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Doctrine in dialogue format
Penelope Potter Ss.T
"GOOD MORNING MISS POTTER!"
"Is everyone ready to begin their Sunday School lesson for today?"
"YES MISS POTTER!"
"Very good. Then we will begin. Today's lesson is about tithes and offerings. In the Old Testament we see... Yes Jimmy? You have something you want to ask?"
"Yes Miss Potter. I have something I want to give you."
"That's nice Jimmy, but can't it wait until class is over?"
"I guess so Miss Potter. But I might forget if I wait. I want to give it to you now."
"All right Jimmy. You may give it to me now. Is it a note from your parents?"
"No Miss Potter, not this time. It's a marble. It's my prettiest and most special marble. That's why I want to give it to you, because I think you're special too."
"Well, that's very sweet of you Jimmy. But are you sure you can part with your special marble?"
"I think so Miss Potter. But I don't know what Billy will say."
"Billy? Why would Billy object to your giving me a marble Jimmy?"
"Because it's his marble Miss Potter. He might not like that."
"I don't suppose he would Jimmy. But what makes you think you can give me something that belongs to someone else?"
"Because I like the marble Miss Potter. And I want you to have it."
"Well, I think that's thoughtful of you Jimmy, and I appreciate your offer. But you can't give to someone else what you don't own. Do you understand Jimmy?"
"I guess so Miss Potter, but I really, really want you to have it."
"Children, we see here is an example of what I want to teach you today. We offer up what we consider sacrifices to God. In the time of the Old Testament saints this meant offering a lamb or a dove or a loaf of bread, depending on the reason for the sacrifice and what the person owned. If a person didn't have a lamb, could he offer a lamb to God? Can anyone tell me?"
"No Miss Potter. I don't think so, because he didn't have one to give."
"That's right Peggy. So if a person didn't have a lamb to offer, but he had pigeons he had caught, what do you think he would use instead of a lamb?"
"Maybe a pigeon Miss Potter. If he caught the pigeon himself, would it be his to give?"
"Yes it would Bobby. And where did the pigeon come from? I mean by that, Who provided the pigeon?"
"God Miss Potter. Maybe God did because He made everything."
"That's right Mary. God is our provider. He made everything, and whatever we have, and whatever we are is because God gave it to us. All we can do is give back a part of what God has given us. So if God made us, who do we belong to, that is, who owns us?"
"I think Jesus Miss Potter. Because Jesus was killed and He bought us. Isn't that what you taught us Miss Potter?"
"That's exactly right Suzie. God made us to begin with, so He already owns us. Then Jesus died on the cross for our sins, so God owns us again. But He only accepts those who accept His gift, and will sacrifice themself as Jesus did. Jesus gave all of Himself because he completely owned himself. That is Satan had no part of Him, and Jesus kept nothing of Himself back from God. He didn't feed any human lust that might cause Him to be a part of this world. What if Jesus had turned stones into bread so He could eat since He was very hungry after not eating for forty days. What do you think would have happened? Yes Michael?"
"I don't know Miss Potter. But I think if Jesus did what the devil said, then He wouldn't have been able to die for us. Maybe that's what would happen?"
"Very good Michael. If Jesus had done anything at all to please Himself, then He wouldn't have been found worthy to sacrifice Himself to God, and we would all be lost in our sins. We are to make sacrifice of our self to God. What do you think would happen if we offer our self to God, but we do things God doesn't like for us to do? Do you think God will accept our sacrifice?"
"I don't think so Miss Potter. I wouldn't like someone to give me something all used up and nasty. I would tell them to keep their nasty old thing."
"And I think that's what God would do as well Peggy. God said the best of us isn't worth anything, so less than our best surely wouldn't be acceptable. In the Old Testament days, only the most perfect lamb was acceptable for sacrifice. And that sacrifice was intended to purify the giver of their sins so they could be seen by God as perfect. The lamb was as a substitute for themselves, since it was supposed to be that person who died for their sins, even though their sin might seem very small to us today. But let's say a person brought the most perfect lamb that ever lived. Do you think God would accept that offering? Yes Billy?"
"I think so Miss Potter. I think God would like that lamb. I would."
"I do too Billy. But what if that lamb didn't belong to the man who brought it? What if that lamb was left in his safe keeping and he just thought it would be better to give to God then to let his neighbor have it back. Do you think God would accept the lamb under these circumstances?"
"I don't think so Miss Potter. I think God would strike the man with a lightening bolt for stealing. That's what I would want God to do if I was the man who owned the sheep."
"I think you're right Tommy. We can't give what we don't own. Now, let's see how this relates to you and me. What if I wanted to give God a present of myself like He says we have to do. But I don't take care of myself and stay nasty and dirty, do you think God would accept the sacrifice of myself I offer Him?"
"I don't think so Miss Potter. If I was God I'd tell you to go take a bath first."
"I think so too Peter. And what if I had something about me that I didn't have control of. Let's say I just couldn't stop drinking sodas. If I just had to have a soda, then do you think I own myself? or do you think that sodas owned me?"
"I like sodas Miss Potter. Am I bad?"
"It's not sodas that are bad or good Tommy. It's that if I just have to have a soda, then I've become a slave to sodas, and I no longer own myself. Some people are a slave to their anger, or their computer, or even to someone they love. That's why Jesus said we have to give up everything, even our loved ones if we want to be His disciple. If we don't give up everything we love, or that we're addicted to, then we can't own our self and we aren't perfect enough to be an acceptable offering to God. Do you understand what I'm trying to tell you, children?"
"No Miss Potter. Not me. I still like sodas."
16Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. (1Peter 1:)
6But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. (Isaiah 64:)
48Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. (Mat 5:)
37He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. 39He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. (Mat 10:)
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