We all mess up and make mistakes. It's part of being human, and it doesn't feel very good. But God loves us so much that he's made a special way for us to say we're sorry for our sins and mistakes--then they won't make us feel bad anymore! Here are some ways to explore God's amazing forgiveness:
Change of Heart:
Take a handful of white playdough (or any other white modeling material or salt-dough). Shape it into something that represents what you want to say sorry to God for. Make the shape of your mouth if you find yourself saying wrong things! When you have made your model, shut your eyes and pray, telling God you’re sorry and asking for His forgiveness. As you pray, squash your model into a ball shape and then form it into a heart. Open your eyes at the end of your prayer. Make your heart into a better shape if it needs adjusting. Let your heart dry out, and keep it to remind you that God can make your heart white and clean again—no matter what you have done.
Make a forgiveness booklet, or perhaps a strand of beads or buttons attached to a red heart bookmark. Use the following colors to remind you of God’s forgiveness:
- Green: God wants us to be filled with life.
- White: God knows we are happiest when we are free from sin and forgiven.
- Black or speckled: But we mess up and make mistakes and sin.
- Red: So God sent Jesus to die for us because He loves us.
- White: Because Jesus has died for our sins and taken them all away, we can be clean and forgiven again.
- Gold: One day He will come back to take us to live in heaven forever!
Use the booklet, beads, or buttons to tell someone else about the amazing gift of God’s forgiveness.
Find some big white stones and make them as muddy as you can. Let the mud dry on them. When you are ready, read 1 John 1:9. Tell God what you are sorry about, and then wash your stone clean in some warm water. You may need to use a scrubbing brush! Use this to remind you that God wants to wash you all clean again and make you white and sparkling like the stone. If your stone is big enough, write a Bible verse about forgiveness on it.
Sack of Sins:
Take a strong bag and go to a safe place with your parents where there are lots of small rocks or logs. Think of some things you have done wrong in the past week, and put one rock or log in your sack for each thing you can think of. Pick up the sack and feel how heavy it is. You probably wouldn’t want to carry that very far! But try to carry the sack for a little ways. Then empty out the rocks or logs and lay them out in the shape of a cross. Kneel and thank God for His forgiveness. Feel how light your sack is now! Run and jump and feel how free it is to be forgiven and loved by God!
Write the letters of the word Forgiveness down the side of a sheet of paper, one letter to a line. Then write words and phrases about forgiveness beginning with each of the letters. For example:
“F: Freed by Jesus because He loves us!” “O: Only by dying could He save us!”
Or you could write, “Free!” and “Overwhelming!”
Or you could see how many other words you could make out of the letters in the word FORGIVENESS.
HEART OF TEXTS
Cut a large heart out of white poster board. Find your favorite texts about forgiveness and write them all over the heart.
Learn your favorite verse about forgiveness by writing it on a white board with a dry-erase marker. Each time you say the verse, wipe away a few more words until they are all gone and you have learned the verse. Well done!