Bible Text: The Gospels; Mark 1:16-20; Matt. 8:18-22; Acts 4:1-13; Acts 8:1-17; 1 John
Theme: When you receive God’s Ultimate Makeover, you will want to love others.
Memory Verse: 1 John 4:7-8 “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is Love.”
Hello boys and girls. This is our last story in our God’s Ultimate Makeover series. I hope you have enjoyed learning about God’s Ultimate Makeovers.
God’s Ultimate Makeover begins when we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, but who knows when it is finished? Yes, it is finished when we get to go to Heaven to be with Jesus at the end of our life here on Earth. The Bible says that “He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6) That means that Jesus keeps on changing you on the inside, until we meet Him in Heaven! That’s when all the work will be finished. But the FUN goes on forever because we get to live with Jesus for all eternity!
Today’s story is about one of Jesus’s 12 chosen men; the ones who were called his disciples, or Apostles. If you are a follower of Jesus, then you are a disciple too. Only the first 12 or so, were known as Apostles, and the Apostle we are learning about today is the Apostle John.
John and his brother James were fishermen. When Jesus first began His Earthly ministry, John and James were two of the first Apostles He chose to follow him. They eagerly left their fishing boats and followed Jesus. Their Ultimate Makeover had begun! John watched and learned a lot from Jesus. He watched Jesus heal the sick and give sight to the blind. John saw Jesus feed thousands of people with just five small loaves of bread and two fish. John saw Jesus walk on water and calm the storm. John even watched Jesus raise dead people back to life! John listened to Jesus as He taught the crowds of people who came to hear Him teach. John was learning a lot, but he still had a lot to learn. John still sinned, even after his Ultimate Makeover had begun. He still said and did the wrong things sometimes.
So do we. But Jesus has already forgiven us for these sins, and we are still saved. We should just say we are sorry, and ask for His help not to do them again.
One time, Jesus and his disciples were heading back to Jerusalem in the South, and they again had to pass through Samaria. Jesus sent messengers ahead to a Samaritan village to prepare for his arrival. But this village was not like the one we had learned about earlier this week, where everyone in the village begged Jesus to stay and teach them, and where many townspeople became followers of Jesus. This was not the Samaritan Woman at the Well’s village. It was a different Samaritan village, and they did not want Jesus to stay in their town! The people of this town refused to have anything to do with Jesus. When James and John heard about this, they were both very mad!
They said to Jesus, “Lord, should we order down fire from Heaven to burn this village up?”
But Jesus turned and rebuked them for saying this. “Rebuked” means to strongly scold. Jesus was sad that the people had rejected him, but He still loved them. James and John were wrong to say what they had said, for it showed no love.
John kept watching and learning and loving Jesus, and Jesus kept making John over. John watched as Jesus was betrayed by Judas, one of the 12 disciples, who never received God’s Ultimate Makeover. Jesus was arrested by soldiers in the Garden of Gethsemenee, even though He had done nothing to be arrested for. John watched sadly as his beloved Jesus was whipped and beaten, and nailed to the cross between two thieves, shedding His blood for our sins.
John knew Jesus didn’t deserve this punishment! Jesus was the sinless Son of God!
John watched as Jesus’s lifeless body was buried in the garden tomb, and he watched as the tomb was sealed shut by a giant stone door.
The next two days were sadder than any John could remember! How would he live without Jesus? Oh how sad John and the other disciples were!
Then came Sunday, the first day of the week; the day when John witnessed the greatest Miracle of all! Jesus had come back to life!! John had never been so happy in all his life! Jesus had gotten the victory over sin, and death and the devil. For 40 days, John watched the resurrected Jesus, until he watched Jesus rise up into Heaven.
John wasn’t sad about this though, because he knew he’d see Jesus again one day. And because Jesus had promised to send the Holy Spirit to live inside the disciples and all followers of Jesus, and be their comforter and helper.
John was still being made-over, and becoming more like Jesus every day. John was now preaching and teaching everyone he could about Jesus and His death and resurrection. The Bible says that even though John was just a simple fisherman, an ordinary man who had no special training, the people recognized that John had been with Jesus. This was a way of saying that John was becoming more and more like his Savior …. more knowledgeable about God, more loving to others like Jesus was, and more bold to preach and teach about Jesus to everyone.
The Good news of the Gospel was being preached everywhere, not just by John, but by all the disciples and followers of Jesus. One day John got news that the people of Samaria were hearing and accepting God’s message of Love and forgiveness.
John went to Samaria as quickly as he could!
Do you think he was mad at the Samaritans? Did John want to call down fire from Heaven and burn them up?!
NO! This time John only wanted to encourage these new believers in their faith, and pray for them!
Wow, what a difference! John had become more like Jesus! Jesus had loved these Samaritan people, and now, John did too. Jesus had changed John from the inside-out!
John is known in our Bible as the beloved disciple. Love is a constant theme in the Gospel of John, and in the three letters, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John. These are all books of the Bible that God used John to write. John, who at one time had wanted to destroy a whole village of people, had now become the Bible writer God used to teach us about loving others! God used John to write these words to us in 1st John chapter 4, verses 10-11:
“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His son to be the atonement for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.”
God also used John to write the last book of the Bible, the book of Revelation. Revelation is the book that tells us that Jesus is soon going to return to Earth and gather up all His people and take us to Heaven.
Will you be ready when Jesus returns? Have you received God’s Ultimate Makeover?
We are going to pray now, and if you want, you can do that today.
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