COME AS YOU ARE, KNOWING THAT YOU NEED GOD
When some people think about God, they think they He is just someone who is up in Heaven, keeping track of all the bad things we do so He can use it against us. In reality, God is waiting for His children (us) to come back to Him and admit that we need Him more than anything. When we finally do come back and we accept Jesus as the leader of our life, God actually forgets about all the bad things we’ve done. The bible says in Psalm 103 that God removes all the bad things we’ve done “as far as the East is from the West.” Do you understand what that means? The East and West are directions, and it’s impossible for them to ever meet! So when we come to God as we are and choose to give our lives to Him, He makes it as if the things we’ve done wrong didn’t even happen!
THE PHARISEE AND THE TAX COLLECTOR
One day Jesus told this story to some people who thought they were so good, that they looked down on everyone else. Jesus said, “Two men went to God in prayer. One was a Pharisee, which is a teacher of God’s word. The other was a tax collector. Back then tax collectors were hated by everyone because they would often steal from people.
The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed, “God I thank you that I am not like other people, cheaters, and sinners. I’m certainly not like that tax collector over there. I fast and give up food two days a week and I give you a tenth of everything I earn.” But the tax collector stood off in the distance and would not even lift up his face to heaven. Instead, he was sad as he said, “God have mercy on me for I am a sinner.” A sinner is just anyone who has done anything wrong, which includes every person who has ever been born, - even you!
Jesus said, “I tell you the truth. When the tax collector went home he was forgiven by God. But the Pharisee was not right with God. Everyone who makes himself great will be made humble, but whoever makes himself humble will be made great.“ So you see, even though the Pharisee followed all of the rules and everyone thought he was great, God didn’t care about that! He was more pleased with the person who was lost, the tax collector, who came back to Him. God loves all of us no matter how good or how bad we are, and just wants us back! He wants us to come as we are, knowing that we need Him, instead of thinking we have it all together.
Discuss the following questions with your child…
1. Being humble means that you don’t view yourself as better than others. Why is it so important that we are humble?
2. Why do we need God?
3. Why is it important for us to remember how much we need God?