The Bubble Gum Message

Puffed Up With Pride

Scripture: Luke 18:9-14

Materials: bubblegum for leader and each child (It's best for leader to chew a piece ahead of time to get it bubble-ready!)

Hi everybody! As you can see, I'm chewing bubblegum today, and that's because I want to show you something in a minute. We spend a lot of time talking about how Jesus wants us to act, about doing good works, don't we? Now who is it that gives us the ability to do those good works? That's right, Jesus does, by the power of His Holy Spirit. 

Do you remember when we learned about the Gifts of the Spirit in Kingdom Kids? And we learned that when we ask Jesus to be our forever friend, He gives us the power of His Holy Spirit, living in us, and that helps us to live the way He wants us to -- to do good things. Now does this mean that we will always behave perfectly, and never make mistakes? Of course not - we all make mistakes. And what did Jesus tell us to do when we do something wrong? That's right, He wants us to ask Him to forgive us and help us to do better.

Now, I'm going to try to blow a bubble for you, but before I do, can you tell me what it is that makes the bubble? That's right, my hot air does. And what happens if I blow too much air into the bubble? Yes, It pops! Well, here goes. (Slowly blow bubble until it pops. A good brand, like Bubble Yum, will not stick to your face, and you can peel it off.) You know, we can be sort of like that bubble - we can get all puffed up with pride in ourselves and brag about the good things we do, instead of giving Jesus credit for all He helps us to do. And when we do get all puffed up with pride, our good works lose their value before God, and disappear, just like the bubble did, when it popped. 

In today's Bible passage, Jesus tells a story about two men. One, the Pharisee, was a very religious man, but he was all puffed up with pride, bragging about his good works. And just like that bubble that popped, his good works had no value to Jesus. But the other man, a tax collector, was humble. He knew he had done some things that were wrong, and he begged God to forgive him. Jesus said that he had the right idea. He knew that we can only be good through God's power, not through our own power, and that He is the only one who can forgive us when we do something wrong.

Now I'm going to give each one of you a piece of bubblegum, and I want you to wait until your parents say it is OK to chew it. When you do chew it, I want you to remember the Pharisee and the tax collector - and that Jesus wants us to be humble, not puffed up with pride.

Copyright 2001 Kit MacLeod

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