Hebrews 13:8 Following Jesus Is the Ultimate Life
The origins of Vacation Bible School can be traced back to Hopedale, Illinois in 1894. Sunday school teacher D. T. Miles, who also was a public school teacher, felt she was limited by time constraints in teaching the Bible to children. So, she started a daily Bible school to teach children during the summer. The first Bible school enrolled forty students and lasted four weeks. A local school was used for classes, while an adjoining park was used for recess. In 1898 Eliza Hawes, director of the children’s department at Epiphany Baptist Church in New York City, started an “Everyday Bible School” for slum children at a rented beer parlor in New York’s East Side. Hawes continued her efforts for seven years.
Dr. Robert Boville of the Baptist Mission Society, became aware of the Hawes’ summer program and recommended it to other Baptist churches. Boville established a handful of summer schools which were taught by students at the Union Theological Seminary. During one summer, one thousand students were enrolled in five different schools. In 1922, he founded the World Association of Daily Vacation Bible School.2
Our Vacation Bible School this year is called the SonWest Ranch. The theme verse is:
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8, ESV)
Let me share with you the lessons that the children will learn this week. We can learn today from each of the truths of these lessons, just as the children will.
Jesus has for me the ultimate plan.
God sent Jesus because He cares for me.
““For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16, ESV)
Jesus’ ultimate plan is for you to have eternal life. However, that will take a choice. Each person must come to Jesus themselves. But Jesus helps us with that choice.
Jesus helps me with the ultimate power.
Jesus’ power is big enough to help me no matter what.
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”” (John 16:33, ESV)
Jesus did not promise that life would be easy. However, Jesus did say that He would be with each of us. Life is hard. But thankfully, Jesus has the power to help us. He showed that power by rescuing us.
Jesus gives me the ultimate rescue.
Jesus’ death and resurrection can rescue me from sin and give me eternal life.
“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,” (John 11:25, ESV)
Jesus lived a perfect life and He died a perfect death. He destroyed the power of sin by His death on the cross. He rescued us from the eternal punishment for sin and has given us the power of eternal life. However, that takes trust.
Jesus asks me for the ultimate trust.
I can trust Jesus to take care of me everyday.
“Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35, ESV)
If I want to have eternal life, I have to trust Jesus. Jesus has taken care of the sin problem. All He asks is for me and you to trust Him. We don’t just trust Him one time when we say we accept Jesus’ gift of salvation. Instead, we choose to trust Jesus everyday. He is the Source of life. We need Him everyday.
Jesus commands me to share the ultimate love.
Jesus’ new command is to follow Him and love others.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”” (John 13:34–35, ESV)
Jesus took care of my sin problem. He asks for us to trust Him everyday. He allows us to live for eternity. But while we are here in this life, He gives us purpose. Jesus commanded us to follow Him and love others. Why is that? Because God is love. God showed His love by paying for our separation problem. God wants us to be like Him. God wants us to point people to Him. The best way to do that is to show His love. We share this Good News to others who need God. We also share His love.
One of the ways we do that is by spending time this week doing the work that is necessary so that others can hear this message. That is what Vacation Bible School is about. There are people who have spent time getting ready for this. I would ask that they stand right now. Thanks to them, and soon thanks to you, we will be able to show people who Jesus is – the Ultimate Savior, the Ultimate Power, the Ultimate Life.
2“Vacation Bible School,” Wikipedia. Found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vacation_Bible_School. Accessed on 25 July 2015.