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All Clear

Theme: Forgiveness

Bible Text: [The Lord says,] "I, I am the One who forgives all your sins, for my sake; I will not remember your sins" (Isaiah 43:25).

Preparation: You'll need five to seven hand-held calculators.

The Message:
Does anyone recognize this little machine? Hold up a calculator and allow kids to respond. That's right, this is a calculator. The calculator is a fantastic invention. You can use a calculator to add and subtract without counting on your fingers. Some friends have lent me their calculators for our message today. Does anyone here know how to work a calculator?

Several of the older children will hold up their hands. Invite them to take a calculator. Keep one for yourself and complete the following addition problems with the children.

Let's see if we can do some addition with these calculators. If you don't have a calculator, look on with a friend. Pause while kids scoot together. Let's add 3 + 3 + 4 + 4 + 5+ 6 + 7. Say the numbers slowly so kids can enter them as you speak. What did you get? 32! That's what I got, too. Isn't this great?

How about 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 + 8? What did you get this time? 35! Me too. Calculators make adding so simple.

Now let's add 7 + 9 + 4 + 6. What did you get? Kids will probably say "26." You got 26? Oh my, I must have added wrong. I got 25. Here, I'll just push the "clear" button. Now I'll add it again. Yep. You're right. It is 26.

That little clear button is one of my favorite things about calculators. If you make a mistake, it just clears the screen and you can start all over again.

Read the text. The Bible says that God is the one who forgives all our sins. After we're forgiven, God won't even remember our sins. It's like God has a clear button for each one of us, and with just a touch of his finger, all our sins are gone forever.

Of course, we know it wasn't that simple. God sent his son Jesus to die for us, and that cost him a great deal. But because of Jesus' death and resurrection, all our sins are forgiven. God has wiped them away-just like I cleared my mistake on this calculator. We can start all over and never have to worry about the sins of the past.

Please return the calculators. Thank you for helping me today.

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