Editor’s note: Today’s children’s devotion is slightly adapted from the Ministry Message that accompanies CTA’s new theme, Jesus Is . . . The theme includes gifts and resources for kids of all ages. Look for the activity book, craft, drawstring backpack, and more. Plus, check out the additional FREE resources like coloring pages, a postcard template, and an event outline. Jesus Is . . . makes a great theme for VBS, midweek services, or summer outreach events!

Have you ever named a new pet? (Allow time for children to respond.) Sometimes people choose a name because of the way the pet looks. A cat named “Midnight,” for example, might have all black fur. A pet mouse named “Tiny” is probably very small.

We usually name pets once we see them or watch what they do. Their name might reflect a skill or the way they behave. For example, why do you think someone might name a kitten “Cuddles”? Probably because the kitten likes to be held and snuggled. Would you ever want to ride on a horse named “Old Bucky”? That horse is probably named “Bucky” for a reason!

Our names are different. Your mom and dad may have had a name picked for you long before you were born! Today I want to talk about a name like that. In fact, it’s the best name ever!

Just listen to what the Bible says. (Read Philippians 2:9–10.) What name is above all other names? (Allow time for children to respond.) Yes, it’s Jesus! Did you know that Jesus was given his name before he was born? Listen! (Read Matthew 1:20–21.) An angel of the Lord spoke to Joseph in a dream. God said the baby that Mary would have should be named “Jesus” because the name Jesus means “Savior.” That’s a perfect name for the One who would take all of our sins to the cross and pay sin’s penalty in our place!

Jesus is also named “Son of God.” This name helps us remember who Jesus really is—God’s only beloved Son! The name Son of God reminds us of how much our heavenly Father loves us—enough to send his only Son into our world in order to save us! (Read John 3:16–17.) The name Son of God also tells us about the power of Jesus. He is stronger than even death itself. Jesus, Son of God, proved his great power when he rose from the dead!

One other very special name for Jesus is Friend. Why do you think Jesus is called “Friend”? (Allow time for children to respond.) Yes, because he loves us! He defends, protects, and cares for us. Our Friend Jesus always listens to us when we talk or pray to him, too. Best of all, our Friend Jesus has promised to be with us always—no matter where we go! Jesus is our very best Friend, for sure!

Let’s pray: Dear Jesus, thank you for being our Friend. Help us share the story of your cross and your resurrection with those around us, so that they can become your friends, too. Amen.

 

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