“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9
We all, as imperfect children of God, sin everyday! Thankfully, God loves us so much that He forgives our sins and redeemed us by sending His Son to die for us. For smaller kids, that’s hard to understand. They may not know what sins are, or how and why God forgives us. I like to use visual representations to help explain these hard to grasp concepts.
God Forgives My Sins
Sinning is when we choose to turn away from God by making a bad/wrong decision. When we pray and ask God to forgive us because we know we did wrong, He does. God pours out His unending mercy and cleanses our hearts. We should always try to do better and strive to live pure lives.
To Do This Activity, You’ll Need:
- White Board + Dry Erase Markers
- Construction Paper
First, before you round up your kids, cut out (about 5 per child) 1″ x 3″ rectangles from the paper. Also, draw a heart on the whiteboard. Call over the kiddos. Explain how when we sin, we turn away from God. All of these sins give us impure hearts.
Each child should write down a sin that they have committed on the rectangles. For Example – lying, saying mean things, not obeying parents, etc. These don’t have to be big things. Show how these sins make our hearts unclean by coloring the heart in with a black (or dark colored) marker.
Have each child tape their sins onto the shaded in heart. Say a prayer with your kids, apologizing for your sins and asking for forgiveness. Ask your kids why they are sorry. Do they feel bad about what happened? Do they want to do better?
There is good news! Jesus died on the cross for their (and everyone else’s) sins. Describe how we are redeemed and will spend eternity with God in Heaven. Take off the sins and set them aside. Erase the shaded section of the heart.
After you have erased the heart, there will be some outlines of the shaded areas or erased parts of the heart. This symbolizes our imperfectness. No matter how hard we try, we will always sin. We ask God for His help. He mends our hearts.
When we are sorry, we promise to try to do better. On the back of each sin, write a good action that is opposite of the sin. This can be a quality or a good deed. For example – lying -> be truthful, saying rude things -> be uplifting.
Tape the now improved rectangles onto the clean heart. Because of God’s love and Jesus’ death, we are able to spend eternity with Him. We are thankful Jesus forgives our sins!
Like 1 John 1:9 says, God is faithful and just. Thank you, Lord, for your mercy and forgiveness.