With Vacation Bible Schools bringing fun and faith across the United States this summer, it’s important to think of creative ways to get the Gospel message into the homes. Sometimes the kids cram their papers into pockets, purses or backpacks, and never look at them again. The candy will keep them from tossing it too soon. Yea, I’m not above bribery.
In my last post on sweet ways to share the Gospel, I said “it only takes one verse to convict the heart of sin and lead to salvation.” Lemme’ tell you why I’m SO convinced of this theory and look for simple ways to get kids to learn at least one precious verse during Vacation Bible School.
It was the early 70’s and I was one of 22 kids living in my Helena, MT neighborhood. I’ve threatened to write a book about the kids I now refer to as The Townsend Avenue Tyrants. We weren’t always nice kids, but in case you’re reading this, Mom, don’t worry. We weren’t that bad!
Somehow, many of us got roped into going to AWANAS at the Hannaford Baptist Church up the street. I’m sure there was a prize in it for someone for bringing us, but with the promise of fun and treats we were off. At 9, I was boy crazy, I admit it, and when the group was instructed to sit on the floor, I managed to finangle myself next to a cute boy, close enough to touch elbows, and struck up a conversation.
For some reason, a woman singled me out, and urged me to go into a room alone with her and memorize verses for a prize. I didn’t want a prize. I wanted to sit by the cute boy. She convinced me and I followed her reluctantly into the empty classroom. Although she remains faceless to me to this day, I remember her patiently repeating the verses over and over until I could recite them to her satisfaction. As a CHUM, I memorized a C verse about Christ and the H verse, “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who can know it?” She praised me so much, I wondered what the big deal was. After all, it was only a few verses from the Bible.
She gave me a piece of candy and let me out, but I wasn’t allowed to sit by the cute boy again. I don’t remember ever going back to AWANAS. But through that visit and a few other invitations to believers homes for some type of kids Bible club, I grew up with all the doctrine I needed to be saved.
I grew up knowing the Bible was all true.
I knew Jesus was the Son of God and was the only way of salvation.
I knew I was a sinner that deserved Hell.
I knew it and believed it all and accepted Jesus into my heart every time the offer came forward.
It wasn’t until I was in college that I had a life-changing meeting with the Lord Jesus Christ. As a freshman at the University of North Dakota, I started doing two things ~ going to every party I could find and going to every Bible study I could find. The battle for my soul didn’t last long.
In October, after a weekend of partying, I was in my room physically and spiritually miserable. Hoping to relieve the burden, I grabbed my Bible and started reading the Love Chapter, I Corinthians 13, the only chapter I knew. When I finished that, I kept reading. The Word of God awakened everything I’d heard, seen and done and put it into spiritual perspective. By the time I got to 2 Corinthians 5:10 I trembled in fear of a Holy God, knowing I would stand before Him in judgement. My life passed before my eyes, for the first time, viewing my life from the Lord’s holy perspective. I kept thinking I’d been given a life and I was poisoning it with sin. Over and over, a Voice I was learning to hear and love, repeated, “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who can know it?”
By the time I got to verse 17, I experienced what it said. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
I was a new creation, a Born-Again Christian, because I had finally been convicted of my sinful, wicked heart. It was that one AWANA verse, stored away in some dark corner of my heart, festering conviction until it bore salvation’s fruit.
This is why I love thinking of creative ways to get the Gospel message into hearts and homes. It only takes one verse to convict the heart of sin and lead to salvation. Many times I’ve distributed the Gospel message with the following candies and the instruction card tucked into plastic bags. I’ve used them for VBS, Bible camp and Halloween. Each type of candy represents a different part of the Gospel message. (I always use individually wrapped candy.)
LIFE SAVER – Being born into a Christian family or going to church doesn’t get you to Heaven. But, the Lord loves you and longs for you to be with Him forever. Put your faith in Christ, who alone can save you from your sins. Acts 16:31,“Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.”
HOT TAMALES– This spicy candy represents Hell, the punishment we deserve for sin, or disobeying God. Revelation 20:15, says, “Whoever was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”
SMARTIES – Make smart decisions. Daily read the Bible and accept the Lord’s forgiveness and salvation. 2 Timothy 3:15, “The Holy Scriptures make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”
NOW AND LATER– – Make the decision for Christ now, not later. You will have joy now and can look forward to an eternity with Jesus in heaven later. 2 Corinthians 6:2b “Behold, NOW is the day of salvation!”
This is the Word document I created using New>Templates>Certificates>Gift Certificates>Gift Certificate for Restaurant. You can easily use this template for creating other verse cards for spiritual adventures.
When you pass away these sweet Gospel messages please remember, you are only sowing seed. The Lord will make sure the seed is watered, nurtured and cultivated. Not only do we have a sweet message, we have a life-changing message ~ a message that brings eternal life.
Maybe, someday when I’m in Heaven looking for that dear faceless sister who taught me the verse that led to my salvation, there will be other souls looking to meet you. Isn’t that sweet?
I read this on my phone a few days ago but I strongly dislike leaving a reply from my phone….just not techy-savy enough, LOL!!
I really loved this post as it was such an encouragement as I taught young children at band/music/bible school at our church last week. One of the things I taught (besides Joseph, Jonah, Gideon, and David & Goliath) was the Wordless Book. I could have used your candy idea but it came late. I just saved it for another time…maybe next year and in-between too.
mary mac says
Thanks for that story, it was such an encouragement. We have VBS this next week and I needed to hear that story before the week began.
That is awesome. Thanks for that story! I love that a faceless woman has been such a big part of your coming to KNOW Jesus. And thanks for the reminder that we are only the sower and God will do the rest.