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Receiving Jesus

This is an illustration that I use following teaching on John 3.16. All you need is a small gift. I usually make a balloon animal (as the gift) while I am talking about it.

State that John 3:16 talks about a giver (God), a gift (Jesus) and a receiver (Us). No matter how wonderful any gift is, it will not do you any good unless you receive it. I have a gift here (produce or begin to make your gift), but unless you receive it, it is no good to you at all.

Some of you may say, I don’t want your gift. Well, if you don’t want it, you won’t get it, because I will not force you to take it.

Some of you may say, I don’t believe it. It’s too good to be true. Teacher must be tricking us. Well, if you don’t believe it, you can’t receive it.

Some of you may say, I will think about it. There is nothing wrong in thinking about the gift, but all the time you are thinking about it, it is not yours and it is not doing you any good.

Some of you may say, I will have to earn the gift. I will have to sit up straight, be really quiet and still, and then perhaps teacher will notice me and give me the gift because I deserve it. Well, I like you behaving that way, but that’s not the way to get the gift because it can never be earned.

But one of you may simply say to himself / herself, Yes, I want that gift, and get up, walk out to the front, take hold of the gift, and it will be yours.

It is exactly the same with God’s gift of Jesus Christ to the world – and the Eternal Life He brings with him.

Some people say to God, I don’t want your gift of Jesus. I want to live my own life, go my own way, do my own thing. Much as God still loves them (they are still part of the world), He won’t force His gift of Jesus on anyone. We must choose to receive Him.

Some people say, I don’t believe in the gift. I don’t believe in Jesus. I don’t even believe in God. Well, if you don’t believe, you can’t receive.

Some people say, I will think about the gift. Perhaps when I am older I might receive God’s gift. There is nothing wrong with thinking about the gift, but the problem is many people never make up their minds, and so always miss out on what God wants to give them.

Some people (in fact most people) think they have to earn God’s gift. They say, I will have to be very good. I will not have to do anything bad. I will have to go to Church or Sunday school every week. I will have to say my prayers and read my Bible every day. Then, perhaps, God will be really pleased with me and give me His gift of Jesus. These are good things to do, but you can never earn God’s gift.

But some people say, Yes, I want to receive Jesus into my life, and do so by faith – by simply asking God for His gift of Jesus, and believing that they receive Him.

At this point, you will probably still be holding your gift – unless there is someone very smart in your group who has taken you at your word and received it already! You will probably have to keep prompting until someone comes out and receives it. You could say:-

Well, it is still here.

I wonder who will be first to believe me. All you have to do is take it.

You won’t get it by thinking about it, or by sitting up straight, but someone could come out and receive it.

When someone receives your gift, state that they didn’t deserve it or earn it, but they got it because they were the first to believe that all they had to do was take it.

Conclude by stating that unfortunately you only had one gift, but the good news is that there is enough of God’s gift of Jesus for everyone. There is no need for anyone to miss out.

If appropriate, you could then lead your group in a prayer to receive Jesus.

by Maurice Sweetsur, http://objectlessons.blogspot.com/

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