Chapter 9: The Perfect Fit
Sunday morning dawned with a bright, blue sky.
A favorite family time, Eli and Ezri scurried about to get dressed, eat breakfast, and still have time to review their memory verse for Sunday school. The Sunday school teacher had two contests going on that month. One contest was to see who could invite the most friends to church. The second contest was to see which boy or girl could memorize the most memory verses. The winners of both contests would get a grand prize. Being competitive kids, both Eli and Ezri were determined to win the contests.
Elijah, Eli, and Ezri arrived at church, and the three made their way to Sunday school. That morning Ezri scored the most points in Sunday school for reciting several memory verses: among them the verses they had been given through their T2Us. Eli was fuming under his breath because until then he had the lead among all the kids. Even though they were best of buds, Eli disliked being beat at anything by his own sister.
KidzZone children’s church followed Sunday school, and Eli couldn’t wait to get there. The games, the praise and worship time, the puppets, the illustrated sermons—he loved it all.
Pastor Gil, the children’s pastor, started the service by allowing kids to share anything special that happened that week. To both his and Ezri’s surprise, Eli raised his hand to speak.
Eli walked up to the platform, Bible in hand. Normally something like this would make him nervous. In fact, before this week, he would never have dreamed of volunteering to speak in Sunday school, never mind KidzZone. But for some strange reason, sharing before all the kids today didn’t seem so scary after all. The thought popped into his head, Hey, the Holy Spirit is giving me boldness to witness, even here at church. Cool!
Eli looked at the many kids and Pastor Gil, then opened his Bible to Matthew 25 as he breathed deeply and clearly said:
“This week has been one of a kind. I’ve grown more in the Lord just this week than ever before. Jesus has shown me more things than you could imagine! Then, on top of that, I got filled with the Holy Spirit!” The kids began to clap and cheer.
“Yesterday, Ezri and I had the chance to help out a poor lady who had no place to go or food for her and her baby. We both gave her all of our savings for the last few months. I’d like to read this passage in the Bible the T2U…I mean…a passage that came to my attention. Matthew 25:34-40: Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.‘”
“Very good, Eli,” said Pastor Gil. “I’m proud of you.” Pastor Gil then glanced to Ezri sitting with the other kids, “And you too, Ezri. Not many people would give up their savings to a stranger in need.”
“Well, I do have something else I need to add,” said Eli.
“Go right ahead,” responded Pastor Gil.
Eli looked down at the ground as he confessed, “I … I didn’t want to give the lady my money at first. For a moment there, I about refused to do what my heart was telling me to.” Eli looked over at Pastor Gil and added, “Then I got to thinking about what God had told me about helping the needy.”
“Well, Eli, the most important thing is that you did what God told you. Ezri, come and join Eli here on the platform. I want to pray for you both.”
Ezri made her way to the platform as one of the kids yelled, “Go, Ezri!” As Ezri stood by Eli’s side, Pastor Gil placed his hands on both their shoulders and said, “Kids, let’s pray for Ezri and Eli.”
Everyone in the KidsZone bowed their heads as the children’s pastor began to pray, “Dear Lord, thank You for using these two kids to show Your love to a needy lady. Please bless them for being Your servants. And help them to continue being mightily used by You, I pray. Also, dear Jesus, help us all to follow this example and to be used to show others Your love. In Jesus name, Amen.”
“Kids,” Pastor Gil said as he lifted his head, “this all fits perfectly into this week’s lesson. Today’s lesson is about demonstrating God’s love. We must show help to those in need. You know, God has perfect timing, doesn’t He!”
Ezri looked at Eli, and they smiled at one another. Their whole week was just like that—seeing God’s perfect timing.
- Kids’ church activities are not only fun, but a great time to invite friends to church, so they can have fun and learn about Jesus. Do you have any friends at school you could invite to church or to a church activity?
- Is there a reason you don’t invite more kids at school to church or to your church activities? What can we do to help you get past that problem?
- Would you like to do a contest to see how many kids you could invite to a church service or other church activity? Let’s make up some contest rules together, so you can get started and win—both now and with God.
- Being a kid who is practicing living out your faith regardless of any contest, you’re a winner every time you tell someone about Jesus, invite them to church, or show kindness and friendship. The big reward will be when we get to heaven and when God rewards us for obeying Him. Hold up both hands and make a first with both hands. Now count to 10 for each good deed you’ve done that you can think of, and say what that good deed is as you count. Now reverse the process by putting down each finger as you count. This time count how many ways God has been good to you.
- Let’s pray that we can all be more determined to invite others to church and to know Jesus as Lord and Savior. When we pray, ask God to help you become a kid who will act out your faith just like Jesus, so more kids at school can learn about Jesus.