(September 28, 2022) Norman Moss tells a children’s story – and invites you to share such Bible-based stories with boys and girls as you have opportunity, encouraging them to know about Jesus and accepting Him as Saviour and caring friend. (The subheadings below are a guide).
As D. L. Moody was so concerned to reach children in his troubled day, more than ever so should we be in these desperate times. Remember Matthew 18:14GNB! ‘… your Father in heaven does not want any of these little ones to be lost.’
Hi boys and girls… as you know, we all have a heart inside us. It’s what we call an organ. And a healthy heart keeps us alive by pumping blood around our body.
Now it’s hard to draw a picture of a real heart but often you’ll see it drawn something like this…
Good! You’re all so attentive, boys and girls.
A very special organ
Now then… the heart I want to talk about to you is something very special, very important. You know… those feelings, emotions and desires inside us, especially with which we love people.
I want you to think very hard for me, boys and girls as I talk about Jesus and our hearts. And to make things easy, let’s just think of our heart as the illustration above. And remember that it’s very, very special.
In fact it’s so special that in God’s holy book – the Bible – the heart is mentioned many times. And in what we call Revelation, chapter three and verse 20, we read about Jesus knocking at a door and asking to let be.
Now we often take that verse as a picture of Jesus knocking at the door of our heart and asking that He be let in to be our friend, our Saviour and to look after us and guide us.
See this picture ? It represents your heart – but look carefully and you’ll see bars across it.
That’s meaning that the door of our heart is closed.
Indeed these bars will stop anyone who wants to open the door to let Jesus in. Let’s talk about them.
1. The first one says –
Many years ago I heard a story about a little girl who was being tucked up in bed by her mother, and the little girl said, ‘Mummy, what horrible hands you have.’
Her mum looked rather sad and said, ‘Would you like to know how my hands got to look like that?’
‘Oh yes, Mummy’ said the little girl.
‘Well’ said her mum. ‘When you were a little baby you were asleep in your cot. I came into the room to make sure you were all right, but I found that the cot had caught fire and was in flames! I rushed across the room and grabbed you out of the cot, and beat out the flames with these hands. I managed to put the fire out, and you weren’t hurt at all. But my hands were badly burned. That is why they look ugly.’
‘Oh’ said the little girl. ‘They aren’t ugly, they’re kind hands.’
Jesus has kind hands. He cares and helps so many people with them. But when He died on the cross at Calvary, ugly nails driven had been driven through His hands… and his feet. It was terrible for Him. But He did it for you and for me because He cares and loves us so much with all His heart.
It was the only way we could be forgiven for wrong things we do and say, so that we can go to heaven when we die. The wonderful thing is that God raised Jesus from the dead and He is alive and cares so much for us… that’s His heart feelings for us!
But it’s sad that some people say they don’t care. A sad emotion. They think that was a long time ago and far away, so it isn’t important to them.
But when you understand Jesus did it because He knows you by name and really loves you, then you can’t think about Jesus and say, ‘I don’t care.’ So I encourage you to take that bar away.
2. The next bar across the door says…
Long ago when I was a young man I lived on a small island off the end of Cornwall. It was a beautiful place and I loved it. There were no roads on the island, just footpaths. If you wanted to go to the shops you had to travel three miles or so by boat. It wasn’t so good in the winter storms, but in the summer it was lovely.
My friend was an old man who owned the boat and would take me with him when he went on the water. One day we took a picnic with us and went to an island where I had never been before.
I was allowed to steer the boat, and I loved that. He went down the ladder inside and was busy with an oily rag looking after the engine. So I felt I was in charge. I could see where to steer towards. In the distance there was a landing stage, or quay as it’s called. We were in a great bay. The tide was high and the sea was calm and a beautiful blue. The sun was shining. It was wonderful.
Then suddenly my friend came up the ladder, looked across the deck to where I was steering, and he was so frightened he almost shouted at me! ‘No, No, not that way,’ he called. And made me turn the wheel and spin the boat onto a different course altogether. Well I didn’t argue – because it was his boat after all!
