Editor’s note: Today’s devotion is slightly adapted from the Ministry Message that accompanies Gospel Story by Emojis—an all-new evangelism theme from CTA. Kids will love the artwork and specially designed Christian emojis. The resources are perfect for community outreach or mission trips!
Before you begin, find, enlarge, and print the emoji you plan to talk about. (Search online for “emoji dictionary.”) Have Gospel Story by Emojis items ready to hand out.
Who knows what an emoji is? (Let one or two volunteers suggest the meaning.)
The word emoji is actually a Japanese word, a combination of two Japanese words really, that together mean “picture letter.” Instead of using lots of letters to make words, emojis use pictures to express meanings. Some people who study languages are starting to think that emoji is becoming a whole new language—just like English or Spanish!
In 2017, there were about 2,000 official emojis, but not every device has every emoji in its catalog. More emojis are being created all the time, so I am not sure how many there are now. I do know that in 2017, the “face with tears of joy” was the most popular emoji. (Show a picture, if you have one.) Second most popular was the heart. (Again, show a picture.) And the face with heart eyes was the third most popular. (Again, show a picture.)
My favorite emoji, though, is the white flower. (Show a picture.) It stands for “brilliant homework”!
What if we could use emojis to tell someone about Jesus? (Distribute the Gospel Story by Emoji items.)
These are not official emojis, but you can use them to remind a Christian friend about what Jesus has done for us. You can also use them to tell someone who doesn’t know Jesus about his love and the way to true and lasting peace. Let’s talk about each part of the story.
(Call attention to the smiling emoji with the raised hands and read the text next to it.)
The world God made was PERFECT! The first people he made were PERFECT! It was WONDERFUL! (Just like God wanted it to be.)
What would a “perfect” world be like? What things would be in such a world? What things would definitely NOT be in a perfect world? (Let volunteers comment.)
(Call attention to the sad emoji with the tear and read the text next to it.)
Is your life perfect? No one’s is. We disobeyed God. This brought all kinds of NOT PERFECT things into our world.
All of the “not perfect” things we just mentioned came into our world because of sin. People blame all kinds of things for the trouble, pain, and problems of the world. But when you dig down underneath them all, they all barged through the door Adam and Eve opened when they disobeyed God.
So is it all Adam and Eve’s fault? Not at all! All of us have added to the misery by our own disobedience to God. We all think, say, and do things that hurt others and ourselves. We are all guilty.
(Call attention to the emoji with the cross and read the text next to it.)
God loved us too much to leave us in our sadness. He sent his Son, Jesus, to be the PERFECT sacrifice for us, to die and rise for us.
This is the best news. Ever! What does Jesus mean to you? (Allow as much time as possible for volunteers to share. Add your own personal thoughts, too, but don’t preach!)
Jesus’ death and resurrection removes all our guilt. The Bible says this. (Read Romans 5:1.) Now, when God sees us, he sees only Jesus’ holiness! We are his children, members of his very own family!
(Call attention to the happy emoji and read the text next to it.)
By faith in Jesus, we have peace with God and the promise of a PERFECT forever home.
Jesus’ love is not just for heaven someday. Jesus’ love belongs to us now and it changes everything! We just talked about some of the things it has changed for us here and now.
And that love and forgiveness will keep on changing things for us throughout our lives here on earth and on into life in eternity after our lives on earth end. We will live with God and with one another forever in a joy and love so big, we can’t even imagine it right now!
Let’s pray: Dear Lord, thank you for giving us faith in you. Thank you for your gifts of forgiveness, love, help, and hope. Help us to remember that some of the people around us need us to remind them of your love. Help us to notice those around us who do not know and love you. Show us how to share your love in what we say and in what we do. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
You are welcome to copy this article for one-time use when you include this credit line and receive no monetary benefit from it: © 2017 CTA, Inc. Used with permission.