Each day in November, the Everyday Truth blog is looking at a different name for God and providing a family devotional for you to use with your kids. The goal is to keep our hearts focused on giving thanks to God during the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving.
One day, my daughters were at the pool with some friends and their Granddaddy. One of the girls' friends couldn't swim and was in water over her head. Granddaddy was holding her up, but the lifeguard couldn't see it. The girl took a faceful of water and came up spluttering. Immediately, the lifeguard jumped in to pull her out of the water. Although the girl didn't need saving because Granddaddy was holding her, the lifeguard was ready to jump in the water to save her.
Unlike my daughter's friend, we're all in need of saving, and God has already thrown us a life preserver -- Jesus. You see, sin (the things we don't follow God's plan) keeps us from having a relationship with God. God wants us to have a relationship with Him because He loves us, so He sent Jesus. The Bible tells us in Romans 6:23 that the "wages of sin is death," which means that sin will separate us from God forever. But, God sent Jesus to die in our place, and three days later He rose again. Jesus' death and resurrection mean that we can have a relationship with God. He has saved us from spending eternity without knowing Him.
God is the lifeguard, and the life preserver He has thrown us is Jesus. Psalm 68:19-20 says "Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Our God is a God who saves; from the Sovereign LORD comes escape from death." Because Jesus died and rose again, we can take all of our worries and problems to God. Our lives can be filled with joy because we know that God loves us.
The thing is, though, that for God to save you, you have to grab onto the life preserver. If you're in the water and someone throws you a life preserver, you have to reach out and hold onto it for it to work. The same is true with Jesus. You have to believe that Jesus died on the cross to save you, and you have to let God be in charge of your life to experience God's saving power. You can do that by simply praying and telling God that you believe Jesus died for you and you want Him to be in charge of your life.
Give everyone a notecard or a small piece of paper. On your notecard, draw a life preserver. In the center of that life preserver, write the word "Jesus." Have everyone stick the notecard somewhere that they will see it every day. Every time you see the notecard, stop and thank God for sending Jesus to save us.
On your thankfulness leaves today, write down why you are thankful that God sent Jesus. It might be because it lets us have a relationship with God or you might write down that you are thankful that you can spend eternity with Jesus. Think of situations in which God has saved you from doing the wrong thing and provided a way out of the situation. Write those on your leaves.
Pray together and thank God for sending Jesus to save you.