Now nobody likes to be shouted at, and I couldn’t see that I had done anything wrong. However we went on, and eventually we arrived at the same place I had been aiming for but at a different angle. I still didn’t know what the trouble was. We went ashore and explored the island. We had a picnic together, and after a few hours we came back to where the boat was safely afloat at the quayside. It was as beautiful as ever… but one thing had changed. The tide had begun to go out.
This meant that the water in the bay was lower than it had been. There were still miles of water, and plenty for the boat to cruise over. However one thing was different. Sticking up out of the water very close to where I had been steering the boat, there was a terribly dangerous looking granite rock with a sharp edge like a giant’s tooth!
If my friend had not taken charge I would have driven the boat straight onto that rock! We had been going fast and the boat had a wooden hull. It would have smashed to pieces and probably we would have both drowned.
You see, I thought I didn’t need my friend. But in fact my life depended on him. I really needed him!
Now life in general is a bit like that. Sometimes it seems like a safe sunny day on a beautiful sea. But there are lots of dangers under the surface. We really do need to have Jesus as our friend and Saviour. We need Him very much. So how about taking that ‘I don’t need’ bar away as well, boys and girls.
3. There’s just one bar left. And it says…
You see, boys and girls, Jesus wants to come into our lives to save us from our sins. He also wants to direct and guide us away from every hidden rock that’s a danger to us.
But, sadly, when you allow Jesus to come into your heart… your life… sometimes people may tease us or be unkind to us just because we believe in Jesus. So let me tell you one story.
This one is about a lady who had a great big do, called Verdi. The trouble was that Verdi was was very timid. Instead of being a guard dog and a protector, if she met a stranger she would put her tail between her legs, whimper and run away and hide!
Apart from that she was good and faithful and the family grew very fond of her. So they got used to her fears and didn’t think much about it.
Now, the house they lived in was out in the fields away from other houses. One day the lady was alone when suddenly she heard a whimpering and scrabbling at the door. She opened it to let Verdi in and the dog seemed terrified. It rushed along the passageway and down a flight of steps into the cellar. It wanted to hide!
The next moment a big rough man appeared in the doorway. He had come to burgle the house and seeing the woman alone he grabbed hold of her, spun her round and clapped a hand over her mouth to keep her from screaming. But before he could do so she managed to let out one frantic yell– ‘Verdi!’
Cowering down at the bottom of the cellar steps the dog heard her mistress cry. Love took over from fear. Verdi came bounding up the steps like a whirlwind. Snarling with rage teeth bared, she flung herself at the man who let go of the woman and ran for his life down the garden path… with Verdi in pursuit. He was so scared he ran away and was never seen again.
Now I know… you’re going to say to me, ‘But you said that Verdi would always whimper and be so scared.’
That’s true… Verdi was full of fear. The lady took Verdi to a vet and he checked her over. The vet then explained that why she was fearful… she had a bad heart. How then did she become so brave, boys and girl?
Let me tell you… when she heard her mistress was in trouble love took over from fear. She forgot everything else because she loved that lady so much. And she dared to be bold.
With Jesus in your heart, you’ll be brave and bold too. So let’s get rid if this last bar!
Open the door of your heart
Jesus loves you so much.
I said earlier that we love from our heart. If you really love Jesus, you will want to be brave and welcome Him into your heart. Will He come in? He promises that He will. Why don’t you pray this short prayer…
Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I have bad thoughts and I do wrong things. Thank you that you loved me so much that you died for me so that I could be forgiven of my sins, those wrong things. Please come into my heart today, I want to open the door and let you in. Please come and live with me always. I ask this in your name. Amen.
Norman and Margaret Moss pastored Queen’s Road Baptist Church, Wimbledon for over 30 years, experiencing charismatic renewal since the 1960s and bringing the congregation into renewal in the 1970s when the church grew significantly. Their desire is still to encourage ministers, churches and groups that are hungry for more of the Holy Spirit and although ‘retired’ they preach and teach by Zoom, and also contribute to Dr Ayodele Afuye’s Vessels of Virtues Fire Ministries.