Editor’s note: CTA has a brand-new children’s theme for Christmas, God’s Promise Came True. You can order books, ornaments, goodie bags, magnets, Advent calendars—everything you need to draw children and families closer to our Savior this Christmas season! Today’s devotion is one of four FREE devotions that accompany the Countdown to Christmas Children’s Activity.

(Bring a clear jar or a piggy bank filled with change.)

Do any of you have a jar or a piggy bank like this one? What’s it for? Why do people save money? Do you save money? (Accept reasonable answers.)

This is my Christmas savings jar. I’m saving up so I can buy (my wife/brother/friend) a special gift. I have been saving for a long time. I hope I can save enough before Christmas comes!

Here’s a question I’ve been thinking about, though. Can anyone save enough money to buy the gift of forgiveness? Let’s say you got really angry at your mom. You got so angry that you said very mean, angry words to her and about her. How many dollars, quarters, and dimes would you have to give her before she would say, “I forgive you” and hug you again?

(Lead the children to realize that forgiveness is a gift that money can’t buy.)

We can’t save enough to buy our parents’ forgiveness, can we? Let’s say you didn’t do your math homework all week. How many dollars, quarters, and dimes would you have to give your teacher before he or she would say, “I forgive you. You don’t have to make up your work”?

(Lead the children to realize that forgiveness is a gift that money can’t buy.)

We can’t save enough to buy our teacher’s forgiveness, can we? Suppose someone disobeys God. Suppose we curse or forget to pray or hurt our brother or copy someone else’s homework instead of doing it ourselves. Suppose we think hateful thoughts or say mean words. How many dollars, quarters, and dimes would we have to give God before he would say, “I forgive you. Your sins are gone”?

(Lead the children to realize that forgiveness is a gift that money can’t buy.)

We can never, never save enough to buy God’s forgiveness. Not all the money in the world would be enough to save us!

God made many wonderful promises to his people, promises to save them. God made a wonderful promise to Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father. Listen as I read. Do you hear the promise about saving? (Read Matthew 1:21.)

God promised that Jesus would save his people from their sins. What are sins? What are sins kids sometimes commit? Jesus was the Savior that God promised Joseph he would send.

Did Jesus save up money to buy God’s forgiveness? No! How did Jesus save us? Yes, he died on the cross and came alive again on the first Easter morning. Now, our sins are gone. They are washed away. God forgives us and calls us his children—because of Jesus!

We can never buy forgiveness, but God gives us this gift for free because of all Jesus did for us!

Let’s pray: Dear Jesus, please make our hearts truly thankful for the gift of forgiveness you won for us. Especially at Christmastime and then throughout the year, may our lives show how thankful we are for the love we have received. Amen

 

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