A Children’s Sermon For All God’s Children

Heritage Presbyterian Church https://heritagepresbyterian.org

October 20, 2019 Youth Sunday
Scripture readings – 2nd Timothy 4: 1-5 & Luke 18: 1-8

Today is called Youth Sunday, and that means that today we focus on all of you a little more than we usually do. But no matter what we do or what we say today, I want each of you to know something: YOU ARE VERY IMPORTANT.

That’s right…each and every one of you is very VERY important. You are important to your families. You are important to me. And you are important to this church. Just the fact that all of you are here makes me very happy. So believe me…you are VERY important.

But that’s not the way it has always been…

Did you know that in Jesus’ day children were not even as important as a good horse? That’s right…children were more like something that their parents owned. That doesn’t mean their parents didn’t care for them, but children didn’t really count for much in their society.

I’m really glad that is not true anymore. Because, like I said before, you are REALLY important to us.

Now we just heard two Bible stories read, and I want to make sure you understand how they apply to you…and to all God’s children that are here with us.

The first one was actually a letter from Paul to his friend, a youth named Timothy. Paul and Timothy had traveled and worked together for many years, and they were good friends.

Paul was much older than Timothy – actually, Timothy was a young kid when they first started traveling. But when this letter that we heard today was written, Paul was locked up. Paul was in a Roman prison, and the Romans weren’t going to let him out. In fact, Paul knew he wasn’t ever going to get out. That meant that Paul wouldn’t be able to do his great work for the Lord anymore. But somebody had to do it…

Now here’s the important part for you: Did Paul write to Jesus’ friend, Peter, and ask him to get busy? NO.

Did Paul write to Jesus’ friend, John, and ask him to visit one of Paul’s churches that was having lots of trouble? NO.

Paul wrote to his young friend, Timothy, and told him to go to that church and straighten them out. And Paul told Timothy not to worry that he was only a teenager; Paul had trained him well, and Timothy knew what to do.

Paul trusted Timothy…even though Timothy wasn’t a grown-up.

Like I told you, youth are very VERY important – and Paul proved it by trusting his young friend to do something very important.

God uses who God uses.

God uses ALL his children.

Now let’s remember the second story, the one that Jesus told about the two men who went to the Temple in Jerusalem to pray to the Lord. One man was a Pharisee and all he did was to remind the Lord about all the good stuff he was doing. The other man was a rotten, cheating tax collector. In Jesus’ day, tax collectors were Jews who took soldiers with them and collected money from the Jews by force to pay for the Roman Army. The Jews HATED the tax collectors because they were helping the enemy, the Romans!

But Jesus told his story…and a funny lesson came out. Let’s see if you caught it:

What if YOU were the Pharisee? You did a lot of good, you gave money to the church, you prayed every day, you studied the Bible, you tried to help the Lord. All that stuff is what Jesus wants us to do…right?

But if you were that Pharisee…do you need to stand up in church and tell the Lord all about the great stuff you are doing? Or what should you do instead of being a big show-off about all the good stuff you do…

If children are very VERY important like I said earlier, then all God’s children should remember to thank God and not brag about it.

But wait a minute…we forgot something…what about the dirty, rotten, sinful tax collector? He cheated his own people out of their money to pay for the Roman Army that was hurting his own people. He wasn’t doing any good, he didn’t give any money to the church, he wasn’t praying every day, he wasn’t studying the Bible, and he wasn’t trying to help the Lord one bit!

He wasn’t doing any of that stuff that Jesus wants us to do.

But he sure was sorry when he and the Pharisee were praying in the Temple. And the tax collector was so sorry that he couldn’t even look up to Heaven when he prayed. Instead, his just beat his chest and cried…and asked God for forgiveness.

So, here’s the other question: What if you were the tax collector? What would you do? Especially remember that at the end of the story, Jesus said the bad guy was good… and the good guy was bad!

So many things to remember! It’s kinda hard sometimes.

But remember this: God uses all his children to do his work, even the bad ones. So I know he will use great kids like you – and all the other children of God who are in this room with us.


God uses kids to get his work done every day. He uses…

Old people and young people and people in the middle…

Foreign people and American people and all kinds of people all over the world…

Sick people and well people and people that understand how rotten it is to be sick.

God uses all his children to get his work done.