Paul’s conversion is truly spectacular. Paul went from someone who hated Christians to being one of the most passionate Christians for God. How could something like this happen? How can you go from hating Jesus to loving him passionately in an instant? It’s a miracle, the one of new birth. Paul met Jesus face to face on the way to Damascus and this meeting transformed his life. He fell in love with Jesus and became one of the greatest bearers of the message of salvation.
And you this morning, did you meet Jesus? Maybe not as intensely as Paul, but did you meet him? Have you also made this decision to love Jesus, to follow him, to spread the message of salvation to the people around you? Just because you’ve been coming to church since you were born doesn’t mean you’re automatically a Christian. What makes us a Christian? (Interesting to let the children respond, see how they perceive salvation.) We become a Christian when we recognize that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, when we recognize that we are sinners and that without him we are nothing. It is when we realize that Jesus died on the cross in order to restore the relationship that was broken by sin between us and the Father that we become Christians. Jesus died in order to restore this relationship of love and intimacy between us and God the Father. Did you make that decision to follow Jesus? To give him your heart and invite him to come and live in you? If not, it’s time this morning. Jesus is here and he is waiting for you with his arms wide open. Just as he was waiting for Paul on his way to Damascus, he is waiting for you. Paul’s life was transformed and he’s going to transform yours too. It’s time this morning to open your heart to him. When we make this decision to let Jesus live in us, he gives us a mission, the same mission he gave Paul: to spread his love and talk about him to the people around us. Paul was ready to die to proclaim the love of Jesus. Are you ready to die, too? Die to your reputation? Accept that maybe people can laugh at you because you’re a Christian? But what a joy when we see a friend of ours come to know Jesus! Think about this. If you don’t tell your friends about Jesus, who’s going to do it? And how will they come to know the love of Jesus? This mission belongs to you. Will you do as Paul and accept this mission? Or are you going to say no?
“Jesus, I ask forgiveness for my sins, I recognize that you died on the cross for my sins and to give me life, I give you my heart and I invite you to come and live in me. I want to follow you and I want to talk about you to the people around me. Thank you for loving me. I want to get to know you. Amen.”
With the children, make a list of the friends whom they want to talk to about Jesus and invite to church.