This devotion suggests that you read several Bible passages. Find and mark these passages ahead of time: Romans 3:23; James 2:10; Romans 5:8; 1 John 2:12; 1 Corinthians 12:3; John 14:27; Psalm 1:3; 2 Peter 3:18; Matthew 5:14, 16; 1 John 4:16.
Do you know what it means to share the salvation story? The word salvation comes from the word save. We often say that Jesus died to save us from our sins. To save someone means to rescue him or her. Someone who needs to be saved or rescued is in serious trouble. Lifeguards save people from drowning. Firefighters rescue people trapped in fires.
We needed to be saved, or rescued, because of our sins. Sins are things we do that are wrong. They are also good things we should have done, but didn’t do. Our sins hurt us, and they hurt others. Our sins hurt Jesus, too.
When we do something wrong, there’s often a punishment. Because of our sins, we deserved to be punished. Can you imagine how big that punishment would be? It would be worse than we can even imagine.
We’ll never know, because God sent his Son, Jesus, to be punished in our place. Jesus died on a cross, taking all the punishment we deserve. That’s how much Jesus loves us! Because of Jesus, all our sins are forgiven.
Jesus died for us. Jesus saved us! But he didn’t stay dead. Three days after he died, he rose from the dead. He lives! He is with us forever—it’s true, even though we don’t see him right now.
That’s God’s salvation story. And that’s our salvation story. We want to share that story of Jesus’ love and salvation with everyone! We want them to believe in Jesus and be saved, too!
Getting to the Heart
Today I am going to teach you how six shapes can help you share the good news of Jesus and his love.
Person—The first shape, a person, reminds us of ourselves. God created us to be his special children. He loves each of us. But we are all sinners who need forgiveness. We need to be rescued. No one is good enough to save himself.
Cross –The cross reminds us of how much Jesus loves us. He died on the cross so we can have forgiveness for our sins. All who believe in Jesus as the one who saved them from their sins will live with him forever. Remember, Jesus didn’t stay dead! He rose from the dead and lives!
Dove—This dove reminds us of God the Holy Spirit and of peace. The Holy Spirit creates faith in us so we can believe in Jesus, the Rescuer who loves us perfectly. The Holy Spirit helps us understand and trust what we hear or read about God in the Bible. When we believe in Jesus and trust in him, God gives us peace and joy. We know we are loved and then we can share Jesus’ love with others.
Tree—A green, growing tree reminds us that we are always growing stronger in the love of Jesus. We grow as we learn more about him and his love for us from the Bible.
The Bible tells us that the person who loves the Lord is like a healthy, growing tree, nourished by his Word. (Read Psalm 1:3.) The Bible also encourages us to keep learning his Word. (Read 2 Peter 3:18.)
Candle—A candle reminds us that Jesus’ love shines from our lives. Jesus is the Light of the World. His love shines through us. Because Jesus lives with us and in us, others see that he has changed us. Jesus in us helps us love others. When Jesus shines through us in the things we say and do, others will want to know more about him.
The Bible says we’re the light of the world and encourages us to give glory to God in all we do. (Read Matthew 5:14, 16.)
Heart—This heart can remind you that Jesus loves you more than anyone else does, more than anyone else even can! Jesus died for you and lives for you. He loves you so much that he wants to live with you forever—here on earth for now and forever one day in heaven!
Listen to what the Bible says about God’s love. (Read 1 John 4:16.)
Taking It Home
The Bible tells us, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Because we know God’s love in Jesus, we want to share it. Not everyone knows Jesus or the good news of his saving love! So use these shapes as you have fun telling others about Jesus and his love!
Editor’s note: This devotion is intended for use with CTA’s Salvation Story Bracelet. Use it at VBS, on mission trips, at July 4th celebrations, or anywhere you plan to witness this summer!