righteousness to us as a gift of grace (which brings us over the line). Jesus came to reveal to mankind that God is our Helper/Savior. He wants to be with us and will always be with us to help us (Read to them John 14:16, Heb. 13:5-6).     

Jesus told His disciples that He was the only way to God, the Father.  He became sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. After sacrificing Himself as a payment for our sin (illustrated by the father walking between the lines in the “sin” area), Jesus went to the Father and asked Him to send us another Helper, the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit’s job is to help carry us to the Father.

There is only one way to get to God and that is by recognizing that it is impossible to do what God requires of us and that we must ask the Father to help us. We must first repent of trusting in our own attempts at righteousness and relying on our own strength or goodness. Everyone must become like a child and recognize his need for help to believe in God’s heart to love us and His promise to help us. We each must simply trust in the Father to help when we ask. The child who asks his father for help demonstrates this child-like faith. It helps to keep our focus on God’s purpose: to be with us and to show us His love.

One reason God designed our salvation in this way is that He might get all the glory through Jesus Christ. You might ask your children, “Who gets the glory, praise, and thanks when you get to the other side? What did you do to get to the other side? Why did I (the father) wait to carry you to the goal line until you asked? What does ‘asking’ demonstrate?" 

You might add to the demonstration by acting out what man-made religion looks like. There are several options. For instance, move the line within jumping range and jump over to the line. What problems do you see with man-made religion? Or, place blocks or chairs in a row to make a bridge between the lines. Then have the children walk on the blocks without stepping on the floor. Why doesn’t God accept these two options? (They leave out God’s will to make Jesus Christ first in everything. (See Colossians 1:19-20). 

You might also have the kids each try to jump as far as they can. When they land short of the goal line, explain how in man-made religion, the people who appear to have jumped the farthest are usually made leaders and pastors. However, in the Kingdom of heaven, that’s not the case. It’s those who rely completely on the Spirit and power of the Father revealed in Jesus Christ who should become leaders and pastors. This is also applicable to your leadership of your family. God doesn’t expect you to lead your family in your power and strength (trying to jump as far as you can). His heart is to help you when you recognize He is with you and has promised to help.

Foundational Truth: God saves those who believe He is a helper and has sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to save them from their sins, and has also sent another Helper, the Holy Spirit, to bring them to Himself.

I hope this has given you encouragement in being a spiritual leader of your family. You are a reflection of the heavenly Father. He has given you as a helper to your children. You can’t do it in your own strength, but He has promised to be with you and help you. I encourage you to rely on His grace, asking Him to help you do what He requires of you as the leader of your family. Every time you think of the impossible task of leading your family, remember this demonstration, Remember the Hint: Your Father!

 

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