Editor’s note: This devotion was written to accompany CTA’s “Count Your Blessings” product line for children. It will help the children you serve develop a more thankful heart.
Before the children arrive, create a pair of “Blessings Binoculars.” Cut white paper to size and wrap it around a pair of binoculars, using colorful markers to add the words, “Blessings Binoculars.” Or tape together two cardboard tubes, labeling these, “Blessing Binoculars.”
When I hike in the woods or go on vacation or visit the ballpark, I like to take binoculars along. Looking through them, I can spot even very small birds that hide high in the trees. I can watch squirrels chase and play. I can see all the way to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. I can see the expression on the pitcher’s face when the batter hits a home run.
Binoculars help me see everything much more clearly. Have you ever looked through binoculars? What did you see? (Let one or two volunteers respond.)
Getting to the Heart
The binoculars I brought with me today are special. They are “Blessings Binoculars,” and they help me see more clearly the blessings God has given me.
If I look through these Blessings Binoculars, I can find many ways God meets my needs. For instance, I might see (look through the binoculars, pretending to see the things you name) apples and oatmeal and fish sticks—because I need food. I might see glasses of clear, cold water and cups of warm, sweet cocoa—because I need to quench my thirst.
If you looked through the Blessing Binoculars to see the needs God meets for you, what blessings from God would you see? (Let children name other blessings that fall under the category of needs—a safe place to sleep, air to breathe, people to care for them, clothing and shoes, friends, and the like.)
If I look through the Blessings Binoculars, I can also find many blessings I don’t really need, but nevertheless, blessings that make me extra happy. For instance, I might see (look through the binoculars, pretending to see the things you name) my dog/cat—who is such a good friend! I might see my microwave oven and my vacuum cleaner—that make it so much easier to cook and clean up.
If you looked through the Blessing Binoculars to see some of the extra blessings God gives you, what blessings from God would you see? (Let children name other blessings that fall under the category of wants—eyes that see, ears that hear, minds that think clearly; a room of their own; a teacher who is fun and great at helping them learn; toys, games, and sports equipment; books and music; and the like.)
No matter how hard I look, these Blessings Binoculars miss some of God’s blessings. These blessings are invisible, but they are the most important blessings of all. God’s love is a blessing like that. I can’t see his love, but I know it surrounds me.
How do I know God loves me? Because he sent Jesus to die on the cross for me! Jesus died for you, too! That’s the biggest blessing of all: the blessing of forgiveness. I often disobey God. I often take his blessings for granted. I fail to thank him. I waste his blessings or refuse to share them. Do you do some of those things, too?
We deserve God’s punishment, not his blessings. But because of Jesus, God always forgives and goes on loving us. We can say, “Lord, I’m sorry. Please forgive me.” And he will!
It’s amazing, isn’t it? God gives us everything we need—especially his forgiveness and love in Jesus, our Savior. He also gives us many things we want, just because he loves us so much.
Taking It Home
As you leave today, I want each of you to have a (name the Count Your Blessings item you are sending with them). Each time you see it, you can think about God’s great big love for you and all the blessings he gives you—some blessings you can see, and some blessings that are invisible! Let’s thank him for those blessings now!
Prayer: Dear God, thank you for all our many blessings, especially the blessing of your love and forgiveness in Jesus, our Savior. Give us thankful hearts, hearts that care about others and share your blessings with them. Amen.
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