Read this story about Tommy and the skunk.
Tommy was young when he moved from the big city to the country where his grandpa lived. He had such fun playing in the barn, fishing in the pond, and exploring the woods beside the pasture. Tommy saw all kinds of animals on his adventures in the woods. One day, however, he met an animal he will never forget. The creature wasn't very tall, but the sight of its black fur and the white stripe from the tip of its nose to the tip of its bushy tail made most people turn and run! Have you guessed what it was? A skunk!!
Tommy didn't know about skunks. All he saw was a cute animal that looked like a potential pet. He walked slowly toward the skunk, and suddenly, you guessed it, Tommy got sprayed! That little skunk sent its fowl smelling spray shooting right in Tommy's direction, making a direct hit. Tommy's eyes began to water and the smell almost made him sick. He ran away from the skunk as fast as his legs would carry him but he could not run away from the smell.
He smelled so badly that his mother wouldn't let him set foot in the farmhouse. They found a big old washtub in the barn, and Tommy's mom helped him wash the smell off with tomato juice and water. His mom took his clothes and threw them on the burn pile behind the barn.
It took several baths and lots of tomato juice, soap, and water before Tommy felt clean again and the smell was finally gone. Tommy's mom said he had never looked and smelled so clean! Tommy decided that skunks are cool to look at from a distance, but they are definitely not pet material!!
What would have happened if, after he was all clean, Tommy had pulled his clothes off the burn pile and put them back on? (
He would have been smelly again!)
Tommy was clean, but his clothes weren't. He would still smell like a skunk because his clothes smelled like a skunk.
After we accept Jesus' sacrifice for our sins, we are washed clean once and for all. When we sin, it's like putting on old, smelly clothes. God wants us to put on clean, pure clothes every day.
It can be hard not to sin, especially if a brother or sister is involved! However, we're going to discover the secret Helper God gives to help us put on "Clean Clothes" every day and make choices that keep our relationship with Him strong.
1 Corinthians 3:16.
- Who is the Helper that dwells inside every Christian? (Holy Spirit)
- How can the Holy Spirit help us?
God promised in
Acts 1:8, "
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you ..." It is God's Holy Spirit inside of you that gives you the power to make right choices every day.
Hear what Jesus said are are the two most important choices to make every day, no matter what others are doing or how you are feeling. In
Matthew 22:37-39, Jesus said...
"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul,
and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."
- What does Jesus say is the most important commandment? (Love God.)
- How are we supposed to love God? (With all our heart, soul, and mind.) If we truly love God, we will not want to put on the dirty, smelly sin clothes.
- What is the second most important commandment? (Love others.)
- Why do you think Jesus said this is the second most important commandment? (The best way we can show our love for God is to love others. When we love others, they can experience God's love through us.)
1 John 2:6, God said, "
He that saith he abideth in him [Jesus] ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked." God has given us the power through the Holy Spirit to love others like Jesus loved others. How did Jesus show that it is possible to love others no matter what they do or how you may feel?
WHY DOES THIS MATTER:
God not only desires us to be His Friend, but that our lives would be a clean and bright reflection of Him. God did not tell us to live clean lives and then abandon us to failure. He's with us, ready to help. If you focus your heart, soul, and mind on loving God and loving others, there won't be much room for sin. The clothes you put on will be clean and pure, and you will be a bright light to everyone you meet!
Ask God to help you leave your dirty sin clothes on the "burn pile" and put on clean clothes that help you love Him and others.
If you would like to see an example of what God does with our dirty sin clothes when we ask for His forgiveness, then click the water image below for a fun demonstration.