Today we continue our detailed look at a presentation given by Jill Nelson at the 2007 Children Desiring God Conference entitled “Presenting the Gospel to Children.” In my last post, I introduced the series (including links to both the audio and the handouts. Today we will begin to work through each of the 10 Essential Gospel Truths which kids need to combat to false gospels and to understand the true and saving Gospel of Jesus Christ. As discussed in the prior post, each Essential Truth was laid out by Ms. Nelson in a uniform format which we will follow in these summaries. So, let’s get started. ESSENTIAL TRUTH #1 IS:
God is the sovereign Creator of all things.
Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: "I am the LORD, who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself, [Isaiah 44:24 ESV]
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. [Psalms 19:1 ESV]
A Psalm of David. The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, [Psalms 24:1 ESV]
For kingship belongs to the LORD, and he rules over the nations. [Psalms 22:28 ESV]
In her talk and in the handouts to the talk, Ms. Nelson gives poignant, concise and theological sounds explanations for each of the truth which will work great with kids. I have included my notes of these explanations below, but I would encourage you to listen to and/or read her full narratives as well.
- A living and eternal God created all things.
- Eternal means he had no beginning and no ending.
- He has always been alive and always will be.
- He made everything by himself.
- He can do that because He is an almighty God.
- That means He is all powerful which means nothing is too hard for him.
- Because he made everything, everything belongs to him.
- He is the sovereign ruler – the boss!
- He is the King of His creation.
Ms. Nelson is quick to point out that illustrations are meant to illustrate. They do not have the same authority as the Bible. She frequently uses language like, “That is a little bit what it is like that….”
- Use your child’s contact with the created world.
- Emphasize the different attributes of God
- Rainbow = beauty
- Thunder = power
- Pizza = how good he is
- Mommy & Daddy = how much God loves you
- Puppy = God is a happy God
- Illustrate God’s rightful rule over all things
- Give your child a box of crayons. Tell them to draw whatever they want. Then “listen” to the crayons and tell them the crayons say they don’t want to be a puppy.
- Should the crayons decide what they are going to be? Who should decide, the crayon or the child?
- God is the boss, not us
- Make cookies with your child.
- As you mix the batter explain that the chocolate chips don’t want the flower in the mix. Who should decide what goes in?
What is the implication of all this? What should a child walk away with? The implication of this truth to kids is:
God created you. You belong to God. God is your ruler.