Many years ago I was involved in a children’s club in my neighbourhood called ‘Good News Club’, an evangelistic outreach. I was a new Christian at the time, and was asked to help the leader. Since I wanted my children to learn more about Jesus I enthusiastically agreed. However, the lady leading became unwell, and I found I had to lead the whole thing, or it would close down.
In honesty I was mostly learning alongside the children, and with the excellent material that was supplied by the organisers, a well know child evangelism ministry, it seemed possible to carry on. Preparing the material each week included studying the Bible tracts given, as well as organising the various activities included in the notes. Each topic really helped me, and hopefully the children too, to grasp some important truths.
One of the biggest challenges was the weekly memory verse. The children seemed to learn it easily once they’d had it explained to them. In fact, they would have learned it easily, even if they didn’t understand what it meant, but I wanted them to get some understanding, rather than just learning it by rote.
All went well for the first few weeks. The verses were simple to explain, and we all grew in confidence that we could grasp some of God’s truths and remember them. But then today’s verses came along. I realised that the verses contained a crucial truth, but how could I explain the double negative to 5 year olds?
I wrangled with the verses, and how to explain them, for most of the preceding week. Finally I drew two identical pictures of a high priest. One had a ‘no sympathy’ label on his ephod and a big red cross through the picture and the other had an ‘I understand how you feel’ label on his ephod, and a tick beside the picture. Then the word ‘sin’ again with a red cross through it. The next bit was easy. I could draw a throne, but how would I draw ‘grace’?
I just couldn’t think of anything the children would understand, probably because I couldn’t really grasp the concept myself. I knew I was saved by grace, but what was it? Was it the same as mercy, or something more? In desperation I drew a smiling little girl with freckles and hair in bunches on either side of her face. I know it was a cop out, but we did have a little girl called Grace in the group. They all knew her, so it did help in learning the verses. I tried to explain about God’s generous life-changing love and mercy, but in reality I was lost for words to explain grace, at that time. I feel even now I’m still trying to fully comprehend the reality of God’s amazing grace.
Many years later these verses still remind me of little Grace, the girl with the freckles, and all the other children, who so avidly learned their weekly verses of Scripture. I can’t help but wonder if any of those children, who would now be in their thirties of forties, can still quote some memory verses, and if, like me, the depth of meaning of God’s grace is still developing in their hearts and minds. I certainly pray so.
Maybe today’s a good day for you to learn a verse, or even two. It may take a bit of effort, but these two verses, although not perhaps the easiest to memorise, are profound and life changing.
Prayer: Father God, thank You for the riches of Your Word to us, and the treasure that the Scripture contains. Help me to understand more fully what these verses mean, and to memorise them, so that Your truth will be deposited deeply in my heart. I pray this in Jesus’ mighty name. Amen.
"Our High Priest is not one who cannot feel sympathy for our weaknesses. On the contrary, we have a High Priest who was tempted in every way that we are, but did not sin. Let us have confidence, then, and approach God`s throne, where there is grace. There we will receive mercy and find grace to help us just when we need it."
Hebrew 4:15-16, GNB
Denise Cross is the Corporate Prayer Ministry Director for Ellel Ministries. She is married to David Cross and they have three grown up children and eight grandchildren. Denise was previously a Maths teacher and now delights to teach the Lord’s wonderfully logical truth. Her passion is to stir the hearts of passive believers to appropriate all the benefits of abundant life that our Heavenly Father freely offers to each of His children. Her book Rescue from Rejection has been appreciated by many people, in bringing clear answers to this challenging and widespread issue.
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